I shake off the thought and turn to find Savage standing on the opposite side of the coffee table. “Now what?”
“I really need to see Jax.”
He motions to the door, and a minute later, we’ve locked up and are headed down the stairs. We’re halfway down when voices lift from a hallway to the right. “You need to just wait, Brody.”
It’s Jill, and Savage lifts a finger to his lips and then motions for me to move further down the steps out of sight. I do so, and he follows, but we stay within hearing range.
“I’m not going to wait.”
“You get in trouble when you push too hard.”
“Jax should know better,” he says.
“I don’t like her being here either, but maybe Jax has a master plan. Maybe he’s using her.”
“Have you seen how he looks at her? He’s not using her.”
“Then maybe we both better take a step back and rethink things.”
“You know what?” he asks. “I’m done here.”
Savage presses a finger to his lips and motions me down the stairs. My heart is now officially in my throat, but somehow, I manage to hurry down the stairs without falling. We make it down another level when Savage pulls me into a hallway, where we plant ourselves against the wall. A full minute passes before Brody rushes past us. Following him is Jill. “Stop and talk to me,” she hisses after him, but he doesn’t stop.
Savage holds up a finger for me to wait. We wait for what feels like a full five minutes before he finally waves us onward. Our walk is silent, and it’s not until we round the corner and enter a hallway that I say, “That was all about me.”
“It was all about Hunter,” he amends and points to an archway. “This way to Jax.”
I want to ask him to clarify, but he’s already motioning me toward a giant archway. With him by my side, I step into a room with towering ceilings, as well as a cozy seating area with a white stone fireplace. There are four pillars wrapped in art, hand painted to perfection, that divide the room. Beyond that seems to be open space and then a door.
“He’s in there,” Savage announces, pointing to said heavy wooden door set a good several feet of open space beyond where we stand. He indicates a set of chairs in a cubby hole, just beyond the door. “You can sit and wait. I’ll be by the fireplace making a call.” He does the fingers to his eyes thing again—his to mine—and adds, “I’m right here. I can see you. Don’t try to run.”
“I was definitely going to run,” I say flatly.
“I know. I saw it in your eyes.”
I’ve come to know that Savage has a dry, quirky sense of humor that you just have to roll with. But that’s not all he is. The scar down his cheek says he’s seen trouble, and it’s buried somewhere under the man he lets us see. And I know this because, after my rape, I pretended to be okay when I wasn’t okay. Not until Jax came along. Somehow, he has managed to empower me. He woke me up. Or he helped me climb a wall I’d already been climbing. My father’s death and journal woke me up.
I claim the seat next to the door while Savage leans on the distant fireplace and talks animatedly on his phone. I decide he was right. I would like to run, on the beach for about three miles to clear my head. I replay the message I’d found from my father to Jax’s mother, and emotions ball in my chest. I stand up, walking to the side of the door, and start to pace. Did my mother know?
I try to call her and get her voicemail yet again.
I pace some more but stop dead when the doors to the library open. Not wanting to interrupt any last minute business, I step back a bit, where I can see the door, but I’m out of sight. A man with wavy dark hair that I recognize as Grayson Bennett, one of our largest brand competitors, exits right away and keeps walking, waving at Savage without ever seeing me. Jax and another man with brown hair, step half in and half out of the doorway. Jax’s back is to me and I can identify the other man as Eric Mitchell, Grayson’s right-hand man. “Apologies for Grayson’s abrupt departure,” Eric says. “Crisis management happens.”
“Don’t I know it,” Jax says. “No worries here.”
“On a positive note,” Eric says, “this gives me a chance a quick minute with you one-on-one before I leave, too. I’m willing to push certain limits to get to the right results, and I can make Grayson see the logic of doing so.”
“What are you saying?” Jax asks.