“All of it?” she confirmed.

“That’s what we agreed on, isn’t it?”

When Kerry nodded, though it should have been a relief to know that they were on the same page about having secret hot hookups with absolutely no relationship pressure, strangely, it wasn’t. Instead, he found that the idea of keeping the night they’d spent together a secret grated on him. Big time.

“Thank you again, Adam. Not just for helping me with Colleen, but for—”

He stopped her by threading his hands through her hair and pulling her close for a kiss. She didn’t need to thank him for anything, and he figured the best way to make her stop trying was to do what he’d been wanting to do ever since she’d walked into the kitchen sweet and fresh from the shower.

Kerry didn’t resist his kiss, but slicked her tongue out across his instead, as if she was still just as hungry for him as he still was for her. They’d been kissing when her sister called—kissing in a way that he’d never kissed another woman, a way that was so good it seemed to have no beginning and no end. Now, it was so tempting to continue where they’d left off. He could so easily lift her into his arms, carry her into her bedroom, strip her bare again, and drown in her sweet scent, her moans of pleasure, run his hands over every inch of her soft skin before finally giving them the release they both craved.

But moving things to her house hadn’t been in their original plan. And even more than he wanted to be with her again, he needed to know that she’d come through tonight’s ordeal in one piece.

Forcing himself to drag his mouth away from hers, he asked, “Do you need me to stay?”

She shook her head without so much as a pause. “No. You’ve already done too much.”

But even though that was his cue, he didn’t let go of her. Not yet. Not when her skin was so soft, so warm, so touchable. And not when all he could think about was kissing her again.

“Do you want me to stay?”

The words were out of his mouth before he could stop them. Before he’d even realized the slight shift from need to want was coming. But even though a part of him wanted to take back the too-revealing question, he found that he wanted to know her answer more.

A flash of longing winged across her face—deep and intense—but it was gone so fast that if he hadn’t been watching her so intently, he might have missed it. It hadn’t been a fair question, he knew. Not when they had an agreement. An arrangement. One that was based on hot sex with no emotional strings.

Only, how could either of them deny that tonight had definitely tied some strings? And though he could have told himself that it was simply needing to band together to help her sister that made him feel this close to Kerry now, he couldn’t forget how close to her he’d felt while they’d been making love. Closer than he’d ever been to anyone else. Even hours later, the pleasure still lingered. Enough that he knew better than to ruin it by pushing for something in these too-early morning hours that they’d agreed neither of them wanted.

Kerry had no interest in reforming a bad boy—and Adam had no interest in being reformed. Their arrangement was perfect as it was, and he wouldn’t make the mistake of ruining it.


He stopped her from having to say anything more with another kiss. A softer one this time.

“Try to get some rest, okay?”

“I will.” She gave him a small smile. “Good night, Adam.”

He finally forced himself to drop his hands and take a step away from her. “Good night, Kerry.”


It was only noon on Saturday, but Kerry was already drinking her third espresso of the day. Colleen had been sick again in the middle of the night, and Kerry hadn’t had the heart to ask her sister to clean it up herself. And when Colleen had begged her not to tell their mother what had happened at the bar, Kerry had agreed, just as she had a dozen times before, not to say a word.

Colleen’s horrible Friday nights were their little secret. So very different from the secrets they’d shared when they were little girls—secrets over stealing a cookie or wearing lipstick at school. Kerry had never been so thankful to have to go meet with potential new clients on a Saturday, nor so guilty about not being able to spend any more time nursing her sister.

The only problem was that there was something off about this new couple. Something Kerry couldn’t quite put her finger on. From the moment they’d walked in the door, she’d felt the tension between them. Kerry didn’t expect the men and women she worked with to agree on everything. But not being able to find common ground on any of the dozen preliminary questions she’d asked them? Honestly, there were times when it had been almost painful to be in the same room with them.

She often saw brides and grooms disagree with their mothers or future mothers-in-law, but usually the bride and groom were on the same team. How, she’d found herself wondering, had these two even reached the point of becoming engaged? And even if they did end up agreeing on enough to make it to the wedding, did they stand a chance of making it past that?

Kerry knew what her mother would have done. Aileen Dromoland would have politely but firmly informed the couple that she was not the right wedding planner for them. And her mother would have been perfectly sure that she’d made the right decision.

But what if there was something Kerry was missing? What if the couple had simply had a rotten morning just like hers, and were normally loving with each other? Or what if she was simply projecting her own frustration onto them?

Because the truth was that she was still more than a little upset about the way her one incredible night with Adam had been cut short so abruptly.

As if he could read her mind, his name popped up on her cell phone as it began ringing on her desk.

She’d been wrecked by the time he’d left last night and had expected to fall asleep the second she hit the bed. Instead, as soon as she’d closed her eyes, her brain had taken her back to the hotel bed she’d shared with him just hours before for a slow-motion replay of every sexy moment.

Even thinking about it now had her barely stifling a little moan. Adam had been so amazing, so far beyond any sexual experience she’d ever had before.

It would have been so easy to believe that there’d been more than just sex between them, even before he’d pitched in to help her with her sister. She could have told herself that the way he’d kissed her, the way he’d caressed her, had seemed to transcend “just sex.” Fortunately, however, she knew all those orgasms could easily mess with a girl’s head and heart, even a heart like hers that was so carefully guarded from anyone but the man who would eventually be her one true love. Just as soon as she met that guy, of course.

Still, for all her rationalizations and reminders, her belly still fluttered as she picked up his call. “Adam, hi.”

“Kerry.” She liked the way he said her name, a little low and rumbly. Liked it more than she should. “How’s your sister feeling today?”

Yet again, he surprised her with how sweet he could be. Probably, she figured again, it came down to his mother raising him right. Claudia Sullivan was surely a very interesting woman, and Kerry greatly looked forward to finally meeting her at Rafe and Brooke’s wedding, even if it would likely take a heck of a lot of work to hide her affair with Adam from his mother.

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