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Dane's eyes were feeling a little gritty by the time they reached Guy's apartment. He moved stiffly as he helped Guy out of the car and into his chair. He thought Guy had to be at least as exhausted as he was. He just wanted to crawl into bed. And if he was honest with himself, he could admit he just wanted to crawl into bed with Guy.
Guy didn't speak again until they were behind his apartment door. "What if I fire you?"
"What if I fire you and find a new caregiver? Would you have the same objections to dating me then?"
Dane blinked, shocked that Guy had stated his desires so plainly. "You're serious?"
"I'm extremely serious."
"I still wouldn't date you."
"You only feel this way because I've been seeing to all your needs, and I have to be patient and thoughtful and kind, and I never show you any of my bad sides. I'm working every second we're together, Guy. Who's to say you'll like me when you get to see my other side?"
"I want to see all your sides. I can't imagine there's a side of you I wouldn't like."
"Just because you can't imagine it doesn't mean it doesn't exist."
"If you're not interested in me, why don't you just say so? Why do you keep hiding behind your job?"
Dane knew he should answer the question directly. But that was one lie he couldn't add to the already unwieldy web. "You don't want to try to start a relationship now, Guy. You're missing most of your life."
"What? You think because I can't remember what happened last year, I don't know what I'm feeling now?"
"I'm saying what happened last year could affect how you feel now. What if..."
"What if what?"
"What if yourmemory comes back tomorrow and you remember that you're in love with Oliver?"
"You just don't know that. You were with him for six months. Something in those six months must have given you reason to think that you wanted to be with him."
"And then he turned his back on me when I needed him the most. I don't think he could have done anything in the past six months to make up for that. As far as I'm concerned, anything we had before the accident is over."
Dane shook his head. "We're not having this discussion. I'll help get you set up for the night, but then I need to go."
Guy inclined his head. Dane hoped that would be the end of the discussion. He started to help Guy out of his clothes, working a little more briskly than he needed to. He could only hope that Guy hadn't noticed the way his fingers trembled. For the first time, he was looking forward to leaving Guy alone. If he didn't escape, he would be at risk. They'd both be at risk.
"Dane..." Guy caught his hand once Dane helped him into the bed. "You don't need to go."
"Yes, I do. Because ... Guy, I can't just tell you I'm not interested in you. I am. But I don't want to leave while you're still recovering. I don't want to trust your health to somebody else."
"Listen." Guy squeezed his fingers. "We're both consenting adults, aren't we?"
"Consenting to what?"
"A kiss to start." The corner of Guy's mouth lifted. "Who knows? Maybe we don't have any chemistry."
"So really ... a consensual kiss might be the best thing we can do at this point."
Dane felt at war with himself, but at the same time, he felt like the outcome was fated. There was only one real response to Guy's request, only one possible conclusion. Dane wanted to be strong. He wanted to be noble. He wanted to hold himself up to the highest standard and never falter. But that didn't seem possible now. Not faced with the reality of his desire.
He loved Guillermo Rivera. And he would be in love with him for the rest of his life. He had already spent too many nights fantasizing about this moment, this opportunity, when they could put all the hurt and betrayal behind them and share a single kiss.
But it would only be a kiss. Because anything beyond that would feel unethical, if not downright immoral. Guy might be a consenting adult, but he didn't fully understand what he was consenting to, and Dane did not ever want to take advantage of Guy.
"One kiss," Dane murmured, tilting his head.
"One kiss," Guy agreed, leaning forward to meet Dane's mouth.