Where We Meet Again (Arrow Creek 1)

Page 87

“That sounds…” the scratchy words forces me to stop to clear my throat, “that sounds great, honey, sure. Let me give you some money.”
I turn in search of my purse. A minute alone would be good, but I don’t make it a step before Law’s voice comes at me.
“It’s on me. I’ll take one, too.” He pulls his wallet from his back pocket and curls a twenty into Evelyn’s hand.
“Thank you,” I whisper to Kiersten as she passes. What I’m thanking her for, I don’t know.
What I do know is that after seventeen days, Law shows up on my doorstep, and I’m interested in what he has to say without my daughter around to eavesdrop. Kiersten took care of that problem. Proving, as always, that she’s the best friend a person could have.
Together, me standing in the entry and him on the porch, we watch them drive away. A wind whips out of nowhere, blasting icy crystals across my cheeks. I tremble from the cold.
“In,” he commands, then his body pushes me back into the house. Throwing the door closed behind him, he twists the locks and toes out of his boots. “Bedroom.”
My spine stiffens in shock. “You’re out of your damn mind if you think after disappearing for seventeen days, you can just come back in here and order me to lie down for you like some submissive sex toy.”
His brows shoot up, nearly disappearing beneath the hair hanging over his forehead. “You know about what a submissive is?”
Considering he knows about my near-virginal sex status, I may have just admitted my childhood-love-turned-enemy that I read erotica. What could be more embarrassing than that?
“You want to talk, then talk.” Changing the subject seems like a great idea.
“You’ve been counting how long I’ve been gone.” The roughness of his voice takes my breath away. I missed it, missed him, even though I can’t admit it out loud.
“It wasn’t hard when my daughter felt your absence more than anything else.”
Law swallows and runs a hand over his messy hair. I track the movement with my eyes, fighting the urge to reach out. I don’t mean to throw that in his face when I understand why he left.
“You can’t do that again, Law. You can’t do that to her. Either you’re here or you’re not, but you can’t keep going back and forth. I’m not going to do anything to stop you from having a relationship with her, whatever form that takes, but decide and stick with it. You and I might not get along, but you’re hurting her more than anyone else.”
“You’re right, and I’m sorry.”
My jaw drops. Did he just… did that really happen? Did he apologize?
I don’t get the chance to ask. With one big step, he closes the space between us, presses me against the wall, and cages me in with his arms. The breath leaves my lungs in a whoosh, and it feels like my heart stutters to a stop. “What’s happening?” I whisper, breathless.
“You and I, we need to talk. In the bedroom. Because if those two come back and we’re not done talking, I don’t want that to be a reason to stop.” His eyes drop to my lips, and he runs his tongue over his bottom one. “Once that’s over, we’ll do other things.”
The tip of my tongue tingles with a question to that statement, but I swallow it down. I’m not going to ask. I’m not sure if I want to know.
“You need to let me go so we can.”
He straightens and slides his arms away, leaving me feeling oddly bereft.
“Lead the way.”
I close my bedroom door behind him, resisting the urge to rest my forehead against it. Darkness bathes the room except for a sliver of blue light coming from the master bathroom. Law becomes a silhouette moving fluidly through the darkness before my bedside lamp clicks on.
“Come and sit.” He drops himself onto my bed.
“I’d rather stand.”
“Cami, please. I’m not here to fight with you. I haven’t… I haven’t slept. I haven’t been able to stop thinking.”
Now that he mentions it, I recall when I answered the door. The shadows of my bedroom play tricks with the angles of his face, making it even more weary and drawn. Releasing a sigh, I climb up and sit cross-legged in the center of the bed.
Law doesn’t waste any time launching in to what he has to say. “I went back home to Logansville.” He fiddles with a loose string on my bedspread, his eyes drawn downward to study his movements. They come back to mine. “Do you remember? The day with my dad?”
I make to get off the bed. “We don’t need to talk about this.” Panic crawls beneath my skin like a colony of ants. Wiping my hands over my arms doesn’t make it stop. “Please, can we just move on?”