Stolen By A Sinner: Chapter 17


The past two days, everything feels weird again, as if I just started working here.

I haven’t slept much, too worried to find any rest. Gabriel has not spoken a word to me since the altercation, and it feels as if the air keeps tensing with my impending doom.

I stare at the teapot as the water boils, wondering how much time I have left before Tymon finds me or Gabriel ends me. It’s either one or the other.

No matter how Nisa tries to comfort me, I can feel my time running out.

A sob threatens to build in my chest. It takes a lot of effort to fight the urge to cry.

“Staring at the pot won’t make it boil any faster,” Nisa says.

Nodding, I turn away from the stove to find any kind of work to keep me busy. The kitchen is already spotless, but I pick up a cloth to wipe down the counters again.

Nisa sighs, shaking her head at me, then a smile splits over her face as she looks at something behind me. I glance over my shoulder and find an elderly woman standing in the doorway.

“Alya Hanim, the tea is almost ready,” Nisa says.

Alya Hanim.

Oh, God.

Ice pours through my veins. There are only three rules. Stay out of the east wing and away from Alya Demir. Don’t talk to anyone about Gabriel.

My lips part as fear bleeds into my soul.

“I thought it’s time I meet Lara Hanim,” the woman says. “I’m Alya Demir, Gabriel’s grandmother.”

No. No. No.

I stand frozen on the spot.

Mrs. Demir walks closer, the same golden eyes as Gabriel slowly drifting over me. “Nisa can’t stop talking about you.”

My lips are dry, refusing to part.

Then the ground might as well open up beneath me and swallow me whole when Gabriel walks into the kitchen.

Everything spins around me, fear and panic forming dark clouds. It feels like I’ve been sucked into a tornado.

Babaanne?” Gabriel’s eyes snap between his grandmother and me. “What are you doing down here?”

“I came to meet Lara Hanim. You can stop hiding her from me,” she answers, her gaze still resting on me with curiosity. “Nisa tells me you’re Polish?”

My eyes lock on Gabriel, and I watch as his gaze sharpens as if he’s ready to kill me should I make the slightest movement.

“Gabriel Bey, you’re going to give Lara Hanim a nervous breakdown. Leave, so we can enjoy our tea,” Nisa scolds him.

I swear I can almost feel my soul up and leave my body. I grab hold of the counter so it can help me remain standing under the severe tension swirling around me.

Instead of lashing out at Nisa, Gabriel looks at me again before he leaves the kitchen.

A breath whooshes from me, sweat beading on my forehead.

He’ll probably corner me once his grandmother isn’t around.

Dear God, I’m in so much trouble. As if things weren’t bad enough.

A headache starts to throb behind my eyes, and I feel uneasy in my skin as I turn my attention back to Mrs. Demir.

“You look like you’re about to faint,” she mutters, sounding upset.

My tongue darts out to nervously wet my lips. “I’m fine.”

“Sit while I pour us tea,” Nisa says, taking hold of my arm and forcing me down on a chair.

Mrs. Demir sits down, then she shakes her head. “You have to forgive my grandson. After his parents died, he’s overly protective of me.”

Activity returns to my brain as I take in what she just said, then she continues, “I raised Gabriel and Emre since they were little boys. If only they would settle down so I can see my great-grandchildren before I die.”

I know Emre is Gabriel’s cousin. He’s rarely home, so I haven’t interacted much with him.

A smile forms on Mrs. Demir’s face. “Do you enjoy working here?”

My head starts to bob up and down. “Yes. Very much.” At least, I did until my world was turned upside down again.

“That’s good,” she murmurs. “Nisa tells me you’re twenty-two and hardly got to experience life while working for that madman.”

I nod again, feeling awkward. I’m also worried out of my mind about Gabriel and what he’ll do because I interacted with his grandmother.

It’s only then her words start to sink in, and I realize she’s Mrs. Demir. There’s no wife. Not that it matters, because I still broke the rule even though it wasn’t my fault.

Nisa places the glasses of tea down and takes a seat. “I’ve taught Lara Hanim how to bake. She’s a quick learner,” she says with pride in her voice.

Mrs. Demir lifts an eyebrow. “That’s good to hear.” She turns her gaze to me. “Do you have any hobbies?”

I shake my head. “But I love baking.”

“You should spend tomorrow afternoon with me, and I’ll teach you how to knit. It’s a wonderful way to pass the time.”

Gabriel will definitely wring my neck right off if I did that.

Instead of answering, I keep quiet and sip on the tea, hoping it will help ease the headache still throbbing behind my eyes.

Nisa and Mrs. Demir talk about a pattern Mrs. Demir is currently knitting, and by the time they’re done with their tea and we get to return to work, I feel sick from all the worry.

My throat aches from the strain, and my chest is starting to burn.

My mind is filled with worry, not knowing when Gabriel will drag me to the study to lay into me because I talked to his grandmother.

Every time Murat peeks into the kitchen, my heart lurches to my throat.

After dinner, which was tasteless for the first time since I started working here, I retire to my bedroom.

I shower quickly and change into a pair of leggings and a t-shirt. Eyeing the bed, I just want to crawl beneath the covers and hide from all the worry, but instead, I take a seat at the table and stare out the window.

Every couple of seconds, I clear my scratchy throat, and by the time it’s time for bed, the headache is so bad I know I won’t close an eye.

I glance at the door, wondering if Nisa has any painkillers. Getting up from the chair, the world spins a little as I walk to the door and open it. I glance up and down the hallway, then step out of my bedroom.

I quickly walk to Nisa’s room and knock on the door. When there’s no answer, I knock again.

“She’s probably sleeping,” Gabriel suddenly says.

My head snaps in his direction, where he’s walking toward me. My heart plummets to my feet, the pounding in my head instantly increasing tenfold.

I hunch my shoulders and press close to the wall as I quickly dart back to my door, but before I can open it, Gabriel reaches me.

“About my grandmother…”

I keep my head down, pinching my eyes shut.

I can feel his gaze on my face, and it makes my anxiety spike to unhealthy levels. My head spins again, and I rock on my feet.

Gabriel raises his arm, and I instinctively flinch, bracing myself for the hit. Instead of punching me, his cool hand settles over my forehead. I flinch again, an icy tremble shuddering through me.

“Jesus,” he mutters, sounding upset. He throws my door open, then his arm wraps around my lower back, and I’m ushered into my bedroom. “Get in bed,” he orders, and not wanting to upset him more, I quickly obey.

Before I have the covers pulled over me, Gabriel rushes out of the room, leaving the door wide open. I sit awkwardly, wishing I could rest my throbbing head on the pillow.

I close my eyes again and startle when I hear Gabriel come back into the room. He’s carrying a tray with a glass of water and other things on it. Only when he sets it down on the bedside table, do I see there’s medicine.

“Take the pills for your fever and get some sleep.” His tone is still harsh.

I pick up the medicine and quickly swallow it down.

“We’ll talk in the morning,” he instructs.

Feeling more confused than ever, I cautiously lie down.

Without another word, Gabriel leaves the bedroom, drawing the door shut behind him.

He gave me medicine?

Does that mean he’s not as angry with me as I thought?

I don’t get to worry about things for too long before exhaustion drags me into a restless sleep and feverish dreams.


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