Chapter Five: Edited
Anya, age 22:
I let out a grunt as Pooka throws me down on the mat, pinning his body weight on top of mine. I squirm under him, arching my back and lifting my legs to flip my body into a reverse backflip.
Twisting my body as I flip over him, I spin his arm that was around my torso behind his back. I laugh as he grunts, my weight holding him down this time.
"Come on old man, you can do better than that." I tease him, only to let out a gasp as I was suddenly planted firmly on my back, my hands planted firmly against the mat by my head.
Both of us gasp for air, pants escaping us as sweat drips down our bodies. A chuckle escapes Pooka as he looks down at me, my hair sticking to my face.
"Alright. We've been at it for two hours. What's going on little death dealer?" Pooka asks as he rolls off me and onto the mat. A sigh left my lips as I stared up at the roof of the basement.
"I'm tired of going after his shipments and men. It's been four years Pooka. It's time I went after him." Pooka sighed next to me, sitting up and running a hand through his graying hair.
"Anya, I don't think it's the best time yet. Killing Edgar Petrov was a risky and foolish move. They might be expecting you to go after him next."
I pouted but knew he was right. I couldn't go in after him now. It had only been a week since I killed Edgar and I hadn't killed anyone since.
"Pooka? What was it like for you, being an assassin?" Pooka hardly ever talked about his time as a hired assassin, just like I hardly ever talked about what happened the night he found me.
Even on the nights I woke up screaming, clutching my chest, and scratching my skin bloody, he never asked. He simply took me outside and we would train, no matter the god-awful hour of the morning it would be.
I didn't expect Pooka to answer me, so when he did, I was caught off guard. "It was much like your experience I imagine. I became one to feel stronger than my past, than my enemies.
I trained for years until I finally went after the ones who had taken my life from me. The ones who had taken my family from me. And even though I was an assassin, I, much like you, didn't enjoy killing as much as others. Yes, it gave me that same rush you feel as you stare into their last moments. But the guilt would always come after, in the wee hours of the morning."
Looking over at Pooka, I saw the same thing I would always see on my face after I got back from a kill. Remorse. For a life that had been taken from us by those who craved the power more than they cared about morality.
"My daughter would have been your age by now. She was so precious. Her hair was brown, and her eyes were green. Much like the ones you wear to hide your blues. I like to think she would be in college, or working in a high-end job. But sadly, she's gone."
I hugged Pooka tight, savoring this rare moment of vulnerability that he was sharing with me. He was a great teacher and more than just a father figure for me. He was the one who had saved me after being thrown out into the rain-soaked mud.
His hand stroked over my hair, holding me tight. "You're going to need to change your color again. They've been questioning anyone they've met on the street with black hair."
Pooka was retired from being an assassin, but that didn't mean he didn't have contacts and didn't know what was happening in the city. I let out a sigh and nodded, running my hand through the locks.
"Your roots are coming in again." He murmured, almost sadly. He loved my blonde hair, but he also was the one who had told me I needed to change it. Sure there were plenty of blondes in Moscow, but none of them looked like I did.
"What color should I go this time?" I asked him as I playfully slapped his arm, standing and offering him my hand. Pulling him up, I smile as he ruffles my hair and holds out a strand of it to admire.
"We haven't gone red yet. It might catch some eyes but I'm sure you'll be able to make it work. I'll go grab the dye from the bathroom."
I smiled as I stared after him, watching him walk out of the room. A wave of memories washed through me, dragging me with them until I was reliving them again.
4 years ago
Anya, age 18:
"Ras!" I sprinted down the stairs, launching myself into the air as I jumped down the stairs. His body turned to mine, catching me against his 6'5 frame. A small grunt left his lips as he caught me, taking a step back to try and brace himself.
And that was what caused us to fall. He was on the last step of the staircase, and instead of solid ground, he stepped on air, resulting in both of us landing on the ground. My body sprawled on top of his, his arms resting around my waist.
"What are you even doing up Anastasia? It's almost midnight. You're supposed to be in bed."
"I couldn't sleep. I heard Tatiana sneaking around and then I saw you, so I followed you."
A sigh of annoyance left his lips as his eyes glared up into mine, my hair forming a curtain around us. I smirked and laughed at his annoyance, before I sat up, my hands on my hips as I pout down at him.
"You weren't at my party last week. Did Papa send you on another business trip in his place again?" I huffed, annoyed.
Papa worked in a major business, but I didn't know many details about it. Whenever I asked, he would immediately change the subject and refused to go back to it. But it was starting to annoy me that Ras kept leaving all the time.
I felt Ras tense under me, his eyes growing dark at my question. He opened his mouth to say something but before the words could get out, a squeal came from the top of the stairs.
"Anastasia Romanov you little whore! So this is how you act once you turn 16, sleeping with the guards? Just wait till I tell Papa!" Spinning my head up, I saw Tatiana standing at the top of the stairs.
Her eyes bore down on mine as if I was nothing more than filth, and Ras was a bug she wanted to crush. Letting out a sigh of annoyance, I just called up to her.
"Go ahead. I haven't done anything wrong and I have proof. Plus if you tell Papa, I'll tell him you're seeing Alessandro." A cry of fury left her lips as I talked about her secret Italian boyfriend that she wasn't supposed to have.
Ras chuckled under me, causing me to look at him in shock. He was smiling. Well, one of the corners of his mouth was lifted and his blank eyes twinkled with amusement. But for Ras, that was the equivalent of a full-blown smile.
"You're growing up little Princess. I'm proud."
A blush covered my cheeks at his words, making me look away. "I'm not a kid anymore Ras. I'm 18 now. Which means I can do things." I smirked and gave him a challenging glare.
His hands gripped my hips, lifting me off him so he could stand on his own. "I know how old you are Anastasia. But you still have a long way to go before you're mature."
Pouting, I crossed my arms and huff, then hid my smirk as I pulled out one of my secret cards. "That new guy from America, Diego, thinks I'm mature. At least that's what he says whenever I'm with him."
As I suspected, Ras' jaw clenched and his eyes grew dark in anger. "He's just coddling you, saying what you want to hear so he can get between your legs."
I looked away, trying to pretend his words didn't cut me internally. Walking back up the stairs, I threw back at him angrily.
"At least he acknowledges my attention! He doesn't pretend that he doesn't hate my company or being around me!" Reaching the top step, I raced down the hall, pretending I didn't hear Ras calling after me. He was just a bastard.
Ever since the incident when I was twelve, he'd hated anyone who touched me, anyone, who was a male and alone with me. Other than Papa. And himself.
And then slowly he started hating being around me too. About two years ago, he'd started spending more time away from the mansion, on errands for Papa. He'd left me alone with my siblings and the guards, but no one wanted to be around me except Alexei.
His cutting words and remarks have been biting deeper, hurting my soul yet the emotions I feel for him won't go away.
I slammed my bedroom doors open, not caring as it bounced against the wall so hard it shut itself again. I hated the fact that Ras was probably right. Most of the boys and the guards I'd been around since my birthday a week ago had only just started talking to me. I knew it was because they could do so safely now, without risk of being prosecuted, but it still hurt to hear that.
It hurt because he didn't know how much I wanted him. It was stupid for me to want him, being that he was 4 years older than me. And he was my best friend. But he had been there all the time. He had been my only companion. So who else was I going to fall for?
I punched the pillows on my bed until my eyesight went blurry from not blinking, and my hands ached from having them clenched. Blinking my eyes furiously, I growled when they wouldn't clear. Lifting my hands to my face, I wiped at my eyes, only to realize my hands were wet when they came away.
Fuck him. Fuck him and his perfect black hair. Fuck his black eyes that always knew what was wrong. Fuck his perfect lips that always knew what to say to make me feel better. And fuck his gorgeous body that always held me close whenever I needed a hug.
And on the topic of fucking him... I shook my head, trying to stop myself from going down that path. A soft knock on my door was heard before the door opened and shut gently. I didn't have to look to know who it was.
"Go away Ras."
I cringed at the sound of my voice. He hadn't even given me time to try and collect myself, to pretend I was okay and he hadn't made me feel like I was nothing more than my body.
The bed dipped in front of me, my head still down as I stared at my hands clenched in my lap. His black ripped jeans hugged his thighs tightly, almost like a second skin on him.
"Little Princess, I'm sorry. I didn't mean that okay? I just don't want you to get hurt again." His voice was gentle, pleading with me to at least look at him.
His hand came into view, lifting my chin so my eyes met his. His other hand cupped my cheek, using his thumb to wipe away the tears on my skin and under my eyes. Pulling his hand away, he stared at the tears collected on his thumb for a moment before deliberately meeting my eyes and sliding his thumb in his mouth.
My eyes sent wide for a moment, staring at his lips as they watered around his thumb. My lips parted as a tear ran down to my lips, and I swiped my tongue out to lick up the salty drop of water.
My eyes met his again, and I paused at what I saw, unable to know if I was dreaming or not. But what he did next never happened in any dream I've ever had before.
His hand holding my chin slid behind my neck, his other hand leaving his mouth and wrapping around my waist, pulling me against his body. A small gasp escaped me as I felt my breasts press against his chest, my hands resting on his forearms.
My eyes stared up into his, our faces only a few inches from each other. I desperately wanted to kiss him, felt the need to do so as if my life depended on it. But I saw the hesitancy in his own eyes.
"Anya, if I kiss you, I won't be able to stop. And I won't be gentle with you." His voice was still soft, yet commanding as his hand wrapped around my hair, tugging my head back until my throat was exposed. A shiver ran down my spine as I felt his breath on my neck, a strangled whimper escaping my throat.
"Do you really want this Anya? Because if I have you... you won't be able to let someone else touch you. I'll kill them if they do. Could you live with that little girl? Could you live with being mine, and mine alone?"
His teeth nipped the skin between my throat and shoulder, causing a small cry to escape my lips. My hands dug into his arms, desperately wanting to feel his skin under my fingers. I tried to push myself closer against him, but he just held me back with a tug of my hair, a chuckle leaving his lips.
"I need a verbal answer, little girl. Or else I'll leave and this," he gestured between us, "will never happen again."
My eyes watered as he held my hair, but also at the thought of him leaving and never giving us, giving me, a second thought. So I did the only logical thing I could think of.
"Please Ras. Please -" Before I even finished speaking, his lips slammed against mine, claiming them in a brutal kiss. His grip tightened in my hair, making my eyes water even more and the mascara I was wearing to start running down my face again.
A groan left his lips as I shyly kissed him back. Sure I'd kissed a few boys that I'd dated in school, but they had been sloppy and out of control. This was controlled, precise, and demanding. This was purely Ras.
For the first time, I hated being a virgin. I felt so inexperienced and didn't know what to do. So when Ras brushed his tongue against my lips, I gasped in surprise, only to moan as he thrust his tongue into my mouth, exploring it.
His groan ran through me as he slowly leaned me back, laying me against the mattress, his hands skimming over my waist to the edge of my tank-top. I shivered and moaned as my tongue brushed against his shyly, tasting him.
God, he tasted like heaven and sin combined. The taste of mint chocolate ice cream mixed with smoke hit my tongue, making my eyes close. One wouldn't think that something like that would taste as good as it does, but somehow he made it work.
Breaking the kiss when I needed air, I moaned softly as his lips trailed down my jaw to my throat, kissing and sucking on the delicate spot over my pulse. My eyes closed as I squirmed lightly under him, my hands trailing over his broad shoulders to where his shirt was tucked into his pants. Gripping the fabric with my hands, I tugged, pulling out the fabric and exposing the smooth skin of his back.
A chuckle left his lips as his breath fanned over my neck, his lips trailing down my chest to my tank top straps. "So eager, Kitten. But be patient. We have all night." He murmured against my shoulder, his teeth grazing my flesh as he caught the strap between his lips and yanked, ripping the strap.
My eyes flew open, looking down just in time to see him do the same with the opposite strap. My mouth gaped in protest, but the words died as soon as his eyes met mine. The look in his black orbs was possessive, hungry. Feral. He was staking a claim, not only on my body but in my mind, on my heart.
Biting my bottom lip at the intensity in his eyes, I blushed as I realized I had ripped his shirt from how hard I was gripping it. Letting the ruined fabric go, I watched as he sat up, the muscles on his arms flexing as he ripped the fabric off the rest of the way, discarding it somewhere on the floor.
My eyes gazed upon his chest hungrily, admiring the tattoos he had decorated across his skin. A dream catcher with a skull holding it up was inked along his right shoulder, with the words Catcher of Nightmares written in Russian under it.
Spreading from his left shoulder and onto his chest was what looked like a smoking gun, the bullets tattooed over where his heart lay, the smoke trailing across his chest.
Before I had time to admire more, his hands were traveling down, my eyes eagerly following. I knew he was fit, based on his slim yet muscular form, but what lay beneath the fabric was so much more. He was sturdy, his skin firm and muscular, but he didn't hold a six-pack, which I thought was ridiculous anyway.
The V in his hips was cut off by his low-waisted jeans, his hands flicking open the button to slide them off. I watched shyly, my cheeks dark red as he slid his pants off, leaving him in only his boxers, which hid his hard length from view.
Tossing his pants to the floor, he smirked down at my embarrassed face, his large hand cupping my cheek and making me look up at him again.
"Are you scared Kitten? Do you want me to stop?" His voice was light and teasing, but I heard the secret meaning. He was making sure this wasn't too much for me. And while I found it endearing, I wanted more.
"I thought you said you wouldn't be gentle with me Ras. Or are you too scared?" I taunted him, a shiver running down my spine as his eyes flared and his lips tugged into a smirk. His hands trailed down my body, gripping the top of my tank top before suddenly tearing it in half, leaving my chest exposed in nothing but my bra.
"Don't test me kitten. You won't like where it gets you." He growled before tugging my bra down until my breasts spilled out, my back arching from the sting of the clips on my back. A faint hiss left my breath as they scratched my skin, but I was quickly distracted from the pain by Ras placing his warm mouth against my flesh.
His lips and fingers attacked my nipples, turning the flesh into hard buds before he bit down on one of them, the other pinched between his thumb and forefinger. A whimper escaped my lips as he teased me, my legs wrapping around his waist to try and find something to ease the pressure he was causing between my thighs.
"Ras... please." My voice was breathy, moans escaping my lips as I begged him to do something, anything. A smirk formed on his lips as one of his hands slid down my body to my shorts, slipping inside them. I gasped in surprise when I felt his fingers lightly brush my clit, causing my stomach to clench with need.
God, I could only take so much of his teasing before he sent me to an early grave.
I lifted my hips, begging for more as he rubbed his fingers against my wet flesh, but not sliding into me like I needed.
"Ras, please!" I practically screamed at him to give me what I needed, and the smug bastard laughed. He fucking laughed.
I growled, about to cuss at him when he suddenly slammed two fingers inside me, causing my eyes to roll back and my body to arch off the bed as I screamed my release.
Ras didn't say anything as I came, just kept pumping and rubbing his fingers into me as I slowly came down, panting softly. Before I fully came down, his hands were gone, along with my shorts, and he was slowly sliding into me, making me whimper.
"Shh kitten. I got you." His voice in my ear soothed my nerves, relaxing me for a moment. He peppered my neck with kisses before whispering a brief apology. I didn't have a chance to ask what it was for before he slammed into me, a scream leaving my throat that he muffled with his mouth.
It felt like he was ripping me apart and putting me back together all at once. Whimpers escaped my throat as he kissed me, holding me close until I was okay.
But as soon as I gave the sign I was okay, I was gone. Ras pounded into me rough and hard as if he was burning his body into mine, branding me as his.
I don't know how long we went, after a few hours, both of us were exhausted. Curling up against his naked body, I laid my head on his chest and murmured.
"Don't ever leave me Ras."
"I won't." Were the last words I heard before I fell asleep.
But he lied.
The next morning when I woke up, he was gone.