God of Malice (Legacy of Gods #1) by Rina Kent

I step out of my car and freeze, staring behind me. The hairs on the back of my neck stand on end and my limbs start shaking uncontrollably.

What if that crazy bastard followed me here?

What if he hurts my family?

If he so much as poses a threat to them, I’ll become homicidal. No doubt about it.

I might be ready to move past what he did to me, but it’s different when my loved ones are involved. I swear I’ll go mental.

Long moments tick by as I inspect my surroundings with my fists clenched by my sides. Only after I’ve made sure I didn’t actually bring a rabid dog with me do I start heading inside.

Mum and Dad made this house so big, imposing, but with enough warmth to feel like a home.

The building stretches over a large piece of land on the outskirts of London. The wooden gazebo that sits in the middle of the garden is filled with multiple paintings from our childhood.

The stars I drew when I was around three appear grotesque and absolutely appalling compared to the ones my brothers painted. I don’t want to look at them or be hit with that inferiority complex.

Not now.

So I remove my shoes and sneak down to the basement. It’s where our art studios are.

Right next to a world-renowned artist’s.

Anyone in the art circuit knows the name Astrid Clifford King, or they’d recognize her signature, Astrid C. King. Her sketches have captured the hearts of critics and galleries all over the world, and she’s often asked to attend as a guest of honor at an opening here and an exclusive event there.

My mum was the reason behind my and my brothers’ artistic tendencies. Landon is damn effortless about it. Brandon is meticulous.


I’m chaotic to the point that I don’t understand it sometimes.

I don’t belong to their inner circle.

My hand trembles as I open the door leading to the studios Dad had built for us when the twins were ten.

Lan and Bran share the big one, and I have a much smaller one. I used to hang with them in my early teens, but their talent crushed my soul and I spent months unable to paint anything.

So my mum asked Dad to build me a separate one so I could have more privacy. No clue if she figured that out by herself or if Bran confided in her, but it didn’t make much of a difference. At least I didn’t have to be slammed by their genius and feel smaller every day.

In reality, I shouldn’t even compare myself to them. Not only are they older than me, but we’re also so different. Lan is a sculptor, a hardcore sadist who can and will make his subjects into stones if he gets a chance.

Bran, on the other hand, is a painter of landscapes and anything that doesn’t include humans, animals, or whatever has eyes.

I’m…a painter, too. I guess. A sketcher and a dabbler in contemporary impressionism. I’m just not as defined as my siblings.

And definitely not as technical or talented.

Still, the only place I want to be right now is the small nook in my art studio.

My hand feels cold and stiff as I open the door and step inside. The automatic lights illuminate the blank canvas lining the walls.

Mum often asks where I hide my paintings, but she never pushes me to show them, even though they’re just in the closet on the far wall where no one can find them.

I’m not ready to let anyone see that part of me.

This part of me.

Because I can feel the darkness shimmering under the surface. That suffocating urge to let it consume me, eat me from the inside out and just purge everything.

My fingers tremble as I pick up the can of black paint and splash it on the biggest canvas available. It smudges all the others, but I pay it no attention as I grab another can and another until it’s all black.

Then I get my palette, my red colors, my palette knives, and my large brushes. I don’t think about it as I create bold strokes of red, then I kill the red with the black. I even use the ladder, sliding it from one end to the other to reach the highest point on the canvas.

I go at it for what seems like ten minutes when it’s actually a lot longer. By the time I step down from the ladder and slide it away, I think I’ll collapse.

Or dissolve.

Or maybe I could just go back to that cliff and let the lethal waves finish the job.

I’m panting, my heart pounding in my ears, and my eyes are about to bleed the same red on the painting I just finished.

This can’t be.

This…just can’t be.

Why the hell would I paint this…this symphony of violence?

I can almost feel that raw touch on my heated skin. I can feel his breath over me, his control, and how he took it from me in return. I can see him in front of me with those dead eyes, tall like the devil and with the same imposing presence, his way of taking everything from me.

I can almost hear his mocking voice and his effortless manner of speech.

I can even smell him—something woodsy and raw that causes my air to get stuck at the back of my throat.

My fingers slide to my neck to where he touched me—no, choked me—when a zap slashes through my body and I drop my hand, startled.

What the hell am I doing?

What happened earlier was obscure, disturbing, and absolutely not something I should paint with these raw details.

I’ve never even drawn anything this big before.

Wrapping my arms around my middle, I’m about to hunch over from the assaulting pain.