Kane:Steele Brothers #5

By: Cheryl Douglas

“When did that change?” he asked, propping his head in his hand as he looked at me.

Kane was the first man I’d ever felt really listened to me. He was intense and brooding at times, but when he was with me, I knew he was focused solely on me, and I loved that about him.

“I guess right around the time Brendan suggested we move in together. It made economic sense. But then he started to talk about marriage, and I felt trapped.”

“You didn’t want to get married?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Not at that stage in my life, not to him. I just wanted to focus on music. I know it may sound selfish, but I thought our relationship should take a backseat to our careers until we were more established.”

“And he didn’t agree?”

“He said he did, but he kept putting more and more pressure on me until I felt like I couldn’t breathe. That’s when I came to Tampa to spend time with Riley and my parents. I needed some space to gain some perspective.” I ran my hand down his shoulder. “I gained that, thanks to you.”

He smiled. “I didn’t do anything. You knew what you wanted to do. I just listened.”

Kane was right. I’d just needed someone to tell me I wasn’t crazy to throw away a long-term relationship with a man who loved me just because we didn’t have that spark anymore. If I were being totally honest with myself, I’d have to admit we’d never had it. Except onstage. That was the one place we really connected.

“Then thank you for listening.”

He brushed his lips across my cheek, making me shiver. “My pleasure.”

I wanted to talk about what had happened between us tonight, to hear that he felt the same way and I hadn’t imagined how incredible the sex had been. “Tonight… this was… nice.”

He chuckled. “Nice, huh? Maybe I need to put a little more effort into it next time if that’s the best you can do.”

“Will there be a next time?”

He drew back to look me in the eye. “Do you want there to be?”

“Do you?”

“You can’t answer a question with a question, Mace.”

“It’s not like we’ll see each other all that often,” I reminded him. “I mean, sure, I’ll be in Tampa for a few days before the wedding and maybe a day or two afterward, but I can’t afford to take any more time than that off. I normally don’t come home more than once or twice a year.”

“I’ve got lots of vacation time they’ve been begging me to use. Maybe I could come to Nashville now and again?”

“What are we doing?” I asked, swallowing my fear. “What you’re describing sounds a lot like a relationship. That’s not what this is, is it?”

“It can be whatever you want it to be, Macy.”

Oh God, what did I want it to be? I hadn’t thought beyond tonight and the undeniable urge to get him into my bed. “What if all I want is a one-night stand?”

I felt his muscles bunch under my hand, revealing his tension. “Is that what you want?”

“I don’t know.” This was getting more complicated by the second. “Can we just play it by ear, see how it goes when I get back to Nashville?”

“Sure.” He kissed my temple. “You want me to fly back with you, you know, in case your ex has a hard time believing we’re actually married?”

“You’d do that? But don’t you have to get back to work?” Not to mention the fact his brother and my sister would question why he was coming to Nashville with me.

“No, I took a few extra days. Like I said, I’ve got all that vacation time I haven’t used. I figured I’d just hang out at home, but I’d much rather hang out with you.”

I’d love that, but would it be cruel to flaunt my new husband in front of Brendan? Of course, convincing Brendan I’d moved on was the reason for this farce in the first place, so Kane’s proposal was the perfect solution.

“He’ll question why we’re not living together,” I said, trying to consider how this arrangement would look from my ex-boyfriend’s perspective.

“We’ll just tell him I’m trying to get a transfer to Nashville, but it’ll take some time.”

“I’m a terrible liar.” I wondered whether I was crazy to think I could pull this off.

“Good to know.” He grinned before kissing me. “That means I’ll never have to worry about you lying to me.”

“I won’t, you know,” I said, stroking his cheek. “I’ll always be honest with you. I promise you that.” But was I being honest with him right now, not admitting I had feelings for him?

“I know that.”

Should I be concerned he hadn’t promised the same? “Um, so I have a flight out tomorrow night. Should we see if there’s any more room on it?”

“Yeah, let’s do that,” he said, looking thoughtful. “That’ll give me time to take care of something during the day.”

“Okay.” I wanted to ask what he had planned, but it wasn’t my place. We’d only been married a few hours. I didn’t want to start acting like a wife.

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