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Stolen Bride

Stolen Bride

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My husband isn’t a man to steal from. But someone has decided to anyway.

Someone wanted Viktor to pay. Enough to take his wife from his own home. Enough to risk his wrath. When I wake up in a cabin in the Russian forest, broken and traumatized, Viktor is there, a different man from the one I married.

Stolen Bride is book two in the Bridal Trilogy. The trilogy is complete. Reading order Captive Bride, Stolen Bride and Beloved Bride.
  • Enemies To Lovers
  • Arranged Marriage
  • Billionaire


My husband isn’t a man to steal from. But someone has decided to anyway.

Someone wanted Viktor to pay. Enough to take his wife from his own home. Enough to risk his wrath.When I wake up in a cabin in the Russian forest, broken and traumatized, Viktor is there, a different man from the one I married.Caring. Nurturing. Even, dare I say, loving.

He brings me back to life, one kindness at a time, and for a few brief days, I think that maybe I’ve gotten him all wrong.But just as I begin to let down my guard, a secret threatens to rock the fragile truce between us, and turn my husband back into the brutal man that I feared.

Trapped in a fortress of a safe house with him and the only people left in the world that I love, I no longer know which is the real danger.The man who is threatening everything I care about, or the one holding me captive, body and soul.The one who says he’ll never let me go.

His stolen bride.This is book 2 in the Mafia Bride series. Book one is Captive Bride.

Chapter 1 Look Inside

When I wake up, it’s with absolutely no sense of where I am.

It takes me a minute to realize that the voice ringing in my ears isn’t actually speaking. It’s just the memory of the last thing I heard before I passed out—we’re here for you, Caterina—followed by the rippling of that bone-chilling terror that I’d felt as the needle had slid into my neck.

I’ve never had a phobia of needles, but if I survive this, I might have one now. I’ll never be able to forget the sight of it gleaming above me, the liquid beading from the tip right before it punctured my throat. Then I slipped into a cold dark haze that I’m only just now coming out of.

Whatever they drugged me with, it’s slow wearing off. I don’t feel as if I can move at first, and for a moment, I’m terrified that I’m going to be alert but unable to move. That sounds more terrifying than just waking up and discovering where I actually am.

Cold. So much cold. As the sensation starts to return to my limbs, that’s the next thing I notice. Not just a chill, but a bone-deep cold, as if every bit of heat had been leached out of the room.

Slowly, I try to pry my eyes open, doing my best not to move. I don’t know where my kidnappers are, but if they’re nearby, I don’t want to alert them that I’m awake. I want a minute to try to get my bearings, to make a plan.

Growing up in the Family, I never felt particularly in danger. I felt secure that my father would protect me, and my eventual husband, whoever that was. But there was always the knowledge, deep down, that I could be a target. That my position as Vitto Rossi’s daughter made me valuable and that I needed protection. That whoever he married me off to would also need to protect me. 

I’d been so concerned these past months with protecting myself from the men I married—first Franco and now my Bratva husband—that I’d forgotten there were other people out there who might have reasons for wanting to catch and hurt Vitto Rossi’s daughter, or the Ussuri’s wife. That even if I felt secure that Viktor wouldn’t ever hurt me the way Franco had, that didn’t mean I was safe.

Whoever these men are, they knew about Viktor, so it’s safe to say that they’re probably after me as his wife, not as my father’s daughter. This is a Russian problem, not an Italian one, making the entire situation even more terrifying. The Italian mafia can be cruel, but I’ve heard stories of what happens to women caught by the Russians. For all his flaws, Viktor seems to be the best of them. I don’t think these men are anything like Viktor.

My eyes feel dry, burning, but I manage to get them open and look carefully around through blurry vision as much as I can without moving my head. There’s a shaft of sunlight coming through the window to my left, lighting up a grey sky that tells me it’s still early, which explains the cold despite it being May. My hands are still bound behind me, which sends another panic-fueled dart of terror through me, but I force myself to breathe, slowly and shallowly.

Think, Caterina. Take stock of the situation, and think.

I press my fingers against the surface beneath me—it’s a hard mattress, one that I can feel the springs starting to push through. It feels lumpy, and I don’t dare look down—I’m not sure I want to see the rest of the condition that it’s in. The curtains on the window are mostly closed, except for the small space between them where I can see the sunlight gleaming through, and I think that I see a glimpse of tree branches. 

Did they take me out to the woods? I feel another flutter of panic. If we were back in New York, I might be able to figure out where I am, but I don’t know anything about the geography around Moscow. Russia is entirely foreign to me, and the thought of being held captive out somewhere in a Russian forest threatens to overwhelm me with another hopeless wave of fear. 

Viktor. I might not know Russia, but my husband does. Will he come for me? 

That thought makes me go very still. It hadn’t occurred to me before that he might not, only that there might not be time. But if he’s decided that I’m more trouble than I’m worth as his wife and the future mother of his child, this would be an easy way to get rid of me. He can let them do what they want, and tell Luca whatever he pleases—that he couldn’t get to me in time, that he couldn’t find me, that they wanted something in exchange for me that he couldn’t give. This might be his way out of a marriage that I suspect I might have made as unpleasant for him so far as it’s been for me.

Not entirely unpleasant, though.

The last thing I want to think about right now is the complexities of what Viktor and I have done in bed—or what he’s done to me, rather. I don’t know if it’s enough to overcome the friction between us, the way I’ve refused to bend to his will, or if he’ll choose to simply take a way out that won’t have the same consequences as sending me back to Luca.

Or—there’s another terrifying possibility that I hadn’t yet thought about. 

What if this was Viktor? 

I still don’t know how the first Mrs. Andreyev died. I don’t know what part, if any, Viktor played in it. And the realization comes rushing in that there’s a very real possibility that after my reaction to seeing his business here, Viktor decided that it was time for his second marriage to come to an end in a very final way.

Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck. I squeeze my eyes tight, forcing myself to think through the fear. I’ve had to do it before, during the worst of the times with Franco, when saving myself meant thinking past my own fear and pain and calming him down. 

I’ve been alone before, and I’ve saved myself. I can’t rely on Viktor, whether or not this is his doing. If this isn’t him, I’m still somewhere out in the Russian forest; god knows how far away from him I am. And if it is—then it’s even more imperative that I figure this out for myself.

I hear a shift from behind me and go very still. There’s a scraping over the floor, like a chair being moved, and then a gruff voice speaking in Russian. I can’t understand a word of it, but he sounds angry, his voice clipped and harsh in a way that makes my heart stutter in my chest. 

A second voice joins the first, speaking in a deep, rough growl. They don’t bother lowering their voices, either because they don’t realize I’m awake or because they assume I can’t understand them, which is definitely true. And I don’t want them to realize that I’m awake yet. 

My heart is pounding so hard that I can hear the beat of it in my ears. I grit my teeth, doing my best to keep my breathing even and my hands from clenching. Be brave, be brave, I tell myself repeatedly, and I wonder, if I survive this, if this will be the most difficult thing I have to face.

I certainly fucking hope so.

I hear footsteps, heavy on the floorboards, coming closer. This is it, I think, and then I feel a hand gripping my shoulder, rolling me onto my back.

“I think she’s awake, boss,” the man hovering above me says in thickly accented English. My vision is still clearing from the drugs, so I can’t make out his features exactly. I can see that he’s heavyset and thick-lipped, his sausage-like fingers digging into the hollow of my shoulder as he rolls me over. “Time for some fun.”

“You know the rules, Andrei,” the man behind him says, his voice equally thick. 

“No permanent damage. Don’t fuck up her face.” Andrei sneers down at me, and I almost wish my vision wasn’t clearing because nothing about him is anything I want to see. I can feel some of the sensation returning to my limbs, my muscles twitching as my body comes back to life, and I don’t know how I feel about that, either.

On the one hand, if I can’t move, I can’t fight. On the other, whatever they plan to do to me next, I’m going to feel it.

His hand tightens on my shoulder, and I can’t help but try to flinch away. Andrei laughs, a wet drop of spit landing on my face as he does so.

“Ooh, this little koshka has claws,” he says with a grin, and his hand squeezes, clenching my shoulder so tightly that I cry out in pain. 

It burns away what was left of the drugs, though, bringing me fully and abruptly back to my senses.  I buck under his hand, twisting and wrenching my hands in the cuffs despite myself, and I hear him growl above me.

“Stepan, get the bitch to be still.”

I let out a yelp despite myself as two hands latch onto my ankles, yanking me down the mattress so that I’m flat on my back. There’s no way for me to grab on to anything or stop it, not with my hands bound behind my back still and gone numb from how tight the plastic cuffs are. But I refuse to go down without a fight.

Andrei’s other hand finds my breast, squeezing through the satin of my half-destroyed evening gown, and I jerk like a fish, kicking at Stepan’s grip. As far as I can tell, there are only the two of them, for now, but I know that might not last forever. There might be more outside or on the way, and neither of these two is the cold man who slid the needle into my neck before kidnapping me. 

“Christ, she squirms like a worm on a hook,” Stepan growls, his fingers digging into my ankles until I yelp with pain again. He jerks my legs apart, leering up the remains of my skirt, and as I get a good look at what remains of my dress, I feel a twist in my stomach.

It’s half ripped, torn off, or cut off at my knees, probably because they got tired of wrestling with all of the fabric while they transported me. The bodice is still mostly in place, thank god, but all of the material is filthy. I can feel how tangled my hair is, and I wonder how much time has passed since I was taken out of the apartment. A day? Two? More than that?

“They didn’t say we couldn’t fuck her,” Andrei says, his accent thickening even more. “She’s no virgin. No one can tell the fucking difference if we get our dicks wet anyway.”

“We weren’t told we could, either—” Stepan sounds hesitant. It’s very strange to feel a moment’s gratitude towards him for something so absolutely ridiculous as a hesitance to actually violate me, but here we are. 

“Look at her.” Andrei’s hand slides down my rib cage, and I feel my muscles tense, my skin shuddering away from his touch. “You want to ask permission or forgiveness? How often do we get a piece like this that isn’t off-limits entirely?”

Stepan’s gaze slides up my legs again, and I can see him considering it. He lingers on my inner thighs, and his grip on my ankles slackens just a little, enough to let me wrench one foot out of his grasp.

I know it’s stupid. I know it’s useless. My hands are bound, and I’m still weak from the drugs; there’s no way I’m going to overpower them.  But I can’t just lay here and let them do this. 

The moment my foot is free, I twist, kicking as hard as I can and aiming for the side of Stepan’s head. He’s so busy ogling me that he doesn’t see the kick coming. Andrei doesn’t either because he’s focused on running his hands over my breasts and stomach, chuckling with every twitch of my body as it automatically tries to escape his touch.

The kick isn’t hard enough to knock Stepan out or do any real damage, but it feels good. I have one single moment of feeling absolute satisfaction at the shocked look on his face before he lurches back towards me with a furious expression.

He comes halfway across the bed in an instant, Andrei jumping out of his way as Stepan’s hand fists in the front of my dress, the delicate satin ripping in his rough grip. He yanks me forward, his right hand connecting across my cheek in a slap that makes my ear start ringing and my head go sideways so hard that I can feel a muscle in my neck strain too far.

“Fucking little bitch,” Stepan snarls, his hand grabbing my jaw in a vice grip as he shoves his thumb between my lips. “Suck on this while I get you something better to suck on, you little mafia whore.”

Oh, fuck this. 

I know whatever I do, they’re going to give it back so much worse, but I can’t help it. At that moment, I know I’d rather die than let them use me however they wanted. Maybe they’ll do it anyway, but I’m damn sure going to make it hard for them.

I bite down on Stepan’s thumb hard, my teeth sinking into the flesh as I taste blood. His sudden screech of pain is even more satisfying than the kick to the side of the head, and I dig my teeth in, wanting to hurt him as much as possible before he retaliates.

The punch comes without warning, a fist in my side that takes the breath right out of me and leaves me gasping, my jaw dropping open and letting Stepan extricate his ragged thumb. 

“Hold her,” Stepan snarls, his face an evil mask of rage, and I feel my stomach twist with bitter fear. Whatever’s coming next, I know it won’t be good.

Andrei’s thick hand wraps in my hair, pulling my head backward as Stepan hits me again, hard enough that I feel my lip split, starting to swell almost immediately. The blows come fast and furious then, Andrei’s grip tightening until it feels as if he might rip my hair from my skull. I can feel myself starting to go limp, the pain blooming through my body like a fresh bruise.

And then I feel Stepan’s hand around my throat, squeezing as he looks down at me with a vicious light in his eyes that terrifies me more than anything I’ve ever experienced. 

As my vision goes dark again, all I can think is that I’d give anything for that to not be the last thing I see.

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