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God of Ruin: Chapter 18

LANDON

I’m dreadfully, exceptionally, and categorically bored out of my fucking mind.

It’s no secret that I’m prone to lose interest in all objects, people, and concepts. The world, by definition, is a dull place that’s shackled by economic and political expectations and run by societal standards. Once I perfected the art of fitting in, existence turned into splashes of black on gray.

Sometimes, the gray is more prominent and I thrive on the prospect of injecting chaos into the world’s bloodstream.

Other times, like now, black ink dots overflow from my brain cells and invade every inch of my sporadic, hazardous existence.

The party blares in full swing around me, doing a fantastic emulation of a world I don’t belong to by any stretch of the imagination. Ironically, I reign over it.

Loud music shrieks from the speakers, bathing our mansion in tacky, mindless mayhem. Students from REU jump and move to the beat like drunken ants. Despite the designer clothes and the stench of old money, they all blur into one tedious existence.

Once upon a time, when I was young and senseless, I wondered why I couldn’t be bothered to fake joy or pretend like I gave two fucks about people.

Turns out, I actually don’t, and that allows me to make use of their miserable emotions. The world would be much better with fewer people getting in touch with their feelings.

Just saying.

The members of the Elites, whose names I couldn’t be bothered to remember, sit on the sofas on either side of me or join the crowd.

We have our signature Venetian masquerade masks on, which my members use like a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Nila and her imaginary rival, Bethany, have been hanging on either of my arms, begging for my nonexistent attention.

Rory has been glaring at me from beneath his half-mask for the past hour as if I suffocated his nana with a pillow. Fact is, I merely told him that if he doesn’t stop getting high and sabotaging my work, I’ll discard him faster than a used condom.

He said he’s trying to quit, but apparently, not hard enough, judging by his bloodshot eyes. Truth is, I score high on the apathy scale and can’t be arsed about his addiction habits. I just despise wiping up after anyone’s mess.

Nila brushes her half-naked tits against my arm and Bethany does the same. They’re starting to piss me off, or more like, I’ve been pissed off since they each took an arm.

I refuse the mere notion that this black state of mind has anything to do with a certain muse. It’s been exactly four days since I last saw her—three if we count the day she snooped into my room and ran away like her tiny arse was on fire.

Mia’s been doing a spectacular job of avoiding my vicinity. It’s a whole ritual that started with ignoring my texts and ended with avoiding our cocoon of mayhem.

She also hasn’t met up with Bran and, instead, has been making a point of being surrounded by Jeremy, Nikolai, and Killian—often at the same time. And while I’m open to suicidal missions, I can’t exactly hate-fuck her when I’m nursing broken limbs.

Seems that I underestimated Mia’s ability to play dirty. She’s anything but docile, which is my cock’s flavor of fucked up, but it’s difficult to tame the wild-horse spirit that’s hidden behind cute ribbons and fake smiles.

But then again, I’ve never shied away from a challenge.

I pull out my phone for the third time in the span of five minutes and stare at the texts she hasn’t graced with a reply.

Running late tonight?

I’m not the punctuality police, but you’re over an hour late. My cock is developing a serious case of blue balls that can be easily fixed with your pretty little lips.

If you weren’t coming, you could’ve sent a text. Your manners are 404 not found.

Then the next day.

Are you in the mood to witness blood spilling on your edgy boots? Because I don’t mind some petty knife crime with your Heathens.

Your ghosting efforts are proving to be both vexing and irritating. Believe me, you don’t want to push me. Come over tonight and I won’t hurt you.

Okay, I lied. I won’t hurt you much while I punish you for the insolence.

She didn’t show up. Not that night or the one after or the one after. My string of threatening texts went completely unanswered as if she couldn’t dignify me with a reply.

So I referred to my second preferred method of gathering information, also known in pop culture as stalking.

These days, she’s been posting pictures with her gang for the day. Today—as in, an hour ago—she posted a selfie, where Jeremy is in the background, leaning against a sofa and watching TV.

Mia is pouting at the camera, face leaning against her fist and her other hand pulling at a blue ribbon.

The caption is Bored.

My fingers tighten around my phone and I glare at Jeremy in the background. She’s been spending more time with him than necessary lately—the necessary amount is zero.

She’s vindictive, yes, but I’m not sure if she’s petty enough to try and provoke me with Jeremy’s constant presence around her.

Who am I kidding? Of course she is.

She possesses the hotheadedness of a bull on crack.

Seems I have to take matters into my own hands.

I send her a text she can’t ignore.

Landon: You didn’t only make the mistake of ignoring me, but you also went the very wrong way about it. Challenge accepted, little muse. If I have to effectively and personally wipe out your newest boy toy, that’s exactly what I’ll do.


Half an hour later, I physically check myself out of the party and drive to an unassuming place no one would think fits my plan.

In reality, everyone and everything does. Like a chess piece on my board.

Mia included.

She just doesn’t know it yet.

The only difference is that I’m alarmingly relying on her presence to create or, more accurately, finish the failures that didn’t make the cut. Before she came along, I used to shape this convincing façade that I was able to sculpt at will. Unquestionably, I made some stunning pieces of art, but I often found them underwhelming, like getting to a physical climax, but the mental side doesn’t live up to the intensity.

Ever since Mia’s ghosting, I’ve spent time in the studio staring at the miniatures I’ve made or the statues I’ve finished since she came along. I’ve created unquestionable masterpieces that I’m too possessive to show to the world. Not even Mum, who’s been my number one art guide and cheerleader wrapped in one.

The process is even weirder since I made those while she was slumbering, watering—and talking to—plants, or eating like a weirdly adorable food monster.

At this point, it’s veering dangerously close to an unhealthy addiction and I don’t allow those. Even smoking is an indulgence I can quit if I choose to. In fact, I’ve been cutting down on the cancer sticks lately.

Mia needs to be like cigarettes. Something I revel in but can discard when I’m bored. And I will be bored. It’s a fact, not a speculation.

After I park my McLaren in plain sight for anyone passing by to see, I stroll through the animal shelter’s door.

It’s late o’clock even for people who worship at animals’ feet, but that doesn’t seem to deter our resident Goody Two-shoes from coming here at this ungodly hour of the night. It smells rotten, just saying.

Some cats hiss at me as I pass by. Dogs growl, but I glare at them and they hide behind their tiny cages.

It’s no secret that Bran is the twin who’s a lover of all things animals and sunshine. I never cared for these creatures. Humans are enough of a headache as it is.

Besides, I can’t really use animals if they’re incapable of being manipulated, now, can I? Unlike popular psychological bollocks, however, I’ve also never considered hurting them like wannabe psychopaths.

Only mentally weak psychos with mummy issues hurt helpless beings, and I refuse to be lumped in the same category as the idiots.

I barge straight to the storage room, where Mother Teresa—sorry, I mean Cecily—is organizing pet food on the metallic shelves. Her silver hair is held in a messy chignon, making her look like a wise figure.

Leisurely, I remove my mask, casually hold it in my hand, and clear my throat.

Cecily glances in my direction with a slight jump, then pushes one sack of food in place. “What are you doing here?”

I stroll inside, taking my time and basking in the plain surroundings. “I’m wounded in my little heart. No hi, how are you?”

“I don’t think you came here for any his or how are yous. I’m surprised you even know this place exists.”

I park myself against the shelf beside her and summon Mia’s dramatic pout. “You’ve become so cold, Cecy.”

“Doesn’t feel good to be treated the way you treat people, does it?”

This, of course, is because she helped me, though indirectly, to set off the Heathens’ mansion like fireworks. Apparently, Cecily isn’t a fan of how I used the information she freely provided.

“Aww, you still mad about that other time? That happened centuries ago in human years.”

“You might be able to hurt others and forget about it, but that’s not me, Lan.”

“They allowed themselves to be hurt. Who am I not to indulge them?”

“You’re impossible, and there’s no reasoning with you.” She heaves out a sigh. “I honestly don’t know what I liked about you.”

I grin. “Oh? Is this a confession?”

“No, this is me calling myself daft. I think I liked the idea of you, but when I got close, I realized you’re like your statues. Gorgeous on the outside.” She taps my chest. “Empty on the inside.”

“Did you say gorgeous?”

“Just leave, Lan. I have some work to finish up.”

“Not so fast.” I step in front of her, blocking her exit. “See, I know you swapped me for Jeremy, and while I’m wounded in my little black heart, I let it happen because you can help me bring him down.”

“You…knew?”

“About your feelings for me? You couldn’t have been more obvious, Ces.”

“Why didn’t you say anything?”

“You didn’t; why would I? Besides, it was only a phase, no? Because you somehow got on Jeremy’s radar and you grew to like it. I rooted for you. I even encouraged it. In that fight, I noticed he was looking at you and I wanted to test him, so I said, ‘How does it feel to fancy someone who loves me?’ Kind of got beaten up for it, but confirming he has feelings for you was worth it. The mighty Jeremy in luuurve. Isn’t that poetic?”

A gasp falls from her lips.

That’s it, Cecily. Get the fucker back and leave a certain muse with no other choice but me.

And, yes, I knew about Cecily and Jeremy’s unorthodox relationship for a long time, which is why, during an underground fight, when I got the chance to push Jeremy’s buttons, I went for it in spectacular fashion and succeeded with flying colors.

My childhood friend slowly regains her composure and looks at me as if I’m a cardboard cutout of a human—which isn’t entirely wrong. “I don’t love you. I never did.”

“That’s what he thought, though.” My grin widens. “Sorry, I mean thinks.”

“Doesn’t matter.” She pushes past me, choosing to focus on the boring task of organizing shelves. “We’re no longer together, and even if we were, I would never help you hurt him.”

“Are you sure? Because he has a blonde bombshell hanging on his arm and pasting herself to his side like superglue. There’s her mute clone, too. The Sokolov sisters are vying for his attention, and if you don’t do something about it, one of them will have him.”

She stiffens, but soon, her shoulders drop. “He can do whatever he wants. And don’t call her a mute. That’s not nice.”

“I’m not nice.”

“Shocker.” Cecily rolls her eyes. “Also, Mia is only around to watch her sister. She didn’t look to be interested in Jeremy.”

“Or that’s what she wants you to think while she slithers around him like a snake.”

Maya is flirtatious by nature. Mia wouldn’t know how to flirt even if she took a lesson in the art. Despite her attitude and extensive kink flavor, she’s actually closed off and a bit clueless. So the fact that she’s purposefully spending more time with Jeremy is a red flag in every dictionary.

“Point is, get Jeremy back. This is the last courtesy I’ll offer you before I slice his throat open and sculpt him into the ugliest stone.”

“I’m not helping you, Lan.”

“I don’t want you to help me. Just take him off the market.”

She pauses and cocks her head to the side, mimicking an arrogant shit she definitely is not. “Oh. I get it. Is this about Maya? Maybe Mia? Both?”

“Don’t worry your pretty little head about that and just resume whatever weird thing you had with Jeremy.”

Her shoulders droop and she sighs like an old lady who’s gone through both world wars. “I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“He’s not interested in me anymore.”

I look at her intently. Is this a distasteful joke? People, my friends included, are a fucking headache. Seriously, what would everyone do without me in their lives?

“Not interested in you? On what planet have you been living, Cecily? The guy stalks you like a creep and actually smiles while he does it—honest to fucking God thought he didn’t know how. He’s also developed some bizarre fetish about removing anyone who poses an obstacle to you. That teacher who was giving preferential treatment to his friend’s kid? Jeremy was the reason he asked to transfer. Those American football players who stole and slashed your textbooks? Jeremy eliminated them. Those guys at the club who danced with you? Jeremy beat them the fuck up and put one in a coma. Oh, and news fucking flash, he tortured Jonah to near death by waterboarding him and threatened to kill his parents, brothers, sisters, and everyone he cared about. Then he proceeded to tell his family about all the scandals he could get them into by airing some of their dirty laundry. That’s the only reason Jonah turned himself in. He still gets beaten up in prison every day because Jeremy and his whole fucked-up entourage have the ability to pay off people who can do it. Inside England’s prisons, which should be far away from their territory, but isn’t. You still think that’s not called interest?”

Cecily’s mouth hangs open for several beats before she sobers up. “How do you know all of that?”

“I have someone who follows him, just like he has someone who’s following me.”

“Following you?”

“Yeah. You think he knows by now that I’m here?”

Panic slithers in her light eyes like a highly contagious disease. “Lan, whatever you’re planning, stop it.”

“I need you with him, Ces. I’m not asking.” I slide my fingers on her cheek and time my reaching down to the moment I sense movement behind us.

In a pure emulation of a caricature, I’m shoved off Cecily with a force that I could fight but choose not to.

Jeremy punches me in the face. I let myself fall to the ground when I spot a very tiny and very familiar boot. Mia stares down at me like she did that day on the ruined roof, her eyes resembling fractured midnight rain and crushed nightmares.

My own fucking fallen angel.

She lifts her boot and kicks me in the balls.

I grunt, suppress a smile, then roll onto my back. My lip has doubled in size and I can taste metal, but I still grin.

“Hi, mouse. Miss me?”

She glares harder, as if I’m at the top of her murder list, and flips me off—which will get her fucked like a dirty whore in a few. Then she signs to Jeremy, who’s grabbing Cecily’s elbow and staking a claim I couldn’t give two flying fucks about.

“He’s all mine. Don’t interfere or tell Nikolai or get in touch. I’ll deal with him on my own as we agreed.” Mia places a hand on her hip when she’s finished, her face and body emanating more attitude than should be allowed.

“He’s all yours,” Jeremy says.

“Oh?” I jump up and secure the mask around my neck. “I’m going to have to decline whatever deal you two have.” I snatch my childhood friend’s other hand. “Cecy and I have a date.”

I stare at Mia, who’s flat-out aiming metaphorical lasers at where I’m holding Cecily.

Should’ve thought of my retaliation before the ghosting galore, muse.

“The only date you’ll have is for a funeral.” Jeremy pulls Cecily and I release her so that she lands against him. I’m such a good cupid and should be rewarded for the effort.

“Necrophilia. Yum.” I lick my lips at Mia.

She lifts her leg, no doubt to annihilate the family jewels once and for all, but this time, I shove a hand against her forehead, stopping her advance. “Jesus fucking Christ, calm down, and stop acting like a rabid dog.”

As expected from the spitfire, she kicks, punches, and tries to shove against me, but all of it mostly ends in the air. I easily block her and offer Jeremy my most provocative grin. “Let go of Cecily.”

“No.”

My friend wrenches herself free. “You have no right to touch me.”

They glare at each other in a ridiculous play of hard-to-get. But it’s no worse than Mia who’s still trying to kick me while signing that she’ll kill me.

“What she said.” I tsk. “How does it feel to be the second choice to me? In fact, you wouldn’t have even been on her list if you hadn’t stalked her.”

Jeremy storms toward me with all his demons carrying machine guns. Provocation success rate? One hundred percent.

Cecily jumps between us, her back to me as she stares at her nemesis, who ironically happens to be the man she’s in love with. “Stop it.”

“Step away.”

“I said stop it.”

“And I said to step the fuck away.”

Time to let them do their thing. This carefully concocted plan could grant me a seat in the UN if I ever think highly of world peace as a career choice.

“We’re out of here.” I drag Mia by the arm as she struggles, elbows, and uses every trick under the sun to release herself from my grip. And while I contain her crazy, I can’t resist throwing over my shoulder, “Remember, Ces. You loved me first.”

Jeremy strides toward me, but Cecily stops him again.

Soon enough, Mia and I are outside. She kicks up the aggressiveness a notch and tries to kick my knee.

I swing her tiny body and shove her against the wall under a faint streetlamp. The light casts a soft glow on her petite face and adds a subtle shine to her blonde tresses intertwined with blue ribbons.

Her dress is short, exposing her slender long legs, and I like to think she dressed up for me. It doesn’t help that it’s been longer than I prefer since she’s graced me with her infuriating presence.

My fingers dig into her shoulder. “Calm the fuck down. What’s got your knickers in a twist?”

“You.” She points at me, her eyes blazing a darker blue like the color of murdered roses. “Go to hell, you fucking bastard.”

“Only if you come along. I’d appreciate the company.”

Her murderous state only seems to rage further as red splashes her cheeks. “What the hell do you think you’re doing? Why were you trying to kiss Cecily?”

“Aww, jealous, are we?”

“More like I don’t want to see Jeremy hurt.”

“Your dear Jeremy loves Cecily, so unless you’re in the mood to become a third and very unwanted wheel, I’d suggest you give up.” I jam my knee between her legs. “Besides, I can keep you satisfied.”

She lifts her chin. “One cock isn’t enough, I’m afraid. I like variety.”

Now, it’s my mood that takes a sharp dive to a black inky well of nothingness, even worse than when I saw her selfie with him. “What the fuck did you just say?”

“You understood me just fine.” She pushes me away. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go find some fun for the night.”

“Don’t turn your back on me, Mia. You know perfectly well what I’ll do if you run.”

She flips her hair and flips me off.

A sadistic grin lifts my lips.

Mia will run, and not only will I catch her, but I’ll also fuck her until she can’t move.

Until she understands there’s no other cock that’ll be inside her but mine.


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