She stood still and glared at him. “Of course I do, Daniel, because I wouldn’t want to crowd you. You’re used to your bachelor lifestyle where women are interchangeable, and I’ve crossed the line.”
“You’re overreacting,” Daniel said. “And I’m sorry if I’ve made you feel unwelcome. That wasn’t my intention. You know I enjoy your company and I’ve always treated you well, haven’t I? You’ve been happy with me?”
Angela laughed. “Of course, Daniel, you know I have. It’s been nothing but the best Miami has to offer, but there is more to life than fancy dinners, private jets, beachside cottages and front-row seats at Heat games.”
Daniel glanced at her warily. Where the hell had that come from? “You’ve never complained before.”
“And I’m not now, Daniel. You’ve been nothing but generous. What’s not to like?”
He heard the sarcastic note in her tone and ignored it. “Then why are you angry at me? Because I was just being honest. Our relationship is moving at an alarming rate and I hadn’t realized we were at the stage of leaving our belongings at each other’s place. We haven’t talked about where this is leading. What exactly are you looking for?”
* * *
Was now the time to tell Daniel how she truly felt? If she didn’t, Angela would never get another chance. She had to be completely honest with herself and him about what she wanted—no matter the consequences. Even if it meant losing him. Because hadn’t she already?
Dropping her bag to her floor, Angela turned to face him. “Well, it’s not what you think, Daniel. You can relax. I don’t need a ring on my finger or a Mrs. before my name.”
She couldn’t read his expression. Was it a look of relief or disappointment on his face that she wasn’t ready to throw herself headlong into marriage? Angela wasn’t sure.
“What do you need?” Daniel queried.
“I need,” Angela responded softly, “all of you.”
“You have all of me. What you see is what you get, Angela. I’m not hiding anything from you.”
“C’mon, Daniel,” she said on a sigh. “You share only what you want me to see, what you share with the rest of the world—a perfectly polished Daniel Cobb with your shiny glass penthouse and your well-ordered life. And what have I brought into it? Chaos. I’ve interrupted your carefully constructed life. Well, guess what, I think there’s more to you than this.” She swept her arm around the room. “And I want that, Daniel. I want the full, unvarnished, unedited Daniel Cobb.”
His brown eyes darkened as he held her gaze. “I’m not hiding anything.”
A painful knot formed in her stomach, but she asked the question she’d wondered about since her encounter with Farrah. “Who is Mia?”
Daniel gave her a fiery, angry look that she’d never seen before, and his nostrils flared with fury as if she had just struck him physically. “What the hell does she have to do with anything? And who’s been talking to you about her?”
A lone tear rolled down Angela’s cheek at the realization that Farrah was right. A heaviness filled her belly at the thought that she’d been foolishly wasting her time thinking that Daniel might come to love her as she loved him. He was stuck in the past. “Not you. Why is that, Daniel? Why have you never shared your and Mia’s love story?”
* * *
Daniel stared back in disbelief at Angela. Who told her? Farrah. Deep down, he’d had a feeling Farrah had told Angela of his history with Mia. It’s why she’d been withdrawn after the club. But when she’d responded to him in bed, he’d thought he might be wrong. But he wasn’t. Sex was never their problem; communication was.
“I don’t want to talk about this,” Daniel stated. He walked over to the glass patio doors and stared out at the dark night sky.
“Why not? Who was Mia to you?” Angela pressed, coming up to stand behind him. “It’s been over a decade, Daniel. Why can’t you talk about her now? Is it because you’re still in love with her and you’ll never love anyone else?”