For the rest of the night, we talked and drank like normal couples do, sneaking little glances at each other throughout the night but nothing overly excessive. Once he had a few drinks in him, he loosened up enough to ask me to dance and after a few twirls around the floor, he escorted me outside to the terrace.
The landscaping was impeccable and each tree was decorated with fairy lights and white mesh. The tables were adorned with white table cloths and a gold sequin runner. Three white candles, one of every size, wrapped in burlap string sat atop a shiny gold charger.
One of the tables was set with two beautiful crystal glasses and a bucket of ice with a very expensive bottle of champagne. Looking at him in confusion, he smiled softly and pulled one of the chairs out for me. I sat down then watched as he popped the cork, filled our glasses and walked over to me.
“When I was growing up, holidays were never special to me and as I got older I avoided them as much as I could. But in just the few short months that I’ve known you, I can’t imagine spending another one alone or without you.” He paused while he rubbed the back of his neck then said, “What I’m trying to say, Brittany, is will you be my girlfriend?”
Being stunned was an understatement. I was completely blown away by his question, to say the least. So much so that my words failed me as he stared back at me awkwardly waiting for a reply. Once I realized I had been sitting there opening and closing my mouth like a fish, I shook my head yes, slowly, still unsure if I heard him correctly when he pulled me up from the chair.
Just before he had a chance to seal my answer with a kiss, the patio doors swung open and everyone began filing out, interrupting our perfect moment.
Eli slapped him on the back and said, “It’s almost midnight man.”
Never taking his eyes off me, he smiled as everyone began counting down the seconds to the new year. He pulled me closer and when the clock struck 12, he pressed his lips to mine in the most soft, sultry kiss we had ever shared. My knees went weak and my heart began pounding in my chest as he ran his tongue against my lips, silently begging for me to part them.
Fireworks were popping all around us while we stood there looking into each others eyes, like we were the only two people on the planet. Time stood still as the man before me said everything he needed to say in that one look. He trusted me, he was willing to give us a chance and guilt flooded my mind.
I had been lying to him about who I really was, the masked Russian dignitary's daughter who needed to be a well trained wife to her future husband. When really I was doing all of this for him but would he see it that way when he found out?
Looking down to the ground to avoid his stare, I inwardly cringed at the lies I had been keeping from everyone. Not only was Tara oblivious to my second life but now my boyfriend was in the dark about who he would be spanking at DN and Mistress had no idea what I was up to either. How could one personal decision snowball into such chaos in a matter of a few months?
He lifted my head and said, "Regretting your decision already?"
I knew that he was joking but the worried look on his face made me feel even worse. "Never. I'm just tired and the alcohol isn't helping any."
"We can go home if you want."
"No, I'll be fine. Plus you can't leave your own company's Christmas party."
"It wouldn't be the first time. Besides, I managed to stay until midnight, which is an improvement for me."
"Ethan!" Kellan shouted from across the patio.
"Excuse me, Brittany."
I nodded as he walked towards the doors and slipped inside behind his partners. When I turned around Mistress was standing there with her arms folded across her chest and the scariest look on her face.
"So, you two are dating now?"
I shuffled back and forth from one foot to the other as she stared at me waiting for an answer. I felt like a puppy who had just peed on the carpet, pleading with my owner not to hit me with the newspaper but I knew it wouldn't work and if I had any money at all, I would bet every dime that tomorrow night she would be making me pay for it.
"Yes." I said as she pinched the bridge of her nose.
"This is...I don't even know. I must be crazy because all I can think about is whipping your ass until you can't sit for a month for the shit you have put me through."
"I know I'm asking for a lot but you have to promise me that you won't say a word, please."
After a few minutes of silence she finally spoke. "I won't say anything Britt but you have to understand how deceitful this is and the potential for a disaster you have created. The longer you go without saying anything the worst it will be and he doesn't deserve that. Not again." She turned on her heel and walked towards the parking lot where the valet was waiting with her car.
Watching as she got in and took off, her words weighed on my conscious and even though I knew she was right, I still wasn't going to say anything to him.
Ethan walked up behind me and wrapped his arms around me as he kissed my temple and said, "Ready to go?"
Nodding yes, I turned around and still couldn't believe that this wonderful man was my boyfriend. Thinking back to when we first met, I never would have imagined we would be here but here we were, two people with secrets that will never be told.
We walked hand in hand to his car and once we were inside we drove silently to his house. He pulled into the driveway and my head began to spin, I didn't think I had drank that much but that last glass of champagne must have gotten to me.
He opened my door and I tried to get out but instead I fell into his arms.
"Whoa! Had a little too much to drink did we?"
The giggle that escaped my lips was infectious because soon he was laughing as he tried to get me to the front door without both of us toppling over. When we finally made it, he leaned me against his chest to unlock the door. He fumbled with the keypad while I ran my hands up and down his back, inhaling deeply the smell of his cologne.
A beeping sound pulled me out of my drunken state and once the door was open he picked me up in his arms and carried me to his bedroom. As soon as I felt the soft bedding beneath me, my eyes closed and darkness consumed me.
I woke up with a pounding headache and when I opened my eyes I was pretty sure my retina's had just been burned from the bright light peering in through the window. Looking around, I wasn't sure where I was until I heard the shower turn off and a very sexy Ethan emerged from the bathroom with a towel around his waist and beads of water running down his chiseled body from his wet hair.
He chuckled at my lack of response, no doubt because I was too busy wiping the drool from my mouth at the delicious sight before me.
I cleared my throat and said, "Good morning."
"Are you hungry? I can make us something to eat or we can go out." He said as he walked to his closet and put on a pair of dark wash jeans and a tight grey shirt.
It took everything I had not to jump on him, especially since he looked just as good with clothes on as he did with them off.
Giving him a smirk I said, "You know how to cook?"
"Yes, Brittany, I know how to cook. It may not be five star like yours but I make a mean protein shake."
Giving him a look I said, "I'm going to take a shower and when I get out, I'll cook us breakfast."
"That sounds amazing." He said as he leaned down pecking my cheek. "There are towels in the closet and I'll put out some clothes for you."
Jumping in the shower, I couldn't help but smile as I remembered our sweet moment last night and how thoughtful he was to have planned it all out. He was an amazing man and I was grateful to have him in my life.
After I washed up, I got out and dried off then headed back into his room where he had one of his t-shirts and a pair of boxers on the bed waiting for me. I could hear him fiddling with something in the kitchen when I walked out and when I reached the island, I saw it full of bowls, pots, utensils and tons of ingredients to make just about anything I wanted.
"You have full access to anything you see in here. If you don't have something you need I can get it, the market is just down the road."
"I think I have more than enough. How about strawberry stuffed French toast with rum infused maple syrup?"
His eyes lit up and he said, "I haven't had French toast in years."
There was something behind his smile that made me feel as if there was a story there but I didn't ask in case it would have ruined our morning.
His phone rang from his room and he got up to answer it, giving me the best view of his backside as he ran up the stairs.
"Hi Marshall...What...When...I'll be there as soon as I can."
Ethan is so romantic and head over heels for Britt. But how much longer can she keep up these lies?
Mistress is one sneaky little devil but what she said is true. Britt better start being honest about her life or she could lose Ethan.
Holy crap, what do you think happened?