A couple of minutes later, I’ve looked everywhere and my heart sinks when I realise he’s already left.

And I’ve got no idea where he is or what he’s doing today.

It’s the first time since we met that I don’t know this information.

I want to know these things.

Hell, I want to know everything to do with Jett.

I want him in my life.

The realisation I don’t want to fight him anymore about dating hit me a little while ago, but this new understanding of what he means to me and how much I want to be around him, hits me now.

I rush into my bedroom to grab my phone, and dial him straight away. He doesn’t answer so I try again. And again. After three attempts with no answer, I give up and send him a text asking him to let me know he’s okay. He certainly wasn’t okay when he arrived here last night.

Dropping the phone onto my bed, I trudge into the bathroom for a shower. I’m tired after last night. Jett wore me out with sex and then he tossed and turned all night, keeping me awake pretty much the whole time. Thank God I have no plans for today; long naps sound good at this point.

As I step into the shower, my phone rings and I immediately bolt back into my bedroom to answer it.

He takes his time but finally says, “Hi.”

His tone makes me nervous. It’s as if he doesn’t want to be on the phone with me. “Where are you? I missed you this morning.”

The only sound is that of his long sigh, and then – “Sorry, sweetheart,” he murmurs so softly I almost can’t hear him. “I needed some time…”

Quiet again and when he does speak, the brokenness I hear in his voice pulls at my heart. “Time with Claudia.”

I have no idea what he means and while I want to know, I don’t want to push him too hard. “Okay.” I stop talking but then add, “Jett, I’m here if you need me, yeah?”

“Yeah,” he says, gruffly. “I’ll catch you later.”

And then he’s gone and I’m left staring at my phone.

I end up cleaning my house; it’s what I do when I’m full of nervous energy like I am at the moment. That takes me all of two hours and then I rearrange my pantry. And then I head downstairs to wash my car.

I’m finishing up with my car when Michael calls me.

“What? No love for me this morning?” he teases.

I play along because this is sadly the highlight of my day so far. “I’m sorry, dear manager, how are you today?”

“Pfft, fancy answering the phone with ‘what’s up’. Who does that shit?” He’s poking fun at me now because I’m always giving him grief for answering the phone that way, and now I’ve just done the same thing.

He chuckles. “Am I detecting a mood today?” Always so perceptive.

“Jett’s sister passed away two days ago and - ”

He cuts me off. “Shit, Presley. What happened?”

“She died of cardiac arrest but she also had just been diagnosed with cancer for the second time in her life.”

“God, I’m so sorry. How is Jett?”

“Not good. He was close to her.”

“Are you with him now? Just tell me to hang up if you are. We can discuss this stuff later.” Michael can be a smartass but he’s also very sensitive and it’s one of my favourite things about him.

I lean against my car and cross my legs in front of me. “No, he was gone before I woke up this morning,” I say quietly.

“Why do you sound upset, babe?” Again, always sensitive to what others are going through.

“Because it feels like he’s shutting me out.” I rush to clarify myself. “And I know he’s grieving and dealing with that in his own way, but I just want him to talk to me and let me help him. I’m so worried about him.”

He’s thoughtful for a moment. “You know, not everyone needs to talk shit out, much as you might disagree with that. Sure, at some point he will possibly want to discuss it, but there are some of us who deal with our thoughts and feelings by going inward rather than outward. Perhaps the best way for you to help him is actually to leave him be and wait for him to come to you.” He pauses for a moment and then asks, “Do you think it’s possible that your desire for him to talk to you is more about your need to talk with him about it? That maybe while you think you’re being there for him, you’re actually trying to fill one of your own needs to help and fix?”

I consider what he’s said. “Shit, I hate it when you go all therapist on me.”

“Just think about it. And just continue to be there for him.”

“I will, but I’m not sure you’re right this time. Everyone who is struggling with grief needs people around them.”

“I’m not saying he doesn’t need you. I’m just saying give him the time and space to come to you in his own time.”

“Fine.” He’s made me a little grumpy. My desire to be here for Jett has nothing to do with me. In fact, I don’t even really understand what he’s trying to say so I change the subject instead of continuing this conversation. “What were you calling for?”