I N F A T U A T E D | Chapter Thirty-Nine | End Game
The heel of my left shoe scraped at the tile floor as I swallowed down a large drink of bourbon. The liquid sloshed noisily from within the bottle as I shoved it towards Dmitry's chest. Taking it from my hands, he sighed and followed suit, breathing loudly as he choked down a hungry amount.
Leaning against the wall, I let my hands fall to my sides, uneager at the task ahead. The fresh ink grew agitated against my shirt and a subtle sting radiated from its spot on my chest.
"Don't tell Sophia." I started, letting the words fall stiffly from my lips as I motioned for him to pass back the draining bottle of bourbon.
Dmitry remained silent, waiting for me to continue. For once, the fucker was actually speechless, eying me patiently as he pressed his lips together into a straight line.
Taking another shot from the bottle, I cracked my neck. "I want to be the one to inform her of Donovan's passing. Is that clear?"
"Crystal." He barked gruffly as he smoothed the fabric of his wrinkled button-up.
My fingers tapped at the rim of my pants pocket. Feeling the square outline of the unopened envelope press against my leg, I clenched my jaw and took another shot.
Dmitry's eyes narrowed slightly as he adjusted his earpiece. "I suppose I'll leave you to your thoughts, then."
"I need to see her." I grunted, tossing the bottle back to him.
He caught it, biting his lip hesitantly. "She's fine, Romanov," he assured, "Vlad isn't as brutish as most of our men. He may be a dip shit, but she's in good hands."
Massaging my temples roughly with my palms, I looked longingly towards the grand staircase. "Fuck, I know," I paused, desperate to erase the image of the waxy corpse bundled within the bed sheets, "I just can't get that fucking smell out of my nose."
Hissing at my words, I realized that he was undoubtedly plagued with the same horrific memory. "Me fucking either." He chuckled darkly, taking another shot, but choosing to swallow it slower this time. He plopped down onto a decorative chaise, almost knocking over the large vase beside it in the process.
"My bourbon." I pointed towards the bottle.
Dmitry tossed it towards me and I caught it lazily with my left hand. Letting my head tilt back as my lips cradled the mouth of the bottle, I frowned dryly at the sound of footsteps as they met the tiled flooring. An armed guard appeared from around the corner, addressing me respectfully in Russian.
I let my head pivot loosely from my shoulders, waving him away.
"It seems as if your father is growing impatient. The meeting with the St. Clouds is underway?" Dmitry questioned.
"So it seems," I glowered, sucking in a tight breath, "He wants me to entertain them."
"I'll go check on your little heiress," Dmitry coughed, rising from his spot, "You may as well get a little pleasure out of this dinner. I'm sure a social-elitist family as uptight as the St. Clouds won't be difficult to vex."
I nodded, flicking the now emptied bottle towards him before heading down the hallway. "No, it won't be difficult at all. Although, you and I both know, my father has a tendency to turn everything into a blood-bath."
. . .
It may have been the bourbon, but I couldn't help but sneer at the painted faces of the family seated before me. It made it easier that way; already knowing the grim outcome of what this meeting entailed caused the liquor to claw at the flesh of my veins. Christian St. Cloud nodded towards me rigidly as I closed the heavy doors of the dining hall and walked in.
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