“Run? It’s like five miles in,” Cam said.
“I haven’t done PT today so it’ll be good for me.” Brock’s pearly whites flashed. “Plus, it ain’t often I get a chance to run in the rain and sling mud from the tires.”
“Have a ball.” Truthfully, Cam needed time to put himself back together. Literally.
A few hours later, after Cam and Brock cleaned up, they were glued to an MMA event on the big screen. Things were back to normal, placing bets and shouting insults about the opposing competitor. Cam’s work phone buzzed in his pocket. “Shit.” He hit mute on the TV. “McKay. Uh-huh. No. It’s okay, I know exactly where it is. I’ll be there in a bit.” He shut the phone.
“Deb can’t find a file and since Sheriff Shortbull is in the office, she doesn’t feel comfortable picking the lock on my desk to get it. So I have to go in. Won’t take long.”
Brock’s gaze fell to Cam’s left side. “You sure you’re up for it? You did crash today. Maybe you should tell them—”
“Then you’d better get some beer while you’re out. I’ll just hold down the couch—ooh, Jesus that had to hurt.”
Cam rolled his eyes. Brock was obsessed with MMA; he probably wouldn’t notice Cam was gone.
Brock shouted, “Hey, pick up some food too. I’m starving and neither of us can cook worth a shit.”
Domini had driven out to return Cam’s shirt, which she’d washed, pressed and hung up. But Cam’s truck wasn’t around and a cute red sports car sat next to the garage.
And yes, maybe she wanted to meet the guy who hadn’t given up on Cam in Iraq. But Cam hadn’t invited her over. Maybe Cam didn’t want his friend to know about her.
Just drop off the shirt and leave.
Cursing her flip-flopping behavior, she grabbed the plastic bag and headed for the front door.
Several minutes passed before a nearly bald man, wearing camo and a Vin Diesel scowl, loomed in the doorway. “Yes?”
“Is Cam here?”
“Oh. Well, I stopped by to drop off his shirt.”
“Who are you?”
“Domini, umm Domini Katzinski. I’ll just leave it—”
“How do you know Cam, Domini, umm, Domini Katzinski?”
What was with the sarcasm and the third degree? Was this guy a cop? Too bad she didn’t have the guts to snap off, “I’m f**king Cam. What’s it to you, ass**le?” Instead, she said, “We’re…friends.”
“And your friend Cam just happened to leave a dress shirt at your house?”
“Does this happen often?”
“No. It was the first time.”
His sharp gaze softened and those melted chocolate eyes widened. Then his mouth broke into an enormous grin that would’ve made her weak-kneed—if she hadn’t already succumbed to the power of Cam McKay’s smile. “Why don’t you come in?”
“That’s not nec—”
“I insist.” The guy strong-armed her into the house. He flashed that devastating smile again. “I’m Brock Tennyson. Cam and I go back to basic training.”
“Cam mentioned you’d planned to visit.” This Brock guy was absolutely mouthwatering. Brown eyes and skin the color of rich coffee. He was built like a dream, deeply cut muscular arms, a contoured chest, trim hips and waist, yet he wasn’t as impossibly muscle bound as Cam.
“Funny, Cam didn’t mention you, sweet Domini.”
“I’m not surprised.” Since it’s just sex between us.
“Cam’ll be back any minute. Would you like a beer while you wait?”
Say no. “Maybe just one.”
“That’s a girl.”
Domini followed Brock and froze in the entryway into the kitchen. “Is Gracie here?”
“She’s sleeping on the deck out back. She did a lot of running today. Why? Did you want me to bring her in?”
“No! I mean, that’s good she’s outside. I don’t really…get along with dogs.”
“But Gracie isn’t just any dog.”
Where had she heard that before?
Brock popped the cap on a bottle of Corona and handed it over. “Didn’t Cam tell you how he ended up with Gracie?”
She shook her head.
“When Cam was rehabilitating in Cheyenne, this do-gooder group began showing up with ‘therapy animals’. At that time Cam was in his bitter stage and he didn’t want anything to do with anyone, let alone an animal. He refused the therapy, but one day Gracie escaped from her handler and cowered under his bed.
“He didn’t rat her out. He realized she didn’t want to be a therapy animal any more than he wanted one. Long story short, they bonded and the people were more than happy to pass Gracie off to Cam, because she’d broken the rules and attached herself to one person.”
“I know how she feels,” Domini muttered.
Brock’s eyebrows drew together but he didn’t comment.
Domini stayed mum and swigged her beer.
“You an MMA fan?”
He sighed. “I’ll have to whip that white boy for your lack of education. Come into the living room and prepare to be enlightened on the ways of the ring warrior.”
She perched on the edge of the couch and watched two guys beating the crap out of one another with punches, kicks and wrestling moves. Brock cheered them. Booed them. It wasn’t her thing, but she saw how it’d appeal to men with an abundance of testosterone. Like Brock. Like Cam.
“So how long have you known Cam?” he asked.
“He’s been coming into the restaurant I manage for a while. Only recently have we…started seeing each other outside of working hours.”
“You’re very diplomatic, Domini. Where are you from? Switzerland?”
“No, the Ukraine.” Her head snapped up. Blood tinged her cheeks. “I get it. Neutral. Switzerland. Funny.”
Brock shrugged. “I’m guessing it wasn’t a picnic living in the Ukraine after the Chernobyl disaster and the fall of the Soviet Union.”
“It was bad, which was why I left.”
“Not as a mail-order Ukrainian bride, I hope.”
“No. That was never an option for me.”