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His phone buzzed, and he looked down at the incoming text. Alarm crawled up his spine, and he gritted his teeth. “I need to go.”
Jake frowned at him. “What do you mean? Don’t you think we need to talk?”
Border put his phone away and nodded. “I know we do, and we will when I get back, but it’s a work thing I can’t get out of.”
“What do you do for work?” Maya asked.
He met the woman’s eyes and felt a connection immediately. The type of connection he’d only felt with one other person in his life— Jake.
What the hell?
“I protect people,” he said finally. “And I need to go. But Maya, talk to him. Ask him what’s going on. You know my past with him. Ask him. And be open.” He didn’t know why he said that. But he did.
And with that, he picked up his keys off the counter and made his way to the couple. When he leaned forward and pressed his lips to Jake’s temple, the three of them froze.
He hadn’t meant to do it, but it had seemed as natural as breathing. And then he surprised himself yet again when he did the same to Maya. “I’ll be back. Nice to meet you.”
He left them standing in the living room, staring at his back as he closed the door behind him. What the hell had he been thinking? What was he doing?
He wanted Jake. He’d always wanted him but had been too afraid to do anything about it. But he also wanted Maya to be with Jake because the damn woman made Jake happy. He had no idea what he would do next, or even if the choice was in his hands since he’d left the two of them alone.
Either way, something was going to change, something big, and he would have to put it aside so he could work on other things. Because someone needed him in order to stay alive, and there was no way he would lose another person because of his choices.
His heart ached at the thought of what he’d seen the last time he’d failed, and he pushed it away. He wouldn’t fail. He wouldn’t lose this one.
And he wouldn’t lose Jake. Not again.
And as for Maya? Well, he’d figure that out, as well.