Bratva's Captive - Piper Stone
Twenty years ago
Blood. Anguish. Hunger.
I’d grown accustomed to all three, life on the streets of Moscow unforgiving.
My papa used to tell me that in order to comprehend the meaning of life, I’d be forced to face all three until I was at my breaking point. Only then would I learn to become a warrior. I’d grown weary of fighting, but I pressed on, determined to make a better life.
Far removed from the city where blood rained in the streets and people cowered in fear.
Worthless thief. The bastards chasing after me had no idea what it felt like to be hungry, to crawl through the muck and filth of Moscow streets just to find a moldy piece of bread. Fuck them. I didn’t give a shit about them or anyone else. I didn’t need anyone’s approval.
As I tried to dodge the group of six, running toward the safety of the alley, one of the fuckers caught me by the arm, dragging me into the center of them. Within seconds, punches were thrown. It was the second time of the morning, my rage increasing. I refused to allow the assholes to do this to me any longer. Panting, I threw out the pipe in my hand, the single piece of bread I’d managed to snag toppling from my pocket.
I stared down at it, blinking several times, hunger gnawing at my guts. As one eye started to swell from their beating, the taste of blood trickling down the back of my throat, my craving for revenge increased. To hell with the food. I tipped my head, snarling at the boy who appeared to be the leader.
The boy laughed, his blue eyes shimmering in the gray dawn of morning. Very slowly he reached down, taking the piece of bread into his fingers, showing me his find before fisting his hand. When he tossed the lump of flour and yeast in my direction, I lunged toward him, managing to smash my fists against his face.
His cry of agony and surprise was my reward, the way he pressed the same hand he’d used to crush the only food I’d seen in three days to his face giving me a smile.
“Otvali,” I hissed, shifting the iron pipe I’d found just before entering the store from one hand to the other, slapping the same kid in the stomach. Then I turned in a full circle, daring any of them to fuck with me. I growled like a wild beast, allowing saliva to drip from my twisted mouth.
“The little prick thinks he’s funny,” blue eyes hissed in English as he took several deep breaths, acting as if he wasn’t in agonizing pain.
Without hesitation, he threw a hard punch across my jaw, the force spinning me sideways until I lost my footing. As soon as I slammed against the cracked pavement, their beating began in earnest.
The explosion of pain created a wave of nausea, stars flashing in front of my eyes.
“Cut him!” another repeated in English, bellowing as if they’d hunted down their prey.
All six fuckers were intent on slicing me, jabbing their crude knives in my direction as they tormented me with their hateful words. There wasn’t anything anyone could say to hurt me any longer. I was impervious to pain. I had to be in order to survive.
Jerking up, I swung the pipe, smashing it against the largest boy’s knees. As he howled in pain, I grinned, turning in a full circle then swinging the piece of iron again, this time catching the blue-eyed bastard. There was nothing like the sound of bones breaking, yielding to my power.
His screams were more intense than the other asshole’s and as he dropped to the ground, writhing in agony, I smashed the pipe against his forearm. The others scattered away, gasping at the sight of blood.
“Argh!” I screeched, keeping my knees bent as I shifted the weapon from one hand to the other, prepared for another attack.
The sound of an approaching vehicle with a powerful engine dragged their attention away from me. I took the opportunity to attack, slamming the pipe from one side to the other. Their screams fueled my anger but as the car jerked to a halt only feet away, I rose to my full height, still shaking the piece of iron in fury.
Only seconds later, the gang scattered like the pigs they were, leaving fresh crimson stains on the street.
I remained exactly where I was, gasping for air. As the car door opened, I