Tara sucked in a sharp breath at Rick’s admission. It tore at her heart to imagine him not having love in his life. She’d convinced herself he was out there living it up, sharing his bed with as many women as possible and falling in love over and over again. To hear he didn’t think he would ever be happy hurt.
“Why don’t you think you’ll find happiness?” she asked unintentionally.
Rick pinned her with a look that froze the breath in her chest. Without looking away, Rick answered, “I walked away from my chance at happiness a long time ago. I know I won’t get another one.”
Tara wanted to believe he meant her. She saw it in his eyes. That intensity. That raw need.
That look she’d only dreamt of for the last few years.
“You’ll get another chance.”
Rick’s eyes darkened and slipped to her lips. Tara unconsciously licked them and Rick took a step toward her. She watched as he clenched his fists and stepped back again, shaking his head. “Don’t say things you can’t guarantee, Tara. This is about you. Your happiness.”
“My chance at happiness walked away the same time yours did.”
Rick held her gaze then shook his head. “Don’t say that, Tare. I want to see you happy.”
Tara gave him a watery smile. “I haven’t figured out how to be happy since you left. I know Aaron saw it. So did Michelle. That’s why you’re here. I’m not happy. I go through the motions, but I don’t know how to be happy.”
Tara knew the moment Rick gave up his resolve. He crossed to her in three large steps and pulled her into his arms. She buried her face in his chest and breathed deep for the first time in years. She was exactly where she was supposed to be.
She only needed to convince him not to run.