“You don’t have to go,” he said.
She paused at the door. Taking a breath, she tightened her fingers on the door latch, but turned back to face him. “I really don’t,” she said.
He looked down at his hands.
“Are you asking me to stay?” she asked.
He let out a breath that seemed to heavy for him. His shoulders stooped at the relief to have it gone, and he smiled on reflex. Leaning forward over his knees, he picked at his fingernails. “If that were all it would take to–”
“That’s all it would take,” she said.
He looked up at the quick firmness in her tone. Then he blinked, looked away, then bent his head toward his hands again.
She swallowed everything she might have said next, and tried not to let the silence sink too far into her skin. Just the touch of it ached.
But she nodded. Pressing down on the latch, she let herself out.