Deadly Sins by Mia Petrova

Life was difficult lately. It seemed that the only thing saving me from borderline depression was the love of my mother. I had recently lost my job and my boyfriend, and my only so-called friends were too busy with their own lives to even bother to pick up the phone when I called. Besides that, my dad had died of liver cancer three months before. It was almost impossible to get out of bed in the mornings. So, when my mother suggested I participate in a book club four blocks from my house, I said yes. I owed her everything, even the breath in my lungs.

When night came, I started walking on the streets of San Francisco, listening to my iPod, living in my own little world while slowly sauntering to the famous book club my mother had talked about again and again. When I arrived at the address, the place was nothing like I was expecting. Instead, I found a nightclub called Red Cherry, which red shining neon letters revealed at the front.

I slid my earplugs from my ears. “What the hell?” I murmured, starting to get angry about obviously being at the wrong address. Sighing, I tried calling my mom, but the bouncer on the front door of the club was already staring at me funny.

“Hey, pretty girl. Do you want to come in?” he asked loudly. I hesitated while waiting for my mom to pick up. “It’s cold outside,” he said with a grin.

I rolled my eyes at the fourth ring. “Screw it,” I whispered to myself and turned off my cellphone. My life couldn’t get any worse than it already was. A little excitement didn’t sound so bad.

I walked to the bouncer, who already held the black door open. I entered, and then all I saw was darkness when the door slammed shut behind me. Startled, I jumped, too scared to even take a single step. I called out for anyone, but I got nothing back. Seconds later though, I saw a light at the end of what seemed to be a very long hallway. I took long steps toward it. I reached the lights and saw a half-opened second door. I walked through it, and then bright lights invaded my eyes.

At first, it was too overwhelming for me to even think about what I was seeing. “Wow,” I said, grinning while taking the whole place in.

It was a BDSM club. There were four cages holding single women inside them. Each was completely naked except for the leather collar around her neck. They danced while men, sitting around small round tables, watched them as if they were prey. Neon lights of all kinds of colors rained down through the entire club while rock music almost made the ground tremble. This club wasn’t for talking apparently. As I shifted my eyes to the bar, I saw there were men and women kissing, staring at one another, flirting, wanting, searching for his/her specific other. To the left was a blue curtain, almost transparent, and beyond this, couples were having sex. I’ve never really explored my sexuality, so this environment struck me hard, making me curious about what I could find inside this particular club.

I was about to take another step when I found a male sitting on a couch, staring at me with an inquisitive expression. His eyes looked dark from a distance, almost black; his hair was long and brown. Everything about him was dark except his skin, which was pale. His beauty was so striking that it literally made my knees tremble. I couldn’t look away, too mesmerized by how he licked his lips, as if hungry for something. A shiver ran down my spine at the same time a deep sigh left my throat, accelerating my breathing and warming my blood. I swallowed hard when the male rested his elbows on his knees, moving muscles that looked hard and dazzling beneath that tight, much-too-revealing shirt. He was surrounded with talking, dancing people, and as the sounds were extremely loud, I wondered how they were even talking to one another. They didn’t even appear to be shouting. It sounded like a normal conversation.

“Hey, you can’t be here!” the male bouncer inside the club screamed harshly when he saw me standing in the entrance.

His gaze assessed my entire body, as if my clothes weren’t right for the club. I lowered my eyes and revaluated myself, realizing I was the only one in the whole club who wasn’t wearing black leather clothes. I was an outsider.

“But the other guy said I could come in,” I said, defending myself while pointing to the first entrance behind me.

“That brainless fucker,” he cursed under his breath, seemingly too irritated to even yell over the music. “Come on, little girl, you can’t be in here,” he stated and grabbed my arm tightly.

“Hey, don’t touch me!” I screamed. I tried to get away from his tight hold as he led me away. “You’re hurting me. Let me go, you filthy fuck!” I yelled and spat on his face, too angry for being dragged like a freaking doll. Besides, I didn’t want to leave. My curiosity about that peculiar man made me want to do practically anything just to know him better.

The bouncer stopped, touched my spit on his cheek, and then his expression darkened. Before I could even register his intent, he slapped me hard across my face. I winced in pain while my black hair went flying into my eyes. His grip on my arm tightened so badly that I knew it would be bruised later. I swore he would hit me again, but then the bouncer let me go abruptly; in a blink of an eye he was shoved to the nearest wall by the male who’d been staring at me moments ago.

“Touch her again, and you’re a dead man,” I heard him say roughly. The bouncer didn’t say anything, just stared at him with a deadly expression. “Did you hear me, Frankie boy?”

“Yes, sir. Loud and clear,” he answered bitterly. It was hard for me to hear them, but I made quite an effort to listen.

“Now go do your fucking job,” the alpha male said, leaving the other to stagger away, leaving us alone by the entrance. I took several steps back when he passed by me, which the alpha male noticed. “He’s not going to hurt you anymore,” he affirmed, focusing his attention entirely on me, leaving me breathless and ashamed of causing a scene. However, when I glanced around the club, not even one single person was looking at us.

I felt him watching me, which quickly sent chills through my skin. “Thank you,” I said, without turning my eyes to him.

“You’re bleeding. Let me take care of you,” he said in such a way that I was forced to glance back at him.

He was so much closer than I’d thought he was, close enough to touch. “Oh.” A gasp escaped me.

His dark eyes made me freeze in place. He was invading my personal space with his extreme beauty and hard stare. Suddenly I felt lightheaded, leaving my knees completely weak. I was about to pass out, but my hands went flying to his chest, steadying me in place.

“Sorry,” I said when my head stopped being dizzy. “I-I didn’t eat anything today yet.”

Loss of appetite was a sign of depression.

“But it’s night,” he stated, unexpectedly sounding very worried about my health.

“I-I know it’s night. I just…” I lost my line of thought when I noticed that he was really paying attention to what I was saying. I wetted my lips and tasted blood. “God damn it,” I cursed and touched my lower lip, realizing that I was, in fact, bleeding from being slapped.

“Here,” he said, giving me a handkerchief.

“It’ll ruin it,” I murmured, but he just took the hand that held blood on my fingertips and cleaned the red smears.

At first contact, I almost flinched from him because his skin was ice cold. Instead, I moaned, making him gaze down directly at my parted mouth. When he finished with my hand, I felt the softness of the handkerchief graze my injured lip.

“What’s your name?” he asked while gently taking care of me. We were so close to one another that the music seemed to be playing only around us. We seemed to be inside a bubble, a very hot and intense bubble.

As he was incredibly tall, I glanced up, searching for his eyes. “Clara.”

“All right then, Clara, I’m going to take you to eat.” We had only just met, and he already thought he was the boss of me. “And then I’m taking you home,” he said without breaking eye contact.


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