Consumed by Deception (Deception Trilogy #3) - Rina Kent Page 0,1

of each other’s presence, but it barely lasts before they start hitting and calling one another names.

She takes a turn while speeding and I hit the door, bruising my side. My hold tightens on the seatbelt. “Why?”

“Because he’s an idiot,” she snarls. “He could be so much more, but he’s letting his fear overrule him. If he’s taking away my ambition, I’m taking away his precious heir.”

“Does that mean we’ll live together, just you and I?”

“That’s the plan. Until Georgy stops being a fucking fool.”

I don’t want to live alone with Mom. At least she doesn’t hit me in Dad’s presence. If he’s not there, nothing will prevent it.

At the same time, I don’t like the fighting, so maybe if they’re not together, it’ll be better.

“The asshole doesn’t even know how far he could go or where I can get him. That jerk, Nikolai, doesn’t deserve to be the leader.”

“But he’s the Pakhan,” I say softly.

“That doesn’t make his reign absolute. Remember, Adrian, power is seized, not given. If there’s a chance to win, don’t ask questions or hesitate. Take it.”

“Even if it hurts others?”

“Even if it hurts others. They’re the ones who allowed themselves to be hurt, so you needn’t worry about such idiots…” she trails off as she stares at the rear-view mirror and then smacks the steering wheel, cursing in Russian.

I look behind me and find several cars on our tail.

“Motherfucker!” Mom hits the breaks hard when a car cuts in front of us horizontally and stops.

I tumble forward, only the seatbelt holding me in place. Three men rush out of the car, and before I realize what’s going on, both of our doors are jerked open. Mom is yanked from her seat by two of them while Pavel, Dad’s senior guard, undoes my seatbelt and leads me out, much more gently than the way the other guards handled Mom.

Pavel makes me stop in front of him, his hands on my shoulders as we stand between Mom’s car and the one that blocked us.

She’s fighting against the guards who are detaining her, cursing in a mixture of Russian and English. She tries kicking them with the pointy heel of her shoe, but they mobilize her.

I’m a few feet away, completely still in Pavel’s hold. Not that I would leave or even have an idea of where to go.

Dad strolls in from the side. Although Mom is a tall woman, he’s taller and more buff, and he has a scowly face that never changes. I can count the number of times in my life that I’ve seen him smile on one hand, and that only happens when he’s with his Bratva friends.

As soon as he approaches my struggling mom, she spits in his face.

He raises his hand and slaps her on the cheek so hard, her head reels back and blood explodes from her bottom lip. It trails down the fair skin of her chin and to her graceful, long neck.

I wince, still not liking that he hits her. He never did it to Aunt Annika, at least not when I was around. But he always becomes violent with Mom.

“Stupid bitch.” Dad wipes his face with a napkin. “I knew you’d be more trouble than you’re worth.”

“Fuck you, Georgy!” she snarls, trying to kick him, but it ends mid-air because the guards are holding her hostage.

“Fuck me? Me? Fuck you, Dominika, and all the trouble you’ve put me through since I married you. I told you not to get involved in Bratva business. I told you to keep your conniving mind to yourself. But what did you do? You met Italian capos and their wives behind my and Nikolai’s backs. Did you think we would never fucking find out?”

“I did that to get you the power, you fucking asshole! Nikolai is old-fashioned and you could be stronger than him, better than him.”

“He’s my Pakhan! One does not plot a coup behind their Vor’s back. That’s not how it fucking works, as I’ve told you a million damn times. Any act of betrayal is punishable by death.”

“No one will punish you if you’re the damn leader!”

“But I’m not.” He releases a long breath. “You betrayed me and the brotherhood, Dominika.”

“No.” She squirms and fights, kicking and screaming.

I hate this sight of Mom. I’ve always known her to be larger than life, stronger too. Sometimes, downright hateful. I’ve never forgiven her for taking Aunt Annika away, but I also don’t like seeing her this helpless and with no way out.