“You don’t trust me, do you?”
Domini purposely let her gaze drop to his left thigh. She let it linger before she looked at him again. “You think I’ll laugh when I see your prosthesis? Or are you afraid I’d be grossed out by your missing leg and run? Help me understand, Cam, because as much as I like you and trust you, I can’t do this anymore. It’s all or nothing.”
Two-hundred-odd pounds of aggressive, challenged male was right in her face. “Why are you pushing me?”
“Because you need it.”
“So what’s it going to be?”
The air stayed still and quiet.
It broke Domini’s heart to see him retreat. To watch that strong, chiseled face lower to his chest, almost in defeat.
After a couple minutes passed, Cam said, “You’re right.”
Her heart beat again; she breathed again.
“I’ve hidden my injury, my stump, my disability, whatever the hell you wanna call it, from everyone, not just you.”
“It embarrasses me that I’m…broken. Most the time when I’m wearing the prosthesis and it’s covered with regular clothes I can pretend I’m normal. But when that shit is off and I’m completely naked? I see I’m not a whole man. I can’t lie to myself. And I sure as hell can’t lie to you.”
His anguished tone nearly broke her resolve. Be strong for him now because he needs it.
“The only person in my family who’s seen it is Keely. And that’s only because she moved to Cheyenne and became my personal physical therapist. She kept everyone in our family away. She helped me deal with all the doctors and the prosthetic specialists, the millions of prostheses fittings, the excruciating rehab and learning to walk again. She…pushed me.
“Keely wouldn’t let me give up even when I wanted to give up on myself.” He briefly squeezed his eyes shut. “Jesus, did I want to just f**king hide myself and my ugly stump from the world.”
Even though Domini ached to go to him, she stayed put.
“After a few months of Keely working her ‘rah rah you can do anything’ magic on me, I tried to reclaim the sexually charged guy I’d been.” He laughed bitterly. “What a joke. I had sex one time after I had the hang of walking on my prosthesis. One. Fucking. Time.”
“I got her clothes off. I went down on her. She came. I thought all was going great…then she reached for the button on my jeans and I totally f**king panicked. I mean, the type of panic that’s pure debilitating fear. I knew I should’ve told her about my stump. I knew I should’ve practiced getting naked because when faced with it with a stranger the first time…I couldn’t f**king do it.”
Domini was well versed in those types of panic attacks, but she still didn’t go to him. He needed to get this all out.
“I’m thinking to myself, what a f**king loser I am. Somehow, I managed to pull it together and insisted we do it from behind. I only dropped my pants far enough she felt my c**k and a little of my upper thighs. I f**ked her fast and left. She probably never knew. But I did. The worst part was I realized I’d never be the same man. I’d be half a man. I never wanted to try again…until I met you.”
A million thoughts raced around in her head and she couldn’t seem to voice a single one.
Finally, Cam said, “Say something. Your silence is killing me.”
“Well, as encouraging as it is that you want to return to being that sexually charged man with me, you’ve still been selfish.”
Cam’s head snapped up. “Excuse me?”
No doubt he’d expected her to coo sympathy. To be sweet, soft-spoken and pat him on the head while clucking there there, it’ll be all right little soldier, all is forgiven.
“Not sharing your body or yourself with me is selfish. Oh, I understand you wanting to maintain the illusion of male perfection, but know something? I don’t want an illusion, Cam. I want a real man. I want you. I don’t care what kind of lover you used to be. I care what kind of lover you are now. And I can’t be the kind of lover you need if the only part of you I’m allowed access to is your cock.”
He stared at her with absolute shock.
“Uh. Yeah. Usually you’re so s—”
“If you say shy I’ll brain you,” she warned.
“No.” He smiled slyly. “I was gonna say subtle.”
“I am subtle and diplomatic most of the time, but there comes a point where in your face is the only option.”
“So Miss In-Your-Face, have I f**ked this up completely by being a selfish and clueless dickhead?”
“Not by a long shot. Not since you’re willing to admit some things need to be different between us.”
Cam released a long, slow breath. “Thank you. I…I’m sorry.” He laughed self-consciously. “What do we do now?”
Humbling, that this formidable man looked to her for direction. The sudden boost of confidence allowed her to erase the distance between them. She twined her arms around his neck and held him until he stopped shaking. “First we get completely naked. Then we see how smokin’ hot it is to have sex in missionary position. Then we test out my cowgirl skills as I ride you. All within the parameters of your control, naturally.”
“Sound like a plan?”
“Sounds like the best plan I’ve ever heard.” Cam lowered his head and kissed her stupid.
Sweet baby Jesus. If Cam was crazy about Domini before, it was nothing—nothing—compared to the way he felt about her now.
He flat out f**king loved her.
The woman had guts. No one in his life said shit like that to him. Not even his in-your-face sister, not even at his lowest point. And the hell of it was she’d been exactly right. He had been a selfish bastard in bed. Even Domini’s surrender had been about him.
No more. He would lay himself bare for her. Completely. He ripped his mouth away and mumbled, “Stay with me tonight. At my house. All night.”
“Maybe. It depends on a couple of things.”
He ignored the spike of fear and said, “Anything. Name it.”
“Well, can I touch you as much as I want? Because I have a lot of catching up to do.”
“As much as you can handle.”