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Chosen By A Sinner: Chapter 30


While my in-laws visit Mariya, I take time to get work done.

With Nikolas, Liam, and Gabriel in LA, we skip having a meeting at our usual venue and meet at my apartment.

The three men will also stay at my place while they’re in town.

When I walk into the marble foyer, I hear laughter coming from the living room. I find the men enjoying a drink.

Viktor notices me first and gestures in my direction. The other three come to shake my hand, Nikolas waiting until last. “How are you holding up?”

“Mariya’s slowly healing, so I’m doing better.”

“I can’t believe you got married,” Liam mutters.

“I thought Viktor would bite the bullet before you,” Gabriel chuckles.

“Me?” Viktor looks disgruntled.

“To your Rose with all the thorns,” Gabriel reminds him.

“You still have the girl?” Nikolas asks.

“Change the subject. Luca’s the one who took advantage of my drunk sister,” he throws me under the bus to get the spotlight off him.

Nikolas lifts an eyebrow at me, but I shake my head. “You forced Tessa to marry you.” Then I grin. “Mariya dragged me to the chapel, and I just didn’t stop her.”

“Dragged,” Viktor chuckles. “Good one.”

“So what’s this about you being targeted by two gangs?” Liam asks.

“Arben Tinaj,” Viktor informs them. “Twenty-two years old and born in Selcë, and Erand Kastrati, twenty-five and from Tirana. The idiots got it in their heads that whoever takes down Luca gets control of Europe.”

Nikolas looks downright pissed. “I’m offended.”

“Me too,” Gabriel mutters. He looks at Nikolas. “Clearly, we’re doing something wrong.”

“What the fuck are you talking about?” Viktor asks.

“I own Greece and Cyprus. Gabriel has control over Turkey. But no, the fuckers only go after Luca.”

“It’s because he’s the head of the Priesthood. They think if he falls, we all fall,” Liam states.

“How are we handling this?” Nikolas asks.

“I’m focused on Mariya at the moment. I just need time until she’s released from the hospital.”

“Then we’ll buy you time,” Gabriel says. “Tell us where to go and who to kill.”

“I need you to stay here. Most of my men are in Italy, up to their necks in Albanian shit. I can’t trust anyone else with Mariya’s safety.”

“And I’m fucking chopped liver,” Viktor mutters. “I’ll arrange an army to guard her.”

“We can bring our wives,” Liam says. “They’ll see it as a vacation while we keep everyone safe until we can deal with the problem.”

“Good idea,” Gabriel agrees.

I look at the brotherhood. “We’ve been through some tough times together, and we’ve triumphed every time.”

“This time will be no different,” Viktor says, pouring everyone a drink.

Once we have the tumblers in our hands, I toast, “To eliminating the fuckers who dare come after us.”

I’ve just swallowed the alcohol when Nikolas says, “Now tell us in detail how you landed yourself Alexei Koslov’s daughter, and he didn’t kill you.”

“He’s my godfather.”

Viktor lets out a burst of laughter. “That doesn’t mean shit. The only reason why Luca’s still breathing is because he loves Mariya.”

“Does she feel the same?” Liam asks.

I nod, a grin spreading over my face. “I’m a lucky bastard.”

Viktor takes a seat on the couch and opens his laptop. “You can say that again.” He brings up the footage of Mariya taking on the group of Albanians. “You need to see how badass my little sister is.”

We all gather around as Viktor projects the footage onto the TV.

I can’t watch it a second time and walk to the kitchen.

Nikolas starts cheering my wife on as if he’s watching a live fight.

“Christ,” I hear Liam mutters. “I wouldn’t have gotten up if she did that to me.”

“Right?” Viktor brags. “She’s dynamite.”

The corner of my mouth curves up, and pride fills my chest.

She’s my dynamite.



When I get back to the hospital, it’s to find Mariya’s room empty of guests.

She’s so deep in thought she doesn’t even hear me until I say, “Hey, how long have you been alone?”

She shakes her head as if she’s in a daze, then smiles at me. “Only an hour. I think.”

“You should’ve called me.”

“I don’t need a babysitter twenty-four-seven. I’m out of the woods, remember?”

I take a seat in the chair and press a kiss to her ring finger.

She’s lost too much weight the past week. “Have you eaten?”


It looks like something’s bothering her, so I ask, “What’s wrong?”

She shakes her head. “Nothing.”

I move to sit on the side of the bed. “I thought we agreed no more secrets.”

Mariya lifts her eyes to mine. “I’m just thinking about what happened.”

“Want to tell me?” I take hold of her hand and brush my thumb over the wedding ring.

“It’s surreal.” She looks at our hands, and I watch as she slips away. “Like a bad dream. The car rolling. Crawling out of the wreckage and seeing the men.” She shakes her head, her silky black hair falling over her shoulders. “Even though I knew I didn’t stand a chance, I just kept fighting.”

Mariya locks eyes with me again. “I don’t know where the strength came from. It just… it just rushed through my veins. The harder it got, the harder I fought.”

It’s because you’re so fucking strong, my dynamite.

“After they shot me in the leg, I was dragged to a table.” The trauma comes alive in her eyes, darkening them to midnight black. “The sound of the drill is something I’ll never forget, but watching it rip through my hand, something snapped inside me. It felt as if I was moving in slow-motion.”

When she keeps quiet, I remind her, “With a shattered femur, four broken ribs, and a hurt hand, you still fought your way out of that room.” I wet my lips with my tongue, then say, “If you hadn’t missed that shot, the propane tank would’ve killed you.”

“I know.” Mariya sucks in a harsh breath. “But I’d rather die a thousand deaths by my own hand than have one of those fuckers put a bullet in my head.”

“Jesus Christ, baby,” I rasp as I pull her into my arms.

“Do you know my mother was known as the princess of terror?” she murmurs.


“My father is the most feared man, even after he retired.”

That’s true.

“I felt their blood in my veins.”

When Mariya meets my eyes again, I see the power of her bloodline in them – intense, ruthless, and fucking breathtaking.

I inhale deeply, savoring the sight of my badass wife. “You’ve never been more beautiful than in this moment. Fuck, Mariya, I wish you could see what I see when I look at you.”

“What do you see?”

“A queen.” I press a kiss to her mouth. “My queen.”


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