“Why are you so nervous, Ivy?”
She cleared her throat. “I’m not afraid of you, Jake.” He couldn’t hurt her anymore. Could he?
A humorless chuckle passed through his lips. “Have I ever hurt you?”
Not physically. But a few months ago he’d broken her heart. A pain so raw she never wanted to go through it again. Ivy was determined not to rehash the past and decided to get right to the point. She took a calming breath. “I’m here on Wally’s behalf.”
“He’s young, Jake. We’ve all made mistakes when we were his age. He deserves a second chance. He came to me the moment he realized he’d made a big mistake and asked me to help him make it right.”
“Why isn’t he here pleading his case? He’s a man now. When are you going to start letting him run his own life and grow up?”
“You don’t understand.”
“I understand, remember? The last time he got into trouble I heard it all. Has it changed?”
“He’s sorry he borrowed that money!”
Jake snorted. “Borrowed?” Ivy watched him move around the desk and sit. “I don’t want to hear any more. I’m not interested. All I want to hear now is how you’re going to make it right.” He paused before raising his brow and adding, “Twenty-thousand-dollars right.”
Twenty thousand dollars! Oh god, it was worse than she thought. Wally had led her to believe it was significantly less. She took a deep breath, wishing she had the answer. She’d come here with the intention of offering a six-month payment plan but it would take years to pay back that kind of money.
“There must be something I can do.”
She didn’t like the way Jake leaned back and studied her. When he linked his hands behind his head, she couldn’t take her gaze off his muscular biceps and the width of his chest. Then he brought his booted feet up and crossed them on top of the desk. Ivy’s gaze followed the length of his legs and powerful thighs up to the front of his dusty jeans. There was no disguising the growing bulge behind his zipper.
Fire erupted through her. She’d never stopped loving him or wanting him. And she wanted him now. She’d been addicted to him since the moment they’d met four years ago. I wonder what he’d do if I walked around the desk and unzipped his pants. In the old days she would have had the nerve. “Well?”
His deep voice dragged Ivy back to the present and Wally. Her wayward brother was counting on her one last time. Because she’d made it clear this was it. The next time he screwed up he was on his own. Jake was right. He was a man now.
“Maybe we can work out some kind of a…ah, payment plan?” She chewed on the inside of her lip, realizing how weak and pitiful she sounded.
“I have a better idea, Ivy. Seeing you again has only reminded me of what I’ve been missing. With interest, a payment plan will take years. How about one weekend?”
One weekend? “I don’t understand. You know I can’t come up with that kind of money in one weekend.”
Laughing, Jake slammed his feet to the floor and leaned forward. “Come on, honey, you’re not stupid. But just in case you can’t read between the lines, let me clarify. I want one weekend.”
Her brows furrowed. “One weekend of what?”
There was a long pause. “Of you.”