“She never would.”
“The second hardest part was meeting the siblings.” He laughs now, and brushes his knuckle down my cheek. “That was not easy. But over the past year, we’ve come to know each other, and most importantly, trust each other.”
“It’s a big, overwhelming, amazing family.” I smile, as I think of the whole family. “They are the funnest people I know.”
“Me too.” He chuckles. “I’m lucky to have them. They’ll never be a pain in my ass.”
“They’re lucky to have you,” I whisper. “Natalie’s baby shower for Olivia was my first job with them. That was more than two years ago now. I’ve helped with every wedding, shower, birthday party, and major event since then. I think you’re all lucky.”
“Who’s lucky to have you, cara?”
I blink at him, and just then my phone beeps with an incoming text.
Saved by the bell.
I glance down and then laugh.
“What is it?”
“One of my brides. She’s changed her flower choices four times already, and her wedding is in three months. I don’t even know why she’s bothering. The marriage will be over inside of eighteen months.”
“That’s a cynical attitude for a wedding planner,” Dom says dryly.
“Just because I plan a good party, doesn’t mean I believe in love.” I glance up to see him cock a brow and wait for me to continue. “Let’s just say that I’m not a firm believer in happily ever after, and yes, I’m speaking from experience, and no, I’m not telling you that story tonight.”
“A story for another night, then.”
“Or a story for never.” I take a deep breath and stretch, and as I look around, I realize that night has fallen and the stars are twinkling brightly around us. “It’s late. I have to be up early.”
Dom stands and helps me to my feet, then escorts me inside and up to my room, just down the hall from his own room.
I hope I don’t pick now to start sleep walking, because he has me so tied up in knots I’ll most likely end up in his room, crawling into bed with him.
“Thanks for walking me up,” I say, when we reach my door. “And thanks for the story. I enjoyed it.”
“Much to my surprise, so did I. I haven’t told that story before.” I’m facing him, but not touching him. I can smell his body wash and that scent that’s simply Dominic, and my whole body tightens.
What is up with the chemistry between us?
Before I can turn away, he gently glides his knuckles down my cheek, then lifts the other hand and cups my neck and jaw, and the air around us is shimmering with longing and lust. He leans down and sweeps his lips lightly over mine and then, just like yesterday, kisses me tenderly, nipping at my lips gently. Finally, he pulls back just an inch to catch his breath and tips his forehead against my own.
“Sleep well, cara,” he whispers, as he pulls me against him for a long, firm hug. Even in my heels, I fit just under his chin, and being pressed against his chest is the best feeling ever. He’s hard and warm and…comfortable.
I could stay here all night.
So I do the only thing that makes sense and I pull slowly away, not even trying to mask the confusion and longing that must be on my face.
“Sleep well, Dominic.”
He watches me with heated blue eyes as I turn away and close the door to my room behind me, then lean my back against the smooth wood.
How can a man kiss me like it’s the first time…again?
I wipe the fog off the mirror in my larger than life bathroom and stare at my bloodshot eyes.
Damn sexy Italian.
I slept like shit because all I could think about was the way his lips feel on mine, how standing in his arms is the safest I’ve ever felt, and that sexy accent of his when he speaks Italian is enough to melt a girl’s panties at twenty paces.
I have too much to do today to have him on my mind. I have to keep my head in the game. My eyes on the prize. My…crap, what’s that metaphor about the target?
Either way, I don’t have time to get all moony over Dominic Salvatore.
Just as I begin to rub lotion into my still-wet legs, there’s a knock on my door.
While shrugging into a robe, I pad across the bedroom and open the door to find a smiling Celeste holding a breakfast tray.
“Mr. Salvatore asked me to bring you something to eat. Can I set this inside for you?”
“You didn’t have to do that,” I reply, and reach out to take the tray from her. “Thank you, I’ll take it.”
“It’s no problem. And just between you and me?” She laughs and crosses her arms over her chest. “He chose everything on that tray. It was actually very…surprising.”
“I’ve never seen him take so much interest in breakfast before. Have a good day.”
She waves and leaves, and I carry the tray to the seating area before the window. The silver tray is covered in a cream colored cloth, and boasts a small vase with a single pink tulip, making me grin and my heart soften, just a bit.
Under the silver dome lid, I find scrambled eggs, bacon and yogurt.
And he even remembered how I take my tea.
He’s not just a sexy Italian. He’s a sweet sexy Italian.
As I nibble a piece of bacon and sniff at the soft pink petals of the tulip, I notice a small white card with my name written in bold handwriting.
Inside is a note.
Good morning. I hope you slept more soundly than I did. Couldn’t stop thinking about how badly I wanted to keep kissing you, and mess up your gorgeous hair. Thank you for listening last night.
I read it three more times with a silly grin on my face, and feel my belly fill with gigantic butterflies.
Oh boy. What in the hell am I going to do with him?
“I don’t give a shit if every hole has been dug, you’re going to fill them and re-dig them.”
Isaac Montgomery, the eldest of the Montgomery clan, is pissed, and for good reason. The person in charge of digging holes for the tent measured incorrectly.
“You got it, boss.”
“Mark,” he calls over to Mark Williams, another member of the huge family, and a part of Isaac’s crew. “How is the arbor coming?”
Mark cringes and joins us. “Hey, Alecia.”
“Hi, Mark. What are you doing here today?”
“Scott’s kid came down with appendicitis, so I’m taking over this job.” He turns to Isaac. “We don’t have enough supplies. One of the guys forgot to restock his truck last night.”