Trashed / Page 23

Page 23


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He’s beautiful, yes, and his eyes are vibrantly blue and he’s lean and toned and breezily confident in the way of a guy who’s always been popular and who’s always had everything come easily to him.

I find myself much preferring Adam’s enormous, masculine, animalistic intensity, his brawny bulk, and his quiet self-assurance.

The song ends, and Adam swiftly reclaims his place, and this time his body is hard against mine, almost inappropriately close, and his hand is dangerously low on my back, resting barely an inch above the swell of my buttocks.

“Fuckin’ pretty boy,” Adam growls. “He’s an ass.”

I laugh. “Not really. He’s nice. Cute, and eager.”

“Cute and eager, huh?” A smile quirks the corner of his mouth.

“Did you know he’s the co-creator and lead writer for Shifters?” I try to mimic Dylan’s excited tone.

Adam laughs out loud. “Yeah. That’s him.” His eyes are suddenly leaf-green spears of heat. “You ready to get out of here?”

I nod. “Absolutely.”

Something thrills through me at the way Adam ushers me out of the small ballroom, waving goodbye to Rose and Gareth and a few others. He’s eager to be gone, his hand on my back keeps me moving, his big body shielding me from the paparazzi as we board an elevator.

Chapter 6

I just can’t handle it anymore. I can’t handle the scrutiny, the whispers. Everyone is talking about her. I shouldn’t have brought her here. She’s too beautiful, too dominating and mysterious a presence, too captivating. The fact that she’s totally oblivious to her hypnotic charm only serves to make her that much more appealing. Gareth was mesmerized. Rose was puzzled and a little jealous, I think. And the reporters? Ravenous. They couldn’t get enough of her.

So I take her up to the Cupola Bar, find a table in the darkest, most intimate corner of the upper section. There’s a window on our left, looking out over the island. When it’s clear, you can see the bridge in all its splendor from the Cupola Bar, but it’s still bucketing rain, so all we can see is darkness and the occasional flash of lightning.

Once we have drinks and solitude, I touch her chin with my thumb, turn her face to mine. “You okay, Des?”

She doesn’t answer right away. When she does, her voice is hesitant. “I guess. It was just…a lot. Sudden, and surprising. I didn’t know what I was getting into. I’m not a public kind of girl, Adam. I’m just not. I wasn’t ready for that.”

I sigh. “I’m sorry. I brought you on impulse, and didn’t really think about how it might affect you.”

“It’s okay. I survived.” She pulls her hair over one shoulder, dragging her fingers through it.

“You more than survived, Des. You killed it.”

“Killed it?” She sounds skeptical.

“Everyone was talking about you.”

“It’s not every day you see a six-foot-tall giant of a girl like me. Especially wearing these heels.” She shrugs a shoulder.

I lift her chin again. “No, Des, that’s not it. You’re tall, yes, but you’re beautiful. You dominated the room.”

She tries to shake her head and look away. “Whatever, Adam.”

“Don’t ‘whatever’ me,” I tell her, leaning down.

Her lips, red and plump, beckon me. She stops breathing, and so do I. I go slow. I give her time to stop me, time to pull away, time to realize what I’m about to do. An exhale of sweet breath past those red lips, and then my mouth is on hers, and I’m tasting her lips, touching my palm to her neck, beneath the coal-black sheaf of her hair, my thumb just beneath her earlobe.

“Adam…” she breathes, withdraws her lips from mine, but doesn’t pull away entirely.

I sigh. “Too much?”

She shakes her head, brushing the tip of her nose against mine. “No. Yes. I mean…” She lets out a breath that’s part sigh and part self-deprecating laugh. “You’re too much, Adam. This. Everything. It’s just too much.”

I pull back, take a sip of my drink, and tangle one of my hands in hers. “Explain.”

She takes a drink, and then a moment of silence to think. Eventually she lifts a shoulder in a shrug. “I just don’t get you. Or what you want from me. Why I’m here. Why you’re wasting your time with me. I mean, you’re a famous movie star. I’m a trash collector. We have literally zero things in common.”

“I’m just a guy, Des. Sure, my job is making movies, and some of them have done all right. Which is awesome. I have fun. I enjoy what I do, and plan to do it for a long time. But…it’s not who I am. I’m not a movie star. I’m just Adam.” I touch a fingertip to her chin, and she looks at me. “You’re wrong about you and I not having anything in common, though.”

She frowns. “Oh yeah? So name one thing.”

“I’m attracted to you, and you’re attracted to me.”

She doesn’t disagree. She just looks at me for a long moment. “Is that enough?”

“Enough for what?”

“For…whatever it is you want from me.”

I trace a finger behind her ear, down her neck, across the ridge of her shoulder. “And what is it you think I want from you?”

She shivers under my touch. “I don’t know. That’s what I’m asking.”

“I told you yesterday what I want. I thought I made myself pretty damn clear.” I lean in and touch my lips to the crook of her neck, her shoulder, her throat, and then to the shell of her ear, and I whisper softly. “I want you, Des. All of you. I want you to let me show you how good I can make you feel. I want your skin. I want your mouth. I want your body. I want you.”

She closes her eyes and I watch her hands curl into fists in the material of her dress at her thighs. “Yeah, but for how long?”

“Honest answer? I don’t know.”

“An honest answer for an honest answer then,” she says, turning her head so my lips brush across her cheekbone. “I don’t know if I can give you what you want.”

“Why not?”

She shakes her head, as if she doesn’t know how to answer that, or won’t. “Because…I just can’t. I just can’t. I don’t know how.”

“I can show you.”

“How?”

“Like this.” I put my palm to her cheek, tilting her face to mine.


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