Chapter 8: The Devil You Know – part 1
Addison closed her eyes as she swallowed the last of the Riesling. Two glasses of the fresh, fruity wine had her flushed from head to toe. She purred, enjoying the plushness of the sofa and the carpet under her bare feet.
Glass clinked. Addison opened her eyes to find Daniel pouring more wine into her glass. “Ah, no.” A giggle undermined her protest, so she pushed the bottleneck up and covered her glass with her other hand. “I think I’ve had enough.”
“Nonsense.” The corners of Daniel’s eyes crinkled with his genial smile. Using the lip of the bottle, he eased Addison’s hand aside. “Jake is with his father. Ashlynn’s with Svetlana. You can relax and be Addison, not Mom.”
Addison watched the pale liquid pour into her glass. “Not sure that I remember how anymore.” This time around motherhood was taking its toll. It hadn’t seemed so with Ashlynn, but she hadn’t been juggling a five year-old and ten month-old then.
Daniel topped his glass off and set the bottle back in the ice bucket. “How long has it been since you’ve done this?”
“Gotten pissed?” As Addison raised the glass to her lips, Daniel’s chuckle slid across her skin like a teasing caress. She paused in mid-sip. Haven’t had a drink since getting pregnant with Jake.
“Are you?” Daniel took a swallow from his glass, his green eyes fixed on her. “Drunk, I mean.”
A smile tugged at her lips. “Not yet.” One more glass won’t hurt.
Daniel’s eyes twinkled with amusement, and Addison found herself returning his smile. There were so many reasons not to trust him, but he’d kept his promise this time. Ashlynn was exhausted from a weekend with Daddy. Addison had joined them for the finale: a trip to the zoo and dinner. As much as she resented Daniel’s imposition into her daughter’s life, she understood that Ashlynn needed a father figure.
“Thank you for today,” she said. “For the whole weekend. It meant a lot to Ashlynn.” Addison looked away, tracing the base of her glass with one manicured nail. “Jake spends a lot of time with… his father.” She managed to not grimace the words. “She gets jealous. So, thank you. She really needed this.”
“It’s easier since she’s older than Ryan.” Addison looked up, not quite catching Daniel’s eyes. He threw back the rest of the wine as though it were spirits, then reached for the bottle of Riesling.
A rare pang of sympathy rippled through Addison. She laid one hand on Daniel’s shoulder, sliding her fingers down his toned arm. “Daniel–”
“Speaking of needs.” Daniel covered her hand with his, a smile playing across his lips. His eyes darkened as he sipped from his glass. “What does Addison need?”
Heat coursed through her body, and Addison swallowed hard. Nervous laughter bubbled up. “Certainly nothing like traipsing ’round the zoo and stuffing myself full of sweets.”
Daniel slid closer, their legs touching. “Then tell me…” He plucked the glass from her fingers, guiding the bowl along the curve of her jaw. Alarms sounded in Addison’s head, but she couldn’t will her body to heed them. “…what you do need.”
Addison shifted her hand to his chest, maintaining the distance between them. “I– I need to check on Ashlynn.”
Daniel’s free hand skimmed up her leg. “You don’t,” he murmured. He slid the glass over her collarbone and down, the slick surface cooling her skin. Daniel leaned in and teased her ear with his lips. His barely there kisses moved down her neck while his hand slid under her skirt. “Addie…”
Grabbing a fistful of his shirt, Addison pulled him close. Her head dipped to capture his mouth with hers. It had been far too long, and her body was hungry.