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|Down London Road(On Dublin Street #2)(46) by Samantha Young|
‘Thank you,’ I whispered gratefully.
When conversation started up again, Joss chortled under her breath. ‘He’s scary, right?’
‘Yeah. He sees more than most people.’ She eyed me carefully. ‘Is there something going on with you we don’t know about? Are you and Cam okay?’
I thought of all my insecurities and the fight I was having with them on a daily basis. ‘Just finding our feet with each other.’
‘Sure. Well, I think he’s pretty cool. I mean, before you met him you would never have taken a job from Braden.’
‘Yeah, don’t rub it in.’
‘Jesus C, woman, I didn’t think anyone was as proud or as stubborn as I am.’
‘Well, you were wrong,’ I answered drily.
Joss laughed. ‘Yeah, and now you have your very own caveman to … shake out some of that stubbornness.’
I felt my cheeks warm at the thought of Cameron shaking out my stubbornness tonight. Good times ahead.
Joss snorted. ‘Just keep that thought to yourself.’
There are times in life when there is so much going on you may feel as though you don’t even have a chance to take a breath. You wake up, you get washed and dressed, the day is a blur of events, work, activities, chores, and then before you know it, your exhausted body is melting against your pillow and mattress. Then, in what feels like two seconds later, your eyes are forced open at the sound of the alarm clock. That’s how my life was for the next few weeks.
Because there was so much going on, I let go of my neurosis for a night and stayed in Cam’s bed until morning. It was the Wednesday after the weekend with Mick and Olivia. As soon as the alarm went off, I groaned, shoved back the covers, and jumped out of bed.
Apparently Cameron found the way I got out of bed very amusing.
I watched his na**d shoulders shaking as he pressed his face into his pillow.
My heavy eyelids and nervous anticipation of my second day working at Douglas Carmichael & Co didn’t add up to a whole lot of patience. ‘It’s not that funny.’
Cam pulled his sleepy, grinning face out of the pillow. ‘Baby, you’re hilarious,’ he said in his sexy, sleep-roughened voice. I wanted to dive back under the covers with him, but I had to get ready for work.
‘If I don’t jump out of bed right away I’ll fall back asleep. What you’re doing … I can’t do that.’
He pushed himself up to look at me, the tenderness in his eyes stopping me in my tracks. ‘You’re f**king adorable. You know that, right?’
His ability to make me blush was ridiculous. No one got under my skin the way he did, or made me feel less like myself and yet more like myself. I looked away as I wandered out of the room to the bathroom. ‘I’m going to be adorably late.’
That was as much one-on-one conversation as we got out of each other over the next two weeks. That first week we’d both started our new jobs (well, Cam had started back at his old job), Mick and Olivia invited us out for dinner, came over to Cam’s for dinner, took the three of us to the cinema, spent alone time with me and Cole while Cam hung out with Peetie and Nate, and generally crammed as much time in with us as they could. I willingly spent that time with them, unsure when they’d be returning to the States. I couldn’t imagine how expensive their hotel bill at the Caledonian was. Mick said Yvonne had inherited money from her grandmother – part of the contention between Yvonne and her family – and that she’d left that money to Mick and Olivia when she passed away. It wasn’t ‘forever’ kind of money, and the trip to Scotland was eating its way through it. I knew Mick well enough to know he wouldn’t want to continue to waste his money on hotel bills.
As much as I found Olivia easy to be around, it was Mick’s company that I craved. Like a real dad, he refused to let me pay for anything, he gave me fatherly advice, and teased me mercilessly, just as he had when I was a kid. Being around him brought back that feeling of safety, security, and of being accepted for who I was. He also examined all the work I’d done in the flat and re-emphasized Cam’s point that I had a talent for it. I’d never been told by anyone that I had a talent for anything and now two of the most important men in my life insisted I did.
It was pretty bloody brilliant.
During the second week I saw less of Mick and Olivia. He had decided that he wanted her to see a bit of her heritage, and so he’d booked them into an inn in Loch Lomond and they’d disappeared for a few days. That left me to focus on getting the hang of my new job. It wasn’t too difficult. Braden had set me up as an administrator and I helped out at reception as well. It was a much livelier place to work, with estate agents in one room and administrators in another. Everyone was always coming and going, and there were a number of young, good-looking guys who worked as estate agents and liked to flirt with the admin staff.
Their reaction to my arrival had been almost comical. A new toy to play with! Except my inner flirt had lost a lot of her flair since meeting Cameron. Yes, I could smile and banter with the best of them, but the heated come-on in my eyes and the promises in my teasing smile had disappeared. I was no longer constantly looking for a backup plan. I didn’t want a backup plan.
All I wanted I had, in one annoyingly right, somewhat arrogant, kind, funny, patient, tattooed man.
As I was working Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the estate agency and working my usual Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights at the bar, I saw Cam very little, as he’d started a new project at work that was eating into all his spare time. He had returned to evening judo classes, and so I saw him when he popped up to the flat to collect Cole for class. I had gone to him on Tuesday night, but he had fallen asleep on top of his drawing desk by the time I’d got there. I’d had to gently wake him up and make sure he made it to his bed. He’d wrapped a surprisingly strong arm around my waist and pulled me down on to the bed with him. I let him, enjoying being close to him even if he was unconscious. When his arm relaxed, I managed to slip out without waking him up.
By the time Saturday came around, I missed him. I didn’t want to be that needy, cloying girl, and I hadn’t thought I was. But I missed not seeing him as often, and I was used to spending time together talking and laughing, sitting in comfortable silence, or having the most incredible sex.
It had only been a week.
Christ, I was addicted.
That Saturday was the night of Joss and Braden’s engagement party, and since I’d cleaned out my wardrobe by selling most of my nice dresses on eBay, I was going shopping for a new dress on my new, smaller budget.
To my surprise, Cameron offered to accompany me.
It became apparent very quickly that he hated shopping.
‘Why did you come?’ I asked him, laughing as I found him brooding in the corner of Topshop.
He immediately took my hand and led me out of the shop. ‘Because I miss you,’ he told me, completely unabashed at the confession. ‘If I have to endure this to spend time with you, then so be it.’
Deciding his valour deserved a kiss, I laid a hot one on him right in the middle of Princes Street. When his arms wrapped tight around me, holding me as close as I could get, I decided it might have been a bad idea. By the time we pulled back, letting immature catcalls from a group of prepubescent boys insisting that we ‘Get a room!’ ricochet off us, our skin was on fire. We hadn’t had sex in a week. That was a record for us. A dry spell we both apparently wanted to end, and end soon.
Now was not the time. ‘Tonight,’ I whispered against his mouth and reluctantly let him go.
I tried not to put him through the torture of shopping for too long. We went into one of my favourite high street stores on Castle Street, Cam complaining loudly about the pop music blaring out of the sound system because it was so deafening that it was almost impossible to hear one another, while I grabbed a bundle of dresses to try on. The lady at the changing room entrance tried to stop me from taking Cam in with me, but I charmed her, explaining that I needed my boyfriend’s advice since it was a very special evening, wink, wink. She could take that wink, wink any way she pleased, and she did, grinning and letting us pass. To my delight, I found the largest changing room empty and dumped all the dresses inside. I pointed to the stool outside the curtain. ‘You can sit there.’
Cam sighed and folded his tall body on to the stool. When I grinned down at him, his lips twitched. ‘That’s the first time I’ve actually heard you call me your boyfriend.’
I scrunched up my face in protest. ‘Uh-uh.’
He grinned. ‘Really.’
I braced myself as I asked, ‘How did it sound to you?’
His smile softened and he nodded. ‘Very nice.’
We shared a moment and I found myself growing all glowy inside. ‘Okay,’ I sighed, attempting not to seem like an adoring teen in love. ‘I’ll try to be quick.’
After shutting the curtain, I hurried out of my clothes and into the first dress. I thought it was too short. Cam agreed. ‘This is easy.’ I smiled and dashed back behind the curtain. There was a succession of ‘no’ and ‘maybe’ verdicts until I finally tried on a dark blue lace pencil dress, classy and elegant but so body-forming that it was sexy too.
‘What do you think?’ I twirled around for Cam as I came out from behind the curtain.
His eyes drifted from the tip of my toes to my face, growing more heated as they did. Then he merely nodded.
I raised an eyebrow in question. ‘Good?’
When he just nodded again, I shrugged and dipped back behind the curtain. I stared at my reflection for a moment. Well, I like it.
I was just about to reach for the zip, when the curtain ruffled behind me and Cameron slipped inside, pulling it closed behind him. I felt my heart begin to speed up, my skin already flushing with anticipation. I didn’t need to ask him what he was doing. I knew that look on his face all too well.