“I know. My sister, Harper, says it makes her crazy. That’s why she devoted her time to building places for them to go.”
I shot him a small smile. “That’s rare. A lot of people learn to ignore them.”
“So what would you do now if you could do anything you wanted?”
“I’d like to be a pastry chef. I loved it, and it’s something that was passed down from my mom. I know I need business classes, and maybe some higher culinary education, but I want to chase that dream now. And I’d like to do what I can as a volunteer for the homeless.”
“Do you have a plan for how you’d help?” Jett asked.
I thought for a minute before I answered, “I’d love to run some shelters, but do more than just give them a place to sleep and eat. They need a hand up to get back into the working world and regain a sense of pride. I think that’s one of the things we lose first, and it’s hard to get that back again.”
“I can find you the funding to develop a program,” he suggested. “I’d be a solid donor, and I know a lot of business people who would support the cause. You’d earn a good salary for being the administrator if you want to do it full-time.”
“I might end up turning down the salary,” I teased. “I have a boyfriend who’s filthy rich.”
“Now you’re getting the idea,” he joked. “Use me.”
I laughed because I knew he was teasing. It didn’t surprise me a bit that Jett would donate. But I wasn’t sure I was ready to start a commitment like that. “I’d need some time,” I explained. “I don’t have the business experience, and I’d need some help.”
“Whenever you’re ready, I’ll be here. Homelessness is an area where I’d like to help out as much as possible.”
“I noticed,” I told him. “You’ve already done a lot of your own work on the side.”
He shrugged. “I helped a few people. That’s not nearly enough.”
“If everybody who could afford it did what you did, we wouldn’t have to worry about the homeless. Don’t discount the things you do to help people who are in a bad place. It’s pretty extraordinary.”
“You’re pretty extraordinary, Ruby Kent,” he said in a husky tone.
My heart ached as I stared back at him, wondering what I’d ever done in my life to deserve a guy like Jett. “This has been the best birthday ever,” I told him honestly.
I was kind of sad that I couldn’t plan a birthday party for Jett in the near future, but his birthday had passed right before we’d met.
“It will be as soon as you cut that cake,” he replied with a cheeky grin.
I hopped up to get some plates and a cake knife. “What kind is it?” I asked.
It was obviously chocolate because it was frosted with chocolate icing, but there was a light glaze over the top that I couldn’t identify.
“Salted caramel chocolate cake,” he announced. “I told the baker that you were a pastry snob, so it better be good.”
“You didn’t really say that,” I told him confidently, knowing Jett was too nice to threaten a baker.
“Okay, I didn’t,” he acknowledged. “But I did tell her you were a pastry snob and asked which cake she recommended.”
I really couldn’t scold him for that. I was, in fact, a pastry snob. Not because I wanted to be, but because I couldn’t help myself. My mom had made the best desserts in the state of Ohio, and I’d had the best when I was a kid.
I set the plates down, and cut the cake.
I almost salivated as I saw the caramel filling in the middle, and I could already tell it was moist.
“Looks good,” I said as I handed Jett a large piece, and then cut myself a smaller one. “I’m actually still full from dinner.”
“There’s always room for dessert, sweetheart,” he answered as he took the cake eagerly.
I sat down and savored my first bite. I still hadn’t gotten to the point where I didn’t appreciate having amazing food, or any food for that matter. I might have grown up on good food, but I’d been pretty damn hungry for the last six years or so.