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Chosen By A Sinner: Chapter 24


Fuck driving. We took a helicopter to Tijuana.

It’s dark as we touch down a short distance from the building where Mariya’s apparently being held. Everyone is armed to the teeth.

My eyes scour the area below, my fingers flexing around the submachine gun.

“Move! Move! Move!” I roar, and we spill out of the helicopter like the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

As we run away from the downwind chopping the air, I move to the side of the road and head for the building.

Nearing the dilapidated piece of shit, movement catches my eye by the side of the building.

Uncle Demitri lifts his rifle and checks through the scope, then says, “It’s Mariya. Faster. She’s got men on her tail.”

Viktor shoves his weapon to his side and runs as fast as he fucking can, shouting, “Mariya!”

Fuck this.

I throw the weapon to the ground and push myself harder than I ever have, sprinting past Viktor for the first time.

With my eyes locked on my wife, I watch as she stumbles, pushes herself back to her feet, and turns to face the men creeping out of the shadows.

Horror rips a shout from me as she trains the barrel of her gun on a propane tank. “No!”

She’s too close.

Her body jerks as she takes the shot, and I swear my soul up and leave my body as the seconds tick by.

She misses and stumbles backward, letting out a wail before dropping the gun.

“Mariya!” I shout again, and this time her head snaps in our direction.

The sight of us has her dropping to her knees, extreme pain and relief mixing on her face.

Christ, what have they done to her?

Bullets start flying past me from Viktor, Uncle Alexei, and Uncle Demitri.

When I’m mere feet from Mariya, she slumps to her side, and I fall over her, shoving my hand between her head and the ground in the nick of time.

Her breaths wheeze over her lips, and she looks like she’s been to hell and back, but she still manages a crooked smile. “Just… in… time.” She lifts a bloody hand to my jaw, and I take hold of it, pressing a kiss to her palm. “Love…”

Her eyes flutter closed, and I lose my fucking mind.

“No!” Climbing to my feet, I pick Mariya’s limp body up and start to run back in the direction of the helicopter. “Don’t you fucking dare give up now,” I order.

“I’ve radioed the helicopter to come to us,” Uncle Demitri yells after me.

I stop running and watch the sky, holding the broken pieces of my life in my arms.

When the last of the gunfire dies out, Uncle Alexei moves in front of me. There’s so much pain on his face as his eyes take in the state of his daughter.

Slowly he reaches a hand to her neck, checking for her pulse. He closes his eyes, and I start to shake my head.

I refuse to face a day without Mariya.

Uncle Demitri shoves Uncle Alexei’s hand out of the way and checks Mariya’s pulse, then mutters, “It’s weak but there.” He glances over her. “She’s lost a fuck-ton of blood.”

The helicopter touches down, and we hurry to get Mariya inside. I keep her in my arms as I take a seat, refusing to let go of her.

Uncle Demitri pulls closer the emergency first aid kit he brought along and gets to work on stopping the bleeding.

Viktor helps his father, and every couple of seconds, the two men curse when they find a new wound.

I can’t believe what they’ve done to her.

Uncle Alexei places his hands on the sides of Mariya’s head and presses his mouth to her hair.

I swear it’s the first time I’ve seen the man pray to any god.

With the real possibility of Mariya dying in my arms, I can only stare at her face. Even now, I’ve never seen anything more beautiful.

“Three days wasn’t enough,” I murmur to her, hoping to God she can hear me. “We deserve a lifetime together, so you keep fighting, amore mio.” A tear escapes, and rolling down my chin, it lands on Mariya’s bloody silk blouse. “I love you so fucking much.” My chest aches from the tendrils of loss gathering in the darkest corners of my heart. “Give me a chance to love you.”

Touching down on the roof of the hospital Uncle Alexei had built after Aunt Bella had to receive medical care in an underground hospital, Viktor shoves the door open. I see two doctors waiting with a stretcher, their white coats flapping from the wind.

I’m careful not to jar Mariya’s body as I climb out of the aircraft and carry her to them.

“Save my baby girl,” Uncle Alexei begs one of the doctors while I lay her down on the stretcher.

“I’ll do my best, Sir,” she replies before they push her toward the elevators. We all follow behind them, and stepping inside, I take hold of Mariya’s left hand. My thumb brushes over her empty ring finger, and I vow the next time I put my ring on her, I’ll tell her how much I love her.

Right before the doors slide open, I lean over her and press a kiss to her lips. “Come back to me.”

The doors open, and I pull back as they rush her out of the elevator and down a hallway.

We’re stopped at double doors, and a nurse advises us to wait in the waiting room.

No one speaks a word, the magnitude of what happened hanging thick between us.

We never thought someone would take on the bratva and Italian mafia.

We thought we were invincible.

We were wrong.

I sink down on a chair and cover my face with my hands.

“They were Albanian,” Uncle Alexei mutters.

“They’ve been trying to move into Luca’s territory for months,” Viktor informs our godfather.

She was only my wife for three days, which means they’ve been watching my every move.

“They’ve been planning these attacks for a while,” I say. “This won’t be the last.” I lift my head and look at each of the other men. “Once Mariya is back home and better, I’m taking the fight to them.”

“We,” Uncle Alexei growls. He locks eyes with me. “We will take the fight to them.”


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