Home > Jett (Arizona Vengeance #10)(7)

Jett (Arizona Vengeance #10)(7)
Author: Sawyer Bennett

Regardless, her home isn’t the reason I’m attracted to her and I don’t think twice about the homemade wreath made of plastic flowers and fake cactus hanging from the wooden door as I knock on it.

I’m surprised to hear voices inside, although I can’t make out the words.

Voices, as in plural, and most definitely feminine.

I’m stunned speechless when the door swings open quickly and I’m facing a tiny little girl with her head tilted back to look up at me. She has the same black hair and blue eyes as Emory, and she’s holding a chicken drumstick in one hand.

“Felicity,” a woman groans in frustration from somewhere inside the house, and then I hear stomping feet. It’s not Emory but another woman who appears. She has golden hair worn long and loose, parted on the side, and swept across her forehead. Her eyes are a warm brown and her skin is tanned, and she looks like a sunny, California girl. I’m sure some would even nickname her Barbie.

She looks to be in her early twenties, has the same facial features as Emory. The same graceful and delicate lines of the nose and cheeks.

Definitely closely related, but there is a difference.

This woman has brutal scarring over the left side of her face that I can see as she gets closer, starting right above her jaw and extending down along her neck.

Not cuts, but they look like burn scars… knobby patterned welts that are both red and pale in ridges and valleys across her skin. They disappear into the collar of her shirt, and when I bring my eyes back to hers, I can see she’s bothered by my perusal as she pulls her hair forward over her shoulder to help hide her skin from my sight.

Her eyes won’t meet mine and she ducks her head, puts an arm across the chest of the little girl and pulls her back. “Felicity… I told you to stay at the table.”

An American accent mostly, but there’s a faint lilt to it. It’s not the same crisp, slightly formal tone as Emory’s clearly English accent.

Before the kid can answer the blonde woman, Emory comes trotting into the living room, head tilted while pushing an earring into her lobe.

Her eyes move to the woman and kid, then to me. She gives me a sheepish but brief glance of apology, for what, I’m not sure, and then turns to the little girl. Squatting down, she puts her hands on the child’s shoulders and says, “Promise to be a good girl for Auntie Jenna, okay?”

“Promise, Mummy.” The little girl nods her head, blue eyes staring at Emory solemnly.

“Love you,” Emory says and leans in to kiss the child on the cheek. She straightens, looks to the blonde woman and says, “I’ll be home by 9:00 PM, no later.”

While those words were said to the other woman, they were meant for me. It meant our time tonight had an expiration date.

“Go easy on the ice cream,” Emory continues and gives a pointed look at who I now understand might actually be Emory’s daughter, a fact that doesn’t set all that well with me. I had never considered the woman would have a kid, much less be married.

Although she doesn’t wear a ring.

And there’s no man here.

Divorced? Single mom?

These are potential facts that should send me scurrying out the door with a hasty apology to Emory that I won’t bother her again. Kids are a definite “no” for me.

Not that I don’t like kids.

Love, love, love them.

As long as they belong to someone else and I don’t have to be responsible for their well-being and prosperity. When you date a single mom, there’s the risk that said single mom will want to rope you into parenthood and I’m not ready for it.

Not sure I ever will be.

Definitely not until my hockey career is over.

“You ready to go?” Emory asks and I blink away my thoughts to find her staring at me expectantly.

And for some unknown reason, I’m a bit miffed she hasn’t introduced me. I mean… I don’t want anything to do with the kid, and the other woman is a mystery but not one overly intriguing.

Still, I can’t help but step one foot past Emory and hold my hand out to the blonde. “Hi. I’m Jett Olsson.”

She looks startled for a moment but then shakes my hand silently. Emory is prompted to make introductions. “I’m sorry,” she says softly, but I can tell she’s not sorry at all. She had no intention of me meeting these two who greeted me at the door.

“This is Jenna, my sister,” Emory clips brusquely. I smile at the woman and she finally meets my gaze head-on but it’s only for a moment. She returns my smile and ducks her head. “And this is my daughter, Felicity.”

Even though I suspected this was her kid, I still wince internally to learn she’s not just a hot, single woman like I assumed. Regardless, I put on the goofy, playful smile I use on my littlest fans and bend over to hold my fist out. “Hi, Felicity. Give me some knuckle.”

The child frowns in confusion, her eyes going briefly to her mom for some elucidation. I don’t wait for Emory to explain.

With my other hand, I take hers and help close it into a fist. “Like this,” I say, and then I pull hers to mine so we bump them together. “It’s how most hockey players greet other people.”

“Mummy said you play for the Vengeance,” she replies timidly, and fuck me… I realize she’s got an English accent too, just like Emory, and it’s cute as hell.

“That’s right,” I reply, straightening. “And your Mummy and I are heading out to discuss business so she can do her job and I can do mine better.”

That sails right over Felicity’s head but it’s my way of saying out loud that this evening is absolutely only going to be about business, because I have no intention of getting involved with a woman who has a kid.

I chose to take Emory to a steak restaurant that I really like. It’s not what I’d consider an overly romantic venue, but the tables are spaced apart further than in normal restaurants and the inside is dimly lit, lending an air of privacy to each seating arrangement. They have the best steaks in Phoenix as far as I’m concerned, but also provide vegetarian dishes as well as seafood to accommodate any diner.

We’ve just placed our orders and I study Emory as she checks her phone. She informed me on the drive here that, as a mother, she will be constantly checking to make sure nothing is wrong at home and I had no qualms with that. This was—I had resolved based on the change of circumstances—just business after all.

On the way here, Emory launched right into a lecture on how I needed to change the way I was posting to my IG account. I listened intently, because I knew if I didn’t, I’d let my thoughts drift to the disappointing fact she has a child.

But now, in the lull created by the waiter bringing us our drinks and taking our order, I find myself more curious than put off by the fact she’s a parent.

“Does Jenna live with you?” I ask Emory, and she glances up from her phone briefly.

“Yes,” she replies and she efficiently types what I assume to be a text. “She doesn’t have a car which is why I had you pick me up. She wanted to take Felicity out for some ice cream tonight.”

“You and your sister look nothing alike,” I remark casually.

Emory’s head jerks up from the phone and she narrows her eyes. “Why?” she demands defensively. “Because of her scars.”

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