Cold. Ruthless. Killer. I am respected and feared by all.
I wasn"t put on this earth to love or be loved. I was put here to wipe out every last member of the damn Abandonato mafia, to pay them back for my mother"s death.
When I find a strange girl hiding, beaten, under my bed, I don"t let her live out of compassion. She"s a trinket, my plaything.
I thought Alessio was only one more man who wanted to use me, hurt me, and throw me away. I don"t know what it is to trust anymore. I can"t find my heart under the pain.
Alessio found it. He touched it, and brought it alive again.
But if he discovers just how dangerous I am to him"I"ll lose my life.Books in Series:Tainted Hearts Series by Lylah JamesBooks by Author:Lylah James books
"We"ve got a problem," a harsh voice said through the phone. It was my second in command.
"I"m coming," I told him. I didn"t like his tone. I could tell it was something really bad. His nervousness made me nervous. Viktor was a crazy bastard, and if something had him this riled up, then it was something big. Something I really wouldn"t like.
I walked out of my office and found a few of my men standing in the hallway, lined up and on guard. They bowed their heads in respect as I walked by.
As I stepped into the dark hallway that led to the soundproof basement, my body tensed. The air around me was stale and my steps were hard against the silence as I prepared myself for the worst.
When I opened the door, I saw Viktor leaning against the wall, his head cast down in defeat. My entrance didn"t even faze him, he was so lost in his own thoughts. I cleared my throat and he glanced up.
His expression conveyed horror and disgust. "It"s bad," Viktor said, pointing toward the room. I nodded, then walked farther inside, leading the way while Viktor fell into step behind me.
Stomping forward, I found a bloodied man strapped to a chair. The basement room was empty except for the chair in the middle and a table at the back. Four of my men stood around him. They were my right-hand men.
I didn"t recognize the captive, but when he looked up at me, his eyes were filled with terror. As I got closer, his already pale face twisted in pain. He pushed back against the chair when I stopped in front of him.
"What the fuck is going on"" My voice boomed around the room. I didn"t take my eyes off the man, but when I saw him flinch, satisfaction coursed through my body. The fucker better be petrified.
Viktor walked around me to stand behind the man. He grabbed the captive"s hair and pulled hard until his neck snapped back painfully. The man screamed and thrashed.
I lifted my eyes from the battered captive to meet Viktor"s disgusted gaze.
"The fucker betrayed us. I heard him talking. The fucking Italians. He"s working for them," Viktor growled.
I looked down at the man and his eyes were closed. He refused to look at me. The anger that took over my body was indescribable. He fucking betrayed me. Me. The. Fucking. King. The person who owned his life.
Nobody betrayed me and got away with it. I trusted all my men. They were my family, but when one of my own betrayed me, they paid the ultimate price. Death. Very painful death.
Taking a deep breath and schooling my features, I stepped away from the strapped man.
"Bring me a chair," I yelled. I saw one of my men scrambling back, doing as I commanded.
"Here you go, Boss," Phoenix said a minute later. He placed the chair behind me and slowly stepped away.
I sat down and faced the motherfucker. He opened his eyes and stared directly at me. My temper flared. Leaning forward, I snarled into his face. "Why""
His body shook in fear but he refused to answer. I looked up and signaled Viktor. He let the man go and walked toward the table at the back of the room, only to come back with a cutter in his hand.
I smiled almost maliciously and leaned back against the chair, crossing my arms over my chest.
"Enjoy," I said, nodding at Viktor.
As he got to work, the man"s screams filled the room. Blood dripped all over the floor, but I kept my gaze fixed on him the whole time. When he started to lose consciousness, I raised my hand. Viktor instantly stopped his torturous ministrations.
Leaning forward again, I asked, "Why and who""
I laughed when he glared at me. Viktor leaned forward and punched him. "Show respect."
"I will ask one last time. Why and who"" I said menacingly as I took his face in my hand. My fingers pressed hard into his cheek until blood oozed badly from his wounds.
When he still wouldn"t answer, I let his face go and stood up, pushing my chair away. I wasn"t going to get my hands dirty this time. But the man strapped against the chair in front of me forced my hand. The rest of my men needed to see me kill. They needed to see the consequences of betraying me.
They needed to see the worst of me. How brutal I could be. It appeared they had forgotten.
I was feared by all and nobody fucking betrayed me.
Walking toward the table, I picked up the pliers. As I turned, all the men took a step back. Viktor smiled sadistically and shook his head. "Fuck, yeah. Now you"re talking."
Viktor held the captive"s head against the chair. I stood in front of him and roughly grabbed his chin, not caring if I hurt him. I forced his mouth open and held the pliers to his teeth.