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Bien déterminée à retrouver Victor, l’assassin qui l’a libérée, Sarai entreprend seule de régler ses comptes avec un ancien homme d'affaires au sadisme répugnant. Mais sa témérité la met en danger… Jusqu'à ce que Victore la sauve. Elle lui impose alors un ultimatum : l’aider à devenir une tueuse comme lui ou la laisser se débrouiller seule à ses risques et périls. Victor accepte alors de l’entraîner. Mais celui-ci doit faire passer un dernier test à Sarai qui lui fera découvrir Victor sous un nouveau jour...
Company of Killers, Tome 2 : À la recherche d'Izabel
Attention Spoiler :
Spoiler(cliquez pour révéler)Il s'agit du passage de la déclaration d'amour de Victor à Sarai que j'ai trouvé magnifique, elle lui annonce qu'elle va le quitter, et pour la retenir auprès de lui il doit s'ouvrir... et parler sentiments...
Le passage est long, quasiment un Chapitre entier, mais j'ai trouvé cela nécessaire afin de bien faire passer l'émotion du moment...
Spoiler(cliquez pour révéler)
It’s late afternoon when we make it home. I thought Sarai might sleep most of the way, but she didn’t sleep at all. She’s been awake for more than twenty-four hours and yet she is entirely conscious and shows no signs of lethargy. It’s the adrenaline. I’m all too familiar with its effects on the mind. But right now, I’m so exhausted by the drive that if I don’t get some sleep soon, I’ll be useless.
I check the house thoroughly before I feel it’s safe enough to relax, even though I checked the surveillance on my laptop before we arrived. I’ve no reason to believe Stephens and his men know the location of this house, but as always, I cannot let my guard down. It’s still a mystery as to how Stephens found out about Amelia McKinney and Dina Gregory. No matter what it looks like, I know Fredrik had nothing to do with it. But as much as the breach concerns me, it’s not important right now. Right now, I know I’m going to have to drop everything, my plans for training Sarai while hoping that I could drag this out for months or even years so that maybe she will change her mind. Or, until she decided to let me kill them for her. I know now that nothing will change her mind and no matter how hard I try to convince her, she’ll never agree to let me do it.
Perhaps I should kill them anyway...
- Victor ?
I snap out of my deep contemplation.
She’s standing at the sliding glass door looking out into the endless expanse of dehydrated landscape. The sun is setting on the horizon, illuminating the thick bands of ribbon-like clouds with a deep pinkish glow.
- There’s something I need to say to you, she adds.
I walk toward her slowly, curious and impatient and even troubled by what she’s about to say.
- What is it? I ask, stepping up closer.
She doesn’t turn around to look at me, but remains gazing through the tall, spotless glass. Her arms are crossed, her fingers resting atop her biceps.
- I’ve made a decision, she begins in a soft, apologetic voice. My insides are beginning to harden.
- I just hope you’ll understand.
She finally looks over at me, turning only her head. Her long, soft auburn hair cascades down the center of her back, pulled away from her bare shoulders. She changed into a thin white tank top while on the drive back. I love to see her in white. It makes her appear angelic to me. An angel who carries death in her pocket.
- Tell me, I urge her in a relaxed voice, though I am anything but relaxed right now and I’ve no idea why.
- What decision?
Her dark eyes stray from mine and I find that small, seemingly insignificant gesture a tragedy.
She moistens her lips with her tongue, leaving her plump bottom lip wedged delicately between her teeth for a brief moment.
- After Hamburg and Stephens are dead…I’m going to leave. She turns around fully to face me. My heart has stopped beating.
- I’m going to take Dina with me somewhere and I’m going to do my own thing.
I can hardly get my thoughts together much less form a sophisticated sentence.
- …I don’t understand.
Sarai tilts her head gently to one side and uncrosses her arms, letting them hang freely in all of their elegance. She steps right up to me. I want to take her into my arms and kiss her, but I can’t.
Why the hell can’t I?
- Victor, she goes on...
- I know now that I can’t live like this. At least not with you. And with Fredrik. The two of you are professionals and I can’t keep this delusion up, thinking that someday I’ll be able to keep up with either one of you, much less both of you.
She puts up a hand as if I had been about to argue and although I wasn’t prepared to speak, I realize she must see the growing argument in my face.
- Look, this isn’t a cry for attention. I’m not saying this to make you tell me that I’m wrong. I know that as much as I wanted to stay with you, it’s just not possible. If I don’t get myself killed, I’ll end up getting you killed. And I know I could never live with that.
- Well, I do think you’re wrong, I manage to say, wishing that I could say more.
- No, she says...
- I’m not. And you know it.
- But where would you go? What would you do? My tone becomes urgent.
- Sarai, you tried living a normal life already. You tried and look what happened.
Why am I saying these things? I should be rejoicing in the fact that she has finally come to her senses.
She sighs softly. I watch her delicate shoulders rise and fall.
- Don’t do this, she says, shaking her head.
- Don’t pretend that this bothers you, or that you want me to change my mind. Just don’t. You know this is the right thing as much I do now. If only I had listened to you long ago, if I had just dropped this stupid vendetta against Hamburg, went on with my life, I’d be at home in Arizona with Dina and Dahlia and even Eric...
- But you didn’t love him, I point out.
Why did I say that? Of all the things I could’ve said, all the topics I could’ve explored, why did it have to be that one?
- No, I didn’t. She looks into my eyes thoughtfully.
- But he was normal. He was what you wanted for me, but at the time, I was too selfish to understand that you were right. That kind of life was right.
I take a step back from her.
- Wait, I say, putting up my hand momentarily and then running the edge of my finger across my mouth, my head hung low...
- So you’re saying you want a normal life now?
- Not at all, she says, shaking her head.
- I could never go back to that. I’m just saying that if I hadn’t have gone through with my plan to kill Hamburg, things wouldn’t be as bad as they are now.
I cock my head to one side, a confused look on my darkening face.
- Then what exactly are you saying? I ask.
- What, you’re going to just start killing people on your own?
That’s almost laughable to me, but I certainly keep that contained. I know Sarai would try it. I know she would kill and maybe even get away with it a few times, but she couldn’t get away with it forever. Not without the resources that I have.
- I haven’t figured that out yet, she answers.
Sarai places her hand on the glass door’s handle and slides it away from the frame, letting the mild, early evening air rush in from outside. She steps out onto the back patio.
I’m standing outside with her before my mind catches up to the hurried movement of my legs.
- You’re not making any sense, I say.
The back motion-activated light floods the concrete patio when Sarai steps across the path of the sensor. She stands just on the edge of the bright beams, leaving only part of her face cast in a darkening shadow as the sun is nearly set.
- I have unfinished business in Mexico, she says, and I go numb.
- Hamburg isn’t the only person I’ve thought about killing the past eight months, Victor. She gazes out at the flat landscape again. I can’t look at anything but her.
- When you and Fredrik told me that Javier’s brothers are running the compound now, it only fueled my hatred. They need to die. All of them. Every one of the bastards involved. All of the Andres’ and the Davids’. She looks over at me.
- There are still a lot of girls there. I know there were twenty-one when I escaped in the back of your car. Nineteen now, minus Lydia and Cordelia. What kind of person would I be if I went on with my life knowing that back in Mexico there’s a compound where many girls whom I came to care about, are being held against their will? Being raped and beaten and killed?
I start to reach out for her, but I stop at the last moment.
I don’t know why this is so hard for me…why there is so much conflict inside of me…
Sarai steps away from the sensor path just as the light blinks off, bathing us in subdued darkness. A light breeze catches her hair, making it dance against her back softly.
- This is foolish, Sarai, I say, finally managing words I feel are suitable.
- Even with my help, pulling something like that off would take a very long time. What makes you think you could do it by yourself? How would you even find the compound without me?
- I can do it alone, she says calmly but with unshakable resolve.
- I mean, I can at least try and that’s better than doing nothing. And you don’t give me enough credit, Victor. I can put two and two together as easily as you can. I can take what I’ve learned, pieces of information that has crossed me, and make my way from there. Cordelia shouldn’t be hard to find. I know she lives in California. I know that she’s Guzmán’s daughter and that you were sent to that compound by Guzmán to find her and to kill Javier Ruiz for abducting her. Even without you, I can find out the location of the compound. I’ll start with Cordelia and Guzmán.
My throat is dry. My stomach is a rock solid mass of knots.
She’s right, I didn’t give her enough credit. She’s much smarter than I ever knew. I knew she was intelligent, but she quite simply, just blindsided me.
She doesn’t smile or gloat, she just stands there looking at me with focus and strength and the kind of determination that scares the shit out of me. Sarai’s vengeful bloodlust runs deeper than I knew, deeper than she let on to me.
How could I have missed this?
- And then there are the rich men who Javier toted me around to, showing me off to them to make them want to buy the other girls from him, she says, sneering.
- I remember what you told me. John Gerald Lansen, you told me is the CEO of Balfour Enterprises. She nods, affirming the revelation on my face.
- Yeah, I remember a lot of things. And I spent a great deal of time at Dina’s before I left for Los Angeles to kill Hamburg, researching these men. Slowly remembering their names, their faces, putting that two and two together to find out who they are, where they live, how much they’re worth. When I wasn’t thinking about you, I was immersed in them, learning everything I could about them so that I could slowly kill them all off one by one.” She steps right up to me and gazes into my eyes.
- And that’s what I intend to do.
- You can’t do this without me, I say.
I’m getting angry. How can she say these things, make such a decision that doesn’t involve me?
My hands are shaking.
I look away from her, knowing that if I look too long, I’ll fall helplessly into the depths of her green eyes.
- Foolish, I say, ready to call it a night and be done with this ludicrous conversation. “I’m going to shower and get some sleep. You can join me if you want.”
I want her to say yes.
I feel like she’s not going to…
- I won’t be joining you, she says.
- I meant what I said. When this is over, when they’re dead, I’m leaving.
I whirl around at her, my hands in half-fists at my sides, the cuffs of my white dress shirt somehow seeming tighter around my wrists.
- You’re not going anywhere. Not like that. I won’t let you. I laugh dryly.
- Jesus, Sarai, you really do have a lot to learn. I’m dumbfounded by how you don’t see how stupid this is!
- Stupid? she scorns.
- No…OK, maybe you’re right, but what’s more stupid than anything that I’ve just explained to you is thinking that I could ever have any kind of life with you. I hate myself for what I’ve put you through, for what I’ve put Dina through. And here I am, like an orphan dropped on your doorstep, expecting you to take care of me and feed me and teach me how to live an unconventional life and not get killed doing it. You didn’t ask for this and I never should’ve thrown it on your lap the way I did.
My teeth are starting to taste like plastic as I grind my jaw so hard and for so long without realizing. My chest rises and falls with deep, angry and even fearful breaths. I feel like I haven’t blinked in minutes, my eyes are beginning to dry out from the unrelenting breeze that pushes against the whites, widely exposed from my lids. It feels like my heart is trying to pound its way right out of my chest.
I’ve never felt this way before…not since I was a child. I’ve never been so furious and…scared.
- I’m sorry that I put you through this, Victor, she says softly and with sincerity.
- I want to thank you for everything you’ve done to help me. I doubt that anything I could ever do or say to you will make up for your help. I know. But the least I can do is leave you alone and let you live your life the way you know how. You don’t need me in it fucking it up all the time.
She turns her back to me and starts to walk away.
- Sarai! I shout and she stops instantly. I try to calm my voice.
- Just…just wait a minute.
She turns to face me.
I’m stumbling over every single word in my mind, trying to pick each one out of the disarray and put them all together properly so that they make sense. But it’s hard. It’s so damn hard!
- I…, I look down at my dress shoes, over at the wrought iron patio chair, up at the strands of her hair blowing against her soft, bare shoulders. Back at my shoes again.
- …I don’t want you to go.
- But I have to, Victor, she says with such kindness and understanding in her voice that it nearly breaks me in half.
- You know I have to. It’s the best thing for both of us.
- No, I say simply, sternly, rounding my chin and gathering my composure. I will not accept this.
- You’re staying with me. I can keep you safe. We won’t talk about this anymore. Now let’s go to bed.
I reach out my hand to her.
- No, Victor. I’m sorry.
I grab her hand and pull her to me. She doesn’t stir or recoil or even look surprised for that matter. I grab her cheeks within my hands and I stare down into her beautiful face, her almost childlike eyes, though they are so illusory. A little wolf hides behind that doe. My little wolf.
- I-I want you to stay with me.
- Because it’s what I want.
- But that’s not a reason, Victor.
- It doesn’t matter, Sarai, you need to stay with me.
- But I’m not going to.
I shake her, her cheeks still engulfed by my hands.
- YOU CAN’T LEAVE! My soul is trembling. I cannot bear these emotions.
She still doesn’t flinch, but I see a thin layer of moisture begin to coat her eyes.
She shakes her head in my hands, gently.
- I’m going to leave and there’s nothing you can do to change that.
- NO, SARAI! I roar.
- I NEED YOU IN MY LIFE!
I pull my hands away from her abruptly and look down at them, wide open in front of me, as if they have betrayed me somehow. My chest swirls chaotically inside as if emotions that have lain dormant all my life have finally awoken and don’t know what to do with themselves anymore.
Wanting only to hide myself away in my room so that I can try to understand what just happened to me, I turn on my heels and head for the glass door.
- Victor, I hear her call out softly behind me.
I stop. I can’t bring myself to turn around.
I feel her step up behind me, the warmth of her presence, the sweet scent of her skin.
- Look at me, she says with a voice as light as the wind.
Slowly, I turn around.
She steps up and places her hands against my cheeks, gentler than I had done to hers. She tilts her head to one side and then the other, gazing into my eyes with her tear-filled ones. She pushes up on her toes and kisses me lightly on the mouth.
- Don’t hold any of it back, she says with soft urgency.
- Say everything you’re feeling right now. In this very moment. No matter how wrong or uncomfortable or foreign it seems, say it anyway. Please…
I didn’t notice when my hands came up and hooked around her wrists. I hold on to them gently, as her fingers touch my cheeks. And I search inside myself, trying to understand what she’s doing to me. What she’s done to me. I think about what she said and against my hard external identity, I want only to give her what she wants.
- I’ve…Sarai, I’ve never felt this way before. I can’t look her in the eyes, but she forces my gaze anyway.
- Tell me everything, she urges.
- I need to hear it.
The desperation in her voice is passionate and matches what I feel deep inside. I search her face. Her eyes. Her pouty mouth, lips parted ever so slightly that it makes her mouth look innocent and inviting. The curvature of her cheekbones. Her chin. The elegant slope of her neck.
But her eyes…
- Sarai, you are important to me, I say desperately through an urgent whisper.
- You’re more important to me than anything or anyone. To have you here, with me, isn’t a burden. I want to train you. For as long as it takes. I want to wake up every morning with you next to me. I need you in my life more than I have ever needed or wanted anything.
I pause and avert my eyes downward. And then I step away from her. Her hands fall away from my face.
I swallow hard.
- I won’t force you to stay with me, I compel myself to say, despite what I feel.
- But just know this…if you leave, you will become a burden. If you think that by being here you’re fucking up my life, you have no idea how true that will be if you set out on your own. Because I will spend every waking moment of my life trying to protect you!
My heart is racing.
- I won’t be able to sleep, knowing that you’re out there, trying to fit into a life that’s nothing but a death sentence when you’ve not had proper training! Sarai…IT WILL KILL ME! DON’T YOU SEE? YOU’LL KILL ME IF YOU CHOOSE TO LEAVE!
I’m shaking all over, my entire body wracked by pain and fear and heartache.
Sarai is in front of me again so fast, standing mere inches from my chest, her fingers dancing upon my face again, just like before. She appears calm. But there’s something else in her eyes now that wasn’t there moments ago. Relief? Happiness? I can’t quite decipher the emotion when all I want to do is pull her against me and hold her until we both die.
She reaches up and brushes the tip of her index finger underneath my eye. A tear.
Consumed by confusion, I can’t speak and I can’t move. I look down at her hand first, where the remnants of the tear glistens on the edge of her finger. I look back into her soft green eyes, which are smiling back at me, not with arrogance, but with warmth.
Clever little wolf…
Une bonne suite, un peu moins prenant que le premier tome mais j'ai vraiment apprécié.
J'ai beaucoup aimé ce deuxième tome! Le développement des personnages m'a plu. L'histoire est captivante et l'intrigue accrochante. En route vers le troisième tome.
je viens de le terminer et je suis tomber amoureuse de ce livre.
tout ma plu et je suis vraiment triste d'avoir terminer
une histoire incroyable
J'ai adoré dévorer ce tome ! L'histoire était captivante, les personnages très sympathiques et l'intrigue acrochante. Je le conseille vivement !
Une excellente suite, j'ai retrouvé avec plaisir Victor et Sarai, et pris plaisir (et un peu peur) à connaître Fredrik. Je suis assez impressionnée par la capacité d'adaptation de Sarai. Elle change de peau facilement et endosse ses nouveaux rôles en un claquement de doigts. Les épreuves qu'elle passe sont effarantes, l'univers dans lequel elle souhaite désormais évoluer et dangereux et sans scrupules, il m'en a donné des frissons. Je suis très curieuse de savoir ce que va donner la suite de l'organisation et le potentiel que va révéler Izabel
J'ai adoré dévorer ce tome ! L'histoire était captivante, les personnages très sympathiques et l'intrigue accrochante. Je le conseille vivement !
Une excellente suite, j'ai retrouvé avec plaisir Victor et Sarai, et pris plaisir (et un peu peur) à connaître Fredrik. Je suis assez impressionnée par la capacité d'adaptation de Sarai. Elle change de peau facilement et endosse ses nouveaux rôles en un claquement de doigts. Les épreuves qu'elle passe sont effarantes, l'univers dans lequel elle souhaite désormais évoluer et dangereux et sans scrupules, il m'en a donné des frissons. Je suis très curieuse de savoir ce que va donner la suite de l'organisation et le potentiel que va révéler Izabel.
wow encore une belle découverte, Sarai est tellement attachante et on découvre un peu plus Victor ainsi que ce nouveau personnage Frederik qui nous donne envie d'en apprendre un peu plus sur lui
Un tome dans la lignée du premier tome. J’aime bien comment Sarai s’affirme.
J ai bien apprécié la suite de Sarai/ Izabel. Même si clairement elle m'a tapé sur le système à être aussi niaise.
Mais le potentiel de l'histoire en elle même est géniale.
Hormis qu'elle soit un peu bébête par moment je trouve ça hallucinant ce qu'elle devient à la fin après tout ce qu'elle a subi.
Je me languis de lire le tome 3.
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