“It’s me, Emma,” she said softly. She watched his face go from disgust to surprise. She looked up at him. He was taller than she had imagined. She didn’t realize how tall six feet five inches was when compared to her own diminutive stature.
He was so beautiful, she thought. Even in person. He had the face of a Greek god framed by short black hair. He was golden, his tan a rich hue. His blue eyes were the color of Caribbean waters. Those lips beneath his proportional nose were full and sumptuous. His body was lean but definitely muscular. His t-shirt strained to contain him. She could see the outline of his shoulder and pecs. His torso tapered down to a narrow waist that was sporting some very expensive jeans that hugged him perfectly.
She looked back up at his face when he said her name. His voice was so deep and rich. Hearing him say her name made her shiver with the resonance of it.
She gave him a small smile and nodded her head.
“Wow! You’ve grown up!” he exclaimed reaching to embrace her. She stood stiffly in his arms. She reminded herself that this was her brother. He wasn’t a threat and she could trust him. Besides he could have any woman he wanted, he didn’t need to use her for sexual gratification. Not to mention when he had looked her over, he had not found her attractive, if his facial expressions were anything to go by.
When he pulled away, he looked at her strangely. “Is everything ok?” he asked concerned.
“Yes, yes. I – uh, I’m a little tired from the flight,” she reassured him.
“Of course. You must have left early to get here at this time.”
“Yeah. I couldn’t sleep because I was so afraid I would sleep through my alarm,” she told him bashfully.
“Well then let’s get you home to rest for a bit,” he said smiling.
She heard someone clear his throat loudly. Looking around Chris she saw a huge man standing behind her brother. She smiled nervously at him.
“This is my best friend Jackson Hunt,” Chris introduced. “Jackson, my baby sister, Emma Carrington.”
“Hello Emma,” the big man said politely holding out his hand to her.
She stifled her fear and shook it. “It’s nice to meet you – Jackson,” she greeted him a little breathlessly. This man could break her in half, she thought scared.
He’s your brother’s best friend, she reminded herself. He’s not going to hurt you. He doesn’t even know you well enough to want to hurt you. Not every man in the world feels disgusted with you. Some don’t care about you one way or another.
“Do you have any checked bags?” Chris asked looking intently at her.
She shook her head. “No. Just my back pack,” she answered. “And this bag.” She toed a small duffel at her feet.
“You don’t have to –” she began, when her brother picked up her bag.
“What kind of gentlemen would I be if I didn’t carry your bags for you?” he asked grinning. “Give me your back pack.”
“It’s ok –”
“Hand it over,” he said his voice a little edgy.
She immediately did what he commanded.
“This way,” he said turning and began walking. She practically had to run to keep up with them. She tried not to breath so hard despite her exertions. Even though she had lost fifty pounds in the last two years, she still wasn’t quite in as good a shape as she wanted to be.
You’re fat she chided herself brutally. You need to lose hundred more pounds. That thought depressed her. It had taken so much discipline to get the fifty off. She sometimes went days without eating and spent hours at the gym. She was worried about how she could keep it up for the rest of her life.
One day at a time, she told herself. One day at a time is all you can do right now.
Even though she was jogging after them, she fell behind and almost lost them in the crowd. Thank God they were tall so she could see them above all the other people.
She was so intent on catching up to them she didn’t notice they had stopped and were looking for her.
“I’m sorry,” she apologized to the brick wall she had run into. She looked up into the surprised eyes of her brother. She blushed when she realized it was him she had barreled into. He had grabbed her arms when she hit him. His grip felt so secure. He had kept her from falling on her ass. “Thanks,” she said softly.
Her mind went blank when he flashed her a dazzling smile. Struck again by how beautiful he was, she stared dazed at him. She felt him rub his hands up and down her arms. The delicious friction of skin on skin contact made her grateful that she had worn a short sleeve t-shirt. His hands were rough, like he was used to doing hard labor. The feel of his calloused fingers and palms on her naked skin was electric. Never before had another person’s touch affected her in this way.
What was going on with her?