I wasn’t mad that Vicky had called my mother a bitch. I was sure that she’s been acting like one. I didn’t know why but she had always been the overprotective mother to me and Kenny. There were some girls she absolutely adored, so I knew she had a specific type in her mind for the girls that she thought were appropriate for us. My guess was that mothers just knew. They just knew who was right for their sons or daughters.
And the fact that she’d been anything less than nice to Vicky proved to me that Vicky was bad news. Though, this doesn’t mean that I endorsed my mother’s toxic behavior with her.
After I finally got Shawna to pack Vicky’s stuff, I watched in awe of the woman sitting on the other edge of the couch. Her auburn hair was curled at the ends. More wavy than curled. She looked like she’d just swam in the ocean and her hair had dried naturally to look like that. There was no pretense about her, no over-the-top makeup. Her blue eyes had a beauty of their own without all the color and whatever else that girls did to make their eyes pop. None of that. She was simple, pure, looked uncomplicated. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t stop looking at her.
But it looked like there had been enough drama in this place before I’d gotten back. There was no reason for me to make things worse. Vicky wouldn’t be happy if she saw me staring so intently at Emma, but she wasn’t really looking at me, anyway. The fact that I’d actually asked her to take her stuff and leave seemed to have come as a surprise to her, even though that is what we’d agreed upon before I let her come by this evening.
“I’ll go check on Shawna,” she said, getting off the couch and avoiding eye contact with anyone. On her way out of the living room, Vicky touched Emma’s shoulder and Emma held her fingers as the two of them slightly nodded.
Women were so dramatic. I couldn’t think of a single reason to be upset about this relationship ending. Heck, it was barely a relationship in the first place. Vicky might have been upset that she wouldn’t get the same perks at restaurants, bars, hotels, and flights, like she did while I was with her. But heartbroken she most definitely wasn’t.
I held my cold beer bottle by the neck and caught Emma looking at me before taking a sip. She captivated me. There was something on her mind for sure but she might have been apprehensive to say something in front of my mother who was still sitting on the same spot on the couch and mindlessly surfing TV channels.
“Talk for a sec?” I said, pointing at the door. She looked at my mother, then back at me before nodding.
I opened the door for Emma, the non-fruity smell of her perfume filling my lungs. I hated it when girls smelled like strawberries. This fragrance was just right, not overwhelming, just like Emma herself.
She looked around a lot.
Emma was either really fascinated by the tall chandelier or she wanted to avoid making eye contact. Or both.
“You wanted to talk?” She turned to me, her short heel making a clink sound. Her arms were crossed and she looked like an adorable tiny thing in her little white dress.
“It seemed to me that you wanted to talk,” I said, noticing how gorgeous her lips were. They were thin, usually not my preference, but they were perfect and matched with her sharp facial features. Emma may have seemed uncomplicated and sweet but she was clearly sassy.
“I never said I wanted to,” she shrugged a shoulder and glanced at onlookers. I turned my head to look at them too, which I usually never did because I was used to people gawking at me especially if I was in the company of a woman. The last thing I wanted was a ridiculous story about Emma, but that was unlikely in this high rise. Peasants didn’t live here or hang out here. You couldn’t even enter and get to the concierge without written permission from a resident who was expecting you. Tabloid nonsense was out of the question.
“It’s snowing,” she said. “I want to go walk outside if you really have nothing to say.”
“You like the fucking snow?” I shook my head. “It’s awful.”
“It’s romantic,” she shot back. “Too bad you’re breaking up today, huh?”
“Oh, trust me. Not dating your friend is way more romantic than dating her.”
“That can’t be true,” she crossed her arms and shifted her weight to one side. “She’s a good person and you can just end it on a simple note that you weren’t on the same page.”
“Not on the same page?” I stepped back and raised my voice a little. “Not even in the same book.”
“Maybe she’s right about you,” Emma said, her eyes turning into little slits. “You’re probably just a rich brat who thinks he can treat women like trash.”
Okay, she surprised me there. A gorgeous girl with a sharp tongue.
“Vicky deserved the way I treated her.”
Emma’s cheeks turned a different shade of red as she played with the ends of her long auburn hair while contemplating how she was going to respond to me.
“I take back what I said. You aren’t just a brat who thinks he can treat women like trash and get away with it. You’re a real dick, you know that?”
Her index finger was pointed at me and she’d stepped closer to me before saying that word so no one would hear her.
“And you aren’t just a pretty girl with a sharp tongue like I thought. You’re filthy.”
I touched the back of her neck and pulled her towards me before our lips touched. It wasn’t a slow kiss, there was nothing romantic about it. And it went on for way longer than I’d thought it would. I might have even heard her moan little. And I also might have bit her lower lip.
“Stop,” she said before ending the kiss, placing her hands on my chest and pulling away.
“Tempting,” I smirked, looking into her worried eyes that wandered in every direction but mine.
And then there was Vicky standing to our right along with Shawna and three of her large suitcases.
“Oh, my God. Vick.”
Emma extended her arm and saying some random things like “this isn’t how it looks” and “it was nothing.”
I was already rubbing my temples when Vicky started blaming her for ruining her life “again.”
I wasn’t sure what “again” meant. Had Emma hooked up with one of her former lovers before? I wasn’t sure if I wanted to find out.
“I can explain,” Emma continued justifying our insanely amazing kiss. “This was Jack’s idea. I told him that he was probably a horrible kisser and he was hell bent on proving me wrong.”
“Shut the fuck up, Emma,” Vicky shot back. “You’re worse than Jack. At least he hadn’t been my best friend since we were in high school. I didn’t think you could stoop so low. I thought that the last time you ruined me would’ve been enough for you.”
“Vicky, stop. Don’t say that.”
Now I was getting really curious about this other drama on the sidelines. Something weird had obviously happened in their past and Emma was remorseful. I wouldn’t have cared to find out if this only had to do with Vicky. But for some reason, everything about Emma intrigued me. I just wanted to know her past, her present, and maybe carve myself some space in her future. If not in her life, then at least in her bed.
“You’re right,” Vicky crossed her arms with bloodshot eyes. “Getting me expelled from high school isn’t as bad as kissing my ex boyfriend. But it’s still pretty fucking shitty.”
Vicky slammed her hand on the decorative table sitting in the corner and stormed off while Emma looked at me with puppy eyes. She felt guilty. I understood why, but I didn’t regret it.
“Are you coming?” Vicky yelled from the other side of the hallway. This woman was obnoxious. “You said you’d call Uber on our way back.”
Emma started to walk away but I had to stop her, or say something so this wasn’t the last thing she remembered of us.
“I want to see you,” I said, holding her wrist just as she started walking away. “Again. I want to see you again.”
Emma swallowed, shocked that I’d have the audacity to do what I just did with Vicky’s attention still on us.
“Let go of me,” she said, twisting her hand and sure enough, I loosened my grip before letting her go.
“You’re crazy, “ she said and walked off.
Shawna gestured to the concierge because there was no way she could drag all three suitcases by herself.
“I got these two,” I said, dragging one in each hand. This might have been the first time my housekeeper saw me doing anything like that. But taking these suitcases to the door was my excuse to let Emma know one final thing.
“This isn’t over,” I smiled at her while Vicky filled her lungs and shot me a disgusted look.
“No wonder,” Vicky mumbled.
“No wonder, what?” I asked, curious.
“You were raised by Karina Gold,” she snapped. “No wonder you grew up this way.”
Emma didn’t look up at me, but I hoped she knew that I meant what I said.
This wasn’t over yet. I hadn’t just tasted her lips to never see her again.
I was already addicted.
And I wanted so much more.