An appreciable silence hung between us. A tension radiated from him that felt like anger: Yes, definitely anger. The intensity of his aggravation seemed out of proportion with the circumstances. Perhaps it was in response to his daughter's exposure to such violence?
"I am very sorry about this—so sorry your little girl was frightened," I said, thinking that must be it.
He walked over to the powder room where I had gotten the towels to dry Sophia's hair. When he returned, he handed me a fresh wad of paper towels. I pressed it firmly to the wound.
I felt the weight of his gaze on my face, but I still hadn't looked directly at him, fearful of what I might read in his eyes. Did he suspect that I wasn't who I seemed to be?
He crouched down until we were level. His eyes, now so close to mine, drew me to him like a magnet. Unable to resist, I braced myself and turned to meet his stare.
He searched my face while I searched his, looking for any hint of his thoughts. He was heart-stoppingly handsome. His dark chocolate eyes were deep, still wells that kept his emotions far from the surface, yet somehow I felt the anger draining out of him. Almost simultaneously, my own apprehension faded. A deep connection caused a peacefulness to fall over us both.
As we continued to gaze at each other, a different type of tension arose. The magnetic pull I'd felt was growing stronger. We leaned in towards each other, eyes locked, until at last he smiled and looked away, breaking the connection. He shook his head, bemused.
"Wow. I did not see you coming," he said under his breath.
And with that, the strange moment disappeared.
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