Veronica awoke first and was thankful for that. She needed some time to sort out her feelings about what had happened between them earlier. Never in her life had she felt anything even close to that! Even back when they had been together and Jon had taught her how to explore the depths of her passion, and then shared the journey with her, she’d never felt such intense, incredible pleasure. Yes, he had lost control, but even that had been exciting. She had sensed his need and hunger and had wanted nothing more than to sate it, and to have him sate hers in return. But that was a yearning she couldn’t afford to give in to. She was afraid that it could be addicting and she couldn’t let that happen. She couldn’t take that chance again. She would give him today, but tomorrow it would be back to business as usual, and only business. Letting out a heavy sigh, she watched the sun setting slowly out of the wall of windows.
Jon heard her sigh and tightened his arm around her. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
Veronica rubbed his arm and smoothed his hair. “I’m fine.”
“I really didn’t hurt you?”
She hugged him. “You really didn’t hurt me.”
They lay silently staring out into the fading light for several minutes. Jon kissed the warm skin under his cheek and caressed her side with his thumb. “How often do you...visit?”
“At least once a year. More if I’m in the area, but always at least once.”
“And that’s enough for you?” He realized how that sounded. “I’m not criticizing, I’m just asking.”
“Most of the time.” She paused, remembering. “It took me quite awhile before I could go at all. Then I went a lot. Now, I go when I’m close or when I’m.....feeling the need.”
He nodded and squeezed her. “Thank you for taking me. You were right. I needed that. I should have been there years ago.”
Veronica was silent for a moment. “Better late than never Johnny.”
Something in her voice made him think that they weren’t just talking about the gravesite any more. He lifted his head to search her face. “Really?”
She hesitated, then nodded. “I really could have used your support at the time, but at least you’re acknowledging him now.”
Jon lifted a hand to caress her cheek. “I really am sorry about....everything.”
Veronica covered his hand with hers. “I know.” She sniffed and frowned. “Did you put on coffee when we got back by any chance?”
His eyes widened and he pushed up on an elbow to look towards the pot. A sheepish smile curved his lips when he turned back to her. “Oops. Yeah I did. I guess I forgot about it. I think it’s pretty cooked by now. I’ll call down and order some if you want.”
Before she could answer her stomach rumbled and she smiled ruefully. “Maybe some dinner while you’re at it.”
“You got it.” He leaned down to kiss her gently before rising from the bed.
She watched him walk, naked, across the room to turn off the coffee maker and pick up the room service menu. Returning to the bed he handed it to her then crawled over her and sat up against the headboard. “See anything that interests you?” His lips twitched at the sidelong look she gave him. He hadn’t bothered to cover himself. “On the menu I mean.”
Veronica snorted and slapped the menu against his chest. “I’ll have the chicken and mushroom penne please.”
It was Jon’s turn to watch her as she slipped from the bed and headed for the bathroom. To his disappointment, she returned wearing one of the hotel’s fluffy robes. Having placed their order, he hung up the phone and followed her progress around the bed, picking up their clothes. The sight of her sweatshirt had him frowning. “Whose is that?” The words came out before he could think better of it.
“But who gave it to you?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, it’s obviously a man’s shirt and I doubt that you bought it yourself.”
She smirked. “I could have.”
He grunted. “But you didn’t.”
“No I didn’t.”
He waited but she didn’t say any more. Even though the voice in his head told him to leave it alone, he couldn’t. “So who gave it to you?”
The near growl had her brows rising. “If I didn’t know better I’d say you were jealous.” Another grunt was her only answer, well, that and his unblinking stare. She snorted, but told him what he wanted to know. “It belonged to Lori’s brother. I was walking to their parents house one night and got caught in the rain. I was soaked to the skin. Tom loaned me his shirt.”
“So you stole it.” He wasn’t really surprised. If memory served he’d lost a few shirts the same way himself.
She shrugged, a grin tugging at the corners of her lips. “No, I just never gave it back. It’s really warm and comfortable.”
A knock at the door had Veronica scurrying into her own room and Jon scrambling for a pair of sweats. A few minutes later the door closed behind the waiter.
“Honey? Dinner’s here! He’s gone, you can come out now.” Amusement was clear in his voice.
“Laugh all you want, but I told you, I don’t want to be tabloid headlines.” Veronica reminded him as she entered and sat down at the table where he’d set out the food.
“Sweetheart, I hate to tell you this, but dinner is obviously for two, the connecting door is open and I’m half naked. He’s bound to figure it out.”
“But for all he knows, I’m fully dressed. He can speculate, but if he doesn’t see me he doesn’t know for sure.”
He chuckled, but wisely didn’t argue with her logic. Besides, she did have a point. “Yes dear. You’re right of course.”
“Oh shut up and eat.” She threw a napkin at him.
He caught it, blew her a kiss and laid it across his lap as he picked up his fork. While they ate they made small talk about travelling, movies...and of course music.
“I’m sorry Jon, but in my opinion the Rolling Stones haven’t put out anything good since Tattoo You.”
“That’s sacrilege! That’s like saying we haven’t put out anything good since New Jersey!”
“Well, now that you mention it....hey!” She ducked the roll that came flying at her head.
“Well, at least you got smart with this one and came to me for help.” She grinned at him.
His response was interrupted by the pinging of Veronica’s phone. She looked at the message and smiled.
“Who’s it from?”
“Richie. Checking on us.”
“Let me see it.” He held his hand out and she handed it over.
6:17: U doing okay? Need anything? A referee? Help getting away? R
Jon snorted and typed out a response.
6:20: Fuck U. She’s all mine today. Didn’t U get memo?
A few seconds later Richie replied.
6:21 Memo said U were off limits, not her
6:22 Well she is. Call tmrw
A second later, another ping.
6:23 Keeping her hostage bro? Guess it’s 1 way to stop her from running away.
The smirk on Jon’s face as he typed had Veronica rounding the table to read over his shoulder. Gasping, she reached for the phone. “Don’t you dare!”
Jon held the phone out of her reach and pushed send.
6:23 Only place she’s running is my bed...or maybe the chair....hmmm..or against the wall.
“JON!” She swatted his arm, but he just laughed. The phone pinged.
6:25 Do U want the scarves?
Seeing Richie’s reply, Veronica growled and forced Jon’s arm down until she could reach the phone.
6:16 STOP IT! BOTH OF U!!!! U R worse than horny teenagers! Is that what you think of me? Like some....groupie?
“Aw come on sugar, we’re only having a little fun.” Jon pulled her down onto his lap and kissed her neck. “I’m sorry if I embarrassed you.”
“Embarrassed me? Don’t flatter yourself. It would take whole lot more than that to embarrass me.”
“Then what’s the problem?”
Before she could answer the phone pinged again.
6:19: Sorry little girl. Will stop. Didn’t mean to offend. U know we love & respect u. Enjoy your night. LOL
She turned back to answer Jon. “He’ll tell the rest about this conversation and I don’t want to give them any ammunition to use against me. If they think that I’m truly angry about it, they’ll leave me alone.”
Jon chuckled. “Clever.”
She nodded. “Self preservation. I learned early on how to deal with them. They were easy. You were always the challenging one.”
He snorted. “You seemed to figure me out easily enough.”
She studied his eyes. “Not completely. You’re a complicated man Jon.”
He shook his head. “Not really.” One hand reached up to move a curl away from her temple. “You get me better than you think you do. You always have. It used to drive me nuts. You always seemed to know what I was thinking before I did.”
“Used to drive you nuts?”
“Mmmmhmm. I’ve grown to appreciate it. Tends to make some things a lot easier. Saves explanations.”
Veronica just grunted. “So that’s your excuse for not talking.”
He kissed her neck again. “I’ll talk about whatever you want.”
“I’ll remember that.”
They spent the rest of the evening curled up on the couch watching movies. When Veronica started to nod off, she dragged herself from the couch, dropped the robe and crawled into the bed. Jon smiled and joined her, curling his body around hers.