Alexa crossed to poke her head into Jamison’s room. He’d just unzipped a giant suitcase—black, of course—and draped a clump of black, button down shirts on the bed. Some looked to be made of cotton, others of a silkier material.
“Are you color blind?” she wanted to know.
He glanced up. “You’re here to help me unpack?”
“Of course not!” Alexa felt embarrassed, but didn’t retreat. “We need to hash out rules so we can live in peace.”
He pulled out a pile of black pants. Some jeans, some slacks.
“Would you stop that?” she demanded. “I’m trying to have a serious conversation.”
“I can’t unpack at the same time?”
Alexa gritted her teeth. “I have no desire to see any of your black…unmentionables.”
An actual smile curled his lips, and he stopped pulling items from his suitcase. “Then wait in the sitting area. I’ll be five minutes.”
Alexa narrowed her eyes. She didn’t want to stay here, but she didn’t want to retreat, either. And she wanted to assert her rules first—before the bodyguard had a chance to make a power grab. “I’ll make it snappy,” she said, averting her eyes as he pulled smaller black items from the suitcase and tucked them in the dresser. “I have one rule. You leave me alone, and I’ll leave you alone.”
“Fine.” Jamison pulled a thick book from the bottomless suitcase and placed it on the bedside table. What was that? War and Peace? Certainly appropriate for their living situation.
“Well then,” Alexa said, pleased. “I’ll leave you to sort your outfits by color. I’m never sure—does black silk go with black cotton?” With this saucy comment, which likely sailed right over his unfashionable head, she turned to leave.
“I have a rule.”
Alexa turned back. She should have known her triumph had been too easy.
“You don’t leave this apartment without me.”
Alexa fell silent for one long beat, absorbing the full, horrifying implications of his statement. “Excuse me? I’m supposed to be chained to you night and day?”
“That’s what twenty-four/seven means.” He flipped the suitcase shut. The rasp of the zipper sounded like machine gun fire in the suddenly silent room. “If you want to run the stairs, I go with you. If you want to shop, I go with you. If you want to sight-see, I go with you. Think of me as your shadow.”
“Hence the black,” she said sarcastically. But further words evaded her. A sick feeling dropped into the pit of her stomach. She and Jamison, joined at the hip for almost five weeks? They couldn’t breathe the same air without fighting! Her fairy tale had officially transformed into a nightmare. She muttered, “We’re going to kill each other.”
“I promise I won’t kill you, princess. It’s not in my job description.” How could he look so amused?