Reckless Abandon (November Blue, #2)
Author:Randall, Andrea

Shut up. “Yeah. Band-aid. All right, get the hell out of here so I can get some work done.”


She leaves, and I briefly consider throwing something. Instead, I call Adrian. His absence over the last few days makes me miss him. Not just his company and his kind words, but him. Adrian Turner has a presence; a presence that heats you from the inside out, a presence that was once all mine. While I’m still sore in all the right places from my heartbreak, I’m human enough to acknowledge the steam coming from Adrian’s gaze when we’re in a room together.


“Hey Ember.” I’m instantly calmed by his voice.


“Hey you.”


“What’s up, everything OK?”


How does he always sense what I’m feeling?


“Bo called me this morning.”


Adrian’s tone tenses instantly. “At work?”


“Nope, on my cell. I deleted his number and didn’t know it was him ...”


“What’d he say?” He sounds less than amused.


“He says we need to talk. Which, I suppose we do, since we’re adults. He told me he’d be at the meeting on Friday, so I told him we’d talk then.”


Adrian’s sigh enters my ear and the pit of my stomach. “Are you OK?”


No.“Um...yeah. We really do need to talk. Monica says I and all.” I’m rambling.


“Maybe she’s right. Hey, I’ve got the next two days off. I know you have prep-work to do, but do you want to get together for dinner today or tomorrow? I’ll drive to you.” Cool Adrian returns and, suddenly, fresh butterflies emerge from their chrysalises in my stomach.


“That’d be great. How about tomorrow night?” I hope he can hear my smile.


“Sounds good.” I can hear his.


“Oh, and if you’re around this weekend, Finnegan’s is having a summer kick-off on Saturday. Josh wants me to sing. He’s thinking of putting together a house band.”


“I wouldn’t miss it. See you tomorrow, Blu-” he stops himself.


“It’s OK, Adrian. I like it. See you tomorrow.” I hang up.


What the hell am I doing?








Thursday’s here, and Adrian’s on his way. A hopeful smile greets me in the mirror as I touch up my lipstick. I’m glad I decided not to dye my auburn hair black in a freak post-breakup impulsive moment. I feel good for the first time in a week. I feel almost normal. I’m looking forward to an agenda-free dinner with Adrian. Though, I’m beginning to think no dinner with Adrian will ever be completely agenda-free on either of our parts. There’s history, and you can’t erase history—no matter how hard you dig the eraser into the paper.


“Come in!” I shout from the kitchen when he knocks.


As soon as the door shuts, my apartment feels like it’s suspended in air. His sweet cologne trails through the room and surges through my body. I’ve tried to ignore these biological responses to his presence since I saw him in Finnegan’s for the first time in four years. It feels like a carnival ride to let myself feel them again.


He saunters toward me with a swagger that only he’s allowed to use, pulling his hands out of his pockets. “You’re gorgeous.”


“So are you, as always.” I grin. “Here’s a beer, sit.”


He grabs his beer and his hand connects with mine for the briefest of seconds, just long enough to weaken my knees.


“Thank you.” He leans in and kisses my cheek before heading to the living room. I need to steady myself against the counter for a moment before following him.


I want your lips. I shake my head at the thought and try for normal conversation. “How was the rest of your week?” I sit next to him on the couch.


He seems a little tense as he stretches his arm on the back of the couch. “Good. Busy.”


“You seem tense.”


“I’m not supposed to say anything until the meeting tomorrow, but I have to tell you something.”


In an instant, I’m left searching for the hole my stomach dropped into. “What?”


“Tomorrow is my last day with DROP.” He sets his beer down and watches me.


I’m relieved and confused. I was looking forward to working with Adrian, but a voice in the back of my head suggests that it was only because I wanted to spend more time with him— which I can do anyway. Sensing my confusion, he continues.


“I was signed on to consult for the collaboration. When the ink is dry, I’m out. I did my job and have no interest in working with DROP any further.”


This is all about Bo. “Don’t make this about Bo.” I swallow a gratuitous amount of wine.


“While I really like the organization, I feel uncomfortable working with Cavanaugh for a number of reasons.”


There’s only one reason.


“Thank you for telling me. I think tomorrow holds enough anxiety, and I’m glad I didn’t have to hear this then.” It’s not lost on me that after tomorrow I could, guilt-free, run my hands over that chocolate washboard Adrian calls a stomach. My hormones are going to be the death of me.