She’d never want him.
“What happened to your parents? Where are they?”
Becca shrugged and her lower lip trembled. “They’re not around. After Jeff…” She shook her head. “Mom couldn’t handle being around anymore so she took off. Dad… well, dad and I were never close. You know how he is. We’ve barely spoken in years.”
Charles wanted to pull her into his arms and comfort her. It took everything within him not to. He knew she wouldn’t want him to touch her though. And he couldn’t bear to have her pull away from him.
“I’m sorry, Bex. That’s why I need to stay away from you. If it weren’t for me-”
“Don’t,” Becca threatened. “Don’t you dare tell me everything is your fault. That you’re to blame. Dammit, Charles, you need to let go of all that. I was shocked when I saw you. All the pain of losing Jeff, and my mom, and my dad, came back, but so did all the love. Please don’t push that away.”
Charles didn’t know what to do. He stared up at her, willing Becca to make a move to tell him what she wanted from him.
Then she lowered herself into the chair next to his and looked up at him through her dark lashes. “I need to feel loved again, Charles,” she whispered.
His heart cracked for the young woman she was, for the pained woman she’d become. He wanted to hold her, to help her, so he did. He pulled her into his arms and held tight.
And prayed she wouldn’t push away.