I’m disarmed. Feeling him hold me like this, almost tender, I can’t help but relax. Still, I can’t just roll over. Not after what he’s put me through.
“You were kind of an asshole,” I tell him, my head still resting against his chest.
I feel him chuckle.
“It’s not funny.” I push him away. “Do you have any idea how humiliated I was, with Xander walking in? And then you just ordered me out of there.”
“I’m sorry.” Dom looks sincere. “I didn’t know what to do, I wasn’t expecting him. I know, I shouldn’t have treated you like that. It’s just… Fuck, Xander. He’s always ruining everything.”
He looks so frustrated, my heart melts a little.
“But it can’t be that bad,” I say hesitantly. “He doesn’t have control of the company. You do.”
Dom shakes his head. “He’s going to cause problems. There’s a reason my father left me fifty-one percent of this company. Xander is exactly the ally that Blaine Prescott needs to bring me down.”
“Xander would sell out the hotel?” I exclaim, shocked.
“Not on purpose, no,” Dom admits. “Xander isn’t disloyal. He’s just reckless. Careless and impulsive and needy. He leaves a trail of destruction in his wake, and I’ve spent our entire fucking lives cleaning up after him!”
I can see it on his face, the weight of responsibility. Not just for the company, or his family’s legacy, but for his brother too.
I remember what he said that first night at the Drake. No one is ever waiting for me. He has no one to listen. No one to understand. Nobody except me.
“No one tells you, do they?”
“Tells me what?” he asks.
My heart aches for him. I have Callie and Emily to keep me on my game, to encourage me. Dominic is the strength and the backbone of this hotel, but he’s all alone.
“That you’re doing a good job.”
His brow crinkles as if he can’t comprehend what I’m saying. I worry that I’ve overstepped. I’m not sure why that came spilling out, but I mean it. And he needs to hear it.
I step forward, and press a kiss to his lips. Dominic relaxes against me, and for one blissful moment, it’s like nothing else matters in the world.
The ringing of his phone breaks the moment. Dominic pulls back and grabs his cellphone. “Hold on,” he orders, before turning back to me. “Eight o’clock tonight. Dress up.”
Dom gives me a determined look.
“We’re going to finish what we started.”
“God, what I wouldn’t give to be the tasty filling in the middle of a Rexford sandwich.”
“Ew!” I throw my lipstick at where Callie’s laying on my bed, staring at pictures of Dom and Xander in the gossip columns. I’m trying to get ready for my date tonight, but I’m panicking because I don’t know what Dominic has planned. Dinner? A club? An all-night sex marathon over his desk? I want to be prepared, but it’s hard picking an outfit when I don’t know if it’s meant to be admired or ripped off.
“No, not the blue.” Emily stops me as I reach for a short, tight number. “Go with black, it’s always a classic.”
I pull on the dress and look in the mirror, having flashbacks from when the girls helped me get ready the first night I met Dom. Then, I felt way out of character getting so dressed up, but tonight my reflection looks more like myself. I wonder if I’ve changed since then, and whether that’s a good thing. So much has happened in just a few short weeks. I let out a whimper.