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Merciless Saints: Chapter 14


After passing the border between Switzerland and Germany, we stop to fill the tank and retrieve the weapons.

When I start walking toward the restroom, Damien snaps, “You go nowhere without me.”

Glancing back at him, I say, “Fine. Hurry up. I need to use the restroom.”

Things have been weird between us since he became my custodian. I actually miss the friction that kept me on my toes. It’s gone because there’s nothing to fight him on. Everything he does is to keep me alive, and I’m not about to jeopardize it by being difficult.

Damien stalks toward me and grabs hold of my arm. I yank back against him, a scowl forming on my forehead. “You don’t have to drag me, Vetrov. I’m not stupid.”

Much to my surprise, the corner of his mouth lifts, and he lets go of my arm, only to place his hand on my lower back.

Was he trying to get a rise out of me?

As we walk toward the restroom, I become highly aware of Damien’s hand on my back. It makes the familiar tingles I always feel in his presence come back, and for the first time, I welcome it. It chases some of the suffocating grief.

How did we get to this moment? I have a merciless killer on my side. Yesterday morning he was still an enemy, and now he’s all that stands between my enemies and me.

Which means, once more, I’m in his debt.

“I owe you too much,” the words slip from me before I can stop them.

“Your father paid for my protection,” he mutters.


God, how will I survive without my father? I know nothing about the business. Sean was the one being trained to take over.

The new panic robs me of my breath. I don’t even know what the family’s finances look like. Dad paid twenty-five million for Damien. I owe Alexei five million.

“What’s wrong?” Damien asks as we reach the restroom.

“Nothing,” I whisper. Walking inside, I find a stall and shut the door behind me. I stand still and take a couple of deep breaths.

We just need to get back to the island. I’ll be able to look at the finances then. Cillian will know what to do with the business. He can show me how to run it.

The thoughts calm the panic, and I quickly relieve myself. Washing my hands, I look at my reflection in the mirror.

I look awful.

I look like an orphan.

I look weak.

Lifting my chin, I take a deep breath.

Once I’m home, I can grieve. Until then, I have to be the Blood Princess, the last living Hemsley.

When I step out of the building, Damien’s right by the entrance. Again he places his hand on my lower back as we walk to the SUV.

Reaching the vehicle, Damien removes the knives from the back, and it gives me a moment alone with Cillian.

“Do you know anything about running the business?” I ask.

Cillian nods. “I’ll show you the ropes as soon as we’re home. Don’t worry, poppet.”

“And the finances?” I ask.

Cillian shakes his head. “I know who the accountant is. We’ll check with him.”

“Let’s go,” Damien mutters, and we all climb back into the car.

Cillian starts the engine, and as he steers us back onto the road, Damien curses, “Fuck, that’s a scout. Ninety meters behind us.”

I start to turn, but Damien places his hand on my arm. “Don’t. Let them think they have the upper hand of a surprise attack.”

He pulls his phone out, and after dialing a number, he says, “We’re going to come in hot. We just picked up a tail.”

He listens for a moment, then murmurs, “Yes. Da! We’re two hours out.”

When Damien ends the call, his gaze snaps to Cillian. “If they catch up to us, we just need to make it to the airfield.”

“Won’t they be able to shoot the private jet down before we even take off?” I voice my worry.

“There’s a hanger. We need to park in it. Demitri and Alexei will wait there to help take out the threat before our plane takes off.”

My body tenses, knowing we’re in for a rough morning.

Damien reaches out to me, and for a moment, I think he’s going to take my hand, but instead, he places the Heckler and Koch on my lap. I instantly grab hold of the gun and check the clip.

Damien opens his bag and hands me two more clips.

Lifting my butt off the seat, I tuck them into the pocket of my pants.

I watch as he checks his own weapons and Cillian’s gun before handing it back to him.

“Everyone ready?” he asks.

“Yes.” Cillian’s answer is clipped, all his focus on the road.

Damien turns his gaze to mine. “Just do as I say.”

I nod and check my gun again. After a long hour and a half, the hair on the back of my neck prickles from not looking behind me. I sit frozen, my eyes darting over the scenery I can see.

It’s only a matter of time.

Will they attack instantly or follow us to our destination?

Suddenly Cillian curses, “Fuck. Here they come.”

Damien glances behind us, and then he lets down his window. Cillian does the same, and it has me opening mine as well.

Damien grabs hold of the back of my neck, and then I’m shoved down on top of his bag. “Stay down. This car isn’t bulletproof.”

I move down into the foot space between the seats, and it earns me a nod from Damien.

My heartbeat begins to speed up as the seconds tick by.

My mind clears off all grief, of all worry, and for a blessed moment, it’s silent inside of me.

“Brace yourselves,” Cillian snaps.

They slam into the back of our car, and it instantly makes my blood rush through my veins.

Damien braces his right knee on the back seat and positions his gun between the two headrests.

“Stay down, poppet.” Cillian’s words aren’t even cold when the first spray of bullets shatters the back window.

Damien ducks and then starts to return fire.

More glass shatters, and our car lurches forward as we take another bump from behind. With my eyes glued to Damien, my fingers tighten around the gun, my finger ready on the trigger.

Damien takes another shot, and then squealing tires fill the air.

“Nice shot,” Cillian compliments him.

Damien is quiet and tense, never taking his focus off our enemy.

Our enemy.

With bullets flying and death ready to feast, the realization fills every part of me.

I have Damien Vetrov. I have the best custodian.

“Five minutes out,” Cillian mutters. “Just five minutes.”

The sound of gunfire increases, which means their reinforcements just joined.

“Call Demitri,” Damien growls at me. “Tell him we’re close.”

I move a little up and grab Damien’s phone from where it was lying on top of his bag, and press redial on the last number.

“Where are you?” A vicious growl comes over the line.

“It’s Winter. We’re four minutes out.”

“One jeep, two SUVs, and a sedan,” Damien shouts.

“Did you hear that?” I ask Demitri.

“Yes. We’re ready. Go straight for the hanger.”

The call ends, and I toss the phone back on the bag. “Demitri says they’re waiting in the hanger.”

“Got it,” Cillian grinds out as he takes a sharp turn.

My body falls back between the seats, but Damien doesn’t move at all as he keeps returning fire.

“I see it,” Cillian shouts, relief bleeding into his words.

Damien sits back down, and keeping his head low, he reloads his weapons. His eyes lock on mine. “You do not leave my side.”

I nod quickly.

“Get ready,” Cillian grits the words out between clenched teeth, and then he swerves sharply, bringing the SUV to a sudden stop.

Damien opens my door, and yanking me up, he pushes me out the door. As he climbs out behind me, bullets spray into the other side of the car.

Heavy fire is returned and glancing to my left and right, immense relief washes over me when I see Demitri and Alexei.

“Go!” Demitri shouts.

Damien grabs hold of my arm, and then I’m yanked to my feet as we begin to run.

Glancing over my shoulder, I watch as Cillian stays by the SUV to help take out the enemy. We rush through wide doors, and then Damien slams my back against the steel.

When he moves into the open and begins to fire shots, I peek around the door. I watch as one man after the other falls.

My eyes go to Alexei, who’s taking them out with a grin on his face.

Mother of saints. He looks like death itself.

As my gaze turns to where Demitri is, I latch onto Cillian, who’s positioned between them. It’s only for a second, and then his body flies back.

A scream rips from me, and I dart forward. I feel Damien’s fingers claw at the sweater I’m wearing, but I’m too fast for him. Lifting my arms, I begin to shoot as I run toward Cillian. A bullet whizzes past my head, and I take down three men in the short distance and then drop to my knees next to Cillian. He’s gasping for air, and his eyes instantly lock onto mine. “Poppet.”

I press both my hands to the wound in his chest. “Cillian,” I gasp. His blood seeps through my fingers, and I push harder to try and stop it. “God, Cillian.”

No. No. No.

Horror begins to crash over me, threatening to drown me in unbearable pain. I watch the last person who means the world to me struggle to breathe, and it makes something shatter inside of me.

The gunfire stops, and then Alexei shouts, “Get your asses on the plane.”

With a lot of effort, Cillian lifts a hand to my cheek, his touch weak. “Love you, poppet.”

A sob ripples up my throat, my eyes never leaving his. “It’s okay. You’re going to be okay,” I begin to ramble, my voice quivering with naked fear.

Cillian slowly shakes his head. “Go. You need to… get out of… here.”

“I’m not leaving you,” I cry, pressing harder on his chest.

Cillian’s breath begins to rattle, the sound the most horrible thing I’ve ever heard.


Damien wraps his arm around my waist and begins to pull me away from Cillian. “Wait!” I cry as I fight against his hold. “Wait!”

Cillian’s lips curve up in the lopsided grin I love so much, and then he breathes, “Pop… pet.”

Damien yanks me up against his body and begins to carry me away. I watch as the light dims in Cillian’s eyes and his breathing stills, and then the distance between us grows fast as Damien carries me away.

“No!” I scream, devastating grief ripping through me. “Cillian!”





Winter fights against my hold as I make a run for the plane. “Stop!” I shout at her, but she’s beyond the point of rational thinking.


I drag her up the stairs, and once we’re safely inside the plane, I push her down on a seat. She instantly darts up, and I have to force her down. Her eyes look feverish, her breaths too fast.

“Winter,” I snap to get her attention. Her eyes dart to mine, but only for a second. I manage to strap her in, and taking the seat next to her, I wrap my arms around her to keep her seated.

A whimper ripples over her lips, and then a silent cry tears through her. The sounds stab at my heart, the emotion foreign. Never has anyone affected me the way she does. Seeing her pain makes me want to kill. It makes an untamed possessiveness claw through my chest.

Her body keeps jerking, and she feels small and broken in my arms. Moving one hand behind her head, I push her face against my neck. Her breaths burst against my skin as she gasps through her sorrow.

Unable to stop myself, I press a kiss to her hair. My eyes find Demitri, where he shuts the door. Alexei instructs the pilot to take off, and then they both take a seat across from Winter and me.

I don’t let go of Winter. Deep down, I know I’ll never be able to let go of her. Instead, my gaze stays locked on my brother, whom I haven’t seen in months.

Only when we reach altitude do I slacken my grip on Winter. Bringing my hands to her cheeks, I lift her face to mine. “I’m sorry.”

She keeps gasping, her features torn with grief. Her pale skin and the crushed look in her eyes make her breathtakingly beautiful. It makes me want to rip my chest open so I can hide her there from the world.

I didn’t know the man well, but anyone could see the love between Winter and Cillian was special. She could cope with her father and brother’s deaths, but I’m not so sure about Cillian’s.

Winter gasps one more time, her eyes locked with mine, and then she stills. It looks like she switches off, and her features relax into a grim expression.

Slowly, I pull my hands back, and when she doesn’t dart up but instead slumps against the seat, I pull the phone from my pocket. “Here are the coordinates,” I say as I get up. I hand the phone to Alexei, and as he takes it, our gazes meet.

A slow grin spreads over his face, and then he pulls me into a hug. “Little fucking shit. Good to see you.”

I pat his back, and even though the atmosphere is loaded with Winter’s grief, I still chuckle.

Alexei pulls back, and I turn to my brother. We stare for a moment, and then similar smiles spread over our faces as we grip hold of each other.

Thank God.

Now we can stop running and plan our retaliation.

“Missed you,” Demitri murmurs.

“You too.”

When we let go of each other, Demitri glances at Winter. “How’s she holding up?”

I turn my eyes to Winter’s pale face, a blank expression in her eyes.

“Not good. She lost everyone.”

“She’s still alive,” my brother mutters, and when I turn my attention back to him, he grins, “Not bad for a first day’s job.”

Alexei comes back from the cockpit after informing the pilots of coordinates. He brushes past us then takes a seat opposite Winter. I sit down next to her and Demitri across from me, and then I watch as Alexei stares at Winter.

Slowly she lifts her head and settle her eyes on his.

“Blanco. You want revenge,” Alexei gets right down to business.

“I want them eradicated,” she grinds the words out.

“Your island. Is it guarded?”

“Yes,” I answer on her behalf. I tell them everything I’ve learned about the security.

“We’ll need our own men for an attack,” Demitri voices.

“Get on it,” Alexei orders him.

While Demitri starts making calls, Alexei pins Winter with a brutal look. “My condolences.”

She only nods slightly, her jaw tightening.

God, this woman is something else.

Is she even human?

Then again, I’d probably react the same to Demitri dying. First revenge, then I’ll grieve.

“Tell me about the diamond business,” Alexei orders.

Winter shakes her head, and then it looks like she realizes something bad as her lips part. “I… I know nothing. My brother was going to take over. Cillian… Cillian…” her voice grows hoarse as it fades.

The news makes Alexei’s lips curve, then he murmurs, “I’ll help for a price.”

“How much?” Winter asks, her eyes settling on him again.

“I’ll let you know.”

I can see Alexei’s mind working behind his dark eyes. His gaze snaps to me, and then his smile grows. “Not bad for your first contract. I’m proud.”

I only nod, then turn my attention back to Winter. My eyes scan over her, and seeing her bloody hands, I unfasten her seat belt and pull her up. I lead her to the restroom and opening the faucets, I hold her hands beneath the water, washing off Cillian’s blood.

Standing close to each other quickly fills the air with an intimate feeling, and I glance at her face. Winter’s eyes meet mine for a second before lowering to the basin.

For the first time since I’ve met her, she looks vulnerable. Up until now, I wasn’t allowed to feel anything for Winter. But for twelve months at least, she’s mine.

Having her so close to me, the anticipation begins to wake my body and heart. After I pat her hands dry with towels, I pull her to my chest and wrap my arms around her.

She stands frozen, and it has me murmuring, “I’m sorry for your losses.”

“I want them all dead,” she whispers, lifting her hands to my sides. I feel her grip hold of my shirt, and then she rests her cheek against my chest.

Winter… vulnerable and totally dependant on me.

This is what I craved. To have her at my mercy. I just didn’t want it to happen this way.

I pull a little back, and placing a finger beneath her chin, I nudge her face up until her eyes focus on mine.

“We’ll kill them all,” I promise. “By the time we’re done, you’ll truly be the Blood Princess.”

My Blood Princess.

Fire sparks in her eyes, and determination settles hard on her face. “No. I’ll be the Blood Queen.”

God, still so fierce.

It makes everything I felt for her at the academy return with a force. I’d love nothing more than to claim her mouth and taste the fierceness on her tongue but now’s not the time.

I’m going to claim the payment she owes me once we’re on the island. She will warm my bed during the nights, and in return, I’ll kill her enemies.

I will own her body, her broken heart, her unwavering spirit.

I’ll help her take her rightful place in her family’s business while satisfying my craving for her.


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