Glances were exchanged up and down the hallway. No one was entirely sure whether what was going on behind the recently slammed door was going to make things better or worse.
“If you ask me, it’s about fucking time.” Was David’s opinion.
“Mmm....if she doesn’t kill him.” Richie replied.
“Or him her.” Paul added.
“I’ll go pack up her stuff for her to save some time. Looks like we’re going to be late to the after party.” Matt offered.
“Ronnie won’t let him make us too late, no matter the .....persuasion. She’s too professional for that.” Tico growled. “He just better listen to her.”
Jon struggled to draw a deep breath, and raised his head to stare into her eyes. “No more Nica. No more shutting me out and pretending that there’s nothing between us. It’s time to stop living in the past and start living for the future.”
Still panting, Veronica searched his gaze for several breaths, then gave in and nodded. “Okay, I’ll....try.”
“That’s all I can ask.” He kissed her softly.
They both groaned at the feel of him leaving her body. He braced her against the wall, making sure her legs would support her before kicking out of the pants that were bunched around his ankles and heading for the bathroom. He returned a few minutes later with a damp wash cloth and towel and proceeded to clean her up.
Veronica just watched him, wincing slightly as the cloth rubbed against her abraded flesh. “Thanks.” Her breath hitched as shudders still shot randomly throughout her body.
He winked at her as he adjusted the scrap of lace between her legs that he’d moved out of his way earlier. “My pleasure. I’m going to grab a shower. Do you want to join me?” She stared at him in disbelief, then shook her head. Jon chuckled. “Do you want to sit down??
Veronica debated, but again shook her head. She thought she’d be better standing for a little while – provided her legs would continue to support her. Damn! That man is lethal!
“Okay.” Jon studied her for a moment, unable to prevent the smug smirk from twisting his lips at the sight of her flushed face, swollen lips and disarrayed clothing – which she was making no move to fix. Walking over to the table, he reached underneath and pulled a bottle of water out of the cooler there. He twisted off the lid and held the bottle out to her.
She took it with a slight smile and drank deeply. “Thanks.”
The sheen of the water on her lips was too tempting for him to resist. He leaned over to run his tongue over her, scooping up the liquid, then dipping in for a deeper, more thorough taste. “Mmmm....tasty.”
She checked the bottle. “It’s just water.”
“It’s just you. My favourite flavour.”
Veronica laughed and gave him a little push. “Go have a shower. We’ve given the crew enough to talk about for tonight, let’s not make it worse by being hugely late to the after party.”
After Jon had disappeared into the bathroom, Veronica sighed and pushed away from the wall. Glancing in the mirror, she grimaced and set her clothing back to rights. Next she picked up the clothes he’d left lying on the floor, shoved them into a laundry bag and set out his street clothes.
She gazed at the door thoughtfully, but decided to stay put. If she left before Jon came out of the shower, he’d think she was trying to ditch him again. Besides, she needed to figure out how she was going to fulfil her promise to him to try and still protect her heart. The events of the past hour were proof that the most obvious answer – take it slow – wasn’t going to work. He was right about one thing, the physical attraction between them was a strong as it ever was. And she had to admit she felt better now, clear headed, more relaxed, less....stressed.
Gretchen’s suggestion came to mind and the more she considered it the more she thought that it might be just the solution she was looking for. If she kept their relationship purely sexual – as in sex was just sex – it would satisfy Jon and provide some fun and tension relief for her without risking getting too close. Now she just had to figure out how to deal with his kids....and avoid his mother. The little voice in the back of her head that argued that Jon wasn’t that shallow and wouldn’t go along with her plan was firmly ignored.
“Penny for your thoughts honey.” Jon had emerged from the bathroom to find Veronica leaning against his dressing table, deep in thought. When she frowned like that it usually didn’t bode well for him.
“Hmm?” She glanced up at him. “Oh. You’re done. I was just thinking...”
“Trying to back out on me?” He watched her face closely.
“No, but my previous request stands. Our relationship stays between us – within the Jovi family. I trust your crew to keep it to themselves, but I don’t want the media or the public to know. The focus needs to be on the band.”
Jon was silent while he dressed and thought about her request. As much as he wanted to publically claim her as his, he understood what she was saying. And it would only be for a few months – until the end of the tour. After that there would be time for the media – and the fans – to get used to her being by his side. And it would also give them some privacy to work on the family side of things. “Okay. That makes sense.” For now. After a last look in the mirror he held out his hand. “Ready?”
She took a deep breath, then took his hand. “Let’s go.”
Opening the door, he ushered her out. Conversation stopped at their appearance. After a moment, there were a few nods in their direction and people started to move towards the doors and the waiting vans.
“Feel better now?” Richie murmured as they reached him.
“Much.” Jon smirked.
Veronica rolled her eyes, blushed, but couldn’t hold back a smirk of her own.
Richie chuckled and winked at her. “Good.”
“Ronnie, I packed up your stuff for you.” Matt held out her laptop bag.
She gave him a swat with her free hand. “Let’s go smartass.”
The after party went smoothly. Jon kept his eye on Veronica, but managed to keep his hands to himself.
Back at the hotel, he debated about whether to go into his own room, or follow her into hers. His first instinct was to follow her to make sure that she didn’t close the connecting door, but his saner voice told him to trust her to keep her word.
Veronica changed into her nightgown, and performed her nightly bathroom ritual, emerging to find Jon, shirtless and barefooted, standing in the doorway between their rooms.
“Which bed do you want to sleep in?”
She thought about it for a minute. “Yours.”
With a nod, he waved her into his room. Stopping beside the bed he shucked his pants while she turned back the covers and slid in. He surveyed her thoughtfully as his climbed in beside her. One hand reached out to pluck at the sleeve of her cotton nightgown. “What happened to the red one?”
Her lips twitched. “It’s in my suitcase. This one’s warmer with the air conditioning in these hotels.”
“I like the other one better, but you won’t need either one. I’ll keep you warm.”
She knew the simple truth of that statement. The man radiated heat like a furnace. It was the only way she’d survived that November trip to Moscow back in ’88. She also knew he meant it in a sexual context, and her brow rose. “Haven’t you had enough for today?”
“After thirty-eight days abstinence? No way!” He leaned over to kiss her. “ Besides, I can never get enough of you.” His hand slid down her side and pulled her closer. “Are you saying once was enough for you?”
“It was twice for me remember.”
“Mmhmm...’cause you have a very generous lover.” His lips cruised over her jaw line to her ear. “I do remember. I remember every...pulsing...clench.”
Veronica shivered, looped her arms around his neck and with a low purring chuckle let him sweep her into a world where no one and nothing else existed. Nothing but the two of them and pleasure.
The speed with which he could take her to that world scared her a little, but even worse was the slow, tender caresses he bestowed as he reacquainted himself with her body. There was too much emotion behind them, they made her feel too much, and that wasn’t what she wanted. She reached down to wrap her fingers around his erection and stroked.
Jon groaned. She knew just how and where to touch him to drive him wild. Control crumbling, he gave up all attempts to take it slow, shifted over her and quickly penetrated her.
“Mmmm...yes Johnny! More!” She ran both hands down his back until she reached his ass. “Harder!” Nails bit to emphasize her point.
With a growl, he obliged, lifting one of her legs onto his shoulder so that he could reach deeper.
It was over in minutes. Panting heavily, he rolled off of her onto his side, and kissed her shoulder, his hand resting on her stomach. “Jesus sugar! What you do to me....!”
Veronica just smiled, covered his hand with hers and concentrated on breathing. When she felt capable of speaking, she turned her head to look at him and found him sound asleep. She watched him for a few minutes, his face relaxed and even more youthful in sleep, and felt a flutter in her chest. Ignoring it, she turned onto her side, smiled when Jon pulled her back against him, and drifted off for the best sleep she’d had in weeks.