“You should go.”
The words were husky. Uttered from a woman who was struggling to maintain her composure. Skin that was normally effused with sunshine was pulled taut across high cheekbones making the shadows below her eyes more prevalent.
He considered her warning. Seriously considered it.
“I should,” he hedged. “But I won’t.”
Solemn eyes rose to meet his.
“For God’s sake, why? You don’t need this. It was a big mistake to come down here. I was a fool to encourage you.”
Setting aside any reservations he might have, he couldn’t stand to see her fighting to hold herself together. Someone was tormenting this woman and it ticked him off.
“Look,” he set the note down, watching her eyes follow the motion. “I could point out that it’s not just about you. Whatever is going on, whatever these warnings are–they clearly deal with the house I’m living in. Everything that has happened to you happened directly after visiting my home. That makes it personal for me.” He paused. “Yeah, there’s that–or–” deep breath, “–I could admit that for the first time in three years I’ve met someone I’d like to know more about–that I’d like to spend time with.”
A shrug that didn’t come easily hefted his shoulders. “And you’re right. I have to decide if my desire to spend time with you is strong enough to deal with these threats–this stalking that you’ve been subjected to. Do I really want that sort of conflict in my very quiet, very private life?”
Hollie’s face pinched in pain and she looked away from him. “I guess I know the answer to that.”