Tears streamed down her face. He lifted a hand from her waist to wipe them away. “Baby…”
He couldn’t find the words. He was overwhelmed. He’d never felt so completely accepted or loved in his entire life.
“Excuse me,” a voice said behind them. “Lexi, can we have a minute?”
Lexi glanced past Jax, and he turned to see Martina standing nearby with another tall woman. One of the models came over and handed Jax his clothes. Along the runway, the audience remained abuzz.
Jax’s nerves returned. “I’ll give you a minute while I get dressed.”
“No.” She squeezed his hand. “You’re part of my life, and if they want me, they have to take all of me, which includes you. Stay with me.”
Martina looked both contrite and excited as she introduced the head of Galliano’s board of directors. Neither of them looked Jax in the eye again after a quick acknowledgment, which didn’t bother him in the least. The only woman whose opinion mattered to him was Lexi’s.
She patiently listened to Martina’s retraction of her earlier statements and the board director gush over Lexi’s designs. When the offer for the partnership came, Jax squeezed her hand.
Lexi grinned at Jax briefly, then turned to the women. “Thank you. It’s a fabulous offer, and I’ll seriously consider it. I’ll get back to you next week sometime.”
Both women’s expressions fell from polite excitement to shock.
Lexi turned to Jax and slid her arm around his waist. “I’m ready to go. How about you?”
He only nodded, wrapped an arm around her shoulders, and followed her lead as she led the way deeper backstage.
Jax stopped her again before they reached the area where photographers crawled over the space.
She glanced up at him. “What?”
She grinned. “You can’t be camera shy.”
He laughed with the joy of feeling so complete. Then he circled her in his arms and sobered. “I should never have left you that night,” he said, his voice a hoarse murmur. “I didn’t know what else to do. I’ve missed you so much. I’m so sorry—”
She pressed her fingers to his lips. “Just tell me you’ll stay.”
“I’ll stay.” He lowered his lips to hers, whispering, “Always.”