Home > Jett (Arizona Vengeance #10)(12)

Jett (Arizona Vengeance #10)(12)
Author: Sawyer Bennett

“Why do you look like the cat who ate the canary then?” Jim whispers as Coach pulls out a binder and starts flipping through pages. “I thought you two were only going to be friends?”

“Fuck if I know,” I admit truthfully, because I haven’t been able to sift through the feelings I’ve got going on.

I’m attracted to Emory.

Like seriously attracted, and more than I’ve ever been with another woman.

I like her. I mean, I really like the woman and I’ve been able to discern that over just one dinner and a very long workout. Moreover, she likes me too.

Yes, we have a conflict. I don’t want anything serious because of the kid issue, and she doesn’t want to date co-workers because it complicates things.

So, in my mind, that leaves us being only friends.

Except for that whole attraction thing, and I know it’s a mutual feeling. I might not be wise to all things in the world, but I recognize feminine interest.

Maybe there’s a happy medium between a serious relationship and just being friends.

I know most people call it friends with benefits, but I’m not so sure that’s going to fly with Emory.

Coach clears his throat indicating he’s ready to start. I’m ready to put my mind on whatever he has to say because now I’m turning on “game mode.” Tonight is a must win, and I’m going to just let things with Emory play out however they see fit.






Holding the container of kroppkakor in one hand, I knock on Emory’s front door. I made myself a note the other day to suggest she get a new doorbell system—one that has a camera on it for safety—and I’ll even offer to install it for her. It was easy enough when I did it on my condo.

I tamp down the tiny bit of frustration I have with myself that I’m even thinking such things. That screams relationship. It screams I’m worried about her safety, as well as Jenna and Felicity’s. It means I’m invested in this little family unit for some reason, which screams that something has changed. To be honest, I’m not sure I like it because it makes me feel uncomfortable in a constricted kind of way.

But if I’m really honest, there’s a part of me that likes Emory more than the unease that some of these feelings cause.

Because I’m not one who scares easily, and I’ve often been described as rising to insurmountable challenges, I’ve decided to press on with this friendship, with the idea in mind that I’m going to push for something more.

The door swings open, and it’s Emory herself who greets me. She’s in a pair of jeans, fuzzy socks, and a simple red V-neck sweater that looks soft, but the sleeves are pushed up to her elbows. I’m guessing maybe she was working in the kitchen.

Her black hair is pulled into a ponytail and her face is devoid of makeup. She doesn’t need it though. Her eyes are spectacular, and today they aren’t framed by glasses.

She looks fresh, down to earth, and totally at ease with me coming over as a guest.

“Happy Not Celebrating Thanksgiving,” she quips, then leans into me conspiratorially. “Except… we’re going to have to celebrate it somewhat. Felicity pointed out to me that we have American heritage that should be acknowledged and the fact that we didn’t set it as a tradition early on doesn’t mean we can’t start it now.”

“She has a point,” I whisper back, my eyes cutting over her shoulder to the kitchen I can see just beyond the family room. Jenna and Felicity are setting the table. My eyes move back to Emory. “What’s on the traditional menu?”

“Cheeseburgers,” she says with a firm nod of her head, as if there’s no arguing this choice.


Emory steps back and sweeps an arm for me to enter as she explains. “Apparently, Felicity isn’t a traditional traditionalist. She wants to celebrate American heritage, but she wants to tweak the customs. Her theory is that cheeseburgers are just as representative of the culture as turkey and dressing.”

“I’m pretty sure the settlers didn’t serve cheeseburgers to the Indians,” I quip.

“She’s taking license to have something tonight that she adores, and cheeseburgers are her favorite.”

“I like her way of thinking, and honestly, I’m a little afraid of steak and kidney pie.” I give her a guilty shrug. “Cheeseburgers sound good.”

“You’ll love the steak and kidney pie,” she assures me, and then nods at the container in my hand. “What did you bring?”

“Kroppkakor,” I reply, lifting the plastic lid off the container for her to peer inside. “Potato dumplings stuffed with fried pork and drizzled with lingonberry sauce.”

Emory’s mouth drops open. “I’m impressed.”

“Don’t be,” I assure her with a wink. “I found someone Swedish here in the Phoenix area who made it for me.”

“You’re kidding?” she sputters, not in an outraged way that I didn’t take the time to cook my offering, but more in awe that I managed to find someone who could do this on such short notice, especially given the fact I’ve been gone for our game in Vegas.

“Not kidding,” I assure her and then nod toward the kitchen. “I’ll tell you all about it while we eat.”

“Deal,” she replies and pivots away. I follow her into the kitchen and as we enter, Jenna’s head lifts and I get a shy smile. Her hair is worn down, pulled over her shoulders in what I bet is a habit to help hide her scars.

Felicity doesn’t take notice of me, diligently trying to put the silverware in a certain order on the napkins beside each plate.

“Jenna, Felicity… you remember Jett?” Emory asks, making way for an informal, re-introduction as the last one we had wasn’t all that warm and welcoming.

“Hi,” Jenna says and moves around the table toward me. “Let me take that from you.”

“Thanks.” I hand her the container, advising, “You can just warm that in the microwave.”

“Felicity,” Emory says, in a tone that cuts through her daughter’s concentration. “Can you say hello to Mr. Olsson?”

The little girl’s head pops up and the same light blue eyes pin on me. “Hi, Mr. Olsson. I hope you like cheeseburgers for Thanksgiving.”

“Call me Jett,” I say, an automatic reply whenever anyone calls me Mr. Olsson. Far too formal.

I get a toothy grin, but she doesn’t reply, merely goes back to arranging the silverware.

My attention is taken by Emory as she holds out a bottle of wine and a corkscrew. “You any good at opening wine?”

“Fairly passable,” I reply, taking it off her hands and getting to work.

“Wine glasses are in the cabinet to the left of the fridge,” she says, and moves toward the stove where I see various pots on top, and some casserole dishes to the side with tin foil covering. On the other side, I see what looks like some type of cobbler dessert and a glass dish with trifle. I have an unbearably obnoxious sweet tooth and I’m all for bypassing cheeseburgers and steak and kidney pie to dive into one or both of those desserts.

But I tear my gaze away and move toward the cabinet to pour wine for the adults. “Got any juice?” I ask no one in particular.

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