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Stolen By A Sinner: Chapter 41


I’ve just hung the last blouse in Gabriel’s walk-in closet when Nisa comes into the bedroom, announcing, “We’re going shopping.”

My eyebrows draw together as I glance over my shoulder. “Does Gabriel know?”

Evet. Alya Hanim phoned him. Come, he only gave us twenty minutes.”

I quickly grab a pair of shoes and pull a brush through my hair. Picking up my handbag, I tuck my phone into it and follow Nisa out of the room.

“Where are we going?” I ask.

“Alya Hanim needs wool, so we’ll only go to the craft store she likes to visit.”

“Okay.” When we meet Alya Hanim by the front door, I smile with excitement.

Leaving the house, we’re met with twelve guards waiting for us.

Daniel steps forward. “You only have twenty minutes. Under no circumstances are you to leave our sight. Lara, you stay with Murat. Alya Hanim, you’ll be by my side, and Nisa, you stay with Yusuf. If anything happens, just do as your guard instructs.”

“So dramatic,” Nisa mutters, then she bats her eyelashes at the guard I assume is Yusuf. “It’s been a while, Yusuf Bey.”

With a smile, Yusuf shakes his head as he opens the door for her. “Get in, Nisa Hanim.”

“Ooh, I like it when you boss me around,” she teases him.

This time I can’t stop the laughter from bubbling over my lips.

“You’re in this SUV, Lara,” Murat says when I take a step toward Nisa.

“Oh.” I quickly get in and watch as Alya Hanim climbs into the SUV behind ours. “Why are we taking separate vehicles?”

Murat waits for two guards to join us before he starts the engine. “It’s for safety. If we’re attacked, you’re not all together.”

I glance at the guard next to me and offer him a tentative smile before glancing out the window. The store isn’t far from the house. When we reach it, we’re bundled out of the SUVs and escorted to the doors. Only Murat, Daniel, and Yusuf follow us inside while the rest of the guards spread out.

My eyes dart over the shelves, drinking in all the arts and crafts. “Wow, there’s so much to choose from.”

“You take whatever you want, Lara,” Alya Hanim says. “I’m paying, and there’s no limit.”

“Does the same count for me?” Nisa asks, already placing a wooden ring in her basket.

Alya Hanim chuckles. “Of course.”

“What’s that?” I ask Nisa, pointing into her basket.

“It’s a hoop. You use it to keep the fabric in place for embroidery,” she explains patiently. “Get the same one for yourself, then I’ll teach you later.”

I follow Nisa, loading the same supplies into my basket.

“Don’t forget your knitting needles,” Alya Hanim says as she comes to place a couple of sizes in my basket. Then she scowls at Nisa, “You can teach her embroidery once I’m done with the knitting lessons.”

A burst of warmth fills my heart, but it chills when Daniel snaps, “Drop everything and run to the back. Murat, get them out of here!”


Murat yanks the basket from my hands and throws it to the side. With his fingers clamped tightly around my wrist, he drags me to the back of the store.

Alya Hanim is right behind me, followed by Nisa and Yusuf. When I notice Daniel is staying behind, I reach for Alya Hanim and wrap my fingers tightly around hers. “Stay with me.”

“I’m coming,” she exhales breathlessly from having to move so fast.

“Wait, Murat!” I yank back against his hold. “Alya Hanim can’t run.”

He turns with a worried expression etched deep into his features. “Shit. Daniel!”

Daniel runs toward us. “Move!”

Suddenly there’s a loud explosion, and my eyes widen as I watch one of the SUVs lift off the ground before crashing down in flames. The windows explode inward, ripping screams from Nisa and Alya Hanim.

Instead of panic, a strange calmness pours through my body, my mind becoming crystal clear.

“Move!” Daniel shouts again.

“Alya Hanim can’t run,” Murat says to Daniel. “You keep them back while I get them to safety.”

“Just go.” There’s desperation in Daniel’s voice.

Still holding Alya Hanim’s hand, I tug her further into the back. When I notice Nisa is still frozen with fear, I shout, “Nisa! Come.”

She startles and quickly runs to join us.

Gunfire erupts outside the store. Searching the counter, I don’t know what happened to the cashier. The lady must’ve made a run for it when the SUV was bombed.

Suddenly Murat shoves a gun into my hand. “If anything happens to me, you shoot whoever comes near you.

I only have time to nod.

As we make our way to the back exit, I check the gun to make sure the safety is off. I might never have fired a weapon, but I’ve seen Tymon handle one a million times.

The gunfire grows louder, and I hear Daniel and Yusuf firing their weapons.

Murat shoves a heavy door open and checks if it’s safe before allowing us to rush out of the store and into an alley. Huge trash bins line the wall to our left.

“We’ll hide,” I say. “Between those.” I point to the trash bins.


I’m conscious of Alya Hanim, not wanting her to fall as I help her to our hiding spot. Reaching it, I press her against the filthy wall. “Get down if you can.” I reach for Nisa and tug her to Alya Hanim’s side. “And don’t make a sound.”

I watch as they crouch down. This is clearly taking a toll on Alya Hanim, and I worry she won’t be able to crouch like that for long.

Turning my back to them, I peek around the trash bin. Murat’s by the door, where he can see what’s happening, his weapon drawn and ready in his hands.

My fingers tighten around my gun, and I glance over my shoulder. Seeing pain on Alya Hanim’s face, I quickly look up and down the alley. Spotting a door, I whisper-shout, “Murat!”

He can’t hear me with all the noise from the attack.

Gesturing with my hand to Nisa and Alya Hanim, I say, “Get up. There’s a door a couple of feet away.”

I hear them groan as they stand up. “Nisa, take Alya Hanim to that door. I’ll cover you.”

Allah Allah,” Nisa wails, but she does as I say. My eyes flick between Murat and the women. When Nisa pulls on the door’s handle, it doesn’t budge.

Crap. I quickly run closer, and training the barrel of the gun on the handle, I pull the trigger. I jolt from the force of the weapon but grin when the door shudders open. I check inside the dark space to ensure it’s safe, then order, “Come! Quick!”

As I glance at Murat, I see him raising his weapon. The shots he fires echo down the alley. Not having time to tell him where we’re hiding, I duck back inside and slam the door shut.

Breathless, I glance around for anything I can use to bar the door, and seeing a metal cabinet, I run to it. The thing is heavy, and I struggle to push it until Nisa comes to help me.

The metal grates over the concrete floor, but with Nisa’s strength, we manage to push it in front of the door. 

I check the dimly lit space that’s filled with the sound of muted gunfire. Digging in my handbag, I pull my phone out and dial Gabriel’s number.

“Lara!” His voice is filled with intense worry. “Are you safe?”

“Yes. For now.” I glance around me again. “I think we’re in an empty store close to the crafts store. Murat doesn’t know. I didn’t have time to tell him.”

“Good. Fuck, I’m so proud of you. Daniel says you’re armed.”


“Do you know how to fire a gun?”

“Yes. Kind of.”

He lets out a sigh of relief. “Shoot anyone you don’t recognize.”


“I’m on my way. Ten minutes. Just hold out for ten minutes.”


There’s a banging sound against the door, making me startle. “I have to go. They’re trying to get in.”

“No. Put the phone on speaker and give it to Nisa. I need to know what’s happening.”

I do as he says and hand the device to a trembling Nisa. “Just hold it.”

As I turn around, I position myself in front of Nisa and Alya Hanim, raise my arms, and wrap both my hands around the handle. I suck in a deep breath, my eyes focused on the cabinet.

“Jesus, someone talk to me,” Gabriel growls.

Allah Allah,” is all Nisa can get out.

“Lara’s guarding us,” Alya Hanim’s quivering voice sounds up behind me. “She’s waiting. It’s quiet.”

  There’s another loud bang against the door, then a muted gunshot.

When my hands threaten to start trembling, I suck in a deep breath and let it out slowly.

You’re okay.

You’re all okay.

Just keep them alive until Gabriel gets here.

You can do this.

You’ve survived worse.

“It sounds like they’re trying to get past the cabinet,” Alya Hanim whispers.

“What cabinet?”

“The one Lara and Nisa pushed in front of the door. Lara had to shoot the door open so we couldn’t lock it behind us.”


The worry in Gabriel’s voice makes a tremble shudder through me. Once again, I focus on keeping my hands steady, pushing any fear trying to surface back down.

You can do this.

Stay calm.

Shoot anything that comes through that door.

Protect your loved ones.

I hear glass breaking somewhere behind me and swing around. The moment I see movement, I pull the trigger.

Nisa lets out a shriek that is drowned out by the sound of the shot.

“Almost there,” Gabriel shouts. “I see the smoke.”

Slowly I inch a couple of steps forward. A dark shadow moves, and I instantly fire a shot. Dust sprays into the air as the bullet hits a wall.

“We just want you, Lara. If you come willingly, we’ll let the old women live,” a man shouts.

“Don’t you fucking dare, Lara!” Gabriel snaps. “I’m here.”

Allah Allah,” Nisa wails softly. “Hurry, Gabriel Bey.”

“Move in,” I hear the man command. “Don’t kill the target.”

More glass shatters, and bodies pour into the store. I just open fire, trying to aim as best I can.

All hell breaks loose. Bodies drop to the floor. Nisa and Alya Hanim sob.

I hear the cabinet give way and fall over.

Then the gun clicks in my hand, all out of bullets.

God, help us.

I’m grabbed from behind. “I’ve got you,” Daniel’s voice sounds in my ear. He shoves me behind him, then his arm lifts, and he opens fire, not missing a target.

Flashes light up the dimly lit room, the smell of gunpowder filling the air.

Movement by the door draws my attention, and when I see Murat leaning against the doorjamb, blood staining his shirt, I break out into a run.

“I’m okay,” he grinds out as I reach him.

Lifting his shirt, I find the bullet hole and press my palm to it as hard as possible. “Shit,” he groans.

Silence descends around us, then I hear, “Where is she?”

My head swivels to the side, but I struggle to see anything through the cloud of smoke.


“I’m here. By the door.”

I hear his footsteps before he appears through the smoke.

“Murat’s been shot. He’s losing a lot of blood.”

Mirac is right behind Gabriel, and he comes to help. Mirac pulls Murat’s arm over his shoulders so he can lean on him.

“Where’s Nisa and Alya Hanim?” I ask, moving back into the store to check on them.

“Emre and Daniel have them,” Gabriel answers as he grabs hold of my bloody hand. “Let me just hold you!” He yanks me to this body and wraps his arms around me. “Jesus, woman.”

I hear him suck in deep breaths of air, then the realization sinks in.

It’s over.

We’re safe.

“What the fuck are you made of?” Gabriel grumbles. He pulls back and frames my face, pressing a hard kiss to my mouth, then he grins at me. “My badass woman. I’m so fucking proud of you.”


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