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Tears Of Salvation: Chapter 8


I’m still fucking grinning by the time we get to the house we’re staying at.

I definitely got more than I bargained for when it comes to Isabella Terrero. Christ, the woman is one of a kind.

A fucking masterpiece.

The way she stood her ground in front of me was one hell of a turn-on. Usually, people cower in fear before me, but not Isabella. There wasn’t an ounce of fear between us.

Isabella Terrero is a goddess if ever I saw one.

“She smirked at you,” I taunt Demitri, and then I let out a burst of laughter at the memory. “You’re no match for me, Vetrov,” I mimic what Isabella said to him, only to crack up laughing again.

“You really enjoyed that moment, didn’t you?” Demitri asks, shooting a glare my way as we walk into the house.

“More than you’ll ever know.” When we get to the security room, I drop down in one of the chairs, then grin at Demitri.

He shakes his head at me, the corner of his mouth lifting. “You’re that impressed by her?”

My grin grows into a smile. “You have to admit, Isabella Terrero is… fucking exhilarating.”

Demitri’s expression grows serious, and then he stares at me.

Knowing what he’s thinking, I say, “I just admire the woman.”

He raises an eyebrow at me.

Giving him a look of warning, I add, “You know I don’t do love and relationships. Let’s get back to work.”

I check the tracker on Isabella’s motorcycle and notice she’s at the safe house on the outskirts of town.

I wonder if she’s going to remove the device so I can’t track her motorcycle anymore?

Then Demitri mutters, “But it’s okay when you play matchmaker to everyone?”

“I don’t play matchmaker.” Letting out a sigh, I glance at my friend. “I just nudge people in the right direction.”

“Okay.” Demitri gives me a cocky grin. “Let me nudge you in the right direction then. What about a marriage alliance between you and Isabella?”

Laughter bursts from me. “You saw the same woman as me tonight, right? She’d probably castrate me the moment I mention a wedding between us.”

My comment makes Demitri chuckle. “I’d actually like to see her try.”

“So much for keeping me alive,” I chastise him.

Demitri shrugs. “No one said anything about protecting your manhood. You’re on your own when it comes to your cock.”

“Fucker,” I grumble playfully as we get back to work.

We check the screens, and seeing there’s no activity that’s worth our attention, Demitri asks, “What do you want to do now?”

I think for a moment, then reply, “There’s no use in waiting much longer. I think we should attack after the auction. Security will be high until then.”

“I’ll handle Damien while you take care of Carson,” Demitri says as he pulls his phone from his pocket to call his brother.

Taking my own phone out, I bring up my little brother’s number and press dial.

“Hi,” Carson answers a couple of seconds later. He’s one of the best assassins in the world, living in Switzerland with his girlfriend, Hailey. It’s been almost a year since I’ve seen him when he helped me secure the position as head of the bratva.

“How are things there?” I ask.

“Good. Quiet,” he replies. “What’s up?”

“I need you in Columbia. I know you hate the heat, but I’m taking down Sonia and can’t do it without you.”

“Fuck, you had to choose the middle of summer to attack?” he grumbles. “When do I need to be there?”

“As soon as possible,” I chuckle.

“Send me the details of the airfield.”

“Will do.”

Carson takes a deep breath. “So you’re really going after Terrero? Why?”

“She moved into my territory,” I explain.

“Fair enough. I’ll be there tomorrow night.”

We end the call then I glance at Demitri. He tucks his phone back in his pocket as he says, “Damien will be here tomorrow night.”

“Send them both the airfield’s details.”

Demitri nods then he turns his attention to the screens. “Oh, by the way, there’s no map of what’s under Terrero’s compound.”

“If I were her, I’d have a fuck-ton of tunnels. There’s no way she doesn’t have another escape route.”

Demitri points to the screen showing the mansion. “She has the helicopter, but that thing hasn’t moved since we got here.”

“There’s something under that house. I’d bet my life on it,” I murmur as I look over every inch of the property.

It’s a pity Isabella declined to work with us.





Ana and I have been sitting in silence for the last hour. I keep replaying the failed operation over and over in my mind.

Letting out a sigh, I shake my head for the hundredth time.

“There were too many men,” Ana whispers. She’s just as disappointed as me that we couldn’t free the girls.

“It makes everything a million times harder,” I mutter before letting out another sigh.

We’re avoiding talking about the next step because it’s exactly what happened to Ana. I have to wait until after the auction, and there’s no way I’ll be able to get to all the girls before they disappear, which means I’ll have to choose who to save and who to leave.

My eyes drift shut at the thought.

How do I choose?

For the first time ever, Ana places her hand on mine. My eyes snap open, and I stare at where she’s touching me before slowly lifting my gaze to hers. She tilts her head, the pain that’s ingrained into every fiber of her being, clear on her features. “We help who we can.”

Shaking my head, I ask, “What about the ones we don’t rescue?”

Tears well in Ana’s eyes, then she repeats, “We help who we can, Isabella.”

This is the first time we’ve failed so badly, and it’s weighing heavy on us. The ones we can’t rescue will be subjected to rape and torture until they’re killed.

Lifting my other hand, I rest my forehead in my palm and close my eyes again.

What am I going to do?

Ana pulls her hand away from mine, then says, “We can’t avoid it.”

Nodding, I lift my head, and then I swallow hard and meet Ana’s eyes. “We’ll wait until after the auction.”

“Save the youngest first,” she says, and I grab onto the out she’s giving me of making the decision.

“Okay.” My tongue darts out, wetting my lips. “I’m going to need you close by. As I free the girls, you need to pick them up so I can go after the next one.”

Ana nods. “I’ll be there every step of the way.”

I stare at my friend for a moment then ask, “We can do this, right?”

The corner of her mouth lifts slightly. I’ve never seen her smile. I’ve never seen Ana happy.

“You can do this, Isabella,” she offers me the encouragement I need.

Feeling emotional from the failure, I lower my gaze from Ana’s, then I whisper the words I’ve never said out loud to her, “I’m sorry I didn’t get to you in time.”

Ana quickly shakes her head, and then she gets up from the chair and hurries toward the stairs. I stare after her, wondering if I’m even making a difference in this depraved world.



Just like with all the other auctions, I’m wearing a red dress. It’s my silent way of protesting the blood that will be spilled and the innocence that will be stolen.

My mind keeps racing, trying to come up with a way I can free all the girls tonight. But there’s no way, and it makes me feel frustrated and worried, which are emotions I’m not used to.

Coming down the stairs, I hear Hugo talking to my mother. “It was definitely a woman who’s been attacking us, but there’s more. Look.”

Walking into the living room, I see as he turns his phone so my mother can see the screen, and then her eyes widen as she hisses, “Alexei Koslov.”

I sit down on one of the plush couches, faking boredom while my attention is one hundred percent focused on Hugo and my mother.

Hugo grins at my mother. “The woman could be Winter. She’s trained.”


Winter Vetrov is the Blood Princess and married to Demitri’s younger brother, Damien. The last thing I want is for my mother to go after Winter.

If there’s a woman I respect, it’s Winter. It’s because of her that I’m fighting back against my mother. When I saw Winter training at St. Monarch’s and how she faced off against her enemies, it made me want to do the same.

Then again, Winter has all the Vetrovs and Koslovs behind her. My mother won’t stand a chance against those two families.

The thought has me relaxing, and pulling out my phone, I pretend to check my social media accounts.

“It would make sense,” Mother says, anger lacing her words. “Which means Alexei’s declared war.”

“Probably because we’re moving into his territory,” Hugo reminds her.

Which was a stupid move, if you ask me.

“Let’s focus on the auction, and then we’ll form a plan of retaliation,” Mother says, too confident. Yes, she’s powerful, but taking on the Vetrovs and Koslovs is just reckless.

“Do I have to attend?” I mutter, injecting a world of boredom into my voice.

She waves her hand toward the elevator, impatience tightening her features. “Don’t start, Isabella.”

Letting out a huff, I get up and follow my mother into the elevator while Hugo stays behind to welcome the guests.

Fifteen minutes later, I watch as the guests start to fill the chamber, and it feels as if a tight fist is gripping my heart.

Youngest first, Isabella.

I keep reminding myself of what Ana said, trying to detach myself from the moment. It doesn’t help because as the bidding starts and the first girl is led onto the stage, I feel my heart crack.

Once again, regret bubbles up in me from failing to free the girls at the harbor.

I’m so sorry.

I stare at the pale face framed by black curls. The girl stumbles to the side as she’s forcefully turned for the bidders to see all of her naked body.

I swallow the bitter taste down that the sight leaves in my mouth, and lifting my chin, I take a deep breath.

Keep your shit together. You’re of no use to these girls if you’re dead.

Time crawls by, and as each girl is put on display and sold, the weight on my shoulders increases until it feels like the world is bearing down on me.

The last girl is brought onto the stage, and seeing how young she is, makes my fists tighten by my sides.

God, single digits?

My eyes dart to my mother. She has a pleased smile on her face as she watches the bidders go crazy, and the amount rockets through the thousands and well into the millions.

Looking back at the little girl, I think about the offer Alexei made. It will get rid of my mother, stopping the terror she’s spreading instead of me trying to save one girl at a time.

Shoving the idea to the back of my mind, I focus on the girl.

‘I’ll save you first.’

I turn my gaze to the bidders, and when the girl is sold for three million, my eyes settle hard on the man who just bought her. He also purchased another girl, and clearly, he likes them way too freaking young.

If I go after him, I’ll be able to save two girls at once.


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