I could never tell Nanette about my dreams and fears, though. Not when she was the most terrible bogeyman in my nightmares.
But I’ve grown up since then.
“You chose the wrong woman,” I say tonelessly. I don’t have the spunk, the zest for adventure that I used to have when I was a kid. That Misty was long gone. “I don’t believe in---”
Mr. Moretti’s fingers go back to the buttons of his shirt. “If you need more proof---”
“Okay, okay, I believe you!” I yelp when I see more than half of his bare chest.
Mr. Moretti smirks, fingers stilling on the fourth button. It makes me want to kiss him. God, I’m so fracking hopeless.
“Now, tell me what you want me to do so you’d marry me.”
“Give me a million dollars,” I quip.
“I’ll give you ten. If that’s all---”
“Stop!” I give him a disgruntled look. He wasn’t supposed to take the bait. Doesn’t he know that? “Why do you need a wife anyway? I mean, a wife like me?”
Cocking his head to the side, he says in a musing tone, “I suppose it would be fair to let you know what you are up against. This is a lifetime arrangement, after all.”
“That’s not helping your argument,” I say honestly. Domenico Moretti may be rich, gorgeous, and sexy, but he’s also a werewolf. The kind that may – can - kill and feast on human flesh every full moon for all I know.
“I am the future leader of my pack.” He doesn’t bother explaining what a pack is, which just shows how much he really knows about me. When he says ‘future’ leader, I’m guessing that means he’s the son of the current pack leader. That basically makes him a prince. A prince who asked me to marry him.
I’ve always prayed to God that if he could just make my life the slightest bit more exciting I’d thank Him forever. But I wasn’t asking for this! It’s beyond exciting. It’s plain crazy, that’s what it is.
“There are pacts that I have to make, business deals that I have to broker so to speak, with other packs. As someone who is unbound---”
I file the term away for future use.
“As I am unbound, other packs would not hesitate to use the pact as an opportunity to forge alliances through…marriage. But if I were to choose one pack over the others, then I also risk alienating the packs I had not allied myself with.”
“Which is why you need a human,” I finish for him. “So you don’t offend anyone with your choice.”
“But not just any human,” he counters and grants my secret wish by sucking my finger again. When his mouth finally releases my finger, I’m this close to having an orgasm. It’s the way he keeps looking at me, okay? It’s just…unbelievably erotic. I cringe at the words, aware that my obsession with ha**ng s*x with Domenico Moretti has reduced me to being redundant. It’s the worst thing someone in my chosen career could be.
I reluctantly tear my gaze away from the way he’s playing with my fingers when he starts speaking again.
“The woman I choose as bride has to be someone special, someone who fully understands and accepts me as I am.”
Shaking my head with a frown, I say, “I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one---”
“Trust me. You are.” He sounds so certain again that I can only gape at him.
“You are the only one who can fulfill the role of my wife.” His gaze turns searing. “The only question is what you want. So tell me and I shall give it to you.”
“I just can’t believe I’m the only one who can be your wife,” I insist stubbornly.
Mr. Moretti sighs. “I started my search by looking over all the resumes of my employees.”
“That’s romantic,” I can’t help mumbling.
He ignores that. “As my employee, it would mean you would already have some of the qualifications I need, such as loyalty and intelligence.”
I think about Janice Rudely and choose to hold my tongue. Whatever. Maybe I just haven’t seen those sides of her yet.
Mr. Moretti is smiling at me knowingly.
“What?” I feel defensive without even knowing why.
“Women like Janice Rudely has her uses,” he says.
My eyes widen. He really does know me! Too well!
He continues, “Based on the report I’ve received, I see that you have the qualities I look in a future queen – one who will rule benevolently or with an iron will when she has to.”
“Are you serious?” I choke out. I think he pretty much described a different woman there.
Mr. Moretti only stares at me.
“I’m a wimp.” I hated to say it, but someone has to.
He brushes my words aside with an arrogant wave of his hand. “Nonsense.”
“It’s not nonsense. I’m telling you, I’m not---”
“You are the oldest in your family, yes?”
“Your foster siblings follow you without question even though all of you know that none of you are related by blood, yes?”
“Have you hit any of them?”
I glare at him. “No!”
“You have a brother, Kevin, yes?”
I don’t see where this is going. “Mr. Moretti---”
“He used to have a problem in school. He gets into fights all the time. But it has stopped. You have stopped it, haven’t you?”
“He’s family!” I burst out. “Of course I’d be able to make him see sense!”
“He’s not family. They’re all not family,” Mr. Moretti said. “But you chose to make them your family, and they chose to follow you. You will do the same with and for my pack.”
He looks at me with such confidence – such trust – he makes me want to cry, and for the first time it has nothing to do with lust.
“That’s so unfair,” I whisper, trying to blink the tears away. “If you had tried to seduce me with your body, I would probably have a chance. Barely. But you…what you said…”
“But I did have one more qualification, and it clinched the deal for me as far as you were concerned,” Mr. Moretti says.
A slow, sexy grin forms on his lips. “I prefer to deal with someone I find irresistible.”
If he thinks that’s going to turn me on, he’s sadly mistaken.