Tessa was less than stellar company and Lisa’s attitude felt kind of forced, but they both got caught up in the joy and laughter at times, too. (Though Tessa would often then look like she felt guilty). And I figured it was good for Lucas and Antonio, too.
As it was the night before our wedding, Tommy and I were to be separated at Luc and Sarah’s insistence. I was to sleep in Lisa’s room with her. After midnight, Tommy and I were to be kept apart. He and Dare were about to walk to the beachside patio with a bottle of booze when he kissed me goodnight.
“See you tomorrow,” he said huskily against my lips.
“Yours at last,” I whispered.
“You were mine from the day I saw you stacking ice cream cones. Knew it in my gut. But tomorrow? Cannot fucking wait.”
“I can’t wait, either,” I whispered against his lips.
“No?” he asked. His eyes were intense. He looked at me like he was trying to find doubt. “No cold feet?”
“My toes are toasty warm,” I advised and got up on my tippy toes to kiss him some more. “You?” I asked.
“You’re fucking kidding, right?” The kiss went heated and I was pinned against the wall in the alcove by the front door. There was laughter in the big kitchen where the girls were getting the kids a bedtime snack and then were putting them to bed so we could have a little bachelorette party.
“Be in bed by midnight so you don’t turn into a pumpkin,” he advised, squeezing my butt.
“You’ll be back around midnight?” I asked.
He nodded. “Probably soon after. You be in bed so I don’t see you and give any of the girls a heart attack.”
“Okay. I love you. Can’t wait to marry you tomorrow.”
“Me, too. Can’t wait till the wedding night. Show you who this hot body belongs to.”
“Haven’t you been doing that?” I teased.
He gave me a wink and a look of dark promise that made my belly dip.
“You ain’t seen nothing yet, my little goddess.”
And on that parting note, he slipped outside.
I watched him walk down to the patio area where he slapped his brother on the shoulder and sat down at the table with him.
God, I love him so much.
Dare, and I wandered to the dock with the bottle of top shelf whisky and sat on some wooden patio chairs. I had one new one out. He sat in that one.
“Not bad,” he said, smoothing his hand across the armrest.
I shrugged. It was a godsend, actually, finding something to do. It kept my mind busy, always enjoyed building things, and it gave me an escape from the mayhem of my family being here. Wasn’t easy seeing Contessa in her grief, seeing how lost my little nephews were, how the older of the two spent so much time watching my sister --- worrying about her.
Dare and I’d had a few productive conversations, too, about things. He absolutely had it all under control with Ferrano Enterprises, which put my mind somewhat at ease. We were meeting Zack in San Jose after the wedding to talk about shit. He’d been keeping an eye on a list of our potential foes since Pop’s death and was gonna be here on another project so said he’d give us an in-person update.
Tonight, we were grabbing a drink to get out of the girls’ way while waiting for Nino and Bianca to arrive. Nino was a good friend and head of security, so I wanted him here for both reasons. And, Bianca was Tia’s family. They barely knew one another but had seemed to get tight quickly, so I figured she’d be happy to have her blood here for the wedding.
The driver would then be taking us to a little bar not far away. Ed was still inside, saying goodnight to Luc and the kids so Dare and I were killing time.
“Weird being here and no one knowin’ where we are, who we are,” Dare remarked, staring out at the water, lighting a cigar and passing me one, too.
“Yeah,” I agreed, giving it a whiff of appreciation, but putting it in my pocket for later. “One way, it’s great--- the anonymity. In another way, almost rather people know who I am so they fear
me. People too easily approach otherwise. Aruba was eye opening. Not in a good way, either.” I took a swig from the bottle and passed it to my brother.