Distracted by her unprecedented behavior in allowing a stranger into her apartment, Lily bent to reach under the kitchen sink for the dishwasher soap, hoping that would explain the flush in her cheeks as Dominic and Katy rushed inside. She needn't have bothered. It was immediately clear they were barely aware of her as they laughed and chattered, lost in their own world. Irritated, she filled the soap dispenser, shut the dishwasher and started the machine before turning to face them.
Staring at the look on Katy’s face, seeing the soft, kiss-bruised lips, the sparkle of joy in her eyes, Lily felt a sudden, chill foreboding. What if the stranger—she hadn’t even had the presence of mind to ask his name!—what if he was telling the truth about Dominic, that he couldn't be trusted? This was her gentle, kind, lovable best friend.
Her deliriously happy and utterly captivated best friend.
Lily turned her attention to Dominic. He was one handsome guy, no question. He also couldn’t seem to keep his hands off Katy for two seconds. Every time she tried to move forward, he pulled her back against him and nuzzled her hair, or bit her ear lobe, or kissed her neck. Twisting, squirming, they wrestled playfully until Dominic grabbed her braid, wrapping the long rope around his hand to reel her in. Breathless, Katy laughed as she was pulled into his arms, and Lily could only watch in growing dismay as a little teasing kiss suddenly became something so sensual and urgent, Lily had to drop her eyes, feeling like a voyeur as their blatant desire for each other ignited.
Clearly, no matter who Dominic Cantrell really was, or whatever his agenda might be, there was no question he wanted Katy just as much as she wanted him.
On edge, anxious to hear the mystery man's story, and what he could tell her about Dominic, Lily restlessly opened the refrigerator as his serious, tired face rose in her mind. Rummaging, she pulled out some food and quickly began making a large roast beef sandwich with all the trimmings. Reaching in the cupboard for a plate, she placed it on a small tray, piled a large helping of potato salad next to the sandwich, added a few other leftovers from the party and an assortment of cupcakes.
Ready to go upstairs, she turned toward Katy and Dominic. “Guys, if you don’t mind? I’m going up to bed.” Disconcerted, Lily watched Dominic’s eyes dart from her face, to the laden tray of food, back to her face. He raised a brow, then with a knowing smirk, he spun Katy around so they were both looking at her. It only took a moment. “Holy crap, Chareau,” Katy sputtered, looking at the tray, “that’s more food than you eat in a week!”
Defensively, she said, “It’s just a sandwich and some cakes. I've hardly eaten all day.” Then she caught herself and stopped. There was no need to defend herself in her own home, eating her own food. “Go away, you two.” She walked to Katy, pulling her into a warm hug. “Thanks for all the help with the party, the invitations, decorations, everything. It was the best party we’ve ever had, I’m sure.”
“You’re welcome,” Katy smiled, returning the hug. “And yeah,” she grabbed Dominic’s hand, “it was definitely the best party we’ve ever had.”
Trying to be gracious, she said softly, “Thanks for your help too, Dominic. I don’t think the Bodley twins will ever be the same.” The three of them shared a laugh, then Dominic swung Katy up into his arms and walked to the back door. He bent slightly to allow her to reach down for the knob, then as they maneuvered over the threshold, he looked over his shoulder and caught Lily's eye. With a sly glance at the tray, he smiled. “Have a nice evening.” Then as he carried a giggling Katy down the steps, his parting shot slid into the room, “Enjoy your...food.”
Lily glared as the door softly closed, the annoying sound of Dominic's laughter fading into the night. His cocky arrogance was a stark reminder that she had far too many questions. Quickly she locked the door, turned out the lights and picked up the tray. As she hurried toward the stairs, she hoped the man waiting in her apartment had as many answers.