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That Kind of Guy: Chapter 25

Emmett

MY MOM HELD her glass of champagne high in the air on The Arbutus patio “To Avery and Emmett!”

“To Avery and Emmett,” the guests on the restaurant patio chorused, and Avery and my gazes met as we clinked glasses.

My hand was glued to Avery’s low back, and it slid a couple inches lower on the soft fabric. Her eyes opened a fraction wider over her champagne glass.

“Stop that.” The corner of her mouth pulled up.

I looked down at her. “I won’t.”

Fucking hell, I was hard again. I had been hard all goddamn day.

Avery’s hair moved in the breeze, and she gave me a soft smile. Her eyes looked so brilliantly blue in the light and my chest felt tight.

I had to give Div credit, he and Max had transformed the restaurant. It was decorated in tiny twinkle lights, inside and out. We were sitting out on the patio, overlooking the ocean while we ate dinner.

“Your mom and my mom are fast friends,” I mentioned to Avery while dinner was being served. Our moms sat together, talking and laughing.

She nodded and gave me a lopsided smile. “I’ve noticed. Kind of makes me wonder what I was so worried about.” Her gaze slid to me. “Thanks for telling me not to invite my dad.” She winced and bit her lip. “I still feel guilty, but at least I’m not worrying about him doing something and ruining the night.”

“Don’t mention it. It really isn’t a big deal.”

There was that lopsided smile again. “It really is.”

I leaned over and gave her a chaste kiss on the cheek, something to remind her that I was here and on her side. I remembered the way she looked at me during the ceremony, so sweet, open, and trusting, and my chest ached. I meant every word during my vows, and she had no idea. She thought it was all fake. I couldn’t tell her yet, though. She had too much on her mind. Tuesday, she’d sign the papers to buy the restaurant. Once things had calmed down, in a week or two, I’d tell her how I felt.

I’d tell her that I loved her and wanted to do this for real.

I blew a breath out. Holy shit. My heart raced with excitement and nerves, just thinking about saying those words to her.

I shook the thoughts out of my head. Soon.

“Big day Tuesday.”

She laughed. “Big day today.”

“How are you feeling?”

She glanced over across the patio, a couple tables away at Keiko, who was talking with Miri, Scott, Will, and Nat. “I’ve waited so long to buy this place and now it’s finally here.”

I placed my hand over hers and squeezed. “I’m proud of you.”

She turned back to me with the most beautiful smile, and my heart twisted again.

Even if I wasn’t running for mayor, I’d cosign on her loan. Anything to make this woman happy, I’d do it.

Avery and I ate dinner while watching half the town talk, laugh, eat, and drink. People came up to congratulate us and chat, wrapping us up in hugs and telling us how happy they were for us. The whole party felt like one big family reunion. After dinner was over and the plates were cleared, people began moving around from table to table, talking to their friends and taking pictures. Everyone was dressed up and looking their best. Music played and people danced on the corner of the patio.

Avery’s hand squeezed my arm. “You okay, darling?”

I flashed a grin at her. “Never better, peachy pie.

She made a gagging motion. “Peachy pie?”

“Because you’re so sweet.” I stifled my laughter at her look of revulsion.

“I’m not sweet.” There was a flicker of heat in her eyes.

I raised an eyebrow. “You sure as hell aren’t.” I winked, and a flare rose in me at the way her mouth parted. “This is so fun,” I told her, gesturing at our guests. “Everyone should have a fake wedding.”

Her eyes widened. “Shhh. Someone might hear.”

I snorted. “Are you kidding? No one would believe us. Watch.” I leaned over and tilted her chin to me before I brushed my lips across hers. Her eyes fluttered closed.

“Aww, that’s so sweet!” Miri trilled, passing by with two glasses of champagne in her hands.

Avery laughed against my neck. “You’re right. We’ve got them.”

I glanced at the people dancing to the music and grabbed Avery’s hand. “Come on, let’s dance.”

“Now?”

I hauled her up on her feet. “Yes, now. Come on, Adams, it’s our wedding, let’s have as much fun as our guests are having.”

We were greeted on the dance floor with cheers and whoops. From then on, I kept one hand on Avery at all times—holding her hand and spinning her in a circle, resting my hand on her lower back, wrapping my arm around her shoulders, and when the music slowed down, pulling her against me and letting my fingers tangle into her hair.

Div appeared at my side. “Do you want to talk to the Hendersons? They’re here.”

Bill and Patricia Henderson had been dodging my campaign calls for weeks. Patricia Henderson was the head of the local office of the electric utility and would be a critical part of making my campaign platform a reality. I glanced past Div, where they were gathered with some other people from town, drinks in hand. At that moment, Avery lifted my arm up and spun underneath it, wiggling her ass to the music and looking fucking hilarious and adorable at the same time.

I shook my head at Div. “I’ll find them later.”

Div gave me an are you insane look but I ignored it and spun Avery again, this time spinning her so that she landed flush against my chest, laughing. I caught a whiff of her shampoo and my cock hardened.

This was fun, but I was counting down the seconds until we could be alone. Sex on the wedding night was kind of a joke, I had thought. I’d always heard the couple was too tired to have sex. I could see how that happened, but I couldn’t imagine being too tired to touch Avery.

Will and Nat danced past us, and Avery laughed at their goofy moves. I pulled her to me and dropped another kiss on her mouth. She leaned into me, and her hands came to my chest, sighing against my mouth.

There was no way I’d be too tired tonight.

The music lowered and everyone on the dance floor looked over to where a four-tier cake was rolled out. People began gesturing at us to step forward. When Avery grabbed my hand and led me to it, a little zing of excitement ran from my hand into my chest. A server handed Avery a knife, and she looked to me. The sun was setting across the water, casting pinks and oranges across the sky, and the twinkle lights hovered above us, giving her skin a warm glow. Her cheeks were flushed from dancing.

“I think we’re supposed to do this together,” she said, holding out the knife.

I placed my hand over hers and wrapped my arm around her. The photographer’s camera clicked off to the side.

“I can’t wait to smash this cake into your face,” I murmured in her ear as we sliced into the cake.

I felt her laugh under me. A night of dancing had completely loosened her up. She was laughing easier, louder, and brighter tonight. It was like whatever anxiety had weighed on her had lifted.

“You absolutely fucking won’t.” Her voice was low, but she grinned. “Or I will smash a piece right into the front of your pants.”

“I know you just want another excuse to touch me there,” I whispered, and she gasped in annoyance but was still grinning.

I cut a slice and slid it onto a plate before picking up a small piece. I sent her a daring look.

Her shoulders shook with contained laughter. “Don’t you fucking dare, Emmett.”

I watched her steadily with a small, smug grin on my face. This must be what tigers felt like, stalking their prey, waiting for the perfect moment.

“Do you trust me?”

“Absolutely not.” Her smile took up her entire face.

“Do it!” someone yelled.

I raised my eyebrows, holding her gaze. “Come on, Adams. Say it.”

She pressed her lips together and rolled her eyes, grinning. “Alright. I trust you.”

Gently, I placed a small piece of cake into her mouth. She watched me the entire time with a heated gaze. Her tongue darted out to a smudge of icing on her lip and I inhaled sharply as all my blood rushed to my cock.

I wasn’t the tiger, she was. I was the prey.

My theory was confirmed when she took a small piece of cake and smushed it into my mouth, smearing the icing all over my stubble.

“Come here.” I grabbed her, and she shrieked with laughter when I pulled her toward me and planted a kiss on her mouth. Our guests laughed as I kissed the icing all over Avery’s mouth. “I’m going to make you pay for that later,” I murmured, making her breath hitch.

Fucking hell, I wanted to leave right now. There was heat behind her eyes when she looked at me, and my balls tightened. It was like during the wedding ceremony, when it felt like we were the only people in the world, even though a hundred of our friends and family were watching us.

I had to get her alone.

We stepped away from the cake so that the servers could cut it up and pass it out. The music volume increased, the dance floor flared to life again, and we were no longer the focus of everyone’s attention. I grabbed Avery’s hand and pulled her across the patio, towards the restaurant.

“Where are we going?” she asked.

Scott waved to get my attention. “Hey, Emmett—”

“Sorry, Scott, I’ll catch up with you later,” I told him as we breezed past. I pulled Avery into the restaurant. My hand gripped her small one as I hauled her into the quiet hallway where her office was and threw her office door open.

“Oh, yeah, I was just thinking I needed to review the inventory levels.” She hid a grin. “Thanks for the reminder.”

I closed the door after her. “You need a few minutes of alone time.”

She raised an eyebrow. “So why are you here?”

“A different kind of alone time.” I pulled her towards me, one hand in her hair and one around her waist, and kissed her.

A soft whimper escaped her and I groaned against her, tilting her head back to deepen the kiss. That little whimper of hers had already made me hard. I walked us backwards until I sat on the edge of her desk and she stood between my legs. Her hands were on my thighs and my cock throbbed. Fucking hell, I wanted this woman. I wanted her so badly. I wanted to yank this dress up and tongue-fuck her until she screamed my name.

“Holy shit, Adams,” I groaned. “I want you so badly.” My hand skimmed up her waist over the rough sequins and beads and came to her breast, where I found her nipple through the thin fabric. It immediately peaked under my touch and her breath became ragged. She broke our kiss and her mouth worked down my jaw and neck. My head fell back.

Her fingers worked at my tie, loosening it and undoing the top buttons of my collar as her mouth did incredible things. Her teeth scraped my skin and my cock pulsed.

“Shit,” I rasped. I was so hard it hurt. My length rubbed against the apex between her legs, and when she rocked against me, a little gasp slipped out of her. I pressed my mouth in a tight line, trying to control myself. I could feel myself at the edge of control. She was too soft and sexy and pushing all the right buttons and I couldn’t handle it much longer.

“Are you going to take my virginity tonight?” Avery teased in between kisses on my throat before sucking on the skin where my shoulder and neck met. Her voice was raspy as well, low and husky and full of need. It sent a thrill through me. I needed to make her come.

I pinched her nipple and she gasped.

“I want you so badly,” I told her and pulled her mouth back to mine, sliding my tongue over hers and tasting her. She moaned, and tension coiled inside me. Fuck. I couldn’t take this much longer. “I’ve never been this turned on.” Her mouth grinned against mine and I laughed. “What are you doing to me, Adams? I can barely think.”

With a wicked smile, her hand slid up my thigh to my cock and she stroked me through my pants. Need rocketed through me, and I nearly passed out. “Slow down, baby, you gotta slow down.”

“I’m barely touching you,” she murmured, still stroking me lightly. She looked at me with daring eyes. She knew the power she had over me, and she liked it. It excited her, and to my surprise, it excited me too.

I inhaled and exhaled slowly, trying to maintain control. “I’m going to make you come so hard you can’t remember what it was like before we were together,” I told her as her hand moved along my cock.

She shuddered and leaned up to kiss me, but the door to her office flew open. Her hand abruptly left my cock and we turned to see Wyatt at the door.

“Don’t you knock?” I demanded.

He raised his eyebrows. “Busted.”

“Do you need something?” I pulled Avery in front of me, partly because I enjoyed the feeling of her pressed against me but also to hide my massive erection.

Wyatt snorted. “People were looking for you.” He leaned out the door. “They’re in here,” he called.

“Oh, my god.” Avery leaned against me, and I laughed into her hair. I wasn’t embarrassed that we were making out. It actually made me kind of proud. I was more annoyed that we got interrupted.

“There you are!” Miri appeared in the doorway. Hannah was behind her, followed by Holden and Finn. “What are you guys doing in here?”

“Taxes,” Avery said.

I shook my head at them with an exasperated expression. “What do you think we were doing?”

Hannah winced.

“Hope we weren’t interrupting,” Will yelled from the hallway.

“You were,” I yelled back.

Wyatt tossed me my keys and I caught them. “Your bags are all ready to go and in the car.”

Avery and I frowned at each other in confusion.

She looked to Wyatt. “Our bags?”

Hannah looked pleased. “We booked you a room at the Emerald Seas Inn.”

The Emerald Seas Inn was the nicest hotel in Queen’s Cove. It faced the ocean, was newly renovated, and movie stars often retreated there to enjoy quiet, cozy getaways.

Finn snorted. “I didn’t want to hear the bed banging against the wall all night.”

I grinned. “Good call.”

“You didn’t have to do that,” Avery said. She was still standing in between my legs with her hands on my chest, my arms around her keeping her close to me.

Wyatt shrugged. “Whatever. It’s nothing. You’re part of the family now.”

Avery seemed to melt with happiness when he said that and I shot Wyatt a grateful look.

“Don’t leave yet, though,” Miri urged. “Come with us to the beach.”

I looked down at Avery with a question in my eyes.

She smiled. “Let’s do it.”

My balls ached again with the need to make Avery orgasm, but I kept my mouth shut when I saw her eyes light up at Miri’s suggestion. “Let’s go.”

The group of us left the restaurant, where people were still dancing and laughing, and walked down to the beach. Our shoes were left in a pile at the edge of the sidewalk, where the sand began. The moon was high in the sky and cast a glow over everything, and the lights from the restaurant illuminated our way. Avery pulled the skirt of her dress up so that it wouldn’t get dirty and walked to the edge of the shore. I walked alongside her with the cuffs of my pants rolled up so they wouldn’t get wet.

“This was so easy,” she told me. Her voice was low enough that the others couldn’t hear us. Finn was splashing Hannah and Miri with water, and they were laughing and running away. Holden sat on a log while Will and Nat held hands beside him. Wyatt was stripping down to his boxers. He dumped his clothes beside Holden and ran into the water before diving under.

I put my arm around Avery’s shoulder. “It sure was. The easiest wedding I’ve ever had. I’m a genius.”

She grinned. “The most modest, humble genius I know.”

We walked up and down the beach as the waves lapped against our feet. The laughter from Finn, Hannah, and Miri followed us and the soft rumble of the waves rose up around us. Tonight was one of the best nights of my life. I couldn’t wait to tell her how I felt, but it wasn’t time yet.

I pictured telling her that my vows were the truth, that I loved her and wanted to be with her, and that I didn’t want it to be fake anymore. Everything she had shown me in the past few weeks told me she would be receptive. But what if she wasn’t? What if she freaked out?

What if it was still fake to her?

I pictured us parting ways and going back to our regular lives. I couldn’t even remember what my regular life was like, only weeks ago. What did I even do? What did I think about, being mayor? My business? Those things seemed so dull in comparison to thinking about Avery. One more week with her didn’t seem like enough. Ten weeks didn’t seem like enough. I wanted forever.

“Are you still good with our deal?” I asked her, glancing down and meeting her gaze as she looked up at me.

She hesitated, eyes narrowing slightly, and she bit her lip before nodding.

Well. There it was. Disappointment flickered throughout me, punctuated with something else. Pain, maybe, but I brushed it away too quickly to identify it. Moping wouldn’t do any good. I was Emmett Rhodes, I didn’t mope about things I couldn’t control.

I blinked to myself. I was Emmett goddamn Rhodes. For one, I was a fucking genius for cooking up this plan and somehow having the best damn day of my life with an incredibly gorgeous, funny, smart woman. I did that. So, who’s to say I couldn’t convince the said incredibly gorgeous, funny, smart woman that maybe we could do this thing a little longer? Why did it have to end after a week? We made that deal when we didn’t even know each other. She couldn’t stand me a month ago. This was different. She actually liked me now. She really liked me, if the way she responded when I touched her or kissed her was any indication.

My mouth hitched, and I felt a surge of competition. With who? No idea. With myself, I guess, or with Avery’s hesitation for us to be more.

I was going to make Avery fall for me as hard as I was falling for her.

The poor woman wouldn’t know what hit her.

I flashed her my most charming smile, at which she narrowed her eyes.

“What are you up to?”

“Nothing. You look gorgeous, has anyone ever told you that?”

She raised an eyebrow. “What’s going on with you? You’re scheming.”

“Me? Scheming? You’re crazy, Adams.” I sighed and pulled her close to me. The rest of our group now sat on the log, chatting, except for Wyatt, who was still swimming in the ocean while Holden watched on. If it was anyone else, I’d be more watchful and concerned, but Wyatt was a strong swimmer, and there was no keeping him out of the water. We had tried and failed many times.

“Come on, let’s go,” I said to her, looking down at her.

She met my gaze, and something passed between us. She shivered under my arm.

“Are you cold?”

She shook her head. “Let’s go.”

We were checking into the hotel when I realized I forgot to grab the marriage certificate out of the car. As soon as we had our room key, I turned to Avery. “I forgot something in the car, just give me one second.”

She nodded. “I’m going to go up to the room.”

“Sure.” I gave her a quick kiss and headed outside.

I searched that car like I was a detective looking for clues in a murder investigation. I looked in the glove box, under all the seats, the truck, behind the visors, everywhere.

The marriage certificate wasn’t in there. I blew a breath out and pulled out my phone to text Wyatt. He probably forgot to put it in the car. Maybe it was in one of my bags upstairs. I typed out the question to him and sent it.

When I opened the door of our hotel room, Avery stood in the dim lighting, wearing only a white lace bra and thong. The delicate lace fit her soft curves perfectly and her gentle cleavage was visible in the low light. My hands clenched at my sides, eager to touch her smooth skin, to feel her and pull her to me. My heart began to beat harder as she bit her lip. She gave me a quick wink.

“That’s my move.” My voice was strangled. I was already at the edge of control, and all my woman had done was strip down to her underwear. I was in deep trouble.

She gave me a wicked smile. “Get over here.”

I did as I was told.


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