“It is,” he agrees. “I’ll come around for you.”
I nod, but I’m eager to see more and I slide to the edge of the seat and out of the car, greeting the man holding my door. Jax appears and offers me his arm, his eyes warm, whatever spiked that reaction in the vehicle now gone. “Welcome to my castle,” he says.
I smile and we start up the stairs, the cool night washing over us, the ocean air depositing salt on my lips. At the top of the stairs, a man in a suit greets Jax and punches a button. The door lifts upward, dungeon style, and then we’re entering an incredible round room with stone floors, and four arched hallways to choose a path.
“Jax, thank God.” A pretty blonde rushes from a doorway to our right, her black dress hugging every curve, of which she has many. “I have a problem. I’ve been trying to call you.” She glances at me. “Hello.” Her voice is stiff, lips pursed. “You are?”
Hated apparently, I think.
“Emma,” Jax says. “Emma, this is Jill my operations manager.”
She doesn’t say another word to me. She casts all her attention on Jax and her look is full of female admiration. “Can I see you alone?”
Jax’s fingers flex where they have settled at my hip and he turns to look at me. “Give me just a minute.”
I don’t like this. I don’t like her. I feel like I walked in on a lovers’ spat. “Okay.”
He glances at Jill. “I’ll be right there.” It’s a dismissal that purses her lips, but she turns and walks away.
Jax lowers his voice. “She was Hunter’s fiancée.”
“Oh.” I frown. “Then why does she look at you like she wants to lick you all over?”
He doesn’t laugh. “I think some sort of post-traumatic stress.”
“Then you know?”
“Yes. I know.”
“I like that you were honest about that.”
He lowers his mouth to my ear. “And I like that you’re thinking of licking me all over.”
Heat rushes through me and I glance up at him. “I wasn’t, but now I am,” I dare. “In your castle bed.”
“I’m now even more motivated than ever to get you to that bed.” He kisses me. “I’ll be just a minute. You can explore the castle if you want or I can have one of my men take you to our room.”
Our room. This statement does funny things to my belly. “I’ll wait on you. I might explore.”
“Pick a hallway,” he says, winking before he walks the direction Jill disappeared.
I glance at the hallways and decide on the one to the left. Excited to see what awaits me, I walk through the archway and find myself walking a long stone hallway with cutouts filled with pieces of art. I stop at each, admiring the pieces, some of which are expensive and well-known. Eventually, I have the option of entering a library or a winding stairwell. It’s a tough choice, the books call me, but I think this might be the tower I saw upon our approach.
I start the walk, winding left and right for a rather long climb. Finally, I step into a giant room that appears to be a chapel, based on the stained glass cross etched in the left stone wall. But what’s even more incredible is the giant cutout archway directly in front of me, at least ten feet wide, the wind lifting from what I believe to be the ocean beyond.
I approach it, hoping I can spy at least a shadow of the water. The wide landing is a large step up and I take that step but I don’t walk forward, certain there’s a long drop, that I will confirm in the morning light.
“The drop is two hundred feet.”
At the sound of a male voice, I turn to find a good looking man in jeans and a T-shirt, with blonde wavy hair so like Jax’s that I know who this has to be. “You’re Jax’s brother, Brody.”
“Yes. I am.” He stops almost just below me.
“I know who you are.” He steps up on the landing and literally crowds me to the point that I have to turn. I step and press my back to the stone archway, wanting something solid to support me. Suddenly I want off the landing.
Brody steps in front of me. “Why did you come here?”
There’s an accusation in his voice. “What? I —was I not supposed to?”