“You’re okay,” Yvgeny said in his deep voice.

When the tremors stopped, she opened her eyes, wiped the tears away once more, and forced herself up. She went to the sink, rinsed out her mouth, and felt the pounding in her head intensify.

Alexa felt better knowing Yvgeny was here, but the memories of what had happened were now fresh and painful in her mind.

“Vasilisa?”

“She’s going to be okay.”

Alexa had her eyes closed, but she felt the cold hardness of something press to her hand. Opening her eyes only long enough to see a glass and two pills on the counter, she didn’t even think twice about taking them.

Once she finished off the water, she turned and saw Yvgeny’s hand on the counter. Blood, and lots of it, covered the back of his hand and his tattooed arm. His knuckles were red, which had nothing to do with the substance on his skin. And then she lifted her head and looked at his shirt.

Blood.

He was covered in it. She looked at Yvgeny’s face, and although she saw splatters of the violence covering it, his expression was one of warmth and worry.

It was then, as she looked at the man she loved, that she knew the one who had hurt her would never touch another person again.

She wanted to ask what happened, but nothing came out.

“I didn’t want you to see me like this.” He turned and breathed out. “I didn’t want you to see me for the man I really am, the man who would go to any lengths to protect you.”

So he did know she was fully aware of what had gone down. It was clear, obvious in the violence and danger that surrounded him.

But she knew what she’d gotten into when she fell for him and stayed. And seeing this didn’t change anything.

Yvgeny saw the shock on Alexa’s face when she looked at him. He’d meant to be clean before she woke, but when he’d walked into the room, the physician had been disconnecting the IV. It had only been a few minutes after she’d been free of the needle that she’d lurched up in bed and run to the bathroom. His only focus had been Alexa and making sure she’d been okay.

He looked at himself in the mirror and saw the grisly display of what he’d done, but when he looked at her reflection, he saw she was unaffected now. She seemed numb to it.

“I know who and what you are,” she said and took a step closer. He moved one back, looking down at his hands, which now had dried blood on them.

“Do you really know who I am, Alexa?” he found himself asking. “Do you really know the lengths I would go to protect you?”

She looked down at his hands, his shirt, and he knew without her saying anything, she was aware.

“I know you’d kill for me,” she whispered. “I know you love me, that you’re dangerous, but only to others that cross you.” She moved closer, and although he could see she was still feeling unwell, she looked strong … for him. It was clear she wanted him to know she was strong.

He turned and yelled out the bathroom door, “Ygor, leave us. I’ll call for you if Alexa needs you.” A moment later, he heard the physician leave, and then it was just the two of them. Looking back at Alexa, all he wanted to do was take her into his arms and hold her, but with the grisly aftereffects of his violence, he didn’t even want her near him. If not for the fact she’d been sick, he would have left, cleaned up, made sure she didn’t see this. Hell, he’d meant to clean up, to not have what he’d done covering every part of him, but then she’d been sick, and all he’d wanted to make sure she was okay.

He had his club, his money, and he had the Bratva running through his veins. Those had been what his world revolved around for longer than he could even remember. But now he had Alexa, and he’d make sure everything was okay for her.

Because for him, Alexa was it.

Alexa could bring him to his fucking knees.

Aleczander stared down at Vasilisa. She looked fragile, almost broken on that bed, and he fucking hated it, hated that she’d been hurt right under his nose. He didn’t know what it was about her, but when he’d seen that flash of red of her hair from the distance in the club all those nights ago, something in him had become charged. It wasn’t sexual, although he found her immensely gorgeous. No, there was something else, something that was familiar, yet he didn’t know what it was.

“She’ll be okay,” he said to the physician that had just stepped in. He didn’t ask it as a question, because there was no room for error here. She would be okay, or God help anyone that was in his path.


Tags: Jenika Snow The Bratva Crime
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