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Page 52

Emily covered her face, trying to stifle a laugh.

A slow smile curled Fallon’s lips. “Well, I can guarantee you he has a dick and he knows how to use it.”

Olivia dried her hands with a paper towel. Once finished, she balled it up and chucked it at Fallon’s forehead, hitting her target dead on. Olivia snorted. “And I can guarantee you if he doesn’t bag all two inches of it, you’ll wind up with a little bun in the oven just like our friend here, except yours won’t be as cute and it’ll bitch just like his father. Wa-wa.”

Sighing, Emily rolled her eyes. “Enough with the pregnancy jokes, Liv.”

Olivia shrugged. “Well, it’s the truth. Your kid would definitely be cuter.” Pausing, Olivia pressed her lips in a hard line, her eyes squinting. “Wait. I take that back. If it’s Douchelord’s spawn, you’re in trouble. That’d be one ugly baby.”

While Fallon’s mouth dropped open, Emily’s parted in a gasp. “Olivia! How could you say that?”

“Emily, I speak the truth. Especially while I’m drunk. You’re golden if it’s Gavin’s, but if Dumbledick’s the baby daddy, I would look into giving it up for adoption. This whole ordeal’s already a clash of Maury Povich meets Jerry Springer for an all-out battle of ‘who’s got the most drama going on.’ Seriously, I love you. But honestly, I shudder thinking about what it’ll look like.”

Emily yanked her purse from the counter and zipped past Olivia.

Olivia grabbed her arm. “Wait! Emily, I’m sorry. In Deputy Dillhole’s defense, and you know I never defend him, I still think it’s wrong you and Gavin aren’t telling him about the pregnancy until you find out whose baby it is. It’s no secret I’m not his fan, but he could be the father. In the long run, if you don’t tell him and he is, it can look bad for you.”

Emily pulled in a slow, deep breath, attempting to calm her nerves. “You know what, Olivia? You’re drunk. In the last thirty seconds, you’ve called my child a spawn, told me it’s going to be ugly, and suggested adoption. You’re also giving your unwanted opinion as to how Gavin and I should handle telling or not telling Dillon. If you weren’t so trashed, you’d remember Gavin’s reasons for not wanting to tell him. You’d also remember my reasons for agreeing with him. Now if you’ll excuse me, friend, I’m leaving. You can go ahead and call me tomorrow after you’ve woken up with your nasty hangover.”

Emily exited the restroom feeling hurt, confused, and also burned on what was supposed to be an exciting night out with close friends. Change, in many wicked shapes and forms, was becoming the norm. Emily only hoped it wouldn’t tear her or Gavin away from people they cared for.

People she hoped still cared for them.


With the New York Times in one hand and a bottle of water in the other, Gavin’s thoughts were abruptly interrupted when the doorbell chimed through the air. He placed the water on the end table, stood from the couch, and glanced at his watch. He wasn’t expecting anyone, and he was pretty sure Emily wasn’t either. When he opened the door to see Trevor standing in the hall, he was shocked.

“Hey, bro.” Trevor rushed a hand through his hair. “Can you talk for a few?”

Gavin gave a halfhearted shrug, turning toward the kitchen. He heard Trevor close the door and took a seat at the island.

Rubbing the back of his neck, Trevor rounded the island and cleared his throat. “Is this a bad time? You look like you’re about to leave.”

“Emily and I are driving up to my parents’ house for dinner.” He answered with stiff coldness he wasn’t about to hide.

“Oh.” Trevor paused and looked around. Puffing out a heavy breath, he brought his eyes back to Gavin, his unease tangible. “Let them know I said hello.”

Gavin crossed his arms and nodded, wondering when Trevor would get to the point.

Staring at Gavin, he shook his head. “I’m sorry, man. You’re right. I should’ve come to get you. I fucked up a lot during all of this. That was just the last thing on a long list of things I should’ve done differently.” The cavernous, low timbre of his voice sounded scratchy, exhausted, and resigned. “I should’ve been by your side from the beginning, from the moment you told me you needed Emily right down to the second I watched the fucking asshole take a swing at you. I don’t know what else to say except if you don’t talk to me again, I understand why.”

Watching his friend sweat through an attempted amends, Gavin thought about the conversation he and Emily had before going to sleep last night. She’d verbally thrown him into a corner, bringing up his words from California. She reminded him he said she needed to forgive her mother for her wrong doings, and in their case, Trevor should be treated the same. “Forgive fast and forget even faster” were her exact words. Though he felt Trevor had made an already shitty situation worse and Gavin was still struggling with a sense of betrayal, he knew harboring ill feelings toward him wouldn’t be good for anyone. His friend was waving a white flag, and Gavin needed to consider this. Emily’s threats of beating his ass down gave him a little push as well. Trying to keep any lingering resentment from his eyes, Gavin stared at Trevor for a beat before reaching out his hand in a gesture of acceptance.

Trevor heaved in a deep, shaky breath and released it as he gripped Gavin’s hand in a firm shake. “Thanks, bro.” He gulped back a swallow. “I appreciate you not giving up on our friendship. It means a lot.”

Resting his arm on the back of a stool next to him, Gavin rolled his eyes, a crooked smile on his lips. “Enough with the sentimental shit. Any more, and I might have to buy you a girdle.”

Trevor shook his head and chuckled. After a moment, his grin faded, his features serious. “So, how are you doing with all of this? Seems like heavy shit for you both.”

“Yeah. It’s not something I expected, nor did Emily, but we’ll get through it.” Gavin eased out of his seat and swiped a bottle of scotch from the bar. He held it up, gesturing to Trevor, who nodded. After dropping some ice into glasses and pouring them both a shot, Gavin set Trevor’s in front of him. “I love her, and that’s all that matters.”

Trevor nodded. “What do your parents think?”

“Only my father knows,” Gavin answered, tossing back his drink. Swirling the empty glass, he stared at Trevor a second. Gavin zoned in on not only the sound of the ice clinking against the glass, but also his mother’s reaction when they would tell her this evening. “That’s the point of dinner.”

Trevor’s eyes barely widened, but Gavin could see the shock he was failing to hide. “What do you think she’s going to say?” Trevor asked.

Gavin shrugged. Not that he didn’t care what his mother thought, God knew he did, she meant the world to him. But his main focus was Emily and freeing her from any worry over the next several months. The situation was tough enough on her. The last thing he wanted was for her to suffer any physical effects of stress. He prayed his mother wouldn’t add to that by rejecting Emily. “I’m not sure what she’ll say. We’ll see, right?”

“Gavin, have you seen my black heels?” Emily’s voice echoed from the hall. Rounding the corner, her eyes were downcast as she secured a bracelet around her wrist.

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