Phil shifted and cleared his throat. “No source of information. I guess it was just an assumption.”
Lisa’s eyes went wide, clearly confused by the conversation that’d taken place while getting their drinks.
Smiling at her sister, Emily shook her head, trying to stifle a bout of laughter threatening to erupt from her belly.
“That’s what I figured,” Gavin said, bringing his unrefined bottle of Budweiser to his lips. “So, what do you do for a living, Phil?”
Phil adjusted his tie, the uncomfortable set in his body palpable. “I own a real estate development company.”
Seated to Emily’s right at the head of the table, Michael swung his head in Emily’s direction, his voice low. “Phil’s a moron. Always has been and always will be. But I deal with him because I love your sister.” Emily nodded, admiring the way Michael always put Lisa’s feelings before his. “Gavin’s one badass motherfucker. I like him.”
With a light smile, Emily glanced at Gavin, who appeared to be paying attention to Phil detail how he started his company, but she knew the conversation was boring him. She swept her gaze back to Michael. “Yeah, he is. Thank you. I’m happy you approve.”
“How can I not?” Michael gave her arm a little nudge. “Besides the fact Lisa told me he dug into Dillon for what he did to you, you’re glowing, and I respect him for making you happy. I wish you two the best of luck.”
“Thank you, Michael.” Emily leaned over and popped a kiss on his cheek. “I appreciate that.”
As everyone ate, whether it was because Gavin had set him straight or because he simply didn’t try again, Emily enjoyed not having to listen to Phil act like an ass. The tension that’d started the evening disappeared, bleeding away into laughter. With Christmas music spurring through the air and good home-cooked food in their bellies, they all conversed easily. After clearing the table and bidding Phil an eager goodbye, Emily helped Lisa put the kitchen back in order as Gavin and Michael chatted it out about who would win tomorrow’s basketball game. Staying faithful to his New York roots and showing Michael his wiseass side, Gavin egged him on, saying that the New York Knicks were going to wipe the floor with the Lakers.
Needless to say, the two men agreed to disagree.
Feeling a yawn lurking, Emily decided to grab a hot shower before turning in for the night. She popped a kiss on top of Gavin’s head, left the two men to themselves, and laughed to herself when she heard Gavin mention something about his beloved Yankees beating her Birds. She dragged her luggage into the guest room, closed the door, and shook her head, sure he would never let her live that one down. As she hauled her suitcase onto the bed, she wondered how many times he would harass her over the course of the upcoming baseball season. She was positive it would be too many times to count. She just hoped her Birds would make a sweet comeback, making her harassment even sweeter.
After indulging in a long, hot shower, she towel dried her hair and slipped into soft cotton shorts and a tank top. When she emerged from the bathroom, not only did she find Gavin’s clothing strewed out across the bed, she also found the door to the balcony wide open. A breeze curled through the room, causing a shiver to prickle up Emily’s spine. Though it was Southern California, the evenings usually brought cooler temperatures. Pulling a chenille blanket from the queen-sized bed, she wrapped it around her body and made her way onto the balcony.
Sitting in an Adirondack chair, his bare feet perched on the iron railing, wearing a pair of shorts and a T-shirt, Gavin sipped on a beer as he watched the waves tumbling in the distance. Another shiver, one that didn’t have to do with the colder air, moved through Emily when Gavin turned. He caught her gaze, his blue eyes beckoning her in an instant. Longing lit up in the hard angles of his face.
Odd. She was no longer chilly.
After placing his beer on the ground, the glass clinking on the concrete, Gavin dropped his legs from the railing. Widening his knees, his smile was slow and deliciously sexy. Emily stepped between his thighs and crawled into his lap. She rested her back against his hard chest, curled the blanket over their bodies, her senses immediately drowning in the raw heat emanating from him.
Gavin pushed her hair away from her shoulder and lowered his mouth to the crook of her neck, his breath hot as he sucked lightly. “I’ve been waiting for you,” he whispered, his husky words telling Emily what she already knew. He was about to inhale her. Snaking his hands under her tank top, he ghosted them across her belly, sliding them upward, until he had both breasts cupped in his hands. “You like leaving me hanging, don’t you?”
Butterflies swarmed Emily’s stomach, her body quivering under his touch. “It’s the only control I have over you,” she breathed, her voice shaky. She could almost hear the smile on his face. She could definitely feel his growing erection pressing against her ass.
With his thumbs, he slowly stroked the swell of her breasts. “Do you want me to keep touching you?”
Nipples hard as pearls, Emily arched her back against his chest. She bit her lip as he nipped her shoulder. “We’re going to stay out here?” she asked. Her attention flew to the beach below them where a group of rowdy, apparently drunk teenagers were setting up a bonfire. “They might see us, Gavin.”
“It’s too dark up here. They won’t see anything,” he whispered. His low, primal voice vibrated over her skin as he twirled her nipples. Pinching them lightly, he licked behind her ear and pulled her tank top up over her head, dropping it beside them.
The cool night air danced across Emily’s bare chest. She tried to breathe, tried to think. Words entirely left her mind.
“Now answer my question,” he whispered, running his tongue up her neck. “Do you want me to keep touching you?”
She wanted him. Wanted him desperately. With each feather-light touch, she felt her core tighten, throbbing, begging to have any part of him inside her. Gavin pinched her nipples again, and she let out a soft moan. Desire won the battle of her embarrassment about possibly being caught, shattering any thought of not allowing this to happen. Suddenly hyperaware of her body, her cheeks flushed. “Yes,” she whispered, “I want you to keep touching me.”
“Tell me where you want me to touch you, Emily,” he commanded, his voice caressing her name.
“My pussy,” she managed to get out.
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t hear you. Can you repeat that?” he asked in a low growl, his hands grazing the sides of her ribcage.
Dear, God. His fingertips brushed fire against her skin, simmering heat deep within her belly. “My pussy,” she repeated, trying to keep the undertone of begging from her voice.
“You want me to touch that pretty pussy?” He hooked his thumbs in her shorts, the hard edge in his tone dripping with carnal need. “Is that what you want?”
“Yes,” she moaned, slightly lifting her ass, as he slipped her shorts and panties past her thighs. With her toes, she yanked them down, the blanket following behind them to the ground. To hell with not begging. She was beyond it at this point. She’d do anything he asked her. “God, Gavin, please. Please touch it.” The words tasted like chocolate-covered strawberries, sweet and delicious.