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Tears Of Salvation: Chapter 3


Two months later…

We’ve set up cameras near Terrero’s mansion and places she tends to use to bring in new shipments of slaves.

The first two months, I watched her from LA, gathering as much information as possible on her. We arrived in Columbia yesterday, and keeping a low profile, Demitri arranged a place for us to stay with one of our contacts. It’s a simple-looking house, squashed into an overcrowded area, that won’t attract any attention.

My gaze flits over all the screens, and not seeing anything of value, boredom begins to weigh down on me.

This is the part I hate most. Waiting for the right moment to strike.

I’m tempted to call my brother and every other favor owed to me so I can just get the attack over with. But acting out of boredom would be stupid.

“It’s been two months,” Demitri mutters. “Either Sonia never leaves the compound, or she’s coming and going without us noticing.”

“Wouldn’t be surprised if she crawled through tunnels like the rat she is. See if you can get a map of what’s beneath the property.”

Taking my phone out of my pocket, I begin to check my bank accounts. Call me materialistic, but seeing what I’ve worked my ass off for calms me.

“Is that…?” Demitri murmurs as he leans closer to the screen showing the front of the mansion. “Is that the daughter?”

My eyes lift to the screen, and I watch as Isabella Terrero comes out of the mansion. She looks like any other socialite as she walks to the Audi parked by the foot of the steps.

Resting my elbow on the armrest of my chair, I rub my thumb over my bottom lip. “Yeah. That’s the princess.”

“We could take her to lure Sonia out,” Demitri mentions.

I shake my head. “Sonia won’t do shit to get her daughter back. We’d stand a better chance of getting her attention by taking a shipment.”

Demitri lifts an eyebrow at me. “Why don’t we do that?”

“Because it will only get her attention. There’s no guarantee it will draw her out of that fucking fortress.”

“True.” Demitri relaxes back in his chair.

My gaze goes back to the screen showing Isabella steering the Audi away from the mansion. An SUV follows behind her. Probably her guards.

With nothing else of interest happening on the screens, I spend the rest of the day making business arrangements with Semion Aulov and Lev Petrov. They’re part of the bratva and stationed in Russia, so I allow them to handle things on that side of the world.

After having an early dinner, I catch up on some sleep before relieving Demitri so he can rest. It’s just past midnight, and I’m staring at the screens showing all angles of the compound when a black figure scales one of the side walls.

The person is small enough to be a woman.

Fuck, please let it be Sonia.

I’m up from my chair in a second, and grabbing my backpack that holds my rifle, I leave the house. I send Demitri a message letting him know I’m out scouting, and I activate the tracker in the tag hanging from the chain around my neck. That way, Demitri will be able to find me if something goes wrong.

A moment later, Demitri responds.

Demitri: I’m going to fucking kick your ass.

Alexei: I activated the tracker. I’m just scouting.

Demitri: Don’t do anything else without me there to back you.

Alexei: And people wonder why I don’t do relationships. You’re clingy enough for me.

Demitri: Fucker.

Demitri: Be safe.

Alexei: Always. I’ll be an hour at most.

Bringing the camera feed up on my phone, I steer the unmarked SUV I’m using while in Columbia in the direction of my target.

I reach a safe spot to follow the person from, and taking a pair of binoculars from my backpack, I get a closer look at the target. When the figure stops and glances behind them in the direction of where I’m parked in the shadows, a frown forms on my forehead.

A street light sheds some light on her features, and I feel a flicker of disappointment that it’s not Sonia but Isabella. She’s dressed in workout gear. As if she’s out jogging.

Which isn’t fucking weird at all, seeing as it’s past midnight.

The frown remains on my face, and out of curiosity and boredom, I watch as she crosses a street.

There’s something familiar about her movements, but before I can try to figure out what it is, Isabella walks to a shed that’s on the side of a vacated house. The property is worse for wear and wouldn’t attract any attention. 


She’s in there for a while, and my eyebrow lifts when she pushes a motorcycle out of the shed. She’s changed out of her workout clothes into black leather pants, a jacket, and boots. She’s also grabbed a backpack that’s snug on her back as she climbs onto the machinery that’s nothing short of a masterpiece.

She’s got taste. I’ll give her that.

When she steers the motorcycle onto the street, I pull the unmarked SUV away from the curb and follow at a safe distance.

I don’t know much about Isabella Terrero. Only that she trained at St. Monarch’s and that she’s the same as any other socialite. Up until now, she’s done nothing to make me think she’ll even take over from Sonia. So my focus has been on the mother instead of the daughter.

Okay, little princess, you’ve got my attention. What are you up to?





Reaching the shed, I check in with my partner, Ana, before changing into my usual outfit I wear when freeing slaves. Throwing my leg over my motorcycle, I head in the direction of the junkyard where a shipment of four girls is being held.

Ana was the first girl I helped when I returned from my training in Switzerland. She had nowhere to go and was angry over what happened. At first, I used her anger to my advantage, but during the past two years, we’ve grown close. We have the same goal – to destroy my mother.

We set up a safe house on the outskirts of the city where Ana works from. Whenever I free a shipment of girls, I tell them to wait in front of a specific hospital if they need help. Ana watches them before she makes contact.

The longest a girl or boy has stayed with Ana has been a month. We try to move them quickly to lessen the chances of my mother finding out about us.

I park my motorcycle down the road from the junkyard and glance around to make sure I haven’t been spotted. Sticking to the shadows, I begin to jog toward the side of the junkyard.

This will be an easy job because there are many places to hide with all the junk and scrapped vehicles.

Reaching a wall made of metal sheeting, I quickly hoist myself over it and drop to a crouching position behind a stack of crushed steel that used to be cars.

I listen for any movement as I pull a ski mask over my head so I won’t be recognized. Cautiously, I make my way to the main gates, and pulling a bolt cutter from my backpack, I cut through the chain, so the girls will be able to leave the property once they’re free.

After securing an exit for them, I sneak to the office. I pull my Glock from behind my back and check how many men there are. As expected, I only have two to worry about.

One’s asleep on an old chair, his feet propped up on a desk that’s littered with takeaway containers and empty beer bottles. The other guy’s watching a rerun of a football game.

The lack of guards tells me the girls I’ll set free tonight are meant to work in the whorehouses. They’re not of much value to my mother.

There would be a small army guarding a virgin.

Checking the area, I move to the side of the office, and pressing my back against the wall, I carefully glance through the window.

The tiny hairs on the back of my neck rise, and I peer into the darkness around me for the source of my uneasiness. Not seeing anyone, I dismiss the eerie sensation. It’s probably because it’s been two months since I’ve freed a shipment.

Ducking low, I creep toward the door. As I straighten up, I take a deep breath, and then I kick the door open. Training the barrel of my gun on the guy that’s awake, I bury a bullet between his eyes. The other guy startles awake just as I pull the trigger, silencing him before he can make a sound.

I hurry inside and pat both bodies down for the key to the storage room where the girls are. Finding a set of keys, I rush out of the office and run toward the door that’s secured with a padlock. Taking a flashlight from my backpack so I can see the lock clearly, it takes me precious seconds to find the right key, and then I yank the door open.

I shine the flashlight over the empty space and find the girls huddled in a corner. The room reeks of urine, but I ignore it as I move closer. Two stare at me with terrified eyes while the other two startle awake.

“I’m here to help,” I offer them some reassurance. “Are any of you hurt?”

One of the girls shakes her head as she cautiously climbs to her feet, and then the other three do the same. Assuming she’s taken the role of leader in the group, I focus on her. I take a slip of paper with the hospital’s address from my pocket and hold it out to the leader. “You have to run. If one of you needs help, go to this hospital and wait out front where there are people. Only wait twelve hours. If a woman doesn’t come for you by that time, you’re on your own.”

“How will we know the woman was sent by you?” the leader asks.

“She’ll give you a password. Nightbird.”

The leader nervously licks her lips, and then she glances at the door.

“I’ve unlocked the main gate. Just run straight ahead and get out of here.” They all blink at me. “Run,” I hiss, injecting a bite into my voice.

The leader of the girls grabs the paper from me and then hurries out of the room with the other girls following behind her.

Hopefully, they can manage on their own because this is the best I can do for them.

Rushing out of the storage room, I head to the side of the yard, and tucking my gun behind my back, I climb over the wall. As soon as my feet hit the ground, I break out into a sprint toward my motorcycle. Just as I reach it and I’m about the pull on my helmet, a familiar scent grabs my attention.

Woodsy. Smoky and sultry.


Now’s not the freaking time to think of the hook-up I had in LA!

I pull the helmet over my head, and climbing onto my motorcycle, I let the engine roar to life. Racing away from the junkyard, the corner of my mouth lifts when the rush of a successful operation finally hits. 

Once I’m done hiding my motorcycle and weapons in the shed on the property I purchased under Ana’s name, I quickly change back into my leggings and t-shirt I usually wear for jogging before heading back to the mansion.

It’s already two am. Knowing where every guard will be, I climb over the back wall and creep toward the side of the house, where I scale the wall to the balcony of my bedroom.

Only when I’m safely inside my bedroom suite do I take a deep breath of relief.

I hope the girls will be safe.

Walking to my bathroom to take a quick shower, my thoughts turn to the one-night stand I had in LA.

What I wouldn’t give to hook up with my devil again.


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