Craving Him Page 44

We’d been discussing options for my charity and whether it made more sense to start something of my own or join up with an established organization. We’d considered building orphanages for AIDS victims in Africa, setting up freshwater wells in Central America, and sponsoring early childhood education programs here in the United States..

“Thank you for staying over,” I said, leaning down to breath in against her neck. Emmy had been staying over more and more, and though she hadn’t officially agreed to move in yet, she’d brought a duffle bag and left it in my closet. She knew I needed her here to sleep. Her toiletries and some spare clothes were inside, not yet unpacked, but I knew it was only a matter of time. A step this big should scare me, but instead it made me ridiculously f**king happy.

It was hard for me to admit it but I needed her. I’d never needed anyone, but this sweet southern girl was different. She had been from day one. Her refreshingly real attitude had knocked me on my ass—floored me right from the get-go.

I still remembered meeting her for the first time in Fiona’s office and chuckled out loud.

“What?” Emmy asked, her eyes lighting up with a smile.

I knew she loved seeing me lighthearted like this. And early memories of her did that to me. “I was just thinking about the first time we met at the Status headquarters.”

Her smile faded ever so slightly. “Oh, God.” She buried her face in her hands. “When I spilled that tea all over the floor? I was a nervous wreck around you.”

Interesting. At the time, I’d assumed it was just Fiona that made her so nervous and unsure.

“I can’t even imagine what you must have thought of me,” she continued.

“I thought you were stunning,” I said, brushing the back of my knuckles along her cheekbone. “You didn’t fit the mold of Fiona’s typical assistant and I couldn’t take my eyes off you. You looked so sweet and innocent. I wanted to corrupt you.”

“I thought you barely noticed me,” she said, glancing down.

“I noticed everything. How erratically your pulse fluttered in your neck when you looked directly at me.” I trailed a fingertip down the column of her throat. “How your eyes peered straight into mine. I knew you saw the real me, and I was intrigued. But I also knew I should leave you alone. I knew Fiona wouldn’t take the news well that I wanted to f**k her assistant.”

Her quick inhalation of breath told me I’d hidden that fact well. That, or my choice of language surprised her.

“I thought you were out of my league,” she admitted softly.

I laughed. “No. The other way around, sweetheart. You were real and genuine. I knew my mountains of baggage would likely scare you away. But everything in me wanted to devour you.”

“I picked up on that once you started texting me.” She smiled widely. “But I knew right from the beginning you’d be dangerous for me—that it wouldn’t be just about sex. I knew I could fall hard for you.”

“The feeling was mutual, trust me. Scared the shit out of me, too. I’d never needed anyone before. But after that first night we spent together you were a magic cure for my insomnia; I knew you were special. That you and I had something special.”

Her little hand found mine and squeezed.

“And the fact that you cared enough to convince me to stop relying on those pills and always wanted to take care of me . . . I’d never been treated like that by a woman. Most were more concerned with getting my autograph, finding out if the shit they’d seen in the tabloids about my mother was true, or posing for a picture with me to post to their Instagram. It was all about saying they’d met me. You didn’t care about any of that.”

She met my eyes. “Not a bit. The nurturer in me just wanted to feed you.”

I truly couldn’t imagine my life without her in it. I’d never been one for commitment, but I needed to make sure she stuck by my side no matter what the future held. I couldn’t f**k this up.

• • •

Emmy was in my bathroom drying her hair while I prepared a light breakfast of poached eggs and fruit for us. It turned out having her here made me want to cook. I transferred a bowl of blueberries and sliced pineapple to the breakfast bar just as my phone began to ring.

I padded into the living room and found it on the console table. Damn. It was Fiona.

“Hello?

“Hi, love,” she cooed in her sharp British accent that I used to think was sexy.

“Did you need something?” The last thing I needed was Emmy finding me on the phone with Fiona, though I could still hear the blow-dryer running.

“Yes, I actually wanted to tell you that I’ve decided to go through with the paternity testing after all. It’s driving me mad not knowing.”

“Uh . . . okay. I’m happy to pay for it.”

She huffed. “You know that’s not why I’m telling you. I don’t need your money, love.”

No, I supposed she didn’t. She had plenty of her own. She ran a top modeling agency in New York. She made 15 percent commission on everything I made, and I did quite well. “When will you know?”

“The test is on Tuesday, so about a week or ten days after that. I’ll be sure to call you.”

“Okay.” I didn’t quite know how I felt about all this. Emmy and I seemed strong right now . . . but if the baby turned out to be mine . . . I didn’t know.

“Is Emmy there now?”

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