Emerald’s Point of View
What did I do wrong? To end up here? I was on the phone trying to get out of a call in. The last few years have had some real highs but also with some real lows. Modelling was something I used to enjoy. I don’t know when it happened but it stopped being fun. I was starting to think I needed time. Time away from it.
But the pressure was on me. I wasn’t just posing, but I was putting on a front and it was exhausting. I modelled because I loved it, but now. I am forced to. Expected to. All the reason I had to do it where slowly disappearing. I was starting to regret every decision that had led me to here- here trying to convince Megan to let me have the rest of the night off. Even though there were deadlines and all of a sudden they needed my input from the last shoot.
Normal teenagers would just have to worry about their maths homework. They wouldn’t be handling insane deadlines. They wouldn’t be spending hours in front of a camera and when I wasn’t in front of that camera I was signing pictures or handling calls and emails.
I was juggling too many things and I was slowly crumbling. Did anyone see it? I was losing the battle.
I was about to give in and just go in to the office. Megan wasn’t going to let it drop. Dane must have realised that I was losing the fight because one second the phone was against my ear and the next he had it.
“Megan she isn’t coming in. She needs a night off. Leave her alone.” He snapped and hung up.
“Please tell me you didn’t just hang up on her?” I knew how much Megan hated being hung up on. Which is why I never did it. I knew a lot of clients were demanding and rude. But I wasn’t one of them.
“You need a break. Have you been working this hard all month?” He didn’t hide his disapproval. “Have you had any time off in the last month?” He looked at me wanting an honest answer.
“No, I’ve been too busy.” I ran a hand through my hair. Feeling exhausted. But I had homework to do. Caffeine. I needed caffeine to get me through the night.
“When we go back home, you are going back to not working of a weekend.” Dane said pointing a finger at me and it was like I had already agreed to go home with him.
“I never said I was going anywhere with you.” I walked around him and into the kitchen. God that food smelled amazing. Who would have thought I would get excited over pizza. Dane was still on my phone. “What are you doing with that?” I asked, while opening the pizza box. God it smelt even better.
“I’m turning it off.”
I looked up, with wide eyes. “You can’t do that!” I walked towards him, trying to snatch my phone back but he had already turned it off and put it in his pocket. “Give it back Dane.”
“You’re having a night off.” He said it, like it was possible.
“I can’t! I’m on call! Do you have any idea how many people expect me to answer when they call me? My Dad being one of them!” I still hadn’t read todays conferences and meeting calls he had. They were sitting in my mail box, waiting for me.
“Your Dad books appointments. Has he booked one tonight?” Dane looked at me determined. He knew the answer.
“So what are you stressing about?”
“Adam said he would call me tonight.”
“No. He is....“How did I explain what Adam wanted from me? “He heard I was getting divorced.”
Dane lips tightened. “So my replacement?”
“It’s not like that.” I walked back to the food but I couldn’t lie and say I hadn’t already had offers. Adam was the only one I was considering.
“So you’re just going to let him use you?”
“He just wants someone on his arm at parties. It’s not a big deal. Not like I’ll be marrying him.” I gave Dane a pointed look. I had made that mistake once. Not again.
“Why don’t you just put your heart on the line and date someone you like?”
I looked at him shocked did he just say that? Because that is exactly why I married him. So that wouldn’t happen. “I don’t date.”
“You dated me.”
I scoffed. “And look how that turned out. It lasted a few weeks.” I shook my head. “I shouldn’t have even attempted it.”
Dane was at my side, and he took my hand. “It never ended.”
“Yes. It did.” I attempted to ignore the fact that my body had chosen this moment to melt from his touch. Stupid hormones. “Have I not made it clear? We are over.” I wanted to pull my hand away from his, but my stupid body wanted more of his touch not less of it. Finally my brain took over and I withdrew my hand from his.
He would see the signs, right? See that I didn’t want him touching me. Hear me when I say it’s over.
He pushed the pizzas aside and I didn’t know what he was doing till his hands went to my hips and he lifted me up, placing me right in front of him. Ok maybe he would ignore all signs and not listen to what I was saying.
His hands ran up my sides.
“I was a dick. I’m so sorry Emerald. But I meant it when I said I needed a break I never wanted to break up with you.” He sighed. “I just had to do what they wanted. Get them off my back.”
I knew what it was like to have people wanting something from you.
I nodded my head. “I get it.” And I really did. “Career comes first.”
“I didn’t mean to put you second.” He looked at me like I had just insulted him.
“It’s not a big deal Dane. I’m not really your wife. You don’t have to explain yourself to me.” I swallowed sharply, as his hand cupped my face. The way he was looking at me was causing my stomach to turn and twist.
“But you are my girlfriend and you deserved an explanation.” His thumb ran over my bottom lip and I didn’t know if I was reading him wrong, or not, but it looked like he was about to kiss me and just as I thought it, his lips were on mine.
But you are my girlfriend. His words repeated in my head. I was going to push him away. My brain was screaming at me to. All the reasons why, flashed in my head. But instead of pushing him away, I kissed him back. I didn’t push him away when his hand slid under my shirt.
This was going to be my undoing.
My one weakness, Dane bloody Sullivan.
Then just as I thought I was fully drunk on his taste, he pulled back.
“You hungry?” His voice was husky and low, like it killed him to pull away from me and here I was thinking he couldn’t make me want him more.
I swallowed sharply and nodded my head. All I could think about before was food but now it wasn’t what I was craving. I was craving his lips back on mine. And his hand back under my shirt, treating me like I was his.
What the hell was I thinking?
My head was still in the clouds, I nearly grabbed his pizza instead of mine. I picked up the right pizza and headed for the lounge room.
“So how many houses do you own?” Dane asked, following me. “I’m assuming you own this one.”
“Um twenty eight with this one.” I sat on the couch. “But it will be twenty seven when I sell my house back at home.”
“You’re selling your house?”
“After what Jeremy did in it, I can’t go back there.” And that was the honest truth. I could never go back to that house.
I caught Dane’s expression. I saw the pity.
“Well that means you will be moving fully in with me then?” Dane sat down next to me. Giving me a smug look.
“Not happening.” I took a slice of pizza out. “I said I’d give you to midnight. I never said anything about heading back home with you.”
He was silent, which made me look at him. It was when his thumb ran over my bottom lip, wiping away sauce, I took a stagged breath in. He always had the upper hand. I was going to change that. So then without even thinking about it, I took his thumb in my mouth and sucked if off.
He groaned and was quick to pull his thumb out. “You trying to kill me Emerald?”
“I don’t know what you are talking about.” I went back to eating my pizza and suppressed my smile. Why did I find myself relaxed around him? Even after everything, I still find myself relaxed.
I snuck a glance at him. And laughed at his expression. “Why are you looking at me like that?”
He shook his head. But the look was still on his face when he pulled out his phone. He lit it up. “Ok I have two hours and ten minutes to change your mind.”
“You can’t change my mind. You do realise I am making the best decision for both of us?”
“Screw that.” He dumped his pizza box on the table. “I want to know you better. How about we play twenty one questions?”
“How can talking about myself, make me change my mind?”
“Come on Emerald, play the game with me?” He moved into the middle of the couch. “Sit in front of me.”
I frowned. “Why?”
“Do you ever do what you are told?”
“Every day.” I looked at him dryly, biting my lower lip. I guess it wouldn’t matter, if I did what he asked. I sighed and got up, dropping my pizza box on the table and sitting in front of him. “Happy?”
Why wouldn’t he want me to face him? I turned around and his hands fell on my shoulders. I nearly moaned as he started to work out the stress I had been carrying.
“Ok first question. What is something no one knows about you? Something that a reporter hasn’t got out of you.”
I frowned, trying to think. I was a very open person. “I don’t think there is anything.”
“Come on you can’t tell me everyone knows everything about you. No one knows about me. But don’t even think to use that one.”
“Ok.” I thought a bit longer. “When I was little I think I was about seven. I wanted a blue English staffy. Named Daisy.”
“Did you get her?”
I scoffed. “No I’ve never had a pet because Dad said people like us do not let anyone or anything rely on us. Because, as Dad said, people of power do not have time to care for others.”
“Your old man is harsh why would he say that to a seven year old.”
I shrugged. “Dad was right in the end. I was traveling around the world two years later and a pet would have been the last thing on my mind. Ok, my turn. What was your first tattoo?”
He pulled me back, extending his arm in front of me. “She was.”
I looked at the pin up girl in a cocktail glass. Running my fingers the tattoo. “Any resemblance to any old girlfriends?”
He laughed. “Nah it was free hand.” And his hands went back to my shoulders. “Do you have any tattoos?”
“I wish. I wanted to get one but was told I was paid to keep my body, a paint free canvas.” I rolled my eyes hearing my old agents voice in my head. “He was a prick of an agent got rid of him as soon as I got serious.”
“So you haven’t always been with Megan?”
“My Mum got me onto Megan four or five years ago.”
“Is your Mum here with you now? From what you’ve said, she sounds to always be with you when you travel?”
How had he picked that up? “She normally would be, but she’s on a bender at a moment.”
“What like a drinking thing?”
“No. A sex bender. My Mum is very much an artist. She is a free spirt. At least that is what she calls herself.”
“I hope you don’t follow her example.”
“She’s told me multiple times that all I need is a sex bender. To escape reality. She has even set me up with guys before.” My Mum was one of a kind. And I couldn’t describe her right if I tried.
“This is where you add, she has been unsuccessful.” Dane didn’t hide the jealousy in his voice.
I laughed. “So far she has been. But hell, after this month’s dose of stress and work, a break from reality would be nice.” A break from work. A break from modelling. A break from school work, essays, assignments and fractions. Maybe Mum was right, saying I needed a bender of my own.
“Well I won’t be letting you have a sex bender. No matter what your Mum says. But she does have a point, with you needing a break.”
I closed my eyes enjoying the way he working the tension out of my neck. “Well that isn’t going to happen now.” A break was the last thing I would get. I wasn’t getting one from work or school.
“You and your brother were you close when you were younger?”
Jeremy. Just the mention of him, had my eyes wide. How many times had I called the rehab centre trying to speak with him? Every time he regretted my calls. “He is ten years older than me. He was Mum and Dad’s first mistake. I was their second. My early memories of him, were of him having parties and trashing Dad’s house. Dad expected a lot from him. And Jeremy just didn’t want it that way.” I shallowed sharply. Were Jeremy and I close? “Dad cut him off when he was twenty and I started paying for Jeremy’s lifestyle when I was thirteen.” Still didn’t answer his question. “Jeremy sees me as ATM. If I didn’t have money. I doubt he would even be a small role in my life.”
“Ever thought of doing what your Dad did? Cut him off?”
“Even though he is using you?”
“Still won’t do it. It’s my turn for a question. When did you start playing football?”
I heard him sigh. I was half expecting him to keep talking about Jeremy.
“I’ve always played but it wasn’t till my teens I considered it as a career.”
“Guessing you got drafted?”
“Do you love it?” He would have too, wouldn’t he? To marry someone, to keep it? I turned to look at him. Putting my hands on his knees, and looking up at him.
He ran a hand down my cheek, with a serious expression on his face.
“Don’t lie to me.” I added.
His lips twitched up just slightly. “I’m starting to think, not as much as I did.”
I frowned. Not understanding. Surely he would have to love it? He played like he loved it. He basically lived and breathed it. Then again, I lived and breathed modelling and I wasn’t loving it at the moment.
“What’s changed?” I said, really interested. Maybe if I could work out what had him reconsidering his love in his career, I could see the same in mine.
“Just starting to see somethings are more important than a game.” He leant forward, and his arms went under mine and he lifted me up, not settling till I was straddling him. “Why don’t you drink?”
I nervously took a breath in. it wasn’t easy being this close to him. “Um I do.”
“I’ve never seen you drink.”
“At some event’s it’s expected of me.” I stagged out, nervously playing with my hands.
“So you are forced to?” His eyes hardened.
“It’s not a big deal.” I looked into his eyes, why was he looking so annoyed? I bit my bottom lip, as he kept staring at me.
He pried my lip from my grasp. “Why do you do that?”
“I don’t know.” I think it was nervous thing. Whenever I was getting nervous I would find myself doing it. That or someone was pressuring me. But I also did it a lot around him. Was it because he made me so nervous? I stared at my hands. “Sometimes I do because I’m nervous.”
He cupped my face, lifting my head up. “I make you nervous, don’t I?”
I nodded my head. “Very much so.”
“Does this,” He pulled me into him, running his hands up my back, and closing the gap between us. “make you nervous?”
My hands went to his strong chest. I nodded my head.
“Do you always get nervous when someone touches you?”
“I don’t let people touch me.” I was never hugged as a child. Never cried into my parents chest. Never once have I had a boyfriend I trusted enough to do this with. Wait a sec, he was not my boyfriend. I pulled back from him.
“You let that Jordan guy touch you.” He spat the word out Jordan like it was sour.
I smiled, nodding my head. “Yeah I always forget about Jordan. I guess he and I just work well together.”
“You nearly ended up dating him.”
How did he know that? I looked at him, like he couldn’t possibly know that. “You know everything, don’t you?”
“I wish, when it came to you.” He smiled and looked at me like I was a mystery to him. “Did he even make the list, when you thought we broke up?” He sounded like he really wanted to know the answer.
“I told you. I don’t date.” I took a stagged breath in, when his hands went to my lower back, and he pushed me into him. Then his hands slipped under the back of my top and he started to massage me.
“You’re wrong again.” He dipped his head to look me in the eyes. “You’re dating me.”
I smiled. Here I was thinking, I had actually got something wrong. “You ended us.”
“No I didn’t.”
“Well it doesn’t matter anymore because it’s over.” I ran my hand up his chest. I really needed to get off him. As if he knew what I was thinking, he gripped me by the hips forcing me to remain where I am.
“Don’t you feel it?” His hands ran up across my pencil skirt, ran up my sides, around my back. He leant in kissing my neck at first. “Don’t you feel what I feel?” He kissed along my jawline and kissed my lips so gently, pulling away. “How can you pretend like there is nothing between us?”
I was high. High on him. I knew exactly what he was talking about. The need to be touched by him. The want to be with him. But how could he feel that back to me? He wasn’t saying I had the same power, over him, as he did me? Was he? No that wasn’t possible.
“You should let me go.” I stagged out, his lips dangerously close to mine.
His eyes flashed to my lips. “Should but I’m not going to.” His hand slipped into my hair and he gently pushed my head to his.
At first he was kissing me gently, pleading with me to kiss him back. Then I’d knew I regret it, along with everything else tonight. My lips parted and moved my lips against his. He smirked for a second, but was back kissing me the next.
He lifted me up, and then lowered me down on the long lounge. His lips didn’t even break from mine. His hands ran down my body. But all his focus was on my mouth. I linked my arm around his neck, not caring that I was encouraging him.
I wanted it.
I wanted him.
Couldn’t I have what I wanted, just once? I did everything for everyone else. Couldn’t I have him for me? Was it selfish?
He was deepening the kiss when he pulled back.
“Do you have to work tomorrow?”
I blinked. “What?”
“Work. Tomorrow?” He smirked.
Why did he want to know that? “Um what day is it?” I attempted to regain my thoughts. He wanted me to think. Didn’t he know I was incapable of that, when he was so close?
“It will be Sunday.” He kissed the corner of my mouth. “Say no. So I can keep you up all night.”
“I do have to work.” I sighed. “Today was my only day off.” The homework I had to do, flooded back to me and I groaned.
“I didn’t do those stupid fractions.”
“Sorry.” He looked at me guilty. “I did say I’d help you with them. How about,” he kissed my lips for a second “we go to bed now and I’ll help you before you go to work tomorrow.”
Squeeze them in before my shoot. That was possible. “You sure you’ve adjusted to the time difference?” I smirked at him. Knowing how hard it is the first few days.
“I can sleep whenever.” He shrugged and got up, extending a hand down to me.
I took it and he helped me up. “When do you fly back?” I asked, while flicking off the lights, and he wrapped his arms around me. And I guided us to my bedroom.
“With you at the end of the week.” He kissed my shoulder.
I sighed. And walked into the bedroom, breaking his grasp on me and turning on the bedside lights.
I looked at him and he was looking out the window.
“The garden is one of the reasons I brought it.” I threw back the blankets and pulled my earrings out, dropping them on the bedside table.
My hands went to the hem of my shirt but his hands were there just as quick. He slowly lifted it up, taking it off.
My breathing increased rapidly as his hand went to my skirt and he undid the zipper. He gently pushed the skirt down and it fell to the ground.
“God you should be illegal.” He gritted out. As if being in pain. I turned seeing his expression.
I had seen that look before, on men’s faces when they first see me in my underwear, but there was something else in his eyes. Something I hadn’t seen before. It wasn’t desire. Or passion. Or need. I didn’t know what it was.
I had never seen it before in any man’s eyes.
I reached out for him, running my hand over his cheek, trying to understand the look in his eyes.
He took a step closer to me. Pulling his phone out. Three minutes past midnight.
“So how did I do?” His hands were on my hips and he pulled me into him. “Did I get my girlfriend back?”
I didn’t say anything.
He sighed deflated. He pulled back, his hands going to my face, gently cupping my face. “At least did I convince you to see the rest of the year out?”
Had he? Would I regret it? I found myself biting my bottom lip again and as soon as I realised I was doing it. I let it go. I had to be stronger when it came to him. Especially if I was about to do, what I thought I was going to do.
“I need my phone.” I put my hand out. I can’t believe I was going to do this.
“What now?” He frowned. “Clearly I didn’t convince you if you are going back to work within three minutes of your time being up with me.” He looked so disappointed. He was speaking like I had just broken his heart.
I smiled “I need my phone to cancel the press release Dane.”
“So I convinced you?” He grinned. Not believing his luck.
“I don’t normal do second chances.” I blew out. “This is a once off.”
“I swear I won’t screw up again.”
“You can’t promise me that. Now I need my phone. Unless you want that press release coming out?”
He was quick to pull my phone out of his pocket and hand it to me.
I turned it on when he kissed my cheek.
“I won’t make you regret this Emerald.” He sounded so determined.
“Uhuh.” I said while typing a message to Megan. Would I regret this? My brain was pointing out all the facts that hadn’t changed. Yet there was something else pulling me towards Dane. Making me want to give him a second chance.
I finished the message and then put my phone down on the bedside table.
He still a big grin on his face, like he couldn’t believe his luck.
He linked his hand with mine. “So does this mean you are coming home with me?”
“I don’t know. Depends what Megan has locked in.” Why did I need him to touch me? Why was I wanting nothing more than to drop work and go home with him?
He pulled me in and I crashed against his chest. My hands going to his arms, that had caught me.
“I’ll let you sleep.” He muttered planting a kiss on my forehead.
He was letting go of me, leaving me, when I realised I didn’t want that.
“Where are you going?” I asked, I hadn’t shown him a spare room. Because the spare rooms didn’t have a bed in them.
“I’ll crash on the couch. I’ll see you in the morning.” He smiled backing out of the room.
“What with you?” He looked at me shocked.
I nodded my head.
“But you’ve never shared a bed with anyone before.” His eyes slightly wide. He was saying it like I didn’t know that.
“Are you going to make me beg?” I put my hand on hip, was he?
“Nope.” He moved so quickly, wrapping his arms around me and picking me up. “Just making sure you know what you are doing.”
He lowered me to the bed, my head sinking into the pillow. I didn’t realise how tired I was till, my body hit the bed. Suddenly sleep was all I wanted. Well, sleep and him.
I watched him take out his phone and wallet dropping them next to my phone. I watched him take off his top and jeans.
I quickly rolled over, so I wasn’t caught gawking at him. I felt the bed dip, and then his arm went around me, and he pulled me back to him.
“You know this is nearly perfect.” He whispered in my ear as fingers traced over my stomach.
“And what would make it perfect?”
“If you said I had my girlfriend back.”
I smiled. “I think you already have your answer to that.”
“Nah babe I don’t.” His lips kissed my shoulder. “Do I have you back?”
I leant back into him. Nearly going to sleep at his touch. I sighed.
“Emerald, have I got you back?”
Right he wanted an answer.
“I’ve never shared a bed with anyone.” I rolled over, my fingers tracing his strong jaw. “But I will share it with my boyfriend.”
He grinned. “I got you back.”
I nodded my head. “Yeah you did Sullivan. So don’t make me regret it.”
He kissed my forehead and I closed my eyes. “I won’t let anything get in the way of you again.”
I snuggled into his chest and didn’t have the energy to speak. Because I was positive there were things, that were going to become in between us. His career being one of them. But I didn’t have the energy to point that out to him right now.