Possessive Boss (Bratva Brothers 3) - Page 33



"We need to talk." Nikita storms into the bedroom without knocking on the door.

Zion glances at Nikita before returning his attention to the cartoons on the screen.

"I'll be right back," I say, dropping a kiss on Zion's forehead. I climb off the mattress and step out of the bedroom, closing the door behind myself. "What is it?"

Nikita can't seem to hold still as he stands in the hallway. He's restless and anxious. Why?

"You need to marry me."

Has he lost his mind? "Excuse me?" I choke on my words, my mouth parched at his remark. He can't be serious. "Why the hell would I marry you?"

"I'm trying to protect you. If we're family, the mafia won't lay a finger on you or Zion."

I don't believe him. This must be some sort of trick. What game is he playing, suggesting that we wed? "Can't you threaten them? Tell them to leave us alone?"

"I've already done that," Nikita says and clears his throat. "This is the only option."

"I'm not marrying you," I say, refusing his offer, if it can even be classified as such. I grab the door handle to the bedroom.

"Lucy, wait—" Nikita says.

I glance at him over my shoulder and spin around to see that he's unboxed the lid of a diamond engagement band. "You bought a ring?" my voice squeaks. Adrenaline pumps through me as I try to catch my breath. "This is insane."

"I like you, Malish. It's a healthy start to a marriage."

"No, it's not! Marrying someone for love is normal. Not protection."

Hannah strides down the hallway, and her mouth drops, catching sight of the ring. "Seriously? Are you proposing to her? Luka!" she shouts and storms down the stairs. "How the hell is Nikita getting engaged before us?"

Nikita chuckles at Hannah's outburst.

I don't see its humor, but Nikita leans forward, his lips brushing against my ear. "You interrupted Luka's proposal the evening that you tried to rob the place."

"Oh." I glance past Nikita as Hannah hurries down the stairs. "I'm not marrying him!" I retort as if that will fix the drama between Hannah and Luka. Nikita isn't asking for my hand because he loves me or wants to spend his life with me. It's out of some heroic duty, which I find hard to believe, considering he's bratva.

"Yeah, but at least he asked." Hannah can't seem to let it go.

Luka's in for a world of hurt.

"Come on; let's talk," Nikita says and takes my hand. He tugs for me to follow him down the hallway.

I glance back at the bedroom with Zion inside.

"He'll be fine."

Nikita's words aren't as reassuring as I'd hope, but Zion is preoccupied and isn't likely to wander the halls unless he needs something.

"Okay, but only for a few minutes," I insist and follow Nikita up another set of stairs to his room. "What are we doing up here?" I do my best not to ogle the size of his bedroom. It's at least twice the size of mine. I stalk toward the window, staring down at the view of the garden. It's quite beautiful, not that I'd admit that to him.

"I'm concerned about Zion and you," Nikita says. His brow is furrowed, and his bottom lip pouts as he speaks. "The mafia won't stop. Aleksandra made it clear that you work for them unless you're one of us."

I don't want to be bratva. I also don't desire to be owned or to work for the mafia. "Then I'll leave. I'll go on the run with Zion."

"And they will hunt you down," he says. "It's no longer just about the painting or the contents it was hiding."

He doesn't tell me what was inside the painting, but I know it was valuable. I had orders to dismantle the painting and bring the interior contents directly to Antonio. I wasn't supposed to get caught.

"I don't have what they want. Why aren't they after you or Mikhail?" I ask. If he runs the bratva, shouldn't they go after him? Why me?

"There was a truce between the bratva and mafia. You have to pick a side, Lucy. It's them or us."

"And if I don't choose?"

"You come to work for me, as we discussed at the club. I'll do what I can to protect you."

"I have a job, and it pays," I say. While the pay isn't a lot, it's enough to keep a roof over my head and food on the table. Nikita had warned me that I'd be working under him to repay my debt for what I did that day, stealing his key and breaking onto the property.

"And the mafia knows where you work. The minute you step foot in that coffee shop, you're as good as dead. Do you want to leave your son without a mother?"

My breath catches in my throat. His words are like a dagger that pierces my heart. At least, my sister would look after Zion and raise him as her own. But that's not her responsibility, and who is to say the mafia will stop with my death?

"I'll stay here, where Zion is safe, but I'm not marrying you." If he thinks he can claim my heart, he's dead wrong.

Nikita doesn't seem surprised by my reaction. He snaps the lid of the box holding the engagement ring shut. "Shouldn't say I'm surprised, but I was hoping that you'd come to your senses and realize marriage is nothing more than a binding contract. I'll do what I can to protect you, Malish, but the mafia isn't going to give up."

"I hope you're wrong," I say. "I don't have the painting or the contents that they want. I'm not even one hundred percent certain what I was supposed to find inside the painting."

"I won't make you marry me, but you must swear your allegiance to the bratva if you're living under this roof. Mikhail will have you and your son executed if you betray him."


"I'm loyal to you. I wouldn't dream of betraying anyone," I say. I don't want anything to do with the mafia or the bratva. Staying here, is a means to an end. Nikita is willing to offer protection, and I will do anything to keep Zion safe.

Even if it means marrying Nikita, but I'm not ready to admit that to him.

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Tags: Willow Fox Bratva Brothers Crime
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