I lowered my head, purposely losing eye contact with him. I wanted to be with him. I wanted to see the Northwest so badly. “I’m sorry. I just feel so bad because you always have to pay. For everything. It will be nice when I can actually afford to pay you back, and have something to see me through until I can find a job.”
“It won’t be forever,” he said gruffly. “You’ll get on your feet once everything is settled in Ohio. Just let yourself be Cinderella for a while. You deserve that, Ruby.”
I gave him a dubious look, but didn’t say anything.
“So you’re going to accept the fact that I’m going to pay for stuff?” he asked.
“If you agree to let me cook most of the time.” I nodded my head toward the kitchen. “I can’t wait to get into that spectacular kitchen.”
“Done,” he said quickly, then moved forward to pick up my suitcase. “Let me show you the bedrooms and you can pick your favorite.”
I followed him, knowing that the rest of the suitcases were being brought up by a valet.
We took an elevator to the second level, an extravagance I was glad that Jett had available because of his knee.
I took a beautiful room accented in light blue, and with gorgeous views of the water.
“I’ll unpack and then I can fix dinner,” I told him as I motioned for him to drop the suitcase on the king-sized bed.
“You can let my assistant unpack,” he corrected. “And we can order pizza. It’s been a long day.”
My eyes shot up to his face. “You have an assistant already?”
I’d thought I was going to be his assistant.
He grinned. “I have several of them. But you’re the only one who’s going to live here.”
I rolled my eyes at him. “So you didn’t actually desperately need my help or anything.”
His expression grew intense as he looked at me from the top of my head to my feet, showing no sign of what he was thinking.
Finally, he said, “I needed you.”
A spark caught fire in my belly as I met his earnest gaze, unable to look away. I needed him, too, in a way I couldn’t really explain with words. I wanted to throw myself into his arms and beg his forgiveness for messing up the only opportunity I’d had to get closer to him.
Earlier, he’d been a friend and a shoulder to cry on when I needed it. But I wanted so much more.
I regretted running away from him in a stupid panic, but it had been a reaction I hadn’t been able to stifle.
And probably not now if I didn’t approach things differently.
But I still wanted to touch him. I craved a connection with Jett, something much more intimate than what was happening between us now.
I stepped forward and put a gentle kiss on his cheek. “Thank you,” I murmured as I moved back. “Thank you for everything you’ve done for me.”
His fists were clenched to his side as he answered, “You’re welcome, Cinderella.”
Jett turned and left the room like his ass was on fire, and I knew it was because he wasn’t comfortable being physically close to me anymore. Not unless I was sobbing my heart out on his shoulder. I’d flipped out on him once before, and he was apparently wary.
I couldn’t exactly blame him.
“Here we go,” a female voice said from the bedroom door. “Your suitcases.”
Our driver and a well-dressed older woman entered my bedroom. Their efficiency was impressive. I watched as the lady pulled a few suitcase holders from the closet, and the driver placed the suitcases on them before he left the room, presumably to deliver Jett’s suitcases to his bedroom.
I stepped forward as the female started to open the first of two suitcases. “I can do that,” I said, feeling flustered because somebody actually thought they needed to unpack for me.
“Oh, no, dear,” the woman said in an admonishing voice that made me feel like a two-year-old. “Mr. Lawson specifically asked me to do it for you.”
“I’m Ruby,” I told her. “And I always unpack my own things.”
She smiled at me patiently, and nodded her head. “It’s very nice to meet you, Ruby. I’m Shirley, Mr. Lawson’s executive assistant, and he pays me well to unpack things for him and his guests.”