Bran sat in his office staring at the ring he was suppose to give Jewelianna days ago but he hadn't worked up the nerve to give it to her. He was a nervous mess but he couldn't understand why. She seemed to accept the fact that she was basically his wife already but something still held him back. He said he was waiting on the right moment but he was beginning to wonder if there was ever a right moment.
Plus, it was hard finding a right moment when his conscious nagged him more and more as the days went on. The more he got to know her the more guilt ate at him. He was taking advantage of her for his own selfish reason that he didn't quite understand himself but he couldn't find himself letting her go.
"Mr. Branson." There was a knock at the door. He snapped the box shut and shoved it in his pocket when Carl, one of his workers stepped in. "You have a guest, sir."
Before he could ask who, he saw his worst nightmare stepped through the door. "Shit."
"Well is that anyway to greet your mother?"
"What are you looking for?" Jewels watched Jas searched the cabinets frantically.
"Where are the drugs around here?"
"Sorry we don't keep drugs here, the warehouse is safer." Bare stepped into the kitchen.
Jewels laughed but slowly stopped as Jas frowned at her.
"It's a joke. What do you need drugs for?" Bare asked.
"Ah." Jas applied pressure to her lower back hoping to take the ache away. He rushed to her side but she pushed him away. "Ignore me like you and Dom have been doing."
"Do you still have those awful period cramps?"
"Shut up, Jewels." She gritted her teeth as she gripped the sink.
Bare didn't wait another second as he scooped up the hurting woman and carried her away. "We'll see you later, Jewels." Jas bucked and cursed in his arms but he continued to his room. He didn't stop until he was in his huge bathroom. He sat her down in front of the large sunken tub. He pulled out his phone sending a quick text to one of the staff to bring him a bottled water, hot tea, and ibuprofens.
"I'm leaving." He grabbed her arm before she got too far and dragged her back to the tub where he turned the water on.
"Take your shirt and pants off."
"No." She said through gritted teeth. He knew a pain was hitting her again. He hit the button that started the attachment that streamed out warm water.
"I'm just trying to help, Jas." He voice was almost unrecognizable. She had been right when she said that they had been ignoring her. This was uncharted territory for both men. Usually the women that they picked up knew the score but they hadn't found a way to finesse Jaslynn. She had no idea what she was getting herself into when it came to them.
Dom had backed off first silently offering her to him but he couldn't. If both of them couldn’t have her than neither of them would. However, he found himself craving just to see her, to hear her laughter...
"Someone's knocking at the door." She was staring at him with a frown. He had been lost in his thoughts that he didn't hear the knocking on the door.
"Take your clothes off." He demanded as he went back into his room and opened the door. Lisa, another service worker, whom he made room for to enter with all the items he asked for.
"Do you need me to set up, Mr. B?" Lisa asked as she sat the tray down on the table by the door.
"It's fine how it is, Lisa. Thanks." The woman nodded her head and took her exit.
Bare grabbed the pills and the bottled water and carried it into the bathroom. He was surprised to see Jas had actually done what he said and more. She had stripped down to her underclothes and was hunched over for the spout to flow the water on her lower back. "Here." She looked at him as he held the pill out to her. She quickly took them as he uncapped the water and she reached for it automatically. She took a gulp of water then threw the pills back. He watched her drink more water before she passed it back to him.
"Thank you." She whispered placing her forehead against the edge of the tub.
"Come here." He sat on the ledge, placing the water beside him then he pulled the hose from its base. He clicked the head of the attachment and it started to vibrate. He pressed it against her back and closed his eyes as he accepted her moan of appreciation. He pulled her closer letting her head rest on his leg. His right hand worked the attachment across her lower back as his left hand brushed her hair off to the side so his fingers could ease the tension in her neck. He positioned his fingers right behind her ears and started rubbing. "Unclench your jaw." He said it harder than he meant but he felt her relax under his caress.
"Can you make the water hotter?" He adjusted the temperature then moved the hose back to her back. "Oh." She moaned.
Even though he knew she was in pain he was glad he could relieve some of it. However, those little moans were going to be the death of him. Her head was resting on his leg and her ass was turned up in the air. The little black panties weren't overly sexy and they cover her mostly but the bottom of her cheeks hung out and what nice cheeks they were. He rubbed his hand over her back and he surprised himself when he moved to unsnap her bra.
"Bare." She squealed inching away from him.
"It can't be comfortable." He popped it with one hand and he smiled at his handy work as he continued rubbing her back.
Jaslynn bit her lip to keep from crying out. She was in heaven. She didn't care about anything except for the fact that her cramps had eased and the ache in her back had subsided. Now that her mind wasn't overwhelmed with pain she tried to think how long she had been bent over in front of Bare mostly exposed? He wasn’t saying anything just lazily stroking her back. She hadn’t expected this of him but she appreciated him for doing so. It wouldn’t make up for the cold shoulder though.
"I think I'm good with the water." It was feeling good but her thoughts were making her more uneasy along with the fact that her underwear was soaked. Thank God she had put on a tampon.
"Okay." He placed attachment back in its holder before shutting off the water. He grabbed a towel from the rack and she stood up in the tub holding her bra to her chest. She wasn’t shy at all but she didn’t want him seeing a gift he hadn’t earned. He smirked before wrapping the towel around her. The warm thick material secured her in a cocoon.
"Thank you." He didn't say anything as he helped her out the tub and guided her out the bathroom. As they approached the bed her cheeks started to warm.
"I had Jewels get you some things you might need."
On the bed was underwear, shorts, an oversized t-shirt, pads, tampons, and wet wipes. Too embarrassed to say anything, she collected the items and rushed off to the bathroom shutting and locking the door.
She quickly took care of her personal business and quickly changed into dry clothes. She rolled the wet clothes up in the towel and she tucked her hair behind her ear as she opened the door to face the man who had been avoiding her.
"Thanks." She headed for the door. "For everything."
"Don't go, Jas."
"Why?" She stared. Don’t let your feelings show.
He just stood there looking at her for a long moment. Why didn't he want her to go? Why couldn’t he just let her walk away?
"That's what I thought." Before she could reach the door it swung open and just like that, the room became an inferno as Dom walked in. She gulped as she looked between the two men.
"Mom." Bran walked around his desk and pulled his mother in his arms. He loved her but he knew she was coming to add more pressure than he was already under. "You could've let me know you were coming." He said as he released her.
"So you could give me the run around." She looked him over. "I don't think so. Where is your wife, Lexington Branson?
"Mom." He groaned. "She's not here. She’s out with her sister who just got into town." He lied. A small lie wouldn't hurt but he couldn't introduce her to his mother yet. He wondered how she found out but he knew some of the older workers were friends with her but damn it he didn't think she would fly there so soon.
"Are you lying to me, Lexington Alexander Branson?"
"Listen, mom." He ushered her out the office. "I have a lot of work to do so why don't you come back for dinner and I can introduce you properly." He assisted his mother down the stairs and saw Carl nod towards the kitchen. Jewelianna was there. He hurried his mother out the door.
"I know when I'm being brushed off but rest assured, son that I will be back." She kissed his cheek before she moved to car where the driver awaited her with the door stretched open.
He had no doubt she would be back. He shook his head as he watched the black car disappear down the driveway. He was so thankful that his mother didn't like staying at the family house and probably booked herself a room at the finest hotel in town. He ran his hands down his face as he walked back into the house. That was a close call.
Bran moved to the kitchen and stood at the entryway staring at Jewelianna pushing her food around on her plate. He knew she was sad about not being able to work. After her day of rest he had promised her she could work but reality had sat in that she didn't remember any of her passwords she had set so she couldn't get into anything. Her cellphone was another thing. It had a thumbprint unlock so he tossed it and brought her a new phone. She hadn't bothered asking about it at the hospital because the tiny screen was hard to focus on after her surgery. He felt guilty about all of it but he couldn't let her go and he was in too deep to go back now. He walked into the kitchen making his presence known.
"Hey, baby." He placed a simple kiss on her lips. "I'm sorry about work."
"Huh? Oh yeah. Me too."
He frowned. So she wasn't upset about not working. "Tell me what's wrong." He turned her to face him fully.
"I-I. Are-?” She paused, taking a deep breath. "I was just wondering about us."
She had been feeling uneasy about her and Lexington. It had to be her, she was the one who couldn't remember her on fiancé. It had to be hard for him to be in love with someone who hadn’t even remembered his name.
Yes, she lived in his house, they even slept in the same bed but he only came to bed when she was sleep and was gone before she woke. Her empty ring finger stared back at her everyday like a constant reminder that he wasn't fully committed to her yet. She often wondered if there was somebody else. He was extremely handsome and deserved someone better than her.
"You haven't really talked to me about us and I know it must be hard for you- I don't even have a ring." She was rambling. "Maybe you don't want to marry me. I should just go and let you have a chance to be happy with-" He placed a finger against her lips. He sank down to one knee pulling out the velvet box. He smiled when she gasped.
"I was waiting on the right moment." He opened the box.
"Lexington." She shook her head. The huge opal diamond ring brightened the box. The gold and diamonds sparkled around the band and circled the mesmerizing crystal white opal stone.
"My middle name is Opal." Tears poured from her eyes. Lexington was a blurry glop kneeling in front of her.
"The ancient meaning is precious stone." He pulled the ring from the box and slid it on her finger. "We got engaged in a rush but you deserve this soooo... Jewelianna Opal Stevens, will you be my wife? To warm me with the bright light inside of you? To love me when you're happy? To love me when you're sad? To love me when it hurts? Say that you'll never leave me, Jewelianna. I don't think I could live without you in my life. Say that you'll be my wife." He stood to his full height looking down at her.
"Yes." She whispered. Shit, she was shaking.
"Say that you're mine, Jewelianna." He pulled her tight against him. "I need to hear it."
"I'm yours, Lexington."
She screamed as he spun her around. As he slowed, his lips fell on hers and she thought how she could have ever been so lucky.
"Jaslynn." She stared up at Dom whose piercing gaze locked her in place.
What was wrong with her? She never in her life thought she would entertain the thought of being with two men but here she was particularly panting for them to make a move on her. "Am I suppose to be scared?"
"Don't you know you're playing with fire?" Dom tucked her hair behind her ear as she felt the heat of Bare close to her backside.
"You feel it too." Bare whispered close to her ear. "This is why I couldn't let you walk away."
She jumped when a hand gripped her waist. She bit her lip as her as closed. She couldn’t keep staring at those piercing blue eyes.
“Jas.” Dom growled. Why did he just keep calling her name? She melted every time they spoke her name.
Jaslynn eyes snapped open when she heard a scream come from the kitchen. The sound of her sister's voice pulled her out her erotic fog causing her to slip away from the men as she ran into the kitchen. "What’s wrong, Jewels?" She paused when she saw her and Bran sharing a passionate kiss.
"I think he's finally done it." Dom said over her shoulder. He was standing behind her caressing her lower back. She forced herself not to bit her lip as she looked at the couple.
“I got it, Jas!” Jewelianna beamed as she held up her left hand to show off her rock.
"Let me see, Jewels!" Jas eased away from Dom to hug her sister. When Jas pulled back and saw the ring her jaw dropped. "Opal." She turned to Bran. "This was a beautiful idea." She hugged her brother-in-law.
"Finally!" Bare slapped Bran on the back.
"You should show Allie." Jas said knowing her best friend would want to see the ring.
"She is my friend right?" Jewels stood. "I have to find my phone." She leaned in to kiss Lexington before she went in search of her phone. "I'll be right back."
Her and Jaslynn walked to her room she shared with Lexington and looked for her purse. She had thrown it in there when she realized she didn't have anyone to talk to. She dug through the cluttered purse and found the phone. "Got it. I'll send her a picture."
"Whatever. You need to clean this purse out." Jas said in disgust as she shifted through the messy bag. She collected all the old receipt and made a pile. She found some old gum, two hair ties, and more junk that belonged in the trash.
"I sent it. She's typing."
"What is this card for, Jewels?" It wasn’t in her wallet just sitting at the bottom of her purse.
She looked at the red card and took it from her sister. “The Swing Set. Come swing with us.” She read the card with a frown. She had seen 'The Swing Set' on something around here recently. She marched over to the dresser and snatched open all the drawers.
“What are you doing?” Jas asked with her brows furrowed.
Jewels ignored her as she moved to the closet and opened more drawers until she found what she was looking for and handed it to Jas.
She held up the black card that was identical to the red one she found in her purse.