Authors: K. Renee
“It’s over between us,” I say. “Tyler is the reason I came home.” I can feel his grip around me tighten. “He’s a stockbroker who decided money was more important than being smart. He started insider trading and funneling money out of his boss’ accounts. He got caught and as they were taking him away, he told me it was my fault. That I was the reason he had to do it because I needed to have designer things just to be happy.”
“He sounds like a fucking moron,” Jax says, rubbing his hand up and down my back.
“I can’t believe my parents let you in my room,” I giggle, trying to change the subject.
“Well, baby, we
married. Anyway, I’m pretty sure your momma is in the other room just praying that I knock you up so they can have a grandbaby.” I flinch, and he groans. “I’m sorry.”
“No, it’s okay. I’m glad I finally have someone to talk to about her.” I snuggle my face in his chest. I can feel the rumble of his silent laughter.
“You know you can’t bury yourself in my chest, right?”
“Yeah, but I feel safe here.”
“Good, because I like you right where you are.” His arms tighten around me and I close my eyes. Before I know it, I’m fast asleep.
The next morning, I wake up alone, wondering if dreamed the whole thing. Maybe Jax wasn’t really here. Rolling over, I find a note on my pillow.
Sorry I left without waking you, but you looked so peaceful, I didn’t want to ruin it. I turned your phone on so I can call you in the morning. As much as I wanted to stay with you all night, I know it’s not part of starting over and I really want this to work.
I take the paper and read it over and over. I can’t believe he left last night, but I know why he did. I really want to be able to start fresh with him.
Once I finally get out of bed and start to get ready for work, I hear my phone ringing. Running back into my room, I see Jax’s name lighting up my screen. Smiling, I answer. “Hey.”
“Hey, darlin’. How did you sleep?” he drawls.
“I had the strangest dream that some man was in my bed last night.” I giggle.
“Yeah? Was it a good dream?”
“Well, the weirdest part was he didn’t even try to get fresh with me. I thought dreams were supposed to be all hot and sweaty sex. Sadly, this was not.”
“Hmm… That sounds like a dilemma. Maybe you should have kicked the dream man out of your bed and found the real deal.”
I walk back into the bathroom. “Well, I think I know just the guy. I’ll be sure to call him later.”
He chuckles. “Well, I actually called to invite you to breakfast.”
“Shoot. I have to work this morning,” I say with a frown.
“Well, what if I sit in your section. You can have breakfast with me and work at the same time.” Smiling, I tell him it’s a date and we hang up.
Once I finish getting ready, I make my way out the front door and to the diner. He said he would be there in about an hour, so I have plenty of time to get started.
Walking in, I see a few of the same people from yesterday and a few new faces. Once I get my section, I check on the tables that Katie already served drinks to. As soon as I place all the orders, I hear the bell on the door ring. Turning towards it, I see Jaxson walk in.
“Hey, darlin’,” he says, walking up and pulling me to him.
“Hi, handsome,” I reply, smiling.
“You call that dream man of yours?” he questions with a huge grin.
“Yeah, I did. He said he was taking me out to dinner tonight.”
“Oh yeah? Where is he taking you?”
I lead him to a table. “Well, he said he wanted our first date to be amazing, but I’m not sure if he can top the last one.”
He sits down, grabbing my hand. “If it were me, I would make this the last first date you ever had.” He kisses my knuckles. When I hear someone call me, I pull away, smiling, then go grab my orders.
Once I get everyone’s food delivered, I bring Jax a cup of coffee and ask if he’s ready to order.
“I’ll take you at my place tonight at seven,” he says with a wink.
“I’ll be there with bells on,” I answer, smirking.
Once I put his order in, I check on my other tables. When his order is up, I grab it and walk slowly over to him, swaying my hips as I go. When I bend over to put his plate down, I don’t miss his groan. “Damn, baby.” He grits his teeth. “You have no idea what I want to do to you and the fantastic ass of yours.”
I wink at him and strut back toward the pickup counter. Peeking back over at him, I see him shaking his head and muttering to himself. Turning back around, I run right into Jessica Mitchell, the girl who tried numerous times to break Jaxson and me up.
“Well, look what the cat dragged in,” she snorts to her “minions”. They all look the same as they did in high school and I can’t say I envy them. The popular girls in school were Jessica and her posse, Sabrina and Haley.
“Hi, ladies,” I say with a huge smile. Even seeing them won’t put a damper on my happiness right now. I look over at Jax and see him watching the exchange. He looks uneasy, but doesn’t get up.
“So I see you’ve decided on coming back for seconds, huh?” Jessica sneers.
I smile. I know he never slept with her because she would be rubbing it in my face if he did. She was always trying to say that they were sleeping together, but it was always a lie. “I see your still pinning after Jaxson. At least I have a shot,” I say with a huge smile.
“Not when he finds out what a big whore you turned out to be. Or the fact that you killed his baby.”
My stomach drops, dread consumes every part of me, and I can’t speak or move. I can hear them laughing, but I can’t say anything. My mind flashes back to when the doctor told me about Gracilyn. Having no way to stop them, the tears start to trickle down my face.
Before I can panic, arms wrap around me and pull me into a hard chest. “Hey, Jessica, why don’t you learn the fucking facts before you spew your venom? Our daughter fucking died at birth, and you have no fucking right to say shit to Lyndley or anyone else about her.” Jax walks away, pulling me with him. Walking us out the back door, he wraps his arms around me and lets me cry on his chest.
“Lynd, don’t let anyone blame you for her death. There was nothing you could have done differently. She’s just jealous of you, always has been,” he whispers against my hair.
“Why would she say that in front of half the town? Why does she hate me so much that she would say I killed her?” The tears continue to fall down my face. It’s been a long time since someone has said anything that hurtful to me, and I actually think
was the last one.
“Baby, you did nothing wrong. She’s just mad because I still wouldn’t sleep with her even after you and I broke up. She just wants what you have.”
“I don’t have anything.”
He grabs my chin and forces me to look at him. “Lynnie, you have me. You’ll always have me, and we will always have Gracilyn in our hearts.”
Taking a deep breath, I look into his eyes and see that he means it. Now I just hope that nothing else gets in our way.
When Jax finally gets me to calm down enough, he walks me back inside the restaurant. When Stu sees me, he hurries over to make sure I’m okay. I tell him I’m fine and that we won’t cause any more scenes.
He just chuckles. “Lyndley, you went through a traumatic time and no one should ever make you feel bad about it. Jax was right. That girl had no right to mention your child to make you feel bad about yourself.”
Sniffling, I nod and hug him. “Thank you,” I whisper.
He pats my hand. “Lyn, take the rest of the day off.” Before he walks into the kitchen, he shouts, “On me.”
I look over at Jax and he shrugs. “I can’t do that,” I say, shaking my head. Smiling, he grabs my hand and pulls me with him. He pays for his food and drags me out into the parking lot.
“Come with me. I need to do some work on the ranch, and I’m sure Momma would love to spend some time with you. Afterwards, we can go on our date.” He runs his finger along my jawline, his eyes zeroing in on my lips. When his lips barely brush mine, I get goose bumps and flutters in my stomach.
“Okay,” I say, nodding. “Let’s get out of here.” A grin spreads across his handsome face and he leads me to his truck.
Once I am inside and he starts walking around to the driver’s side, I see the worry on his face. When he gets into the truck, I place my hand on his thigh. “Thank you for standing up for me. I know it must be hard for you to hear that, but I really appreciate you saying something when I couldn’t.”
He grabs my hand and pulls me closer. “Lynd, I’ll always stand up for you. You’re my wife and that still means something to me.”
Jax drives off, keeping his hand on my knee while my head is on his shoulder.
“You know, babe, this is how we spent many of our younger days,” he says, making me grin.
“Times like these were my favorite,” I answer, thinking about all the drives to nowhere we would take.
When we pull up to his mom’s house, I see her come outside. “My sweet girl!” she squeals, pulling me into a hug. She kisses my cheeks, offering me a glass of sweet tea. As we walk inside, I see the bright smile on Jax’s face.
“My dear, to what do I owe the pleasure?” she asks, ushering me into the kitchen.
“Well, after an incident at the diner, I got the afternoon off. Luckily, Jax was there to help me deal with what happened.” I look at the ground. I’m not sure what he’s told her yet, but I hope he has at least warned her.
“Oh, my sweet girl. Please don’t let what one stuck-up little girl said hurt you. My son told me what you had to go through on your own, and I don’t ever want either of you to have to go through something like that again. That girl needs to be taught some manners.”
I give her a strange look. How does she know what happened at the diner?
She shrugs and says, “Small town gossip.”
“Thank you, Mary.” I smile as she hands me a glass.
“Now, Jaxson, don’t you have some work to tend to?” She glares at Jax. I giggle at the face he makes. Walking over to her, he mutters, then kisses her cheek.
When he walks over to me, he wraps his arms around me and whispers in my ear, “I should have told you she knew. I’ll be back in a little while. Tonight, you are all mine.”