Three days later, Richie answered the knock at his hotel room door to find Jon on the other side. “Hey man.”
“Hey.” Jon walked in and slumped down on the couch.
Richie’s brows rose. “What’s up? You look like someone just took away your favourite toy. And how come you’re here instead of trying to seduce your girlfriend?” It was an off day for them before two shows in Anaheim. Jon usually spent his off days as close to Ronnie as she’d let him get.
Jon grimaced. “She’s killing me! It finally looks like I’m making progress.....but it’s like one step forward, two steps back, then half a step forward! It’s making me fucking nuts! I know that she still has feelings for me, but she keeps trying to deny it! I’m so fucking frustrated!”
“In more ways than one, obviously.” Amusement filled Richie’s voice.
Jon glared. “It’s been thirty-seven days!” She’s got to be feeling the strain too. She’s too passionate a woman not to be!
Richie studied his friend for a moment. “Have you thought about forgetting about her and moving on if she’s being so difficult?” His lips twitched at the stink eye that came his way. He’d figured he knew the answer, but he’d wanted to see Jon’s reaction to the idea. “Okaaay, I guess that’s not an option.”
A knock at the door announced David’s arrival. “Hey.” He looked at Jon. “What’s the matter with you?” When Jon just grunted he turned to Richie.
“Ah. Girlfriend not putting out?” David’s tone was sympathetic. “So why don’t you forget about her and move on?” That comment earned him the stink eye.
Richie chuckled. “I suggested that too, but apparently that’s not an option.”
David pretended to ponder the problem. “Well, you could get a girl or two out of the audience to....ease your frustration. I’m sure there’s lots that would be willing to help.”
Jon scowled. “I don’t want to ‘ease my frustration’ with anyone else. I want Ronnie!” Their barely suppressed grins threatened to snap the leash on his temper. “Just what do you two find so funny about this?”
“Sorry, it’s just that seeing you, of all people, the man who has women falling at his feet all over the world, spinning in circles over one is....unexpected.” Richie answered.
“I’ve never seen you put this much effort into a woman...not even Dot.” David added.
“Yeah, well....she’s worth it.” Jon raked a hand through his hair, braced his elbows on his knees and rested his head in his hands. “If I survive it.”
“You know what they say... ‘what doesn’t kill you’....” Richie joked.
“Are you sure her feelings go beyond friendship?” David felt compelled to ask. Women just didn’t turn Jon down.
Jon thought about their intimate moments, her visit to the house around his birthday and the last few days and smiled. The connecting door had stayed open although they’d slept separately, they ate breakfast/lunch together in his room and she’d started appearing at his dressing room door while he was getting ready to go on stage. Her excuses for being there were always plausible, but nothing so urgent that it couldn’t have waited until after the show. She’d even let him kiss her a few times. It was when he tried to take it further that she pulled away. “Oh yeah. She wants me.” He hadn’t missed the hunger in her eyes when she looked at him and thought he wouldn’t notice.
“Have you thought about trying to make her jealous?” David suggested. When the other two stared at him like he’d lost his mind, he shrugged. “What? Women can have strange reactions to that. Maybe if she thinks he’s losing interest she’ll stop playing hard to get.”
Richie snorted. “This is Ronnie we’re talking about here, remember. He wants her to let him in, not castrate him! That shit won’t fly with her. He’s just going to have to be patient.”
Jon grimaced, but didn’t disagree.
In her room, Veronica let out a relieved breath when the door closed behind Jon. Maybe now she could concentrate on work. She’d begun to wonder if he was going to hang out in her room all day, and the man was very distracting. Despite her determination that it be otherwise, her senses were very attuned to his presence. Whether he was across the table or across the room, she was always vividly aware of where he was and what he was doing. She even found herself looking for reasons to search him out if he wasn’t near. The worst was their first meeting of the day, when Jon would appear in the doorway either rumpled from sleep or fresh from the shower and she had to fight the urge to snuggle up against him and explore every inch of the hard, warm flesh of his chest and arms.
She shook her head at her own thoughts. Stop it! You’re just horny. That had to be why her heart beat a little faster when he was near and she got that warm fuzzy feeling when he smiled at her with that certain look in his eyes. Hormones, not true emotions. Lust, not love. After all, the man was gorgeous and it had been a month or so since she’d gotten any. It wasn’t the first time she’d gone that long without sex, but it was the first time she had to maintain a drought while in such close proximity to a man who offered to....quench her thirst – and one she knew from experience could sate her to her toes.
She groaned, got up, and grabbed a Coke from the mini bar. If this kept up she was soon going to be forced to make use of Lori’s gift. Sipping, she gazed out of the window and thought about everything the girls had said. She understood where they were coming from, and she appreciated their concern and their opinions, but they didn’t understand. They didn’t know how...overwhelming....the feelings had been between them once. But you were kids then! Maybe Jon’s right, and you were too young to handle it then. But you’re older now, better equipped to cope. But the pain had been debilitating. That was a long time ago. Maybe he’s changed. Maybe you could make it work this time. Isn’t he worth another try? Her body certainly seemed to think so. His kids were still a stumbling block she didn’t know if she could overcome.
Veronica sighed and turned back to her laptop, no further ahead than she was an hour ago, or a day ago. She was seriously tempted to give in to what everyone around her seemed to think was best for her, and let him in, but......she was so damned scared! Coward! You’ll never know for sure unless you try. Take it slow. Start with relieving some of that tension. Then maybe you can think clearly. You know you want it...want him.
She snorted at herself, but couldn’t get the idea out of her head. The next day after she got back to her desk after dinner she tried to concentrate on her notes from the interviews earlier, but her mind wouldn’t settle. Unable to take the frustration any longer, she snapped. Fuck it!
Before her saner self could talk her out of it, she rose and strode down the hallway towards the dressing rooms. Stopping in front of Jon’s she took a deep breath, knocked once and walked in. “Jon, I.......”
The words died in her throat at the sight of Jon in black leather pants, sleeveless pale blue button down shirt hanging open, bent over the barely covered cleavage of a well endowed blonde. They both looked up at her entrance, the woman’s green eyes shooting daggers.
She had to swallow twice before she could speak. “Sorry, I didn’t realize you were....busy. It can wait. I’ll talk to you later.” Gathering her dignity and professionalism, she turned and exited the room.
“Nica wait!” Jon had seen the flash of pain in her eyes and heard it in her voice before the icy coolness took over. The quiet closing of the door behind her echoed loudly in his head, and sounded like a death knell to his future. His heart sank and his stomach churned. “FUCK!”