Home > Collide (Collide #1)(13)

Collide (Collide #1)(13)
Author: Gail McHugh

He dropped a chaste kiss on her cheek and walked away.

Gavin watched Emily carefully, silence stretching between them as she sipped her beer. He felt her eyes on him, giving nervous little looks that tugged at every rational instinct he had left. Each time her gaze met his, he wanted to sink into it and live in it forever. He wondered if she felt the connection that had passed between them when he kissed her hand.

He took a long pull from his beer, trying to ease the dryness in his mouth. “So, Molly, are you enjoying New York?”

Knowing that one was coming, Emily let out a laugh. “Yes, I am actually, stalker boy. Thanks for asking.”

“I’m really not a stalker or a player, honestly,” he said, chuckling at the nickname she gave him.

“The stalker part may be questionable,” she laughed and so did Gavin. “But, I have to be honest, I’ve heard otherwise about you being a player.”

Emily bit her lip, realizing how horribly offensive those last words must’ve sounded. Even so, now knowing who he was, it was the truth. Olivia told her stories of Dillon’s rich friend, Gavin, being a ladies’ man. She also warned Emily that once she met him, it would take everything in her not to rip off her shirt and watch the buttons scatter on the floor, along with every sexual inhibition following behind them.

Yep, completely fuckable.

Shifting in his seat, Gavin flashed a smile. “And who did you hear that from?”

“Olivia Martin.”

“Mmm, you must not know her that well then,” he replied, motioning for the bartender to bring them another round.

“Let’s see. She was my roommate in college, and I live with her now.” She smiled. “I consider her a pretty reliable source, but hey, to each his own.”

“Forgive me and my horrible memory. That’s right; that’s right. You’re Emily and not Molly,” he laughed, tossing a hand through his hair. “Of course you know Olivia.”

She smiled. “Yes, my real name is Emily. We’ve established that, but how come I have a feeling you might never let me live that one down?”

A delicious grin slid across his lips. “Ah-ha, I may or may not. But that’s for me to know, and you to find out.” They both laughed, seeming to relax a bit around one another. “So what else did Olivia say about me?”

“Ah-ha, that’s for me to know, and you to find out.”

Amused by her quick-witted response, Gavin hung his head and laughed. His features softened as he stared into her eyes. “But, in my defense, the whole player thing’s a misconception. I just haven’t found the right woman yet.”

“Well, there seems to be an awful lot of ladies trying to get your attention right now.” With the sweep of her hand, Emily gestured toward a group of women at the end of the bar that were noticeably glancing in his direction. “Pretty decent pick if you ask me.”

Although he tried, he couldn’t pull his eyes away from her. He stared at Emily, wanting to let her know—again—the only woman he wanted was already with his friend. “Unfortunately, most of them are only interested in one thing.”

Confusion knitted her brows. “Isn’t that what all guys want anyway?”

“Not quite, but I like the way you think,” he laughed, studying the way she nervously tucked her hair behind her ear. He liked it more than he should. “No, seriously though, I don’t want to come off like a conceited ass, but there’s a fine line between me and my money.”

His remark struck an odd cord with Emily. She knew he had money—the whole damn city did. However, to assume women were strictly after him for his cash was obviously some sort of insecurity he had.

“Oh, so in your eyes, every woman you date’s a gold digger?” she remarked, drawing the bottle to her mouth as she leaned casually into her seat.

Gavin tried hard to fixate his eyes on hers instead of her lips. “No, it’s not that at all. That came out the wrong way; I apologize.” He placed his empty drink on the bar. “It’s just hard to tell who’s real and who’s not. I want a woman who wants me with or without my money.” He flashed a sheepish grin. “And, for some reason, I seem to attract the all-beauty-and-no-brains type, too.”

“Oh.” Emily shifted in her seat, embarrassed at her assumption. She tried to deflect her earlier statement. “Sounds like you’re trolling the wrong places, buddy.”

The bartender put their drinks down.

Gavin laughed, immensely enjoying her honesty. “Apparently, I do.” An infectious smile ran across his mouth. “Where is it you said you hang out these days other than Bella Lucina?”

“Dillon’s apartment, but thanks for trying again,” she laughed. She tipped her beer to her lips, allowing herself to hold his gaze a little longer this time. “Maybe you should search for women at the library? That would take care of the no-brains problem you seem to attract.”

“You’re a pretty funny girl, Emily,” he remarked, shifting his body to face hers. “I’m really starting to regret Dillon getting his hands on you first.”

Emily’s heart skidded across her chest at his declaration. Before she could answer, she felt a warm hand on her shoulder and assumed it was Dillon.

She turned and found Trevor flashing his winning smile, his thick blonde hair falling onto his forehead. “I’m here. Let the party begin!” he hooted, slapping his hand on Gavin’s shoulder. He then gave Emily a hug and inched his way in between them to order a drink. “It’s going to be a bender tonight!”

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