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Page 54

“I have not a clue what you’re talking about,” Emily replied with a furrowed brow.

“It seems you’re not as observant as I thought.” Emily stared at him blankly, and Gavin took the opportunity to dramatically roll his eyes. “The night we first played bottle caps on my balcony. You came out. I scared you. I said, ‘No. It’s Gavin. Gavin Blake.’”

“Oh my God. You’re such a geek,” Emily laughed, hugging him. “James Bond says it the other way around.” Emily deepened her voice, adding a British accent. “‘It’s Bond, James Bond.’”

Gavin frowned. His sexy bookworm was right. “Okay. You win. But it was still double O seven-ish.”

Still maintaining the British accent, Emily said, “Yes, it was. Kind of. Go ahead, Blake, Gavin Blake. It’s your turn.”

Yeah. Emily was definitely making him feel like a geek. Smiling, he shook his head. “Granite or marble?”

“Umm… granite.”

“Why did your answer sound like a question?”

“I don’t know.” Emily shrugged. Lately, he had a freakishly odd fascination with those types of questions. She figured he was just excited to get his architect magazines. “I don’t usually sit around thinking about stuff like that.”

Gavin kissed her, and although Emily shivered, he could tell it wasn’t his doing. She was getting cold. “I wouldn’t expect you to. Come on. We’ll go in now.”

She nodded.

Confident he’d taken Emily’s mind off his mother, Gavin turned the handle to find it was locked, so he rang the bell.

With a genuine, warm smile, Gavin’s father opened the door. He shook Gavin’s hand and pulled Emily in for a hug. Flicking his light blue eyes down to his watch, Chad closed the door. “You’re quite early. Your mother’s still at the grocery store picking up a few items for dinner.”

Gavin looked at Emily, the confused expression in her eyes alerting him she was onto him. She stared, scrutinizing his face as she searched for answers he wasn’t ready to give. He brought his attention back to his father, feeling like a fool caught in a web of lies. Clearing his throat, he helped Emily slip off her coat. “When I spoke to her earlier, I could’ve sworn she said five.”

“Nope. Seven fifteen.” Chad reached for Emily and Gavin’s coats and hung them in the foyer closet. “Bad hearing at your age is a sign of working long hours. You and your brother need a break.”

Grinning, Gavin crossed his arms. “Pop, I just got back from a break. I’m cool. Really.”

Chad shrugged, his tone holding nonchalance. “Eh, another can’t hurt. You’re young. Live it up.” Slapping Gavin’s back as he led them into the den, he let out a full, hearty chuckle. “Don’t tell your mother I said that, though.”

Gavin smirked, depositing himself and Emily onto the chenille sofa. “She’d put you on restriction from watching CSI if she knew you were trying to get me to play hooky.”

“She’d do worse than that, but I’d rather not go into details.” Smiling, he clapped once and looked at Emily. “I know you can’t have any liquor, but can I offer you something else? We have raspberry iced tea, water, and a few juices.”

“I’ll take a water, Mr. Blake. Thank you.”

With a loving gleam in his eyes, he smiled. “You’re part of our family now, so I insist on you not calling me Mr. Blake. Pop seems to be the cool name for me among my kids, including my daughter-in-law. You’re no different. Good?”

His acceptance of her and the situation spread warmth through Emily’s chest. In that moment, she understood where Gavin had acquired the charm and charisma he was born with. “Good. I’ll take a water, Pop.” The word felt foreign leaving her lips.

He shot her a wink and started for the kitchen. “Very good. I’m going to get the appetizers started. Son, a cold bottle of Sam Adams?”

“Yeah. That’ll work,” Gavin answered as his father disappeared around the corner. Sliding Emily’s hand over his lap, Gavin pushed her hair away from her neck and leaned into her ear. “You look beautiful.”

Turning to face him, she lifted a slow, suspicious brow. “Oh do I? I wouldn’t have thought so considering you didn’t want to fool around earlier.” She watched him gnaw at his bottom lip, his vibrant blue eyes revealing more than they should. For a second, her heart took a nosedive, her words falling from her mouth faster than she could comprehend. “I scheduled an appointment at a local gym with an instructor who helps pregnant women keep in shape. I won’t gain that much weight.”

Gavin reared back. “You think it has to do with your weight?”

“I’ve gained a few pounds. What else am I supposed to think? You’ve never turned down sex with me, Gavin. My hormones are raging right now, and yours… well, yours are usually no better than a teenage boy. You said you were sick last night, and then before, you just… didn’t want to. Admit you’re turned off.” Emily looked down, her voice trailing. “Oh, and nice try with the whole having to be here early excuse.”

Gavin took her face in his hands, gazing into her worried eyes. “My God, I could never be turned off by you, Emily. It’s taking everything in me to not hike up that skirt, bend your pretty body right over this couch, and plant myself so deep inside you, neither of us would know where the other begins or ends. Sex with you is a drug, and I’m a fucking addict. But hell if you aren’t the sweetest addiction there is to have.”

“Then what is it?” she breathed, trying to shoo away the vision of being bent over the couch. She was about to hike up her skirt and let him. She squeezed her eyes closed. Gavin holding her face so close to his wasn’t helping the hormone situation at all. Not. One. Bit.

Gavin hesitated, his voice low. “I’m… afraid of hurting you and the baby.”

Emily’s eyes flew open. “What? We’ve been having sex for the last couple of weeks. You weren’t worried then.”

“I know. But seeing the baby yesterday on the monitor somehow made it… real.” Sighing, he leaned back. “I’ll wind up hurting you. It’s impossible with the way you and I are during sex. We’re animals.”

Emily hooked her finger under his chin, bringing his gaze back to hers. “First of all, I like when you hurt me,” she whispered, her brow arched. “Second: Do you expect me to believe a man with your education can be so naïve regarding a woman’s body, pregnant or not? Third: You can’t hurt me or the baby. Couples have been having sex for billions of years while women were pregnant.”

Gavin smirked, dragging a hand through his hair. “First: When given permission, of course I like… pleasurably hurting you. Second: Yes, yes you can expect me to be so naïve regarding a woman’s pregnant body. The key word’s pregnant. Third”—he grinned and leaned into her ear—”never in a billion years have couples fucked the way we do. We break records. So with that, yes, I’m afraid of hurting you.”

Body heated, Emily sighed deeply, then moistened her lips. Her tongue was tingling to glide along Gavin’s lower abdomen. “Gavin—”

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