Home > Je Suis à Toi (Monsters in the Dark #3.5)(12)

Je Suis à Toi (Monsters in the Dark #3.5)(12)
Author: Pepper Winters

His head bowed; his breath hot in my ear. “They see the blonde haired angel with a sweet smile and kind voice. They see the wife of an egotistical, stubborn investor and assume you’re content to let me be in charge. They don’t see you as a threat.”

My temper flared. “You’re saying I come across meek and stupid?”

Q chuckled, guiding me into the castle. “No, my dear esclave. I’m saying they’re fucking stupid for not seeing the true you. The minx who would sooner be belted and chained than adorned in silk and finery. The woman with a temper to rival mine, intelligence to run my entire empire while still asleep, and the ultimate truth.”

“Truth?” My low heels clicked on the ancient flagstones of the castle. The temperature wasn’t as snug as our home, but cheery fires roared in the humongous entrance hall as we traded foyer for the heart of the castle.

He hugged me closer as staff appeared from nooks and crannies to take our coats and give us a welcome cocktail. “The truth, Tess. That you own my ass. That you’re the one with all the power.”

My heart constricted into a lovesick knot.

“Mr. and Mrs. Mercer.” A sweet looking young man handed us a goblet with some sort of concoction.

Even now, after so many years together, I still got a thrill being called Mrs. Mercer. My maiden name was gone. Forever banished. I no longer thought of myself as Tessie Snow. She died the day she was kidnapped in Mexico.

And good riddance.

“Please, allow me to show you to your room.” The man bowed, motioning us to follow.

Q and I fell into step, never breaking our hold on one another and sipping the overly sweet alcohol.

Grandeur was now a part of my life. If Q took me around the world to investigate a new hotel chain he’d invested in or the exquisite residence he’d purchased in Saudi Arabia so we had a base when he worked with the overseas authorities on traffickers, I enjoyed the gilded walls and gold embossed crockery.

However, just as wealth had dulled my wonderment, so too did poverty make it so much more appreciated. Q had been mindless in his acquisitions for wealth. He’d had nothing else to comfort him while recovering slaves found salvation in his home.

His company had been his saving grace. Until me, of course.

And now that he was happy, he gave away so much. He entered slums in Brazil and built free houses and upgraded the water supply and enlisted gardeners and teachers to form a better community.

He took me with him to Vietnam where he bought badly run hospitals and fired the staff that didn’t care and replaced them with top-of-the-line nurses and caregivers. He transformed bad into good wherever he went, and I was so damn proud of him.

“Good choice, Tess.” Q pointed at the wall fresco and cupid decorated ceiling. “The craftsmanship is superb.”

The servant took Q’s impressed interest to give us a guided tour as we climbed the sweeping staircase past portraits of long-ago deceased lords and ladies and travelled down plush carpeted corridors. Sconces, tapestries, and stained glass windows kept our guide’s narration busy as Q and I nodded respectfully, disappearing further into the enormous castle.

Finally, our guide stopped outside the largest wooden door I’d ever seen. It was gnarly and knotted with no decoration whatsoever. But it didn't need any. Its simplistic weathered age was all it required.

“This is your room, Mr. and Mrs. Mercer. Your guests are on the floor below. I was informed by Suzette that you would prefer not to be too close.”

I swallowed my laughter.

Damn Suzette and her meddling.

One of these days, I would book her and Franco a trip and ensure an entire hotel floor was unoccupied with the veiled innuendo that they could be as loud and as adventurous as they liked with no neighbours to hear them.

Q growled under his breath. “She’s always taken too many liberties that woman.”

This time, I couldn’t stop my giggle. “I’ll make sure she has payback. Don’t you worry.”

He raised an eyebrow but didn’t ask. He was wise. Women business should stay women business. Just like whatever he spoke about with Frederick was his.

Speaking of Frederick.

Q opened the door to our suite while I hung back to talk to our guide. “Everyone arrived okay?”

The boy nodded. “Yes. Your guests settled in about four hours ago. They’ve arranged for dinner and drinks to be served in the great hall at six p.m.”

“Dinner?” Q popped his head back out. “How many are attending?”

I patted his chest. “Don’t you worry about that. This is your surprise, and I intend to surprise you.”

His eyes narrowed. “Tess…”

“No. You will not badger me into telling you. Trust me, Q. You’ll like my surprises. I know you, remember? I wouldn’t do anything to make you uncomfortable.”

Okay, maybe one thing…

But apart from that tiny inconvenience, the rest of the week would be purely perfect.

TRUSTING TESS AND her orchestration of the next few days—with no guessing what she’d planned—was hard. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust her. I just wouldn’t put anything past her.

Look at our fucking wedding.

That had been ruined by Suzette and Franco thinking they had the right to strip Tess at the altar and give me the leash to her collar.

It worked because of our lifestyle.

But it wasn’t their place to do such a thing. Even though I appreciated and loved them for wanting me to accept that part of me. I got it. I did. And for the most part, I was grateful. But it also made me very fucking wary about social functions run by others.

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