Double Cover Reveal
Valon: What Once Was (prequel novella to Hidden Monsters)
Publication Date: December 2014
Synopsis:Before there was Luka Sergeyev, there was a boy by the name of Valon Ahmeti, born to a Russian mother and an Albanian father. His life was not an easy one and he should have long succumbed to death, but prevailed, as only he could, into a life of hell and debauchery. Beauty derived from cruelty… Bloodlust born of agony… Some minds can’t handle torture… It breaks them…
Valon: What Once Was by London Miller
Valon entered the ring, the shouts of the spectators loud in his ears. Some were there for him—he recognized their faces—and knew that they had probably bet against him considering his odds in the last three fights he’d been in. Which meant, if he won, Bastian stood to make a lot of money, more than enough really.
His competition was a beast of a boy, looked like he had been fighting since the time he was able to walk. Scars covered a good majority of his body, and when he turned his focus on Valon, it was clear that he was ready for things to get bloody.
The roar of the crowd, money waving in the air, dogs barking in the distance, it all added to the atmosphere, but Valon, though plenty of incentive filled him, still couldn’t bring himself to want this. He hated fighting, not because of what he could potentially do to the other person, but because of a sweet, dark emotion that it sparked to life inside of him.
Bastian sat in a chair above the crowd, raising his hand to silence the crowd. It only took a second, then once they were quiet, he gave Valon one last meaningful look before he nodded.
It was time.
If his training had taught him anything, Valon knew not to run at his opponent, to wait, gauge his weaknesses and plan a mode of attack, but this other boy did none of that. No, he ran for Luka, hooking his arms around his waist and hurling him to the ground. It was an easy enough thing to do considering Valon was a little less than half his size.
Bits of twigs and gravel bit into Valon’s back as he hit the ground hard, but he didn’t have much time to focus on that with this bloke on top of him, raining down blows, landing a solid one against Valon’s side that made his ribs protest.
Pain. It was something he knew, something he craved, and as he suffered under the weight of his opponent, that pain started to call to him.
Punch to the face.
Punch to the temple.
An amused chuckle left his lips.
The more hits that came, the more something died inside of him, and soon he was laughing outright, drawing cries of alarm from the spectators, their yells growing louder. Bastian was still seated, though he shook his head as though he knew Valon was about to lose this fight. It didn’t matter to him, not really. He had kept him around far longer than he would any other boy that had come to him, and now it was time to cut his losses and be done with him.
No one, however, seemed to notice the fear entering the larger boy’s eyes as he realized that though he may have had the upper hand in the fight, he was slowly losing his edge now that he was faced with someone that seemed to be getting off on the pain.
He struggled to his feet, kicking Valon as hard as he could, wanting to end it, and it was a hard enough blow that Valon stopped laughing, clutching his side, rolling into the injury.
Then, as many people did once they thought they had done, he turned his back to Valon.
With a surge of strength, Valon leaped at the boy, pulling him down to the ground as he’d done him. He scrambled up his torso, planting himself on his chest as Valon used his fists in a way he had never done before.
“Look what you made me do!”
The words felt pulled from him as he landed blow after blow, bloodying the boy’s nose as he’d done to him. Valon could remember every blow he had taken just minutes prior, and delivered them as they had been given to him. The other boy could have gotten away if he truly wanted, but fear kept him paralyzed, and his struggles were pretty much useless.
Valon was laughing louder than ever, feeling the slickness of the blood on his hands, the way the bones in the boy’s face cracked beneath his fists. It was heady, the power this gave him, and he didn’t want it to end.
His own blood dripped from his face, mingling with the rest of it flowing freely. His mind was free for once, lost in a haze that he wasn’t ready to come out of.
He didn’t even notice when the boy stopped struggling beneath him. Valon was enjoying it too much.
Someone hauled him up from behind, dragging him away from the bloody mess that he’d left behind.
Through it all, Valon never stopped laughing.
Publication Date: Early 2015
Until Luka…Aleksandra Volkov happily escaped into the oblivion that alcohol and pills provided, longing to forget the memories that plague her. But sometimes, it takes someone as equally broken to mend the fractured pieces of her life. Until Alex… Luka Sergeyev willfully courted death by living in the midst of the very people who would have him killed if the truth of who he was ever came out. But he would gladly take that risk if it meant she would look at him like he mattered for just a little while longer. When it comes to life within the Volkov Bratva, love comes at a price, secrets are common, and most of all, one’s survival is not guaranteed.