We are taking book requests on our companion website. You can request books here. Make sure, you are following the rules.

Stolen By A Sinner: Chapter 20


I arrive at the club just in time for the conference call with the rest of the Priesthood.

It’s been a while since I heard from any of them, and I assume it means business is going well for them.

Opening my encrypted laptop, I go to the application Viktor, the head of the Bratva, created. His ally and best friend Luca, the head of the Italian mafia, had to go to Italy for business, so we couldn’t meet in LA like we usually do.

One by one, each of the men signs into the chat. Viktor is first, followed by Nikolas, who’s in charge of a Greek syndicate, then Liam, the head of the Irish mafia, and lastly, Luca.

“Gentlemen,” Luca says as he gets comfortable in a chair.

I’ve only joined the Priesthood for the peace treaty it ensures. The last thing I want is to go up against one of these men, and forming an alliance with them was the better option. It also brings in more money, so I can’t complain.

“How’s business?” Luca asks.

“It’s quiet now that the Sicilians have been dealt with,” Liam answers.

Nikolas nods. “Yeah, no problems on my side.”

“How’s married life?” Viktor asks with a chuckle.

Liam fucking grins from ear to ear. “Good.”

“My wife hasn’t tried to kill me, so I’m taking it as a win,” Nikolas jokes.

I’m not one to chat about idle things, so I just listen.

Suddenly Viktor says, “I hear you attacked Tymon Mazur?”

My eyes flick to his face on the screen. “I did.”

Interest flickers in all the men’s eyes. It’s Luca who asks, “Why?”

“I have a debt to settle with him,” I answer vaguely, feeling I don’t have to explain my actions. “Does anyone have a problem with it?”

They all shake their heads, then Viktor says, “Just say if there’s anything we can help with. We know you like to work alone, but we’re here for backup.”

“Thank you,” I murmur.

Luca steers the conversation toward the shipments of arms we currently have on the road, and once we’re discussing everything, the meeting comes to a close.

As I shut my laptop, Emre comes into the office. “I hear Lara’s better today?”

“Yes, she didn’t wake up so much last night.” I glance at my wristwatch, checking the time. It’s only two in the afternoon.

“Do you have somewhere to be?” my cousin asks.

I shake my head. “Just finished the meeting with the Priesthood.”

“I have a new buyer arriving in a couple of minutes. Want to sit in on the meeting?”

Evet.” I get up from the chair and follow Emre to the boardroom. I usually let him handle any new business so I can focus on the bigger clients, but with Lara being sick, my routine went to hell. I figure a business meeting will get my head back in the game.

As I sit down at the head of the table, my phone vibrates. While Emre goes to welcome the client, I check the message that came in from Elif.

Mazur was seen in Poland. I’ve asked for proof. Will let you know when I receive it.

“That’s good news,” I murmur to myself.

Emre comes back to the boardroom, this time with Daniel by his side and two men following after them. I remain seated as they all gather around the table.

“This is Cairo Mohammed and Darius Ibrahim,” Emre introduces them.

I nod and gesture for them to take a seat.

Emre sits down to my right while Daniel remains standing. He’s an Israeli soldier I found living on the streets while I was in Israel for business.

I almost let out a chuckle when I realize it seems I have a soft spot for broken things. First Daniel, now Lara.

Emre starts the meeting, and we listen to the order of weapons the Egyptians want.

It takes close to seven hours to negotiate a price both parties are content with. By the time the Egyptians head up to the club for a complimentary night of drinking, I’m itching to go home.

As if he can read my mind, Emre asks, “Are you heading home?”

Evet.” I walk down the hallway toward the stairs.

“At least you can sleep in your own bed tonight.” The teasing tone in my cousin’s voice doesn’t escape my attention.

Glancing at him, I ask, “Is it a crime to make sure one of my employees doesn’t die?”

He holds up his hands, a mischievous look in his eyes. “I didn’t say anything.”

“Right,” I chuckle. As I take the stairs to the upper floor, I admit, “Besides, I like sleeping in the armchair.”

Emre’s laughter follows me right through the doorway before it’s drowned out by the pulsing beat filling the club.

As I walk through the groups of early partiers, I stop to greet VIP clients, and I finally make it out the door well after ten pm.

Lara’s probably asleep already.

Mirac holds the backdoor open, so I can slide into the SUV, and as he drives us home, I think back to the past three days.

Taking care of Lara, it felt like I was doing something worthwhile.

Yeah, just like that, the woman has grown on you.

I let out a chuckle that has Mirac glancing at me in the rearview mirror.

When I finally get to walk into my house, I unbutton my jacket and stop in my bedroom to shower quickly. It’s too late for dinner, so I change into my sweatpants and a t-shirt before heading down to Lara’s room.

Not knocking, in case she’s asleep, I open the door. I’m met with a startled shriek as Lara quickly yanks a shirt over her head.

I pull the door shut, then stand rooted to the spot, my hand still on the doorknob.

Shit. I should’ve knocked.

A couple of seconds later, the knob turns beneath my hand, and Lara opens the door. “Sorry,” she apologizes for my mistake.

I step inside the room, and narrowing my eyes on her, I say, “You need to stop doing that.”

Her wide gaze darts to mine. “What?”

“Stop apologizing for everything. It was my mistake. I’m sorry for not knocking before I let myself in.”

Her eyebrows draw together, and when it looks like she really wants to say something, I mutter, “Out with it. Speak your mind.”

She shakes her head. “I’m really grateful, Gabriel Bey.” Genuine appreciation shines from her eyes. “For everything you’ve done for me.”

The corner of my mouth lifts slightly. “You’re welcome, Lara.” I gesture to the table. “I think it’s time we have a serious talk.” Instantly, her features tighten with nerves, and it has me quickly adding, “It’s nothing bad.”


I settle down in an armchair, relaxing back while Lara perches on the edge of hers, her hands wrapped tightly on her lap.

Shit, she has beautiful hands. Why didn’t I notice that before?

Reaching across, I cover her hands with mine and give them a reassuring squeeze. “You’re not in trouble. Relax, Lara.”

I have to make an effort to set her at ease, or the stress will take her to an early grave.

She nods again, some of the tension leaving her shoulders. She’s dressed in a pair of black leggings and a light blue t-shirt, her body slender beneath the clothes.

She still looks too fragile, making me feel protective of her.

It amazes me how she survived in Mazur’s house for twenty-two years.

Needing to clear some things between us so Lara won’t worry as much, I start by saying, “Don’t apologize for every single thing. Okay?”

Evet, Gabriel Bey,” she answers with more obedience than usual. Hearing her try so hard to speak Turkish almost makes me smile.

“Stop worrying that I’ll throw you out on the street or send you back to Mazur.”

The corner of Lara’s mouth threatens to lift into a smile as relief fills her eyes.

Those damn eyes.

“And I won’t kill you, so stop worrying about that.”

Her eyes are glued to mine, and I see the moment the fear leaves her. It’s as if she exhales it from her body.

Fuck, I should’ve had this talk sooner.

Lastly, I say, “There are no more restrictions. You’re allowed to move freely around the house. Murat will still be around but only as protection for when Emre and I are at work.”

A look of wonder washes over her features. “I’m allowed in the east wing?”

“Yes.” To make sure she understands, I add, “And you can walk around the house alone.”

This time her mouth curves up into a breathtaking smile. “Thank you, Gabriel Bey.”

“Just Gabriel,” I murmur as I return her smile.

It feels like we’ve finally taken a step forward. “How do you feel today?”

“Much better.” She scoots to the edge of the chair. “Can I leave my bedroom tomorrow?”

There’s a twisting emotion in my heart. Having this woman constantly asking for my approval does something to me.


The intense grateful reactions she has to everything I give her, to everything I allow – it gives me more power than I should have.

I have absolute control over her.

The realization has me staring at Lara until she tilts her head and asks, “Is everything okay?”

“Yes.” Out of pure curiosity, I ask, “If I gave you your freedom, what would you do?”

Instantly, her features tighten with concern and confusion. “I…” her tongue darts out to wet her lips, “I don’t want to leave.”

Trying again, I say, “If I gave you all the money you could ever need, and you could do anything you ever wanted to do, where would you go?”

Lara’s breathing starts to grow shallow, panic darkening her eyes again, then she begs, “Please let me stay.”

I reach over and place my hand on top of her clenched ones. “Relax. I’m not telling you to leave. I just want to know if you’d like to have your freedom.”

She shakes her head, her eyes locked with mine and filled with so much emotion it hits me square in the chest. “There’s nowhere I want to go. I want to stay here with Nisa Hanim, Murat Bey, Alya Hanim… and you.” She turns her hands over, and her slender fingers wrap around mine. Then she leans forward and admits, “I’m safe here. It feels like I belong.”

Lifting my other arm, I wrap my fingers around the back of her neck. We’re so close, I can almost taste her desperation on my tongue. Leaning forward, I press my mouth to her forehead, then say, “This is now your home, Lara. You never have to leave.”

Her eyes shimmer as she gives me a thankful look, her cheeks flushed pink. “Thank you, Gabriel Bey.”

“Just Gabriel,” I remind her. For some reason, it annoys me when she calls me mister or sir.

When she nods, I realize I’m still holding onto her neck. We’re still only inches apart, and yet, she doesn’t look uncomfortable.

And neither am I.

Three days of caring for this woman, and she’s somehow changed how I saw her. I’m not sure what she is, but she’s definitely not a burden.

She has the purest heart, and it shines through her blue eyes.

I move my hand to her forehead, and when she feels cool with no signs of fever, I smile but add, “Just because you can do whatever you want doesn’t mean I’ll allow you to work yourself to death again. Try to take things slower. Okay?”


My smile grows, then I ask, “Is Nisa Hanim teaching you Turkish?”

She shakes her head. “I pick up on the words and try to remember them.”

“You don’t have to learn the language,” I tell her, just in case she thought she had to. I settle back in the chair, then ask, “Can you speak Polish?”

“Very little.”

“What was it like growing up in Mazur’s house?”

Lara glances out the window, tension creeping into the lines around her mouth. “It was nothing like here.”

“Did you get to go to school?”

She nods, her eyes still focused on the dark night outside. “Only until I was sixteen.”

“So, you never graduated?”

Shaking her head, she answers, “No.”

This is the longest conversation we’ve had, and I’m in no hurry for it to end. “Would you like to continue with your studies?”

Lara turns her attention to me, then tilts her head. “Go back to school? I’m too old.”

“You can study online.”

I watch as she thinks about it, then she starts to smile. “I’d really like that.”

Again, I find myself smiling at her. “I’ll have Murat get you a laptop so you can study.”

“Thank you, Gabriel Be –” She stops the instant I shake my head, then she chuckles and says, “Just Gabriel.”

“You’ll get used to it.” I glance at my wristwatch and notice it’s almost two am. “Shit, you must be tired.”

“No,” Lara replies quickly. “I had to stay in bed the whole day. I’m not tired at all.”

Before I can censor my words, I tease her, “Is that your way of asking me to keep you company?” The instant fear darkens her eyes, I quickly reach for her hand again. “I’m teasing, Lara.”

I have my work cut out for me but come hell or high water, I’ll somehow undo all the damage Mazur has inflicted on her.

My fingers wrap around hers, and I lean closer. With my eyes holding hers prisoner, I say, “You don’t have to fear me. I want you to talk to me like you’d talk with Nisa.”

Her eyebrows draw together, then she admits, “It’s difficult.”

“What’s difficult?” I murmur, keeping my tone gentle.

“Not being afraid of you.”


“You’re a man. Nisa’s like a mother to me.”

Jesus, is she saying what I think she’s saying?

Just to be sure, I ask, “Are you scared of Murat?”

“No, he’s my guard.”

It feels like I’m looking for a needle in a haystack as I ask, “How am I different from Murat?”

“You saved me,” comes her simple answer that packs one hell of a punch.

“I didn’t save you, Lara.” I’ve always been direct and never one to lie. Not about to start, I admit, “I’m the one who shot you.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


not work with dark mode