The pull to her was too strong, and in all the years he’d been alive and in the Bratva, and the power and knowledge he had, Aleczander always went with his gut.

“She will.”

Of course they’d already discussed her health before Aleczander had gone down to fuck up the bastard that did this to her, but he wanted to hear it again.

“I can have her moved to a different room, sir—”

“Nyet,” he said and looked over at the doctor. “She stays here, with me, in my bed.”

The doctor nodded and left without saying a thing. He was smart, because Bratva physician or not, if he had tried to say one fucking thing about her moving, Aleczander would have collapsed his damn throat with one punch.

He pulled up a chair and stared down at Vasilisa. She looked in pain while she slept, but the doctor assured him that he’d given Vasilisa pain meds to help with any discomfort. Aleczander looked at the table beside the bed, saw the bottle of narcotics that would help ease any pain she had, and looked back at the redhead. She looked vulnerable, although he sensed how strong she was. She had a warrior soul. That he could tell right away.

It was true he’d wanted her in his bed in a purely sexual way when she’d come over to him, when he’d first noticed her, but as he looked into her eyes and spoke with her, Aleczander wanted to get to know her. He was intensely attracted to her; there was no denying it. But there was something else that made him want her, something that called to his protective and possessive side.

Aleczander curled his hand into a fist on his leg and looked at her face. She had a bruise and swelling on the side of her face, as well as a scrape from, he assumed, when she’d fallen to the ground. He wanted to kill that fucker again, make it nice and slow, and really make it painful.

He reached out and took her hand in his, knowing she wouldn’t be able to feel him, not with as many pain pills as the physician had given her, but he wanted her to know he was here, that he wasn’t leaving. He whispered things in Russian to her, things that he wished someone would have said to him when he was a young boy and struggling in a very cruel world. He knew all too well the horrors that life, that people could dish out, and he promised her, whether she heard it or not, whether she accepted it or not, that he’d make sure life was good to her.

Even if that meant having bodies at his feet and being covered in blood.

Vasilisa was his, whether she knew it or not.


Alexa’s body was sore, and her head pounded fiercely, but she wanted to take care of Yvgeny the way he’d tended to her. She wanted to make him see that she was here for him, that she wanted him in her life no matter what.

She turned and started the shower, brushing away his protests, and the fact he wanted to be the one to make sure she was okay, that she was rested. Yes, she felt like shit, but a shower would do them both good. She knew it, wanted it, too.

Turning back around, Alexa stared at him, watched as he looked at her with concern. He was covered in her would-be-rapist’s blood, the violence seething right below the surface. But she knew he’d never hurt her, and he’d never let anyone hurt her.

“I love you,” she said softly and started getting undressed. Her body protested, her muscles screamed out for her to go slowly, but she didn’t show that discomfort. She wanted to be strong for him, to show him she was powerful enough to stand by his side.

Once she was naked, she saw the way Yvgeny focused only on her face.

“I love you so much, Alexa.” His voice was deep, his accent thicker than normal. She could see the emotion on his face, hear it—hell, she could feel it. He started removing his bloody clothes, and she watched as the material fell to the floor. Even though he was now nude, his forearms and hands, his neck, even his face, were still splattered with blood.

The steam started to fill the room, and he came closer. She embraced him despite the gore that covered him, despite the knowledge he’d killed for her.

They went into the shower, and he held her for long moments, his big body curling around hers as if even now he still wanted to protect her. She went to pull away, to be the one to take care of him, but he held her still.

“Let me just hold you, just for a little longer.”

Tags: Jenika Snow The Bratva Crime