Pulse / Page 18

Page 18

“No. You thankfully intercepted that train wreck when you showed up.”

She let out a sigh of relief. “So you won’t have any children running around in Mexico. Thank God.”

Gavin watched her expression ease, and fuck if it didn’t seize his heart in a single second. Bringing her face closer to his, he ran the pad of his thumb across her lips. “No. I won’t have any children running around in Mexico because I used protection with someone you didn’t intercept.” He paused, his eyes searching hers. Emily bit her lip and nodded. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, his voice riddled with guilt.

Emily swept her gaze over his face and found nothing but regret. Guilt of her own tripped through her stomach, knowing she was the reason for it. As she searched her mind for a way to free him from his remorse, to show him it didn’t matter to her, a devious smile crept up the corners of her mouth. Sitting up, she straddled his lap, pinned his hands behind his head, and brushed her lips against his. Staring at him, she spoke against his mouth. “Gavin Blake, I love you so much, it’s literally dangerous to us both. You know that?”

He cocked an incredulous brow. “Dangerous?”

“Very,” she purred, raining kisses along his jaw.

Freeing his hands from her hold, Gavin threaded his fingers through her hair. A grin touched his mouth. “Mmm, I like a naughty Emily. You can be as dangerous as you want to with me.”

Emily’s stomach rolled with heat as Gavin brought her down to his lips. While kissing him, she heard Gavin’s stomach roll with a growl of hunger. She laughed. “Hungry?”

“What?” he asked innocently. He turned on his megawatt smile.

“Okay, I’m not deaf, Blake.” She leaned over and flipped on a lamp. “Either you’ve caught a bug while here in Mexico, or you’re hungry.” After pulling a menu from the nightstand drawer, she handed it to him. “I’m praying for the latter.”

Gavin barked out a laugh and then slowly sobered. “What is that?” He slid his thumb over her eyebrow and placed the menu on the bed.

Emily’s stomach plummeted. She felt all kinds of sick as she curled her hand around Gavin’s wrist, pulling it away from the spot where Dillon hit her. Panic set in, but she covered it up with a smile. “Oh, that? It’s nothing. I was at work, I bent over to pick up something from behind the bar, and I slammed my head against the countertop.”

Gavin sat up, snaked one arm behind her back, and lifted the other to her brow again. He studied it for a second. Something in Emily’s tone didn’t sit right with him. He shifted his eyes to hers. “It happened at work, huh?”

“Yes, Gavin,” she said, mustering up all the confidence she had left. “My moment of grace happened at work. Luckily the place was empty, or I would’ve been even more embarrassed.” She plucked the menu from the bed and started looking over it. “So what are you in the mood for? They have everything from burgers to filet mignon.” She swung her legs off him, pulled the sheet around her body, and stood to go to the bathroom. “Just order me the chicken Caesar salad.”

Emily flipped on the light switch and closed the door. Leaning against it, she drew in a breath, hoping she’d successfully pulled off the lie gnawing away at her. This wasn’t the way she’d wanted to start off with Gavin. Not even close. Keeping anything from him bit at her conscience. However, visions of Gavin going after Dillon tightened her chest, and Dillon’s threats the night of her rehearsal dinner screamed loud in her ears. With that, she settled the internal battle. She was protecting Gavin and wouldn’t say a word about what’d happened that morning. Emily turned the handle to exit the bathroom. On the other side, she found Gavin with his arms crossed, leaning against the doorjamb. His probing blue eyes made her heart lurch into her throat. Though her nerves skyrocketed, she couldn’t keep her gaze from sweeping over his naked form. The utter masculine perfection of his solid body had her instantly breathing faster, unconsciously biting her lip.

“You startled me.” She pushed up on her tiptoes and planted a kiss on his cheek. “But I’ve always known you were a stalker.” She feigned playful and draped her arms around his neck, but his stare was all over her, as if he was waiting for her to tell him the truth. All she wanted to do was ‘fess up, but she wouldn’t. “Speaking of stalker, how did you get a key to the suite?” Emily knew it was a poor attempt at a subject change, but she was grasping at anything to keep Gavin’s attention from Dillon.

“I called Colton from my house and told him to add my name to the reservation.” Gavin leaned down and brushed his lips against her forehead. “So, what happened the night you left him?”

Emily swallowed back the bile rising in her throat and clenched the sheet to her chest. She looked at him from beneath her lashes. “Nothing really happened.”

Gavin pulled back, his expression tight with skepticism. “Nothing? He just let you walk out the door and didn’t say a word?”

She grappled for an answer as she crossed the room. Sinking onto the bed, she slid a stare back at him and shrugged. “Yes. I left his townhouse after he fell asleep, stopped by your place, and then went back to my apartment. He came over the morning of the wedding, and we got into an argument. In the middle of it, my sister and her husband showed up, and Michael made him leave. That’s it.”

Forehead creased, Gavin palmed the back of his neck and stepped closer. “And he hasn’t bothered you at all?”

“No, he hasn’t.” One truth she could admit. Shockingly, other than Joan calling to bitch her out after bailing Dillon out of jail, Emily hadn’t seen or heard from him since the cops dragged him out of her apartment.

Gavin closed the distance and knelt in front of Emily. His hands glided effortlessly under the sheets to grip her waist. “You would tell me if anything had happened, right?”

Nearly paralyzed by her lie, Emily struggled against tears. She lifted her hand to his face, cradled his cheek, and nodded. “Of course I would,” she whispered.

Rubbing his thumbs in slow circles on her skin, he closed his eyes. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there when you told him. You shouldn’t have had to do it on your own.”

“Gavin, no,” she choked out, standing. She buried her hands in his hair and pulled his face to her stomach. Looking down at him, guilt thudded through her heart as she watched him kiss her flesh. He clenched her waist tighter, his mouth urgent. His guilt seared her stomach. “Please, Gavin, I was fine. You thought I’d married him. Please don’t do this to yourself.” Emily sank down on his lap and wrapped her legs around his waist.

“I’m so fucking sorry, baby.” Gavin kissed her deeper as he scooted back against the nightstand. “I shouldn’t have left. We said we were going to tell him together.”

Emily tore her mouth from his and took his face in her hands. Tears broke loose as she stared into his eyes. “Please stop,” she begged. Heat whipped over her flesh as she fitted his heavily veined dick between her wet folds. A paradox of the worst kind splintered through her as she relished feeling him inside her. Blinding and beautiful, in that moment, Gavin owned her and she owned him, yet guilt held them both captive, its chains heavy, exhausting.

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