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Hidden Truths: Chapter 13


I finish assembling the rifle, prop it on the roof’s surface, and focus the scope on the small group of people standing by a car down the alley. There are four of them at the meeting point, and only one car.
I turn on the mic. “Felix?”
“What, no more Albert thing?”
“Albert is the guy who washes dishes,” I say. “You’re Felix when conducting surveillance.”
“You’re hilarious. What’s the situation?”
“They’re early. I see four of them. One car.”
“I caught another car a bit further down, behind some dumpster, and two suspicious-looking guys in the side alley around the corner. I marked the locations and sent the map to your phone. Little Sam said he noticed another car doing laps around the block.”
“How many people inside?” I ask.
“No idea. Tinted windows.”
“Okay. Out.”
I check the location markers Felix sent on my phone, then call Roman. “Where are you?”
“Home. Nina isn’t feeling well. She caught some bug. We’re waiting for the doc.”
“What about the meeting with Dushku?”
“I sent Kostya.”
“Dushku doesn’t like the kid, you know that.”
“Yeah well, he’ll have to manage. Fucking DEA busted into Ural an hour ago. They’re combing the place. I sent Maxim to go help Pavel. Dimitri and Ivan went to Baykal in case the DEA decides to visit it as well. There wasn’t anyone else available.”
What an unusual coincidence. I look down at the Irish. “Which car did Kostya take?”
“Mine. He crashed his again, two days ago.”
“I need you to call Kostya,” I say, watching the men down below. “Tell him to turn around and get back to the mansion. Right now. And double the security.”
“O’Neil is here with three more men, waiting for me. But Fitzgerald is not. O’Neil never conducts business deals without him. There are also two other cars out of view, and some men hiding in the back alley.”
“Yes. This one’s for me. He probably has someone following Kostya’s car, too, thinking it’s you inside. Call him right away, or they’ll kill him.”
The line goes dead. I continue watching the men. At one moment O’Neil reaches for his phone and speaks to someone briefly. Five minutes later, my phone vibrates.
“Two cars intercepted Kostya at the underpass,” Roman says. “The car is abandoned there, with tires shot out.”
I take a deep breath and grit my teeth. “Call Felix. He’s already connected to the traffic cameras. I need to know where they took him. I’ll clean house here and go back to gear up.”
“You’re not going alone. You hear me?”
“Call Felix,” I bark, cut the call, and put my eye back on the scope.
I off O’Neil first. One shot, right to the chest. The man on his right is next. They’re both on the ground before the other two even realize what’s happening. The last two run for the car. I kill one, but the last man manages to duck out of view.
Getting up with my rifle, I walk to the other side of the roof and set up position again, waiting for the last guy to try getting into the car. He does exactly that. When he’s inside, I send the last bullet through the open window, right to his head. Four down. Six more to go.
I put the rifle back into the case and look at my watch. Twenty minutes is the most I can afford to spend here. I set the timer, take out my handgun, and head back inside the building.
The two guys in the side alley are easy to dispatch—they don’t even see me coming—but the last four are going to be more difficult to deal with because they’re sitting inside a locked, and probably armored, car behind the dumpster. There isn’t enough time to bother with the gun. A look at my watch. Five minutes left. Fuck. I run across the street to my car, stowing the sniper inside the trunk and retrieving a small grenade launcher from the hidden compartment. Luca said its accuracy is impeccable. Good thing the Irish picked a deserted location for the meeting.
I run toward the corner, aim, and fire. A few seconds later, the car with the Irish explodes, sending a magnificent thunder into the night.


“Got them,” Felix mumbles next to me.
He’s been switching through traffic cameras’ recordings for the last forty minutes, looking for the car that left the underpass with Kostya inside. I tried to track what Felix was seeing on the screen, but he’s too quick. I barely managed to catch a glimpse of the two black SUVs here and there as he flipped between the video feeds.
The front door bursts open, and Sergei runs across the living room, heading toward the stairs that lead to the basement.
“You have them?” he shouts.
“Yes. An abandoned house south of the city. I’ll send you the GPS location.”
“What’s going on?” I ask.
“Sergei is going to get Kostya.”
“The Irish will try to extract as much information as they can from him, then they will kill him. It has to be within the next hour or so,” Felix says and nods.
“Who’s going with him?”
“He’ll pick up Dimitri on the way, but he’ll be staying with the car. Sergei is going in alone.”
“What?” I widen my eyes at him. “You don’t know how many people are there! He can get killed!”
“There couldn’t be more than six or seven people in those cars. They probably don’t have anyone at the location. This wasn’t planned. They expected Roman, and would have just killed him if he’d been in that car.”
“It’s still seven against one!”
“We can’t risk sending anyone else, Angelina. If the Irish see them coming, they’ll kill Kostya on the spot.”
The sound of quick footsteps reaches me, and Sergei rushes into the kitchen a moment later. I look him over, my eyes scanning the bulletproof vest over a long-sleeved black T-shirt, black tactical pants with leg holsters holding knives, extra magazines, and a gun, as well as two more guns in shoulder holsters. He looks like he’s going to war.
“We’re good?” he asks.
“Yes.” Felix looks up at him. “Don’t die.”
Sergei nods and turns to me. He doesn’t say anything, only watches me for a few seconds, then reaches up and traces a line down my cheek with his finger. I open my mouth to say something, but he turns away and marches to the front door. All I can do is stare at his back as he leaves.
* * *
“One man in the parked car down the street. Two by the door,” Sergei’s low voice comes through the headphones that Felix gave me. “Three more inside the house. With Kostya.”
“Is he alive?” Felix asks.
“Yes. But he’s beaten up pretty bad. Tell Roman to have the doc wait for us at the mansion.”
“Doc is already there.”
“Good. I’m going in.”
For a few minutes, the only thing I can hear is Sergei’s breathing. Then, suddenly, there’s a choking sound that lasts for a few seconds. I strain my ears, trying to catch anything else, but the only sound coming though once again is barely audible breathing.
Rustling. Something hits the ground. A short silence, then someone starts panting and a choking sound comes again.
I grab the edge of the table in front of me, trying to control my own erratic breaths.
Distant voices. Three gunshots in quick succession. Someone screams. Yelling. Several gunshots. Sergei cursing. A thud. Gunfire again, followed by shouting. Running feet. A single gunshot. A sound of something breaking. Two more gunshots. Then, silence, broken only by the sound of heavy breathing.
“Kostya!” Sergei’s voice. “Davay. Poshli.”
Grunting. A few Russian curses.
“I have him,” Sergei says into the mic. “Tell Dimitri to bring the car around the front. The kid weighs a ton, and he’s barely conscious.”
I let out a breath and close my eyes, listening to Felix as he calls Dimitri, then someone else. I don’t pay attention to what’s said because I’m engrossed in the sound of Sergei’s slightly labored breathing. Is he okay? He doesn’t sound that well. Was he shot? I look at Felix who’s still on the phone, but he doesn’t look concerned.
I unmute the speaker on my headphones.
“Sergei? Are you okay?” I ask.
He doesn’t say anything. There’s a sound of an approaching car, then, the screech of tires.
“Sergei?” I try again.
After a few moments of silence, I get a dry reply, “I’m okay. Dimitri is here, I have to go.”
I hear the car door opening, rustling, and a few more curses, then the door bangs closed. The audio feed disconnects.


Thirty minutes earlier
There’s some kind of shed a hundred yards from the house where they’re holding Kostya. I would prefer something closer, in case I have to carry the kid out in haste, but it’ll do. After parking the car behind the shed, I take the black beanie from my pocket and put it on. Going on a night mission with hair as light as mine uncovered, is just asking for a bullet to the head.
“I’m coming with you,” Dimitri says from the passenger’s seat and takes out his gun.
“If you dare leave this car,” I say as I’m pulling on my gloves, “I’m going to knock you out and dump you into the trunk.”
“Damn it, Sergei.”
I look up, right into his eyes. “Stay. Put.”
Dimitri glares at me, then throws the gun onto the dash. Good.
After leaving the car, I cross the wide patch of grass to the backyard. It takes me longer than I’d like to reach the fence because I have to make sure not to step on the junk scattered around the ground and alert the Irish. I do a wide circle around the house and the yard to see where the men are located, then get closer to take a look at the room where they’re keeping Kostya.
There are three goons inside with Kostya. They have him strapped to a chair in the corner. Two of the guys are standing to the side, and the third is in the process of rearranging Kostya’s internal organs with his fists. The side of Kostya’s face is swollen and bloody, and one of his arms is hanging in an unnatural angle. The kid looks awful.
I retrace my steps to the front of the house, crouch behind a bush, and update Felix on the status at the location. With that done, I head toward the front gate, hugging the side of the house to stay out of view, focused on the man inside the parked car. The guy is so engrossed in porn playing on his phone, he doesn’t even register when I slide into the backseat and wrap my arm around his neck. I’m positive the guy is dead, but I snap his neck before leaving the car anyway. Better safe than sorry.
Keeping to the shadows, I move in closer and then creep along the wall toward the two guys at the front door. They’re smoking and chatting, and their guns are secured inside the holsters as if they don’t have a care in the world. One stands with his back to me, so I focus on the other and take out one of my throwing knives. They might not be a good choice if you want to dispatch someone, but they certainly make a hell of a distraction. After gauging the distance, I swing and let the knife fly. It finds its target, hitting the guy dead center in his neck.
It takes me exactly three seconds to reach them. Using my bowie knife, I kill the guy facing away from me first. The idiot is so focused on the blade protruding from his friend’s neck that he hasn’t even reached for his weapon. Letting the body fall, I slash at the neck of the other man, finishing off the job.
Now, the harder part.
If the situation was different, I would have picked off all six of the Irish, one by one, with my sniper rifle, but having Kostya’s life on the line changes things. I can’t afford to alert any of them to my presence, or they’ll kill the kid before I get to him. It’s either stealth or guns blazing. The last three guys are in the room with Kostya, so there is no way to sneak in and neutralize them individually. I’ll need to barge in and kill all of them in one fell swoop.
Taking out my gun, I step inside the house and traverse the narrow hallway. The door at the end is ajar, the captors’ voices reaching me as I approach. When I reach it, I lift my gun and kick the door. I send three bullets into the first man I see, then turn on the one raising his gun at Kostya. I shoot, aiming for his head. The asshole moves at just that moment, and my bullet finds the wall instead. I fire at him twice more, hitting my mark, but gasp and stumble as I get hit square in the chest. It was likely a low caliber, so I manage to recover a split second later. I take a breath, ignore the pain, and shoot at the only remaining guy. My bullet strikes him in the center of his head, and his body falls backward, crashing over a coffee table.
I enter the room, put a bullet in the head of each lifeless body for good measure, then rush to Kostya and cut his restraints.
“Kostya!” I wrap my arm around his back. “Davay. Poshli.”
Even semiconscious, he manages to stand up, grunting in the process. I put his good arm around my neck and start dragging him out.
We’re at the front of the house, waiting for Dimitri, when I hear the voice in my earpiece and my blood goes ice-cold.
“Sergei? Are you okay?”
I shut my eyes, wanting to hit something. She’s been listening the entire time.


Sergei arrives an hour later. The moment I see the front door open, I leap up from the couch where I’ve been waiting. Instead of coming over, he just glances in my direction and heads for the stairs. I stand in the middle of the living room, staring at his retreating form, wondering what the hell is going on. I make a decision then. If he wants to be left alone, it will have to be some other time, because I need to know he’s okay.
I reach the top of the stairs just in time to see him going into his bedroom. When I make it inside the room, he’s nowhere to be seen, but the water is running in the bathroom.
“Sergei?” I call, and when I don’t receive an answer, I approach and open the door.
Sergei is standing in front of the sink, his head is bent, and his hands are gripping the edge of the counter so hard his knuckles have turned white.
“Felix shouldn’t have let you listen to the audio feed,” he says without raising his head.
I take a couple of steps forward and place my hand on his. “Why?”
“Because I don’t like the idea of you listening while I’m killing people, Angelina.”
He still won’t look at me. Instead, he focuses intently on the sink, his jaw clenched tight. I turn off the water, then place my hand on his cheek and slowly turn his head toward me.
“Hearing or seeing people being killed is nothing new to me, Sergei.” I brush the back of my hand down the side of his face. “You’re covered in blood.”
“It’s not mine.”
“Good.” I nod and start unstrapping his vest.
As he pulls the vest over his head, a hiss escapes his mouth. “Shit,” he mumbles, grabs his shirt, and pulls it off, revealing a wicked-looking red mark nestled between the black lines of his tattoos.
“Sergei!” I gasp and lean in to inspect it. “Is this from a gunshot?”
“It’s just a bruise. The vest stopped the bullet.”
I reach out and lightly brush the injured skin with the tip of my finger. He could have died. How could they let him go in there alone?
There’s a soft touch on my chin as he takes it between his fingers and tilts my face up. “It’s just soft tissue trauma. It happens.”
He says this as if being shot is not a big deal. What if he hadn’t been wearing the bulletproof vest? What if it had been a bullet capable of piercing the vest? I look into his eyes, which are watching me, grip his face between my palms, and press my lips to his. He doesn’t respond for a second or two, but then he grabs me around the waist, pressing me to him as his lips start attacking mine.
The arm around my middle tightens and lifts me onto the countertop next to the sink. Sergei’s lips vanish from mine, and I open my eyes to find him looking at me with his head cocked to the side.
“Do you know what you’re getting yourself into, Angelina?” he asks, and I watch with wide eyes as he reaches for the knife strapped to his thigh.
I follow the huge blade as he moves it to my chest and places the slightly curved tip under the first button of my shirt. There are a few dark stains on its sleek metal surface that look like dried blood. Is he trying to scare me off?
“Yes.” Tilting my head up, I look right into his light eyes. I might look mousy, but I’m not easily scared. People who are willing to kill in order to protect don’t frighten me. I’m only afraid of those who hurt others simply to enjoy their pain.
I reach out and wrap my fingers around the hand holding the knife. The button flies away, clattering onto the floor.
He moves the blade lower, hooking the tip under the next target. “Are you sure about that?”
I nod, and the second button falls to the floor. The third follows soon after, and I sit, unmoving, as he continues cutting them off until they are all gone. Taking a deep breath, I shrug the shirt off and let it fall. Sergei’s lips curve upward, and I suck in a breath when the cold blade lightly presses against the center of my chest.
“I like this bra,” I choke out.
“Me, too,” he says, hooking his finger under the fabric that’s holding the cups together, and moves the tip of the knife up. “But I prefer it off.”
He cuts the thin piece of fabric, and my pussy clenches, drenching my panties.
Without removing my eyes from his, I discard the ruined piece of lace, letting it fall away to join my shirt, and lean back. Sergei drops the knife into the sink, then slips his fingers into the waistband of my jeans, and bends his head until his face is right in front of mine.
“There will be no going back after this, baby,” he says.
Yes, I guess there won’t be. Supporting myself with my palms on the counter, I lift my ass as he slides my pants down my legs. I expected him to remove my panties next, but instead, he reaches for the knife again and places it between my legs, pressing the flat side of the blade over my panties. I gasp. The side of his mouth curves upward, and I moan as I feel liquid pool between my legs. Other than pressing the blade onto my core, he’s barely touched me, but I’m already on the brink of an orgasm.
He moves the knife up and to the side until it reaches my hip, hooks the tip under the string, and cuts it.
“Do you enjoy ruining my underwear?”
“Immensely.” He smirks, then repeats the action on the other side. The last piece of the fabric covering me falls off, leaving me completely bare, on display under the bright fluorescent light for him. If it was any other man, I would be nervous. Not with Sergei. He’s already seen me at my worst, so I don’t feel the need to hide from him.
Keeping his eyes glued to mine, he starts unstrapping the holsters from around his thighs, letting the weapons clang to the floor one after the other. A gun. Several extra magazines. Another knife. Finally, he removes his pants and boxers, and stands before me in all his naked glory. As I watch all that hard tight muscle, raw and impeccably defined, a realization dawns. His body is beautiful, but it’s not just for show. Just like the guns and knives he discarded, Sergei’s body is a weapon, honed to perfection and capable of ending a person’s life with minimum of effort—just like I witnessed tonight.
He moves closer and grabs at the back of my neck with his left hand, sliding his right down my spine, and pulls me forward until the tip of his hard cock presses at my core. I should be concerned with the fact he’s just ended several lives with the same hands holding me now. There are splatters of dried blood all over his arms and face. But I’m not. Instead, I wrap my legs around his waist and revel in the feel of his cock sliding into me. It’s too big and I gasp as my walls strain, stretching to accommodate his size. I’m still a little sore from earlier, but I don’t care. Neither of us moves for a few moments, as we stare into each other’s eyes.
This feels different somehow. Back in the car, it was just two people succumbing to sexual attraction and acting on it. But this . . . this is something else.
Until tonight, I didn’t quite grasp who Sergei Belov actually is. I listened as he killed six armed men, quickly and efficiently, with no hesitation. Now, I know. I’m falling in love with a cold-blooded killer.


Hypnotized. My cock feels like it’s going to explode, but I don’t move. Angelina’s unblinking eyes, staring directly into mine, have me utterly hypnotized. There’s no fear in them. No reluctance. People rarely look me in the eyes. If they do, most quickly turn their heads away, as if afraid of what they may see when they look too closely. Her hand rests on my shoulder, nails piercing my skin as she squeezes it while simultaneously tightening her legs around my waist and pulling me even closer.
I let my fingers trail along her back and grasp a handful of her hair, tilting her head up. She shudders and bites her bottom lip, closing her eyes.
I pull out of her, almost completely, and lightly tug her hair. “Eyes on me, baby.”
I need her to look at me. The moment her eyes open, I thrust inside her with all my might. Angelina moans, clutching at my shoulders, as I bury myself in her to the hilt.
“Faster,” she mewls.
“No.” I smile and slide out, only to push inside again, slower this time. The sound of her panting—music to my ears. The expression on her face is priceless, something between elation and frustration. I let go of her hair and cup her chin, still moving in and out as slowly as I can, and devour Angelina’s lips. She tastes like honey and sin, and my control vanishes. I grab her ass with my left hand and slam into her, holding our mouths together as our breaths mix. Angelina’s hands wrap around my upper arms, squeezing as if her life depends on it, and I pound into her again and again. She moans, closing her eyes. No.
“Eyes, Angelina,” I bark and latch onto her chin again. “I need you to look at me.”
Her hands move up until they rest on either side of my face, and she looks at me the way she always does—like she sees me, not someone they send in when stuff needs to be destroyed or people eliminated. Not the unhinged man everyone fears will kill them if they look at him the wrong way. Just . . . me.
“I’m keeping you, lisichka,” I say against her lips and slam in her again. “You’re mine.”
Angelina moans as tremors rock her body, and I keep pounding into her until I find my own release. Not even for a second does she take her eyes off mine.


“I need a shower,” Sergei says against my mouth, then bites my lip. “I have blood all over me.”
I sigh, still coming down from the high. “Would you mind company?”
His palms land on my arms and slide down, then move to my waist. He lowers me off the counter and entwines his fingers with mine. His eyes are hooded with lingering arousal as his grip on my hand remains tight. He draws me into the shower and turns the handle. The stream cascades over him, rivulets trailing down his face and body, washing away the blood. The water at his feet is pink, and I am mesmerized as it swirls before disappearing down the drain. When I look up, Sergei’s eyes regard me. Waiting. I take a step forward and join him under the spray, my feet next to his in a mix of blood and water.
He raises an eyebrow. “You could have waited for the blood to wash away.”
“I could have,” I say looking into his eyes.
“It doesn’t bother you?”
“Bathing in the blood of your enemies?” I look down at the water around my feet. There’s still a pale pink tint to it. “No, not particularly.”
He reaches with his hand and moves a few strands of hair that are plastered to my cheeks. “You are a strange breed.”
“I’m not,” I say and reach for the body wash. “I’m probably the most boring person I know.”
I watch as he takes my chin between his fingers and tilts my head up.
“You are the farthest thing from boring, baby.”
“Your brother said I look like a librarian.”
“I have no idea how a librarian is supposed to look, but if it’s like this . . .” His free hand rests on my shoulder and travels down my chest, squeezing my breast, then moves lower along my stomach, and finally stops between my legs. “Then, librarians are mind-blowingly sexy little things.”
He dips his head and presses his lips to mine while his hand circles around to my behind. “With the sweetest, perky asses,” he says into my mouth and slaps my butt lightly.
“If you say so.” I smile, then yelp when he bites my lip.
“I do.”
I smirk and squeeze a little of the body wash onto my palm.
Sergei groans. “Not the strawberry.”
I look down at my hand and see that I grabbed one of mine. Smiling deviously, I squeeze out some more. As I’m washing his chest, being gentle around the spot where the bullet hit him, I take a closer look at the tattoos covering his skin. Most are macabre scenes, done in great detail. Here and there, however, nestled between numerous skulls, mythological creatures, and glimpses of apocalyptical landscapes, are words written in Russian.
I trace my finger along the tail of a winged snake on his breastbone and follow it to his shoulder. Sergei turns around, giving me his back, and I continue along the creature’s body that ends over his shoulder blade in a giant head with gaping jaws. I’ve noticed only one scar on the front of Sergei’s body, a short horizontal line at the side of his neck, but there are several on his back. One round mark near the snake’s head on his shoulder, and one more on his hip. I brush each one with my fingers, then lean forward and place a kiss on his upper arm. There is a sharp intake of breath, and the next moment, I’m pressed to the wall with Sergei’s mouth devouring mine, and his hard cock throbbing against my stomach.
“That didn’t take long.” I brush my hand down his length. “Are we trying to break some record? Because I’m not sure I can keep this pace.”
“Don’t worry. Stamina comes with practice.” He turns off the water, takes a towel from the shelf, and puts it around my shoulders. After wrapping me up, he lifts me in his arms and carries me out of the bathroom to bed.
“This feels familiar,” I say and bury my face into the crook of his neck. “You smell differently this time, though.”
“And whose fault is that?”
Smiling, I lick his neck, then bite the skin there slightly. “I wasn’t complaining.”
Laying me down on the bed, he climbs above me. “Now, it’s my turn to taste.”
Instead of leaning in to taste my neck as I expected, he moves down my body, takes my legs and places them over his shoulders, and I watch as he lowers his head and licks my pussy.
“Perfection,” he mumbles, then laps it a few more times, making me gasp. He sucks on my clit, and tremors overtake my body. I want him to continue, but at the same time, I feel like I’m going to implode if he doesn’t get inside me again. When he adds a finger, I whimper and grab at his hair, as my core shudders. Sergei removes his mouth from my pussy, and I groan in frustration, but in the next instant, his cock fills me completely. His body weight settles on top of me, and his heart pounds against mine. He wraps an arm around me and caresses my cheek with his other palm. I pant and hold his gaze as he drives into me.
My pussy is rubbed raw, but I don’t care. Every thrust, every ache, every time his cock stretches my walls feels like a proof of life. I was so afraid for him tonight. I will never forget those twenty minutes. I’m so sick of watching everyone I care about die.
With one hand clutching him for all I’m worth, I bring my other up to cover his on my cheek. My eyes prickle. He’s here. He’s alive. Sergei impales me again, burying his cock to the hilt. His heartbeat speeds. Another thrust. Alive. Alive. Alive.


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