“No, you’re the girl I’m in love with. I love you more than my own life,” Jack declared fervently. “If anything happens to you Maia, it will be over for me. I’m never gonna come back from losing you—not in ten, not in fifty years. So I’m asking you not to throw away what we have on some fucking job someone else can do. I’m begging you to give what we have a chance. You’ve done your time; it’s OK to slow down, babe. I promise you, I’ll make it my life’s priority to make you happy.”
“I’m not what you want.” The words came out strangled because a lump had formed in Maia’s throat.
Jack’s brows drew together in a frown. “What the fuck, Maia?”
She cleared her throat and sipped on her wine before continuing, “I’m not what you want. You want a quiet life. The white picket fence. The woman who’s safe at home. That’s what you want.”
Jack looked at her steadily, his expression inscrutable. “You’re right,” he said, and Maia felt her heart break a little. “That’s what I want. I want to take care of my woman, I want that quiet life.” Jack leaned closer and cupped Maia’s face gently with one hand, using his thumb to tip her chin up to him. “Babe, that’s what I want, but you are what I need.”
Quote # 3
“You’ll drive a saint into chaining you to the bed,” Jack muttered, and then trying not to let his annoyance show, he continued, “The sex is good. No, wait. Sex with you blows my fucking mind. You’re smart, sexy and sassy—you don’t take shit from me— and I crave to be with you even when all my survival instincts tell me to run the other way. You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever fucking laid eyes on.” He grasped both her hands and brought them together over his chest. “Now, Miss Pierce, will you stay until Friday?”
Maia burst into laughter. “Okay, that will do. I’ll stay until Friday.”
Jack exhaled a breath of relief. “Thank God, I thought I’d have to start quoting fucking Byron. What time do you want me to take you to Baltimore?”
I love writing about Derek, he’s more easy-going than Jack, and his book is next. Whether he remains easy-going when he finally falls in love will be the question. 🙂 He has a great friendship with Jack and Maia, which adds to the fantastic banter between the three of them.
“So back to my question: what are you doing here?” Maia asked.
Derek sighed, reached into his pocket and handed her a smartphone. “Viktor wanted me to give you this.”
Jack turned livid with anger. “She’s not yet fully recovered,” he said furiously. “It’s barely been 48 hours.”
“See, I hate getting caught in the middle of this,” Derek said. “It’s almost like a messed-up love triangle.”
Jack’s face grew darker. Maia was controlling a grin.
“Viktor is worried that he has no way of contacting you,” Derek continued. “Oh, stop scowling, Jack! You’re with Maia, Viktor comes with the package.”
“Like fucking hell!”