He listened to Commander Warner’s brisk orders, hung up and released another breath, this one tinged with regret. Raking his fingers through his hair, he glanced at Mac. “I have to go.”
The concern in her gaze deepened, joined by a flicker of panic. “Why?”
“The team’s been called. We’re flying out tonight.”
Since they’d been in this position a bunch of times before, him getting called out while visiting her, the horror that widened her blue eyes shocked him. He instantly sank to the edge of the bed. “Hey, what’s wrong?”
A shaky breath flew out of her mouth.
“Mac, talk to me. What’s going on?”
She stayed quiet for so long he began to worry, and just as he was about to pull her into his arms, she spoke.
Her voice came out in a hoarse whisper, laced with such agony he wondered if he was missing something.
Blinking, he said, “What?”
“Don’t go,” she echoed, her shoulders shaking as she sucked in a gulp of oxygen. “Please, Will, you can’t go.”
Mac’s heart thudded so loudly she could barely hear her own voice. Her own pleas. The entire weekend she’d tried not to think about the vision, tried to pretend it never happened. And it had worked. She’d spent the past two days in Will’s arms, kissed him, made love to him, laughed with him.
She’d been wrong when she’d thought sex would complicate things. If anything, she’d never felt closer to Will.
Yet those awful images—the smoke, the helicopter—had lingered in the back of her mind, reminding her that any minute, any second, she could lose him.
She’d thought about telling him, warning him, but she hadn’t wanted to spoil things. The last two days had been too incredible, too magical, and her vision would only have destroyed that.
But now she couldn’t hide from it anymore.
Tears sprang from her eyes, pouring down her cheeks, and her throat was so tight she couldn’t get any words out.
Will had her in his arms in a flash, his hand delicately pushing her hair away from her face. “It’s okay, baby,” he murmured, stroking her bare back in soothing circular motions. “Tell me what’s wrong.”
She finally lifted her head and let out another soft sob. “I don’t want you to leave me.”
His dark eyes softened. Then he sighed. “I thought we got past this already. I told you, I’ll never leave you. I love you. You need to believe that.”
“I do believe it,” she choked out, swiping at her wet cheeks. “This isn’t about…that. It’s…please, Will. Don’t go on that mission.”
A heavy silence fell. She could feel his gaze on her, could practically hear the puzzle pieces snapping into place in his mind.
His voice low, he said, “You had a vision.”
She drew in a ragged breath. “Yes.”
“Yes,” she said again.
He swallowed, his throat working hard. “How bad?”
“Really bad,” she whispered.
A tear slid down her cheek. Instantly, Will’s warm thumb wiped it away. She met his gaze, surprised to find it calm and steady, as if what she’d just told him was no big deal.
“What is the matter with you?” she burst out, panic returning to her chest. “Didn’t you hear what I said?”
“Then why are you so calm?” A thought suddenly occurred, followed by a rush of relief. “You’re not going, right? That’s why you’re not freaked out. You’re going to stay here.”
“No, I’m going.”
Her head snapped up. “No. You can’t. If you go, you’ll die.”
He spoke in a husky tone. “Did you actually see it? Did I die in the vision?”
Chopper falling from the sky, hurtling toward the canopy of green below.
“I saw…your helicopter was shot down,” she whispered.
“Did you see my body?”
“People survive helo crashes all the time, baby. Your vision doesn’t have to end in death.”
His calm composure infuriated her. “You can’t go!”
“It’s my job,” he said quietly.
“Screw your job! What about your life?” Her breath came out in sharp pants. “What about everything you’re always saying to me, how you’ll always be there, how I won’t lose you?”
“I’ve always meant what I’ve said.” He reached out for her, but she shoved his hands away. “Come on, don’t be like this. I’m a SEAL, Mac. I deal with dangerous situations all the time, and I always come back.”
“You’re not invincible.” The tears returned with full-force. “What if you don’t come back this time, Will?”
“Then I go to the grave the happiest man alive.” He shot her a crooked smile. “I just spent the weekend with the woman I love.”
Her hands began to shake. “Stay with me. Please.”
He sighed. “Mac, this is my job. You’ve always accepted it before.”
“Yeah, when you were my best friend, not the man I lo—” She halted.
Will’s dark eyes glimmered. “Finish that sentence, baby.”
“Only if you promise not to go.”
“Finish the sentence.”