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Tears Of Betrayal: Chapter 7


Another fucking regret.

The girl gets under my skin, but still, that’s no reason for saying what I did. She’s scared, and I probably made it worse.

The last thing I want her worrying about is me forcing myself on her. That will never happen.

Letting out a sigh, I sit and stare at the monitors. I find Ariana where she’s opening the fridge and taking a bottle of water from it.

She just wanted some kind of reassurance that I won’t hurt her. Why the fuck didn’t I give her that?

I watch as she sits down on the couch again, curling against the armrest. ‘Come on, Ian, distract me from the asshole,’ she says as she begins to watch the show again.

Day one was an epic fuck up, and I have no idea how we’re going to get through the rest of the week.

Picking up my phone, I shoot Alexei a message.

Demitri: Please tell me Lucian’s in Russia already.

A couple of minutes pass before the reply comes through.

Alexei: He’s heading to Russia tomorrow.

Demitri: Change places with me. You babysit the girl, and I’ll look for the assassin.

Alexei: Nope.

I let out a sigh.

Demitri: Have someone keep an eye on Ariana’s mother. She’s worried they’ll go after her.

Alexei: I’ll send Nikhil.

Demitri: Thanks.

Demitri: What the fuck am I supposed to do while I’m stuck here?

Alexei: Work on your people skills.

Demitri: You know I only vowed to protect you from other people, right?

Alexei: Oooh, I’m trembling.

Demitri: Fucker.

Setting the phone back down on the desk, I glance at the monitor for the living room.

Fuck this, I’m not hiding in the security room. Getting up, I stalk to the kitchen and make a cup of coffee for myself.

“Alexei’s sending someone to watch your mother,” I offer the information to Ariana in the hopes it will make her relax. When she doesn’t say anything, I ask, “Did you hear me?”

“Yes, but I’m sure as shit not going to thank you,” she mumbles.

Taking a deep breath, I pick up the cup and go sit on the couch.

She gives an irritated look. “Do you even watch TV when you’re not busy murdering people?”

Keeping my eyes on the screen, I clench my teeth until I’m sure nothing aggressive will leave my mouth. “I don’t watch TV, but there’s not much to do on the island.”

“Well, go find something. You make me uncomfortable.”

My eyes snap to Ariana. “For someone who believes I’m going to kill her, you have zero survival instincts. Annoying your abductor isn’t the wisest thing to do.”

Her eyes narrow on me. “I plan on going out with a fight. If I can annoy you to death, it’s a bonus.”

Letting out a chuckle, the corner of my mouth lifts. “Like you tried and failed to fight me earlier?”

“Screw you,” she mutters, turning her gaze back to the TV while a red blush creeps up her neck and over her cheeks.

I hate that she’s humiliated, and again it’s on the tip of my tongue to apologize for leaving her tied to the bed, but I bite the words back.

We continue to watch the show, which turns out to be about vampires. Every couple of minutes, I feel Ariana’s eyes on me, and before I can think it through, I ask, “Like what you see, Malyshka?”

“Ugh,” she grunts. “In your dreams.”

I let out another chuckle.

“What did you call me in Russian?”

“It’s similar to little girl.”

She huffs, and then we manage to watch an entire episode before Ariana talks again. “What’s in the basement?”

“None of your business.”

Another minute passes. “For someone who keeps telling me this whole nightmare is for my safety, you sure aren’t going out of your way to put me at ease.”

Taking a deep breath, I slowly let it out before I turn my gaze to her. “For someone who’s getting my protection for free, you sure are ungrateful.”

Something sparks in Ariana’s eyes, and then she crosses her legs and gives me a curious look.

Aww fuck. Here comes the questions.

“How much do you charge?”

“You can’t afford me,” I mutter.

“Tell me anyway.”

I let out a silent burst of laughter. “I’m not going to discuss my finances with you.”

“Okay, how much would you ask to protect me for a week?”

A frown begins to form on my forehead. “Where are you going with this?”

“I just figured if I pay you, maybe you’d be less of an ass.”

Leaning forward, I rest my elbows on my thighs and stare the girl down. “This is me being nice.”

She pulls a disgruntled face. “Then I’d hate to see you upset.”

A smile tugs at my mouth. “Then don’t piss me off.”

She shoots me a glare and turns her attention back to the TV. It only takes a couple of minutes before the dejected expression returns to her face.

Fuck, Demitri. Just give the girl some kind of reassurance.

“I’m not going to hurt you, Ariana,” I finally say the words she’s been needing to hear.

“How can I believe anything you say?” she counters and holds up one of her bruised wrists. I stare at Ariana until she starts to squirm, looking uncomfortable. Then she mutters, “Also doesn’t help when you give me that look of death.”

Needing to set things straight, I say, “I understand you’re scared. I’m only keeping you safe out of respect to the head of the Bratva, which means I’m getting nothing from it. Just like you, I don’t want to be here.”

I let the words sink in, then add, “If you attack me, I’m going to restrain you. I won’t hurt you, and I sure as fuck have no interest in touching you. You’re just a job, Ariana.”

A weird look flashes across her face, and then she turns her attention back to the TV, doing her best to ignore me, which suits me just fine.





I didn’t get much sleep last night, with Demitri sitting on the other couch, watching me like a guard dog. I kept dozing off only to jerk awake with fright.

I only stayed on the couch because I didn’t have the strength to face that bedroom.

I feel off-balance, my emotions constantly jumping from being terrified to feeling embarrassed with what happened last night to anger.

After making myself some coffee, I decide to explore my prison in the hopes of finding a way to escape. Opening the sliding doors, I step out onto the deck and slowly make my way down the steps. I wait to see if Demitri is going to come after me, but when there’s no sign of him, I head in the direction of the trees.

Even though I’m living a nightmare, I can’t ignore the beauty around me. The air is fresh, and birds chirp from the treetops, and it has a calming effect on me. I find the highest boulder from where I can see the mainland, and the sight gives me a sinking feeling.

I’ll never be able to swim that distance.

I glance over the lake, hoping to see someone out on their boat, but there’s no one.

Letting out a sigh, my thoughts turn back to yesterday. I don’t understand the flash of disappointment I felt when Demitri said I was just a job.

It’s because it will be easier for him to kill you if he doesn’t see you as a human being… an innocent woman.

I need to change the way he sees me. If I can’t escape, then maybe I can make him care enough that he won’t be able to kill me.

It feels like an impossible task.

He had no problem tossing me around and tying me up, so the chances of making him see me as a woman are probably next to nothing.

Glancing over my shoulder, I stare back at the impressive mansion.

God, I’m at Demitri’s mercy, and I’m not sure he has any.

My thoughts keep alternating between the fear gnawing at my insides and my will to survive… to fight until the very end.

I can’t just sit and tremble with fear.

I have to try.

Walking back to the house, I look through every room except for the one I was held in. I don’t find anything that might help me escape. I’m walking through an entertainment room, sparing the bar a glance. Coming to another door, I peek inside, and then my eyebrows shoot up into my hairline.

Oh. My. God.

Demitri’s busy doing sit-ups, his lower half resting on a bench while his upper half moves without any effort on his part. There’s zero strain on his muscles, which tells me the man is much stronger than I thought.

Crap, I can’t even manage ten regular sit-ups.

Even doing a workout, there’s a wave of danger emanating from him, and I can’t deny how freaking hot he looks.

My eyes practically devour every inch of his golden skin, glistening with sweat while his six… no… eight pack tightens and contracts with every sit-up.

Holy hotness.

Suddenly Demitri sits up, and reaching for a towel, he wipes behind his neck as he rises to his feet. My eyes glide greedily over his abs, and then there’s one hell of a spark of attraction when I see the curved muscles of his hips that lead to sweatpants… and a bulge.

My mouth grows dry, and my skin warms as my abdomen clenches from the sight. My gaze roams up his body again and then locks on his eyes.

Instantly a blush creeps up my face from being caught red-handed blatantly staring at him. I dart away from the door and walk through the entertainment room as quickly as I can while suppressing the urge to slap myself.

Stupid, Ariana! Freaking drooling over your captor. Seriously? This isn’t some captive romance.

Feeling a little mortified that Demitri caught me staring, I drop down on the couch and switch on the TV. My eyes are glued to the screen while I strain to listen for any movement from the gym’s direction.

I dare a glance to my right just as Demitri comes into the living room and almost sprain my neck to snap my eyes back to the TV.

Luckily he doesn’t say anything, and I wait a couple of seconds before I dare another glance, just in time to see him head up the stairs.

Still shirtless. The muscles of his back rolling beneath his skin.


I shake my head hard and force my eyes back to the show I’m watching.

Stop, Ariana. Yes, he’s hot as hell. Emphasis on ‘hell.’

I take a deep breath, doing my best to ignore the overwhelming attraction I feel toward Demitri.

He’s dangerous and deadly and from another world. He kidnapped me, humiliated me, and hurt me.

Don’t forget that. Ever.


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