Chapter 1: SEDUCTIVE PREY
Annoyed and slightly frustrated, Malia rummaged around her studio apartment, in search of her car keys. “Mum, I’m not getting into this. I highly doubt he’s cheating on you!” She grumbles back at the wailing woman currently situated on her sofa, which has doubled as a temporary bed for the past few days. Sofia slams her fists down on the cushions and throws her head back, her eyes trailing behind her daughter as she shifts from place to place.
“I’m not going back!” Sofia refuses to go back to the man that decided to cheat on her. Her children don’t believe her, hell she doesn’t believe herself… but why was her man out late, why did he always hide his phone…
Malia rolls her eyes before they zero in on the metal patiently sitting by the toaster. “I’m heading out; I’ll be back soon. Okay?” she snags up the keys and pulls the long sleeves of her shirt, further down. “Call me if you need anything…” Sofia sighs as her daughter calls the words out and descends the industrial stairs, down to the bottom level.
Cracking her neck, Malia exits out the sliding doors and unlocks her curbed vehicle. Taking a seat on the soft cushion, she drags her phone from her pocket and dials up her father. She speaks to him in a hushed rush, informing him of his wifes location. His father remains as understanding as a Silvetti can be…which is not that much. Shaking her head, she ends the call and keys the ignition, indicating out of the parking sport. Revving her way down the street after glancing back at her warehouse styled shop, just to make sure the ‘open’ sign is flipped, she makes her way to a nearby pub.
The dark atmosphere assists in calming her mind and nerves. She tells herself this is necessary and that it’s time to move on, despite the pep talk her leg shakes. The woman in her head, a true advocate of moving on, unlocks her chastity belt and pulls on suggestive panties. Lys, went to a pub and lost her virginity! Malia scolds her subconscious, this is completely different, for starters she’s not a virgin. No, that was taken from her.
Rolling her bottom lip into her mouth, she bites down on the soft flesh. Parking outside a fair few metres away from the entrance, she closes her eyes and breathes through her nose while leaning back. Pinching the bridge of her nose she takes a moment to herself and focuses on something that always calms her down. Family.
Her eyes snap open and in one fluid move she grabs the door handle and pushes forward, it swings out and slowly she exits. With several curses under her breath, she locks up and heads into the highly intoxicated joint.
The bartender glares at Malia, her brothers had given him quite the talk. But damn the beautiful woman just kept coming back, she nods him and he gives her a warning grunt. She purses her lips and slips up onto one of the bar stools, awaiting her usual. “Back, again…” He slides a watered down glass towards her.
Malia ignores the worried tone in Darren’s voice and replies, “yes, I need some liquid courage.” Taking a sip, she deflates, “This isn’t strong enough.” She pushes it back towards her friend.
“It’s as strong as it gon’ get,” Darren finalises with a hard expression, he leaves her to tend to others. Malia sucks her teeth and devours the liquor within a matter of seconds, she raises her hand slightly. “Stay put, Malia. I’m not about to have your brothers fuck start me.” Darren grunts from a couple metres away after noticing her actions.
From the entrance a suited man settles his eyes on his next prey, he smirks at his mates and nods for them to take a seat. Sauntering his way to the black haired beauty, he mocks sitting at one of the other spaces a couple seats down, catching the next games eye he approaches her. “How you doing, sweetheart?” He smiles softly, women always fell for it.
Goosebumps rise all along Malia’s arms and down her back, she pushes down the need to move away and greets him back. The man is attractive, and if this was any other women they’d have fallen victim, unfortunately for him, Malia was not any other women. Something about the stranger disgusted her, he’s a man… her subconscious mocks. She wraps her arms around her body, he reaches out and strokes her arm. Bile rises and within seconds Malia is on her feet, slapping away his hold on her.
Shocked at the reaction, the man simply watches after her as she walks down the bar. He glances behind him and shares a promising look with him mates.
Malia shakes off the shivers and makes her way to Darren who watches her, worriedly. She simply shakes her head and grounds her molars together, “just beer, please?” The words are thrusts through her teeth.
“One.” He bargains.
Taking what she can get, she nods… grudgingly. Closing her eyes, she repeats the same routine and calms herself down. Then, without warning a sickly trickle crawls up her spine. The small hairs along her neck stand to attention, nervously she looks around. The heated gaze draws her in. For one small moment, no one sticks out particularly, but she zeros in on a darkened corner of the bar and catches crystal irises.
Almost in a desperate state she moves to her feet, this wasn’t the beginning to some fairy tale, so Malia ignores the almost too tacky scenario and gives Darren a small wave. She grabs her phone off the bench and moves through the room and out the opening. Shaped metal is left behind along with her courage. The curvaceous woman heads down the street towards her parked car, about a metre from the safety of her vehicle, she’s slammed quite brutally against the brick of Darren’s pub.
Groaning, she suppresses the urge to scream and thrusts her knee up hard, surprisingly the large figure huddling against her, simply dodges her. She jerks her palm forward towards his jugular, and once again… misses. Finally, realising all the hours of blood, sweat and tears hold nothing to the brute currently pressed far to close.
Anxiety stalks through her mind, and she goes to release a blood-drying cry for help, only to end up with a mouthful of palm. Hard, course palm. Even more surprising than not being able to kick his ass, she for some absurd reason doesn’t feel the need to vomit… in a projectile manner. “Sh…” A gravely grunt is pressed above her head.
Instantly, almost on autopilot, her body listens and she rests against the hard surface quietly. She’d never met anyone as big and intimidating as the men in her family… But this guy, he could most definitely rival them. “Let me go.” Her voice is hard and cold, a dull whisper against the wind cracking against their bodies.
“They’re following you.” He snaps, pearly white teeth bite down at her.
Slowly, she turns her head to look back in the direction she’d just come from, a group of men stand clumped against one of the light stands. “And your…”
“Saving you.” Kai frowns, the words sounded so very wrong. Grimacing at the situation he’d just involved himself in. But fuck, the woman had his dick saluting. It’d been far too long since he’d been in between a woman’s thighs. Keeping her hidden from the vile men, he takes a moment to scan her tanned skin, green eyes and tatt’s creeping along her neck… He was caught off guard a while back, she’d almost nipped his member, something that should have deflated the organ, but only seemed to cause it to lengthen further.
Malia frowns, “so why does it feel like you’re the one following me…” Her words trail off, as she watches his jaw click in a disturbingly erotic manner.
“Because, I am.” He replies, simply. As if it’s the most normal thing to have said in the situation. Fear curls around her skin and she presses her back further against the rough backdrop. His chocolate skin a stark contrast against icy grey eyes, their gaze locks and she breathes in jaggedly, he licks his lips while following the movement of her rising chest.
Continuing to watch him, she whispers, “they’re gone.” She’d senses the empty street, rather than saw. As if only noticing now that he is barricading the significantly smaller woman against the wall, he moves back in one quick step. Malia gives him one last curious look before side stepping away from him and making her way to her ride. His eyes smoulder into her back during the whole ordeal. Only when her conscious is clear does she hear it screaming, they’re dangerous… all of them!
“Malia.” Her name rolls of his tongue so seductively, she turns to face him while feeling her pockets for keys. “Here.” The clinking, missing shrapnel moves through the air, she raises her hand just in time for it to fall directly in her open palm.
With a small thrill in her step, she enters the car. Slipping inside, Malia’s eyes focus back on the dark man leaning where she’d just been. Swallowing tightly, she revs her engine and indicates out of the parking space. Without any success, the young Silvetti makes her way home… this occurrence had toke place every night for the past six months. The last time she’d had sex is something she’d rather not remember.
A couple minutes later, Malia finds herself idling in front of her shop, she notices all the lights upstairs are turned off, unbuckling she exits the vehicle and swipes her key-card, the sliding doors beep before opening. The minimal light from the moon shines through the wall-length windows and provides significant lighting for her to make her way up the metal stairs. With a small frown, she enters the living room and finds her mother on the pull out sofa, she moves to her and tugs Sofia’s blanket up to her neck.
Pulling off her jacket, she drops it over one of the bar stools and walks around the semi-wall into her bedroom, furthering into the bathroom. As quietly as possible she strips and enters the sterile space. Gazing in the mirror she notices a slight flush to her skin, Malia enters the large glassed cubical and turns on the valves. Within a couple of minutes, all the glass surfaces are fogged. She grabs a luffa and scrubs the disgust off her body. I frustrated sigh follows her hands down her lean legs, every fucking time! For a sick reason, any man outside of her family, touching her always made her feel foul.
Once she’s sufficiently removed the subconscious grim from her body, she exits the shower and grabs a fluffy black towel, drying her body she enters her bedroom and dresses in her nightwear. She pulls back her covers and takes a seat on her bed, booting up the laptop beside her, Malia checks all her appointments for tomorrow before laying down and drifting off to a pill induced sleep.
Malia rises to the sound of dishes clattering in her kitchen, yawning the woman moves to a sitting position. Her two staff member should be in soon, she swings her legs over the side of the bed and stands up. After brushing her teeth and washing her face, she dresses in her usual tights and long-sleeved shirt.
Sofia moves around her daughter’s kitchen, feeling much more comfortable in the apartment after spending several days here. She is lucky to have children who’d not bat an eyelash at her antics, after all she knew she could be quite the drama queen. She sautés tomatoes, onions and eggs in a frying pan and toasts bread. Using the juicer, she makes Malia’s favourite lemon fruit drink and sets the island up for their breakfast.
Malia grins as the scent of egg hits her, her mother’s cooking always send joyous thrills down her spine. She enters the kitchen and takes a seat, together the duo devours the food. Malia helps with cleaning and then heads downstairs, while her mother takes to writing another one of her novellas. Sticks of exotic odours burns through the lower level, she sets up shop and awaits her first customer. Stationing one of the needling spaces, Malia goes through the inked design.
Several minutes later the doors open and Malia looks up to greet, Rhett and Kol. The only two other men she trusted outside of her family, shit… they could be considered family. The South African and Asian grin at their boss. The three of them muck around and joke about their exploits, until their clients begin to shuffle in one by one.
Malia bites her tongue as her phone buzzes for the eighteenth time, she refused to speak to her brothers… a small smile graces her lips as she thinks about Lydia. It’s crazy to think that her brothers had finally found someone as compatible for them as Dee is. Lunch comes quick and her mother descends with a large bowl of pasta. “Cheers, Mrs. S!” Rhett grins, taking a large heap.
“Thank you, Sofia.” Kol smiles, his voice containing a slight accent. He’d left Korea several years ago, but the authentic sound remains.
Sofia adored the two boys, it came as a relief to know that her daughter had two men to keep her safe. She always felt cautious when it came to Malia, the girl seemed strong but a mother knows when her baby is hurting. She plates up some for her daughter and together they eat up. As Sofia eats, her eyes remain focused on Malia, who seemed to go out every night and only ever return past midnight. She’d ask Royce to speak to her, but this seemed like something out of both of their control.
Unknown to Malia, outside her shop across the street idles a tinted vehicle. Kia, watches the shop with a furious scowl, he clenches the wheel between his hands tightly. The fucking sun glared just as harshly as he did against the glass windows, making it impossible to see inside without actually going up close. “Silvetti…” The word is spat with acid.
What he’d do to get his hands on one of the fuckers, the things he’d do. Torture doesn’t come close. He remains in the car, seething. That is until the front doors slide open and a long, dark haired woman exits. She looks up directly at his vehicle and runs her hand through her hair, moving the silky strands, exposing her feature.
Kai sucks in a deep breath, those fucking features. He knew the Silvetti’s were are large family, hell he knew every location of their homes and jobs, the only thing he hadn’t expected was for the erection calling raven to be the sister of two of the cunts that killed his brother. Feeling like a dickhead himself, for not knowing such vital information he pulls out of the space and accelerates away from her striking eyes and defined jaw. A jaw he wanted to clench tight while thrusting up into her sweet heat.
His older brother’s destroyed faces mock him and he decides then and there; he’ll break her. He’ll destroy each Silvetti… starting by the weakest, most treasured one.
Malia watches after the sleek black car with a frown, thinking little of the suspicious vehicle she continues on her way down the street towards a lovely young juice shop owner. Upon entry, Satoka grins broadly, she holds up a cup tray with four vibrant drinks. “That’s my girl!” Malia cheers, exchanging the drinks for Sofia’s pasta. “You set for, Saturday?”
“I can’t turn back…” Satoka chuckles nervously.
Malia smiles, “nope. I’m opening just for you.”
Satoka has taken a liking to Malia’s tattoos and hopes to gain a few of her own. “Will Kol be there…?” She questions, fiddling with some of the cups.
“He’s practicing designs all weekend.” Malia smirks while exiting the shop, not before seeing Satoka blush. With quick steps she takes the drinks back to her shop, ensuring the ice remains in solid form. The boys quickly snag their drinks and she takes one up to her mother.
A couple blocks down, Kai storms into his rental apartment. He releases his jacket along with his phone and heads for the gym across the road. Entering the old but well equipped studio, he silently makes his way to the boxing ring. Shin watches after the dark skinned brute, he eyes some of the junior boxers and with a furious shake of the head, no one approaches the ring… where Kai fists his hands. The mid-aged, retired man keeps his distance for a few moments, allowing the thirty-something mess sweat of some of his anger.
Finally, Shin approaches. “Your right arm is weak, son.” He instigates a conversation. The younger male looks down at the owner with an air of annoyance, but nevertheless in his next movement he strengthens the weakened cut. “That’s a lot of dangerous anger, you got there.” Shin moves around the ring, analysing Kai’s movements. The words are met with silence. “Do not fight with anger, kid.” Shin leaves the fighter with a final couple of words, “you’ll only end up losing.”
The man’s words only antagonise Kai, further. The added fuel has him dropping his stance and moving out of the ring. He leaves the gym with curious eyes following his departure. With a furious stride he practically claws back into his car. With vicious thoughts he makes his way back to the young Silvettis shop.
Parking out front he watches two men leave the store. He notices the Raven moving around, courtesy to the darkening sky. Deciding to leave her defined jaw with a couple of warning dents, he swiftly exits his car and strides across the empty road and into her store. He’d ruin her pretty little face, then he’d destroy the rest of her family.
Malia looks up at the sudden entrance. Her eyes widen as she takes in the large man crossing the space to her, he stands at an impressive height with an intimidating build. Instantly she recognises him. The same cutting glare, ridged stance. Last night’s lighting… did the man no justice, he had something powerful, something that forced Malia to keep her eyes on him. Shocked, she feels liquid heat seep out of the junction between her thighs. Well that’s new.
Kai makes his way through the store, directly to her. He raises his hand. And, before he can stop himself, he grabs her jaw tightly, slamming his lips to hers. Her shocked gasp falls directly into the warmth of his mouth…