As if she had sensed him, Emily lifted her head, a beautiful smile crossing her face when her eyes met his. Clichéd or not, her smile lit up the room like a ball of fire in a darkened sky. Clichés were created for her. End of story. Again, Gavin felt as though the breath had been sucked right out of his lungs. He watched as her smile fell away, her face becoming troubled as she stood. Damn it. Gavin shot a glance down at his clothing. Stuck in his head on the way over, he’d forgotten to fix himself. He knew he looked like a disheveled mess. He wasn’t wearing his suit jacket, and his shirt was untucked. Forget about his missing tie or the tiny specks of blood dotting the front of his crisp white button-down.
As Gavin moved toward her, raw power flowing from his body, Emily swallowed back the sick feeling seeping into her stomach. Meeting him in the middle of the crowded café, inches apart from one another, the voices surrounding her faded and figures blurred. His face blinded her to everything else. His breath was all she could hear. Though he wore a mask of cool passivity, his blue eyes said more than they should. They spoke volumes, inspiring an ache within Emily’s heart. She knew what he’d done. She didn’t need to ask.
Emily dropped her gaze from his swollen lip dappled with blood and stared at his shirt. Lifting her eyes, she met his steady gaze, and she could tell he was waiting for something from her. An approval possibly, words that would let him know she was okay with what’d happened. Not knowing how to begin, she simply looped her arms around his neck and brought his mouth down to hers.
Gavin pulled her into him, his hands gripping her waist and molding her body against his. “I had to do it, Emily,” Gavin breathed, kissing her softly. “I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I didn’t.”
Threading her fingers through his hair, Emily choked back a threatening sob. “I know you wouldn’t have, and I’m sorry I expected you not to.”
Gavin went to speak, but Emily kissed him harder, guilt flowing through her body. As her senses spiraled into his touch, Gavin’s blood rolled around on her tongue, the taste deliciously intoxicating because she knew why it was there. She knew he’d been wounded defending her. The one thing she thought she knew was all wrong. For a brief moment, she was sure Gavin couldn’t do anything to make her love him more than she already did. This proved to be false as she stood in the middle of a packed Manhattan café, kissing the man that’d forever changed her world. Her life. The man she loved a million times more than a few minutes earlier. Blind to further evil and deaf to the sound of ever crying again, Emily sank, crashed, and fell deeper in love with Gavin than she thought was humanly possible.
“I’m pretty sure if you squeeze my hand any tighter, I’m going to lose circulation.” Gavin looked at Emily’s sweating hand intertwined with his as if she were on a roller coaster ride and holding on for dear life. He knew she was afraid of flying, but shit, considering she was half his size, he couldn’t believe the grip on her. “What good would I be to you if I lost a hand? I’m extremely talented, but only having one to work with might prove difficult during foreplay.”
Emily swallowed, trying to focus on Gavin’s dimpled smile. “Right. One hand’s no good.” She drew in a cleansing breath, slightly loosened her hold, and squeezed her eyes closed. “How much longer until we’re on the ground?”
Lifting his right hand, which happened to be the one she wasn’t trying to demolish, he stroked his knuckles along her jaw. “Ten minutes.”
“Ten minutes,” she repeated, her voice shaky. “Okay. Ten minutes. I can do this.”
Gavin chuckled. “I have absolute faith you can. But really, I offered to keep you busy in the cabin, and you declined. You know I would’ve been good for a four hour flight and then some.”
Smiling, Emily opened her eyes, her brow lifted. “Gavin Blake.”
“Emily Cooper,” he mocked, his grin widening. “I was simply trying to calm your nerves by properly initiating you into the mile high club. The only thing you would’ve had to fear was I might not have stopped once we landed. The jet would’ve been rocking on the runway.” He leaned over and brushed his nose against hers, his words slow and husky. “Oh… yes.”
“Sick.” She laughed, nipping at his lip.
“Sick in love, baby.”
As the plane began its descent from the clouds, Emily re-tightened her hold around his hand, her body once again taut with fear. She leaned back and exhaled. Landing was the part she dreaded the most. “Oh… my… God.”
“That sounded fucking hot,” Gavin teased, but not really. She honestly sounded hot saying it. “I’ve said it before. You have the ability to make the simplest phrase sound sexual. I just had the sweetest vision of you sitting in a confessional booth, talking to a priest.”
“Gavin!” she breathed, fighting against the smile cracking along her face.
Gavin leaned over, dragging his bottom lip between his teeth as he stared into her widened green eyes. “Pigtails. Short mini-skirt. Legs slightly parted. Black lace panties. Mmm, lucky bastard.” Emily tried to breathe as he trailed his hand up her bare leg. Tingles shot down her spine. “You were confessing the naughty things I do to you that you can’t get enough of.” He slipped his fingers underneath her skirt, gently nudging open her legs. “The way I make you moan while sucking on those pretty little nipples. The way, right before you come, I hold you back and start over again while licking that sweet pussy. Your panties were drenched. Your breathing was heavy. Your body was… boiling for me like it is right now.”
Emily couldn’t think as he leaned in, grazing his soft lips against hers. Pulling her bottom lip between his teeth, he circled his fingers along the edge of her panties.
“Guess what?” he whispered, his voice low, his eyes intense.
She could barely get out a word. Hell, she could barely think. Damn him. “What?” she breathed, her mind concentrating heavily on his other hand—that’d come loose from her death-grip—floating up the side of her breast.
“We’ve landed, sweets.” He slipped his tongue into her mouth, kissed her passionately for a damn millisecond, and stood, his megawatt grin beaming from ear to fucking ear.
Sitting lax in her seat, panties severely dampened, she watched him yank their carry-ons from the overhead compartment, his face as cool as a cucumber. “You’re evil.” Emily stood, her lips pursed in disappointment. “Pure evil.”
Reaching for her hand, Gavin chuckled. “I’m evil?”
Emily nodded and slung her purse over her shoulder. “Yes.” She laced her fingers in his as they made their way toward the front of his jet. “Don’t even try to play innocent, Blake. You’re evil, and you know it.”
“Me? I was a Catholic altar boy growing up, and now you have me thinking impure, cast-me-into-hell wicked thoughts. My poor mother would be devastated.”
Emily giggled, following him. They stepped out of the jet and into the clear, sunny air of San Diego. Emily inhaled, taking in the warmth.
Gavin kinked his head back, a smirk plastered across his lips. “Miss Cooper, it’s apparent I’m the victim here. You, my little vixen, should be wearing diamond-studded horns on your head.”