“You sound disapproving.”

His membership explained a lot. How he’d gotten some big-name clients and achieved superstar success at such an early age. Titans helped other Titans.

Then she took a drink to escape the obvious. He would never have been admitted to the society without merit. Only descendants of founding members received a legacy admission. He’d earned a seat at the table. “I’m studying for my master’s in social work, Jax.” She chose her words with care, as he did, avoiding the mention of the Zetas. “I’d like to see people allot their resources differently.”

“Ah.” He nodded. “There’s only one way to do good in the world? Your way?”

She brought her chin up. “I don’t berate people.”

“Is that how you see it? You don’t think some people need a metaphoric kick in the pants?”

Willow gave him a great big, fake smile. “Present company included?”

He lifted his glass in a toast to her.

“And no. I think if people have a compelling reason, passion, they will move forward of their own volition.”

“Is that true?” His words held more interest than challenge, making her consider what she’d said. “Or are individuals different?” he persisted. “Do we each respond to different stimuli?”

Her breath caught as he looked at her barely covered body.

“Pain. Sensation. Pleasure. All of them tied together in an inextricable knot so that you don’t know where one ends and the other begins?”

They were no longer talking about social consciousness.

“Is it possible that you’re right, but that my way works also?”

To his credit, he didn’t flaunt the fact that people thought he held the holy grail to success. Because she cared about helping people through their struggles, she answered him thoughtfully. “I’m concerned with life balance more than you seem to be. You’re constantly talking about pushing, focusing on work to the exclusion of everything else. People need time to pause, to reflect. Think about positive things. Spend time with family and friends. Socialize. Connect. Laugh. Maybe ride a bike, but indulge in some fun. That’s what makes life worth living.”

“Maybe you should watch more and judge less.”

She blinked. She looked for the best in people and encouraged them to explore it. “That’s unkind.”