“Myla, this runt here is my sister, Meka. Meka, my wife, Myla,” Kai says, making me feel instantly nauseated.
I didn’t realize I would be meeting his family, let alone meeting them as his wife. I can’t imagine that this will be easy to explain or easy to undo when the time comes, and having other people involved will only make it that much more difficult.
“It’s nice to meet you, Meka,” I finally get out.
Another smile lights Meka’s pretty face up as she looks at her brother then back at me and shakes her head. “You said she was pretty, but you didn’t tell me how pretty,” Meka says, making butterflies erupt in my stomach as Kai’s fingers flex around my hand. She takes a step back then holds up her hands in front of her, forming a box with her fingers before squinting and closing one eye. “You guys look perfect together—her with all that blond hair and you with that long, womanly, dark hair.” She giggles, and I cover my mouth when an unexpected laugh explodes from it.
“Don’t encourage her,” Kai grumbles from my side, but I can see the side of his mouth tip up slightly in a smile.
“Seriously, you guys look good together,” she says as she looks at her brother, her eyes going soft.
“All right, kid, If you’re done annoying me, tell me where Kale is.”
“You’re never any fun.” She pouts, putting her hands on her hips.
“And you’re always a brat,” he tells her, but his tone is loving.
I have seen Kai be soft before, but I have never seen him the way he is with her.
“He was near the barbeque pit the last time I saw him.” She shrugs then waves off in the distance when someone calls her name.
“Anything you want to know, Myla, you call me. I know all of his dirty secrets,” Meka says, making me smile before she walks off towards the water.
“I might do that,” I say under my breath as Kai begins walking again. “I didn’t know I was going to meet your family,” I tell Kai as my feet move double time to keep up with him through the thick sand.
“It’s not a big deal.” He shrugs.
I can feel myself frown at his words. I have no idea how he can say that it’s not a big deal when, to me, it’s huge.
“They know we’re married. We’re not staying married, so I think it is a big deal,” I say, tugging his hand and forcing him to stop.
“Myla, I’ve told you from the beginning that I wouldn’t let anything happen to you. I know what I’m doing.”
“This isn’t about you keeping me safe, Kai. This is about you lying to your family.”
“My family knows me. They trust me to always make the right decisions. So, no, it won’t be easy, but in the end, everyone will know I did what I had to do,” he says adamantly.
“Why don’t you just tell them the truth now? Be honest about it. That way, they’re not surprised.”
“I can’t. If that information falls into the wrong hands, then this whole thing was for nothing. Our marriage needs to seem as real as possible. Only my closest men know the truth,” he informs me.
“But it’s your family. Don’t you trust them?” I ask, feeling my eyebrows pull together in confusion.
“I do, but I also know they are not my employees. I can’t kill them if they disobey me.”
I feel my eyes widen and my mouth drop open with shock at his words.
“I’m kidding, Myla.” He shakes his head.
I search his face, but he doesn’t appear to be joking, and all of a sudden, I feel like Alice when she fell down the rabbit hole.
“All you need to know is you’re safe. Trust me to keep you that way.”
“Alrighty,” I mutter, rolling my eyes.
“Are we done?” he asks impatiently, but I can tell that, if I wanted to talk, more he would put off whatever he needs to do and take some time to talk to me. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that that makes my heart lighten towards him.
“Well, it’s your soul, so sure.” I shrug.
His lips twitch, and I notice a small scar that slices through the middle of his full bottom lip. I also notice how his lips look so smooth. I have never been one who really enjoyed kissing, but I could imagine myself really enjoying kissing him.
“Myla?” he rumbles.
My eyes lift to his, seeing that they have darkened. I swallow and take a step back, needing to put some space between us. He clears his throat and lifts his hand to the top of his head, pulling his sunglasses down over his eyes, and I immediately feel like I have been blocked out.
Without another word, he takes my hand again and begins to lead me across the beach. This time, his pace is slower, like he’s more aware of me. As soon as we reach the bonfire, he pauses and begins to look around. I don’t know who he’s looking for, but my body is wound tight and the butterflies that erupted in my stomach earlier have not lessened. Plus, it’s not helping that his thumb is continuously moving in circles over my skin, causing my awareness of him to never calm.
“Kale!” Kai shouts, and I follow the direction of his gaze.
My eyes land on a man with short hair who is almost as handsome as Kai. He’s wearing a pair of swim trunks printed with large Hawaiian flowers on them. He starts towards us, his eyes locking on our entwined hands, and I can see trepidation in his gaze as he comes to stand in front of us.
“Mom and Dad are here,” the guy named Kale says.
I feel my body freeze, and I begin to look around, trying to pick people who also could be related to Kai out of the crowd.
“I thought they weren’t going to be home for another week,” Kai mumbles, holding my hand a little tighter.
“Did you really believe you could call Mom with news that you got married and she wouldn’t rush home to meet her new daughter?” The guy scoffs like Kai’s an idiot, and I’m beginning to believe that that might be the case.
“They were in Australia,” Kai says.
I twist my hand slightly to pinch his skin between my fingers as hard as I can, needing to get some of my frustration out. If I could knee him in the nuts without causing a scene, I would do it without a second thought.
“You got married,” Kale repeats.
I stop pinching and begin digging my nails into Kai’s palm. I’m so angry that I could spit fire. I can’t believe he brought me here knowing his family would be here, and I really can’t believe he at least didn’t tell me that he’d told his family we got married.