“You have changed. You’re not the same and the fame did get to your head. But it’s gotten to me too, and to Ash. We’re no longer kids from Green Meadows. People depend on us.” I maintain my focus on her, trying to make some sense with what I’m trying to get at. “If this isn’t the life for you then move on. Tell the networks you’re done and move out of your apartment. Why you’re still with him is beyond me.”
The last comment only riled me; my blood pumping furiously as I am reminded that tonight, we’ll go our separate ways and her direction was to someone else’s dick. Maybe it’s an unfair assumption but still fucking pissed me off that she went home to him despite what excuse she laid on me.
“I don’t want to talk about this anymore. We’re supposed to be having fun.”
“Yeah,” I drag, leaning back in my chair.
“I’m sorry Logan.” She straightens her posture. “How about you get up and sing now?”
“About that . . .” I think of a valid excuse. “How about we mark this as an IOU?”
“That never works,” she huffs. “You used to do that in Monopoly until you were so broke that you had nothing left and still forced us to play because you thought you could make a comeback.”
I smile, purposely playing with my mustache to annoy her. “Would a man with a mustache make false promises?”
She laughs, tossing her hair to the side and leaning forward. “A man with a mustache is a sign of false promises but I’ll believe you . . . on one condition.”
“We ditch this place and find something else fun to do.”
I smile back. “Deal.”
In front of the Chinese Theatre, we both notice a few paparazzi lingering near the street post. Emmy pulls my arm, looking left and right before crossing the street and dragging me with her. When our feet hit the footpath, she turns to me with fire in her eyes and asks, “What name suits a man with a mustache?”
“Burt,” she says confusing me even further.
Her hand is buried into mine; the touch of her skin electrifying mine though I try to ignore the way it’s igniting my whole body.
She leads me to where the paparazzi stand, and begins talking to them.
“Hi. You look like you can take a great photo.” She smiles innocently. “My husband Burt and I would love a photo just there in front of the Theatre. Would you mind taking one for us?”
He shrugs, barely speaking a word as he takes the cell off Emmy’s hands. What the fuck is she doing?! Did she just seriously ask the paparazzi to take a photo of us? Why the hell did she always want to play with fire!
We both walk towards the spot that she mentioned. A few smiles and it’s over—no biggie.
“Turn around, Burt,” she whispers.
I turn around without thinking. The palms of her hands grace my cheeks, pulling them down until our lips are touching. I should be shocked. But instead, I move my tongue against hers as if I have waited a whole lifetime to kiss her. Even with the mustache in the way, the sensations that barrel through me are foreign. I’d kissed many women in my lifetime but none that made me question my entire life as much as this moment.
It could have been seconds yet it felt longer; her tongue pressuring mine with a forceful wrestle that left my cock stirring beneath my pants. Fuck. We shouldn’t be doing this.
I pull back, holding her arms at bay. “Emmy, we can’t do this. Look around us.” I motion my eyes towards the paparazzi that begins walking towards us, phone in hand and looking equally annoyed for taking up his precious time. She takes it from him, giving thanks before opening her mouth.
“Just live a little, Burt. I bet all you do is play soccer then go home and watch porn, then wake up and play soccer.”
Confused by her mention of porn, I furrow my brows and purse my lips waiting on a further explanation which never happens.
“Yeah, I live and breathe soccer. I do watch porn on occasion but the real thing is much better.”
“And I bet you don’t have time for relationships?” She stands tall, straightening her posture as if she had a hidden agenda.
I didn’t want to mention Louisa. It was still a wound cut fresh and open, not up for discussion by anyone.
“What’s your point, Chase?” I ask, annoyed.
“We’ve always had fun together even when he hated each other, right?”
I nod, waiting for her to continue. “So, let’s have fun, Burt. No strings attached. I promise. I don’t need strings . . . trust me. I just don’t want to think about anything but the moment I’m living in and if you happen to be there . . . well then hip hip hooray.”
“You want to have fun without strings?” I repeat. “Is that what you’re saying?”
This time, she smiles, nodding. “Yep.”
In a lifetime full of propositions, I never expected Emerson Chase to propose this. She was hurting, drunk on revenge and making Wesley’s life equally painful. I knew that, I wasn’t stupid. I’m the pawn in her game and when she’s done playing, I’ll be on the sideline watching her live her life with someone else.
I needed her.
Regardless of the conditions.
Keep the emotions away, take what you want, and reap the benefits from the scorned.
“On one condition,” I tell her, plotting it out so I get what I want. “You stop calling me Burt. This mustache needs to go.”
“Deal. But it stays on until we’re back at your hotel.”
“Hotel . . .” I repeat, caught off guard for second.
Running her hands along the front buttons of my shirt, she looks up at me with fire in her eyes. “Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear and maybe I underestimated your ability to read between the lines, Carrington.” She pauses, lowering her voice. “Sex. Fucking. That’s what I’m talking about. Are you in?”
She wanted me as much as I wanted her.
There were no more questions, no more rules, no more anything.
I was in—all in.
Everyone thinks they know who I am. I’m that reality TV star that fell in love with co-star Wesley Rich. But reality wasn’t my life. It was the life I lived in front of the cameras.
A life designed to entertain millions of watchers each Monday night.
It only took one night to relive my past, and one night to forget my future. With someone who had been there all along.
Soccer is my life—it’s in my blood.
I train hard, I play hard, and I win. Nothing will break my focus.
I should have been able to avoid it, resist the temptation. But it’s there, playing every Monday night, an obsession I can’t seem to shake.
And I don’t know what was harder: hiding it from my best friend, or watching the woman I want live a life with someone else.
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