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Merciless Saints: Chapter 9


Mother of saints, I’m exhausted. It feels like I haven’t slept in weeks.

Damien’s face appears in front of me, and then darkness tints the edges of my vision. I feel his arm slide around my back and another under my knees, and then my world tilts as he lifts me from the floor.

The side of my head falls to his shoulder, and for a moment, I have a clear view of his neck and jaw, both looking kissable. It’s only for a couple of seconds, though, and then my vision blurs again.

Damien begins to walk, every forceful step he takes vibrating through my body.

Crap, where is he taking me?

I try to lift my hand, and my knuckles brush against his chest before my arm goes numb again. “Where?” I manage to mumble.

“Shhh.” It sounds more like a threatening hiss than a sound of comfort, and it makes the hair on my body rise.

My mind feels clouded as if I can’t wake up. As if I’m stuck between reality and a nightmare. All I remember from earlier was not feeling well, and when I got to my room, Vince and Hugo were there waiting for me. I managed to fight them off, but as the drug took more of an effect on my body, they overpowered me. If Damien didn’t show up, I’d probably be dead by now.

Damien… He can kill me, and there’s nothing I can do to defend myself.

The thought sobers me a little, enough to lift my head from Damien’s shoulder as he walks into another room. He kicks the door shut behind us, the sound echoing through my dazed mind.

Damien’s arms are strong beneath me, taking my full weight as if I’m as light as a feather, even though it feels as if I weigh a ton and gravity is fighting to drag me back down to the ground.

The moment he walks into a bedroom, fear trickles down my spine.

He wouldn’t.

Would he?

No. The Vetrovs have honor. He wouldn’t rape me.

When he lies me down on the bed, and our eyes meet, there’s nothing I can do to hide the fear I feel. The last time I was this vulnerable was the day I lost my mother and almost lost my own life.

I never thought I’d feel that way again. Hopeless. Lost. Terrified. But here I am, at the mercy of Damien Vetrov.

I try to push against the mattress to get myself up into a sitting position, but whatever drug Vince gave me makes my bones heavy and my muscles numb.

How did he manage to drug me? Did he pay one of the waiters to spike my drink?

Lying paralyzed on Damien’s bed, my eyes lock on his. God, he looks even more intense and dangerous now that I’m unable to protect myself.

Damien braces his hands on either side of my head, and I’m instantly engulfed in the scent of his aftershave and heat coming from his body.

My heartbeat speeds up, and my breathing falters. “Don’t,” I manage to mumble.

His eyes hold mine captive as he leans a little forward and then his lips part. “I don’t like my women weak. Sleep.”

I search his face for any sign that he’s lying to me, but only find truth. There’s zero desire in his eyes. If anything, he looks angry.

I never thought I’d be relieved to see him annoyed with me. The fear retreats a little but then a new one forms. I’m going to owe Damien for this. I’m in his debt, and that’s dangerous.

The cloud in my mind thickens, making me feel even more powerless. My eyes stay glued to Damien’s as he straightens up. It looks like he’s going to leave, and needing to get the words out, I mumble, “Thank…” I suck in a breath, and I have to really focus to finish, “…you.”

His gaze narrows on me, and for a moment, he looks indecisive, but then he murmurs, “Sleep, Winter. For tonight you’re safe.”

Even though I know I can believe his words, I still fight the darkness skirting around the edges of my mind.

Damien disappears out of my line of sight, and I try to turn my head but unable to move, I can only listen as he opens a closet. I hear the fabric of his clothes rustle, and minutes later, he appears as he walks into the bathroom. He’s only wearing black sweatpants. His muscles ripple beneath his tanned skin as he takes hold of his toothbrush.

Watching him brush his teeth and wash his face calms me. All I can do is stare at him while my breaths grow rhythmic. I take in every curve of muscle, every vein snaking up his arm. When he walks back to me, I drink in the wide expanse of his chest, his abs, and the carved lines of his hips as they dip under his low-hanging sweatpants.

My emotions scatter, desire mixing with the vulnerability I feel, and it makes something new stir in my chest.

Cillian taught me to fight, to always be strong, but lying on Damien’s bed, I wonder what it would be like to be dominated by him. To have him take over the reins in my life. To be in control of me.

Would I find peace and safety, or would I be destroyed?

What’s the use of thinking about it. I probably won’t remember any of this tomorrow.

Damien turns off the lights, and I hear as he moves through the room. I feel the mattress dip as he lies down, and it makes my heart rate spike.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d share a bed with a Vetrov. Now there’s one lying mere inches from me.

The stories Cillian told me about Demitri made the Vetrovs seem merciless and cold. Monsters who wouldn’t hesitate to kill. After all, Demitri played a significant role in eliminating an Albanian group.

Up until tonight, I believed every word, but now I’ve seen a soft side to Damien. He could’ve ignored my predicament. He could’ve left me lying in my room, vulnerable to another attack.

But he didn’t.

He brought me to his room, and now he’s lying beside me… guarding me.

Who is the real Damien Vetrov?

This man who’s protecting me, or will he turn out to be a legendary killer like his brother?

With the thoughts mulling in my head, my eyes drift shut. The last thing I’m aware of before the drug drags me under a wave of numbing darkness is the intensity coming from Damien’s presence beside me.





For a moment, I regret helping Winter, but then I remember the scene I walked in on. Hugo holding her down while Vince was on top of her.

It makes my anger return, not because they were probably going to rape her, but because they dared to touch her. A possessive side I never knew I had flared to life, making me see red. It pushed me forward to destroy… to kill… all for her.

By the grace of God, I didn’t kill them. It would’ve ruined everything I worked so hard for.

Turning my head, I stare at Winter’s profile. It looks like she’s fallen asleep. Good. Seeing the fear in her eyes made the blood rush through my veins. It was intoxicating.

Having her at my mercy makes desire burn in me, and it makes me want to claim her for myself.

But I don’t want her this way. I want her to fight back. I want to see the spark in her eyes. I want her lips to part as I thrust into her. I want to hear her moans and screams as I fuck her, branding her with my cock.

Like any other predator, I enjoy the thrill of the hunt, and right now, she’s nothing more than a wounded deer.

My gaze drifts down to her breasts, and I watch as they rise and fall with every slow breath she takes.

Turning onto my side, I reach a hand out to her neck and let my fingers brush over her throat. “There’s a price to pay for my protection, Princess,” I whisper. I let my fingers trail down her chest, passing between the curves of her breasts and down to her hip. Pulling her closer, I push my other arm under her head and turn her body into mine. I take in the feel of holding her, and then, I murmur, “The only payment I’ll accept is your body, heart, and soul.”

Never before in my life have I wanted a woman the way I want Winter Hemsley. I want to own her fiery temper. I want to possess her wild spirit. I want to dominate her body, forcing her to submit to me… and only me.

A growl escapes my throat as my arms tighten around her. The wild emotions almost overwhelm me, but I yank back and push her away from me. Winter rolls limply onto her back as my breath explodes from me.


I can’t give in to my desires. They’ll derail everything I’ve worked for.

My loyalty belongs to Carson, which means there’s no place in my life for a woman.

With every muscle in my body wound tight, I keep staring at Winter. This night. It’s all I’m giving myself. I’ll drink in her beauty and the soft sound of her breaths.

Knowing better, I still lift my hand again and reach for her.

Just tonight. Then I’ll ban all thoughts of her from my mind. I’ll get my shit together and focus on Carson.

Wrapping my hand around the side of her waist, I pull Winter back to me. Knowing this is all I’ll allow myself to have, I lean into her until I can feel her breaths warming my lips. I take a deep breath, filling my lungs with her soft scent.

As I wrap my arms around her, I close my eyes and try to memorize the feel of her body pressing against mine.

I lie awake through the night, and with every hour I get to hold Winter, my emotions deepen, opening up a bottomless cavern inside my chest.

By the time the sun begins to rise, and Winter’s lashes flutter open, I feel murderous.

Her green irises focus on my face, and then her eyes widen with shock. Before she can start fighting me, I pull away from her and get up. I stalk to my closet and take a rashguard shirt and pair of shorts from it.

“What am I doing here?” Winter tries to demand with a sleepy voice. I hear her move off the bed. “God, my head,” she mumbles.

Turning to face her, the words leave me in a low grumble, “You were drugged by Blanco. He and Lamas had you pinned down in your room. I brought you here so you’d be safe while the drug worked out of your system.” My eyes lock on her wide ones, and I watch as her shock grows. “Which means you owe me, Princess.”

Her tongue darts out over her dry lips, wetting them in a nervous action. “How much?”

I let out a dark chuckle as I drop the clean clothes on the bed. Shaking my head at her, I murmur, “I don’t want your money.”

Winter begins to move slowly toward the door, and it makes the corner of my mouth lift slightly.

“What do you want?” she asks, sounding a little breathless.

My eyes lock with hers. “I’ll let you know when I’m ready to claim my payment.”

I watch as her features tighten with worry. Her owing me puts me in a position of power, and she doesn’t like it one bit.

“Leave.” The single word is clipped before I walk into the bathroom so I can shower.

For a moment longer, I feel Winter’s eyes on me, and when I look to where she was standing, she’s gone.


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