Dane’s arms stay locked around me. “It’s okay.”
“No! No, it’s not!”
He releases me and I shift as far away from him as possible. I wipe my eyes, silently praying for the tears to stop. When I think I have my emotions somewhat under control, I turn to face him. The look on his face is a mixture of concern and confusion.
“I’m…sorry,” I apologize. “I don’t know what happened.” My voice is shaky.
“Don’t worry about it. If you need a shoulder to cry on, I’m right here.”
I smile feebly at him, thankful that he is no longer upset with me. “Thanks, but I’ll be all right.”
Minutes pass. Finally he asks me, “How long has it been?”
“Since you lost him.”
“Almost two months,” I whisper.
“And he’s all you think about?”
If he only knew. “Yes.”
Dane studies me for a moment, which makes me uncomfortable. “Close your eyes.”
“Just trust me.”
I shake my head no.
“Are you scared?” he teases.
I roll my eyes. “No, of course not.”
“Then do it.”
“Fine,” I huff and close my eyes. “Now what?”
Dane says nothing. After a moment, I feel his fingers wrap around my left hand. My eyes fly open, and I instinctively pull away.
Dane sighs heavily. “Close your eyes and give me your hand.”
“What are you doing?”
“Just do it! You are beyond frustrating today,” he complains. “I’m not going to touch anything but your hand. I promise.”
I eye him warily. Should I do this? What if James is watching? He hasn’t said anything so far. Maybe he wants to see what Dane is up to, so he can give me the ‘I told you so’ speech later. But what if he isn’t up to anything? Then that speech could be coming from me. I close my eyes and comply with his request.
Dane grasps my hand and laces his fingers through mine. “Sit back and relax,” he tells me. “Keep your eyes closed.”
I slide back against the seat and try to relax, but this is kind of odd. I feel Dane lean against the seat next to me, but the only thing he touches is my hand, just like he said.
We sit in silence. As the minutes pass, he starts to absentmindedly rub his thumb across mine. As much as I don’t want to admit it, it is comforting.
“Everything okay?” he asks.
I nod. “What are you doing?”
“Keep your eyes closed. Think of James. Use me.”
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