Tempt me, p.2
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       Tempt Me, p.2
 

         Part #2 of One Night with Sole Regret series by Olivia Cunning
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  Madison really should visit her parents more often. They were just a few miles away on the southern half of the ranch her father had inherited from Madison’s grandparents. Her father had gifted his daughters with the old farmhouse he’d grown up in after he’d built a new place down the road with large stables for their quarter horses. Commuting to Dallas each workday made life hectic, so Madison didn’t have much time for the hobbies she loved. Even though she and Kennedy lived in the same house, they were both so busy with their careers that they rarely spent time together. She missed their long, dusty horseback rides through the countryside. “I’d like that,” Madison said.

  She turned to give her sister a proper hug. She knew Kennedy just wanted her to find true and lasting love. And Madison had found someone to love. Unfortunately, Adam wasn’t the kind of man who could be tied down—not even by a former rodeo queen.

  The hardwood floor creaked beneath her boots as Madison pulled away from Kennedy and checked her appearance one last time. She plucked a stray hair from her dress, smoothed a wrinkle and tugged at her skirt’s short hem to make sure everything was concealed. She normally didn’t wear sexy little black dresses that barely covered her butt. She felt half-naked in it. And naughty. The way she liked to feel when she was with Adam. The way no other man had ever made her feel.

  “You look gorgeous,” Kennedy said. “You always were the pretty one.”

  Madison laughed. They looked identical in every way except for the small mole at the corner of Madison’s left eye. “And you always were the smart one, Dr. Fairbanks.”

  Kennedy had just earned her MD in psychiatry. She still had years of her residency to complete, but Madison couldn’t have been prouder of her younger-by-seven-minutes sister. It was almost as if Kennedy’s accomplishments were her own. Kennedy’s happiness was her own. They shared more than just looks. Madison understood why Kennedy objected to her seeing Adam. If Kennedy had been the one dropping everything to spend one night with some man, Madison would have been the one trying to make her see reason. But understanding Kennedy’s advice and following it were two different things.

  “That goes without saying,” Kennedy said. “I’m much too smart to let some selfish rock star lead me around by the nose.”

  “He doesn’t lead me around by the nose.” Madison scowled at Kennedy, but thoughts of Adam soon had her grinning. “His hold on me is a bit farther south. If you ever had sex with the man, you’d understand.”

  “I could always pretend to be you and find out what I’ve been missing.” Kennedy winked at her.

  Madison felt the blood drain from her face, leaving her slightly dizzy. It was bad enough that Adam undoubtedly slept with nameless women while on tour, but if he screwed her own sister, Madison would be devastated.

  “You know I’d never do that to you,” Kennedy said, her teasing smile fading. “You know that, right?” Kennedy bumped her in the arm with the back of her wrist. “Madison?”

  Madison nodded.

  “Now if his band’s cute bassist wanted to introduce me to his psyche, I wouldn’t refuse.”

  “Owen?”

  “The gorgeous one with the pierced cock?” Kennedy grinned and wiggled her eyebrows.

  Madison’s face flamed. She wasn’t sure why she’d shared that tidbit of privileged information with Kennedy. Madison had been so shocked by the very idea that she’d had to tell someone. “That’s what I’ve heard.”

  “Are you sure you haven’t seen it? You’re blushing like mad.”

  Madison shook her head vehemently. She’d overheard Adam teasing Owen about it, that was all. Curiosity piqued, she’d done an Internet search to see what a pierced penis looked like and found there was more than one way to pierce a cock. Once she’d picked her jaw up off the floor and shoved her eyes back into their sockets, she’d told Kennedy about Owen’s, um, modification. Her sister seemed a tad fixated on it. “I could introduce you to him. If you’d like.”

  “Maybe,” Kennedy said. “I would like to know what drives a man to do something like that to his own body.”

  Madison chuckled. She should’ve known that Kennedy would be more interested in Owen’s mental state than in his physical attributes.

  Madison turned her head to check the time. While that damned clock had ticked forward at a slow mosey all day, it had inexplicably fast-forwarded fifteen minutes since the last time she’d glanced its way. Her fluttery stomach dropped. “I have to leave. I’m going to be late.”

  Kennedy crossed her arms over her chest and drummed her fingertips against her biceps. “Maybe you should keep him waiting for once.”

  Maybe. But the thought of missing even one moment with him made her eyes prickle with unshed tears. Oh God, I have it so bad for him. She knew she was a fool. What could possibly come from a one-sided love affair with a rock star?

  “Next time.” She hurried down the hallway, which was decorated with family pictures in mismatched frames. Out of habit, she kissed her fingertips and pressed them to the photo of her departed grandmother on her way into the dining room. Madison still felt the feisty matriarch’s presence in the old house, which was why she hesitated to move to the city. “Bye, granny. Don’t wait up.” In the small, tidy kitchen, Madison grabbed her purse and the sealed container of gingersnaps she’d spent hours baking that morning, before dashing toward the back door.

  “Call me if you need anything,” Kennedy yelled after her.

  “I will. Love you!” Madison was sure that Adam had everything she could possibly need pounding within his muscular chest. She had no hope of getting what she really wanted from him, though settling for what he kept in his pants wasn’t too great a hardship.

  Chapter Three

  There were few things that made Adam’s heart thud like a bass drum at a metal concert: the first cheer of the crowd when he appeared on stage; watching Madison Fairbanks enter a room; any creature with six or more legs; watching Madison Fairbanks looking anxious and lost near a restaurant entrance; tornado sirens at night; watching Madison Fairbanks scan a room looking for him.

  Madison hadn’t spotted him yet, which gave him a moment to admire her innocent beauty. She wore a little black dress that clung to her slight curves and had a wide, low neckline that showed off the bronze skin of her throat and chest. Her collarbones were visible. He did have a thing for collar bones. Had he told her that? He must have, since she never disappointed him. He smiled to see her wearing her sexy, black cowboy boots. Adam’s thighs tightened at fond memories of her legs around him and those signature boots digging into the backs of his legs. Even if the scuffed boots didn’t exactly go with her elegant dress, they went with Madison.

  Madison’s dirty-blonde hair was drawn back by a clip at her nape. He couldn’t wait to free those silky strands and run his fingers through them. To taste her sweet lips, her skin, her cum. To smell her delicate perfume, her fruity shampoo, the musky evidence of her excitement seeping from her sex. To feel her arms and legs wrapped around him, the timid touch of her hands, her nails digging into his back as her naked body thrashed against his in orgasm. Damn, he’d missed her.

  Adam drummed his fingers on the surface of the table as if playing triplets on his fret board and waited for his hot date to spot him. A group of what had to be concert-goers—wearing Sole Regret T-shirts and an aura of anticipation—had entered the restaurant a few minutes before her, and he didn’t want to draw attention to himself. He was glad he’d requested the back corner booth. He had a good view of the entrance, but the stained glass partitions at the top of each booth offered plenty of privacy from surrounding tables. The decor also made it difficult for Madison to find him. Apparently, she couldn’t hear his telepathic mantra of here, over here.

  Fuck it. He couldn’t wait any longer. Just as Adam opened his mouth to call out to her, Madison said something to the hostess, who nodded in his direction. Madison turned and took a step in his direction. His heart skipped a beat. When her gaze located him, her pretty blue eye
s lit up and a welcoming smile spread across her lovely face. Of all the people he knew, she was the only one who looked at him like that. The only one. She openly showed him how happy she was to see him, not because he was the lead guitarist of Sole Regret, not because she might gain notoriety or expensive gifts by associating with a rock star, but because she genuinely liked him for who he was. On the inside. Totally baffling.

  Adam had no idea what she saw in him. When they’d met, he’d been at rock bottom. In the hospital recovering from a near-fatal overdose, he’d looked like hell. He’d felt like shit. He’d been so pissed off at the world and everyone in it that he’d acted like a complete asshole. Madison had talked to him for hours, never criticized, never given up on him, just talked. And more importantly, she’d listened. Not because she had to as part of her job, but as if she gave a shit. About him. About his problems. His pain and anger. She didn’t trivialize any of it. She was the only reason he even tried to stay clean. The thought of disappointing her tore him up inside.

  Clutching a plastic container of what he hoped was cookies, Madison hurried to his table, her sexy boots clomping across the tile floor. Damn, she rocked those boots. Her long legs were well muscled from years of riding. Seeing them made him want her on his lap. Riding. Adam’s blood went hot and flooded his groin.

  “Oh gosh,” she said. “Am I late? I hope you haven’t been waiting long.”

  “You’re right on time,” he said. “I was early.” He’d practically sprinted from the bus and into the limo, but she didn’t need to know that. She thought he was cool.

  Madison leaned toward him to offer a chaste kiss, which he gladly accepted. Mmm. She was so sweet and pure. And so easily corruptible. Adam’s hand moved to the back of her head as he coaxed her lips apart with his, seeking the deep, intimate kiss he craved. His tongue brushed hers, savoring the minty flavor of her mouth. She produced a throaty moan of longing. Fuck, she was sensual. And so unaware of her sensuality. He got off on awakening it in her again and again. Of discovering what she found pleasing—which usually surprised them both. It didn’t take much to bring out Madison’s naughty side and have her seeking new experiences. Adam let himself believe she showed her hidden side to him alone, because if any other man tempted her into getting down and dirty, he’d feel obligated to break the dude’s face. Then his nuts. Then his face again.

  “I missed you,” she whispered when he drew away.

  His heart warmed, and he grinned. He knew the feeling. “You did?”

  She nodded and cupped his jaw, rubbing her thumb across his cheek as if she cherished him. She was the only one who ever made him feel cherished. The only one. She held his gaze as she asked, “Have you been taking care of yourself?”

  He knew what she was really asking. Have you been clean and sober?

  “Mostly.”

  She leveled him with an assessing glare, and he wanted to crawl under the table.

  “You're supposed to call me when you get those urges,” she said.

  He’d rather call her when he had different urges. She had to be sick of listening to his problems.

  Madison set her container on the table, slid into the booth across from him and took both of his hands in hers. She was the most caring person he'd ever met. He didn't understand how she handled being a substance abuse counselor. She'd seen more than one of her clients die of an overdose. She’d been yelled at, cursed out and even hit a few times. Some refused her help. Others took advantage of her infallible kindness. Madison took all of those occurrences as a personal affront, but instead of letting them destroy her, she used them as fuel. Her strength astounded him.

  “Talk,” she insisted, holding his gaze with hers.

  He diverted his eyes to focus on her hands, which were holding his trustingly, and opened his mouth to lie. “I haven't taken anything since the last time I saw you.” Considering the last time he saw her was when she'd entered the restaurant, that was true.

  “Really?” She sounded so happy and proud that he couldn't bring himself to look her in the eye.

  He'd enjoyed a couple of hits off a joint backstage the night before—nothing major. Technically, he hadn't even been high and it had been his first slip in weeks. So why did he feel like the biggest loser on the planet?

  Because he had let her down. Gone back on his promise to stay clean. It didn’t matter that he’d been strong when his father had blazed back into his life a few months ago in a purple haze. Adam hadn’t been strong when Rico had produced that joint last night and cajoled him into smoking it. Madison had done so much for Adam—still did—and the only thing she’d ever asked was that he call her if the cravings got the better of him so they could talk about his choices. He hadn’t even been able to keep that promise.

  She squeezed his hand. “Tell me the truth, Adam.”

  He hadn't known what it felt like to be ashamed before he'd met Madison. Not a feeling he particularly cared for. Guilt clawed at his belly as he forced himself to look at her so she would believe him. The last thing he wanted was for his problems to intrude on their evening together. “There’s nothing to tell.”

  Her eyes searched his—could she see that harmless lie behind his gaze?—but he held firm and eventually the tension drained from her slight shoulders. She gave his hands another squeeze. “I care about you, Adam. Please be good to yourself.”

  Words that inspired and crushed him in the same breath.

  He turned his gaze to the ceiling, wishing he could tell her that he cared about her too, and that he was sorry he’d disappointed her by taking two hits off a joint, but the words caught in his throat. What did she see in him anyway? Didn’t she realize what a bastard he was? Everyone else seemed to recognize it.

  “Don’t forget to call me if you’re struggling. I can help.”

  She’d already helped enough. He could handle it from here. “Are you finished, Counselor? I didn’t invite you to dinner so you’d ride my ass all night.”

  “I know,” she said quietly, a delightful blush creeping up her neck. “I’d much rather you ride mine.”

  A spike of lust punched him in the gut.

  She smiled gently and picked up her menu. “We should probably order soon,” she said. “I need to be alone with you. Is the restroom free?”

  Now sporting a throbbing stiffy, Adam turned his head to check the status of their favorite restroom. Even from a distance, he could see the little placard above the lock was red. His heart sank in disappointment. “Occupied.”

  “Let me know when it’s free, would you?” The heated look she gave him could have melted iron. Madison opened up her menu and hid behind it to cover that devious grin he so coveted.

  God, he loved spending time with her. He thought about her constantly, but didn't get to see her nearly enough. Since they’d become intimate, he hadn't even been sleeping around with other women. Much. No other woman excited him the way Madison did or made him feel so special. But he could never tell her that. He didn't need the headache of a permanent relationship. Or even a semi-permanent relationship. So he enjoyed her whenever he could and pretended he didn't miss her like crazy when he was on the road.

  “Are those for me?” he asked. He nodded at the container sitting on the edge of the table. He could almost taste the spicy, sweetness of the treats he hoped were inside.

  “That depends,” she said. “Are you going to behave yourself tonight?”

  He lifted an eyebrow at her and she giggled.

  “Yes, they’re for you,” she said.

  He opened the container and inhaled the heavenly aroma of ginger and brown sugar. “The guys are going to be so jealous when I eat these in front of them.”

  “You could share,” Madison said, watching him over her menu. “There are two dozen cookies in there.”

  “I’m much too selfish to share. These are mine.” Unable to resist temptation, Adam selected a cookie and shut the lid. He took a bite and the blend of molasses and spice that melted on his tongue mad
e his eyes roll back in his head. “Oh God, Madison, you’re so good to me.”

  She grinned. “I know how you can thank me properly. Bathroom?”

  He checked the door. “Still occupied.”

  Their harried-looking server set two glasses of water on the table. “My name is James. I’ll be your server tonight. Are you ready to order?” he asked.

  Adam reached for his menu. “Order something quick,” he said to Madison. “I have a sound check at six thirty.”

  “And what do you have to do after sound check?” she asked.

  “You.”

  Chapter Four

  Madison tried not to stare at Adam as he scarfed down his panini, but she wanted to commit everything about him to memory so when he was on the road she could torture herself wondering what he was doing, who he was doing.

  Adam’s thick black hair was cut in a shaggy style that framed his masculine features and brushed across his forehead. His nose was a bit too large, his lower lip a little too thick, his jawline too harsh to be considered model-perfect, but he took her breath away. Thick, dark lashes framed his steel-gray eyes. They were easily the most beautiful eyes she’d ever gotten lost in, but he had a tendency to glare, as if looking for a reason to become enraged. She wondered how many people got deep enough into him to see past that anger.

  It hadn’t taken Madison long to find the good in him. Those gorgeous, stormy eyes were always gentle when he looked at her. A single dimple teased the corner of his mouth, which only showed itself when he smiled broadly. Because he didn’t hand out smiles on a regular basis, she’d only seen it a few times.

  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
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