"You're sure?" She felt the immediate comfort from the warmth of his body as he slid back into the bed next to her.
He pressed his lips to her cheek before wrapping his arms around her and pulling her in close. "I checked all the doors and all the windows. The alarm is still set. Nothing's out of place. Everything is fine."
Kelly ran her hands through her hair and drew in a shaky breath. "I was so sure I heard something," she sighed. "I would have sworn." She paused for a moment before another horrific thought flashed through her head. "Did you check in on her? Was she asleep?"
"I glanced in," he admitted. "I didn't want to step in the room. You know she's a light sleeper. There was no reason to wake her."
"Maybe I should go check on her." She pulled the covers down and quickly moved to swing her legs off the side of the bed.
His touch was gentle as he reached for her arm. "Don't," he whispered. "There's no reason to. You don't want to scare her, right? You don't her to be …" He stopped himself then, realizing how the words would sound even without it being his intention.
It was too late.
She sank back against the headboard, her heart immediately sinking in her chest. "Like me?"
"Hey," he breathed, "I'd love nothing more than if our little girl was just like you." He kissed her forehead and waited until he felt her body relax a bit under his touch. "I just meant she's sleeping and she's fine and she doesn't have a worry in the world right now. I think most adults would love to be like that again, right?"
She nodded. "I don't know why this is happening." She snuggled into the crook of his arm and tried to remind herself that she wasn't alone. "I don't know why I keep doing this." She looked up at him and smiled weakly. "And I know, even as wonderful and as patient as you are, you've got to be getting tired of always indulging me."
"I never mind indulging you," he grinned. "Besides, I have a pretty good idea of what's going on here."
Her eyes narrowed. "Really?"
"Well, for one, it's a new place, a new house – with new noises and new crooks and crannies. There's always going to be an adjustment period. I know that you had some reservations about moving and …"
"No. It's not that. I love being here with you and Sydney and you were right. It was time to have our own place. It was past time really. I just couldn't help feeling like I was abandoning Zane and …" She stopped, realizing continuing the conversation would make things even more awkward.
"I know. I know it was tough for you. It was hard for me too. I wanted to believe our being there was helping, but at the end I just think …"
She nodded. "You were right. I think we were a crutch. I think having us around was just giving him a reason to live in the past and that wasn't healthy for anyone." She stopped. "I just still feel bad, you know?"
He kissed her softly. "That's because of that big, beautiful heart of yours. You wanted to be there to help Kevin and you wanted to be close to Zane and no one, especially not me, blames you for that. It's totally understandable that it's going to take some time to get used to being in a new place and …" He leaned in a bit closer as if he were sharing a closely guarded secret. "I'm thinking maybe the bedtime Dateline watching might not be helping things."
She giggled a bit. "Touche. Maybe we should stick with sitcoms for a while?"
"Or …" He reached over and turned out the light on the bedside table, "Maybe we can come up with another way to distract you."
He clenched his jaw as he watched the window darken. No doubt they'd settled back into their perfect little lives now. He was touching her, kissing her – even though he didn't deserve it. Kelly probably didn't even think of him anymore, not the way he thought of her.
'That's okay," he whispered, as he sank back into the bushes of the neighboring house, "I'll find a way to make you remember. And when I do, you'll never forget me again."