Chapter 119 All Bite And No Bark
Every time we made love, Dominic seemed nothing short of an insatiable beast. I ended each session feeling like a limp rag doll.
Last night was no exception. It seemed like it was dawn by the time I collapsed into an exhausted sleep.
If not for the phone ringing incessantly on my bedside table, I might have slumbered until the following night.
When I picked up the call and heard Dominic’s voice, I thought I was still dreaming.
Didn’t he sleep with me last night? Why is he calling me from inside the house?
I hung up the call in a blur. My brain slowly awakened after I vegged out on the bed for a few more minutes.
What was he telling me on the phone? Oh, he wants me to get ready because he’s arriving in half an hour to take me to my father’s talk.
It was a struggle to sit upright in bed. Glancing at the clock, I realized it was one in the afternoon.
Hmm, less than two hours to my dad’s talk. Dominic can’t be human. Where does he find the energy to get up so early in the morning after last night’s activities?
I did not know when he had left, but it must have been pretty early.
I had only half an hour to get ready, but I did not have the energy to wash up any quicker.
Dominic arrived as I finished my shower.
“Did you take my house keys?” I asked after getting over my surprise.
He did not refute my guess, and I could not be bothered to interrogate him further.
We left at close to two in the afternoon. If there aren’t any traffic jams, we should be able to make it to Lightspring University just in time for his talk.
My stomach began grumbling in protest after last night’s strenuous activities.
I glared at Dominic. He doesn’t care about me at all if my parents aren’t around. He didn’t even think to get me something to eat.
Spying a convenience store up ahead, I got Dominic to stop the car.
I sped into the shop and picked up a couple of snacks. To that, I added two chicken sandwiches, a hotdog, and two cans of my favorite lemonade. I wrapped up my purchase gleefully before returning to the car.
Dominic stared at me quizzically as I boarded the car with bags of food in hand. He sounded incredulous as he asked if I was planning to finish everything.
I tossed him a disdainful stare and complained about my hunger.
“That’s none of your concern. I’m starving, and even if I can’t finish the food, seeing this whole pile makes me happy. Someone happy and full like you won’t understand my joy.”
Dominic’s attention was on the road as he replied lightly, “Who told you I’m full?”
Thanks to the chicken sandwich in my mouth, my voice was muffled as I said, “You left so early in the morning. Why wouldn’t you have eaten since then?”
“I had back-to-back meetings the whole morning. There wasn’t time to eat.”
I swallowed my sandwich and scoffed. Who’s going to believe your sob story? Grabbing a bite can’t take you more than a couple of minutes.
Still, my heart softened as my gaze landed on the bag of food. “I still have a sandwich. Do you want some?”
I removed the sandwich from the bag despite having warned myself that I should ignore him. “I’ll feed you, then. Do you want it?”
Dominic seemed chuffed by my offer. There was a ghost of a smile on his face as he nodded.
I tore the sandwich into bite-size pieces and fed him, even offering a can of my beloved lemonade to him.
All the while, I wished I could slap some sense into my love-addled brain. What’s wrong with you? He’s going to think you’re all bark and no bite!
When we were about to reach Lightspring University, Dominic suddenly stopped the car on the side of the road. He got off and bought a bouquet from a small florist shop.
“Why are you getting flowers?”
“So you can give these to your dad after the talk is over, silly.”
His thoughtfulness surprised me; a gift for my dad had not crossed my mind.
Given our rather late departure and detours along the way, we made it to Lightspring University with barely a few seconds to spare.
I ended up texting my mom about our arrival instead of calling my dad. Dominic and I entered the lecture hall via the back door.
The hall was teeming with people, and there were only seats left in the last two rows.
I pulled Dominic with me toward some seats near the wall.
In truth, I had never been to a single one of my dad’s talks. While he had taught me when I was young, my childish self had found it annoying, which resulted in complete avoidance of his public talks.
As the talk progressed, I was pleasantly surprised at how humorous my dad was. Every once in a while, he would crack a joke to break up the serious mood. The students in the hall seemed to hang on his every word.
My dad was peppered with questions from the audience once the talk ended. My mom accompanied him while Dominic and I headed outside the hall to wait for them.
About ten minutes later, my parents finally left the lecture hall with some of my dad’s colleagues in tow. I had met some of them in the past.
I pulled Dominic along as I approached my dad. Passing the flowers to him, I said, “Dad, Dominic bought these for you. We wanted to pass these to you right after your talk, but we were seated at the very end; it was hard to make our way to the stage. So we waited here.”
My dad seemed to be floating on cloud nine at this point. He received the flowers with the brightest smile on his face, muttering that timing was secondary to our intentions.
“David, I envy you for having a daughter. Look at how sweet she is. She showed up for your talk and bought you flowers.”
The person who had spoken was my dad’s colleague, Harry Lindt. Like my dad, he was a university lecturer.
I smiled bashfully at his praise. “Hello, Professor Lindt.”
Harry was close to my dad and had dined with us at home on several occasions.
He smiled fondly at me before turning his attention to Dominic. The smile faltered.
His puzzled expression set off warning bells in my head. Harry had been a guest at Julius’ and my wedding. He probably did not know about my divorce, and it hardly seemed like an appropriate conversation topic between him and my parents.
I heard him asking hesitantly, “Lili, who’s this? He’s not your husband, I presume. They don’t quite look alike.”
My brain froze up as I struggled to come up with a reply. Above all, I was worried that Harry’s question might have upset my dad.
To my parents, my divorce could not be anything but an embarrassment.
My dad’s response, however, startled me. He answered casually, “Lili and Julius are divorced.”
Harry was rightfully shocked. After all, I had been married to Julius for all of six months.
He smiled awkwardly before staring at Dominic once more. There was a hint of curiosity in his gaze as he asked, “So who is this?”