“Why did you leave?” I asked curiously.
“When my parents died, I guess all of us wanted to get away, and my company was getting too big to stay away from a big tech city.”
“But Harper and Dani are there now,” I mentioned.
“Both of them were wanderers. Harper is an architect, and she moved around building homeless shelters. And Dani was a foreign correspondent who was covering mostly the Middle East. So they never really made a home for themselves anywhere else.”
“So you knew the Colter family from childhood?”
I was aware of the Colter family, even though I didn’t exactly follow the news of the super-rich. I recognized the Colter name because Blake Colter was a senator, and he was vocal about his opinions.
“Yep,” he affirmed. “I was friends with all of them, and my parents were friends with their mom. But I mostly stayed in contact with Marcus, and then we were even tighter once he formed PRO.”
I put the lasagna in the oven and grabbed a couple of sodas from the fridge, setting one in front of Jett before I sat in the chair across the table from him. “Do you ever regret it because of your accident?” I asked. “Do you wish you’d never gotten involved in PRO?”
“Never,” he said as he closed his laptop. “We saved a lot of lives, many of them women and kids. If I had the choice, I’d do it all over again. I lived through the accident, and they would have died if Marcus hadn’t formed PRO.”
“Wouldn’t somebody else just have taken your place?” I popped the top on my soda and took a sip.
He shrugged. “Maybe. But they wouldn’t have been as good as I am, and they may not have been successful at locating those women and kids. Marcus asked my brother Carter to sign up, too, but it wasn’t his thing. I did fine solo.”
I thought it was interesting how Jett brushed off most compliments, but he was pretty damn cocky when it came to his technical skills. He always claimed to be the world’s best hacker.
Since he was gifted, he was probably right.
I leaned back in the chair and crossed my arms. “So you’re the best? There’s nobody better than you are?”
Jett and I had recently fallen into a pattern of challenging each other, and joking around about little things.
He shot me a mischievous grin. “Without a doubt. I’ve never met a system that I couldn’t breech. Which is why I’m so good at designing systems to protect from a cyberattack.”
I felt his brash smile way down to my toes, and everywhere in between. My heart skittered, and I tried to ignore the flutter in my stomach as I looked at him.
Jett was still an enigma to me. He was unlike any guy I’d ever met.
“When are you going to start teaching me about what you do? I’d like to get familiar with your company if I’m going to help you.”
“We’ll wait until we get back to Seattle,” he said.
“I started researching some basic programming on the computer. Maybe if I can learn some of the basics, it will help.” Computers weren’t exactly one of my strong areas since I’d had very little time to work on them as an adult. But I already knew the basics, and I could learn.
“Ruby, I want you to do whatever you want to do. Once you get a GED, you’ll be able to go to college if that’s what you want, and that should come first,” he grumbled as he popped the top on his soda and took a gulp.
“I can handle both,” I argued. “And paying you back for what you did for me comes first.”
“I don’t give a damn about the money,” he rumbled as he met my gaze.
“It matters to me, Jett,” I answered honestly. “I need to feel good about myself, and that won’t happen unless I do something to pay you back.”
“Can’t you ever just let somebody do something for you and just say thank you?” he asked gruffly. “I’m not keeping track, Ruby. And I wouldn’t take it even if you tried to pay me back.”
“Then I just won’t draw a paycheck, and I’ll eventually work enough to pay you,” I answered stubbornly.
“You’re cleaning, doing laundry, and cooking me meals. I hope you’re deducting all of those hours as work,” he snapped, sounding slightly injured.