Chapter 120 This Arrangement Ends With Your Marriage
Everyone’s attention landed on Dominic at that instant, including my dad. They seemed to be holding their breath in anticipation of his reply.
I felt overcome with an inexplicable sense of nervousness, almost reminiscent of my feelings last night.
Things would be a lot less complicated if only my parents were around, instead of a number of my dad’s colleagues in tow.
Dominic told me last night that I had no choice but to stay with him. Even if I had conceded to his request, our relationship was nothing more than a scarlet letter on my head.
I could not let my parents suffer humiliation twice, let alone from the adultery of their daughter, which was undeniably worse than divorce.
As these thoughts crossed my head, I tugged on Dominic’s hand, hinting at him to watch his words.
The annoying man grabbed my hand instead and announced, “Good day, everyone. I’m Liliana’s boyfriend, Dominic Hartnell.”
I closed my eyes, willing the heavens to strike me dead with lightning.
There’s going to be h*ll to pay when this facade we call our relationship eventually crumbles.
An array of expressions appeared on the faces of my dad’s colleagues. However, they greeted Dominic affably after his introduction.
A female lecturer even congratulated my dad, though I found her expression rather crude. “Mr. Zanetti, Lili has great taste. This fellow looks like a much better bet than her ex-husband.”
I wanted nothing more than to leave this place. After greeting them, I excused myself on the pretense of buying things and pulled Dominic away with me.
Once we left the lecture hall, I stalked off moodily until I located a bench and sat down.
After stewing in silence for some time, I lifted my forlorn gaze to Dominic.
“Why did you say you were my boyfriend? We agreed that we would only put on this act in front of my parents. Now that my dad’s colleagues know about you, my dad’s going to be humiliated again when we break up.”
Dominic suddenly moved closer to me, warning flashing across his eyes. “You’re going to break up with me? Have you forgotten what I told you last night?”
My anger boiled over, though I was careful to keep my volume down. “I’m concerned because I haven’t forgotten what you said last night. Our relationship is just a show, yet you insist on me staying by your side. What am I? An indentured mistress? If my dad knows that his daughter is an adulteress, the shame is going to shorten his lifespan by decades!”
He tilted my jaw in response. “Don’t worry. Your parents won’t know a thing as long as you obey my orders.”
I shrugged his hand away. What can I do to fix this?
Staring at the dust that had collected on the floor, I made a decision.
Lifting my head to meet Dominic’s gaze, I said, “Let’s make a deal. Promise me you’ll honor this agreement, ok?”
He gestured for me to continue speaking.
“This thing between us ends once you get married; we’ll go our separate ways when that happens. While you remain unmarried, we can treat this as dating around, but I refuse to be your mistress once you’re legally bound to someone else.”
His inky-black pupils focused on me, and he seemed like he was in deep thought.
I fiddled with my fingers anxiously, unsure if he would agree to my proposal.
If he rejected it, I could not come up with a better idea to persuade him.
It seemed like a century later when he finally said, “Ok.”
I let go of the breath I had been holding subconsciously. Great. That gives us a few more months. After that, I can always claim personality differences for causing our breakup. That’s pretty believable.
Suddenly, I recalled how Dominic had always twisted my words to his benefit. I warned, “I’m serious. Since you have agreed, you have to stick to your end of the agreement. Don’t fob me off with excuses when the time comes.”
Again, he replied simply, “Alright.”
Ok, as long as he agrees. If he tries to renege on our deal, I’ll turn his life into a living h*ll!
My mom called just as I ended my conversation with Dominic. She wanted to know where we were.
I had her wait at the university’s entrance with my dad for Dominic and me.
However, I did not see either of them when we arrived at the entrance. After another call, I realized that my parents had gotten lost on campus grounds.
I asked Dominic to wait as I prepared to head into the university to look for them. Surprisingly, he offered to track them down instead.
His devotion to our couple’s act was admirable. He seemed like an eager boy scout whenever it came to anything that involved my parents.
Since he was volunteering his services, it would be remiss of me to reject his kind offer.
While I waited for them at the entrance, I noticed a large pharmacy across the street.
Ah, I should get some birth control. Probably something with longer-lasting effects. I can’t even remember where I kept my old stash. I better be more diligent about taking the meds; downing morning-after pills can’t be good for my body. If I end up pregnant, it can’t end well for anybody. That stupid Dominic’s not considerate enough to wear a condom, so it’s entirely up to me.
Rushing into the pharmacy, I completed my purchase quickly.
As I put the pills in my purse, I could not help but sigh at his selfishness. All men care about is to meet their needs but it is us women who bear the consequences.
Somehow, I was in a great mood as I waited for the traffic lights. I decided to reward myself for my foresight with an ice-cold popsicle.
When I got back to the university entrance, Dominic was already waiting with my parents.
He approached me and asked where I had gone. I took the popsicle out of my mouth and waved it proudly in front of him.
He told me off instead for eating cold things on a chilly day, claiming it was unhealthy.
I pouted and ignored him. Eating popsicles in winter was my favorite pastime; it did not matter how low the temperature dropped.
My mom defended Dominic, saying he only had my best interests in mind. She rounded off her defense by calling me out on my ungrateful behavior.
It was a good thing I had long become immune to the fact that my parents largely sided with Dominic’s opinions over mine.
Dinner time was fast approaching, and we headed for a restaurant Dominic had picked. I did not mind, as long as everyone enjoyed the meal.
My phone pinged a couple of times with incoming WhatsApp messages during dinner, and I pulled it out to check who was texting me.
It was Nicholas telling me about how busy he had been with filming. He followed this up with questions about how I had been.
As I tapped out a reply to Nicholas, I sensed Dominic’s gaze on me, and I shivered involuntarily.