If he’d ever been in a situation more awkward he couldn’t remember it.
And he had no idea why she was looking at him as if she wanted to chop him in half with the spade.
She wasn’t the one with the problem.
She should be damn grateful to him.
He cursed softly as a shovel full of snow almost hit him full in the face. “If you turned round, you’d see where you were throwing that and I wouldn’t be covered in snow.”
“And if you moved, you wouldn't be covered in snow.”
He decided that the only way to tackle this was head-on. “Enough.” He jabbed his shovel into the snow and stomped across to her. “I don’t understand why you’re mad.”
“I'm not mad.”
“You’re so mad that if we stand here another ten minutes we won’t need to shovel this snow because you’ll be melting it with your temper.”
“Okay, you want to know why I’m mad? And, by the way, it makes me mad that you even have to ask because any man with half a brain would know the answer to that one.” She jabbed her shovel in the snow next to her. “I’m mad because you walked away!”
He stared at her. She was mad because he’d walked away?
Did she have no idea how hard it had been for him to do that?
His self-control snapped, eroded by the desire he’d been fighting for months. “Yeah, I walked away. And why do you think I did that, Roxy?” Arousal, he thought. That word had a lot to answer for.
“Well, obviously y-you saw those words and you thought, I—I mean you probably imagined—” She was stuttering, stammering, and he clenched his jaw.
“Those words were about me. And I didn’t imagine it.”
“Fine! I embarrassed you because you don’t feel that way but I still don’t see why you had to take my door off its hinges in your hurry to leave.”
“You think I left because I was embarrassed? Because I didn’t have feelings?” He was stunned. “I left because I was trying to do the right thing.”
It was her turn to stare. “You— I— What? How is hurting my feelings, humiliating me and making me feel generally crap the right thing?”
His emotions found a way to sneak through his iron control. “Firstly, your daughter was in the apartment playing with Lego.” He spoke through his teeth. “I figured you wouldn’t want her to walk in on us having paroxysmal orgasmic sex against the wall.”
Her mouth was a wide O of shock. “I—”
“Yes, you heard me right. Secondly, you had the word infatuation up there. If you understand the definition, and I’m sure you do, then you’ll know that it generally refers to something temporary. That isn’t how I see you.”
Her mouth was still frozen in the same shape but this time no sound emerged.
“I—I thought you weren’t interested.”
“Of course I’m interested! How could you not know I’m interested?”
“Because no guy has ever tried to do the right thing before!” She was shouting, too. “Forgive me if I didn’t immediately recognize it. Maybe I was obtuse.”
“Obtuse? Is that your word of the day?”
“Maybe it is.” She made a sound that was half laugh, half sob. “When you left I thought— I assumed— Are you really saying you have feelings for me?”
He stared deep into her eyes. “That’s exactly what I’m saying.”
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