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Merciless Saints: Chapter 13


I don’t break eye contact with Damien as I lean my head against Cillian’s shoulder and snuggle against his side.

Earlier today, I thought I was saying goodbye to Damien, and now he’s here, right in the middle of my hell.

And my life depends on him.

I have the best protection in the world, yet I feel utterly vulnerable. Stripped to the bone. Alone.

No, not alone. I still have Cillian.

My eyes begin to burn from all the staring and the constant fight to keep the tears back. Slowly, I let them drift shut. The last thing I see is Damien’s dark brown eyes filled with rage and something else I don’t have a word for.

After a couple of minutes, Cillian whispers, “I think she’s finally asleep.”

There’s only a grunt from Damien.

I’m about to tell them I’m awake when Cillian says, “I’ve been her guard since the day she was born. Winter’s the daughter I never had. She’s my life.”

There’s only silence from Damien, so Cillian continues, “She loves horses. Only pictures of them and those little statues. She’s scared of the real thing. The one time I wanted to give her a riding lesson, she screamed and scared the shit out of the horse and me.” Cillian lets out a soft chuckle, and I feel it vibrate through his torso.

“Why are you telling me this?” Damien asks.

“So you’ll see her as a person and not just the Blood Princess.” Cillian takes a deep breath. “You probably got to know the strong version of her during training. Yeah, she’s a spitfire, but there’s so much more to her. She loves with all her heart. When she laughs…” I hear the smile in Cillian’s voice, “it comes from her belly. It’s loud and infectious.”

Oh, Cillian.

I struggle to keep my breathing even as my broken heart squeezes.

“She loves the rain. Always thought the clouds were crying when she was just a wee lass.” He lets out another soft chuckle. “She’s lived a secluded life on the island. After her mother’s passing, she asked me to train her so she could protect Sean. He was everything to her.”

Silence follows Cillian’s words, and I can’t stop from swallowing hard on the lump in my throat. I can’t break down in front of Damien. He’s only here for a year, and then he’ll leave. Right now, he’s my custodian, but a year from now, he might become my enemy.

Cillian clears his throat then asks, “Tell me about yourself. Where did you grow up?”

The seconds stretch long before Damien murmurs, “Russia. The family compound.” More seconds pass, then Damien continues, “My uncle took over raising me after my father died.”

“Tell me something that makes you human,” Cillian says.

This time there’s a long pause. “I like the rain.”

“What else?” Cillian whispers.

“Enough. I’m not having this talk with you,” Damien mutters.

It becomes quiet, and I can only hear Cillian’s and my own breathing.

“What’s the plan for tomorrow?” Cillian asks.

“We’ll leave for Bavaria. It’s a five-hour drive. My brother will meet us there.”

There’s a knock on the door, and I hear Damien get up. Seconds later, he lets out a breath of relief. “Carson. Come in.”

Cillian shifts as I lift my head, and glancing over my shoulder, I watch as Carson walks into the suite. His eyes meet mine, and with a slight nod, he murmurs, “My condolences.” He turns his attention back to Damien and hands him a bag. “I figured you’d need this.”


Carson follows Damien to the bedroom, and they’re in there for a while.

Cillian brushes his hand over my hair. “You need to get some sleep, poppet.”

I shake my head and let out a sigh. “I can’t.”

Just as he pulls me into a hug, there’s another knock at the door.

Cillian gets up and opens for Armindo and an older woman who brings food and water.

I’m not hungry either.

Cillian shuts the door then calls out, “The food’s here.”

There’s no answer from the room. Cillian brings me a plate and a bottle of water before getting his own.

I stare down at the stew, and it makes my stomach churn. Bending forward, I place the plate on the coffee table, and then I open the bottle and drink half the water. It cools my aching throat.

The bedroom door opens, and Damien comes out, dressed in black cargo pants and a shirt that spans tight over his muscled chest.

He murmurs something to Carson before letting him out, and then he picks up the last plate of food and water. When he takes a seat across from us, he keeps his eyes lowered to his plate.

“What did Carson say?” I ask softly, not having the energy for anything louder.

“Nothing of interest to you,” Damien mutters before he drinks some water.

A foreign sensation creeps through me. I don’t want Damien here if he doesn’t want to do the job, but I know I’ll die without him. It feels like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place, and they’re threatening to crush me.

Getting up, I walk to the bathroom, and when I shut the door behind me, I still and stare blankly at the tiles.

Dad’s dead.

Sean’s dead.

They’re gone, just like that.

The grief slithers around my heart in a death grip, and lifting my hands, I cover my mouth to mute my rapid breaths.

I try but fail to keep the tears back.





I watch as Winter wraps her arms around herself as she tries to rub some warmth into her thin arms.

Getting up, I walk to the room and grab my bag with the clothes Carson brought. I carry it to the living room and take out a sweater. I toss it to Winter, then open the briefcase with money and load it into my bag.

“Are we leaving?” Cillian asks as he rises to his feet. He stretches then stares at me.

“Yes.” I take the Glock from the other briefcase and hand it to him. Picking up the Heckler and Kock, I hold it out to Winter.

“Thanks,” she murmurs as she gets up to shove it into the waistband of her pants at her back. My sweater is too big for her, and the sight of her wearing my clothes makes my body warm from the inside out.

I attach a KA-BAR to my belt and take the Browning and suppressed gun for myself. The extra ammo is loaded into the bag.

“Let’s go,” I mutter as I head for the door. Winter sticks to my back with Cillian behind her as we go down to the ground floor.

Armindo glances up from where he’s sitting at a table. “Ready?”


He holds a set of keys and the three passports and other ID documents out to me. “I got rid of the jeep. The SUV you’ll use is parked at the back. There are extra plates in the passenger door compartment.”

“Thank you,” I murmur as I take the keys and documents from him.

We follow Armindo through a series of hallways until we reach the back door. He opens and checks if it’s clear, then stands aside so we can pass by.

“Thank you,” Winter whispers as we leave the building.

Reaching behind me, I take hold of her hand and yank her right to my side. “Stay next to me at all times. I don’t want to have to look for you when we’re attacked,” I grumble as we walk to the SUV.

Cillian opens the back door, and it has me saying, “You’re driving. I need both my hands-free.”

“Okay.” He takes the keys from me and opens the driver’s door.

I climb in next to Winter and set the bag down between us.

Only when Cillian starts the engine do I say, “Schaffhausen. We’ll go to Augsburg Airport from there.”

“Got it,” Cillian mutters as he pulls away from the pavement.

The streets are quiet, which is good. I check the passports and hand Winter hers.

She sets it down on her lap, then she glances at me, and our eyes lock.

I can see the questions in her gaze, and knowing we have to talk about the future, I murmur, “Tell me about the island. The layout. The security. Everything.”

“It’s seven hundred acres,” she begins. “A forest of birch and pine covers the land. We have security cameras and motion detectors set up all over the grounds. There are four piers, a helipad, and a landing strip with a hanger for a small jet or aircraft.”

When she swallows, my gaze drops to her throat before meeting her eyes again.

With all hell breaking loose, my attraction for her took a back seat, but as Cillian drives us out of Switzerland, it begins to sink in that Winter is under my protection. I have twelve months with her.

“There’s a swimming pool covered with camouflage netting and enough housing for a small army. We’re also equipped with our own satellite dishes.”

I nod, memorizing the information. “How many guards?”

“Twenty-three,” Cillian answers. “All trained by me.”

“Good,” I murmur while my eyes leave Winter to scan our surroundings.

Just outside Zurich, Winter asks, “Will Alexei be able to get more men?”


“We’re meeting him and Demitri today?” she asks again.


“Thank you,” she whispers, and the sincere tone in her voice has my eyes snapping to her.

I miss seeing the spark of fire in her gaze, but I understand she’s taken one hell of a blow with the loss of her family.

When we drive through Zurich, I say, “We need to hide the weapons. If they pull us over at the border, we’re fucked. Find an underground parking.”

A few minutes later, Cillian steers the SUV into an underground parking area. As soon as he parks the vehicle, I hold my hand out to Winter. “Gun.”

She hands it over, and I get out. Opening the passenger door, I wiggle the panel loose and let out a relieved breath when there’s space. I grab the gun from Cillian as well, and he has to help me put the panel back on.

“What about the knives?” Winter asks.

“Under the spare wheel,” Cillian says.

Nodding, we move to the back as I mutter, “Bring the KA-BARS from my bag, Princess.”

When she joins us at the back, there’s a slight smile tugging at her lips.

She likes it when I call her princess?

At first, it was a derogatory name, but it’s grown on me since.

Cillian lifts the mat, and we tuck the knives under the wheel. “Hopefully, we won’t be searched,” he mutters as we close up.

We pile back into the car, and then Cillian steers us toward Schaffhausen.

As we near the border control post, there are several cars on the road, which gives us better odds of not being pulled over and searched.

Winter clamps her hands together on her lap and pulls her bottom lip between her teeth.

“Don’t look nervous,” I murmur to her.

When I’m able to see border security, my eyes stay glued to the man. My breaths slow down, and my muscles tighten. When we’re in sight of him, I reach for Winter’s hand.

Her gaze snaps to mine and then down to my hand covering hers.

“Smile. You look like you’re about to have a panic attack,” I say as a smile forms around my own lips.

Instantly her mouth curves up, and it’s just in time.

We look normal.

I keep my eyes on hers as we drive over the border, and Cillian lets out a relieved breath when we’re not stopped. I pull my hand away from Winter’s and scan our surroundings as we drive into Germany.

One obstacle down. Many to go.


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