The Devil's CrownPart Two - Monica James
Chase the Butterflies
CONTENT WARNING: THE DEVIL’S CROWN is divided into two parts. It’s a spin-off, but I recommend you read ALL THE PRETTY THINGS TRILOGY before starting this book.
THE DEVIL’S CROWN is a DARK ROMANCE containing mature themes that might make some readers uncomfortable. It includes strong violence, possible triggers, and some dark and disturbing scenes.
This warning is not a gimmick. This twisted tale is not intended for the fainthearted. So, if you’re game…welcome to the madness.
God save your soul.
“YOU STUBBORN SON of a bitch, you need to go to the hospital!” exclaims Saint for the tenth time, flinching as he looks at my thigh, which resembles ground beef.
“What…I need,” I pant, attempting to adjust myself into a comfortable position in the back of the van, “is for Pavel to stop hitting every bump in the road.”
“If you don’t like my driving, you can walk,” he replies with a shrug, peering at me in the visor mirror.
That isn’t an option, seeing as I was beaten within an inch of my life. Actually, no, that’s incorrect. I was beaten to death, only to be resurrected by the devil.
“She belongs to the Macrillo family now.”
Clenching my fist, I hear Santo’s words play over and over, which only flames my anger to biblical proportions. Ella is with him right now, being subjected to God knows what, and it’s my fault. If only I hadn’t lied to her. If only I’d told her the truth.
I just didn’t think she’d sacrifice herself this way, sacrifice herself…for me. But that’s what she did. Regardless of believing she meant nothing to me, she did this so we could all be free.
“Drive faster,” I order, hissing when Pavel hits a pothole.
He responds with a smirk.
Saint sits by me, his T-shirt pressed over the bleeding wound in my chest, thanks to Raul imbedding a hoe into my lungs.
Raul was so close to gaining his revenge, but now that it was stolen from him, he’ll stop at nothing to find me and finish the job.
I left Santo and his men at Raul’s, clueless to what I was planning. Santo believes I saw our deal through, delivering Ella into his clutches, which is why he saved me. He was watching my every move. That is how he must have known where I was. But if I didn’t need him alive, he’d be nailed to the lattice wall next to my half-brother with his cock shoved down his throat too.
“You need to calm down. You’re bleeding like a motherfucker,” Saint warns, shaking his head as I scoff at his fussing.
“Would you calm down if that vile asshole had Willow?”
When Saint’s jaw clenches, that’s enough of an answer.
I need to get out of this van and find Ella. Nothing else matters but getting her away from the Macrillo family. I have no idea what Santo has planned for her, which scares me beyond words. If he hurts her…
Thankfully, we’re pulling into the driveway of Larisa’s home. The moment the van stops, I attempt to open the door with bloodied fingers, but I fail terribly because Raul broke three fingers on my right hand.
The door slides open, and when I see Willow, I’m instantly ashamed. I have failed everyone and should be dead. Ella should be on her way home, and Willow and Saint should be free of me.
“Oh, Alek,” she cries when she takes in my injuries.
“Help me, ангел,” Saint frantically orders, gently looping his arm around me to help me out of the van.
“No, you’ll get blood on your dress,” I wheeze, recoiling when she does as Saint asked.
Of course she ignores me, and on the count of three, she and Saint lug my useless ass out of the van and support me so I can stand. Saint holds tight, and I lean into him, not wanting to crush Willow.
As they lead me toward the house, I dig in my heels. “No, I don’t want Irina to see me like this.”
Saint changes direction, and we begin a stagger toward the barn.
“Спасибо, мой друг,” I express my gratitude to Saint, who merely grunts. He doesn’t want my thanks. “дорогая, I’m so sorry…for everything.”
“Shh, Alek, save your strength.”
I have no idea why Willow thinks I’m weak when I’m feeling just fine. Currently, it feels as though I’m floating on air, and when I peer at my feet, I see that I am.
Saint and Willow are carrying me because I’ve lost the use of my legs. I can see my left femur bone as the