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Tears Of Salvation: Chapter 21


Wondering what’s keeping Isabella, I take the stairs two at a time and walk down the hallway. Just then, she comes out of the room.

Isabella’s eyes land on me, and taking a deep breath, she begins to walk toward me.

“You okay?” I ask.


I hold my hand out to her, and when she reaches me, her fingers interlink with mine.

Something’s different, and it has me staring at Isabella. “Sure?”

A smile spreads over her face. “Just anxious.”

I tug her closer to me, and leaning down, I press a tender kiss to her mouth. When I lift my head, I say, “Don’t be anxious. I’m here, and I won’t leave your side.”

Isabella stares deep into my eyes as if she’s searching for something, and it has me saying, “I love you.”

Instead of saying the words back to me, which honestly, I’m hoping I’ll get to hear soon, Isabella murmurs, “Lucky me.”

I tighten my hold on her hand. “I’m the lucky one.”

We walk back to the stairs, and I keep my pace slow for Isabella to keep up.

My eyes roam over the hot as fuck dress she’s wearing. “You look stunning.”

A flattered smile graces her lips. “Thank you.”

When I lead Isabella through the glass doors and out onto the veranda, pride fills my chest as all eyes turn to us.

Carson is the first to approach us. His alert gaze moves from me to Isabella, then he says, “Welcome to the family, Isabella.”

She smiles at my brother. “Thank you. Who would’ve thought, right?”

“Right,” Carson chuckles, then he turns to Hailey, who takes a step closer to Isabella.

Leaning in to give Isabella a quick hug, Hailey says, “Congrats. I’m sure the two of you will share many years of happiness.”

It’s only then I remember Isabella doesn’t know who Hailey is. Leaning into her, I murmur, “Hailey’s Carson’s girlfriend.”

Isabella nods, and as Lucian and Elena come toward us, I say, “Lucian and Elena, his wife.”

Slowly we keep moving through the guests, taking time to welcome everyone personally. Finally, we reach Damien and Winter.

I watch as Isabella’s smile widens when she says, “It’s good to see you again, Winter.”

“Likewise,” Winter replies.

“I’ve always wanted to tell you,” Isabella continues, “what a huge impact you had on my life.”

“Oh?” Winter lifts a questioning eyebrow at Isabella.

“Watching you eliminate our enemies was inspiring. You gave me the courage to stand my ground.”

A genuine smile spreads over Winter’s face. “Wow… ah… I don’t know what to say.”

Isabella shakes her head. “You don’t have to say anything. I just wanted you to know.”

“How’s the blood diamond business?” Isabella asks.

I press a kiss to Isabella’s neck and then leave her with Winter so I can talk to Lucian about the shipment of weapons I’ve ordered.

When he sees me coming, a smile spreads over his face. “No business talk. It’s your engagement, Alexei.”

I let out a chuckle. “Did you get the RPGs?”

He shakes his head at me. “Do you ever take a break?”

“I’ll rest when I’m dead,” I joke.

His expression turns serious. “I’ve managed to get half of the order filled. The rest should reach me in two weeks.”

“Good,” I murmur, pleased to hear that.

Lucian’s eyes sharpen on me. “Do you really want to do this?”

Nodding, I say, “There’s no backing down.”

I’ve saved Lucian’s life more than once, so I’m not surprised when I see the loyalty on his face. “Then we go to war.”

Elena joins us, and I drop the business talk. “Motherhood agrees with you, little one.”

A happy smile settles around her mouth. “Luca keeps me busy.”

“If he’s anything like his father, I’m sure you have your hands full,” I joke.

“Of course, he’s the spitting image of me,” Lucian grumbles.

I let out a chuckle, and patting my friend’s shoulder, I say, “Excuse me, I need to get back to my fiancée.”

When I’m close to Isabella and Winter, I hear them talking about Winter’s wedding.

Christ, that was the quickest I’ve arranged and planned a wedding. I had Damien and Winter engaged and married in a matter of forty-eight hours.

Just then, Winter spots me and jokes, “Back then, Alexei still put the fear of God in me.”

I wrap my arm around Isabella’s waist. “Intimidation gets things done.”

“Try that shit with me now,” Winter says playfully.

Chuckling, I shake my head. “Too busy taking over the world, little one.”

The relaxed atmosphere disappears as Winter frowns at me. “We’re really doing this?”

Meeting her eyes, I nod. “We are.”

She lifts her chin. “Okay.”

I glance over the guests, the people who’ve each, in their own way, helped me to rise to the top. The ones I call family and friends.

This is what loyalty looks like.

Today they’re celebrating my happiness, and soon they’ll go to war for me.

When I turn my attention back to Isabella, she’s staring up at me, her eyes sharp as if she’s trying to figure something out.

“What’s that look for?” I ask.

“Just wondering what you’re thinking,” she replies, and as a waiter passes us, she reaches for a flute of champagne, taking a sip of the bubbly drink.

She gives me a questioning look, and it has me answering, “I’m thinking about my family and friends and how far I’ve come because of them.”

“From what Winter told me, I’m sure a couple of them hated you in the beginning.”

I let out a burst of laughter. “Hate’s a strong word. Winter, Elena, and Ariana needed some time to get used to me.”

“Why?” Isabella asks.

I shrug. “I’m overprotective of those I love.”

“In other words, you gave them hell?”

Shaking my head, I say, “No, I just warned them to not betray my friends.”

“No warning for me?” Isabella asks, her voice becoming sensual.

My eyes drift over her beautiful face. “No need to. You know what will happen.”

“You’ll kill me?” she asks, lifting her chin.

Would I?

If Isabella betrayed me, would I be able to take her life?

It would fucking rip my heart out. “Yes.”

Slowly, she nods. “Same goes for you, Alexei.”

This conversation has quickly turned way too fucking serious.

Lifting both my hands, I frame her face and look deep into her eyes. “I’ll never betray a loved one, especially the woman who holds my heart.” Pressing a kiss to her forehead, I pull her against my chest.






A string of curses runs on repeat through my mind as I walk with Alexei to the security room.

God, the party was such a sham. Luckily I’ve perfected the art of being a socialite, and it was easy to pretend I was enjoying myself.

My fingers tighten around Alexei’s as the desire to punch the living shit out of him courses through me.

Alexei mistakes it for affection, and he squeezes my hand back.

Once we’re in the security room, we all gather by the round table.

Now that I have my memory back, and I remember how I’ve fought against my mother, I really want to be there when she falls.

But I need to find Ana first. I need to know she’s safe.

Demitri brings up the holographic image of St. Monarch’s.

Carson lets out a heavy breath. “Christ Almighty.”

Lucian shakes his head. “Yeah, now’s a good time to start praying.”

Alexei lets go of my hand, and then he begins to move around the table.

With his shoulders squared and his expression merciless, I see the powerful man he’s become in the last four years… now that the rose-tinted glasses have been removed.

God, it was so easy to be swept up in his charm. But this man… the one in front of me right this instant – is the ruthless devil I have tied myself to.

As Alexei begins to share all the information we’ve gathered, my thoughts turn to the sparring session between Alexei and Demitri.

The corner of my mouth lifts at the valuable information I learned that day.

I now know who’s the more significant threat between Demitri and Alexei.

And I’ve learned Demitri’s moves.

My smile grows.

“Isabella?” Alexei suddenly interrupts my thoughts.


My gaze darts to Alexei, where his eyes are narrowed on me, his head slightly tilted.

“Are you okay?” he asks, his gaze sharpening on me.

“Yes, just thinking how I can’t wait to see my mother fall.”

Alexei stares at me for a moment longer before he finally nods.

Fuck he’s perceptive.

I focus on the holographic image as Alexei points to the west side of the castle. “We’ll have to blow this side, and with a little luck, it will give us access to the office they’ll be taking cover in.”

“I’ve been in that office,” Lucian says. “The walls are reinforced.”

“Fuck,” Alexei mutters. He thinks for a moment, then asks, “Are there any vents?”

Lucian nods. “Want to smoke them out?”

Alexei nods. “Which means one of us will have to crawl into the ventilation system.”

“I’m the smallest. I’ll do it,” Winter offers.

Alexei’s eyes touch on her. “Thanks.” He looks at Damien, Carson, and Lucian. “The three of you will breach from the back of the property.”

The men nod their agreement.

“I’ll have Semion and Lev enter from the front,” Alexei continues. Then he looks at me. “You’ll be with Demitri and me.”

I nod. “Okay.”

“We’ll breach from the west.”

“Men?” Lucian asks.

“I’m looking into recruiting mercenaries,” Alexei answers. “It will take a couple of weeks.”

The meeting continues for another hour, and the moment I get to leave the security room, I head up the stairs and straight to the suite.

God, it’s going to be a long night. I’ll have to fight the urge to kill Alexei in his sleep because I need him to destroy my mother.

Grabbing a pair of leggings and a t-shirt from the closet, I hesitate, and then I toss the clothes back.

I’m taking control of tonight.

I step out of the heels and dress, then walk to the bathroom to shower. I take my time, and once I’m done, I walk back into the bedroom. Butt. Fucking. Naked.

Alexei’s just unbuttoned his shirt, and pulling it off, he glances at me. “I have to say, I prefer that look over the dress you were wearing.”

I stop next to the bed. “I want you naked on the bed.”

His eyebrow lifts, and as he begins to undo his belt, he slowly stalks closer to me.

“Is that an order?”

I lift my chin. “Yes.”

He lets out an amused chuckle as he pulls the leather belt through the loops. I watch as he steps out of his pants, and then he places a knee on the mattress before lying down on his back.

“You want control, little princess?” he asks, looking unbelievably hot as he smirks at me.


“Yes,” I answer as I climb onto the bed and crawl over him.

Deceiving asshole.

I straddle his thighs and reaching to the bedside drawer, I take out a condom. The last thing I want is to fall pregnant.

I just want to be the one to fuck him the way he fucked me. I want to make him lose control because of me, so I can regain some of my hurt pride.

I rip the foil packet open and roll the condom onto Alexei’s cock. Meeting his eyes, I begin to stroke him.

The amused smirk is still around his lips, a daring light shining from his eyes.

Slowly, apprehension begins to mix with anticipation, and the tiny hairs on the back of my neck rise. I lean forward, and with our eyes locked, my teeth tug at his bottom lip.

When he moves a hand to my hip, I shake my head. “My rules. No touching.”

His smile grows, and the fucker places his hands behind his head as if he’s planning on taking a nap.

Gripping hold of his cock, I position it at my opening, and then I lower myself, taking him all the way.

Sensually, I swivel my hips. It’s all I do, not stroking his cock, but instead rubbing my clit against his pelvis.

Alexei doesn’t break eye contact as I increase my pace, working myself toward an orgasm.

Smug bastard. Just you wait.

Lifting my hands, I bring them to my breasts, and then I let out a moan. I move faster, the friction quickly making my orgasm built.

Just as I’m about to come apart, Alexei grabs hold of my hips and lifting me off him, he rolls us over, and then he’s hovering over me.

His features are tense, the veins snaking up his arms as he keeps himself braced over me.

“Two can play this game,” he murmurs, making it sound more like a threat.

You fucking started it.

Grabbing hold of my wrists, Alexei pins my arms down on either side of my head, and then he slams back into me, making my body arch and my breath leave me in a rush.

He begins to move like a force, hammering into me while his eyes hold mine captive. His body rolls against mine, his skin setting mine on fire, and I fight the urge to lose myself in the moment.

His power rages against my strength as he takes me hard, making my muscles strain as my body tenses beneath his.

Alexei’s so rough, causing my clit to feel overly sensitive with a weird mixture of pleasure and pain. A cry escapes me, and breaking eye contact, I turn my head and sink my teeth into his forearm.

It’s too intense. Everything in me tightens, and then Alexei rips his arm away from me, and pushing his hand between us, he pinches the shit out of my clit.

Pleasure and pain explode through me, and I can’t stop the whimpers from escaping me. I’m overcome, and they quickly turn to sobs. Not from tears but from how goddamn intense it is.

Suddenly Alexei stops, and then he lowers himself on me. He begins to gently rub my clit, sending involuntary spasms through me.

“Shh…” he whispers, his gentle touch soothing the ache and transforming it into ecstasy. “I’ve got you, baby.” He starts to thrust into me again, this time keeping the pace slow and deep.

Alexei presses a kiss to my throat, and then he licks his way up to my ear. “No one makes you come but me.”

And then his cock hits deep, colliding with a spot that unravels me at the speed of light. The orgasm sweeps through me like a tsunami, robbing me of my ability to breathe.

Alexei brings his hand up, and then he coats my lips with my wetness glistening on his finger before his mouth crashes against mine. His tongue takes my mouth the way his cock is owning my pussy, and I’m carried away in a rush of ecstasy.

Alexei lets out a grunt, and then he jerks against me as he takes his own release.

I lose sense of time until his movements slow down. When he stills deep inside me, he breaks the kiss, and then he captures my gaze.

“You’re mine, Isabella.”

It feels as if he’s silently adding, ‘No matter what.’

With our breaths rushing over our lips, our bodies slick with sweat, and our hearts pounding, our eyes stay locked.

I hope you enjoyed your last fuck, Koslov.



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