With a smartass smirk brighter than she ever witnessed, Emily watched Gavin reach into the glove compartment and pull out the necessary documents. Handing them to her, he shot her a wink.
She rolled her eyes and looked at the officer peering down at her. “Um, I don’t have my license with me. I’m visiting from New York, and we left my sister’s house in a rush. I forgot to bring my purse.”
After examining the information she gave him, he slid his glasses from his face. “Is there a reason you thought it was okay to do 111 miles per hour on the freeway?”
“That’s my fault, officer,” Gavin piped up, inclining his body toward the driver’s side window. “I told her I was in dire, excruciating pain and needed to be examined by a nurse.” Gavin cleared his throat. “I mean a doctor. But I’m happy to say I’m feeling better now.”
With a suspicious eye, the trooper glared at Gavin for a long second. “I need your social so I can run a check for a license,” he said, looking back to Emily.
She gave him the digits and nervously glanced in the rearview mirror as he walked to the patrol car.
Still standing on the passenger side, the younger trooper leaned in the window. “So you’re a Yankees fan?” he asked, his eyes pinned on Emily. “I’m from the Bronx. Nothing beats a Yanks game at home.”
“I’m not a Yankees fan, but my boyfriend is,” she answered, shifting in her seat. The small talk soothed her nerves slightly.
The trooper furrowed his brows. “You’re not? Your plates say otherwise.”
Now Emily furrowed her brows as she looked to Gavin. “And what would my plates say, Gavin?”
Smile full-toothed and wide, Gavin cupped the back of her neck. “Ah. You must’ve missed that while we were in the garage.” He chuckled, running his fingers through her hair. “I had them shortened up to say ‘New York Yankees Lover.’ Emblem and all. I have to admit, they look pretty cool.”
Palming her cheek, Emily looked down and laughed. “A living, breathing, walking wiseass.”
“You left out shmexy,” Gavin clipped.
Before Emily could toss him her own wiseass remark, the older officer returned. “Okay. Your New York license checked out. I need to issue you a correctable violation for not having it with you, though. Just bring the ticket and your license to any station in the San Diego area, and it should get dismissed. Sign your name by the X.” Emily nodded, and he handed her a white slip. After scribbling her name on it, she gave it back. He ripped the yellow carbon copy off from underneath, once again repeating the process of paper exchanging.
“Seeing you look like a nice girl and I don’t want to do the paper work, I’m not going to arrest you. Which I could, considering how fast you were driving. But you’re getting a speeding ticket for doing forty-six miles per hour over the posted speed limit. It could carry a fine up to $1,000 and a possible thirty-day suspension of your license.” The trooper paused, hunched over, and looked into the car. Though his glare was aimed at Gavin, his statement was directed at Emily. “I suggest you rethink your speed the next time the gentleman next to you tells you he’s sick.”
Emily nodded, holding in a sigh of relief. “I will. Thank you, officer.”
He gave a curt nod. After the two troopers walked away, Gavin busted out laughing, slapping his knee.
Emily pulled onto the freeway, mindful of her speed. “I can’t believe you’re laughing,” she said, trying to keep herself from doing the same.
Running his hand through his hair, Gavin popped a smile. “Your face was absolutely priceless.”
“Bet you wish you had a camera.”
“Sweets, you have no idea what I would’ve done for one.”
Once again, Emily rolled her eyes. Though it took double the amount of time to make it back to her sister’s house, because she was driving as Gavin would refer to as “like his grandmother,” nonetheless they arrived. This time, less… heated than when they began their trip. After hopping from the car, Emily glanced at the tags. Sure enough, Gavin had the letters NYYLVR put on the plates.
Upon entering the foyer, after dowsing her Yankees lover with a few kisses, Emily heard Michael hooting out that the Knicks had their shit handed to them by the Lakers. Now it was her turn to bust out laughing. Gavin playfully swatted her ass and made his way into the living room. Shaking her head, she started for the kitchen and found Lisa pulling a honey glazed ham from the oven. The second the savory smell hit Emily’s nose, a lurch of nausea hit her. It coiled and simmered, stopping her dead in her tracks. Her eyes glassed over as she curled one arm around her middle, the other cupped over her mouth.
“Are you all right?” Lisa asked, placing the ham on a cooling rack. “You don’t look so good.”
Another whiff and Emily was done for. Turning on her heel, she belted through the kitchen, nearly tripping over a stool next to the island. She barely made it into the lower level bathroom, and she didn’t have time to close the door. She slid onto her knees in front of the toilet. With another twisting lurch scraping though her gut, Emily pulled back her hair, her body viciously releasing the hearty breakfast and lunch she’d enjoyed earlier. Her throat burned hot from the acrid taste. She gasped for air, choking as she heaved.
“My God, Emily!” Lisa ran into the bathroom, helping Emily hold her hair.
“The door,” Emily croaked. “Close the door.”
As Lisa closed it, Emily pulled herself from the floor, her nerves shot from her body’s sudden reaction. Hunched over the sink, she flipped on the cold water and slipped her hands under it.
“What the heck was that?” Lisa asked, her eyes wide.
Emily shook her head and sipped water from her hands. As it slid down her throat, easing the fiery burn, she shook her head again. “I have no idea,” she breathed. “I came in, and the smell of the ham made me sick.”
Lisa leaned against the wall, her arms crossed. “This isn’t the first time you’ve felt sick recently.”
Reaching for a hand towel, Emily dried her face. “Right. I’ve been under a lot of stress, Lisa.” She tossed the hand towel onto the vanity and whipped open the medicine cabinet. “Do you have an unused toothbrush?”
“Not in there. Underneath the sink.”
Ducking, Emily pulled open the cabinet. After rummaging through a small basket, she found the pack. Quickly opening it, she stood, snatched the toothpaste, and squirted some onto the bristles. She shoved it into her mouth and plowed the brush over her teeth, wanting to remove the nasty taste.
“I know you’ve been under a lot of stress, Emily, but did it ever occur to you,” Lisa paused, placing her hand on Emily’s shoulder, “that you might be pregnant?”
Staring at her sister’s reflection, Emily immediately stopped brushing. She pulled the brush from her mouth and turned around. “No. Why would I even think that? I’m on the pill.”
“Have you kept up with it?”
Emily sighed, rinsed her mouth, and shut off the water. “Yeah, I think I have.”
“You think you have?” Lisa scoffed. “The pill only works when you take it on a regular basis. When’s the last time you had your period?”