Poles apart, p.24
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       Poles Apart, p.24
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           Kirsty Moseley

  I’ll see you in the morning.”

  My heart leapt. My Carson-less weekend was almost over. He would be here by the time I woke up. I couldn’t wait. “All right. Bye, baby. Safe trip home and I’ll see you soon.” I smiled, knowing I needed to give him a little something before I ended the call. “And, by the way, Carson, yes, I’m missing you, too. And yes, I’m going to touch myself tonight. And yes, I will be thinking of you when I do it.”

  He groaned. “Fuck, Emma, now I don’t want to hang up!”

  I giggled wickedly. “Goodbye, Carson.” I disconnected the call without waiting for a reply and felt a blush creep up on my cheeks at my admission. I didn’t feel bad about it, though. Knowing he was excited by my body made a little proud feeling bubble up inside me. Carson had always been attracted to my body; it was just a shame the rest of me didn’t do anything for him.

  As my hand touched my stomach, something sparked inside me. My eyes fluttered closed as I let my mind wander to Carson and what he would be doing right now. Memories of the kiss washed over me, how hot it had been and how my body had ached with need. As my mind wandered to his body, my hand wandered mine. Pretty soon, I was lost within the bliss of Carson, just minus the actual Carson.

  After spending an hour in the bath, my fantasy and little party for one had only served to make me miss him more. I hadn’t had that intimacy with him for weeks now, and my body was highly unsatisfied and needy even though I’d tried to alleviate that tension myself. It was only just after eight as I padded into my bedroom and looked through my drawer, trying to find some clean pyjamas to change into. Still only having limited clothes from what I packed the other day, though, I didn’t see any. I frowned, wondering when Carson was going to arrange for the rest of my stuff to be shipped here, or if he was waiting for me to just buy new stuff like he’d instructed when he handed me his credit card on Thursday morning.

  After roughly drying my hair, I dragged a comb through it and decided to let it dry naturally. Tomorrow, I’ll just tie it up if it looks like a bird’s nest. Wrapping my big, fluffy towel around my body securely, I stalked out of my room and into Carson’s next door, hesitantly opening his drawers until I found what I was looking for – one of his T-shirts. I smiled, slipping it over my head and pulling it down over my body, silently wishing it was a dirty one so his scent would surround me. After pulling on a pair of his boxer shorts and folding them over at the waist so they’d stay up, I headed out of his room.

  As I walked past Rory’s room, I could hear the distinct sounds of the PlayStation so I didn’t bother to interrupt. Once downstairs in the living room, I turned up the under-floor heating controls and snuggled onto the sofa, pulling my schoolbag onto my lap so I could finish off my assignments for university. If, by some miracle, they didn’t kick me out after it being splashed all over the papers that I was a lap dancer, I would need to hand in my five thousand word essay on Friday. I sighed deeply, setting my head back and opening my textbook to the right place, preparing myself for some hard work and hand cramps.

  “EMMA?”

  I groaned, squeezing my eyes shut as a sleepy fog muffled my ears. My mouth was dry as I tried to lick my lips, not yet ready to wake.

  “Come on, you. Let’s get you to bed.”

  I swatted the hand away as it tried to take my books from my lap. “Rory, just leave me be. I’ll just have five minutes,” I muttered, turning my head and pressing my face into the back of the sofa.

  My rejection was met with a throaty chuckle. Something solid slid under my thighs and around my back. I was jostled slightly, but my eyes stung when I tried to open them, so I just left them closed. “Rory, leave me,” I protested weakly as I was lifted effortlessly from the sofa and pulled against a warm, hard body.

  “Emma, it’s Carson.”

  Carson? I forced my eyes open, looking up into the face of the love of my life. An involuntary smile stretched across my lips as I reached out, cupping his cheek just to see if I was still dreaming. When my hand touched his cheek, the slight stubble gently scratched against my fingertips, and my stomach fluttered knowing he really was home.

  “Hi,” I whispered, grinning now as I slipped my other arm up and looped it around his neck, pressing myself tighter to him.

  “Hi,” he whispered back. The sound of his voice and the delicious smell of his skin made my whole body ache. “I thought I told you not to wait up for me,” he scolded playfully.

  I grinned tiredly, pressing my face into the side of his neck, as my muscles all seemed to relax as one in his arms. “I didn’t. I was working on my assignment. Is it after two already?” I asked, yawning against his neck.

  “Yeah, it’s almost three. Come on, let’s get you to bed.” I smiled to myself, loving that Carson Matthews was carrying me to bed. This was another fantasy of mine I’d had over the years I never thought would come true. As he carried me effortlessly up the stairs and toward my bedroom, he chuckled. “How come you’re wearing my T-shirt and pants?”

  I was too tired to feel embarrassed at being caught, so I just shrugged. “I didn’t have any clean pyjamas. I only brought two pairs,” I answered sleepily.

  “Well, usually, I would offer to buy you some, but in this case, I think I won’t just because I actually like the idea of you sleeping in my clothes,” he teased.

  He fumbled with the door to my bedroom and after another few steps, bent and gently placed me on the soft bed. I tried to open my eyes but failed miserably as the deep sleep pulled at the edges of my subconscious. Carson groaned, pressing his lips against my cheek and brushing my hair away from my face.

  “Don’t suppose you’ve missed me enough that you want me to sleep in here with you tonight, have you?” he whispered, gently pulling the quilt cover up to my shoulders.

  I smiled at the thought. Carson in bed with me. Hell yeah, I want that! “If you want,” I muttered, turning to my side and snuggling under the cover, pulling it up so it covered my chin and my ear.

  “Yeah? Seriously?”

  “Mmm hmm.”

  Clearly not needing to be told twice, the bed dipped a moment later, and the cover raised as a warm body slid up close to me. A contented sigh left my lips as his chest pressed against my back and his legs tangled with mine. Being in the bed with him was something I’d fantasised about since I first met him. His body wrapped around mine and it was like some kind of magic wove over me, lulling me into a safe, contented, peaceful stupor. It almost felt like a dream. If I weren’t as tired, I certainly would have instigated a little sexy time, but I couldn’t even keep my eyes open so, unfortunately, that wasn’t something that was going to happen.

  “Oh, yeah, this is much better. I’m not going away on my own again; you’re going to have to come with me from now on,” he whispered, pressing a soft kiss against my temple as I drifted off to sleep in his arms.

  “MUM! MUMMY, MUMMY, Mum, Mum, Mummmmmmmm!” Sasha’s voice blasted through the baby monitor. “Mummy, up! Up! Sasha up!”

  A loud groan came from behind me. “Jesus. She gets her loudness from you.”

  I jumped, squealing from the shock of someone else being in my bedroom, and twisted so fast it actually made me dizzy. Carson’s sleepy smile greeted me as he rubbed at his eyes.

  “Damn it. Shit!” I hissed, pushing on his bare chest, trying not to notice how magnificent his skin felt under my hand. “You frightened the life out of me! What are you doing here?”

  He grinned that boyish smile and sat up. The covers fell down into his lap as he moved, exposing all of his brilliance. “You said I could sleep in here. I carried you to bed. You don’t remember?” he asked, stretching. As he moved, the guardian angel tattoo seemed to dance along with his muscles. I resisted the urge to lean in and run my tongue over it.

  Swallowing my wave of desire, I pushed myself up on my elbows. “Yeah, I remember now,” I croaked. “I thought I was dreaming,” I admitted.

  He grinned over his shoulder at me and raised one eyebrow. “Oh
, so you dream about me often?”

  The blush crept over my face before I could stop it. ‘All the time’ was the truthful answer, but I couldn’t say that. “I’d better go see to Sash,” I muttered, sidestepping his question because our daughter was still shouting at me to get her out of her cot.

  He shook his head and grinned, running a hand through his messy hair. “I’ll go. You sleep in. I need some catch-up time with my other girl anyway.” Before I could process what he meant by that, he leant over and planted a kiss on my forehead. “I’ve never been happier to come home.”

  The blush crept up over my face before I could quash it. “Well, I know Sasha will be over the moon you’re back.” I know I am, I wanted to add, but didn’t.

  He grinned, swinging his legs over the side of the bed and picking up his jeans, sliding his legs into them before standing up and zipping his fly as he walked out of the room.

  “Mummy!” Sasha called again. Through the monitor, I heard her door creak open and then a gasp of surprise. “Daddy? Daddddddddddyyyyyyyy!”

  “Hey, sweetness! You miss me? Oh, man, you have no idea how much I missed you.”

  EVEN RORY SEEMED HAPPY to have Carson back in the house, though he was trying exceptionally hard not to show it. When Carson suggested he kick my brother’s arse on FIFA, Rory protested for a whole ten seconds before he agreed, and they both disappeared upstairs to play a game or two, or six based on how long they were up there and the jibing they were doing.

  That afternoon, Jillian, Carson’s mother called to ask if she could come over. She had yet to meet Sasha because when she’d come last time to sit in on the wedding plans, she’d already been in bed. Now, it seemed, Jillian wanted to meet her granddaughter.

  Nervous didn’t quite cover how I felt as I dressed Sasha in one of the beautiful dresses Carson had bought for her when we moved in. I also made a little effort this time, seeing as last time I met her I was in jeans and a hoodie. This time, I made sure to put on a nice, long shirt and some black leggings, tying my hair because it was still wild from me not styling it the night before.

  Carson had just watched me running around, his eyes amused as he pursed his lips and teased me every now and again about me not having to impress her. By the time she arrived, I’d all but bitten my nails down to the quick. I didn’t really care what she thought of me. I knew she’d never change her opinion of me, but I would hate it if she thought badly of my daughter because of me.

  When the doorbell rang, I whimpered and looked at Carson. This time, he didn’t look nervous. He’d spoken to his mother a few more times since she initially found out and had explained everything more fully. Apparently, Jillian felt terrible for the way she jumped to conclusions about me and wanted to get to know me better before she made judgement. Carson seemed very confident I could win her over.

  As he pushed himself off the sofa, he bent over and kissed my cheek. “Deep breath, it’ll all be fine,” he whispered. I closed my eyes and nodded, praying he was right.

  He disappeared into the hallway to answer the door, so I looked down at Sasha, trying to calm myself as I watched her play with her Elmo toy. When Carson walked into the room, flanked by Jillian, I bit my lip and waited.

  But I needn’t have worried. Of course, Sasha won over her nan with no problems. One little look at her baby-blues and Jillian was a goner. As she’d stepped over the threshold of the room, she’d burst into tears because apparently Sasha reminded her so much of Carson when he was a baby, though she couldn’t get over her curly locks.

  For the next hour, Jillian sat on the floor, playing with Sasha’s dolls and braiding her granddaughter’s hair while they sang nursery rhymes. It was nice to watch.

  “So, when’s the next race, Carson? It’s next weekend, am I right?” Jillian asked.

  Carson nodded. “Yep, Silverstone on Sunday. Emma’s coming,” he replied, smiling down at me as he rested his hand on my thigh. The heat from his hand was almost too distracting for me to think of anything else, but I tried my best to keep up with the conversation – well, parts of it anyway. Other parts, I was off in fantasy Carson-land where we had far fewer clothes on…

  “Oh, that’ll be nice. Have you ever been to a race before, Emma?” Jillian inquired.

  I shook my head. “No, never been to anything like it.”

  She grinned. “Oh, you’ll love it. You get to watch the whole thing from up in the family and friends lounge; you get such a fantastic view of it all.”

  I forced a smile. I didn’t really want to explain that I didn’t like to watch Carson race and I’d never made it through a full one before. But, I’d give it a go because Carson seemed extremely happy that I was going to watch.

  As I sat there, pressed against Carson’s side and watching his mother play with my daughter, I suddenly felt like everything was slotting into place again. Maybe this wouldn’t be as bad as I first envisioned. Perhaps being forced to marry someone who didn’t love me wasn’t going to destroy my soul like I’d first thought.

  I’D NEVER SEEN SO MANY PEOPLE all in one place. Silverstone was enormous. The stand was filled with avid race fans. People shouted their favourite driver’s name, waved flags and homemade banners, and they wore novelty hats and those silly foam hands. The atmosphere was electric, and I could feel the boom of the crowd in the pit of my stomach every time the Mexican wave went around the seating stands.

  We’d been a little late to arrive because we had to swing by Lucie’s to drop off Sasha for the day. We’d been here a little while now, though, sitting in the backroom while his team prepped him for the race and talked through strategies and plans. I chewed on my lip, watching everything with wide eyes, taking it all in and trying not to let the busyness of the place overwhelm me. They never really showed this part of it on television, so I had no idea of the volume of people who worked on Carson’s team.

  Carson was already kitted out in his team hat and all-in-one leather jumpsuit, and I must admit, seeing it close up did funny things to my insides. I had an awful feeling it showed on my face because a couple of times, Carson caught me looking at his butt and sent me a sexy little ‘I know what you’re thinking’ smirk.

  A small guy wearing a headset walked into the room and smiled at Carson. “You about ready to go down? Reporters are down near the paddock and want an interview,” he said, clipping his walkie-talkie on his belt. “I’ll take Emma up to the family area.”

  Carson stood but shook his head. “Not yet. I want to show Emma around a little. Let her sit on my bike and stuff,” he answered.

  The guy frowned, clearly not liking this idea at all. “There’s less than thirty minutes left until the start, Carson. You’ll have to do that another time.”

  Carson grinned and reached down, taking my hand and pulling me to my feet. “There’s time. I just want to show her around. Five minutes, tops.”

  I opened my mouth to protest, but Carson squeezed my hand in warning so I immediately closed it. Clearly this was important to him if he was arguing against one of his team about it.

  The guy looked at his watch as he shifted from one foot to the other. “Carson, I don’t—”

  “There’s time,” Carson interjected, pulling me close to his side as he stepped around the guy and headed towards the door. “I’ll just be five minutes. Cover for me,” he called over his shoulder.

  Once we were outside the little room, which served as the office headquarters for his team, Carson grinned at me. I smiled weakly in return. “You’re going to get in trouble. I don’t need a tour,” I said quietly.

  “Well, maybe I want to give you one,” was his smart-alecky answer.

  For the next few minutes, Carson walked around, pointing out people and telling me who they were. We went into some sort of workshop where they stored all the spare parts for his bike. After, we stepped out into the area Carson referred to as ‘the paddock’. The atmosphere was different out here; people were standing around and laughing, not serious and intense. A co
uple of TV camera people I recognised from watching the show were off to one side interviewing another driver. I smiled, pressing close to Carson, listening as he spoke so passionately while telling me about the track and why it was his favourite.

  “Carson?”

  We both turned at the sound of a high-pitched girlie voice. And, just like that, my happy mood sank. In front of me stood one of the MotoGP paddock girls I often saw Carson with before the race. Her ruby-red painted lips curved into a smile, exposing a row of brilliantly whitened, straight teeth. My shoulders unconsciously pulled back as a feeling of inadequacy washed over me. Compared to this beautiful, tall, skinny yet somehow still curvy girl, I looked like a troll.

  “Hi, Siena, how are you?” Carson asked, immediately dropping my hand for the first time in ten minutes. As he stepped away from me toward the big-breasted, barely-clothed, model-like girl, jealous waves crashed over my head. I tried my best not to scowl at his back.

  “I’m good. I missed you; you’ve not been in Dorset again all week,” she replied, smiling at him and flashing him her come-to-bed eyes.

  “Yeah, I’ve been busy. Next week I’ll be back to normal.” He winked at her and my jealousy suddenly turned to anger.

  This was it; this was the first time I was about to witness him getting it on with another girl – and he had the gall to do it right in front of me. A lump formed in my throat, but I refused to cry. My teeth gnashed together so tightly my jaw ached. All week, I’d fooled myself into thinking we were building something, that something was blossoming between us, that I stood a chance of winning his heart, or at the very least, his respect. But with one of her beautiful smiles, this girl had ruined it all and he was going to throw all that progress away for a quick thrill.

  I needed to leave. I wasn’t going to just stand there and watch it. I couldn’t.

 
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