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God of Ruin: Chapter 38

MIA

If someone had told me a few weeks ago that Landon would be a doting boyfriend, I would’ve called the psych ward.

But here we are, two days after we got to New York and he’s already met—and completely charmed—Aunt Reina, Grandpa Mikhail, and even my uncles and aunts from Dad’s side.

His bruised face didn’t stop him from conjuring the charming god in him. He openly told them it was Nikolai being slightly overprotective. He even had the audacity to tell Aunt Reina, “I never liked Killian, but now that I see you’re his mother, I can try to tolerate him for your sake. And my sister’s, of course.”

He was invited to dinner with Grandpa—who’s more paranoid about strangers and security than a US president—and even played against him in chess.

Mom was a bit wary of him, despite not saying it out loud, but she eventually warmed up to him.

Even Maya has kept her illogical distaste to herself and, as promised, tried to be civil.

The only unchanging variable is my dad. The more others liked Landon, the harder he glared at him and threw jabs in his direction.

He does it less in my presence, especially since Mom and I elbow or try to stop him.

And while Lan’s muddied relationship with Dad saddens me a bit, it’s not enough to drown out everything else.

For the past two days, we’ve been on a rollercoaster ride. We eat together. Landon introduced himself to my family as my ‘boyfriend’ with a hand at the small of my back. If he couldn’t do that, he interlinked our fingers together. At the end of the dinner we had with Grandpa, Lan said, “We’ll surely see each other again, Mr. Kozlov.”

I never expected Landon to be perfect boyfriend material, but he’s proved that he’s so much more than that. Maybe it has to do with his superior people-reading skills. Or the fact that he knows exactly what people want to hear.

While a part of me likes this. The other part is confused, to say the least.

“Why do you think he’s doing this, Iris?” I ask my favorite flower on my balcony. A whole bed stretches over the entire terrace, sparkling in different colors. This is the only place where the monster couldn’t slither into the corner.

In fact, I developed my love for plants and flowers because it was the only sanctuary where I could escape the monster’s sharp claws.

Aunt Reina has done a marvelous job at keeping them beautiful and alive. I can tell they missed me, though, because they’ve become much brighter since I came back.

Or maybe I’m seeing them through the rosy lenses I’ve been wearing lately.

Sweat trickles down my temples and I wipe it with the back of my arm.

The sun descends in the lake, casting an orange reflection on the clear water. And just like that, our stay here will come to an end.

We’ll have to go back to the island tomorrow.

But why do I feel like every ounce of happiness I experienced will vanish as easily as the sun?

I crouch in front of the flowers and stroke Iris’s rosy petals. “You don’t know either, huh?”

“Please don’t tell me you’re talking to flowers again.”

My spine tingles at the very familiar voice and a sudden frisson erupts at the back of my neck. I tilt my head to the side to find Landon standing in the middle of the terrace, his usually impeccable shirt slightly untucked and his hair ruffled and finger-raked.

I slowly stand up and search behind him. “What are you doing here?”

“I jumped through your sister’s balcony.” He points a thumb behind him. “I always wanted to try and see what it’s like to climb walls and windows for your beloved à la Shakespearean. Not too bad. Four out of five would recommend.”

“Why only four?”

“Whether or not I add the fifth star depends on the results of this.” His darkened eyes rake over my satin shorts and thin camisole. “So far, it’s looking promising.”

I suppress a smile. “You should probably leave before Dad notices your absence from his immediate surroundings and comes knocking at my door.”

“We better be quick, then, or else I’ll fall victim to his relentless cock-blocking.”

I bite my lower lip and inspect our surroundings. It’s probably better that I push him out, but then again, he’s not the only one who’s sexually frustrated. With Dad keeping Lan on a leash—as much of a leash as Landon will allow—it’s been impossible for us to get time alone. Especially since Lan has made it his mission to meet every single member of my existing family.

“So you want to spend time with me now?” I sign. “I thought you were more interested in Grandpa, Aunt Reina, and the rest of my family.”

He searches around the flowers.

“What are you doing?” I sign.

“I’m checking to see if one of these edgy flowers is perhaps poisonous and might cause hallucinations. Otherwise, why in the ever-loving fuck would you think I’d rather spend time with your family than you?”

“Well, didn’t you want to meet them all?”

“Yes, but only because I figured it’d make you happy if I get to know the people you love.” His brow furrows. “Did I miscalculate something? Is my spending time with your family perhaps not something you want and actually makes you displeased instead?”

My lips part as I study his face.

He looks genuinely confused. He was going against his nature to provide me with a form of happiness, but I shot him down.

I wrap my arms around his waist and bury my face in his chest. Lan engulfs me, his larger hands covering my back in a protective cocoon.

“If you don’t speak to me, I won’t understand, Mia. Do my actions have the opposite effect of what I intended?”

I shake my head against his chest and then push back. “It does make me happy. I guess I was a bit salty because I missed you these past couple of days.”

A wolfish grin lifts the corner of his lip and he strokes my cheek. “Say that again.”

“It makes me happy.”

“No, the other part.”

I smile. “I missed you, Lan.”

“You did, huh?”

“Don’t get too cocky.”

“That’s part of my charm, though. Besides, I’m allowed to according to your aunt, who I like very much, by the way, no clue how she’s the tasteless Killian’s mother, but I digress.”

“Aunt Reina said you’re allowed to be cocky?”

“No, but she did mention that I’m the only guy you ever introduced to the family. There was apparently this Brian in high school, but he barely met your mom and only due to a coincidence. By the way, what’s his full name?”

“Brian Muller. Why?”

“I just want to know the name of the loser so I can disrupt his life.”

“Don’t be unreasonable. Brian and I went on five dates max and we didn’t technically do anything.”

“I know, which is why I said I’ll disrupt his life, not destroy it. Now, define technically because the answer to that will certainly decide his fate.”

I purse my lips.

“Did he touch what’s mine, Mia?” He wraps his fingers around my throat. The grip is loose enough to let me breathe, but it’s firm enough to establish who holds the power. “The lack of answer is an answer, muse.”

“No, it’s not. I just refuse to succumb to your unreasonable demands.”

“Tell me, then. Did the loser Brian touch this pretty little throat? Did he feel your pulse point and get hard by the notion that he holds your life in his hands?”

My heart nearly stops beating as Landon slides his free hand beneath my camisole, over my stomach, and to the swell of my breasts. My nipples tighten against the satin cloth and he twists one, then pulls. A shudder flashes through me and an ache blossoms between my legs.

I can’t stop the way I respond to him or even tame it.

Maybe I don’t want to.

The reason I’ve been addicted to Lan isn’t only due to his intensity but also how utterly unhinged he tends to be.

“Did he play with these, then? Did he tease your nipples like an inexperienced pubescent who’s only seen real tits through porn? Did you enjoy his touch?”

A moan slips out of me as he twists the other nipple, but it ends in a gasp when he pinches it to the point it hurts.

It hurts enough that my eyes water.

It hurts enough that my inner thighs feel sticky with wetness.

There’s definitely something wrong with me. Otherwise, why the hell am I so attracted to this?

“He did, didn’t he?” Landon’s voice darkens, lowering to a frightening edge. “He put his hands on what’s mine.”

“I wasn’t yours then,” I sign with shaky hands, barely able to keep my wits about me.

“Highly doubtful. You were always mine, Mia. We just hadn’t met yet.” He slides his open palm down my stomach, then pushes my shorts and panties down enough to grab my aching pussy. “What else did this Brian who’ll soon be wiped off the face of the earth do? Did he dry hump my cunt? Did you like the feel of his limp dick?”

I shake my head.

“Is that a no?” His eyes darken on me until I’m completely at the center of his attention.

“I never liked his touch. It was too gentle.”

A smirk that could only be described as nefarious curls his lips. “And you don’t like gentle, do you, my little muse? You don’t like to listen to sweet words whispered in your ear while being fucked missionary style. You prefer the kinks and the unknown. You get off on the rough and the fucked up.”

Slap.

I gasp as throbbing pain flares in my pussy. The crazy bastard did it again and I can’t even bring myself to pretend I’m offended anymore.

“Bet you didn’t get this wet for Brian. Did you?”

I shake my head.

“That’s my girl.”

He releases my neck and unbuckles his pants, the sound echoing in the air around us. I barely catch a glimpse of his hard cock when he lifts me up.

My shorts and panties slide to the ground and I’m butt naked in his arms. Letting him carry my weight, I sign, “We can’t, Lan. Dad will find out.”

“I won’t fuck you. I just need to feel you.”

My protests stop at the back of my throat when he slides his cock against my soaking-wet folds. The feel of his skin on mine offers a reprieve from the throbbing pain of the slap.

It’s always been this way with Lan. Pleasure can only come with pain—rough, decadent, and absolutely delicious.

I wrap my arms around his neck. In the descending darkness, he looks savage and absolutely rugged. The fading bruises add a dangerous edge to his already ferocious nature.

And yet I’ve never felt that I belong like I do in Landon’s arms.

My fingers stroke along the mole beneath his right eye. His gaze captures mine as his cock slides up and down my folds and over my clit. Pressure builds in my core and I bite my lower lip so I don’t release a loud sound.

“Fuck. You feel so good, baby.”

My chest aches and butterflies erupt at the base of my stomach, malevolent but addicting. Destructive but entirely delicious.

I used to think butterflies were a cliché, but it took finding Lan to realize I want to feel them whenever possible.

He dry humps me, though I’m not sure about the dryness when I can hear the evidence of my arousal.

Just when I think I’ll come from the constant pressure on my clit, Lan slides the tip of his cock into my opening. My eyes widen.

What is he doing? He said—

“Change of plans. I don’t think I’ll keep my word.” And then he thrusts inside me in one go.

I groan as he fills me entirely, his cock thrusting into me from below. I grab onto him, nails sinking into his neck and the collar of his shirt.

He pushes me so that my back hits the wall, then slams his palm by the side of my head.

My eyes meet his dark ones as he drives into me with the urgency of a madman. “Your cunt is taking me so well. I’m the only one who can fuck you like this. Own you like this. No one else touches what’s fucking mine, baby. No. One.”

His rhythm turns animalistic and I hold on to him for dear life as the pressure from earlier explodes into one ferocious orgasm.

I’m still riding it as Landon pulls out, puts me down, and turns me around.

“Palms on the wall and arse in the air. Let me see my hole.”

My limbs shake and I can barely stand, but I grab onto the wall.

Lan parts my ass cheeks and slides my wetness to the back hole. I squirm every time he touches my core, all my nerves still sensitive from the orgasm.

His fingers dig into my ass cheeks pulling them farther apart and then he spits. I can feel it sliding down my legs, and for some reason, it turns me on.

“Your cunt is mine. Your arse is mine. Everything you have to offer is fucking mine, Mia. It’s time I own you entirely.”

He lubes his cock with my arousal and slides into my back hole. I get on my tiptoes, teeth sinking into my bottom lip.

“Relax.” He slaps my ass and I yelp. “If you get tense, it’ll only hurt.”

He slaps my ass again and I jerk.

His fingers dig into my hip, keeping me upright. “Unless you want it to hurt?”

I must make a subconscious nod because Landon’s deep and absolutely toe-curling laughter echoes in the air. “This is why you’re my one and only.”

And then he thrusts deep inside me. This is different from the toys he put inside me before. Lan is a huge man and I feel every inch of his cock filling me to the brim.

I pant, my head leaning against the cool wall.

“Mmm, I knew your arse would be custom-made for me, just like your cunt. You’re taking me like such a good girl, baby.”

I wiggle my ass against his cock and he chuckles. “Impatient, are we?”

He reaches to my pussy and massages my clit as he thrusts into my ass.

“Fuck, you’re strangling my cock so well, baby.”

His rhythm increases until I’m completely full of him, his intensity, and his raw power. My nostrils fill with his scent until it’s my aphrodisiac.

Pleasure floods my core as he expertly teases my clit, touching, twisting, and bumping it against his thumb over and over.

I come with a long scream, and for a moment, I think this time I’ll definitely say his name.

I don’t.

Still, the orgasm is stronger than anything I’ve experienced. I feel it at the base of my stomach but more in my aching heart.

Why does it hurt so much?

Lan curses under his breath as he pulls out and comes all over my ass.

I can feel the stickiness sliding down my legs and pooling at the bottom of my slippers.

“Fuck. That felt good.”

He releases my hip, and with the only support gone, I nearly fall to the floor. Landon grabs my elbow last second, then lifts me up in his arms and carries me into my room.

As my arms wrap around his neck, a smirk lifts the corner of his lip. “Maybe we should go for a second round on your bed before your dad comes in?”

I keep staring at him, my heart still beating loudly.

I don’t like the realization as to why my chest still hurts.

But deep down, I know that I enjoyed the sex so much not because it’s only sex, but because it’s so much more.

“I’m just kidding.” He grins. “Or not, depending on your reply.”

“I love you,” I sign before I can even think about it.

He stops at the threshold of the room, but it’s only for a second before he continues to the bathroom. “Let’s get you in a bath.”

My lips tremble, but I control the urge to scream and rage.

I knew Lan doesn’t subscribe to the notion of love, but still, it hurts to say the words and get nothing in return.

I wiggle out of his hold, so he puts me down and I face him. “Aren’t you going to say something? Anything?”

He pauses, seeming lost for words for the first time ever. “Do you want me to say it back?”

“Not if you don’t mean it.”

He looks at me with that frown again and it hits me then.

Landon is a blank page in the emotions department. He’s an emulator and a master adapter. None of the sentimental feelings are his own.

And I just demanded that he feel an emotion he absolutely can’t.

“Forget it,” I sign. “Those words were said in an emotion high and didn’t mean anything.

I go to the bathroom and close the door.

Then I slide to the floor and cover my face with my hands.

I always thought I’d be okay as long as Landon was a decent human being who didn’t just get off on violence and anarchy.

But now, I can only watch my heart bleed as I realize I want more.

I want the love he’ll never be able to give me.


By the time I finish showering, I feel worse than before, but, thankfully, Lan is already gone.

He tried to come in and even attempted to open the door by force, but after I sent him a text to leave me alone, he did, though reluctantly, and only after he promised that he’d be back.

I change into a black dress and boots, then slip out the back door to take a walk by the side of the road. Growing up, I often did this whenever I felt suffocated and needed more space.

The edge of the lake has better aesthetics, but it’s not as well lit as the road. And since our house is the only one in the area, no cars venture out this far.

The night chill blows beneath my dress and triggers goosebumps on my arms. I should’ve brought a jacket, but oh well. Maybe cold will be good on this occasion.

My phone vibrates and I bring it out, then smile when I see the name on the screen.

Brandon: How is everything? Did Lan cause trouble?

Define trouble, because if it means stomping all over my heart, then he did that with flying colors.

Mia: I wouldn’t call it trouble. He’s been excellent with my extended family.

Brandon: Charming people is what he does best. I’m glad it went better there than the disaster that happened here.

Mia: On that part, it did.

Brandon: Does that mean it didn’t on another part?

Mia: Maybe.

Brandon: Oh no. What did he do now?

Mia: Nothing disastrous. Don’t worry. At least, not yet. It’s just that I’m not sure where we’re supposed to go from here if I love him so much and he doesn’t know how to love. How do you deal with it, Bran?

Brandon: I just love him. But as I said, I have no choice, he’s my identical twin and the one person I know the best. It’s in our DNA to love our twins, no matter what they do. Besides, he might not know how to love, but he is learning how to care, and I can assure you that he cares for you more than I’ve seen him care for anyone else—himself included. The day I picked him up from the Heathens’ mansion, he looked both monstrous and shell-shocked. He mentioned you promised to leave him so Nikolai wouldn’t break his wrist. He looked me in the eye and said, “You told me to act against my instinct and try to understand what she thinks instead of what my beast dictates. We have a problem, Bran. I think Mia is the one who doesn’t understand and could use your boring lessons. If she truly ends things between us to save my art career, I’ll cut my own wrist and send the evidence of self-mutilation to her fucking brother via post. Perhaps if I do that, she’ll finally understand which one is more important.”

I read and reread Bran’s text, not believing my eyes.

Mia: He really said that?

Brandon: Yes. I’ve only ever known Lan as an artist. Sculpting is what puts a leash on his demons, even if temporarily. So the fact that he’s willing to give that up for you is colossally important. Maybe it’s not that he doesn’t know how to love, it’s more of a case that he does it differently.

My crushed heart that was burned not too long ago resurrects from the ashes, ready to sacrifice itself at Lan’s altar or break against his harsh edges.

Everything Bran said is true.

If I look at the time I’ve spent with Lan, he’s been so adamant about caring for me and making me feel comfortable.

It’s not really about words, it’s about actions.

How the hell could I forget that he was ready to lose his wrist and his flourishing art career instead of losing me just because he didn’t say ‘I love you’?

Footsteps sound behind me and I smile to myself. Of course Lan wouldn’t leave me alone for long.

My smile freezes when I stare into the eyes of darkness I would recognize anywhere.

Any-fucking-where.

The monster from my past.

The reason why I’m forever broken is staring back at me from behind a gun.

“We meet again, Mia. I heard you’ve been saying things you shouldn’t have.”


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