Do read Roses and Fangs!
I entered the warehouse. My body was brimming with rage and anger. I wanted to do nothing but plunge a knife in Tsar’s body. How dare he try to threaten me by endangering Bell’s life? I was only grateful that she was fine, just a few minor scratches here and there.
Tsar had been entirely predictable, kidnapping Bell to the Wagner
Warehouse. Didn’t he know that it would be one of the first places we would be checking? The entire warehouse was surrounded by my army and the FBI forces. What was this man’s deal? I was done with this race. What was he getting at? What was his intention? Did he want to kill my family or me?
No chance in hell.
The warehouse looked like any standard warehouse. Stacked with goods and cargo. Amongst it all, right in the middle, stood Tsar. He looked just like all those years before, only older and wiser. I hoped to see the malice on his face, but, strangely, I found it all missing. There was a small smile on his lips and an easel beside him covered with a sheet. I was absolutely confused by the entire setup. What was he playing at? What was this man trying to prove?
Where were Tsar’s men?
“You asked for me,” I said, “here I am. You have tried every way possible to get me to come back to New York City. I am in front of you. What do you want from me? My family? My city? My position? My reputation? What is it Tsar? Because to come for any of this is indeed a stupid decision. The security in the country has only gotten stronger from the last
time you were here. Dis you seriously think of destroying and getting away? Didn’t think you to be so stupid.”
Tsar just stood there with a soft smile on his face. My anger only grew.
Didn’t he know his death awaited outside? With the kind of stunt he pulled, I don’t think the authorities are going to let him live even for a single second.
“I think you’ve said enough,” Tsar said.
“I think there is still a lot left to be said,” I whispered.
We stood in silence before Tsar decided to speak again.
“I had motives to plan my escape this time, but none of them is what you think. Last time, I wanted to take over everything you had. I wanted your family, I wanted your business, I wanted your life and I wanted your soul. I wanted to be born as you. You are so privileged after all, Ambrose. You will never be able to understand the angst and fury of a poor boy who does not even have a morsel in his house. You will never know how the cold winters of this city feel. It isn’t
the same lively city that you are used to. It is dead and it is bleak. And it makes its residents do terrible things to survive.”
I didn’t say anything. Just kept on listening to his explanation.
“Your Father, Tommaso, would visit Williamsburg, often. He had businesses there and I would look at his shiny Audi, feeling all sorts of things. Your Father wasn’t as big as
he is today, but rich nevertheless. My mentor, Vlad, he taught me everything about your family. He planted the seed of hatred in me at a very young age. It was later that I got to know, the drugs that Vlad gave me to sell were sourced from your Father. That’s when the illusion broke. Had I been working for the Valentines all my childhood?”
“I was shattered, and I was angry, but I had nothing but a cell wall to smashmy anger into. Even my life to an extent belonged to your family. The food and electricity that I used to survive was provided by your family. It was then that the illusion broke. I no longer wanted to take your family or your business away from you. I just wanted my power back. I wanted to create an intricate web of schemes and lies and string you and your family like a bunch of puppets. Make each and every one of you dance at my will. I wanted to be held responsible for the discord between the members. And after today, I am successful.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“I have no intention of killing you and your family members. I just wanted you to know that I have the power to do so. I can string you along like a puppet and I can destroy the things closest to your heart and you will not be able to do a thing. I broke your family last time, I kidnapped your girlfriend this time, and I can jolly well do anything, and you won’t be able to stop me. I am powerful, Ambrose. You can never have my power.”
“You are crazy, Tsar. What the fuck am I doing here, listening to your stupid life philosophy?” I snarled.
“I think I am going to have to prove my point. Like I said before, I have
the power to destroy anything close to your heart, it is simply my will to act that is required.”
Tsar brought his hand over the easel and pulled the sheet down.
My heart stopped.
It was my painting of sweet Bell.
“What is that doing here?”
“Didn’t you promise Bell that is only for your eyes? Didn’t you promise Bell that it would be a part of your private collection?”
Tsar procured a match-stick from his pocket.
“I have the power, Ambrose.”
Tsar didn’t wait another second before lighting up the entire painting in front of me. My jaw dropped. All the precious moments that are spent with Bell while painting the portrait, all went up in flames. I saw my hard work and our late-night conversation turning into ash right before my eyes. I saw the talisman of my love getting reduced to nothing but charred pieces. This was one of the few things that were close to my hearts. The only material thing close to my heart. It
felt as if Tsar had burnt my love away and also proved his point.
“I have the power, Ambrose.”
Tsar had won.
“No, you’ve not,”
I turned around and saw Bell standing.
“You haven’t won, not in a long shot and you will never win,”
Bell marched forward.
“Tsar, you are a lonely man. You are a very lonely man. You have nothing to live for in this world. You threw your chance away at a great friendship by betraying Ambrose. You could’ve had a great family, but you planned to murder the Valentine syndicate. You were so consumed by your idea of the power that you didn’t that you didn’t even realise the blessings around you. You let yourself get shaped by a loser who himself didn’t achieve anything in his life. You have a fucked up way of seeing life. You might have burned that painting, but Ambrose and I’s love for each other will always live. Those conversations we had while he painted me might fade but event that faded memory will give us more happiness than your entire life. You
are lonely, and in the end, you will die lonely.”
“Ambrose, on the other hand, will unite with his family. He will have me and we will have our happily ever after. Yes, this painting that you just burned did hold an extraordinary place in his heart, but that doesn’t mean he will never get over it because I will be there for him. I feel sad for you, Tsar. I truly feel sad for you. You lost a chance at true friendship. You
will never have love in your life again. But we will. And that makes us all far more powerful than you. You will always suffer, but we will live happily.”
I looked at Bell with nothing but pride and joy in my heart. God, I loved her so much. She indeed was the light of my life. Her beautiful eyes met mine, and I looked over at Tsar. I could see her words had their effect on him. The authorities entered the
warehouse and surrounded him. Damien stepped forward and ties handcuffs around his wrists. All his weapons were confiscated, and he was unceremoniously pulled out of the warehouse.
“We won,” Bell whispered.
I smashed my lips against hers.
“I am so happy, Bell,” I whispered against her lips.
“It has finally come to an end.”
“No, it has finally begun. Our journey of happiness and joy. We can finally be together without anyone pulling us down. God, I am so… I cannot put it into words.”
Bell only cupped my cheeks and looked into my eyes with the pure and powerful intensity of her love.
“Let’s go home,”
Life had finally turned into a blessing.
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