Lovers of my book The Carrero Influence – Book 2 will love this brand new alternate chapter.
This is chapter 7, part 2 (more to follow) re-written from Jake Carrero’s perspective as per requested by you, the lovely fans. (The Dance)
Please note there is swearing and sexual references and this is not suitable for those under 18 years of age.
Read at your own risk!!
Read at your own risk!!
She grinned wickedly at him, messages in their silent communication they had perfected from years of being friends. Jake tried hard not to glare and instead threw her a slight frown and a subtle warning to back off.
‘I’ve been working.’ Emma looked quickly from Leila to him and back, an air of confusion about her but she recovered quickly and smiled softly. Jake had to tear his eyes from that perfect red lipped smile and push out thoughts of kissing her over and over again. She wasn’t normally one for bold lipstick, normally subtle shades and he was finding it near impossible to stop looking at the perfect pout and curve of lips so obviously made for kissing. Music overtook the conversation as the band heated up a notch, a slow ballad coming across the air, making conversation near impossible.
‘Oh, I promised someone a first slow dance.’ Leila turned Emma harshly, shoving her into Jake hard with that wicked smile aimed right at him, a twinkle of trouble in her eye. His arms automatically caught her and pulled her into his chest, throwing Leila a look of complete intolerance; he would be having words with her later. Jake quickly put Emma upright and back on her own feet as her perfume hit him again, too much for him to bear, combined with how good touching her always felt. He shifted her away so he could gain some distance and regain control of his equilibrium.
‘Keep her warm for me until I come back Jacob!’ Leila grinned cheekily and took off at speed, knowing that Jake was probably about to explode and high tailing it so she could leave them alone. She knew there would be repercussions later but she didn’t really care.
‘That girl…’ Jake said tightly, irritation concealed but his anger simmering inside. He avoided looking at Emma, wondering how the hell he could walk away from her and leave her here alone, while looking so utterly fucking lost right now. She had an air of Bambi with big eyes and seemed to be suddenly uncomfortable with Leilas departure. Jake couldn’t control the stomach punching sensation it gave him.
‘You’ve got to love her though.’ Emma shrugged nervously, biting on her bottom lip and causing yet another wave of excruciating pain. All her little anxiety tells had always been a point of agony for him, he hated seeing her doing it but right now any little Emma’nism was just killing him more. He missed everything about her so damn much.
Do you really have no idea how god damn adorable you are?
The music was moving into full swing as couples moved around them, joining together to sway. Emma went into ultimate fidget mode almost immediately, twirling her hair like she always did when she was tense, looking around for an escape route and pretty much making him feel like the biggest asshole known to man. He watched her hand in her hair intensely for a second, lost in so many thoughts and memories, hating the habit yet pining for the familiar-ness of it. He realised she had caught his look, misunderstood what it meant and yanked her fingers out of her hair like a scolded child.
Great! Another notch of assholeness
Jake frowned and looked about the floor, making a decision almost instantly.
‘Want to dance with me, Anderson?’ He had no clue why he thought this was the best course of action, all he knew was that he didn’t want to walk away and leave her here and had no desire to see anyone else dance with her. He would kick seven shades of shit out of any guy who dared touch her. She looked momentarily shocked, colour draining from her face a little and her fingers twitched as though aching to be back in her hair. Jake felt a warmth of compassion, an old memory of her looking this unsure and untrusting of his intentions once before.
‘I don’t bite…’ Jake smiled at the memory of a long-ago moment in his office. Emma seemed to register the memory for a moment, a small smile warming her mouth and looked a little less shell shocked.
Jake didn’t wait for an answer; his body had been aching to be with hers for so long that it was almost impulsive to just reach for her. Pulling her close by the wrist, encircling her dainty smooth skin and bracing himself for the onslaught of emotions that hit him with her nearness. Emma automatically slipped into dance pose, hand in his and the other on his chest to stop the collision from the suddenness of his manoeuvre. Her palm was placed directly over his heart and with a searing touch, he was sure she could probably feel how hard and fast his heart was beating. He couldn’t tear his eyes from that perfect red mouth as he drew closer. Emma looked stricken suddenly, a mixture of emotions flitting across her face so fast he has no clue what to even think.
‘I can’t do this…’ She whispered suddenly, her voice breaking and he could have sworn he saw a glint of a tear in her eye but she was turning from him and trying to break free. Jake impulsively caught her chin with his fingers, tilting her back to him so he could try and read what she was feeling. Confused at seeing a look that to him spelled out complete heartbreak and rendered him almost immobile as he tried to piece together what it meant. Before he had a chance to speak or control the sudden hammering of his chest she had broken free and was pushing away from him.
‘I need to go.’ She had yanked her chin away, face downward so her hair spilled forward to hide her face from him. Jake felt panic rising within him, confusion and emotion consuming him, he stood motionless, unsure how to react as he watched her move away out of sight into the moving crowds.
Jakes head became a mass of thoughts and feelings all warring for space, chaos clouding logical thought as his body seemed to jolt into a mess of heart pounding sickening panic. He kept questioning that look, trying to dissect in seconds why she would look at him the way he had been looking at himself in the mirror for weeks. His head skimming through memories and conversations of the last weeks with her, titbits of clues and puzzle pieces. He remembered the last song she sent him and reached into his jacket for his phone impulsively. Looking up to see if she was still close enough to catch and realising she was completely gone.
Fuck, fuck, fuck.
Jake was glued to the spot, uncertainty keeping him here despite every part of his being screaming at him to go after her. It was then that it hit him, like a sudden lightning bolt moment. He had to know if he was just imagining it or if she could feel the same way for him that he did about her. Looking at the phone in his hand he knew the way to ask. Hands shaking, he skimmed songs quickly until he found one which had been plaguing the radio for the last week. Sending it on out into the network and to her phone without hesitation and hoping to god she had her phone with her. He had nothing else to lose, he had lost everything when she had walked out of his office and standing here watching her leave was only a harsh reminder that he would never love anyone the way he loved her. He needed to be sure.
Jake Carrero has sent an iTunes gift to Emma Anderson.
The email notice popped up on his phone and his stomach churned with nerves.
Jake Carrero you sent ‘Jessie Wares – ‘Say You Love Me.’
He knew there was no backing out of it now, she could only take that song one way and he would finally know for sure if he had ever stood a chance with her. The world seemed to stop around him, music dulling out to nothing as the rush of blood ran through his ears. Close to his first ever panic attack he was sure his heart might explode.
Come on Emma, any sort of answer please.
He was staring at his phone, motionless in a sea of dancing bodies and completely unaware of anything except the blank screen in front of him.
It seemed like an eternity before an email notification pinged up on his screen, his heart lurching and his stomach dropping with fear, with trembling hands he hit the screen and opened the email.
Emma Anderson has gifted you an Itunes song.
Emma Anderson has sent you – ‘Paloma Faith – Only Love Can Hurt Like This’
Jake’s world stopped, a moment of pause as he took this in and it slowly dawned on him what her response meant. He read it twice to be sure before impulse took over and he was moving fast in the direction she left. Body alive with energy and tingling. He was on hyper drive and determined that his only goal now was finding the girl who was about to be kissed to within an inch of her life. He was soaring, still desperate to push through the crowds and just find her.
Emma loved him. His Emma really loved him, the way he loved her.
His eyes were scanning the floor, people getting in his way were moved with a little force, ignoring people trying to stop him and talk. He just had one thing on his mind and he was damned if anyone was going to get in his way. He needed to find her and just see her, talk to her. Every blonde head and red dress was being assessed as he moved at a fast pace, shrugging off hands and hello’s, sliding through groups of people with determination.
And then, there she was. Stopping him dead in his tracks, her eyes focused on him at the edge of the dance floor as though she had been waiting for him to find her. Looking like everything in the world that mattered to him, standing stock still only feet away. His entire being halted.
Jake didn’t hesitate a moment longer, the look on her face said everything he needed to act right now. She was wide eyed and distraught, heartbroken and almost begging him to come to her. Who was he to refuse when all he had ever wanted was for her to want him this way. His feet had him marching her way, fast long strides to get to his end goal as soon as humanly possible. He didn’t stop when he got to her, just intent on his purpose, aching to do what he had planned when he found her, hands automatically cupping her face and pulling her to him, cupping her jaw, and meeting her mouth with unleashed force and passion. He kissed her as though his life depended on it, revelling in the way she sagged into him and kissed him back with matched fever. Jake was soaring, his heart erratic and he knew this was all he would ever need, just her and him and the ability to be this way with her.
She clung to him as much as he held her, matching his passion and movement and neither braking away from the intensity of the meeting for long minutes. They were breathing hard, oblivious to the room around them and only focused on each other. He couldn’t stop himself from kissing her but he knew he had to do more, he had to tell her how he felt. He had to let her talk and confirm that this was something more than sex or lust. He needed her to know that he was serious about her, that for him, she was his forever. He needed to say the words he had been holding back for months. Jake needed to tell her that he was hopelessly in love with her.
Breaking away finally, only enough to rest his forehead against hers and breathe her in, he just stared into the depths of those cool blue eyes that seemed to see right down into his very soul. Neither seemed to have words, just matched shallow breathing and oblivious to the room and people around them. He didn’t care if reporters were taking pictures or people were staring right now, all he cared about was her and what she was thinking.
‘Come with me?’ Jake finally managed a whisper, tearing himself physically away from being so close to her and aching to get her alone. Despite the noise of the orchestra and the hustle and bustle around them, she seemed to hear him loud and clear, never tearing her eyes form his and nodding. Jake couldn’t help the surge of happiness running through him, couldn’t resist brushing his mouth against hers once more. Emma always tasted sweet, like cakes and candy and her, a heady combination that was addictive to him, he didn’t even care if her lipstick was all over him right now.
He let go of her and slid her small dainty hand in his, interlocking fingers possessively and leading the way towards the main entrance fast. He couldn’t stop the dizzying euphoria coursing through him or the sense of urgency in getting her alone. He just felt like this was all surreal after what felt like a lifetime of not being able to have her.
Winding through the crowded room, Jake could feel his impatience rising with every person who got in his way. Familiar faces stopped them and even though he tried to deflect the attention he had to stop when flanked by a client who was a little more forceful in getting his attention. The stocky man seemed oblivious to the young beautiful girl he was so obviously trying to usher out of the room with him. Jake could feel himself almost growling with frustration as he launched into a speech about some funding nonsense for a new venture. Jake glanced down at Emma to check she was okay, to check she was real and this wasn’t some weird hallucination. That face looking trustingly up at him only tore at him more and made him more determined to get her alone.
God , I love you so fucking much Bambino.
Jake’s attention was pulled back by the grey-haired suit extending a hand, some feeble attempt at agreeing to a lunch date for a business chat. Jake hadn’t even been listening, so overly aware of the warm, soft hand in his and the way Emma was curling gently around his side, He wanted to have more contact with her than this. He wanted to wrap himself up in her. Pulling her in closer, Jake tucked her slender arm under his and grasped her hand a little firmer, closer but still not close enough to be able to deal with these idiots holding them up. Right now he would agree to pitching a million at any stupid idea as long as they shut the fuck up and got out of his way.
Finally suit moved and Jake made a move to get them going once more, they didn’t get far before another one slid in front, blocking their passage. Jake almost yelled at him in sheer frustration.
For fucks sakes.
Impatience and complete frustration had him nodding eagerly, trying to slide past and pulling Emma into him a little forcefully. He was trying to palm the suit off with a hand wave but he was having none of it.
‘So, Mr Carrero, we could meet up…’ Jake zoned out, focusing only on her, sliding her hand free and instead putting an arm around her waist and bodily moulding them side by side, she impulsively rested her head against his chest and he almost melted into a mushy puddle on the floor. She had no idea what she could do to him with minimal effort. Jake kissed her temple, he just wanted to be done here and to be able to get this all out. To look her in the eye and ask her straight out if she wanted to be with him for now until eternity. That’s all he could think about.
‘Yeah sure, just call my office to make a lunch appointment. Anytime.’ Jake almost waved the guy out of his face, missing his handshake a little prematurely and just moving to get past quickly, oblivious to the awkwardness he had just caused in the man left flailing hands in mid-air.
Jake pulled Emma with him fast, seeing an opening within the standing people and aiming for it before anyone else snagged him to a standstill. Emma stumbled on her shoes and he almost cursed at the fact he knew he was practically dragging her, guilt hitting him hard and knocking him for six.
‘I’m sorry… I just need to get you out of here quickly… I need us to be alone. To talk.’ He sounded nervous as hell and maybe he was, all he knew was this place was starting to piss him off and looking for escape was proving to be more difficult than he planned. Getting them finally to the main hall, he looked around for privacy, spying a little door marked staff that was sat ajar and showed a dark unused hall.
Leading the way once more, he slowed down as Emma lifted her dress and seriously thought about scooping her up to carry her for a moment. Looking around at the volume of milling guests he thought better of it and slowed his pace to let her keep up. Looking at her in that dress, her sexy as hell shoes peeking out in all their tall stiletto beauty, he felt his body go into immediate hunger overdrive. God, he wanted more than just to kiss her, he wanted her naked and under him. Her shoe choices had always made him horny, she had perfect legs and he loved nothing more than seeing them slid into shoes like this. If he got her home in this dress, or even out of that dress, those shoes would be staying on.
Checking around he opened the door further into a dim abandoned hall and pulled her inside with him, turning her so he could push her back against the wall behind the cover of the door and unleashing every urge he had been fighting out there to kiss her again. This time the force of all the pent-up lust hit out harder, flooring her with a kiss that sent him into hunger overdrive. He could barley control the way she made him feel, the way he wanted her and as she crumbled into him he had to crush her further into the wall to hold her up. His hands slid around her curves, fingers smoothing over sweet warmth.
Sense seemed to catch up with him with the unleashing of pent up passion and doubts started to creep in. He hadn’t let her talk even once since he kissed her, he hadn’t let her confirm that she even wanted this.
Isn’t this always what I do to her? Push myself onto her with force so that she can’t do anything but play along.
Jake tilted his head back, unable to physically let her go even though insecurity and doubt were now flooding through his over wired brain, he was a jumbled mess of emotions and had no way to deal with the flood of self-doubt that had just hit him square in the stomach. He frowned, swallowing down his fear and realising she still hadn’t said anything, just staring at him helplessly and ripping his heart to shreds with silence. It was starting to feel all too familiar and every single instance just like this came flooding to mind. A million rejections that had started with promise.
‘I’m waiting on it Emma.’ His voice was low and pained, hating himself for his tone and acting this way after the way he had just kissed her. He was an emotional mess and had been for months. He just couldn’t bear any of this anymore and he needed her to just say it.
‘On what?’ She sounded young and vulnerable, doe eyed and meek. He wanted to punch himself in the face for his sudden change towards her but he couldn’t help it. Part of him was back peddling and getting ready for another scene that left him here and Emma walking away, preparing for another stab in the chest.
‘The door to hit me in the face again… Another reason you think we shouldn’t be together.’ He said sardonically, his tone flat as though already resigned that this was too good to be true. He felt the overwhelming fear rising up his spine, he knew from experience that her kissing him back meant nothing.
Emma shook her head, her face softening and lifted her fingers to trace the shape of his lips. The touch sending a tingling sensation right through his very soul, catching her hand to press it to his face and forge this moment to memory incase it was the last. Emma smiled at him.
‘I’m not going to do that… Jake. I won’t push you away again.’