Peach - *Book Four*

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Sixteen

Jack

How the fuck did I get myself into this mess? I have no business noticing how stunning and sexy Emma looks or telling her that she has nice boobs. And I certainly have no fucking business kissing her like I mean it.

But damn, I meant it. Tasting her sweet, full lips and hearing her soft moan did incredible things to me. It took my brain much longer than usual to realize that I was touching someone and indeed doing much more, and that not even one hour after my therapist advised me to take it slow. One little baby step at a time, he told me in today’s session. But what just happened was the complete opposite of that. The step we took was anything but baby.

It felt so fucking awesome to be entirely lost in the moment. A moment so full of desire for her, for the feeling of her smooth skin under my fingertips, her heavenly scent filling my nose, and her delicious taste on my tongue. But that moment is definitely over now that someone’s at her door.

It takes us both a couple of moments to regain our senses. We stare at each other, and neither of us seems to able to believe what just happened.

Emma snaps out of it first. With one deep breath, she strides over to her door while I’m still trying to calm my nerves. “Brad! What are you doing here?” she yells. A second later, a tall, blonde guy walks in, and as soon as the front door is closed, Emma jumps into his arms and hugs him tight. You can see the family resemblance at once; that must be her brother.

“Oh, Em, I missed you,” he says and hugs her even tighter.

“I missed you too. But you haven’t answered my question.” Emma leans back and looks at her brother expectantly.

“Stuart had to come to New York to meet with a client, so I thought this would be a great opportunity for a surprise visit,” he says with a wide grin.

Emma returns it with a huge grin of her own before her eyes find mine. Only now, her brother notices me too. “Brad, that’s Jack,” Emma introduces us. “A friend of mine. Jack, this is my brother, Brad.”

“Nice to meet you.” With a smile not quite as wide as the one he gave his sister, Brad stretches out his hand which I shake quickly.

“You too.” I only give him a subtle smile, and I know that I’m not making the best first impression here, but I’m still a little flustered from that mind-blowing kiss.

“Where are you guys staying?” Emma interrupts our awkward moment.

“At the same hotel like last time. I’m gonna go back there now to meet Stuart who had to take an earlier flight in. I just wanted to see you first, and I was hoping we could catch up later tonight?” He beams at her after he’s given me a quick look.

“I have plans, but you guys are more than welcome to join us. I have to tell you about mom’s latest coup.”

Brad’s eyes widen when Emma gives him a quick recount of the last phone call with their mother where she told Emma that she had booked a flight and given her number to some guy.

“No way,” Brad exclaims and takes Emma’s hands in his, and I can’t help but feel bad because they touch so much. Watching them has got me wishing that I could touch her like that as well. Without apprehension or fear of the imminent sense of unease and anxiety.

And now he even hugs her again when he says, “Damn, sis, that calls for lots of alcohol, don’t you think? Let’s go out and get hammered.” He leans back, rests his hands on her shoulders, and gives his sister a reassuring look.

Emma frowns. “Oh, uhm - fuck!” She takes a step back from her brother and closer to me.

Brad gives her a surprised look. “What?” He studies her with narrow eyes. “What are you not telling me?”

Emma buries her face in her hands and takes a deep breath. “I can’t drink,” she mumbles in a low voice. “Because I’m pregnant,” she adds in an even lower voice. I’ve hardly heard her, so I guess her brother had a hard time as well.

“Excuse me?” Brad asks and removes her hands from her face. “You are WHAT?”

She looks up at him and wrinkles her nose. “Pregnant. Fuck, Brad, I’m having a baby.”

He gives her a look of utter surprise. Or shock, I’m not sure. “Pregnant?” is all he says. Then his eyes shoot to me, and the look he gives me makes me take a step back.

Emma puts her hand on Brad’s arm to get his attention. “It’s not his.”

His gaze is back on Emma, and it softens immediately. “Whose is it then?” he asks.

“Some guy.” She shrugs as if she was talking about a new colleague and not the father of her baby.

Brad’s eyes go wide. “Some guy? Fuck, Em, are you serious? Does Mom know?”

She shakes her head. “And I’d like to keep it that way, for now.”

“Damn, I don’t know what to say. I didn’t think we’d need to catch up this badly. You’re gonna have to answer so many questions.”

“I will,” Emma says. “But later tonight because we need to leave.” She gives me a quick nod.

Brad takes a deep breath and nods as well. “I need to leave too. Stuart is waiting for me. Text me where you’re going, and I’ll meet you there in a bit.” He gives her another hug and mumbles, “Pregnant, wow. And here I thought you’ve just gotten fat.”

Emma steps out of their embrace and hits his chest. “Hey!”

Brad chuckles. “Okay, I’m off. I’ll see you later.” And with a peck on Emma’s cheek and a small nod toward me, he’s gone.

I’m still standing there rooted to the spot, already wondering if we’re going to talk about the kiss now or not.

“Okay,” Emma says with a deep breath. “Give me five minutes, and I’m ready to go.” She walks past me and vanishes into her bedroom.

So, not talking about it now it is.


“What did you tell your brother about me?” I ask Emma several hours later as we’re on our way to her apartment.

After an evening at O’Reilly’s where Paul, Henry, and I played tonight and enjoyed our friends’ company afterward, I’m walking Emma home. We’ve just dropped off her brother and his boyfriend at their hotel, and Emma insisted on walking the rest of the way to her place.

“What do you mean?” She gives me a quick look.

“From the looks Brad was giving me, I could tell that you talked about me. So what did you tell him?”

She shrugs. “That we’re friends. And that you offered me your support in this.”

I want to ask her if she still thinks that we’re only friends, but for some reason, I’m not sure if I want to have that conversation just yet. And suddenly, I remember something that I need to ask her. I nervously clear my throat because I’m a little worried to hear her answer.

Emma gives me a weird look when I run my hand through my hair. “What’s up, Jack?”

Maybe this is a good start for the conversation that we’ve been avoiding. “I, uhm - I told Amy I’d bring a plus one to their wedding,” I tell her.

“Did you?” She raises her eyebrows at me.

“Yeah. It’s gonna be next month, in mid-June. They’re getting married at Henry’s parents’ house in the Hamptons. It’s a beautiful property, right on the beach. We’ll spend the weekend there. And-”

“Jack!” Emma interrupts my rambling. “Get to it!” She smirks at me, certainly knowing what I’m trying to say.

I clear my throat again. “Okay, uh-” I stop and turn her to face me. “Emma, will you accompany me to Ben and Amy’s wedding?”

She gives me that sweet smile that I’ve come to adore way too much. “I’d love to.”

I smile back at her. “Great.”

And the rest of the way, I give her more details about the wedding until we stand in front of her door. I already feel disappointed that the evening is coming to an end now and we didn’t talk about what happened earlier, when Emma asks, “Do you want to come in? Maybe have another drink and talk some more?” She gives me a nervous smile.

The smile I give her in return must look just as nervous because that’s what I am. “Sure.”

I stand right behind her when she unlocks the door. I’m close enough to breathe in her deliciously sweet scent. I briefly close my eyes and am taken back to that moment when she was wrapped up in my arms. Pictures of that moment flooded my mind all evening, and the urge to touch her again grew steadily. And just like that, the nervousness that had a hold on me makes way for a different feeling.

I walk into the apartment behind Emma, and all of a sudden something in my brain shuts off completely. As soon as the door is closed behind her and she turns to me, I take a step toward her. I brace my hands on the wall that I press her up against, my palms resting next to her shoulders. She stares up at me, and I can see the surprise in her eyes. But I also see something else: An intense and overwhelming need.

I close the last distance between our bodies, and a quiet moan escapes Emma’s lips that - as soft as it might be - I can still feel in every fiber of my body.

Seconds pass where we stare at each other, and the tension between us keeps building up. With her every breath, her chest brushes mine, and I’m mere moments away from losing control. I couldn’t care less that this might end badly, and that I shouldn’t be doing this just yet.

“Jack, are you drunk?” Emma asks. Her voice is barely more than a whisper.

“No.”

“Then what are you doing? I thought you couldn’t-” She doesn’t finish the sentence, but I know what she wants to say.

“Fuck while I’m sober?”

She nods.

“Things are different with you. I’ve already felt it when I met you. You do something to me. You make me feel things that no one has made me feel in so long. And this is getting stronger every time I see you, every time I’m close to you.”

“Oh, Jack,” she moans. Her eyes close and her hands that she had flattened against the wall move over my chest, a contact that makes me shiver.

I lower my head and stop just before my mouth touches hers. “I want you, Peach. So bad.”

I put my hands around her face, and my thumbs gently caress her cheeks when I finally close the last inch between our lips. And just like our last kiss, this one completely consumes me. It makes me forget everything but her and me. My hands wander down her body until they reach her ass. I press her even closer to me, and she gasps.

I run my lips along her jaw, down her neck, to her collarbone, and the swells of her beautiful breasts. My hands wander back up, this time beneath her blouse and the freaking tight tank top that got my blood pumping earlier. The small whimpering sounds and the low moans that escape Emma’s lips spur me on even more.

When I massage her breast and hard nipple through the lace of her bra with one hand, my other lifts up her leg so I can press my throbbing erection even closer to her hot center to show her just how much I want her. As if that was all she needed, Emma starts undulating her hips a little, obviously looking for some friction.

“Ah, Jack,” she moans over and over before my lips find hers again. She runs her fingers through my hair, pulling gently which elicits a deep, guttural sound from my throat. I’m so close to just ripping her clothes off and finally sinking into her, but for some reason unknown to me my brain decides this very moment to start working again, making my heart beat even more frantically. My breath hitches in my throat, and suddenly I feel like I’m suffocating.

I tear myself away from Emma, with regret and remorse washing through me. How could I be so stupid to think that this could work? Why did I even raise both our hopes that I could actually go through with this? I don’t even dare look at her, afraid of seeing the disappointment in her eyes.

“Shit!” I mutter as I’m trying to calm down. “I’m sorry.”

I hear her take a deep breath and let out a small, frustrated groan. Yeah, I deserve her anger.

“Jack, look at me.”

When I finally do, I cringe. Hurt and irritation are written all over her face. “Oh, Emma. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have - I shouldn’t rush into this.”

“Into what? What is it that you want from me? Just a quick fuck? Or more?”

“Damn, Peach, I want more, so much more. I’m sorry, please don’t be mad.”

She sighs and slumps her shoulders. “I’m not mad - just confused,” she says more softly. “How is this ever going to work if you can’t touch me?” And just like that, the frustration is back in her voice.

I frown. “I can get used to it. I can force myself. I know I can.”

“I don’t want you to get used to it! Dammit, Jack, are you even listening to what you’re saying?”

“I’m sorry, Emma, this is all I can offer you right now. I’m working on it. Please,” I whisper, “be patient with me.”

Emma crosses her arms in front of her chest, and paired with the closed-off expression on her face, I get the impression that we’re done with the conversation for now.

“Maybe I should go now,” I say. “Good night, Peach.”

And with one last apologetic look, I walk out her door.

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