Venom & Glory (Venom Trilogy Book 3), page 1
Venom & Glory
Before You Read
Also By Shanora Williams
Note from Shanora
Also By Shanora Williams
Copyright © 2017 Shanora Williams
All rights reserved. This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any form without prior written permission of the publisher, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorized distribution, circulation or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author’s rights, and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.
Thank you for respecting the work of this author.
Published September 2017
Cover Art and Design by By Hang Le
Editing by Librum Artis Editorial Services
Trademarks: This book identifies product names and services known to be trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of their respective holders. The author acknowledges the trademarked status in this work of fiction. The publication and use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
Before You Read
Venom & Glory is the third and final book of the Venom Trilogy and cannot be read as a standalone.
To read book one, Passion & Venom, click here!
To read book two, Venom & Ecstasy, click here!
Also By Shanora Williams
THE BEWARE DUET
SWEET PROMISE SERIES
DIRTY LITTLE SECRET
Several of these titles are free with Kindle Unlimited.
To my beautiful mother.
I love you.
This was never supposed to happen.
I betrayed his trust, shattered his loyalty, and broke his already broken heart.
What the hell was I thinking—no, what the hell was he thinking?
He never should have trusted me. He never should have taken me. He should have just killed me, the same way he did Toni, because being dead would be a hell of a lot easier than what I now realize is being brokenhearted.
He was once the monster in the dark—the man who haunted my dreams and stole my happiness. He was once a man I loathed—someone I would never be able to forgive.
That’s what I thought.
But the man who was once a monster in the dark has become everything I’ve ever wanted. He has become the only ray of sunshine I have—my only hope. He is the one who restored me—the one who showed me what I am capable of, and who I really am.
He is the only reason I still wish to live.
Without him, I may as well be back in that shed again—chained. Broken. Beaten. Starved.
Without him, I may as well be dead.
I have been disappointed by a lot of people.
I have been fucked over and cheated. Beaten and disrespected. I have seen things—things that have haunted me, turning my dreams into vicious nightmares.
I have seen blood and gore. I have seen my own father cut off a man’s arm with a chainsaw in our cellar, and despite all the brutality I have witnessed, I have never wavered. Never flinched. Never cared about those people.
But this…this is something that I will not be able to accept.
I feel her looking at me.
I hear her sniffling.
I can’t even fucking look at her.
The van runs over a pothole, shifting me over, closer to her. She grabs my hand. I pull away.
“Draco,” she pleads.
“Shut up. No talking,” one of the putos in the front seat commands. I want to break his fucking neck for speaking that way to her—to me. He has a black handgun pointed at my face. If my head weren’t spinning so much, my fingers so numb, I would snatch it away and shove it down his goddamn throat.
“Draco,” she whispers.
I keep my eyes ahead, jaw flexing.
The van finally begins to slow down, and I look out the window. The church is a few yards away, my men already lined up, armed, and waiting. They lift their guns as soon as they see the van coming their direction, ready to fire if necessary.
The driver parks and the man in the passenger seat pushes his door open and steps out. With a smirk on his lips, he walks to the side of the van, pulling the back door open.
“Take your feisty little bitch, and get the fuck out of here,” he snarls at me when I step out.
I glare at him. Cold. Hard. His neck is right there. His throat. One grip and squeeze and I could end his fucking life.
His throat bobs when he notices I’m staring at it, a clear sign of fear, weakness. I hate weak motherfuckers that can’t back themselves up.
“Watch your fucking mouth before I punch you in it,” Patanza speaks from behind him, pointing a gun at the back of his head.
Several men in the trucks behind the van step closer, holding their guns high, aiming at us. I keep my eyes on the guard, el hijo de puta in front of me, and then I finally blink, lifting a hand in the air, a silent command for Patanza to stand down.
“Help her to the car,” I order. I don’t even recognize my own voice. The icy chill to it, the dry, gruff timbre.
Patanza hurries for Gianna, grabbing her elbow, nearly dragging her to the truck. When she’s secured, and the door is shut, I fix my eyes on the guard again, taking a step closer, eyeing him even harder now.
“You may feel proud now, about what you think you and your cunt boss have accomplished, but don’t you ever forget who the fuck I am.”
He steps away, trying to laugh it off, but I see the panic in his eyes. He watches his back as he climbs back into the van, ordering the driver to hurry up and go.
I watch every single vehicle leave. I know at least one of them will linger. One of them will pretend to go, but wait somewhere to try and follow me back to my m
I’m not fucking having it, so I wait.
They continue down the road, a trail of dirt and dust curling behind them.
When I snap my fingers, boots instantly crunch on the ground. My gaze is still ahead, still watching the vans drive away.
Four loud whistles zip past my ears, shooting through the air like cannons.
Then there’s fire.
So much fire.
It billows, the way my trucks did when they attacked me by the Blue Betrayals. It’s fierce and strong, like my anger in this very moment. The explosion makes the church bell ring, a small chime resonating deep in my bones.
Four vans—all of her fucking vehicles—are exploded by missile launcher guns. This was my Plan B. If something were to happen to Gianna or anyone I cared about at all, I made it clear there was going to be hell to pay.
I told her this would mean war.
And so it begins.
“They’ve fucked with the wrong one,” I growl in Spanish, turning for the truck. “We head to the house, you pack as much shit as you can, and we fly out within the hour.”
“Si, Jefe,” they all say in unison. I climb into the truck and slam the door closed, but I feel her eyes on me. I don’t look. Can’t fucking look.
“Drive. Now,” I command, and the truck pulls off in an instant. We drive toward the exploded cars and as we get closer, I see a figure moving. “Stop the truck.”
I demand one of my men to give me their gun. When he hands me a pistol, I hop out, taking slow, measured steps toward the hijo de puta who had so much shit to say on the ride here—the one who was so happy and willing to point that fucking gun in my face.
“You know what’s so sad about Yessica and her men?” I cock my gun and aim it at his forehead. He reaches for me with bloody fingers, his face streaming red and lips split, mouth filled to the brim with blood. “You never learn to watch your fucking backs.”
I shoot him through the forehead, the sound echoing to the church bell, loud enough to pierce my ears. All is quiet when his head hits the ground. There is only the crackle of the flames, the sizzle from the fire.
I assumed this would give me satisfaction, but it doesn’t. It only pisses me off more. My jaw ticks when his hands fall. Rage ensues, sparking the darkest parts of me—the parts of me I never wanted to feel again—and I kick him. I kick his head repeatedly, foaming at the fucking mouth, the longer strands of my hair slapping me in the face.
I hear screaming. Wailing. I don’t give a fuck. I keep kicking.
“Draco!” Gianna screams, her hand wrapping around my wrist. I spin around quickly, pointing the gun at the center of her forehead.
“Don’t fucking touch me!” I press the gun to her head, listening to someone stepping closer.
“Jefe.” I look over and Patanza is staring at me, head shaking. “We have to go. La policía ya viene en camino.” The police are on their way. “Cameras will only be cut off for ten more minutes in this area.” Her eyes shift over to Gianna, who is facing the gun, like she’ll take the bullet if she has to.
“Get in the fucking car, and don’t say a word,” I growl at Gianna.
She stares at me with those bright green eyes, challenging me. She’s trying to read me, but I know she can’t. She can’t because I don’t fucking want her to.
When she realizes it, she turns and woefully climbs into the SUV. I follow her inside, and the driver pulls away.
Heart still pounding.
I tell them, “I will kill every single fucking one of them. Anyone associated with that traitorous bitch will fucking die, and that’s my fucking word! Esa puta me la va a pagar!” That bitch is going to pay.
We pull up to Draco’s mansion, and he jumps out of the SUV before it can even stop, pointing and giving orders in Spanish as he storms into the house.
Patanza appears at my door and snatches it open, cocking her head, silently ordering me to get out. I step out and walk toward the mansion, the pebbles crunching beneath my feet.
Inside the mansion, I hear doors being opened and some being slammed closed. I hear things being tossed around, men yelling in Spanish, and even see some of the maids rushing out the other doors with suitcases.
I hurry through the foyer.
There are several men marching the hallways with black cases—cases I assume have guns and other weapons stored in them. More men come through the dining room and down the corridor, some with portraits and other valuables.
“Upstairs, to Jefe’s room,” Patanza snaps at me, nudging me on the shoulder.
I glance over my shoulder, but she’s already watching. She stares with so much vile and disgust, my chest caves in on itself. As I walk up, I try to look for Draco over the guardrail, but I don’t see him anywhere. I don’t even hear him.
I step around the corner and as soon as I meet up to Draco’s bedroom door, Patanza says, “Hurry and change. Better wear something comfortable.”
“We’re leaving?” I ask when she walks past me. Her nostrils flare, and as if she has no time whatsoever for my questions, she charges past me, entering the closet and pulling down a cotton dress without even really looking at it. When she comes toward me again, she practically shoves it into my chest, causing me to frown.
“Get. Dressed. We’re flying out in twenty minutes.” She stalks to the door and slams it shut behind her. My fingers tremble as I hold the dress up. I walk to the closet, noticing some of the other dresses are missing. They’ve most likely been packed up.
Fortunately, this dress is knee length and made of cotton. It’s comfortable and black, matching my mood.
I dress quickly and walk to the bathroom, taking note of the missing makeup case. I look into the mirror, my face still pale from the horror, my eyes still wide with shock.
It takes me a moment to let it all sink in.
Is this what they’re seeing? A weak Gia? A scared one?
There is a pounding on the door, and Patanza barges back in, waving a hand. “Let’s go! You don’t have all day! Jefe is waiting!”
She walks up to me, gripping my elbow, nearly dragging me out the door.
“Wait—Patanza! What the fuck!” I snatch my arm away from her, frowning when I meet her eyes. “Why are you being such a bitch to me? I’m not your fucking prisoner anymore!”
Her upper lip twitches and she takes a large step forward, getting in my face now. I don’t back down, not even when she says, “You may as well be a fucking prisoner, Gia. You aren’t my Patrona anymore. You’re just a stupid bitch who doesn’t know how to stay in her fucking place.” She turns her nose up at me. “He told me what happened with Thiago.” She swallows hard. “I thought you would be different. Turns out you’re no better than the rest.”
My mouth gapes, and her frown gets deeper. “Patanza, I—I thought we were—”
“Thought we were what?” she snaps, brows stitched. “Amigas?” Her laugh is bitter as she looks away. “Yeah,” she mutters, turning her back to me. “I thought we were friends too, and I’m sure Jefe thought the same.” She peers over her shoulder with a grimace. “But friends don’t stab friends in the fucking back.” Her back is fully turned to me. Before she’s out the door, she shouts, “Let’s fucking go!”
My feet move to her command before I can even process my thoughts.
Everything happens so quickly once I’m out the door of the mansion.
I’m literally tossed into the back of the SUV by Patanza, the driver pulling away without a moment’s hesitation as soon as her door slams shut.
It’s only the driver, plus Patanza, who is sitting in the passenger seat, and me in the vehicle. I twist around, looking back at the mansion as his men and even some of the maids rush in and out, stuffing suitcases and bags into the other cars and SUVs.
But she acts like she doesn’t even hear me, looking out of her window instead.
“Patanza, where are we going?” I ask, making sure my voice sounds more demanding than terrified.
“Just shut up and ride.” Her voice is calm. Too calm. She doesn’t seem the least bit worried, and since she isn’t, I assume I shouldn’t be either.
We ride for a long time—I want to say for over an hour.
By the time we stop, the sun is blazing in the sky. The tires of the SUV slow to a creep and then the driver parks. Both the driver and Patanza jump out, Patanza coming for my door while the guard hustles for the trunk.
I slide out of the truck and she turns, walking to a warehouse not too far away. I follow her, the driver behind me, suitcases in hand. She enters the building, and there are people inside. I pause a moment, stunned.
I wouldn’t be so surprised at the sight of them if they weren’t all completely naked beneath black aprons, standing in front of mountains of pure-white cocaine, measuring and bagging it all carefully.
There are three guards posted at the doors, keeping their eyes on the people.
What shocks me most is that none—and I mean none—of them look at us when we come in. They remained focused on their work, not even batting an eyelash. This must be one of Draco’s many production centers.
I follow Patanza through a gray door with a SALIDA sign above it. EXIT. As soon as we’re out, a jet comes into view. I slow my pace, but Patanza keeps marching, as well as the driver, who hurries past me without even looking my way.
The jet is sleek and white, the engine already humming loudly as I make my way there, slowly but surely.
There is a tall, gangly man wearing a black baseball cap standing beside the staircase. His skin is heavily tanned, his eyes an electric green when they flash up to meet mine. He asks Patanza something, and when she responds and they both look my way, I know they’re talking about me.