Plots brew in that calculating visage of his. Were the tides turned, I’d be anticipating some kinky-ass shit coming from his direction. Like taking me back behind a Parisian historical building and screwing my brains out while I call him Master. Chills take me over.
“My plan to do nothing but please you has come to fruition.” Ian leans closer, his voice a hushed whisper. “A man will do anything to please his goddess.”
His touch to my thigh snaps something inside of me. The box has been opened. The dust flying out. Pandora wouldn’t know what to do with herself.
I touch Ian’s thigh in return. A purr travels from me to him.
To my surprise, we kiss, my lips pushing against his.
I picked the weirdest day to meet my future mother-in-law. There is no getting out of it, though. When Valerie got back to me saying Marilyn agreed to meet today and only today, I had to do it, regardless of what I had planned with my girlfriend.
Trust me, I’ve got a lot planned with Katie tonight, whether she knows it or not. Although I’ve got a sinking feeling that she has figured a lot of it out. After we left the park, everything changed. She changed. The way she touched me, talked to me, looked at me… I’m still adjusting to the woman I want to call my wife.
Now I’m going to meet her mother… without Kathryn’s knowledge.
Like she lied to me, I lied and said that I was also meeting a friend tonight. The restaurant is different from the one Kathryn saw her mother in, at least. A part of me wishes I had come clean and told her what I was doing. Maybe Kathryn would have come along. Then again, the things I need to talk to Marilyn about aren’t exactly the type of things you would say in front of your girlfriend.
Nothing is helped by my current mood. Letting Kathryn take the lead today and play a more submissive role in our public relationship has affected me in ways I could not have anticipated. Namely, I don’t think I will be able to snap out of this for Marilyn. The Ian she is going to meet is quite… demure.
Not a word I’ve ever used to describe a man before, let alone myself.
I won’t compromise my inner strength, of course, but the Ian Marilyn meets will not be as brazen with his dominance as the Ian most people know. It’s probably for the best. Based on what I know about Marilyn Alison, Alpha Ian is about the worst thing she could see for her daughter’s future.
I arrive first. She arrives fashionably twenty minutes late. The ma?tre ‘d brings her to my table in a private corner of the main gallery, partitioned off from the rest of the quiet diners clinking their utensils against china plates and commenting on the live piano music. It’s a healthy mix of French and English in here. Some German, too. Marilyn should feel right at home.
She graces my presence looking nothing like the photos in Kathryn’s apartment or her father’s house. The Marilyn I see every time I go to those places is not only younger, but has longer strawberry blond hair and a style befitting the thirty and forty-something wife of a billionaire. The Marilyn I see coming in, however, looks a good twenty years older. She’s recently dyed her hair auburn brown. Her clothes cover every inch of her body, letting me only see her aging hands and the crow’s feet at the corners of her eyes. It’s hard to believe this woman is about the same age as my mother. She looks like a healthy seventy-year-old instead of a normal woman in her early fifties.
Dark sapphire blue glitters before me. Marilyn removes her wide-brimmed hat and peacock feather stole. Her wrinkled hands are covered in gold and bronze rings, few gems. The only way I can tell she’s biologically related to Kathryn is her jawline.
“You don’t look as intimidating in real life as you do in your pictures.” That’s it. That’s the first thing she ever says to me.
I stand up and extend my hand over the table. She waves it away. So much for cordiality.
“It’s a pleasure to finally meet you,” I say anyway. We both sit down, opposite from one another. Neither of us look at our menus. We might not be staying long enough for dinner at this rate. Good thing I ordered wine anyway. I’m gonna need it. “Kathryn talks a lot about you. Seemed only right I formally meet you at some point.”
Marilyn judges me with a heavy countenance. She’s wearing a ton of clothing, and yet she looks like she weighs about a hundred pounds. I don’t know much about her health problems. From what I understand, most of them are mental. As if she’s picking up on my thoughts, Marilyn candidly says, “I’m sure she’s told you plenty. Sometimes a young woman doesn’t know when to keep things in the family.”