At all? Or with him?
How did Lucas know that?
Dominic almost asked, then decided he really didn’t want to know.
He tossed his duffel behind the truck seat. He didn’t have much to pack. Pretty much everything he needed was on base. But it didn’t hurt to bring a few dozen extra condoms, a bottle of hot fudge and his digital camera, too. Not that he wanted to make dirty movies with Lara. Much. But he figured a few pictures of her visit to San Diego and Coronado would be fun to have.
A little souvenir of their time together.
He stared blankly at the trees on the other side of the truck, wondering why. He’d never wanted anything to remember a relationship by before. And if Lucas was right, Lara had no interest in one, either.
So why was he so reluctant to let go of this one? It’d been a week. Usually at this point he was done, finished and ready to be long gone. If he even made it this far. Most women had issues with the idea of his job being top secret, or that he’d be gone indefinitely. They figured a guy was cheating or didn’t care enough. He’d always considered it one of his greatest job benefits.
Now he was wondering how the guys in relationships made it work. Masters and Lane were both recently married and seemed to juggle it all just fine. Then again, their ladies were rare and special. Same with Landon. He’d been married over a year—a record for some military guys.
“You’re good to go,” Lucas decided, slamming the hood shut and giving it a pat. He tilted his head toward the house. “I’m gonna get Celia and go. You good?”
“I’m good.” Dominic issued his traditional response, slapped his brother on the back, then lifted the cooler his mom had filled into the truck.
While Lucas went inside to say his goodbyes and drag their sister away, Dominic reminded himself that he wasn’t looking for a relationship.
He just wanted to help Lara out.
He had a few ideas. First he’d have to find her a better job to keep her going until she was through with school. Something she could do with a few extra clothes on. And there was no point finding her a new apartment until she knew where she wanted to work. Maybe she’d get crazy for Southern California and want to relocate there. If her apartment was close to base, he could visit from time to time.
Dominic all but smacked himself in the head.
There he went again, thinking those ridiculous relationship thoughts.
Not gonna happen.
He was gonna fix things up for Lara, then this was over.
Bad Ass had messaged the night before with news.
Bird in hand, flying back to nest.
The team should be in Coronado within a day, debriefed and available within the week.
Dominic could have simply returned Lara to Reno with the news about her brother. Fixed her apartment door, kissed her cheek and let her get back to her life.
That’s what he should have done.
Instead, he’d told her they’d be safer on base.
True, but now totally inapplicable to the situation.
But he figured she’d already called work to arrange to take the rest of the week off, so they might as well go. They’d cruise down the coast, spend more time together, have enough sex that he’d get her out of his system.
He was due back on duty the first of next week, so by the time they’d come up for air he’d be ready to put her on a plane back to Reno.
If she ever got out here. Dominic looked at his watch, then the cabin door.
As if she heard his impatience, Lara sauntered out, duffel over her shoulder and a laugh on her lips. His brother and sister flanked her, but he barely saw them.
She was crazy sexy.
Long, leggy and slender, her body was a work of art that he was afraid he could spend forever studying. She’d fancied up her simple jeans and a long-sleeved tee as green as her eyes by adding a scarf that draped around and around her neck in a fluffy circle. The filmy blue fabric somehow highlighted instead of hid her full breasts. Dominic liked that in fashion.
He waited for the goodbyes, barely offering more than a cursory hug and nod to his family to hurry them along.
“Sorry, I was just thanking Celia and Lucas,” she said, her ever-present laptop tight in her hand. “You have the nicest family. Did you know she came over to hang out last night while you and Lucas were off doing your boy-club powwow?”
“Yeah, she said she was going to.” Ready to hit the road, he opened the passenger door, waiting until she was settled before circling the truck. As he started the engine, he glanced over, taking another second to appreciate his sister’s choice in clothes if she’d had a hand in what Lara was wearing. “She likes you.”
“She’s great.” Lara spent the next twenty minutes chatting about his family. Impressions, observations, questions.