I can’t find the stupid zip of this stupid dress and I feel utterly stupid.
"Come out already."
"Yeah Jae, come out."
"We ain’t got all day lil’ girl."
I would’ve come out a lot sooner if it wasn’t for this frumpy stupid dress that made my every step a mission. My cast was off but my leg was a bit sleepy so I had to implore it with slow careful lurches. Chin-lee, Blair and Walter decided to accompany me during the dress hunting for a wedding happening in less than seventy two hours. One other person I didn’t expect to make her fruits of the gravy train obvious was my mother.
I could hear my mother’s snide remarks and blatant obvious racial comments towards Chin-lee while I was wiggling myself into the puffy dress. It was no secret that my mother loved no one else other than my late sister and herself. You may question why I’m not included in the list and I have an answer that will suffice.
Mother tolerates me, that’s just as much emotion she will ever grant me. Who knows, once I’m Mrs. DeLuca officially and Mama has all the pin codes to their family account maybe, and I stress the maybe, she might love me.
The petite, blonde-haired bridal assistant offers me a delicate smile as she showcased a good scale of chivalry. I waddle into the room with the oversized dress and step onto the mock-stage to debut the number.
“Alright who chose the dress?” I ask my audience, who were giving me mixed reactions and none of them read happiness.
Chin-lee raises her hand shyly before the room burst into massive, roaring laughter. Walter and Blair were on the floor, hitting the plush carpet and when I turned around to stare at my reflection - even I laughed loudly with continuous snorts.
“I... had... to... babe,” Chin-lee struggles to say in between laughter and she whips out her phone to take a picture.
I looked like the lemon meringue filling before the baking has been done.
“Alright, my dress is next!” Blair hollers, whipping her damp cheeks with slight laughter.
It was chilly and I don’t think the room had anything to do with it. Blair picked the most risqué wedding dress that only brides who were getting married in Vegas would wear. The lace gown hugged my frame and had an undeniably vast thigh slit that nearly showed my modesty.
“Jae, don’t you think now would be the perfect time to be friends with benefits?” Walter asks far too hoarsely for a platonic best friend.
“That’s it,” I flush biting my bottom lip “one last dress and then we’ll go over the choices.”
This was it, this was the one.
I had a phase when I was young, obsessing over dresses and skirts until my teens, whereby I didn’t even want to see a skirt nor a dress in sight. For the first time in a long time, I wanted to debut this beautiful gown on the runway with a large smile across my lips. More importantly, I was ready to have Mason’s eyes fall upon me as I agree to be Mrs. Mason DeLuca in front of the church and God.
I step outside the dressing room and the widened eyes made my heart flutter in my chest. My heart lurches as I give my audience a small twirl before turning around to admire the dress.
It was a fleece gown which had an ivory lace fitted bodice that hugged my waist only to have a beautiful amount of fleece to sprout out from the define curve of my figure, adding a dreamy picturesque image of me. The bridal assistant placed the lace flower crown on my curls and I could feel my heart actually constrict in my chest.
Tears just rushed into my eyes and I was comforted by the lean arms belonging to Walter. He hums sweetly in my ear, caressing my damp cheek before pulling away to give me a dimply friendly smile.
“You look beautiful,” he murmurs quietly and I laugh, I laugh hard at how dramatic I’m being and engulf him in a warm hug.
‘He chose the dress,’ Chin-lee mouths and everyone in the room smile in agreement.
“Thank you.” I giggle, taking a moment to wipe my cheeks and his wet neck “thank you so much.”
In a very long time I didn’t even attempt to laugh at his compliment like I had done in the past and instead, I hugged him tightly as if I hadn’t seen him for a very long time.
“I have a feeling that’s the one?” the bridal assistant asks with a kind smile and I merely nod in response.
“Okay, I’ll have the dress packaged and your evening gown has been finished as well.”
Everyone arches a brow in confusion and I smile shyly, brushing the wedding gown I’m quite reluctant to take off. Mason had originally planned an engagement party to be held in Loschancѐ Fleur, a famous Dutch/French restaurant but due to the fact that I can’t be out by six pm, we had to work around that fact and later decided to have it in the mansion.
The dress was black and I didn’t show any skin, thus adhering to all I had to honour Mona’s wishes.
“Thank you.” I offer the shop attendant a sincere smile “I have my credit card -”
“No need ma’am,” I visibly cringe because I know what is about to come “your fiancé has already paid the amount for both gowns yesterday in cash.”
Of course he did, he can get anything he wants.
“That will be all, thanks.”
Mother and I didn’t dare to make conversation because we both knew someone would get hurt and it’s most likely to be me. I had enough on my plate already and being my mother’s roast flavour of the week isn’t something I need rat the moment.
“Jae, the guests are arriving and Mason is waiting for you downstairs.”
I had only just come out of the showers but a few soap suds had lathered the small of my back, a true indication of how brief my shower actually was. My heart couldn’t help but flutter in triumph when Selena’s eyes found my packaged black gown and it was then when I realized I had to make Mason desire me until he openly admits to wanting to ravish me before our souls are cleansed.
“Yo Jae!” Chin-lee grunts impatiently behind my bathroom door “hurry up or else Selena will introduce herself as Mason’s official fiancée.”
I was putting the finishing touches with my ensemble, big pearl earrings that brought out that timeless beauty I hoped to forge and my ruby red lipstick tied everything together.
“Alright,” I grin exiting my bathroom and boy did Tomas hit the jackpot with this Asian patron of his. Chin-lee looked drop-dead gorgeous in her sheer white dress and porcelain-doll make-up, her ebony tendrils emphasizing her delicate facial features is an added bonus.
“Selena has nothing on you.” She smirks with a wink “let’s go down, your fiancé awaits you.”
The dress wasn’t anything special. It was a mere floor-length black gown that hugged my figure, showed off my dainty waist and the high-neck v-line camouflaged my flat chest, rather sending all attention to my bottom half. The dress proved to be effective because Mason took a while to find his words.
“Mia moglie,” he offers seductively and I place my hand in his, only to be twirled suddenly, our chests completely pressed tightly against each other “you look beautiful.”
Selena donning a risqué sheer short dress catches the corner of my eye and I brush my fingers against Mason’s jaw, his eyelids dipping down as he savours my touch and I breathe in sharply when he kissed the sensitive skin of my wrist.
“I want to paint you sometime.” He mutters with eyes shut.
“When do you plan on doing so?” I ask confidently.
“When you’re pleasured,” he kisses my wrist “your beautiful brown skin layered in your own perspiration,” his eyes snap open and boy did he look handsome and lethal “and you’ll have nothing but red lipstick and your wedding rings on.”
Mason wants to do paint me naked?
“You want to paint me nude -” I couldn’t really finish my question nor get my answer because women in their own expensive gowns were rushing to me while a group of tall, dark-haired men ambushed Mason with cheers of him finally ‘scoring’.
Stupid and childish, if you ask me.
The women were all pregnant, no kidding and were complaining about pains I hope I don’t have to experience until I’m thirty and have truly found the one who didn’t coerce me into a marriage. The women were all Italian, which stepped up the game because they’re glowing so I had to win my hand with the men.
And so I did.
“Darling,” I murmur in his ear while sliding my arms down his muscled, hard chest “don’t you plan to introduce me as your moglie?”
I hope I said that right, for my case because I don’t plan on being the DeLuca’s laughing stock.
“Cara mia,” he breathes sharply while my lips press on an amazing spot on his neck and I drag my lips all the way to his jaw, leaving tiny innocent kisses on the heady skin “meet my cousins. This is mia moglie, Jaenelle.”
He introduced them all by name but I was too dumbstruck by the fact that all fifteen men were his cousins to even listen, Nathaniel excluded. They were all courteous, giving me a short bow and seemingly all of them wanted to kiss my forehand. Their task would’ve been successful if Mason didn’t threaten them in Italian. Another thing I knew I could impress them with was the alcohol they were drinking.
Gorgeous whiskey, a man’s escape.
“Well boys,” I tease with a slight smirk “seemingly none of you will ever know how to appreciate some good whiskey.”
“Scusi?” they chuckle in sync, relieving me of my nerves but Mason has a rather different look on his face, a far more dangerous and arousing one.
“that’s all you will ever remain, boys,” I lean forward, my behind nestling in Mason’s bulge and I pop the glass cap off before pouring some of the amber liquid in a glass “because none of you know the true beauty of whiskey.”
“And why would you say that?” one cousin enquires with what he hoped was a sultry smirk but it honestly looked like some creepypasta face.
“Think of whiskey as your woman,” I curl back into Mason’s lap, my arm around his neck and I bring the glass to my nose “you seduce it, spin it around to make it dizzy with desire and have all the defence walls crumble,” I could feel the heat of his body radiate on my skin but nothing could stop me now “you inhale the aroma, allowing your taste buds to get a brief preview of what is to come.”
“Then you drink?”
“Oh heavens no,” I laugh lowly with pursued lips “you bring it forth on your lips, the sweet taste brushes against your lip and you tip down your glass.”
Obviously I wouldn’t be able to explain or make this sexy with a mouth full of whiskey so I didn’t consume any.
“Then you drink.”
“Such a rookie, young one.” I sing-song mockingly.
“You allow it to sit on your tongue, all the flavours exploding on your palate before caressing it with your tongue in small, delicate strokes until finally,”
On cue, my fiancé decides to jump in but my insides clench at the sound of his raspy voice, “you drink.”
I hadn’t even drunk my glass of whiskey but the red lips stain on the ring proved my actions otherwise. When I placed the glass back on the table all eyes were following my actions like men lured in by a siren. They seemed dazed, eyes wide and everyone in the room seemed to not be worthy of their attention other than me.
“It was amazing to meet you all and I have a feeling we’ll get along just fine,” I hoist myself from his lap but then his hand caught my wrist. What nerve Mason has! I refuse to be treated like some manhandled object and I have just about the perfect escape from that.
“Darling,” I offer kissing his forehead with my red lips “I shall have to leave you with our family now, excuse me all.”
Mason lets go but midnight blue, I can see you. I saunter away from them with a huge smile and I stalk up the stairs to go to the balcony. The pregnant women of earlier had the liberty of showing off Mason’s black wife to every shady business owner that attended today so I knew almost everyone.
“You think you’re victorious, don’t you?”
I ignore the evening breeze and span on my heel, finding a disgruntled Selena shivering in the cold.
“Mason would never go for a nigger like you.”
“Girl,” I smile smugly at her “it’s twenty fifteen, ain’t nobody using Django references no more.”
“Would you listen to that? Such a hoodrat. You can take a person out of the ghetto but you can’t take the ghetto out of them.”
I rub my arms briefly before placing a hand on my hip, “a hoodrat would be on top of you right now, dragging you across the balcony. A hoodrat would be tanging that asṡ up and you’d be pleading for forgiveness in Swahili. A hoodrat would slap you so silly that you won’t have a behind anymore, just legs and back.” I tap my finger on my chin with a slight smile “but you see, the only problem is that I’m not a hoodrat or else I would’ve seen to you mysterious death.”
Selena scoffs, her lips twitching up to a smug grin, “are you threatening me?”
“Me?” I gasp mockingly while placing a palm on my chest “oh heavens no, I just wanted to clarify that I work with bones and I have no authorised limit of how much hydrochloric acid I should have in possession so I could technically make your death look like an accident.”
“Mason only knows my name in bed and I made this house into a home while you were sleeping around out there.”
I didn’t expect my defence walls to crumble down so quickly and she noticed, later adding “that ring means nothing because I’ll be the only woman Mason truly desires.”
And she left, her long legs twining with each other as she stalked away. I didn’t give her the satisfaction of feeding off the pain in my eyes and if I were the last one to finish this chapter Selena would’ve been diced beyond recognition and her remains drenched in acid.
“Micio,” a sultry voice pacifies me and I suck in a harsh breath once he wraps his arms around my waist “what game are you playing at?”
“Game?” I croak, wiping my damp eyelid with my finger “what on earth could you possibly be talking about?”
“I...are you crying micio?” he asks softly and his lips brush against my neck, calming down the roaring flames of my pain “cara?”
“Just kiss there,” I murmur quietly but Mason didn’t act on it “please, just...make me forget.” Make me forget that you slept with her in our house.
“I don’t know if this,” he thrusts his endowed member into my covered rear and I groan lowly “isn’t clear indication of how steamy things will get once I suck on this spot so I’d rather not.”
I couldn’t be in this house, especially after another woman has made it a home.
“Don’t you want a house by the beach, a view of the busy streets?” I suggest quietly even though I really wanted him to take it into consideration.
“Cara mia, you don’t like this house?”
I don’t like it when other women cater to your needs.
“Uh,” I stammer slightly with a weak laugh “no...I just don’t - I can’t build a home with you.”
“Don’t tell me that you want to leave again, not after what you feel when we’re together.”
“That first week I was here,” I breathe in deeply and I could feel my heart curl in my chest “I -”
Mason twirls me around and we share eye contact, beautiful eye contact, “we’re magic together and my family loves you.”
“What about Selena?”
“What about Selena!” he hisses, eyes heated “my family wants you.”
What about you?
“What do you want?”
“I think the fact that I’m growing heated and agitatedly by the second since you sat on my lap is answer enough.” He chuckles throatily but I still didn’t ease “can I get you anything?”
“Just some chamomile tea, please.”
“Okay,” he presses his lips on my temple “mia moglie.”
I watch him disappear into the house and I process his words thoroughly, I honestly need Google translator for the amount of Italian I’m hearing these days.
I was enjoying the sweet scenery when a cold, metal object presses against my temple. My heart jolts right after I heard the metal object cock and to say I was scared was honestly an understatement.
“Turn around and face me.” a deep, thunderous voice spits.
Slowly it turn my body to face the male and I nearly did a double take, the tall burly man looked like Mason, save for the wrinkles and mocha hair he has but he honestly looked like Mason. The man moves the gun to my forehead and I gulp, breathing in rapidly.
“Who are you, puttana?”
When I don’t answer a woman emerges from behind him and to say she was flawless was an insult, the woman looked like a true timeless goddess with the curly jet black tresses.
1, 2, 3....
“Answer me, who the fúck are you?” the man hisses, his disgusting spit stinging my skin and I bite my bottom lip.
4, 5, 6...
“The little black bìtch is mute, caro.” The old man heckles to his giggling wife.
7, 8 - black bìtch?
My lower leg wraps around his calf and my hand snaps his wrist only mildly so his grip could loosen on the pistol. While he was dazed and spluttering a whole lot of curses, I swiped his calf and his other leg gave out under him, leaving him clutching his wrist on the floor while his gun was in my hand. Quickly, I aim the pistol at them with cold eyes.
On cue, Mason jogs back in the balcony and instinctively, I stand in front of him while my gun was still aimed at Bonnie and Clyde.
“Mama, Papa,” Mason groans and my insides clench automatically “I swear you do this every time just so I can remain single.”
Crap, Dina and Vincenzo DeLuca.
“Oh lord,” I gasp handing Mason the pistol and darting to help Dina hoist her husband up “I didn’t fracture your bones so hopefully you body will repair the slight twist soon.”
“Where did you get this one?” the old man chuckles with twinkly hazel eyes.
He is coercing me in marriage.
“Papa, this is my fianceé, Jaenelle.”
“J-a-e-nelle.” I clarify shyly “I couldn’t say Janelle when I was younger so it kind of became Jae, later becoming Jaenelle.”
Oh hell, I’m rambling again.
“She’s the absolute vision of beauty,” Dina grins clapping her hands in glee but then I noticed that Mason took her beautiful pastel eyes “I’m your mama from now, okay?”
I already have one but this one is far nicer and she’s Italian, guess I’ll be having supper everyday in her house.
"Mama,” I test it out in her Italian accent and she giggles in joy “nice to meet you, mama.”
“Alright,” Vincenzo grins while limping away so he could be independent “I need to make a special announcement downstairs.”
Special announcement? What special announcement?
“Special announcement?” I whisper lowly at Mason and a true smile spans across his lips “let’s go downstairs.”
“La mia famiglia,” Vincenzo hits his knife against the wine glass “I have a special announcement to make.”
“Calm down,” Mason mumbles on my skin and in reflex, I stroke his fingers that were drawing small patterns on my dress “Papa likes you.”
“I nearly gave him a sprained wrist injury,” I huff out impatiently “we won’t be walking down that aisle.”
Mason responds with a low grunt and we speak no further, paying attention to his father again, “she showed great show of agility, skill and when ignited, she’s a fiery goddess. La mia famiglia, I formally introduce you to mia bellisima figlia, Jah-aye-nelle.”
“It’s Jae.” I blurt out only to have everyone stare at me as if I were insane “I mean, Jah-eye.”
“Like the French say, I shall call you Fleur.”
And in a long time, I was happy to be complimented.
“Babe!” Blair and Walter grin jogging to me in their matching navy blue ensembles and I wanted to ask why they raided each other’s wardrobes but I couldn’t ruin my mood “you look flawless.”
“You do look amazing,” Walter adds and I grin in response. “We saw your mother.”
My eyes just could widen at Walter’s words because it didn’t faze me but what did is what he later added, “worst thing is that she’s wearing the exact same dress at you.”
At the corner of my eye I saw my mother chatting up Mason and he really looked utterly mortified. As soon as Mama started blabbering and gesturing the decor that decorated the room he made a run for it and something about those eyes made my legs clench.
“I want to take that dress off you right now.” He spits, jaw clenched.
“Scusi?” I blush while trying to keep my voice down.
“I want you to yell ‘don’t stop’ in Italian as soon as I have you upstairs, in my arms,” his tongue darts out to moisten his lips “I need you, I need you to say non fermarti when i take you tonight micio.”
My plan worked...my plan actually worked!
“Ahem,” my two best friends stifle a laugh as they gaze at us “congratulations Mason.”
“Yeah, thank you for making our girl your wifey.” Walter grins but it soon fell after Mason openly snarled at him.
Let me stop what looks like is going to be a brawl, “uh, Walter and Blair, I’ll meet you upstairs on the balcony.”
They didn’t have to be told twice, especially not Walter and after they left, I wasn’t that happy.
“What is wrong with you? Don’t you want me to have friends?”
“Friends don’t cuddle in with pizza for breakfast and kiss you while their shirtless.”
What the hell?
“You’re stuck with one cóck for the rest of your life and it’s mine, understood?”
Won’t we only be married for two years?
My cheeks heat at his words and I flush in contemplation to challenge his words with my temptress tone, “from tonight and until the two years is over you will be eating my booty like groceries.”
And only my booty, I wanted to add but I wasn’t so keen on making my jealousy so blatant over a man I doubt has even amassed true feelings for me.
“Yes mia moglie,” he presses a soft kiss on my jaw and continues to brush his lips against the corner of my mouth “shall we go up now?”
I laugh lightly with a smug smile, “What on earth are you talking about? I have yet to be cleansed.”
I got some kind of sick satisfaction from all of this and...I liked it.