The twinkle in his eyes grew brighter. “A better question would be, is psychoanalysis via underwear a required course as a music therapist?”

Amused, Jax swept a stray hair from her cheek. “No. But every choice you make reveals a little of your character. Today proves I lead with my heart.” She studied his endless legs, encased in what had to be custom-fit trousers, giving a decisive nod before going on. “You’re definitely a briefs man. You like everything neatly—” she lifted her gaze to his for effect “—contained.”

A quick flash of a devilish grin morphed from outrageously handsome to downright devastating, and the euphoric high it produced only made her miss the smile more when it was gone. Disturbed by the thought, she sent him a pointed look, and her voice lost the teasing tone. “Including your emotions.”

His scar shifted in surprise at her blunt statement, and she was almost ashamed she felt so smug about bringing the man down a notch.

Apparently, he didn’t agree.

“I think I’ll let the insinuation my emotions are contained in my underwear pass without comment,” he finally said. His faint smile was concerning. “Especially since my deal with my sister includes further contact with you.”

Confused, and more than a little alarmed, Jax frowned. “How does your deal with Nikki include further contact between us?”

“She didn’t tell you the details?” His tone implied he wasn’t at all surprised his sister had been less than forthcoming. “In exchange for helping you, she promised me she’d finally let me hire someone to move in with us and help her with her daily activities until she’s out of her cast.”

“And how does that affect me?”

He settled back and shot her a master-of-all-he-surveyed smile. “Because the live-in caretaker is going to be you.”

TWO

Blake watched Jax go completely still before the refusal burst from her lips.

“No.” Clearly stunned, Jax froze for a few more seconds filled with silence before she continued, “Wait, let me put that another way,” she said leaning closer, bringing the smell of lemon shampoo and damp earth. “Hell, no.”

Fighting back a smile, Blake said, “That was eloquent.”

“That was clearer.”

“Why the emphatic refusal? Nikki told me the cut in funding has forced the club to shut down several programs, including yours. So obviously you’re in need of a job.”

“No, I’m in need of a plan to get the programs up and running again.” A furrow appeared between her eyebrows. “And no offense, Suit,” she said smoothly, but Blake got the sense she did mean to offend, “but I’m not in bad enough straits to accept a job that requires me to live in your home.”

The words lingered in the air between them as Blake held her gaze. Awareness seeped into the limo and saturated every molecule of air, making each breath suddenly feel heavy. And then Jax turned to face forward, effectively putting an end to the moment.

Part of him echoed her reluctance. But so far Nikki had fired the three people he’d hired to help. And she’d refused the limo service he occasionally used. Blake had nearly burst a fuse when he’d discovered his sister had driven herself to the flash mob in a cast.

A long leg cast.

Which was as reckless as the careless stunt that had broken her leg in the first place. It was amazing she hadn’t gotten herself killed today. And if he didn’t get Nikki to accept help from somebody, she’d wind up dead in a car accident, just like his father.

For a flickering moment, the memories flooded him and his chest grew tight, making breathing difficult.

Blake rubbed his forehead, easing the tension as he concentrated on the view out the tinted window. Palm trees paraded past like guards along the median. Cars eased forward in sporadic burps as the city reached the peak of the Friday rush hour. His sister was going to drive him stark, raving mad. The past few years had been tough, the two of them clashing more and more. Now he suspected she was doing things solely with the intent to tick him off.

And how could he concentrate on the biggest case of his career if he was living on pins and needles, dreading her next stunt? He needed someone to help Nikki, and the only one she’d agreed on was the hellion on heels.

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