I stared at him.
Jax squeezed my hand.
I totally knew what he was saying, again without really saying it. Mack would no longer be a problem for me and since Isaiah was apparently never a problem in the first place, the fallout from what my mom had done would finally settle around me and for the most part, I’d still be standing.
But I had to know. “Does that mean that Mack—”
“We understand,” Jax cut in, squeezing my hand again, and I shot him a look, but he was focused on Isaiah. “Is that everything?”
Isaiah’s gaze shifted toward him and a beat passed. “It is.”
“Then, I hate to be rude but . . .”
His lips quirked. “I’ve always liked your bluntness, Jackson.”
“I’m assuming that’s a good thing.”
Isaiah simply smiled as he stood, buttoning his jacket. “I wish you both good luck in the future. I’ll see myself out.” He strode past the couch, but stopped in front of the door and faced us. “One last thing, Miss Fritz.”
My heart thudded against my ribs. “Yes?”
“If you see your mother or hear from her, please let her know that she is not welcome in this county or this state,” he said softly. “As I said, I do not like loose ends.”
Then he was gone.
“Oh my God,” I whispered.
Jax stood swiftly, bent, and kissed my forehead before striding toward the front door. He checked the outside then locked it. Turning to me, he stretched his neck and sighed. “Well then.”
I shook my head slowly. “I don’t know what to say. He basically just told me everything is going to be okay and then threatened my mom, right? I mean, that is just what happened?”
“Yeah, it is.” Jax walked over to me and crouched down so we were eye level. “I was not expecting that.”
I coughed out a laugh and then cringed. “Me neither. I mean, wow. That was like something straight out of a mob film. Do you—”
His phone rang from inside his pocket. Straightening, he reached in, looked at the screen, and then cursed before he answered it. “Yeah?”
I watched him turn and walk toward the living room window. “Serious?” He thrust his other hand through his hair and then let his arm drop. “Well, can’t say I’m too torn up about that.”
My brows knitted. What in the world was going on now? I grabbed the blanket, rolled it into a giant ball, and held it to my chest.
“Okay. Yeah, we need to talk. Tomorrow’s good. I got to head back to the bar tomorrow night.” He turned to me. “Yeah, Calla is doing good. She’ll be fine.” Another pause. “All right, talk to you later, man.”
Jax hung up, and I waited as patiently as humanly possible as he made his way back over to me. “Well, that was quick. Like really quick.”
He sat down, got his arms around me, and carefully tucked me into his chest, blanket ball and all. Tilting his chin down, his eyes met mine. “That was Reece. You’ll probably end up getting a visit tomorrow morning from his brother.”
That familiar burn of anxiety slithered through my veins. “Why?”
His eyes searched mine for a moment. “They just found Mack’s body out on a county road. Bullet to the head. Execution-style.”
“Holy . . .” I breathed. “Oh my God.” He said nothing as he smoothed my hair back from my face, and we were quiet for a long time as that really sank it. I didn’t know how to feel. Mack shot at me—had shot me. He’d threatened me. And he probably didn’t care if I lived or died as he tried to “fix” things with Isaiah, but still, he was dead now and I didn’t think it was right to feel okay with that. So I didn’t know how to feel. “That was fast,” I said stupidly.
“So Isaiah really did—”
“Don’t finish that.” He pressed a finger against my lips for a second. “We don’t want to know everything and we don’t want to carry it down that road, Calla. It is as simple as that. Plausible deniability, and f**k, you aren’t going to have that shit on your conscience. Okay? That’s not on us.”
I lowered my gaze. “I know it’s not on us. Mack’s not where he is because of me. It’s because of what he did. I just . . . I don’t know how to feel about this.”
His lips brushed my forehead. “Honey, you don’t need to feel anything except a bit of relief. You’re safe. And f**k, that’s all that matters.”
I nodded and then it really sank in. I whispered, “It’s over.”
His arms tightened around me as he brushed his lips over my cheek. “Yeah, honey, it’s over.”
I woke up to the most pleasant sensation in the world, so good and so yummy I thought at first I had to be dreaming. But I wasn’t. Oh no, this was a dream, but the kind you lived and breathed.
Blinking open my eyes, I bit down on my lower lip as I dipped my chin and looked down the length of my body.
Warm, chocolaty brown eyes, full of playful wickedness, met mine. “Morning,” he grumbled in husky voice that rumbled all over a very, very sensitive spot.
It had to be in the middle of the night or way early in the morning, but it was still dark beyond the window. The light on the nightstand was on and the blankets had been drawn off me and the shirt of his I’d worn to bed—the very one I had stolen days earlier—was pushed up around my waist. The band of my undies was inched down my hips, far enough that there was nothing between his mouth and me.
“Morning,” I gasped, and before I could say another word, he swept up over me and kissed me so softly, so tenderly, that a fuzzy little ball formed in my throat. He lifted his head, kissed me again, but this time on the tip of my nose, and then he was moving back down me.
Hooking his fingers under the band of my panties, he tugged them down until they were off and lying somewhere in the great unknown. From between my thighs, he peered up at me through thick lashes. “You promise to behave?”
“Me? You’re asking if I promise to behave?”
He sucked his full bottom lip between his teeth and then he said, “You need to stay still, baby. I don’t want you messing with your stitches.” His gaze dipped to the intimate part of me and then he licked his lips. Holy granola bar, I almost came right there. “I should be waiting until you’re a hundred percent, but I’m hungry for you and I couldn’t wait.”
Tight shivers rolled over me.
He looked up again. “You going to stay still?”
I really couldn’t make any promises, but I nodded. His eyes held mine for a moment longer, and then he stretched up and placed a kiss just above my belly button, on the scarred skin.
That didn’t even faze me.
Panting, I watched him trail that mouth around my navel until his tongue flicked out, circled, and then slipped in. I gasped again as he continued on, kissing and licking like he was seeking to taste every curve and swell. He took his time on my stomach and by the time he reached the area between my thighs, my head fell back on the pillow.
He touched me first, a soft sweep of his finger and I willed my body to stay still, but there was a slight jerk of my h*ps that did nothing to my stomach. His finger moved again, circling and then slipping in.
I moaned as I clenched the sheet underneath, but he wasn’t done as he slowly moved in and out. My breathing quickened when I felt his mouth against my inner thigh, then his tongue. He was slow—so damn slow that every caress of his lips and flick of his tongue claimed me.
A strangled sound escaped me when his tongue dipped in, replacing his finger, and my h*ps kicked once more. Before I met Jax, I never thought I’d be into something like that. It just seemed too foreign to me, so intimate, but good God, I’d been wrong. This was amazing. Maybe it was because it was Jax. Maybe all men had a tongue that was literally a mass weapon of assured seduction. Either way, he drew out every gasp, every throaty moan and broken whimper until I was beyond making sounds and breathing in general.
He shifted, tossing an arm over my hips, holding me in place. He seemed to sense that I was close. Tension and heat built in my core, then exploded in a flash, a burst of rioting sensations that frayed every nerve ending with a hot rush of pleasure. Aftershocks of the tight tremors rocked me as he slowed and then lifted his head, kissing my inner thigh and then just below my navel. As he rose, I reached for the band on the old shorts he wore. He sucked in a breath as my fingers brushed the hard ridge of him through the nylon.
“Calla,” he warned.
I wetted my lips. “I can return the favor.”
“That’s not why I did that.”
“I know.” I rolled carefully onto my uninjured side and found him there, his body braced on one arm. His mouth was so close that I went ahead and kissed it, and was quickly caught up in the taste of him and of me mingled together.
Jax was a kisser. That was something I’d learned right off the bat. He liked doing it, thoroughly enjoyed it, and was damn good at it. And as he got into it, I reached between us again. Sex might be out of the question for the next couple of days, just to be safe, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t use my hand. Or my mouth.
I tugged on his shorts again, but he caught my wrist and he growled against my lips. “Calla, hon . . .”
“I’m not an invalid, Jax. I want to do this.”
He didn’t move for what felt like an eternity and then he took my hand and slipped it under the band of his shorts. Well, good to see he was definitely on board.
His body shuddered as my hand wrapped around his thickness and he let go of my wrist, hooking his fingers on his shorts. He got them down his thighs as I kissed his neck.
Easing up, I pushed him down with my other hand and he stared up at me from where he was sprawled on his back. My gaze tracked over him as I slowly moved my hand. God, he was gorgeous. Every stretch of rough skin, every tightly rolled muscle, and every imperfection.
His h*ps jerked as my thumb smoothed over his tip, and I smiled, remembering him showing me that and how much he liked it.
“God, Calla,” he groaned as he reached up, tangling his fingers in the ends of my hair. “You’re driving me crazy.”
I grinned. “I haven’t even done anything.”
“Oh, you’re doing plenty enough. You’re—” His words ended in a deep groan, because I’d slid down and lowered my mouth over him. “Fuck, Calla . . .”
There’d been a slight twinge of discomfort from the sliding part but nothing major and it sure as hell didn’t deter me from what I wanted to do for him. My mouth slid over him, and the hand in my hair clamped down on the back of my neck. His thumb moved along the base of my skull as I lifted my head, licking and sucking until his h*ps were moving in small, barely controlled thrusts. His hand tightened on my neck and I could feel the flutters in his base, the slight pulses. His breathing turned ragged, and as I went as deep as I could, which probably wasn’t very much, he let out a hoarse shout.
At the last moment, he dragged me off him and up. The stitches in my side protested only a little. My hand was still around him and I felt his release as his back bowed and his hands tightened on my arms. I watched his muscles flex and roll, the cords stand out in his neck, and the tension flicker across his striking face as his h*ps slowed and then he settled, breathing heavily.
“Damn, Calla.” He pulled me up and laid that mouth on mine, kissing me so deeply I felt the warmth between my thighs and in my veins increasing as he eased me onto my back. The kiss slowed and he rested his forehead against mine. “You’re perfect, you know that?”
“No I’m not.” I smiled, though, because I liked that he thought that.
“Whatever. If I say it, it’s true.” I laughed softly as he drew away. “Be right back,” he said, and he was only gone for a moment, returning with a damp cloth. He cleaned us both up, and when he finished, he curved his body around mine.
“Sleepy time?” I asked.
His chuckle shook me. “Uh-huh.”
I smiled into the darkness. “What time is it anyway?”
“Don’t know,” he replied, kissing my shoulder. “Don’t care.”
“So you woke me up in the middle of the night just to . . . ?”
Laughing again, I snuggled into his warmth. “I love you.”
His chest rose sharply against my back and then he pressed languid kisses against my throat and cheek. “I love you, too.”
“Are you sure you’re going to be okay here?” Teresa asked as she pulled back from giving me a hug. “We can hang out. Jase is cool with that.”
I glanced over at where Jase was leaning against the wall just inside the townhouse. For the last hour, he’d been eyeing Teresa like he wanted to have her for dessert. So I doubted he was cool with that. I smiled at her. “I’m fine. I’m just going to chill out and watch TV the rest of the night and I don’t think Jax is going to work an entire shift. I think he said he’d be back around midnight.”