I ignore him. I cannot believe Kate is doing this.
“Kate! This is nothing to do with you.” I glare venomously at her, anger replacing my fear. How dare she do this? Not now, not today. Not on Christian’s birthday.
Sign your relationship is not good #1: Your BFF finds the nondisclosure agreement in your boyfriend’s jacket pocket and wonders if you’re OK, and you get mad at her just because she’s honestly concerned about you. You’re more concerned about not ruining his birthday.
She’s a beacon of hostility in a slinky, bright red dress. She looks magnificent. But what the hell is she going through my clothes for? It’s usually the other way round.
“I love you so much, Ana, like my own sister. I just thought . . . I didn’t know what to think. I’m sorry. If you’re happy, then I’m happy.” She looks directly at Christian and repeats her apology. He nods at her, his eyes glacial, and his expression does not change. Oh shit, he’s still mad.
Seriously, Christian is an asshole.
And to think our evening could have been derailed by the tenacious Miss Kavanagh. I shudder at the thought—the ramifications of Christian’s lifestyle revealed to all. Holy cow.
Christian raises his glass to the rest of the room, and immediately everyone surges forward. Leading the charge is the evil woman in black. Does she ever wear any other color?
“Christian, I was so worried.” Elena gives him a brief hug and kisses both his cheeks. He doesn’t let me go despite the fact I try to free my hand.
There are general gasps of astonishment, the odd cheer, and then a round of applause! Jeez—this is really happening. I think I am the color of Kate’s dress. Christian grasps my chin, lifts my lips to his, and kisses me quickly.
“You’ll soon be mine.”
“I am already,” I whisper.
“Legally,” he mouths at me and gives me a wicked grin.
Wow! What a good sign! He views her as a possession and not a person! This bodes well for their marriage, don’t you think?
“You’re making a big mistake here, lady.” She shakes a long, skinny, finely manicured finger at me. “How dare you judge our lifestyle? You know nothing, and you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. And if you think he’s going to be happy with a mousy little gold-digger like you . . .”
That’s it! I throw the rest of my lemon martini in her face, drenching her.
“Don’t you dare tell me what I’m getting myself into!” I shout at her. “When will you learn? It’s none of your goddamned business!”
Time seems suspended as we collectively take a deep gasping breath, and Grace stalks deliberately into the room. Her eyes blaze with fury, never once leaving Elena, until she stands before her. Elena’s eyes widen in alarm, and Grace slaps her hard across the face, the sound of the impact resounding off the walls of the dining room.
“Take your filthy paws off my son, you whore, and get out of my house—now!” she hisses through gritted teeth.
He gazes down at me, and in the glow of the strip of light coming from inside the boathouse, I can see he’s anxious. My anxious man, not a white knight or a dark knight, but a man—a beautiful, not-quite-so-fucked-up man—whom I love.
He grins, relieved, and slowly slides the ring on my finger. It’s beautiful, an oval diamond in a platinum ring. Jeez—it’s big . . . Big, but oh-so-simple and stunning in its simplicity.
Oh, and it looks like she got her cubic zirconia from her venture capitalist after all!
And that’s a wrap for this week! Next week we start the final book! Are you just as excited as I am!