“Not a chance.”

She sighed. “Please, not another word.” She’d been right earlier when she said he never gave up. “You don’t get to ruin my pizza party.” Since there were others in line who wanted the food as much as she did, she walked away from the table. “Want a beer?”

He joined her at the bar where the server described the evening’s three options and ending with his suggestions. “The lager pairs nicely with the Margherita pizza, complementing the charred crust and sweetness of the sauce,” he said. “Perfect for you, sir.” He poured a small sample. “Ma’am, may I recommend the brown ale? It will help deliver a complex finish to your meal.” He poured a second taster.

“Who knew pizza and beer could be so complicated?” Jax asked.

In the end, he went with the lager, and she selected the brown ale. They found a couple of bistro chairs around a wrought-iron table and settled in.

She took the first savory bite and closed her eyes in pleasure. When she finally reached for a drink of her beer, he was staring at her.

“I could watch you eat all night long. You’re all smiles and sighs.”

“Pizza is my favorite. I buy one every Sunday and eat it for dinner every night of the week. So I never have to cook dinner.” Midway through the second piece, she gave up.

“That was quite impressive.”

Hating to admit defeat, she eyed it. “If pepperoni had been the only topping, I could have finished it.”

A server took their plates, and they carried the remainder of their drinks to a comfortable couch in a secluded corner. The lighting was soft, and the area was quiet.

She kicked off her sandals and curled up near him, holding her beer. “You mentioned a children’s charity, such as supporting a camp. A summer school type of thing? Or after school?”

“So you are intrigued?”

“Of course. I think having places for kids to go, something to do is essential. Even community centers—free ones—are wonderful. Anywhere with adult supervision. Interaction.”

“Not everyone is fortunate enough to have resources when they’re growing up.”

There was something different in his tone. An underlying pain she’d never suspected.

“You’ve never listened to my videos, have you?”

Pretending she’d been uncomfortable, she shifted her weight, tucking her legs the opposite direction.