The Proposition

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Chapter Sixteen

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Alejandra’s POV.

After cleaning ourselves up from the balcony session, Dom and I sit on my balcony and eat breakfast together. It’s day six. Tomorrow is our last day together. It’s scary how quickly this time has gone. I guess it does when you spend half your time eating and the other half climaxing. I’m hoping that our sexual activities are burning off the sheer tonnage of calories that I’m eating daily. Italian really is a country of great food and sex.

“What are you thinking so hard about?” Dom asks from across the table, smirking at me.

I think he already knows. Most of my thoughts are of him recently, how can they not be? The man is all-consuming.

“Nothing much,” I reply vaguely and pop a piece of chopped mango into my mouth. “What are we doing today?”

“I was thinking that we could visit the Flavian Amphitheatre in an hour or so.” He leans back in the chair and puts his hands behind his head. “I thought that we could catch our flight home this afternoon and arrive back in England in time to go to the theatre tonight.”

My eyes widen in surprise. Although I’m sad that this is our last day in Italy, I have a bit of a weak spot for the theatre.

“Sounds wonderful. Any ideas on what we could see?”

He smirks at me again. “Opera. It really builds.”

How did he just make opera sexual?

“Okay,” I reply cautiously.

We finish our breakfast and get ready to go out. I choose a lightweight white jumpsuit and tie my hair up. We’re driven to Pozzuoli by the bodyguards. It’s another scorcher of a day and the amphitheatre is, unfortunately, filled with people.

Tourists.

I know that I’m one myself, but it’s made less bad by having a local with me. However, the beauty of the remains greatly makes up for the vast crowds of people.

We wander around the entire location, taking in every drop of history. When we’ve seen all that there is to see and explored every nook, we get back into the car. Domenico suggests a local café.

We get our food to-go and eat on the coast. I savour every moment because of the small, irritating voice at the back of my mind reminding me that tomorrow is my last day and this all ends. I’m quiet and a little despondent when we get back to the villa. I pack in my room, my heart sinking with each item that I place in my suitcase.

Going home from a holiday sucks. When you have to go home and leave the guy you’re really starting to like, it sucks even more. This was supposed to be a one-week thing only. I wasn’t supposed to get attached or get feelings. I thought he would use me for my body and barely talk to me.

Domenico has shattered every wall I put up by treating me with respect and interest. He’s had so many deep conversations with me, asked so many questions about my life and shown genuine interest.

He’s made me stay in his bed. He’s cuddled and kissed me long past the point of needing to. He’s cleaned me up in the most intimate of ways after sex and has whispered sweet things in my ear as he held me after, making sure that I didn’t feel used.

Domenico is the one that has changed this from what it was; a hot week of no-strings-attached sex. He’s made it something more and I don’t think he even realises it.

He doesn’t know the effect he is having on my heart. I think, if he knew how I’m catching feelings, he’d probably drop me back at my apartment quicker than I can blink. He’d freak the fuck out. I can’t imagine that Mafia Dons are the kings of commitment.

Don’t they all cheat on their wives?

“You ready, gattina?”

Dom calls me from downstairs, dragging me from my dismal thoughts. I shake my head to dispel them and zip up my suitcase.

“Yeah!” I shout back and look around the room one more time.

I’m definitely going to have to make it a goal to return to Italy at some point. With or without Domenico, this country is beautiful. With a heavy heart and equally heavy suitcase, I come downstairs.

“I’m sorry, I should have helped you with that,” Dom apologises, taking my suitcase from me halfway down the stairs. “I was loading my things into the car. Come.”

I’m still pretty quiet in the car on the way to the airport. Dom leaves me to my thoughts, no doubt understanding my melancholy at leaving. But, he does reach over and take my hand. I look down at our entwined fingers and then back up at him.

Does he know what it does to me when he does things like this?

Does he not understand what kind of mixed signals this gives?

How can he expect me not to get in my feels when he’s so sweet?

I thank Dom when he helps me out of the car at the airport. We’re on the plane after a short wait. I clip myself into the seat and close my eyes. I need a nap to sort my life out.

When I wake up, I want to have compartmentalised my feelings for Dom. I will put them in a little box at the back of my brain and seal it, never to be opened or thought of again.

Yeah, cause that sounds healthy.It’s a coping mechanism and it’s all I’ve got, so shut it.

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“Alejandra? Alejandra?” The voice is smooth and husky but sounds so far away. “Gattina, my love, we are landing.”

I open my eyes and peer around unattractively, squinting at the light afternoon sun bursting through the plane windows. I straighten up and click my neck, grimacing as pain twinges through it.

“How do you feel?” Domenico asks gently.

I know he has picked up on my mood, but he’s been great and is giving me the chance to talk about it. He doesn’t understand that he is the last person I want to talk to about it.

“Good, thank you,” I reply and smile to reassure him.

We land and are escorted to another car. There is a vast difference between stepping off the plane into hot, dry air and stepping off the plane in England, where it is cold and raining.

What a surprise.

The car takes us back to Dom’s house. Once there, he orders for a rack of evening dresses to be brought round for me. They arrive within the hour, and I try them on upstairs. I get a taste at being a princess for a while, a glimpse at how the other half live. I get to dress up and feel beautiful.

I choose a black dress that hugs every inch of my body. I don’t let Dom see it, but he sends up a make-up artist and a hairdresser to help me get ready. Two hours later, I meet him at the bottom of the stairs. I grip the handle of the stairwell, praying that I don’t trip and embarrass myself. Dom stands at the bottom, looking totally besotted with me and filling me with confidence. I stop next to him, and he swallows hard.

“Alejandra,” he murmurs. “There are no words...seriously, none. You are perfection.”

A blush comes over my cheeks, but my make-up hides it. He leans in and kisses me, making my heart flutter. It is only a short drive to the theatre. Dom holds my hand tightly in the back of the car. When we arrive, Luca steps out first and puts up an umbrella. He holds the enormous thing over our heads as the rain pelts down. Holding my elbow and lower back, Dom guides me into the building.

We are taken up to the VIP room and given champagne before the performance starts. I sit close to Dom, needing his proximity with all these rich, important people around. He holds my hand dutifully, occasionally squeezing it or kissing the back of it. I sip my champagne and listen to Domenico tell me about all of the dirt he has on the people in this room. There are politicians, government officials, teachers, lawyers, you name it, Dom has some kind of hold or blackmail on all of them.

“I don’t use it,” he adds quickly. “Well, not unless I really have to. It’s just good to have something on everyone. You never know when it may come in handy.”

It’s ironic that I feel nervous and uncomfortable in this room full of successful people, yet I feel most comfortable with the most powerful one.

Just before the show is due to start, Dom takes me through to his private box. It’s tucked up high and out of the eyes of other people. The window for viewing is small and comes up to our shoulders, meaning our lower bodies are not visible to others.

I don’t realise how grateful I will be about this until the performance starts. I watch the sopranist sing beautifully, captivating the audience with her wonderful voice. Dom’s hand, resting on my knee, starts moving higher.

I remain still as he slides his hand up my leg, to the split in my fabric. I jump when his warm skin touches mine. His hand slides even higher and pushes apart my thighs. I uncross my legs, allowing him access. His finger strokes my pussy over the material of my thong.

He’s not going to do this here...is he?

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