“Okay. We’re done with that part,” Kam said, tapping his fingers on the computer screen a few times. “Now I want you to do what you did before to calm yourself. Focus on the dance and relax while I take some readings.”
“Okay,” she said, wondering if she could do again what she’d reached out blindly to do during a panic. As it turned out, she could do it even easier without high anxiety edging her consciousness.
“Good. That’s it,” Kam said after a moment, sounding distracted. She opened her eyes. He tapped his fingers on the screen. “We’re done.”
“Really?” she asked gratefully, focusing on him where he sat at the end of the couch, one of the computers balanced on a muscular thigh. She could see some russet highlights glinting in his dark, waving hair. A loose lock had fallen onto his forehead. Sexy as the devil.
“Yes. It wasn’t that bad, was it?” he asked, his gaze sliding over to her.
Lin repressed her genuine answer, which was, about a hundred times worse than having all my wisdom teeth removed in one afternoon. “I guess not,” she said.
“Are you going to tell me now what got you so uptight before you came here today?”
His tone was so mild, it took a second for his words—his intention—to sink in. When they did, she felt the electrode at her throat give a little leap. He watched her calmly, waiting.
“Did you ask me that when I was unprepared just to get an anxiety response out of me? To probe me? That’s an unethical use of your invention!” she accused.
Holding her gaze, he turned the computer in his lap. The computer was shut down. Lin blushed in embarrassment.
“Do you really think I need to use a machine to figure out that something was irritating you? I knew it two seconds after you walked in the door. Now are you going to tell me what’s got your knickers in a twist or not? What the hell did I do?”
Her breath caught in her lungs and burned. Slowly, she exhaled, striving to get control of herself. She began to remove the electrodes methodically from her face, arm, and leg. “Nothing,” she said quietly after a tense moment. “You didn’t do anything but be yourself.”
“Oh, that’s helpful information. So you’re pissed off at something I can’t change?” he asked, his frown deepening, his eyes narrowing. “Can you at least tell me what this irredeemable character flaw is?”
Lin yanked at that incendiary wire that disappeared beneath the towel. She was free to go now. Instead, she met his fiery stare across the several feet that separated them. Didn’t he deserve to know the truth? But if she told him the truth about how she’d found out private information about Phoebe Cane, she’d have to explain about Angus. She still wanted Angus’s arrival to be special for him.
As she looked into his piercing eyes, she again experienced that familiar heavy, warm sensation in her lower belly. Things felt very damp between her thighs.
“It’s not a horrible character flaw,” she finally replied honestly. Suddenly, she felt tired. “And I’m not mad at you. Not anymore. I’m going to go change,” she said wearily.
“Wait a second,” Kam called when she stood. He sounded angry. “Don’t just cut me off like that.”
“I’m not cutting you off,” she said levelly, clutching the towel between her breasts. “Look, I’m sorry. Just forget about it, okay?”
He didn’t reply when she walked out of the room, but she could feel his stare boring into her back. Frustration set her teeth on edge. She didn’t want to fight with him. She didn’t want to feel so vulnerable where he was concerned.
The truth was, she just wanted him. Period.
She retreated to the bathroom to change, grabbing her underwear and letting the towel drop to the tile floor. The bathroom was quite large, featuring a massive antique carved wood mirror over the sink and countertop. Clutching her panties, Lin studied her reflection closely. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes looked bright. Of course Kam had been reading her like an open book. It wasn’t even possible to fool that sharp, quicksilver gaze of his.
She wasn’t really surprised when he called her name and rapped once on the door.
“Yes?” she asked, frozen to the spot, every nerve in her body leaping to life.
The bathroom door clicked open. He met her gaze in the bathroom mirror, his expression hard and unreadable, his eyes gleaming. She felt pinned by his stare, unable to move. Unable to breathe. He stepped behind her. She was naked, save her bra. She felt the fabric of his shirt brush against her back and the fly of his jeans skim against the sensitive patch of skin at the very base of her spine. Hard, denim-covered thighs touched her bare ass.
He silently brushed her long hair over one shoulder, exposing the skin of her back. He slid one hand beneath her hair, settling his large hands on her naked shoulders. Her nipples prickled in awareness at his touch.
“I found out that you have a lover in France,” she explained quietly. It hadn’t been his touch that had popped the truth out of her lungs, but his scoring, inescapable gaze. His hands tightened slightly on her shoulders.
“What are you talking about?” he demanded after a stunned pause.
“Phoebe Cane. Isn’t that her name?” Lin said in a hushed tone. “I realize I have no right to be angry about it. In fact, anything I felt when I first found out has faded now. You don’t have anything to worry about. I just thought you deserved to know why I was acting . . .” She faded off, unable to find the right word for how she’d been acting, although like a fool popped into her brain after a second.