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God of Ruin: Chapter 2

MIA

This isn’t part of the plan.

In fact, it’s so far away from the plan that I can hear meticulously laid-out scenarios crash like broken china.

I’m standing in front of none other than the Landon King. A charming god, a genius sculptor, and, most importantly, an insufferable bastard.

His hand squeezes my upper arm, pressing it against the wall with a power that renders me immobile.

My lips clamp together even as condensation covers the interior of the mask. Sweat trickles in the valley between my breasts and glues the dress to my back.

Any attempts to control my breathing end in epic failure. The air coming through my mask’s nostril openings wraps a noose around my neck—suffocating, nefarious, and as dangerous as the eyes staring down at me.

They’re all that’s visible beneath his white Venetian carnival mask that’s decorated with elegant golden lines. On other people, it would look tame, welcoming even, but on this man, it’s nothing short of a horror scene.

One distinctive feature gives him away. The eyes.

They’re a dark, shiny blue, like an ocean that’s twinkling under the silver moonlight. Deep, mysterious, and…deadly.

I’ve heard so much about Landon, but this is the first time I’ve believed he’s a lethal danger whose path I shouldn’t cross. Unless I’m in the mood to be drowned in his ocean so fast that no one will find a trace of me.

Too bad for him, I’m the type who likes swimming in open water.

I let my hand fall to my side, abandoning the flipping-off idea, but I lift my chin. I’ve been so looking forward to kicking this asshole in the face that I’m barely holding on.

Yes, his appearance has ruffled my plan, but it’s far from ruined. I just need to abandon his eyesore company and go on about my business.

“Care to explain what your insignificant presence is doing here?” His suave British accent echoes in the empty space like a lullaby.

This is what I’ve hated about the bastard ever since I met him that one time when he was vandalizing my cousin’s car. He has a natural way of sounding haughtily elegant while delivering cold-blooded threats.

I’m ninety percent sure he’s emotionally checked out and has no link whatsoever with the human side of himself. And while I don’t give two fucks about his relationship with his feelings, it makes it tricky to deal with him.

My cousin Killian is in the same category and possesses the emotional IQ of a goldfish, but at least he likes me, so I don’t have to be on guard when facing him.

The same can’t be said about Landon.

Not only does he not like me, but he also wouldn’t hesitate to teach me a lesson just to get back at Kill and Niko.

His fingers tighten on my arm and I swallow the wince before it manages to pass through my lips. Dad always taught me to never show weakness in front of enemies, even when I’m in pain, even if every fiber of my being demands to release it.

Some monsters get off on your reaction to pain more than the fact that they’re inflicting it, so never put yourself in a position where you’re someone’s source of entertainment.

My father’s words echo in my head as I stare back at the monster of the day.

What? There have been so many of them in my life that I’ve stopped counting.

“I asked you a question.” He squeezes again until pain pulses all over my arm. “Where’s your answer?”

Fuck you, asshole.

But since I can’t say that, or anything, actually, I just continue staring.

I could sign, but he’d figure out my identity immediately. Besides, it’s not like he can understand me anyway.

So I purse my lips further and attempt to shake my arm from his grip.

Huge mistake.

His fingers dig in so hard, it’s like he’s attempting to break the bone.

My eyes widen. Wait…is that what he wants to do?

All of a sudden, he becomes taller and broader, nearly eating up the horizon with his build.

It’s clear he has more height than me, but at this particular moment, he seems like a wall.

One that’s covered by wires and glass shards. Was he always this muscular? Did his shoulders strain against his tailored tuxedo jacket a minute ago?

Or maybe I’m just becoming super aware of his presence to the point of hyperfixation.

Landon is a tall man, at least six-foot-four, with a lean, muscled body and a perfectly straight posture. To make things worse, those superior physical traits are topped by his natural charisma.

He carries himself with frightening assurance and a blinding ego. He’s frustratingly confident, antagonistic to the point of bagging enemies everywhere he goes, and has an arrogance that could bring Narcissus to tears.

But there’s another side of him I’m currently discovering.

He’s…frightening.

And I don’t mean in the way some wannabes try to look scary. He doesn’t puff his chest out or raise his voice. He doesn’t try to be terrifying by modifying anything in his demeanor.

All he has to do is let his true colors show through. The long fingers of his free hand wrap around his mask and he casually lifts it.

The moment I see the entirety of his face, my theory becomes fact. All Landon had to do was remove the mask so the real him could shine through.

His face is logically gorgeous, model-like in its symmetry. He has a high, straight nose, defined cheekbones, and a jaw so sharp, it could cut through stone.

Illogically, however, he didn’t reveal his face to charm me into anything. It’s a weapon he’s using with the purpose of pure intimidation.

He willingly revealed his identity so that it’s clear who has the upper hand here—him, the leader of the Elites and the host of the event at which I’m a mere invitee.

“Let’s try again. Who are you and what are you doing in the men’s room?”

My gaze meets his. Unwavering. Unblinking.

No fear, and certainly no change in demeanor, just because his face—that he doesn’t deserve, I might add—is in view.

“You refuse to speak, is that it?”

I nod once.

“I see,” he muses and eases his grip on my arm.

Is he letting me go?

I cast him a doubtful glance, but there doesn’t seem to be any malicious intent in his eyes.

They’re neutral. Amicable, even.

My heartbeat slowly returns to normal despite my alerted state.

Then, all of a sudden, something happens.

It’s so fast and fleeting, I would’ve missed it if I’d believed in the fake safety he offered and dropped my guard.

In a heartbeat, he reaches for my mask, openhanded, as if he’s about to suffocate me.

I don’t think as I push his palm at the last second and it ends up on my breast.

My chest heaves and the weight of his hand on my breast makes it worse.

Instead of backing off, a smirk tugs on the corner of his lips and he squeezes the flesh over my dress. “So this whole charade was an invitation? You girls sure come up with the most creative ways to get my attention. Are you up for it here, where anyone can walk in and see you getting fucked senseless like a dirty, dirty girl?”

For a moment, I’m stunned into silence. Partly because no one’s talked to me like that in the past.

No one’s dared to.

I’m Mia Sokolov. The daughter of Kyle Hunter and Rai Sokolov. If anyone ever dared touch me and say those words to me, I would punch them to another planet. My parents would find them and have their balls for breakfast.

Don’t even get me started on my brother. He’d resurrect them and slaughter them all over again.

In my stupefaction, his hand slides down my hip and over my ass cheek before he squeezes it and slams me against his front.

A wordless gasp falls from my lips as my stomach rubs against his semi-hard erection.

My temperature rises with pure fucking rage.

How dare he…? How fucking…

I don’t think about it as I try to lift my knee and kick him in the balls.

Before I can do that, however, he tightens his grip on my ass, giving me no wiggle room whatsoever.

“Easy there, mouse. While I’m rather open to wrestling, I’m not sure you can take me on.”

I’m going to take you to meet your fucking maker, asshole.

I attempt to slip sideways, but it’s impossible to get rid of his fingers that are digging into my ass.

“You’re a silent little thing.” He grabs my other ass cheek with the hand he’s holding his mask in. “You did your research, didn’t you? I love them mute.”

That’s it.

I rein in my temper and let my body relax in his hold, willingly turning molten in his arms.

Then I lift a hand and stroke my index finger down his cheek to his jaw, slowly, flirtatiously.

His smirk widens and he doesn’t seem to mind the touch.

That’s it, psycho. Let your dick lead you like every other idiot.

I pull on his bottom lip, trying my best not to focus on the way he’s taking the liberty of grabbing me.

He thinks I’m seducing him, but I’m just erasing that damn smirk so he’ll stop looking like Lucifer’s lost heir.

He strokes my ass and I resist the tingles that explode down my spine. I get on my tiptoes so that my mask-covered face is a few inches from his and then I punch him.

In the nose.

As hard as I can.

Damn. That hurts!

The motion is sudden enough that he freezes.

I use the surprise element to push against him, release myself, and run out the door.

Despite being disoriented and hot from the bastard’s touch, I don’t stop to look behind me. Not even for a second.

In fact, I run as fast as I can in case he’s following me.

Even though I don’t detect any steps, I don’t let my guard down and keep running until I reach the control panel.

My heart nearly jumps from my throat, but I breathe deeply and push the button. I have no doubt that Maya succeeded.

Just as I expected, the timer goes on.

I go back through the garden—my plan B. There’s no way in hell I’m returning to that bathroom, where Landon can ambush me again.

Note to self: Never be alone with the bastard.

He’s a damn pervert, and a persistent one at that.

It takes me longer to return to the main hall, but I arrive at the back of the partygoers just in time.

After I join Maya, she signs, “What the hell took you so long? I was getting worried.”

“A small complication, but don’t worry, it was absolutely nothing.”

I don’t believe my words, even as I sign them.

That definitely wasn’t nothing. It was everything but nothing. My body still tingles with both frustration and rage.

“What do you mean there was a complication?” Maya hisses under her breath. “What happened?”

I place a finger to my mouth when none other than Landon walks to the stage and taps his glass of champagne with a spoon.

Just in time.

He’s wearing his mask, but it doesn’t matter. After our encounter just now, I’ve developed the useless power to recognize the asshole from a mile away.

“Thank you for coming to our party,” he starts in his suave, elegant voice that could be mistaken for a politician’s.

That gorgeous British accent is lost on him. Just saying.

“We’re delighted to open the Elites’ doors for the people we consider VIPs. Tonight, we’re going to have a personal meet and greet with yours truly, the man and the legend, Landon King.”

Barf.

“He sounds and looks edible,” Maya signs. “Too bad he’s a dick.”

“What’s taking so long?” I sign back as the crowd goes wild for the potential future cult leader.

Did I somehow not click the right button in my haste? I was temporarily out of my mind after the bastard touched what he had no business touching.

No, I’m sure I did…

He raises his glass. “To the Elites.”

“To the Elites,” everyone else echoes.

Just then, the gates of hell open and pour right on top of him. Pig blood bathes Landon and his glass of champagne in an instant, turning him into a messy goo of ugliness right in front of the people who worship at his feet.

A collective gasp overtakes the crowd. I laugh behind my mask.

Take that, prick. You’ll learn not to mess with me or my family ever again.

People and security rush to the stage, and Maya tugs on my hand. “Time to go.”

I chance one last look behind me just to see the asshole looking like a fool, but he’s already removed the mask and his eyes meet mine.

A wide grin lifts his lips, looking even more terrifying when he’s covered in all the blood.

He does the universal ‘I’m watching you’ sign, and I don’t know why I run the fastest I ever have.


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