TO TAKE BACK LIFE, ONE MUST FIRST FACE DEATH...
Conditioned in captivity to maim, to kill and to slaughter, prisoner 818 becomes an unrivaled and unstoppable fighter in the ring. Violence is all he knows. After years of incarceration in an underground hell, only one thought occupies his mind: revenge... bloody, slow and violent revenge. Revenge on the man who wronged him.
Kisa Volkova is the only daughter of Kirill 'The Silencer' Volkov, head of the infamous 'Red' bosses of New York's Russian Bratva. Her life is protected. In reality, it's a virtual prison. Her father's savage treatment of his rivals and his lucrative and coveted underground gambling ring-The Dungeon-ensures too many enemies lurk at their door. She dreams to be set free. Kisa has known only cruelty and loss in her short life. While working for her church-the only reprieve in her constant surveillance-Kisa stumbles across a tattooed, scarred, but stunningly beautiful homeless man on the streets. Something about him stirs feelings deep within her; familiar yet impossibly forbidden desires. He doesn't talk. Doesn't communicate with anyone.
He's a man beyond saving. But Kisa becomes obsessed with him. Yearns for him. Craves his touch. Needs to possess this mysterious man... ... this man they call Raze.
About the Author
Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city. After graduating from Newcastle University, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies for seven years. Tillie has now settled in Calgary, Canada, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters. Tillie writes Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels and happily shares her love of alpha-male leading men and strong female characters with her readers. When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys dancing, singing, reading, horse riding, listening to music or spending time with friends and family. Her books include Raze, Reap, and Ravage.
Read an Excerpt
By Tillie Cole
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2015 Tillie Cole
All rights reserved.
Present day ...
"Fuck, Myshka, your cunt's so fucking tight ..."
Pinned to the bed, my fiancé's strong hands held me down by my shoulders as he slammed into me, his cock pounding my pussy with incredible force, his strong hips locking me in place.
I tried to move. I pushed hard against his chest, but he wouldn't budge, not even an inch.
It was always like this when he took me — hard, rough, raw ... totally out of my control.
Alik's blue eyes lit with fire as I fought against him, flaring at my resistance, the aggression he expected me to exude every time he took me in this bed — an aggression he loved, an aggression he craved.
He liked to fuck. Never make love. Just to fuck, hard, so long as he was in control.
His right hand moved from my shoulder and wrapped around the front of my neck, not too tight to stop my breathing, but tight enough to keep me in place as I clawed his back and shoulders with my French-manicured nails.
I bucked my hips, but his thick thighs pinned me down even more, his dick unrelenting and slamming against my G-spot, forcing me to cry out in pleasure. Alik laughed at my failed effort to throw him off, his mouth now an inch from my face.
"Just try it, Myshka. Just try to move me ... I fucking own you," he growled in my ear, and his cock jerked in my channel, making me scream and bite into the skin on his shoulder, drawing a trickle of blood. Alik's fingers tightened on my throat, restricting my moans. His breath blew harder. His chiseled jaw tensed, eyes boring into mine.
"Come, Myshka. Come!" he ordered. Thrusting into me three more times, almost bruising my clit with his hand as he did so, I shattered, clenching his cock so tight — whether I wanted to or not.
I hated that he knew my body so well. Hated that he knew how to get me off, make me scream, make me cry out. When I came, Alik saw it as a testimony of my love for him. I just saw it as another way to be used so he could lord his power over me.
Hand moving from my shoulder and wrapping in my hair, Alik yanked hard on the long light-brown strands, his eyes squeezing shut and his mouth hanging open. Then with a deafening roar, he came, flooding my pussy. My chest heaved as my hard nipples brushed against his solid, packed chest.
"Kisa ... fuck!" Alik groaned and thrust slowly into me, winding himself down, hard muscles flexing and tensing all over his large body.
Without releasing his grip on my neck and hair, he crushed his lips to mine, his tongue forcing itself inside my mouth. I submitted,as always, moaning, like he would want, as his lower torso worked against my sensitive clit.
Alik pulled back and amusement flashed across his sharp-featured face. "Myshka, always mewling like a little pussy, huh?" His mouth lowered to my ear and his tongue licked along the outer shell. "Love me fucking you hard? Love me bruising your slit?"
Alik released my neck, only to reach down and squeeze my breast, pulling on the raised nipple. I hissed and cried out, making his smile widen.
"Love fucking you too, Myshka," he murmured. Then abruptly, Alik pulled his still-hard dick out of me, leaving me lying on his wide bed in his luxurious Brooklyn apartment, trying to catch my breath and recover. He strode across the room, his ripped, tall body all walking perfection and he ran his hand over his buzz cut dark hair.
Alik grabbed a towel from the closet and wrapped it around his defined waist. I moved myself up the bed and watched him.
Alik had changed so much since we were kids. His large-framed fighter's body was bulky. His skin was lightly tanned. His face chiseled, aristocratic, handsome even. He was Alik Durov — the man who decided to make me his when we were just a couple of Bratva kids trying to wade through the trials and tribulations of a rough mob life. The boy I never looked at as anything more than a friend, until he forced me to look at him as something more.
We grew up together. His father and my father were two of the three "Red" Bratva Kings of New York. My father, Kirill Volkov, was the Pakhan, the top boss, the one who ruled the Russian underground here in New York. Alik's father, Abram Durov, was the enforcer, the next in line to the highest seat, the one who would deal with the darker side to the mob, the violent things, the revenge, the kills, the intimidation. He was sadistic, unforgiving and cruel ...
Like father, like son.
For years, Alik wanted me. From childhood, he always wanted me close. He was always angry, starting fights and getting into trouble. He would tell me he heard voices in his head, voices that would tell him to hurt people, but when he was around me, he was calm, the voices went away.
I felt sorry for Alik. I always had. Having Abram as a papa would be like living with the devil himself. But I had had someone else, a boy I completely loved, adored ... was born for the sole purpose of loving. Then a tragedy ripped us apart when I was a teen. Within days, Alik made his move and, in turn, made me his.
We'd been together ever since.
As a mafiya prince and princess, all of New York's Russian society looked upon us as the "perfect" couple. Alik would have it no other way. He was obsessed with me. He monitored my every move. I was his Myshka — his little mouse.
And I dared not look elsewhere. Alik would kill anyone who came between us. And this was no threat; it was what Alik did.
His place in this life was to kill.
He was a fighter — a death match fighter — but I knew he killed for the Bratva outside of the cage too, killed those the Red Kings really wanted to make suffer.
Alik "The Butcher" Durov was the undisputed five-time champion of The Dungeon. At twenty-five, nearly twenty-six, years of age, he was the most feared man in New York.
I could never, ever leave him. I couldn't even if I wanted to. In the Bratva life, men led and their women followed, dutifully, in their path. It was the essence of Bratva life, one that served you very well if you played it safe.
Sentimental feelings and notions of 'true love' didn't matter in this life. It was an underground society based on respect and your ultimate support of the 'family'.
Alik looked me over and his light eyes flared again in need. He stroked his hard dick under the red Versace towel wrapped round his waist. Slowly, he shook his head, his thoughts clearly at war with his needs.
"I gotta shower, Myshka. I have to be out in ten. Serge is coming to take you home. Can't be deep in your sweet pussy again even if I wanted to." His eyes then softened. "And you know I want you, don't you? Can't ever have enough of you, baby."
Frowning, I gently asked, "So we're not going to dinner? We do have a date, remember?" I tried to act disappointed. But all I felt was relief. Relief that I wouldn't somehow piss him off in public by some arbitrary thing he viewed as wrong, which would warrant being fucked too hard as punishment.
Alik strutted toward me, his packed, scarred abs clenching with the movement, and grabbed my chin, dragging my head level with his, making damn sure our eyes met.
"Got business, Myshka."
"Where? And for how long?" I asked, immediately wishing I hadn't, as Alik's face turned to stone.
His grip on my chin strengthened to ensure I understood I'd overstepped my boundaries. My jaw ached and I winced at the dull pressure and pain.
Alik tutted, shook his head slowly, then said, "Business is business. It takes as long as it takes. It happens where it happens."
I lowered my eyes in submission and tried to nod in understanding, but my intended movement was inhibited by his unyielding hand. Alik sighed long. Next thing I knew, my mouth was latched to his, his teeth biting at my lip, causing me to whimper. He ripped his lips away a second later.
"Fuck! I can't stay mad at you, Myshka. You're so fucking beautiful."
I cautiously lifted my trembling hand to stroke Alik's stubbled cheek. "I love you, Alik," I whispered, tears filling my eyes. He was all I had. He was my only future. And I did love him in a fashion ... he needed me. And I wanted to belong to someone. I wanted to be loved.
Alik's eyes softened, but only a fraction. He couldn't show any weakness. But I knew he loved hearing those three words from my lips. They calmed the monster inside.
Pressing another hard, bruising kiss to my lips, he stood and made his way to the bathroom.
Heart beating and fighting back nerves, I asked, "Can I give charity with Father Kruschev tonight? He's distributing care packages to the homeless."
Alik halted. He turned to look at me, a patronizing smirk on his face, and joked, "Have at it, my good little Myshka. Go serve God! Go rescue the scum on the streets." His condescending laughter followed him into the bathroom, but I ignored the humiliation and the curt dismissal. I simply felt myself breathe ... normally.
At church, my father and fiancé didn't send their men to spy on me. No one would dare fuck with the Bratva at their sacred church. It was the one place I felt truly free. The one place I could live in my head with my past, with the memories I held so dear.
Rising from the huge bed, I stared at my reflection in the gold-plated ornate mirror. I hardly recognized the girl before me anymore. She got lost somewhere over the years, hiding away, running for her life. Her blue eyes were dead, her usually tanned skin, pale, and her long light brown hair, limp.
I was a shell of the girl I'd once been.
Small bruises were already forming on my neck. This meant I would be wearing turtlenecks for the next few days, in summer. Since my teen years, turtlenecks had been a staple of my wardrobe — a necessity after being 'owned' by Alik and all-too-quickly learning of his brutal sexual practices and high expectations of me as his girlfriend.
Dressing quickly, I ran my fingers through my hair, making sure I looked presentable. Alik wouldn't like it if I didn't look perfect.
Moving to the living room, I sat on Alik's great-grandmother's antique chair, which dated back to the Revolution. There, I waited dutifully to say good-bye.
I surveyed the mostly early twentieth-century opulent furnishings in the room. This place screamed status and wealth. My stomach clenched in dread. In under twelve months' time, this would become my home. I would be queen of this penthouse, gaoled in a cell of Tsarist luxury. Bratva convention demanded I couldn't live with Alik until we were married. Ordered directly from my deeply traditional and faithful Russian Orthodox father. I thanked God every single day for that fact.
My father approved of the marriage. It suited our way of life. He didn't see the bad side of Alik, and if he did, he ignored it. He only saw the strong and ruthless man Alik had been molded to be by his father. To my father, Alik's stern and violent side only proved he was a perfect soldier of the Bratva, the perfect man to take the reins and be a good leader to his daughter. My mama died when I was fifteen. My papa had fallen apart, and Alik became my crutch, the boy to look after me when everything had gone to hell. Papa loved him for that.
I clung to the thought that I still had a year until we were married, which offered fleeting moments of freedom, before, of course, adopting the mantle of the perfect Bratva wife to the sole remaining heir of the Bratva. Alik, before long, would control all of the Russian underground, a position he thirsted for, something for which he'd been groomed his entire life.
Hearing the shower turn off, it didn't take a minute for Alik to boom out my name and rush through the living room's double doors to search for me.
His tense face slackened as he saw me sitting, dutifully waiting, in his grandmother's chair. His head cocked to the side as his eyes narrowed.
"For a minute there, I thought you'd left before I gave you permission. For a minute there, I thought you had defied me, Myshka ... For a minute there, I thought you'd lost your fucking mind."
Standing, I switched on a smile. I strolled over to stand before him and ran my finger slowly down his chest.
"Never, baby," I purred to appease him. "I'd never defy you. I never have and I never will."
Alik wrapped his arms round my waist and pulled me to his damp chest, the impact robbing me of my breath. He held me in place by the back of my head.
"You're gonna make the perfect wife, Kisa. I've been wanting you in my bed, sleeping beside me, for too fucking long. I hate sending you back to your father every night, not being able to fuck you for hours, tying you to the bed, making you scream, making you bow down to my every command ... fuck you until you can't walk. Been wanting to fully own you, to possess you, to release you from the Pakhan's grip and have you under my complete control ... for too fucking long."
"Soon, baby," I soothed.
Alik loosened his grip on my hair, his harsh blue eyes losing their anger for the briefest of moments.
"Yeah," he replied. Slapping me hard on the ass, he pressed a bruising, owning kiss to my swollen lips. Alik swiftly broke away and, walking back to his bedroom, shouted over his shoulder, "Serge is downstairs. He'll take you to church." I relaxed but stiffened when he ordered, "Only after you change. Don't you dare go out looking like that. I'll seriously lose my fucking shit if you do!"
"I won't. I love you, baby. Always," I blurted. This stopped Alik in his tracks.
He turned, jerked his chin, a flicker of a smirk curling his upper lip, and he said, "Myshka, I love you too."
My shoulders sagged with relief at his show of affection. I calmed. It was during these tender moments that I glimpsed the small amount of humanity in Alik. These were the moments I cherished. Even as children, Alik was uptight, always angry, always wanting to inflict pain on others; he frequently did on other kids. His papa had raised him to be this way. I understood it; it was how Brava men had to be raised. But years of fighting and killing in The Dungeon had hardened him to the point where the kinder side of his personality grew weaker and weaker, the dark steadily and surely blotting out any light that remained. In this Bratva life, and with what Alik did for a living, it was essential he be this way. However, I wished his softer side would linger a little longer.
It was stupid of me and, to others, inexplicable. But I loved Alik in my own way, well, as much as my shredded heart would allow. I wanted him to have peace. He was so tormented ... so dark inside that I just wanted to help ease that.
Lost in Alik's light, beautiful smile, my heart soared, floating on a loving hope that I would see some good in him, that I'd finally got through to him, but my reverie soon dissipated when, as always, his brief moment of gentleness was overwhelmed by harshness.
Alik's insane desire to possess me came to the fore as he warned, "Anyone even looks at you tonight or even speaks to you, you tell me. And act appropriately. Don't speak to men ... only Father Kruschev. Don't want my woman looking like a whore."
I nodded dutifully. His eyes narrowed as they drank in my body. "Wear something that covers you, all of you. I don't wanna have to kill some fucker for staring at your tits. You've got to think about these things, Myshka. When you're my wife, when I own you completely, there'll be no mistakes. I'll whip you into shape soon enough. You'll be an example to all the Bratva wives."
"Okay, baby," I whispered in trepidation.
Alik ran his teeth over his bottom lip, eyes leaden, his cock hardening and bulging under his towel.
"Get out of here, Kisa, before I fuck you against that wall and make your papa even more pissed at me for being late."
With this dismissal, I turned on my heel and fled down the stairs into the waiting black Lincoln Navigator. Serge, the driver and my papa's most trusted Byki, bodyguard, glanced back at me in the rearview mirror and politely asked, "Where to, Miss Volkova?"
I loved Serge. He was like an uncle to me. He'd been driving me everywhere and protecting me my whole life. He'd never married or had any children. I think he regarded me as his daughter in some way. I could tell him anything and he'd never tell another soul. He was an old man now, in his seventies, but I knew he would be with my papa until he died.
"Home to change, then church, please," I replied.
Serge stared at me for a fraction too long in the rearview mirror. I could tell he was concerned. Of course he wouldn't dare say it aloud, but I knew he disliked Alik and that I was worried about my duty, my fate, to be Alik's wife. His silent fear for me seemed to grow every day.
Stowing his concern, Serge pulled out into the always bustling traffic of Brooklyn. I watched the bright lights glare through the darkened window.
At least for tonight, at church, I would taste a few hours of much-coveted freedom.CHAPTER 2
"Kisa, you're distributing the care packages on the street tonight, okay?"
I smiled enthusiastically at Father Kruschev, but inside, my stomach rolled. I hated distributing the food on the streets, preferring to serve it from the safety of the truck. It was too humid outside. I hated walking down the dark alleys and narrow streets of Brooklyn — they were clogged with the homeless, not all of whom had good intentions.
Excerpted from Raze by Tillie Cole. Copyright © 2015 Tillie Cole. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Kisa,
Chapter Two: Kisa,
Chapter Three: 818,
Chapter Four: 818,
Chapter Five: Kisa,
Chapter Six: Kisa,
Chapter Seven: Kisa,
Chapter Eight: 818,
Chapter Nine: Kisa,
Chapter Ten: Raze,
Chapter Eleven: Kisa,
Chapter Twelve: Raze,
Chapter Thirteen: Kisa,
Chapter Fourteen: Raze,
Chapter Fifteen: Raze,
Chapter Sixteen: Kisa,
Chapter Seventeen: Raze,
Chapter Eighteen: Raze,
Chapter Nineteen: Kisa,
Chapter Twenty: Raze,
Chapter Twenty-One: Kisa,
Chapter Twenty-Two: Raze,
Chapter Twenty-Three: Kisa,
Bonus Scene: Luka and Kisa's Wedding,
About the Author,