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Merciless Saints: Chapter 27


Seated around the bonfire pit, I have a soft smile on my face as I watch Cillian down another beer. “Nectar of the Gods,” he muses as he sets his beer mug down.

Dana immediately fills it again, to which Cillian says, “Are you trying to get me drunk, woman?”

“Of course,” she teases him.

“Oh.” His eyebrows lift, then he gives her a lopsided grin. “Will you take advantage of me then?”

I let out a sputter of laughter. “Eww. I’m right here.”

Looking awkward, Cillian mutters, “Sorry, poppet.”

Damien sits down next to me and places his hand on my thigh, his grip tight. He just showered, and with his hair damp and his aftershave filling the air I breathe, I say, “I should get you drunk, so I can take advantage of you.” My eyes drop to the black shirt that spans tightly over his chest, and then I drink in his muscular legs.

Cillian lets out a groan. “Payback’s a bitch.”

Damien turns his gaze to me, and seeing my desire for him on my face, his lips curve up. “You don’t have to get me drunk.”

“Christ have mercy,” Cillian mumbles as he lifts the beer to his mouth.

I let out a burst of laughter which makes Damien smile.

“This is nice,” I murmur.

Dana goes to get the steaks from the kitchen and puts Cillian to work so he’ll grill them. Soon the aroma fills the air, and I let out a happy sigh.

Damien presses a kiss to my temple, and wrapping his arm around me, he pulls me into his side. “Are you happy?”

I nod, my cheek brushing against his shirt. “Very.”

I watch as the flames dance, shooting embers into the night sky. Dana and Cillian’s flirting and chuckles drift from where they’re barbequing. 

God, what more could I want from this life? I have Damien Vetrov as my husband. I have Dana and Cillian. The business will continue to thrive.

Life is perfect.



In the week following the run, we all find a routine. Damien and I plan the future runs and sales for the coming month, while Cillian keeps an eye on the guards and grounds.

“Congo’s next?” I ask to make sure as I sift through my father’s documents. I decided to clean out the office so Damien and I can make it our own. I’ll pack away Dad and Sean’s personal belongings at some point, but I’m not ready for that yet.

“Yes, next week. We’re meeting on Thursday,” Damien answers from where he’s setting the code on the new vault he installed today.

“What’s the code?” I glance up from the papers in my hand.

“Our wedding day. The year, then the month, and the date,” he murmurs as he locks the code in. When he turns to me, I reward him with a smile.

I turn my attention back to the documents and let out a sigh. “Lord only knows why my father kept these. Receipts for coffee? Why?”

“Who knows,” Damien murmurs as he takes a seat. I have everything on the encrypted laptop so just throw the documents away.”

I shove it into a box. “You’re right.”

Damien begins to help, and then he freezes. He drops the papers he was holding and picks up a photo. His lips curve up into a smile I haven’t seen before. “What are you looking at?”

He turns it so I can see. “Oh, I was ten.” It’s a photo of Mom, Sean, and me from when we still lived in Ireland.

Damien stares at the photo again. “Little Winter.” He sets the photo aside, then asks, “Do you miss Ireland?”

“Sometimes,” I answer as I load another stack of documents into the box. “And you? Do you miss Russia?”

Damien shakes his head. “It hasn’t been home for a long time.”

“Same,” I agree. “This is home. The island.” Damien only smiles, and it has me asking, “Does the island feel like home to you?”

His eyes lift to mine. “You’re my home, Princess. I don’t care where we live.” He continues to sift through the documents, and then he opens a folder, and a frown forms on his face.

“What’s that?” I ask as he slowly pages through whatever’s in the folder.

I get up so I can see as he says, “Photos of us at the academy.”

“What?” I move closer and then glance at the photos. There’s one of us jogging around the academy. Another is of us during training. There’s also one where Damien’s gaze is locked on me while I’m having dinner with Adrien.

“God, there’s so many,” I gasp as I take a couple, looking through them. My father had me watched while I was at St. Monarch’s. “Look.” I hold a photo of Damien carrying me. It must’ve been after Vince drugged me. “This was two days before the auction. My father said nothing of him knowing about the attack.”

Damien shows me one where I have my arm hooked through his, and we’re staring at each other. “The first night before dinner.”

I put down the photos and look at a printout of Damien’s accomplishments. There’s also correspondence between Madame Keller and my father where she tells him we have an unusual bond, and Dad makes his interest clear he wants to bid on Damien for me.

“The greatest gift he gave me,” I murmur.





Carson called after he successfully completed his contract. It feels as if we haven’t seen each other in months, yet it’s only been four weeks.

I stand by the piers as I watch a boat approach the island, and then a smile forms on my face when I see Carson. He brings the boat to a stop next to the dock and tosses me a rope. I tie it to a pole and then hold my hand out to him. He takes it with a wide grin, and as soon as he steps onto the dock, we embrace each other.

“You got married,” Carson chuckles as he pulls back to grab his bag.

“Your brother’s doing,” I mutter. We stare at each other, then I ask, “You’ve been well?”

He nods as I gesture for him to walk. “The contract was successful. I had no problems.”

“Good.” I glance at him. “What’s next? Will you join Alexei?”

To my surprise, Carson shakes his head. “Not yet. I like being a lone wolf.” His gaze roams over the island, then he asks, “How’s married life?”

“Good.” Carson gives me a questioning look, and it has me elaborating, “It’s very good.” My words draw a chuckle from him.

As we near the house, Winter comes out the back door, and then I admit, “There’s no getting her out of my system. I love her.”

“I’m happy for you, brother,” Carson says, his words genuine.

“You’re not pissed off that I won’t be joining you?” I ask, not wanting there to be any bad blood between us.

“No. I’ll be fine on my own. Besides,” he gestures at the grounds surrounding the house, “I like having a place I can escape to between contracts.”

“You’ll always be welcome,” I say just before we reach Winter.

When Carson hugs her, Winter’s eyes widen, and she stands frozen. He lets her go, then laughs, “You’re family now.”

Her lips curve up. “So you don’t want to kill me for stealing your custodian.”

Carson lets out another burst of laughter. “I lost him the moment he laid eyes on you. I didn’t kill you then, so there’s no reason to worry now.”

“Carson Koslov,” Cillian says from the backdoor. “While you’re here, I want to hire you to take out Damien for marrying Winter behind my back.”

Carson’s eyes snap to me, and it has me chuckling. “He’s joking.”

“Don’t make jokes like that,” Winter chastises Cillian as she pushes him back into the house.

“Seems you got a father-in-law anyway,” Carson mutters.

“At least once a day, he wants to kick my ass,” I chuckle. Meeting Carson’s gaze, I explain, “It’s our way of bonding.”

“Come. Show me your house,” Carson says, throwing an arm around my shoulder.

Walking inside, I introduce Carson to Dana before I take him to the living room. Carson sets his bag down while I pour us each a shot of Vodka.

Na zdoróvʹje,” we toast before swallowing the shot down.

Carson glances around then his eyes meet mine again. “How’s the diamond business?”

We take a seat as I answer, “Good. We had a successful run, and the next one is on Thursday. I was hoping you’d come with.”

“Of course. I’d like to see what you do now,” he agrees.

“Are you sure you can only stay the week?” I ask.

“Yes, I want to visit Alexei before my next contract.”

 I nod as Winter comes into the living room. She takes a seat next to me, then smiles at Carson. “Do you know who your next contract is?”

Carson shakes his head. “Not yet.”

We visit until it’s time for dinner, and then we move to the dining room.

When Dana places a feast on the table, Carson says, “God, it looks good. I’ve been living off junk.” Then he grins at me. “No wonder you’re picking up weight.”

My eyebrows dart up as Cillian chuckles, and then I mutter, “I’ll kick both your asses in the barn tomorrow.”

“Oh, it’s on,” Cillian says, a grin spreading over his face.

Winter takes her seat on my right, and I reach for her hand, giving it a squeeze before we help ourselves to the delicious food.

While eating, banter and laughter fill the air, and as I glance around the table, I take in my family with a smile curving my lips.

I never knew something like this existed, not until Winter. My gaze drifts to her, and I’m met with her warm smile.

To think, I get to wake up to her beautiful face every morning. I get to watch men submit to her while she bends the knee to only me.

“I love you,” I murmur softly, now understanding the true meaning of the emotion.



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