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Pretty Broken Dolls (Pretty Little Dolls #4)
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The final book in the Pretty Little Dolls Series.
Betrayal and rage, a festering sting.
Damaged and desperate, a solution they must find, To bring back the dolly who is one of a kind.
Disloyalty and failure will not be forgiven.
Hungry for his affection, our master has waited. These broken dollies lives have already been fated.
The storm is upon us, the chaos raining down, Now that the big players have come to town.
Who will come out breathing with their prize by their side? And who will be collateral damage along for the ride?
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Viktor aka Tanner
Russia – Age Eighteen
FLAMES FLICKER FROM THE FIREPLACE heating the room to an unbearable degree. I told Veronika, our maid, not to light the fire tonight, but she did it anyway. She’s getting too old to do her job, but she’s been here longer than I have, so Father won’t replace her. It’s futile to even ask.
Sweat beads and drips down my back, the room expanding like it’s alive with its own pulse. Nervous energy crackles and pops in my veins. The month is upon us—the time I get to prove myself to our father.
All Vasiliev men take part in The V Games when they come of age, to prove their worth and position within the family.
Our name and reputation means everything to our father.
His empire in the criminal world is matched by none.
Trafficking of women, guns, and drugs are all a front—a mask that truly hides what our family does. We delve into the darker depravities of all men and women, and once he gets you wound up in his world, where he’s able to pull your strings and you’ll follow, he never lets go.
He feeds your urges. You’ll worship him for it. A true puppet master. And I fucking idolize him with every ounce of my being. I want to be just like him, but most of all, I want to gain his respect.
With his plans to branch out his operation to the United States, I want to be the one he turns to and head the expansion. Wherever Father casts his net, I shall pull in his catch. Because that’s what our family does. We own the world—even if they don’t know it yet.
Soft footfalls creep across the hardwood floors, but the size of the silhouette looming over the room like a phantom doesn’t match the dainty steps.
“Vlad, how do you cause such little sound with your movements?” I ask, swiveling my head to see my older brother almost gliding into the room. A motherfucking shadow. Stalking. Lurking. Waiting. Always shrouded in darkness.
The corners of his mouth curl into a devious smile and his amber eyes that match mine narrow as he studies me intently. Coming to a halt in front of me, he crosses his arms over his chest, the muscles beneath straining against the fabric of his suit.
“It’s a skill all men like us should master, brother,” he states in a matter of fact tone, a smirk on his dark, stubbly face. Vlad is a spitting image of our father. Tall, well over six and a half feet, and broad shouldered. His nearly black hair is tousled on top, always styled in a way that’s meant to look messy—almost as though he enjoys the small rebellion against Father. Father, with his hair clipped short on the sides to reveal the grey beginning to grow there, wears his same-colored hair slicked back and perfect.
My brother drops his attention to the arsenal I have prepared—an array of weapons ready for use. Picking up a blade from the kit I’ve laid out on the bed, he runs it across his palm, and a crimson slit swells in its wake.
“This is a good knife. You should use this one,” he tells me, pulling a small piece of cloth from his pocket and cleaning the blade before wrapping it around his hand to stop the bleeding. “Are you ready for this, Viktor?” There’s not concern in his tone, merely doubt, and that causes anger to build inside my chest.
“You’ve been preparing me for this my entire life,” I grind out in response, my jaw tightening. “You played in The V Games. It’s a rite of passage.”
A vein pops in his neck and his eyes flare for a moment before his features soften. He reaches for me, his palm wrapping around the back of my skull, and brings me forward. My forehead comes to rest on his flexed, muscular shoulder. He’s still at least six inches taller than me, despite my growth over the summer.
I’m a man now. Yet he’s older. Wiser. And fucking taller. I’m not small by any means, but he always uses my height to mock me when I get under his skin. It’s a weak, predictable move—one I see coming every time.
He gives me a heavy pat on my shoulder blade then he pushes me back, signaling his moment of brotherly affection is over. My brother is a hard man. Raised with an iron fist, just like me. And at only twenty-two, he’s being groomed to take over our father’s empire—the family dynasty.
“The first players have arrived,” he says, another smirk playing on his lips. “There’s one in particular I think you’ll like.” He clenches his fist and punches me playfully in the chest.
I crack my knuckles in anticipation.
I’ve known about The V Games since I was twelve years old. By fourteen, I was allowed to attend the screenings that aired via a channel buried deep in the dark web.