He sat up and glared at her with icy blue eyes. “Ken, you don’t need to stay here with me.”
“Look,” she said, irritation lacing her words. “I know you don’t want me here. You did your duty by protecting me. You saved my life tonight, and now you’re stuck here. The least I can do is keep you company.” She silently hoped that explanation would satisfy him. She was wrong.
He watched her. A flicker of some emotion flitted across his face before he rasped, “It was my job to watch after you. This,” he gestured to the bed and rumpled sheets pooled around his waist. “This is one of the drawbacks of my job. It’s something I’ve learned to get used to. And, it’s just that, my job, it’s nothing personal. You don’t need to babysit me.”
“I see.” She turned away from his cold stare so he wouldn’t see the hurt his words had caused. He dismissed her, just as he had done in the past. So much for thinking they could talk. So much for the flutter in her heart at knowing that Mason was back in town. She fought hard to hold back tears.
Fear of going home to an empty house turned her stomach. She lifted her hand to rub her throat. She had to get control of her emotions. She wasn’t afraid of much and didn’t want to allow herself to be scared now, even though the night’s events justified a little fear. With confidence she mustered up from somewhere, she took a deep breath, removed her hand from her throat, stubbornly set her jaw, and faced the man lying in the bed.
Her clipped words took them both by surprise. “Nothing personal. It never is with you, is it?”