He wandered out onto the terrace; the sounds of the wedding reception inside still going strong. Shoving his hands into his pockets, he tilted his head back to the clear, night sky and sighed. Sure, he was super happy for his cousin, but he could only stand so many relatives pinching his cheeks and cooing about 'what a handsome, young man!' he'd become. Locating an iron bench, he dropped down onto it and stretched his long legs out across the ground. His leather shoes reflected the moonlight as they bobbed in time with the music.
At twenty-two years old, Drake Sheridan should have been at his prime in a wedding scenario. Plenty of young girls with stars in their eyes at the sight of true love would have dropped everything for a chance with the young man. Standing at a solid 6ft, the rugby player was no pushover and filled out his dress pants and shirt wonderfully. Honey-blonde locks curled around his ears and teal eyes. He had strong, tanned features and his nose was charmingly crooked from a nasty player last season. He had somehow managed to keep all his teeth and they were covered by full lips that were almost always smiling. Only slightly cocky when the moment called for it, his naturally charming and sweet demeanour had girls quaking at the knees. But for whatever reason, none of the young women here tonight had caught his eye.
Well. Actually that was a lie. There was one.
Unfortunately, he had seen her on the arm of one of the groom's relatives, so had paid her no more attention. Or tried to at least. Sighing again, he stretched out and reached up to loosen his tie. Leaving it draped around his neck, he unbuttoned the first two buttons at the top of his shirt and rolled his sleeves up to his elbows. The music inside changed to a slower beat and the clinking of utensils on glasses reached his ears. Rolling his eyes as the cheers erupted from the guests, he turned his attention to the rolling expanse of the golf course behind the country club. So tuned out was he, that he never heard the veranda doors open and it wasn't until the rhythmic clicking drew even nearer that he looked up.
It would probably be corny to say so, but he could honestly say that his heart skipped a beat and his breath caught in his chest. It was her.
Her fiery curls had been let down from their twisted up-do, and they bounced angrily around her shoulders and back. Her pale skin was glowing in the moonlight, and highlighted her pixie-like features. Large eyes framed under thick lashes were set in a frown and her full mouth was twisted into an ugly scowl. Her tiny hands were balled into fists and her long legs kept up an angry stride across the stone patio. Her stiletto heels and the thin, silver bracelets around her wrists kept up a steady staccato in tune with her walking and as she drew nearer, he could hear her muttering to herself under her breath. His eyes were inevitably drawn to her dress, which had caught his attention just after her hair. The forest-green satin clung to her torso like a second skin and came up to tie around her neck; exposing her entire back and just enough cleavage to still be considered appropriate wedding attire. The bodice flared out slightly at her waist and cascaded over her hips to come to a stop just above her knees where it swirled with every movement.
It appeared that his still form had yet to draw her attention, as her glare remained aimed at the ground and her ramblings grew even louder and increasingly violent. He nearly lunged towards her when her heel caught and she stumbled forward a few steps. Stopping, her nostrils flared and he watched with small amusement as her jaw worked angrily and a twitch formed in her left eye. He watched as she lifted one leg, then the other, tearing off her heels and cutting off about three inches off her height. He realized that she was a lot smaller then he had originally thought, and decided to make himself known.
The girl spun towards the sound of his voice, dress and curls soaring and eyes wide. She stopped at the sight of him and he raised an eyebrow as a flush suddenly flared across her cheeks. All the anger seemed to drain from her features and a tiny smile crept across her lips.
"Yes... I'm fine. Um, how long were you-"
"Watching?" He chuckled and watched her flush even further, "Since you came out here. You sure you're ok? You looked pretty upset."
Her smile widened and he felt himself grin in response, "Yes, I'm sorry you had to see that. I'm fine." Suddenly her expression turned dark and he inwardly wondered at the stability of her emotions. "But someone else won't be."
He leaned forward to rest his elbows on his knees. "Oh, them's fightin' words," he drawled and she giggled. "And who's got a pretty little thing like you so riled up you'd smack them around?"
Her blush darkened but that didn't stop the scowl from deepening. "My date. I found him in a closet with his hands up some skank's skirt. He said he thought it was me." She threw her hands into the air and he watched with interest as one of her heels went flying. "She was a blonde! I'm a redhead! How the hell do you manage to confuse those two?!"
Drake continued to smile as the tiny woman proceeded to snarl under her breath. For someone so small, she did manage to harbour a lot of aggression. Chuckling, he rose to his feet and wandered in the direction her shoe had gone. Picking it up, he strolled back over to her now calm form and watched as she blushed again. Standing next to her, he noticed he had about seven inches on her height and felt something possessive twist in his chest.
Handing her the shoe, he grinned crookedly, "I'm Drake; cousin of the bride."
She shyly took back her heel and his grin widened when her fingers brushed softly against his. "I'm Emily, or Emma. Or Em. Whatever. Or Emu if you're my brother, but don't call me that or I might have to hit you." She grinned when he laughed and continued on in a smug voice, "Ex-girlfriend of the biggest dick related to the groom."
In a movement that couldn't have been pulled off better by Casablanca himself, Drake captured her hand and bowed low over the back of her hand. Looking up, he captured her gaze and held her eyes as he brushed his lips against the smooth skin. Grinning as she blushed again, he straightened and simultaneously managed to pull her a tad closer to his form, "Lovely to meet you Emma."
"Oh, likewise. Totally."
He returned her grin but frowned slightly when he watched her shiver, "I'd give you my jacket, but I left it inside." He smirked, "So I guess we'll just have to improvise."
Ignoring her confused look, he pulled her directly against his side and tucked his arm around her shoulders. He could feel her silky locks brush against his bare forearm as he slowly guided the two of them back towards the reception. Half-expecting her to pull away, Drake inwardly cheered when she curled even closer to his warmth and chuckled under her breath.
"Smooth, Drake. Very smooth."
He leaned down to whisper into her hair, "I do try." He smirked down at her as she glanced shyly up at him through her lashes. "So you live around here?"
Emily shook her head, "Nope. We just flew in for the wedding. I live with my mom and my brother in New York."
He stopped in surprise and she looked up at him with a raised eyebrow. Looking down, he noticed her eyes were the darkest green he had ever seen; maybe even grey in the light. He resolved to find out sooner than later. His lips slowly lifted at the corners and she smiled in response, "Really now? What part of New York?"
Her eyes lit up and her smile grew, "Manhattan."
His smile became downright devious and she burst into excited laughter, "Well it looks like things just got a whole lot more interesting didn't they?"
"Oh very much so," she smoothly stepped away from his side with a giggle at his confused look. With a fluttering of her eyelashes, she sent him a coy look before fleeing back to the reception.
Stunned for only half a moment, Drake shook his head and followed at a slightly more subdued pace. Stepping inside, he let the warmth and loud music wash over him as he scanned the large hall. He smiled at the sight of his younger sister hauling an equally young boy onto the dance floor and his teary-eyed mother cooing and flailing the camera while his father rolled his eyes. Teal orbs moving over the mass of bodies, he finally caught sight of red curls hovering at the bar. Manoeuvring his way through the crowd, he got close enough to see she wasn't alone and that possessive something in his chest twisted again.
Her lovely features were twisted once more into that angry scowl and he found himself liking it less every time he saw it. His eyes shifted to her side and found a tall brunette at her side; face with a pleading look and lips moving in a speedy manner. He watched as Emily took another sip of her drink and muttered something low and most likely dark to her company. The man frowned and looked guilty, features twisting in a look of annoyance that Drake found he didn't like at all. Pasting a calm look on his face, he crossed the rest of hall and slid to the redhead's side, his arm going around the tiny woman's waist before either had registered his appearance.
"Emily. You ok?"
She didn't even flinch, and instead looked up at him with a happy and relieved expression on her face. She instinctively pressed closer to his side and ignored the angry scowl on her ex's face. "I'm fine Drake, don't worry."
"Drake? Emmy who is this?" The shorter man narrowed dark eyes at him in a way that didn't even faze the rugby player.
"He's a friend of mine," snapped the woman at his side. "And don't call me that. Look Jared, I really don't care what you have to say. I'm not stupid enough to think you somehow confused a blonde bimbo with your redheaded girlfriend. So piss off."
He stepped forward, and Drake's arm tightened enough to cause the small female to look up at him in concern. "Hey, buddy. I'm pretty sure she said not to call her that. And I also believe she asked you to piss off. So why don't you go find another waitress to play with?"
The darker male's face changed from a pleading look to an aggressive glower in a heartbeat. "Look asswipe, I don't know who you think you are, but this has nothing to do with you. So fuck off why don't you?"
Drake narrowed his eyes twisted his face into an impressive snarl. On anyone else it would've looked like an ugly sneer, but the athlete managed to pull it off in a way that had Jared looking startled and rather uncertain, while Emily shivered in anxiety and pressed closer against his body. Without taking his eyes from the aggravating idiot, Drake brushed his fingers against her waist in a soothing manner until he felt her relax. Both males looked down when she pulled slightly away and set her face into a determined frown.
"Alright, that's enough. I won't have you ruining this wedding." She turned to stare at Jared, "You: outside now. If we're going to talk, we'll do it out there where I can say exactly what I want to say." Her eyes narrowed as he nodded, sending one last glare at the taller male before slinking off towards the terrace. Once he was gone, she turned to Drake with a softer look on her features, "And you stay in here."
Every fibre of his being repulsed against the idea. "But-"
"No." She stopped him with a finger on his lips and he resisted the urge to lick it. "I'll be fine. He would never do anything."
Staring at her, he came to the conclusion that her eyes were as dark as jade, and he was feeling more possessive of this woman that he barely knew than he had ever felt for anyone else. Sighing he reached up to remove her hand, but not before placing a quick kiss on the inside of her wrist. He felt slightly better at her bright smile and nodded, "Alright."
She grinned, "Good. I'll be back before you know it." Standing on her tiptoes, she brushed a kiss against his jaw and stepped back while he blinked stupidly. Giggling again, she started to back away towards the exit, "Save me a dance! And if you really want to impress, cranberry vodka!"
With those parting words, she turned and melted into the crowd, leaving Drake standing there with a stupid grin on his face. Turning, he grabbed the attention of the bartender who was doing a poor job of pretending he wasn't listening and smirked. "You heard the lady."
Half an hour later found Drake sitting at his table, sharing his third piece of cake with his sister. A tall glass filled with red liquid sat untouched, and two empty shot glasses surrounded it. Sipping at his rum, he listened and teased as his sister rambled on about the super cute boy whom she had exchanged e-mail addresses with. Rolling his eyes, he forked another bite of fluffy chocolate into his mouth.
"Careful, Di, he might end up being related."
The young blonde's hazel eyes widened and her fork stopped halfway towards her open mouth. He snorted into his glass and reached over to tug a loose curl, "Watch it. You're gonna start catching flies." Leaning over, he stole her cake right off her fork and sat back while she whined and threw her napkin at him. Trying to laugh and not choke at the same time, he stopped completely as the scent of vanilla and honeysuckle washed over him. Looking over his shoulder, he grinned at the sight of a familiar redhead. There was a sparkle in her eyes and her hand was covering her mouth as she tried not to laugh too loudly.
"You're not gonna turn out to be a bully are you? 'Cause that would totally ruin my night."
Swallowing, he grinned and shook his head; pulling out the empty chair next to him. "Nah, she's my little sister. It's perfectly legal and acceptable."
Sitting gracefully, she giggled and reached for the untouched glass. "But of course. This is mine I'm assuming?"
"But of course." Turning, he caught sight of his sister who was watching with an unabashed grin on her face. Rolling his eyes, he leaned back to allow the two women a better view of each other. "Emily, this is my younger sister Dianna. Dianna, this is Emily."
The redhead smiled and reached over to shake the younger girl's hand. "Hi, nice to meet you."
Dianna grinned brightly, "You too." Leaning over, she whispered loudly into his ear, "I think she's cute. But make sure she's not related. I don't want any creepy in-breeds as nieces and nephews."
As he tried to remove the chunks of chocolate from his trachea, he could feel his sister watching him and turned to glare at her. Shooting down the rest of his drink, he turned to the recent object of his affections and watched as she too chugged a good majority of her drink. Looking up, their eyes met and he grinned when she tilted her head and returned the look.
"Drake! There you are! I haven't seen you in ages!"
Closing his eyes, said male groaned and leaned back in his chair. Turning to look over the table, he forced a smile on his face. "Hi, Mom."
Out of the corner of his eye, he watched Emily straighten automatically and his mother turn to look at the source of movement. For a moment there was silence, and then a large smile spread across his mother's face. In a flurry of movement she was seated across from the redhead and resting her chin in her hand. "And who's your lovely friend? I don't remember you coming with a date."
Dragging a hand across his face, he looked to his father, who merely shook his head and took his place at his wife's side. Sighing, he sent Emily an apologetic smile, "I didn't Mom. This is Emily, I just met her tonight."
"Lovely to meet you Emily, I'm Mrs. Sheridan. But call me Jenna," his mother smiled and stretched out her hand which Emily took immediately with a smile of her own. "I have to say I've been hoping to meet you. I saw you this morning and just fell in love with your dress."
"Thank you, Mrs. Sher- sorry, Jenna." She blushed prettily and tucked a stray curl behind her ear, "It's nice to meet you too."
"I'll take it my son has manners and has already introduced you to my daughter," ignoring the roll of her son's eyes, she waited until the pretty girl nodded before turning to the man next to her. "This is my husband, William."
His father extended a hand towards Emily who took it with anther smile, "Billy will be just fine."
"Nice to meet you."
The older man nodded and the matriarch leaned forward again, "So Emily-"
She was cut off as Drake groaned and rubbed his hands over his face. "Mom, come on. You're not seriously gonna interrogate her after knowing her for twenty seconds are you?"
Jenna Sheridan shot her son a glare that told Emily exactly where Drake got his wicked looks and gorgeous eyes from. "I'm not interrogating anyone, thank you very much. It's called polite conversation." With another scowl, the older woman turned back to the redhead with a pleasant smile, "So Emily, as I was saying, how did you come to be at the wedding? Groom's side?"
The young woman shook her head, "No. I'm not actually related to anyone here. My... date is related to the groom. Second cousins or something like that."
"Oh?" Mrs. Sheridan raised an eyebrow, "And where is your date?"
Drake leaned over immediately when the petite female looked uncertain. "You don't have to say anything," he muttered into her ear.
Emily smiled at him from under her lashes, a look that no Sheridan missed, "No it's fine. Don't worry about it." Leaning back, she spoke in a louder volume, "I'm actually not with him anymore. I found him sticking his tongue down one of the waitress' throats."
The patriarch of the family scowled in unison with his son while the two females looked at each other and nodded, "Prick."
Emily looked a little shocked but laughed it off, continuing with her story. "That's actually how I met your son."
Mrs. Sheridan turned a reproving look on her son, "You didn't break anything did you?"
He snorted and leaned back in his chair while shooting a playful glare at the redhead next to him, "Nah. She wouldn't let me."
The young woman giggled, "No, after I found Jared- my ex, I went outside so I could rant and rave and swear without disturbing any of the old ladies." Dianna giggled into her hand and Emily winked at her. "Drake was already sitting outside but I didn't even notice him. He asked if I was ok, and then we started talking, and now here we are."
Dianna twisted her lips and forked another piece of cake, "That was kind of less romantic then I was hoping for." She turned to glare at her brother, "I can't believe you didn't at least punch him or something."
Ignoring their mother's reproving look, Drake shrugged, "I wanted to, but this one's pretty scary when she's mad." He grinned at the flushing woman, "I didn't wanna be on her bad side. She might throw her shoes at me."
"That was an accident!" Exclaimed the embarrassed female. "I wasn't even trying to throw it, and it wasn't anywhere near you!"
Ignoring his family's curious looks, he leaned in close to her with a smile, "That's ok. I still like you; even if you do throw like a girl."
She swatted his shoulder and he laughed. Suddenly Dianna pushed him back and she stared at Emily with a concerned look on her face. "Wait a minute; you don't live here do you?"
Drake grinned smugly and answered for her, "Nope. She lives in Manhattan."
His parents smiled at each other but his sister still looked bothered. "Well if you were dating the guy who you came here with, then where are you going to stay now that you're broken up?"
All humour vanished from the table and Emily blinked; she hadn't even thought of that. Drake turned to meet her eyes and by the troubled look on his face neither had he. He searched her eyes for a moment before turning to his parents. "Mom-"
"Of course! I can't believe you'd even have to ask."
The young female in question caught on right away. "Oh no, I couldn't. It'd be far too much trouble, and you really don't even know me."
Mrs. Sheridan snorted into her glass. "Oh like that matters. What did you think we were going to leave you to sleep on the golf course? Drake likes you, so we like you. Simple as that."
Both young adults flushed but the male didn't bother to hide the shy grin. Emily on the other hand refused to meet his eyes and still focused on his parents. "But still, it wouldn't be right. Honestly, I can just call my dad and-"
"Nonsense! You'll stay with us. We're leaving in a couple of days and we'll take you with us."
The redhead looked down at the table and bit her lip. "Are you really sure? Because it would be-"
"Oh, look! I'm out of wine. Bill, darling, be a dear and escort me to the bar?"
Her husband grinned and stood, holding out his hand as he did so. "But of course my dearest."
And before she could utter another word, the two were gone and vanished into the crowd. Green eyes blinked in stunned confusion before they turned to the pair of grinning blondes. The two siblings looked at each other before shrugging at her and diving back into their cake.
Sensing her concern, the older reached over with a roll of his eyes and dragged her chair against his. Ignoring her squeak he stuffed his fork into her mouth and then ignored her sharp look. Smiling, he gently flicked her nose, "Don't worry about it. We're not a family of axe-murderers or anything. A little crazy... but killers? Nah."
Swallowing, she looked up at him with a small frown, "But this is too much. I mean I just met you like... a couple of hours ago and-"
Reaching up, he stuffed the fork in her mouth again and smiled at her glare. "You worry too much. Just sit there, look pretty and eat your cake."
She blushed and Dianna leaned forward, "You mean my cake."
"Whatever. Shut up; I got this piece." He turned to look pointedly at her, "Shouldn't you go find that boy of yours and see if he's related?"
Rolling her eyes, the young blonde put her hand to her face in mock horror. "Gosh, you're right. That is totally my top priority. I shall go right now and find him." She turned big, blue eyes on the both of them, "Do you think you will be ok by yourselves?"
"You're so annoying," he growled. "Go away."
Dianna gave him a flat look, "Yeah and that was subtle. Lamer."
They watched her go and Drake rolled his eyes before turning back to his company. It was obvious she was trying not to laugh and he scowled playfully at her, stuffing the fork into her mouth once more. "Shut up you."
She flapped her hands at him and yanked the fork out of his hands. Swallowing again, she glared, "Stop doing that. You're going to end up choking me." Reaching out, she picked up her glass and took another sip.
"So, I never got a chance to ask you." He leaned forward to rest his elbows on his knees and he peered up at her curious face. "How'd things do? With what's-his-butt."
The girl snorted into her glass with a small smile. "Fine. It was nothing unexpected. He told me how much he was sorry and how it was an accident and he'd never do it again. And then I swore and ranted and started yelling then he started yelling and swearing. It was a grand ole time really."
As she reached over to spear the cake, he reached up and took her wrist in his hand. Pausing, she looked at him and tilted her head. "And are you ok?"
Emily sighed and looked down into her glass. "Yeah. I mean... it still hurts obviously. And we were together for ages. But we'd been fighting a lot lately and it felt good to yell at him for everything." Smiling, she looked down at his concerned face. "I feel a lot... lighter. I think this was good for me. In the end. Crappy way to get to it, but good in the end."
Wrinkling his nose, he sat up and glared towards the veranda. "I still think you should've let me break his nose or something."
The redhead let out a tinkling laugh and poked his nose. "Well, he lives in Manhattan too. So if we ever run into him on the streets, have at it."
Drake watched as she lifted another bite of cake to her mouth. Her eyes began drifting around the room and he felt the smile slowly creep across his face. By the time she looked at him again, she blinked in confusion at the full-blown grin across his features. Raising an eyebrow, she tilted her head and he chuckled.
"You said 'we'."
She blinked slowly, before realization dawned and her cheeks brightened almost immediately. "Well... yeah- I mean. I just kinda figured since... with tonight and Jared and everything. I mean if I was wrong then I-"
Laughing, he reached out to take hold of her hands which were anxiously fiddling with the tablecloth. Ducking down to catch her gaze, he flashed his teeth in a crooked, shy smile. "Relax, would ya? I'm glad you said it." The music changed and without thinking he rose to his feet. Tugging at her hands he grinned, "Come on, you told me to save you a dance didn't you?"
Letting out another laugh, the young woman allowed herself to be pulled to her feet and lead to the dance floor. "And how well do you dance Mr. Sheridan?"
Smirking, he guided her to the center of the floor and tugged her against him, "You'll just have to find out now won't you?"
Taking his hand, Emily giggled as he spun her out and back into him. "I'm impressed already."
As they moved around the dance floor with the other couples, Drake suddenly tilted his head. "I don't know what your last name is."
"Watts," grinned the woman.
"Really?" He chuckled, "Makes sense; it suits you."
Spinning out again, Emily raised a sceptical eyebrow. "Really? And how's that?"
"Well," he paused thoughtfully as her small form tucked itself back against his, "from what I've seen you're a naturally cheerful person. And you've got this smile that can just light up a room." He chuckled as her cheeks flared once again. "Not to mention you're quite the blusher."
Flushing even deeper, the woman twisted her hand to pinch his shoulder. "Shut up you."
Pouting playfully at the lithe figure in his arms, Drake twisted his own hand to quickly pinch her waist; smirking when she yelped and glared at him. "You deserved that. Now, where was I? Right... well. Your angry side is pretty vibrant. So that matches your name too." Reaching up, he gently tugged on a loose curl. "And of course, how can we forget the hair?"
A tiny smile spread across her lips, and her eyes diverted themselves to the ground. "Are you always this generous with your compliments?"
Cocking his blonde head, the athlete peered down in confusion. "What do you mean?"
"Well," gently biting her lip, the redhead swept the room with her eyes before tentatively bringing them up to meet his again, "you've known me for a night; not even. And I can't count the number of times you've complimented me, or stood up for me, or just been this complete gentleman... to a practical stranger!" She bit her lip again and Drake felt a strong urge to stop it before she started talking again, "I mean, don't get me wrong. Any girl would love to have this kind of attention, and I do. But..."
Something clicked into place in his head and he made a noise in the back of his throat. "But you can't help wondering if I've got a hidden agenda."
Emily winced, a guilty look sweeping across her features. "And I know that makes me a horrible person but I-"
The blonde snorted out a laugh and the redhead looked up at him in confusion. "That hardly makes you a bad person Em." He shrugged, "You're right. Most guys would pull out all stops knowing that a girl would be more willing for a chance at romance during a wedding. We're horny assholes like that." His partner giggled and he spun her out once more, holding her even closer when she returned. "And maybe if you were completely different and I wasn't so completely petrified of what my mother could do to me," he grinned ruefully at her bright laugh, "then I might be like that too. But you're not, and I am, and even if Fate had decided to be a jerk and make you live in Russia, I still wouldn't."
Eyes shining brightly, the woman gazed up at him in wonder. "And why's that?"
"I've been drinking. Alcohol does nothing for a guy's libido."
Her laughter drew the eyes of several couples; most smiling at the young couple. Reaching up to wipe at her eyes, the redhead took a steadying breath and grinned up at him, "You're such a dick."
"I try," he chirped happily. "But honestly, I couldn't do that to you. Maybe it's because I know what happened between you and your ex, maybe it's because when I first saw you in the church this morning I felt my heart skip like three beats," he stared down at the petite creature in his arms and felt the possessive being in his chest purr in contentment, "or maybe it's your eyes."
Tilting her head back slightly, her features caught the dim lights and he felt his lips go dry, "Why my eyes?"
Leaning down, he grinned and murmured, "I dunno. I had to go out on something romantic."
And then he caught her laughter with his lips. He cheered mentally as her small form melted completely against his taller one; one of her hands reaching up to twine in his blonde curls. His arm tightened around her waist and he manoeuvred his hand so his thumb could caress the skin of her lower back. Male pride swelled within his chest as she shivered and a tiny noise escaped from the back of her throat. Just barely remembering where they were, Drake languidly ran his tongue across her lips before slowly pulling back. Resting his forehead against hers, he licked his lips and allowed his heartbeat to slow back down. Opening his eyes, he grinned at the sight of her still closed ones, the flush on her cheeks and the lazy smile curved on her lips. Slowly, jade eyes revealed themselves and the smile on her lips widened.
"Hey," he muttered.
"Hi yourself," she giggled back.
"So, what do you think the odds are of any of my family not having seen that."
Pulling slightly away, the tiny redhead gazed around the immediate area. He watched as her eyes stopped and a flush swept across her cheeks before she turned back to bury her face in his chest. "I'd say slim to none," came the muffled reply.
Looking over, he flashed a sheepish grin at his mother and sister who were waving the camera in their direction; devilish grins on their faces. Rolling his eyes, Drake leaned down and pressed his lips against her hair. "Wanna go for a walk?"
There was a small pause before she nodded, pulling back to smile at him. Grinning, he wrapped a strong arm around her waist and the two of them wound their way through the dancing couples before escaping outside onto the veranda. The couple walked in silence, Emily's head resting against his strong shoulder and his fingers absentmindedly stroking her waist. As they wandered along a twisting pathway, the redhead stopped and looked up at him with curious eyes.
"Was this just luck?"
Stopping, the rugby player looked back at her. "What do you mean?"
"Us. I mean, was it just some random chance that I happened to find you out here first? Could I easily have been some other girl?"
Drake snorted, "I doubt it."
Turning bright eyes up to his, the young woman tilted her head. "Why not?"
Tugging her back against his side, the blonde continued to lead them down the path. "To be honest, you were really the only one that caught my eye. I mean... sure if some blonde had wandered out here before you did, I might have flirted with her, but they wouldn't have made it this far."
Emily smiled, "How come?"
"I've always had a thing for redheads," he admitted slyly.
He felt pride swell again in his chest as her bright laughter echoed across the golf course. As they made their way back towards the veranda, he felt a series of tiny shivers wrack the petite woman's frame. Tightening his grip on her, he leaned down to nuzzle against the top of her head. "I need to start remembering to bring my jacket with me."
Turning to look up at him, he was slightly surprised to see the dark gleam in her eyes. "Or you could always improvise."
Lips quirking into a mischievous grin that matched her own, Drake laughed quietly, "Or I could always improvise."
And before she could utter a squeak of surprise, the blonde had spun her around and pinned her against the nearest tree with his taller form. Remembering her bare back, he refrained from putting his full weight against her, setting his hands on either side of her head. Quieting her breathless laughter, Emily reached up to grab the front of his shirt. "Very suave Mr. Sheridan, very suave."
Smirking, he allowed himself to be pulled down, before stopping himself mere inches from her lips. "Oh I do try Miss Watts."
And with that, he closed the rest of the gap and sealed his mouth to hers. Without the prying eyes of relatives, or God forbid, his mother, to watch their every move, Drake wasted no time in sliding his tongue across the seam of her lips, insistently asking for entrance. With a breathy sigh, Emily opened her mouth and arched her back into him in a way that had his temperature soaring. As her tongue reached out to tangle with his, a possessive growl escaped from his mouth and his one hand moved to cradle her jaw while the other reached around to secure her hips to his. Her small hands slid up his chest and around his neck to tangle in his blonde curls. As her lips moved against him, several cheers from the reception startled him out of his delirious haze. Pulling away from her lips, he trailed his mouth along her jaw line and began nibbling a path down her neck and over her collarbone. Her head tilted back to allow him more access and another breathy sigh escaped from her lips.
"Y'know," he rumbled against her pulse, "this probably isn't too good for your back."
She shifted lightly against the rough bark and gave a wry grin. "Probably not. But I could care less right about now."
Chuckling into the crook of her neck, he pulled back to nip lightly at her bottom lip. "Neither could I, but there was a reason for me bringing it up."
Lightly grazing her nails over the back of his neck, the redhead gazed up at him through half-closed eyes. "Really. And what would that reason be."
He grinned slyly and leaned down to nibble at her earlobe. "I have my own room."
Her hands stopped moving altogether and he pulled away to catch a glimpse of her expression. Her eyes were fully open and they stared at him in curiosity. Finally, her mouth quirked into a devilish grin and an eyebrow slowly rose. "Really now. Well isn't that interesting."
"Mhm. If you want," he shrugged nonchalantly, "we could go upstairs. I'm sure even the walls are more comfortable then tree bark."
Giggling, Emily nodded. "Excellent point. But before we do, you have to tell me something that you don't tell to any other random girl." When he raised an eyebrow, she giggled again and shrugged. "Just to make me feel special."
Laughing quietly, he pressed his lips to her brow. "Oh, but you are special. Ok... I have a tattoo on my left hip. Three sets of initials, one for each of the most important women in my life."
Her expression sobered gently and she tilted her head; silky locks falling across his hand. "Who are they?"
He smiled, "My sister, my mother, and my grandmother."
The young redhead was silent for a long moment, and he was beginning to wonder if he had done something wrong. Finally, she shook her head and smiled brightly, "You're too good to be true. I'm beginning to think I saved drowning kittens and babies from burning buildings in another life to have met you."
He snorted, "Hardly. Don't worry, once you get to know me you'll realize I can be a right ass."
"Careful, you're giving me butterflies just thinking about it."
He grinned at her sarcasm and hugged her tighter against him. "So do I get to know anything special?"
Biting her lip, Emily drummed her fingers against his shoulder before her eyes lit up. "I have my bellybutton pierced, and a tattoo that even Jared didn't know about."
The expression on her face sent his temperature through the roof once more, and something primal in the back of his mind growled possessively. "Really now. Why's that?"
She shrugged and curled a random lock around her finger. "I didn't tell him when I went to get it, and he never had a chance to see it before we broke up. I only got it about a month ago."
His eyes gleamed in the poor light. "Hm. That long huh?"
Her cheeks flushed darkly and she pinched the nape of his neck. "Don't be crude. But yes, that long."
Drake chuckled and swept a stray curl out of her eyes. "And what's this mysterious tattoo of? And where is it?"
It was her turn to be crude as her expression twisted into a wicked smile; eyes shining with a challenge. "Well now, that's just something you'll have to find out for yourself. Isn't it?"
And pressing one last heated kiss to his lips, she wiggle out of his hold and scampered across the veranda. At the doors, she stopped and looked coyly over her shoulder; winking at him before slipping into the happy chaos inside. Stunned, the blonde male shook his head before giving chase. Refining his gait to a walk once indoors, he let a smirk cross his features. And here he thought it was going to be a boring night.
A/N: Well, howdy!
So this is my first piece that I've deemed somewhat worthy enough to be posted. I'll be honest, I hate the ending. Actually, now that I reread it again... I pretty much hate the whole thing. But I figure the best way to learn is by your mistakes. And hopefully some of you out there can give me some tips? I never intended it to be this long, but I kept coming up with problems: like the fact that Emily was probably staying with Jared at the hotel since they don't live there; they couldn't avoid Jared forever so I had to put somewhat of a confrontation in there; the fact that the whole 'relationship' between Drake and Emily kinda sprung up really fast; and then I couldn't think of how to end it properly. Especially since the good make-out scene didn't happen until the end. Eff.
However, I can give a few reasons to make what happened between our 'heroes' a little more realistic. One: can anyone say open bar? So what might have taken longer to fester (ew that's an ugly word), happened quicker because their inhibitions were lowered. Two: it's a wedding. Everyone tends to be a little more... fluffy (?) around the idea of true love being officialised. Three: let's not lie. They're both young, good-looking adults who are probably still pretty hormonal.
Um... yeah I'm kinda out of reasons. One of these days, I promise to come back and edit this when (hopefully) my writing had improved. I'm still getting used to having so much freedom with my own characters that I kinda tend to go overboard. Plus it always seems to be around 2:30 in the morning when I come back to write this. Oh well. Reviews (and serious advice) are much obliged ladies and gents. Hope to see you again here soon!
PS: Oh yeah, the song that they danced to, if anyone is interested, is I'm Yours - Jason Mraz.
PPS: Also, I hate the title of this. I couldn't think of anything better.