Chapter 18 Emmett's Surprise and The Honeymoon Part 1
At 11:05 am, we strolled out onto the patio of the Polo Lounge wearing coordinated outfits in shades of gray and black, with black leather jackets, I spied Sheri and James at a table for four in a secluded corner. After our greetings and hugs, we sat down; just as the waiter approached our table.
"Good morning. I'm Peter, and I'll be your server," he said, handing us each a menu. "May I get you something from the bar while you make your dinner choices?"
Emmett ordered a Mimosa, James a Screwdriver, Sheri a Bloody Mary, and I a Bellini.
"I'll be back shortly with your drinks," Peter said, leaving for the bar.
We perused the menus and made our selections. When Peter arrived with our drinks, we were ready to order. I chose an appetizer fruit plate, the Challah French Toast for my entree, and the house made sorbet for dessert. Sheri ordered the fruit plate, Eggs Benedict, and cherry cobbler. Em ordered the Shrimp Louie, the Polo Lounge Burger, and warm molten chocolate cake. James chose the Tortilla Soup, the Polo Lounge Burger, and the chocolate cake.
As we waited for our appetizers, Alice and Jasper walked out onto the terrace and headed toward out table.
"Come to join us for brunch, Alice?" Emmett asked his sister. "We can make room for you."
"No Em," she replied, kissing her brother's cheek. "We've already had breakfast and want to get home to Jackson. But Jazz has a special gift for Mara and Sheri, and wanted to give it to them before you left for your honeymoon." We all looked up at Jasper.
"Yeah, well," he said, reaching into his jacket pocket and pulling out two CD cases. "These were delivered to the studio yesterday morning, so I brought them with me as I knew you girls were anxious to get them." He handed one to each of us.
I looked down at the cover and had to try hard to suppress the squeal that rose to my throat. There were Sheri's and my faces—airbrushed to perfection—smiling out at me, with the title, "Torch, An Eclectic Collection", scrolled across it. Standing up simultaneously, I hugged Jasper and kissed his cheek. Then, turning, I grabbed hold of Sheri and hugged her tightly; tears of joy filling our both of our eyes.
"You kept one for yourself, didn't you?" I asked excitedly, turning back to Jasper before sitting back down. "We couldn't have put this together without your awesome knowledge and abilities, sweetie."
"She's right, Jasper," Sheri added. "We were unprepared for all the work you had to put in on our recordings. You did all the hard stuff. All Mara and I had to do was play and sing. We're really grateful that you agreed to take us on."
"Yes, darlin', I did," he said with a huge, toothy grin. "I also kept one for Esme and Carlisle, and Bella and Edward. It's been my pleasure to work with you girls, and plan to keep on as long as you'll have me. Thanks for trusting in me. Oh, Jenny has set a December 15 release date for the CD, so, by the time you return from wherever you're going it should be climbing the charts. Also, with the club opening set for New Year's Eve, sales should skyrocket. How are the reservations for that coming along?" he asked James.
"Really good," James replied. "We're looking for a sellout. There are just a few finishing touches that need to be taken care of, and we're set to go right on schedule"
"Awesome!" Jasper said. "You have saved the family a table, haven't you?"
"Of course," James said happily. "You'll be front and center."
Just then, Peter returned with our appetizers.
"Well, that's our cue to go," Alice announced, waiting for us to be served before kissing each one of us as Jasper man-hugged the guys and kissed Sheri and me. "You two have a wonderful two weeks, and have fun." With eyes twinkling, she took Jasper's hand and led him to the door.
Our food was delicious, with each of us sharing tastes from our plates with the others. We talked about the club throughout the meal, getting excited about the opening, and lingering over dessert and coffee. Finally, it was time for us to go in order to get to our plane on time. After all the kisses and hugs, Sheri pulled me aside and handed me a small package.
"I know you've been together for a while," she whispered in my ear." But, this is just a little something special for tonight. Don't let Emmett see it until you settle wherever he's taking you." Giggling, she hugged me tightly. "Have fun."
"Come on, babe, we have to go," Emmett said, taking my hand gently in his. "Bye you guys, see you in a couple of weeks." He added with a wave at Sheri and James. I waved, too, turning back as Em pulled me to the hotel entrance.
The concierge had arranged for our luggage to be taken to the limo so we could hurry out without having to wrestle with our bags. There were a number of paparazzi hanging around, and a lot of pictures were taken. I knew that some of them would end up in the tabloids, but Em had talked to me about how to act and smile friendly, but continue on to the limo without saying anything.
Once settled inside, we watched as the paparazzi turned away from us, back toward the entrance to see who the next celebrity that may appear. Leaning back into the seat, Em took my hand again and kissed the palm.
"We should make the airport in about fifteen minutes," he said. "Our jet is waiting to whisk us away. Are you ready to have some fun, sweetness?" I set the package on the seat next to me and scooted closer to him.
"Will you tell me where we're going?" I asked, wrapping my arms around his neck. "Please?"
He pulled me onto his lap, placed a tender kiss on my lips, and then shook his head. "No I won't."
"That's just mean, Emmett McCarty," I pulled back, pouting playfully, and making puppy dog eyes at him. He laughed.
"No, babe," he responded with a chuckle, gripping my chin. "I'm keeping it a surprise." He then kissed the tip of my nose. "What's in the package?"
I looked down to the seat where I had been sitting, looking back at him and grinned. "It's a surprise," I replied, wriggling my eyebrows at him triumphantly.
"You're so funny," he murmured, kissing my cheek and setting me back in my seat. "It looks like we've arrived, babe."
I looked out the window to see a small—if the is such a thing— jet sitting on the tarmac. 'McCarty' was emblazoned on the side, under the windows.
The pilot was standing at the bottom of the steps to welcome us aboard. Our luggage was being loaded as we approached him.
"Hey, Michael," Emmett said, shaking the man's hand. "Are we ready for take-off?"
"We sure are," Michael replied, "just as soon as you get settled on board. Carla will be your attendant for this trip. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your marriage, sir. She sure is pretty."
"Oh, I'm sorry, Michael," Emmett apologized. "This is my bride, Mara. Sweetness, this is one of our two pilots, Michael Denny."
"I'm pleased to meet you, Mr. Denny," I said with a smile, slicing my eyes up to Em. "Please, can you tell me where we're going and how long it will take to get there?"
"Oh, no-no-no you don't, Mrs. McCarty," Emmett scolded, taking my arm and starting up the steps. "It's still a surprise, babe, and you shouldn't bother Michael. He knows to keep his mouth shut. Isn't that right, Michael?"
"Oh, yes, sir," Michael called up, laughing as we reached the cabin door. "I know better than to disobey your orders, you're so cruel to the help." Emmett looked down and laughed with him.
"Baby, is this your own plane?" I asked in a whisper.
"No," he replied with a grin. "It's ours. I bought it four months ago so we could have absolute privacy. Well, except for the crew. They are very discreet, having worked for Dad for years. They're on loan right now, until we can find our own."
I was speechless, and then realized that I'd better get used to all this luxury.
Turning, Emmett placed his hand on the small of my back, and led me into the cabin of the plane. I stopped, awestruck at the sight before me. The cabin was beautifully appointed with six elegant white leather seats and square brown topped tables with a circular inlay in shades of brown. There was a small galley at the front, and farther back, a small but elegant bathroom was down a hall with a small twin bed across from it. At the back was an elegant master bedroom with its own private bathroom.
"But, Emmett," I whined. "I really want to know. You know I'm not good with surprises. Please tell me."
"Nope," he chuckled. "You've got to practice patience, my love." He pulled me to him and captured my lips in a loving kiss. A gasp sounded behind us. I whirled around in surprise.
"I…I'm so very sorry, sir," the beautiful attendant stuttered. Emmett smiled and hugged her.
"Not a problem, Carla," Emmett soothed. "No telling what you might walk in on, right, sweetness?"
"Emmett, "I scolded, slapping at his arm. I could feel the redness creep into my face. "Don't listen to him, Carla. I'm here now, and he's going to behave. Isn't that right, baby?"
"Aw, sweetness, are you really gonna curb my fun now that we're married?" he whined, pouting playfully.
"Oh, stop it, you big baby," I chuckled, patting his cheek. "Carla, I'm Mara, Emmett's wife. I'm pleased to meet you, and admire your ability to handle this one." Emmett snorted, and sat down in one of the seats to buckle up.
"I'm happy to meet you, Mrs. McCarty," Carla smiled, shaking my hand. "He really isn't that bad, I just like to give him a hard time. We really do love him. The whole family is great, but Emmett is the best."
"I heard that," Em called out. "Be good, or I'll tell Edward; and you know how broody he can be"
Carla rolled her eyes in reply.
"We're ready for take-off, Emmett; you and the missus need to buckle up." Michael said over the intercom. "Carla, are you ready?"
"On my way, Michael," she replied into the unit on the wall near the cockpit door. She waved at us, and slipped inside.
Emmett motioned for me to sit next to him, and he buckled my seatbelt. He patted my hand, and then he squeezed it gently and smiled.
"We're on our way sweetness," he declared excitedly. "And, no, I'm not telling you where, so don't even ask."
I growled and jerked my hand out of his and folded my arms over my chest. Em's laugh rang out through the cabin. I tried hard not to smile, but I couldn't help myself.
At precisely 2:00 pm, our plane was speeding down the runway, the whine of the engines escalating to an ear popping sound as the wheels retracted and we were climbing into the air. Em had taken my hand again, and as we leveled out, he raised it to his lips and kissed the palm.
"Emmett," Michael spoke through the intercom. "You can now unbuckle your seatbelts and feel free to walk about the cabin. We should reach our destination in four hours and forty-two minutes. Please enjoy your flight, Mara." He switched off the intercom.
"Would you like something to eat or drink?" Carla asked, coming from the galley. "We have a variety of snacks, fruit, and champagne, white wine, juices, sodas, and of course water."
"Do we have pineapple juice?" I asked. "That sounds really good." She nodded, turning to Em. "Do you want a bottle of Heineken, Emmett?" She asked him.
"Of course, you know me so well, Carla," he chuckled smiling his most charming, dimpled smile.
"I'll be right back." She smiled and turned into the galley, returning in just a few moments with a glass of iced juice for me and a bottle of beer for Em. "If you need anything just call. I'll be in the cockpit with Michael.
We sat silently, just enjoying being with one another. I finally realized that no matter how much I begged, whined, and wheedled, I was not going to get our destination from my husband. Suddenly, the stress and activity of the last few days hit me, and I gave a wide yawn. I was almost asleep when I felt Emmett lift my glass from my hand and set it on the table in front of us. Then he picked me up, cradling me in his arms.
"Let's go take a nap, my love," he murmured in my ear. "I'm wiped out, too."
"Mmm," I agreed, snuggling into his chest.
After slipping off our jackets and shoes, we lay down on top of the comforter, wrapped our arms around each other and, after a few loving kisses, we were asleep in a matter of minutes.
A couple of hours later, we were jarred awake by severe shaking of the plane and a sound like an explosion. I screamed and grabbed on to Em.
"Shh, sweetness," he soothed. "Let me call Michael and find out what's going on, okay?" He pried my hands from his arm, and stood, trying to balance with the rolling of the plane. Reaching the intercom, he pressed the button.
"Michael, what the hell's going on?" Em shouted above the din. "How long is it projected to last? Thirty minutes? Okay, we'll buckle up."
"Em what is it?" I called, shaking in fear. "Are we gonna crash?" He hurried back to me.
"No, babe," he replied gently, picking me up and taking me to one of the chairs in the bedroom, and buckling me in. "We're going through some rough turbulence from a winter storm. Michael is an awesome pilot, and he'll get us through to calm skies again. We'll be fine."
He sat in the chair next to mine, buckled up, and then reached out and took my hand, holding it tightly. Each time the plane shook and the wind howled, I would jump and moan, trying to curl up in my chair. After fifteen minutes of hearing me, Emmett growled.
"Oh hell," he cursed, unbuckling his seat belt and then mine. Again, he picked me up and laid me back on the bed. Sliding next to me, he wrapped me tightly in his arms. "We're going to be alright, sweetness. I promise." I snuggled in his arms, holding him tightly to me.
There was a number of jarring shakes and bumps before we flew out of the storm. As I started to ask Emmett about it, Michael's voice came over the intercom.
"We've left the storm behind, Emmett," he said. "The weather service has projected clear and calm skies to our destination. The temp is thirty degrees with winds at twenty mph and snowing lightly. Relax now; we'll be arriving in an hour or so."
"See, we're fine," Em murmured, cuddling and kissing me, trying to sooth my fears. I curled up to him and held on tightly.
It took a few minutes for my heart to stop racing, my breathing to return to normal, and for my body to stop trembling. Then I felt ashamed for panicking.
"I'm sorry, Em, for being such a baby and panicking," I said softly. "I never thought I would react that way, I never have before."
"Hey, sweetness," he replied, tilting my chin up to look down into my eyes. "There's nothing wrong in being afraid in this type of situation, I was afraid, too. I think a lot of it had to do with the stress of these past weeks. Your mind and body are starting to de-stress, but there's still a bit hanging on. You are going to be fine, babe. I guarantee that after the next three days, you'll be your old self; confident and daring. Those are two of your many good traits I fell in love with."
"You are too good to me, baby," I murmured as I reached up to kiss him. "What have I done to be fortunate enough to have found you…you perfect man?"
"You're just lucky, I guess," he said as he sat up, pulling me with him, and stood. "Stay here, sweetness; I have a little surprise for you."
Stepping over to a small clothes closet next to the bathroom door, he opened the sliding door to reveal two garment bags and boot and hatbox boxes. Taking the garment bags from the bar and the boxes from the shelf above, he brought them over to the bed and set them down next to where I was waiting.
"What is this, sweetheart?" I asked, looking questioningly at him.
"Well, I checked the extended weather report for this region…which Martin just confirmed… and knowing we'd need these, I had Alice purchase them for us," he replied, lifting one of the garment bags and peeling it from the garment it held. He held it up in front of me and I gasped.
"Oh, my God!" I cried, stepping forward to take it from him. "A fur jacket…a mink jacket? Oh, Em I…wait. I thought you were against animal furs?"
"I am, babe," he replied with a grin. "These are the best faux furs on the market. Just because I don't like the thoughts of animals dying for their fur, I still want to make sure you're as warm as possible. This one is grey and black mink and all the accessories; a black mink hat, mink neck scarf, black leather and mink gloves, and black suede boots lined with mink."
"You didn't have to do this, baby," I said, sliding my arms around his neck. "But, I'm glad you did. Thank you." I reached up and pulled his lips down to mine for a deep kiss, which he returned enthusiastically. 'I love you," I whispered against his soft moist lips.
"Love you, too, sweetness," He replied with a sexy smile. "This is just the beginning of a long and happy life together. You are mine, now and…" "Forever!" I finished the promise.
"Emmett," Michael's voice came over the intercom. "We'll be landing in fifteen minutes."
"I guess I'd better slip these boots on and get ready for the landing," I said, sitting on the edge of the bed, and taking the boots out of the box.
Slipping them on, and zipping them up, I found them to be a perfect fit. Only Alice, I thought. I looked up to see Em pulling the garment bag off of the other hanger, to reveal a beautiful russet brown suede hooded jacket, accessorized with a neck scarf, leather gloves, and rugged boots.
After putting his boots on, he folded the black leather coats we had worn in California, and put them in a large duffel bag, along with our shoes.
We had just settled into our seats, back in the cabin, and buckled up when Michael announced our descent into the McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, Tennessee. It was 6:30 pm and 30 degrees F. with light snow falling.
I looked over at Em, confused as to why we were in Knoxville, Tn., and then it hit me. Emmett was born in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and he was taking me to see his hometown.
"Are we going where I hope we are…Gatlinburg?" I asked excitedly, grasping his arm. "Are you taking me to where you were born?"
"Yep." He grinned, taking my outstretched hand. "Remember I told you about my cabin retreat? Well, that's where we'll be spending the next four nights."
"Oh, Em, I can't wait to see it," I exclaimed. "How far is it from here?"
"About an hour," he replied. "I hope you'll like it, babe. I've had my cousin Cody buy a new jeep for me, and drive it to the airport to make it easier for us to get to the cabin. You'll get to meet the part of my family that still lives in Gatlinburg, and they're excited to meet you."
"I hope they like me," I said with concern.
"Not to worry, sweetness," he reassured me. "They'll see that you're beautiful and charming, and have made me a very happy man. But when they hear that southern accent of yours, you'll be a shoe in."
"I don't have an accent," I retorted. "I sound just like I'm from the west coast."
"Yes, you do, my love," he responded with a chuckle. "But, only when you concentrate. I guarantee that the first time you're around my kin; you'll be sounding like you're from the hills around here. That's one of the drawbacks to having a musical ear, sweetness, you pick up accents easily." I had just started to reply, when we felt the wheels touch the ground, and the engines and brakes whine, slowing down the plane.
As soon as the plane taxied to a stop near the hanger for private planes, Emmett and I were on our feet and slipping into our coats, hats and gloves. Draping the duffel bag over his shoulder, he grasped my hand and we headed for the door. Carla was there, holding the door as Michael exited the cockpit. Saying a pleasant goodbye, Michael agreed to be ready and waiting there at the airport, at 2:00 pm on Thursday.
"Have fun," Carla called out as we went down the steps.
When we reached the tarmac, the cold thirty degree wind and large lacey snowflakes hit us in the face and had me shivering. Em hurried me over to a beautiful cherry red Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland. It was already running and I looked up at him quizzically.
"Michael radioed ahead, and had one the mechanics start it up so it would be warm when we arrived," he said as he opened the passenger door for me. "Go ahead and get in, out of this cold."
I climbed in letting the warm interior of the vehicle envelope me, and then got surprised at the heat I felt coming from my seat. As Emmett came around to the driver's side, another man carrying our bags approached. Em opened the back for him to deposit them in. Slamming down the door, he shook the man's hand, and came to climb in.
"Wow, Em this is a beauty," I gushed. "These heated seats are so warm, and the leather holds it in. I know you have to have to have four-wheel-drive to navigate the winding and climbing roads, but this is brand new. When did you get it?"
"Cody got delivery of it three weeks ago," he replied, lifting my gloved hand and kissing the palm. "Are you ready, sweetness, to get started on this part of our adventure?"
"Yes, sweet cheeks, I believe I rightly am," I replied laying the accent on thickly. "I'm more excited than a dawg awaitin' fer his vittles."
Em's booming laugh filled the car, and I began to laugh along with him.
"See, I told ya," he choked out between gales of laughter.
"Just hush, now," I retorted as I slapped at his arm playfully.
Finally we settled down and we started the almost two hour journey to Em's cabin near Gatlinburg. The closer we got, the heavier the snow fell. Sometime during the drive, I fell asleep, and was awakened by Emmett's voice.
"Hey babe," he called softly, running his hand up the inside of my leg. "Wake up. We're here."
I opened my eyes and glanced around, able to see dimly from the light shining from the outside pole light. "Oh, baby, I'm sorry I fell asleep on you."
"No probs, babe," he said with a lascivious grin. "You're gonna need that rest to get you through tonight."
"Mmmm, I like the sound of that." I murmured, leaning over to kiss him sweetly "Now, let's get inside before we fog up these windows. Although I wouldn't mind, it is much too cold out here, and more comfortable on a bed."
With a growl, he was out of the car in seconds and around to open my door. I started to climb out when he picked me up and, kicking the door shut, trudged through the foot of snow covered ground, and carried me up the steps to the door of the cabin.
"Oh, look, Em," I said excitedly. "Your cousins have decorated the outside for Christmas.
"Hmm, that's nice," he replied in frustration as he fumbled with the door key I started to slide down out of his arms, but he wouldn't let me. "No, you stay right here. Ahha!" He exclaimed as the door swung open, and he flipped the light switch illuminating the beautifully decorated living room and kitchen. The warmth of the room wrapped around us as we stepped across the threshold. "Welcome to our private get-away, Mrs. McCarty," he whispered as he set me on my feet, wrapping his arms around me, and kissing me soundly.
"Wherever you are, my darling, will always be home to me," I said against his lips, kissing him back enthusiastically.
He stepped back and looked down at me, his hands resting on my shoulders. "Ditto", he said with a loving smile, and pecked my lips again. "You look around while I go get the bags. I'll be right back."
"Okay." I replied, taking off my coat, hat, and gloves and laying them across the arm of a deep red couch with a folded Indian blanket across the back.
The brightly burning fire in the stone fireplace caught my eye. It took up the middle of the wall, leaving room for book shelves, filled with books and knick-knacks, on either side. It was made of stone with a solid rock hearth in front of it, and a shallow wooden mantle mounted half way up the face over the fire box. . A small rocking chair sat on the floor at the right hand corner.
Along with the red couch, there was another one in a red and brown plaid sitting adjacent to it, and a brown easy chair sitting across from it. There was an Indian pattern woven rug, in front of the fireplace, that lay on top of the rich brown carpet covering the floor. The coffee table was fashioned from of a refinished, old, flat topped trunk, and there were a couple of rustic lamp tables with tall brass lamps on them. One stood between the two couches, and one next to the chair.
I heard Emmett coming in and, when I turned toward the door, I noticed a large washtub sitting on a short stool holding a small decorated Christmas tree. It sat in a corner next to the front door. Dropping our bags at the foot of the stairs, Em removed his gloves and took off his coat, laying them beside mine on the arm of the couch.
"C'mere, you," he growled and pulled me to him, holding me tightly. "It's been too long since I've held you in my arms, Mrs. McCarty, and felt the softness of you." He lowered his face close to mine. "Kiss me, sweetness. I'm so hungry for you."
He crushed his lips to mine, nudging my lips apart to wrap his tongue around mine. I moaned and pulled him tighter to me. Even through the layers of our clothes, I could feel the hardness of him, causing me to melt into him. Sliding my hand down between us, I stroked him through his jeans, eliciting a deep groan from deep in his throat. He lowered his hands and grasped my bottom, lifting me up. My legs wrapped around his hips as he ground his pelvis into mine. Our passion burned out of control. I couldn't think, I could only feel.
I slid down his body, pushed his jacket down his arms, dropped it, and began to raise his sweater. I reluctantly took my lips from his to pull it over his head, taking his T-shirt at the same time, and tossed them to the floor. Looking deep into my eyes, he removed my sweater, and then he reached down to the bottom of my tunic and pulled it up and over my head. He unhooked the front clasp of my bra and I shrugged the straps down my arms allowing my breasts fall heavily into his waiting hands. Throwing my head back, I pressed the sensitive globes closer to him and moaned loudly. He pressed his lips to my jaw and began a trail of wet kisses down my throat to my aching nipples. Cupping my right breast, he kneaded it gently, and lowered his head to lave the distended nipple.
"Oh, Em," I cried, twining my fingers in his hair as he slowly circled the stiffened peak with his tongue, and pulled it into his warm, wet mouth, sucking gently. With each draw, I felt a corresponding tug in my belly, my thong getting wetter. After giving my other nipple the same attention, his licked his way back up to my mouth, and captured it in a hard, heated kiss; which I returned with just as much passion.
While our tongues danced, I slid my hands down to his waist to unbuckle his belt and open the buttons of his fly. Before I could push the tight jeans down his hips and legs, he took a step back.
"Wait, sweetness," he murmured, kneeling down in front of me, and sat back on his heels to unzip my boots. He pulled them and my socks off slowly, and ran his hand up each of my jeans covered legs. I shivered as he rose to his knees and slid his hands up my legs, over my hips, and around to the closure of my pants.
First he unbuttoned the waist, and leaned forward to place wet kiss between the opened waistband. Then, as he slowly pulled the zipper down, he followed the tab with his lips and tongue. I grasped his shoulders to keep my knees from buckling at the erotic sensations coiling through my body. Then he slid his fingers into the waistband and drew my jeans down my legs to my ankles. Lifting one foot and then the other, he pulled them free from my feet and tossed them behind him.
Standing back up, he pulled me to him and placed another searing kiss on my lips. He picked me up and walked over to the red couch, gently laying me down on it, and placed a throw pillow under my head. He sat on the edge of the couch near my feet to unlace his boots and pulled them, and his socks, off. Standing, he pushed his jeans down and off. There he stood magnificent in his black Calvin boxer briefs. His hardness was unmistakable, causing a shuddering breath to escape my mouth.
I was laying back, a forearm across my forehead, watching him with lust filled eyes, when he leaned down to hover over me. I pulled him completely down on top of me, wanting his heaviness and the feel of his skin on mine. Our lips collided and soon we were totally lost in a world of hands, lips, tongues, and teeth; soft murmurings joining the chorus of the sounds filling the room.
Rising to his knees, he ran his hands slowly down my body to my hips, grasped the sides of my thong, and slowly peeled it off of me. I lifted my bottom, and then raised my legs, to make it easier for him. Sitting back on his heels, he just looked at me, love and lust in his darkening eyes.
"My God, babe," he declared, gently taking my feet into his hands. "Every time I see you, I'm amazed all over again at how beautiful you are. I can hardly believe you are mine. You have fulfilled every dream and fantasy I've ever had. I am the luckiest and happiest man that you have given yourself to me." All the while, he was working his way back up my legs with kisses and nips between his words.
When he reached the juncture of my thighs, I pulled back and stood up, rolling him over onto his back.
"I want to ride you, baby, and watch your face as I make sweet love to you," I purred. "But first, I just want to look at you. You're a feast for these eyes. Then I want to show you how much I love you." I let my eyes drink in every sculpted inch of him, touching him, and running my hands over him. And to think he is mine!
Moving to sit at his feet, I swiftly pulled his Calvin's off, and then slithered up his body, leaving a trail of hot kisses along my path. I stopped at his rock hard cock and couldn't stop myself from flicking out my tongue to lap up the pool of precum glistening at the tip. He hissed and bucked his hips. But I didn't want to have oral sex this time, so I continued up the hard, toned body of my man.
I lifted my face up to suck the lobe of his ear into my mouth and nibble at it, eliciting a deep groan from him.
Then I continued to kiss his jaw and face before planting a scorching kiss upon his eager mouth. He was running his hands up and down my back as I sat up on his hips, placing my sex on his glorious erection. He moaned at the feel of my hot wetness opening onto his rigid penis. He grasped my hips and pressed me tighter to him.
I slowly began to rock my hips, causing my slit to slide back and forth over his cock. I was masturbating myself on him, watching his face as I did so. His eyes were locked on mine as he groaned deeply.
"Babe, if you keep that up, I can't be responsible for what will happen," he gasped. "And, it won't take much longer."
I felt myself climbing to the peak also, and stopped moving. Rising up, I grasped him firmly in my hand and placed the head of his cock at my entrance. Then, never taking my eyes from his, with one slow, steady stroke I slid down onto his shaft. We both moaned at the beautiful feeling of the connection. I felt my walls close tightly around him, sending expectant shivers to flow through my body, like striking lightning. I was still for a minute before I started to move again; slowly at first, then speeding up. He brought his hands back to my hips and helped me to rise up and down.
The little sounds of pleasure and the murmurs of love that filled the room, spurred us on. A layer of sweat covered our bodies allowing us to slide freely against each other. Soon I began to feel the coil in my belly begin to tighten, and my muscles to clutch at him. I was going to climax, and I could tell by the sounds he was making and his erratic movements that he was, too. Reaching back behind me, I carefully took his tightening scrotum in my hand and massaged it gently, feeling his body stiffen.
"Now, baby, come with me," I demanded as I rode the crest of the wave, and tumbled over the edge. Seconds later his bellow rang out, and he filled me with his hot seed. We whirled round and round in the haze of bliss, a tangle of arms and legs, until we floated back down to earth. I collapsed down on his chest, my head falling into the crook of his neck. He wrapped his arms around me as we waited for our breathing and heartbeats to slow to normal.
"Every time with you is different, babe," he murmured, kissing my damp forehead. "You never cease to amaze me with your creativeness. I love it, and you."
"Well, my love," I said quietly, "you inspire me. I never want to get complacent and boring. So, I'm always searching for something new. I love you too much to ever get in a rut. I want to surprise you whenever I can. And that's a promise."
He squeezed me tight, and we lay there quietly until we both fell asleep. I awoke a couple of hours later, freezing. The fire had almost gone out. I tried to move without waking Em, but he tightened his arms around me. He felt me shiver, and immediately woke.
"Come on, sweetness," he said sitting up. "You're freezing, and there's a nice warm bed upstairs.
Picking me up, he carried me upstairs to a beautiful bedroom. I only got a quick glance around it before, turning back the covers with one hand; he laid me down and covered me up. He turned to walk to the door.
"Where are you going, Em?" I asked.
"Just going to lock up and turn off the lights," he replied. "Don't worry, Mara, I'll grab the bags and be right back up. I love you." He scurried out and I buried myself in the warmth of the bed clothes, and smiled at his love for me.
I watched as my own Greek god came in the door and set our bags on the floor next to it. Closing the door, he climbed in the bed and pulled me to him. His skin was icy cold and I squealed, trying to push away.
"Em, you're freezing!" I exclaimed, pushing his body away from mine. "Here, let me help warm you." Leaning over him, I wrapped him in the thick comforter and pressed my body against the cocoon around him. It didn't take long before he wriggled out of the comforter and pulled me to him again. This time I snuggled up to him, resting my head on his chest.
"Thank you, sweetness," he muttered against the top of my head, running his hand up and down my arm that was lying across his waist.
"It's one of the many perks of being a wife," I replied, lacing our fingers together as he laid his hand on mine. "Not only do I help you, but I'm rewarded with this closeness. We should be able to keep each other warm, now."
"The cabin should start warming up soon," he said squeezing me. "I started the heat pump while I was downstairs."
"Mmm, good," I whispered, yawning a wiggling to settle comfortably. "I love you Mr. McCarty."
"Love you, too, Mrs. McCarty," he murmured sleepily.
Soon we were both sound asleep.
Emmett was right; the room was warm when I awoke. Dawn was breaking over the mountains I slipped quietly out of bed. Grabbing the blanket folded over the back of one of the rocking chairs, and wrapped it around me as I padded to the French doors that opened out onto a small deck. Gazing through the glass, I was enthralled by the multi colors–purples, orange, yellow and pink– fading into a bright blue sky with the sun just starting to peek over the mountain tops. I had only seen such beauty a time or two while growing up in Arkansas.
Strong arms encircled me from behind, and soft, moist lips kissed the back of my neck. I purred and leaned back against a hard chest.
"What are you doing up so early, sweetness?" Emmett asked softly. "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine, baby," I replied quietly, laying my arms on top of his. "I woke up as this panorama began, and I just had to get up to watch it paint the sky, and reveal the beautiful snow covered forest out there. It's beautiful."
"Yes it is, sweetheart," he murmured, kissing my ear, "but, not half as beautiful as you."
Turning in his arms, I let the press of our bodies hold the blanket between us, and wound my arms around his neck, threading my fingers into his hair. He bent down and kissed me sweetly.
"Let's go take a shower, and then while you bring in some more wood for the fireplace, I'll make some coffee, and rummage around for something for breakfast."
"That sounds good to me," he replied, wiggling his eyebrows at me "especially the shower part." He added, letting the blanket fall to the floor. He picked me up and ran to the master bath." I couldn't help but giggle.
He set me down and turned to the humongous shower, reaching in to start the water heating. As I stood there gawking at the size of the shower and the rest of the room, Em reached into a cabinet and pulled out some towels and hung them on a tile bar and flipped a switch. A heated towel bar in a cabin? Really?
"Okay, Mr. McCarty, I have to ask," I said, looking around again. "When you told me about your cabin hideaway, I envisioned a 'getting back to nature', rustic cabin. You know, basically one room with a bed, table and chairs and a small kitchenette. I even pictured an outhouse. This is definitely not that cabin. Did you do all this?"
"Oh, sweetness," he said with a chuckle. "It was just like that until I got Esme involved. It was fine when it was just me, but when you agreed to marry me, I knew I would bring you here and wanted only the best for you.
"Esme came, took one look at the place, fell in love with it, and immediately took measurements and pictures. She was home in a day, and had the complete design by the next afternoon. Showing the plans to me for approval…which I gave…she set right in to call the various contractors, and had things underway within a week."
Seeing the steam rising in the shower, he opened the door and pulled me in. I was in awe. After wetting my body under the ceiling rain head, Em soaped up the body sponge with soft and fragrant body wash. He turned me around and began to wash my back, continuing on with his explanation of the cabin's transformation.
"Esme is my mother's cousin, and growing up here, she's still friends with some of the best builders and renovators in the area. The only thing I insisted on was this shower. I wanted the biggest one she could find, and she made it happen. She handled it all by phone, picked out the furnishings and everything online from the manufacturers she always works with and had the pieces delivered to a warehouse in Ashville, North Carolina. She came here two weeks ago to handle the delivery and set up.
She's a real go-getter and, when she starts a project, she sees it through to the end; pushing and hurrying everyone along the way, and insisting on quality workmanship. And she always gets her way!"
I laughed as I turned to face him, raising my arms over my head inviting him to continue cleansing my body. It was a warm satisfying shower. There was some play, but we decided we wanted to get an early start.
Em was going to show me around Gatlinburg and the surrounding area, his home and hangouts. Granted, he'd been gone for twenty-five years, but Esme and Carlisle had made sure he visited at least once a year to keep in touch with his family. When he got older, he continued to make the yearly trip.
Stepping out of the shower a few minutes later, I ran a brush through my wet hair, and wrapped up in my red velvet robe and slippers. I went down to the kitchen. Looking into the refrigerator, I found it to be stocked with everything I'd need to make French toast, and a package of bacon.
"Something smells awfully good," Em said, coming into the kitchen and cozying up to me, kissing the back of my neck. I hummed appreciatively.
Then I caught the sight of his big hand trying to reach around me to steal a piece of the bacon I had draining on a plate covered with a paper towel.
"Get your hands out of there, sweet cheeks," I playfully scolded. "Just a few more minutes, and we can sit down at the table."
"Awe, babe, let me have just a little nibble, please?" He whined, trying to reach the plate again.
"No," I replied, slapping his hand with the spatula I held. "Why don't you set the table while I finish up here?" I chuckled as he pouted but, puppy dog eyes weren't going to phase me…this time.
So, while he worked on the table, using a cast iron griddle, made eight slices of golden brown French toast. I would only be able to eat two slices, but I knew six was just enough for Em.
The table looked great; plates, silverware, glasses, napkins, butter, syrup, and a jug each of Pineapple juice and milk were placed perfectly. I looked up and stood on tiptoe to peck him quickly on the lips. He smiled, and pulled my chair out for me as I sat down. He sat across from me, and we began eating.
"What have you got planned for today, Em?" I asked. "How should I dress?"
"I thought I'd take you on a tour of my home town, "he replied excitedly. "You know, the town's Christmas decorations and shops, and then drive around and show you some of my favorite places and the countryside. This afternoon, we are invited to Cody and Mary's for dinner—the noon meal—and if I know the ladies of my family, there'll be enough food to feed all of Gatlinburg. All the family that is still around here will be there, too."
"Sounds like fun, but you haven't told me what to wear. "I said. "Are we going to come back here before going to dinner? Or should I just wear what I have on?"
"Sweetness, my family doesn't stand on ceremony," he replied with a smile. "They're just simple country folk, and don't care about your clothes. They just want to get to know you a little." You can wear jeans and a sweater if you'd like, or anything your heart desires. They couldn't care less, babe. Now, if it was my choice you'd be 'nekkid'," he added with a wiggle of his eyebrows.
"You would like that, you pervert," I teased, patting his cheek playfully. "But, that's not gonna happen 'til we get back tonight. Then, just maybe, we can play. So, you have all day to think about that." I added, wiggling my eyebrows at him."
"Oh, babe, you're just plain ole mean," he replied with a groan. "I'm gonna be adjusting myself all day. So. Not. Cool."
"I'm going to get dressed, sweet cheeks," I called over my shoulder as I headed for the stairs. "Maybe you'd like to do up the dishes, hmmm?" I chuckled all the way up the stairs.
I had just finished dressing when Em came bounding up the stairs.
"Are you ready, sweetness?" he asked excitedly, then stopped and looked at me. "Wow, Mara, you look awesome."
Looking down at myself, I had to agree with him. I was wearing a green long sleeve sweater with black skinny jeans, and my black snow boots. Over my arm, I had thrown a green, black fur lined suede coat with a self-belt and attached hood; my black gloves were dangling from my fingers.
"You look pretty awesome yourself my country boy," I returned, taking in the sight of my husband. He wore a royal blue cable knit turtle neck sweater–which made the color of his eyes pop–over soft well-worn jeans, and his russet colored boots. We went downstairs where his heavy russet colored fur-lined coat was waiting, draped over the back of the couch with his gloves and russet knit cap.
"Here, sweetness," Em said pulling a pair of black fur earmuffs off of a table in the entryway. "I don't want your ears to get frost bitten."
He put them over my ears, and helped me on with my coat, pulling the hood up. I tied the belt around my waist and slipped on my gloves while Emmett put on his coat and gloves.
"Are ya ready, babe?" He asked, excitement shining in his eyes, and a huge grin on his face. He looked like a kid on his way to Disneyland. I laughed and pushed him toward the door. He stopped, looking up at the ceiling above the door, and his grin got even wider. He turned and pulled me into his arms "I didn't notice that when we came in last night," he said pointing up to a large sprig of mistletoe." And we were delayed a few minutes more.
Then he opened the door and grabbing my hand, led me to the Jeep. He held the door open for me and closed it as I buckled my seat belt. He climbed into the driver's seat and squirmed a bit, adjusting himself. I had to chuckle when I heard him mutter, "Oh, yeah, all day."
It didn't take long to reach the outskirts of Gatlinburg. It was a much smaller town than I had expected. Driving through the streets of the town, Emmett pointed out some of his favorite hangouts as a child. Mostly he and his friends spent their free time climbing trees, and playing in the hills and woods around their homes on the outskirts of town. Swimming in the creeks during summer, sledding and having snowball fights in the winter snow.
Watching him as he reminisced about his childhood, made me fall in love him even more deeply than I thought I could. He was like a child waiting for Santa Claus, his eyes twinkling merrily and a big, dimpled grin slashing across his face.
Driving into the downtown area, he found a parking space, and we got out of the Jeep. Linking hands, we began to explore all the little shops. We stopped for hot chocolate at a small café before continuing our tour.
Naturally, we had to buy something for everyone back home, and had everything shipped to Sheri and James to store until we returned…with instructions to DO NOT OPEN. I knew it would be hard for Sheri to resist, but James would make sure she didn't peek. We also purchased gifts for Cody, Mary, and their three children, and Kenny, Lucy, and their three, having each store gift wrap them for us. Em had expressed the desire to visit Granny McCarty at the assisted living home…where she insisted she wanted to be so she wouldn't be a burden to her family. We bought her a beautiful white knitted shawl.
Before we knew it, it was noon and we needed to head out of town to Cody and Mary's country home for dinner. When Em turned into a long snow covered drive, my stomach fluttered, and the closer we got to the house up on the hill, the more nervous I became. Em glanced over at me and took my hand, squeezing gently, as he pulled around to park at the back of the house.
"Sweetness, it'll be all right," he soothed, smiling and kissing the palm of my hand through my glove. "They'll love you, babe." Climbing out of the car, he came around to help me out.
Suddenly the back door opened and we were surrounded by happily screaming children.
"Emmy!"…"Emmett!"…"You're here"..."We missed you!"
Watching Em with his young cousins filled my heart with more love for this incredible man that I had married. His booming laugh echoed into the night as he hugged and kissed them each in turn. As I stood back, taking it all in, I was approached by a little girl about five years old. She too ahold of my sleeve and gave it a tug. I smiled down at her.
"Are you Emmy's new wife?" she asked, looking up at me curiously.
"Yes, I am," I replied, crouching down to greet her. "My name is Mara, what's yours?"
"I'm Emily," she replied. "I was named after Cousin Emmett, and I'm five years old."
"I'm very pleased to meet you, Miss Emily," I said, shaking her hand gently. She grinned and turned to her siblings and cousins.
"Hey y'all, come here and meet Mara, Emmy's wife," she called out. Within seconds, I was surrounded by six boisterous children. "These here are my brothers, Heath and Jason. They're older than me, but not smarter; daddy says so.' The boys rolled their eyes, and greeted me politely.
And, there are our cousins, Cora, Mason and Polly. They're all older than me, too. I'm the baby."
Em walked over and picked her up, throwing her up in the air, and causing shrieking giggles to fill the air. Looking up, I caught sight of four adults standing on the porch. Em wrapped his arm around my waist and led me to them and introduced me to them.
Cody was the younger brother, with a head full of brown hair and hazel eyes, whereas Kenny was older and totally bald, with green eyes. Mary was a beautiful, slim blond with brown eyes and a big smile, and Lucy was slender with strawberry blond hair and deep blue eyes.
"Let's get the lady indoors where it's warm," Mary suggested, leading the procession. "Let me have your coat, Mara, and please make yourself ta home." I watched as Em took off his boots, and I followed suit. He handed Cody his coat and lead me into the living room.
It was a bright and colorful room with a cheery fire burning in the fireplace. Stockings hung on the front of the mantel along with candles and garland across the top. There was a large Christmas tree in one corner, and comfy looking sofas and chairs with mounds of bright colored throw pillows. There was a large coffee table in the middle of the room holding a bowl of colorful tree ornaments and Christmas candles.
Mary and Lucy brought in trays of cheese, summer sausage, and crackers as Cody took drink orders. Soon we all were sitting, eating, and drinking; getting to know each other. The kids were sitting on the floor around the food trays and sipping hot cocoa.
Cody got up and left the room as Kenny raised his glass, and proposed a toast, "To family." We all replied in kind. Then, from behind Em and me, came a soft gravelly voice, "To family." Em jumped up and turned around, almost spilling his beer. A huge grin spread across his face, and tears filled his eyes. Setting his bottle down, he ran around the couch.
"Granny!" he exclaimed, laying a noisy kiss on her cheek before picking her up and twirling her around.
"Oh, put me down ya big brute," she scolded as she cupped his cheek. "It's good to see ya, boy." He set her gently on her feet. "Now where is this girl you got to marry you? She must be a saint to be puttin' up with the likes of you." Holding out his hand to me, he guided his granny around the couch to me.
"Granny, this is my wife, Mara," he said, grasping my hand and pulling me forward. She stood studying me for a long time. The room was eerily quiet, and I was beginning to get nervous again when she took my hands in hers.
"You'll do," she said softly, looking up into my eyes. "Yes, you'll do quite nicely. And, Emmett, you're a lucky man, as she is fine to look at, and built for carrying babies." I blushed. Everyone else laughed.
"Yes, I know, Granny," Emmett agreed, "She's as beautiful inside as well as out."
"It's nice to meet you, Mrs. McCarty," I said, shaking her hand and smiling. "I've heard so much about you from Em."
"I'm just Granny, darlin'," she said, patting my cheek. "And I bet he made me sound plumb awful."
"Not at all, Granny," I replied with a smile. "He made you sound perfect. He really loves all of you." She smiled at Em.
"Well, girls, is supper about ready?" she asked, turning to Mary and Lucy. "I'm a-wastin' away, here. I'm so hungry; I could eat a bear raw or cooked."
"Just have to put it on the table, Granny," Mary replied as she and Lucy hurried out to the kitchen. Kissing Em on the cheek, I followed them.
"Is there anything I can do to help?" I asked politely.
"Well, if you could make the gravy, while I mash these taters, it would hurry things along," Mary said. "Lucy's finishing up the green beans and salad, while watchin' the biscuits."
"Sure. Do you want white or brown gravy?" I asked, tying the apron that she handed me around my waist.
"White, of course, it's the only kind with fried chicken," she replied, pointing me to the large cast iron skillet sitting on the stove. "The drippin's are in the pan, the flour in the pantry, and the milk is in the fridge," she added, handing me a large whisk and a measuring cup.
We spent the next fifteen minutes making small talk, getting to know each other more, as we worked. They were surprised that I was originally from Jonesboro, Arkansas, and proclaimed that we were all gonna be great friends. Em had told them about Torch. Mary and Lucy both took a taste of my gravy, looked at each other, and grinned, nodding, and told me it was perfect.
Once supper was on the table, Mary called the rest of the family into the dining room. The seven adults sat around the long dining table, while the children sat at a smaller table of their own. I was seated between Em and Granny, Kenny and Lucy across from us, with Cody and Mary at either end.
Halfway through the meal, Granny stopped eating. "Who made the gravy?" she asked loudly. All conversation ceased. "It wasn't Mary or Lucy, they either scorch it or it's lumpy. I blushed when she turned her eyes on me. "It's the best I've had since my mama died."
Emmett laughed. "You've truly been accepted now, sweetness," he said, laying his arm across my shoulder and kissing me. "Granny sets great store by the way a woman makes gravy. You're in like Flynn!"
"Ewe," Heath said with a shudder. "Emmy kissed a girl!" The other boys joined in with their disgust.
"Yep, I sure did, "Emmett relied with a laugh. "And one day you'll understand why. It's really nice."
"Never!" they exclaimed as one. "No way." I just sat there smiling at what I was experiencing for the first time in my life. Family.
It was what I had expected, a typical family gathering. The children were calling out for more food or drinks, and picking at each other the way that siblings do. The adults were trying to out voice each other, especially the men. They were arguing sports while Mary and Lucy tended to the children between taking bites from their plates.
Granny turned to me and spoke quietly, "Have you told Emmett yet?"
"No, I wanted to wait…" I broke off and stared at her, my mouth agape. "How do you know, Granny?
"It's all over you, darlin'," she smiled. "I've been around a day or two, and seen many a girl carrying. Why haven't you told him?"
"I just wanted to wait for the right time during the honeymoon," I replied.
She placed her hand on my stomach and looked into my eyes. A slow smile crept across her face. "You might better tell him soon, sweetheart," she said quietly. "That other one hurt my boy bad by keepin' her secret. I don't want to see him like that again."
"I will, Granny," I promised, taking her frail hand in mine. "I don't want him to be like that again either. I know that pain too well."
"What are you two hatchin' up over there?" Mary asked, sitting back down at the table.
"Just a little Granny talk," Granny replied. "Ain't nuthin' you ain't heard before." I looked down at my hands, biting my lip to keep from laughing. Emmett glanced at me curiously.
"What goin' on?" Em asked. "Is something wrong?"
'No, baby," replied patting his cheek. "I'll tell you about it when we get back to the cabin. Right now though, after dishes are done, I'd like to go play in the snow." Everyone agreed excitedly.
Thirty minutes later, we were all putting on coats, boots and gloves, and heading out the back door.
For the next hour and a half, we all enjoyed ourselves. I was watching the kids and guys having a snowball fight, when I felt a handful of snow being forced down my back. I whirled around to find Emmett and Emily laughing. I quickly bent down and, before Emmett realized my plan, planted a ball of snow right in his face. Emily was laughing so hard she didn't see the small amount of snow I tossed in hers.
"Let's get her Emily," Emmett growled playfully. I began to run. Soon they were chasing me, and Em grabbed me from behind, toppling us into the snow. He rolled so that I landed on him. I laughed into his eyes and suddenly I felt a small body crawling over me. Emily laughed down at us, and then we were all three wrestling. Em suddenly jumped up and pulled me to my feet, Emily standing up beside us. As we stood watching Cody and Kenny pulling two sleds out of the barn, Emily ran to join the other kids waiting to ride them.
Emmett attempted to teach me to snowboard, but after one hard fall, I called it quits and went to sit with Granny on the porch to watch all the activity. Lucy and Mary were sliding down the hill on inner tubes, screaming and laughing louder than the kids. Watching Emmett come slicing through the snow on a snowboard was magic. He was graceful in execution of the run, and he looked so sexy.
It was beginning to get dark by the time we traipsed indoors to dry off and warm up. Cody built up the fire into bright and warming flames. Mary and Lucy brought in carafes filled with hot chocolate and coffee, and a bowl of mini marshmallows.
Shortly, the kids began to fall asleep on the carpet in front of the fire, and Granny excused herself to go for a nap. As she bent down to kiss me goodbye, she whispered in my ear, "Tonight, tell him tonight."
"I will," I promised and kissed her cheek.
"You will what?" Em asked, hugging me to his side and kissing my hair.
"Just a little something I promised Granny," I replied, lifting my face up to his and kissed him sweetly, dragging my lips across his. Kenny and Cody came back downstairs after putting the kids down for their nap, just as Mary and Lucy came in from taking the kids empty cups to the kitchen. The six of us sat comfortably around the fireplace, taking quietly. Em invited the family to visit Dollywood with us the next day, but they declined sighting that the children had school the next day, and couldn't keep them out another day.
It was only when Em caught me trying to stifle a yawn; that he decided it was time for us to go. He went out to get our packages for them while I slipped on my boots and wrapped up in my coat, gloves, and earmuffs. He brought the gifts in and sat them in front of the Christmas tree. Turning, we said our goodbyes, promising to meet them for breakfast on Thursday morning, after the kids left for school.
"Would you like to stop for something to eat, babe," Em asked as we drove to the cabin. "Or would you rather pick something up and take it home?"
"I'm craving Chinese food," I replied. "Are there any take-out places here?"
"Let me check with Cody," he replied, pulling to the side of the road and taking out his cell phone. He plugged it into his radio, which was blue-tooth equipped. After the call, he put his phone away. "We passed the best place a few miles back. Cody says it's pretty good and reasonably priced. Do you want to give it a try?" I nodded and he turned the Jeep around.
We found the place, a Cantonese restaurant, and went in, choosing a dinner for two containing, Egg Drop soup, Chop Suey, Chicken Chow Mein and fried noodles, Shrimp Tempura, Chinese bar-b-que ribs, fried rice, steamed rice, egg rolls, and almond and fortune cookies. My stomach was growling and my mouth watering from the delicious aromas coming from the large bag sitting on the back seat as we made our way home.
"I can hardly wait, baby," I said grinning at Em. "My stomach is playing with my backbone!" I added, giggling.
"Well, we're home, sweetness," he replied with a chuckle. "Come on, let's go get that belly filled."
Coming around the Jeep, he picked up the bag from the back seat, opened my door and helped me out. With his arm around me, we climbed onto the porch and went inside. Em walked into the small kitchen, and set the bag of food on the table. I had taken my gloves and earmuffs off and was untying my coat when he walked up behind me to help me out of it. Turning to face him, I began to unbutton his coat. Slipping his gloves into his pocket, he shrugged off the coat, and hung both of them on the pegs by the door.
"Why don't you get the fire going while I dish up our supper?" I suggested. "We can eat in front of fire, what d'you think?"
"Sounds perfect, sweetness," he replied, brushing his lips across mine just as my stomach growled loudly. He laughed and patted my stomach. "Just a few minutes more and you be feeling full."
He had a roaring fire going as I carried in a tray with all the white cartons, forks and chop sticks, napkins, and plates. I had gotten a bottle of beer and water for me. Setting it on the wide hearth, I retrieved the blanket off the back of the green couch, and a couple of large throw pillows, too. Em helped me spread the blanket on the floor and put down the pillows down for us to sit down on.
After we got settled, I reached for a plate, but Emmett took it from me.
"I'm going to serve you tonight, babe," he said softly.
I watched as he filled the plate with a bit of everything. Then, instead of handing the plate back to me, he picked up the chop sticks and began to feed me. At first, I was the only one eating until I picked up the other pair of chop sticks started to feeding him, too
Somehow, I had never realized how sensual a meal could be. But my Em, my husband, was showing me in a wonderful way. It was all I could do not to throw the plate aside and ravage him. But I had a more important thing to do first.
Setting the plate and drinks back on the tray, I turned to face Em.
"Would you hold me, baby?" I asked.
"Of course, sweetness, I'll hold you anytime," he replied, holding his arms out to me, and I crawled over to sit on his lap. He wrapped his arms around me, pulling me tight against him. Reaching up, I pulled his face to mine and kissed him tenderly. He looked at me, confusion filling his eyes. "What's the matter, Mara? Is everything all right?"
"I guess it depends on how you'll feel about what I have to tell you," I answered shakily, staring into his beautiful blue eyes. "I had wanted to wait until Christmas, but Granny somehow knew and made me promise to tell you tonight."
"Tell me what, sweetheart?" he questioned. "You're scaring me. Are you sick? If you are, we'll go home and see your doctor."
"No, baby, I'm not sick right now," I soothed softly, burying my face against his chest. "But I may be in a few weeks. Emmett Dale McCarty, we're having a baby." I felt him freeze and tense up. My heart began to pound. I'd never even thought that he might not want kids anymore.
Pushing back, I looked up into his face. He looked away and swallowed loudly.
"What did you just say?" he asked, his voice shaking, finally looking down at me.
You're gonna be a daddy, Em," I said my voice quivering. "Sometime in June, we'll have a baby. What are you feeling? I need to know if you're okay with this…or not."
Slipping his arm under my knees, he stood up, letting my feet slide to the floor. I stood there trembling as he paced. Stopping abruptly, he turned to face me, and a slow smile began to cross his face. His eyes began to twinkle as he came forward and gathered me to him, holding me tight. He cupped my face with his huge gentle hands, and kissed me like he never had before. He was trembling, too.
"How could you ever think that I wouldn't be okay with this…okay…hell, I'm over the moon, sweetness," he murmured against my neck as tears filled my eyes. Suddenly, I felt dampness and leaned back to see tears flowing down his cheeks, too. "This is the best gift you could have ever given me, Mara. I love you so very much," And he kissed me again.
We stood there for a long while, quietly letting it all sink in. Then he pulled back, that beautiful dimpled smile covering his face. And he picked me up, twirling me around, as he cried, "WooHoo, me and my love are having a baby!" I giggled when he placed his hands under my arms and lifted me over his head. "You're going to be the best mommy ever, and I'm going to be the best daddy I can be," he exclaimed and kissed me again.
This was one the happiest days of my life. Who could possibly ask for more? I had the man of my dreams, the best friends in the world, a skyrocketing career, and now a beautiful part of all that love.