More than anything, Ruby needed to trust me. And after what had happened with her uncle, I didn’t want to scare her away.
She fucking deserves so much better than what life has given her so far.
Ruby needed to be safe, and she needed some sense of security.
If nothing else, I could give her both of those things and a hell of a lot more.
In return, I’d have a woman who didn’t treat me like an invalid.
For now, that was going to have to be enough.
I woke up gasping for breath, and trying to free myself from the strong arms that were confining me.
“Let go of me!” I screamed.
I was instantly freed, leaving me confused and terrified.
“Ruby, you were dreaming. You were screaming.”
I recognized his comforting baritone almost immediately.
I wrapped my arms around myself protectively, my conscious mind beginning to slowly work again.
I’d been in the grips of a nightmare, one of many that I’d experienced in my life.
Taking slower breaths, I began to calm down, and my eyes opened to the dim light.
I’m with Jett. I’m safe.
I turned my head and saw Jett sitting patiently on the other side of the massive king-sized bed. He’d obviously moved away from me when he realized I needed space.
I ran a shaky hand through my hair. “Oh, God. I’m so sorry. I have nightmares sometimes.”
It was the first one I’d had since I’d been staying with Jett. Had I thought about it when I’d come to the condo, I would have taken the bedroom farthest away from his. I never got much of a reprieve from my nightmares.
“Don’t be sorry, sweetheart,” Jett answered in a low, husky baritone. “You can’t exactly control them.”
His slow, easy tone calmed me down.
I’m with Jett. I’m safe.
Those words were becoming my mantra, and it was comforting to know I wasn’t alone. “But I didn’t mean to wake you up. Was I loud?”
“Loud enough to scare the shit out of me,” he answered in a troubled voice.
The only light in the room was coming from the hallway, so I couldn’t see his face. But I could tell that he was only wearing a pair of pajama bottoms. He hadn’t bothered to cover his upper body before he’d come to see if I was okay.
“I didn’t mean to yell at you,” I said hesitantly. “Sometimes it takes me a few minutes to realize that I was dreaming. And I don’t usually like anyone touching me in any way. Well, except for you sometimes.”
I was still shivering, even though it wasn’t cold. My pajamas had a T-shirt top and short bottoms, but I was covered in the sheet and blanket. My inability to stop trembling was simply the aftermath of the frightening dream.
“I get it,” Jett said reassuringly. “I still have bad dreams about the accident occasionally. I don’t remember a whole lot, but my memory must have retained some of it because those dreams are pretty damn vivid.”
How was it that Jett always knew just what to say to make me feel like I’m not alone?
“Do you remember crashing?” I asked curiously.
“Only from my dreams. I’m not sure if it’s what really occurred, or if it’s only a nightmare not based on fact.”
“Mine are real,” I confessed softly. “And they’re usually so scary that I can’t get back to sleep.”
“Are you okay now?” he questioned.
“I think so. Everything seems a lot easier since I met you.”
I hadn’t meant to blurt those words out, but they were true.
“Do you want me to stay with you?” he offered.
I wanted desperately to keep Jett here with me. “Only if you’ll be comfortable.”
He responded by getting up and opening the window, then made his way back to the bed and climbed underneath the covers, making himself comfortable for a moment before he was completely still.
I snuggled back down in the bed with a tired yawn.
Glancing at the clock, I noticed it was three o’clock in the morning, so it was no wonder that I still felt exhausted.
“You know you’re wasting energy, right?” I asked Jett. “If you open the window, the air conditioning has to work harder.”
“Just listen,” he requested huskily.