Broken Hart (The Hart Family) (5 page)

BOOK: Broken Hart (The Hart Family)
3.82Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub


After thinking about it, I conclude that Dante is probably pissed about the outfit.  He’s always super weird about stuff like this, but really, it’s none of his business.


I make the conscious decision not to let whatever is bothering Dante ruin my day.  He can stuff his over-protective thoughts where the sun doesn’t shine.  I’m happy and I feel accomplished, and it’s a moment I want to enjoy.


Marcus is beaming at me and I find myself wishing that what I felt was passion instead of just appreciation for what a handsome specimen he is.


I laugh nervously as he pulls me to his chest and he puts his forehead on mine.  “You were amazing Sabrina! I am in absolute awe of you!” 


Looking in to my eyes Marcus says, “The kiss.  Did it bother you?”  


I shake my head in the negative. “It didn’t
me, no.  But please don't do it again.  I’m interested in someone else.”


“Oh.  That’s a real downer” he says as he pulls me across the room to sit and wait for the scoring.  We sit side by side in two of the empty banquet chairs that are all around the room in silence. 


When the competition is over, we take our places with the other couples, waiting to hear who the winners are.  I am beyond shocked when we take third place in the amateur tango. It’s a thrill.


Everything is a blur for the next twenty minutes as we take pictures with the first and second place winners, shake hands with the judges, and pose with our instructor. 


Finally it’s all over and everyone begins to disperse.   I'm anxious to get over to Brooke, Dante and his siblings, so I tell Marcus that I’ve got to go.  Instead of just letting me go, he asks me if I want to go to dinner to celebrate.


Crap.  I really hope he isn’t going to get pushy.  I’m not interested in him in that way.   I tell him no, but he tells me that he will call me soon and hopefully we can go get dinner sometime in the future before giving me a big hug.  Holding up his iPhone he says, “I need a picture of us, from today.”  Holding his arm out in front of him, he takes a few shots of us smiling in to the phone camera.  I finally tell him I really have to go, and he leaves with a frown.


I’m excited about my win and can’t wait to share it with my sister, Dante and his siblings, so I hurry over to where I last saw Dante.  I wave when I see Dante, Damien and the girls standing together and am surprised to see that they all look… anxious.  I wonder what’s up.


My first stop is Brooke who gives me a huge hug.  She steps back and looks at me.  “My god Sabrina, I had NO idea you could dance like that! It was amazing! I'm so proud of you sis.”  The twins are next, and they both hug and congratulate me on the third place win. 


I can actually feel the tension hanging over us.  What the heck is going on?  I reach Damien next, and he’s more subdued than usual.  “Sabrina.  Wow.  I’m impressed.  You look beautiful, as always.” He hugs me, but he actually has a concerned look in his eyes which is really strange.


Finally I reach Dante.  The look he gives me could cause water to freeze in an instant.  Glaring at me he says, “Sabrina.  What a performance.”  The inference on the word performance is downright cruel.


Gesturing to my outfit he continues, “I’d no idea that you weren’t going to be dressed.  Don’t you think you should have warned us that you’d be damn near naked?”


My eyes bulge and I simultaneously hear four gasps.  Ah.  This is why everyone looks uncomfortable.  He’s probably been in full outraged protector mode over here this entire time.


Standing tall I step forward, so that the two of us are as eye to eye as we can be, considering that I’m about 5’8 in these heels and Dante is 6’2. 


“Damn you Dante. I know you’re over protective, but this is a step too far.  I’m clothed entirely appropriately for the event.  I’m also more clothed than your last three girlfriends combined on any given night.  My ‘performance’ was a dance.  I wasn’t shaking it for dollar bills and I won’t be spoken to like this.  I’m going home.  Let me know when your attitude improves dramatically.  Otherwise, go to hell.”  I pivot and leave, beyond annoyed with his behavior.


I'm almost to the exit door when I hear footsteps behind me.  He grabs my hand and spins me around so that I’m facing him, putting a hand on each of my shoulders.  “Rina, I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to be an asshole.  Please don’t leave.”


Normally I’d let it go, but he’s pissed me off.  I glare up at him and hiss, “Dante, this behavior is completely unacceptable.  I don’t know what crawled up your ass, but you better get a hold of yourself.  This is NOT ok.  I won’t be spoken to like that, by anyone.  I’m not a child, nor am I one of the Dante-bots.  You aren’t my protector and you aren’t my father!”


“Jesus Sabrina!  I don’t think I’m your father.  I certainly don’t think of you as a child. I’m sorry.  I guess I’m just stressed out.  Let’s go out to dinner with everyone as planned.  We can celebrate your win.”


Oh shit, our families.  I’d forgotten all about them.  What a scene!  I feel like an idiot.  No one has ever made me as angry as Dante just did.  I step to the left and look past him to where the four of them are standing and staring at us, wide eyed.


I step back and look at Dante.  “Fine. I need to go home, shower and change.  I suggest you take that time to calm down.  I’m not eating with you if you start acting like that again. You can pick me up at my house in an hour and I will ride home with Brooke after the movie, as planned.”  I turn and leave before he can say anything else.


Fortunately there is almost no traffic and I’m back at my house in Brentwood rather quickly.  I glance at the clock and see that it’s after five thirty.  I’ve got another forty-five minutes to get ready for dinner which is plenty of time to get showered and changed. 


I’m in and out of the shower in about fifteen minutes and ten minutes after that I’ve finished drying my hair.  I style it in to a high pony tail and use the curling iron to make a flip at the bottom.  I apply dark kohl to my eyes to create the ‘cat eye’ style.  An application of mascara, a dash of blush and light lip gloss and my look is complete. 


I’ve picked out a beautiful silk Akiko kimono dress for dinner tonight.  It ends above my knees, and I adore the way it hangs.  I add my tan Burberry platform espadrilles and a pair of gold hoops to complete the look.  I’m just spraying myself with my favorite perfume, J’adore, when the doorbell rings. I’m calmer now, and I hope Dante is too. 


I’m relieved when I open the door and he’s smiling.  He looks me up and down and gives a whistle.  “Rina you look stunning.  Nice dress.”


I chuckle as I raise my shoulder and say “Oh, this old thing?”


He laughs too, and I’m thrilled to see that he’s back to his charming self. He helps me lock up and then we head to dinner.


The ride to the Monsoon Café in Santa Monica is pleasant.  Dante gestures to the iPod that is attached to his radio and tells me to put on whatever I want.  After a few minutes of searching, I choose The Eagles greatest hits, and we sit in companionable silence listening to the music. 


Brooke, Damien, Spencer, Dominique and Delilah are already seated when we arrive.  Everyone is a bit tentative as Dante and I sit down, but once they see that we are ok, they start acting normally again.


By the time our dinners arrive, we are all totally relaxed and enjoying ourselves.  The sushi is delicious and we’re all having a great time sharing rolls with each other while talking about life and current events.   


Dante insists that we all order desert, gesturing at me as he says that some of us have recently lost a lot of weight that we didn’t need to, and desert can’t hurt.  I laugh at how silly he’s being.


It’s classic Dante- always wanting to take care of everyone, thinking that he knows best.  I don’t really need to be persuaded- the banana tempura at Monsoon is one of my favorite things, and I dig in to it with enthusiasm when it comes.


The meal comes to an end and we go our separate ways.  Damien and Spencer both have “dates” (a generous term, they are both worse than Dante) so they beg off for the night, but the rest of us will be meeting at Dante’s to watch a movie.


Once we’re back at the house, Dante heads in to the theater room to set up the movie and I grab bottles of water for everyone.  I know we are all too stuffed to eat popcorn, so I don’t bother making any. 

I’m surprised that the girls aren’t here yet.  We left at the same time. 


Dante’s phone rings and sure enough, it’s them.  They stopped back at Dominique’s apartment to grab Brooke’s car and Dominique’s neighbor was having a party, so they’ve decided to stay with their friends. It’s unlike them to bail on us, but Dante and I decide to watch the movie anyway, choosing to watch in the living room instead of the theater room since it’s just the two of us.




I situated myself on the chaise portion of Dante’s enormous leather sectional as he put the movie in, and now I am stretched out, ready to watch. It’s nice, it being just the two of us.  Normally some or all of our siblings are here too.  We spend a lot of time alone together, but normally not at his house, at night.


About ten minutes in to the movie, I start fidgeting.  My feet are a little sore from all the dancing so I scoot forward and take the Burberry platforms off.


Dante must have been watching, because he comments when I wince as I pulled the shoes off.  “What’s up Rina?  Did you hurt your ankle or something?”


“No nothing that serious.  My arches are just sore from all the dancing.  I’m sure the fact that I wear heels every day anyway isn’t helping!’ 


Staring at my feet he says, “As a man, I love your footwear. You have amazing taste in shoes and lord knows you’ve got a ton of them, but I don’t know how you walk in those things.” 


Putting the movie on pause he wanders out of the room, returning about a minute later with a bottle of lotion.  He sits next to me on the couch and pats his lap.  “I’m at your service.   Give me your feet and I’ll rub them.”


I’m momentarily stunned, and consider saying no, but I don’t want to draw attention to the fact that I’m skittish about him touching me.  I swing my legs up on to this lap and smile.  “Thanks Dante, you’re the best.”


I’m leaning back against the sofa with my feet in Dante’s lap, watching as he puts a few pumps of lotion in to his hands and rubs them together.  He picks up my left foot and gently starts rubbing the lotion from the tip of my toes to the bottom of my calf, paying special attention to my arches.


Oh, wow.  This is extremely intense. He’s very, very good at this.  It feels like jolts of static electricity are running up my leg, each pass of his fingers sending a current right to my cleft.  


The minutes pass in silence while he rubs.  When he switches to my other foot, I feel like I might combust. 


Shit… this is becoming a serious problem.  I actually have to bite my lip to keep from moaning.  I’ve never gotten this turned on so fast. I can actually feel my underwear getting wetter by the second. 

BOOK: Broken Hart (The Hart Family)
3.82Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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