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The Husband Beside Me(9)


“What?” I pulled back a little to see him smiling his sexy devilish smile again.

“Don’t you think the song is a little too telling?” he asked.

“I don’t care. I love it.”

“Whatever you say, Addie,” he said lightly.

I didn’t want to admit it, but Daimon was right about how much I’d love this. I just wished it was with someone I loved, but just like I can pretend to be his wife, I could pretend I was with the man of my dreams. Once the song ended, we were escorted to our own little table toward the back of the room.

“The flower arrangements are nice,” he noted as he looked over to me, watching me as I took it all in.

“They’re called peonies. I love them. My mother used to grow them when she was alive.” I looked at the table arrangements. They literally took my breath away. Jessica said the florist was the best in the city and from her connections I could believe it. The main hall was dimly lit, while tea candles were placed everywhere, some even hung from the ceiling by silk ribbon. The flower arrangements were a combination between soft pink Esperance roses, which were nestled with white and pink peonies. Mini green hydrangeas were mixed in to balance the soft colors. It was simple and romantic. It was exactly what I had envisioned. I watched as our guests, many of whom were strangers, sat down on perfectly set rectangular tables that were placed in the small alcoves, positioned off to the side. The band played old-school jazz music. The soft sounds of the saxophone, the gentle tapping of the drums and the strumming of the bass, added to the atmosphere. It fit so nicely with the rustic red brick building and iron trusses, which were high above us. The night seemed perfect and magical.

“What?” I asked, after I noticed he didn’t look away.

“You love this,” he grinned.

“Shut up,” I said in a hushed voice.

“Just admit it. I know you better than you think,” he said confidently. I hated that he knew I would be happy.

“I’m not admitting anything,” I gritted out through my smile.

The waiter came and began pouring our champagne.

“The bracelet? Who gave it to you?” he asked as he took his glass.

“My father. It was one of two things he ever bought my mother,” I muttered as I took my glass and drank a little.

“It’s pretty,” he said still watching me, damn him and his piercing blue eyes.

“Stop it!” I nearly shouted.

“Stop what?” he said annoyed.

“Stop looking at me like that!” He laughed as he drank his champagne. “Addie, you’re my wife. I’ll fucking look at you if I want. Come, I think it’s our cue to go around thanking our guests.” He nudged his head to everyone.

“What cue?”

“Jessica’s waving at me with that look on her face.” Daimon leaned his head toward the back of the hall. I looked past the crowd and saw her looking exasperated. I laughed the moment I saw her. That look did me in. She even stomped her foot when our eyes met.

“Now that’s worth every fucking penny,” Daimon said slyly.

“What is?” I asked.

“Hearing you laugh like that,” he replied. I stopped, feeling my heart skip.

“Shut up, Daimon!”

“Shall we?” He stood up and took my hand. I followed him as he introduced me to his various business associates.

“She’s stunning, Daimon. You're a lucky man,” Rafe said as he approached us.

“Don’t I know it,” Daimon said proudly.

“Congratulations to you both. It was totally meant to be,” Rafe laughed as he walked up to me and kissed both my cheeks.

“Hey, get your own girl,” Daimon bit out possessively.

“Relax, Daimon. Everyone knows Addie’s yours,” Rafe stated, laughing at his friend’s expense.

“I suppose congratulations are in order.” I heard from behind me. I watched as Daimon’s face fell. I looked around and there was his mother. She was the picture of pure elegance as she stood in front of us.

“That’s my cue to leave,” Rafe said coldly. I guess Rafe didn’t like her much either.

“I honestly don’t understand why you married her, but your father is beside himself. He decided to not come to this ridiculous farce,” she said quietly, not wanting to make a scene, but I knew she wanted to ruin this day for us. “Addie, I have to say with the right kind of money, you do clean up well. The only thing I’m going to tell you to do is take off that tacky bracelet of yours. That stunning dress is being ruined by it!” Her venomous words made me want to slink away. I tried to release my hand from Daimon's, but he held on tighter.