Chapter 03

VALENTINA

I don’t want to hate Agent Vitali anymore. He let me pee.

When I told him that I wanted to pee, he gazed at me strangely for a good long minute and then looked away.

It was awkward and embarrassing.

He unlocked my handcuffs and lead me to the washrooms down the white slick clean corridor without any nasty remarks or threats.

While he made me walk in front of him, he walked behind me with steady steps. I could feel my back burning due to his piercing gaze being fixed at it.

Now as I stand beside the door to the washroom knowing he is right outside, I am thinking about his options.

They are going to torture me until I speak up. They won’t stop even if it takes a lifetime. They won’t let me die either.

The torture will become worse with each day.

I want to be practical here. This brave act won’t save me from all the pain which scares every human being out there.

A knock sounds on the door, bringing me out of my trance. It’s a signal that the time here is over.

Either I have to go out or he is going to come in.

Like I expected, he opens the lockless door when I don’t step out even after a minute passes away.

He comes face to face with me and I finally notice how short I am compared to him. I only come up to his shoulders.

“ Walk. ” He spats at me.

I blink my eyes rapidly before I decide that it’s in my best interest to follow his command.

Be practical. That’s the idea here.

I walk in front of him and he follows me casually. If these walls were not so white and if I was not held prisoner here, I would have thought we two are on a short walk.

His silence is meaningful.

He is observing me, following every movement of mine with his dark orbs.

I breath deeply when I reach the end of the corridor and those two doors come into my view. I twist the doorknob of the room I came out of and step inside.

Strolling to the chair, I slump down on it knowing very well that I have no way out of it.

“ How many days has it been? ” I question Agent Vitali who is still standing in the doorway.

“ Two days. ” He answers me and I nibble on my lower lip.

If Nico was coming to save me, I wouldn’t be here right now. Thorns get things done smoothly.

It doesn’t take this long for Thorn Clan to respond.

They are not looking for me…All of this delay suggests this.

Or perhaps, they think I am not worth the effort of risking their secrets and business.

I look down at my hands when I feel Agent Vitali coming to me.

He takes my hand without asking me and I look up instantly. Placing my right hand down on the table, he cuffs it before doing the same to my left hand.

I am restrained once again. The breaths of freedom were short.

He doesn’t move away after cuffing me to the table. Instead, he pulls my sleeves up. I feel surprised at his sudden gesture.

His Dark orbs inspect my wrists and my eyes go wide. My hands form fists as I feel exposed.

“ It doesn’t seem like the first time you have been handcuffed or restrained. ” He concludes after seeing the faded cuff marks on my small wrists.

“ My boyfriend is kinky. What can I say… ” I don’t know why I even said this, but I don’t regret it.

I don’t like to be exposed.

Agent Vitali lifts his gaze to meet my eyes and I feel his gaze turning intense and meaningful.

There is some tension in the room. I can only hear our breathing, before he decides to speak up. “ Being kinky doesn’t mean hurting someone. ”

His words are intended to woo me, tempt me into telling him all the truth, but I feel the opposite. I feel…turned on.

My fists curl up some more as I shift uncomfortably in my spot. What does he really intend to do? I don’t know anymore.

Suddenly, he leans in and lets his lips hover above my right ear. I shrink in myself as the feeling intensifies.

“ You are turned on. ” He states the not-so-obvious and unprofessional fact, causing a lump to form in my throat all over again.

“ Anyway. ” He clears his throat and backs off, turning around the table to go sit on his chair.

I hold my breath back, wondering what just happened between us.

This is so strange.

“ Do you want to tell me something now? ” Judging from his words, he is just using all ways to get the truth out of me.

These ways include…

Threats. Warnings. Mental torture. Physical torture. Sympathy. Pity. Seduction.

“ Why am I even here? Do you have any proof against me? ” I question him, finally deciding to open my mouth.

Be practical. That’s the idea, remember.

“ Proof. If we had proof, you would be in jail not in a investigation room of an intelligence agency. ” He states the obvious this time.

I open my mouth and close it repeatedly, feeling out of words.

“ Besides, you are here to provide us those proofs. ” He adds and opens his Attaché case.

He brings out several files from it.

One by one.

“ Drug trafficking. ” He drops a file on the table in front of me.

“ Human Trafficking. ” He drops another one.

“ Murders. ” Another file. A thud noise.

“ Target killings. ” He drops another one.

“ Gang Violence. ” Another file.

“ Sexual Assaults. ” Another one.

“ Money laundering. ” Another one.

“ Illegal Brothels. ” Another one.

“ Illegal lands. ” Another one.

“ And many more. ” He takes out a pile of files and drops them down on the table aggressively.

He looks angry. I stick my bottom lip out, pouting at him.

“ Your boyfriend Nicholas has committed and ordered all these crimes. ” He hisses at me, his dark eyes narrowing down to glare.

I try to reach out to the file with my restraint hands and sigh out when I can’t reach it. Agent Vitali’s eyes follow my movement.

“ The content of these files…Can this prove it was my BOYFRIEND? ” I ask, knowing the answer very well.

“ Your boyfriend is the head of Thorn Clan – the biggest mafia around and you think we can take him down with some files? Nothing ever traces back to him even if everyone knows, it’s him. That’s why we brought you here. ” He sneers at me, his eyes turning darker if possible.

Does he have some personal reason to hate my BOYFRIEND? I ponder over the thought.

“ I just know Nicholas is the CEO of Thorn Inc. ” I lie straight to his face.

“ Don’t lie to me, Ms. Valentina. ” He smirks all of a sudden and pushes the chair back, getting up from it.

He closes the distance between us again and sits on the edge of the table, facing me. His slim torso is parallel to my face. I swallow my saliva when his scent hits my nostrils.

“ I don’t like lies. I don’t like people who lie either. ” He pushes his forefinger under my chin and tilts my head up.

I inhale sharply and bite back. “ Then you must be a liar. ”

“ Liars don’t like other liars. ” I state and his smirk falls instantly.

I guess I hit him right on the spot.

“ So…Do you want to tell me something now? Or do I need to start carving up this body? ” He traces my neck with his forefinger again, his eyes moving lower just like his finger.

“ Depends on what you are actually offering me in return. ” I reply boldly.

“ Protection. ” He whispers huskily. This man has the ability to make innocent words sound so sensual and dirty.

I feel the itch under my skin to look away from his heated gaze, but I still hold onto my sanity and keep my eyes fixed at him.

“ I don’t want that. ” I choke out and his finger stops in it’s venture.

“ Then what do you want? ” He asks, interested.

“ A reassurance that you are really going to destroy The Thorns. ” My eyes burn as I tell this to him and watch his expressions turning sore.

“ You want to destroy your boyfriend? ” A moment ago, he was asking this from me and Now when I am ready, he sounds so judgmental.

Bloody Double Standards.

“ I want to destroy the whole Thorn clan. ” I correct him, my hands tightly fisted on the table.

“ Why? ” His tone is really – really strange right now.

“ It doesn’t matter to you. I will help you but only if you are capable of bringing The Thorns down. ” I lean back in the chair finally, my hands scrapping against the handcuffs.

Who cares if my hands hurt? I am too tired to sit straight anymore.

This topic always tires me out.

“ You lack loyalty, Ms. Valentina. ” He smirks, his eyes still accusing me.

A smile comes up to rest on my lips and it slowly turns into a grin.

“ Monsters don’t deserve any compassion or…loyalty. ”

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