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Tempt Me(4)

By´╝ÜOlivia Cunning

“And that’s what he does best. He leaves.”

“He has to,” Madison said. “Sole Regret is still on tour.”

“Madi . . . ” Kennedy’s lower lip protruded in an unhappy pout.

“Don’t do this to me, Kennedy. You know I love him. There’s nothing I can do about it.”

“How about don’t go running to him every time he calls? How about telling him if he doesn’t commit to you, then you’re through with him? How about remembering what he was like when you met him?”

How could she forget?

“He’s clean now.”

“You of all people should realize how unlikely it is for him to stay that way.”

As a licensed chemical dependency counselor, Madison was well aware of how common it was for an addict to fall back into the web of drug abuse, but she never gave up on any of her clients—even the most hopeless of cases—and Adam was no exception. She would do anything to prevent him from falling into the deep, dark hell she’d found him in. “He’s clean now,” she repeated.

Kennedy’s arms slipped around Madison’s waist, and she dropped her forehead against the back of her sister’s shoulder. “How long is he in town this time?”

Madison’s heart squeezed in her chest, knowing how dismal she’d feel when she had to say goodbye to him in the morning. “Just one night. We’re going to an early dinner before his concert and then afterward he promised to spend time alone with me. Tomorrow they leave for Austin.”

Kennedy’s arms tightened around her. “I guess I’ll see you tomorrow then. We’ll go riding this weekend. That should cheer you up a little.” She snorted. “And maybe Daddy will get off our cases about how much the horses need exercise.”

Madison really should visit her parents more often. They were just a few miles away on the southern half of the ranch her father had inherited from Madison’s grandparents. Her father had gifted his daughters with the old farmhouse he’d grown up in after he’d built a new place down the road with large stables for their quarter horses. Commuting to Dallas each workday made life hectic, so Madison didn’t have much time for the hobbies she loved. Even though she and Kennedy lived in the same house, they were both so busy with their careers that they rarely spent time together. She missed their long, dusty horseback rides through the countryside. “I’d like that,” Madison said.

She turned to give her sister a proper hug. She knew Kennedy just wanted her to find true and lasting love. And Madison had found someone to love. Unfortunately, Adam wasn’t the kind of man who could be tied down—not even by a former rodeo queen.

The hardwood floor creaked beneath her boots as Madison pulled away from Kennedy and checked her appearance one last time. She plucked a stray hair from her dress, smoothed a wrinkle and tugged at her skirt’s short hem to make sure everything was concealed. She normally didn’t wear sexy little black dresses that barely covered her butt. She felt half-naked in it. And naughty. The way she liked to feel when she was with Adam. The way no other man had ever made her feel.

“You look gorgeous,” Kennedy said. “You always were the pretty one.”

Madison laughed. They looked identical in every way except for the small mole at the corner of Madison’s left eye. “And you always were the smart one, Dr. Fairbanks.”

Kennedy had just earned her MD in psychiatry. She still had years of her residency to complete, but Madison couldn’t have been prouder of her younger-by-seven-minutes sister. It was almost as if Kennedy’s accomplishments were her own. Kennedy’s happiness was her own. They shared more than just looks. Madison understood why Kennedy objected to her seeing Adam. If Kennedy had been the one dropping everything to spend one night with some man, Madison would have been the one trying to make her see reason. But understanding Kennedy’s advice and following it were two different things.

“That goes without saying,” Kennedy said. “I’m much too smart to let some selfish rock star lead me around by the nose.”

“He doesn’t lead me around by the nose.” Madison scowled at Kennedy, but thoughts of Adam soon had her grinning. “His hold on me is a bit farther south. If you ever had sex with the man, you’d understand.”

“I could always pretend to be you and find out what I’ve been missing.” Kennedy winked at her.

Madison felt the blood drain from her face, leaving her slightly dizzy. It was bad enough that Adam undoubtedly slept with nameless women while on tour, but if he screwed her own sister, Madison would be devastated.