Breathless (Merciless 3) - Page 51

“Tonight, her family legacy starts to fall, and she will never forgive me, let alone rule alongside me.” Jase’s smile completely vanishes, and he glances at his feet before looking me back in the eyes, ready to say something else, but I don’t let him. “Do you think she’ll want to rule when her territory is nothing, but a graveyard of old memories and people forgotten?”

It fucking kills me knowing how she’ll react. “She’s going to fucking hate me,” I bite out the words, grinding my back teeth against one another.

My breathing is ragged as he nods his head and runs his thumb over his bottom lip. “So, you’re saying it’s too late?” he asks.

That’s exactly how it all feels. It’s too late to keep her.

I let his question sit with me as I shrug on the jacket and button it. “I still think she would want this. Even if the war leaves a path of death to her throne, not everyone will die. She’ll have some.”

“Like Nikolai?” I reply with spite barely above a murmur, and it only makes Jase smirk at me.

“I have a feeling that fellow isn’t going to make it,” he jokes but it doesn’t do anything to soothe the nerves that won’t allow me to relax.

“In thirty minutes, they’ll open fire,” I tell him as I observe the little hand on my watch marching along steadily. “The next time you have an idea about damage control, maybe come to me sooner?” I suggest, and he huffs a laugh while shaking his head.

“The war has only started,” he says, not giving up. “Just tell me you’ll consider it.”

Screwing over Romano is inevitable; doing it at the right time is crucial.

But the worst mistake Jase is assuming is that Talvery can already be counted as dead. I’ve made that mistake before, and I won’t make it again.

“I consider everything, Jase.”

Chapter 16


Three canvases are spread out across an old bedsheet on the floor of the living room. Three canvases with three profiles on each of them. Two men I love, and my mother, who’s long gone make up the three. All the while, my mind focuses on the news that plays on the television in the background.

The list of names goes on and on. I can’t look at the faces. I can’t look at the scenes as they show them on the screen.

Addison is cuddled up on the sofa, staring blankly at the TV. The names don’t mean anything to her, but to me, each name means far too much.

I’m barely holding myself together, knowing I should be at their funerals. Knowing I failed to save them. There’s a mix of contempt and dread for Nikolai. I wonder if he even tried to move them. He knew, and what did he do? I remember what he said though, it was an army he didn’t control.

It’s only a matter of time before his name is spoken, added to the mounting death toll of the senseless murders between rival gangs, or so the reporter tells us on the flat-screen TV. Even the thought, forces me to choke on a dry sob, but I hold it down.

“Does this happen a lot?” Addison asks me, and I can feel her eyes on my back, but I don’t trust myself to look at her, so instead, I place the flat brush in the cup and watch the red pigment bleed into the water.

“No, not like this,” I answer her with my back to her. I am so used to death that it shouldn’t break me like this. But it’s the first time I tried to stop it.

And I failed.

“Do you need anything else?” Eli’s voice comes from the doorway to the stairwell and I peek up at him, but I don’t respond. He got me the paints from the corner store a few blocks down. The other things were in the package from Carter. I need a lot of things, I think. But as my lips pull down into a frown and my throat goes tight, I don’t look back at him. Instead, I just shake my head no.

I hate him for standing by and doing nothing while men are dying. I hate myself for hating him, which is even worse.

“I want to go get them myself,” I tell him as the thought hits me. I need to get out of here and go for a walk. I need to clear my head. I need something. I squeeze the cheap bristles over the cup before rinsing it again. “It would be nice to get some fresh air.” I’m surprised by how even my voice is and how in control I seem. It’s only because of Addison. If she weren’t here, I have no idea how I would react to tonight.

The metal ferrule that holds the bristles clinks softly on the side of the glass as I tap it and then set it down gently on the paper towel.

Tags: Willow Winters Merciless Erotic
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