“I haven’t,” I admit. “I’ve been to London, Scotland, Rome, Paris, and Australia. But no, to Germany.”
“I leave for Germany in two weeks.”
“Not without me, Emma,” I say, stroking her cheek.
“You want to come with me?”
“Yes. I do.”
“We barely know each other.”
“And yet you’re coming to Maine with me. Why can’t I go to Germany with you?”
“Yes,” she says, her lips curve, those beautiful green eyes of hers warm, her voice heavy with sleepiness. “Why can’t you?” Her lashes lower and I watch her features soften into slumber. I watch her sleep but I don’t sleep. That damn journal and folder call to me. After an hour, I can’t take it. I sit up and I reach for the folder.
Two hours later, Emma’s still asleep when I shove everything I’ve been reading back into the seat pocket. I stand up and walk to the back of the plane and press my hands to the wall, fighting off demons, fighting off the need to punch the wall. There’s not only plenty in those documents to prove malice toward my brother, but there’s reason to believe that malice extends to me and Emma.
I force myself to rein in my anger. I don’t want to tell her what I learned until I have time to connect a few dots. I push off the wall and walk to the front of the plane, sitting down next to Savage who has a bottle of North Whiskey next to him. I pick it up and down a few swallows before I fill him in on everything I now know. He whistles and grabs his laptop. “I’ll talk to Blake. He’ll get us answers by the time we’re on the ground.”
I take another swig of whiskey but say nothing. I get up and return to my seat next to Emma. I’m exhausted from not sleeping last night, and clearly, she is, too. I need to be fresh when I deal with this hell I’ve unlocked. I lower my seat and roll to my side, facing her. I watch her sleep a few minutes, and damn it, she’s beautiful and sweet, and smart. She doesn’t deserve any of this while me, well, I’m like Eric. I’m not all that good of a man but damn if a woman like Emma makes me want to be.
I shut my eyes and Emma’s hand settles on my face. My lashes lift but hers are shut. I can’t even explain the emotion that pumps through me in that moment but I need this woman in my life. I shut my eyes and pull her hand to me. I’m not letting go and based on everything I just found out, that means war, but bring it on.
I wake to find Jax sitting up with coffee in his hand, and for a moment I just stare at him, because why wouldn’t I? He’s gorgeous. “Did you sleep?” I ask, sitting up, my gaze catching on his forearm where his sleeve is rolled up, that North tattoo meaning more to me now than ever. It’s pride. It’s family. It’s every reason he’s fighting for answers.
“A few hours,” he says, turning to face me. “We’re about to land. How do you feel?”
“Like I need to pee and I don’t even want to know how I look right now.”
“Beautiful, baby,” he promises, leaning over to kiss me. “Hurry. We land just a few miles from the castle. We’ll be out of the plane and there in no time.”
My spirits lift. “I can’t wait to see it.”
He winks and helps me to my feet and by the time I’m back, we’re in descent. It’s not thirty minutes later, and we’re gathering our things to exit the plane, which means gathering those files I took from my father and brother. A part of me wants to set them aside until tomorrow. I just want to see Jax’s home and be with him right now.
We exit into darkness and load up in an SUV again. “You’ll be able to see the ocean and the land tomorrow,” Jax says, pulling me close. “It’s stunning.”
“I can’t wait.”
We travel winding roads and in a few minutes the castle is in view, lit up with spotlights and my God it’s stunning. It’s medieval, with two towers, and white stone that seems to go on for days. I point to the right. “Is that a lighthouse attached to the castle?”
Jax seems to stiffen, a barely-there flex of muscles that I don’t understand. “No. It’s the Century Tower.”
He doesn’t offer more, and I glance up at him but he leans up to talk to the driver. Avoiding me? Yes, I think so, but why? A giant black steel gate opens and the driver pulls us past it, around another winding path until we are at the front door that includes a massive stone staircase and a towering wood door. A doorman opens the doors on either side, and I glance at Jax. “It’s amazing.”