Seven Days [Preview]

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Three

“Here are your drinks.” I put down the two glasses of beer on their tables as they sip it, not even bothering to say thank you. With a roll of my eyes, I hold the tray in my elbow, putting on a fake smile. “Enjoy.”

I walk over to the bar, Marco, the bartender for today, shooting a smile at me as he moves a couple of drinks towards me. “Don’t spill these please.” I raise an eyebrow, placing the tray on the table as I take a seat on one of the barstools.

“I don’t think I’ve ever split a couple of drinks before, Marco,” I say, placing some drinks on the tray as he shakes his head, looking around to see if anyone was watching and then leaned in close towards me.

“You didn’t hear it from me, but the Sangue d’oro are here.” He whispers, pulling back to see if anyone else was watching and then playing it off by drying off some cups with a dry towel.

“The what?” He shook his head, placing the rest of the drinks on my tray.

“It’s better off if you don’t know who they are.” I scoffed, my mouth slightly ajar as I leaned in closer.

“Are they some sort of cult?” Marco snorted, pushing the tray so it was in my palms.

“The things they do make it seem like so, now shoo, table number four.” He tries to usher me away from the busying bar but I stand my ground, getting annoyed.

“Marco if they’re dangerous, I’d rather not go over there,” I try to sound firm while Marco takes an order at the same time as sliding one out.

“God, Khristina, just go, they do not like to be held waiting and I’d rather not like to be held at gunpoint.” I look towards the table which is by the windows that show the darkness of the night with a couple of men sitting at the table, all dressed in black, all with their heads down.

Suddenly, I’m feeling a bit apprehensive about going there. They have this type of...vibe. And trust me, it’s not a good one.

“Marco...”

“Go!” I nod, picking up the tray in my hands as I try to weave my way through the people standing and drinking. It feels like my hands are now suddenly warm as if this tray will drop from the sweat forming in my hands.

Just breathe and act like their normal customers just looking for a drink.

I clear my throat, but their heads stay down, reading the ageing menu that has probably been here since the ’90s. There are four of them, one wearing a suit and the rest all in black sweats but enough to make them look more intimidating.

I pat my chest with my free hand, clearing my throat again but none of them lookup.

Okay, that is just plain rude!

With the loudest voice I could muster, I tapped the suit man’s shoulder, my heart sending itself into cartwheels.

I know that feeling.

It’s him.

His head slowly tilted up, his brown orbs drilling a hole into mine as a sultry smile crept onto his lips. Who knew a smile could be so fucking addictive?

“I take you’re here to accept my offer, sì bella?” The men sitting beside him and opposite him slowly lifted their heads, all not showing a tint of emotion, just plain, unreadable faces.

I ignored him, remembering Marco had called them a ‘cult’ and placed their drinks on the table, my hands shaking in the process. I managed to catch a whiff of his perfume, feeling myself lift my nose so I could smell him a little more. How can someone like him smell so good?

He killed a man, Khristina.

Oh fuck. He is in a cult.

I felt myself panic, pulling the tray to my chest and turning, prepared to run away, but a hand clamped over my wrist, harshly pulling me down and into a lap. I slowly lifted my head, to see the stranger staring down at me, a scowl on his face.

I should’ve answered the damn man.

“When I say something to you, bellissima,” He starts, bringing his hand around me so his fingers coiled into my hair and then pulled my hair behind my neck. He nuzzled his nose into it, gently smelling me as I closed my eyes, sure that my hands were trembling. “You never fucking ignore me.” His tone was sharp and demanding, something that would’ve sent my legs passing out but it only seemed to shake some fear into me.

“Capisci?” I nodded, my eyes still closed but a slight gasp left my lips as the stranger pulled my hair back, forcing me to look up to him, a slight smirk and a playful glint in his eyes.

He enjoys my submission, he enjoys me being under him and I’m all about feminism and shit like that, but when it comes to this cultist, I can’t help but obey.

“Do you understand, Khristina?” Words. He was looking for words to leave my mouth.

“Y-yes.”

He hummed, studying my face for a second before his fingers lose their grip on my scalp and I’m quick to get on my feet, clutching my head as if it were to fall off. I can’t believe I still needed to ask this guy questions but with the way his ‘friends’ were staring at me, I figured later will be better.

“Also, that date?” He called out to me, halting me in my steps as the bar was now slightly less crowded, some people packing up their stuff or downing the last bit of their drinks.

“I, uh, I’m busy.” He rolled his tongue in his mouth, cocking his head to the side a little bit as he looked to his men who simply looked at him back. The cultist broke eye contact with them as their heads all turned to me.

“Alright.” He stood, the men holding the door open for him. “Goodnight, bella.”

He’s going! I need to ask questions, I need to know what he did with the body, or what Marco meant about the San de something.

The door closed and the smart side of me ran out towards his figure, pushing open the doors as I called out into the dark. The stranger turned around, his features much more...attractive in the dark and I could tell his brow was raised because he does this lip thing that makes it turn upwards.

“What did you do with that man?” The man walked towards me so we were at a speaking distance. I’d only realised how much taller he was since I had to crane my neck to see his eyes.

“If I tell you, you would have little nightmares about it.” He mocked which made me rage a little but I was quick to regain composition, clearing my throat.

“I know what you do.”

“Uh-huh? Like what?” He inched closer to me, restricting any normal breathing space for me.

This man knew the effect he had on people, he knew what he could do to people with just a spare glance and you could tell he enjoyed it.

He envied it.

I cleared my throat for the thousandth time tonight as I crossed my arms, feeling a tad bit cold. “I know you’re a cultist.”

He chuckled, then laughed and then laughed even more.

Now that I think of it, it is kinda stupid.

He shook his head, wiping a pretend tear and then smiled, patting my head. “See you tomorrow, Khristina.” He walked towards the car opposite the road and I stood there, watching it as it sped off into the night.

I let out a puff of air, walking back into the deserted pub and Marco was already in his jacket, typing away on his phone.

He caught sight of me, his eyes lighting up as if he remembered something. “I’ve left the staff room unlocked so lock it up when you’re done.” I nodded, walking past him but then quickly called out his name.

Marco turned, waiting for my question. “Is there anything that’s actually more dangerous than cults?”

“Uh, I don’t really know. Probably the men at night in Moscow, look I’m super tired right now and my brain can’t comprehend this. Maybe look it up or something.”

“Yeah, of course, I understand. Have a good night.” He nodded, clutching his jacket closer to his chest and walked out of the bar.

I quickly grabbed my jacket from the employees’ room, switched off the lights and then closed the door rushing my way home.

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