“You know what I mean,” I snapped back.

His steady tone gave nothing away.  “Why is it so important for you to believe that I was there?”

I knew I was grasping at straws, but each denial felt like a kick to the gut.  “Because after everything I felt and saw…”  I let the words trail off and opted for honest.  “Because the alternative makes me completely and utterly unhinged,” I answered.

I stood at the cable railing, looking out at the harbor letting my hair fall over my face.  I didn’t want him to know how much that possibility hurt, and I knew my face would betray me if my voice hadn’t already.

I could feel him behind me.  His voice was a soothing velvety texture that wrapped around me like a warm blanket as he spoke.  “And if I did tell you I was there, and I could do those things…”  He paused.  “Would it change how you feel about me?”

I wasn’t sure exactly what I felt for him, but I already knew that no matter what was confessed, that torturous magnetism drawing me to him wasn’t going anywhere.  In spite of the nervous tempo my pulse kept, I knew that hesitation would say more than anything else, so I turned to face him.

“No,” I answered.

He had removed his glasses, bombarding me with the full force of his savage green eyes.  They were confused and surprised by my response.  And looking closer, I could see that he was disappointed by my answer.

Was he trying to scare me away?  Then, I abruptly grasped the possibility that he was trying to spare my feelings.  If I was scared of him, then he wouldn’t have to blatantly say that he wasn’t interested in me.

“Then it shouldn’t matter if we’re…different.”

My lungs suddenly emptied.  I realized that I had been holding my breath in anticipation of his response.  It might not have been a direct admission, but it was definitely not a denial.

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