I tug at his pants and he doesn’t even hesitate. A few fast moves and my leg is at my hip, with his thick erection pushing inside me. His mouth is on my mouth again, and my breast is now free and in his hand. I tug at his hair and he drives into me and we are frenzied. Pump and thrust. Pump and grind. Holding on to each other, pulling at clothes and touching everywhere we can touch. Somehow in that tiny bathroom with the world in party mode outside the door, and the blue-eyed man ready to come at me, I orgasm with insane intensity. Jax follows, shuddering onto his sweet spot and then we’re both laughing with the return of reality.
“I can’t believe we just did that,” I whisper.
“There you are with that can’t word again.” He pulls out of me and grabs tissues and when we finally have all our body parts back in our clothes, Jax cups my face and says. “We can do anything we want and have anything we want. And what I want is you.”
“I want you and us, too.”
“That’s all that matters, baby.” He strokes my hair. “Let’s go back to the party and then let’s go home.”
He makes me believe this can be my home. He makes me believe that I can fall in love with him and become a fairy tale princess in a castle. The blue-eyed man doesn’t get to tell me I can’t do this. My brother doesn’t get to tell me I can’t do this. But murder, murder has a life of its own, it lives after death. And I can see it leading to only one place: another bad ending.
He literally isn’t at his house when Jax goes to visit him and won’t return anyone’s calls. Savage and his team are tasked with finding him. I’m not sure what to make of that, but it bothers me, much like that hour glass. Despite those things weighing on me, the next few days with Jax are wonderful.
We work together. We run together. We sleep and eat and laugh together. We explore the castle and its grounds. We even get to that breakfast spot his father loved and the tree where his mother used to take him. I fall in love or I feel like it’s love. I tell myself that lust and infatuation can read like love, but the safe, wonderful, friendship between us that defines the secrets between our families doesn’t feel like another lie. It feels like the only truth our families share.
The night of the festival opening is a formal whiskey cocktail party. I dress in a black lace dress and Jax is in a tuxedo. We reach the castle to a line of fancy cars and dresses. Jill greets us in the foyer in a red dress. I can almost feel Jax yelling in his head.
“Everything is going fabulous,” she announces. “And every customer I was worried about either called to say they’ll make next year or they’re showing up. It’s all fabulous.” She is truly happy, the emotion bubbling from her eyes. She cares. She wants this place to be successful. I just don’t understand the red dress. She even looks at me and smiles. “You look beautiful, Emma.” And with that she leaves.
“That fucking dress,” Jax murmurs.
I squeeze his arm. “I know. I know.”
We set aside the dress and greet one of his customers.
The event is in a courtyard just off the ocean with jazz music, food, and brilliant lanterns lighting the night. Heaters dot the area keeping everyone warm and toasty but for me, it’s the sexy exchanges with Jax that keep the sizzle on my skin and low in my belly.
We are deep into one conversation after another when Jax is pulled aside by a client to talk about some important stock with details that he doesn’t want out to the general public. “I’ll be at the pastry table,” I say and he laughs, leaning in close to whisper, “I’ll help you work the sugar off later.”
My cheeks heat and I’m smiling as I walk toward the food, only to be stopped by Randall stepping in front of me, looking tall, dark, and irritatingly arrogant in his tuxedo. “What are you doing here?”
“I was invited. I’m a customer, remember?”
“I’m pretty sure I could have represented us just fine on my own.”
“I’m not,” he says. “We need to talk.”
“Did my brother send his right-hand man to do his dirty work and bring me home?”
“Yes. We need to talk.”
“No, Randall. We don’t. Go home.”
He lifts his glass and motions to the man in the corner that I haven’t noticed until now. “Kent Sawyer? Really, Emma? How many enemies are you consorting with?”
“I know what is going on with Jax and Kent Sawyer, Randall. This is none of your business.”