Chad turned from the window. “Not to sound repetitive, but yep.”

Sitting down on the leather couch, she kicked off her heels and tucked her feet under her. A weird feeling occurred in his chest, followed by the even more bizarre thought that she looked good sitting there on his couch. Like that made any fucking sense.

A couple of moments passed and then she asked, “Do you really think this is going to work?”

Walking over to Bridget, he sat on the ottoman in front of her. “I don’t know.” He shrugged, taking a drink. “Miss Gore seems to know her shit. I haven’t gotten any angry calls from my manager in a few days.”

A small smile appeared. “But what about afterward? It’s really going to be…”

“Me changing my ways?” he supplied, and then he laughed. “Yeah, I have to cut back on the partying.”

Bridget watched him through those soulful green eyes. “And the women?”

“The women aren’t as many as people think they are.”

“Uh huh,” she murmured. “Can I ask you a question?”

Leaning forward, he nodded. “Shoot.”

“If you know that you have these photographers following you around and people are constantly snapping photos of you while you’re out, why do you do the things you do? You have to know it’s going to be all over the papers.”

The glass dangled from his fingertips. “And should I live my life differently because of that? Is that fair?”

“You shouldn’t have to live your life differently.” Her pink tongue darted out, wetting her lips, and his body jumped to attention. “But is it necessary to be doing it with three ladies at once?”

So caught up in staring at her lips, what she said didn’t process immediately. “I didn’t sleep with three ladies at once. Okay. Wait. Not anytime recently.”

Doubt clouded her eyes. “Okay.”

“I’m being serious.” He sat up straight. “I didn’t do anything with those women other than make a dumbass decision of jumping in bed with them. Clothes stayed on. No kissing or touching. I was in that bed for about thirty seconds, enough time for someone to snap a picture.”

Bridget stared at him for so long he wondered if she’d been struck silent, and then she lowered her gaze to her drink. “What about the model you were pictured with?”

He’d been pictured with a lot of models over the years.

“Stella,” she said, throwing him a bone. “What about her?”

“Stella?” He laughed. “We did some things a long time ago, but we’re just friends now. When she comes into town, we hang out at a bar or with friends. Sometimes she stays here in one of the guest rooms.”

Bridget’s cheeks were a little flushed as she put her empty glass down on the end table. “How long ago is a ‘long time ago’ in your world?”

Chad debated not answering, suddenly unsure if his “long time ago” was going to be long enough for whatever Bridget was thinking. “Almost a year ago. You’d like her. You guys have the same kind of fashion thing going on.”

Her brows rose in a way that said, Doubtful.

“Refill?” When she nodded, he did the waiter thing and returned to the ottoman. “Any other questions you want to ask?”

A sexy little smirk appeared on her lips. “Yes. I do.”

Chad chuckled. “Okay, but if you ask me a question, I get to ask you one.”

After taking a drink, she leaned back against the supple cushions and arched a brow. “Okay. Deal.”

Shaking the ice in his scotch, he mirrored her expression. “Go ahead.”

“When’s the last time you’ve had sex?”

Chad let out a short laugh. “Wow. You go right for the big stuff, don’t you?” He liked the way her cheeks flamed. “Okay. It’s been several months.”

Bridget snickered. “Whatever.”

His brows slammed down as he leaned forward and tapped a finger on her knee. “I’m not lying.”

“You?” She laughed. “You haven’t had sex in a couple of months.”

“No. Going on three-and-a-half months to be exact.”

“Oh. Record-breaker.” Her wide smile slipped off her lips the longer he stared at her. “Hell. You’re being serious?”

He took a drink and nodded. “Serious as a massive heart attack.”

“Cornball,” she said. “Three months isn’t a long time, but that’s impressive for you.”

“Geez, thanks.” But Chad wasn’t insulted. He liked sex. A lot. And did it. A lot. He was always careful, used protection, and operated the “If he was too drunk to walk, he was too drunk to fuck” rule that went for all parties involved. “How about you? How long has it been since you had sex?”

Bridget eyed him through thick lashes. “Longer than three months.”

“How long?” Damn. He really needed to know.

She didn’t answer him immediately, instead taking another drink. “It’s going on two years.”

Chad schooled his expression. “Two years…?”

“Go ahead.” She waved a hand. “Say something smartass.”

“Wasn’t planning on it,” he said, his gaze dropping to her lips again. “So are we talking no sexual interaction for two years or just no sex?”

She unfolded her legs, causing her knee to brush his. “It’s my turn. Do you regret leaving college for baseball?”

Again, he was a little surprised by how much she knew, but considering how much Maddie liked to talk, he shouldn’t be so shocked. “Yes and no. If I blow out my arm, it would be nice to have a different kind of career to fall back on, but I could always work with one of my brothers.”

“Which one?” she asked.

He tsked and gently nudged her knee with his. “My turn. Are we talking no sexual interaction or no sex?”

Her eyes rolled. “Nothing up until the night I went home with you.”

Oh yeah, he was really liking the sound of that. “And after?”

“Answer my question.” She set her half-finished drink aside.

Chad grinned. “I’d probably do something with Chandler. His job’s a bit unorthodox, but it would at least be interesting.”

Bridget bit down on her lip. “I could see you doing that—the bodyguard thing. And no.”

“What are you saying no to?”

Her cheeks turned pink. “Nothing before or after you. Happy?”

Chad’s eyes met hers. “Yes. Very happy.”

Chapter Fifteen

She didn’t look away or giggle or lower her lashes or do any number of flirty behaviors. Their eyes locked, and he saw what he had the night in the club and in his bedroom. Heat. Need. Want. His state of arousal amplified to a million. Confined by his jeans, his cock swelled to an almost painful state.

God, he wanted nothing more than to get on his knees and pay worship to her.

Bridget’s chest rose sharply, and finally she broke eye contact. Reaching for her glass, she nearly downed the whole thing…and that was kind of hot. “So…” She cleared her throat. “Madison never told me what you studied in college.”

“Sports management,” he answered, voice husky. “You?”

“History.” She smiled a little.

“History nerd?”

“You betcha.”

They went back and forth like that, taking turns asking one question after another. At some point, he moved to sit beside her, their legs pressed together. Hours passed. Another glass was refilled. He discovered she had wanted to be an anthropologist but had decided not to go that route. She didn’t elaborate, and when he told her that his parents had never watched one of his games, she didn’t push it. She talked about the Gala and he told her what it was like to live on the road during the season. Every so often, their eyes would meet and that unspoken yearning burned alive.

She wanted him—that much he knew. Maybe even as much as he wanted her, and his body was strung tight, his cock throbbing each time she shifted and their bodies brushed.

But as it neared one a.m. and she stood to go to bed, he let her. He actually fucking stood there and said good night.

Bridget stopped under the stairwell, her hair a deep auburn in the soft light. “Good night, Chad.”

He felt himself nod and then forced one foot in front of the other, going not where his body so wanted to go. Inside his bedroom, he closed the door behind him and then leaned against it, pressing his forehead against the cool wood. “Shit.”

Tonight really was going to be the longest night of his life, especially since self-restraint wasn’t something he typically practiced.


Bridget considered going naked. The pajama bottoms and tank top felt like too much on her hypersensitive skin. She was too old and too realistic to blame the champagne on the glow she was rocking right now or her ultra-bright eyes staring back from the bathroom mirror outside the guest room.

It was due to 100 percent Grade-A Chad.

With her ex, she’d never been this turned on. So ready for sex that every time she moved and her clothes brushed against her skin, she wanted to cry.

Hell, the one person who had ever left her body burning without even touching her had been Chad. She wasn’t sure she could do this, stay the night knowing he was only feet away.

After yanking her toothbrush out of her toiletry bag, she squirted toothpaste on it and set about brushing her teeth with a little too much vigor. When she finished, she turned off the water and clenched the toothbrush as she stared at her reflection.

“I like the jammies.”

Chad filled the doorway to the bathroom, startling her. His bare feet peeked out from underneath the hem of jeans that hung so low on his hips she wondered if he was wearing anything underneath them. He’d lost the shirt and sweater and his rock-hard abs were on full display.

Good God…

It looked like someone had placed indentations next to his hips, and she wanted to lick those chiseled slopes and then move on to each hard ripple. The man had a body to worship.

Heart pounding, she put her toothbrush back into its bag. When she was sure she was breathing normally, she faced him completely. “I thought you were going to bed.”

His stare was heavy-lidded. “I’m not tired.”

She gripped the edge of the sink with one hand as her chest rose and fell rapidly. His gaze dipped and through the thinned slits, his eyes were a deep, intense blue. Under his concentrated stare, her nipples hardened and the low fire that had been simmering all night long rushed through her veins. There was no mistaking her arousal. The tank was thin.

Bridget’s brain just clicked off and her body took over. Pulse thrumming, she felt no need to cover herself. “I’m not tired, either.”

Chad was on her in an instant.

Her gasp was cut off as he wrapped one powerful arm around her waist and pulled her against him. With her front against his, there was no questioning his desire or what he wanted, either. She felt his long and thick arousal pressed against her belly and her knees went weak. She gripped his shoulders, his skin hot and firm.

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