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Rebel(9)

By:Skye Jordan



So would she. But she kept that to herself.

Rubi pushed against his chest and—reluctantly—eased herself from his grip.

Lexi glanced at Jax and gestured toward Wes. “What do you think?”

Jax leaned back with that easy, negligent stance, dark brows pulled as his gaze inspected the harness.

“Yeah.” He moved to Lexi’s side and swung an arm around her shoulders, then reached down to fit the fingers of his other hand into the space between a circular contraption and Wes’s hip. “That’s a much better fit.”

Wes’s phone double-chimed in his pocket, but his hands were busy fitting and refitting the Velcro strap holding the apparatus low on his waist.

“You asshole,” Jax said with the same tone he’d used with Rubi over her attire. “You know you shouldn’t have your phone on you while you’re running stunts.”

“Yeah, yeah.” A new intensity pulled Wes’s forehead and mouth into a frown. He lifted one knee, and the straps around his thighs drew the metal strips along with the movement, pivoting at the hip joints. Then he lifted the other, crouched slowly, straightened. “I hope this thing works.”

He hoped? The fact that he would simply hope a piece of safety gear would work shot the heat of anger along her spine. But Rubi kept her mouth shut. She certainly wouldn’t have nagged Troy or Keaton or Duke about their equipment. Or even Jax. And she wouldn’t start with Wes.

“It will. It’s a really nice rig.”

“We’ll see.” Wes turned away and ripped off all the straps, dragging the thing off.

His phone chimed again. He pulled it from a pocket beneath the neoprene and became engrossed in a message.

Jax stepped behind Lexi, wrapped his arms around her, and lowered his chin to her shoulder. Those blue-green beauties met Rubi’s and turned innocent—which meant he was about to pull something.

“Where are you taking us for lunch?” he asked, hopeful.

“Us? Who said you could come?”

Before Jax answered, Rubi glanced at Lexi, who offered a lopsided grin.

Rubi’s shoulders sagged. But she forced a smile and more enthusiasm than she felt. “Of course. You’re a package deal now, right?”

Jax straightened, his gaze traveling to Wes, who was now leaning against a free desk, feet crossed at the ankles, blond head bent, his thumbs busily texting. Jax darted a questioning look toward Rubi. Over the last couple of months, they’d all developed the ability to speak without talking, and now he was silently asking if he could invite Wes along.

Rubi lifted a shoulder. What was she supposed to do? Say no when they’d been doing everything together for two months?

Jax’s phone chimed, and he pulled it from his jeans’ pocket. His gaze lifted to the other Renegades. “They’re ready for you on set.”

Troy, Keaton, and Duke rose from their seats and grabbed water bottles from the fridge before exiting the trailer.

When they were gone, Jax said, “Wes, come to lunch with us. Let Rubi distract you for a while.”

He glanced up from his phone, his eyes glazed over in concern. “I’m filthy. You guys go ahead.”

His disinterest swept a cool breeze of hope through Rubi. Maybe he wasn’t as into her as he’d seemed. Maybe he’d been joking earlier. Her mind shot back to the intensity in his eyes. No, he hadn’t been joking.

“The Crossroads has a patio,” Jax said. “Okay for you girls?”

Not what Rubi had in mind at all, but… “Sure.”

Wes peeled off the rest of the suit, showing tan cargo shorts beneath. He grabbed a white T-shirt off the corner of a desk and started toward the bathroom. “Let me clean up. I’ll just be a minute.”

Rubi watched him go, soaking in the sight of the muscle play along his spine and ribs. Liquid warmth spread through her body, but she held in a sigh of longing. He was a beautiful man—there was no denying that fact.

When he was gone, she returned her attention to Lexi and Jax. Here they were, the perfect foursome again. This whole pairing-off habit they’d adopted over the past several weeks might be why Wes had tripped that line and asked her out. She had to admit, seeing Lexi and Jax together, so happy, so in love, so…connected, had tweaked Rubi’s mind toward the idea of finding that perfect someone. But she only had to look into her past to know she wasn’t Lexi. They might mirror each other in many ways but were completely opposite in just as many. Desiring and maintaining a romantic relationship was one of those opposites.

Yes, she wanted Wes. She was human. She was female. And he was…a freaking demigod. But talk about messing up perfect friendships—breaking Wes’s heart would cause rift upon rift upon rift within this new and expanding circle of Rubi’s and Wes’s friends.

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