He mutters something I can’t understand before saying, “Jesus, why do you have to argue with me on this? I just want to know you’re home safe while I’m away. Is that too much to fucking ask?”

I know he’s probably tired with jet lag, and I try not to get upset at the way he’s bossing me around, but I can’t stop the feelings bubbling up. “I know you want me home safe but I don’t like being told what to do. If I want to go out drinking with my friend, that’s exactly what I’m gonna go and do.”

“Fuck, this isn’t getting us anywhere, and I’m not in the mood to keep arguing back and forth. I’ll talk to you later.” With that he hangs up and I’m left staring at my phone, not really knowing what the hell just happened.

And then I vomit again.

Oh God, this is going to be a bad day.

A couple of hours later, I’ve got myself together and am sitting on my couch drinking my fifth glass of water for the day when I have an unexpected visitor.

“Hi, I’m Claudia, Jett’s sister,” the pretty brunette at my door says, a beautiful smile on her face; a smile I don’t think anyone could say no to.

“Hi.” I’m not really sure why she’s here so I wait for her to say more.

“I spoke to Jett earlier today and he asked me to drop by and make sure you were alright.”

“Oh, okay.” God, I’m stuttering like an idiot, and I want to say more, but I know it’ll come out all wrong so I say nothing else and wait for her to speak again.

Her smile grows and she gives me a sympathetic look. Taking a step inside, she says, “Are you feeling sick? Jett mentioned you’d had a lot to drink. Have you been drinking lots of water?” Her voice trails off as she walks down my hallway towards the kitchen.

I shut the door and follow her in. She’s moving fast and I’m in no state to keep up so I take my time and when I find her, she’s pulled ice cubes out of the freezer and has them in a cup. Passing it to me, she suggests, “Suck on these so you can keep your water intake up.”

“Thank you,” I say as I take the cup from her.

“Is there anything you want me to go out and get for you?”

I stare at her. “Are you sure you’re Jett’s sister? He was pretty mad at me when I spoke to him so I’m not sure I believe you two are related.”

She laughs. “Yes, I’m definitely his sister. His only sister.” She frowns at me. “You must have spoken to him after me. I talked with him at about four this morning and he was in a state, worried about you.”

“Shit . . . yeah, I spoke with him after that and he was really pissed off with me.”

She’s still frowning. “I wonder if something happened to put him in a bad mood because honestly, he was just really worried about you earlier.”

Regret hits me; maybe I misunderstood his intentions on the phone. I place my elbows on the kitchen counter and drop my head into my hands. “I’m such a bitch.”

Claudia moves so she can rub my back. “I’m sure you’re not. I can’t imagine Jett would date a woman who is a bitch.”

I look up at her. “I argued with him on the phone and told him not to try and boss me around. And now I’m not so sure he was trying to boss me around. I think I took what he said the wrong way.” My stomach is ill again; this time from wanting to get to Jett so I can explain and say I’m sorry. I reach for my phone to call him, but he doesn’t answer. I try three times and each time it just goes to voicemail. I leave him a message to call me back and then look at Claudia. “I don’t understand why he and I are having such a hard time with this relationship. When we first met and got to know each other, it was perfect and fun. Now all we seem to do is argue.” My heart is heavy over this. I’ve gone from not wanting a relationship to desperate to make it work.

“I don’t know where you’re coming from in all this but I can tell you Jett’s not used to having someone else to factor into his life and his decisions. He’s also not used to caring so much about a woman, and if I know him as well as I think I know him, he probably doesn’t want to share you.”

“Yes! He’s suddenly gone all territorial over me. It seems so out of character from the Jett I first met.”

She doesn’t seem surprised. “No, it’s not out of character for him. I remember when he had a girlfriend in high school, he was always jealous of any guy who so much as looked at her. He’s probably forgotten that because it was so long ago, but there’s been other times in our lives where his jealous streak has come out so he definitely has that in him.”

I stare at her as she gives me information I don’t really want to hear. “So can you tell me how to fix this?”

“That’s something only Jett can fix, but you may have to help him with it.” She studies me for a moment before asking, “How much do you want this relationship with my brother?”

“I want it. More than any relationship I’ve ever wanted.”

She listens and mulls that over for a minute. “You’re going to need a lot of patience then. Jett projects this image of having everything in his life together and under control but underneath all that he’s as vulnerable as they come. He loves hard and when he loves you, you’re everything to him and he would do anything for you, but that comes with a price – he wants you to let him protect you.”