She spotted Dillon sitting at a table in the corner, his hands anchored around a mug. When she pulled out the empty chair next to him, he started and glanced up. The haunted look in his eyes scared her.
"Hey," she said and sat down.
"Hey yourself," he answered, his voice raw.
"Is Bonnie okay?"
"She has a concussion. Needs stitches. Nothing she won't recover from, thank God."
"That's a relief. How are you doing?"
He stared at the mug in his hands. "I can't stop shaking."
"I'm sorry, Dillon." She ached to hold him, tell him he'd be alright when she really didn't know if he would. She didn't want to presume she knew what he felt. And she sure as hell didn't want to cry. But tears pressed behind her eyes. She fell back on the one thing people always relied on in moments of hardship or crisis. "Have you eaten yet?"
He frowned as though he couldn't remember, then shook his head. "No."
"How about I buy you breakfast?"
She'd been joking about buying. McGrath's volunteer-staffed kitchen rivaled any five-star restaurant and the food was free to mushers. Claire did her best not to drool as she balanced two paper plates piled with pancakes, link sausage, bacon and scrambled eggs to the table. Setting the plates down, she snagged a bacon strip with one hand and extracted the cold mug from Dillon's grasp with the other. "Refill?"
When she returned, the half-eaten bacon dangling from her mouth and a brimming mug of black coffee in each hand, she caught Dillon attempting to cut into his pancakes. His hand shook so bad Claire feared he'd break his plastic fork. But she stopped short of grabbing it from him to help. It didn't take a mind reader to know he'd object to having his food cut up for him like a child. And he was pissed. She saw it in the tightness around his mouth and eyes.
She sat and dug into her food. "Wanna talk about it?" she asked around a mouthful of eggs loaded with cheese and ham. Divine.
"No." He gave up on the fork, grabbed a pancake from the top of the stack, rolled a sausage link in it and shoved it into his mouth.
Claire slathered butter and syrup on her own pancakes and consumed them so fast she almost tasted them. "It feels like I haven't eaten in months," she groaned.
Dillon mumbled something that sounded like agreement and wrapped another sausage in a pancake. "I'll trade you my bacon for your sausage," he said before stuffing his face.
Claire made the trade. She preferred bacon anyway. By the fourth pancake-wrapped link, she noticed his trembling had eased. He attempted the fork again, this time with better luck, to eat his eggs. She went back to the kitchen for an enormous, gooey cinnamon roll and more coffee.
"Get your own," she said when she saw him eyeing her plate.
The corner of his mouth lifted. "Spoilsport."
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