“When are you finally going to put a ring on it?”
That’s the constant question on everyone’s mind, more so than ever since two of my best friends- and fellow dominants- known as Armand and Salim Saint Croix became lovestruck ninnies since finding their forever submissives and making them their husbands. Armand was the first one to go when he caught sight of Jarvis, planning to not only save Firenze bakery after what the latter’s late sister and her friends did to fund their hard-partying lifestyle. Then it was Salim, who was enchanted by the sightless wonder known as Isaiah Van Blackwell.
Even Isaiah’s ex-boyfriend Ryan Callaway (the son of a financial tycoon) caught the eye of a dominating dancer from the Blue Bayou nightclub known as Ian Newman, and none of us were really surprised when they announced their engagement.
It wasn’t easy for either of the three dominants and their submissives (being kidnapped, facing vengeful and spinster women, facing a lot of insecurity issues), but they were all happy.
And now, all eyes were on me as I was still keeping my promise of making my godbrother- and my love interest- mine. And boy, it was going to be hard as fuck not to keep my distance every time that I see him.
“Well, when are you finally going to make Malachi yours, bro?”
I snapped out of my thoughts, taking a deep breath before returning my attention to my two best friends as we were currently having lunch at Firenze Bakery. “Sorry, I was lost in thought,” I muttered. “My mind has been focused elsewhere, you know?”
“Obviously,” Armand said, smirking. “So, I heard that a certain boy is currently making plans for a job hunt after graduation from UCLA. And he’s going after the big leagues in the fashion world as well as the publishing industry.”
“Yeah,” I replied, sipping on my cup of coffee. “Malachi’s mom did tell me that he’s been searching for new leads on being a writer for a magazine company, but his main goal is to get into Jolle, the top magazine for our fashion line.”
“Aren’t Gio and Katherine getting ready for the rush of incoming intern applicants?” Salim asked.
I nodded. “And the competition is fierce. Why?”
Before either brother could respond, the entrance door swung open as the lunchtime crowd was greeted by the appearance of none other than Evita Mateo, the fiery Latinx drag queen with a volatile temper and yet protective of all those who had her fancy- Malachi included. “Just the three I was looking for,” Evita said. “Y’all heard about my ward Malachi and his plans to apply for the internship program at Jolle, right?”
“We were talking about that,” Armand replied. “What’s up?”
She grinned widely as Zoe DuSable, the fujoshi therapist, came in. “Get this, y’all. Malachi just got accepted for the internship program, but Gio and Katherine also announced that they’re looking for two editors for the magazine,” the drag queen said. “And Malachi is working like a mad dog to get the chance to work for Jolle and catch Blanche’s eye.”
“Blanche?” I said confusedly. “You mean Gio?”
“Exactly, since we all know that Gio Rylander is also known as Blanche Adair, the queen of mean and also the face of Adair Publishing,” Zoe replied. “But the internship will also have many competitors who will be more qualified than Kai.”
“And since the House of Suez is linked to Jolle for the spring and fall fashion shows, there’s no doubt that Kai is going to have to step up his game,” Evita said.
“Maybe there’s a way for Kai to be in the top three and be ensured of a job at the magazine,” Salim replied, smirking as his brother nodded in assent.
I hissed in a slow breath. “I don’t like this,” I said. “I don’t like what you two are planning.”
“Oh, but it’s perfect,” Armand drawled. “You can ensure his place at the magazine...if you get him to be your submissive.”
“Hell no, bitch,” Evita said, narrowing her eyes. “Absolutely not. That boy isn’t going to be your pawns, especially after what happened with Dominic’s cousin Zach.”
Zachary Freeman, my identical twin cousin, was someone I wished didn’t meet Malachi since he was the one who shattered his heart when Kai was ready to lose his virginity. And it’s little wonder that Malachi was swearing off romance, even if he was a romance novelist.
“I hate to say this, but Evita is right,” I agreed. “Malachi Bermudez-Quitman is not someone to be played around with and he’ll want no part of it, much less want anything to do with me.”
“But the plan’s foolproof,” Salim insisted. “You can get to know Malachi while helping him lose his inhibitions and shed his insecurities after what your cousin did to him.”
“It worked for me when I redeemed Jarvis and the bakery and it worked for Salim when he proposed to Isaiah in exchange for a job at Midnight Phoenix,” Armand added. “It’ll work for you, man. Give it a chance.”
Just then, my cell rang. “Hello?” I said, not caring who this person was.
“Hello, dear cousin of mine,” said the one voice similar to mind yet had a cocky attitude. “It’s me, Zach.”
My eyes widened at the mention of his name. “It’s Zach,” I mouthed to the others, making Evita frown and Zoe drop her mouth in shock. To Zach, “And what made you decide to call me after two years?”
“Put him on speaker,” Zoe instructed.
I did so, waiting for Zach to answer. “Hello?”
“Dominic, can’t a cousin call up his twin? But if you must know, I’m back in LA and I’m here to get him back.”
“Who?” I asked, though I already know the answer.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Zachary Damian Freeman drawled. “I’m coming back for the boy whose heart I shattered- Malachi Bermudez-Quitman. And I plan to make things right. So don’t stop me, Dominic. I plan to do him right because he is mine.”
The line disconnected, leaving me to face down a stunned therapist, two gleeful brothers, and a FURIOUS drag queen who can bring an arrogant man to his knees. “Well?” Salim said, holding back his laughter. “Are you going to let Zach get Malachi back?”
“Or are you going to man up and put a ring on Malachi?” Armand drawled. “Oh, how I am loving this moment.”
I sighed, feeling agitated and exasperated all at once. “What do you two exactly have in mind?” was all I could say.
The brothers cheered, making a few other customers turn to look at us as if we were going nuts. To be honest, I don’t blame them. I think that my life has officially gone off the rails. But if going through with their plan meant stopping Zach from playing with the jaded romantic’s heart while gaining it and having Malachi as my husband and submissive, then I was all for it.
Get ready, Malachi Antonio Bermudez-Quitman. Because you will be mine!