“Being here is like being in the house. It keeps me in touch with him. And he is what kept us in touch with each other.” He’s silent a moment, and I can see his mind chasing away emotions. “I’ll get my things together and we can get out of here.”

“No rush,” I say, eying the books lining the walls. “I’ll explore the reading material.” I sigh. “Actually, I need to make some business calls myself.”

Jill appears in the doorway. “There you are,” she says, that red dress clinging to all of her perfect curves. She flicks me a look. “Emma,” she greets tightly, dismissing me immediately to focus on Jax. “Any word on those clients turning down our invitations?”

“It’s handled,” Jax says. “Relax.”

“That business—“

“Is handled,” Jax repeats.

“Are you sure? Because I have a million things on my plate and none of them matter if our clients are dropping like flies.”

“What can I do to help?” I offer, changing the subject because even I am feeling the irritation of her relentless repetition of a question asked and answered. “Running a hotel operation is like one big festival every night. I can help.”

“It’s all busy work,” Jill says. “Checking details. I got it.”

“What about at the actual event?” I offer. “Can I help?”

“I think we have it handled just fine,” she says, flipping blonde hair out of her pretty face. “I’ll have the final draft guest list for you tomorrow, Jax. The final tasting is tomorrow evening. I know you like to approve the selection.”

“We’ll be there,” Jax says and I swear the “we” in that reply tightens her expression.

“Seven pm,” she replies. “Rusty will present the selections.”

Jax inclines his head and Jill exits the office.

“Rusty runs the production of the actual whiskeys,” Jax says. “He’s been with us as long as Echo. Which means as long as I’ve been on planet earth.”

I cross the room and shut the door, leaning against it. “You can’t go on with that kind of tension between you two.”

“Something is off with her,” he says. “You feel it, right?”

“Yes, but she hates me because I’m a Knight and that’s not hard to understand. She clearly thinks my family had something to do with Hunter’s death. If I were her and you were Hunter, I’d have already scratched my eyes out.”

His lips quirk. “Or thrown her cellphone in the sand?”

I laugh. “More like at her head before my fist,” I tease but turn serious quickly. “If she loved Hunter, and she feels like he was murdered, she’s living just what you were when you came to me, Jax. A need for something to make this all make sense.”

“The red dress he hated, baby. She’s wearing it. She keeps fucking wearing it. And I don’t trust her.”

“Then you have a decision to make. Find a way to trust her or fire her.”

He presses his hands on the desk and looks skyward, struggling a moment before he fixes me in a stare. “Trust is earned. That dress—”

“Could mean something to her you don’t understand. I didn’t tell my brother I was raped. I told him York did a bad thing to me. There are things we need to deal with our own way, without explaining that process.”

“You’re defending her?”

“I’m not defending her. I’m simply stating a fact. The dress isn’t what’s bothering you. The dress doesn’t make you distrust her. It’s something more. What is it?”

“I don’t know,” he says, pushing off the desk and pressing his hands to his hips. “She’s a good employee. My brother loved her. But there is something, some unknown something, clawing at my gut with her.”

“Maybe I should push to help with the festival. Maybe she’ll open up to me and tell me something that helps you figure this out.”

“No. I want you to keep a distance from Jill.”

“But you want me to live here?”

His jaw clenches. “And clearly you’ve made your point. I need to get right with Jill one way or another and do so quickly. For now, I’m going to grab a few files and we can get the heck out of the castle.”

He wants out of the castle he loves. The castle that is now where his brother died. “No pressure. I’ll just explore the bookshelves.” I walk into the library area and bring one of the bookshelves into view when I do a double-take at the familiar item on display. A sands of time hourglass with stars etched on the surface. I twist around to eye Jax. “Jax where did this sand hourglass come from?”

He glances up from the paperwork he’s stuffing in a briefcase. “Came with the office. It was my father’s. Why?”

I twist around to face him. “Those are exclusive to our hotels. It came from a Knight hotel. As in only our hotel brand sells those. They’ve been around since the first hotel launched in the sixties.”

Tags: Lisa Renee Jones Naked Trilogy Erotic
Source: www.StudyNovels.com
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