Where the Snow Falls (Seasons of Betrayal #2) - London Miller

“Sign your name.”

Kaz Markovic grabbed the pen and scrawled his signature across the bottom of the page before his belongings—what little he had on his person before he was brought in—were slid across the counter in a plastic tub.

He barely spared the correctional officer signing him out a glance as he fastened his watch around his wrist, stuffing his wallet and phone into his pocket before heading for the entrance.

Four months.

Four long months behind bars. Had he been able to pay off the right people, the charge would have only meant a slap on the wrist for him, but a single call had taken away those options. Good behavior had reduced his six-month sentence to four, but it was still four months too long.

Whether Kaz liked it or not, Vasily was still the boss, and his word was law. So if Vasily closed those channels, making sure that no one could do a damn thing about getting him out, he had no choice but to wait it out.

By the time he was walking through those frosted double doors, the pressure that had settled in his chest from the moment he had put on that blue uniform had eased. Compared to prison, the county jail was easy—though he never planned to go back to either—but there was nothing like being free and not having someone on his ass every single moment of every single day.

When to eat.

When to sleep.

Around-the-clock monitoring made him feel like he was living beneath a microscope. And it never helped that the guards were always antagonizing, ready to make an example out of him should he break even the smallest of rules. But Kaz knew the score, and he knew better than to let them get under his skin, especially since he didn’t want his sentence extended.

Sitting on the hood of a white Bentley outside waiting for him was his oldest sister, Vera—the last person he expected to see. Though she had been raised under the hand of a Russian mob boss, his sister wasn’t impressed by their life. She didn’t believe in it. Since the minute she turned eighteen and was no longer forced to live under the same roof as Vasily, she had packed her bags, staying as far away from their Bratva roots as she could—and further away from Vasily.

While all of his children—besides the twins—had problems with Vasily for their own reasons, no one hated him quite as much as Vera did.

Once, Kaz had thought to ask her why. It was no secret that they had a strained relationship, but Vera’s distaste for their father had only become so openly hostile a couple of years ago. If Vasily called on her, she didn’t care who was around to witness it. She made it quite clear she wanted nothing to do with him. But Vera didn’t explain her actions, and he had never pushed.

Plus, he understood.

Vasily could test the patience of a saint, but despite his lectures on the importance of family, he didn’t follow his own preaching. Like the fact he had set Kaz up.

He’d had an idea, especially after seeing Vera yelling at their father that day, but his suspicions had been confirmed when Vasily had made it a point to visit him in jail. He’d only come that one time, but everything he had said, and even the smug look on his face, told Kaz what he needed to know.

But if he thought Kaz was going to accept what he had done without question, Vasily was mistaken.

“You need a shave,” Vera said as she hopped off the car, a smile already forming as she came to him with open arms.

Briefly running a hand through the coarse hair covering his jaw, Kaz accepted her embrace, squeezing her once for good measure. She had been there that day—the day he’d decided to say fuck Vasily’s rules and do what he wanted. While his sister might not have understood why he had been willing to risk everything for a girl he hadn’t known for very long, she had stood at his side regardless.

“How are you?” he asked, touching the top of her head—something he had done since he had hit a growth spurt and grown several inches taller than she was.

She shrugged, not giving an answer. “Shouldn’t I be asking you that?” she asked, circling the car to climb into the driver’s seat. “You were the one locked up, after all.”

He waved his hand dismissively. Even if his time hadn’t been as easy as it