“I understand.” He ate chocolate ice cream from the spoon and stuck it in the emptying pint. “I just think it must have been torture for Kevin to see his wife go through everything and not do much to stop it. He could’ve done more.” He passed the container across the table.
“What could he do?” She scraped at the sides.
“Try harder to keep her from going back.”
She laughed and put a mound in her mouth. “Stop time from sucking her away? Sometimes, you can’t keep the people you love from hurting. You just have to be there for them.” She licked the front and back of the spoon and put it in the tub. “What would you do?” She noticed him staring. “Adam?”
“Yeah?” His gaze met hers. He shifted in his seat and grabbed the ice cream, stabbing the spoon into its contents. “I’m not sure, but I would have to do something.”
“I would have to. If I love a woman, I’m doing everything in my power to keep her safe. That’s my job.”
She rested a cheek in her palm. “You can’t slay all the dragons, Adam.”
“I could try.”
She curled her lips into a lazy smile and stared into his hazel eyes, hooded by thick brows. “I bet you would.”
He shifted his gaze down and slapped his lap. “I need to go. I can’t have you looking at me like that, or I’ll end up kissing you.”
She straightened and stared at the table between them. “I’m sorry.”
He tapped the wood. “Hey.” A warm expression covered his face. “You’re fine. Keep smiling. It makes my day.” He stood over her. “Can I take you somewhere tomorrow, with a couple of friends?”
“I’d like that. Where?” She followed him into the living room.
He shrugged on his jacket. “That’s a surprise. Do you trust me?”
She gripped his helmet between her hands. He’s not Raad. Angela’s words echoed in her mind. Everything he’d done to this point showed that she could let her guard down at least a little. As long as he keeps behaving like he has some sense, I will give him a chance. “Yes, within reason.”
He puffed his chest and tucked his helmet under his arm. “I’ll take it, for now. As-salam alaykum, Shaykh.” Uncle Inshirah and Aunt Kamila joined them.
“Wa alaykum salam.” Inshirah grasped Adam’s forearm and hugged him. “So, what’s the next step?”
“Mary agreed to go out with me and some friends tomorrow. I’ll pick her up with them. I would like to text her.”
Aunt and uncle glanced at each other. “Kamilah and I trust you to behave appropriately, brother. Texting is fine.”
“Thank you. As-salam alaykum.” Everyone followed Adam to the porch. Kamilah and Inshirah stayed at the top of the stairs while she trailed him to his bike.
“I can’t believe you ride this monster.” She stared at the two-wheeled black behemoth with glints of chrome sparkling in the streetlight.
“It’s easy. I’ll take you for a ride one day.”
“No, you won’t.” She stepped back. “I’m not the motorcycle type.”
“Not yet.” The moon rays bounced off his fair skin, highlighting his Grecian nose and cheeks above his long-stubble beard. “Give me a chance to convince you.”
She folded her arms. “And if I still say no?”
“Then, it’s no.” He straddled the bike and started the engine. “I’ll text you later?”
“Yes.” She took another step back to resist the overwhelming urge to kiss his full peach lips. “Wait. where are you taking me?”
“Salams.” His gorgeous, smiling face disappeared behind the black helmet visor, and he roared into the night.
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