She squeezed his hand. “Tell me the truth, Adam.”
He hadn't known what it felt like to be ashamed before he'd met Madison. Not a feeling he particularly cared for. Guilt clawed at his belly as he forced himself to look at her so she would believe him. The last thing he wanted was for his problems to intrude on their evening together. “There’s nothing to tell.”
Her eyes searched his—could she see that harmless lie behind his gaze?—but he held firm and eventually the tension drained from her slight shoulders. She gave his hands another squeeze. “I care about you, Adam. Please be good to yourself.”
Words that inspired and crushed him in the same breath.
He turned his gaze to the ceiling, wishing he could tell her that he cared about her too, and that he was sorry he’d disappointed her by taking two hits off a joint, but the words caught in his throat. What did she see in him anyway? Didn’t she realize what a bastard he was? Everyone else seemed to recognize it.
“Don’t forget to call me if you’re struggling. I can help.”
She’d already helped enough. He could handle it from here. “Are you finished, Counselor? I didn’t invite you to dinner so you’d ride my ass all night.”
“I know,” she said quietly, a delightful blush creeping up her neck. “I’d much rather you ride mine.”
A spike of lust punched him in the gut.
She smiled gently and picked up her menu. “We should probably order soon,” she said. “I need to be alone with you. Is the restroom free?”
Now sporting a throbbing stiffy, Adam turned his head to check the status of their favorite restroom. Even from a distance, he could see the little placard above the lock was red. His heart sank in disappointment. “Occupied.”
“Let me know when it’s free, would you?” The heated look she gave him could have melted iron. Madison opened up her menu and hid behind it to cover that devious grin he so coveted.
God, he loved spending time with her. He thought about her constantly, but didn't get to see her nearly enough. Since they’d become intimate, he hadn't even been sleeping around with other women. Much. No other woman excited him the way Madison did or made him feel so special. But he could never tell her that. He didn't need the headache of a permanent relationship. Or even a semi-permanent relationship. So he enjoyed her whenever he could and pretended he didn't miss her like crazy when he was on the road.
“Are those for me?” he asked. He nodded at the container sitting on the edge of the table. He could almost taste the spicy, sweetness of the treats he hoped were inside.
“That depends,” she said. “Are you going to behave yourself tonight?”
He lifted an eyebrow at her and she giggled.
“Yes, they’re for you,” she said.
He opened the container and inhaled the heavenly aroma of ginger and brown sugar. “The guys are going to be so jealous when I eat these in front of them.”
“You could share,” Madison said, watching him over her menu. “There are two dozen cookies in there.”
“I’m much too selfish to share. These are mine.” Unable to resist temptation, Adam selected a cookie and shut the lid. He took a bite and the blend of molasses and spice that melted on his tongue made his eyes roll back in his head. “Oh God, Madison, you’re so good to me.”
She grinned. “I know how you can thank me properly. Bathroom?”
He checked the door. “Still occupied.”
Their harried-looking server set two glasses of water on the table. “My name is James. I’ll be your server tonight. Are you ready to order?” he asked.
Adam reached for his menu. “Order something quick,” he said to Madison. “I have a sound check at six thirty.”
“And what do you have to do after sound check?” she asked.
Madison tried not to stare at Adam as he scarfed down his panini, but she wanted to commit everything about him to memory so when he was on the road she could torture herself wondering what he was doing, who he was doing.
Adam’s thick black hair was cut in a shaggy style that framed his masculine features and brushed across his forehead. His nose was a bit too large, his lower lip a little too thick, his jawline too harsh to be considered model-perfect, but he took her breath away. Thick, dark lashes framed his steel-gray eyes. They were easily the most beautiful eyes she’d ever gotten lost in, but he had a tendency to glare, as if looking for a reason to become enraged. She wondered how many people got deep enough into him to see past that anger.
It hadn’t taken Madison long to find the good in him. Those gorgeous, stormy eyes were always gentle when he looked at her. A single dimple teased the corner of his mouth, which only showed itself when he smiled broadly. Because he didn’t hand out smiles on a regular basis, she’d only seen it a few times.