I shook my head as I opened my car door to step outside. A deep breath exhaled from my lips as I watched my ex come out of his car.
“Beth, how are you?”
Seriously? He has the fucking nerve to ask me that? How does he think I am? Fucking prick.
And as if it were perfect timing by the Gods themselves, Jax opened the front door and walked out.
“I thought I’d save time,” Jax smiled. “Are you ready?”
From my peripheral vision, Layton glanced between the two of us.
“I’m definitely ready,” I replied.
God, this man looks so sexy. His light blue top accentuated his muscles and black pants. If he turned around, I was sure his ass would look perfect.
Jax finally noticed Layton. “G’day, mate. I’m Jax.” He reached out his hand to Layton who stared at it for a moment before he decided to greet him back.
“So you’re going to go out with Beth on a date?”
Jax went to say something, but I interrupted. “Yep. This is definitely a date.” Before Jax could correct me, which he wanted to do, I walked over and grabbed his hand to pull him towards the car. “Come on, babe. Let’s go.”
Jax whispered to me so I can only hear. “What the fuck was that?”
I smiled and gritted my teeth. “Please just go along with it.”
Jax and I stepped into the car. I turned on the ignition before I drove off, not looking back at Layton. “I’m so sorry, Jax. Fuck. I’m sorry.”
“What happened? Who was that bloke?”
“That was Layton. The guy who deserved to get his head kicked in.”
“Ah, fuck. Awkward.”
“Yeah, just a bit. I’m really sorry to drag you into it like that. I was---ugh. Desperate.”
Jax scratched the back of his neck. “I uh, don’t want it to get back to my family, you know?”
I turned my head to him briefly, before I shifted my attention back on the road. “God, I’m so sorry. Look, my mom knows me pretty well. She’ll probably tell your parents once he leaves the house.” A deep sigh escaped my mouth. “The fucking nerve he has showing up like that.”
“He’s still into you.”
“He cheated on me. He doesn’t want me. Never did.” I turned to Jax and smiled. “Forgive me?”
“Yeah, all right,” he nodded and beamed back. “So, where are we going?”
“Well, I’ll park the car at my parents’ workplace. Then we’ll walk around the city, catch a ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and finally head to the Empire State Building. Do some shopping after. Find you a suit,” I said. “And a sexy dress for me.”
The last bit I said out loud. I had a problem with blurting things out I was thinking. It’s going to get me in trouble one day, I knew it.
“Does it have to be sexy?”
My cheeks turned a shade of whatever was the reddest. “Sorry, that wasn’t supposed to be for your ears.”
“You do that a lot, aye?”
“You’ve picked up on it have you?”
“I’ve picked up on a few things actually.”
I swallowed hard trying to think of what he meant by that.
It didn’t take long to head into the city. I turned into the parking garage and secured my dad’s spot. “You ready?”
He nodded and gave me that signature smile. “Fucken oath.”
I tilted my head and drew my brows together. “Um what?”
“It means yes,” he chuckled.
God, I love the way he laughed.
I stared at him again. Just watching his eyes, those lips. Any feature I could focus on really.
Jax pulled me from my perverted gaze. Shit.
“Sorry, I have a lot on my mind.”
We stepped out of the car and made our way through the lot and out of the building to walk the city streets.
“If you get lost, meet me at the Empire State Building. It can get pretty crowded here, especially during the lunch rush hour.”
He nodded in understanding.
Jax looked around the city in amazement. There was something incredible about watching someone’s expression when they experienced something new and exciting for the first time. The smile on his face never left, and it only widened when he looked at me.
“It’s fucking amazing.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. “You should see it when it snows. It’s really something then.”
“I’m sure it is.”
“Come on,” I said. “Let’s go catch that Ferry.”
Jax and I made our way to the boat to head to the Statue of Liberty. There were already a ton of tourists who had the same expression on their faces as he did.
“It’s not as big as I thought it would be.”
“A lot of people say that.”
“She’s a fucking beaut, though.”
It was hard not to like the way he talked. His dirty mouth matched quite well with my own.
“That she is.”
“Okay, I’m starving now.”
We hadn’t been sight-seeing for long. “You’re already hungy?” I laughed as I glanced at the time on my phone. “It’s barely lunch time.”
“I’m always hungry,” he said. “Now, what’s good in New York?”
“Easy. Do you like Pizza?”
“Only if it has pineapple in it.”
I scrunched up my face. “Nuh huh. No way. No pineapple. Nope. Nope. Nope.”
“Have you tried it?”
I shook my head. “I don’t need to try it. Pineapple is just---no.”
“Well you’re in for a fucking awakening. Lead the way, beautiful.”
My breath caught in my throat and I smiled. Damnit, why did he have to go and call me that.
“So, these guys do the best deep-dish pizza ever. Originally from Chicago but they’ve got locations everywhere.”
“I’m game to try anything.”
We stepped inside the pizzeria, and I immediately inhaled the aroma of cooked dough and meat. I glanced towards Jax and noticed him doing the same thing.
“Damn,” he said. “Smells so good.”
“You’ll love it.”
We took a seat at the far end of the table and the waitress came by with the menu. I scanned my eyes at the list and smiled, even though I already knew what I wanted from coming here so many times.
“Okay, so you’re hungry. Why don’t we get a couple of appetizers to share and then a deep dish?”
“With pineapple,” he smirked.
“Yes, fine,” I smiled back. “With pineapple.”
We ordered the Mozzarella sticks to satisfy my cheese addiction. Chicken wings and Meat deep-dish Pizza with pineapple. This shit better taste good.
“So, what is it you do,” Jax?”
“A friend of mine is opening a bar,” he replied. “I’m going into business with him.”
I took a sip of my water the waitress brought over and nodded. “That’s pretty cool.”
“Yeah, I used to be in finance back at home, but got sick of the boring life.”
“You seem far from boring, Jax.”
Which was the absolute truth. His face flushed a slight pink at my compliment.
The waitress brought over our meal. I glanced at the dishes as she placed them down on the table, then rubbed my hands together with widened eyes. “God, this is so good.” When I finally locked eyes with Jax, he grinned. “What?”
“Nothing It’s just---I love a girl who actually eats. I hate it when they’re afraid to put something in their mouth.”
There’s definitely something of yours I want to put in my mouth.
“Well, you won’t have that problem with me,” I said before my eyes roamed to the pizza dish. “I want to have a try of this first.”
I reached over and took a cheesy slice of the pizza and dropped it on my plate. Jax did the same thing.
“It smells amazing,” he said as he leaned down and inhaled its scent.
We picked up our slices and reached out to each other. “Cheers,”
I chuckled before I devoured the piece. The tomato base burst in my mouth before I got a taste of the intense meat. Lastly, the sweet pineapple was a welcomed flavour which broke down the intensity of the meat.
He smiled at me. “How’s the pineapple.”
“You’ve converted me,” I said. “This is fucking amazing.”
I watched him take the slice and place it between his lips. His expression mirrored my own because he clearly enjoyed it. “Seriously, the pizza here shits on the one in Australia.”
He laughed as he wiped the corners of his mouth. “It’s better than the ones in Aussie.”
“I can’t judge, because I haven’t tried your pizza.”
“Well, whenever you decide to go to Australia, let me know. I’ll tell you all the good places to visit.”
I smiled as I took another bite and let out an involuntary moan. “Mmmm.”
He watched me intensely as I continued to eat. We devoured everything we ordered, until there was nothing left.
“I’m impressed,” Jax said.
I brought my arms into a strong muscle position. “Anastasia, my bestie, thinks I should do one of those food challenges. I haven’t found one I’m game enough to try.”
“In Australia, it would probably be how many weetbix you could have for breakfast.”
“Breakfast cereal biscuit.”
“You ready to keep going?”
I shook my head, leaned back and patted my stomach. “I can’t possibly fit anything else in.”
Jax’s mouth curved up. “I mean our tour of the city.”
A pink hue settled on my cheeks. “Oh, yeah,” I straightened in my seat. “Why don’t we do the empire state building and then shop after?”
We stood from the chair and paid for our meals at the register before we left the pizzeria and made our way to the Empire State Building. After stepping into the lift, it took us to the observation deck.
Glancing out the window, I admired the view of the City, while Jax stood beside me.
“I’ve been here so many times before, but can never get sick of this view.”
I turned to look at Jax whose eyes were focused on me, but he quickly snapped his head to avert my gaze.
My heart thumped a little loud in my chest before I shifted my attention back out the window. We stayed there for a while then decided to head to the shops to find some clothes.
“What do you think of this?” Jax asked as he lifted the suit against his body. I was sure he would look good in anything.
“It’s nice, but I think something darker would bring out your green eyes more.”
His lips curved to a smirk before he placed the suit back onto the rack. Jax brought out another darker coloured jacket with matching pants. “How about this?”
“Better,” I smiled. “Try it on and I’ll try this one I’ve picked out.”
He glanced at the item of clothing in my hand before locking his eyes with mine. “Red, huh?”
I couldn’t tell if he was talking about my flushed cheeks or the dress in my hand. “Yeah, I love red.”
We stepped into the change rooms. I could hear Jax removing his clothes, and I bit my lip as I thought about him in his boxers, or even better, completely naked.
“Are you changed?”
I was pulled from my thoughts before I frantically removed my clothes to put on the red number. “Yep. Ready.”
We both stepped out of the change room at the same time. His smile faltered the moment he saw me. Jax’s eyes glanced up and down my body, and I couldn’t help but do the same to him.
God, he looks so good.
“Wow,” he breathed. “You look---that dress is perfect on you.”
I glanced at myself then back up at him. “Thank you. You look great too,” I said. “That suit really brings out your eyes.” We stared at each other for a moment, both swallowing hard taking in the sight of one another, until I pulled us both from our gaze. “Okay, I think we’re set.”
“Um, yeah,” he muttered. “I’ll get changed again.”
I watched as he stepped back into the room before I stepped into mine. After I finished, I opened the door and walked back out before we both made our way to the register to pay for our outfits.
I looked up at him before I unlocked my car door. “Yeah?”
“Thanks for showing me around today. I really appreciate it.”
I didn’t think this guy could get any sweeter. “You’re welcome.”
“I know you probably had some other stuff you’d rather be doing.”
I really don’t.
“It’s okay,” I said. “Honest.”
We both stepped into the car, and I turned on the engine before I drove back to my parent’s place. Heading into the driveway, I was grateful that I didn’t see Layton’s car anymore, but there was another car in its place that I didn’t recognize.
I parked the car and glanced at the front door as soon as it opened, noticing exactly who walked out from the house.