He’d sent over the original plans from the county for her to study so that she could discuss what she’d like to change inside the house. But she loved it just as it was. She didn’t want to change anything about it. She simply wanted to see it come back to life—and know that she could spend hers there, as well.

Fortunately, the number on the screen was the only one she wanted to pick up tonight. “Adam, hi.”


She knew he could probably hear the smile on her lips, but she didn’t need to hide her pleasure at hearing from a friend. One of the best she’d ever had, actually, despite whatever her mother believed about a woman and a man not being able to be friends.

“Kerry, I kept trying to get away to call, but there are so many problems with this renovation project I just took on in mid-rebuild that if I so much as left the room it was likely to collapse on everyone’s heads and take out all ten of the guys I brought in.”

“What can I do to help?” Adam had been there for her again and again. Tonight, she’d be there for him. And she’d also stuff down her selfish disappointment about not getting to be with him in the hotel.

“You could hire a sniper to take out the guy who was running this project before me.”

“How did you know that all wedding planners have a sniper on speed dial?”

He laughed. “Damn it, I didn’t want to be late tonight. Any night but this.”

Hearing how much he regretted having to bail on their night together had her chest squeezing tight. But it was a good kind of squeezing, almost as if he’d put his arms around her and was holding her close.

“Where’s the building?”

The address he gave her wasn’t far from where she was standing. “I’ll bring everyone dinner.”

“Dinner?” She could hear a half-dozen male voices chiming in behind Adam. “You can’t even imagine how big a hero you’d be if you brought us dinner, especially since we skipped lunch, we’ve run out of snacks and drinks, and we’ve got hours left here tonight.”

Kerry made a quick call to her favorite caterer, who also ran a great deli close to the building they were working on. Judy didn’t ask questions when Kerry said she needed munchies and drinks for twenty ASAP. Adam had said he’d brought ten men with him, but she figured they’d each eat for two if they’d missed lunch. With Judy on the snack delivery, Kerry headed into the Mexican burrito place on the next corner, one she’d heard great things about.

Twenty minutes later, she was getting into a taxi with four huge bags of food. No one would go hungry tonight, that was for sure. And even if she didn’t get to spend an entire night with Adam, at least she’d be with him for a few wonderful minutes.

* * *

“Kerry, you’re a goddess.”

Adam’s smile lit her up from the inside out as he popped a hard hat on her head, then took the bags from her and handed them to his guys. His men all agreed that she was indeed the best as he quickly introduced her. Each of them was polite and charming as they took turns shaking her hand. It was an awful lot of testosterone in one place, and she’d be lying if she said she wasn’t just the tiniest bit overwhelmed by them.



But Adam didn’t dig into the food with everyone else. Instead, he told her, “I’ve made a few notes about the blueprints for the house we looked at last week. I know you love it as is, but there are a few things we should discuss. The blueprints are in the next room.”


He took her hand and led her through to another construction zone. Kerry thought it was fairly easy to make beauty out of things when they were already in order, but she’d always been amazed by anyone who could find order in a mess like this.

Adam Sullivan was clearly a magician, one who wasn’t scared off by a ton of work and a boatload of cleanup. Nor was he put off by digging through the rubble to find the beauty waiting many layers down.

He shoved a heavy door halfway closed, which was as far as it could go, and then they both moved into each other’s arms at the same time. His hunger, her need—they were both so strong that the building could have started to fall down around them and neither would have noticed or cared. Not when they simply couldn’t get enough of each other’s mouths. Not when their hands couldn’t touch enough skin. Not when she could have listened to him say her name over and over again for the rest of her life and never tire of hearing it.

And not when her week without him finally ended in the most perfect way—with his arms around her and her arms around him.

“I’d rip off all your clothes right now if I didn’t know that my guys would enjoy it way too much knowing what we’re up to in here.”

“Maybe I’m supposed to care, but right now I don’t. I just want you, Adam. That’s all I want. Just you.”

Heat flared in his eyes at her words, and his mouth came down on hers so hard it should have hurt, but all she could feel was pleasure. The pleasure of being with the only person she’d ever truly been free with—the man who had shown her how much beauty there was in that freedom.

Unfortunately, he dragged his mouth from hers a few moments later. “Forget my guys outside. Swear to God, if I didn’t think this room would actually cave in around us, I’d already be inside of you.”

Her breath caught in her throat at his wickedly hot words.

“That sound is going to fuel my fantasies for a hell of a long time. Especially,” he said as he bent his head to her neck, “if I can get you to make it again right now.”

The delicious feel of his stubble along the sensitive underside of her chin as he nipped and kissed her easily had her gasping with pleasure. But instead of pulling her closer, he put his hands on her shoulders and made both of them take a step back.

“I’ll never forgive myself if I get us both killed here tonight. Or if anyone walks in on us and sees you like this.” His eyes were impossibly dark and intense. “Your passion, your sensuality—they’re all mine, Kerry. Mine.”

She took a deep breath, and then another, knowing he was right and that they should behave more prudently. But after a lifetime of prudence, it was a lovely thing, frankly, to be risky every now and again.

Especially when it felt like he was hers, too.

“Besides,” he added while she tried to get a grip on herself, “I wasn’t kidding about my guys. I’d bet money on the fact that right now they’re all talking about how gorgeous you are and what a lucky sonofabitch I am to get to spend even five minutes alone with you.”

She would have blushed if her skin hadn’t already been so flushed from his kisses. “They’re just happy about the food.”

“You really don’t have the first clue, do you? No idea at all how beautiful or how sexy you are.”

He brushed the pad of one thumb over her lips, and it was the most natural thing in the world for her to lick out against it, making him growl low in his throat as he barely managed to hold himself back. She did it again, partly because she wanted him so bad, but also because a secret part inside of her thrilled at knowing she could turn a man like Adam inside out with nothing more than the flick of her tongue against his skin.

“Just so you know, I’m using up every ounce of my self-control right now. You’d better prepare yourself, because things are going to get crazy once I finally get you naked.”

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