Home > Indulge with Me (With Me in Seattle #10)(17)

Indulge with Me (With Me in Seattle #10)(17)
Author: Kristen Proby

“And you keep us in business.” Mer winks. “Starla called not long ago and asked Jax and me to choreograph her next tour, so we will probably do that.”

“So exciting,” I say, clapping my hands. “I love her new album.”

“Home wrecker,” Sam mumbles under her breath and takes a sip of wine, making us all laugh.

“She never tried to wreck your home,” Mer says. “Leo and Starla are ancient history.”

“I know,” Sam says with a smile. “I’m being petty. I’m sure she’s nice. She just doesn’t get to be around my husband.”

“Totally understand,” I say, patting Sam’s back. “Hey guys, I’m going to go have a word with Dom, and find out how much longer we have until dinner.”

I look around and see Dom standing near the edge of the tent talking to his brother, Matt. Their heads are together, and both of them are frowning.

“Hey guys.”

They immediately stop talking, and stare at me as if I’m interrupting something important.

“Everything okay?” I ask.

“Of course, what do you need?” Dom asks, and I’m taken aback by his brisk tone.

“Uh, nothing. I just wanted to let you know that I was going to check on dinner.”

Dom just nods and I walk away, completely confused.

My God, is Dominic in trouble? Is that what the phone call was about? Is Matt giving him advice?

Holy shit.

I set my thoughts aside, more determined than ever to ask Dom what’s going on after everyone goes home.

Blake is just plating the food in the kitchen when I walk in. Servers are hurrying about, getting ready for the busy dinner service.

“Shall I have everyone take their seats?”

“Yep,” he says, not looking up. “Perfect timing.”

I march back out to the tent, clink a spoon against a water glass to get everyone’s attention, and announce, “Dinner is served.”

Dominic

Steven, my father, clinks his water glass, catching our attention. We’ve pretty much finished the main course, and it seems that Blake has another hit on his hands.

Everyone enjoyed their meals.

“I’d like to say something,” Steven says as he stands. He’s directly across from me, looking about the room with love and kindness, the way he always does when we’re all together. “I’m incredibly proud of you, Dominic, and what you’ve built here at Cuppa di Vita. Not just because of the recognition in the magazine, which is a great honor, but also because you’re doing what you love with the woman you adore.”

He reaches down for Gail’s hand, linking their fingers.

“There’s nothing more important than family. If everything else was gone, the ones who love you would still be here. Thank you for letting us celebrate with you today.”

He raises his glass, and the rest of us follow suit.

“To Dom and Alecia.”

“To Dom and Alecia,” everyone repeats.

“Now it’s my turn,” I say as I stand and button my jacket, looking around at a room of former strangers who now mean more to me than anything. “You’re right, the recognition in the magazine is a great honor. It’s not just mine, but it also belongs to all of my staff and their families, who sacrifice their time so that the vineyard can be a success.

“I had a vision for this place when I bought it ten years ago. I can’t believe it’s been that long now.”

Everyone nods in agreement.

“And I can honestly say that we’ve far surpassed any vision that I had back then. I don’t think I knew how to dream big enough.”

I glance down at Alecia, who’s watching me with wide blue eyes.

“And then this amazing woman came into my life, and I knew what it truly meant to dream. To plan. To want more. None of this would be possible without you, Tesoro. You are my muse, you keep my feet firmly planted on the ground, and you support my ambitious ideas. Thank you for being mine. I love you.”

“I love you too,” she mouths as the family erupts into applause.

I return to my seat and cup Alecia’s face in my hands, pressing my lips to hers.

“You didn’t have to do that,” she says.

“It’s absolutely true.”

She smiles softly, then gets pulled away by Brynna, who wants to talk about a birthday party for their youngest, Michael.

“I didn’t think you’d ever want to leave your house,” Nate says to Mark. “You love that place.”

“Oh, we’re not selling it,” Mark insists. “I worked my ass off on that house. We’ll rent it out for now. We’ve just outgrown it. Who knew that two kids and a dog took up so much space?”

“It’s not the kids,” Isaac says with a laugh. “It’s all of their crap.”

“True story,” Mark replies with a nod. “Isaac had drawn these plans years ago, and put them away. I loved them, and showed them to Mer, and she gave me the thumbs up to build it.”

“Congratulations,” I say as the servers come around the table, setting chocolate cheesecake in front of all of us.

“Oh, look!” Jules says with excitement. “My favorite.”

“Yes, I’m sure they did that just for you,” Will says sarcastically.

“Whether they did or didn’t, I don’t care,” Jules says, taking a big bite. “As long as I get two pieces.”

“I think Blake made an extra one for you to take home,” Alecia says with a wink.

“Hey,” Will protests. “What about me?”

“You’ve eaten enough for six people already,” Meg says with a sigh. “You’re not even the pregnant woman. That would be me.”

“I’ll eat for all three of us,” Will says with a wink.

“Oh crap, I have to go to the restroom,” Meredith says. “Alecia, will you please hold Hudson?”

“Of course.”

Mer passes the baby to my wife and hurries inside. Alecia is a natural with babies. She hadn’t been around them much until she came into our fold, and she slipped right into an easy rhythm with all of the nieces and nephews, holding and rocking them.

“He’s so sweet,” she says and kisses his head, then looks up at me. “Isn’t he tiny?”

“He looks breakable,” I agree, and tuck my finger under his hand, grinning when he grabs on with more strength than I thought he could. “But he’s a strong little thing.”

Alecia smiles, but there’s something in her eyes tonight that I can’t put my finger on. She seems distracted, and quieter than usual.

I’ll get to the bottom of it later this evening, when we’re alone and I can finally give her the surprise I’ve had up my sleeve for months.

“You’re such a little angel,” she whispers to the infant, making me smile.

Losing our baby several months ago was gut wrenching for both of us. I know that Alecia will be an amazing mother, and I can’t wait to do this with her. To be parents together.

“So what’s next, Dom?” Luke asks. “More concerts? Special events?”

“All of those things,” I reply with a nod. “I’m having a new amphitheater built on the other side of the property, where it meets the mountain.”

“That will be gorgeous,” Jules says. “How many will it be able to seat?”

“Five thousand,” I reply and offer her my slice of cheesecake.

“You’re my favorite brother,” she says with a sweet smile and takes a bite of the dessert. “That’s going to rock. You should get Nash to open.”

“We can only do it if it’s next year,” Leo says from across the table. “I promised Sam that I won’t work this year.”

“You could do that,” she says, nudging his arm. “It’s family.”

Leo grins at her. “If you say so, Sunshine.”

“That’s not a bad idea,” I reply, tapping my finger on my lips as I think it over. “It would sell out, that’s for sure.”

“Think about it. When do you think you’ll be ready to open?”

   
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