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Tears Of Salvation: Chapter 27


When I overhead Alexei talking to Ana, it sealed the deal for me. He didn’t have to do that, but still, he tried to set her at ease.

“So?” Ana asks. “How do you feel?”

“About Alexei?” I ask as I take a seat next to her on the bed.

“Yes. He looks like he really meant what he said.”

“Yeah,” I murmur, still trying to come to terms with the fact that he really loves me.

“He said he’s going to marry you.” Ana’s gaze searches mine.

“I agreed to an alliance with him. The only way out is death.” Ana frowns, obviously not liking the sound of that, and it has me saying, “Besides the alliance, I do love him, or at least the part of him I got to know.” I let out a sigh. “It’s weird. It’s as if the Alexei I’ve heard horror stories of in my past and this Alexei are two different men. I have to get used to both sides of him.”

Ana thinks for a moment, then she says, “He seems nice.”

I let out a chuckle. “Nice is not the word I’d use to describe Alexei.”

“Well, he was nice to me.”

I raise an eyebrow at Ana. “Are you boasting right now?”

She shrugs, and then there’s a knock at the door. “You sure about letting him eat with us?” I ask as I slip off the bed.

“Are you going to marry him?” Ana asks.

I stare at her for a moment. “Yes.”

“Then I have to get used to him as well.”

“Thank you. I know it’s not easy,” I say as I walk to the door. Opening it, Alexei walks in with one plate of food, and then Ariana appears in the doorway with two more plates.

She gives me an apologetic smile. “Hey, I come bearing a peace offering.”

I return her smile, knowing people don’t have a choice but to go along with things once Alexei’s decided to do something. “It’s okay.”

I watch as Ariana steps into the room, and then she smiles at Ana, who’s standing near the bed. “Hi, Ana. I’m Ariana, Demitri’s better half.”

Alexei lets out a chuckle.

“Hi.” Ana returns the greeting, her features tense.

Alexei holds the plate of food out to her, and she takes it while keeping her eye on Ariana instead of Alexei.

Ariana hands the other plates to Alexei. “Let me go feed my man. Enjoy dinner.”

Once she’s out of the room, I shut the door, and when I turn around, Alexei’s taking a seat on the floor, leaning back against the bed.

“Wow, now this is a sight to behold,” I tease him as I sit down beside him.

He hands me a plate. “Just want to keep things casual.”

Ana sits to my right, and crossing her legs, she looks down at the roast chicken and vegetables, silently saying a prayer of thanks.

Only when she looks up again does Alexei pick up his fork.

We eat in silence for a while before Alexei asks, “How old are you, little Ana?”


He nods as he shoves the broccoli on his plate aside before spearing a carrot.

Bringing my food closer to his, I scoop the broccoli onto my plate and give him the rest of my carrots, and then I lean back again and continue to eat.

Ana lets out a chuckle, and my eyes snap to her, but she’s staring at Alexei. When I turn my gaze to him, he’s staring at me.

“What?” I ask.

“That was such a couply thing to do.”


“Oh, you’re admitting we’re a couple?” he asks, a playful grin forming on his face.

“We’re engaged,” I state the obvious.

Alexei nods, his grin growing. “Good to know you’re aware of that fact.”

I hold up my left hand. “Never took off the ring. Oh, and by the way, your wedding band better have a tracker in it.”

“I already have a tracker,” Alexei says, using the back of his fork to point at the tag hanging from a chain around his neck. Then he gives Ana a pointed look. “I’ll ask Demitri to have one made for our Ana.”

Our Ana.

Warmth spreads through my heart that Alexei is making such a huge effort with her.

“Do you track everyone?” I ask.

“Only those I call family.”

My food is forgotten on my lap as I stare at Alexei. “You already consider me family?”

He meets my eyes. “From the moment I put that ring on your finger.”

A feeling I’ve never felt before creeps into my heart. Having someone stronger than me care enough to call me family makes me feel protected in a way I’ve never been.

I’ve always had to be the strong one, watching my back, skirting around the depraved. I always had to fight for myself.

But now that I have Alexei, it feels like I can take a moment to be a woman and not just a fighter.

Nodding, I swallow hard and then focus on the food.

Alexei nudges his shoulder against mine. “Did I say something wrong?”

I shake my head. “Just nice to know there’s someone stronger than me I can lean on.”

Alexei leans over and presses a kiss to my temple.

Yeah, so much for being the Princess of Terror. Give me a man to love, and I’m the same as any other woman.

Then again, I’d kill for mine.






It’s already past one in the morning, and I’m still fucking hoping Isabella will come to me.

Turning away from the window, I walk to the bed, and just as I toss the covers back, the door opens, and Isabella comes in.

“You’re still up?” she asks.

“Someone kept me waiting,” I say, just happy she came.

“I waited for Ana to fall asleep,” Isabella explains as she walks to the middle of the room. Glancing into the walk-in closet, she says, “You didn’t move any of my things.”

“Of course not.”

Isabella turns to face me, and then she smiles. “Always so sure of yourself.”

“Thank you,” the words spill from me. “Thank you for coming back.”

Her eyes lock with mine. “Did I make the right decision?”

I nod as I begin to slowly walk toward her. “You did.” When I reach her, I lift a hand and brush a lock of hair away from her temple. “When did your memory come back?”

“Right before the party when Lucian’s helicopter landed on the grounds.”

I thought so. I take a deep breath and let it out slowly. “What did you want to prove that night?”

A slight frown forms on her forehead. “When we had sex?” I nod, and it has her answering, “I wanted control.”

“Hmm…” I step closer and press a kiss on her forehead. “I’m a bit of a control freak.”

“I’ve noticed,” she murmurs on a light chuckle. Her gaze dances over my face. “Sonia Terrero is my mother. How can you look past that?”

“I never judge a child for the sins of their father, or in your case, mother.”

I bring a hand to her face and brush my knuckles over her cheek and down her neck, relishing in the feel of her silky skin.

“Why didn’t you follow in Sonia’s footsteps?” I ask, wanting to know why Isabella turned on her mother.

“Seeing the depraved horror…” she shakes her head, the ghosts of her past shadowing her eyes, “someone had to try and put a stop to it.”

Another reason I want Sonia dead. She’s repeatedly tried to kill the woman I love, and Christ only knows what Isabella has seen growing up in the cartel.

My goddess with a will of steel that’s been forged in the bowels of hell.

My eyes caress her face. “So fucking brave.”

“Is this really who you are?” Isabella asks.

I nod. “Unless I lose my temper.”

“Does that happen often?”

The corner of my mouth lifts. “No.”

Isabella places her hands on my sides, and then she looks up at me. “What are triggers for you so I know to avoid them?”

“I only have two triggers,” I admit. “If someone goes after one of my loved ones and people preying on the innocent.”

Isabella nods. “We’re the same.”

I lean down. “That’s why we belong together.” Pressing my mouth to Isabella’s, my tongue sweeps into her heat. I wrap an arm around her waist and pull her tightly against me as I deepen the kiss.

I take my time reclaiming her mouth until her lips are swollen, and pulling back, our breaths mingle as our eyes lock.

“After the attack, we’ll marry.”

Isabella lifts her arms, wrapping them around my neck. “Okay.” She presses a kiss to my throat and then to my jaw. “I want to feel you deep inside me.”

I lift her against my body and carry her to the bed. Shoving her back onto the mattress, I say, “What my woman wants, my woman gets.”

She lets out a sinful chuckle. “Hmm… I love the sound of that.”

Taking hold of her waistband, I begin to undress her before stepping out of my sweatpants.

I spread Isabella’s legs wide open, and crawling over her, I lower my head and suck one of her nipples hard. I take hold of my cock and begin to rub it against her clit, coating myself with her wetness.

As I position myself at her entrance, I lift my head and meet her eyes. “I just want to feel you bare, and then I’ll put on protection.”

Isabella nods, and as I push inside her, I wrap my arms around her and hold her body to mine. I still once I’m all the way in and drink in the moment of having absolutely nothing between us.

Christ. She’s mine.

When I start to pull out, Isabella’s hands grip my ass, and then she shakes her head. “I don’t want anything between us.”

“You might get pregnant,” I state the obvious.

“You have a problem with me bearing your children?” she sasses me.

I quickly shake my head, and the image of Isabella pregnant with my child almost makes me lose control. “Hell fucking no.”

“Then fuck me, Alexei.”

My mouth slams down on hers, and I begin to move, my pace instantly unrelenting and hard. Isabella’s hands roam up my back, her nails leaving trails, before moving down to my ass. Her fingers dig into my skin as she opens her legs wider, giving me complete access to her body.

Knowing she’s submitting to me sends me into a frenzy, and I brand her mouth while pounding harder into her.

She whimpers into my mouth, and it has me framing her face, my body pressing hers into the bed. Her nails dig deeper as she whimpers again, and it only makes me increase my pace until sweat beads on the back of my neck.

I feel her clench tightly around my cock, and only then do I push a hand down between us, rubbing her sensitive clit.

Isabella cries into my mouth, and I swallow the sound as I force her to the edge. When I’m sure she can’t take anymore, my touch turns tender, and a moment later, her body begins to convulse. She starts to sob against my lips from the intense orgasm tearing through her.

Pulling my hand from between us,  I slow my pace, and locking eyes with Isabella, I fill her deep.

“I love you,” I breathe as I lose myself in every thrust. “So fucking much.” My body keeps moving while my mind’s consumed by this woman who cast a spell on me.

Isabella moves her hands up to my back, and then she holds me tightly, as devotion shines from her eyes.

“I love you, Alexei.”

The words I’ve been dying to hear wash through me, and then my orgasm hits, taking me higher than I’ve ever been.

Isabella’s eyes are glued to mine while I’m at my most vulnerable, and when the pleasure fades, I still inside her.

“Say it again,” I demand.

Isabella knows what I want because, without hesitating, she murmurs, “I love you.”

Since my mother died, I’ve never heard those words from a woman. Emotion fills my chest and pulling out of Isabella, I move a little down and rest my head on her breasts.

Her hands find my hair, and she trails her fingers through the strands, then she asks, “What are you thinking?”

I take a deep breath. “I want to share something with you.”


I move off Isabella, and we turn on our sides, facing each other. I take hold of her hand and press it over my heart.

“I’ve only told Demitri.”

She nods at me. “I’ll take it to my grave.”

Swallowing, I stare into her eyes as I admit my darkest secret, “My mother was a sex slave.”

Isabella’s eyes widen, and her lips part.

“When she tried to run, my father shot her. I was the last thing she saw.”

Isabella brings her other hand to my jaw, her eyes reflecting the pain that’s ingrained in my soul.

“That’s one of the reasons why I have to kill Sonia.”

She nods. “I understand.”

Turning my face, I press a kiss to her palm.

“Is that why you asked me whether I felt violated?” Isabella asks.

I nod as I turn onto my back, pulling Isabella against my side. “Are you still angry because I lied to you?”

When she takes too long to answer, I glance down at her. She turns her head, resting her chin on my chest. “I was hurt, but we talked about it.”

“You sure? Because you looked pretty pissed off when you punched the shit out of me before leaving.”

She lets out a chuckle. “You let me have that punch.” Then she tilts her head. “It’s not a known fact that you can fight. Why do you hide it?”

“It’s so my enemies will underestimate me. It’s always a good thing to catch your enemy off guard.”

I nod. “You’re such an enigma,” she says as she lays her cheek on my chest. “Every day, I learn something new.”

“I like keeping things interesting,” I chuckle.


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