This is a little raw and not very polished, but I wanted to give you all asking about it a short preview of Jason’s POV chapter in the unpublished second half of One Week Three Hearts.
For those who want to avoid the spoiler, don’t click through! It’s not a huge one, but gives a minor glimpse into the relationship between Jason and Matt. The true nature of their friendship won’t be revealed and completely spelled out until the final book of the trilogy because we’re not quite at that point yet, though I hope you enjoy the way we get there.
“Jason, what does she know?” Matt asked.
“Nothing.” Jason shoved a can of shaving cream into his toiletry kit. Efforts to keep his family in the hotel suite so Matt wouldn’t bring this up ground to a halt when everyone left to go get dressed for the ceremony. Standing in the doorway, Matt cornered him in the bathroom. He’d have to push past him to get out.
“What does that mean?”
Razor. Cologne. Toothpaste. Toothbrush.
“She’s going to be my wife, man. My wife. All of that is over.”
“Rose needs to know. You need to tell her.”
Regardless of Matt’s intentions, there was no way they were going to go down that road. “Maybe one day; now is not the time,” Jason said. “My mother can barely walk and she’s acting like she can run a marathon because she’s so excited. Cousins from Arizona that I haven’t seen in years flew in yesterday. Her family paid for this. They aren’t exactly rich people.”
“All of this could blow up in your face years from now. What if you have kids?”
Jason glared at Matt’s reflection. “Lay off.”
That buried ball of rage expanded in the pit of his stomach as he stared at a drinking glass on the bathroom counter. The vein on his forehead pulsed; the headache that followed would make him want to turn off all the lights and crawl into bed instead of going downstairs to the ballroom. Matt had to stop pushing him like this. Jason closed his eyes and fought off imagining the smooth glass in his hand, the force required to smash it into Matt’s head, the blood sliding down his palm…
Stop it, Jason urged himself. Shove it back down, control yourself.
Jason opened his eyes, exhaled, and turned to face Matt. “Look, I’ll manage,” Jason said. “You have no idea what you’re talking about. Rose is different. She’s the best thing that ever happened to me, and I’m not risking losing her over… stuff in the past where it belongs.”
Matt brushed the plastic wrapper covering Jason’s tuxedo as he backed away. “All right. I’m here when you need me.”
The gift on the coffee table; he forgot about that.”There is one thing you can do for me,” Jason said. “I have to finish packing up. Can you bring Rose’s present to her?”
A calm voice from the speaker above jarred Jason out of his semi-conscious state. “We’re beginning our descent to Kona International Airport. Please fasten your seat belts, return your seats and tray tables to an upright position, and turn off all electronic devices.”
Jason winced at the bright sunlight’s reflection off the airplane’s wing streaming through a nearby window. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, his feet searched for the loafers shoved under the seat in front of him. A toe snagged a heel’s back edge, and Jason attempted to shove his foot into the shoe.
Now she knows. Not all of it, but enough.
The airplane’s descent dug up memories of childhood days spent at the local amusement park. The roller coasters were his favorite, and he’d dart right back to the line as soon as the ride finished. No matter how many times he went on the roller coaster, that thrill right before the big drop was as fresh as the first time.
Exhaustion kept his eyelids half closed as the landing gear hit the tarmac. His thick dehydrated tongue tasted a metallic sheen coating his teeth. Jason remembered trying to eat some leftover Chinese takeout last night. The condo was so empty without Rose there, and he listlessly picked at the food before putting it back in the almost bare refrigerator.
His mind filled with images of Rose sucking that guy’s cock as he passed the spare bedroom serving as their home office. Feverish sweat broke through his pores, but it wasn’t enough of a release for the fury flowing through his veins. Anxiety twisted his stomach into knots while his rock hard shaft poked through the gap in his boxers.
Jason couldn’t resist the computer monitor’s eery blueish-white light. The mouse slid under his clammy hand as he fell into the desk chair. The pointer jittered all over the screen before locating the file hidden deep within multiple folder layers. He mistakenly thought he could pretend it wasn’t there if he made it hard to get to by mixing it with old archives of tax returns and scanned receipts. Maximizing the video player’s window allowed him to ignore the early morning hours ticking by.
He had to watch the video Matt sent one more time.