Rock AddictionBy: Nalini Singh
Her smile smashed into him with stunning force. He heard nothing of the party around him, saw no one but her. God, that smile, the way she cupped her sister’s face with such open affection before the two of them hugged. Really hugged. No fake bullshit, no playing up for the journalists in the room.
They weren’t paying attention to anyone else, happy simply to see one another.
Then she laughed as she drew back and the sound was chains around his heart, a thousand guitar strings pulling tight. It hurt and it was beautiful. For an instant, he almost forgot where he was, he wanted so badly to have that unguarded smile turned in his direction. He could imagine her warm brown eyes looking up at him as she ran her fingers over his jaw and rose on tiptoe to slide one hand around his nape to haul him down for a kiss.
When was the last time a woman had done that to him the instant she walked into a room? Never. Not even when he’d been a hormone-drunk youth. And the fact he knew she was exactly as she appeared to be, that she wasn’t out for fame or money? Yeah, that just made her sexier. No way was he leaving this party without her, the raw need to possess her a violent craving in his gut.
He didn’t believe in fantasy shit like destiny or fate or the biggest con of all—love—but he knew himself. And he knew what he wanted: to tug her to him with his hand fisted in her hair, brand her with his mouth, warn every other male in the room that she was off-limits. But the instant he did that, he’d make her front-page news when he wanted her all to himself.
No fucking interruptions.
She wanted to bite his lower lip.
Wanted to tug on the silver ring that pierced one corner of that delicious, toe-curling mouth.
But mostly she wanted to bite down with her teeth, taste the badness of him.
“Um, Molly?” A hand waved in front of her face. “Molly?”
Blinking, she forced her gaze away from the man who made her want to do bad, bad things and toward the petite form of her best friend. “What?” Her skin flushed until she wondered if her fantasies were visible to everyone in the room.
“You mind if I bug out?” Charlotte took a last tiny sip of her pomegranate martini before placing it on one of the small, high tables scattered around the room. “I want to spend tomorrow making sure all the files are in order for the new boss.”
Molly scowled, all embarrassment fading. “I thought you were trying to take it easy on weekends?” The fringe of the black flapper-style dress she’d pulled out of her closet in a moment of whimsy swirled just above her knees when she shifted to give Charlotte her complete attention. “Isn’t making sure everything’s up to standard Anya’s job anyway?” It was Anya who was personal assistant to the CEO; Charlie officially worked in the records department, but Anya had a way of treating Molly’s best friend as her own assistant.
“New boss has a rep,” Charlotte said. “I don’t want to be fired because Anya didn’t bother to do what she should.” Narrowed hazel eyes behind fine wire-rimmed spectacles made it clear Charlotte had no illusions about the other woman.
Nodding, Molly considered the cherry that decorated her nonalcoholic but very pretty cocktail. “Let me get my coat.” Disappointment whispered through her veins, but really, what would’ve happened if she’d stayed longer? Zilch. Zero. Nothing.
Okay, maybe another blush or two inspired by the rock god across the room, but that was it. Even if he, for some wildly inexplicable reason of his own, decided he wanted her, the one thing Molly would never ever do was become involved with someone who lived in the media spotlight. She’d barely survived her first brutal brush with fame as a shocked and scared fifteen-year-old; the ugliness of it had left scars that hurt to this day.
“Oh, no, don’t.” Charlotte put a hand on her arm, squeezed. “I’ll order a cab. You’re having too much fun staring at Mr. Kissable.”
Molly almost choked on the cherry, lush and sweet, that she hadn’t been able to resist. “I’d say I can’t believe that came out of your mouth”—cheeks burning, she fought not to dissolve into mortified laughter—“but you have been my friend for twenty-one years and counting.”
Charlotte grinned as she took out her phone and texted a cab company. “You know who he is, don’t you?”
“Of course. He’s only one of Thea’s most important clients.” And on the cover of every second magazine that came across Molly’s desk at the library, all sleek muscle and tattoos and a sexy smile curving those dangerous, bitable lips. If she couldn’t resist reading the articles and sighing over the photos, that was her guilty little secret.
“You two talking about me again?” Her sister’s sultry voice sounded from behind Molly, followed by her slender body—currently clad in a tight red designer sheath.
“About your raking-it-in client,” Charlotte clarified.
“That’s über-client to you.” Raising her champagne flute, Thea clinked it against the glass that held Molly’s frothy concoction. “Here’s to rock stars with voices like sex and bodies like heaven.”