She was still incredibly lovely. For all her prickly demeanor, he could spend every minute of the rest of his life with Violet and not grow tired of her. He was fascinated with the thick fringe of her dark eyelashes, for one. They hid those lovely dark brown eyes he couldn’t forget. The stubborn curve of her jaw was just as he remembered it, though, and he remembered pressing kisses there.
Not that she’d let him do that now. She loathed him.
Jonathan was disappointed she’d clearly nurtured hatred toward him over the years. Sure, they’d had a messy breakup, but time had passed and they were both adults. He didn’t hold a grudge for her running home and leaving him. He didn’t hold a grudge because she’d changed her mind on what she wanted overnight and demanded that they start a family, and when he hadn’t liked that idea, run off back home to her mother. He figured they were both young and stupid at the time, and now they could be adults. Friends, if nothing else. But she acted like he was her mortal enemy, and he didn’t understand it.
He’d just have to win her over again.
He’d won her once, back when she was a closed-up teenager. He’d talked and smiled and flirted and made an utter fool of himself until she’d broken down and started responding. He could do the same with a stiff, angry Violet. Just keep talking and bothering her until she exploded and told him what was pissing her off so bad, so he could fix it.
Fuck, he’d do anything to fix it. He’d never wanted anyone but Violet. She was everything to him. He didn’t care what it took.
As if she could hear the turn of his thoughts, Violet shifted in her seat, snuggling down farther against the leather, her cheek cradled against the seat belt that separated her still-magnificent br**sts. “Mmm, Jonathan.”
He froze, staring at the instrument panel. He no longer saw the gauges in front of him, or the sky that filled the windows. His mind was on Violet’s sleepy moan.
Obviously she was dreaming. Obviously. He repeated this in his mind, but it wasn’t sticking. His dick had gotten hard as a rock within seconds. What was she dreaming about? What was she imagining that he was doing? His hands grasped the yoke tightly, the dual sticks reminding him of gripping his cock, of all things. Fuck. Fuck. Like he needed to be thinking about jerking off at the moment? Just because she’d moaned his name in her sleep?
“Mmm,” Violet said again sleepily, and he glanced over at her sharply. Was she just f**king with him? But she didn’t stir. Against the thin fabric of her proper blouse, her ni**les were stiff.
Jonathan began to sweat. He wasn’t going to ogle her while she was sleeping. He was going to ignore it. Ignore the fact that those delicious ni**les were poking against the filmy blouse, just begging to be touched. He remembered how much she’d loved to have her br**sts played with, how she’d cried out and thrashed when he’d tugged on her ni**les with his lips . . . He wiped his brow, surprised that it wasn’t coated with sweat. Violet always talked in her sleep, he remembered. No big deal. She was just dreaming.
Hear that, dick? She’s just dreaming. Now go f**k off. She still hates us when she’s awake.
Of course, his dick was listening about as well as Violet was. The cockpit of the Socata was small. Too small, he thought. His traitorous mind was telling him to reach over and put a hand on her thigh, slide it up her skirt and see if she was wet . . .
And then she’d really f**king hate him, wouldn’t she? Jonathan scrubbed a hand over his face and then returned it to the yoke, staring grimly ahead. He’d just have to ignore her. So he concentrated on things that would make his rearing dick go back down to normal. Things like his wrinkled old housekeeper who worked in his NYC town house. Spotting the paparazzi waiting outside of a hotel he was staying at. His new lineup of sportscars rolling out as lemons. Jumping out of a plane and his parachute cord not responding.
After a few minutes, he was under control again. Good.
She shifted in her seat again, her skirt riding higher up her thighs. “Mmm, oh, yes—”
“Violet,” he barked. Jesus. A man could only take so much.
She jerked awake with a small snort, limbs flailing a bit. Then she looked around, eyes glazed and narrow with sleep. “Huh?”
“Wake up,” he said gruffly.
She raised a hand and rubbed her face. “I was trying to sleep, you know.”
“Yeah, but I want company,” he lied. She’d flip out on him if she knew the real reason he’d woken her up. “Talk to me.”
“Grow up,” she muttered, straightening in her seat. “I can’t believe you woke me up because you were bored.”
He glanced over at her, noticing that she crossed her arms over those erect ni**les to hide them, and her cheeks were flushed. Was she aware she was having dirty dreams about him? Sounded like they both needed a distraction. “Tell me, why is it you never opened the letter your father sent?”
She stared out the window to her right, avoiding his gaze. “You’re kidding me, right? You should know more than most people that my father and I were never exactly on good terms.”
“You never saw eye to eye. I remember that.”
“Understatement,” she said flatly.
“Still, he must have loved you quite a bit to put in all the work to set up some sort of scavenger hunt after his death. I assume we’re not going to find what we’re looking for at your childhood home?”
“Nope,” she drawled out the word. “It’s going to lead us to a clue, which is going to lead us to another clue, which is going to lead us, ultimately, to disappointment. Trust me on that one.”
“I’m not so sure about that.” Dr. DeWitt had put a lot of effort into this while sick and dying. It didn’t strike Jonathan as a whim. As long as this trip had his stele at the end of it, and Violet’s company during it, it would be a win in Jonathan’s book.
“I’m sure,” Violet said flatly. “This is my father we’re talking about. Everything was always a disappointment with him.”
“Yes, but for him to send both of us letters, it’s clearly intimating that it’s something we should work on together.”
“Or, it’s all part of my father’s plan to keep you funding his projects after he dies. He dangles me under your nose, and you keep throwing money into the things that mattered to him.”
“You don’t know that’s true.”
“He sent you a list, didn’t he? Of foundations and projects he wants continued after he’s gone?”