Bright sun streaming through the window, sending golden rays across the bed woke Veronica the next morning. She rolled onto her back and groaned as her muscles protested the movement. Her body felt battered and bruised, and she couldn’t even complain. It had been her idea after all. The next time she got an idea like that she really should think it through better.
Jon heard her groan and turned his head towards her. “Morning. Coffee? Breakfast?”
“Morning. Only if I don’t have to move to get it.”
Leaning over, he kissed her still swollen lips gently, then rose slowly from the bed and made his way towards the bathroom, a whimper escaping him at every step. He returned just as slowly and collapsed on the bed. “Maybe later.”
She chuckled, took a deep breath and stood up, pausing to make sure her legs would support her before taking her turn in the bathroom. Emerging, she found him curled into an almost fetal position. She would have felt guilty if she wasn’t in pain herself. Her stomach growled, protesting the lack of dinner the night before and breakfast yet this morning. “Will Molly be here yet?”
“No, she’s off this weekend.”
A glance around the room reminded her that her suitcase was still downstairs. A splash of colour visible at the corner of her eye had her turning in that direction. Spying Jon’s discarded shirt, she moved slowly, carefully, unable to hold back a slight groan as she bent and picked it up. Pulling it on, she went in search of sustenance.
In the kitchen, she leaned against the counter for several breaths, and waited for the throbbing aches to subside from her less than comfortable trip down the stairs. While bacon hissed and spluttered in the frying pan she thought about the events of the night before. A shiver ran down her spine and a slow smile curved her lips at the lurid memories. It wasn’t something that she’d want to do often – her body wasn’t up to that – but it was definitely a memorable experience, and one she had to admit she was glad she’d gotten. She wouldn’t call it lovemaking – it was sex, pure and simple – yet....there was some feeling involved. In the reason behind it, if not in the act itself. It told her that Jon.....cared for her...a lot. Her mind shied away from going any further down that road. She wasn’t ready for that yet.
Loading a tray with scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, juice and coffee, she started to pick it up, then sat it down again. With a smirk she opened the freezer, took out a bag of frozen peas and added it to the tray.
Jon dragged himself from the bed to open the window. The room reeked of sex and needed a good airing out. Taking a deep breath of fresh air, he let his mind wander back to the night before. It was beyond anything he’d ever experienced before. He couldn’t deny enjoying it, but he didn’t think he’d want to try it again anytime soon. He didn’t like the feeling of being unable to control his body...and he hadn’t been this sore and....sensitive...from sex in....forever! Sex with Ronnie had always been exciting and incredibly pleasurable, but the previous night had been over the top. Good thing I cleared my schedule for today. I don’t think I’m up for much beyond bed or couch!
He turned and hobbled back to the bed, shaking his head at his own condition. As he tried to find a comfortable position, the rattling of the doorknob had him looking in that direction and sitting up in time to see Veronica enter with their breakfast. The gentleman in him wanted to get up and help, especially since her discomfort was written all over her face with every step, but the sight of her in his shirt – and nothing else – caused a slight stirring in his groin that he couldn’t believe was possible and it was all he could do not to whimper at the pain that followed.
Handing him the tray, Veronica flopped face down on the bed beside him with a groan.
“Why did I let you talk me into that?” He stroked her hair.
She snorted. “I don’t remember having to do much talking. I just mentioned it once. I’m not taking all the blame for this.”
“Still I think I’ve earned a night of ......playing...with the toy.”
She groaned, but fair was fair. “As long as it’s not tonight.”
As much as he wanted to tease her, he was afraid she might call his bluff just to prove it was a bluff. “Good God no! I’m not up to that just yet!” Jon shuddered at the thought and surveyed the food she’d prepared. “What are the peas for?”
Her answer was to roll onto her side, grab the bag and place it between his legs. “Pain relief.”
Breath hissed through his teeth at the cold on his sensitive, chafed skin. Even through the blanket covering him it was a shock. “Fuck! That’s cold!”
“Most things out of the freezer usually are.” She reached to pick up a piece of toast and bit into it.
“Smartass.” As the initial shock subsided, he found that it actually did feel better. “Eat before it gets cold. Here, I’ll help you sit up.”
Veronica grabbed his hand before he could put action to the words. “Now who’s being a smartass?”
It took a minute for the meaning behind her comment to sink in, then he grinned. “Oh...right. Well, there’s got to be a more comfortable position for you.” He glanced around the bed. “Here, lie back on these.”
She looked at the pillows he’d piled up and shifted until she was half reclining against them. It still wouldn’t be as easy to eat as sitting fully upright, but it wasn’t as painful either.
“How’s that? Okay?” Concern and rueful sympathy filled his expression. He held up the peas. “Need these?”
She chuckled. “No, I’m okay. Thanks.”
“Good. Now eat.”
A forkful of scrambled eggs appeared in front of her mouth. She hesitated, her independent nature rebelling against letting him – letting anyone – do for her what she could do for herself.
Something of her thoughts must have shown in her face – or maybe he just knew her that well, because he smiled gently and chided her. “Come on Nica, let go a little. Let me take care of you, just a little bit.” Blue eyes bore into violet, the plea as evident there as it was in his whisper. “Please.”
The yearning for what he was offering was too strong to resist. She opened her mouth and let him feed her.
For the next twenty minutes, the silence of the room was broken only by requests and offers of bites and sips. When they’d had their fill and the tray was empty, Jon set it aside and slid down to lie next to Veronica. Picking up the T.V. remote, he lifted his arm inviting her to come closer.
Veronica accepted and curled up against him, her head settling on his shoulder, her hand on his chest, fingers idly combing and tangling with his fur. The feel of his arm sliding around her, holding her securely to his side, fingertips trailing lightly over her hip, relaxed her even more and she found herself dozing.
Several hours later, the growling of his stomach woke her. Tipping her face towards his, she grinned. “Lunch is yours. I made breakfast, and I know I’ll have to do dinner.”
“We could order in.”
“But then I’d have to get dressed or hide from the delivery guy. I’m feeling very lazy today. Can’t imagine why.”
Jon chuckled and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “I know exactly how you feel.” When his stomach growled again, he sighed and sat up. “Sandwich okay?”
It was mid afternoon before they finally made it downstairs for more than food, but it was mainly to trade bed for couch. Even the warm sunshine glistening off the Navesink couldn’t tempt her. Regardless of the message it might send to Jon, all she wanted to do was curl up with him and soak up his nearness...forget about the past...forget about Vince and Keith and petty jealousies...forget about everything outside this house.
Jon sat on a stool at the kitchen’s island and watched Veronica prepare dinner. He’d tried to help, but she’d finally pointed at the stool and told him to sit, he was only in the way. He wasn’t offended. He knew he was next to useless in the kitchen. Besides, he much preferred watching her. It was obvious that she was completely at ease in a kitchen, and just as obvious that she was completely at ease in his kitchen....and he loved it.
Their conversation was comfortable and flowed easily. By unspoken agreement, they avoided all talk of work or his family. Anything else was fair game. Both spoke honestly and without hesitation, completely open with each other....something that they badly needed to do if the relationship was going to stand a chance.
It wasn’t until they finished dinner, cleaned up and were settled on the couch together again that realization hit Veronica. She turned her head from her position seated between his thighs to look over her shoulder at his face.
“Your phone hasn’t rung all day. What gives?”
A calloused fingertip rose to trace a feminine eyebrow and down her nose. “I told everyone I was taking the day off and didn’t want to be disturbed today. Then I shut off my phone.” At her astonished look he continued. “I wanted today to be just about us...for us...no distractions.” His brow crooked. “I noticed that your phone hasn’t rung either, and you haven’t even tried to touch your laptop. How come?”
Her eyes filled at his words....that he would put her before his work, even if it was just for one day. Maybe he had learned something! At the very least it signified some pretty serious feelings. She lifted a hand to caress his cheek and jawline, feeling his stubble prickle against her fingers. Because I promised I’d try. “Because I wanted to escape and shut out the world and truly relax....just for a little while.”
He bent his head until he could press his lips to hers in a gentle, but thorough kiss. “Thank you. I....” He bit off the words that wanted to tumble out. He didn’t know why she suddenly was willing to cuddle with him and interact like a normal couple, whether it was because of the previous night, or some other reason - but they were finally making progress and he didn’t want to scare her and make her retreat. “I appreciate that. I think we both needed the break from the madness of our lives.”
Veronica nodded and leaned back against him, rubbing her hands over his arms when they squeezed her. “Mmmhmmm.”
She would enjoy the rest of the day – enjoy him - and live in this fantasy for a little while longer. Tomorrow would be soon enough to return to reality.