Chapter 2- The Reception
About halfway through the dinner Zane and El were announced. Not surprising at all her hair was askew and her makeup was smudged. His hair was a mess as well but they both wore happy and satisfied grins. It was their wedding day, who could begrudge them their fun!
We all were eating, chatting amicably about various topics. Adrienne looked over at me. “Ok Sof, I’m dying to know. What’s the cake?” I grinned, wiping my mouth delicately with my napkin.
“With sugar on top.”
“Ugh Sof, pretty please with ice cream on top and a cherry on it?” I smiled bigger.
“Sorry dear, it’s a secret!”
Adrienne threw up her hands in agitation. “You are such a child sometimes!” I winked at her.
“I refuse to tell anyone about the cake until El and Zane have cut into it! So I definitely won’t tell you that it’s a layered chocolate and roasted almond cake brushed with Kahlua and filled with chocolate espresso buttercream and dark chocolate ganache.” I shrugged my shoulders.
“You...” Adrienne pointed at me, “are a goddess.”
“Can I get that in writting?” The table laughed and we resumed our drinking and eating. When the food had disappeared we watched El and Zane have their first dance. After that we each had to go out and dance with our groomsman.
Poor Henry was so nervous he watched my feet the whole time to make sure he didn’t step on them. “Just hold onto me and sway,” I advised him. He nodded sharply.
“I hate dancing. And I hate all the eyes watching us.”
“Their not watching us, their watching them.” I jerked my head in El and Zane’s direction and Henry sighed a bit, relaxing as he took a deep breath. Then he stepped solidly on my toe. I grimaced in pain.
“Oh I’m so sorry! I told you I was bad at this!” I laughed it off but I made sure he steered clear of my feet the rest of the dance. Over his shoulder I had caught a glimpse of Liv and Jax. Their bodies were fairly close, seeming like they fit together perfectly as they glided across the floor. I fixed my gaze back into Henry, trying to enjoy the moment. When the dance was done I wandered over to the dessert table.
I slipped a cream puff into my mouth when I felt warm breath brush over my ear. “I’ve been dying to get my hands on these,” I stiffened as Jax slid his hand between my side and arm to snag a double chocolate brownie off the table. He lifted it up over my shoulder and took a big bit. He let out a delectable moan. “Those are fantastic. Who’s the chef?”
“No chef, just a humble baker. Me.” I said raising my hand slightly. I glanced at Jax’s wide eyes over my shoulder.
“You made this whole table?” I nodded, smiling proudly. “Don’t you know the way to a mans heart is through his stomach?”
“I’m counting on it.”
He studied me for a moment. “I might just have to marry you.” With that he popped the rest of the brownie in his mouth. I felt my breath catch in my throat. I felt every point of contact between my body and his. I’d never wished more fiercely that their were no clothes between me and a man. Jax drew away from me and held out his hand.
“May I have this dance?”
I cocked my head to the side. “Promise not to step on my toes?”
“I promise nothing.” He winked at me and I felt butterflies go into overdrive in my stomach.
“Well, it seems I’ve already broken one toe. What’s a few more.”
“That’s the spirit,” he said taking my hand and swinging me out to the dance floor. Our bodies fit together nicely as we swung and swayed our way around the other people. “You seem like you know your way around the floor,” he said, his arm wrapped around my waist, hiis lips pressed to my ear. I surpressed the shiver that wanted to run down my spine.
“Well you are just completely amateur, really it’s like you don’t have a rhythmic bone in your body,” I teased. He let out an exaggerated gasp, pulling back to give me a wide eyed expression.
“I’ll have to make you bit your tongue for that.” He pushed me away a bit before spinning me in quickly, my chest tight against his as his hips moved me to the beat of the music.
“I stand corrected. A modern day Fred Astaire.”
“I do try milady.” His smile was infectious and my cheeks hurt from the constant expression. But Jax made me smile. There was no other explanation. After a few dances I excused myself to get something to drink. I plopped onto a chair by the refreshment table, sipping some water as I slipped my heels off. El came up and plopped down next to me.
“Thank you so much for all your help Sof. I don’t know what we would have done without all your amazing desserts. The table is almost empty!” I glanced over to see she was right.
I bowed my head in mock humbleness. “I am just a mere baker, trying her best to make it out here in the cold dark world.” El laughed.
“But really Sof, have you thought about adding a catering branch to the bakery?”
I sighed. “I’d love to but the owner, Paulina, is really old school. She insists I stick to her recipes and do things just the way she did.” I shrugged a little in resignation.
“Your too talented to be living in someone else’s shadow girl! Why don’t you start your own business?” I blanched a little.
“It’s a big commitment,” I mumbled. “I'm just not ready.” El examined me silently for a minute.
“Ok. Well until you decide to branch out we don’t mind keeping your talent for ourselves.” She reached out and squeezed my hand. “Now, it looks like I have to go free my mother from the clutches of Zane’s sour aunts. They sure can ruin a mood quickly. I’ll see you around sweetie.” In a flurry of white she was off. I shook my head, a small grin on my face.
I sipped my water as I watched everyone around me enjoy the wedding. Weddings really were beautiful. So much love and support filling one space. My heart felt fit to burst. Eventually I slipped on my shoes and wandered out the side doors to the small deck. It was a breezy night and the coolness felt good on my skin after the heat of the ballroom. I walked along the deck coming to a set of stairs. I descended the small flight finding myself in a beautiful garden with paved walking paths. I strolled slowly down one, observing the flowers around me and glancing occasionally at the beautiful starry sky.
“Fancy meeting you here,” I heard behind me. I turned to see Jax standing on the path behind me, his hands tucked into his pockets. “Needed some breathing space too huh?”
I nodded, feeling the smile creep back over my face. “There is a lot of love but quite a few people in one space. Walk with me?” I tilted my head back down the path in the direction I’d been walking.
Jax’s smile made my heart skip a beat. “I’d love to.” We walked calmly, side by side in companionable silence. My skin had cooled off and the breeze was causing goosebumps to break out over my arms. I hugged myself, shivering slightly. Suddenly I felt the warmth and weight of a jacket and I looked down to see Jax’s suit coat hanging over my arms.
“It’s a bit chilly, wouldn’t want you to get too cold.” He shrugged, glancing down to kick a rock of the path. I hid my smile down in the neck of the coat as I pushed my arms into the sleeves. It was full of his warmth and smelled like him. I tried to discreetly take a deep breath to fill my nose with the scent of him.
“So Sofia, other than being an amazing baker and foreseer of the future, what do you do?”
“Ah I have many talents. Besides those previously mentioned I’m excellent at yoga.”
“Oh bendy,” he said in a silly voice.
I smirked. “You never know when it’ll come in handy.” We smiled at each other, both understanding. I cleared my throat. “I also have a dog, Rex. We love to go to parks and play and run.”
“Oh see, now I thought your were going to say you were a cat person.”
I pretended to be offended, gasping and placing my hand to my chest. “How dare you sir? I take offense to your heinous comment. Take it back immediately.”
“No offense meant ma’am. Just an observation.” He smiled, looking up at me from under his lashes. “Please don’t hold it against me?” He phrased it like a question and I felt myself melting again.
“Your heinous remark shall be overlooked this time. Best to tread lightly.” I bump him playfully with my shoulder. “What about you? You play soccer and build homes. What else do you do?”
Jax stopped walking. I stopped and turned to look at him. He glanced both ways, conspiratorially. He leaned in, inclining his finger for me to come closer. I stepped up to him, dipping my head and turning so my ear was to his mouth. “Can you keep a secret?” I nodded, afraid to speak. I felt the warmth of his breath tickle my ear and send shivers over my whole body. My nipples peaked against my dress as I felt the uncomfortable dampness in my underwear again. Damn this man was sexy.
“I really enjoy finding beautiful women in gardens. There’s one, I’m hoping she’ll let me kiss her again. I’ve wanted to since I had a small taste of her last night.” I felt my cheeks flame. I turned to look into his deep brown eyes. There was little space between us and I felt my lips part slightly. I glanced at his lips, soft and inviting and felt myself leaning in.
Jax’s hands cupped my face gently as he helped guide me the rest of the way to his lips. When they met I felt sparks firing all over my body. I pulled him closer to me by his shirt, tucking my body into his just so. We kissed and kissed and I never wanted it to end. He ran his tongue along my bottom lip, requesting entrance. I parted my lips and the taste of him exploded in my mouth. I found myself hungry for more, thrusting my tongue out to meet his. I felt his erection poking me in my lower abdomen and I groaned wanting to feel it rub me lower.
I broke away suddenly, gasping slightly for air. It felt so right, so natural kissing Jax. My eyes felt unfocused as I looked up at the beautiful smile on his face. “Could I take you out Sophia?” He asked softly.
My breath quickened again and I felt unable to speak. I nodded my head vigorously. He chuckled and pulled out his phone. “Can I have your number?” Hands slightly shaking I took his phone and input my number. I handed it back to him and he tucked it back into his pocket. “May I?” He asked, pointing to my hand. I didn’t trust my voice yet not to betray my lust for this man. Instead of answering I slipped my hand into his and we walked around the garden, back to the deck. Once by the doors I slipped out of his jacket. I handed it back.
Having finally regained the ability to speak I said, “I look forward to your call.” He smiled back at me.
“I look forward to making it.” Our eyes locked for a moment before I gave him a small wave and slipped back into the ballroom. The party was in full swing and I walked in as if trapped in a dream. My mind was reeling from the feelings I was experiencing. I didn’t know everything about Jax but from what I’d learned he seemed like just the right guy to fall for. With a sigh I sought out my friends so they wouldn’t think I’d ditched them. The rest of the night my mind was still lost in the garden and I found myself touching my lips. I could still taste him and feel the pressure of him. It was still a bit early to tell but I had a feeling. I could really see myself falling in love with Jax.