“Did you have fun last night?” she asked around the lump in her throat.
“It was okay.” The door opened behind them and Gracie was jumping and yipping around Anton.
Domini froze. “Cam?”
“Gracie! Settle down. Sit.”
“Aw, she’s not hurting me,” Anton said, blocking Domini from the dog. He crouched down and stroked her head. “She’s pretty. But Gracie is a kinda weird name.”
Gracie allowed Anton to pet her.
Kyler leapt onto the deck beside them. “Ain’t Gracie great? I wish she wasn’t fixed so she and Rascal could have puppies.”
“Puppies would be cool.”
Cord ambled up and smiled. “Congrats to both of you.”
“Thanks. Please tell AJ the dinner was so thoughtful and very delicious.”
“Will do.” He focused on Cam. “How are you?”
“Never better. You?”
Cord smiled. “I recognize that look.”
“Are you loadin’ up the stuff from Domini’s apartment today?”
“Hadn’t thought about it, but I guess I should or else Keely’ll throw it out the window in her desperation to move outta Ma and Dad’s place.”
“True. That’s why me’n Colby are offerin’ to drag stuff up and down the stairs for you.”
Cam’s smile flattened. “Nah, that’s okay, I can get it.”
“You sure? It won’t take—”
“I said I can handle it,” Cam said tersely.
Cord pushed his hat back and stared daggers at Cam. “Ky, why don’t you show Anton where Cam keeps the four-wheelers.”
“Okay.” Ky and Anton rounded the deck toward the garage. Gracie whined on the deck.
Anton stopped and looked at Cam. “Can she come with us?”
“Sure. Say ‘come’ and pat your leg. But if she jumps up on you, bump her aside with your knee and make her sit. I don’t need her knocking me over.”
“Come, Gracie.” Anton slapped his thighs. Gracie took off like a shot, tail wagging.
The air between Cam and Cord was heavy with tension.
“Don’t be stubborn, Cam. Us wantin’ to help you ain’t a reflection of your disabilities. There’s no sense in you fightin’ them stairs when you don’t have to.”
Cam crossed his arms over his chest. “I appreciate the offer.”
“But you’re turnin’ it down flat,” Cord said.
“Goddammit. This is asinine. We all just want—”
“To humiliate the cripple?” Cam snapped. “Hell, why don’t you invite Colt, Kade, Buck, Quinn and Ben too? So everyone in the whole f**kin’ family knows that I can’t take care of—”
“Cam. Stop.” Domini planted herself in front of him. “Take your brother’s help.”
He scowled. “I don’t need it.”
“Yes, you do. And if you don’t take it, I’ll move all the stuff by myself.”
“Like hell,” Cam and Cord said simultaneously.
“See? You two can agree on something.”
Cord’s smile was as slow and as lethally sexy as Cam’s. “I am so gonna love sayin’ ‘listen to your wife’ little bro, since you get such a huge f**kin’ chuckle outta sayin’ it to me all the damn time.”
Cam relaxed. Smirked. “I can’t wait.”
“Seriously. Let us help you.”
“Fine. As long as it’s only you and Colby. Not Ma and Dad, not anyone else.”
“Not a problem.”
“There’s not much anyway, maybe one load, I don’t have much,” Domini said. “And Anton’s stuff is still boxed up in the entryway so that’ll be easy.”
“Maybe we oughta just go get it done now.” Cord’s look challenged Cam. “Will it piss you off if I suggest you stay here with the boys?”
“Then I’ll say it.” Domini stood on her tiptoes to whisper, “Stay here and save your strength for tonight because you’re gonna need it, husband.”
“We won’t be long. And if Anton and Ky get hungry, just feed them mac and cheese.”
Domini and Cord returned three hours later. Cord stacked the boxes on the deck and Cam insisted on taking them into the house. Once Cord’s truck was unloaded, he and Ky took off.
Anton sat on the steps with Gracie.
“She seems to like you,” Domini said.
He didn’t answer.
“We picked up your stuff from your mom’s house.”
“Want to see your room?”
Domini wondered why Anton was surly. She showed Anton his room. “The bathroom is across the hall.”
“Where is your room?”
She pointed. “Right there. I’m not far.”
“Didn’t Cam feed you?”
“Yeah, but he burned it. Tasted so crappy the dog wouldn’t even eat it.”
“Anton! That’s not nice.”
“But it’s true.”
“Come on, I’ll fix you something.” She whipped up a couple grilled cheese sandwiches. While Anton devoured the entire plate, she jotted down grocery items. Good Lord the man was a bachelor to the core when it came to food. That’d have to change.
Cam entered the kitchen through the sliding glass door. “I thought I smelled food.”
“You want a grilled cheese?”
“Sure.” He came up behind her and kissed her neck, sending a delicious shiver through her. “Better make it two.”
“We’ll need to hit the grocery store later.”
Domini looked over at Anton. “Anything special I need to put on the list?”
“Oreos. Chips. Mountain Dew. Cap’n Crunch.”
“No, no, no, and maybe.” She’d seen a box of Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch in the cupboard, so she knew Cam liked it. “Name something healthy.”
“Because eating that stuff is bad for you.”
“It’s what I like. My mom never said I couldn’t have it.”
Anton already played the “my mom” card? “Your mother and I had very different ideas about food, remember? So for now, we’re doing it my way.”
“Your way sucks.”