The music pick
s up and we move to the beat. My body never calms down, but his touch elicits far more than fear. It's the strangest mix I've ever experienced. With each turn around the floor, he pulls me tighter against his body, squeezing my hands.
I look up into his face and my heart stutters. His gaze is intense, and I'm not sure if it's the way he makes me feel or the fact this is the first normal thing I've ever done in a long time, but I find myself smiling even as the shakes radiate like miniature earthquakes through my limbs.
As the song ends, he gently lets go of my hands and takes a small step back, giving me space. My nerves calm, slowly returning to normal as we meander back to the table.
Sitting down in my chair and reaching for my water, Jameson leans toward me. “For what it’s worth, I’m proud of you.”
I glance at him with my bottle almost to my lips, my eyes wide. “Thanks, Mamba.”
He nods and gives me a small smile. “What are friends for, right?”
“Right,” I whisper as he sits up straight and I finally take a sip of my drink. Even though I don’t like showing my emotions, Jameson knows what he and the others mean to me.
We all sit around, drinking and enjoying the evening. Miranda is on and off the phone, arguing with an ex-boyfriend apparently. If all dating aftermath is like that, I'm glad I don't have to deal with it. Listening to her answer phone calls and then whine to Blake after each one might be the most annoying thing . . . ever.
"He's such an asshole," she says tossing her phone on the table.
"Then stop answering his calls," Blake says with disinterest as he takes a draw from his beer.
"You know it isn't that simple, Blake."
"Yeah, it is. The dude treats you like shit. Treated you like shit when you dated him. Yet every time he calls, you jump to the phone." His eyes dart to mine and my stomach clenches.
"Lily, where'd you learn to dance?" Caleb sets his drink on the table.
"I'm originally from Texas."
"No shit? No wonder you're hot." He winks at me.
"Caleb!" Miranda's voice is shrill and makes me wince.
"Oh, Christ man, stop drinking now," Blake says shaking his head.
My cheeks heat, but a loud huff pulls my attention to the end of the table. Jax is glaring at me.
"Lily." Jax stands.
I knew this was going to happen. God damn it. I sigh, setting my drink down and standing. I follow Jax out of earshot of the others and look at the floor. His irritation is thick enough to cut with a hacksaw.
" Your actions are inappropriate, Lily."
"They are not."
"Really? Breakfast with him every morning, lunch every afternoon. You're not the only person who’s read those text messages. Dancing with him . . . do you have any idea how you looked out there? If you were trying to hide the shaking, you failed."
"I'm his bodyguard. Breakfast and lunch are necessary, seeing as he can't go alone. I have nothing to do with those messages. They're between him and Caleb. Tonight's my only infraction, and I'm sorry." I lift my eyes to his face.
His demeanor softens. "I know. It isn't your fault. You're a beautiful young woman and someone was bound to notice. Nevertheless, you're the agent. If you let this go too far, I'll have no choice but to get Monroe involved." He gently rubs my upper arm.
I shake, hard, gritting my teeth together. Jax ignores it and drops his hand. "Yes, sir."
"She said leave her the fuck alone," Blake yells from somewhere behind us.