He held his hand out to her to help her climb off the rocks, but she rested her fingers on his shoulder instead and stepped back down onto the sand. A wave of goose bumps erupted over her arms. She rubbed her hands briskly over them as the two of them started back toward the cottage. She could feel Woods’ eyes on her. After a few more steps, he slipped off his jacket and draped it over her shoulders. She pushed her arms into the sleeves and thanked him with a smile.
“Will you please let me read you?” he asked suddenly.
Taken aback, Daisy stumbled in the sand, her resolve wavering along with her balance. Woods caught her arm to stop her from falling and didn’t let go, holding her gently. Even through the heavy fabric of his jacket, Daisy could feel the warmth of his hand, and the same heat burned in his eyes when she looked up at him.
“What if you’re the one?” he insisted, even more quietly.
Daisy’s throat tightened. She tried to tease him, but her voice sounded flat when she said, “Do you ask yourself that about every woman you see in the street? In a line at the supermarket? Every person sitting in a movie theater when you come in?”
“I wonder, yes,” he admitted easily enough.
“And do you ask them all to kiss you?”
Woods’ chuckle sounded forced. He squeezed her arm once and let go. “Of course not. But you’re not a stranger I just met. We talked at Helen’s—”
“No,” she interrupted. “We argued for five minutes at my sister’s wedding. And tonight was only the second time we met. You don’t know anything about me.”
“That’s not true. I know how much you care about your friends. I know they trust you with their secrets, and that says a lot about a person.” He observed her for a few moments before he added, “I know you changed your mind about me, too.”
Daisy snorted. Was he still trying to convince her? “Did I?” she drawled.
A half smile curled Woods’ lips. “Oh, yes. Before tonight, you didn’t even believe I could do what I claim to do, did you?”
Thinking back on her preparations for the soiree and how part of her had been convinced that Woods would turn out to be a fraud, she had to concede this much was true.
“You’re right. I didn’t think you could do it.”
“But now you do,” Woods pressed on.
She could already guess where this was going; he would use her admission that she had been wrong to try to convince her to have a vision. Still, she couldn’t deny that she did believe him now.
“Yes. I do.”
“So let me,” he asked, and his voice had the low echoes of forbidden temptations.
Daisy tried to cling to her resolve, telling him—and reminding herself—why she’d made her decision. “Sam… I don’t want to know. I want surprises in my life.”
Without even thinking all that hard, she could come up with ten, twenty examples of things she would rather not have known before they had happened to her. Maybe if she told him, if she explained…
No. She had long ago decided that she wouldn’t tell a soul. She didn’t want anyone to treat her differently because of something she couldn’t control.
But Woods wasn’t giving up. “I’ll make you talk about it,” he offered. “You’ll forget right away, like Brett and Jack did.”
Daisy forced a laugh to her lips, but it rang false. “You want me to have a vision and forget it right away? Why would I want to do that?”
“So that I’ll know,” he said, and there was a thread of fear in his voice that hadn’t been there before, a fear that Daisy did not understand until he continued. “So that I can leave tonight and not wonder for the rest of my life if I let the woman I could have made happy get away without trying to hold on to her. Please.”