Damage:an Arranged Marriage Mafia Romance

By: Natasha Knight

Gabriela stirs, but doesn’t wake.

She’s just wearing a pair of powder blue cotton panties. No top. I can see why. She’s got bandages all over her, a large one wrapped around her lower ribs. Did they break her ribs?

A gust of wind blows so hard that it knocks a vase over, sending it crashing to the floor.

Gabriela bolts upright, startled awake. I don’t know if she processes where she is. When she sees me, she opens her mouth to scream. I don’t think she realizes it’s me. It’s dark enough she wouldn’t see my face.

Without a thought, I’m on the bed, my hand over her mouth pushing her into the pillow.

“Don’t,” I tell her.

She struggles, her broken nails sharp against my skin.

“Stop. It’s me. Gabriela, it’s me. It’s Stefan.”

She blinks as a cloud clears the moon and, in the light, she sees my face. She stops fighting and I move my hand from her mouth. She pulls up to a half-seated position.


I look at her, at her naked breasts, small and pretty, her nipples hard. My mouth is watering to lick that tight little tip, take it into my mouth and suck, just a little, just enough to make her moan.

“What are you doing in here?”

I don’t answer. What am I doing in here? Didn’t I come in to close the balcony doors?

She looks over at the clock and so do I. It’s a little after two in the morning.

I shift my gaze to her breasts again. I reach out and touch one nipple with the back of my hand, just brushing my knuckles over it. It hardens and when I shift my gaze to hers, I see how her cheeks flush, how her throat works when she swallows.

I want her.

Even now, like this, I want to have her.

I lower my gaze to the bandage.

“Your ribs,” I say, touching the gauze.

“Bruised. That’s all.”

“That’s all?”

“Stefan,” she starts, pulling the covers up to cover her breasts. “Are you drunk?”

I grin, take hold of the blanket and tug it out of her hands.

“Not drunk enough,” I say, moving to straddle her, my knees on either side of her hips as she lays back and I cage her in with my hands to the sides of her face. “I didn’t know,” I start, leaning close to her, inhaling her clean scent. “I didn’t know if they pulled you out of the water.” Her hands come to my shoulders. “I didn’t know if you were alive or dead.”


“I didn’t fucking know, Gabriela.”

I lay some of my weight on her, careful of her ribs when I see her wince. Sliding one hand behind her head, I weave my fingers into her hair and tug her head back to tilt her face upward.

I look at her like this. At her parted lips, her pretty eyes. That bruise on her forehead that was there before everything. “Why did you look at Rafa when I asked you about that man?” I ask. I don’t know why I ask it.


“When the assholes were lined up and I asked you who hurt you. You looked at one man in particular then at Rafa.”

She lowers her lashes, looking fucking guilty as sin.

I squeeze my hand in her hair and she winces.

“Stop, you’re hurting me,” she says.


“Stefan, stop it.”

I smile down at her and something akin to jealousy burns in my gut.

“Were you with him? When his car got sideswiped?”

She tries to shake her head and when she answers no, she shifts her gaze away and I know she’s lying. I know she’s fucking lying.

I loosen my grip on her hair, grit my teeth.

“Why are you wet?” she asks, brushing my wet hair back from my forehead.

That touch distracts me. It’s soft. Tender.

“What?” I ask.

“You’re soaked,” she says.

I look down at myself then back at her. “Rain.” I lean in close to her, brush my jaw against her cheek so my mouth is at her ear. “You’re not off the hook with me, Gabriela.”

When I draw back, I see that same caution I’ve seen before. Not fear like what I saw when I took that filthy hood off her head, but she is wary of me.

“What do you mean?” she asks.

“I mean you ran away. You snuck out of the house and in doing so, you almost got yourself killed and you did get yourself hurt. You’ll answer for that.”

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