Excerpt from Buying Adam by Marianne Stephens

Copyright © Marianne Stephens, 2015

Their wine arrived and the smell of Italian cooking filled the air. She inhaled and closed her eyes for a second. When Jessica opened them, she noted the quirky one-sided smile on Adam’s face.

“I love a woman who’s not afraid to eat. I’ve had too many unhappy dinners with some who hardly eat or complain about calories.”

“Oh, not me.” She laughed. “I’d rather enjoy food and do a few extra laps in the pool or walk an extra mile.”

Adam titled his head to one side. “You know my family. And, please. Don’t judge me by my brother. My mother’s into every aspect of our lives, especially since we all work together. But she loves us, even when we screw up.”

“Yeah. My parents were like that, too. I really miss them. They died years ago in a car crash. I don’t know how I’d have gone on without my sister.” Tears threatened to mist her eyes.

Adam reached out and covered her hand with his. “Sorry to hear that. My dad died ten years ago. I miss him. He had some control over Barry, but my brother’s gone nuts since then. You’ve heard all that’s gone on with him.” He shook his head. “We keep pulling him out of messes and he just keeps finding more.”

Jessica found it hard to concentrate as Adam gave her hand light squeezes as he spoke. Heat careened from her head to her toes.

“My sister and I are very close and I have some other relatives living nearby.” She shrugged. “Guess I live a boring life. But I’m happy.”

“Family’s important. I hope to have one of my own someday. What about you?”

Adam’s hand squeezed more tightly around her hand.

“I’ve always wanted the whole family scene, husband and kids.”

Their pizza arrived and Jessica snatched a slice as did Adam. They made a slight moaning sound together, and then laughed.

“Guess we both needed this. Thanks for suggesting this place, and for bidding on me. I’m enjoying our time together.”

Jessica wiped her mouth. “Me too. I’m so glad we can relax tonight.” She frowned. “What do you think Angela will do?”

Adam chugged the remnants of his wine before speaking. “Let’s forget about her for now.”

She finished her wine. “Sure. I don’t want her to spoil our time together.”

Fire blazed for a second in Adam’s eyes. “Neither do I.” He lowered his tone. “I’m gonna be honest with you. I enjoyed our kiss yesterday. I know I apologized, but you’re a fascinating woman and I wanted to do it. This weekend is just for you and me. I’d like to hold you in my arms and kiss you again.”

Jessica noted a catch in her breathing before her heart began pounding. This was what she wanted, too. Before she could squash her love-starved thoughts, she decided to give way to her desire for him. “I’m not sorry it happened either.” She looked around the room. Time to be bold and make a move. “It’s very nice here, but maybe we could go back to my apartment and talk some more?”

Her invitation was made. Now it was Adam’s choice to prolong their evening. And they’d both make decisions about how much longer, and how much further, they’d let their feelings take control.

Adam smiled. “A wonderful suggestion.” He stood, dropped money on the table to pay their bill, and extended his hand to her. “I know you’re supposed to pay for everything, but please let me do this. You can reimburse me later if you really think it’s necessary. Ready?”

“Okay.” Jessica placed her hand in his and walked out of the restaurant with him. She hoped her night ahead would be one of fantasies fulfilled. The entire weekend would be one she’d never forget, if all went well. She prayed that lust and passion would take control.

Jessica fumbled with her apartment keys and dropped them. “Damn.”

Adam laughed. “Too much wine or anxious to show me inside?” he asked with a hint of mischief in his voice.

She picked up her keys and stared into his eyes. “Maybe a little of both?” Teasing him increased her desire.

After opening the door, they both went inside. Jessica ushered him into the living room. “Here it is. Home Sweet Home.”

He studied the room, and zeroed in on some photos on her shelf. “Family, I guess.”

“Yes. My parents and my sister’s wedding photo.”

“No boyfriend?”

“I wouldn’t have bid on you and invited you here if I had one.” She smiled. “Does that sound awkward?”

“Not to me.” He took her into his arms. “I’d feel bad if we were about to do this and you were involved with anyone, and, by the way, I’m not.”

He tilted his head so their lips met. Their kiss, slow and warm at first, turned into a frenzied, heated display of passionate wants and needs. Jessica matched his intensity with her own. She refused to listen to all the reasons her mind presented against making love to Adam. It was too late to consider that. Sex with him, a wild, wonderful night of passion, was on her agenda.

Breathing heavily, she backed out of his arms and asked, “Bedroom?”

“Nothing would please me more.” He sighed. “But, I don’t have any condoms with me. Raincheck?”

She grabbed him by his cummerbund. “I have some. Let’s go.”

Adam stumbled for a second and stopped their walk to her bedroom. “You do?”