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Tease Me(9)

By´╝ÜOlivia Cunning

Madison’s leg lock loosened on his hips as she concentrated on breathing slowly. Once she relaxed, she started having fun. That was what the man did for her, tossed her straight out of her comfort zone and directly into a good time. She just needed to remember that whenever they ventured into territory new to her. This kind of adventure was part of his everyday life, so it couldn’t be that big a deal. She knew she had to let go of her sheltered existence and live a little, but being as uninhibited as he demanded her to be was still hard. Well, it was difficult at first. Once she found the courage to embrace her wild side, it was just a whole lot of fun.

She snuggled against Adam’s back and slid a hand up his chest until the steady beat of his heart pounded beneath her palm. As long as she was with him, she had nothing to fear.

They pulled into a parking lot. The bump over the curb jostled Madison into tightening her grip on Adam again.

He found a parking place near the door, set the kickstand, and shut off the bike. He removed his helmet, set it between his legs, and ran his hands through his thick black hair.

“You no longer have to cling to me like you’re going to die,” he said, his voice deep and slightly amused. “We’ve stopped now.”

She released him immediately and scrambled gracelessly from the bike. If he hadn’t caught her arm to steady her, she would have no doubt gotten good use out of her helmet when her forehead met the asphalt.

“So I guess motorcycles aren’t your thing,” he said, popping the snap on her helmet and tugging it off her head. Their eyes met, and she felt as if she’d been caught in some horrible lie.

“That was my first ride,” she said. “I liked it once I relaxed a little.”

He chuckled. “Is that why your legs finally unclamped from my hips? I thought muscle fatigue had set in.”

Her cheeks went hot. “I just had to remind myself that you knew what you were doing. That I trust you not to hurt me.” She grinned. “Unless I ask you to.”

He stroked her hair from her face. She was sure the helmet had flattened the curls, except for the long ends that had been whipped into a tangled bush by the breeze.

“No one has ever accused me of knowing what I’m doing,” he said, staring at her lips.

“That’s because they don’t take the time to really see you.”

Not that he gave anyone the chance to see him. She was pretty sure the only reason she ever got to see who he was on the inside was because she was his counselor and she’d been infinitely patient with him as she’d slowly gained his trust. It had gone against everything she’d ever been taught as a professional when she fell for the angry rock star who’d spent the first month of their counseling sessions glaring a hole through her desk and not saying a word and the second month telling her things that no one else knew about him. Even though her brain had tried to keep her from falling for him, her heart had been right—the man was worth understanding. Worth knowing. Worth loving. No job in the world was worth giving him up. She would be okay, and her situation would work out. As long as she had Adam.

“I have something to tell you,” she said, dropping her gaze to the wide zipper on his leather jacket.

“Is it good news? I’m not sure I’m up for any bad news this weekend.”

She lifted her gaze to his. It would bother him that she’d gotten fired over their relationship. He would blame himself. And it wasn’t his fault. She was the one who should have kept up the boundaries. She was the one who should have requested he see a different counselor when she started having feelings for him. She was the one who should have given him up for his own good. She was the one who should have kept her knees locked together no matter how wobbly he made them. But she’d been weak. And that wasn’t his fault at all.

“Of course it’s good news,” she said. “I have some extra time off, so I thought maybe I could tag along to the next city on the band’s tour. I mean, if that’s okay with you.”

He stared at her for what seemed like a solid minute. “Baby, I’m not sure that’s the best idea,” he said finally.

Her heart plummeted. “Oh.”

Did he have another woman in the next city? He’d told her that he’d given up all those other women, but maybe—No, she couldn’t let herself think like that. She had to trust him. Have faith in him.

“The band . . .” He rubbed the back of his neck and stared over her head. “I’d like you near, but they . . .”

“It’s okay,” she said, wincing at her dejected tone. She’d just sprung the idea on the guy out of the blue—because the single positive thing about losing her job (time off) had only just occurred to her. How had she expected him to react?