“It’s only fair, seeing as how you left a hickey on my inner thigh.”
“This is going to be a battle of wills between us.”
“Or you can just surrender now. I warn you, I do not submit so easily.”
“No. You don’t.” He leaned forward and pushed my dress up to my knees. His hand disappeared beneath it. His big finger plunged inside of me. I was wet. Had been since he’d walked through my front door.
He hooked that finger and rubbed that sensitive spot inside me.
I sucked in a shocked breath and clutched his arm. It was like going from zero to orgasm in two seconds flat. But just as the tremor of pleasure rose, Adam retreated, denying me release.
“You must know, lover, that I am ruthless when it comes to something I want.” I watched him take the finger that had just been inside me and lick it clean. I was so hot and ready to jump his bones I could care less about the event, date, or dress. I just wanted him.
The limo stopped in front of the Four Seasons. Adam got out and held out a hand to me. We shared a heated look before we started up the steps. The hotel was beautiful, its textured rock and brick and rustic archways along the entrance making it look even more elegant. Warm orange lighting glowed from the windows.
“Remember, Katelyn, you’re the one who started this game.”
I looked up at him. His façade was in place. The rich and powerful Adam Kinkade beamed with every breath he took.
“No, I just changed the rules.”
“Either way,” he whispered in my ear.
A slew of people greeted us. Cameras flashed, paparazzi called out his name. Anxiety bubbled beneath my skin. This event was bigger than I had imagined. I clung to Adam’s arm.
His breath was hot against my neck. “I will win in the end, lover.”
Adam had been busy making the rounds. Everyone and their mini-dog-in-a-purse wanted to talk to him. I stood beneath the chandeliers and tried to fit in as best I could. The orange and purple flowers in the centerpieces were elaborate and undoubtedly cost more than I made in a month.
No one talked to me, and I hadn’t the first idea how to mingle. I clenched and unclenched my hands to try to stop the shaking. My skin felt sticky and my heart kept a steady pace above one hundred beats per minute. Scooting closer and closer to the wall, I reminded myself to breathe.
It turned out that Adam’s company was hosting the entire event. The dinner and silent auction were to raise money for Chicago’s Children’s Home and Aid. The foundation was one of the largest foster shelters in the city. I was beyond familiar with it, having volunteered there several times over the years.
It made sense that Adam would have a soft spot for this organization, seeing as he had gone through it himself.
“Hello there.” A petite brunette stood next to me and offered me a glass of champagne. “After all these years, I still can’t get used to a bunch of wealthy tight-asses in the same room. But if it helps the kids, you subject yourself to the torture.”
I liked her immediately. She seemed down to earth and had a nice bite behind her words. She had to be close to my age as well.
“I’m Katelyn Gunn.”
“Oh, I know who you are. You came with Adam. In fact, by now everyone knows who you are.” She pointed around the massive crowd of people. Various sets of eyes were skimming over me at different times, as if sizing me up.
“Oh, and word to the wise, the women taller than five-ten who all look like stone-cold bitches—” She waved her hand at the several females fitting this description. “—really are all bitches.”
Good to know. Except for the fact that one of them was talking to Adam. The way she laughed and placed her hand on his shoulder made something burn low in my gut. They were obviously familiar with each other. I wanted to snarl, but was pretty certain that wasn’t ladylike.
“I’m Emma, Adam’s sister.”
“I thought he didn’t have any siblings.”
She took a sip of her champagne. “I was six when I met him. He was older and we lived at the same foster home for a bit. Neither of us had anyone. He looked out for me, and has ever since. He’s like my brother.”
It didn’t surprise me that Adam took care of her. There was a protective instinct in him that was apparent.
“That’s really wonderful.” I smiled at Emma. My eyes darted back to the leggy blonde hanging on Adam. He gave a half grin and appeared to be listening to what she was saying.
“Don’t worry, that’s just a groupie,” Emma said.
“You know, one of those skanks Adam slept with once who never got over him.”
The admission came at me hard. Emma didn’t mean it rudely. She just seemed to speak the truth, which I appreciated. A trait she and Adam obviously shared. I looked around at all the women and realized I had jumped into my worst nightmare. I was surrounded by stunning supermodels in tiny dresses. They looked all class and perfect ass and I was lacking in every way. Had he slept with all of them? Most of them? God knew they weren’t idiot virgins. They would have known how to handle a man like Adam.
Was I just another groupie?
My throat began to close and the anxiety I had been struggling to control cranked up a notch. I was in over my head. I didn’t belong here. Everything about this kind of life was not for me. I didn’t deal well with this feeling of insecurity, which was why I made it a point to stay out of situations that made me feel as though I was lacking.
“I see you’ve met my sister,” Adam said as he approached us. He kissed Emma’s cheek, then looked at me. “You all right, Katelyn? You look pale.”
“Well, if you didn’t leave her unattended in the middle of a snake pit, maybe she’d feel better,” Emma said.
“Let’s get you some air.” He put his hand on the small of my back and led me away. “Emma, dinner is starting soon. Will you find our table, please?”
The cute brunette nodded and hopped off.
“What’s the matter?” He wound me through some random hallway and around a few corners, until I had no idea where we were. We came to a door that led to a stairwell and he opened it. The cool air hit me. “What is it?” he growled, and faced me.
“Why are you mad at me?”
He looked down my body, stalking closer, forcing me to step back until my back hit the wall. “Because you have me so f**king hard that I can barely hold a conversation.”
“You didn’t seem to have a problem chatting with Miss Skinny No-Boobs back there.”