“Thank you so much, Mateo. It’s perfect,” I tell him, wrapping my arms around his neck and pulling him close. “I’m so happy,” I whisper in his ear.
Holding me a little tighter, he murmurs back, “Good.”
The song wraps up, and Sinatra’s My Way starts playing. I glance around the bar, happy that no one noticed. I wanted that moment just for us, not witnessed by a crowd of strangers. The pianist is smiling at us, but he doesn’t make a fuss.
Mateo sways with me again, bending his head to drop a few kisses along my neck. My eyes drift closed in pleasure as I stretch my neck to give his lips better access. There’s nothing better than the sensation of Mateo’s lips leaving a trail of kisses along my neck.
Well, almost nothing.
When he’s done, I lean my head on his shoulder, gazing off at nothing, realizing I am now the fiancée of Mateo Morelli. I’ve sure come a long way since the first time we came here. I literally own the place now, not to mention the heart of the man I was supposed to take down. I can’t help smirking a bit at that. I won’t wound his ginormous ego pointing it out, but let’s be honest—this man is all mine.
I hold my hand up so I can look at it in the light again, admiring my new engagement ring. I’m engaged. And pregnant. Man, I haven’t even got to share my news, and this is already the best night ever.
“In case you were wondering,” I tell him, “we’ve definitely reached dream date status.”
He chuckles, low and rough in my ear, and just the sound of it sends desire coursing through my veins. I’m just about to tell him we should cancel dinner and head straight home when my eye catches on one of the other patrons. Fear and shock coil through my gut as I realize why I recognize him.
The color drains out of my face and I can’t breathe.
He has a gun.
He’s pointing that gun at us.
Oh my god.
Without thought, without the capacity for words, I pull back, shoving Mateo with as much force as I can muster off to my right.
Scowling in confusion as he stumbles back away from me, he asks, “What—?”
Giantman’s face transforms with panic as the gun fires, and as I turn to follow/shove Mateo further off the dance floor, it feels like fire rips through my body, tearing me apart from the inside. It’s the sharpest stab of pain I’ve ever felt, but then it doesn’t stop.
Mateo’s face goes white, staring at me, his gaze dropping to my abdomen. “Meg.”
The pain won’t stop. I’m dizzy with it. There’s pandemonium in the bar—all the people are screaming and staring at me, shuffling away toward safety. I see our driver on top of Giantman, tackling him to the ground, pointing a gun at his head.
My legs give out, but Mateo catches me in his arms, sinking to the ground, his terrified eyes moving from my stomach to my face.
“Meg, hold on. Hold on.”
I don’t want to touch it. There’s so much blood. Oh my god, so much blood, so much pain.
It’s hard to keep my eyes open, hard to focus on anything but I look down and see blood staining the right side of my gold dress. It’s already spreading everywhere, but there’s a hole right where the bullet went through. Right in the stomach.
“Oh, God,” I whimper, tears running down my face.
“It’s okay, you’re gonna be okay,” Mateo assures me, scooping me up in his arms and standing.
“It’s okay, Meg. Don’t talk, okay? We’ve gotta get you some help.”
All I want to do is sleep, but I force myself to remain lucid, because he needs to know.
I didn’t think he could get any whiter, but as he looks at the blood oozing out of my stomach, he does.
And then everything goes black.
Chapter Twenty Five
I’m in and out of consciousness, Mateo shaking me, lightly slapping my face, trying to keep me awake. I wish he didn’t look so scared. It’s hard to believe his words that I’m going to be fine and everything is going to be all right when his face tells a different story.
At one point, I hear him arguing with the driver, telling him to take me to the hospital.
“We can’t go to the hospital, Mateo.”
Viciousness drips from Mateo’s next words. “Take her to the motherfucking hospital or the next person who gets a bullet pumped into them is going to be you.”
Next thing I know, the pain is gone. I crack my eyes open and I’m looking out a window—a bright, sunny window. It’s supposed to be evening. Where am I?
I hear a door ease shut, but the room is too bright and I squeeze my eyes closed.
A chair scrapes across the floor and I hear someone’s weight drop into a vinyl covered seat.