“That’s ruthless,” she blurted out.
Domenico’s eyes glittered. “I’m glad you’re beginning to understand how I work.”
Another limousine was parked right in the middle of the hangar when they landed, and yet another parade of uniformed guards as well as two airport officials waited for them below. While Domenico signed the papers the officials handed to him, he kept an eye on Misty. He had trouble keeping his lips from twitching when he heard her speak with the guard standing closest to her and asking him his name. He knew that Misty felt uncomfortable having so many people work for him and not knowing them all by name, but if she kept this up then the list of names she would have to memorize was going to be endless.
Inside the limousine, Domenico had to take a call from the pack leader of the Cavaliers, but his gaze remained firmly at Misty, enchanted with how she seemed to derive so much fun simply playing with the controls of the car.
Domenico couldn’t prevent a bark of laughter from escaping when Misty pushed a button that had a drawer from the side shooting out and almost hitting her face with it.
She made a face at him. “I didn’t know it was for this drawer.”
“Domenico?” Filippo Cavalier’s voice pulled him back to the phone conversation he was having.
Looking away abruptly from Misty, he murmured, “Mi dispiace.” Continuing in Italian, Domenico said, “I am hoping she can start working for you this week.”
“Of course,” Filippo responded readily, chuckling. “But I pray she will be ready for the women to bitch at her. You know how they are. They will be greatly disappointed to find out that you have taken up a lover again.”
Filippo’s misassumption of what Misty was to him was expected, but he did not bother correcting the other man. It was, after all, what he wanted to happen. “Thank you for this. She will be in my life for a long time so I thought it would be better that she was exposed to how our world works.”
Domenico ended the call just as the limousine drew to a stop in front of the main entrance of the hotel his family owned as well.
Misty walked with him quietly but dug her feet when she saw where they were going. She looked up at him incredulously. “You’re taking me to a ball?”
“Yes. I wish to announce my engagement to you.”
“Are you serious?” she burst out. Waving a distracted hand to herself, she demanded, “Don’t you see how I’m dressed?” Misty’s eyes strayed to the ballroom, its opened doors revealing a throng of guests attired in the latest fashion – the kind she only saw printed on society pages. And he wanted her to join this crowd in her most ho-hum office outfit?
Tugging at his hand because he was trying to drag her inside again, Misty hurriedly gestured to the woman in black staring at them and whispering to her companion from the refreshment table. “Look at her. Her gown probably cost my salary for the entire year. You can’t possibly want me to go in with you looking---” She couldn’t speak anymore, not when Domenico’s hand curled around her nape, bringing her close as he bent down to take her lips with a kiss.
When he released her, she could only gaze up at him, a little dazed but knowing her lips were made red by his kiss.
He looked back at her with satisfaction. “You look exactly how I want you to be. Now come. I want everyone to know who I am marrying.”
Inside, a beautiful mosaic painting hung from one of the walls of the ballroom and her eyes widened, recognizing the name straight from the company newsletters.
“It’s your father’s birthday?” she yelped. “I don’t have a gift---”
“You are my gift to him.”
She gave him a look that spoke volumes of what exactly she thought of his line, which was too glib to be true.
He laughed. “Only you, darling, would dare look at me so.”
But Misty’s attention was already taken away by the crowd again, which seemed to take several steps away from them as they walked further in. Every one of them was dazzlingly attractive. Not beautiful per se but appealing in the way that Domenico was, their sexual magnetism a potent and tangible force.
It made her whisper, “Are they all werewolves like you?”
A smile in his voice, he whispered back, “Yes…and because we have extraordinary hearing, all of them heard your question.”
Her mouth parted in horror. “Kill me,” she managed to say finally. “Now, please?”
He laughed and pulled her closer to him as he walked towards his family.
Dio, the patriarch, didn’t look a day over forty. He also didn’t plan on giving her the time of the day, nodding at her curtly before engaging Domenico immediately in an angry flurry of Italian.
Elena, Domenico’s mother and an incredible dark-skinned beauty, stepped in gracefully with a warm smile. “Hello, dear. It’s a pleasure to meet you,” she murmured as she drew Misty in a hug.
When Elena released her, Domenico was back at her side. He kissed his mother, sent a warning look to the twins – who were busy elbowing each other and giving them knowing looks – before kissing the three young girls one at a time.
“Everyone, it’s my pleasure to have you meet Misty Wall, who has done me the honor of accepting my proposal.” He gave them a moment to absorb his news before smiling down at Misty. “Misty, I’d like you to meet my family. These are my three sisters, Esmeralda, Estrella, and Emilia.” The trio said hi to her cheerfully. Then he introduced the twins, Alessandro and Alejandro, adding right after, “Avoid them as much as possible. They’re trouble.”
“You’re just afraid we might steal her away from you,” Alessandro said, winking at her.
Domenico ignored that, gesturing to his parents next. “And these are Elena and Dio.”
“I’m pleased to meet all of you,” she said, not wanting to stammer but unable to stop herself from doing so. Why couldn’t Domenico give her even the slightest warning of what he planned?
Misty caught Elena giving her husband a warning look before smiling at Misty. “Welcome to the family, dear.”
Dio gave Misty another curt nod, but his eyes were hard. He said abruptly to Domenico, “I’d like to have a moment with you. Now.”
Domenico inclined his head. “Of course, Father. Your wish has always been my command.” There was a hint of mocking in his tone that confused Misty. She would never have pegged him to be the disrespectful type.