Veronica dropped her purse and laptop onto a couch and stomped back to throw open the door. Glancing around she found the band gathered near the elevators. “Jon, could I speak to you for a minute please?”
If the expression on her face – and her crossed arms - wasn’t warning enough of her mood, the icicles dripping from each word certainly were.
David eyed her warily. “Uh oh Bro, I think you’re in deep shit. Tico! Get the popcorn amigo, there’s going to be fireworks.”
Veronica gave him a withering look, turned her attention back to Jon and raised a brow.
“Now sugar, before you get all bent out of shape and gear up to take a strip off of me, let me explain.” Jon beseeched in a placating tone as he quickly approached her.
When his hands reached for her she slapped them away. “Don’t you ‘now sugar’ me John Francis Bongiovi! And I’ll get bent out of shape if I want! I tend to do that when my express wishes are blatantly ignored!”
“Didn’t you?” She pointed towards her room. “So then you’re not expecting me to share that suite with you?”
“Dammit Jon! I put up with the whole connecting door thing because it seemed to make you feel better and that makes life easier for all of us, but this is going too far!” At last she had an acceptable reason to blow up at him, something she could explain and let him see. Not that she wasn’t furious over his high handedness – but that was only part of the source of her anger. The other part – perhaps the biggest part – was self directed. Despite the pain of the past, despite her fear of opening her heart up to him again, she found herself wanting to give in. Time and proximity had brought up feelings and memories that she’d thought were long buried....that she needed to be buried. She didn’t want to feel the strong attraction between them. She didn’t want to feel the longing to be near him....with him....a part of his life again.....to take a chance and see if he could fulfil the promises he’d been making. But her defences against him were crumbling and it scared the hell out of her. She took refuge in anger. “I told you that I didn’t want anyone thinking we are a couple! Gossip follows this business around like a bad smell. I can’t do my job if people are focussed on you and I instead of the music! And then you do this! Without talking to me!”
“Honey, calm down and let me explain! This was the best solution for our needs. You wanted to be able to do the phoners from here with enough phones for me, Richie and you to listen in on. That was going to take two rooms – and one of them a suite. They didn’t have any with connecting doors, so this was the only way to make it work.”
“We could have used a reception room downstairs!”
“Not without worrying about having to go into the public areas of the hotel. Besides, this way we can be comfortable.”
“So I can show up in my underwear?” Richie perked up.
“Pants please! At least a robe. You in just your underwear is not a sight my poor innocent eyes can handle after only a few hours sleep.” Veronica grimaced.
“That’s a sight you never need to – or should – see.” Jon shot his well endowed wingman a warning look.
Richie just grinned.
Jon eyed Veronica. “So...are you okay about the room arrangements?”
She scowled at him. “Hmpf! Like I have a choice? The high and mighty Rock Star has issued his decree and this lowly peon has to obey.” Stalking over to the door, she swiped her key almost viciously, shoved open the door and disappeared, giving the door an extra push to close it.
“You can have your pick of the bedrooms.” He called after her, grinning. It was probably just as well he couldn’t hear her response.
“You are one fucked up individual bro.” Richie shook his head.
“What do you mean?”
“You’ve been trying to lure that woman back into your life for weeks and you pull a stunt guaranteed to piss her off? And when she blows up – justifiably I might add – you stand here grinning like a fool. That’s fucked up.”
“Yeah, what’s so funny? She’s seriously pissed.” David added.
Jon’s grinned widened even more. “Yeah, but throughout her whole tirade she never once asked for or demanded another room. I told you that she wasn’t as set against me as she tries to let on.”
The others exchanged speculative looks. He might just be right.
“But....why do something you know will upset her and take the chance?” David frowned. It didn’t make sense.
The grin turned into a leer. “Have you ever noticed how her cheeks get all flushed and her eyes sparkle when she’s mad?”
Richie’s brows rose. “I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes if she ever finds out that you did it on purpose just to push her buttons. She’ll make you pay.”
Jon shrugged. “If she finds out. Besides, that only means that she cares. If she didn’t she’d just tell me off and ignore it.”
“Like I said....fucked up.”
Jon laughed. “Time to hit the hay. I’ll see you guys later.” He pointed a finger at Richie. “Don’t be late.”
“Are you kidding? And be in Ronnie’s bad books? No thanks. I’ll be early.”
“Not too early.”
“Uh huh.” Richie yawned. “Nite guys.” He glanced at Jon. “Watch your back, man.”
Jon just laughed and swiped his key through the lock, although when he turned the knob he opened the door slowly and peered carefully around the edge, checking for flying missiles, ignoring the snickers behind him.
Veronica was in the bedroom she’d chosen, her suitcase open on the bed when she heard him come in.
“Honey, I’m home!
Grabbing her bag of toiletries she headed for the bathroom, throwing a glowering look his way as she passed him.
Jon leaned against the bathroom doorframe and watched her wash her face.
She glared at him. “Go away Jon.”
“Anyone ever tell you that you’re beautiful when you’re angry?” He followed her back through the sitting room.
She snorted and walked into her bedroom.
“What? No goodnight kiss?”
“Fuck you Jon!” She slammed the door.
“Any time sweetheart, any time at all.” He called after her.
Veronica growled and stifled the urge to throttle him. Okay, Mr. Rock Star, you want to play that game, I can play too. She set aside her normal t-shirt that she used for a nightgown and rummaged through her suitcase until she found the silk and lace one buried on the bottom. She wasn’t really sure why she’d packed it, but she would put it to good use now.
When the phone rang with their wake up call several hours later Jon answered it, then laid there for a few minutes debating the morning’s agenda, before rising and proceeding to get it started. Noting that Veronica’s door was still closed, he decided to shower before he woke her.
Fifteen minutes later, a towel wrapped around his hips his only covering he knocked softly on her door and opened it. The sight that greeted him stopped the breath in his chest. She was lying on her back, her midnight hair spread over the pillow. Her skin glowed like pearls against the red lace covering her breasts revealed by the blankets that had dropped to her waist. Christ!
He sat gently on the edge of the mattress, reached out and smoothed back a curl from her forehead. Unable to help himself, he let his fingers trail over her shoulder and down her arm. “Nica? It’s time to get up.” He leaned over and touched his lips to hers. “Honey, wake up.”
Veronica sighed and stretched, watching through her lashes as his eyes followed the movement of her body. Her own took in every inch of his firm, muscular flesh. “Mmmm. Okay, I’m up.”
So am I! He cleared his throat and forced himself to look away from the curves of her breasts swelling above the edge of the lace. “Okay. Shower’s free. I’ll order some breakfast...or lunch or whatever. Do you want tea or coffee?”
“Coffee....and some orange juice please.”
He had just picked up the phone to call room service when she emerged from her room. All thoughts of food – or anything else for that matter – went right out of his head. Fuck me! Please! Her nightgown ended mid thigh, revealing all eight feet or so of her supple, very flexible legs.
“Room Service, how can I help you? Hello? Hello?” The voice in his ear finally broke through his daze.
“Sorry, yeah, I need to order some coffee and some food.”
Richie knocked on the door of the suite a good ten minutes before the first interview was supposed to start. When Jon opened it, Richie grinned. “So she didn’t kill you then.”
Jon grunted. “Not yet.”
Richie’s brows rose at his friend’s disgruntled mutter. When he caught sight of Veronica in the chair by the desk he suspected he knew what Jon’s problem was. She was once again in those form fitting black jeans and that fuzzy sweater that he figured was probably red, that she’d worn to the football game and caused Jon to drool. Her legs were crossed and the swinging of her foot brought his attention to its bare state and the painted nails that were the same colour as her sweater. Poor bugger doesn’t stand a chance against her. No wonder she’s got him spinning. He shot Jon a sympathetic look. “Morning little girl.”
Veronica looked up from her notes. “Hi Jughead. Thank you for being on time.”
“Anything for you darlin’.” At Jon’s snort, he grinned. “What? I ain’t stupid. Gotta stay on her good side.”
“There’s a few other people I could name who I wish shared that attitude.” She commented, not looking up from the papers in front of her.
Jon just grunted. “Give me some incentive and I might consider it.”
She raised a brow, eyed him for a moment, but refused to take the bait. “You’ll have to excuse him Rich. Something he ate must not be agreeing with him. At least I’m assuming that’s what’s making him such a grumpy ass.”
More like the meal he didn’t get. Richie wisely kept his thoughts to himself. Neither one of his companions would appreciate them.
“Can we just get on with this please?” Jon grouched.
Veronica exchanged a wink and a grin with Richie and picked up the phone.