Chosen By A Sinner: Chapter 35

Mariya

Sitting in Dr. West’s office, I struggle to remain calm on the outside while I’m freaking out on the inside.

My eyes are locked on my right hand.

I can handle the scar.

Jesus.

I’ve lost the function of my pinky and ring finger, and none of the physio helped. They’re forever stuck in a slightly bent position.

“We’re lucky. At least you have eighty percent function of your hand.” Dr. West says.

I nod, the sound of drilling almost drowning out her voice. I push it to the deepest corner of my mind so I can focus as she gives me instructions on how to take care of the wound while it heals completely.

The moment she’s done, I say, “Thank you.” I look at Luca. “Let’s go.”

Now.

Get me fucking out of here.

Luca shakes Dr. West’s hand and thanks her before pushing the wheelchair out of the office.

Faster.

The hallway feels too long, the overhead lights too bright.

Closing my eyes, I picture myself floating on the ocean, swells gently rocking my body.

Breathe in.

Hold for five seconds.

Breathe out.

I repeat the process, doing my best to block out the sounds around me.

“Mariya?”

I feel Luca’s hand on my cheek and open my eyes to his worried gaze.

Slowly, I look down at my trembling hand. The swollen skin where the stitches were removed doesn’t hold my attention. I stare at my fingers, willing them to move.

Only three curl and straighten, the other two doing nothing.

My blood still flows through them.

The light blue nail varnish is chipped, and my nails need a trim.

They’re no longer a part of my body.

My brain can’t connect to them.

Amore mio?”

I lift my eyes to Luca’s face, and God knows where I get the strength, but I somehow smile at him. “Let’s go home.”

We’re next to the G-Wagon, but Luca doesn’t move. He remains crouching in front of me, his worried gaze searching my face.

“Talk to me.”

“I’m fine.” There’s no sign of distress in my voice.

No sign of the chaotic emotions warring in my chest.

I’ve never lost anything before. I don’t know how to process the loss of my fingers.

Luca takes hold of my right hand, and before I can stop myself, I yank it away from him. I press my hand to my chest as if I’m guarding what function I have left with my life.

“Baby,” he murmurs. He rises to his feet, opens the passenger door, then lifts me from the wheelchair. I’m carefully placed on the seat.

Luca frames my face, forcing me to look at him. “I’m here. You don’t have to be strong right now.”

The words I’m fine are on the tip of my tongue, but I can’t say them.

My mind tells me I’m stronger than this, but my heart weeps for the loss of my fingers.

My lips part, and I try to take a deep breath.

A sob escapes, my left arm wraps around Luca’s waist and grabs hold of his shirt. I rip my face free and bury it in the crook of his neck.

My pride is stripped away as my body shudders, and sobs break free.

Luca’s arms engulf me, and he holds me to his chest as I break.

I mourn Ivan and Lev. I purge the fear I felt while being tortured from my soul. I draw strength from Luca’s arms to help me get through the loss I just suffered.

He rains kisses down on my neck and shoulder. “I’ve got you. Let it out.”

“I… hate… being… weak,” I sob against his skin.

“You’re not weak, baby. You’re just leaning on me while you process everything.” His hand brushes up and down my back, and it feels soothing. “You’ve been through hell, and I was starting to worry because you bottled everything up.”

When I’m a little calmer, I pull back and wipe the tears away with the back of my left hand, my right one still clutched to my chest.

“I can’t feel them,” I whimper, my chin quivering. “I see them, but it’s like they’re not there.”

Luca pulls my hand away from my chest and presses a kiss to the numb fingers. “I’m so fucking sorry, amore mio.”

I’m surrounded by the most powerful men and women in the world, but none of that power can give me back the use of my fingers.

It’s a sobering thought.

I’m just another human being and not the invincible princess I always thought.

My spirit refuses to go down a path of self-pity and depression. Just like when the drill bit bore into my hand, something shifts deep inside me, and strength pours through my veins.

I could’ve lost so much more. I still have my leg, and as soon as it’s healed, I’ll walk again.

I can still use my right hand. It might not look as elegant as it used to, but I’ll cope.

Lifting my chin, I swallow the tears back. “I’m good.”

Luca’s eyes search my face, then he shakes his head. Awe tightens his features. “Do you have any idea how incredible you are?”

I shrug my shoulder. “It’s either suck it up and move forward or wallow in depression. I have a lot to be thankful for, so I’m choosing to focus on that.”

Luca presses a hard kiss to my mouth, his respect and love wrapping around me and making me so much stronger.

“Christ, I love you so fucking much, Mariya Cotroni.”

A smile splits over my face. “I forgot about that. I didn’t have time to get used to my married last name.”

Luca gives me another kiss before he tugs the safety belt over my chest and clips it in. “Just for future reference,” he says as he pulls back so he can see my face, “Don’t hide your feelings from me. I want you to feel comfortable leaning on me. We’re a team.”

“Okay.”

I brush my left thumb over the numb fingers to remind myself they’re still there. I might not have function, but at least they’re still there.

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