“I don’t have any money to pay you.” He knew I didn’t, but I wasn’t saying it just to remind him.
“I don’t want you to pay me.” He held his hand out. “Come on.”
My heart raced and the whisper of his scent through the rainwater drenching his body filled my head. I ached to touch him. “Where?”
“I can’t… with you.” I had reasons, but I was rapidly forgetting them.
His hand never wavered. “I need sleep. You need sleep. I’ll rest better if I know where you are. Come.”
Knowing I shouldn’t, knowing I was crossing an invisible line I would never return from, I gave him my hand.
He didn’t hesitate. He pulled me to my feet and took a step.
I panicked. “Wait.” Oh God, don’t say it, don’t say it. “I can’t do this. This will mean something to me that it doesn’t to you.”
Cool gray-brown eyes stared down at me without mercy. “Do not speak for me.”
“I just meant—”
“I know what you meant.”
I gave him the truth because it was all I had left. “You’re taking what I don’t have to give.”
His shoulders dropped, his frame leaned toward me, and he lowered his voice to a barely audible whisper. “Trust me.” Rain dripped from his cheek and landed on my arm. “This is what I ask of you, only this. Nothing else.”
If you could fall in love in a single moment with a perfect stranger, I fell in love. “You will break me, Dane Marek,” I whispered.
“You are already broken, Irina Tsarko.”