Daryl had decided to stage his death as a suicide to put an end to questions about his sudden death. He also knew that if he left a clue about his second life, his father would have insisted on getting him back, never mind the consequences.
With the faeries, Daryl had been more than content. He was ecstatic and found a home for himself where he was needed and appreciated for who he was. He would never have let his father know the truth of his existence if he had not heard about Aurelius Castellano’s plans to go to war with humans.
Daryl frowned. “No more wars on humans, Father.”
Aurelius said nothing.
“All right,” Aurelius grumbled.
“Now that you can see me, we’ll be able to have more time together. Sometime, I hope you’d be able to visit where I live now.”
Aurelius smiled slightly but his voice was thick with unshed tears when he said, “That would be nice.”
When it was time to leave, Aurelius turned to Misty and began, “About your brother…”
She shook her head quickly. “Domenico said he’ll find a way and he will. You don’t need to give us special treatment.”
Father and son both exchanged looks.
Misty rolled her eyes. “I know, I know. I’m naïve, right?”
“Domenico is lucky to have you,” Aurelius said diplomatically.
“If only I had been born a girl, Father. Then you’d have Domenico as son-in-law.”
“Not when I’m still breathing,” she retorted laughingly.
Domenico was waiting by the front door, head hazy with rage as the Castellano’s car drew to a stop. He stalked towards it, nearly tearing the door open in his haste to get to his wife.
Misty only managed a word edgewise. “Domenico---”
He kissed her hard, pulling her tightly against him, drinking in the feel of her body against his. God! He had been out of his mind upon receiving Thompson’s call and learning later on that Misty had ventured into another pack’s territory alone.
“We will speak later,” Domenico told the Castellano’s emissary curtly even as he lifted Misty in his arms and took her inside. He reached their room in record time and after kicking the door shut with a loud and heavy bang, he threw her to the bed.
He said very softly, “Misty?”
She started to babble. “I’m sorry I lied but I had to go---”
“Do you know how worried I had been?” he exploded.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I had to!”
Domenico didn’t know if he wanted to strangle her or kiss her into submission first. When he advanced toward her, he was satisfied to see her cringe. Good. It was but a fraction of the fear he had tasted upon realizing that Misty could be in serious danger.
“You had to do what?” Domenico snapped at her, still furious. “Kill me with worry? Don’t you know how much he hates humans?”
“Don’t you know he has the power to make you disappear, to hurt you before---”
“Do you know what happened last time a human strayed into his territory?” Domenico roared.
“He doesn’t hate humans anymore!” Misty finally cried out.
Domenico froze. “What?”
“He doesn’t hate humans anymore,” she whispered.
He looked at her, really looked at her, and his anger slowly dissipated. Even though he didn’t know exactly what had transpired, Domenico was sure she had succeeded in charming the Castellano pack leader to her side. Another potential ally – and he didn’t even have to lift a finger for it. Domenico knew it was something to rejoice about, but this time he also knew he would forsake all allies if it would mean having her safe by his side forever.
Because he was in love with Misty.
“I’m not in trouble anymore?” Misty asked carefully when she saw Domenico relax gradually.
He sighed, lying on his back and lifting Misty up to have her lie on top of him. “You’ll always be in trouble.”
“Only since I met you,” she pointed out.
“Then you wish you had never met me?”
She looked at him as if he had just said he wanted to kill her, which made Domenico want to take her in his arms and keep her there for a long, long time.
“Don’t say things like that. You might jinx us,” she wailed.
He pulled her back to him with a sigh. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. You know I’ll not let anything keep us apart.”
They fell silent afterwards, both aware of having so many things to say but not knowing where to start. Domenico stroked her hair as he felt Misty’s breathing ease into a steady rhythm in her sleep. He loved her. He was in love with her. Domenico marveled at it, but knew as well it wasn’t yet the right time to tell Misty about it.
He was hedging his bets again, he knew. If Matteo had been by his side, he would have reprimanded Domenico for it, would have told him that he was wasting yet another golden opportunity in his life just to extract revenge on his father.
Two more days passed and in those days, Domenico would leave before she woke up and come home when she was already fast asleep.
On the third day since her visit to the Castellano mansion, Domenico came home in the middle of the day, surprising her in the kitchen by wrapping his arms around her from behind.
She turned around in his arms, and Domenico immediately took her lips in a kiss.
“It smells wonderful here,” he murmured even as he nibbled on her lips.
“I’m preparing some pastries to take with us to the hospital.” The last of her words ended with a whimper when Domenico tore her apron aside and snuck his hands under her shirt.
“You seem so happy,” she said wonderingly even as her body started to heat up at his touch.
Her words made Domenico recall why he came home early in the first place and he pulled away ruefully, pulling her shirt back down with a sigh. But his eyes were gleaming when he looked at her face.
“I have a surprise for you, Mrs. Moretti.” He took out a folded document from his blazer’s inner pocket and gave it to her.
She frowned. “What is this?”
She unfolded the paper, her eyes widening when the full import of the words printed on it finally sank in. “You got it,” she whispered.
It had cost him numerous favors but everything had been worth seeing the joy in his wife’s face now. “Kevin will be safe.”
She burst into tears and hugged him. “I love you, Domenico.”