Chapter 115 The Apple Of Their Eyes
Dominic’s glare was so powerful I felt like he was burning a hole right through me. I loosened my grip on his arm immediately.
I began to feel a little guilt-stricken. Perhaps I had reacted a little too strongly just now.
“Don’t take it personally. I’m a caring person by nature. I would’ve said the same to anyone else.” Even after explaining myself, I still felt somewhat uneasy. I turned around and saw that my parents had caught up with us.
I seized the opportunity to h**k my arm through Mom’s while instructing Dominic, “Why don’t you go and bring the car over? We’ll wait for you here.”
Before Dominic could answer, Mom was already expressing her displeasure.
Patting my hand lightly, she voiced her disapproval, “Lili, stop ordering Dom around. Your dad and I have legs. We can walk.”
I retorted with a pout, “What’s the big deal? He’s my boyfriend now. Can’t I ask him to drive the car over? Dominic, are you going to do it or not?”
An idea had popped into my head when I heard Mom speaking up for Dominic. He was the one who suggested putting on an act for Mom and Dad. Why shouldn’t I grab the chance to order him around? He won’t dare to show any hints of unhappiness in the presence of my parents no matter what I ask him to do. This is the perfect opportunity for me to give him an eye for an eye. If I miss this opportunity, I may never have another chance to repay him for what he did to me.
I deliberately lifted my chin in a defiant manner to show him that I had the upper hand now.
In fact, I not only had the upper hand — I was practically his boss.
Right after that, I saw Dominic’s thin lips curve into an indulgent smile as he said to Mom, “Helen, Lian is right. I’m her boyfriend. My only duty is to make her happy. Now that you’re here, I want to make sure you’re happy too. Please give me a minute. I’ll be right back with the car.”
The man walked off after that. I was still trying to process what he had just said.
That indulgent smile on his lips and that doting look in his eyes felt so familiar. I was somewhat reminded of the good old days where Dominic had showered me with nothing but love and devotion.
I was only shaken out of my reverie when I heard Mom praising Dominic again. I pinched myself discreetly to stop my train of thoughts. No more thinking about such things!
It was not enough for Mom to go on and on about how wonderful Dominic was. She even turned to Dad, expecting him to join her in singing my boyfriend’s praises.
Dad was a little more reserved, but it was still clear from the look on his face that he was very pleased with Dominic.
Looking at Mom and Dad’s reaction, I felt an urge to bang my head against the wall. Why are they so happy with Dominic?
Dominic came back with the car very quickly. He got out of the car and opened the car door for Mom and Dad. He was even more proactive and attentive this time than when he drove Dad to his class reunion.
Both my parents were extremely impressed with Dominic, and it showed on their beaming faces. I even seemed to detect more fondness and affection on their faces when they were looking at Dominic than when they were looking at Louis, their own son.
I opened the door to the front passenger seat and climbed into the car, silently complaining about the situation in my heart.
As we drove off, I could hear Dominic saying, “David, I heard that you’re in town to give a speech at a university. I suppose it’s Lightspring University?”
Dad answered enthusiastically, “Yes. I was not keen on the idea at first, though. There are many other teachers in the university. Moreover, I am almost in retirement. But Helen said we could drop by at Lili’s for a visit, and the university kept inviting me to come over. So eventually, I agreed.”
Dominic responded very quickly, “That’s because you’re a knowledgeable and polished speaker. Any reputable tertiary institution would love to have you grace their events.”
That was music to Dad’s ears. Having been an educator all his life, there was nothing he loved more than being complimented on his accomplishments and expertise in the education field. Dominic was spot-on in currying Dad’s favor.
As I listened on, I was trying my best not to show my disdain.
There was more. Knowing that Dad and Mom must have booked their accommodation near Lightspring University, Dominic suggested we have our dinner at a restaurant in the vicinity of their hotel to not tire them out.
Having impressed Dad with his thoughtfulness, Dominic then turned to Mom and engaged her in a cheerful conversation for the rest of our journey.
I rolled my eyes. What a bootlicker!
Over dinner, Dad and Mom took turns to enthusiastically pile food on Dominic’s plate, completely oblivious to the fact that there was already a mountain of food on his plate.
As for me, I was left to fend for myself. My parents had practically forgotten that they still had a daughter.
Noticing that I was munching on a stalk of celery, Dominic placed a piece of short rib on my plate. He tenderly stroked my hair and said, “Don’t just munch on vegetables. You should eat some meat too.”
Mom joined in, saying, “Lili, look how nice Dom is to you. Don’t just keep eating alone. Share some of your food with him.”
When I heard that, I almost burst into tears. Am I missing something here? The two of you have been piling food on his plate and ignoring me all this while. If I don’t feed myself, I’m going to die of starvation. There is a mountain of food sitting on his plate now while my plate is empty!
I wolfed down the piece of short rib before retorting, “He has hands. He can help himself. Dominic, more short ribs, please!”
“Hey, you’re being childish. Dom, ignore her. You don’t have to share your food with her.” Mom was losing her patience with me.
Another piece of tender, juicy short rib appeared promptly on my plate. Dominic said smilingly, “It’s all right, Helen. I enjoy watching Lian eat. The more she eats, the happier I am.”
“All right. Let’s all just have a peaceful meal.” Dad finally broke his silence.
I made Dominic share his food with me for the rest of the meal, and he made sure every request I made was acceded to.
I ended up having a very satisfying meal. On the other hand, the pile of food in front of Dominic was almost untouched by him.
We did not leave right after the meal as Dominic had also ordered a fruit platter and some desserts.
He seemed to be doing quite a good job at entertaining my parents while tending to me. I happily faded into the background and kept myself busy with the food and drinks.
While I was enjoying my pudding, Mom started talking again. “Dom, I suppose Lili and you are living together now that we’ve seen you at her place?”
Dominic did not reply, shooting me a glance instead.
I caught his eye and almost choked on my pudding.
What’s he looking at? Doesn’t he know he’s supposed to answer in the negative?
I hurriedly interjected, “Mom, you’re thinking too much. We’ve not progressed that far…”
Dad interrupted me with an authoritative wave of his hand, “We know very well what you young people are up to, even if we don’t spell it out. You don’t have to lie out of consideration for our feelings. If you’re living together, you can tell it like it is.”
Plop. I dropped my pudding onto the floor. Oh gosh. Where are the boundaries you used to draw, Dad? What happened to the Zanetti family rules? Have you thrown all that out the window because of Dominic?