It had been years since they had physically seen each other but they kept in contact, maybe against all better judgment of them both. While it wasn’t a wise move on his part to stay in contact with her, it sure was just plain, good old-fashioned stupidity to keep in contact with him. She limited it to a once in a while affair and only let him know the important things such as phone number change or address move.
Even that, Liane surmised, she was doing too much.
He didn’t mistreat his girls and no longer resorted to brute force to prove a point. All of girls boasted of paid college tuition bills; shiny, expensive cars, and fancy jewelry and clothes. They all resided in mansions on the outskirts of Vegas, in the middle of the desert, where prostitution was legal and law enforcement kept a distant eye.
Jackson himself lived in a very nice home next one of the brothels and made sure his business and personal life were much separated from each other. Liane didn’t ask Jackson if he had entertained any of the girls at his private home but she already knew he did. Jackson and celibacy simply did not mix.
Liane bit the inside of her cheek and swallowed a large gulp of ice water to chill her growing jealousy. Why did she care that he slept with other women? She had plenty of dates within the past couple of years and at one point, she considered one man to be her boyfriend. Of course, long-term relationships never seemed to work out with her since she was focused more on her career.
Her career. That’s what she kept telling herself. She was single because of her devotion to the force. She was sure if she wanted to settle down and get married, she would’ve done so already. She was still young enough for that dream to become a reality. She knew the expectations of her – to find a nice guy, with great values, and raise a family. It was what she wanted and Liane knew, it would probably happen sooner than later.
No matter how much she wanted it to happen, she knew it could not happen with Jackson. And a part of him probably didn’t want that to happen, neither.
That was the intention behind the trip to see him. To finally cut off all ties. She was no longer going to be a part of his world and be another notch on his belt. She was going to be someone’s wife and mother one day, Jackson just didn’t fit into those plans, and they both knew it.
She just hoped he wouldn’t be too pissed at her for wasting his time. After all, it was Jackson flying her out to Vegas. He was also going to pick her up. She was going to stay at his home. He wouldn’t let Liane spend a single dime while she was with him.
“It is so nice and sunny out and you’re looking like you just sucked on the most sour lemon in the world.” Enzo De Laurentiis greeted his best friend at the restaurant.
Liane looked up and smiled at Enzo. Despite the different paths they went down, they always remained close. “Hey stranger!” She got up and gave him a hug. “How are you?”
“Always busy,” He sat across from her and took a sip of ice water. “Got a few projects in the pipeline. Right now everyone is becoming intimidated because of the hacking situation.”
“Oh yeah,” Liane nodded. One of the major movie studios was recently hacked, revealing scathing emails about some A-list talent to the political climate for the world to see. While many pointed the blame to another country protesting a release of a film, Enzo secretly believed it was an inside job from someone who had an ax to grind. “How is everything going with that?”
“People are afraid to go to the movies, people are afraid to make movies. A friend of mine who works at the studio said they’re all on burners and sending faxes now since no one wants to send e-mails,” he shrugged, “you know how America is when a crisis happens? We overreact and then things go back to normal the following week as if nothing ever happened.”
“How’s Angie dealing with all of this? I noticed her name was mentioned in a few of the leaked e-mails.”
Enzo rolled his eyes and shrugged again. His wife, Angela, was Hollywood’s current IT girl, but a couple of producers made disparaging comments about her appearance – namely looking too Black in the leaked e-mails. One suggested she would be a perfect fit for a slave role. “She’s keeping busy and is on set, which is best for her now. She’s angry but she also knows becoming more successful is the best revenge.”
“Better her than me,” Liane chuckled.
“So what have you been up to?” Enzo asked before the waiter came by and took their orders. “Still gunning for captain?”
“Always,” Liane smiled. “I know I got years and years of proving myself before that happens and there are plenty of people ahead of me ready to take over. A girl can dream, though.”
“That’s good. I’m very happy to hear that.” Enzo briefly hesitated before he spoke again. “Have you ever heard from Jackson?”
Just hearing Jackson’s name caused a swell of emotions inside Liane and her thighs immediately warmed up, thinking of his strong hands between them. Her heart slammed against her chest and she took several quick breaths to calm down. “That’s an odd question,” she deflected.
Enzo sipped his ice water. “I know how involved you were with his case and seeing that he left the state. I just didn’t know if you monitored what he was doing now. Not that it matters at all.”
It matters to me, Liane thought. “Whatever Jackson does, I really have no clue nor want to be a part of.” She was proud of that answer. She told the truth without completely revealing everything.
Enzo nodded. “I was just wondering. Nothing more than that.”
Liane breathed a small sigh of relief. The less her best friend knew of her intentions with his wife’s ex-pimp, the better.
The Untitled Part 2 to Jackson and Liane’s story will be out in late-April.
Fire We Make is available on All Romance, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Smashwords.