“I know the feeling,” came from behind her.
She whirled around.
And didn’t he just look good enough to eat? Talk about hotness and sweetness perfectly proportioned. He wore faded jeans and a black tank top that showed off his beefy biceps, triceps and bulging pectorals. His hands were jammed in his back pockets and he watched her with a guarded expression.
“What do you want?”
“Domini!” Bea gasped. “What on earth is wrong with you?”
Yeah, snapping was so unlike her, but she couldn’t quell the surly feeling.
Beatrice wiped her mouth on her apron. “She’s always testy when things don’t turn out the way she’d hoped.”
“Kinda sounds like the way my night went last night,” he said softly, never taking his eyes from Domini’s.
Her heart beat as fast as a mixer on high speed.
“Beatrice, could you give us a couple of minutes?” Cam asked.
“Sure. I’ll just be out front icing down my tongue.” She flounced off.
When Cam remained quiet, Domini said, “Why are you here?”
“I’ve been waiting in the dining room for you for over an hour,” Cam said. “You ignoring me?”
“Hard to do when I didn’t know you were here.”
Cam edged closer. “I wouldn’t blame you if you were avoiding me after the shitty way I acted last night.” His gaze dipped to the collar of her shirt. “I’m here to apologize.”
“For what?” Cam’s brow furrowed. “I think it’s obvious.”
“It’s not obvious to me, so why don’t you explain it?”
An incredulous look appeared only to be replaced with an irritated one. “What? You expect me to grovel?”
“No. I expect nothing from you, which is why it’s so ironic that I’m disappointed.”
“Now wait just a damn minute—”
“Just go.” Stupid chili pepper powder must’ve blown in her face; her eyes smarted with tears. She sidestepped him, muttering, wishing she was the type of woman who could rant and rave and throw things to relay her frustrations.
Cam wheeled her around, boxing her between his body and the steel door of the walk-in cooler. “Will you at least let me apologize before you storm off and start swearing at me in Ukrainian?”
“That was Russian.”
“So I’m an idiot all the way around, okay? Look, I’m sorry…” His gaze lingered on her neck. “I’m so goddamn sorry I was such an animal and marked you last night. First thing. You deserve better than a man who mauls you.”
Her stomach swooped at the self-recrimination in his words. “Cam—”
“This is why I stayed away from you, Domini. You’re so soft and sweet. And I’m too—”
“—much man for me to handle?” she supplied.
Cam’s eyes narrowed. “I’m serious.”
“So am I. At any point last night did I say, ‘Cam, you’re hurting me.’”
“Do you think I am incapable of being honest with you? Do you think I am so desperate for your touch that I would allow you to…hurt me?”
“Dammit. You’re twisting my words.”
“No, I am being honest. And you still don’t get it, do you?”
She searched his eyes. “The only thing that upset me about last night was that you left again.”
He stared at her with complete confusion. But he didn’t back away. “Really?”
“You know I’m not very bold, which means I’ve been waiting to see if you would make a move on me. And when you finally did, and I saw the passionate, demanding side you keep hidden because you think I can’t handle it—”
“You can’t handle it.”
Domini snapped, “You haven’t given me a chance to prove otherwise, have you?”
“Whoa. I didn’t mean—”
“Yes, you did. You assumed. Did you consider I have needs and desires that you might not be able to meet?”
Cam’s face slackened with shock. Then his male pride leapt to the surface all hot and dangerous and in her face. “Oh, princess, don’t go there. I can satisfy all your needs and desires and then some.”
A pause followed as Cam looked at her. Almost as if he was seeing her for the first time. Then Cam framed her face in his large, rough hands. “You deserve a man—”
“—who makes me come so hard I see stars?”
He muttered, “I’m so goddamn tired of fighting this.”
“So don’t fight it.”
The soft brush of his lips over hers was in direct contrast to the heat in his eyes. “All right. You win.”
“I think we’ll both be winners, Cam.”
“You’re coming home with me right now.”
Cam grabbed her hand and strode out the front door, towing Domini behind him. He opened the passenger side of his truck and loomed over her. “You’re sure you want to get involved with me?”
“It doesn’t sound like I’m the one having doubts.”
“I’m not.” He bent to kiss the hollow of her throat. “I still say you’re too good for a broken war bum like me.”
“Trust me, Deputy, I know a thing or two about being broken.” Domini didn’t wait for his response before she climbed in.
Domini mashed herself next to Cam in the cab. The air from the open window blew wisps of her silky hair across his cheek, teasing him with a reminder of her fragrant softness. It was damn close to heaven being alone with her, with dust kicking up behind them and miles of grazing lands on the horizon in front of them, beneath the cloudless Wyoming sky.
She hadn’t said much on the drive out to his place. Most women would be compelled to fill the quiet with mindless chatter. Not Domini. Her silence wasn’t unsettling. In fact, Cam found it comforting.
Cam parked on the concrete slab in front of the garage and shut the truck off.
Domini faced him and smiled softly.
Every time she gazed at him as if she could read his soul, his breath stalled in his lungs.
“Thank you for the moment to clear my head.”
“Are we going to talk first? Or…”