“If you really want me to do this, besides the money, I have conditions and I have rules,” I say to him, folding my arms across my chest. I feel ridiculously out of place, all dressed up, sipping on wine that's not out of a box and eating filet mignon that I hadn’t miraculously found in the discounted meat section at the market.
The special rooftop area of the restaurant that he has specially reserved for us to have this talk undoubtedly has cost him a good chunk of change. And even beyond that, the car service to get us here and the dress I'm wearing—that had to at least cost more than I make in a semester working at the library—likely weren’t cheap either. Jack has definitely pulled out a lot of stops for the night, all requiring him to flex, I'm sure, only part of his celebrity status.
And all of this grandeur is just to sway me to say yes.
Jack leans back in his seat. His dress shirt strains against the broadness of his shoulders even more now, and more than that when he runs his hands through his dark hair. Any other girl would’ve been putty, ready for him to whisk them off to his hotel right then and there, but I’ve been through this before. I'm done with it. I'm immune.
He has this cocky grin on his face as he nods and says, “Naturally.”
I hate that he sounds like he still knows me, like the past few years of nothingness and distance hasn't taken a toll.
Because it has.
I'm not the same girl that he had wrapped around his finger years ago. I know my worth beyond a man’s attention. I know how to get myself out of bad situations. I know how goddamn shitty it is to just leave someone out to dry.
The only similarity between the girl I was and who I am now?
We're both broke as hell, and although younger me had no bills to pay or younger siblings to worry about caring for, current me does.
And it's because of this that I swallow my pride and lean forward. Clasping my hands together on the table, I narrow my eyes at him and begin.
“Rule number one. . .”