Heart of My Monster (Monster Trilogy #3) by Rina Kent

The wails and sobs.

The infants’ cries.

The women’s terrified yells.

I think it’s a nightmare, which is why I’m not seeing anything, but then, I realize I’ve been pushed under the table, facedown, on the carpet. Slowly, I lift my head.

“Shh.” Erik places a shaky hand over my mouth, tears clinging to his eyelashes. “Stop screaming…Sasha, please…”

I breathe against his palm. I’m not sure, but I think I’ve been screaming ever since I saw my parents being killed.

“It’s okay,” Erik whispers even as he trembles, his teary eyes filling with unprecedented terror.

Did he also witness his parents being murdered? Did he…where’s Eduard? Anton?

I latch onto Erik’s hand with both of mine, and he hugs me to his chest. Eduard is shielding us both, I realize, and so are Timur and Gavriil—Uncle Albert’s sons. They’re circling us as Erik and I curl on the ground together, crammed in the small space between the table and the wall.

My fingers tighten around Erik’s back. We shake against each other, hiding our faces in one another’s damp necks. Our hearts beat so loud, I feel like they’ll explode any second. My eyes are shut so tightly that they hurt.

A weight falls on me, and I cry, jerking violently against Erik. Something hot trickles down my head and face, and I open my eyes a little.

Blood drenches my soft pink dress and the top of Erik’s head, his cheeks, and his neck. I stare up, and my mouth opens when I see Eduard’s and Timur’s lifeless eyes. Holes riddle their chests, and half of Timur’s face is gone. Gavriil is also clutching his middle and screaming as blood pours out of him.

“No…” Erik sobs, reaching for his twin.

He releases me, his face ashen, and tears streak down the blood on his cheeks.

“Erik…no…don’t…don’t go…” I desperately hold onto his wrist with my unsteady hand. If he sits up, they’ll know he’s alive—

His body jerks back, and I’m about to scream, but he falls on top of me. The weight of his lifeless body suffocates me and I stop breathing.

For a moment, I think I was hit, too.

But if I were, would I still hear the gunshots? Would I feel the blood that’s soaking me?

The shrieks and screams have died down, but the gunshots haven’t. They keep going on and on and on.

All I can do is tremble and cry silently while covered by my dead cousins and a pool of blood.

At this moment, all I wish for is death.

I wish and wish…

But it never comes.



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Today is my wedding day.

Which happens to be the second in the span of a week.

And while I don’t believe in wedding fever or the institution of marriage itself, certain circumstances have made this outcome inevitable.

This whole process is necessary for the survival of the house of cards. It won’t be long before the chess pieces take their places on the board.

Truth is, they’ve been where they’re supposed to be from the start.

Everything is going exactly according to plan.

The church brims with people. At the top of the food chain, there’s the Pakhan, the leaders of the brotherhood, and the rest of the members from different organizations.

They’re here to witness the birth of the new man all dealings will go through.

Aka me.

Considering the importance of this event, the church is mined with security detail from all factions. However, Viktor is the one who’s leading the process. I don’t trust anyone else to make this wedding a success.

Most of my men are stationed inside, while the others are guarding the external perimeter. I can leave it to Viktor to come up with the best security plans.

I check my watch and frown when I don’t find an update from Maksim. He should’ve gotten in touch by now.

Unless…he was killed?

I internally shake my head. He couldn’t be dead. Maksim is one of my best men, second best after Viktor in combat, so there’s no one better than him to take care of this loose end.


I lift my head to stare at the priest. Wrinkles of age surround his eyes as he carefully looks between me and my ‘supposed’ wife-to-be. Perhaps I spent too long staring at my watch and ignoring the robot of a woman who shouldn’t be anyone’s wife.

But she will be.

If everything goes according to plan.

“I apologize,” I say, letting a charming smile tug at my lips. “I’m so eager to take my wife home that I’m counting the minutes.”

Scattered laughter fills the hall. The priest smiles and mumbles that it’s okay.

Kristina, however, is nowhere near amused. She looks too pale, as if she’ll pass out any second now.

That’s it, robot. Show emotions for once in your miserable life.

“You can proceed,” I tell the priest and grab Kristina’s gloved hands in mine. They’re frigid cold, like her expression and corpse-like presence.

Her deep blue eyes look into mine, but they’re lifeless, and the wrong fucking color.

The only color I approve of belongs to those eyes that flicker between green, brown, and yellow in a symphony of emotions.