I’m surprised when my brother comes up to me with a bombshell of a playboy girl on his arm. He smiles brightly. “I’m so happy for you, sis. This is my date, Kate. Kate, this is my sister and Anastasia.”
Anastasia gives Kate and Luigi a cold look I’ve seen her father give. “Excuse me, Tori, I need a drink.” She gets up and strides off, and Luigi gives an awkward smile.
Kira and Miguel come up with Raphael and their new little one, Bella. We chat for a little before they go inside as well.
Once everyone’s in, we settle down for Sunday lunch, something we will do together often, alternating between our family homes.
Ivan stands up and taps a knife against his glass to get everyone’s attention. I smile up at him as he speaks.
“Thank you, everyone, for coming to meet Roman Sonny Volkov and to celebrate the unity of our two great families. As time moves on, so too does humanity. We evolve, and we adapt. We make things better. Years ago, this would never have happened. We would have war and death and anger and hatred. Blood would flow down the streets with no side giving an inch. We are proving that families like ours can move past this and settle things amicably. I hope other families take note. If not, well… Alessandro will agree that we’re not above reminding everyone where their place is.
Everyone cheers and the celebration carries on.
By the time we’re back home, I’m exhausted, but I manage to get Roman to sleep. He’s an easy baby like I was, but he will not be ignored or treated like I was. He is a prince, and he will be king.
I go to the living room when I hear soft music drifting upstairs. I find Ivan standing by the sound system.
“There was something missing today,” he says quietly, walking to me and holding out his hand.
“What was that?” I ask curiously. I thought we had covered all bases.
“There was no dancing,” he says, pulling me close. I put my hands on his shoulders, and he dances in a circle with me. “I want to dance with you every day as though it’s our last. I want that to be our thing, something special just for us.”
“You couldn’t make me happier than I am, Ivan,” I say softly, stroking the back of his hair. “All I ever wanted was to feel like I was part of a family and that I mattered. Now I’m a Queen with two amazing families.”
We kiss softly, and he holds me. I could dance all night with him.