The Vasiliev name is a powerful one.
We rule with an iron fist and we do it well.
Being the eldest, I am Father"s best hope at keeping us at the top of the food chain.
Everything I do has purpose.
Everything I do has reason.
I play my games thinking several moves ahead.
Power. Power. Power.
The next move requires I marry and soon.
This will strengthen us and secure our position.
But I am not to marry her.
I am to wed the eldest Volkov.
Problem is, her younger sister is the one who awakens my dead heart.
It is her I want in my bed and by my side forever.
Her. Her. Her.
In this game, though, it"s not about what I want.
But maybe it can be about what she wants.
I am Vlad.
Vile. Vicious. Villainous. Vasiliev.
And I will win eventually.Books in Series:The V Games Series by Ker DukeyBooks by Author:Ker Dukey BooksK. Webster Books
The V Games"
A parent rears their child and molds them as they grow so they may enter the world as someone with the potential to be great. They do this by giving good advice, encouragement, and guidance.
And most of all: love.
Or so I"m told.
When you"re a Vasiliev, you don"t enter the world with potential to be great, you are great. You"re better than great. You"re the fucking best.
Because Father demands it.
Brilliant. Cunning. Feral yet refined.
Under Father"s reign, you learn how to not only play games, but how to win them all. Women, power, money"all at your fingertips if you follow his strict instructions.
Vasiliev men aren"t weak.
Vasiliev men bow to no one.
Vasiliev men are kings.
Father"s rules, Father"s games, Father"s world.
And because we share his blood, it"s ours too.
"Good luck, brat," I mutter to my brother as I squeeze the back of his neck in an affectionate gesture.
Viktor turns his gaze my way. His amber eyes flicker with anticipation. At eighteen, he"s about to enter The V Games. Strong. Intelligent. A masterful player. My brother will win the games and further solidify my family"s power in Kazan.
Vasiliev men don"t lose.
"Luck is for the weak," he says, an impish grin on his young face. "Luck is for lazy people who don"t want to work for what they want." Despite the playfulness in his voice, I can"t help but notice just how much he sounds like Father.
Arrogance is a Vasiliev trait that only works well on an old man who"s experienced everything.
Arrogance is foolish on a boy barely turned man.
He may be my younger brother, but my instincts are probably more paternal in nature than our father. I want to grab Vik by the shoulders and give him a good hard shake. He needs a dose of reality. The vipers in our world lie in wait, eager to take golden eggs we"ve worked so hard to create.
"Stay alive," I say, shaking my head. "Deflate your head a little and don"t ignore what"s right in front of you by thinking you can eliminate everything that sneaks up behind you. Your eyes must be everywhere"inside and outside the arena." I hold out a dagger given to me by my father. "Here. You"ll need this."
He takes the dagger from my palm and inspects the crest etched into the blade. Our family crest. The imperial two-headed eagle. When Viktor completes The V Games, another head will be added.
A trinity of three men who will solidify our family"s future, easily ruling an uncontrollable world by using their lust and debauchery against them. A made-up kingdom where there are no literal kings or peasants. A world created by my father to be ruled by his sons.
The Vasiliev men tap into their deepest and darkest cravings. We meet their truest desires by giving them a devil"s playground within The V Games. Everything we do is to encourage their darkness. We present it to them like a vial full of heroin waiting to be injected. All they have to do is pull the trigger.
Viktor gives me a nod, his fiery eyes blazing with determination. His arrogance takes a back seat as the adrenaline fuels him forward. The boyish look on his face hardens into the glare of our father.
He will win.
I"ve trained him just as my father trained me.
Fierce. Deadly. Brutal. Cunning.
We think many, many, many moves ahead.
It"s the Vasiliev way.
"Welcome to The V Games," the announcer rumbles through the intercom.
An arena full of spectators roar on the other side of the doors as adrenaline pumps into my veins.
In another twenty-four hours, the same arena will drip with blood, stink of sex, and be littered with corpses.
Stay alive, brother.
When the doors open, the crowd becomes deafening. I watch with clenched teeth as my brother prowls out of safety into the fray. The doors close behind him, sucking my breath along with them.
"He likes to win, Vlad," Vika, my sister and Viktor"s twin, purrs as she comes to stand beside me. Her rose perfume suffocates anyone she nears, and I"m not immune. I"m sure it"s a power play. She"s a woman, and Vasiliev women have a much different role than the men. They"re pawns in our game"to be married off to strengthen ties between families we need in our court. I try to hold my breath, but my eyes water from her sickly, flowery stench. It smells like desperation and weakness. She"s been shedding her sweet innocence lately in favor of this sly act. I"ve seen her flirting and enticing the men around us to notice her blossoming.
The problem with Vika is she never had a mother figure, or any woman, to show her the right way to conduct herself, and it appears she"s mimicking the roles of our father"s whores who"ve come and gone over the years. It"s a game she thinks she"s mastered, but she"s wrong. Cute and innocent would have served her much better than this desperate act.