Melt for You (Page 47)
“Okay. And thanks.”
He stares at me, unsmiling. “You’re welcome.” He goes inside his apartment and closes the door.
I shower, dress, and head to work, my thoughts preoccupied with Cam and the look on his face when he asked me if I was sure Michael is what I want.
When I get to work, there’s a note on my desk, slipped under my keyboard so only one corner is showing. It’s in a sealed envelope with my name printed on the outside. Curious, I tear into it before even removing my coat.
I’m sorry I upset you. Last night didn’t go at all how I’d hoped. I hope you can forgive me for being such an ass. It’s been so long since I’ve dated, it seems I’ve forgotten how.
His cell phone number is written beneath.
Exhaling a slow breath, I slip the note back into its envelope and put it into my handbag. Then I sit in my chair and stare at my dark computer screen, arguing with myself about whether or not to send Michael an email or give him a call.
Ultimately, I decide to follow Cam’s advice and play it off like it doesn’t matter. I bury myself in work for the next few hours, until my desk phone rings.
“Joellen Bixby speaking.”
“This mornin’ sucked.”
Cam’s voice is curt with tension, but I’m instantly relieved. “Last night, too. I couldn’t sleep.”
There’s a fraught pause, then he exhales. “Me neither.”
“Are you still mad at me?”
“I was never mad at you, lass,” he says quietly. “You bloody hardheaded woman.”
Thank God, we’re making up. I’m giddy. “Good, because if I had to listen to your music again, I’d throw myself out a window.”
He chuckles. “That’s a little dramatic, don’tcha think?”
“Plus I owe you two more home-cooked meals.”
“Is that right? You’ve been countin’?”
His voice is classic McGregor I-know-you’re-in-love-with-me smug. “So have you,” I shoot back playfully, “and don’t even try to deny it, prancer. My meat loaf is the best part of your day.”
“Aye, lass. Your loaf is almost as good as your pie.”
I smile, twirling the phone cord between my fingers. “Speaking of my pie, any requests for your last two meals?”
Cam’s voice changes, goes a little rough. “Well of course I want that pie, lassie. I love that pie. Sweetest thing I’ve ever had in my mouth.”
Heat flashes over my entire body. An image of his face when he broke the kiss on the couch floats into my head, and I squirm in my chair. A new subject is in order or I’ll need to change my panties.
“There’s a picture of us on the internet. A celebrity gossip site.”
He curses under his breath. “I’m sorry. Are you okay?”
“Yes, I’m fine, and you don’t have to be sorry. I think it’s raised my cred around the office. The girl who sits next to me is treating me like I’m Beyoncé. And a couple of the guys in accounting said hi to me on the elevator. I think next they’re going to ask me to get your autograph.”
Cam sighs. “It’s not me the guys from accounting are interested in, you wee daft bugger.”
That makes me feel good. If I had a mirror in front of me, I’d be preening into it, petting my hair like a horse’s mane. “You’re very good for my ego, you know that?”
He snorts. “Well, you’re shit for mine, so at least one of us is happy.”
He’s unhappy? I don’t want him to be unhappy, especially not because of me.
“Don’t forget I called you beautiful, prancer.” When he doesn’t respond, I hurry on, worried he’s thinking I was lying. “I meant it, too. You’re like this big, gorgeous, mountain of a man, who also happens to have a great sense of humor and an excellent vocabulary. You’re a catch.”
His continued silence terrifies me. Just when I’m about to ask him if he’s still there, he says, “Sounds like I deserve a sonnet. We’ll call it ‘Mountain Man.’ What rhymes with enormous muscles?”
I laugh, relieved I didn’t just stick my foot into my mouth. “I already wrote you one. But it wasn’t about your muscles, it was about your eyes.”
As soon as it’s out, I want to commit seppuku with the metal letter opener in the pen cup next to the computer. I close my eyes and bang my head softly against my desk.
Cam lets me off the hook with an easy laugh. “Sure, lass.”
He doesn’t believe me. Thank God. Because what possible reason could I have to be writing sonnets about his eyes? There isn’t one. Not a rational one, anyway. It just . . . happened. I can’t be held responsible for the doings of my muse!
“Why’re you breathin’ funny?” asks Cam when I don’t say anything. “That pesky intestinal gas botherin’ you again? You want me to stop by the store and pick you up a few pairs of your charcoal panties?”
“Ha.” I swallow loudly, trying to get myself together.
“Wait.” He’s quiet for a beat. “Don’t tell me you really did write me a sonnet.”
My groan is the sound of someone watching a casket being lowered into the ground.
“Lassie. You know what happens if you lie to me.”
God, that dark promise in his voice. Why the hell do I like that so much? “Yes, I know what happens, prancer. You’ll take me over your knee.”
“But . . . if I just don’t admit something, that’s not lying.”
“It’s a lie of omission. It is lyin’.”
“God, it’s like you’re looking for an excuse to spank me!”
“I’d like an excuse to do a lot of bad things to you, darlin’. You have no idea.”
The tone of his voice . . . oh my. Low, gruff, and deadly serious, it sets quite a few of my nerve endings atingle. Okay, all my nerve endings.
It must be all those stupid tingles that make me say what I say next.
“Like what?” I hold my breath, waiting for his answer, but his mercurial mood switches from dark and smoldering to light and bantering with the blink of an eye.
“Ach, wouldn’t you like to know! Don’t you have work to be doin’, you slacker?”
“Hey, you’re the one who called me.”
“Aye, I did. And now I’m gonna hang up. Don’t forget—pie tonight, darlin’.” His voice drops. “And I want it extra hot.”
Then he’s gone. I set the phone back in the cradle, surprised to see my hand trembling.
At six o’clock on the nose, Cam strolls into my apartment without knocking. I’m in the kitchen preparing—you guessed it—shepherd’s pie.
“Fair warnin’ to all the occupants of this house, Cameron McGregor is here!” he booms, closing the door behind him.
Mr. Bingley had been busily grooming himself on a kitchen chair, but when he feels the vibration of the door closing, he freezes, wide eyed, then flies into the living room with his tail poufed in excitement.
“Hullo, you wee ball-less bastard,” I hear Cam say affectionately from the living room. “Where’s your mum?”
In a few moments, Cam appears from around the corner of the living room with Mr. Bingley draped contentedly like a stole across his shoulders. “Lassie,” he declares, his chest puffed out, “what d’you think of my new fur coat?”