“Shit,” Jax cursed. “What the hell is he doing here? He’s got some fucking nerve.” I turned to Jax and his fists rolled into a ball while he gritted his teeth. I could tell he was fuming as much as I was. “I want to have a word with that fucker.” Jax grabbed the door handle but I stopped him.
I didn’t want him to start anything. All I wanted was to leave so I could spend as much time with Jax as I could.
“Not after what he did. This guy can’t come here and think he won’t get blasted after hurting you, Beth. I won’t let that happen.”
I couldn’t help but smile. He had no reason to be, but I adored how caring he was towards me.
“I don’t know why he’s here, Jax. I just don’t give a fuck.”
My eyes locked with Ezra’s and I noticed him walking towards the car. A deep breath escaped my lips as I tried to calm myself down. Jax followed me close behind.
“Don’t you hello me, Beth. What are you doing here?”
“I was hoping we could talk.” He glanced at Jax briefly before turning to me. “Alone if possible.”
I let out a sarcastic laugh. After what he had done with his parents, I didn’t want to give this asshole anymore of my time.
“No. You don’t get to come here and try to talk to me after what you and your parents have done. I have nothing more to say to you. I said everything I wanted to last night. Now leave.”
“You were drunk last night.”
My eyes widened at him. “And I still remember you trying to turn it around on me. Like I was delusional from the alcohol. As if I didn’t hear what you said, asshole!”
“He tried to pin this on you, Beth?” Jax asked. His anger was the worst I had seen.
“Yeah, he did. Blamed it on the absinthe and tried to get my parents not to believe me.” My attention turned back to Ezra. “But my parents trust me more than they trust you. Drunk or not. Now I asked you to leave.”
Jax stepped forward. “You heard her, mate She doesn’t want you here. Now leave.”
“I’m not your mate.”
“And you’re not her boyfriend anymore. You fucked up Ezra. You had the girl and you ruined it.”
Ezra looked at Jax and his eyes glared straight into him. “I saw the way you looked at her while we were together. What kind of guy eyes another man’s girl?”
“Well firstly, you’re not a man. If you were, you wouldn’t have treated Beth that way. Those are not the actions of a real man.” Jax waited a moment then continued. “And secondly---have you seen Beth? You looked at her and saw dollar signs. You and your parents. She’s a person, not a fucking prize. I look at her and see a woman. A fucking perfect woman. One who deserves better than you.”
I couldn’t help but blush at his compliment. Surprised by his words, I never thought he would see me like that, and I am ashamed to say even while I was with Ezra, I would catch myself thinking about Jax. Maybe I knew deep down something was wrong with the prick. My instincts at the beginning were right about him. I knew I said no for a reason. He might not have cheated on me, but what he did was far worse as it involved the rest of my family.
“You think you’re gonna be that man, Jax?”
“Well it sure as fuck ain’t gonna be you.”
Ezra ignored Jax’s comment and tried to get my attention, but I couldn’t seem to pry my gaze away from Jax, whose green eyes were locked with mine.
“Beth?” Ezra called out.
“What do you want asshole?” I said as I shifted my attention away from Jax.
“Please talk to me.”
“No. You lost any chance of that. Now fuck off.”
Jax smiled at Ezra. “You heard her, MATE. Now fuck off.”
There was something incredibly sexy about Jax’s Aussie accent, and I could listen to him talk for an entire night. Oh, man. I’m thinking dirty thoughts about him again. God, I need to stop.
“Let’s go,” I said to Jax before turning to Ezra. “Don’t come back, ass wipe. Don’t try to contact me and don’t try to get your parents to either. My mom and dad don’t want any of you traitors here.”
I turned away and stepped into the car with Jax following me.
“Are you okay?”
“I’m so fucking furious right now!”
Jax took my shaking hand in his and gave it a gentle squeeze. “The guy’s a dickhead. You’re perfect. I don’t want anyone else telling you bullshit.”
I blushed at his compliment. “Thank you, Jax. That means a lot.”
He let go, and I felt a wave of disappointment rush through me. I smiled at Jax before starting the engine to begin the drive.
We entered the jewellery store and I rang the bell for service.
“What are we doing here?”
“Anastasia’s mom passed away a few years back. She gave her a necklace and the chain broke about a month ago so I’ve ordered her a new one.”
Jax’s expression was filled with sorrow. “Shit. I’m sorry.”
“It was hard on her and her dad. I hope she likes this.”
“I’m sure she will.”
“Hello, Miss.” I glanced up at my jeweller who immediately recognized me. “You’re here for the necklace, right?”
“Yes, thank you.”
He took his key and unlocked one of the drawers behind him, before he pulled out a small rectangular box. “Here it is.”
I lifted the top and smiled as soon as I saw the silver chain. “It’s perfect. Are you able to gift wrap this for me please?”
“Certainly,” he replied. “I won’t be long.”
My attention shifted to Jax. “Is there anything you need to get while we’re out?”
“I think we got everything I needed before.”
“Okay, well in that case, there’s one more shop I want to go into.”
“Yeah, no worries. At least we can stay out of the house for a bit. I want to avoid anymore awkward conversations with our parents about---um things.”
“That mouth of yours is going to get you into trouble.”
“Yeah, it has in the past,” Jax smiled.
“Here you go, Miss.”
I glanced down at the beautifully presented gift which has been carefully wrapped in Navy blue paper, complete with a silver ribbon neatly around the box. “Thank you. It looks lovely.”
“Have a good day, Miss. And Merry Christmas.”
“Merry Christmas to you too.”
Jax and I walked out of the store. After having lunch and spending time in a few more shops, we decided to head back to my place to avoid our parents for a while.
After unpacking my purchases, Jax and I sat down on the couch in my apartment.
“So, when’s your place opening up? You’ve been so busy lately.”
“We wanted to open up this year, but it might not be for a couple of months. We had a few delays with the construction.”
“What kind of place is it?”
“A bar at night, but during the day we want to open it as a restaurant. A place where people can go to have a good feed.”
I thought about what would happen when his job here was done. Would he go back home?
“Do you have any plans after it opens?”
“No---well, yes. I would fly between Aussie and the U.S.”
I hate the thought of him leaving because I didn’t want him to go.
A smile played on his lips. “Yeah, Beth?”
“About what you said before---.”
“You mean to assface?”
I couldn’t help but laugh. “Yes. What you said to assface.”
“I meant every fucking word, Beth.”
My mouth slightly gaped open when my breath hitched. “You did?”
“Yeah, of course. Beth, you’re amazing. I knew it from the first moment we met. The first time fucking balls came out of your mouth, that was it. I was into you.” I raised my eyebrows and smiled. “Okay, that sounded so wrong. I’ve been hanging around you too much.”
“So, are you saying you don’t want to hang around me anymore?”
He shook his head and smiled. “Fucking hell no! I’m saying I want to hang out with you more.” Jax lowered his voice to a whisper. “And not just as friends.”
I blushed, surprised by his words. There was something genuine about him when he talked. It wasn’t like Ezra, I felt scared with him, but with Jax---he was different. There were no doubts clouding my head.
Jax pulled me from my thoughts of him. “Beth, you okay?”
I hoped he didn’t take my silence as the wrong way, because I wanted to be more than friends with him too.
“Sorry, as in you don’t want me?”
I bit my lip and slowly shook my head. “Not what I meant. I feel the same way. To be honest, I think I felt something even when I was with Ezra. That’s never happened to me before, Jax. I’m not that type of girl and I don’t want to be.”
“Beth---you’re not with him anymore.”
My cheeks continued to burn. “I know.”
“Which means you’re free to date who you want.”
He inched closer towards me on the couch. “And I’m not with anyone.”
My voice dipped low. “Uh huh.”
“Which means I’m free to date whomever I want.”
I hated the thought of him with another girl. If he liked me as much as he say he does, it couldn’t have been easy for him to see me with Ezra.
“What happened with Francine?”
“Nothing happened,” he replied. “I never liked her. I mean she’s a nice girl, but I couldn’t even think about being with another girl---when all I could think about was you.”
My breath hitched. “You were thinking about me?”
“All the fucking time, Beth. I couldn’t stop and now I don’t want to.”
He was on my mind more than he should have been. “What are you trying to say?”
Jax settled the scratch on the back of his neck. “Something I’ve been trying to talk to you for a while now, but every time I do, something always comes up.”
I realized it must have been what he wanted to discuss that night at dinner before Ezra turned up.
“Jax, we’re alone right now---so---”
Jax swallowed his nerves and blurted the next words out. “I want you to be my girl, Beth.”