Colton, who was no idiot, shook his head. “Thanks for the offer, but I, ah…” He tried to think of an excuse, found himself too nervous to come up with any, and decided to simply let it end at that. “I should go now.” And without meeting Sarah’s gaze, he turned away, got back into his car, and sped off.
“You deliberately scared him,” Sarah accused him.
Damian’s shrug was dismissive. “I can’t control how other people react to me.”
Sarah couldn’t help rolling her eyes. “Do you even care how arrogant that sounds?”
Damian didn’t even bother answering her and instead placed his hand on the small of her back, saying, “Let’s go in. Father and Naomi are already waiting.”
It was Sarah’s turn not to speak, mostly because she didn’t trust herself to. It had been ages since she last felt his hand on her back like this, and just like before, his every touch was heaven and hell all rolled into one.
Naomi burst into tears the moment she saw Damian and Sarah walk in together. “I’m so happy.”
“Oh, Mom.” Sarah rushed forward to give her mother a hug. “I’m so sorry for making you feel bad.”
“It’s fine.” Naomi hugged her back tightly. “Everything’s fine, now that we’re all together again.”
And for a time, it was really just like before, and Sarah couldn’t remember being this happy in years. Josiah and Damian were arguing over everything under the sun, Naomi was doing her best to play peacemaker, while Sarah…well, just this once, Sarah was back to her old ways as she earnestly sided with Damian on every matter.
“You can’t be serious, Sarah,” Josiah blustered.
“But I am.” Sarah smiled up at Damian. “He’s always right because he’s the smartest guy in the world.”
Josiah groaned, Naomi laughed, and Damian…well, usually, the billionaire either snorted or grunted at this, but tonight he did neither. Tonight, he gently ran his knuckles down her cheek, and as she trembled at his unexpected touch, he looked straight down into her eyes, saying quietly, “You’re wrong.”
“Then you’re admitting it,” Josiah crowed triumphantly. “You’re an idiot—-”
“I suppose I am.”
“Yes or no, son,” Josiah insisted.
“If you insist on it, then yes. I am an idiot.” Damian let go of Sarah as he turned to Josiah, saying sardonically, “I must be one, for letting her walk out of my life.”
Sarah was distraught, and it had her lying on bed for hours, staring blankly at her ceiling. She couldn’t stop thinking about how disastrous last night’s dinner was, thanks to Damian’s bombshell of an admission. His words had made her this close to booking a flight back to Miami and begging for her old job back, but after taking several deep breaths, she had somehow found the strength to paste a smile on her lips while playfully wagging a finger at his too-handsome face. ‘I’m not so easily fooled like before, Mr. Fox. You’re just pulling all our legs here, aren’t you?’
To which, the billionaire had simply leaned back against his seat and drawled, ‘Is that what I’m doing?’
‘Yup!’ And she had ended the conversation there by lying about having promised to give Colton a call just so she could excuse herself from the table.
She closed her eyes, attempting for the nth time to fall asleep, but memories kept intruding, and oh God, even now, she could still remember, very, very vividly, the way his knuckles had felt against her cheek…
Sarah covered her face with a pillow.
Argh! Argh! Argh!
What was that guy planning, anyway? This was obviously another manifestation of his dog-in-the-manger attitude, and she had to do something about it before she ended up…before she ended up doing something crazier, like falling in love—-
A knocking sound against the door interrupted her thoughts, and Sarah shot up to a sitting position.
“I know you’re awake.”
Before she could react, she already heard the knob turning, and by the time Sarah turned towards the door, Damian had already stepped inside the room and was shutting the door closed behind him.
When Damian turned back to face her, Sarah had the covers up to her chin, and she was staring at him with a wary expression on her face. Yet another example of how different she was now, the billionaire thought broodingly. In the past, she had not only taken every chance to parade around him in skimpy nightgowns, but in those instances, the invitation in her dark gaze had also made it very clear she would more than welcome his advances.
This time, however…
“I already saw what you’re wearing,” the billionaire said dryly, “and the blanket you’re wrapped in is a lot sexier.” And almost as if he couldn’t help himself, he then asked in a pained tone, “Green Hulk shirt and purple shorts? Don’t you have any pride?”
And because she could see in his eyes that he was telling the truth, she immediately threw the covers off her and saw him wince.