One Secret Night, One Secret Baby(7)

By: Charlene Sands


Dylan leaned in, his face coming within inches of hers. Her heart rate escalated as she stared at his mouth. She understood now why his female fans swooned. He was breathtaking and yummy. There was no other way to describe it. “You’re the amazing one, Emma,” he whispered.

Her mind going fuzzy, she whispered back, “I am?”

As he inched closer, taking her into his arms, angling for her cheek, her entire body relaxed. Of course, he’d give her a sisterly kiss on the cheek. She closed her eyes.

His warm lips came down softly.

On her mouth.

Oh, she’d died and gone to heaven. His lips were warm and giving and soothing. She wrapped her arms around his neck and brazenly returned the kiss. Wow. It was all so new. And exciting. Dylan McKay was kissing her on Moonlight Beach at sunset and she was fully in the moment this time. There were no gaps of memory from a fuzzy brain. There wasn’t anything but right now, this speck of time, and she relished the taste of him, the amazing texture of his firm lips caressing hers, the strength and power of his body close to hers.

But something still seemed slightly off with his kiss. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it. Was it just that she was fully aware, fully attuned to him right now?

Dylan broke off the kiss first, and instead of backing away, he grasped Emma to his chest tightly like a little boy needing the comfort of his favorite stuffed toy. Elmo or Teddy or Winnie the Pooh.

She stood in his embrace for long moments. He sighed and continued to hold her. Then his mouth touched her right earlobe and he whispered, “Thank you. I needed your company tonight, Emma.”

What could she say? Was she foolish enough to think he remembered their night of passion and wanted more? No, that wasn’t it. Dylan needed comforting. Maybe what she considered to be a heart-melting kiss, only counted as a friendly measure of comfort for a man whose life was full of adoration. At least, she could give him that.

Her secret was safe.

“You’re welcome, Dylan.”

Glad to be of service.





Two

Dylan wasn’t himself. That had to explain why he’d kissed Emma as though he meant it. Actually, he had meant it in that instant. She was familiar to him. He knew the score with her, his sister Brooke’s best friend. Someone he could trust. Someone he could rely on. The meds he was taking lessened his headaches and he was recovering, feeling better every day. But having a chunk of his memory gone affected his decision making and confidence, made him vulnerable and uncertain.

But one thing he was certain about: kissing Emma had made him feel better. It was the best kiss he’d had in a long time. It packed a wallop. He knew that without question. Those big green eyes that sparkled like emeralds wouldn’t steer him wrong. He’d needed the connection to feel whole again. To feel like himself.

Had he gotten all that from one mildly passionate kiss? Yeah. Because it was with Emma and he knew his limitations with her. She was untouchable and sweet with a side of sassy. So he’d kissed her and let the sugar in her fill him up and take away the pain in his heart.

“You’re quiet,” he said to her as they walked back toward his house. “Was the kiss out of line?”

“No. Not at all. You needed someone.”

He covered her hand with his again and squeezed gently. “Not just anyone, Emma. I needed someone I could trust. You. Sorry if I came on too strong.”

“You...didn’t.”

But she didn’t sound so sure.

“It was just a kiss, Dylan. It’s not as if you haven’t kissed me before.”

“Birthday kisses don’t count.”

She was quiet for a second. “I didn’t have a lot of affection when I was younger. Those birthday kisses meant a lot to me.”

He gave her another quick squeeze of the hand. “I know. Hey, remember the face-plant kiss?”

“Oh, God. Don’t bring that up, Dylan. I’m still mortified. Your parents went to a lot of trouble to make that cake for me.”

He chuckled at the image popping into his head. “Damn, that was funny.”

“It was your fault!”

Dylan’s smirk stayed plastered on his face. He couldn’t wipe it clean. At least his long-term memory was intact. “How was it my fault?”

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