Since neither of us has answered yet, she looks back at us with a raised eyebrow.
“I’m sorry, who are you?” I ask, confused.
“Colette. You’re both new.”
Mia speaks up. “I’m not that new.”
Shrugging, she says, “It’s been a long time. I’m not surprised the guys have cycled through another batch of girls. One of you Mateo’s?”
I raise a hand.
She nods at me, taking another gulp of wine. “Cool. All right, let’s do this.”
New Girl takes no prisoners, but I kind of like it. She’s not talkative while we cook, but boy, does she like wine.
Once we have everything going, I decide to sneak away. My plan is to pump Mateo for information about who this new creature is, and I’m more than a little pleased to find him outside his study where we’ll have a bit of privacy. His back is to me, so I get to sneak up on him, wrapping my arms around his waist and hugging him from behind.
He stiffens, apparently surprised, and I let up long enough for him to turn around.
Aaaand that’s not Mateo. My jaw drops as I come face to face with an alarmingly similar looking man with the same hair. From behind, I definitely couldn’t tell a difference.
“Well, hello,” he greets. He doesn’t sound amused, but he has to see from the shock on my face I thought he was someone else.
“I thought you were Mateo.”
He shakes his head. “Sorry to disappoint.”
“Dante?” I guess.
He nods once. “Meg?”
I nod back. His gaze rakes over me, assessing, not appreciating. “Nice to meet you,” I say belatedly, offering him my hand.
Mateo steps out then, glancing back inside to finish a conversation before seeing us both standing there.
“I see you’ve met my brother,” Mateo says.
Dante nods. “Intimately.”
Grimacing, I add, “I thought he was you from behind.”
“Apparently, I’m handsome,” Dante adds.
Glancing from Mateo to the new Morelli, I surmise, “You guys have to be full brothers, right?”
Mateo nods. “How intimately?”
“I just hugged him, told him he was handsome,” I state, grimacing again.
“Huh,” he says, tugging me in for a kiss. “Don’t do that again.”
I smile and roll my eyes at him. “Maybe you should’ve told me you had a twin.”
“Not twins. He’s a year younger,” Mateo informs me, glancing at the other man.
“Don’t feel bad,” Dante tells me. “We tend to attract the same women.”
The smirk that tugs at Mateo’s lips reminds me of Vince’s words earlier. “How is Colette?”
Dante spares Mateo an unamused glance before walking into the study.
Mateo is still amused when his brother disappears. He turns back to me, his hands dropping to my hips, and he gives me another lingering kiss. “He doesn’t much like me. Tonight should be fun.”
“He might like you if you didn’t steal his girlfriends,” I suggest.
“I didn’t steal her. I borrowed her.”
I roll my eyes. “You’ll have to tell me the story later. I was coming to ask who the girl in the kitchen was, but I guess that’s his plus-one.”
“You could’ve asked her,” he pointed out.
“She seems kind of mean. I think she’s only interested in communicating with her wine glass.”
“Really?” he asks, surprised. “Colette was never mean. A little prim at times, definitely not so accepting of the lifestyle, but never mean.”
“She knows her way around the kitchen better than I do.”
He nods. “They were together for a couple of years. She’s been to her fair share of family dinners.”
Rubbing my hands together, I look back to the kitchen. “Well, if this is my new sister-in-law, I better go make friends.” Sparing him a glance, I add, “Though, for future reference, I’d love to meet one new in-law you haven’t already banged. Just one.”
“I didn’t bang her,” he says, rolling his eyes. “We fooled around a little bit, but no banging. He wasn’t even with her yet, he’s just deeply possessive. Pretty much any man she ever had any contact with before him is his enemy now.”
“Loyalty—I dig that,” I say, preparing to sashay away, but he catches me around the waist.
“Hey, I’m loyal,” he says, tugging me up against him. “To you.”
I run my fingers through his hair, stealing one more kiss before I head back to the kitchen. “Good.”
We finally finish cooking and start serving. We come to a slight problem with the whole “serve your man” part—with Francesca gone, there are no unattached ladies helping with dinner. Cherie steps in, but it just reminds me that Francesca is gone and we don’t know where she is.
Even though we typically don’t talk shop at Sunday night dinners, there is a fair amount of that tonight. When the search for Salvatore Castellanos comes up, Vince mutters, “I hope we do find him. If I ever meet the guy, I’m gonna shake his fucking hand. You deserved every minute of thinking Meg cheated on you.”
Mia looks like she’s going to choke on her food, but Mateo nods, not even perturbed. “Fair enough. I mean, he’ll be a corpse, but shake away.”