WIP Wednesday: Essence of Fear #BoykovBratva

Hey, loves.

Sorry this is a little late getting up today - thank Tori for reminding me because in all the other work I have been doing, this totally slipped my mind.

I am still working on the third book in the Boykov series, so do enjoy this little snippet.

***

Bitch and Viktoria had become synonymous in her world. People threw that word at her like it was a knife. They said it with the intention to hurt her—to cut. It was funny, really, because instead of letting it affect her in a bad way, she just turned it around on them. They wanted to see a bitch? They didn’t like that she was cold?
Okay.
Then she could be worse.
Nobody had ever thought to figure out the reason why Viktoria was the way she was, anyway. Other than her brothers, maybe. Not that they needed to figure it out—they already knew. Everyone else, though? It was easier for the people who didn’t know her to just label her with a slur, and go on their way.
She just owned it.
The remainder of the flight passed by rather quickly. Before she knew it, the plane had taxied into the gate, and they were allowed to deplane. Slinging the messenger bag that she’d used as a carry-on over her shoulder as she came down the arrival’s escalator, her gaze landed on the person waiting a few feet away from the bottom of the moving stairs.
She might have been surprised to see him, but she couldn’t be given he always seemed to know everything anyway. Even when he wasn’t directly told something, her brother, Konstantin, just seemed to have … a way about him.
Kolya, her oldest brother, was the one who scared everyone because of his size, and ever-changing moods. His coldness could rival hers on his good days, but it was the sudden bursts of violence that he was very capable of that really lingered in the minds of those around him when he was long gone.
Konstantin, though?
He was a little different.
Konstantin was calculating—he was the king on the chess board, in a lot of ways. He thought several moves ahead, and he never let anyone know what those moves were before he made them. Some people might call that unpredictable, but she didn’t know if that was the word she would use. The fear Konstantin invoked in others came from his ability to seem harmless until it was far too late, and he was never obvious.
Nothing he did was obvious.
Standing there in his three-piece suit, Konstantin looked almost out of place in the rest of the crowd. There was just an air about him—something that warned people just from his aura alone to stay back; don’t engage. His usual smirk was gone as he looked at something off to his left, giving her a good view of his profile and the hard lines of his face. It was his features, that strong jaw and the coldness in his gaze that reminded her of their father. But it was the structure of his face that reminded her of their long-dead mother.
Kolya looked just like their dad.
Her and Konstantin, though?
They took more after their ma.
She wasn’t sure how she felt about her brothers, really, but more importantly … she didn’t know how she felt about Konstantin. He’d been the one to send their father away, after all. He’d made Vadim leave Chicago, and exiled him to Russia.
Viktoria wasn’t stupid. She knew that the way her father treated and raised her was quite different from the way Vadim behaved toward his sons over the decades. She’d always blamed that on the bratva—on her father being the Pakhan, and her brothers being his soldiers. But she couldn’t ignore that there had never been a time when Vadim acted like their father, either. It was always just the boss, and his men. Even when they were young, Kolya and Konstantin had needed to be men, and not boys.
She was always able to be Vadim’s little girl—his daughter. Nothing more, and nothing less. It was that reason why seeing Konstantin waiting for her, because apparently he got news she was coming back home without her actually telling him that, put her on edge. It left her feeling confused.
She loved her brother.
And her father.
Now, her father had been taken from her. Konstantin had done that. It left her with a complex that she wasn’t exactly ready to deal with, not that she knew the first place to begin with it all, really.
All at once, Konstantin turned, and his gaze leveled on her. That was another thing about her brother. His stare was always penetrating—yeah, that was the best way to describe it, she supposed. Penetrating.
A person didn’t need to say a thing when Konstantin was around. He didn’t need words and explanations to know what someone was thinking or feeling. It was like he just stared at you, and he knew it all, anyway.
Viktoria was not an exception to that rule.
“Your trip was good, yes?” her brother asked.
Viktoria came to a stop a couple feet away from him. It allowed her enough distance that he wouldn’t assume she wanted to greet him with something like a hug. “Good enough.”
Konstantin nodded. “And Vadim?”
“You don’t care, no?” 

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