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Captured By A Sinner: Chapter 21


Arriving at the Parisi mansion, I pay the cab driver and climb out.

Staring at the house and beautiful gardens where I spent a lot of time growing up, a smile curves my mouth.

God, I haven’t been here in ages. It still looks the same, though.

The mansion was built in a Mediterranean style. Trellises with vines cover the walls, reminding me of Romeo and Juliet.

Alissa and I used to climb down the trellises and pretend we were on a secret mission as we sneaked through the vast gardens, trying to see how far we could get before a guard spotted us.

Seeing something from my past that hasn’t changed is comforting.

I walk through the massive iron gates and smile at the guard. “I’m here for Alissa’s party.”

“Name,” he grumbles, eyeing me up and down.

“Rosalie Manno.”

His eyes narrow on me, then he nods to a golf cart. “Alessandro! Take the girl up to the mansion.”

“Thank you.”

I climb onto the golf cart and smile at Alessandro, but he doesn’t bother acknowledging me.

I glance at the flower beds and trimmed hedges as we drive to the front door. Mr. Parisi steps out onto the porch and watches as we come to a stop at the foot of the steps.

A wide smile spreads over my face as I climb off. “Hi, Mr. Parisi.”

His eyes sweep over me. “Rosalie. I was surprised when I heard you’re back in New York.”

I take the steps up. “I only got back last week.”

We lean in and kiss each other’s cheeks, then Mr. Parisi says, “Follow me.”

“Everything still looks the same,” I mention as we walk into the house.

I hear music coming from out back, where the party is already in full swing. I’m a little surprised when Mr. Parisi leads me to his study.

The moment I step inside and see the other four heads of the Cosa Nostra sitting on the couches, my stomach tightens with nerves.

Mr. Parisi shuts the door, then says, “You remember Mr. Caruso, Mr. Amoto, Mr. Messina, and Mr. Greco, right?”

Swallowing hard, I nod. “It’s nice to see you all again.”

Mr. Parisi leans back against the heavy wooden desk and gestures at a chair that’s been placed in the middle of the room.

Cautiously, I move closer and sit down, clutching my handbag on my lap.

Something is very wrong.

Mr. Parisi stares at me for a moment, then asks, “Why did you come back to New York?”

My tongue darts out to wet my lips. “I grew up here.”

“Still.” He pushes away from the desk and shoves his hands into his pockets. Tilting his head, he continues, “Your family was banned from New York.”


“This is Cosa Nostra territory, and no Manno is welcome. Your grandfather knew this when we cut ties with him.” His eyes narrow on me. “I thought we made it clear when we assassinated your father.”

Waves of chock rush over my skin, and my lips part on a gasp.

The Cosa Nostra was responsible for the accident my father died in?

The corner of Mr. Parisi’s mouth lifts. “But you didn’t know this, right?”

“N-no,” I whisper, too shocked to talk louder.

“Then I’m going to assume you also don’t know about the money your grandfather stole from us.”


What money?

“No,” I whisper again.

This is the total opposite of the welcome I expected, and it’s jarring as hell.

“Educate her,” Mr. Greco grumbles, his eyes roving over me like a hungry wolf.

Panic flares in my chest, making my heart beat hard against my ribs.

Mr. Parisi makes a tsking sound. “Your family stole ten million from us. You were lucky to leave with your life the first time, but if you don’t pay us the money your family stole, you won’t be so lucky a second time.”

Oh, God.

The first thought to enter my mind is that I’m in a world of trouble. The second is Viktor.

But I can’t call him for help. Not after I declined everything he wanted to do for me.

And it will lead to bloodshed.

That’s if Viktor even comes to help me.

Shit. Shit. Shit.

“I don’t have that much money,” I say, the panic I’m feeling tightening my words.

“Right. Stathoulis took everything when he killed your grandfather and uncle,” Mr. Parisi says. “Viktor Vetrov held you captive for three years. Why did he let you go?”

The sudden change in conversation makes me pause.

There’s an unspoken peace treaty between the Cosa Nostra and the Priesthood. One wrong word can start a war.

I choose my answer carefully but stick to the truth. “Viktor promised me my freedom when I turned twenty-one.”

“Why?” Mr. Parisi’s eyes narrow on me. “The head of the bratva isn’t known for showing mercy.”

My mind races while my gut tells me to keep quiet about the relationship I built with Viktor.

God, I’m so glad I didn’t tell Alissa anything.

I go with the only acceptable answer I can think of. “Viktor grew bored of me. He told me to get out of his city. I only got to take my clothes. I have nothing else. Until I find a job, I can’t pay you back.”

Booming laughter comes from Mr. Greco. “What kind of job can the whore of the bratva get? You’ll never be able to pay us back.”

Desperate to escape this dire situation, I give Mr. Parisi a pleading look. “I didn’t know what my family did. I’ll leave New York immediately.”

He shakes his head. “That’s not how the Cosa Nostra works, Miss Manno. You will repay the debt.”


If I suddenly ask Viktor for so much money, he’ll want to know what changed my mind, and he’ll see straight through any lie I try to tell him.

You also told him to go to hell less than an hour ago.

My mind is flooded with panic, and I can’t think of a single thing to say.

Finally, I whisper, “I need time.”

Mr. Parisi watches me with a sharp gaze. “I’ll give you the same amount of time I gave your grandfather. Twenty-four hours.” He smiles, but it only makes him look more threatening. “Just remember, there are no other Mannos to kill. If you don’t pay, it’s your life we’ll take.”

Dear God.

My mouth is bone dry, my heart fluttering fearfully in my chest.

What am I going to do?

Mr. Parisi gestures to the door. “Go wish Alissa happy birthday, then make up an excuse and leave. I don’t want you associating with my daughter.”

My legs are numb, but I force myself to stand up. Every breath I take is so loud in my ears. With a trembling hand, I open the door and let myself out.

Ignoring the party, I rush to the front door and dart down the steps.

What am I going to do?

The only thing I can think is to ask Viktor for the money, but I told him I wanted to survive on my own.

I stumble in the high heels but catch myself and keep rushing toward the gates.

I have twenty-four hours. I’ll pack my belongings and sneak out of New York.


Feeling as if I’ve being hunted, I start to run, and I don’t stop until I reach the end of the street.

I call for a cab, constantly glancing over my shoulder.

God, I wish Viktor was here.

The thought hits me square in the chest, and I grab hold of the rose pendant, needing to touch the last thing he gave me as I realize I felt safe with Viktor.

Holy shit. I trust Viktor.

I glance over my shoulder again, then check how long before the cab arrives.

I’ll pack my clothes and take the first flight back to LA. I’ll tell him how much I missed him and beg him to take me back.

Hopefully, the Cosa Nostra won’t come after me.

Are you hearing yourself? A week ago, you insisted on leaving Viktor, and now that you’re in trouble, you want to run back? You can’t use him when it suits you.


My breath hitches, and I shove my hand into my hair. If I go back to Viktor, it has to be because I’ve forgiven him, and I want to spend my life with him.

The cab pulls up to the curb, and I quickly climb into the back seat. After I’ve given my address, I slump back against the seat and take my phone out so I can search for a place to run to.

When I unlock the screen, I see a message from Viktor and quickly open it.

My lips part and a sob forces its way out of me when I look at the photo of Viktor and Luna.

We miss you.

PS. Never wear that dress again.

I cover my mouth with my hand and stare at the photo all the way back to my apartment, wishing I was with them and not here.


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