Authors: Ciara Cole
“There you are, Chace,” the huge bearded guy said with a wide grin on his good-looking face. “Holly and I were wondering when we’d run into you.”
“I’d definitely been keeping an eye out for both of you, as well. How’s my favorite cousin?” Chace asked with a teasing smile to the blonde, whose beam widened even more. She raised a hand to Chace’s cheek and something about her suddenly clicked in Emily’s head.
She was shot back to ten years ago…at the men’s store. Chace, standing next to a beautiful blonde barely reaching halfway to his shoulder. Emily gasped soundlessly as it all came together in a flash. Chace’s cousin.
This woman was Chace’s cousin
“As you can see I can fit right back into my old dresses, thank goodness,” Holly sighed feelingly in response to Chace. “I’ve only been out of hospital a month and I’m glad I’ve shed almost all my post-baby weight.”
“That’s certainly a feat,” Chace said, grinning before turning to Emily, “You wouldn’t believe Holly’s on her fourth baby. Three boys and now a girl, and something tells me she’s not slowing down anytime soon.”
“Oh, I think I’ve more than reached my quota, thank you,” Holly said, punching Chace playfully on the arm while they all laughed. Well, Emily’s laughter was a whole lot weaker. When Chace proceeded to formally introduce her, she simply wanted to sink into the ground, but couldn’t show it. Instead, she kept her composure and was in turn touched by Holly’s sincere warmth.
Neither Holly nor her husband seemed in the least surprised by Emily or that she was Chace’s choice for a fiancée. They seemed genuinely pleased to meet her and Holly even suggested they met up soon so she could help Emily with the wedding plans.
Much later as Emily danced in Chace’s arms to the live music, she rested her hot cheek against his chest and groaned. “Chace, why didn’t you tell me?”
“Tell you what?” he asked innocently, though there was a tinge of laughter in his tone.
“About Holly being your cousin!” She drew back slightly to send him an accusing look. “All those months ago when I finally told you about when I saw you with another girl at that mall, you could have pointed out who she really was.”
“You never really asked,” Chace said with a shrug. “Besides, I knew you’d find out sooner or later. We were bound to run into my dear cousin at some point.”
Emily’s reply was to give another groan and hide her face once again. She could feel more than hear the rumble of laughter in Chace’s chest.
But then his voice had a stirring, deep quality as he added, “It really got to me that you actually let yourself forgive me even when you thought I’d betrayed you with someone else. That hit me deep and each time I looked at you, I kept seeing your generous heart and how I didn’t deserve it.”
“Oh, Chace, but still,” Emily said. “I was so wrong. If I’d told you, we wouldn’t have had to break up. Who knows, I could also be the one popping out my fourth baby by now. Do you realize how much it kills me seeing how much time we wasted?”
“Hush,” Chace said quietly, kissing her forehead reassuringly. “There’s no guarantee we could have lasted this long even if we ironed out that one issue. I don’t hold you responsible and it isn’t fair to keep blaming yourself. How would you have guessed the truth?”
Emily had to believe Chace was right. Of course there was no way she could have known, that Holly had come to visit at the Hammonds on Chace’s birthday, which also happened to be the birthday of her then boyfriend Eric, the man she’d ended up marrying. She’d asked Chace to help her choose a present for Eric and had “bribed” Chace by promising to get him something nice, as well.
It would take a while for Emily to get over her utter dumbness, but for now she just felt grateful that somehow they’d found their way back together.
Hours later as they got ready for bed, Emily was surprised by Chace’s other revelation.
“Since tonight we got on the topic of coming clean…didn’t you ever wonder about that reporter? And how come the so-called story never saw the light of day?” asked Chace.
Emily froze, her head whipping up moments later to stare wide-eyed at him. “Of course I always wondered. But I just assumed that since you announced our engagement the next day, you took the wind out of their sails, whoever they were.”
“The minute you told me about the phone call, I told myself it had to be Amanda Weeks who made contact. She was the one who’d been there to take shots that night we met at the club. And though I wasn’t sure, I felt it was highly possible she was that reporter skulking outside my place to take pictures that morning after you spent the night. So, I tracked her down.”
Emily paused as she made to turn back the covers in readiness to slip into bed next to Chace. “You did what?”
He propped his hands behind his head, his glorious torso in view and the rest of him clad in his sexy gray wool drawstring pants – the ones she always imagined having to peel off him…with her teeth. Forcing her sidetracked mind to focus, Emily arched her eyebrows at him.
“You didn’t think I’d just fold my hands and let some lowlife reporter give you a hard time? No chance. It’s easy to find anyone when you use the right people. Better still, it wasn’t that hard digging up some dirt on my long-time stalker.” Chace smirked while Emily kept shaking her head in disbelief.
“Anyway, I called her and suggested – no, advised that we meet. On the grounds that I knew about her younger sister who’d just dropped out of college and was struggling with a drug habit – the same sister Amanda uses the money she makes to pay for her expensive rehab. How would her sister feel, I asked, if the girl knew her big sister was trying to blackmail or intimidate someone just for some extra money?”
Chace shrugged when this time Emily’s face looked horrified at him. “Don’t worry,” he went on with a chuckle. “I got her to sit and talk and I offered to get her a job with a proper newspaper
work out how to help her with her sister’s expenses so she wouldn’t have to go round using underhand methods. That was when she confessed.”
Emily had now plopped down on the edge of the bed. “Oh, this is going to be good. Confessed what?”
Chace grinned. “That it was my ex Veronica Fry who put her up to stalking me in the first place.”
Emily could only imagine what her face looked like right then, and Chace’s humor-filled laughter proved it.
“It made perfect sense,” Chace continued. “I remembered that I only started to notice Amanda running around after me around the same time Veronica and I started dating. Veronica had hopes that if she could keep our relationship in the spotlight, then she could somehow get us to wind up with something more…permanent. The more publicity we got as a couple, the more she began to hope it could become something real. But it never did. I guess I didn’t really give us a chance from the start,” Chace said thoughtfully.
“So, when I ended things, she kept Amanda on my tail just to spite me. She was mad when I started up with you so soon after I’d told her I was done with involvements of the heart.”
“Looks like you should be glad you’ve finally got a woman who brings zero drama to the table,” Emily said on a long, shocked breath even as she smiled.
Chace lurched up lithely, resting his hand behind her neck and bringing her up on her knees for a warm kiss on the lips, first on one corner and then the other, making Emily quiver as she lost her train of conversation
“There’s a whole lot I’m glad for,” Chace said huskily against her lips. Emily stole a glance at his face with those thick, sooty lashes of his she’d always envied half-hooding his gray gaze.
“So…you got to kill two birds with one stone,” Emily said in a somewhat shaky tone as the atmosphere around them quaked with sexual energy. Suddenly even her tiny crop top and matching boy shorts seemed stifling. “You got the meddling ex and that stalking reporter off our backs.”
“They’re both definitely history,” Chace affirmed, as he began to slide his lips down her jawline to her throat. Emily let out an open-mouthed sigh and tilted her head to give Chace more access to her sensitive spots.
“I’ll admit, Veronica did try a few times to worm her way back. She’d show up at places and events where she knew I’d be present. She’d act all cool, but it became obvious she got invites to those functions only because she knew I did, too. But after that first night I bumped into you again, you’re the only one I had on my mind. I knew it was definitely fate when I came to the Maddox benefit and there you were.”
Emily’s voice had taken a breathy quality, mostly due to Chace bending to nick his teeth at the stubby nipple poking out of her thin top. He wetted the spot with his tongue and bit with just that bit more aggression. She had to hold on to his shoulders for support or she’d have landed flat on her back from the jolting pleasure-pain.
She landed on her back anyway, with Chace pinning her down beneath his strong, dominant frame as he pushed up her flimsy top to rest high over her chest. Her round, brown breasts were exposed, the nubs already thick and stiff with want.
Chace growled, rocking himself against the swell of her sex positioned just perfectly in line with his impressive hardness. Even the layers of clothes separating them couldn’t douse the scorching passion that had their hips grinding together carnally.
Staring down at her luscious curves so tantalizingly uncovered, a flare lit up in those deep gray eyes and Emily had to bite down a responsive moan. When he looked at her just like that, she melted. He made her feel beautiful, sexy and yet precious all at once, something no other lover had ever done.
She reached her hands up to glide over the deliciously rippling muscles of his shoulder, chest, and abs and felt him suck in a harsh, hungered breath. Her hand slipped beneath the waistband of his pants and she was soon stroking that substantially meaty, turgid part of him as she cooed with delight. Chace swore underneath his breath and bucked into her palm, helping her with her up and down, in and out motions of jacking him.
Their lips met rawly, Emily arching up her spine so her hot nipples ground against his chest and made him groan. There was barely any time to get really naked. Emily skimmed her shorts down her hips quickly, while Chace hastily kicked off his pants. Off came her top over her head and soon they were twisting over and over on the sheets. Already so wet for him, Emily only had to part her thighs wide enough and he powered in, filling her balls deep.
The force of it had Emily crying out. Chace groaned and began to move, stroking her walls in a steady, rampant beat that drew out her juices to lubricate even more of her ravishment.
Sliding her hands down his back to the firm rise of his toned butt, Emily squeezed, relishing the sound of Chace’s growl of pleasure. Her ever impulsive and keen walls swelled and clutched around him, exultant when he reached her most intimate, reactive center.
“Oh Chace,” she panted. “It’s like each time you get even bigger. I feel you so deep I can hardly breathe.”
“I know, baby…just as I know you’ll always feel this sweet and wet, just for me. Fuck, how do you stay so damned tight,” groaned Chace.
They both moved as if their bodies were hungry for more and more of each other. Emily’s head wouldn’t stop spinning. Her hips jammed up to meet Chace, grinding her juicy mound against his hard heat. Chace had his hand underneath her knee, pushing it up almost to her shoulder and setting up that ultimate angle that never erred. Faster and faster, he built the pressure with his steady thrusts.
Too much, too good
this much pleasure could get somebody killed
, thought Emily hazily. Her eyes peeled open to find Chace staring fixedly into her face.
“Ready?” he rasped.
Not managing more than a squeak, Emily had to settle for a hasty nod. The storm was building fast. Even her damn knees were shaking. Her whole body was screaming for release and making it all the more intense was getting to feel an answering urgency in the rampaging force of Chace’s strokes.
Her name…on his lips. Him buried deep. Soul to soul. That was it – that was all it took. Emily went wild, her lower body bucking so powerfully, Chace held tight unto her hips to keep her pinned beneath him as he strained even deeper inside her. They came together, in perfect sync, Chace filling her and filling her till she felt more of him trickling down from where they tightly wedged.
They stayed locked, with Chace only having to tumble over on his back so she could lie on top, their arms and legs splayed and bodies seemingly boneless.
“If you’re still alive…I love you,” Chace murmured into the top of her head. Emily barely dredged up the energy for a chuckle.
“I made it, just barely. And I love you, too,” sighed Emily. A long wide smile seemed permanently fixed on her lips as she drifted off, dreaming of being swept away in her own fairytale come true.
To Be Continued!
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