Jon watched Veronica closely. She’d been unusually quiet ever since the day they spent at the Torres’. After dinner she’d played with Hector for awhile, then disappeared. He’d found her walking the beach. When he’d asked her what she was doing she’d said she was waiting to watch the sunset. He’d sensed that there was more to it, but managed to suppress his almost overwhelming urge to push. Instead, he’d waited with her and held her while they’d silently watched the sinking yellow ball send fingers of orange and red over the water and land.
Now they were in Atlanta for the last show of this leg of the tour. Then they had a three week break until they headed halfway across the world for the much anticipated Dubai show and the start of the European leg. Three blessed, sleeping in his own bed, hanging with his kids, long, lonely without Nica, weeks.
He was just about at the end of his rope with her. He was frustrated and had run out of ideas. She wasn’t pushing him away, but she wasn’t exactly pulling him closer either. At one point he’d thought about giving up and letting her go. He’d even stayed away from her for most of a day. But the emotions he felt at the first sight of her told him that he would never be able to completely walk away from her.
But dammit, she had to meet him halfway! He’d tried to be patient, to let her set the pace, but as far as he could tell she wasn’t even trying! He knew they could be happy if she’d just try.
And now something was obviously bothering her and once again she was shutting him out. Standing in the doorway of the connecting rooms – which she still insisted upon although they slept together – he watched her pack up her laptop bag in preparation for leaving for the venue. “Nica, are you sure you’re okay? You’ve been awfully quiet the last couple days.”
“Yeah, I’m fine.” She glanced up and saw his sceptical expression. “Really Jon, I’m fine. I just have a lot on my mind right now. We’re into the last big push for Dubai and I’m trying to think if there’s anything else we should be doing...and for Europe too.” Not a lie, but not the whole truth either. She had been running mental check lists for the tour, but mostly she’d been thinking about him....about them...and what she wanted out of life. Slinging the bag over her shoulder she walked over and kissed him gently. “Relax. There’s nothing wrong.”
He raised a hand to caress her cheek. “Why don’t you come to Jersey for the break?” He didn’t know why he bothered to ask, but he had to try again.
Veronica searched his eyes for so long a pit formed in his gut while he waited for her response. She took a deep breath and put into action the decision she’d come to after thinking long and hard ever since her conversation with Alejandra. She didn’t like the pressure, but she could no longer ignore it – it was coming from too many directions. Maybe they had a point. Maybe they could see something she couldn’t. She didn’t want to spend her life alone. The last few weeks with Jon had reminded her how good they had been together, and made her long to see if they could be again. Alejandra had hit the nail on the proverbial head – she needed to either fold or go all in. While it was a scary prospect, she wasn’t a coward. And she’d promised Jon she’d try, so...... “I have some stuff to do at home before we leave for Europe.”
His heart fell and he stiffened.
Before he could speak she continued. “So give me a few days to get organized and repacked and I’ll head for Jersey by the end of the week.”
His brows rose. “Really? You mean it? You’ll actually come?”
He wrapped his arms around her, pulled her closer and bent towards her. Just before their lips met he paused. “Thank you.”
Her reply was swallowed by his mouth. With a sigh she sank against him and let him sweep her up and drown her senses with his gratitude.
Banging on the door – both of them – a few minutes later broke them apart. Multiple voices yelled that the vans were waiting.
Jon sighed and rested his forehead against hers. “I’m so looking forward to having you all to myself with nobody around to interrupt us.”
“Except your kids.” She reminded him.
“But they have school – and Dot’s enrolled Romeo in pre-school - and they go to bed at a decent time.”
“Uh....you do realize that there’ll be no....slap and tickle.... with the kids in the house.”
He pouted then grinned. “Good thing I like nooners....and I’m not opposed to a little love in the afternoon.”
“A little horny are we?”
“Where you’re concerned? Always.”
Veronica laughed. “Good answer. Come on Valentino, let’s go before Jughead and Joker break down the door.” Taking his hand she tugged him towards the door.
Veronica landed in New Jersey about dinner time the following Friday, exactly two hours late. Just what her nerves needed. It didn’t help that Lori had just smirked when she explained that it made sense for her to go to Jersey since the New York office was so close and it was easier to set up and monitor interviews when she was in the same place as Jon. The girls’ response? “Uh huh. It’s good to see you making an effort with his kids.”
It was all well and good that everyone thought this was such a good idea. Now if only the butterflies in her stomach would agree. Having a car and driver meet her instead of Jon didn’t help either. Now she had no one to distract and calm her with conversation. By the time the car came to a halt in front of the door, her heart was pounding and her palms were sweating.
She’d barely stepped out when the door opened and Jon appeared. “You’re late.”
“Yeah. Some sort of technical problem in Nashville. Makes me appreciate Jovi Air even more.”
Jon took her suitcase from the driver, thanked him and ushered her inside. Closing the door, he pushed her up against it and held her there with his body. His welcoming kiss was ravenous. “I’d hoped to have dinner first, but I can’t wait.”
“J...Jo....Jon!” She pushed against his chest to hold him off a bit. “Stop! The kids...”
“Are gone for the weekend.” At her look, he shook his head. “No, I didn’t ditch them so that I could have my way with you, although I won’t deny that part of me is very happy about how it all worked out. Dot took them to her sister’s for her nephew’s birthday party. They’ll be back Sunday night.”
Veronica choked at his comment. In their current position she knew exactly what part of him was happy they were alone. “Can you at least let me get settled and catch my breath first?”
He grimaced. “Sorry, I wish I could, but I can’t.”
“What do you mean, you can’t?”
“Well, let’s just say that the world is looking a little....blue...for me right now.” He nuzzled under her ear.
“Jon..mmmm.... what in the world are you talking about?”
“I took one of those damn pills you’re so curious about. But I took it based on your original expected time of arrival. Since you were delayed, I’m a little...uncomfortable.”
She fought against laughter. “But I thought it didn’t kick in until you started to get aroused.”
“Yeah...well....I may have been thinking about what I wanted to do to you when you got here.” He admitted.
“Ah! I see.” Her chuckle was deep and teased his nerve endings. She dropped her purse and laptop bag and looped her arms around his neck, her arousal spiralling upwards dramatically at the thought of what was to come. “Can you make it upstairs, or are you going to take me right here?”
“I’d like it right here, but I think I can control myself until we get upstairs. Molly’s still here, and my bed’s more comfortable than the door or the floor.” He growled, one hand raising to open the top button of her blouse. “But you better hurry.”
She sighed theatrically. “I don’t know. I’m pretty tired from travelling. I don’t think I’m in the mood.”
Blue eyes narrowed. Popping another button, he ran his fingertip along the edge of her bra. “Woman, I’ll give you until the count of 10 to get up those stairs and into my bedroom, or I swear I’ll fuck you where I catch you and I don’t care if Molly wants to stand and watch.” He sucked on an earlobe. “One.”
Veronica shivered. “Mmmmm.”
His hand cupped a soft breast and tweaked a nipple. “Two.”
“If you want me to go upstairs, you’ve got to let me go.”
“Mmmmmhmmmm” His teeth scraped along her neck. “Three.” He switched sides. “Four.”
Gathering her scattered wits, Veronica managed to push him back enough to squeeze out from between him and the door and walk to the stairs. There she paused and turned to face him and undo another button. “Are you coming with me or are you coming after?”
His lips twitched. “Both.” He took a step towards her. “Five.”
She backed up a step at a time, undoing a button each time until her blouse was completely open and they’d reached eight. There was still two steps to go. She held open the sides of the blouse so that his view was unimpeded. “Do you want this on or off?”
Red lace and creamy smooth skin. The sight almost pushed him over the edge. “Off.” The word was barely understandable. He cleared his throat and took another step. “Nine.”
Standing at the top of the stairs, she set her hands to the fastening of her jeans. “Did I mention that it’s a matching set?”
He watched, mesmerized as the brass button slid through its restraining hole, and the zipper slowly opened to reveal more red lace. He had to swallow twice before he could speak. “Ten!”