Reaching up, I press my lips against his quickly before pulling back. “It’s fine. I need to get home and start purging my house of Jordan’s stuff.”
A flash of anger clouds Collin’s features at the mention of Jordan’s name.
“It’s okay, he’s not coming back. I told him I’d pack up all of his things and drop them off at his mom’s house,” I reassure him.
He visibly relaxes as he tightens his hold on me. “I have to work the next forty-eight straight hours and then I’m off for a few days. I’ll probably spend the first one catching up on sleep, but after that, you’re mine. Can you stop by my place then? There are some things we need to talk about.”
I try to mask the worry on my face when he says this. I was under the impression that we’d already hashed everything out and that he understood how I felt. I assumed after what just happened in this room that he felt the same. Maybe I misread him and he isn’t ready to jump right into a relationship with me right now. I feel stupid for having these doubts, but I can’t help it. He said he thought about me every single day for seventeen years. That’s got to mean something, right? I hold onto that thought and refuse to let my fear ruin what we’re building once again.
“That’s fine,” I tell him, keeping the smile on my face as I kiss him one last time.
He grabs my hand and pulls me behind him to the door, unlocking it and moving us out into the hall. As we make our way down the stairs to the bay of the station, we pass other firemen and Collin calls out greetings and quick questions about the call they must have just got back from.
I watch his face immediately transform from possessive lover into commanding fire captain. He’s serious and all business as he talks to his men, asking questions and giving praise when needed. It reminds me again of just how much he’s accomplished since we were together. I’m so proud of him for following his dreams and doing what he was so obviously meant to do. I can’t help but feel a sharp pang of regret that I never followed through with my own dreams.
When we finally make it outside, I start to tell Collin how proud I am of him when a loud, piercing tone begins ringing through the bay before a voice announcing a fire emergency blasts through the speakers.
“Cap! We’re going to need you on this one.”
Collin nods his head in the direction of the man who took me up to the gym when I first got here, informing him to cancel his meeting before turning back to face me.
“Duty calls,” he tells me with a smile as the men who haven’t even had a chance to change out of their protective gear from the last call rush past us into the bay, climbing onto the rig, the rumbling roar of the engine echoing around the room so loudly that I have to shout for Collin to hear me.
“Go,” I yell with a quick kiss on his cheek. “Be careful. I’ll be waiting for you.”
His face lights up at my reassurance and I watch him turn and race over to a small closed-door room right off the bay. He races back out a few seconds later with all of his bunker gear tucked under one arm. Jumping easily up onto the side of the rig and holding onto the handle bar as the vehicle slowly pulls out of the bay, he tosses his gear into the open door of the jump seats before pulling himself inside as the truck disappears from sight.
Jesus, he’s so damn hot.
Just that little taste of watching him in action is enough to get my blood pumping again. I never thought I was the type of woman to get turned on by a man in the public safety industry, but now I can’t shake the image of him stalking towards me wearing nothing but his insulated pants, suspenders holding them up over his bare chest, completely covered in sweat and soot from a recent call. He would be like something right out of firemen’s calendar come to life.
Pushing the thought from my mind, I make my way out of the bay and over to my car, determined to get out of there before I get so lost in my fantasies that Collin comes back to find me standing in the same spot he left me.
I try not to think about the things Collin wants to discuss with me as I pull my keys out of my purse and hit the unlock button on the key fob, so lost in my thoughts that I don’t even notice I’m not alone in the parking lot. I jump when a feel someone push against my back, reaching around me to slam the door I was pulling open.
Turning around, I come face to face with Jordan.
“What the hell are you doing here?” I ask in shock.
“I could ask you the same thing, whore.”
His words slur and, smelling the alcohol on his breath, I scrunch my nose up in disgust and take a step back.
“What were you doing inside for so long? Fucking the entire house or just giving it up to that ass**le McDaniels?” he continues.
My face heats with guilt and I immediately squelch it. He has no right to be jealous and I’m not about to stand out here in the middle of the street and feed into his bullshit.
“It’s none of your business what I do or who I do it with. Get away from my car and stay the hell away from me,” I fire back.
He’s on me in a second, his body pressed up against mine, shoving me back against the side of my car roughly. His hand quickly comes up, cupping my chin and squeezing my cheeks so hard that it makes my eyes water.
“You are still my wife. People are already starting to talk. They’ve seen you with McDaniels and they all know you’re f**king him. You’re embarrassing yourself and you’re embarrassing me,” he says angrily, his nose pressed up against mine.