After sound check the next day Jon went looking for Veronica. He hadn’t seen her since they’d arrived at the arena, and he’d discovered that the more he was around her the more he wanted to spend his free time with her, even if it was to just sit quietly in the same room. He found her presence....soothing....comforting. Whether she was arguing with him or ignoring him or something in between, it didn’t matter, as long as she was nearby. He shook his head at himself. I’m like a teenager with his first crush! But that wasn’t the only reason why he wanted to find her. When they’d met in the hotel hallway – and throughout the trip to the arena - she didn’t, by word or look, refer to what had happened the night before. Of course she had her phone stuck to her ear as usual. And they think I’m bad! But if she wasn’t upset by him putting her to bed and undressing her, then maybe he could push it a little more.
He found her at her desk in the empty control room, in front of her laptop, the ever present phone to her ear. Although her voice was pleasant, her body language said something else. While he watched she alternated between pressing the heel of her free hand on her eye and rolling her head slowly on her shoulders – familiar signs of stress and tension for her. He walked up behind her, set his hands on her shoulders and massaged – gently at first, then harder when he felt how tight her muscles were.
Veronica leaned her head back against him and bit back a groan. God that feels good! He always knew just where her muscles were tight and how to dig and rub to loosen them. She knew she should pull away and not let him so close – especially after last night, but right now his hands felt too good to make him stop. Last night. She didn’t know whether to be mad at him or thank him. It implied an intimacy that she was trying to deny, but on the other hand he did it for her comfort.
Her boss’s voice in her ear brought her focus back to the present. “Yeah, that’s what I think too. Okay, I’ll reassess using those parameters. I’ll get that to you in the next couple days. Other than that, I’ll continue as planned. Right. Okay. Thanks Vince. Bye.”
Veronica’s head dropped forward as knowing fingers worked from her shoulders up her neck to the base of her skull. “Mmmm.. yeah...right there.”
Jon chuckled and pressed a little harder. “Too hard?” He got a low groan in response. “I’ll take that as a no.” Unable to help himself, he leaned down and brushed his lips across her nape and up the side her neck to nuzzle her ear. “Vince giving you a hard time?”
“No.” She had to stop and clear her throat. The velvety touch of his lips and the hot gust of his breath, combined with his nearness, sent a shiver down her spine and brought all of her senses to full attention. “He just.....” She swallowed heavily, her mouth suddenly going dry at the feel of his teeth scraping her lobe. “He just wants a few things added to my report. Jon, stop.”
“Why?” He licked and nibbled and sucked her ear and the skin beneath it. She’d always been super sensitive there. It had always been his go to spot – guaranteed to get her juices flowing. He could feel her body’s instant reaction to his ministrations and his own responded accordingly. “We both know how much you like it. Don’t deny yourself Nica. Feel it. Feel the blood burning in your veins, your skin tingling....your nipples hardening.” He glanced down her chest and grinned. “Feel all of it Nica. Let yourself enjoy it...and remember that I can give you more.”
“Johnny....” His name was a sigh on her lips. Voices in the hallway had her stiffening and shaking her scattered wits back in place. “Jon you have to stop.”
He could have cheerfully strangled whoever it was in the hallway. Damn it, I had her! His saner side acknowledged that it was just as well. The plan was to tempt her, tease her, and make her admit that she still had feelings – strong feelings - for him. The more he ramped up her frustration the better. Unfortunately that also meant ramping up his own. “Okay. I’ll stop. For now.” He kissed her neck again and stepped back. “Let’s go get some dinner.”
Veronica stared at him as if he’d lost his mind. Did he really think she would – or could – just calmly trot off and share a table and a meal with him? When she was about ready to jump out of her skin.....or throw him down on that table and have him finish what he started? Damn him! Why can’t he just forget about it and leave me alone? Why does he keep tormenting me with what I can’t have? Before she could voice her protest, the guys appeared in the doorway.
“There you are! Are we going to eat or what bro?” Richie asked.
“Yeah, let’s go.” Jon replied.
“You coming with us Ronnie?” David raised his brows in question.
She hesitated. “I have a lot of work to do.”
Jon smirked. “Scared?”
Veronica snorted. “Of you? Not in this lifetime.” Not physically anyway. Emotionally? Well, that’s another story.
“Then get your ass in gear little girl, and let’s get the van moving, I’m starving!”
“When aren’t you Jughead?” She retorted dryly.
“When he’s sleeping.” Tico answered.
Richie shrugged. “I’ve got an extra foot of body to feed than you do.”
Tico flipped him off.
Throughout dinner and the after party, and even most of the next day, Jon didn’t avoid Veronica, but he didn’t try to crowd her either. His aim was twofold. First, to not be predictable and throw her off balance again, and second, to give himself some cooling down room. When he’d come up with his great plan he hadn’t considered what the affect would be on himself.
For her part, Veronica didn’t know quite what to make of Jon’s behaviour. One minute he was trying to get into her pants, the next he was treating her like just another staff member. She suspected that his hot and cold routine was an attempt to mess with her head, but she was too busy and too tired to try and figure out what he was up to. Once she got through Dubai she would be able to deal with him. Or maybe if she kept ignoring it, he’d give up and leave her alone.
Hitting enter on her laptop, she pushed back from her desk in the control room – it felt like she lived there these days – glanced at her watch and decided that there was enough time before the show started to update Jon on what she’d arranged for the Dubai interviews and the American ones she’d rescheduled.
She knocked twice on his dressing room door. “Jon?”
“Come on in Ronnie.”
Veronica opened the door, stepped into the room and glanced around to find him standing bare chested in front of his wardrobe. The door shut behind her. She wasn’t even aware of her gaze licking over his sculpted, fur covered display.....but Jon was.
He smirked. “Did you need something or did you just come to visit?”
She cleared her throat and gathered her scattered thoughts. “Umm...I wanted to show you what I’ve done with your schedule. Where’s your phone?”
Jon looked around and frowned. He walked over to the table and started sifting through the items covering it. Lifting a towel, he revealed the phone, picked it up and handed it to her. Veronica opened it, clicked on the schedule and scrolled forward two days to Fargo. Jon stepped closer to read over her shoulder.
She swallowed heavily. That damn cologne is going to be the death of me! It’s not right for a man to smell that good! “So I moved a couple print interviews until DesMoines and put Dubai here, here and here. I’ve spoken to the DJs and they’ll be ready and waiting. We can call from your room or mine, whichever you want, we just need to tell Richie which one.”
He couldn’t resist. “Your room or mine? I like the sounds of that.” His voice was a deep growl in her ear.
“Jon....don’t.” She stepped away – or tried to.
He flicked the towel he was still holding around her neck and wrapped the ends around his hands. One hard tug pulled her off balance and she fell against him, her hands coming up reflexively to brace against his chest. “You’re so damn beautiful! Why do you keep trying to fight this Nica? Don’t you remember how good we are together? How well we fit together?” He brushed his lips over hers. “You used to always say that you loved the way I taste.” His tongue dipped inside. “The way my skin felt.” Another taste. “The way my hands and lips felt on your skin.” A firmer, longer kiss. “The way it felt when I was buried deep inside you and your hot...wet.....flesh held me so tight.”
Her fingers curled into the soft hair covering his chest. “Johnny.” Damn you! She was mesmerized by his voice and the memories his words evoked and couldn’t summon the strength to pull away. In fact, her legs were shaking so bad she was afraid she was going to collapse into a puddle at his feet.
The sighing of his name and the trembling of her body had him gathering her closer, pressing their bodies together from shoulder to knee. He captured her lips again in a kiss that very quickly became ravenous.
Veronica whimpered at the feel of his fur and hot flesh under her fingers and his hardening erection nudging the juncture of her thighs. She could feel herself being sucked under his spell and fought against it. “Jon....Jon stop.”
“Don’t want to.” When she turned her head to break the kiss he just changed his target to that spot on her neck. She moaned. Jon grinned. “And you don’t really want me to. I want you Nica. I want to make love to you. I want to go to sleep with you and wake up with you in the morning. I want to spend time with you. Let me in Nica. Let me show you that I can bring you pleasure.”
Don’t do it! Remember how much he hurt you! He hasn’t changed. Not really. Her head reminded her of the past. But the circumstances have changed. You’re not stupid kids anymore. You loved him more than life once and he made your world complete. What if you could have that again without the pain? Was her body’s counter argument. But don’t forget his kids....the constant reminder of what you lost and can never get back. Her heart came back with the biggest sticking point – and the one she could find no positive response to.
Veronica forced herself to push at his chest. “Jon. No. Stop.”
He ignored her.
She pushed harder. “Jon! Stop!”
Jon sighed and straightened. One hand lifted to caress her cheek while he studied her eyes. “Sweetheart, I know you’re scared and that you think it could never work between us, but I think...no I know you’re wrong. What we feel is too strong to ignore.” He paused. “A lot was taken from you a long time ago. I can give it back to you, if you’ll let me. You can have it all again Nica. All you have to do is say yes.”
Veronica could only shake her head and blink back her tears.
The corners of his mouth curved into a slight smile and he kissed her gently. “Don’t be so stubborn. Just think about it. Don’t dismiss me...us....out of hand. We can make it work if you’ll only give us a chance.” He stepped back and turned to the wardrobe. “Help me pick out a shirt?”
Lost in thought, Veronica walked over, pulled out her favourite and handed it to him.
Jon grinned. “Thanks.”
Veronica just nodded and left the room, her mind swirling with his words. How can he be so damn sure? An hour later she scolded herself about wanting to live in the past and forced herself to focus on the future. Luckily for her piece of mind Jon seemed to sense her determination to keep that wall between them and backed off.
Or she thought he had.
Until she entered her hotel room in Fargo.
Standing in the living room of the two bedroom suite, Veronica felt her temper rocket to the boiling point. It didn’t take a brain surgeon to know who the other bedroom was for. “I’m going to fucking kill him!”