Sara glanced over her shoulder when the screen door opened. Mike. The pan she'd been drying fell from her hands and clattered to the floor.
"We need to talk."
"Where's Garrett?" she asked, attempting to peer around his broad shoulders. She tried not to make eye contact with him. As long as she didn't look him directly in the eye, she'd be able to maintain her composure.
"You've always put him on a goddamn pedestal."
She bent over to pick up the pan. "Don't you dare say anything unkind about him."
"He's a pain in the ass."
Sara shot him a look. "He's not the only one."
A slow smile curved his lips. "Now there's the Sara I know and love."
"Don't you dare throw that word around. If you loved me we wouldn't be in this situation." A surge of emotion tightened her chest, and she silently cursed herself for letting him get to her.
Hands on his hips, Mike sighed. "Look, I know you have every reason to believe that, but it's just not true. I've loved you since the first moment I laid eyes on you."
She paused. God, how she wanted to believe him. But if he'd truly loved her as he claimed, he'd never have been able to stay away for so long. She swallowed past the lump in her throat and reached into the drainer for something else to dry.
"All right, I'm done playing. Come on, we're going for a ride." Mike reached out and grasped her elbow.
"I'm not going anywhere with you," she said, yanking her arm free. "If you want to talk, we'll talk, but we're doing it right here." She tossed the dishtowel on the counter and crossed her arms over her chest.
"You either follow me to my truck or I'll throw you over my shoulder and carry you there. But one way or another, we're taking a ride."
She gasped. "If you touch me I'll scream bloody murder."
"Then I guess I'll have to gag you as well."
He took a step toward her. She took a step back.
"You stay the hell away from me." She took another step back and bumped into the table.
"Not a chance. I made that mistake once, I won't make it again."