“Tonight. Fuck. You sure you want to go through with this?”
He nods. “She’ll be twenty-one within days. Given that and with the old man gone, she’ll inherit, and there’s only one way for her brother to take majority control. She has a target on her back. Probably has for a long time, actually.”
“Why are you changing the subject?”
“I’m not. What I’m saying matters.”
“I don’t know why we should care about the target on her back.” But he does.
“We have to as far as it concerns us.”
“Is that as far as it goes for you?”
“Don’t question my commitment to our family, Bastian.”
“I’m not questioning your commitment to our family. I’m asking you if that is as far as it goes.”
“Yes,” he says through gritted teeth.
“Will you kiss her as you consummate the marriage?”
His eyes are steady on mine. “The marriage can’t be contested.”
“Again, not what I asked you.”
“Admit it. She’s under your skin.”
“She’s ours. The marriage, it’s paper. I told you that. She belongs to us both.”
“It’s going to complicate things. She’s going to complicate things.”
“She’s complicated. More than we thought. We’ll manage. As far as the little girl,” he says, changing the subject yet again. This time, I let him. I’m glad for it. “If we don’t bring her, her brother will use her as a pawn, and Vittoria will be harder to manage.”
He’s right about both of those things. “What about Sonny?”
“We’ll deal with him when you’re back. After the will is read. You good to go to New York?”
“I’m fine.” I stand. “I talked it through with Jarno while you were upstairs kissing her.”
“It’s not like that—”
“It’s why I came to find you. I’d better go pack.” I walk to the door, but before I open it, he calls out my name.
“She belongs to both of us.”
“But one of us has to keep a level head. So you go on kissing her and tell yourself it’s just a kiss, and I’ll keep reminding you who she is and why she’s here.”