His words reminded her how easy it was for him to dismiss her. She’d been such a fool in allowing his charm to blind her. He obviously cared about no one but himself. And deep down inside, no matter how hard she had tried to dismiss it, they both shared the blame in her father’s death. Nothing would change that.
She drew in a deep breath. “There is one thing that will make me feel better."
His face relaxed. "You name it. Anything you want."
She pulled back her arm and swung with all her might. Her palm connected with his
cheek so hard it stung her hand to the bone.
"Damn!" He grabbed his face, wincing from the blow.
She pressed her palms together, nursing her own pain, and addressed him again.
"I’ve wanted to do that for a long time. If you think you can just show up and expect me
to – ”
Before she could finish, he pulled her into his arms. His lips found hers, launching a
current through her veins. The parking lot was spinning out of control and he was the driving force. Her legs quivered, leaving her unsteady on her feet. When he finally lifted his head, she leaned against him, breathless, betrayed by her body’s weakened state.
His warm breath brushed her cheek, lifting tiny hairs on her skin. "And I’ve wanted to do that," he whispered raggedly, "from the first moment I saw you in Doc’s office."
Of course. His agenda. Her senses sobered. She distanced herself and firmed her tone. "Nice try. But you’re still not getting a dime from me."
Chase bent his head and seemed to be strategizing his next move. When he looked up, his crystal eyes chipped away at her soul. "For what it’s worth, Rachel, I really am sorry...for everything. Should’ve said that a long time ago." He rubbed the back of his neck. An emotion resembling disappointment crossed his face. "Believe me, I would’ve stuck around if I could have."