Together AgainTogether Again

Arab

Emma sipped absently from her champagne glass and glanced around the room. The three piece band had just begun playing, the lively tune almost drowned out by the thrum of voices. Many of the guests had already found their tables, while others milled around the bar chatting and drinking. She smoothed the skirt of her black strapless dress and tucked a tendril of auburn hair behind her ear. Her stomach fluttered as she searched for Daniel. Her bridesmaid duties had kept her busy enough at the church she’d not had time to dwell on him until now. She’d managed to avoid seeing him without really trying. Now, though, with the bride beaming excitedly and surrounded by a throng of well-wishers, Emma finally had a moment to herself. She’d never felt so torn before; wanting to see him, yet dreading that final moment when their eyes would meet. She took another sip of champagne, closing her eyes as the bubbles danced across her tongue and tickled her throat. “There you are.” Emma flinched. Her fingers tightened around the stem of her glass. She kept her eyes closed and drew a long breath, fighting the urge to slip off her heels and sprint from the room. Daniel stood behind her, far enough away he wasn’t touching her, yet close enough she could still feel the heat from his body. “Are you going to talk to me, Em?” She swallowed hard. His deep voice still caused her skin to break out in goose-bumps despite the year they’d spent apart. She pressed her lips together and tried to gather her composure. “I’m working up to it.” He ran his palms over her shoulders, caressing her bare skin with his thumbs. “Turn around and let me look at you.” An involuntary tremor swept through her at the huskiness in his tone. Emma opened her eyes and reluctantly shrugged off his hands. She held her breath and turned to face him. “I’ve missed you,” he said. Daniel stood a head taller than her. The charcoal-coloured suit he wore moulded to his broad shoulders and the masculine lines of his body. His dark hair was cut shorter than she remembered. His blue eyes were filled with affection, hope. She’d missed him, too. Terribly. He relieved her of her empty wine glass and deposited it on a tray held by a passing waitress. With nothing left to occupy her hands, Emma linked her fingers together to keep from fidgeting. “When did you get back?” she asked. She glanced around the room, finding more comfort in the chaos surrounding them than Daniel’s steady appraisal. “A couple of hours ago. The plane was delayed. I ended up missing the wedding.” “Oh.” Her gaze flickered back to him before darting away again. “That’s a shame. It was beautiful.” She chewed the gloss from her lower lip and contemplated working next on the polish coating her nails. “I’ll have to take your word for it.”  Emma cleared her throat. “I suppose you’ll be able to look at the pictures soon enough.”  “I don’t care about the photos right now, Em.” Amusement filled his deep voice. He used his knuckle to gently nudge a lock of hair from her cheek. “I prefer looking at you.” Her stomach dipped with pleasure. Emma closed her escort izmit eyes and sighed. His hand curved around the back of her neck. She had her hair pinned up in intricate little twists and felt his fingers sweep over her skin. He leaned in and whispered against her ear. “Let me feel your arms around me…please…I want to make things right between us.” Emma ignored the warmth spreading through her and clenched her hands into fists at her sides. “We had a huge argument before you left,” she said. Her voice strained as she stared up at him. “Don’t you remember? You said it was over between us.” “I know. I thought it was the best thing to do at the time.” He sighed and pulled back from her, shoving his hands in his pockets. “I think we both said things we didn’t mean.” Emma nodded and focused on his tie, his words taking her back to those last few days they’d spent together. Daniel worked as a design engineer for a major car manufacturer and had been offered a twelve month contract in Japan. She’d known it was a great opportunity for him to further his career; he’d even asked her to accompany him. Instead she’d chosen – wisely, she’d thought at the time – to stay behind and nurture her fledgling catering business. They’d fought more in those final weeks than they had in their entire relationship. Even now, after everything, she wanted to push aside the painful memories and slip her arms around him. She loved and loathed that part of her, the part he controlled no matter how hard she tried to hold back. Emma blinked the moisture from her eyes and rubbed her brow. Her throat ached. She’d waited so long for this day; now it was here, she wasn’t sure she could handle it. “I don’t have time for this right now, Daniel,” she said. “I have to go check on Amy.” “I’m sure Amy’s fine. I counted four bridesmaids. She won’t miss you if you’re gone for five minutes.” He pulled his hands from his pockets and touched her dangling fingertips. “I would, though. Come dance with me.” “I-” Emma stared at the floor, trying to gather her thoughts. She frowned back up at him. “Why? You didn’t phone or email me the entire time you were gone. I assumed you didn’t want me anymore.” He lowered his head and swore under his breath, the first indication he wasn’t as composed as she’d first imagined. “Jesus, Emma, I’ve never stopped wanting you. Not having contact made it easier to handle the distance between us. All I did was work and sleep and try to keep my mind off you.” Emma snorted out a breath. “That’s nice. I’m glad it was easier for you. Meanwhile, I was left all alone to deal with-” She faltered and bit her lip, silently cursing her big mouth. Daniel stepped closer and cupped her chin in his palm. “Deal with what?” “Nothing.” Emma closed her eyes, too defeated to bother pushing his hand away. “A broken heart, that’s all.” “I’m so sorry, Em.” He smoothed his palms over her cheeks. He pressed his lips to one closed lid, then the other, his mouth lingering, his sweet breath drifting over her. “I was miserable without you. I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in izmit escort twelve months.” Emma opened her eyes and stared at him. She wanted to resist him, if only just to salvage her flailing pride – but she’d waited for him for God’s sake. She’d pushed aside her social life and concentrated on her business and home life instead. Amy’s wedding had been her first real attempt at getting back into it all again. Her attention dropped to his mouth, to the sensual lips that had brought her so much pleasure over the past years. She watched as they curved upwards in the slightest of smiles. He brushed his thumb across her temple, his expression open, his gaze unwavering. His other hand came to rest on her hip, applying the gentlest of pressure to bring her closer. She sighed inwardly. Her resolve weakened despite her will to stand strong. She’d never been able to hold a decent grudge, especially where Daniel was concerned. “We can’t talk about this now, not here,” she said, swaying toward him. She pulled back, then finally gave in and let herself lean against him. “I’m still angry.” “I don’t mind.” He cradled the back of her neck, sweeping his thumb over her exposed nape. “Just let me hold you for a minute.” Emma’s cheek came to rest against his chest. She linked her arms around his waist, the sounds of celebration fading around them until all she could hear was the steady thump of his heart.  ~~*::*::*::*~~ Emma took a moment away from the wedding festivities. She rubbed the chill from her arms and strolled through the grounds of the reception centre. Her heels sank into the damp earth and the dew tickled her toes. Gnarled trees towered overhead, surrounded by neat flower beds and lush grass. The darkness enveloped her. She wandered toward a park bench set in an alcove surrounded by fragrant blooms. Emma lowered herself to the wrought iron seat and braced her hands on either side of her, watching as dots of moonlight broke through the leaved canopy above and shimmered across her dress. Her thoughts drifted to Daniel, stirring the butterflies in her belly again. Although they’d only shared a couple of dances and minimal conversation throughout the night, each new encounter had acted like a kind of foreplay, building the intensity inside her until she’d had to escape outside to catch her breath. She’d worked hard over the past year to become independent, to set up her own business and make her own way. It hadn’t been easy, especially with a few unexpected challenges along the way. Now Daniel was back, she just wanted him to slip his arms around her and take care of her again. Emma sighed and watched her breath curl out before her in a cloud of mist. “I thought we’d passed the point of avoiding one another.” She sucked in a breath and looked up to find him leaning against a tree, watching her. “Why do you keep sneaking up on me?” she asked. His teeth flashed in the dim light. “Because I like the sexy little gasping sound you make.” Her cheeks flushed. “Oh, you do, do you.” “Yeah.” His eyes lit with a smile as he walked toward izmit kendi evi olan escort her. “I’d rather give you other reasons for making that sound, but I’ll take what I can get right now.” “You always did have a one-track mind.” Emma breathed in the scent of his masculine cologne as he took a seat beside her. His thigh came to rest against hers and a corner of his mouth hitched as he gazed out into the darkness. “I know. It’s a curse. I’ve always struggled to keep my hands off you.” “I don’t remember complaining.” He sent her a sideways glance and that little half-smile of his made its reappearance. “That’s one of the things I like about you.” He leaned his elbows on his knees and took his time looking her over. His presence both comforted and aroused her. She’d missed him; his humour, his passion, that way he had of looking at her that melted her insides. He shifted slightly and reached for her, brushing her knee with the backs of his fingers. “Come here, lovely.”   Emma glanced his way. Her heart thudded against her ribs. “I couldn’t get any closer without sitting on your knee.” His eyes glinted with humour. “I like the way your mind works.” He wrapped his hands around her waist and hoisted her onto his lap. Emma let out a shocked laugh, thrilling at his easy strength. She draped an arm across the back of his shoulders. Her legs dangled over the side of his body, the warmth from his thighs seeping through her dress. He slid his palm up and down her spine, tilting his chin to look up at her. “Much better,” he said. She hummed her agreement, using her free hand to explore the features she’d grown so used to over the years. Her thumb swept across his forehead, her mouth curving in a smile when his dark eyebrow rose under her touch. She trailed her palm down his tanned cheek, pausing at his jaw. Her fingertips found his lips and a heady combination of love and lust swelled inside her. Emma watched his mouth open slightly. His tongue appeared, flicking at the ends of her fingers. A shiver of anticipation rushed through her. She leaned in and brushed her mouth across his, tasting his lips. His hands tightened at her waist, drawing her closer. Emma twisted her body until her breasts settled against his chest. She cradled his face in her hands and looked into his eyes. His palms caressed her from shoulders to hips. “I love you, Em,” he said. His gaze met hers openly. “You know that, don’t you?” She nodded quickly and took a breath, letting it out in a rush of air. “I love you, too.”  A smile hovered at his mouth. “Still?” Emma stroked his cheeks and slipped her fingers into the hair at his temples. “I can’t help it.” She closed her eyes and pressed her lips to his. Daniel groaned and wrapped his arms around her, holding her close. His heart thumped against her chest. His lips moved lazily over hers, his tongue making brief forays into her mouth before retreating again. His palm slid up her spine, curving around her nape. He pulled his mouth from hers and explored her throat, nuzzling the sensitive place just beneath her chin. She shivered and held him tighter. “I remember that spot,” he said. His kissed her nose, then traced the shell of her ear with his tongue. “Hmm…that one, too.” She shuddered and thought about begging for more. “You’re teasing me.” “I know.” He laughed huskily and pressed his mouth to hers.

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