Her Empire, His Dominion

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Chapter Ten

An elephant sat in the room.

It forced itself into the tiny space and planted itself in the midst of the three as if suffocating them from the inside out. However, Valentin soon noticed that only he and Sapphire were tense, as his sister seemed quite amused.

He had no idea that she was coming, and her arrival slightly annoyed him, not necessarily because of the moment she ruined. In fact, he was glad he didn’t go through with it. What could’ve been going on in his head that led him to such uncontrolled desire? His jaw clenched at the thought, and the memory of Sapphire pressed against him.

Heat rose in his groins again, and he would’ve hoped it was anger but knew better.

“What are you doing here, Elisa?” came Valentin’s stiff retort, wiping the amusement from his sister’s face.

Sapphire rocked awkwardly behind him, still scolding and beating herself up for almost making such a mistake.

“Is that any way to greet your dear sister?” she half-snapped and half-joked. “I came all this way.”

“I didn’t ask you to.” Valentin turned on his heels, dismissing his sister as he strode towards his office door, avoiding Sapphire as if she wasn’t even in the room.

But the Dominik woman noticed the red-headed woman quite well, and she was more than curious to know who it was. “And who is this? Your new play toy?” Elisa eyed Sapphire in both scrutiny and curiosity. She always found her brother’s taste in women awful, but this one was quite different.

Sapphire’s eyes widened at Elisa’s bold and rude remark, and as she opened her mouth, ready to drop something sassy from her fiery tongue, Valentin beat her to it.

“Step inside my office, and we will talk about it.” He gave Sapphire a stern look, already denying her silent question to join this meeting. But with all fairness, she simply wanted to know what they would discuss about her. “I regret that your trip here was in vain, as you will have to leave,” he added, but his voice held no remorse or regret. Sapphire noticed that the longer she watched the sibling interaction, the more she noticed they weren’t fond of each other.

So, why was she here?

“I’m afraid I can’t do that,” Elisa said just as firmly. “I take my yearly visits at random, and I want it to be now. Have you forgotten our deal, Valentin?”

Noticing how he curled his fingers in between his palm and the slight but evident shake in his form, Sapphire thought it would be wise to break them apart for a while. There was no doubt now that they despised each other, and the last thing Sapphire wanted to witness was a sibling fight.

“Why don’t you find a room, and you can talk to Valentin in the morning when you’re all rested and fed,” she said, gesturing to Elisa’s suitcase that was sitting behind her.

But the woman only glared at her, and her gaze was as cold as Valentin’s, with the same stormy grey eyes and eyebrows that were always pulled together. Her pixie cut hairstyle made her seem even more intimidating, but Sapphire didn’t flinch as usual.

“What are you? His assistant?”

Sapphire scoffed with an exaggerated eye roll. “As if.”

“Fine,” Valentin huffed. “If you want to do it here, then let’s go. Why are you here, Elisa? What demon kicked you out of hell to torment me for an entire month?”

Elisa rolled her eyes and mumbled something under her breath in Russian, and the only thing she caught was ‘hell’. On the other hand, Valentin heard what his sister had said clearly and snapped cold eyes in her direction before lacing her with insults of his own. Sapphire couldn’t understand a word they were both saying, so she slowly backed away, hoping she would escape without the supposed ‘devil sister’ noticing.

As she backed away slowly, she found herself being hit against something hard, but it was definitely human. She froze as the person grabbed her shoulder and jerked her forward, sending her back in the heated battle. Sapphire whirled around with her own annoyance, ready to tell her captor a string of curse words but stopped when she saw that it was Luka, smiling down at her brighter than he had ever smiled before.

His eyes then flashed to Valentin and Elisa, and he shoved past Sapphire to approach the arguing two.

“Elisa!” he cheered, holding up his arms for a hug as he approached them. Luka’s voice caught their attention, and Elisa’s features instantly brightened at the sight of him.

Sapphire cringed at the thought. Who could possibly like Luka?

Valentin glared at his underboss as he hugged Elisa, taking her up and swirling around. Sapphire remembered that somewhere in a conversation this week, she learnt that Luka and Valentin had grown up together, where Valentin’s father was Enrique’s underboss. Luka was one of the most respected soldier’s kid.

No doubt that if this was Valentin’s sister, then Luka grew up with her too. That explained the bond.

But the look on Valentin’s face, as if he was going to kill them both, revealed that Valentin knew that Elisa was here at Luka’s request, and though Sapphire didn’t know why, Valentin understood clearly why Elisa had been the one he called.

He grabbed them both by the shoulders, actually evoking fear in Luka’s eyes as he pulled them apart. Sapphire could literally hear Luka’s heart racing as Valentin literally threw him in his office. Elisa fought from his grip and glared at him even harder if that was even possible.

“You manhandle me now?” she accused as she adjusted her designer jacket.

“In my office. Now.” The words had fallen from his lips through clenched teeth, and Sapphire could barely hear what he said. Despite her wishes, Elisa stuck her chin in the air—a probable sign of dignity, perhaps—before stomping inside the office as if a child throwing a temper tantrum.

Valentin met eyes with Sapphire and shook his head wordlessly when she made a move towards the door too, and she paused and pursed her lips with thought as Valentin entered his office without a word to her.

Their moment—whatever it was—didn’t leave her mind quite yet. Sapphire could tell that Luka brought Elisa here for reinforcements. But, why? If Valentin was so high and mighty and answered to no one, why would Luka bring his sister here? Sapphire was no fool. She knew that Elisa’s arrival was meant to get rid of her.

So the real question was, what could Elisa do that Valentin would have no choice but to agree to? And worse, what would it mean about her safety from here on?

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