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I cleared my throat and began. “Welcome. This is a support group for people with sexual addiction. I’ve been working with another group, so I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself, and then I’ll ask you to do the same.”

I folded my hands in my lap and began, my eyes looking anywhere but at the guy across from me. He was too distracting.

“My name is McKenna, and I’ve been leading another SAA group for six months. I have a bachelor’s degree in counseling and I also work at a center for troubled teens. In my free time, I like volunteering and watching scary movies.”

I smiled warmly. “I’d like everyone to introduce themselves, tell us a bit about yourself, and if you’re comfortable, why you’re here.” I turned to the gentlemen to my left and nodded, thankful that I’d gotten through that with my voice steady and composed.

One by one each person introduced themselves, most giving a brief snippet about why they were here. Their revelations were vague and general, saying only things like I need help to get my life back on track. That was to be expected; we’d work our way up to the more personal confessions as time went on.

When everyone else had spoken, my eyes went to the beautiful stranger seated across from me. He cleared his throat and fidgeted in the chair, eliciting a loud squeal as the metal legs shifted against the tile floor. Something in his posture told me he had no plans to share anything about himself. Active group participation was a strong indicator of belief in the program, and one’s ability to successfully overcome their addiction.

I frowned, realizing he might be here for the wrong reasons. A college kid on a dare from his friends, or a way to pick up easy women. I wasn’t sure, so I fixed him with a stare.

“To be part of this meeting you must admit you have a problem, and that your life has become unmanageable and you need help. You must commit to attending the meetings and to sharing with the group.”

The newcomer rolled his eyes. “My name’s Knox Bauer. I’m a Virgo and I like long walks on the beach.”

I released the little breath I’d been holding. It seemed we might have a problem, one I’d have to address after group. I’d seen Belinda do the same thing before, to make sure everyone was here for the right reason.

I pushed on, ignoring his blatant disregard for the group—for now. Finally the clock on the wall indicated our hour was up, which was good because I couldn’t take another second of his eyes watching my every move. I felt distracted and itchy, and fought the urge to run—to flee this room and Knox’s heated stare. But I told myself to calm down. I could handle this. Too bad my training in no way prepared me for a super-hot alpha male invading my space.

After putting on a sincere smile, I wrapped up the meeting with, “Thank you, everyone. I’ll see you next Saturday and in the meantime, stay strong. And remember you can call me or your sponsor at any time.”

I breathed a sigh of relief. My first solo group had gone pretty well. All except for the newcomer, Knox, who seemed reluctant to take part in the group. It was time to address the issue head-on.

My eyes went to Knox, who was already rising from his chair. “Knox, can you stay behind a minute?”

He hesitated briefly, obviously thinking it over, and then lowered himself back to the metal folding chair.

The room was too small, too warm, and I crossed the room to adjust the ancient thermostat on the far wall. I didn’t even know if it worked, but the chance to get out of Knox’s line of vision for just a moment was a welcome reprieve. I pushed the switch to the coolest setting and sucked in a few deep breaths.

I returned to stand in front of Knox. His smile was playful as his eyes wandered the length of my body. His look was so sexual, so erotic, that my stomach twirled into a series of intricate knots and my knees trembled where I stood.

Chapter Three

Knox

The overpowering scent of citrus floor polish was giving me a headache. I wanted nothing more than to escape, but I nodded in response to McKenna’s request, lowering myself back down to the seat. Evidently I was about to catch shit for not sharing my feelings in this damn circle jerk of a meeting.

The people around me rose and filed from the room. I didn’t know what I expected sex addicts to look like, but it certainly wasn’t this. They looked like regular people, for the most part. Guys like me.

McKenna crossed the room to fiddle with the thermostat on the wall, seeming to buy her time, and then approached me once again.

I couldn’t resist letting my gaze slip down over her curves. Her confidence wavered as her eyes dropped from mine to the floor between her feet. There was something about me that threw her off her game. As confident as she’d been during the meeting, her self-assurance wavered as she stood before me.

Petite, but with nice curves, she was stunning. She had long glossy hair hanging down her back and delicate features—a small nose, wide eyes, and high cheekbones. I’d be blind not to notice how attractive she was. Her eyes darted everywhere but on me, letting me take my fill uninterrupted. Wasn’t there some saying about never trust a skinny chef? Well, never trust a beautiful sex-addiction counselor either. Or perhaps it was that I didn’t trust myself around her.

As I studied her, I realized she wasn’t like the girls I hung around. She was beautiful. Educated. Intelligent. Submissive. It was that last part that got my blood pumping south. Introducing her to the business end of my dick became priority number one, but then my lurid thoughts screeched to a halt. I cursed under my breath. That wasn’t in the cards. I needed to remember why I was here.

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