**Have you read Worth It? Here’s what happened next…**
I heard something clang as it dropped and his pounding feet as he raced through the house and up the stairs at my scream. The instant he appeared in the loft, his eyes were scanning me for injury. When he found none, he looked about the room for a threat. Then a scowl darkened his face and he glared me.
“What the fuck, Ry? I thought you were getting murdered!”
In the back of my brain, I registered that I was touched by his concern and worry but I was too pissed to acknowledge it. I fixed him with a hard stare. “Where is it?”
“My suitcase! Or any suitcase!” Mine had been under the bed. It was where I had stored it when I unpacked. But now it was nowhere to be found and I couldn’t locate any other type of luggage in the whole house.
Suddenly, his whole expression changed. He made his eyes wide and blinked at me, trying to look innocent. He failed miserably. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Mhmm,” I said suspiciously. He just blinked those big eyes at me again. I sighed, exasperated. “Look, I know you don’t want me to go but I have to. I have to go back to Boston, close up my apartment, check in at the office…”
I trailed off when I saw something flash in his eyes. It took me a minute to place it. But once I did, my anger melted away and I crossed the distance between us so that I could get my hands on him. Jack was gruff and strong and he didn’t like his weakness to show. But as far as I was concerned, that little bit that I saw was not a weakness. It just showed how much he loved me.
“I’m coming back,” I said softly.
He said the words without conviction. I put my arms around his waist and pulled until his body was flush with mine. He came willingly. I looked up into his eyes. When I was certain that I had his full attention, I smiled. “I swear, Jack. I’m coming back. Nothing is going to keep me from you. Not again.”
“I know,” he repeated. There was only slightly more confidence in his voice.
I kissed him. I couldn’t help it and I didn’t want to. I felt more than heard him sigh as he melted into the kiss, pulling me even tighter to him. He took control, the way he liked to do, and I let him. He needed it and I was more than happy to give it to him. He closed off the kiss and leaned his forehead against mine.
“You don’t have to be scared,” I whispered. “There is nothing that will keep me from you. Nothing in that city that is going to make me want to stay. I promise you I will be back.”
“I just–” He cut himself off with a huff. “I’m being stupid.”
I shook my head in denial, making our foreheads rub against each other. He’d been the one to let me go–made me go, if I were being honest–five years ago but I had been the one to actually leave. He’d wanted me to chase my dreams. He wanted what was best for me. I’d been too young at the time to really fight for us. I knew that now. I’d gone off to college and followed his stupid rule about no contact because I was determined to show him that his sacrifice wasn’t a waste. But now I was older, wiser, and I knew damn well what our life should be like. I took a deep breath and said the words that I should have said to him five years ago.
“Come with me.”
He started like he’d been shocked. His eyes were wide with surprise. I just grinned. When he started shaking his head and tried to pull away, I hung on tighter.
“Yes,” I said quietly. “Come with me. We’ll ring in the New Year in Boston. Say good-bye to my old life and hello to the new.”
“I can’t just leave–”
“Sure you can,” I interrupted breezily. “The season is over. You always take the next month off to recuperate anyway.”
He scowled and it was adorable–not that I’d ever tell him that. “There are things that need to be done. We have to close up the gift shop and–”
I clamped a hand on his mouth to stop the words. He licked my palm, making me yelp and pull my hand away. I grinned. “Leave Kate in charge. She can handle it. And you deserve a vacation.”
He kept scowling and I knew that I’d have to do a bit more convincing. I grabbed a hold of the waistband of his jeans and started tugging as I walked backwards toward the bed. When I felt the mattress against the back of my knees, I sank down onto it, bringing him with me. His eyes went dark with lust, his gaze dropping to my mouth. I grinned.
“I love you,” I said quietly.
“I love you too,” he responded, almost automatically. It made me smiled wider.
“I’m in love with you. Always have been, always will be. Come with me to Boston, all right? Help me say good-bye to that life so you know that I want nothing more than to be here. Right here. Making a life with you.”
He gaze shot up to mine and I could see the shock in the deep brown depths. He studied my face for a long moment. I didn’t know what he was looking for, but he must have found it, because suddenly, his face went soft and he murmured, “Yeah, okay.”
I grabbed his face in my hands, pulling his head down so I could reach his lips and devour him. This kisses turned heated and his big body was pressing mine down into the mattress, his hips grinding against me. When he tore his lips from mine to place sucking, biting kisses along my jaw and throat, I let out a deep, throaty moan.
“Jack?” I whispered, now that I had him right where I wanted him.
He found the sensitive hollow beneath my ear and went to work there for a couple of pleasure filled moments before he moved his lips to my ear and murmured, “Yeah?”
“Where’d you put the suitcases?”