After more than a decade, Cait has returned home to St. Augustin and the Dom she left behind. A pampered sub, now widowed, Cait has adjusted to making decisions for herself for the first time in years. With some help from her friends, she's begun a new life. Then Jackson walks into her studio it's as if their years apart never happened - as if she hadn't left him for his best friend.
He never stopped loving her and he's not going to give up this time. He's determined to win her back, not only as his sub but as his wife.
She didn’t need to turn around. She remembered his scent—a mix of woodsy cologne and him. She’d been expecting him since she saw him at the chamber-of-commerce meeting last week. They hadn’t spoken then, but his eyes had caught hers across the room just before she had fled.
“Cait,” he said gently, and she felt her knees grow weak, her heart flutter wildly. The sound of his voice made her feel about twenty yearsold again. As if nothinghad changed. But it had. Everything had changed.
She turned around slowly. “Jackson.” She smiled pleasantly, stamping down on the butterflies that had freed themselves in her stomach. “How have you been?”
Really? She scolded herself. You don’t see him in more than ten yearsand that’s what comes out of your mouth. She dug her fingernails into her palm. Don’t lose your cool now. Don’t you dare run into his arms.
He smiled indulgently at her. The tiny laugh lines around his grass-green eyes crinkling with his smile.
Those were strong butterflies dancing in her belly. She took a deep breath, noticing he was the same as when she’d left.
Okay, not the same, but not changed. Sure his dark hair had a healthy dose of silver, but he still exuded a self-assured calm. Like he knew who he was and where he belonged. That he was used to manual labor was evident in the strong, lean body. His arms were thick with muscle, and his shoulders were broad and hard. As if he can carry the weight of the world’s problems—or at least the weight of mine, she thought.
“I’ve been well,” he said finally.
“Good.” She pulled her sweater tight around her. “I heard things were good.”
He ran a hand over his face. “I was so sorry about Logan.”
Cait nodded. She knew Jackson and her late husband had remained colleagues, if not friends. “Thank you for the flowers you sent to the funeral.”
“I wish I could have made it there myself.” He had been out of the country, but upon reflection, he thought that was probably for the best. It would have been awkward for her. For both of them.
He cleared his throat and began looking around the studio. “This spaceturned out very nicely,” he complimented. “It is goodto see it put to gooduse.”
She smiled, feeling oddly proud to have him approve of the yoga studio. “We were lucky to get the space. Sophie found it for rent and helped handle the renovations while I was finishing my certification.” She looked at the small yoga studiothat opened through patio doors at the back, onto the beach. “It’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing.”
Logan had made sure she finished college, but after that he hadn’t wanted her to work. He thoughttaking care of him as he nurtured his career was a big enough job, and she could honestly say that most days it was.
She shrugged that thoughtaway and focused on the space. She felt herself going into business owner mode as she gave him the nickel tour.
“From the practicestudiothe windows openup to the deck that overlooks the beach.” She walked him through into the brightly painted blue studio. The trim was white and the floors were white washed. “I wanted the room to remind me of the beach, even in winter.” She explained. “In the winter, we canpracticeinside, but when the weather is good we caneither throw openthe sliding doors and let the outside in, or actually go out onto the deck.”
“There’s a nice piece of beachhere too,” he noted.
“We’ll see if we have anyone brave enough to join us on the beach. I think it may only be Sophie and me.” She led him back through the studio. “We have two change rooms with bathroom and showers, and then the little boutique up here at the front.”
“I wasn’t sure you had kept up with yoga over the years.” He laughed gently and touched her shoulder. It was a comfortable movement. His hand paused only a moment before sliding down her arm. He backed away. “I’m glad that didn’t change.”
“I suppose some things never change.” Like how you can throw me for a loop with the lightest touch.His tone was calm, comforting, but she could feel the heat in eyes.
“I still scare you.”
“No, you don’t.” She shook her head. In truth, he terrified her, but she wouldn’t let him knowit. She knew he didn’t believe her, but he nodded and graced her with another of those killer smiles.
“Good.” He walked back toward the reception desk. “Then we can have dinner.”
“Yes. You know, that meal people eatafter work and before watching Law and Order.”
“You don’t watch Law and Order.” She laughed, remembering his fondness for comedies, not police dramas.Big Bang Theorywas more his style.
“You’re right, I don’t.” He smiled. “But I do eat dinner.”
“Oh.” Her voice hitched. “Yes, we could do that.” Surely there was nothing wrong with a nice public dinnersometime. Maybe in a few months, she thought, once the studio gets off its feet.
“I’ll pick you upat eight then?”
She shook her head. “Wha-huh?” Real mature there, Cait, she scolded herself.
“Tonight. Seven-thirty at your house. I’ll pick you up. Class is over at seven.” He was already walking to the front door. “That will give you enough time to get ready after your last class, right?”
She didn’t know what to say. It was too soon. “Okay. Yes.” No, not yes. Say no, say no!“That’ll be fine.”
He turned back, halfway through the door. “And I still love the way you look in green.” He winked before closing the doorand walking away.
Caitlin looked down and saw she was wearing a moss-green infinity scarf. His favorite color.