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Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Reckless Covenant by Lilith Roman (Twisted Legends Collection Book 1)

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Overview: He’s back.

For years I went out of my way to keep this man at a distance. I never expected to be the one to pull him back into my life.

But what choice do I have?

Only one road leads to salvation… a deal with the handsome, black-eyed devil—Vincent “The Serpent” Sinclair. One of the ruthless leaders of this underworld.

In another time, another life, I used to love him. Now, I just need him.

But will he break me all over again?

I want her back.

The sinful woman with hair like fire and a matching soul—Morrigan O’Rourke. After all these years, she’s still the only one who fits my darkness so very well.

She wants vengeance. And I wonder how she’ll feel when I’ll tell her why part of that vengeance is mine…

In another time, another life, she used to love me. And she will once again.

Reckless Covenant by Lilith Roman (Twisted Legends Collection Book 1) Read Online And Download Epub Digital Ebooks Buy Store Website Provide You.
Reckless Covenant by Lilith Roman (Twisted Legends Collection Book 1)

Reckless Covenant by Lilith Roman (Twisted Legends Collection Book 1) Read Online Chapter One


Present Day

I felt the air shift before my eyes caught on to the silent disturbance. The skin of my back prickled with an uncomfortable chill, even in this sticky humidity. It’s spreading up my spine, onto my shoulders and grips my neck, forcing my body to turn, as one by one, the people around me change their tune, either to silence or whispers, just as my gaze slowly lands on them.

It’s almost impossible to think of the men as individuals at this moment, or any other—they almost present as one entity, yet the shift in the air would make one feel they are a legion, commanding the attention of all who are around.

They are not from the same family, yet somehow cut from the same cloth, moving in unison like they share blood, muscles, bones, and DNA. Their arms sway at the same time, their feet gliding in a matching beat on the moonlit asphalt, and fuck me if it doesn’t feel like time slows down, allowing everyone to take in the creatures making the air tense into compliance.

Only they are no creatures at all… just people.

People forming one very important faction—The Sanctum.

Our southern city is big enough that we don’t all know each other, yet wherever they make an appearance, the world stands still. Rulers over these lands. Only it’s not fear holding you still, it’s power. Fear is simply a byproduct. It stems from the rumors swerving about them—violence, sex, secrets, murder—and no matter which you’ve heard, they add on to one thing and one thing only… danger.

I guess this is what happens when you deal with The Serpent… the devil that sneaks out of its kingdom and offers you the forbidden fruit. No one knows how many of these rumors are true, yet there has never been any denial, and their presence alone is enough to make you believe all of them and more.

There’s no denying life is much more intriguing like this, when all fear you, bow to you, and you are predictable in a completely unpredictable way. It is a red carpet weaved with fear and blood, and no one dares cross the velvet rope. Not when they think they know the terror waiting on the other side. Their brand of organized crime is different from any other I’ve known.

I remember them as teenagers; it’s hard not to. They were a force of fucking nature, and no matter what, you somehow craved to throw yourself in the middle of that storm, chase the tornado and let it consume you. As adults… their attacks are silent, like a rising tsunami, silently gathering its strength, and when it roars… it’s too late to save yourself.

Their affairs aren’t common knowledge, they exist in an underworld they created, and normal people simply don’t have access to something like that. One thing I personally know for sure—they deal in secrets. Prey on them. Harness them and keep them safe. Until the time comes and their trade is beneficial. Information is power and power is worth more than money.

The Serpent should know. The only one of The Sanctum who didn’t come from money. The one who can trap even your shivers with just one look. His black eyes pierce you, opening gates into your mind you don’t know exist until he’s there, until all your deepest cravings want to burst through and suddenly… you can’t recognize yourself.

He is power. He doesn’t need old money. The world would bow at his feet with his pockets empty.

Very few men have that talent. The one sitting next to me right now would kill for that particular skill. It’s not a thought I would have had about him six months ago… but things change, so many things changed.

As they walk on the sidewalk, past the old-time cinema, slow and determined, past Mrs Dawn’s pretty flower shop, looking like they are gliding over the concrete, they pass one of Queenscove’s fanciest restaurants, then slowly shift directions to the dark alley next to it. There are rumors of a speakeasy nestled in plain sight somewhere in the middle of the city, around here. Only rumors, because the ones who know of it, which building, which door, or how to gain access, do not speak of it. And considering The Sanctum lurks there, I don’t think they would risk saying a word.

I watch as the first one dips into the shadows, then the second one, their black suit covered bodies absorbed by the darkness.

After the third man disappears, The Serpent takes one more step and stops.

I swear time slows down just for him, his body turning ever so slightly, his eyes closed as he moves to look over his shoulder. And then they open… not wide, but the slits of a snake who found its next meal—and I am it.

What happens when you gaze upon the devil… and he catches you?

When his eyes land on yours and he marks you as a target?

What happens when the devil doesn’t look like a devil at all?

Dozens of people sit at the tables of this street-side bar terrace… yet his gaze landed straight on mine. Saliva pools in my mouth, but swallowing means moving and somehow moving seems to be the wrong action right now.

He’s fixed on me, unnaturally still, but the alley’s shadows seem to swallow him, as if the darkness is part of him, a coat he wears well.

Around me, whispers break out in unison, and one by one the other patrons turn toward me, each pair of eyes burning more holes in my skin as their interest peaks. The moment the members of The Sanctum stepped out of their SUV, all eyes were on them, so hiding this silent, yet powerful exchange is impossible.

Moments pass, the night breeze unhelpful as my eyes begin to burn with the need to blink. Only I have a fucking point to prove—I am not submitting to him, I will not break eye contact first.


Shut the fuck up, Ryan.

“Morrigan?!” His tone commanding now.

Suddenly, The Serpent’s gaze turns even darker, a gentle scowl forming between his eyebrows, yet I’m sure no one else notices but me. I’m also sure it isn’t meant for me either, but for…

A hand waves in front of my eyes, breaking the connection.

Goddamnit, Ryan!

When his hand vacates my line of sight, The Serpent is gone… the alley empty.

Turning to Ryan, the ruckus of the terrace patrons fills the night again. Stealing a glance around myself, I can see them all, watching me from the corner of their eyes, even if their conversations are not about me.

“Yes, Ryan.” My eyes land on him before my face fully turns.

There isn’t much more I can take from our relationship, even though I do kind of care about him. I think I loved him once, but I’ve been ready to leave for a while… ever since it all started to change. When he started to change.

However, our families seem just as involved in our relationship as we are, well… more than I am, and leaving him seems like breaking a treaty between two nations. They always insist on meeting, pushing us together, forcing us to dinners and events. Every encounter breaks the confidence I’ve been trying to build. And it’s just as hard for me to break away from my own family.

“What the hell was that?!”

I finally turn to him fully, and the exasperated look in my eyes is harder to sustain when I take in his expression, one eyebrow cocked and lips arched downwards.

“I don’t know.” I shrug.

I’m lying. It was hate. Betrayal.

This city is big, so I managed to avoid The Serpent unintentionally over the years. We’ve rarely crossed paths and I like it this way. It must have been months since the last time I saw him… God, I’m fucking fooling myself. Five months, three weeks, and… two days—my mother’s 50th fucking birthday. The fucking elite were invited. The Sanctum were too. I was sure it was either a power move, to show some sort of alliance, or my parents begging for a business deal.

Five fucking months and that night still haunts me.

If only it was the only one…

I focus on Ryan’s eyes. Brown, like a marsh, with hints of green… swampy. Nothing special sparks in them anymore.

“He was just staring at you.”

I blink and turn my gaze back toward the dark alley.

Yes, he was.

Maybe that night stuck with him too. Maybe I left a scar on his taut skin. I hope I did.

The Sanctum… they are fearless, seemingly indestructible, and my parents did business with them, or maybe just tried to.

For five months, I’ve been trying to figure out what was happening with my family. They were dysfunctional in their normal state, but lately things have shifted further. It feels different. Like we’re sitting at the edge of a cliff and any moment now, a storm will tip us over. I wish I wouldn’t think about us… I wish I wouldn’t be involved in this, but somehow I’m being pulled into it, whatever the fuck it is. But in this game of chess, I’m no Queen, not even a Knight… I’m a pawn. Not that I was ever anything more to my parents, to my father. I was never as important as my older brother. He is the future of this family, the one to take over whatever businesses father has, the one to take the O’Rourke name further, carry it deeper into our fucked up history.

Even our ancestors were fucked up sons of bitches. Some worse than others.

I’m not implying I’m a saint; I know where I belong, but it doesn’t mean my place is with them. As long as I’m careful, they won’t know I’m trying to get away from all of them until it’s too late to stop me. And if they do try to stop me, they will find out exactly what this family bred.

Ryan used to be my escape from them, long ago. Not anymore, not since he realized he couldn’t quite tame me, when his views started aligning with his father’s… and mine. His exertion of control these days runs deeper than I would care to admit.

His time will come though, and he will pay too.

“I think I’m ready to go home now.”

“Alone?” A scowl forms ridges on his forehead. 

But I mentally roll my eyes. As if I’m ever alone. There are constant eyes on me, especially as of late. Since Ryan’s father passed away, he is slowly taking over the family business and accepting his place as the head of it. Something is brewing, and I’m not in the inner circle. All I know is that our families, before the passing of Jonah Holt, were working on something, a business deal, an alliance.

Have the terms changed now?

“Alone. I have things to do.”

“Things?” He spits the word out like the lack of respect he has toward my work isn’t already very well known. Just because I work online, it doesn’t mean it’s not work.

I get up before he can say anything else, dip down and give him a peck on the lips, as I know he won’t let me leave without the faked affection. But he catches my upper arm just as I’m almost standing, and pulls me back down, his lips crashing onto mine, in a much deeper kiss.

Some sort of claim on me, for everyone around us to see…

After The Serpent’s earlier display, such a rare one, I’m sure he feels the need to piss all over me, to make sure everyone knows who I belong to.

I allow the kiss for a similar reason. My own survival.

I have to play nice…

Hopefully not for long.

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