“And you’re jealous?”
“About what, exactly?”
“What are your intentions with her?”
“I’m going to be with her until the day I die,” I say honestly without even thinking about it. He blinks, clearly surprised by my response and then sighs deeply.
“I’m fucking jealous, yeah,” he says and wipes the towel over his hair. “Not because I want her the way you do, but because for a long time, it was just her and me, dealing with life and we were doing just fine. You need to know, man, I’m here for the long haul. Meredith is my only family, and I’m hers.”
I nod, but he keeps talking.
“Don’t misunderstand me. I have living relatives, but do you know what happens to a gay kid who loves to dance in the Deep South?”
I raise a brow. “Enlighten me.”
He swears under his breath and paces away then paces back. “They get the shit kicked out of them every fucking day. Their parents disown them and claim they’re a blasphemous abomination.” He laughs humorlessly and shakes his head. “Meredith is my sister. She’s my best friend. She’s the first person who has accepted and loved me just the way I am. She’s my confidant, and I trust her implicitly, and you need to know, I don’t trust many. And over the past ten years, I’ve been that for her too. She missed you every fucking day. Every time she got drunk, which I think was exactly four times, she did nothing but talk about you.” He points at me and I just don’t know what to say. “The guys who made their way into her pants were worthless assholes, and out of her life before the sheets cooled. It’s only been you for her, and I’ll be Goddamned if I’m going to stand by and watch you let her fall in love with you all over again unless you plan to also be around for the long haul because she doesn’t deserve anything less.”
He’s panting now, his eyes feral with protective anger and frustration. I’ve respected few more than I respect him in this moment.
“I don’t deserve her. I’m not good enough for her because no one will ever be,” I reply calmly. “But I missed her every fucking day too. I don’t know if I believe in soul mates, but she belongs with me. She belongs to me.” I shrug and hold my hands out as if in surrender. “I don’t know what else to say to you. I can tell you that I would take my own life before I’d ever deliberately hurt her.”
There are tears in Jax’s eyes as he watches my face and finally he nods and scrubs his face with the ends of the towel. “Fine. I don’t have any reason not to believe you.”
“I’ll never give you one.”
“I smell so much better!” Mer exclaims and comes running out of the back, then stops and looks between us. “Am I interrupting?”
“Nope, just more guy talk,” I reply and smile down at her as I tuck her against my side.
“What are you doing tonight?” Mer asks Jax.
“Logan and I are going out to dinner,” he replies and checks the clock on the wall. “I’d better hit the shower myself.”
“Why don’t we all go out together?” I ask. Jax’s head whips up in surprise. “If you don’t mind us crashing your dinner.”
“Yes!” Meredith agrees and nods. “We talked about doing dinner this weekend anyway.”
“Are you sure?” Jax asks.
I nod and kiss Mer’s hair then smile at Jax. “I could use some guy time.”
“Your girlfriend accused me of being a girl the other night. She almost made me watch Pretty Woman.”
“No man should have to endure that,” I reply with a shudder.
“I know, right? I’ll call Logan and take a quick shower.”
He jogs away and Mer looks up at me, searching my face.
“What just happened?”
“I think I just bonded with your best friend.”
“Really?” She grins widely, ridiculously pleased.
“Yeah, we should hang out with Jax more often. He’s cool.”
“Okay.” She frowns and searches my face again then shrugs and walks behind the desk to collect her handbag. “I haven’t met Logan yet. But he sounds really nice.”
I circle the desk and pull her into my arms, burying my nose in her hair. “After dinner, I’m going to take you home.”
“Yes. And then I’m going to strip you out of these clothes and fuck you until you can’t remember your own name.” I slide my hands down her back to her ass and tug her against me so she can feel my cock against her stomach.
“Let’s skip dinner,” she mutters.
“That’s too easy.” I grin and tuck her hair behind her ear. “But all during dinner, I’m going to remind you how much I want you.”
“You’ll see.” I lower my lips to hers and sweep them across, gently, barely touching her skin, then nibble the corner of her mouth before sinking in and claiming her. She wraps her arms around me, anchoring herself to me and surrenders to me beautifully. Every time she does this, it makes me fall in love with her all over again.
“Seriously?” Jax asks as he walks into the room, freshly showered and dressed in jeans and a red button-down. “Are y’all going to do this all night?”
“Maybe,” Mer replies and nuzzles my nose with her own before pulling away. “Are you and Logan gonna be mushy?”
“You know how I feel about PDA,” Jax replies dryly.
“How does Logan feel about it?” she asks.
“Logan feels good about it.” We all spin in the direction of the voice coming from the front door. He must have just walked through.
“We need to put a bell on that door,” Jax murmurs.
“Hi!” Meredith immediately walks to him and gives him a hug. “I’m Meredith.”
“I figured,” he replies and hugs her back then smiles down at her. “I’m Logan.”
“I hope so,” she replies, then loops her arm through his and leads him over to Jax and me. “This is my boyfriend, Mark Williams. You’ve met Jax.”
“Once or twice,” he agrees with a laugh as he shakes my hand. His grip is firm. As he pulls away, Mer steps back to my side and Logan takes Jax’s face in his hands and plants one right on him.
“Oh my,” Mer murmurs.