I lifted my gaze to hers.
“Also, I may need some more funds for my father. So if you don’t mind me staying a bit more then… I’d really appreciate that.”
I watched her quietly and she made a gesture of desperation with her hand.
“Marry me,” I said.
She froze. For the longest time she didn’t speak as she just stared at me, beyond stunned. Finally, her mouth opened and her voice came out in a croak. “What?”
“Marry me. I’d already decided that I wanted you to stay indefinitely so this is the perfect solution.” I deleted her message and typed my own message into her phone as I spoke.
Then I went around the table, and gave her her phone with my message on it. Her eyes scanned my message quickly.
Say yes. They cannot ask a wife to testify against her own husband.“So, what do you say?” I asked softly.
Her lips parted to speak, but they were trembling so much she shut her mouth and pressed them together.
“Say yes,” I said persuasively.
“Yes,” she murmured, but it was far from audible.
“Out loud,” I mouthed to her and she repeated it this time a bit louder.
“Yes,” she said her tone breathless. “I’ll marry you.”
“Today,” I said.
Her eyeballs nearly popped out of her sockets. “What?”
"Right now,” I told her. “Our family is very familiar with a reverend down at the King’s Chapel. He’ll be more than happy to wed us. Then it’ll be official. We can have the big wedding later.”
“Yes,” she replied, in a daze. It was clear I had completely thrown her.
I linked my fingers with hers. “Now why don’t you go up and change into something more… slinky. I like that white dress you have that shows off your shoulders.”Chapter 45SkyeI knew why he asked me to wear a strapless white dress when I didn’t even have such a dress. The agents listening would understand that I couldn’t wear the wire with such a dress. I ran upstairs to my room, closed the door, and leaned against it.
I closed my eyes and waited. Sure enough, my phone began to ring.
“Hello,” I said calmly.
“Refuse him!” The order came fierce and harsh. “He cannot force you to marry him. Put a stop to this marriage now or you will be as guilty as him.”
It felt as though I was on a high-speed train to an unknown and very possibly dangerous destination, but it didn’t feel quite as terrifying as the second option, which was to jump off and roll into the sharp stones along the railway tracks, and that was what agreeing to betray Luca felt like. Because with that option I would be cutting my heart out of my body and feeding it to the ravens.
My lips trembled as I tried to speak, not out of fear, but out of a strange fury. How dare they? How dare government officials behave like thugs? I’d seen it in movies, the way the CIA and FBI went around threatening people to cooperate with them or have their lives destroyed and even then, I thought it was wrong, but I never dreamed I would be at the receiving end.
The end did not justify the means.
They shouldn’t have the right to crush my life so they could have the kudos of catching someone who was obviously way smarter than them, judging by the way they had not managed to nab him even with all the high-tech digital surveillance and manpower power available to them. My life and my father’s lives had value beyond the promotions and back slaps they would get for catching Luca.
“I can’t put a stop to it,” I replied calmly.
“Miss Morrison, this will bring the entire might of the bureau cracking down on the both of you.”
With my phone close to my ear, I walked towards the window and stared out at the beauty around me. My gaze settled on a point far away. My heart fluttered in my chest. I wouldn’t have to leave this place, the greenhouse, John, my plants. I could stay a bit longer with Luca.
“He is doing this because he thinks if you marry him you won’t be able to testify against him.”
“He’s right, isn’t he?” I asked softly.
There was an explosive moment of silence. “Skye, did you expose us?”
I felt as calm as a still lake. I found a pair of small eyebrow scissors and cut the wires of their listening device. There was not a thing these people could do to me. Not now. Not ever. “You heard every word. I did as you asked, but looks like he outsmarted you again.”
“Miss Morrison, you don’t—” he began.
But I had lost interest. “You failed. Better luck next time. Now I have to go. I have a wedding I must attend.”
I ended the call and walked towards my wardrobe. I didn’t know what the future held, I knew I was marrying a man who did not love me. I knew Luca was doing this because it was the best way for both of us to get out of the predicament the FBI had put us into for now, and after a time the agreement would be dissolved, but I didn’t care. I felt as if my greatest dream had come true. For now, I was going to live in this beautiful house with the man I was in love with.