CHAPTER THIRTY ONE
It's a strange feeling, getting engaged to your husband. The thought makes me laugh. We really have done things all over the place, with no real order to our relationship. It's messy, but it's ours and I love it. The girls got a kick out of it too. They were beyond excited for me, momentarily forgetting that I'm already married. I've been on cloud nine for the past 3 days as I work on the new Dallas corporate office. I like Dallas. I feel like I have more freedom here than in New York. Sure, there's still the odd phone camera that comes out every now and then, but otherwise I'm relatively unknown here.
Chase stayed for five days before having to head home. We spent every non-working hour in the hotel room. While we had planned to go out on dates, we never actually managed to get out the door. But I don't mind. I just want to be in Chases company, no matter where we are.
My minds still reeling from the news of my parents. I understand why Chase didn't tell me, and I try not to let the threat of them get into my head. Ethan thinks I'm safe here and I have to trust that. Not to mention Rafael putting me under his protection, so I have the entire fucking Italian mafia looking out for me. They'd honestly be stupid to try anything.
The elevator stops on the top floor, opening up to the penthouse suite I'm staying in. It's my last night in Dallas and I honestly can't wait to get home to Chase. As I step out of the elevator my phone rings and I scramble to find it in the bottom of my hand bag. A smile forms on my lips and all tension leaves my body when I see Ethan's name on the screen. I'm never quite relaxed when he's on deployment, there's always that little bit of worry in the back of my mind that something will happen to him. Hitting the accept button I bring the phone to my ear.
“Hey bro.” I say into the phone.
“Hey sis! I hear congratulations are in order.” Ethan’s cheery voice calls through the phone. I laugh, as I dump my bag on the side table and wander towards the couch.
“They are. Thank you.” I say. I plonk down on the couch and bring my feet under my body.
“I'm happy for you, he seems like a good guy.” He says.
“He is.” I tell him. The smile doesn't leave my face thinking about Chase. “Are you back home?” I ask.
“Yeah, just got in and thought I'd check in.” he tells me.
“I'm glad you're home safe.” I say softly. I can hear him rummaging around through the phone, I'm guessing he's unpacking and repacking his go bag, a task he completes as soon as he returns. “So Chase told me about our parents.” I tell him. I hear Ethan sigh into the phone.
“Yeah, that's one of the reasons I called.” He says. I bite my lip, anxiety slowly building in my body at the thought of our parents.
“What have they done?” I ask, bracing myself for whatever Ethan is about to tell me.
“Nothing.” He says. I furrow my brows in confusion.
“Nothing?” I ask.
“Nope. They packed up and left, went back to Queensland a week ago.” He tells me. I blink slowly, wondering if I heard him right.
“That doesn't make sense…” I say softly, thinking that they must be up to something.
“Well, you know that little problem you had that you call Rafael about?” Ethan asks. I nod my head before realising he cannot see me.
“Yeah?” I say.
“It seems he took the opportunity to send a message to anyone who would ever consider messing with you at the same time.” He tells me. I don't know how I feel about that. I'm glad that my parents seem to have walked away before they even tried anything, but knowing it's because of another bunch of criminal’s turns my stomach. Don't get me wrong, I love the Valentino's dearly. I just don't particularly like their chosen profession. “It's a good thing Kate.” Ethan says with a sigh.
“Yeah... I know.” I say unconvinced.
“And now you can come home.” Ethan states.
“Oh... umm…” I chew on my lip, trying to find the courage to tell him I'm not coming home. Ethan's chuckle fills my ear.
“I know you aren't coming home for good sis. But come back to visit, move your things and let us give you a proper farewell.” He says. I smile, thinking about seeing everyone again.
“Yeah I can do that. I'll talk to Chase when I get back to New York.” I tell him.
“Where are you now?” he asks, concern evident in his voice.
“In Dallas.” I tell him.
“Alone?” I roll my eyes at his protective big brother mode.
“Yes, but I'm staying at a Caldwell owned hotel... I'm perfectly safe.” I assure him.
“Ok... well let me know when you're back in New York.” He says with a sigh.
“I can look after myself you know.” I say, pouting my lips.
“I know... I just... you're my baby sister, I worry about you.” He says softly.
“I know, but I promise I'm ok.” I tell him.
“Alright... well I better let you go, I need to get some sleep.” He says with a yawn.
“Ok E... love you.” I tell him softly.
“Love you too sis.” He says. We say goodbye and hang up. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, knowing that Ethan is safe at home and my parents aren't in Perth sniffing around. Although I doubt they will give up that easily, for now they won't be an issue. I smile at the thought of going back to Perth. Of showing Chase my old stomping grounds. Hopefully, we can go sooner rather than later.
The flight from Dallas to New York felt long. Or maybe it was because I was full of anticipation that it seemed longer than it actually was. I just wanted to get home to Chase. It still amazes me that I'm that girl, that I'm so head over heels for a guy, that I literally feel like I will die if I go to long without him.
As I walk through arrivals, pulling my luggage behind me, I search for the driver that Chase sent amongst the crowds and flashes of phone cameras. While I was happy to just grab a taxi, Chase was adamant that he send a town car to pick me up, and I couldn't say no to him. I spy a cardboard sign saying Mrs Caldwell over the heads of the many travellers and make my way towards it, trying my best to ignore the people determined to take my picture. I don't look my best, opting for comfort for the flight with a pair of skinny jeans and a pink shirt, none of which are designer names. I'm sure I'll be crucified for it in the media tomorrow.
As I get closer to the person holding my name, the people part to make way, leaving a direct view of an incredibly handsome man in a designer suit and a stunning smile. My breath hitches and I match his smile with my own.
“Chase!” I call out excitedly. I close the gap between us quickly, dropping my suitcase when I'm within arm’s reach and launching myself into his arms. He catches me with ease, letting out a chuckle as I wrap my legs around him and crash my lips on his. “I thought you were sending a town car, not coming yourself.” I say with a massive smile. He shrugs, still holding me to him, one arm wrapped snug around my waist, the other under my ass holding me up.
“I did both, I didn't want to spend another second away from you.” He says sheepishly. My heart flutters as I push my lips against his.
“I missed you.” I say honestly.
“From now on we coordinate better so we can travel together.” He tells me. I nod my head in agreement. I giggle as he lets me down and moves to grab my suitcase. He wraps his arm securely around my waist and guides me towards the exit. I'm oblivious to the cameras and chatter around us, my eyes only on the man that stole my heart.
Chase guides me to the car where a man opens the door and takes my luggage from Chase, I sit in the back seat and scoot over to let Chase in. As soon as the door closes behind Chase he grabs me and pulls me onto his lap so I'm straddling him. Chase moves a wayward piece of hair behind my ear and gently strokes my cheek.
“Fuck I missed you.” He says. I smile and kiss him, my heart beating wildly in my chest. When we pull away, I rest my forehead against his as his hands gently rub my sides. “So how was Dallas after I left?” he asks.
“It was good. Everything is in order now so I only have to check in with the team via phone. I'll go back in a month to check the progress in person.” I say. “Oh and I spoke to Ethan yesterday.” I add.
“He's ok?” Chase asks. I nod and pull back to look at Chase.
“Yeah. He's home again. He also said that our parents have backed off.” I tell him. Chases eyes furrow in confusion.
“Seriously? Why would they?” he asks. I shrug my shoulders.
“Apparently Rafael sent a message not to mess with me.” I say. He smiles and I can see the relief in his eyes.
“I like that man. I've never met him, but I like him.” He says. I giggle and place a chaste kiss on Chase’s lips. “So that means you can give me that tour of Australia.” He continues. I smile widely, unable to contain my excitement of the prospect of going home, even if just for a little while.
“So when do you want to go?” he asks, smiling at my obvious excitement.
“How about after Dallas is finished?” I say. Chase nods and kisses my nose.
“Sounds like a plan.” I smile and snuggle into his chest, Chases arms wrapped around me tight. It's only now that I'm aware of the car moving. “Have you had a chance to think about our wedding?” Chase asks. I smile and sit back up to look at him.
“Well... I thought I always wanted some big, over the top glamorous wedding...” I tell him.
“You don't?” he asks. I shake my head.
“No, after attending some of the high class events, I realized I much prefer the casual, relaxed parties I'm used to.” I say. Chase chuckles.
“Those snobby events are boring as hell.” He says with a roll of his eyes. I can't help but laugh.
“I thought you enjoyed them?” I asked, wondering if anyone actually does.
“God no! I've always hated them, but I know I have to play the part so I do it... I've never actually attended anything low key though.” He says. I grin and bite my lip.
“Well then... why don't we get married in Australia? Have an outdoor wedding, followed by a party with just our family and friends?” I say. Chase grins and kisses my lips softly.
“That sounds perfect.” We stare into each other's eyes, grinning like idiots as the car pulls into the underground car park of our building. Chase wastes no time when we enter our gaudy pink apartment. Dumping my luggage on the floor he's on me before the door closes, tearing at my clothes and kissing me senseless.
Before I know it we have left a trail of clothes and destruction between the foyer and the hallway leading to our bedroom. We didn't make it to the bedroom, both of us so hungry for each other he took me against the hallway table. It was primal, animalistic and after my second orgasm, Chase finally released in a violent matter inside me. As I come down from my high and feeling returns to my legs I can't help but giggle as I see the damage caused on our path. Chase turns to look at the mess behind us and chuckles.
“That's what happens when I don't see you for days.” He comments. I bite my lip and look at him through my lashes.
“I should go away more often.” I say with a satisfied grin.
“Fuck no!” Chase exclaims. He holds me tight, our sweaty naked bodies against each other. “I'll give it to you rough any time you want baby, you don't need to leave for that.” I place a kiss on his stubbly chin.
“Promise?” I ask, looking at him through my lashes. He growls and picks me up, taking the two steps we didn't make into the bedroom he throws me on the bed and pounces on top of me.
“Absofuckinglutely.” His lips crash on mine and we lose ourselves in round two.