Stolen By A Sinner: Chapter 32

Gabriel

Worried about Lara, I can hardly focus on my work.

When Murat doesn’t respond to my message, asking if they’re okay, I press dial on his number.

He immediately answers after two rings, “Evet?”

“Is everything okay?”

Evet. We should be heading back home in the next ten minutes.”

“Did Lara find a gift for my grandmother?” I go stand in front of the window overlooking the street below.

“Yes, she found a vase.” He pauses, then lets out a chuckle. “Lara was shocked when she saw her bank balance. She thinks it’s a mistake.”

“Tell her not to worry. Why are you still at the mall if she already found a gift?”

Murat pauses, then says, “Lara’s… ah… she’s looking at a dress.”

“What kind of dress?”

“A shimmery one… Hell, I don’t know. I know nothing about women’s clothing. The kind they wear to events,” he rambles, sounding uncomfortable.

“Does she like it?”

Evet.”

“Get it for her,” I order.

“What?” he balks.

“Get the fucking dress for Lara.”

“But, Gabriel Bey … she said she won’t wear something like it.”

Thinking he’s afraid she’ll argue with him, I say, “After you’ve dropped her off at home, you go back and buy the damn dress.”

“I don’t know her size.”

“She’s a four,” I inform him. “Make sure she doesn’t see it and put it in my room.”

Evet.” He lets out a sigh. “I’ll get the dress.”

Ending the call, I check the time on my wristwatch. She should be home by ten. Taking a relieved breath, I leave the office to find Emre.

He’s sitting behind the monitors, checking data with Elif.

“Any updates?” I ask.

Elif gives me an excited look. “He was spotted in New York.” She brings up an image of Mazur and Dudek, his guard, leaving a hotel.

“Finally,” I mutter as I lean closer. I stare at the old man, the need to take his last breath from him rearing up inside my chest. “Don’t lose him.”

Evet,” Elif says. “I’ll get someone to follow him to make sure we don’t lose him.”

I have to wait until after my grandmother’s birthday before I can attack and wipe him out once and for all.

“What do you want me to do?” Emre asks.

“Tell the men to be on standby. The day after the party, we’re ending this.”

With most of the work done at Vengeance, Emre and I head to Retribution, where they’re busy renovating the club. I’m having an extra area built onto the main building where I can have another gambling section and offices.

I’m doing this with all the clubs, so I don’t have to do all my business from Vengeance, and we can switch up our routines. Right now, we’re making it too easy for the enemy to plan an attack against us. At least if we keep moving between the five clubs, they’ll never be sure which one we’ll be at.

Emre and I spend the day reviewing the floorplans and checking that everything we’ve ordered has arrived.

“You sure three docking bays will be enough?” Emre asks.

“Evet.” My eyes scan over the plans again, then I explain, “Retribution is smaller than Vengeance. Having more docking bays will draw attention.”

“Right.”

It’s after midnight by the time I mutter, “Let’s get some sleep before Eymen arrives.”

Emre lets out a groan as we head out of the building. “Eymen I love, but damn, Ayesenur Hanim and Eslem drive me insane.”

“It’s just for a week.”

He gives me a tortured expression. “Please try to remember Eslem is not my cousin. The woman can’t take no for an answer.”

I let out a chuckle. “I’m glad I don’t have to worry about you fucking her.”

“Yuck.” He pulls a disgusted face. “I wouldn’t touch her with a ten-foot pole.”

I’m not looking forward to their visit either and really wish my grandmother would reconsider this tradition of having a party just so they can visit. I know they’re family, but I’ve never been close with them.

Even my relationship with Eymen is more business-related, with him controlling Turkey for me.

When we arrive home, and I walk into my bedroom, there’s a big square box on my bed. I lift the lid, and seeing shimmering silver fabric, I pull the dress out and hold it up.

My woman has good taste. She’ll look beautiful in this.

Carefully placing the dress back into the box, I take a piece of paper from my stationery drawer and write a short note. Folding the paper in half, I slip it beneath the silver bow on the lid and smile as I pick the box up.

Leaving my bedroom, I head to the lower level and carefully open Lara’s door, so I don’t wake her. I sneak into the room like a damn thief and place the box on the armchair I always sit in.

Moving to the side of the bed, I stare down at her sleeping face. Her arms are wrapped around a pillow, and I wish it was me instead.

Leaning down, I press a soft kiss to her temple.

Desperately needing some rest myself, I steal one more glance of the woman who’s worming her way so deep into my heart that I’m starting to fear I’ll never get her out.

Going back to my bedroom, I shower before climbing into bed. Letting out a sigh, I stare up at the ceiling, my thoughts turning to Lara and how quickly things are changing between us.

It’s no longer just about dominating her.

I care about her.

Admitting my emotions to myself is no easy feat. I’ve never been an emotional person. Fuck, I’ve never been one to care about anything, really. It’s all about facts and money for me.

I love my family, but I’ve never invested in a romantic relationship. It’s not something I needed.

But I find myself in unfamiliar territory, needing Lara. It’s definitely not about sex, seeing as I haven’t fucked her.

Yet.

Our connection is on a much deeper level. My need to control versus her need to be controlled. My sinfulness versus her innocence.

She balances me.

I’ve never seen myself as the kind to settle down, even though my grandmother’s been nagging me. At thirty-eight, there’s just never been a woman I could see myself settling down with.

Could I see myself with Lara? Is it even something she’s ready for?

“Jesus, Gabriel. Get some fucking sleep,” I growl as I turn onto my side. I punch the pillow and let out a huff. “Just take it one day at a time. You don’t have to plan your entire future right now.”

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