“No.” Jack snatched the phone from Sara’s hand. There was no way he was gonna let this conversation continue. Not now; not ever.
“What the hell are you doing?” Sara gasped. “I’m not done talking to him.”
Jack hung up the phone and tossed it across the room. “You are now.”
Sara snarled and went after her phone, but Jack grabbed her arm. “Let go of me,” she tried to jerk free.
“Not until you let him go.” Jack tightened his grip but carefully so he didn’t hurt her. “I thought you told me you were done with this guy.”
“I am, but he thinks–”
“I don’t care what he thinks.”
“Will you let me finish?” Sara wrenched her arm free. “He thinks we can work it out, but I told him I need to learn to trust him again.”
“Why bother? He cheated once, he’ll do it again. Guys like that don’t change.”
“Austin never cheated on you.” Sara was about to argue, but Jack cut her off. “And you know that. Austin is a good guy, but this David is a worthless piece of shit. He knows he’ll never do better than you, and that’s the only reason he wants you back.”
Sara’s phone rang again and she searched for it, finding it on the floor just inside Jack’s bedroom. She picked it up, but Jack was right behind her. He grabbed it away from her and turned it off, throwing it under his bed. Sara turned to face him and hissed. “Why won’t you let me–”
“Because I care about you,” Jack shouted. When Sara shrank back, he calmed himself and lowered his voice. “I can’t stand to see him hurt you. Do you have any idea how long I have stood by and watched you go out with all these losers? I saw what Austin did to you. I saw how much he hurt you.”
“Why didn’t you do anything?” Those big blue eyes seemed to plead for help.
“I tried, but you always kept me at arm’s length. Every time someone hurts you, you withdraw, you run away and hide. You never let anyone take care of you.” To prove his point, Jack reached for her, holding out his hand for her to take.
Sara crossed her arms over her chest and backed away. “I don’t need to be taken care of.”
“Okay, I get that. You don’t need it. But don’t you ever want it?”
“What?” Sara stared at him, her eyes wide.
“Don’t you ever want someone to…I don’t know….” Jack had no idea what he was trying to say. He just wanted the pain and confusion in her eyes to go away. “Sometimes when you’re hurting, you have to let someone else in to help take care of you whether you need it, or want it, or not.”
Sara looked at him, her eyes unreadable. “Jack, I….”
He wanted to reach for her, to touch her and hold her, but Jack didn’t move. If he was the one she wanted to let in, she would have to invite him. “What do you want from me, Sara? From anyone?”
“I don’t know.” She turned away from him, looking toward the front door. “What I want always comes second…if at all.”
“What do you need?”
“I need….” Her head fell back and she covered her face with her hands, her fingers splayed across her forehead as if she was trying to ease some pounding pain. “I need to feel close to someone.”
“I’m right here.” He still didn’t move. “I always have been.”
“I know.” She turned and looked at him. “I want to let you in, Jack, but I…. Oh hell, I just want you. I have for a long time. I know you’re not what I need, but I don’t care. Take me to bed now and we’ll sort the rest out later.” With three determined steps, Sara closed the distance between them and kissed him….