Home > Jett (Arizona Vengeance #10)(9)

Jett (Arizona Vengeance #10)(9)
Author: Sawyer Bennett

The thought of Jett makes my skin prickle in irritation, as does Jenna’s casual drop of information about him.

I don’t let her know that’s an interesting tidbit, and instead, jerk my head toward the back seat where Felicity is sitting behind me. “Shh… delicate child ears back there.”

Jenna snorts and looks in the rearview mirror at her niece, face soft with fondness and love. “I don’t see how an Olympic medal is scandalous, but she can’t hear anything. She’s too absorbed in Elena of Avalor.”

I glance back. It’s true. Felicity has my iPad on her lap, headphones on, and her eyes riveted to the screen as her favorite princess rides flying Jaquins and battles an evil sorceress. She’s oblivious to us.

But I don’t want to talk to my sister about Jett. She had fallen asleep on Felicity’s bed before I got home last night. They were clearly in mid-bedtime story as evidenced by a Captain Underpants book laying on her chest and Felicity’s legs sprawled across Jenna’s. I decided to let them be, knowing Jenna would wake up at some point and go to her own room.

I had a hard time getting to sleep last night. Our date—which wasn’t a date but a business meeting—ended up being… well… a good time for me. Jett was easy to be around. I thought he’d bring a high-pressure pitch to jump into bed with him, and I fully expected him to press for a second date—or business meeting as I’d prefer to call it.

But he didn’t.

He merely walked me up my sidewalk and stopped at the foot of the porch steps. I turned around to see him there in the shadows but I could see the easy smile on his face.

“Thanks for the social media lesson, Emory,” he’d said in his faint Swedish accent that I could hear on the “r” in my name as it rose slightly in pitch.

“Anytime,” I’d replied, and I’m not so sure that was a business offering on my part.

I’d simply enjoyed my time with him, found him to be genial, funny, and surprisingly humble. All traits I’d never considered he’d have, but also didn’t really care about as I had no intention of getting involved with someone.

Have.

Have no intention of getting involved with someone.

As in present tense.

“Don’t you think that’s incredible?” Jenna asks, and I blink out of my reverie.

“What?” I ask befuddled.

“That Jett has an Olympic medal.” The smirk on her face says she’s baiting me. “He’s played in the winter Olympics for Sweden and they got a silver.”

Jett had mentioned playing in the Olympics but didn’t brag or linger on it. I think that just goes to his humble nature.

Add onto that genuine charm he has without even trying, the fact that he’s probably the hottest guy I’ve ever known—sorry, but the buzzed cut dark blond hair, crystal blue eyes, and facial scruff do me in—and I think about him far too much. I expected to wake up this morning and be focused on anything other than Jett Olsson.

“Will you go on another date with him?” Jenna asks.

My head whips her way and I glare. “It wasn’t a date.”

“Hmmm,” she replies, a sound deep in her throat that says she doesn’t believe a word of my claim. Probably because I’m fighting so hard about calling it a date.

I’m stunned though when she pivots. “Did he ask about me?”

I frown at her. “Just what you did for a living.”

“Not about my scars?” Her voice is soft, barely discernible. It guts me that she even has to worry about such a thing.

“No, Jenna. He didn’t ask about your scars, and why should he?”

“Because they’re hideous and I’m an oddity,” she replies, her voice much stronger but only because she’s feeling the need to defend her insecurities.

“You’re an oddity,” I reply irritably. “But not for your scars. Which are not hideous, by the way.”

“Says the woman with perfect skin,” she retorts bitterly.

I gasp at the assault, because it’s so un-Jenna-like. Before I can even say a word, she’s apologizing. “I’m so sorry,” she blurts, her head swinging my way only briefly to lock eyes before she turns back to the road. “I don’t know why I just said that.”

“It’s okay,” I reply gently, my hand reaching out to her shoulder for a squeeze. I look into the back seat and see that Felicity is still ignoring both of us.

“I think I’m just really nervous about this new job,” she mumbles. “Even if it is remote, I’m going to have to go in for meetings sometimes.”

Jenna is going to make a stab at reentering the workforce for the career she had originally chosen in journalism. Her dream out of college was to be the chief editor of a major newspaper one day, even though print is struggling. She was well on her way to establishing a career when the fire happened, and her lengthy medical recovery set her back right to the start again.

Except once she healed and was strong enough to return to work, she didn’t have the desire to pursue such a career. Really, she had no desire to be in public because of her scars.

It’s easy for me to say they’re not bad. To the ordinary eye, you can really only see the ones on the lower part of her face and traveling down her neck. No one really knows the back of her legs all the way up to her lower back are riddled with the same knobby pattern of melted flesh. It’s why you never see her in shorts or dresses. Jenna doesn’t want anyone seeing the damage left behind.

“You know,” I start hesitantly. “You’re going to have to open up a bit. Especially if you stay here with me in Phoenix. I think taking this job is a courageous step. I’m glad you’ll have to go in sometimes for meetings, even if it’s scary to you.”

“What do you mean open up?” she asks curiously, because there’s no need to fight over my statement that she actually needs to get out of the house. We’ve had many discussions about that, and to some extent, she’s doing quite well. She’ll take Felicity out wherever she wants to go, so she’s heading in the right direction.

“I mean,” I drawl, seeing the arena up ahead. “Dominik Carlson runs his team like a family. He has many events to bring everyone together, and I’ll want you to be there with me and Felicity because you’re part of my family, and thus part of the Vengeance family. I don’t want you hiding away from people.”

“I don’t hide from people,” she mutters in response, but I hear the guilt laced within.

I shoot her a smirk that she doesn’t see since she’s diligently watching the road and slowing to make her turn into the staff parking lot.

I don’t bother arguing with her because she has, in fact, started to courageously get out of the house more with Felicity. I expect she just needs the practice to reintegrate, as she’s spent much of the last two years recovering and then hiding because of her scars.

She swings into the lot, which is mostly empty given it’s a Sunday, and pulls parallel to the curb that borders the staff entrance. It’s right beside the player’s parking lot and entrance, which leads via staircase directly down to the locker room. The staff entrance opens up to a secure elevator which rises to the top level that houses the executive offices and a state-of-the-art gym. There is some basic equipment for the players in the locker room, such as bikes to warm up on and bands to stretch with, but if they want the full gamut of every imaginable piece of motorized or static equipment you could ever imagine, they have a direct elevator from the locker room up to the gym.

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