Collide

By: Gail McHugh

Chapter Ten

Just a Lil’ Bit

“God, Em, could you hog the mirror anymore?” Olivia nudged her hip against Emily’s in an attempt to see her own reflection. “You look banging. Now let me see myself.”

Emily teased her fingers through her hair, trying to give it a little more bounce without unnecessary amounts of hairspray. “You’re in my bathroom, friend. Go use yours.”

Letting out a sigh, Olivia frowned. “But I like yours better; now scoot,” she clipped, jerking her hip against Emily’s with more force this time. “Besides, your friend’s waiting in the other room for us, so don’t be rude. I’ll be done in a second, and then we can go party until we drop!”

Laughing, Emily shot herself one last look in the mirror and strolled out of the bathroom. She plucked her outfit for the evening off the bed. After slipping into a short black twill skirt and a red short-sleeved button-up blouse, she threw on a pair of black heels and called out to Olivia for approval.

She playfully spun around, modeling her attire.

“You look like a sex kitten,” Olivia trilled.

Emily smiled and made her way into the living room.

Fallon jumped up from the couch, her gray eyes wide. “Damn, Emily, you clean up well.”

Placing her hands on her hips, Emily smirked. “I’ll take that as a compliment.”

“Yeah, Country, it’s a compliment.” She tossed her red-and-stark-white-streaked hair over her shoulder. “The only clothing I’ve seen you in is that horrid black-and-white uniform that they make us wear.”

“Well, thank you, Fallon,” Emily laughed. “For another horrid black-and-white-wearing-uniformed waitress, you don’t look too bad yourself. I would never be able to pull off fishnet stockings like you can.”

Fallon’s mouth curled wickedly as she propped her leg onto the coffee table. “These old things? Damn, if I could live in a fishnet bodysuit, I would. Though I usually don’t care what people think, society wouldn’t consider that very proper, would they?”

Emily shook her head and laughed. “I’m thinking you might be right about that.”

Olivia emerged from the bedroom, sporting a red dress and matching heels. Her hair was pulled up off her shoulders, and the dress hugged her hourglass physique like a glove. After twirling herself around for Emily and Fallon, she made her way into the kitchen, pulled out three shot glasses from the cabinet, and topped each one off with a heavy dose of tequila.

“Come on, ladies,” Olivia squealed. “Let’s do a couple of mind-fuckers before we hit the club.”

The three women indulged in a shot, each of them excited for a much-needed night out on the town. After they downed a second “mind-fucker,” a quick knock came at the door, followed by Dillon walking in.

“Why even bother knocking, Douche?” Olivia asked, rolling her brown eyes. Emily elbowed her in the gut. “I mean, Dillon, of course,” she huffed out from the impact.

Dillon pinned Olivia with an icy grin, and then his eyes flicked over Fallon. He looked back to Emily with a quizzical look on his face. “What are you doing? I thought you were hanging out with me tonight?”

Smiling, Emily moved across the room and tossed her arms around his neck. “No, I told you the other day that I was doing a girls’ night out with Fallon and Olivia.”

Dillon lightly gripped her hips and leaned into her ear, his voice low. “Can I talk to you in the other room for a second?”

Emily nodded, and he swiftly grabbed her by the hand, leading her into her bedroom. He snapped the door shut and crossed his arms.

“What the fuck is that out there?” he whispered.

“What are you talking about?”

“That fucking space cadet, Goth-looking freak in the black leather shirt and skirt,” he answered, stepping closer. “Jesus Christ, she’s wearing a fucking spiked neck collar, Emily. She has piercings on her lip, nose, eyebrow, and who fucking knows where else on her body?”

Emily let out a groan as she moved toward the door, but he blocked her and grabbed her arm. She looked up to him. “Are you really going to start with me about her? She’s a nice girl, Dillon. Who cares what she looks like?”

“If my girlfriend’s going out with it, I care what it looks like.” He tilted his head to the side, his eyes narrowed. “What kind of attention do you think she’s going to bring, looking like that?”

Emily yanked her arm away from him. “I’m not worried about what kind of attention she’s going to bring,” she whispered in a heated tone.

He plowed his hands through his hair. “Well, what kind of attention do you think you’re going to bring, wearing that?”

“I’m not doing this with you tonight, Dillon. I swear I’m not,” she answered in a low and hostile voice, attempting once again to move past him.

He grabbed her by the waist. “Okay, okay. I’m sorry. You look beautiful.” He nuzzled his nose against her cheek as he lifted her arms up over his shoulders. “Which club are you going to?”

Emily let out a sigh. “Pink.”

“On 52nd?”

“Yes.”

“Alright, I’ll call a few of the guys from my office and go do something with them tonight.” He pulled her closer and pressed his lips to hers. “You owe me one for this.”

She spoke against his mouth. “I told you about tonight, Dillon.”

He let out a low groan as he sucked in her bottom lip. “I must’ve forgotten about it. I’ve been working late again with this new account—you know this.” He smoothed his hands down her waist. “What time are you going to be back?”

“I’m not sure,” she said, wiggling out from his embrace. “But I have to go. They’re waiting for me.”

He pulled her in for another kiss and then walked back to the kitchen with her. Emily quickly introduced him to Fallon. With her eyes, she warned him not to say anything to embarrass either of them. He simply smiled, but Emily could tell he was still displeased with the whole situation.

After the women gathered their belongings for the evening, he followed them outside, hailed a taxi, and paid the driver for their ride.

He ducked his head through the back window. “Not too late, okay? We’re having lunch with my parents tomorrow.”

Emily nodded and leaned up to kiss him. With that, the driver pulled away.

“Your boyfriend’s…nice?” Fallon said while her fingers moved over the keyboard of her phone like a well-oiled machine.

Olivia laughed but tried to hide it by covering her mouth.

“Thank you, Fallon,” Emily drawled the words out as her eyes traveled to Olivia. “He can be a little overprotective sometimes, but he’s a good man.”

As Olivia laughed again—this time without trying to conceal it—Fallon gasped. “Oh shit! A friend of mine’s having a house party in Staten Island tonight.” She continued to frantically text away. “His pad is incredible, and he throws killer parties. Let’s go there instead.”

“I’m down for whatever,” Olivia replied, rummaging through her purse. She glanced in Emily’s direction. “Is that cool with you?”

“Aren’t we all a little overdressed for a house party?”

Fallon pulled a flask from her bag, unscrewed the top, and took a sip. She shook her head. “No, believe me, it’s an anything-goes party.” She handed Emily the flask. “Here, it’s my specialty.”

Emily took it from her and smelled its contents. “What is it?”

“Just take a sip, Em,” Olivia piped up. “You’re always worried about how much you drink.”

“I’m already a little buzzed from those tequila shots, and I had some wine while I was getting ready.” They both shot her a look, waiting for her to drink it. “Okay, fine.” She took one last whiff of the liquid and chugged some back. She started to cough and tried to blink back the stinging tears in her eyes. “What the hell is that?”

Fallon’s eyes brightened with silent laughter. “Moonshine, baby.”

“Oh, hell yeah,” Olivia chirped and reached for the flask. “I had this once when I was in high school.” She tossed some back, her face crinkling from its taste as she wiggled her head back and forth.

“Okay, so are we going to my friend’s party?” Fallon laughed.

Emily shrugged. “Let’s do it.”

After redirecting the driver to their new destination, they pulled up to a swanky three-story townhouse in the Todt Hill area of Staten Island thirty minutes later. Olivia paid the driver the difference, and the women slipped out from the taxi, each a little wobbly from the moonshine. From the street, the music hammered out of the closed windows, vibrating the ground beneath Emily. With a hiccup, she laughed as they made their way up the stairs and into the house.

Multiple towers of speakers stood in every corner of the downstairs level, amplifying the noise to the point where Emily could barely hear herself think. Her eyes scanned the party, and she realized that Fallon wasn’t kidding. It definitely was an “anything-goes” gathering. From people sporting casual attire to others dressed like they were headed to prom to girls wearing practically nothing while gyrating against one another, the crowd was a mixed array of every type of partygoer.

Chain-linking hands, Emily, Olivia, and Fallon snaked their way through the throng of a hundred or so people, ultimately finding the owner of the home, Fallon’s friend, Jacob.

After hugging him hello, Fallon yelled over the music. “Jakey, this is Emily and Olivia.”

Without saying a word, he smiled widely and picked each of them up off their feet, hugging them as if he had known them for years. Once he placed them down, Emily and Olivia burst out laughing hysterically.

“Welcome to mi casa, ladies,” he flashed a smile, his voice booming. “Alcohol’s in the kitchen; free lap dances from some of the hottest strippers in New York are located in the downstairs den; pool table’s to the rear of the house; bathrooms are strategically placed on each level; and if you decide to get a little out of control with someone, bedrooms with king-sized beds in each are plentiful on the second and third floors.” He said it all in one breath.

“Fuckin’-A, cool,” Olivia smirked. “You have strippers here?”

Running a hand through his carrot-colored hair, he smiled devilishly. “They come in droves to my parties.”

Olivia grabbed for Emily and Fallon’s hands. “Shots are needed in my system right about now, chicks.” She turned back to Jake and gave him a wink. “Thanks, bud.”

He nodded and disappeared into the crowd.

The women dodged multiple dancing bodies, a guy running around with underwear on his head while a topless girl chased after him, and several couples making out. Eventually, they made their way into the kitchen where a fully stocked bar awaited each of them.

After consuming two more shots of tequila, they headed out to the backyard to partake in an hour-long game of flip cup. Using Captain Morgan as her preferred liquid, Emily’s head was pleasantly fuzzy to say the least.

Walking back into the house with Olivia at her side, she leaned up against a wall. “Olivia,” she slurred. “I’m pretty…”

“I know you’re pretty, Em,” Olivia chirped, her own words slurring. “But stop bragging about it.”

Slowly shaking her head, Emily laughed. “No…you didn’t let me finish, bitch.” Her head lolled to the side. “I’m trying to—” she hiccupped, “tell you that I’m pretty—” hiccup, “drunk right now.”

“So am I, chick,” she laughed and snorted like a pig.

Emily shook her head again. “No, but I—” hiccup, “am pretty sure that I’m seeing things, too.” She pointed her finger toward the front door as her eyes squinted in its direction. “Look. Those two guys—” hiccup, “that just walked in look like Gavin and Trevor.”

Olivia let out a laugh. “You silly girl, you’re not seeing things. It is Gavin and Trevor.”

Emily looked adorably confused as she peered at the two blurry images headed straight for them. “You’re joking with—” hiccup, “me, right? How would they know—” hiccup, “that we’re at this house?”

Olivia bit her lip. “Since I know that you’re digging Gavin—as a friend, of course,” she quickly added, swaying from side to side. “I decided to call my brother, knowing he was hanging out with Gavin tonight.” She gave Emily an innocent frown. “I told Trevor an itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny lie to get them to come out here.”

Before Emily could inquire about this little lie, Gavin and Trevor approached them, both of their faces filled with concern.

Gavin placed his hands on Emily’s shoulders. “Are you alright?” His eyes automatically roved over her body as if assessing if she were hurt.

She stared at him silently with a blank expression on her face.

“Well, where the fuck is he?” Trevor asked Olivia, clenching his hands into fists.

“Calm down, brother,” Olivia laughed. “He was tossed out already.”

Trevor’s eyes traveled to Emily. He lifted her chin and moved her head back and forth. “How bad did the guy hurt you?”

Now she had Gavin’s hands on her shoulders and Trevor’s fingers under her chin. Speechlessly glaring at Olivia with a confused what-the-hell-did-you-tell-them stare, Emily…hiccupped.

Olivia grabbed Trevor’s arm away from her. “He didn’t hurt her. She was just getting her dance on with the dude, and he got a little frisky. Like I said, the owner got rid of him.”

Gavin took a step back and dropped his hands from Emily’s shoulders. “Liv, you said the guy smacked her.”

Olivia buried her face in her cup. “Did I say that?” she laughed.

“Yes, Olivia. You made it sound like she got bitch-slapped and tossed to the ground,” Trevor barked.

Fallon stumbled over and interrupted what was about to become a public sibling argument. She studied Gavin for a second. “Hey, you’re the guy from the restaurant that I asked Emily to give my number to.”

He smiled. “Yeah, that would be me, I guess.”

Fallon returned the smile and flicked her eyes in Trevor’s direction. If it were possible, her smile widened even more. “And who might you be?”

“I’m this over-exaggerator’s older brother,” he pointed to Olivia and then returned his attention back to Fallon. “And who might you be?”

“I’m a girl who’s really into cute guys with blonde hair and glasses.”

“Nice…I fit that description,” Trevor smiled. “And I’m a guy who’s into a pretty girl who speaks her mind. Wanna dance?”

Fallon grabbed his hand, threading his fingers with hers, and led him into the living room. Trevor turned back to Gavin, giving him a thumbs-up.

Gavin laughed.

“Soooo,” Olivia drawled, a smirk playing on her face. “I’m just gonna go get a lap dance. I’ll see you two later.” She disappeared into the crowd, her laugh echoing over the music.

Gavin smiled at Emily. He noticed the telltale-glazed sheen in her eyes, denoting that she had a little too much to drink. “Well, you look like you’re feeling pretty good right about now.”

She stepped closer and tilted her head up to look at him. “Has anyone ever told you that you’re very shmexy?”

“Shmexy?” He laughed, expecting an answer and not a question. He certainly didn’t expect that question. “Don’t you mean sexy?”

“Nope, there’s shmexy, and there’s sexy. And you, my friend, are shmexy.”

He cocked a brow, her throaty phone-sex voice arousing him almost instantly. “Mmm, which is better?”

“Shmexy.”

“Well, thank you. You’re pretty shmexy, if I must say so myself.”

She grabbed his hand and started walking toward the kitchen. “Come do a shot with me, Gavin.”

“You haven’t had enough to drink already?”

Coming to an abrupt stop, Gavin’s chest collided against her back. She spun around and stumbled into him as he grabbed her waist to steady her. “Has anyone ever told you that you have the most amazing, gorgeous, and shmexy blue eyes?”

“What’s with all of these questions, pal?” he asked quite amused.

“We’re friends, and friends ask questions.”

He cautiously moved her hair behind her shoulders and smiled. “Yes, I’ve been told that I have nice eyes.”

“No, they’re not just nice,” she hiccupped. “They’re…” She paused, wetting her lips. “They’re bedroom eyes.”

“So I’m shmexy, and I have bedroom eyes, huh?”

Nodding, she laced her hand with his again and dragged him into the kitchen. Standing in front of the spectacular choice of alcohol, she plucked a red plastic cup from the towering stack and handed it to him.

“What’s your poison, shmexy bedroom-eyes man?”

Crossing his arms, Gavin studied her for a moment. “I think I’m going to hold off on drinking for right now.”

Her eyes widened as she swayed back and forth. “What? No, you’re doing a shot with me.” She brushed her fingertips across his cheek. “Come on, pretty please?”

Never mind the cute girlish way she asked, her soft fingers still lingering on his face had him second-guessing his original gut feeling not to drink with her, considering she was pretty drunk. He swallowed.

“Just one.”

She beamed a smile. “Okay, back to my question. What’s your poison?”

“I’ll take that bourbon,” he gestured to a bottle of George T. Stagg with his head.

“This one?” she asked, holding it up.

He nodded and handed her his cup.

She started filling it—and kept on filling it.

“Whoa, wait a minute, killer,” he laughed and took the cup from her. Walking over to the sink, he poured three-quarters of it out. “This should be enough for now.”

She mouthed the word “boring” to him and once again clasped her hand in his, tugging him into the frenzied living room.

“Dance with me,” she rasped, looking into his eyes with a seductive smile curling her lips.

“Nah, I’m just going to chill right here,” he motioned to a couch filled with people equally as out of it as she was. He smiled. “You go ahead. I’ll just sit back and watch with blatant male appreciation.”

She lifted her chin in defiance. “Pfft, your loss, buddy.”

He laughed and watched her wiggle her way through the crowd where she eventually found Trevor and Fallon still going at it. Gavin could see her gazing at him. Her hair, hanging wildly, created a tumultuous auburn curtain that swayed as her body moved provocatively to the music. It took everything he had not to stand up from the couch and pull her into his arms. But he knew that dancing with her in the state she was in, along with his increasingly aroused frame of mind, would be deadly to them both. She was definitely putting on a show for him though. She backed herself against Fallon’s chest and caressed her hands down her waist. Trevor’s eyes widened at the display, but nonetheless, he positioned himself behind Fallon, grinding his hips against her ass.

Emily’s eyes caught Gavin’s again as she gestured with her fingers for him to join her. He narrowed his eyes and cocked his head to the side, pretending to be confused as he pointed to himself. Smiling, she nodded her head. He mouthed the word “no” and pointed to some girl passed out next to him. Although he couldn’t hear her, Emily laughed, a smile beaming ear to ear as she continued to grind her backside against Fallon.

Gavin’s attention broke from Emily’s for a second when the incoherent girl beside him abruptly sat up and decided that the pillow she was laying on would be the perfect spot to throw up. One of her friends, who witnessed the disgusting scene, dragged the girl from the couch and helped her to the bathroom. Standing from the couch, Gavin moved across the living room, skillfully dodging several drunken people as they clung to one another in order to remain upright.

He leaned against the wall and scanned the crowd for Emily. When he spotted her, Trevor and Fallon weren’t with her. Their replacement was some guy with his hands moving down her waist, his eyes undressing her, his mouth in her ear—wait—now it was on her neck. Gavin evaluated her with the stroke of his eyes, and she seemed to be content with what was happening—but Gavin wasn’t. A surge of jealousy slithered its way through his body, and within a few strides, he was next to Emily. With the rigid set of his shoulders, a muscle working in his jaw, and his blue eyes filled with lethal calmness, Gavin pinned the other man with a glare. He didn’t say a word, but he didn’t have to because the drunk got the point and backed away slowly.

“You’ve come to dance with me,” Emily breathed out, her skin glistening with sweat. Without warning, she slid her hands across Gavin’s taut muscular chest and then wrapped them around his neck. She drew his face down to hers. “I like dancing with shmexy guys.”

With their faces inches apart, a rush of adrenaline-spiked heat coursed through Gavin’s veins. His lips tingled in anticipation as he gazed at the curvature of Emily’s plump lips, remembering how they felt plastered against his. He tried—God knows he tried—to keep his hands off her, but he couldn’t. He found them gliding slowly down her waist, lingering as he hooked his thumbs in the waistband of her skirt. He pulled her closer, reveling in the way her sweat felt against his skin.

It was Emily’s turn to drag her lip through her teeth as her eyes bore into his with pure unadulterated lust. The pulsing music and the feel of his hard arousal pressed against her stomach fueled her further. She didn’t know if he heard it, but a soft moan wisped past her lips. She turned around, arched her back against his chest, and tilted her neck up. Her head barely reached his shoulder. Slowly—so slowly—he pulled her arms around his neck. As her fingers tangled in his hair, he smoothed his hands down the curve of her elbows, skimmed the side of her breasts, and ultimately settled back on her waist. With their bodies moving in sync to 50 Cent talking about “Just A Lil’ Bit,” Emily felt her heart trip over itself when Gavin grazed his lips against the shell of her ear.

Now she wanted to turn back around and face him to see his beautiful eyes and soak in every inch of his delectable body, but when she attempted to, he held her in place. He was teasing her, and she knew it. His touch left searing heat with every inch that made contact with her sensitive flesh. It left her wanting—no, craving—more. His attention was fast becoming an addiction to her that she didn’t think she could ever get enough of. If “Mother Nature” wasn’t calling her name, she would’ve stayed in that position with him the entire night.

Quickly turning to face him, she stared into his eyes. “I have to use the bathroom,” she said, the words coming out as breathless as she anticipated they would.

“I’ll take a walk with you,” he replied, wiping a thin sheen of sweat from his brow.

“You don’t have to.”

He smiled at her almost questioningly. “I’m not letting you wander through this mayhem alone.”

She playfully flexed her bicep. “Really, I’m a tough girl.”

“Well, you’re a beautiful tough girl, so I would feel better making sure you don’t get mauled on your way to relieve some of that alcohol out of your system.”

She casually shrugged. “I guess you have a point.”

He led her gently by the elbow to one of the bathrooms located on the first floor. With the long line wrapping its way through the kitchen, they decided to try one of the others available on the second level. Emily peered at the mountain of stairs with a look of grief. Gavin smiled at her reaction and helped her climb her way to the top. To her dismay, the line for that bathroom was longer. Gavin let out a full throaty laugh at the look on her face. She shook her head and explained there was a third level that supposedly had more bathrooms. As he did before, he helped her up the stairs. With no line at all and the top level essentially empty, Emily was in and out within two minutes.

When Emily emerged, she found Gavin leaning against the wall, his eyes locking on hers as she walked over to him.

Mocking his position, she stood next to him, their shoulders barely brushing. She turned her neck to look up at him. “Thank you for making sure I didn’t get attacked on my way up here.”

Pushing himself off the wall, Gavin stepped directly in front of her—so close that he could feel the heat emanating from her body. “Not a problem. Are you ready to go back downstairs?”

Tempting her own destruction, she shook her head. The sounds from the music and party going on below faded away. Other than her own quick breathing, Emily could hear only his voice, see only his eyes, and feel only his hot breath feathering her cheeks.

Gavin could feel the emotions filtering through her eyes. Lust. Desire. Want. Need. All of which mirrored his own. He stepped closer still, their eyes never unlocking. “Tell me what you want,” he whispered.

Not answering and acting on impulse, she pressed herself against him, melting into the solidness of his hard body. She slowly brought her arms up around his neck, stared deep into his eyes, and pulled the smooth musky scent of his cologne through her nose. She anchored him with a salacious gaze, their lips inches apart with her sweet alcohol-infused breath dancing across his face.

“Say it, Emily.” The words came out in a low growl as he grasped the curve of her hips. “I need to hear you say it.”

Even in her alcohol-induced daze, she knew what he meant. With her chest rising and falling from her labored breathing, she answered, barely getting the words past her lips. “I…I want you.”

With the weight of his body, he pressed her back against the wall and licked the soft spot below her earlobe. “Tell me how much you fucking want me,” he breathed.

Heat pulsed in her stomach, tingling through her entire being, as his tongue traced a wet torrid line up her neck. “Oh God, Gavin,” she moaned, her body trembling. “You’re in my dreams, in my thoughts, in my skin.”

Before she could catch her breath, he claimed her mouth. His lips were a shock to her system, breaking the rhythm and certainty of her beating heart. He tasted of mint, a little bit of booze, and something inherently Gavin. Delicious heat curled through every muscle, every fiber, and every cell in her body. With one hand splayed across the small of her back, he took the other and buried it in her tangled curls. Emily moaned softly as the heat of his mouth moved easily over her lips. The assault on her nerves was close to overwhelming, not allowing a single coherent thought to pass through her mind. He might have stolen her breath the first time they kissed, but here and now—stealthy like a cat burglar—he was trying to steal her heart.

With alcohol, lust, and desire reeling through her veins, Emily was dimly aware of them haphazardly stumbling into an empty bedroom. With the back of his foot, Gavin kicked the door closed. They embraced one another like a boa constrictor wrapped around its prey. Gavin let out a groan as their lips briefly tore apart, allowing enough time for Emily to pull his shirt up over his head. Gavin’s fingers fumbled to unbutton her blouse, eventually tossing it to the floor. With both of their chests heaving for air—Emily in her bra, skirt, and heels and Gavin left only in his pants—they stood face to face staring at each other for a beat.

The connection caught and ricocheted through them. Never breaking his gaze, Gavin bent his head and crushed his mouth to hers again, her lips tasting better than he remembered. His hands roamed over her soft skin as he studied every inch, reading her flesh like a novel written in braille. Everything about her was pure deliciousness. He kissed her as though the brief time they had been apart had starved him of all basic human necessities. Emily released a soft whimper as his tongue laved over her ear, down to her neck, and across the curve of her collarbone. That whimper—that lusty little whimper—sent Gavin’s body and mind into overdrive when they fell back onto the bed.

Dillon’s name vaguely surfaced in Emily’s mind, along with the guilt for what she was about to do, but those thoughts quickly faded when Gavin pulled down the scalloped edge of her white lace bra. Pushing his knee between her legs, coaxing them to open, he leaned down and licked the soft swell of her breast. Circling his lips around one taut peak, he sucked it in softly. Emily felt herself flush and grow hot as she pressed against his mouth, her body writhing with burning pleasure under his attack. His tongue skillfully made the burning heat in her stomach unfurl while each slow languorous circle and gentle stroke unraveled her by the second.

Gavin pulled her skirt above her waist, his kiss growing frantic, as his hands skimmed the smooth flesh between her legs. Emily moaned as he yanked her panties down to her thighs. Her breath caught again as his smoldering blue eyes watched her reaction when he slid two fingers—and then a third—inside her wet folds, her back arching against the sensation. Her eyes never left his as she let out a gasp. She brought her arms up, threading her fingers through his hair, and pulled him back down to her lips. As the kiss grew deeper, Gavin’s response was a long drawn-out groan into her mouth, only increasing the fervor running through her.

His mouth was hot and hungry over hers—tongue sliding in and out—tasting her sweetness until he was straining for more. His body pulsed with pleasure as her nails bit into his shoulders, clawing and digging as she circled her hips against his hand. Pulling back, his mouth abandoned her lips as he continued to thrust his fingers inside, her breath mounting faster while his gaze raked over her beautiful face.

Staring into her green-and-gold-flecked eyes, a knot suddenly formed in Gavin’s chest, nearly blocking his ability to breathe. She was forbidden fruit, and God knew he wanted a taste. He had been ready to do anything to have her. He craved her. He needed her. But he realized as much as he ached for this moment, he couldn’t take her drunk, and he wouldn’t allow himself to have her like this—in some stranger’s home. He wanted her when she was in the right state of mind—and in his bed. He wanted to wake up with her beside him, and he needed to know that this wasn’t just the alcohol making the decision for her. He withdrew his fingers from inside her in an attempt to stop, but as soon as he did, she reached for his wrist and pulled his dampened fingers into her mouth—sucking on each one like a lollipop.

The simple act was so deliciously hot to Gavin; he felt his blood rush through his body even faster. Once again, his lips slammed into hers, stifling her moans while he plunged his fingers back inside her warmth. He kissed her harder, groaning as her legs lifted to frame his waist. When Emily released her hold on his hair and ran her fingers down his stomach to unbutton his pants, it was then that he knew he had to stop again.

With tortured, brutal, agonizing restraint, Gavin shot up from the bed, his chest heaving up and down. He walked clear across the room, dragging his hands through his hair.

Lying on the bed in utter shock and trying to catch her breath, Emily looked at him with the flush of desire still blooming on her cheeks. “What’s wrong?” she breathed out, her voice a ragged mess.

“I can’t do this, Emily.” He plucked his shirt from the floor and pulled it over his head. Grabbing for hers, he tossed it across the room onto the bed, making sure he didn’t get too close to her again. If he did, he knew there was no turning back. “Get up and get dressed.”

Sitting herself up, humiliation tore through her as she shrugged into her blouse. She was panting and confused beyond any rational thought. “But I thought this is what you wanted.”

At a loss for words, staring at her beautiful face and still trying to talk his own raging hormones down, Gavin swallowed and simply shook his head.

“Oh my God, I knew this would happen,” Emily whispered, stumbling to her feet, her head still dizzy with alcohol. “You don’t want me. You never wanted me. I’m just one of your sick, twisted void fillers for the night—another pawn in the let’s-fuck-with-women’s-heads game for you.”

In two quick strides, Gavin was across the room. Taking her chin in his hand, he rubbed his thumb across her bottom lip. “No, Emily, just listen to me.”

She swatted his hand off her face as tears sprung in her eyes. “I can’t believe this. I feel like such a fool.”

“Emily,” he whispered. Seeing that she was clearly drunk made him feel less of the man he thought himself to be. “Please don’t think that I don’t want you. What just happened…what just occurred…” he said, pointing to the bed. “That little bit I had of you makes me want so much more—just that little bit puts anyone I’ve ever been with to shame. I want you more than anything. I just can’t have it happen like this.”

Seemingly unaffected by his declaration, Emily attempted to button her shirt. “You don’t want me. I need to leave,” she sniffled, trying to make her way toward the door.

Gavin caught her by her elbow and spun her around, placing his hands on her hips. She tried to pull away, but between his ironclad grip and the amount of alcohol running through her system, her effort was worthless.

He leaned down and looked her in the eyes. “Do you think it was easy for me to stop, Emily? You have no idea how much I want to do this with you…to touch you again,” he whispered, brushing his hand across her cheek. “To taste you again.” He licked his lips, savoring her lingering juices. “To finally feel you beneath me.” His fingers slowly teased into her hair. “I told you…I want you more than anything but not here in this house and not while you’re drunk.”

A frown marred the space between her brows as she wiped a tear from her face. “Oh, the epiphany comes now, huh?” She yanked herself from his hold, wobbling toward the door again. “Go to hell, Gavin.”

Still trying to assist her out of the room, Gavin scooped her up off her feet in one graceful movement, like a groom carrying his bride over the threshold.

Having no choice but to cling to his neck for support, Emily breathed out heavily. “Put me down.”

“You can barely walk.”

“I can walk just fine. Now put me down!”

Gavin ignored her request and pulled the door open. Upon emerging from the room, the once empty hallway now looked like a certified brothel with couples making out in every direction Gavin turned. It only sickened his stomach further, knowing that he had Emily pent up inside that room in a scene like this. He belted down the stairs with her in his arms. Although she tried to squirm out of his embrace, her efforts were futile as her head lolled backward and her eyes closed with every step he took. Not even the deafening music pulled her from her drunken stupor.

Scanning the maddening mess of intoxicated bodies, Gavin made eye contact with Trevor who had Fallon curled up in his lap on a recliner. Trevor’s forehead creased when he saw Gavin with Emily. Seeming to be out of it herself, Fallon stayed rooted to the chair when Trevor stood up and walked over to Gavin.

“What’s wrong with her?”

“She doesn’t feel good,” Gavin answered. “Go find your sister and meet me in my car.”

Emily gingerly lifted her head from Gavin’s shoulder. She smiled in Trevor’s direction. “I feel fine, Trevor,” she slurred. “But Gavin’s an asshole.”

And with that, she closed her eyes, her head plummeting back against Gavin’s shoulder with her arms dangling to the side.

Trevor cocked a brow.

“Don’t even ask right now,” Gavin remarked. “Just do what I said.”

“Well, I’m pretty sure I’m going back to Fallon’s place tonight,” Trevor beamed. “Go ahead, get Emily into your car, and I’ll find Liv and send her out.”

Gavin gave a quick nod and weaved his way through the party. A few guys whistled and cheered for him, yelling that he was going home with “a nice piece of drunken ass.” Fighting back the urge to set Emily down for a brief moment and knock them all out, Gavin continued to snake his way through the throng of partiers and eventually made his way out the door.

Emily’s eyes fluttered open as Gavin attempted to place her on her feet while he opened the passenger-side door. “I’m not sitting up front with you, Gavin,” she slurred.

Stumbling away, she grabbed for the rear door and slid herself across the backseat. Within a split second, she was out cold.

Shaking his head, Gavin moved around the car, got in, started the engine, and pulled to the front of the house. A few minutes later, with the aid of her brother, Olivia got into the front seat.

Trevor smiled. “Make sure you get my two girls home safe. I’ll call you tomorrow, man.”

Gavin nodded.

“Love you, bro,” Olivia laughed and blew him a kiss as they drove away. After glancing back at Emily, she slipped her heels off and propped her feet on the dashboard. “She’s fucking down for the count, huh?”

Gavin didn’t answer as he stared straight ahead.

Olivia looked back at Emily and then flicked her eyes over to Gavin. “Oh shit. Did something happen between you two?”

Shaking his head, he clenched the steering wheel tighter. “Just do me a favor, Olivia. You let her know when she wakes up in the morning that I stopped for all the right reasons and nothing more.”

Having known him long enough, Olivia didn’t prod further and remained silent for the rest of the ride. The only time Emily awoke was when the car came to a stop while Gavin paid a toll going back over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. She mumbled something inaudible and quickly fell back asleep. By the time they arrived at the apartment building, Olivia was also dozed off into dreamland, and Gavin had to wake her up.

The sound of car doors closing awoke Emily, and she sat straight up, swaying from side to side. With her vision blurred, she was slightly able to make out Gavin standing next to the car, talking with Olivia. Sliding across the backseat, Emily threw the car door open and all but fell to the ground in an attempt to exit the vehicle. Gavin caught her by her arm before her knees kissed the concrete.

Emily shot him an icy look and yanked her arm from him. “Don’t touch me!”

Grabbing her by the waist, Gavin pressed her body to his and pinned her back against the car, his breathing heavy and his expression granite.

Olivia’s eyes widened at their exchange.

“Go inside, Liv,” he said, without turning to look at her, his eyes locked on Emily’s. “I’ll bring her up in a minute.”

“Gavin, I’m sorry. This whole thing was my fault. I shouldn’t—”

“Olivia, it’s not your fault. Just go inside,” he replied, his voice harder.

Olivia cupped her hand over her mouth and walked away.

Emily looked up at him, a wry smile tipping her lips. “You sure do love breaking girls’ hearts, don’t you?”

With his calculated eyes searing into hers, Gavin’s large hand came around the back of her neck and pulled her into his mouth. Emily didn’t resist. As a matter of fact, she gripped the back of his hair, yanking him harder against her body. Moaning into her mouth, Gavin easily dominated the kiss. He didn’t care about the passing onlookers—hell, he didn’t even care if Dillon walked up to them at that very moment. All he cared about was Emily knowing how badly he wanted her.

And as quickly as Gavin started that kiss, he ended it. Again playing the roll of a groom carrying his bride, he scooped Emily up and carried her through the lobby and into the elevator. Placing her down on her feet, their eyes locked on one another. It was only a matter of seconds before they were at it again, both slamming hard into each other’s mouths. A power struggle of the fiercest kind ensued—hands sliding up and down, Emily’s back pressed against the wall, Gavin’s hair being pulled, her legs wrapped around his waist, his growls, and her moans. Gavin was fast becoming desperate to rip off her clothes and plant himself firmly inside her right there in that elevator.

When the doors slid open, they finally stopped. Gavin raked his hands through his hair, mussing it further, and Emily adjusted her skirt. Walking with her into her apartment, they found Olivia sleeping on the couch. He followed Emily into her bedroom and watched as she climbed into her bed. Without a second look in his direction, she rolled over, let out a sigh, and passed out.

Crossing his arms, Gavin leaned against the doorway as his eyes took in her chest rising and falling with sleep. If it wasn’t for the sound of the front door snapping shut, pulling his attention away from Emily’s slumberous body, he would’ve watched her all night.

Gavin walked down the hall and into the kitchen where he found Dillon tossing his keys onto the counter.

Turning around, Dillon leveled him with a suspicious stare. “What the hell are you doing here?”

Gavin approached him. “The girls went to a house party in Staten Island, and Emily had a problem with some asshole. Olivia called Trevor, and we went out there to make sure everything was alright.”

Dillon’s forehead creased. “Wait, they were at a house party? She fucking lied to me. They were supposed to be at Pink.”

Gavin started to answer, but Dillon spoke up again.

“And why the fuck didn’t anyone call me?”

Not liking Dillon’s tone, Gavin angled his head to the side and narrowed his eyes on him. “I guess they decided to go to the party instead. Last time I checked, women had the right to change their minds.” Gavin stepped closer. “If every once in a while you checked your fucking phone while you were out, you would’ve seen Trevor did call you. And why don’t you try clearing out your voicemail, so someone could actually leave you a fucking message?”

Crossing his arms, Dillon cupped his chin, the look in his eyes glacial.

Gavin stared at him for a second, trying to quell his adrenaline, his voice eerily calm. “Like I said…we went out there, made sure everything was okay, and I brought them back here.” He dug his keys from his pocket, his eyes never leaving Dillon’s. “Be a good boyfriend and have some aspirin and water at her disposal for when she wakes up in the morning. She’s gonna need it.”

Without another word, Gavin walked out the door.


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