Pulse / Page 12

Page 12

“Oh. Actually, I wasn’t planning on going to the hotel right away.” Emily dug in her purse and pulled out the paper with Gavin’s address. Not wanting to let another minute pass without seeing him, she slid across the bench and showed it to Javier. “I’d like to stop here first if I can, please?”

Nodding, Javier pulled away from the curb and smiled, his warm brown eyes twinkling in the reflection. “Absolutely, Señorita Cooper. Wherever you like. I have you to your destination very soon.”

“Thank you, Javier.”

Emily sat back and tried to process every emotion working through her mind. The innate need for Gavin hit her again, intensified beyond anything she’d ever felt. Anxiety coiled in ribbons around her body. She shifted restlessly, each breath a struggle as she watched tour buses, mopeds, and Fifa, the Mexican police, fly by. Though the ride into the heart of Playa del Carmen took less than twenty minutes, the wait felt like forever. With edgy nervousness pumping though her veins, Emily found it hard to concentrate as the limousine turned onto a desolate, narrow road lined with a few mansions.

When the vehicle rolled to a stop in front of Gavin’s home, she drew in a deep breath and swallowed down every instinct telling her Gavin wasn’t taking her back. Emily opened the door before Javier had a chance to exit the limo. She stepped out and took in the mammoth structure. Classic Mexican terracotta shingles crowned the white-stucco jewel sitting on a hill overlooking the pristine Caribbean waters. Brushing her windblown auburn hair away from her face, Emily found her mind frozen, yet her body ignored its plea to not move. Her body, nauseous with anxiety, felt Gavin’s pull, that deep, familiar pull she’d felt from the first time she saw him. Before she knew it, she was slowly walking up to his home. Javier called out from behind her, but she held up a hand, signaling him to wait.

Standing before the dark mahogany and beveled, etched glass door towering over her tiny frame, Emily fought back tears, lifted a trembling hand, and rang the doorbell. Her heart sped, its thumping rushing through her ears, as a blurred figure made its way over to answer. Body taut with fear, a fear she’d brought on herself by doing this to her and Gavin, Emily closed her eyes and tried to grasp some minuscule hope that she wasn’t about to face the disaster her head was telling her was coming. Before the door swung open, flashes of Gavin’s blue eyes crept into Emily’s thoughts, however when it opened, those weren’t the eyes staring back at her.

Raven-colored hair twisted into a tight bun and wearing a maid’s uniform, the lanky woman smiled. “Puedo ayudarle?”

“Umm, yes. Is Gavin here?” Emily asked, tying to quell the shakiness in her voice.

“No. El Sr. Blake no está aquí. Se fue a beber a Akumal.”

Emily shook her head. “I’m sorry. I only speak English.”

“No entiendo lo que esta diciendo. El Señor Blake no está aquí.”

Emily turned around and waved at Javier where he was waiting in the driveway with her luggage.

“Si, Señorita Cooper,” he said, climbing the steps to the covered porch. “I bring your bags in for you. Good?”

“No, thank you for that, Javier. I don’t need my belongings brought in. I think Mr. Blake’s not home, and this woman’s trying to explain to me where he is. Can you translate for me, please?”

“Ahh, of course.” Smiling, Javier swung his attention to the woman. “Juanita, buenas tardes.”

The woman nodded. “Buenas tardes.”

“Colton me envió al aeropuerto a recoger a esta joven y traerla de vuelta a ver Gavin. Está en casa?”

Emily waited as patiently as possible while they spoke. When they were done, the woman nodded before closing the door.

Javier looked at Emily. “Señor Blake’s at a bar in Akumal. It’s not too far of a drive. Maybe twenty minutes. Come. I take you there now.”

Emily watched Javier bolt down the steps and across the driveway. After placing her luggage in the trunk, he opened the door to the limousine for her. Still standing on the porch, Emily hesitated. Her mind was spinning over every possible reason she shouldn’t show up in a public place to see Gavin. She couldn’t. It wouldn’t be right. They needed privacy to discuss everything. Though pain of waiting to see him, even just a little while longer, throbbed in her chest, Emily decided she would get settled in her hotel room and come back later in the evening. With that, she started making her way over to Javier to let him know her plans.

As she neared the limo, she snapped her head in the direction of the sound of a vehicle’s tires kicking up gravel in the distance. Holding her hand up to shade the sun from her eyes, she squinted and watched the charcoal gray sports car cut a hard left into the driveway. With its windows tinted as black as an iron kettle, Emily couldn’t make out who was driving. That didn’t prevent her heart, which was beating like a drum, from coming to a complete stop for a long second. As she tried to pull in a breath, the organ stuttered back to life when Gavin stepped out of the vehicle, a grin on his face. Emily’s eyes flickered with uncertainty at his demeanor, considering he hadn’t looked in her direction yet. In a complete fog at what she was witnessing, chills shot and prickled across Emily’s skin as not one but two reasons for Gavin’s jovial mood slid out of the car. Taking an unsteady step back, panic flooded Emily’s limbs when Gavin’s gaze caught hers. His grin disappeared immediately. She could read the question in his eyes, and she was sure she was about to pass out.

Tilting his head in confusion, Gavin halted mid-stride. He knew the past few days had taken their toll on him, mentally and physically, and he also knew he had some alcohol running through his system, but he was pretty fucking sure he wasn’t seeing things. “What the fuck?” he whispered. He whipped off his sunglasses and scrubbed the heels of his palms across his eyes.

“What’s the matter?” the auburn beauty asked, grazing her pouty red lips against his jaw. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

Gavin rolled his shoulder, shrugging her off his arm. “I have,” he bit out, cutting his narrowed eyes her way.

The platinum knockout snapped her gum. “Jeez, talk about split personalities. What’s up?”

Gavin tore his attention from the two soon to be “void fillers,” his gaze intent on Emily who was turning to get into the limo. Without saying another word, he jogged over to her, his body reacting to Emily the only way it’d ever known how. Heart in his throat and confusion hammering through his head, Gavin reached out, grabbing her elbow. “What are you doing here, Emily?” The feel of her soft skin seared into his mind, kicking up memories he was trying to forget.

Frozen, Emily didn’t turn around. She couldn’t. Breathing heavily from his simple touch, she nervously swallowed and tried to find her words. “I came to talk to you,” she whispered.

Gavin released her and stepped back. “Turn around and look at me,” he commanded, his voice low.

Pulse quickening, Emily slowly turned, her gaze locking onto his. Staring into his confused blue eyes, she curled her fingers around the top of the door to steady herself.

Her beautiful face nearly stole the breath from Gavin’s lungs. His eyes fell from hers, immediately landing on her quivering lips. Lips God created to fit his. Lips that’d haunted his every dream since he’d left. Her silky auburn hair whipped around in the warm breeze. Hair made to tickle his face as she hovered above him while making love. Gavin tried to breathe while his need for her snaked through every tense muscle in his body, culminating in a torturous, slow burn. His chest constricted with love, but anger at her boiled beneath his skin. A slow smirk curled his mouth. “You have permission from your husband to come see me? I never took Dillon for one who would grant his wife an open marriage.”

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