“And maybe you couldn’t have,” I pointed out. “It was a tragic accident, Carter. Jett chose to be there. And if you’d talk to him, I think you’d understand that he’s pretty okay with himself as he is right now. He knows he can’t do everything he used to do, but he’s happy.”
“Because of you,” Carter said morosely. “And I almost screwed that up, too. Now that I see the whole picture, I understand that he’s changed. He isn’t hiding at home anymore. I could see that things were different from the moment he walked back into the offices again. But I’ve gotten overprotective. Maybe I was even holding him back, and trying to talk him out of anything that I thought would hurt him.”
“You don’t need to do that anymore,” I said simply.
“I get it,” he agreed.
“In a lot of ways, Jett and I are healing each other,” I said, just now realizing that my assumption was true. “Jett was a little broken when we met, and I was a train wreck.”
“I guess a brother isn’t always the best person to make a guy realize that their life isn’t over,” Carter replied.
“You weren’t feeling his pain like somebody who is broken can,” I explained. “Jett and I understood each other because we were both trying to recover from something that seemed like it was impossible to forget.”
“Ruby?” Jett’s voice called out.
“Here,” Carter called back.
I looked up to see a dark form coming toward us.
My heaviness in my chest disappeared as Jett reached for me and pulled me into his arms.
“Get lost, Carter,” Jett demanded. “And if you ever get near Ruby again, I’ll do a hell of a lot more than punch you,” he growled.
Carter stood. “I was trying to make shit right,” he grumbled.
I could see Jett’s face now, and I put my fingers over his lips as I said, “He’s telling the truth. Carter didn’t hurt me. We were just talking.”
“I don’t give a shit,” Jett muttered angrily. “I still want him somewhere far away.”
“I’m leaving,” Carter said. “But you’re going to have to talk to me someday.”
“Not today,” Jett answered in a cranky tone.
I saw Carter walk toward the lights of the resort as I hugged Jett tightly. The two brothers would need to make their peace. I knew that now. Maybe Carter had been extremely misguided, but he’d obviously done the stupid things he’d done because he cared about his younger brother. And he’d never completely betrayed Jett. Now that I’d met him, I doubted he was even capable of those actions.
Whatever his faults, Carter Lawson was loyal to his brother, even if he was a jerk.
Jett’s arms tightened around me as he said, “Don’t ever do that again, Ruby. Don’t ever fucking walk away.”
“I wasn’t leaving you,” I explained. “I was leaving the situation.”
“Don’t do it again,” he demanded a second time. “It scared the shit out of me when I couldn’t find you. Let’s head back to the house.”
“I’m okay now,” I argued.
“I’m not,” he replied in a voice that was vibrating with emotion. “If I don’t get inside you right now, I’m going to lose my mind.”
My heart and my body fired at the same time, and I pressed against him to try to stop the ache that was pulsating inside me. “Then maybe you shouldn’t wait,” I said in a sultry tone I barely recognized.
“Don’t screw with me right now, Ruby, or you might get more than you’re asking for,” he said gruffly right before his mouth captured mine.
My hands threaded into his hair, my breath taken away by the hunger in his kiss. I opened to him and gave back as much as he gave, feeling the same insatiable desire I always did to climb inside him.
I couldn’t get close enough, even though I fought desperately to try to absorb him into every cell I possessed.
I moaned as he cupped my ass and pulled me hard against his cock, but it only fueled the flames more.
I gasped for breath as he let go of my lips. “I love you,” I blurted out as I panted. “I don’t care if you don’t feel the same way. I can’t keep it inside anymore.”