Red AlphaBy: Cristina Grenier
A BWWM Russian Alpha Billionaire Romance
He didn’t understand. But, then again, Demyan had never been very good at understanding things. His father had always called him thick, while his mother preferred to label him contemplative.
The truth was that the young boy was neither of those things. However, Demyan was careful. Even at the tender age of eight, he knew that there were certain things that he couldn’t do and say in public, regardless of what people thought.
He and his sister were always at odds that way – arguing over what they could and couldn’t say. Of course, as she was three years his senior, she usually won. But, in the moment, Demyan wasn’t sure how much that mattered. All he knew was that he was utterly confused, and Elisaveta seemed to know much more about what was going on than he.
Why there were men with huge, gleaming black guns in their living room, and why those guns were pointed at their parents…
Demyan wanted to stop them. He wanted to run up to the men and grab their guns – to point them away from his mother and father, but Elisaveta wouldn’t let him. She stood in front of him, her hand holding his tightly, her expression shielded from view by her long blonde hair.
The hair that their mother had so lovingly brushed that morning.
Because she held him, there was nothing Demyan could do but watch as the tall, stiff soldiers asked their parents a deluge of questions that neither of them seemed to know the answer to. The young boy didn’t think he’d ever seen such terror on his mother’s face.
Just that morning, she had sung him his favorite song to coax him out of bed – the one Elisaveta insisted he was too old for, and teased him when she heard. But Demyan gladly endured her cruelty if it meant that his mother’s low, sweet tones pulled him from his dreams rather than his sister’s loud chattering. Now, tears stained his mother’s pale skin and her dark blonde hair hung around her face limply.
One of the black-clad men hit her and bloodied her lip.
A cry of outrage escaped Demyan as he leapt towards his parents in distress. Elisaveta, however, maintained her hold on him – only tightening it when he attempted to escape. “Veta!” He screamed, tugging madly at her wrist. “Let me go, Veta!”
“Hush!” His sister snapped in return almost immediately. “Or you’ll die too!”
Die? Their parents were going to die?
Almost as if Veta’s words had brought the action into being, the apartment was suddenly filled with the deafening sound of gunfire. Demyan might have screamed, but his breath was stolen from him. Veta shoved him onto the floor, and tears streaked down the dark-haired boys face as he listened to his mother’s cries, his father’s pleas for mercy.
And then, all at once, everything went quiet.
The guns, along with the terrible sound of his parents’ suffering, stopped.
With his head pressed into the carpet, Demyan couldn’t see what had happened. All he knew was that, moments later, strong arms were hauling him to his feet, and Veta was once more beside him. Whereas he couldn’t stop crying, barely able to breathe beneath the combination of fear and grief that weighed down on him, Veta’s face was eerily stony for an eleven-year-old.
As one of the black-clad men steered them out of the apartment, another spoke on a radio to some unseen comrade, and Demyan heard him say something about militants. He had no idea what a militant was, but somehow, the term sounded worse than death itself.
He and Veta left their home that day – and with it, any vestiges of their childhood that might have remained.
Chapter One: The Mission
Cadence didn’t think she’d ever been more on edge in her entire life.
She sat, stiff backed, in a chair outside of her superior’s office, as she waited for those within to make one of the most important decisions of her life.
Something she had wanted for close to ten years.
Taking a deep breath, the young woman gazed around the small waiting area in which she was seated, trying to clear her mind. When she got nervous, she tended to fidget- and that hardly reflected well on her professionally. She had worked far too hard for the entirety of her career to make a mistake now.
Cadence closed her eyes, trying to employ the breathing techniques she’d been taught for yoga. In through her nose, out through her mouth. Regardless of the way her heart hammered against her ribs or the tension in her long legs.