Studying behavior only worked when he understood the context of someone’s background, environment, or aspirations. With Roux, none of that applied, so he spent time watching her. He could waste hours watching her, both because he liked doing it and because he was looking for a way in. A way for her to trust him.
“You and your gazes.” She spoke without looking up from her book. “I have many books. You can read whatever you like.”
“I am perfectly content with reading you,” he offered.
“I am not a book.”
“I beg to differ.”
“Why do you beg?”
He took a moment to unscramble his thoughts. “What I meant was, just like a book, there is a lot to learn about you. Many different chapters that make up an entire story. But, unlike a book, I don’t have the author’s words or meaning. So, I have to watch you.”
She turned a page. “If you spent more of your time planning your escape, maybe you would have finished undoing those knots by now and be on your way.”
It didn’t surprise him she’d known what he was doing.
“I don’t want to leave, remember?” he reminded her.
“I have a dictionary too.” She turned another page. “You can look up the words prisoner, or captive,” she paused, “or hostage. You are supposed to want to leave.”
“I suppose so.”
She looked up. His chest swelled. He’d known it was coming. It happened whenever they made direct eye contact. But he was powerless to stop it.
“Ben, what do you want?”