Lovers of my book The Carrero Effect book 1 will love this brand new alternate chapter.
This is chapter 14, part 2 (more to follow) re-written from Jake Carrero’s perspective as per requested by you, the lovely fans.
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!!
The holiday- Part 2 ( Chapter 14, book 1)
Jake got back to the boat in early morning, a long drive from a passing farmer he managed to flag down and then having to persuade a boat trip out to the moored yacht from a local when he got to port. Not having his phone or any form of money on him had been brutal but he was glad to be finally climbing the silver ladder onto the back deck of the boat. Hunter was being kept in for forty-eight hours to make sure he would have no lasting effects and some minor antibiotics to make sure he didn’t catch any bugs, he would come back to the boat in due time so Jake was happy to leave him. Seeing one of the crew approaching at his arrival he beckoned him over.
‘Go to my room and get some money from the vanity and pay the guy for the ride…. Just take whatever’s there.’ He patted the crewman on the back knowing he was trustworthy and left him to speak the native tongue of the local to pay him for the kindness. Jake was too tired to deal with anymore, he wanted to find Emma and check she was okay, tell her that he was back and then go to bed. He was exhausted and almost dead on his feet.
‘Ricardo?’ He turned to the young man quickly ‘Where is Miss Anderson?’ He asked pointedly.
‘Up on deck sir, she was on the loungers about five minutes ago.’ The young man nodded his way, receiving a pat on the shoulder as way of thanks and Jake headed for the stairs to the upper deck. It was early even for an early riser like Emma, suggesting she had probably waited on him all night and that didn’t make him happy at all. She would be as tired as him.
‘Emma?’ He called out as he got to the top of the deck and could see her laid out on the double lounger like an angel resting on the clouds. God, she was a sight for sore eyes, and just being back within ten feet of her relaxed every taut muscle in his body. He felt like he had been tense waiting to get back to her and could finally breathe now that he could see her.
‘Hey.’ She smiled shyly from her position on the lounger as he walked forward intently, she just looked too inviting to not go to her and all thoughts of anything else swam from his fuzzy head. She was like a constant lure for him, pushing sense aside. He slid down beside her on the lounger with a satisfied sigh, his body giving way to the comfiness and ability to finally lie down. He sprawled alongside her not caring if he literally draped all over her, too fatigued too move, laid on his front. He buried his face in his arms to block out the light and felt like he could fall asleep instantly beside her, the smell of her and her nearness, was like being home and now his brain was shutting down with relief.
Despite his brain closing down slowly he could feel her breath on his arm and her eyes on his profile, silently looking at him. He could sense her, her shyness at saying anything vibrating his way and as much as he wanted to just sleep he also wanted her to be okay about last night too.
‘I’m still awake.’ He mumbled, impulsively sliding an arm out across her waist with his eyes closed, pulling her to his side so he could snuggle into her and kill this insane need to stare at him about now. He wanted to know what she was thinking but he really didn’t have the energy to do anything about it. He moved his face nearer her neck so he could tuck his forehead against her hair and inhale all the sexy goodness and subtle tropical scent that was just her. He had missed her like crazy.
‘You smell good.’ He muttered almost incoherently, still with eyes shut and sleep trying to overtake him. He could feel her slowly beginning to tense her body, her breathing becoming shallower and the telltale signs of Emma going into PA mode, all business and no emotion.
Fuck, he didn’t need this version right now.
‘Thanks.’ She muttered a little tightly, Jake sighed internally that she wasn’t even going to give him five minutes to rejoice in last night before ripping this to shreds for him. He smiled against her naked skin with a little hint of defeat, smiled because he knew her only too well.
‘Are you ever going to just learn to let go, Miss Anderson? When you’re sober.’ He sighed again, wishing she was still drunk for at least a little while.
‘What do you mean?’ She sounded irritated, maybe a little surprised.
‘I can feel you….Stiffer than a board…..Why so formal after last night?’ He smiled again, teasing her might be more fun than an argument right about now, not that he could do much. He had no use of his limbs anymore. He felt her movements and the telltale motion of her twisting her hair anxiously, her cute little annoying habit of nerves on show.
God dammit Emma.
He reached up, covered her hand in his and pulled her fingers away from that soft beautiful hair.
‘Relax, I only want to sleep.’ He mumbled, returning his arm to its previous throw across her waist casually. ‘Stop thinking and sleep with me…You look tired.’ He commanded a little more than he meant too but he wanted this last time with her before reality set in and she found every reason to rip his heart out. He felt her eyes on his face again and knew she was probably glaring at him for pulling her fingers out of her hair like she always did.Truly a return to her uptight former self and not even a hint of carefree holiday Emma left on show.
‘I’m not tired.’ She huffed childishly, feathers ruffled for whatever reason and whatever he had done this time. Hungover Emma was on show and even though it was normally cute, not so much today when he actually cared about what had happened between them last night. He felt her slide out of his arms, leaving him feel a little empty.
‘I’m going for a swim.’ She added as she rose, voice all cool and very Pa and Jake could only sigh at her return, last night had obviously pushed her further than she was comfortable with and here she was reeling it back in again with vengeance. Jake lifted his head to look at her walking away, sexy and cute all rolled into one perfect little package of sheer angelic beauty. He felt that ache of longing at knowing this would never be what he wanted and she was already closing down on him.
‘Don’t drown…I don’t have the energy for a repeat of last night.’ He sighed, watching her leave with a serious bout of regret at leaving last night, as much as he was glad to stay by his best mates side he couldn’t help but wish he had stayed with her and seen through whatever last night had been. More now than ever seeing as cold and closed off Emma had made a grand return. She was back in work mode and he was not too happy about that at all.
When Emma had left deck Jake hauled himself up, the lounger no longer so appealing without her on it and dragged himself back to the confines of his own room to sleep in peace away from the death rays of sun. Leaving it dark and only kicking the door semi-closed he collapsed face down on the bed, barely managing to haul the covers back with his heavy fatigued body and all but passed out immediately.
* * *
Jake finally woke up feeling almost normal, his room was still in darkness and he had no clue as to how many hours he had been asleep. He was still in the exact same position he had flopped down and now stiff as hell. He pulled himself up and dragged his aching muscles to the en-suite shower in an attempt to wake up fully. He hated sleeping the day away even if he had an excuse and wanted to make sure he did something more active than lazing around today to counter balance his messed up sleeping pattern.
Once showered and dressed he headed up on deck to see what the crew had going for breakfast or lunch or whatever hell time of the day it was. For all he knew it could be evening anyway.
Heading up into the sun he was surprised and a little irritated to see Emma had fallen asleep in the highest point of sun in the day, it was noon judging by its position and she was only being saved from the rays by a book over her face.
He knew it was her just from that little body alone, she had a figure the other girls should envy, soft curves and perfectly proportioned little limbs. Even her dainty feet always fascinated him, he’d never been a fan of small delicate girls before Emma but somehow it only added to everything about her that was perfect.
He sat down on the lounger beside her, smiling at the romance book cover with a shake of his head. The girl was complicated to say the least, he would never have pegged her for romance books and slid it away slowly to reveal that peaceful perfection underneath. Tiny little nose and perfectly kissable lips, a perfect face if he ever saw one and the tiniest hint of freckles forming over the bridge of her nose now she was getting a tan from being here. He gently brushed her hair away from her forehead savouring the silent moments before she woke up fully. Taking in a face that would haunt him for a lifetime.
‘Hey.’ He sounded husky as she began to rouse with the sun fully hitting her face, adorably sleepy and those perfect soft blues that he loved so much flickering open to melt his heart some more.
I love you, Bambino.
‘Hey.’ She half smiled, half blinked up at him sleepily, his heart aching a little too much.
‘You shouldn’t sleep in the sun.’ He scolded gently, watching her trying to focus on him. Even though he had put himself in between the sun and her to shield her, she seemed to be having a hard time looking at him properly, squinting at the brightness.
‘I didn’t intend to.’ She blinked some more as Jake effortlessly slid his sunglasses onto her face, smiling back when she smiled at him in that endearing way of thanks she had. He knew they had to talk about last night and set things straight, not just brush it aside as she seemed to want to do. He didn’t want to do it here either.
‘Want to go somewhere?’ Jake looked off to the ocean, away from her face. A deep sense of trepidation that this was not going to go how he wanted it to but that doing it was unavoidable.
‘Such as?’ She sounded inquisitive, more mellow than before he had gone to bed and less PA toned.
He shrugged in reply, he just wanted them away from here, away from the others who would start questioning him about Hunter, tilting his head up to watch the sea crashing on the distant shore to give him some sense of calm.
‘Anywhere but here.’ He sighed dejectedly. He had told Hunter that deep down he knew Emma didn’t want a relationship with him but he had always held a tiny spark of hope that he was wrong, being here now with her after last night and how normal she seemed had killed all his chances. He knew undeniably that Emma was never going to see him as anything other than a boss and a friend.
‘How’s Hunter?’ She asked gently, watching his face a little too closely.
‘He’s fine… He will be. They just need to monitor him….Secondary drowning is a risk when you swallow as much as he did.’ He answered on autopilot, his head to wrapped up in what was missing between them to really divulge much about Danny.
‘Secondary drowning?’ She queried quietly looking at him almost shyly.
‘You can drown long after you come out of the water.. .It’s in your lungs still.’ He tensed, remembering Blake Carlisle his friend in his teens who had drowned after a stupid drunken boat party. It still hurt to remember him.
‘So where will we go?’ She asked a little more brightly, a smile being plastered on her face but it did nothing for his mood. She was far removed from the Emma of last night.
‘We could drive somewhere.’ He went back to watching the horizon instead of that beautiful face of hers, tense, distracted. He just needed to get things moving and get this over and done with, he had formulated a plan at the hospital last night with Hunter… A way out of this emotional mess he was in if things were looking hopeless with her.
‘Okay.’ She smiled a little warily, unsure of his mood. ‘Shall I get changed?’
He shook his head, looking over her floaty dress and sandals, she was always gorgeous no matter what she chose to wear but in the summer clothes and dresses she was even more so.
‘No….You look perfect.’ His eyes flickered down the length of her as she got up, waving her book at him to say she was going to put it in her room. He watched her walk away elegantly and felt his stomach drop heavily. He had gotten enough from these brief few minutes to know he might be putting his plan into action later today. Emma wasn’t the same girl of yesterday, the connection was gone and she was most likely never to get that drunk again knowing how far they had gone.
Minutes later Emma walked back on deck towards him, looking every bit the angel who held all the keys to his heart and every bit the destroyer of it. He smiled despite feeling like absolute hell and gestured for her to follow him to the stairs again to get off the boat.
* * *
Driving the coastal roads on the cliffs above where the yacht was moored in the rented sports car wasn’t helping Jakes mood much, despite the companionable silence between them Jake was tense as hell. He caught her looking his way a few times but he ignored it, keeping his eyes on the winding road and handling the powerful car expertly. He had been using the quiet time to think things through, look for ways to fix this, other outcomes and yet always came back to the same problem. Emma just didn’t feel the same way about him and he had to accept it. Sighing to himself for the hundredth time he tried to focus on just the here and now, of being with her and enjoying the beautiful scenery and the rest of their trip.
Feeling her eyes on him once more he tried to lighten his mood, smiling her way softly, remembering a little too well what she had felt like in his arms, that soft mouth and smooth skin, that tongue of hers meeting with his, that body moulded so seamlessly to his own. If anything he could imprint all of it to memory for a lifetime and never regret one second of it. To be able to kiss her so freely had been more than he had even imagined it could be.
‘So?…..Are we literally just driving then?’ She asked brightly breaking the silence between them and looking his way openly, a small subtle smile on show.
‘Nope.’ He replied unemotionally and just kept his gaze fixed on the crazy road to manoeuvre another dangerous narrow turn.
‘No clues?’ She tried again with another look his way, a small hint at irritation.
‘None!’ Jake just answered in the same non-emotional one word way. He didn’t much feel like talking just yet, he had a scenic destination they were heading for that he could stop at.
‘How do you know I’ll like it?’ She bit a little more aggressively, temper rising quickly in her. Emma was obviously still hungover and easily irritated but it only grated on his already fragile mood.
He shrugged as a response.
‘It’s not fun is it?’ He responded dryly, unable to keep a kerb on the emotions building up inside of him now that they were nearing the look out point he intended to stop at.
‘What?’ She snapped back around, catching his face turned her way for a second, both of their eyes narrowed at one another.
‘Being closed out.’ He tried for nonchalant but emotion betrayed his words, he just sounded sarcastic and he knew he was being an asshole but he couldn’t help it. Getting closer to stopping and really talking was no doubt getting closer to Emma telling him this would always be a boss and PA relationship and he was hurting like hell. ‘What does it take Emma?’. He asked impulsively, really wanting to know what he had to do to just get her to look at him the way he looked at her.
He shifted gear, eyes back on the road and whole body tense as hell while he waited on her response, he was driving a little faster and heart beating louder.
‘Jake, please… What are you talking about?’ Emma shifted awkwardly in her seat, fixing her seat belt as though the speed was making her nervous and he eased his foot on the gas a little. Slowing down to round another turn.
‘You’re not even going to mention last night?…. Is that another conversation over?’ He snapped at her as emotion overtook and regretted it almost immediately.
Cool the fuck down Carrero.
‘You didn’t mention it either.’ She spat a little too aggressively back at him. Riled by his mood obviously and changing the whole tone of how he had intended this conversation to go.
‘I was waiting to see if you would.’ He tried to keep control of his tone this time, trying to defuse the anger and just talk.
‘Why?’ She snapped, still pissed and he could only shrug. He had wanted her to broach the subject, acknowledge last night in some way because it fucking hurt him that she hadn’t. That it had been nothing to her except a drunken mistake.
‘Jake …. It shouldn’t have happened, we crossed a line.’ She pleaded his way, softening her tone the way she did at work when she was trying to soothe a bad mood over some shitty business meeting. She was pandering to him and he couldn’t fucking stand it over this.
‘And there she is! …. Right back to square one.’ The sarcasm was thick in his tone. His body stiffening in his seat with sheer anger and heartbreak fighting one another for control.
‘What’s that supposed to mean?’ She turned at him angrily.
‘Anytime you get close Emma, even a hint of letting go you snap right back in and shut the door. NO conversation, No acknowledgement of it, just Wham. OVER!’ He barked at her, letting anger loose, unable to stop the infernal ache in his gut from leaking out.
‘What? ‘ She hissed with a sardonic laugh ‘Because I won’t sleep with my boss? I’m not letting myself go? That’s being closed off?’ She turned away anger flaming her face, body seething rage and he wanted to punch the god damn windscreen so badly.
‘I don’t think there was any doubt about it last night… It’s not the issue… It’s the afterwards Emma.’ His voice was laced with venom, anger seething from every pore, his body tense. He had never been on this side of it before, women had always wanted more from him and he hadn’t felt anything. Knowing that was now Emma’s stance got to him more than anything ever had in his life, knowing what she was probably thinking right now because he had been that same cold bastard so many times.
‘I was drunk….being stupid, anyone can make a mistake!’ She huffed and stayed looking away from him. Shifting herself away so could turn her body from him towards the door. Jake felt that surge of complete hurt hit him hard, rage kicking in and slammed the car to a halt with foot hitting the floor with the brake pedal. Uncontainable pain oozing from his every pore.
This wasn’t her… His Emma was not this cold hearted unfeeling bitch who just slammed sex like that. Who dismissed last night as a drunken mistake not worth mentioning.
Everything loose in the car rattled forward to the front around them dramatically but he didn’t care, he needed to get out and away from her before he ripped the god damn steering wheel off and used it to smash the windscreen out.
He felt her looking his way as he hauled off his belt and got out of the car with speed. Stalking far away from it and leaving the door wide open, walking to the cliff edge to try and regain some control over the huge swarm of painful emotions consuming him right now. For a second he had an urge to jump off the fucking cliff just so it would stop. He dragged in a few deep inhales to cool his jets, simmer his mood until he had control once more.
His pain dulled down as sheer anger overtook him, anger that she would be this way about last night. Anger that despite knowing this is how it would be he had still gone down this fucking route, Anger that he hadn’t just left it alone and enjoyed a day on the beach with her doing anything except this shit. He was a fucking moron.
Taking deep steadying breaths to get his temper under control he turned back and slid into the car once more, swallowing it down, breathing hard.