Chosen By A Sinner: Chapter 17

Mariya

The moment I walk into the foyer, Luca’s voice is low and deadly, “Where the fuck have you been?”

I come to a sudden stop, my eyebrows darting up. “I went to the store.” I hold up the bag of snacks and Ibuprofen I got.

He’s leaning against the kitchen counter, his hands casually shoved into his pockets, his legs crossed at the ankles.

The pose might be casual, but I can feel the waves of anger coming off him from a mile away.

Slowly, he pushes away from the counter, his dark gaze locking on me.

A shiver shoots down my spine as I walk through the foyer.

“Where’s your phone?” he demands, his tone unnervingly calm.

I point to the stairs. “Upstairs.”

“Christ, you’re hell-bent on driving me insane,” he mutters.

“I tried to call you, but you didn’t answer,” I say in my defense.

“Then you send me a fucking text,” he shouts. “I’m out there waging a fucking war! The last thing I need right now is worrying about you.”

My head snaps back, instant anger flooding my veins.

No one shouts at me.

Stepping closer to Luca, I give him a look of warning. “Don’t shout at me! You’re not the only one at war. My ovaries are currently tearing down my insides, and it hurts like a fucker. I’m overemotional and moody as hell, and I just went out to get my favorite snacks because there’s nothing to eat in your damn house.”

Luca shakes his head, looking a little confused. “Your what is what?”

“I’m on my period,” I mutter. Pushing past him, I put the bag on the counter and take out the Ibuprofen. I pop two into my mouth and wash them down with some water.

Luca just stares at me as I grab a chocolate bar. “Get used to it, my husband. Blood’s going to flow freely for the next week.” I slump down on the couch, press my rechargeable heating pad against my abdomen, and let out a relieved sigh when I peel the wrapping back from the chocolaty goodness I’ve desperately needed all day.

Just as I take a bite, my abdomen decides it’s a good day to up the voltage of my cramps. I bring my legs up, curling into the corner and pressing the heating pad harder against my skin. “Jesus, the Ibuprofen better kick in soon,” I whisper to myself.

It was a shit show when Aunt Flo showed up. I was in the middle of unpacking and had no freaking idea where my tampons were. I’m a heavy bleeder. It took me thirty minutes and half a toilet paper roll before I finally found the damn tampons.

I hear Luca take the stairs up to our bedroom.

Shit, the closet is a mess. He’s probably going to yell at me. I didn’t expect him home so soon, though. I check the time, noticing it’s only two pm.

Definitely not my fault he came home early.

He’s up there a while before he appears, dressed in a sweater and suit pants. Not even glancing my way, he heads straight for the kitchen.

I’m just about to start thinking he’s giving me the silent treatment when he asks, “Have you eaten anything today?”

He sounds tired, but at least he doesn’t look angry anymore.

Even though I’m cramping badly, I get up and walk closer to him. I extend an olive branch by being the first to apologize, “I’m sorry I snapped at you.”

Luca opens the fridge and starts to take ingredients out. “We’ve both had a shitty morning. Let’s leave it at that.”

Worry starts to niggle in the back of my mind. “I’ll leave a message next time. I was only out for fifteen minutes, and Ivan and Lev were with me.”

“It’s okay.”

My eyes search his face, noticing he looks pale. “What happened today?”

Luca only shakes his head and carries on prepping for a meal.

My legs feel numb, so I pull out a stool and take a seat at the marble island. I watch him work for a couple of minutes, loving the way he moves. “You can tell me anything.”

For a moment, his eyes flick to my face before he turns his back to me, dismissing me like he always used to do.

It hurts much more this time, the ache spreading through my heart worse than the period cramps.

Being overemotional also doesn’t help because a sudden rush of tears threatens to burst free.

Slipping off the stool, I go upstairs, scared I might actually cry today, which is not something I do often.

I put my heat pack on charge and go to the bathroom. After taking care of business, I wash my hands. A flash of red catches my eye and frowning, I crouch by the slim waste bin.

That’s not my blood.

I pinch the toilet paper with my fingers, and when I lift it, something falls from it. The metal pings on the tiles.

Jesus.

I pick up the bullet, the sight of it making an icy wave of fear rush through me.

Oh, Jesus.

I dart up and run out of the bathroom. I fly down the stairs, and it has Luca’s head snapping my way. “What’s wrong?” he asks.

I almost barrel into him, my eyes searching for the wound. “Where did you get shot?” Panic coats my voice as I start to tug at his sweater, yanking the fabric up and over his head.

“I’m okay,” he mutters, watching me as if I’ve lost my ever-loving mind.

My gaze locks on the white bandage wrapped around his bicep, and a wave of nausea threatens to hit. “Jesus, Luca,” I almost whimper, my heart stopping at the thought that if the bullet was a couple of inches to the right, I could’ve lost him.

The thought rips the ground beneath my feet.

Sure, I’ve grown up in the bratva, but none of the men I love have ever been shot.

That I know of.

As careful as I can, I remove the bandage with trembling fingers. My eyebrows draw together, and I swallow hard on the urge to cry when I see the swollen, red hole that’s still seeping blood.

A strangled whimper escapes me. “Where’s the first aid kit?”

“There’s a bag in the closet by my suits.” Luca wraps his right hand around the back of my neck before I can turn away from him. He locks eyes with me. “Deep breaths, amore mio. I’m okay.”

“You’re not! I could’ve lost you today,” I cry and quickly losing control over my emotions, I pull free and run up the stairs. I find the bag where Luca said it would be and bundle it into my arms.

Calm down. Your parents trained you for this. Get your shit together.

When I turn around, Luca comes into the bedroom, his features tight from exhaustion.

“Sit on the bed,” I order as I rush to him. I plant the bag on the covers, and opening it, I start yanking bandages, antiseptic wipes, and anything else I can get my hands on from the large first aid kit.

“You need stitches,” I gasp, my emotions spiraling. “It’s been years since my mom showed me.”

As part of my training, my parents taught me how to take care of wounds, but none of that prepared me for this.

“There’s Dermabond in the bag,” Luca says.

When he reaches for the bag, I shove his hand away. “Don’t move. I’ve got this.” I take deep breaths to calm down so I can tend to my man’s wound. “I’ve got this,” I repeat.

“Stop, Mariya,” Luca orders.

My eyes dart to his face. “Have you lost your mind? You’re bleeding!”

Luca stands up, and wrapping his right arm around me, he yanks me against his bare chest. The warmth of his breath hits my ear. “Calm down, baby. I’m fine. It’s just a flesh wound.”

Feeling the heat and strength of his body, a hard tremble shudders through me. Standing in his firm hold, the shock finally sets in. Luca got shot.  

I always thought my men were invincible, that nothing could touch them.

“Calm down,” he murmurs soothingly. “I’m okay.”

Get your shit together, Mariya.

I take deep breaths, filling my lungs with Luca’s scent.

That’s better. Now fucking take care of your man.

I pull back and look up at him. “I’m good.” I walk to the bathroom and wash my hands again, then order, “Sit down.”

A smile tugs at the corner of Luca’s mouth as he obeys.

I get to work, focusing on keeping my hand steady as I clean the wound and apply the surgical glue. I blow lightly on it and wait a couple of minutes to make sure I did a good job.

I lightly trail a finger around the wound, then wrap a bandage around his bicep. Feeling a little calmer now that the gunshot wound is no longer bleeding, I let out a relieved sigh.

My eyes settle on Luca’s face, only to see him watching me with one hell of an intense look darkening his gaze.

Feeling unnerved, I say, “You should get some rest.”

Luca shakes his head, takes hold of my hand, and tugs me closer. “Straddle me.”

My eyebrow darts up. “What?”

His hands find my hips, and then I’m yanked onto his lap and forced to straddle him. Shocked, my eyes meet his blazing ones, then he asks, “Why did you react so strongly to me getting shot?”

Oh shit.

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