Nick, still facing her, feet burning in the hot sand, said, “Doc, what’s wrong?”
“Why should there be something wrong?”
“This isn’t like you to pour your heart out. Even after all of this time, you still shut down. I’m pretty used to it by now, but still, this isn’t you at all.”
Her head dropped as she looked down at the grains of sand covering her toes.
“I think you should know how I feel, in case something happens to me.”
With fear in his eyes, he looked at Lauren.
Tears ran down her cheek. She felt his fingers under her chin as he lifted her face up.
“You listen to me,” he said softly, “I don’t want you to think like that. I know I’ve been a little crazy, but we’re here now. We’re away from all that right now. I won’t let something happen to you anyway. Do you understand me?”
Still not convinced, she nodded anyway. It was easier to make him feel as if he had all of the power in the world to keep her safe as opposed to arguing with him.
“And I love you, too,” he said, drawing near to kiss her lips. “Always will.”