Tears Of Salvation: Chapter 9

ALEXEI

With Damien and Carson joining us, the space is a little cramped in the security room.

We’re all watching as people arrive at Sonia’s mansion for the auction.

From the underground chatter, we’ve learned there are four virgins up for sale. There’s no way Isabella will be able to get to all of them before they leave Columbia.

I’ve reached out to one of my contacts from the Ruin – a syndicate in Desolate, New York, to get more information on the virgins for me.

I check my phone, and not seeing a reply from my contact, I impatiently shake my head. I hate waiting for information.

“What are you thinking?” Demitri asks.

“Isabella won’t be able to free all the girls,” I murmur.

Carson shakes his head. “I’m still trying to process the fact that Isabella’s working against Sonia. I seriously never saw that coming.”

“If she’s as good as us, she might be able to free all four,” Damien voices his opinion. “But she’ll have to move fast with absolutely nothing going wrong.”

I glance from our brothers to Demitri, then say, “Unless we help her.”

“We don’t know who she’ll be going after first,” Carson says, shaking his head.

“She hasn’t disabled the tracker on her motorcycle.” My eyes find Demitri’s. “And she’ll probably go for the youngest two.”

“That’s what I’d do,” Damien agrees.

I nod, then say, “We’ll go after the oldest two of the group.”

Just then, the message I’ve been waiting for finally comes through, and I hurry to open it.

Thank fuck. It’s everything we need.

I put the information up on one of the bigger screens, and seeing the faces of the four girls makes anger start to simmer in my chest.

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s people preying on young girls.

Just like my father preyed on my mother.

It’s something I’ve kept from Carson in an attempt to protect him from our sordid past.

Demitri points to one of the girls. “Damien and Carson can follow this girl while you and I will take the other one.”

I glance at the younger two, hoping Isabella will be able to get to them in time. Then, getting up from the chair, I say, “Let’s get ready.”

It only takes us five minutes to gear up, and then we leave the house. We test the earpieces we’re wearing before Carson and Damien head to their SUV.

When I slide behind the steering wheel of our vehicle, I wait for Demitri to shut the door behind him, then say, “Hopefully, we’ll gain some ground with Isabella by helping her.”

He pulls on his safety belt then chuckles, “Yeah, I wouldn’t hold my breath.”

As I steer the SUV onto the road, Carson follows us. We head toward Sonia’s compound and park the SUVs down the street. Then, bringing up the camera’s footage of the grounds and entrance of the mansion on my phone, we wait for the bidders to leave with their purchases.

Demitri has the camera showing the back of the property on his phone. “Isabella just snuck out. Reckless with all the guards.”

I glance at his phone and then look up the street, just in time to see her running away from the compound.

You can do it, little one.

My lips tug up into a smile as another burst of admiration for her fills my chest.

“Get ready,” I say, so Carson and Damien will hear.

I watch the entrance, and a couple of minutes later, people begin to leave the mansion.

“Your girl is in the white Maybach,” I say to Carson. Then, as the Mercedes nears the gate, I murmur, “In three… two… one.”

‘Got it,’ Carson replies as he pulls away and begins to tail the girl they need to save.

“There’s our girl,” I say when she’s led to a G-Wagon. I start the engine, and as the vehicle comes through the gates, I steer our SUV after them.

When we head in the direction of one of the private airfields, Demitri says, “Just as well we’re helping. They’d have the girl out of the country before Isabella could even think of trying to help her.”

“How are you doing, Carson?” I ask, checking in with my brother.

‘Looks like we’re heading into the city,’ he replies. ‘The fucker probably plans on getting his money’s worth from the girl tonight and then leaving her body in Columbia.’

“Be safe,” I mutter.

‘Always.’

When we near the airfield, Demitri says, “Lean forward.” I do as he says, and he pulls my gun from behind my back. I settle back against the seat again while Demitri checks my weapon even though I’ve already done it.

“Ready?” I ask as the G-Wagon comes to a stop near a private jet.

“Yes.”

I floor the gas, and as we speed toward the men climbing out of the G-Wagon, Demitri opens his window. I turn the steering wheel hard to my right while pulling up the hand brake, and it gives Demitri the perfect angle to take down two of the guards.

The moment I bring the SUV to a screeching halt, Demitri hands me my gun, and we get out of the vehicle.

The remaining guard fires shots in our direction, but Demitri drops him with a bullet to the head. The bidder looks torn between shoving the girl toward the private jet and leaving her behind to save his own ass.

“You’d think the fucker would have more protection,” I chuckle as we close in on him.

“Idiot.”

The man places his hands behind his head in a surrendering motion, only making me shake my head before shooting him in the right knee cap. He sinks to a kneeling position with a cry. “That’s better. If you’re going to beg, do it on your knees.” I smile at the man, shaking my head at him again while I wait for Demitri to pull the girl out of the line of fire. Training my barrel on the man, I say, “Picking flowers before they’ve even had a chance to blossom? Tsk.” I pull the trigger, and without any emotion, I watch as the body slumps to the tarmac.

‘We’re moving in on the target,’ Carson suddenly says over the earpiece.

“We already have our girl. You’re losing your touch,” I taunt him.

‘Fuck off,’ my brother grumbles, earning a chuckle from me as I turn toward Demitri and the girl.

I glance over her for any bruises or wounds, and not seeing any, I hide my gun behind my back as I lean down to catch her eyes. “Are you hurt, little one?”

Fearfully she shakes her head.

“What’s your name?”

“Paola,” she whispers with a quivering voice.

“You’re safe, Paola. We’re going to take you to a woman who will help you get home. Okay?”

It doesn’t look like she believes a word I’m saying, but still, she nods.

Demitri gently takes hold of the girl’s arm, then says, “Let’s get out of here.”

When we get to the SUV, Demitri gets into the back with Paola, so she doesn’t try to throw herself from a moving car. It’s only natural that she doesn’t trust us.

I start the engine, and as I steer the SUV away from the private jet and bodies, I pull my phone out and check the tracking device on Isabella’s motorcycle. It shows she’s on a highway heading out of the city.

‘Got our girl,’ Carson’s voice comes over the earpiece.

“Meet you at Isabella’s safe house,” I reply as I drive in the direction of it.

A half an hour later, we come to a stop a safe distance from the house, so we don’t spook Isabella. It takes Carson another fifteen minutes before he pulls up behind us.

Getting out of the SUV, I walk toward the other vehicle. Carson rolls down his window when I reach him, then asks, “Aren’t we dropping off the girls?”

I gesture down the street to where the house is. “Doesn’t look like anyone’s home. Bring your girl to my SUV. Demitri and I will wait for Isabella to get here with the other girls. You and Damien can head back and start preparing for the attack.”

I walk back to the SUV, and when I climb into the driver’s seat, I say, “We’re going to stick around with the girls. We can’t just leave them on the doorstep.”

 “Okay,” Demitri replies, glancing at Paola, who’s still in shock from everything that’s happened.

Carson brings the other girl, and Paola seems to relax a little when she gets to huddle with her friend.

As we wait, my thoughts turn to the impending attack. We’ll strike at the crack of dawn.

 


 

ISABELLA

 

Jorge Dos Santos.

That’s the name of the man I’ve been following back to his house for the last hour. After parking my motorcycle, I pull on my ski mask and then jog toward the side of the villa. Hoisting myself over the wall, I crouch down and quickly move to behind a tree.

Quietly, I pull my binoculars out of my bag, and then I canvas the area, taking in the positions of the guards stationed around the mansion.

Dos Santos has half an army, which means I’ll have to move as quietly as I can. At the first gunshot, all hell will break loose.

Pulling my KA-BAR from its holder, my fingers tighten around the knife, and then I keep low as I creep toward the back of the house that’s less guarded than the front.

Reaching the sidewall, I glance at the pipe and windows that I can use to scale up to the second floor. I bite onto the handle of my knife and grab hold of the pipe running up to the second floor.

I keep my breaths slow and deep, focusing on not making a sound as I pull myself up the pipe. When I reach the second floor, I have to swing my body toward the balcony, almost missing grabbing hold of the ledge. My fingers tighten around the wrought iron of the railing, and I let out a slow breath. When I hear movement inside, I hold still, my arms straining from hanging off the side of the balcony.

I hear a girl sniffling, and then a slap rings from the room. Slowly, I pull myself up until I’m able to climb over the railing. I quickly press my body against the wall then take the knife from my mouth. Cautiously, I lean forward until I have a view of the inside of the room through the glass doors.

Dos Santos is alone in the room with the two girls, and he’s currently unbuttoning his shirt.

Fucker.

My muscles tighten from having to hold back because if I move now, he’ll definitely see me coming. The last thing I need is for him to alert his guards that I’m here.

It feels as if a fist is tightening around my throat, and my breaths grow shallow as I watch Dos Santos undress.

The youngest girl stands rooted to the spot, silent tears falling over her cheeks. The older one stares at the carpet, her face expressionless as if she’s mentally left the room.

I’m here.

Dos Santos slaps the older girl, which only makes the younger one sob. The bastard is mentally playing them up against each other.

When he’s focused on the youngest girl, pretending to console her while groping her chest, I slowly inch forward until I’m able to take hold of the door lever.

Don’t let it be locked.

Little by little, I press down on the lever, and when the door softly clicks open, I say a silent prayer of thanks.

Moving fast, I come up behind Dos Santos, and before he can realize I’m here, I drag the blade of my KA-BAR across his throat. I cover his gaping mouth with my hand to muffle his garbled breaths and plunge the knife into his heart to finish him off. I lower his body to the carpet and then look at the girls. Bringing my finger to my lips, I show for them to not make a noise.

They’re still dressed in the white cloaks my mother had them wear for the auction.

I crouch down in front of the girls, then whisper, “Hold hands and stay behind me. I’m going to get you out of here.”

The older girl’s eyes flick to mine, then she whispers back, “You’re helping me?”

“Both of you. Stay behind me at all times. Okay?”

When she nods, I add, “Take her hand and don’t let go. If anything happens to me, you take her and run as fast as you can.”

The older girl nods again, emotion returning to her face. It makes her eyes shimmer with unshed tears.

“You’re so brave. You can do this. Okay?” I try to offer her some encouragement.

She nods as she takes hold of the younger girl’s hand in a tight grip.

I turn my focus to the youngest, then say, “Don’t make a noise.”

She nods quickly, and then I get up and walk to the door.

I press my ear to the wood, listening for any movement outside the room, then I take a fortifying breath before I yank it open.

Darting into the hallway, there are two guards. I manage to plunge my knife into the one guard’s eye, and then the other one’s fist connects with my left ear. I stumble to the side, then swinging around, I bring my right leg up, slamming the heel of my boot against his temple. The kick sends him sprawling onto the tiles, motionless. Pulling my knife from the dead guy’s eye socket, I walk to the unconscious one and slit his throat open.

I glance at the girls as I rise to my feet and begin to move down the hallway. The older one drags the younger girl behind her as she follows after me.

Reaching the top of the stairs, I become aware of my heart pounding against my ribs as I cautiously lean forward to see what’s on the first floor.

Two guards are stationed at the foot of the stairs.

I inch back behind the wall, and taking off my backpack, I pull a silencer from it and attach it to the front of my Heckler & Koch.

I take five seconds to even my breathing and to calm my racing heart.

Focus, Isabella.

Slowly, I suck in another deep breath of air, and then I move. As soon as I have a clear shot at the guards, I pull the trigger. As the first guard falls, I bury a bullet in the temple of the second one as he begins to turn.

Moving down the stairs, I hear hurried footsteps coming from the left, and as the men appear, I begin to fire shots. I’m aware of the girls behind me as I keep taking one guard after the other down. While I’m reloading the clip of my Heckler & Koch, the front door bursts open, and a bullet clips my right arm before I can take out the man shooting at us.

Too close.

I move toward the open front door, every single one of my senses on high alert. I keep checking behind us, so I’m not caught off guard as we step out of the house.

Holding the Heckler & Koch in my right hand, I pull my Baretta from the side of my left boot, and then I open fire on the remaining guards.

A bullet slams into my left shoulder, and I clench my teeth at the sharp pain while not losing my focus. I keep pushing forward until the last man drops.

Putting my Baretta away, I yell at the girls, “We have to run!” I hurry them toward the main gates as I pull my phone out, calling Ana.

“Are you okay?” she answers, her voice strained with worry.

“I’m bringing them out. Meet me at the front of the house.”

“Okay.”

Ending the call, I rush to the security booth and open the main gates. Seconds later, Ana pulls up, and I herd the girls toward the van. Ana stays behind the steering wheel as I open the side door, and then I shove the girls inside.

I spare a second to say, “You’re safe now.” Slamming the door shut, I pound a fist against the metal so Ana will leave, and then I run toward my motorcycle.

Following behind the van, I escort Ana and the girls back to the safe house so I can protect them should there be a hit while we’re on the road. Luckily nothing happens, but I only feel a sliver of relief when we pull up the driveway.

My thoughts turn to the other two girls I couldn’t save as I become aware of the pulsing pain in my shoulder.

As I climb off my motorcycle and remove my helmet, movement from the street grabs my attention. I drop the helmet and have my gun drawn and ready within the next second.

My breath shudders from me when I see the two older girls running toward me.

Oh. My. God.

My eyes instantly begin to burn as intense relief washes through me. I’m only overwhelmed for a moment before I dart forward to make sure there’s no one behind the girls that’s a threat.

When the street is clear, I turn back to the girls, then ask, “How did you get here?”

“Men brought us. They said you’d help us get home.”

Nodding, I gesture toward the house, still holding my gun ready in my right hand. “Let’s get you inside where it’s safe.”

I glance up and down the empty street again and then back to the girls.

I can’t believe it.

Thank God.

There are only two men I can think of. Alexei and Demitri.

Alexei Koslov helped me?

Why?

Probably so I’d owe him a favor and help him take down my mother.

Then it really sinks in – all the girls are safe with Ana and me, and it doesn’t matter what I owe Alexei.

Emotion bubbles in my chest, and I bite back the thankful tears knowing all four girls have been saved from a horrendous life as sex slaves.

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