His words, his passion, seep inside me and take root deep in my soul, nestling in a place that I now believe was always meant for him. “Jax,” I whisper, so many words and emotions in that single word, in his name. “I want—so much right now.”
“Me, too. Soon, baby. Soon.” He brushes his lips over mine, a delicate caress I feel from head to toe, before he says, “Not soon enough is more like it.” He knocks on the window and both of the front doors open.
Just that quick, we have the driver and Savage in the vehicle with us, and we’re on the road. Jax pulls me close, keeping his arm around me, and I welcome the sweet warmth of his body, even more so, the heat of our connection. I catch his free hand and hold onto it. I need to hold onto him right now. I will never be alone again. I don’t think that anyone has said anything ever that impacted me the way those words did. Even more so than him telling me he loves me. Because I’ve always been alone and I didn’t realize just how bad that felt.
The ride is short and silent, street signs flying by the windows, horns honking, wind swishing around us, but I think of nothing but Jax’s body next to mine, his hand in my hand. In a matter of a few blocks, we’re at a competing hotel to the Knight brand, and I’m just fine with that. I need a break from my family right now in all possible ways. I also haven’t missed the fact that Jax didn’t ask if I wanted to go to my apartment. He knows I woke up there naked because, for God knows why, I blurted that out to Smith, who I barely know when I kept the York situation private for years.
At the front of the hotel, Savage doesn’t wait on the doorman. He is quick to exit the vehicle and open my door. Jax pulls on a leather jacket he’d left in the SUV and then I step outside into the San Francisco air. Moments later, I’m walking inside the luxurious lobby, shiny tiles beneath my feet, and a glistening chandelier as a centerpiece above my head, with Jax and Savage at my sides. My man and my bodyguard, which is a sobering thought. We still know virtually nothing that helps free us from the web of lies and murder consuming our lives. We don’t even know who kidnapped me or why. We don’t know if I’m a target, being taunted, or if they’re coming back for me.
In a short elevator ride, Jax, Savage, and I arrive at the hotel suite Jax rented, and in a few more seconds, we’re all inside a luxury room. Feeling the presence of the drugs in my wobbly knees and trembling hands, I sit down on the brown leather living room couch. Jax shrugs out of his jacket and walks to the desk against the wall to my left, where he drops it on a chair and retrieves the room service menu. “We need to feed you to get the drugs out of your system,” he says, sitting on the coffee table and offering me the menu. “Let me know what to order and then we’ll talk to Savage about what can’t wait before we all get some rest.”
I’m touched by his concern and thoughtfulness, especially since I’m used to my father who once witnessed me throw up in my trashcan at work, to which he said, “Suck it up, buttercup.” I’m also lightheaded, so I certainly don’t argue on the topic of food. “I already know what I want. Mac and cheese. They make great mac and cheese here; it’s my job to scout the competing brands.”
“That’s not enough,” Jax says, and stubbornly adds, “Order more.”
I laugh, and considering the worry etching his brow, I do so without one ounce of frustration over his bossiness. “Are you trying to fatten me up?” I don’t wait for a reply. I set the menu down and shrug out of my jacket, setting it on the back of the couch. “It’s a dinner serving, and honestly, I don’t know if I can even handle anything heavy right now. I might do better to order just bread and some fruit.”
“I’ll order a few things you can try,” he says, “and you can find what works.” He stands up, walks back to the desk and grabs the phone. He then starts ordering half the kitchen.
“Jax filled me in,” Savage says, claiming the chair next to me, his expression somber. Savage isn’t really a somber guy, so I’m not sure what to make of that. “Do you believe your brother shot straight with you?” he asks.
“I do,” I confirm easily, which feels good. My brother didn’t kill Hunter. “He’s not a killer,” I add, my voice firm, confident. “Just an asshole.” I shrug, because what else can I do at this point? “Best of the two, I guess.”