"I won't be having dessert," Mrs. Stone said to Marcus. "I hate to leave you to eat alone, but I am exhausted. I'l be in my room if you need me." Jax stood as his mother left the table. Once she exited, he sat back down. "I would love dessert," he assured us...or he assured me. Marcus nodded. "Yes, sir," he said in his businesslike tone, and we left.
Once back in the kitchen, Marcus sat down his tray. "Okay, this is sticky. You're supposed to take him his plate, and since his mother has left, I have no reason to return. I could go in your place, which would be the best idea, but I am afraid it will anger him. He has noticed you, which I knew would be pretty unavoidable, but I'd hoped since he is famous, he wouldn't pay attention to another pretty face." Marcus sighed and leaned his hip against the table and crossed his long legs. "I am leaving this up to you."
"What do you want to do, Sadie? It isn't about your job; it is about mine. If you don't go back, I could lose mine for taking your spot. I think he has already picked up on my protecting you. If you go or not, your job is secure...for now." I sighed and reached for the tray holding the dessert. I wouldn't jeopardize someone else's job to help myself out. "I'l do it." Without another word, I headed back down the hal al by myself.
Once I entered, steel blue eyes met mine and he smiled. "Ah, so he did let you come alone. I wondered if I would be seeing him instead." I didn't want to smile at his comment but I did. I sat his dessert down in front of him and took my place. "Do you speak?" he asked.
"Yes." Marcus had spoken for me al night. "We don't normal y have young female employees. How did you get through Mary?" "I am mature for my age." He only nodded and took a bite of some sort of chocolate cake with more chocolate oozing out of the inside. After he chewed and swal owed, he looked back at me. I turned to stare out the window at the waves crashing against the shore.
"How old are you?"
"Seventeen." I hoped my simple reply would end his interrogation.
"How did you know I lived here?" His question caught me off guard and I met his gaze. "It is hard to miss the photos of you as I dust and mop." He frowned. "You applied for this job not knowing I lived here?" I realized he assumed a fan squeezed through the cracks of his security and he wanted to know how I did it.
"My mother has been cleaning here for two months. However, her pregnancy has progressed and she sent me in her place. I proved my worth, and Ms. Mary kept me. My being here has nothing to do with you, sir, but has everything to do with the fact I want to eat and pay the rent." I knew I sounded annoyed, but I was annoyed, and I couldn't help it.
He nodded and stood up. "I am sorry. When I saw you, and you were young and wel ...attractive, I thought the only reason someone like you would be working here would be to get close to me. I deal with females quite a bit, and my assuming you were working here to get near me wasn't fair. Please forgive me." I swallowed the lump in my throat. I felt this job slipping out of my hands, but I would not cry. "I understand," I managed to get out.
A boyish smile tugged at his lips, and he nodded his head toward the door. "I guess I should have figured you were taken by the possessiveness of the other server tonight. I stared at you more than I should have, but I kept waiting for you to ask for my autograph or slip your number to me on a napkin." I raised my eyebrows in surprise.
He shrugged. "Those things are a way of life for me. I just expect it." I smiled back at him this time. He wasn't as bad as I'd made him out to be. He wasn't about to fire me. "I am here to do my job, sir, and nothing more." "Do me a favor and don't cal me 'sir.' I am just two years older than you." I took the plate, careful not to touch his hands, and stepped back. "Okay," I replied, hoping I could leave.
"So, is he your boyfriend?" He caught me off guard with his question, and I halted in my tracks.
"Who? Marcus?" A crooked grin appeared on his face. He was hard not to stare at. "If Marcus is the guy who seemed quite determined to make sure you made no mistakes tonight, then yes."
"No, he is...he is a friend." It was strange saying those words. I'd never cal ed anyone a friend in my life. Jax smiled and leaned down to whisper close to my ear. "I hope someday soon you wil consider me a friend as wel . I don't have very many of those." My face grew hot, and my skin tingled at his nearness. His warm breath on my skin made it hard to form words. I swal owed hard, trying to focus on his comment and not swooning at his feet like some crazy lunatic. "I only have one," I blurted out like an idiot.
Jax frowned. "I find that hard to believe" I shrugged. "I don't have time for friends." Jax stepped forward, opened the door for me, and smiled. "Wel , I hope we can find some time in your busy schedule because I happen to be in need of a friend myself.... Someone who doesn't care who I am.... Someone who doesn't laugh at my jokes when they're not funny. If I'm not mistaken, you could care less about the fact I am on the cover of Rol ing Stone magazine this month, and on the bedroom wal s of every teenage girl in America." His comment seemed to ease my momentary lapse of common sense from his nearness, and I shook my head. "Not every teenage girl in America. You have never been on my walls. So, I guess you're right, I don't care." I walked away, leaving him standing behind me.