I put a cool, damp towelette down on the back of my neck, and tried to calm the total body inferno. Adam Kinkade was intoxicating. Just when I felt good about my decision to walk out there, thank him for dinner, and call a cab, I was already backpedaling.
Megan had told me once that the only things keeping my insecurities at bay were some low lighting and great makeup. The concealer I wore on my jaw and neck did cover the scars pretty well, and the restaurant wasn’t overly bright…
Whatever Adam was offering was not something I could take on. For some people, sex—hell, life in general—was simple. For me it wasn’t. I went through my mental checklist of why this was a bad idea. Between a job, school, and a mentally ill mother, my limit of crap I could handle was maxed out. I didn’t have time, much less the energy to screw a random stranger. Of course, he was the sexiest stranger I’d ever seen, but that was still no excuse.
Relationships, sex, any of it, involved some kind of feeling. It made you give control to another person, whether long term or for one night. And I wasn’t interested in either. Which is why I never dated. One slip was all it took.
A shaky breath hit my lungs and I put my hands on my stomach. Growing up and enduring the ramifications of a bipolar mother was hard enough. It was scary and more often than not, it hurt.
That would never be me.
Once you crossed that line, got too high or low, you could lose yourself completely. Become violent. I had been too young to know when it had taken over my mother. But for twenty-three years now, I had never let myself even get close to that point. I was too afraid of what might trigger it. I wasn’t about to start hunting for that trigger now.
Adam Kinkade was a bad idea.
I exited the bathroom and was immediately maneuvered against the far wall. Adam’s hard body pressed against me. He placed his palms on the wall on either side of my head, the cold sheetrock pressing into my back.
“Perhaps we got off on the wrong foot,” he murmured. Those lips that I had been thinking about were now inches from mine. That little pep talk I’d just given myself? Out the window.
“I can guarantee we did. Seeing as how you almost hit me with your car.”
“I’m glad you’re safe, but I can’t say that I’m not happy about the meeting.”
My breath hitched. He smelled so good. Those intense blue eyes softened just a touch. Enough to allow me to see a man underneath that hard exterior. There was a difference, a switch almost from the Adam I was currently staring down and the Adam who had sat across from the dinner table from me a few minutes ago. But one fact remained.
He was close.
And for the first time, I enjoyed the feeling. Fear didn’t take over. Instead, anticipation and strength coursed through every cell. All the more reason I didn’t want to lose that. Didn’t want him to see all of me. I needed to maintain control and make a smart decision.
“Adam, I don’t know exactly what you’re after, but I can tell you that I’m not the girl you need.”
He frowned. “I disagree.”
“I don’t do one-night stands. Nor do I sleep with random men on a whim.”
“What about Brian?”
“No! I’m not sleeping with Brian. He is dating my best friend. And that’s not what this is about.”
“Are you with someone else?”
“Then I don’t see a problem.”
I lifted my chin to meet him eye to eye. “You think you can just snap your fingers and get whatever you want? I’m not that easy.”
He smirked and trailed his mouth along my ear. A shiver raced over my spine. This was a first. I either flinched or warned them off before anyone had a chance to get this close. This was a bad idea, but I wanted more.
“I was going to use my fingers in various ways on you, Katelyn. All of which I’m confident you’d approve of.” When his teeth nipped my ear lobe, I clutched the front of his shirt in both hands.
“I don’t do casual sex, Adam.”
“Ah. You want a commitment.”
He pulled back slightly. “So, you don’t do casual or commitments?”
“Correct.” I adopted his clipped tone from earlier. A useful trick, because my minimal answer left the mogul obviously stumped.
“What do you do, then?” he rasped.
I shook my head, but his mouth moved toward my neck. My throat worked hard, struggling to swallow. He stroked the locks of my hair and skimmed his lips further down to my collar. It had never been my experience that touching someone’s neck could be pleasurable. Hands coming at me scared me, but I’d never thought of someone’s face getting this close. I clung to the two conditions I had that kept me from pushing him away: Low lighting and makeup. I currently had both.
“I just have a lot going on…” I stifled a groan when he licked my pulse point. “M-my school…career…” Damn it, where was my brain? Thinking was impossible with his mouth on me.
“It sounds like excuses. You and I—” Lick. “—fucking—” Bite. “—would be amazing. You know it. I know it. The attraction between us…the intensity…tell me you didn’t feel it when we first met.”
Oh, I felt it. And right now I was about to ditch my brain, right along with my panties, and take him up on his offer. Because whatever we shared, no matter how brief, would be mind-blowing.
Later, I’d have to face what was actually happening, have to see that no matter how naïve I was now, in the end, I couldn’t handle this.
“There are plenty of women who would take you up on your offer. Why don’t you go chase one of them?” My hands eased and I let my arms fall to the side.
He looked me in the eye and smirked. “I don’t chase.”
“That mouth of yours is in need of discipline.” He sucked my bottom lip between his teeth and I moaned. He pulled away enough to look at my face. Anger piqued and damn it—I was mad. Mad that he’d put me in this position. Mad that he’d taken his mouth from me. Just…mad!
“Oh, yeah? So what? You wanna play Name That Complex? One quick lay while you command me to call you Daddy?”
“No. I want to sink my c**k into you so deep that you scream with pleasure and call me lover.” He looked at my face. “And there will be nothing quick about it.”
He mashed his mouth against mine and robbed me of any hope for breath. Delving his tongue inside, he took deep drafts, like he was drinking me down. This was too good and nothing could have pried me away from him in that moment. Every inch of my skin was buzzing, begging to be touched.