He takes my hand and leads me to the couch. Dragging me onto his lap, he says, “Let’s go over all that one thing at a time, beginning with my work. Yes, I’ll be going on tour later this year. I don’t know where you’ll be with your work then but if coming on tour with me is something you want to do, I’m all over that shit. I’m a selfish bastard; if it were up to me, I’d have you with me every hour of every day, but that’s your call. And the other thing to consider is the band’s job offer. We still want you to come on tour and photograph it, so that’s always an option, and it kills two birds. And as for your work, have you got any thoughts on that you want to explore? We could go over the pros and cons.”

I stare at him and listen to everything he says. This man amazes me and causes butterflies in my tummy with his thoughtful gestures and caring words. I lean forward and kiss him. “Do me a favour?” I say when I end the kiss.

“I’d do anything for you, sweetheart,” he says, and I know it’s the truth.

“Don’t walk away from me if I fuck this up and let my insecurities cause me to be a bitch to you. I’m working on that, but in the meantime, please be patient with me,” I ask softly. I know I can be awful when I let my doubts take over; I just hope he will stick with me through the bad times.

“I have no intention of walking away.” He rubs his thumb over my lips and looks at me with what feels like adoration. “We’re in this together, fuck-ups and all. I’ll stick by you and you’ll stick by me when I screw up, ‘cause I’m sure as hell gonna fuck shit up all over the place. Yeah?”

He kisses me, deep and hard, and my body thrums with desire. I can’t get enough of him, and his promises of staying with me through thick and thin only intensifies my need. Knowing the person you want so much feels exactly the same, and will put up with anything you throw at them, is the best feeling in the world.

When he pulls his lips away from mine, he says, “You’ve got me, baby, and I’m not going anywhere.”

“So you and Jett are good?” Erin quizzes me over the phone the day after Jett and I get back from our weekend away.

“Yeah. We had our first fight last week but we’re okay now,” I answer her as I reach for a knife to chop vegetables with. Jett’s coming for dinner and I’m cooking him a roast because I’ve discovered how much he loves a home cooked roast.

“It’s always good to get your first fight out of the way, right?”

“Oh God, it was bad, though.” Regret still sits heavy for me over that fight. I still believe I had a right to be upset, but I feel bad about the way I treated him.

“Tell me more. You know how much I love hearing about that sort of shit.”

“So he’s got a jealous streak, and it came out while we were at dinner. I called him out on it and we went from there but then the next day he never called and I didn’t hear from him until after nine that night.”

“And you were pissed off about that, right? Hell, I would have been too. Don’t men know that it’s always on them to make the first move after they’ve screwed up?”

“Right!” Only a woman would understand this logic.

“But I bet he didn’t even realise he’d screwed up, did he?”

I sigh. “Jett’s an odd beast. Yeah, he was an ass, and yeah, he didn’t fully understand what he’d done wrong, but damn, I’ve gotta give the man props for trying to fix it. And then I was a total bitch to him and I knew I was being a bitch but for the life of me I couldn’t stop the damn words from spewing out of my mouth.”

“Girl, that’s a woman’s prerogative and it’s her man’s job to wade through that shit and find the woman he loves underneath all the bullshit that gets in the way.”

“Jesus, you really believe that?”

“Yes, I do, but I also believe it’s the woman’s job to help her man be the man she needs, and to be patient while he gets his shit together.”

Damn, my bestie is one smart chick. “Babe, why the hell don’t you have a man? You’ve got this relationship stuff all worked out.” She keeps men at arm’s length and just has fun with them rather than committing, and I always wonder when she’ll stop playing the field.

She snorts. “Shit, I don’t have the patience for all that. I’ll leave that to a better woman than me. And speaking of things I have no patience for, where is Lennon in all this? Is he still begging you to take him back?”

I roll my eyes. “He came over again and I told him no, again. We ended up having a huge argument and I haven’t heard from him since. I really hope he’s got the message because I don’t know how many other ways to say no to a man.”

“Seems to be a recurring problem in your life,” she says with a hint of sarcasm. “Did you get Diesel to back off?”

“I bloody hope so. I’ve told Michael I don’t want the job so I hope Diesel leaves it at that.”

“And you really didn’t want that job? Or did you just say no for Jett’s sake?”

“I said no for my sake. Diesel seems like too much of a handful for me and I couldn’t see myself working for him for any length of time,” I answer her honestly. There’s a knock on my front door so I tell her, “Babe, I gotta go, ‘cause there’s someone at my door. I’ll call you tomorrow, okay?”