Chosen By A Sinner: Chapter 16

Luca

After the initial arguments, Mariya and I have been putting in more effort to get along.

I’m not gonna lie. I feel a hell of a lot more optimistic that we can make this marriage work.

It’s only been two days, though.

On my way to the office, I catch up with all the calls I ignored so I could give Mariya my undivided attention. Knowing she’s going to unpack her belongings and spend the day at our place, I don’t have to worry about her, and I can focus on work.

I press play on a voice message from Viktor.

‘I don’t even want to think why you’re not replying to my previous message. We’re going to have a serious talk on Monday. I still can’t believe you had the balls to marry my little sister, you fucker.’

I let out a chuckle which turns to laughter when I see Viktor leaning against a pillar in front of the office building we share with Uncle Alexei and his business partner, Tristan Hayes.

The moment I climb out of the G-Wagon, Viktor pins me with a raised eyebrow. “I see you finally fucking checked your messages.”

“I was busy,” I taunt him. “Wedding night with my blushing bride.”

“You sure Mariya wasn’t red in the face from anger?”

Laughing, we walk into the building, and only when we’re in my office does Viktor say, “Tell me the truth because there’s no way I believe the shitty story that you got drunk.”

I take a deep breath, hoping my friendship with Viktor is strong enough to survive what I’ve done.

“I love Mariya,” I get the most crucial detail out in the open.

Viktor crosses his arms over his chest. “Since when?”

“It’s been a couple of years. We were focused on work, so I kept it to myself until I could offer her everything she deserved.”

He nods. “What happened Friday night?”

“Mariya got drunk.” I square my shoulders. “We were walking when she spotted a chapel. She wanted to get married, and I took the chance.” When Viktor takes a threatening step in my direction, I hold up a hand. “Hear me out.”

Anger tightens his features as he growls, “You have one minute.”

“I love Mariya. I’ll treat her like a queen, Viktor. You know this. Also, she admitted she loves me too.”

Surprise flutters over his face. “She did?”

I wisely leave out the part that she was drunk when she said it.

“Yes. Mariya loves me.”

He stares at me for a moment, then shakes his head. “You can be so fucking glad we’re best friends.”

Having dodged a bullet, I let out a breath of relief.

Viktor gives me a look of warning. “If you ever break my sister’s heart, our friendship is over. I’ll kill you.”

“You’ll have to get in line,” I mutter.

“Fine,” he chuckles. “I’ll finish off whatever’s left over after Uncle Alexei’s done with you.”

I reach out a hand to my friend. “We’re good?”

He takes it. “Yeah, we’re good.”

The door to my office opens, and Marco comes bursting in. “I’ve gathered the men. The Albanians are heading our way.”

“What?” Viktor asks. “I thought you took care of them in Europe.”

“Fuck,” I snap. “That’s what we thought as well.” Rushing out of the office, I explain, “Last week, the Albanians popped up in San Diego. Marco kept an eye on their movements. I’ll handle it with my men.”

My friend gives me an incredulous look. “You want me to stay here and miss out on the action. Have you lost your fucking mind?”

“Right,” I chuckle. “My mistake.”

Stepping out of the elevator, Viktor asks, “What’s their last known position?”

“Irvine. They’re an hour away,” Marco replies.

“Who do you have tracking them?” I ask.

“John and Andy.”

I nod. “Make sure they don’t lose sight of the fuckers.” Before I climb into the G-Wagon, I ask, “Where are the rest of the men meeting us?”

“The warehouse in Long Beach.”

Viktor gets into the G-Wagon with me, while Marco follows us in an SUV.

“At least I’ll get to kill someone today, seeing as you talked your way out of dying,” Viktor jokes while reaching behind our seats for the armored vests we keep there.

He puts his on and waits for me to stop at a red light, then hands me the other one. I quickly shrug out of my jacket and toss it at my friend. I’ve just pulled the armored vest over my head when the light turns green. Viktor takes the steering wheel, giving me time to fasten the straps at my sides.

When we reach Long Beach, we only stop to grab the stash of weapons from the secret compartment at the back of the G-Wagon, then head out to meet the Albanians.

As always, Viktor checks the clips of every gun before he cracks the muscles in his neck, his right knee jumping with excitement.

“Thanks for coming with,” I murmur.

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world.” His phone rings, and he answers it quickly, putting it on speaker phone.

Marco’s voice comes over the line, “Where’s your phone, Luca?”

“In my jacket on the floor. What’s up?”

“Ten minutes out. We’re meeting them head-on.  A white GTR, a pick-up truck, and an SUV.”

Marco gives us the plates, which we don’t have to write down because Viktor has a photographic memory. That’s why nothing gets past the man.

The minutes tick away, and when we’re bound to make visual contact at any moment, Viktor lets down his window, saying, “You know the drill. Sharp left.”

“Got it.”

“Get ready,” he murmurs, his eyes trained on the cars up ahead.

Everything becomes still inside me as the distance grows rapidly smaller between the Albanians and us, then Viktor snaps, “Now!”

I yank the steering wheel to the left, the tires squeal, and Viktor opens fire on the GTR. The G-Wagon comes to a sudden stop, I grab a submachine gun from Viktor and shove my door open. Climbing out, I move to the front of the vehicle and open fire, covering Viktor so he can get his ass out of the G-Wagon.

The Albanians pile out of their vehicles, then all hell breaks loose as my men join the fight.

When I first took over as head of the mafia, my heart used to hammer in my chest and I’d end up drenched in sweat, but over time it faded. Now I hardly feel anything. It’s just another day at work.

The other cars on the road swerve to avoid the gunfight, and I know it’s only a matter of time before the highway patrol arrives on the scene.

“Let’s finish this,” I yell to my men as I push forward.

A lucky fucker’s bullet clips my bicep, but that’s where his luck ends as Viktor takes him out.

The three vehicles are shot up, and when I kill the last man, I shout, “Move, move, move!”

Between the mafia and bratva, we have half the law enforcement in our pockets, but that doesn’t mean we stick around after killing a group of Albanians.

Viktor and I jump back into the G-Wagon, and I floor the gas, the tires screeching.

“Straight ahead. Turn off is in four miles,” Viktor says as he quickly tucks the weapons back into the duffle bag.

With one hand on the steering wheel, I peel the armored vest off and give it to Viktor.

Suddenly he snaps, “Fuck, you’re bleeding. Pull over.”

“You know I can’t,” I mutter. I take the off ramp and turn down random roads until even I’m lost. Bringing the vehicle to a stop, Viktor and I dart out and quickly place the duffle bag in the hidden compartment.

Viktor reaches for my arm, which has me snapping, “I’m fine. My jacket will cover the blood.” I shrug it on, finally feeling the bite from the bullet digging into the muscle of my bicep.

Definitely more than a flesh wound.

“I’m driving,” Viktor says, his tone leaving no room for argument.

Once we’re back in the G-Wagon, he asks, “You sure you’re okay?”

“Yeah, it’s just a flesh wound,” I lie so he won’t worry. “Let’s head back.”

We have to take a longer route home because we shut down the interstate, and traffic will be backed up for miles. By the time we reach the office, my arm is burning something fierce.

“I’m going to head home,” I say when we climb out of the vehicle.

Viktor nods. “I’ll check for any news regarding the hit.”

“Let me know if you find anything.”

“Will do.”

Viktor heads into the building while I slide behind the steering wheel. Driving back to the apartment is a bitch, and I try to use my left arm as little as possible.

I pull into the basement and park in my regular spot, but the moment I climb out and don’t see Ivan and Lev, a frown darkens my forehead.

I yank my phone out of my pocket and see a missed call from Mariya, but she didn’t bother leaving a message. Heading up to the apartment, I already know what I’m going to find, and after the gunfight, it’s the last thing I’m in the mood for.

When the elevator doors open and I don’t find Mariya in the apartment, unreasonable anger floods my veins.

Christ, she’s testing me on the wrong fucking day.

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