Domenico couldn’t believe how calm she was. How dare she come to his home smelling of another man’s scent? That Cavalier pup had been with her throughout the day. He had seen it with his own two eyes, having been informed by the bodyguards he had assigned to follow Misty without her knowledge. It had taken every inch of his control not to go to them and drag Misty away.
She stared at him for a moment. “I think…you already know so why bother to ask?”
Domenico exhaled in frustration. He wasn’t used to Misty being like this. He liked her shy, sweet, or cute. “Don’t play this game with me, Misty, or you won’t like the consequences.”
“But I’m not playing any g-games!” The tears that stung her eyes caught Misty by surprise. She turned away, but it was too late.
Domenico didn’t miss the tears and with a groan, he crossed the room and pulled her forcibly into his arms, unmindful of her struggles. He kept on hugging her until she finally subsided, crying in his chest.
“I hated that you lied to me,” she sobbed. “You made it seem like that you didn’t care people would think I was just your mistress---”
“I’m sorry,” Domenico said raggedly. “I was a bastard for doing that. I never thought she would dare make your life hell. All I wanted to know was who would actually be on your side. I won’t do it again, Misty. I promised you that.”
Misty nodded against his chest, to show that she understood and forgave him for it.
He added reluctantly, “I also have to admit that I didn’t want you to know I had an affair with her.”
“Why didn’t you?”
“Because you wouldn’t understand,” he said quietly.
She didn’t pretend to misunderstand what he was saying. “Why did you choose to have an affair with Rebecca, Domenico?”
“You know the answer to that as well.”
Her shoulders slumped. “It served your purposes to have an affair with her.”
He nodded. “I used her.”
Domenico waited for her judgment. Was she disgusted now that she knew how different the two of them were and how ruthless he could be?
When she opened her mouth, he held his breath.
“Domenico, can you just promise not to lie to me again?” Her voice shook unexpectedly at the end.
With a groan, he cupped her face and took her lips in a hard kiss, hoping it would help vanquish the pain Domenico knew was still scarring her heart. He hated the fact that she was hurting and it was because of him. She loved him. She deserved to be treated better.
He pulled away and looked straight into her eyes as he said, “I won’t lie to you again.” It was a lie. But Domenico was going to do every damn thing possible she wouldn’t ever find out it was a lie. There were things he had to keep from her, things that would endanger her if she knew, things that she was better left not knowing.
Misty tiptoed and kissed him full on the mouth, surprising both of them.
God. He had forgotten how wonderful it felt to have her in his arms. He tightened his hold around her. He didn’t want to ever let go of this woman. He would never do anything to endanger their relationship again, Domenico promised himself while returning and deepening the kiss. She was beyond everything he had expected. He didn’t deserve a sweet thing like her but she was his already and he would not relinquish her for anything else.
“I don’t want us fighting,” she whispered when she pulled away, tears choking her voice.
“Same here, darling.”
“I want to marry you.” She nodded vigorously.
He smiled at the fierceness of her voice. “Same here, darling.”
She smiled against his neck. “You want to marry yourself.”
He smiled against her hair. “You know that’s lame, right?”
“But admit it, I made you smile.”
“Yes.” He kissed her hair, her forehead, her nose, her cheeks, and lastly, he pressed a tender kiss on her lips. “You did.” And so she would, he knew, for the rest of their lives.
And before Misty knew it, her wedding day had come.
Kevin walked her down the aisle, both of them nervous but trying hard not to show it. The Morettis’ private chapel was even grander than Florida’s oldest church, and the walk down the aisle was so long Misty was slightly huffing by the time Kevin gave her one last hug before turning her over to Domenico.
Mark had outdone himself. He had styled and curled her hair that it fell against her back in huge gentle curls while he also gave her bangs to frame her face. Finally, he placed a handmade band on her head, one where gemstones of every color of the rainbow were artfully put together to create a row of flowers.
Her strapless gown was made of ivory silk, its back made of sheer lace. The tight top tapered to a full skirt that swayed with every move she made. Dressed as she was, Misty felt like she was Cinderella on her way to the meet her Prince Charming in a ball.
Certainly, Domenico more than looked the part, and the sight of him filled Misty with such desire that she had a hard time keeping her heartbeat regular, not wanting the Lyccans to know how excited she was.
Domenico stood at the end of the church, dashing in his black suit and white ruffled shirt, gold and ruby cuff links gleaming. When their eyes met, his gaze was sly and knowing, but tender at the same time, making Misty blink back tears.
She had missed him so. They had not seen each other for over twenty-four hours in observance of wedding traditions, and she was surprised at how much she had missed him after such a short parting.
“God, he’s handsome,” she couldn’t help whispering to herself.
The crowd laughed.
Misty closed her eyes in embarrassment. How could she have forgotten how exceptionally good Lyccan hearing was?
After shaking Kevin’s hand, Domenico took her arm to curl around his. Feeling her shake against him, he bent down and whispered, “Okay?” He tried gauging her expression but could only glimpse a shadow of her face behind the veil.
“Yes.” But she sounded like she was dying, and it made him smile even more.
The ceremony proceeded in a haze before her eyes and then the priest was intoning in deep tones, “You may now kiss the bride.”
Oh dear Lord, they were really, truly married!
They slowly faced each other, Domenico suavely confident while Misty started trembling again.
He gently lifted the veil to reveal her face. “Hello, Mrs. Moretti.”