ENGAGING JAYDEN

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GAGE


“Thanks for meeting with us, Gage. I’m Jerry.”

I shook the offered hand and gave the man interviewing me a tight smile. “No problem.” He may have been speaking to me but his attention kept going to Jayden. I had brought her along with me to the interview and currently she sat off to the side in an oversized armchair with her nose in Great Gatsby. These last four days have been busier than hell between photoshoots, interviews and training. I had taken Jayden shopping yesterday and not only did she wind up needed another luggage bag, we ended up having sex in not on but two dressing rooms.

That was a first for the both of us.

I will say, she did buy some sexy as hell lingerie. Looking the way she did yesterday in the dressing room, I would have bought her five suitecase’s full.

“So,” Jerry took his seat across from me. Both of us had director style chairs with lights and equipment behind us as well as a green screen. “You went from a modern day Don Juan to boyfriend...What’s that like?”

An overwhelming sensation of irritation flowed through me. I almost blurted ‘I’m not here to talk about my girl’, but then I decided against it. Even though I didn’t want to talk about it, I decided to not be a dick. His curiosity was justifiable after all. “Wish I met her sooner.”

And boy was that the truth.

Until I met Jayden, I hadn’t known what I was missing. But there was a small part of me that wondered if we would have worked out had I met her sooner. Because let’s face it, back then I had my head so far up my ass the sun really didn’t shine. I’m not sure I would have seen her for her.

But...Now I did.

I guess that’s all that really matters by the end of the day.

“Really…” Both of Jerry’s brow’s shot up causing his forehead to wrinkle. “You haven’t been together that long from what I understand.”

“No.” It always surprised me how much information someone gets on you in such a short amount of time.

“So no permanent plans for the future yet, huh?”

Fuck yes I did.

I had to make myself not flick my gaze to Jayden. I feared that if I did, she’d see right through me. I had every intention of proposing to her. I was fully aware that I was in love with her before Jamie had taken her. But going through what we did made me sick to my stomach when the realization hit that I could have lost her. My chest started to tighten. I had to push those thoughts aside.

I downplayed his question the best I could. “Why are you interested?” I grinned like an asshole. I knew that would make him uncomfortable and he’d change the subject.

“Ah, nope. Nope.” Jerry gave a nervous laugh. “Knowing what you’re capable of, Gage, I wouldn’t think of pissing you off.”

I chuckled at that.

“Moving on from your relationship...”

Good.

“Tell me, how did your training go? Do you feel like you’re prepared enough to face the champion?

After the interview I took Jayden’s hand in mine and immediately I was less tense. She kept her Versace glasses on everywhere we went to keep people from staring at her face. Every time someone caught a glimpse she’d blurt ’He didn’t hit me”. I knew why she did. She didn’t want people thinking that I beat her. I let it go because it made her happy that she set people straight on the matter. Her shades were rose hued instead of black so it was easy for her to keep them on indoors.

“What are we doing here?” She smiled as we approached the spa at MGM.

“Pampering you.” I grinned and then gave her a wink.

She shook her head but given the blush that crept up her cheeks I knew she was liking it.

“I do need a really good massage.”

“You can get whatever you want, baby.”

She arched her brow.

“You must be Jayden.” The woman approached was mid height and build. Her platinum hair was piled atop her head. She was quite pretty and smiled brightly as she approached Jayden.

“I am.” Jayden shook the woman’s hand.

“I’m Tanese. You have quite the boyfriend.” Tanses then glanced at me and winked. It wasn’t flirtatious. She turned back to Jayden. “I’m not sure if he’s told you but he has arranged it so you can get anything you want done. We have a full staff specifically designed just for your needs today.”

Jayden looked at me. Tears gathered in her eyes. She bit the inside of her lower lip.

“Happy five week anniversary.” I grinned.

* * *

I contemplated what looked more like Jayden.

There were: princess, emerald, cushion, pear, asscher, marquise, radiant, oval and several more cuts scattered across the coffee table in front of me. All of them differ from carat sizes and colors. I pointed to the ones that were an immediate no. I knew right off the bat because they were either too small of a diamond or I hated the cut.

I decided to go with platinum so that narrowed it down a bit. In a way, it was kind of like playing a game of ‘Guess who’.

“Do your parents know?”

I looked at Killian. He was our family jeweler for as long as I could remember. “No.”

He gave me an amusing smile. “You’re mom’s going to flip.”

“Yeah.” I scoffed. He was right. But, we both knew it wouldn’t be in a negative way. He hadn’t met Jayden, but he knew me well. Well enough to know that I would never just settle.

“And your sister’s…” He let out a whistle.

We both just laughed. There were no words on how they were going to freak out.

“Your dad’s going to be relieved to see you settle down.”

“That he is.” My father, more than even my mother, hated how I bounced from one woman to another like a kid did jumping from one arcade game to the next. He was a family man through and through and always wanted to see me married and content.

It wasn’t that I was against marriage. It was just that until Jayden I never wanted to commit.

“They haven’t met her yet.” I said. Grabbing another ring, I held it up and shook my head.

He grabbed it from me and set it aside. “How long have you been together?”

“Five weeks or so.”

For a second he just sat there in thought. Slowly, he nodded his head and gave a slight grin. “Well...when you know...you know. My wife and I got married after three weeks. We were sophomores in college.”

That got my attention. “I didn’t know that.”

“Yeah. This year will be our thirty-fourth anniversary.”

“That’s incredible, Killian.” And it was.

“My parents weren’t too happy about it. Her’s... man, they were furious.” He laughed.

I wondered how Jayden’s parent’s would have reacted over me asking Jayden to marry me just after five weeks had they still been around. I wish I had been able to meet them.

“Are you narrowing it down?” I didn’t read into his question at all. Somehow, I got the impression he was fishing.

I scanned over the diamonds some more. “You didn’t happen to bring another case with you did you?”

“No.” He said. “But, I did bring a few other diamonds and I purposely didn’t put them out because they will make the other’s...Well, let’s just say they outshine everything on the table.”

He placed four black velvet boxes on the table. After he set his briefcase on the floor, he opened each one and set them in front of me.

The first two were yellow: one radiant cut and the other oval. I eyed the pink diamond and knew it didn’t look at all on what Jayden would pick. Looking back on it, I never saw her wear anything pink. Not even lingerie. I looked at the fourth one and smiled. The emerald cut glittered in the light pouring in from the window. I picked it up and looked at it closer.

“The center diamond is eighteen carats. Total carats is twenty-two…”

The thing is, out of all the diamonds I looked over, this one looked like Jayden. Yes, it was huge as fuck, but the band was split in two and covered in diamonds and it looked delicate. Don’t ask me how. But it did.

And damn did I want to see it on her finger.

My train of thought was interrupted when the door opened. “I’m back.” Jayden’s voice carried throughout the suite.

Killian’s eyes grew wide. Mine did too. I closed the velvet box and set it in front of Killian, “I’ll take it,” I whispered. I shot to my feet fearing that she had seen the diamonds scattered across the table and hurried over to her.

“Hey, baby.” I gave her a quick kiss. “How was it?”

She nearly rolled her eyes. “It was heaven. I’m so relaxed. I got a two hour message, a facial and got my whole body waxed. I was going to get a body wrap but changed my mind last minute.”

“I’m glad you had a good time.” Wrapping my arm around her, I pulled her against me. I needed to find a way to stall her.

She went to her tippy toes and kissed me. “I’m going to take a shower. Want to join me?”

Damn she made this easy for me.

“Jump in. I’ll be there in a minute.”

“Ok.” She kissed me again and headed for the bathroom.

I strode back to Killian.

“That was close.” He whispered. Clearly he was relieved every bit as I was.

“Yeah.” I scoffed. I heard the water of the shower turn on but glanced back over my shoulder to make sure she didn’t pop out of nowhere again. When I was positive she wouldn’t, I looked back to Killian, “What do I owe you?”

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