Jameson Fox

By: Nina Levine

Ian keeps his eyes glued to Adeline. Desire blazes from him but that’s not something new for her. Most men she’s met while in my presence have had the same experience. “I met Brax through an old girlfriend,” he says. “We barely know each other. How about you?” His gaze drops to her breasts. “I imagine you know him much better than me.”

My arm tightens around Adeline as a surge of unexpected possessiveness hits me.

Her eyes meet mine and she arches a brow. Fleetingly, just for me, before glancing back at Ian. “I dated Brax years ago. Only for a short time. We’ve stayed friends since.” The easy friendliness has disappeared from her tone, but I doubt Ian would notice. I only note it because I’ve had the time to learn the nuances of her voice, expressions, and body language.

Glancing at me briefly before looking back at Adeline, he says, “He must be disappointed you’re married now. Although, from what I’ve heard about Brax, he doesn’t let a husband get in the way of his time with a friend.” He says this suggestively while eye-fucking her.

I fist my hand by my side, doing my best to let Adeline handle this because the one thing I know for sure about her is that she’ll want my balls if I dare attempt to assume control of this situation. If she were my real wife, we wouldn’t still be standing here. There’s no way Ian would have made it past his first leer.

Stiffening in my hold, she’s perfectly arctic when she says, “A friend is just that to me, Ian. A friend. Nothing more.” The tone she takes with him is one I know well. It’s the one that tells whoever’s on the receiving end of it to back the hell off.

There were numerous stories written about Adeline when her first marriage ended. Stories that insinuated she cheated with a friend of theirs. I’ve never discussed it with her. Mostly because it’s none of my business, but also because I don’t believe it for a second.

Ian pays no attention to her caution, continuing to eye-fuck her while drawling, “Well, if I was Jameson, I’d keep a close eye on Brax. With a woman like you, with your history, he’ll probably think he’s got a shot.”

Unwilling and unable to tolerate another second of this bullshit, I step in. “That’s enough.” I only utter two words, but they fall between the three of us with furious weight. Ian’s a lucky man tonight; if there weren’t hundreds of eyes on me and Adeline, he’d be lying at my feet now.

Adeline is angrier than I am. Moving forward, out of my hold and closer to Ian, she says, “It’s men like you who remind me that there are some real assholes out there. I used to be married to one of them and I vowed never to put up with his kind of shit again. I’m only going to say this once, Ian. Don’t ever look at me again. Don’t ever come near me again. And don’t ever fucking talk to me again.”

Ian’s cheeks redden and he looks at Adeline with distaste. “That was a mistake. A big fucking one. But bitches like you don’t—”

My fury blazes, filling my chest with scorching, caustic anger, the likes of which I haven’t felt in a long time. “Get the fuck out of my sight. And if you ever come near my wife again, I’ll make you regret that decision.”

He looks at me, directing his dislike my way now. “Now you’re making a mistake, my friend.”

“We were never friends, and we never will be. And the only mistake I’m making is the one in which I’m allowing you to continue to stand in front of Adeline without my fist in your face.”

He glares at me for another couple of moments before finally stalking away from us.

Adeline turns her body to face me, her eyes filled with fierce fire. “I don’t need you to fight my battles.”

I watch Ian until I can no longer see him. He’s angered me to the point where I may need to take it to my gym when we get home.

“Jameson,” Adeline snaps, her outrage flaring brighter. “Did you hear what I said?”

I look at her. “You may not need me to, but you’re mine to protect now, so I won’t hesitate to fight your battles.”

Her eyes widen. “I am not yours and never will be.”

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