Huge was Tahey's first thought.
And dark was her next thought.
A sense of déjà vu struck her, but Tahey shrugged this off.
She fumbled for the light switch—-
Pop! Pop! Pop!
—-and nearly had a heart attack as party poppers exploded in a noisy shower of confetti.
In front of her were all five men of Strakh Inc...
And right in the center was Thomas.
She glared at all of them.
But it didn't work.
And in a second, Tahey had burst into tears, and all six of them actually laughed at her.
Thomas was the first one who hugged her, and she found herself crying so hard that she knew it would be impossible for her to speak. She could only hug him, hoping that he could hear what her heart had to say—-
And he did.
"There's nothing for you to be scared of anymore," Thomas said gruffly. "The worst is over, and we might still have our ups and downs, but it won't change a thing. One day, it will be just as you dreamed. You, me, your mom and your man...we'll be together again on the other side."
The other men of Strakh followed.
Stelios flirted with her outrageously, Bastien greeted her a Merry Christmas in his usual gruff voice, and then there was Drake, who made her cry anew when he told her he, too, was working hard to forgive Thomas.
When it was Sasha's turn, the younger Adrianov didn't even get to say a word, with his sister-in-law throwing herself in his arms.
"You're our guardian angel and Cupid all in one," Tahey whispered, "and I can never thank you enough."
Dmitry's brother shook his head. "You're the one I can't thank enough. Dmitry was becoming less and less human over the years, but you brought him back to us. So thank you."
It was the love of her life.
Beautiful. Sexy. Dangerous.
The ultimate man of mystery—-
The man who first had hatred and vengeance in his heart when he met her...but now...
He was the one who loved Tahey the most, and when he took her in his arms, she just couldn't help it.
Standing on her toes, she cupped his cheeks and kissed her inhibitions goodbye as she covered his mouth with hers.
I love you.
She showered his face with kisses.
And thank you.
When she rocked back to her heels, she looked up, and it was then she saw that it was really Christmas.
Behind them, she heard the billionaire's friends curse in shock.
Because Dmitry's lips were curving.
"Well, damn me," she heard her dad mutter. "My daughter told me the man had dimples, but I thought she was just hallucinating."
A deep flush stained Dmitry's high-boned cheeks, but to his credit, Dmitry managed to take the higher road and ignore everyone's laughter.
"I love your dimples, Dmitry," Tahey couldn't help saying dreamily. "They're so beautiful." While the words were sweet as fuck, it was unfortunately something the other men heard as well—-
Tahey peeked at her husband's expression. Oh no. She had been hoping his F-bomb was the I-find-you-hot-kind-of-fuck, but the way he was now eyeing her neck...
"I'm sorry," she said in a rush, "and I love you so, so, so much, and please don't forget that you love me, too?"
"Fuck." But this time, Dmitry was cursing himself in resignation. He was Dmitry Adrianov, the leader of the world's most powerful vigilante organization, and yet when it came to his small, beautiful wife, he instantly became the world's biggest pushover.
He cupped her chin, and doe eyes filled with fear and love gazed up at him.
Who the hell was he kidding, thinking he could ever get mad at Tahey again?
She stopped breathing, waiting for the axe to fall.
"Merry Christmas, baby."
The other men in the room groaned, but this time Dmitry had no problems ignoring them. Because the moment he saw Tahey's eyes fill up with tears, it was then he heard a voice he had never thought to hear again—-
Merry Christmas, big brother.
And Dmitry's own eyes began to sting.
I never wanted you, Sasha, or Drake to do anything about my death.
Only thing I wanted was for you to be happy.
So please...stay that way.
The feel of Tahey's fingers touching his cheek made Dmitry open his eyes.
"Dmitry? What's wrong?"
He caught her hand.
Kissed her fingers one by one.
"On the contrary, everything's alright."
And as he pulled Tahey close, he closed his eyes for one last moment—-
Merry Christmas, Paige, and you have my word. We'll stay happy for the rest of our lives. So you be happy too, and if you can, give the big guy a hug for me.