You do your best to pack everything you need in a hurry.. Luckily your pricey warbrobe and beauty products managed to survive the ransacking relatively in tact.. Well enough of it anyway.. Jackson leans patiently in the doorway, while you dig through the werckge of your bedroom to find the last few pieces of your favourite outfits...
"Can I do anything?" He offers sympathetically..
You stand in the middle of the destruction and wave your arms, gesturing around before you shurg.. The only way you know how to deal with crappy circumstances is to make light of them.. Humor has always been your coping mechanism and tonight is no exception.. "Buy me a new apartment, so I don't have to come back and clean this mess?"
He chuckles, pushing off the door frame and moving towards the bed to pick up the suitcase you just finished filling to the brim.. "Done.." He winks at you and you smile..
"Okay.. That's everything.. Let's get the heck out of here.. Tomorrow I'll have forensics go over the place.." You take one last quick glance around the bedroom..
He nods in agreement and lifts the suitcase with ease before you follow him out through the living room, turning off the lights and locking the front door behind you..
Not that it did much good last time you locked it..
He leads the way down the path to his sleek black Mustang, tossing your suitcase in the back seat before he pulls open the passenger door for you..
Your gaze flicks back over to your car then back to his.. It's like he reads your mind.. "Ellerie.. Nobody is tracking me.. We can't say the same for you.. Besides, we work at the same place.."
Whoever did this obviously knows your movements.. You can't rule anything out..
"Yeah.. You're right.." You slide into the tan leather seat.. The door clicks shut and a few seconds later, Ford slides in to the driver seat beside you.. It dawns on you.. You have no idea where Jackson lives... "Um.. Where are we going.."
The engine roars to life and he pulls out onto the road heading north.. "Uptown.."
That surprises you.. You can't afford to live uptown..not that there's anything wrong with Midtown.. You're neighbours are friendly and until now nothing bad had happened to you in your neighbourhood.. "Oh.."
He throws you a smirk.. "What? You thought I was taking you downtown.. In this car?"
You laugh now.. He's funny when he's not all up in his own head.. Also.. He's super handsome when he smiles.. Really smiles.. There's a light in his eyes you only get to see when you're alone with him.. Just the two of you..
"Hey! I don't know your priorities..." You tease as hegrins, reaching over and taking your hand,lifting it to his lips, gently pressing a kiss to the back, his thumb gently stroking the underside of your palm.. "I'm gunna change that, Sunshine.."
Your stomach does a little back flip.. You love to see him with his defenses down, at ease.. In that moment you get a glimpse at the real Jackson Ford..
The same man who was the first to welcome you, even before there was a hint of flirtation between you..
A genuinely kind hearted guy.. Which is what had made you want to get to know him to begin with..
Underneath his rough exterior, you know he feels as deeply as you do..
You squeeze his hand, keeping a hold of him as he lowers his hand to his lap, where it stays, your fingers intertwined for the rest of the comfortably quiet drive..
He pulls into the parking garage of an upscale apartment building.. Carrying your suitcase from the car to the elevator where he punches in a security code on the small digital keypad by the doors..
You ride the elevator to the top floor in a stunned silence.. You're breathtaken by the time you step into his gorgeous apartment, with its high ceilings, polished concrete floors and sweeping windows. The furnishings are bold, yet cozy in various masculine shades of grey.. For some reason you had him pegged for a completely different lifestyle and you're wondering if you misjudged other aspects of him..
Also, now you have about a million questions for him and no idea where to begin.. "Uhmm.. Whaaat!?" You wander through the beautiful, open plan living space, running your fingertips over the smooth granite countertop of the kitchen island..
He laughs, the sound is smooth and rich, sending a shiver straight down your spine.. "Up until recently, I didn't do much else other than work contacts.. Why, what were you expecting, sunshine?"
You cross to the lounge, kicking off your shoes and pulling the gun from your waistband, setting it on the coffee table gently, before sinking onto the enormous modular sofa that somehow still isn't large enough for the enormous space.. "Honestly Ford.. I didnt expect anything.. You made it pretty clear to me early on that I shouldnt.. So I tried my best not to think too much about.. Well, you.."
He leaves your suitcase by the door, peeling off his jacket exposing his bulging cocoa biceps before prowls towards you.. Heat burning in his caramel coloured eyes..
He really is the most attractive man you've ever laid eyes on.. You're drawn to him in a way you've never been to anybody before..
Every time he's around its as though you can't think straight, he makes you nervous and excited and scared and happy all at once.. The combination of those emotions bubbles deep in your belly..
"Tried? Does that mean you did think about me?" He croons, his delicious blackberry cologne tickling your nose..
You feel a flush creep up your cheeks as he reaches you, sinking to his knees on the floor in front of you.. His hands coast up and down over the tight, powder-blue denim covering your calves and thighs, setting your nerves alight..
Your voice comes out breathy and barely above a whisper.. "All the time.."
He let's out a deep satisfied groan.. As if your admission pleases him.. "Mmm.."
He brings a hand to your stomach, pressing softly, encouraging you to lay back.. So you do, while his fingers work the buttons of your jeans..
Pushing up on the soles of your feet and arching your back, you lift your hips just enough for him to pull the denim away, sliding it down your legs..
His breathing hitches slightly as he drinks you in, laying there half exposed in a tiny black thong.. "Fuck.. You're so beautiful, baby.."
There's that word again..
For the second time tonight..
Reality crashes down over your thrumming desire.. You don't want to hurt him and the only way you know to do that is to be honest.. At least about this.. "Shit.. Jax, Wait.." You press your knees together and sit up..
He looks up at you, confused.. "What is it? We don't have to.."
You shake your head. You want to..
God, do you want him..
But it doesn't feel right when he doesn't know that a few hours ago another guy was trying to make a move on you, and you hadn't exactly resisted..
Now that you're here in this moment, you're kind of wishing you had..
Your speedy, nervous pulse pounds in your ears as you steady your breath to speak.. "Hunter Paxton kissed me tonight.. And.. I let him.." You blurt out the truth bluntly, like ripping off a band-aid.. There's no point sugar coating it or pretending it didn't happen..
He swallows hard.. But he doesn't flinch.. "Okay.."
You narrow your eyes on him, trying to gauge his reaction.. He doesn't seem particularly surprised, nor does he seem to be angry with you... "You're not.. Upset?.. Angry?"
He sighs, reaching up to tuck your hair behind your ear, brushing a thumb across your cheek.. "I'm not gunna lie.. It doesn't feel great to hear.. But.. all I want is for you to be happy, Sunshine.. Whatever that means.."
You place your palm against the side of his face and and he leans into your touch, closing his eyes.. "I want that for you too, Jax.."