Blood of My Monster (Monster Trilogy #1 ) by Rina Kent



I didn’t mean to be here.

Or maybe the right expression is: I shouldn’t be here.

I connived and snuck into this establishment that has never catered well to women and probably never will.

Ironically, this is the safest place for me and the only environment where I can survive beyond the metaphorical ticking time bomb I’ve been carrying around for years.

My muscles ache, and I groan with each movement. I’m sluggish, lack energy, and I’m weighted down by heavy army boots. Every step forward is a struggle, every breath is scratchy and choked.

A buzzing sound echoes in my ears and I lean against the wall outside the toilets to catch my choppy breaths.

I raise my hands under the bright fluorescent lights of the grim, gray-colored corridor. The brightness adds a layer of gruesome visuals to my cuts, making them look redder.

The sight of blood thrusts me back to gruesome memories. A pool. Gunshots. Screams.

They sizzle through my head, lowering, then heightening in a sporadic rhythm until a screeching buzz fills my ears. My hands tremble, and my body goes so still that I could be mistaken for a statue.

It’s over.


You have to breathe.

It doesn’t matter how many times I repeat the mantra. My brain has already decided that he and I ought to live in the past, crushed between those corpses we couldn’t save and the souls we left behind.

“Who do we have here?”

The distinctive voice speaking in Russian shakes me out of my surreal experience. I straighten, letting my unsteady hands fall to either side of me.

The hallway comes into focus again, grim with yellowish stains and dark walls that belong in prison instead of a military institution. The unnaturally bright lights make the view glaring, intrusive even.

My eyes move to the one who spoke just now. Matvey. He’s a fellow soldier in my unit and a pain in the ass who displays seriously toxic behavior.

As luck would have it, he’s accompanied by four other soldiers who stand on either side of him, watching me with unveiled disgust and humiliating disregard.

All twice my size, they have mean features and harsh gazes. They’re wearing T-shirts and cargo pants that are probably a lot more comfortable than the combat gear I’m still in.

I was waiting for them to finish showering so I could hop in, which is something I’ve habitually done ever since I joined the army eighteen months ago.

Despite the factor of intimidation, I square my shoulders until they hit the wall behind me. I suppress a wince and stare Matvey right in the face. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out he’s the leader of their little group.

“If it isn’t the weakling Aleksander,” he taunts in his coarse, annoying voice. His four companions snicker, hitting each other on the shoulder as if it’s the funniest joke.

My first thought is to knee Matvey in the balls and scream bloody murder at the others. But, alas, that would be no different than signing my own death certificate. At my current strength, I can barely defend myself against one of them. Five is total overkill and would cause me to end up in the hospital or be tucked neatly in a coffin.

Besides, we’re from entirely different backgrounds. Most men here either have harsh lives or severe circumstances and only joined the military because it’s sustainable income. Some even forge their real age for it. If they’re not here, they would probably be in gangs.

Keeping my head up, I try to push past Matvey and speak in my pretend ‘male’ voice. “If you will excuse me.”

“If you will excuse me,” Matvey taunts and blocks my path with his burly physique. “Such a noble little boy with proper manners. I wonder if he has any balls between his legs.”

The others burst out laughing. I try to remain calm, but I can’t control the heat that flares up my neck and spreads over my ears.

“Let me through, Matvey,” I say in a clear tone, glaring at him and standing my ground.

“Oh, he’s scary, this one. Let me through. Let me through.” His grating voice causes my throat to close and bile to rise in my stomach. “You’re too uptight for your own good, Aleksander. Relax a little, will you?”

He grabs my shoulder, and I stiffen. My flight mode zips through my limbs like it did the day I lost everything.

“Fuck. You don’t only look girly, but you also feel like one.” He strokes my shoulder, and even though our skin is separated by clothes, the predominant need to escape gets stronger.

“No wonder you’re a weak little thing at camp.” Matvey’s hand tightens as if to prove he has the physical superiority and is able to inflict harm if he wishes to. “Anyone ever tell you the army isn’t for weaklings?”

“I’m not a weakling,” I snarl in his stupid face, resisting the urge to knee him in the balls.

The others snicker, taunting from the background, but I can’t look away from Matvey. A maniacal grin spreads across his lips, stretching his features in a disturbing manner.

“Sounds like something a weakling would say.”

“Maybe we should check the balls situation, after all, eh, Matvey?” one of his goons says.

The dangerous nature of the situation dawns on me in a sudden flood. I fling myself forward to try to release my shoulder from Matvey’s hold, but he shoves me back against the wall so easily, I can feel the tears forming in my eyes.