That evening, after he arrived at her house and Michelle shooed them out of the kitchen, they were sitting on the sofa next to each other, staring unseeing at the television.
He turned to her nervously. “I bought you something today.”
She glanced up at him.
He smiled and held his upheld palm out to her.
She dropped her gaze and picked up the necklace he was cupping in his palm. It was a dainty gold chain, with a pendant of a white heart and a yellow gold heart intertwined with each other. Linked together forever.
He took it back from her again. “Let me put it on for you. Turn away.”
It was a foolish move. The noise in the kitchen had gone quiet. Her mother must have gone to her room. He and Taylor were alone here, with nothing but his own self-control to stop him from doing something irresponsible.
Undoing the clasp, he parted the chain and brought it around the back of Taylor’s neck. He could not help touching her. His fingers brushed the tender nape of her neck. Her skin felt hot.
When he finally got the slide open and fastened the clasp, he let the chain go. He could not pull away though. His hands settled on her shoulders, touching the soft material of her t-shirt, his thumbs resting on either side of her neck. As if mesmerized he looked down at the pale skin above the trim of her t-shirt and the point where her hair ended. He saw the scars at the base of her skull. He wanted to trace them with his fingertips.
He would have pulled away, would have stood up and left, but Taylor made a small, almost unheard sound.
Taylor sighed softly, her breath catching in her throat, as she released it. Then she shifted. Not away from him, but closer.
When he lowered his mouth to her soft skin, stroked his lips along the curve where her neck and shoulders met, she sighed again and tipped her head back.
As if mesmerized, he trailed kisses along her throat, to the angle of her jaw, then the lobe of her ear. Her breathy moan sent sensations shooting to the base of his spine.
He could barely hear his name falling from her lips. He hesitated, thinking she might want him to stop, but she leaned even closer to him. Her hand fell lightly onto his thigh and it felt as if each one of her fingertips burned through his jeans to the heated skin underneath.
She turned to face him.
He brushed his lips against hers and he wanted desperately to part her lips and kiss her properly, but a faint sudden tension in her shoulders, a small hesitation, brought him back from his moment of insanity. He drew back from her.
She opened her eyes and looked up at him. She looked as stunned as he felt. Then she jumped to her feet, stumbling against the side of the sofa. “You should go.”
Daimhin stood up. He should apologize, say something, but she would not even look at him.
She wrapped her arms around her waist. “Thank you for the necklace.” Her hand came up to finger the pendant as she turned away from him.
He took a breath. “Tomorrow I want to take you to see the most northern part of Ireland. Is that okay?”
She looked back at him blankly. “We should stop doing this. We had an agreement.”
He smirked. “You and I have a lot of agreements.”
“What do you mean?”
“Will you go with me tomorrow?”
“I don’t know if I should.”
He looked at her pleadingly. “Tomorrow is my last day with you.”
She felt a sharp pain pierce her chest and arrow deep into her heart. “I would love to go.” She wished he would pull her into his arms again, but he turned around and walked toward the car standing in front of her front door.
He stood next to the car and stared at her across the roof as she closed the door.
She stood leaning against the door as her heart pounded fast in her chest. How could she be brave and ignore the promises her heart kept making her, that everything will be okay, that love conquers even death. She was so afraid to fall any deeper in love with Daimhin, but when she saw him, when she was wrapped in his arms, every doubt she ever had evaporated like a cloud in the glare of a bright summer sun.