Ambrose's Muse

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ALEXANDER VALENTINE

Alex stared at the thirty associates of his who were dispersed around the warehouse. A thin sheen of sweat appeared on his forehead, he just hoped everything would be according to their plan. Alex adjusted his earpiece; he was connected continuously with Boris who was situated on a high-rise building overlooking the warehouse. This was

Boris’ forte; he was a sniper in the military at one point.

“All clear,” Boris said, “one of the Wagner associates has disabled all the cameras upon Riccardo’s behest.”

Wagners were one of the closest allies of the Valentines. Having a familial relationship made things easier for Alex, he was still grateful for the associates who were loyal to Wagners and Valentines inside the warehouse. They understood what was best for them.

“What is the situation inside?” Alex whispered.

“You need to get into the basement, that’s where the group is hiding out,”

“Did he see Ambrose amongst the group?”

“Funny enough, although he did mention that a leader was amongst them, he didn’t take Ambrose’s name. I still think you need to abort this mission, Alexander,”

Alexander was tired of the many people who were blindfolded by

Ambrose’s charisma. They refused to see him as the villain that he really was. God, Alex wished to return alive and to even capture Ambrose alive, he wanted to unveil the real Ambrose in front of the world.

“I am going in.” Alex turned off the safety on his gun and walked out from the alley, he dragged a drugged and half-awake Lucius behind him. Alex understood the repercussions of this poorly planned mission, but it was necessary.

They reached the warehouse and Alex pressed Lucius’s finger on the identity scanner. The doors to the warehouse opened at once. One by one, twenty of the associates entered the warehouse. Alex had made sure that each one of them had silencers on their firearms. He wanted the mission to be as quiet as possible with minimal destruction.

The rest of the ten associates were stationed outside with one of them dragging Lucius away as Alex entered

the warehouse. The doors closed after him.

“Five of you stay by the door,” Alex motioned, “and five of you in the central lot of the warehouse. Observe everything. And if you hear gunshots from the basement, then leave. Do not come to save us.”

The associates were hesitant, but they didn’t argue with Alex. Alex took his position behind a pile of boxes filled with all sorts of illegal goods. The Wagner associates were peppered all

across the warehouse, doing rounds. The Valentine associates would have to extra careful.

Alex quickly sneaked out and walked into the stairwell and started to climb down towards the basement. A Wagner associate came face to facewith him, the associate’s eyes widened with anger and hostility and quickly barrelled towards Alex. Alex, thanking his quick wits, pushed him down the stairs with the back of his gun.

“I am sorry, man,” Alex whispered and shot him.

The gun made minimal noise, with the help of the silencer. The associate lay dead on the staircase. Alex pulled his card key out and memorised the name of the associate before using to gain access into the basement. He slipped inside. There was hardly any light. The basement was a big and spacious area filled with columns and columns of wooden crates. This place was like a maze and Alex had to be

careful. He stepped between two crate rows and slipped between a crevice, effectively hiding himself. The crate maze was infested with associates.

Alex knew they were not Wagner associates. They were not even from this country. They carried heavy duty arms. Their guns were better than his, and he didn’t know how to proceed. His associates must have entered the basement by now for he

saw one of the associates fall to the ground with a gentle thud.

The associate nodded at Alex, aware of his position already. Before coming to the warehouse, Alex had made sure to study the maps and blueprints of the warehouse. This was the least they could do to be prepared. Alex crept out and walked further into the maze. He quickly took aim at two associates, shooting them without a second thought. They fell on the ground.

Alex felt an inkling, a feeling at the back of his neck, and he incidentally stared upwards.

On top of the crates, a couple of associates stood, they were like watch-tower guards.

Alex wasn’t aware of them. It was his good luck to have not got caught. Alex motioned to the other associates, trying to warn as many of them as possible. When one of the guards turned away, Alex quickly moved further into the maze, knowing that a

small compound resided right in the middle. That was where the leader and his group was situated.

There was a part of Alex that was excited to see Ambrose. Despite all that was going on, Ambrose was still his beloved brother, and Alex hoped to catch him alive. The last thing Alex wanted was to kill his brother.

Cherished old memories flitted through his brain, carrying out the mission became all the more difficult. Alex didn’t know if he was even

prepared to see his brother. Ambrose would be thirty-eight. Would he have grey hair? Probably not, they had great genes. Tommaso started getting his first layer of grey hair at the age of forty-five. And his mother still sported only a few strands, despite being in her early sixties.

Alex crossed another column of crates and hid between two containers. He was getting closer and the closer he got, the faster his heartbeat. Two faces appeared in his

mind. The first was Nicholas. He had gotten so close to the man in the span of only a few weeks. And second was sweet Bell. He had not even apologised for the mistakes he committed, for the truths he hid from her and the cheating. The incessant cheating on her for the past two years. He was the worst human being. He should’ve let go of her, but instead he made her his fiancée. What good deed did he do to deserve an angel like Bell?

Alex felt a cool metal touch the base of the head, he gulped.

“Don’t even think about moving.”

It was an associate, and he had a thick Russian accent. He pushed Alex forward. Alex grunted. This was it. This is how he will be dying. The associate dragged him to the centre. Alex was worried about his associates. He had given them explicit instructions to leave the warehouse if he got caught. He hoped

they had left. He didn’t want anyone dying because of plan.

Alex was brought to the compound resting between the maze of crates. There were a small desk and a chair. A few unnamed associates stood there. Alex carefully scanned them all. All of them were either East Europeans or Russians. What was Ambrose doing with the bunch of them?

The associate pushed him down on his knees.

“Retreat,” Alex mumbled into his earpiece.

The associate snatched the earpiece and kicked Alex in the stomach. The others loomed over Alex and took his guns and knives. Alex was now without weapons. He had nothing to defend himself with.

“Did you do a thorough search?” the associate who brought Alex asked.

“We did, Krum. The whole place was searched, and we didn’t see anyone.”

Alex sighed in relief.

“Looks like he is a lone assassin,” Krum grinned, “I cannot wait for the boss to meet him. Go get him.”

One of the associates disappeared into the maze of crates.

“So, this boss of yours is always a little bitch?”

“Excuse me?” Krum snarled.

“I mean, if he is so dangerous and lethal, then he should be a little more open about it. I expected a lot more courage on his part.”

“You will see his courage when he shoots you right in the centre of your head. I am sure that’ll shut your smart little mouth,” Krum snapped and kicked him again.

Alexander grunted but continued to grin.

“I have been prepared to die since I was born. You cannot scare me, Krum. It takes a lot more than that!” Alexander spat, “and your Boss, he is a little piece of shit hiding away in a

warehouse that belongs to one of our families. How dare you?”

“You can bark all you want, but you are not leaving this place alive. Boss will mince you to pieces and throw you in the sea just like we did with your uncle. Try speaking then!”

Alexander glared at Krum. He just wanted to beat the shit out of this guy. Wipe the smug grin off of his oily and disgusting place. The man was soinfuriating, Alex’s only wish was to die after killing this piece of shit. How

dare he bring up his Uncle? A bunch of traitors didn’t get to be on his land! The city was his kingdom, and there could be only one king.

But he wouldn’t let a traitor get back into the city.

But what was that the reason why Alexander was so angry with Ambrose? Because there was a part of Alex that wanted Ambrose to return. Alex often found himself alone and the only person he craved to be with on those times was Ambrose.

If Ambrose stepped out in front of him, today. Would he shoot Alex or embrace? Would Alex be able to forgive the man for leaving him alone amid the chaos he was the creator of?

Alex heard footsteps and soon three men appeared in front of him. He raised his head and stared at them.

It was like the oxygen had been kicked out of his lungs.

This man was not Ambrose.

“That man. He is the d-devil, he wants back in the city. He wants to

return. That man wants to be the king again.”

Lucius’ words ringing in his head like a loud gong.

What the fuck have the Wagners done?

This man was worse than the devil and all this while he had been cursing his brother. Alexander was now actually scared for his life and that of his family. The devil was back. The emperor of the underworld was back.

This many was a legacy, and he wanted to build it back again.

“Tsar,” Alexander whispered.

His wicked blue eyes gleamed with silent mockery.

“Never have I enjoyed a sight more appealing than a Valentine on his knees,” Tsar’s velvety voice travelled to his ears. He was still as smooth and buttery with his words as he was many years ago.

Some things never changed.

“I wish I could spend some more time here with you, Alex. You have grown up, and I would love to catch up with you. But I have much more importantthings,” Tsar said, “like inviting your brother back to the city. Ambrose and I have some unfinished business.”

“Don’t you dare do anything to my brother!” Alexander snarled.

“Oh, I will not do anything to him. But he will come running to the city if something happened to you.” Tsar whispered, “like maybe you... died?”

And with that, Tsar pulled out his gun and shot Alexander right in his chest. A pained groan left Alex’s lips, and he fell to the ground. The hot bullet pierced through his tissues, and he withered and whimpered on the ground.

“It is time we leave,” Tsar whispered, “we have extended our invitation to Ambrose.”

Alex saw Tsar walking away. Soon the basement was deserted. There was absolutely no one. Is this how

Alexander Valentine was going to die?

A few moments passed away when he heard a shuffling of feet. A man loomed over him.

“It is all going to be okay,” he whispered.

Alex tried to make his face out through his blurry vision.

“Nicholas?”

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