Job. Madison’s stomach plummeted. No, she wouldn’t think about that now. She’d worry about it on Tuesday when her time with Adam was over and she returned to her stark, stark reality.
“That’s nice,” she said in a strained voice. She paused at the end of the ramp to scan the unfamiliar airport for directional signs to baggage claim. Chris stopped beside her. She glanced at him; the poor guy looked almost as lost as she felt. So maybe he really was just looking for someone to help him navigate a new city, but he’d latched on to the wrong person. She had an agenda and it involved only Adam.
“Congratulations on earning your degree and landing a job,” she added. “It’s not easy to do in this economy.”
She cringed at that reality too. Shoot! She might never find another job. Especially if Joanna gave her a crappy reference. Maybe she should try to fight Joanna’s decision to fire her. But then Madison’s affair would become very public knowledge and she might never find another job. Shit, shit, shit! What was she going to do?
Think about Adam, only Adam. He’d make all the crap fade into the background. At least for the weekend.
Madison took a deep breath and hurried off in the direction of baggage claim, following signs while avoiding collisions with other passengers who were also trying to find their way.
“I actually had two job offers,” Chris continued, still trailing her.
Madison stifled an annoyed sigh. Surely she could lose this guy in baggage claim. Adam would rescue her.
“That’s nice.” For him.
“So which college do you attend, Madison?”
She laughed, her ego stroked despite herself. “I graduated years ago.”
“I don’t believe it. What, were you a prodigy or something?”
She lifted her eyebrows and shook her head. “No such thing. I’ve been playing at being a real adult for quite a while now.” And sometimes it sucked. But most of the time she loved her life.
“So you’re from Dallas?”
“Yeah. Well, a ranch outside of Dallas.” What was with the third degree?
“Oh, you’re a cowgirl.” He wiggled his eyebrows at her as if his every fantasy had just come to life.
“No, I’m a counselor.” Had been a counselor. She bit her lip and ducked her head so he wouldn’t see the absolute panic in her eyes.
Oh God, what was she going to do? How was she going to support herself? She didn’t think her sister would kick her out of the house, but she would feel terrible if she couldn’t contribute financially to their joint living situation.
“Like a marriage counselor?” Chris pressed.
Why wouldn’t this guy go away and leave her alone? “Addiction.”
Chris whistled. “I bet you meet some interesting people.”
There was no deterring this guy, but the last thing she wanted to talk about was her job—or lack thereof. She spotted a sign marking the nearest restroom and found her out. “Yes, I do. Good luck with your new career,” she said and ducked into the ladies room. She took her time relieving her bladder, washing her hands, checking her face and hair, applying lip gloss, and sending a text to Kennedy, telling her twin she’d made it safely to New Orleans. She didn’t tell her about her meeting with her boss—her ex-boss. Kennedy already disliked Adam. She’d really rip him a new one when she found out that he was the reason Madison had been fired.
Oh God, what was she going to do?
Think only of Adam. He was worth barreling through any obstacle life tossed at her, no matter how hard she fell on her ass when a particular challenge blindsided her. She could get through this. She would get through this. She didn’t have a choice.
As soon as she sent the text to Kennedy, a message from Adam buzzed her phone. She hugged her phone to her chest and took a deep breath before reading it.
Meet you outside in passenger pickup. I have a surprise for you.
A surprise? Her heart thundered, and the flesh between her thighs began to swell with need. No telling what the man had in store. She was sure it was exactly what she needed at the moment.
Can’t wait, she texted. Be there shortly. Just getting my bag.
She hurried out of the bathroom and stopped dead in her tracks when Chris—who was standing just outside the women’s restroom—offered her a welcoming smile. The guy had just gone from annoying to stalkerish. She suddenly wished Adam was in the airport holding her hand—looking all hard and tough and completely unapproachable. Just because Madison knew better than to fear Adam, that didn’t mean Chris would. Fighting the urge to run, she turned on her heel and stalked purposefully toward baggage claim—avoiding Chris’s gaze and definitely not returning his smile.