Her heart nose-dived at the thought.

The flash mob had been her first attempt to raise awareness, but public interest had faded fast. And so far the phone campaign hadn’t brought in nearly enough. To top it all off, she wondered if her failure to come up with a better plan was somehow related to being distracted, her mind constantly occupied with thoughts of Blake. One more sex dream about the man and she might remain happily catatonic for life, living out her fantasies in her head.

And the advantages of remaining conscious were slipping fast.

Unnerved and restless, Jax looked out the window, the lights in Blake’s bedroom twinkling through the swaying palms. Apparently Mr. Workaholic had finally arrived home. Sipping her tea, she wondered what he was up to now. More work? Getting ready for bed? And would he be in boxers or briefs?

Blood singing at the thought, she downed the rest of her tea and set the mug on the coffee table with a thunk.

Enough, Jax. The state of his underwear isn’t your concern. The lack of funding for the club is.

Spying her guitar, she crossed the living room and picked it up. Music always made her feel better, helped her think. She would play a little, relax and come up with another idea to obtain the funds. She just needed to get her mind off the man who held her fate in his hands and her body at the mercy of her steamy thoughts.

Music and the sound of soothing waves should do the trick.

Guitar in hand, she pushed through the front door and settled into a chaise longue on the teak deck facing Biscayne Bay and the city beyond. The moon and the twinkling lights of Miami offered the only light, and Jax was glad the cottage blocked the view of Blake’s house. She crossed her legs, settling the guitar across her thighs. But indecision gripped her, and she started—and stopped—several songs in rapid succession, feeling too melancholy for rock and roll. Not melancholy enough for the blues. Nothing seemed to fit her mood. Her lips twisted in contemplation, and she was just about to strum the first chord to a good butt-kicking country song when a voice cut the air.

“You’re up late.”

At the sound of Blake’s voice, her heart jumped and desire clamped around her body. Jax briefly closed her eyes.

You’re a warrior, Jax. Be strong.

She spoke without looking at him. “Says the man who got home from work at midnight.” A brief moment of dreaded guilt racked her. “When I asked you to help me with my legal problem, I had no idea you were the lead prosecutor in the Menendez case.”

Blake finally came into view, stopping at the deck railing in front of her. The full moon outlined his form. The only concession to the time of day was the lack of a jacket and tie.

Unbelievable. Midnight...and the man was still wearing a dress shirt and pants.

“The trial has been all over the news,” she said. “No wonder you’re away from home so much.”

Jeez, she hoped she didn’t sound like a petulant kid.

He leaned against the railing. “It’s taken a lot of work to get to this point,” he said simply. “Previous efforts to nail Menendez have been unsuccessful.”

Jax studied him for a moment. Though easy, the tone in his voice brooked no argument: Blake Bennington was going to bring down this guy. It was the same determination he’d exhibited on the news clip, only it was a thousand times stronger in person. So maybe his absence from home was less about avoiding her and more about his drive.

And suddenly, she wanted to know why he drove himself so hard. Why he spent so much of his life dedicating himself to his job. Away from his home. Away from his family. And away from her.

Because if that was the reason she was going to miss out on the experience of a lifetime, she wanted to know.

Curious, she tipped her head. “Is this the biggest case you’ve worked on?”

“It’s the most important one,” he said.

“Because it’s so high-profile?”

“High-profile is nice because that leads to the potential for promotion.”

She paused, digesting the information. “Surely you’re not dedicating all this work time simply in the name of upward mobility.”

Something in the set of his chin, the tension in his body, told her that wasn’t the only reason why he was living and breathing this case.

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