Neamhchiontach, he says. His eyes are high-tide, deep-end, night-sky. My faded sage greens stare back evenly.
How can you give a refusal to a question that's yet to be asked?
I know what you're asking.
Cole's been gone a long time.
The floor opens, a faulty hinge letting go, leaving me dangling over the abyss. He squeezes tighter still and I feel as if when he lets go I might fall and die.
I won't let you fall, he tells me and I look up into his eyes. They're so earnest. Earnest and blue. No deception. No evil. Patience with a tinge of frustration, hopefulness with a pinch of despair. He's a recipe for certain disaster, this one, and I don't know whether to demand he stop reading my mind already or hope that he already has.
Come for a whiskey, he says. Let's get you warmed up.