“Oh yes. Yes, I’m ready. I want to go home, Jax. Our home, in Maine.”
“That’s what I want to hear, baby. Why don’t we wrap up loose ends tomorrow and then do just that the day after tomorrow? Go home.”
“I vote yes.”
And so, my evening really does end like a perfect shiny diamond that emerged as a bright light in the center of the darkness. With it, I have hope that where there is one bright light, there are more.
It’s like Christmas morning, and I’m the spoiled little girl in a brand-new silk robe surrounded by shopping bags.
As resistant as I was to accept all the clothes and beauty supplies Jax bought me, waking up to the choice of Chanel or Dior or wait—Gucci—picked by a talented personal shopper is a luxurious experience. It’s also fun. And nothing I ever experienced, despite who my father was.
While Jax showers, I go through each bag discovering all sorts of treasures here and there: makeup, a flat iron, a hairdryer, face creams, body creams. The clothes and purses blow me away. When one of those treasures turns out to be a Chanel flagship purse, the very one I’ve never dared splurge on, I squee just a little. I can’t help it.
At the sound of Jax’s deep voice, I twist around to find him in the doorway to the bedroom looking scrumptious in faded jeans and a blue sweater that hugs his perfect chest. Which I know because I’ve inspected it quite closely. The color also deepens his always pale blue eyes, creating an ocean effect that has me floating in a sea of hot man. I stand up and hold the purse up. “I really wanted this, like really, really, badly for a really long time.” I set it down and round the couch, rushing to stand in front of him where I push to my toes and kiss him soundly on his sinful mouth.
“Thank you,” I say. “It’s an extravagant gift, and I’m going to cherish it for many years to come.”
His hand settles on my lower back, his touch possessive yet somehow tender. “I don’t want you to call what you need a gift anymore. We’re going to fix that today.”
“I don’t know what that means.”
“You will.” His fingers walk my short silk robe up to my bare backside until he’s giving one cheek a squeeze. “And you do know what time it is, right? We meet Eric and Grayson in forty minutes.”
“Oh, crap.” I twist away from him and rush toward the bags. When he dares laugh, I load him down with random items and head to the bathroom with him on my heels. I’ve now made Jax North my cabana boy, and I love it.
Jax not only sends my doorman, Jimmie, by way of Walker Security, a new iPhone 11 to match the one Savage brought me, but he also includes a thousand dollars. Details I learn as I pull on my knee-high black boots to match my black jeans and black turtleneck.
“That’s extremely generous,” I say.
Jax shrugs into a thin black leather jacket. “He helped you in your time of need. Appreciation should be shown.”
More and more, I realize, as he helps me into the new lightweight black dress jacket that I’d found in one of the many shopping bags, I understand that success doesn’t breed arrogance and a privileged attitude. Those things are choices. And I chose to surround myself with the wrong people. Until now.
A knock sounds on the door. “I need to grab my new Chanel purse,” I say, grinning. “I’ll be right there.” I leave him to our visitor and dart into the bathroom, give my new purse a nice petting, and then slide it over my shoulder. I return to the living room to find Savage looking like his normal giant self, and standing with Jax in the center of the living room.
They’re attention turns to me, with Savage taking the lead on delivering whatever news they have to deliver. “We’ve searched a three-hundred-mile radius for a plane that might have been your ride back to San Francisco in the timeline you made it back. It’s an eight-hour flight. The weather was shit. The only explanation is that you traveled by car from a distant airport.”
“In other words,” I say, “we aren’t going to find our guy by way of a plane.”
“That about sums the shit news up,” Savage replies, hands settling on his hips, a tattoo of some sort wrapping around his massive arm.
“I think I need a tattoo like you, Savage,” I say. “Something like ‘I see dead people,’ so maybe I’ll scare away a future kidnapper.”
Jax slides his arm around my shoulders and kisses my cheek. “No one is going to get to you again, baby. I won’t let that happen.”