We are taking book requests on our companion website. You can request books here. Make sure, you are following the rules.

Tears Of Betrayal: Chapter 28


The sun has come up and set again, and even though the doctor said Demitri’s out of the woods, it doesn’t feel that way.

Alexei’s just as quiet as me. I haven’t left his side. When he gets up, I do the same and follow him like a lost puppy.

I think he needs me just as much as I need him. Every couple of minutes, he reaches out to touch my shoulder or back.

Winter brings a plate of sandwiches, and I shake my head, turning my gaze back to Demitri’s too still body.

“We don’t want to, but we have to,” Alexei murmurs as he holds a sandwich out to me. “Eat, little one. You need your strength for when Demitri wakes up.”

Not if, but when.

Reluctantly, I take the food from Alexei, and we both chew and swallow it down as if it’s mud.

When we’re done forcing the food down, I lean my head against Alexei’s shoulder again, and he rests his cheek against my hair.

“He’s going to be okay, right?” I ask for the hundredth time.

“Yes,” Alexei answers patiently.

During the past day, things changed between Alexei and me. We’ve moved from being contenders for Demitri’s attention to being friends, bound by the love of a man who was willing to die for us.

It’s late at night when Demitri begins to stir, and Alexei, Damien, and I dart to our feet, surrounding him.

Alexei places his hand next to Demitri’s head and leans over him. “Demitri?”

It takes another minute before Demitri opens his eyes, and the sight of his dark irises knocks the breath from me with relief.

“Hey…” Alexei murmurs, pure relief on his face. “Can you hear me?”

“I was shot… not deaf,” Demitri grumbles, strain on his features as he begins to move, trying to sit up.

“No, stay down,” Alexei orders.

Demitri shakes his head, to which Alexei says, “It’s my turn to guard you.”

“You’re too expensive,” Demitri manages to joke, the corner of his mouth even lifting.

And it all comes crashing down on me. Now that I’ve seen he’s going to pull through, I crumble like a house of cards. Covering my mouth with a trembling hand, I spin around and flee out of the room. I make it to the toilet just in time as my body begins to convulse, the bitter tension and shock of the past twenty-four hours being expelled from my body.

A moment later, Alexei crouches next to me, and I want to tell him to go back to Demitri, but I’m in no condition to talk.

When my body stops convulsing, Alexei uses a facecloth he found somewhere and ran under cold water to wipe over my face, and then he presses my head to his chest.

Sitting on a filthy floor, with Alexei comforting me, was the last thing I ever saw coming. In his darkest hour, he’s there for me like he’d be there for Demitri.

I finally manage to say, “Go back to Demitri.”

“He’s asleep again.” Alexei rises to his feet, pulling me up as well. Tilting his head, he locks eyes with me. “Demitri’s the strongest man I know. He’ll be fine. Okay?”

I’m pulled back to his chest, and he hugs me. I nod, even though it doesn’t feel like anything will be fine ever again.

Demitri and Alexei fit each other perfectly, and because of me, Demitri got shot.

If I weren’t here, they’d still be the perfect team, instead of Demitri almost dying.

No matter how much I love Demitri, it won’t change the fact that I’m the one who doesn’t belong in his life. I’m a risk, and I can’t stand the idea of Demitri dying because of me.

I pull back from Alexei, and he waits for me to rinse out my mouth. With a bitter taste in the back of my throat, I follow him to the room Demitri’s in.

Alexei takes a seat while I move closer to Demitri, wrapping my fingers around his palm that’s cool now. His fingers instantly flex, and then his eyes drift open, and they lock on me.

He manages a weak smile, and I have to fight hard to not start sobbing.

“Kiss me,” he whispers.

I shake my head and swallow hard. Instead, I lean down and press a kiss above the bandage to his chest. He smells like antiseptic, where I’m the one that smells like death.

Pulling back, I force a smile around my lips, and brushing my fingers down the side of his face, I soak in the feel of him.

“Just get better, okay.” I keep touching him, unable to pull back.

“I’m already better,” he says, his voice calm compared to the storm raging in me.

The man is seriously made of steel because he turns his eyes to Alexei and asks, “When can we leave?”

“Tomorrow, we’ll go back to the compound. You need to get stronger before we make the flight back to LA.”

I have a couple of days, probably a week at most, with Demitri, and then I’ll have to return to my own life.

The thought clears my mind of all the heartbreak and worry and forces me to focus only on Demitri. On now. On the precious time, I’ve been given to say goodbye.





I’m not going to lie, it’s a fucking struggle getting back to the compound, and by the time I lie down on the bed, my body’s covered in sweat and burning with pain.

Alexei tucks me in like I’m a damn kid while Ariana runs to get water and painkillers for me.

“You holding up okay?” Alexei asks, his voice tight with worry.

“Stop this shit. I’m fine,” I grumble.

Alexei sits down on the side of the bed and then just stares at me. “You gave me one hell of a scare. What went wrong?”

“The guy got a lucky shot,” I try to play it down.

He shakes his head. “Don’t lie to me.”

I try to take a deep breath, but the pain in my chest stops me, and I wince. “I was focused on taking Yuri down.”

Ariana comes rushing back into the room, and Alexei gets up so she can help me take the meds. Then she’s up again to get a cool, wet cloth from the bathroom. While she wipes the sweat from my face, I try to catch her eyes, but she avoids making eye contact.

My body’s too weak to stay awake, and with Ariana’s scent wrapped around me, I drift off.

Every time I wake up, Alexei and Ariana are by my side, and then I’m dragged back to sleep.

It’s early morning when I finally wake up enough to make sense of my surroundings. Alexei’s asleep where he’s sitting on a chair with his feet resting on the side of the bed. Turning my head to the left, I find Ariana staring at me, curled up on the far side of the mattress.

“Hey,” I murmur.

She pushes herself up, and scooting closer to me, she places her hand on my forehead, then asks, “How do you feel? Do you need anything?”

It feels as if every drop of moisture is gone from my mouth, and I whisper, “Water.”

I watch as she picks up a glass from the bedside table, and then she pushes her hand beneath my head and helps me so I can take a couple of sips.

Fuck, this is frustrating. I’ve never been helpless before, and it makes my temper spike.

“Alexei,” I snap, and he startles awake. “Help me sit up.”

He darts up, and placing his hands beneath my armpits, he gently pulls me up. Ariana positions pillows behind me, and then he settles me against them.

And I fucking hate it.


Anger flares hot through me.

Alexei places his hand on my shoulder. “What’s wrong?”

I shake my head.

I’m the one who takes care of them. It’s not supposed to be the other way around.

Pissed off that I’m useless to Alexei and Ariana, I push my body hard and try to get up.

Alexei grabs hold of my right shoulder. “Why are you angry? Calm your ass down and relax.”

It takes more energy than I have to smack Alexei’s hand away, and then I glare at him. “I’m not staying in this fucking bed.”

When I try to move again, Ariana takes hold of my left arm to hold me back, and my head turns to her as I bite out, “Let go of me.”

There’s a flash of hurt on her face, and then she moves closer and pushes me back down.

It makes a frustrated growl ripple from my chest.

Ariana places her hands on my jaw and leaning over me, her face is right by mine. “Shh…” She presses a kiss to my mouth. “Calm down. Please.” She kisses me again, and it douses the anger, making the fire die down to a smolder. “Don’t push yourself like this.” Another kiss, and then she brushes her nose over my cheek to my ear. “I’ve got you, baby. Let me look after you.”

Lifting an arm, I take hold of her wrist. “Stay next to me.”

“I’m right here, baby.” Ariana lies down against my side, careful not to jar my body, and places her palm against my jaw again.

She continues to whisper to me until I’m dragged away by sleep once more.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


not work with dark mode