It was the last thing she'd expected him to say. Her head jerked up in surprise. "What for?"
He took a couple of steps toward her, stopping just short of touching her. "For pushing myself on you and scaring you. I behaved badly and I'm sorry."
He meant it. Meg was touched that he would take responsibility for what she'd done, but she couldn't let him think it was his fault. "No, Zane. You didn't do anything wrong. It was my fault and I'm the one who's sorry. I shouldn't have gone out to dinner with you."
She put up her hand to stop him when he would have touched her. "You didn't push yourself on me. I wanted you to kiss me. But then when things got too intense, I couldn't handle it." She looked into his eyes, afraid she'd see pity or contempt, and was surprised when all she saw was concern.
"Don't blame yourself."
She shook her head. "I'm sorry Zane. I don't know if I could ever manage another relationship." She swallowed hard, determined to tell him the truth. "It's not fair to let you go on thinking there could ever be anything between us."
His expression registered a flash of sadness before he carefully wiped all traces of emotion from his face. Meg hated that she caused him pain.
"I see," he said. "Is that what you really want, for me to walk away and leave you alone?"
He watched her intently, like he did the night he took her to dinner. She couldn't look away from his gaze. The look in his eyes challenged her to tell the truth. She fought against it, forcing herself to look away.
"Yes," she whispered.
"I don't believe you. If you can look me in the eye right now and tell me you really want me to leave, I won't bother you again." He briefly touched her face with the tip of his finger. "You'll never have to talk to me, or play piano for me or dance with me ever again. Is that what you really want?"
She tried to say it was, tried to make the words come out, but they refused. "No, that's not what I really want," she whispered.
Zane stepped closer, placing one hand on her shoulder while the other stroked her hair. "What do you really want, Meg?" he whispered, his voice a caress.
"I'm afraid to want anything," she said truthfully, her gaze locked with his. Her body trembled under his touch. "At least that way I can't be hurt."
"Who hurt you, Meg?"
She shook her head, and to her embarrassment felt tears pooling in her eyes. Why did he have to make her feel so much?
"Please, don't push me on this."
Something changed in his face, and he dropped his hands. He averted his gaze for a moment and when he turned back to her, she saw the determination there.
"I don't scare easily, Meg. When you're ready to tell me your secrets, I'll be here."
He turned and went back into the restaurant, leaving her staring at the closed door, her hands shaking. A part of her wanted to trust him, to believe that he would understand what she'd done. She was tired of the lies and secrets. But the part of her that had spent the last seventeen years in hiding recoiled at the idea of trusting another man, even Zane.