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Stolen By A Sinner: Chapter 16


 Life is wonderful. I can’t stop smiling.

Every day my heart fills with more warmth, and I’ve grown so attached to Nisa I can’t imagine life without her.

Murat has also grown on me. He’s always quiet in the shadows, but his presence is comforting, offering me a sense of safety I didn’t even know I needed.

I’m making pide the way Nisa taught me and have learned I enjoy cooking and baking.

Placing the dough mixture into the oven, I quickly rinse my hands and dry them. Nisa’s busy making jam from fresh raspberries. It’s incredible, and I love watching her.

“I’ll get started with the manti,” I say.

I’m busy placing a small amount of shredded beef on a square of dough when Gabriel stalks into the kitchen, his features drawn tight with anger. Without a word, he grabs hold of my forearm and yanks me out of the kitchen.

I almost stumble over my feet as I try to keep up with him, my heart instantly setting off at a wild pace.

Over the past month, my fear has lessened, and I’ve started to let my guard down. The sudden aggressive anger from Gabriel has my mouth going bone dry and a tremble shuddering through my body.

I’m pulled into his study, then the door slams shut behind us.

My eyes flit over his face, and having his anger directed at me almost makes my legs go numb. Instantly, my survival instincts from the past flood back. I lower my gaze to the carpet and fold my hands in front of me, waiting for the punishment for whatever I’ve done wrong.

“Have you lied to me?” Gabriel’s tone sounds downright dangerous and merciless.

It makes my fear multiply until it feels like it’s strangling my heart.

“No, Gabriel Bey,” I whisper, my voice respectful.

I scramble to shut down, to shove all my emotions back into a box so the punishment will hurt less, but I can’t. After weeks of getting to feel, it’s impossible to become a closed-off robot again.

I should’ve kept my guard up.

Gabriel takes a threatening step closer to me, putting him so close to me that I can smell his woodsy aftershave. I can hear his angry breaths.

I cower into a smaller target, bracing myself for the slap that’s bound to come.

“Why the fuck is Mazur looking for you?”

My eyes flick up, but seeing his rage, I quickly lower them again. “I don’t know.” My mind races so I can give him an answer. “Probably to kill or punish me for leaving?”

I really can’t think of another reason.

Suddenly Gabriel’s fingers wrap around my throat, and I’m shoved back against the wall. With his hand around my neck, I’m forced to look at him. My eyes are wide, my breaths nothing but shallow gasps.

With his fierce gaze locked on mine, he growls, “You’re lying. Mazur would only want you if you were worth something to him. What the fuck are you keeping from me?”

Even though he can easily strangle me, or worse, break my neck, his hold isn’t too tight. It doesn’t hurt.


Turbulent emotions wreak havoc in my chest, forcing tears to my eyes. I swallow hard, refusing to cry. “I’m not hiding anything.”

Gabriel stares at me long and hard, the intense moment stretching between us until I’m highly aware of every inch of his solid body so close to mine. His cool fingers around my throat. His breaths skimming over my skin. The gold around his irises shining brighter than ever.

After experiencing all the good life has to offer, there’s so much more to fear. I have a lot to lose. It’s not just my life that’s on the line anymore.

I can’t bear the thought of returning to Tymon. I won’t survive a day.

When it all becomes too much, my face contorts into a pleading expression. With fear drenching my words, I whisper, “I really don’t know why. I promise.” I swallow hard again, my voice trembling as I beg, “Please don’t send me back.”

Gabriel lets go of me and takes a step back, his eyes still burning with anger.

Panic flares through me, robbing me of my ability to think. I just react, grabbing hold of his arm and dropping to my knees. Clinging to his jacket, the pleas fall over my lips, “I beg you, don’t send me back to Mr. Mazur. I’ll do anything you want. He’ll kill me. I can’t go back.”

Gabriel yanks his arm free from my hold and takes another step back. “Get up.”

Instead of obeying the order, my palms meet the carpet, my shoulders shuddering from the effort it’s taking to not wail at his feet. “Please,” I whimper, my voice hoarse from all the fear and panic.

I won’t survive. Don’t send me back.

“Get up, Lara,” he snaps.

I scramble to my feet, a trembling mess of chaos and confusion.

“You’re not going back.” My eyes flit to his, searching for the truth in his words, then he adds, “The only way you’ll leave my house is in a coffin.”

God help me.

The sudden anger from Gabriel and all the past trauma it’s brought to the surface makes me feel faint. I rock on my feet, my back colliding with the wall. My hands slap against the plaster, so I don’t lose my balance. The breaths rushing frantically over my lips only make me feel dizzier, my lungs starving for air.

It feels like something has a tight hold on my chest, pressing and pressing until my heart flutters like a wild bird.


It sounds like Gabriel’s talking through the other end of a long tunnel, then black dots dance in front of my eyes.

Gabriel takes hold of my shoulders, and through the dots, I see his face, now filled with worry instead of rage. “Breathe.”

I inhale, and as the air fills my lungs, I feel an overwhelming urge to cower against his chest and beg him to never send me away. My throat strains from not being able to cry, my eyes stinging as if tiny flames are licking at them.

“Take another breath,” he instructs while lifting his right hand to my cheek. The touch is comforting.

Instead of beating me or sending me away, Gabriel keeps telling me to breathe until the dots fade and my heartbeat slows down.

He pulls back, his eyes settling on me with something intense burning in them, then shaking his head, he yanks the door open and stalks out of the study.

Nisa rushes in, and the moment her arms wrap around me, my breath catches in my throat.

Allah Allah, the man will give me a heart attack.” She keeps hugging me, making it much harder for me not to cry.

Needing the comfort she offers more than ever, I lift my arms and hug her back. My fingers dig into her clothes, and I bury my face in her shoulder, taking deep breaths of her flowery scent.

“I don’t want to leave,” I whimper.

“You’re not going anywhere.” Nisa pulls back, her dark brown eyes filled with concern. “Why was Gabriel Bey so angry?”

I shake my head, the strands of my hair flying wildly around my shoulders. “I don’t know. He asked why Mr. Mazur wants me back. I don’t want to leave here.”

Nisa brushes a hand over the side of my head, her determined gaze promising me she won’t let me go anywhere. “You’re a part of the family now, Lara Hanim. Gabriel Bey will never send you back. Okay?”

All I want is to be enveloped in Nisa’s motherly hug again, but instead, she takes hold of my arm and pulls me out of the study. “Let’s have some tea. It will make you feel better.”

Now that the peaceful boat I found myself on has been rocked, I feel rattled to my core.

I know Nisa said Gabriel would never send me back, but that doesn’t mean he won’t kill me. Like he said, the only way I’d leave is in a coffin.

All the warmth gathered over the past month is gone after the altercation, and I feel chilled to the bone. I’ve never wanted to cry more in my life.

I should’ve kept my guard up.


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