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Chosen By A Sinner: Chapter 8


Right after I woke up, I called Dad to tell him what happened. We agreed there would be no annulment.

Knowing my father has my back, I feel pretty calm as we approach the front door of the Koslov mansion.

The moment we step inside the living room, the conversation stops, and Uncle Alexei lifts a surprised eyebrow as he says, “You’re back early. What happened?”

I glance at Dad, who subtly nods at me while Mariya gives her Mom and Dad a hug.

She clears her throat, her eyes darting to Viktor and me.

Steeling myself for what’s to come, I step forward. “There was a lot of drinking last night, and Mariya and I got married.”

Dangerously slow, Uncle Alexei’s eyes narrow, then he tilts his head, his hawklike gaze flicking from me to Mariya while it darkens. “You got married.”

It’s not a question, but Mariya starts nodding. “I’m sorry. I can’t remember anything.”

“Jesus,” Aunt Bella, Mariya’s mom, mutters, shaking her head in disbelief.

Uncle Alexei’s features tighten with anger as he pushes to his feet, his eyes locking on me. “And you? What do you remember?”


“Not much,” I lie. He keeps staring at me, and where a lesser man would break, I square my shoulders, keeping a cool head.

Finally, his eyes leave me, only to settle on Viktor. “Where the fuck were you when this happened?”

“Asleep at the hotel,” Viktor answers while trying not to yawn. “I’ll leave you to deal with this. I have business to take care of.” He glances at me. “Call me if you survive today.”

I almost let out a chuckle but swallow it back as Uncle Alexei snaps, “You fucking got married?”

“Calm down.” Aunt Bella tries to keep him from losing his shit. “Yelling won’t fix anything.”

“I’m not yelling,” he mutters as he sits down again, then he looks at my father. “Lucian, anything you want to say?”

Dad locks eyes with his friend. “Bella is right, it doesn’t help if we get upset. I think this is a good thing for both families.”

Uncle Alexei nods but then mutters, “Motherfucking married.” Locking eyes on Mariya, he snaps, “How do you feel about this?”

She takes a seat near her father, shaking her head. “A quick annulment would be best, right? Luca was planning to marry someone else, and we barely know each other.”

“You’ve known each other all your lives!” he barks, which has Aunt Bella patting his thigh to calm him down again.

“I had no intention of marrying someone else,” I say, wondering where the hell she got the insane idea. “I agree with my father, this will be good for both families.”

Mariya’s eyes widen on me with total surprise. “You want to stay married? To me?”

Without any hesitation, I answer, “Yes. It will solidify the ties between the bratva and the mafia.” There’s a flicker of hurt on her face, which has me quickly adding, “It would be an honor to have you as my wife, Mariya.”

She stares at me with disbelief, then shakes her head, whispering. “Sure it would.”

“Sweetheart,” Aunt Bella says to get her daughter’s attention, “What do you want?”

Still processing the events of the past twenty-four hours, Mariya’s lips part, but she doesn’t say anything.

I can’t read her facial expressions and have no idea how she feels. My heart beats faster as I impatiently wait for her answer to the million-dollar question that will either end my hopes of a relationship with her or solidify it.

Pulling her purse closer, she takes the ring out and stares at it.

I wasn’t happy when she took it off on the plane.

“Give it six months,” My mother says, her tone soft as always. “If you can’t make it work, then you can get the marriage annulled.”

Slowly Mariya lifts her gaze to her father. “What do you think, Daddy?”

“You don’t want to know what I think,” he mutters, clearly still upset. “You’re adults. How the fuck do you get so drunk you can’t remember shit?”

“You’ve done it many times when we were younger,” Aunt Bella reminds him.

“You’re not helping,” he grumbles.

“It was my fault.” I move to the couch Mariya is sitting on and take a seat next to her. “I should’ve kept track of how much we were drinking. It was relaxing, and we were letting off some steam. The next thing I knew, we woke up married.”

His eyes snap from Mariya to me, tension building in the room with every second he remains silent.

Every muscle is wound tight, prepared for the bomb that’s sure to explode over our heads.

Mariya shifts, and she swallows hard, clearly nervous. “Daddy?”

“Let me think!” Uncle Alexei snaps. From the anger darkening his gaze, I’m surprised he hasn’t pulled a gun on me. He takes a deep breath, shakes his head, then settles his eyes on Mariya and me. “You’ll remain married for six months.”

Thank fucking Christ.

Shocked, Mariya gasps, “But –”

Her father cuts her off with a stern look. “No buts. You’ll remain married to Luca for six months. You’ll live with him and try to make it work.”

She almost chokes, “Live together? Here?”

Knowing it’s time to stand my ground, I say, “We’ll live in my apartment.”

There’s no fucking way we’re living with her parents.

Mariya turns her wide gaze to me. “I have to move in with you?”

Without hesitation, I nod. “Yes.”

When she inhales sharply, turning a pleading gaze to her father, he shakes his head. “You’ve made this bed, you will sleep in it. At the very least, for six months. We can’t have an annulment a day after you got married. It will make us the laughing stock of the fucking world. Over my dead body, will I allow that to happen.”

Reaching for Mariya, I place my hand over hers. When she locks eyes with me, I say, “Six months won’t kill us.”

“That’s what you think,” she mutters, pulling her hand free from mine.

“It’s settled,” Uncle Alexei says. Getting up, he goes to pour himself a drink. After downing the vodka, he mutters, “Luca, join me in the study.”

“Put on the ring,” I order Mariya before I get up and follow her father.

When I walk into the study and shut the door, Uncle Alexei pours himself another vodka. I wait for him to down the alcohol.

He sets the tumbler down, then turns to face me with a look that will make a lesser man piss in his pants.

“Explain to me how you got drunk,” he demands.

“Cherry bomb shots and champagne. I’m not one to mix my drinks, but I wanted Mariya to enjoy the night, so I drank with her.”

“The only reason you’re still breathing is because you’re my godson and the head of the Italian mafia,” he states, a deadly edge to his tone. “You know that, right?”

“Yes, sir.” Not once do I break eye contact.

He takes a deep breath and seems to calm down a little. “I saw the way you looked at Mariya at the party.”

“I know.”

“You’ll make her happy,” he demands.

“I will.”

“If you harm a hair on my daughter’s head, I’ll kill you without hesitation.”

I suppress the urge to chuckle. “I know.”

Uncle Alexei pours another drink, this time sipping it slower instead of downing it. “Make it work, Luca. Mariya is stubborn, and she’ll give you hell. Somehow you have to make her love you.”

She already loves me.

“I don’t want an annulment,” I say. “I’ll do my best.”

Uncle Alexei nods, then the corner of his mouth lifts. “I would’ve killed any other fucker who tried to pull a stunt like that, but I’m glad it’s you. I know my daughter will be safe because anyone would be stupid to fuck with you.” He moves closer until we’re eye to eye. “Treat my baby girl like the princess she is.”

“I’ll treat her like a queen,” I vow.

My queen.

Uncle Alexei nods, then pats me on the shoulder. “Let’s make the best of this situation.”

“Yes, sir.”

We leave the office, and the moment we return to the living room, Mariya darts to her feet. “When is all of this happening?”

Uncle Alexei raises an eyebrow. “It started the moment you said your vows, printsessa.”

Her voice climbs as she asks, “So I have to move in with Luca today?”

“You’ll be safe with me, Mariya,” I try to offer her some reassurance.

“It’s not my safety I’m worried about,” she snaps at me before she storms out of the living room, visibly unhappy that we will remain married.


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