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Page 53

Seeing his girlfriend had no fucking idea they had a visitor, Gavin cleared his throat. He made sure it was loud enough to catch her attention.

Emily snapped her head up and gasped, gripping the towel barely covering her just-showered body. “Shit! I didn’t know he was here.” Both Gavin and Trevor chuckled. Doing an about-face, she darted down the hall, her bare feet slapping against the marble. “Hi, Trevor. Bye, Trevor!” she called out.

Trevor downed the last of his drink and smiled. “Hi, Emily. Bye, Emily.” After placing his glass in the sink, he walked over to Gavin. The two friends shook hands. “You’re a good man, bro. She’s always deserved someone like you. I hope this works out for you both. We’ll have a ton to celebrate, if so.”

Gavin nodded, swallowing back the evil instinct telling him the opposite would more likely be the scenario. After seeing Trevor out, he went to go check on the girl he hoped was carrying his child. He tapped on the bedroom door with his knuckles before tentatively sticking his head in. As he entered the room, he detected Emily’s jasmine perfume drifting through the air. It engulfed him, wrapping around his every male instinct.

But hell if he wasn’t at odds with a battle he never saw coming. When they’d returned home last night from the club, he began ravishing Emily, only to come to a screeching halt once he was inside her. Hovering above her, her panting driving him harder, it’d hit him like a ton of bricks that he could hurt her or the baby. The thought staggered him. In the middle of making love to the woman who owned his heart, he stopped. Cringing, he lied and said he didn’t feel well all of a sudden. He’d felt like a bigger jerk-off when she tried to soothe him to sleep with a comforting massage.

Sitting on the bed slipping on the missing black heels, Emily raised her eyes to his. She smiled, and as always, Gavin wanted to drown in it. Biting his bottom lip, he drank in what was his.

“Hi, you,” she purred. Standing, she moved toward him, her creamy, smooth flesh vibrant under her black, scoop-neck, silk blouse. He inhaled her hips swinging with feminine poise under a knee-length, gray twill skirt. With a seductive gleam flashing in her eyes, she slithered her arms around his neck. “You look edible.”

“Not as edible as you do,” Gavin countered, trying to mentally talk down his growing wood tenting his slacks.

“Well,” she whispered coyly, touching her lips to his ear, “we can enjoy dessert a little early and finish up what we didn’t get to complete last night. If I’m not mistaken, there’s whipped cream in the refrigerator. My makeup’s done. I’ll just pin my hair up and shower again if you’re unable to… lick it all off my body.”

Let the full-on battle begin. Gavin cleared his throat, backing away. He tossed a nervous hand through his hair and pulled open the closet door. “We have to leave soon,” he said in a strained rasp, the lie bitter on his tongue.

Taken slightly aback, considering he was just looking at her as though he was about to pin her to the bed, Emily sighed. Glancing at her watch, her lips turned down in a pout. “We have almost two and a half hours until we have to be there, Gavin. That’s more than enough time. We can skip the whipped cream and get right to it. I need to burn off some of this nervous, edgy energy about tonight.”

Fuck. He’d already played the “let’s see if we can cover every inch of Emily’s body with whipped cream” game with her. That alone was enough to give him blue balls just thinking about it. But an edgy, nervous Emily on top of him working off her stress put being in a strip club surrounded by twenty beautiful, naked women to shame.

Think, motherfucker, think. “My mother called and said dinner’s earlier. We need to leave… now. Get your coat, and I’ll meet you at the door.”

After yanking a pair of Zelli Mario dress shoes from a rack, Gavin shamefully sat on the bed as Emily’s pout deepened. After rolling her beautiful green eyes and crossing her arms over her luscious breasts, she turned on her heels and walked out of the room. Gavin’s chest ached with hollow longing, his heart growing heavier with each passing second. He shoved his feet into his shoes and stood, padding over to the mirror. Adjusting his tie, he stared at his reflection, sick to his stomach.

“You’re an asshole,” he mumbled under his breath. Sighing, he dug the keys from his pocket, hoping the car ride wouldn’t be as awkward as the evening itself.

An hour, and a not-so-awkward drive later, Gavin pulled into the driveway of his childhood oasis. Located just outside the city, the grand, Tudor-style home sat on the shores of Sheldrake Lake in the plush hills of Croton, New York. It was one of the few places Gavin always found reprieve. However, as the rich, crimson glow of the sky started to fade into darkness, Gavin wasn’t sure this evening would bring much peace. As Emily slipped from the car and reached for his hand, Gavin could tell her mood had shifted. His heart sank like a rock as he swallowed her up in his arms, cradling her protectively against his chest. Her body trembled with that all-too-recognizable fear Gavin had unfortunately come to know.

“I swear to you everything’s going to be all right, baby,” he whispered, pressing his lips against the top of her head. The promise came out as easy and instinctive as the love he had for her.

“I hope so,” she answered meekly, tears in her eyes when she looked at him. “It’ll kill me if your relationship with your mother becomes messed up by this.”

“I don’t want you worrying,” he said, tracing figure eights on the small of her back. “Everything’s going to be fine with my mother. My father knows how to work her. Thirty plus years of marriage does that.”

Emily gave a weak nod, wanting to believe him. She pulled in a slow breath and tangled her fingers in his as they began to climb the cobblestone steps up to the front door.

Gavin stopped, able to tell she was still a mess. “Twenty questions.”

“Now?” Emily asked, confusion jumping over her expression.

“Yes now. You need it.” Gavin circled his arms around her waist, pulling her into him. “I’ll make sure you’re not thinking about anything that has to do with my mother by the time I’m done with you.”

Emily shook her head, a light giggle escaping her lips. “Oh, there’s no doubt in my mind you’ll have me thinking about something else. Go ahead. I know you get to go first.”

A slow grin slid across Gavin’s mouth. He already knew the answer to his first question. Emily always had her face buried in one. “Books or movies?”

Emily rolled her eyes. “What do you think?”

“I have no idea.” Gavin shrugged, attempting to play stupid with his sexy bookworm. “That’s why I’m asking.”

“Books,” Emily sighed. “You’re not as observant as I thought.”

Gavin chuckled. “That all depends on what I’m observing.” He held Emily closer, enjoying that she looked somewhat annoyed. He’d definitely taken her mind off the mother situation. “Your turn.”

“Bond or Bourne?”

Gavin’s mouth twitched into a smirk. “As in James or Jason?”

“You’re a quick one.”

“I’m as quick as they come, sweets.” Gavin brushed his lips against hers. “And of course I’m a James Bond man. Remember? My balcony?”

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