Home > Dissolution (Eagle Elite #12)

Dissolution (Eagle Elite #12)
Author: Rachel Van Dyken

“I will end it. I will end. I will end. I will end. I will…” —Rachel Van Dyken
“Don’t!” Blood trickled down my chin, landing in angry slaps against the dirty concrete, my knees stung from crawling toward my twin brother. “If you fight, they just hit you harder.”
He spit out a tooth. “We must fight, Katya. It is all we have left!”
Tears mixed with more blood as the urge to vomit overtook me. His left eye was completely sealed shut, two of his front teeth were missing, and he was trying to smile at me and make me feel better.
He always was the strong one.
The fighter, even when our foster parents got angry at him and took away meals and video games.
He was unnaturally muscular and could easily take a hit even though he was only nineteen.
Pace squeezed his eyes shut as footsteps neared. “They’re coming back, Kat.”
I whimpered. “Okay, just get behind me, and I’ll try to take the brunt of it. Maybe I’ll pass out.”
“No!” he roared, moving to his knees. With hands bound behind our backs, we’d been in that dark cell for two weeks without any clue why we’d been captured.
All we knew was that the men had Italian accents except for one who sounded Russian.
They came in every day for an hour and tried to get information on things Pace didn’t know. When they turned to me, Pace tried to take the punishment, but I wouldn’t let him.
We were survivors, after all, thrown into a fucking dumpster half-dead when we were little kids. A police officer had heard us crying and saved us.
If putting us in years of foster care with two parents who didn’t know how to deal with all of our… problems was saving us.
Our prints weren’t in any database.
We knew at least our names.
And we each had a stuffed animal, as though whatever loser parent hadn’t wanted us at least gave us that kindness—something from home.
I shivered; I hated whoever they were.
I hated my blood.
Would set fire to it if I could.
“Katya…” Pace clenched his teeth. “Focus on my voice.”
I nodded. “I can do this. Your leg’s twisted funny, Pace. I’ll go first this time, all right?”
“No.” I couldn’t tell if he was crying or if his eyes were wet with unshed tears. There was so much blood on his face I couldn’t even make out his handsome features anymore.
We both knew.
We would die there.
After all, we didn’t have what they wanted.
We were nobodies.
To be disposed of like trash.
My insecurities came rushing back when the solid metal door made an angry shriek as it was pushed open.
He stood there with his leather gloves on his hands, a mask over his face, and an impeccable soon-to-be bloody black suit covering his body.
“Oh good, you’re both awake,” he said in his smooth Italian voice.
I hated him.
I wanted to dig my teeth into his throat and rip.
“Yeah well, we were bored,” I said in the best teenage voice I could manage, even though I wanted to hurl all over his shiny black shoes. “So, I’m going first.”
“Oh?” He crossed his arms and leaned against the wall. “Haven’t had enough of me yet, princess?”
I shrugged. “I’m not into old men, but yeah, okay.”
He pushed off the wall and stalked toward me, jerking me to my feet by the throat as I dangled in front of him.
“You will learn respect, Katya.” He dropped me back to my aching feet and then grabbed a white hanky from his pocket. “In a year, you’ll be on your back, and I’ll be between your legs.”
I spat on the ground. “I’ll kill myself before that happens.”
“Oh, princess, you’ll wish for death many times before the day’s even over, but why would I give such a kindness to you, of all people? After all, it took me so long to find you. The game has changed. I need a pawn.”
“Find another,” I said through clenched teeth. Don’t back down, do not back down.
He actually laughed. “Spirited, and here I thought you were scared shitless.”
I was. I was just buying time until the fists came, until the choking started until he beat me into submission.
He stared at me, or it felt like he did, and then he turned and jammed his foot into Pace’s body, over and over again, until my twin screamed in agony.
“STOP!” I yelled. “Please stop!”
He did.
Pace groaned and rolled over to his other side, spitting up blood.
“I stopped.” He turned back to me. “Now, I think you owe me a favor.”
I crawled backward against the wall.
“I’m not going to hit you—but I am going to take you, and your screams are going to be the sweetest sound I’ve ever heard.”
“Don’t do it, Katya!” Pace yelled. “Me, hit me again, you bastard!”
“You bore me.” Our captor didn’t even turn just tilted his head at me. “You’re very beautiful. Then again, they say Russians are the most beautiful women in the world.”
My stomach dropped. Russian? What was he talking about?
“It does nothing for your brother to fight for you—I’ll have you just the same. Perhaps he’ll be more forthcoming with information if he hears your lovely…” He took a menacing step toward me. “Lovely.” Another step. “Screams.”
I pressed my palms flat against the ground, my teeth chattering as he pulled me back to my feet and ran a gloved finger down the side of my face, then back up the other.
Lips trembling, I watched behind him as Pace drew up to his feet and, with a blood-curdling scream, ran at him and slammed him to the ground.