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Tempt Me(8)

By´╝ÜOlivia Cunning



Adam’s childhood had been a broken disaster. Only his music had kept him from falling apart. He’d used drugs because he’d learned from his father’s example, and narcotics had become a crutch to cope with his turmoil. She knew all this because once she’d finally gotten him to start talking, he’d told her everything that he’d kept bottled inside for years. He’d trusted her with his secrets. She didn’t take that trust lightly. And she couldn’t deny that Adam’s vulnerability, which he hid so carefully behind his tough-guy exterior, was her number one vice. He didn’t let anyone but her see his weaknesses.

Yep, she had it bad for the guy.

Madison’s fingers itched to trace the tattoos on Adam’s strong forearm, to stroke his talented fingers, to tangle in those chains around his neck and pull him closer so she could kiss him with the maddening desperation she felt every time she looked at him.

She glanced over her shoulder to the bathroom across the way. She needed to be alone with Adam—submerged in him in a way she couldn’t be in public. Just as she was about to inform him that the bathroom was free at last, someone entered and closed the door, switching the lock to occupied. Darn.

With a sigh, Madison returned her attention to the table. Adam picked up bits of chicken that had dropped out of his panini and stuffed them into his mouth with his fingers. Even his crude table manners made her smile. A man learned manners from his mother. If she hadn’t already known that his mother had run off and left him with his drug-addicted father when he was seven, Madison would have guessed that the woman hadn’t been in his life much. But Madison wanted to be in his life. Seeing him tonight cemented the feelings she’d been analyzing for weeks. She didn’t feel only simple lust or affection for Adam. She loved him. No question. But was he capable of loving her?

This not knowing where she stood with him was eating her alive.

Madison turned her attention from Adam’s gorgeous features to her plate and picked at her salad. She was almost certain that if she gave him an ultimatum, he’d run and never look back. She’d lose him forever. Just the thought of never seeing him again opened a deep empty chasm in the center of her chest.

Before they’d become intimate—when he’d still been in treatment—she’d asked him how he maintained romantic relationships while on the road. He’d responded that he didn’t need nor want a relationship. He was content with sex. Relationships complicated things and were impossible to maintain.

Impossible.

Madison tried to convince herself that she was special to him. That a relationship was possible. Maybe he just needed time to realize he wanted only her and that she was worth the complications. She could give him time. She could be patient with him. As long as she had him when he was in Dallas, she could make do.

Coward, the little voice in her head accused. It always sounded like Kennedy. You know you’re worth more than this.

Madison had never thought she’d end up in such a desperate situation. She never thought she’d so willingly hand her heart over to someone who didn’t particularly want it.

“Everything okay?” Adam asked.

She looked up from her salad and nodded. Just a glimpse of his dimple as he smiled had her giddy. She grinned so wide, her cheeks ached. Her heart lightened and seemed to float in her chest like a helium balloon. She didn’t want to give up this feeling. If she had an addiction, it was Adam Taylor.

“You’re quiet tonight,” he said. “What are you thinking about so hard?” He ripped a breadstick in half and placed a portion on her plate.

She hesitated. Go for it, Madison. “Us.”

He stiffened and sat up straighter in his seat. “What about us?”

She could practically see him bolting from commitment. Retreat, Madison. Retreat. She shrugged. “I was just wondering how little sleep we could get by on. I’m really horny.”

He laughed. “You looked pretty serious for someone who was thinking about getting laid.”

“When you’re involved, I take getting laid very seriously.”

Adam’s gaze settled on her throat, and he wet his lips. “None,” he said.

“What?”

“That’s how much sleep you can plan on getting tonight.”

She laughed. “Good thing I don’t have to work early in the morning.”

Madison took a bite of her tangy Caesar salad, crunching on croutons and lettuce like a woman with a vendetta against the Roman Empire. It wasn’t his fault that their relationship revolved around sex. Not when she balked every time she had the opportunity to tell him what she really wanted. Tonight she’d forget about her need for commitment. She had him here and now. She would make the most of their time together. And when he left again, she’d pine for him until the next time she could see him.

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