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Ruthless Saints: Chapter 25


I’ve been thinking non-stop about what MJ told me, and I think I made a horrible mistake.

In my defense, I was traumatized, and learning who Carson really was, came as one hell of a shock.

But now…

I focused on the word ‘assassin.’ I reacted to what I was told. But… if what MJ said is the truth, and Carson is a vigilante, then it makes a hell of a difference.

Deep in thought, I clear the plates from a table and carry them to the kitchen. Walking back into the dining area, it’s quiet, and I take a seat across from MJ.

“Only an hour then you get to go home,” she says, her eyes scanning the pavement outside the restaurant.

“Do you ever relax?” I ask as I wiggle my toes in my shoes because my feet are killing me after the rush we just had.

She glances at me before scanning outside again. “I’m relaxed.”

I let out a chuckle. “If you say so. What are we having for dinner?”

“Anything you’re in the mood for.”

“Pizza?” I ask.

“Sounds good. Just no olives. I can’t stand them.”

A guy walks in, and I get up from the chair. Heading to the counter, I grab a menu and take it to him. “Hi, would you like to drink anything?”

He grins up at me. “A coke.”

“I’ll be right back with your drink.”

While I get a can of coke from the fridge, my thoughts return to Carson. I’m nervous about seeing him again. I have no idea how the conversation’s going to go. I also want to know more about Dimpo and how he helped her.

I place the can on a tray, along with a glass and straw, then carry it to the customer’s table. Once I’ve set the beverage down in front of him, I ask, “Have you decided on what to eat?”

“A steak, well done.”

I write it down. “Any side dishes?”

“Potato wedges.”

“Coming right up.” I head to the kitchen and hand them the order.

My eyes glance over all the tables, and I wonder why it’s so quiet all of a sudden. Usually, there’s a steady flow of customers.

“Waitress,” the guy calls me. When I reach him, he says, “Want to go out with me?”


Not expecting the question, my brain does a double-take. “Ah… no thanks.”

“Come on, one cup of coffee,” he tries harder.

I shake my head. “I’m really not interested.”

I walk to MJ’s table and take out my notepad, so the guy thinks I’m taking an order from her. “Not awkward at all,” I mutter to her.

“While you’re pretending, can I have a bottle of water?”

I grin at her. “Coming right up, ma’am.”

MJ chuckles, and then her eyes go to the guy, and she watches him like a hawk.

We’ve become such good friends I keep forgetting she’s actually here for my protection. That guy is twice her size, though. I hope he doesn’t look for trouble. I don’t want MJ to get hurt.

The rest of my shift goes by at a snail’s pace, and when MJ and I finally get to leave, the guy who asked me on a date is waiting outside.

“One coffee,” he says, giving me a pleading look.

MJ steps partially in front of me. “She said no.”

The guy narrows his eyes at her. “I wasn’t talking to you.”

“You are now,” she says, her features tightening with warning.

I take hold of her hand and tug at her. “Let’s go.”

As we walk by the guy, he grabs hold of MJ’s arm, yanking her to a stop. “You should learn to mind your own fucking business,” he growls at her.

Slowly, MJ turns her face to his. “You have three seconds to let go of me.”

“Or what?”

Her left arm darts out, and she throat punches the shit out of him. Gagging, he drops to his knees.

Holy crap.

My eyes are wide on my friend slash badass bodyguard.

“I warned you.” MJ grabs hold of me and shoves me forward. “Go. Quicker.”

We’re walking so fast I’m out of breath by the time we reach our apartment building.

“You didn’t have to punch him,” I say, taking a moment to rest before climbing the stairs to our floor.

“That will teach him to not grab hold of women,” she mutters, a deep frown between her eyebrows. “Besides, it didn’t look like he was going to take no for an answer.”

“Also true,” I agree. When we reach the second floor, I stop. “We forgot the pizza.”

“Shit,” MJ mutters.

We both let out a groan, and turning around, we head back down the stairs.

The moment we step outside our building, the guy from the restaurant lunges at MJ, taking a swing at her.

My hands fly up to cover my mouth as I let out a startled shriek.

MJ leans back, avoiding the blow, and then all hell breaks loose. She attacks, moving so fast, he doesn’t stand a chance as she punches him twice before finishing him with an uppercut.

She turns to me, her hands opening and closing into fists.

The guy drags himself up off the floor, and then I shout, “MJ! Watch out!”

Bringing her elbow back, she slams it into his gut, knocking the air from his lungs, then she rolls her eyes, shaking her head at me. “Some people just don’t learn.”

I lift my hands in a what-the-hell motion. I can’t believe he just attacked her, but now I know she can definitely handle herself.

MJ turns to the guy. “Leave before I get angry.”

“Bitch,” he gasps as he struggles back onto his feet. “You’re going to regret this.”

“Oh, I already do,” she says, actually looking bored.

We watch as he staggers away from us, and then I turn my shocked gaze to MJ. “You’re going to teach me how to fight like that.”

A smile splits over her face. “Any time.”

She keeps glancing at the guy as she takes hold of my hand and pulls me in the opposite direction. “Now I’m starving. We need to get a pizza each.”

“You were badass,” I say. “Pizza is definitely on me.”

Then she reminds me, “Only doing my job.”





When I started searching for info on Dimpo, I found more than I bargained for. She was handpicked.

I press play on the video Lekgari sent me, and the corners of my mouth lift as I listen to her laughter while she runs to her mother. I watch them embrace, her mother crying harder than I’ve ever heard anyone cry before.

‘Dimpo wave at the camera,’ Lekgari calls out.

She turns, and with her innocence intact and a happy smile, she waves. ‘Thank you, mister.’

Lifting my eyes, I scan over the information I got on the man who ordered Dimpo. 

Eduardo Beuno.

Fuck I hate Columbia, but if I don’t kill him, he might try to kidnap Dimpo again.

Picking up my phone, I dial Alexei’s number.

“You okay?”

“Yes,” I let out a chuckle. “I have a contract for you.”

“Just forward me the details, and I’ll look at it,” he replies absentmindedly.

“No, I mean I want to hire you,” I explain.

My brother grunts. “Who pissed you off, and why can’t you do it yourself?”

“Eduardo Beuno. He’s after a little African girl. I fucking hate Columbia, and you’re closer. Take him out for me.”

“You want me to take out the head of the Beuno cartel?” he asks incredulously.

“I’m sending you a video. Watch it before you say no.”


We end the call, and I forward the video of Dimpo to Alexei’s phone.

Five minutes later, my phone vibrates.

Alexei: Contract accepted. Fee: A lifetime supply of vodka.

I let out a chuckle and type my reply.

Carson: Thank you.

Alexei: You did good. Proud of you.

Setting my phone down, I let out a sigh of relief.

I watch the video again, taking in Dimpo’s surroundings. It looks terrible where she lives, and my heart constricts.

I grab my phone again and text Lekgari.

Koslov, Carson: Find out everything you can about Dimpo and her mother.

A couple of minutes later, he responds.

Lekgari, George: Will let you know later.

Now I can focus on Hailey.

Just the thought of her makes my heartbeat speed up.

Rising to my feet, I leave the armory and walk to my bedroom so I can pack a bag. I really need to get the house in Croatia furnished so I can stay there.



Stepping off the plane, I walk to where my car is parked. I toss my travel bag in the backseat then slide behind the steering wheel.

In thirty minutes, I’ll see Hailey.

I steer the SUV in the direction of Rovinj, wondering how this conversation is going to play out between us. It can either go one of two ways, in my favor or epically shit.

I park the SUV by the docks where my yacht is, which I’m using as a temporary place to stay while in Rovinj.

With my eyes scanning over my surroundings, I head in the direction of Hailey’s apartment. When I’m close, I pull my phone from my pocket and send her a text.

Carson: Where are you?

Only when I’m outside the building does she reply.

Hailey: I see you. Up ahead.

My head snaps up, and the corner of my mouth lifts at the sight of her coming down the road with MJ by her side.

Not getting to see her made the past week extra long.

When Hailey’s close enough, she teases me, “I saw you first. You’re losing your touch.”

“No, you’re just getting better.”

We stare at each other.

“Hi. Bye,” MJ says as she keeps walking.

I nod in her direction, my eyes not leaving Hailey, then I whisper, “It’s been too long.”

To my surprise, she moves closer to me, and opening her arms, she says, “I think this qualifies as a hugging moment.”

I dart forward and sweep her up against me, burying my face in her hair. I press a kiss to her neck and then just hold her, taking in the feel of her in my arms.

I missed this.

We stand still, neither of us pulling back, and then Hailey whispers, “I missed you so much.”

Then come back to me.

Another minute pass before Hailey pulls away from me. She gives me a wavering smile. “Are you okay with talking in my apartment?”


I almost take hold of her hand but stop myself in time.

Stepping inside her place, my eyes scan around the small living room, kitchen, and bedroom.

“Can I get you something to drink?” she asks, and it reminds me a lot of the night we kissed for the first time.

My eyes lower to her mouth as I shake my head.

“Want to sit?” She gestures at the couch.

I hate how foreign things feel between us, and even though I want to pace the shit out of the worn tiles covering the floor, I take a seat. I rest my forearms on my thighs to keep my knee from jumping.

Hailey sits down next to me and turns her body toward me. I take her open body language as a good sign.

She sucks in a deep breath of air, then asks, “Can you tell me about Dimpo?”

I begin to frown. “She’s just a girl.”

“You said you helped her get home? Was she in trouble?” Hailey asks more questions.

I shake my head. “The less you know, the better.”

She stares at me, then says, “I want to understand what you do. Can you tell me anything about the… uh… contracts?”

I let out a sigh and turn my gaze to my hands. “Information can be a dangerous thing, Hailey.”

“It’s not like I’m going to tell anyone,” she mutters.

“You’re not going to like what I tell you,” I warn her, really not wanting to get into the grittiness of what I do.

She’ll never talk to me again.

“Please,” she whispers.

I close my eyes, not prepared for this conversation and the repercussions it will have.

“I had a contract in Egypt. I was scouting when I saw the girls. I went in and took out the target and two of his men. Dimpo was the youngest, and I had to take her with me while the older two made a run for it.”

The ache begins to spread through my chest, and I refuse to look at Hailey, not wanting to see the horror on her face.

“Were the girls there for sex trafficking?” Hailey asks with a quivering voice.

I just nod, trying to deal with the fate that’s been dealt to me.

Hailey moves, and at first, I think she’s getting up to walk away from me, but then she scoots closer to me. Placing her hand on my jaw, she nudges me to look at her.

Our eyes lock, and seeing the heartache in her gray eyes makes me feel like shit. Then she asks, “How many people have you helped like that?”

I shake my head. “I didn’t keep count.”

Hailey’s features tighten with an expression I haven’t seen before. “The people you’ve killed, were they all like the one who had Dimpo?”

Some were much worse, but she doesn’t need to know that, so I just nod.

Hailey lets go of my jaw, and pressing her forehead to my shoulder, she whispers, “I’m so sorry, Carson. God, I wish I could change things.”

My heart. I can’t.

I close my eyes as the raw ache eats me alive.


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