And kept screaming.
He jackknifed, not knowing where he was. He attempted to roll away and run from danger.
“Cam!” Hands slapped his cheeks. Legs pinned him down. “Wake up.”
He blinked in the near darkness until the face belonging to the voice swam into view.
“Domini? What are you doing in…” Shit. He wasn’t in Afghanistan. The force of the old nightmare hit him anew and the shakes started. Sickness roiled in his belly. “Oh f**k.”
“Ssh. It’s okay. I’m here. I’ve got you.”
“I know. Lay back.”
“Ssh. I’m here.” Domini cupped his face in her hands. “Look at me. Let me help you.”
“Okay,” he whispered. “Don’t go.”
“I’m right here, Cam. I’m not going anywhere. I promise. I’m right here.”
She turned him on his side and covered him with the quilt after pressing her body tightly to his. Domini settled her right palm on his chest directly over his heart. She placed her left arm behind his head on the pillow and tenderly stroked his clammy forehead with her cool fingers. She murmured in his ear. He couldn’t tell if her words were Ukrainian or English.
It didn’t matter. Cam closed his eyes and focused on her voice. It soothed him. Her gentle touches, her sporadic sweet kisses, her presence was a healing balm to his soul.
Domini nuzzled the back of his neck and stayed with him through every second of his meltdown.
He seemed to regain some semblance of control faster this time than the first night they’d spent together. Might make him a needy bastard…but he just didn’t want her to let go.
And she didn’t. Domini didn’t ask questions or babble to fill the empty air. Without doubt, if he did decide to spill his guts, she wouldn’t judge him. She accepted him and he felt safe with her. At peace.
Goddamn. He loved her so f**king much.
She deserved better than the shitty way he’d treated her when he’d first walked in the door. He rolled to his back and she was still touching him. Still offering him solace. Still acting like she cared. Like she loved him.
Cam swept her hair behind her ear. His voice was thick with emotion. “You’re beautiful. I’m the luckiest goddamn guy in the world to get to come home to you every night. Thank you for staying with me through that.”
“You’re welcome. You better?”
“Much, thanks to you.”
“I’m glad.” She smiled softly and sweetly stroked his scarred face.
“I’m sorry I was such an ass earlier.”
“You were an ass.”
He sighed. “I’ll work harder on bein’ less of an ass, okay?”
“I appreciate the apology and I forgive you. So, I’ll put the liver and onions I had planned for dinner tomorrow night on hold.”
Before he drifted off, he murmured, “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. Rest, Deputy. I’ve got your back.”
When Domini reached up and switched on the fan, he didn’t mind a bit.
Exhausted. Domini was just plain exhausted.
The fatigue wasn’t from her randy husband keeping her up until the wee hours proving his sexual mastery. No, his big body hadn’t been in bed next to her for the last three weeks.
Since Cam had started his month long assignment to third shift—ten pm to six am—she wasn’t sleeping well. Add in the upheaval at Dewey’s after firing Bobby and she’d been working eleven-hour shifts. Naturally, none of her days off coincided with Cam’s days off. It drove her crazy to think she’d seen more of Cam before they’d married.
Cam was equally frustrated at their lack of time together. He suggested she quit working at Dewey’s, even going so far as to hint he earned enough money to support them and her job wasn’t necessary.
Not necessary? Keeping her job was essential, not only for financial reasons, but her own sanity. She was good at her job. Not all women had the burning desire to stay home, bake muffins, iron clothes and pop out kids.
Like the last one was even an option.
She’d pointed out they hadn’t discussed the issues before their hurry-up wedding, so it shouldn’t have shocked him they held different perspectives. Add Anton into the mix and it was turning out to be a very messy soup.
Anton’s surly behavior had mellowed, but whenever his new reality hit him, he’d become inconsolable. Domini feared she was doing a lousy job mothering Anton, but she couldn’t share her concerns about her lack of parenting skills with Cam. Cam had even less skills than she and it didn’t seem to bother him.
Granted, the six-month waiting period to start formal adoption was good in that Cam and Anton needed time to establish some kind of relationship—because right now, they had no relationship. What if it didn’t get better? Would she have to choose between Cam and Anton?
It’d been a rocky start all around.
She mixed the taco seasoning with the ground beef and layered it over the noodles. After sprinkling the casserole with cheese, she slid it in the oven and set the timer.
Her arms were elbow deep in dishwater and she was lost in thought when a muscular body pressed against her, the thick forearms braced on either side of the sink.
“Mmm, I like you like this. Confined. You can’t really move without splashing yourself. So I can do this—” Cam rubbed his lips on the back of her head, “—and this—” he nosed aside her hair to flick his tongue across her nape, “—and especially this—” he dragged openmouthed kisses up her neck.
Goose flesh broke out.
Cam continued his sensual assault with his heated breath, clever mouth and questing tongue. She closed her eyes, absorbing every sensation, craving this side of her dominant husband.
“My wife, my Domini,” he murmured, “I want to f**k you. Just like this. No time for you to think, no time for you to move. I’d drop your pants and drive into you hard.”
“Since you like it fast, I’d go slow. So.” Kiss. “Very.” Another kiss. “Very.” Another kiss. “Slow.”
“But I’d let you choose which side of your neck I sink my teeth into. This area makes you squeak,” Cam fastened his mouth to the left dip between her neck and collarbone and sucked.