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Merciless Saints: Chapter 20


It’s both scary and amazing how quickly life can change. I’ve lost so much, yet gained at the same time.

As I take a seat at the dinner table on Damien’s right, I can’t ignore how happy I am. My heart aches for my loved ones I’ve lost, and it will for a long time to come, but Damien… things have changed between us.

I should’ve known he’d take his vows seriously. The Vetrovs have honor. I just didn’t expect him to assume the role of a supporting husband. He consoled me after the funeral. For hours. He made me feel… loved.

My eyes lift to his face, and I take in his handsome features. He’s still the same man I met at St. Monarch’s. In many ways he’s cold, but then there are tender moments. Like when he saved me from Vince and Hugo.

“Why did you help me when Vince and Hugo attacked me?” When Damien’s eyes snap to mine, I realize I asked the question out loud.

“Attack?” Alexei asks. “At the academy?”

I nod. “Vince had me drugged, and if Damien hadn’t stepped in…”

Alexei’s face turns to stone. “The Vetrovs and Koslovs will always protect those who are vulnerable. We don’t beat and rape women. They’re meant to be treasured.”

“So you won’t assassinate one?” I ask.

“Not one like your mother,” he answers. “I’d assassinate Sonia  Terrero. Free of charge.”

Dana brings the food, and when I pick up my utensils, I realize Damien hasn’t answered me yet. Glancing at him, he slowly shakes his head at me, then he asks Alexei, “When will the men arrive?”

“Two days,” Alexei answers.

Lifting an interested eyebrow, I ask, “How many?”


A frown forms on my forehead. “So few.”

“My six men will be able to wipe out all your men,” Alexei explains. “They’re good, and we can’t fly a hundred people to Italy.”

“True,” I murmur.

“And the weapons?” Damien asks.

“Luca Cotroni will have them ready when we leave for Italy. He’s graciously offered his home to us while we’re there.”

“The Cotronis are your ally?”

“They are,” Alexei murmurs before taking a bite of his food.

Thank God. That’s good news.

The conversation hovers around the impending attack. When we’re done with dinner, I gather the plates and carry them to the kitchen. Just as I walk in, I see Dana wiping away her tears. I set the plates down on the table and walk to where she’s standing by the backdoor.

“Sorry,” she whispers, turning her face away from me.

I wrap an arm around her waist and stare out at the lights coming from the guards’ houses.

“How did he die?” Dana suddenly asks.

I turn my gaze to hers. “Who?”

“Cillian.” Hearing the ache in her voice, I begin to frown.

Then I see the lost love in her eyes. “You loved him?”

I don’t know why I’m surprised. Dana’s beautiful with her black hair and blue eyes. And Cillian, he was attractive in his own way with a larger-than-life personality.

“Yes,” she admits, her voice thick with sorrow.

I pull her into a hug. “I’m sorry, Dana.” I rub my hand up and down her back. “He didn’t suffer long. He took a bullet to the chest.” My own sorrow rears its ugly head as I remember Cillian’s last moments. “Right before he took his last breath, he smiled that lopsided grin of his.”

She lets out a strangled sob, and clinging to me, she mourns the man she loved.

We pull away, and I gesture outside. “Want to go for a walk?”

Dana nods, and we step out into the dark.

“He loved you like a daughter,” she murmurs.

“I know.”

Dana takes hold of my hand, gripping it tightly. “At least I still have you.”

“You’ll always have me.”

She glances at me, then asks, “Mr. Vetrov… is he as good as the rumors say he is?”

The corner of my mouth lifts. “He’s better. He’ll be able to keep us safe.”

“I hope he’ll be a good husband, as well,” she whispers.

“He is,” I assure her.

“I’m glad.” I hear the relief in her voice, then she asks, “Will we stay here when everything is over?”

“Yes. I don’t see why we should move. We’ll still need the security, and all our memories are here.”

“Good, I was worried we’d have to move to Russia or America,” she confesses.

“If there comes a day we have to leave, will you come with me?” I ask.

“Always, Miss Winter. I’ll follow you to the ends of the world.”

We reach the shore, and I stare at the lights in the distance.

“Why do you love looking at the town?” Dana asks.

“It looks peaceful like a fairytale. I imagine everyone there is happily living normal lives. I was always jealous of them. Being able to walk in the streets without the worry of being assassinated. Having friends. Going to parties and on dates.”

“Now I understand,” she murmurs. “You never had any of that. I’m sorry, Miss Winter.”

“It’s okay. I had Cillian. I wouldn’t change my time with him for any of that.”

And I’d give everything if only I could turn back time and stop him from dying.

I feel Damien, but again I can’t hear anything. Glancing over my shoulder, I see his shadow next to a tree, silently guarding us while we grieve Cillian.

“He loved his baked beans on toast. Had it every day,” Dana reminisces.

Knowing she needs to talk about him, I ask, “Did he know you loved him?”

She nods then her mouth curves up. “Every night, after tucking you in bed, he would come to me. You were more ours, than your parents. Our daughter.”

After a moment of silence, Dana lets out a sigh. “Let’s go back before they come looking for you.”

I let out a chuckle. “Too late.” As we turn around, Damien steps out of the shadows. He nods at Dana before holding his hand out to me.

I take it, and as the three of us walk back to the house, I drink in the feel of his strong fingers gripping mine. I glance up at his profile, and then it really sinks in.

Damien is my family now. Along with Dana, the three of us will build a new life.





When we step into our bedroom, I tug Winter to a stop. She turns to face me with a questioning look.

“I saved you because you were already mine,” I admit the reason for the question she asked earlier. I just didn’t want to talk about it in front of my brother and Alexei.

Her mouth curves up as she takes a step closer to me. “Why wouldn’t you fight me during training?”

“Full of questions, aren’t you?” I ask as I wrap my fingers around her throat, enjoying the soft feel of her skin.

“Just curious. You were always closed off, and I couldn’t read your facial expressions.”

“I refused to fight you because you’re so small. There’s no victory in beating someone half my size.”

I brush my thumb over her scar as she asks, “And during the laser game? Did you want to kiss me?”

“Yes, but I also wanted to strangle you for shooting Carson,” I mutter, the corner of my mouth twitching at the memory.

“Are you in love with me?” she asks without blinking an eye.

Am I?

My eyes drift over her face, and then I shake my head, and it makes the playfulness vanish from her eyes.

“I’m not sure,” I admit. My words make a frown form on her forehead. “Love is a foreign concept in my world. I understand loyalty, desire, hatred, but love…” I shake my head again. “Would I die for you? Yes. Do I want you? Yes. Will I kill anyone who hurts you? Yes.”

“What do you feel when you think of losing me?” she asks.

Without having to think about it, I growl, “Murderous.”

What would I do if someone took Winter from me?

I’d lose my mind.

My jaw clenches, and I pull her closer until I feel her breath on my lips, and then I admit, “I’m obsessed with you.”

Winter searches my eyes before she murmurs, “To me, it sounds a lot like love, Damien.”

I consider her words. “Then you’re the only one I’ll ever love.”

Winter pushes against my hold on her throat and presses a kiss to my lips. “I’m obsessed with you too.”

I smile against her mouth. “Good.”

Suddenly she pulls out of my hold and walks to the bathroom. I hear her open the faucets, and then she goes to take clothes from the closet.

“Don’t bother with those. I want you naked next to me every night.”

She lets out a burst of silent laughter as she leaves the clothes and goes to bath.

Walking closer, I push the door open and lean my shoulder against the doorjamb. I watch as my wife undresses. When she steps into the tub, I catch sight of the bruises between her thighs.

“I marked you,” I murmur.

“You sure did,” she chuckles as she sinks down into the water. “And I’m not complaining one bit.”

“Good, because I intend to do it again.” I move closer and crouch next to the tub. I reach for the loofah and body wash.

“You’re going to bathe me?” Winter asks, her eyes following my movements.


As I begin to wash her snow-white skin, she chuckles. “First you feed me, and now this? Why?”

The corner of my mouth lifts. “You don’t know why?”

“No. Tell me.”

My gaze locks on hers. “I’m making you submit to me.”

Defiance sparks in her eyes. “Is it what you really want? For me to be a submissive wife?”

“No. I never want you to lose your fighting spirit. It’s what drew me to you. But knowing you’ll submit willingly whenever I want you to is exhilarating.”

“A turn-on,” she murmurs as understanding dawns on her face.

Leaning forward, I wash between her legs. My voice is low with a burning desire. “Yes, and now you need to get out so I can fuck you.”

“You need to shower,” she gives me a look filled with warning. “You’re not getting into bed all sweaty.”

I let out a chuckle. “Fine, but get your ass to bed.”

I begin to undress as Winter climbs out of the tub and dries herself. Giving me a seductive look as she walks by me, she says, “Don’t take too long.”

Unable to resist, I slap her ass, and she makes an adorable squeaking sound.

I only take ten minutes to shower, but when I walk into the bedroom, I find my wife fast asleep. My eyes drift over her sexy body, and crawling over her, I press a kiss to her shoulder and another to her temple. Then I whisper, “Slava ne mogut apisat’ mayu lyubof’ k tebe.”

Sleepily, Winter mumbles, “What?”

I lie down behind her and pull her against me. Pressing another kiss to her shoulder, I say, “Words can’t describe my love for you.”

Fast asleep again, she doesn’t hear the translation.



After breakfast, I lead Winter to the barn. While inspecting the grounds, I saw it was set up for training.

“Why are you bringing me here?” She asks as we step inside.

“You’re a Vetrov which means you need to fight like one.”

Instantly there’s a spark in her eyes. “You’re going to train me?”

“Yes.” She knows how to fire a weapon, so I pull her to the mat, and turning to face her, I say, “When you’re faced with an enemy, there’s no time to size them up.” I begin to circle her, my gaze drifting over her body. “You’re not strong enough to go up against a man, but you’re quick.”

I move a couple of steps away from Winter and meet her gaze. “Attack me.”

She immediately assumes a fighting stance, and it has me shaking my head. “This isn’t St. Monarch’s. There will be no time to take in a fighting stance. Just attack.”

Winter darts forward, and I expect her to go for my legs, but instead, her arm wraps around my neck, and the next second she’s on my back, her legs wrapped around my waist. She tightens her hold, and I chuckle before I bend over and slam her against the mat. “Good move but instead of the neck, go for the eyes.”

Winter nods as she climbs to her feet. Her cheeks are flushed, and the paleness of grief removed.

I dart forward, and wrapping my arm around her neck, I yank her body back against mine. “Free yourself before I choke you.”

Winter struggles against my hold, and then her nails dig into my forearm.

“You know that’s not going to work on me. Do better,” I growl as I tighten my hold on her.

The next moment, Alexei says, “Slam your head into his face.”

Winter just reacts, and before her head can connect with my face, I step back, letting go of her.

Alexei and Demitri come to stand next to the mat, their arms crossed over their chests, then Alexei says, “A man has two weak spots. His cock and his face. If you can’t knee him, then you either remove his eyes or break his nose. It will buy you time to finish him off.”

Winter nods, drinking the information in.

“But,” Demitri says as he steps onto the mat, “It’s seldom you’re faced with only one enemy. What do you do when you’re outnumbered?”

“Fight like hell,” Winter mutters, making me chuckle.

“You go for the strongest one first,” Alexei advises her as he steps onto the mat as well.

Winter moves back as her eyes dart between the three of us, sizing up which of us are her most significant threat. She darts forward, and the next instant, Demitri has to quickly block before she knees him. I begin to laugh from the surprised expression on my brother’s face.

Then Winter explains, “Alexei trained as an assassin, and Damien has to sleep next to me, so it left you, my brother-in-law, as the biggest threat.”

Her explanation gets even a chuckle out of Alexei, then he mutters, “Good.”

For the next couple of hours, Alexei, Demitri, and I train Winter, showing her how to react faster and where to hit to inflict the most damage.

By the end of the training, Winter manages to block my blows, making the worry ease in my chest. I go for her neck, and she avoids my arm, her feet moving swiftly.

“Good,” I murmur, making her grin. I stop moving and smile at her. “We’re done for today.”

Winter eyes me warily, staying a safe distance away. Chuckling, I shake my head. “Training is over.” I begin to walk toward the door calling out, “Come, Wife.”


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