Jett chuckled and kissed me on the forehead. “You are good for my ego, Cinderella,” he said, his voice overflowing with humor.
“You should already have a healthy ego about everything,” I insisted. “You have everything a woman could ever want, and I’m not talking about all the money you have. That’s just a bonus.”
“Most women don’t think like you do, either,” Jett said in a more serious tone. “Not in my world.”
“Then you need to find another world, because I think yours is full of silly, superficial bimbos,” I told him emphatically.
I couldn’t see how any woman could look at Jett and not want him.
He grinned at me. “I guess there are a few good ones, like Dani and Harper. But they never really lived in our world. Harper made a career out of building homeless shelters all over the country, giving away her skills as an architect, and you know what Dani is like.”
“Did you love Lisette?” I asked, knowing I’d asked him about that before, but hoping I might get a more thorough answer this time.
“I thought I did,” he explained thoughtfully. “But when I look back on our relationship, she pretty much orchestrated everything. And I just accepted it. I went to engagements and events that she thought were important, and I can see now how we really didn’t spend any time together alone. I don’t think we ever truly got to know each other. I didn’t see anybody else, and when she hinted that it was time to get married, I just went along with it. I was so busy all the time between volunteering for PRO, and working my part of the business to keep it growing. I guess I never questioned my relationship because I’d gotten used to Lisette. Now, I wonder how I never noticed that she’d never even said that she loved me.”
My heart squeezed painfully in my chest. “I know she hurt you, but you’re so much better off without her,” I said softly as I stroked his jawline. “You can rebuild your ego.”
“I think you’re doing that for me, Cinderella,” he said with a laugh.
“And I’ll keep on doing it until you think the same way as I do about yourself.”
He raised a brow. “I don’t think I’m ever going to want to take a bite out of my own ass.”
A laugh escaped from my lips before I replied, “But you’ll know that you deserve the best.”
“I wish you knew that, too,” he retorted. “Then maybe you wouldn’t argue about taking things that you need right now.”
“I’m working on it,” I said. “I’m just so used to struggling alone. It’s hard for me, Jett. I went for a very long time not feeling like I deserved anything.”
“But you’re technically mine for now,” he said thoughtfully. “If we were really a couple, would it be so difficult?”
If Jett was mine, I’d feel like the luckiest woman in the world. “But we aren’t, really.”
“We could be,” Jett suggested. “And I’d feel a whole lot better about being your sexual education teacher if we were trying to build a relationship. I care about you, Ruby. I want to be your guy. All you have to do is say yes. I have no idea where it will all go, but we have more than some couples do. We’re attracted to each other, and we’re friends.”
I looked at the sincerity in his gorgeous eyes. “You can’t possibly mean that.”
“I’ve never meant something more,” he argued. “I value our friendship, but I think both of us want more. Let’s figure out how much more together.”
Never in a million years would I have thought that Jett would want to try to have a real relationship with me. “I want to be your friend. But I want to be close to you, too,” I said honestly.
“Then be mine,” he said persuasively. “If we’re together, then it would make sense that I would do everything I could to help you and vice versa. That’s what couples do, right?”
He’d been part of a couple, and I found it sad that he had to ask that question.
“What would you get out of it?” I asked in a tremulous voice.
“That’s easy,” he answered swiftly. “I’d get you.”