Forever with Me / Page 36

Page 36

“You’re such a lady,” Blake smirks.

“I don’t have to be a lady when you feed me this,” I say, and take a sip of wine, eyeing Dom over my glass. “He doesn’t feed me this very often,” I inform my sexy Italian.

“You always tell me the pasta will make you gain fifty pounds,” Blake reminds me.

“It will.”

“Women,” Blake says with a shake of his head.

Dominic leans in and whispers in my ear, “Your body is perfect.” He kisses my cheek and returns to his meal.

Blake doesn’t miss a thing. He grins widely. “This is nice.”

“Emily will be here tomorrow morning,” I say, trying to change the subject. “She and I will start handling the nitty gritty things.”

“Nitty gritty?” Dom asks with a smile.

“The little things,” I reply. “Greeting the florist for tomorrow’s flowers, and meeting with her about Saturday’s flowers. Placing calls. Picking up favors, double-checking the guest list and forwarding it on to security.” I sip my wine and continue to tick items off in my head, then blink and look around. “Sorry.”

“I already spoke with Emily,” Blake says nonchalantly, and won’t look me in the eye as he cuts his turkey.

“When?” I ask.

“Last night,” he replies.

Last night?

“There wasn’t an event last night,” I say, and chew on my own turkey.

“No, there wasn’t,” Blake replies. I glance up at Dominic to find him watching me closely. I can’t tell what he’s thinking, but he quirks a brow at me and I shrug.

“But you saw her last night?” I ask in confusion.

“I did.”

“Did you enjoy yourselves?” Dominic asks and sips his wine as I stare at Blake in shock.

Blake and Emily?

“Very much,” Blake says with a grin.

“You’re seeing Emily.” It isn’t a question.

“Problem?” Blake asks defiantly.

I set my fork down and clear my throat. “It’s Emily.”

“We’ve established that, Leash.” Blake’s mouth is set in a firm line.

“I know you,” I murmur quietly.

“As do I,” Dominic interrupts, still the epitome of calm. “And because I do, I know Emily will be well taken care of.” He takes my hand in his and kisses my fingers, and then says in a low voice, “Don’t say something you’ll regret.”

I look back and forth between these men and swallow hard.

“Jealous?” Blake asks and winks at me, trying to be funny.

“I love you both,” I reply honestly. “You’re two of my dearest friends, and I don’t have many of those, Blake. So if this falls apart, and I have to choose—”

“God, you’re dramatic,” Blake says with a roll of the eyes.

“I’m being honest,” I insist.

“I’m dating her, yes.”

“Are you fucking her?”

“Alecia,” Dom says, with a shake of his head.

“Yes, I am, Leash,” Blake replies frankly.

“This has disaster written all over it,” I mutter, and take a long drink of my wine.

“She’s different,” Blake says, and stares down into his wine. “I don’t have the urge to run away from her.”

“There are things you don’t know, Blake.” I shake my head and think back on the long conversations that Emily and I have had about her abusive past.

“I know,” he replies and pins me in his sober gaze, the one I don’t see often. “And I’m sticking for as long as she’ll have me.”

I stare at my friend, Dom’s hand still in mine, holding on to me tightly.

“Be nice to her,” I say quietly. “She deserves to have someone be nice to her.”

“I’ve been very nice to her,” he replies with a cocky wink.

“God, you’re a pig.” I scowl at him, but soften when he lets out a belly laugh.

“You’ve never warned me off a woman before,” he says.

“I’ve always found out about them long after they left your bed,” I remind him, and then turn to Dominic. “If I’d known them beforehand, I would have told them to run screaming in the other direction.”

“Oh, they scream all right.”

“Yuck,” I grumble, and then chuckle as I drink more wine. “Have you always been so disgusting?”

“Pretty much,” he replies, as he clears his plate. “Don’t worry, Leash.”

“Worry is my middle name,” I remind him.

He sighs and finishes his wine. “I’m going to head out.” He reaches for his dishes, but Dominic waves him off.

“I’ll handle this,” he says.

“You cooked,” I say with a grin.

“I usually cook and clean when you’re around,” he says as he stands.

“That’s bullshit. I like to clean.”

Blake laughs. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Drive safe,” Dom says with a wave, as Blake lets himself out. He sips his wine thoughtfully as I finish my dinner and sigh in contentment.

“I wish he’d tell me how he makes this mac n’ cheese,” I grumble, as I gather dishes. Dom stands and helps me, and soon we are bustling about the kitchen silently, each of us lost in our thoughts as we clean.

I stack the last plate into the washer and close the door and look up to find Dom leaning his hips against the counter top, his arms crossed over his chest, watching me quietly.

“What’s wrong?” I ask.

He shakes his head and frowns. “Nothing is wrong.”

“What’s on your mind?”

“You really are just friends. With Blake.”

I tilt my head. “Don’t tell me you were feeling threatened by Blake.”

“I wouldn’t call it threatened,” he replies and rubs his fingers over his lips. “I’ve never spent any significant time with both of you before. I can see that you care about each other, but not on an intimate level.”

I nod slowly. “Like I said, he’s one of my dearest friends. We had a physical relationship a long time ago.” His nostrils flare at that, his eyes narrow, just a bit, but he listens calmly. “It was obvious that we’re much better as friends. He means a lot to me. He’s the one person in my life that I know will never leave me.”

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