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Merciless Saints: Chapter 12





“Winter.” Cillian takes hold of my chin and lifts my face to his. “Oh, poppet. I’m so sorry.”


“You can reach me on this number. I’ll get a burner as soon as it’s safe to stop. I’ll text you the new number,” Damien says to someone. “Thanks, Demitri.” Then I hear him growl. “What’s your name?”

“Cillian Byrne.”

“Dam –”

“Do you seriously think you’d be in this car if I didn’t know who you were?” Cillian snaps at Damien.

A strangled sound escapes me. Not because of the hostility between Cillian and Damien, but because I keep seeing my father and brother die. The flashes won’t stop.

The way their bodies jerked. The blood. The moment they hit the floor.

I was still in shock from hearing Dad contracted Damien and then… my family. My whole family. They’re all gone.

I gasp for air as a cry ripples up my throat.

I have no one.

“Poppet,” Cillian murmurs as he pulls me tighter to his chest. “I’m so sorry. I’ve got you. I won’t let anything happen to you.”

“You can’t promise me that.” My voice is hoarse from the raw and incessant grief ripping through me.

“Winter,” Damien snaps from the front, and my eyes rush to meet his in the rearview mirror. “You’re safe. I’ll get you home.”


What’s the use of having a home if there’s no family to fill the walls?

Oh, God.

Another wave of sorrow hits, threatening to drag me under.

Gasping, I lift a hand to my throat as it starts to ache from all the strain of not crying.

Dad. Sean.


Oh, God.

A sob pushes past my defenses and escapes my parted lips.

Sweet Sean.

“He’s dead,” I whimper. “Sean’s dead. I didn’t protect him.”

Cillian’s hold on me tightens, and he presses a kiss to my forehead. “I’m so sorry, poppet.”

“Blyad’,” Damien growls, and then something slams into the back of our jeep.

Pulling away from Cillian, I glance out the back window. There’s a black car right on our tail, but I can’t see the driver through the tinted windows.

Suddenly, Damien takes a sharp turn up a narrow street, and it has my body falling against Cillian’s. “Seatbelt,” Cillian mutters, and helping me back to my side of the backseat, he straps me in.

I grab hold of the door and brace myself as Damien swerves around corners. Buildings blur from the speed we’re going. My eyes find Damien, and I focus on his tight and secure grip on the steering wheel.

Then it hits again. Damien’s my custodian now. Unknowingly, it was the last gift Dad gave me. Probably, the most important gift ever.

The protection of a Vetrov.

Then I remember the call Damien made, and I manage to ask, “Did you speak to Demitri?”

“Yes. He’s on his way.”

“Alexei?” I ask.

“Yes,” Damien grinds the words out.


I’ll be able to take revenge with them on my side.

My sorrow morphs into a deadly force, giving life to the strength I need to get through this. I’ll avenge my family.

“I want every last Blanco dead,” I growl. “I don’t care how much it will cost. I don’t care how many men you have to hire. Build an army and eradicate the Blanco name.”

“Winter,” Cillian stops my rant. “First, we need to get back to the island.”

I shake my head hard. “I’m done running. It’s all I’ve done my entire life. Run and hide. And for what? I still lost my whole family. Blood for blood. I won’t rest until they’re dead.”

My anger feeds off my grief, becoming an inferno that threatens to incinerate the woman I was. A daughter. A sister.

Blood Princess.

Not because of the diamonds but because I’ve been soaked in the blood of my family.

“What island?” Damien asks.

“Near Finland,” Cillian answers. “We have to find a way to get there. Taking the jet is out of the question. They’ll probably have men watching it.”

“Blyad’! That’s a thirty-five-hour drive. If we don’t stop.” Damien’s voice is tense, and it makes my muscles stiffen.

“We can get a plane in Germany,” Cillian voices.

“We need passports. We need to find a place to lay low,” Damien grumbles.

I push myself a little up, and glancing through the back window, I see we’ve lost whoever was following us.

Cillian’s phone begins to ring, and instead of handing it back to Cillian, Damien answers, “Yes.” He listens for a moment, then asks, “Where?” I watch as Damien looks at the road signs, and then he slams on the breaks. “Thanks. I’ll be in touch.”

Damien makes a U-turn, and it has Cillian asking, “Where are we going?”

“Friends of my brother,” he answers briskly.

We only stay on the road for another ten minutes, and then Damien stops the car in front of a building.

“This is it?” I ask. “It looks abandoned.”

Damien grabs the two guns and checks their clips before turning off the engine and opening his door. My eyes dart to Cillian as Damien gets out of the car, and then my door is pulled open. Damien grabs hold of my arm and yanks me out.

“Hey,” I snap at him, but he ignores me, and keeping a hold of my arm, he drags me along as he walks toward an old wooden door.

Cillian falls in on the other side of me, grumbling, “You don’t have to handle her so roughly.”

“Until the twelve months are up, her life is in my hands,” Damien snaps as he bangs on the door. “I’ll keep her alive my way.”

An elderly man opens the door, and it has Damien saying, “Vetrov.”

The man stands to the side, and when we walk inside, my eyes widen at all the luxury. Three men are sitting at a table, playing cards. They look like they’re all in their thirties. The one gets up and walks toward us. “Damien. Demitri said you would visit. Welcome.”

I watch as they shake hands, and the man only spares Cillian and me a glance, then he murmurs, “This way.”

As we climb a set of stairs, Damien asks, “Passports?”

“Tomorrow,” the man answers.

He opens a door, and we step into a suite. There are two briefcases set on the coffee table, and Damien drags me toward them.

The man helping us shuts the door, and the second we’re alone, Cillian says, “Fill me in with whatever you have planned.”

Finally, Damien lets go of my arm, and he opens the first briefcase. It’s loaded with stacks of euro bills. Seemingly pleased, he opens the second one, and then the corner of his mouth lifts as he glances over the Heckler and Koch P30L, Glock 26 compact pistol, Browning Hi-Power Mark 3, a suppressed gun, and four KA-BARs.

He turns his attention to Cillian. “We’ll get passports tomorrow and then get our asses out of Switzerland. Which airport would you use in Germany?”

“Bad Kissingen near Bavaria,” Cillian answers.

“We avoid that one.” Damien walks to the door, and glancing from Cillian to me, he mutters, “Stay.”

When he leaves, I turn my gaze to Cillian. For a moment, we stare at each other, and then he closes the distance between us and pulls me against his chest. It’s all it takes for me to break.

Cillian comforts me as I mourn my family, and when I finally find my voice, I whisper, “You’re all I have now.”

Cillian presses a kiss to the top of my head and rubs his hand in rhythmic movements over my back. “Love you, poppet.”

I cling to the man who first took on the role of my mother and now has to take on the role of my entire family. “I can’t lose you.”

Cillian pulls back, and lifting his hands to my face, he brushes the remainder of the tears away with his thumbs. “If the worst happens and I don’t make it –”

I instantly shake my head. “I won’t survive without you.”

“You will.” Cillian grabs hold of my shoulders and locks eyes with me. “You’re so brave, poppet. I know you’ll survive. I’ve taught you everything I know. You have the Vetrovs. You’re the Blood Princess. You will survive. You’ll crush your enemies. You’ll become the powerful woman I know you can be.”

“Not without you,” I squeeze the words out through clenched teeth.

Cillian pulls me back against his chest. “I’ll be next to you every step of the way.”

“Promise,” I whisper as I find comfort in his firm hold.

“Promise, poppet.”





After I get the burner phone from Armindo, I sit down at one of the tables and dial Demitri’s number. Armindo places a bottle of Stoli and a tumbler down in front of me then walks away.

“Vetrov,” my brother barks.

“It’s me. We’re in the safe house.”

Demitri lets out a relieved sigh. “Carson will meet you there, but he can’t stay. He has a job.”

“I understand,” I mutter as I pour vodka into the glass. “Thanks for the money and weapons.” I take a sip and let the drink burn down my throat. “Thanks for everything.”

“You’re my brother,” Demitri grumbles. “Our flight leaves in twenty minutes.”

“We’re heading to Germany first thing in the morning,” I inform him. “Let’s meet at Augsburg Airport in Bavaria. It’s only a five to six-hour drive from here.”

“Okay.” He pauses for a moment, then says, “The contract for Adrian Vincent has been issued. Fifteen million euros to whoever kills him.”

“Good,” I grind the word out. “The fucker took a shot at me.”

“He did?” Demitri growls. “He’s as good as dead.”

I take a long sip of the vodka then say, “Winter wants the Blanco family wiped out.”

“How much is she willing to pay?” Demitri asks.

“I don’t know. Once you and Alexei join up with us, we can talk business.”

“Let her know Alexei is charging five million for coming to help.”

“I will.”

“Get some rest,” Demitri mutters. “I’ll see you tomorrow night.”

We end the call, and I pour myself another drink. I’m halfway with it when Armindo approaches me. “I need photos. Bring the man and girl.”

Nodding, I down the rest of the drink and get up. I take the stairs, and when I walk into the room, it’s to find Cillian and Winter sitting on a couch. He has an arm wrapped around her shoulders. Both their heads snap up, and when I see Winter’s red-rimmed eyes, it makes the whole night play out in my mind again.

My muscles tighten, and I fist my hands to control the anger swirling in me. I want to rip Adrian’s spine from his body for the pain he’s caused Winter.

“St. Monarch’s issued the open contract on Adrian Vincent. He assassinated your father and brother.”

Winter’s lips part as the news hit her.

“Alexei’s charging five million for coming to help.”

She begins to nod. “Okay.”

“Clean up,” I instruct her. “We need photos for the passports.”

Winter goes to wash her face, and it gives Cillian and me a moment alone.

Our eyes lock, and then he says, “Get used to having me around. I’m not leaving her side.”

“She’s my charge,” I growl. “You will do exactly as I say.”

Cillian takes a threatening step closer to me. “You will not yank her around. You’ll treat her with respect.”

Slowly, I shake my head. “Don’t tell me how to do my job.”

Our eyes remain locked, and then Cillian backs down. Wiping tiredly over his face, he mutters, “What a fuck up.”

He can say that again.

“Not exactly the job I wanted,” I voice my own thoughts for the first time.

“I didn’t know Patrick was going to bid on you. He didn’t tell anyone,” Cillian informs me.

Winter didn’t know?

“It’s done,” I say as I clench my jaw.

Winter walks back into the living room, looking a little better but still too pale.

“Let’s go,” I grumble as I walk to the door.

“How safe is this place?” Cillian asks.

“Safe enough for tonight. We leave at four am.”

Walking down the hallway, Winter’s right behind me with Cillian bringing up the rear.

When we come down the stairs, Armindo gestures to a door next to the bar. “This way.”

Walking inside the small room, I go stand in front of a white wall, and Armindo takes a photo.

“Next,” he mutters.

Winter goes to stand in front of the wall, and I cross my arms as I watch.

I need different clothes. This suit is becoming suffocating.

When Armindo has the photos, he says, “I’ll send food up to your room.”


We head back up to our room, and once we’re inside, I glance at Winter. “Take the bed and get some sleep.”

She shakes her head and sits down on the couch.

I remove my jacket, and unbuttoning my shirt’s cuffs, I begin to roll them up as I take the other couch. I pull the briefcase with weapons closer so I can inspect them.

My gaze lifts to Winter, and our eyes lock. 

Day one, and I failed.

We keep staring at each other, Winter with grief darkening her eyes and me with the bitter reality that this will be my life for the next twelve months.

But even in this dark hour, the push and pull is still a constant between us. With my job requiring me to be at Winter’s side twenty-four-seven, it’s only a matter of time before I claim the debt she owes me.


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