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All warmth in the room fled as Talon dropped his gaze. It was as if a switch flipped inside of him and he suddenly remembered they were exes. She thought of telling him to forget her question, anything to stop his emotional retreat, but it was too late. The connection was broken. In that moment, she realized how fragile their relationship really was. She was holding onto him by a thread and the slightest misstep could sever that bond forever.

"Let's not do this right now," he muttered. His eyes were glued to the floor, tracing the tile pattern as if it was the most fascinating thing in the world.

She debated dropping the subject, but something told her if they didn't talk about it now, they never would. "Why shouldn't we?"

His fingers flexed. "You're in shock. It's not the right time."

Lifting her chin, she stubbornly said, "It's the perfect time. We're alone and the shop is closed so no one is going to interrupt us."

"I'm not going to sit here and talk about this when only minutes before you were hovering over some guy who could have died."

"Tell me why you sent that text."

His mouth tightened. "Drop it, Keeley."

Knowing she was onto something, she said, "No. I want to know why you sent it."

"I said drop it." The amount of anger behind the last two words caught her off guard. Jumping to his feet, he turned his back to her and began straightening the room. "I get your feeling all emotional right now-"

She bristled at the condescension in his tone. "I am not feeling emotional."

"-and want to talk about everything under the sun, but this isn't the time. We should clean this mess up and go home. Clear our heads. Maybe we can get together later this week."

Her bullcrap meter was dinging. He had no intention of meeting her. "That's crap and you know it. Why are you pushing me away?"

"I'm not."

"You are! I feel it right here." She pounded a palm against her chest. "You're shutting down on me and I don't know why." She was desperate for him to face her. Every second he kept his back turned was a second of fear. Not of him, but fear of the future. Fear that their relationship was slipping through her fingers right before her eyes.

"I never realized you were so clingy." His words were ice. "It's not attractive."

"No!" she yelled, pushing herself up. She could feel the wall he was building between them. Each word a brick meant to keep her out. "You do not get to do this. Not after running over here to help me. I know you care about me. I know those feelings are still there."

"Don't read into something that's not there."

She couldn't take it anymore. Putting a hand on his arm, she forced him to turn around. Her whole body flinched when she caught his expression. Hard and aloof. That was the only way to describe his features. It was as if he already detached himself from the situation...from her.

"You told me I'm the only one you want," she whispered.

He shrugged and her hand fell to her side. "For now. Feelings come and go."

Misery threatened to drag her under. Was this how he really felt?

No.

She refused to believe it. Not when everything inside of her screamed that they belonged. "We have something special. Something people only dream of finding."

"What we have is in the past."

Desperation clawed at her. "Why are you doing this? You were fine until I mentioned that text."

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