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Chosen By A Sinner: Chapter 41


Staring at the wedding dress, hanging against the wall in my bedroom at my parents’ house, I feel super emotional.

Even though Luca and I are married, I’m anxious. I’ve worked hard the past three months to make sure the wedding is perfect, and now that everything is out of my hands, and the day has arrived, I’m a nervous wreck.

When Dad comes in, he takes one look at my face, then holds his arms open. I rush into his safe embrace and give in to the nerves.

As if I’m not emotional enough, Dad says, “No matter where this life takes you, you’ll always be my baby girl, printsessa.”

“Oh, Daddy,” I sob like a baby.

He cradles me tighter to his chest, his voice hoarse as he says, “The day you took your first breath… Christ, Mariya,” he inhales deeply, trying to compose himself, and it only makes me cry harder. “You had me wrapped around your little finger from day one. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you.”

I nod against his chest, sniffling, “I know. I’m so lucky to have you as my father.”

“You’ve chosen well, baby-girl. Luca will give you the world while killing anyone who threatens you.” He takes a deep breath. “You chose well.”

“I know. I’ve got good taste,” I chuckle. Pulling back, I look up into my father’s eyes. “I’m glad you approve.”

Dad lifts a hand and tugs on one of the soft curls I styled my hair in. “If you ever need me, I’m just a call away.”

I nod, a tear rolling down my cheek again.

“Besides your mother, there isn’t a soul alive I love more than you. You’re my world, Mariya.”

“Jesus, Daddy,” I mutter as the tears come faster, then I hug him again. “I love you so much.” My dad holds me until I manage to calm down again, but I have to swallow hard as I look up at him. “Thank you for being the best father in the world and spoiling me rotten.”

“You’re welcome, my little printsessa.”

I grin at him as I wipe the tears away from beneath my eyes. “You haven’t called me little in a long time.”

“Because you’ve grown into an amazing woman.”

“Only because of you and Mami.”

Just then, Mom comes into the bedroom. She takes one look at Dad and me, then points to the door. “Alexei! Stop making Mariya cry. Look at her face! The wedding is in two hours, and you’ve got her sobbing.”

Dad chuckles as he walks to Mom and silences her with a kiss, then he says, “I love it when you get all bossy. It’s a turn-on.”

“Daddy,” I shriek. “I don’t need to hear that.”

“How do you think you were made?” Dad chuckles as he walks out of the room.

“God, the older he gets, the more impossible he becomes,” Mom mutters as she grabs a tissue and starts to dab it at my cheeks. “You’re all blotchy.”

“The makeup will cover it,” I assure her.

Walking to my dressing table, I sit down. Then I pause and look at Mom. “Is there anything emotional you want to tell me that will make me cry?”

Mom lets out a chuckle as she comes to stand behind me. She adjusts some of the curls falling to the middle of my back. “No, sweetheart. Just enjoy every second of your big day.”

A sudden burst of excitement hits, and I jump up to hug Mom. “I’m getting married,” I shriek.

She lets out a burst of laughter, then shoves me back down on the stool. “Makeup time.” She scrunches her nose. “I should’ve hired someone to help you with your hair and makeup.”

I shake my head. “Hell no. I want to do it myself and know it’s done right. I’d kill the person for the slightest mistake.”

“Just like your father,” she mutters.

I chuckle, finding it amusing because I’m actually more like her.

Violet comes rushing into the room. “Sorry, I’m late. I totally overslept.” Her eyes land on me. She hugs my mom and gives my shoulder a squeeze.

“It’s okay.” I smile at my friend.

Luca’s mom joins us, and together we spend the rest of the afternoon getting ready.

My heart is full, and the tears keep threatening to fall as the time to walk down the aisle comes closer.

The past three months have been both difficult and extraordinary. When my cast came off, I was given a leg brace for support. It was a huge relief and although I can’t stand for long periods, being able to walk is fantastic and something I’ll never take for granted again.

Some function has returned to the ring finger of my right hand. I can’t straighten it all the way, but anything is better than nothing. I took the win and made peace with the rest.

Even though there were hard times, Luca never wavered. Instead, his love for me grew, and he made a point of showing me every day that I’m the only woman for him.

I’m lucky.

I have everything my heart desires and so much more.

After our mothers and Violet leave the room, Dad appears in the doorway. Our eyes meet in the mirror’s reflection, and my throat instantly tightens with overwhelming emotion.

“I can’t cry,” I warn him. “Don’t say anything. Just walk me down the aisle…” When I turn around, I have to breathe as Dad’s eyebrows draw together and tears start to shine in his eyes.

“Christ, printsessa,” he rasps. “You look like a vision.”

I suck in deep breaths, fanning my face with my hand. “My makeup.”

Pride fills Dad’s eyes as he holds out his arm for me to take. I place my hand in the crook of his arm, and we leave the room, both doing our best to breathe through the emotions.

We stop just shy of the sliding doors.

“We’re ready,” he tells Violet, who quickly gestures to the intimate orchestra Dad arranged for today.

The opening notes of Pachelbel, Canon in D Major, start to fill the air.

“Oh God,” I groan, blinking furiously.

Dad sucks in a deep breath. “It’s been my greatest honor raising you, Mariya.”

“Daddy,” I whimper, the tears starting to flow.

“I might be giving you to Luca, but you’ll always be mine.”

I can only nod as we step through the sliding doors. My eyes lock on Luca, and then there’s no stopping the tears.


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