Veronica hit the send button, leaned back in her chair and sighed in satisfaction and relief. The final report for Dubai was done and on its way to Vince. Now she could relax a little and focus on the rest of the tour.
She glanced up to see Jon standing in the doorway to the connecting room, shirtless and barefoot. She still insisted on having two rooms, using one as an office where she could work without disturbing Jon and vice versa. “Yep. Report done and filed.”
“Good. Dinner’s here.”
Veronica stood, stretched and joined him in the other room. She wasn’t totally surprised to see a table set for two complete with flowers and candlelight. Her Johnny was on his best behaviour the last couple days, very attentive and considerate in his quest to prove to her that his feelings were real. From blankets and pillows on the plane when she wanted to sleep to washing her hair in the shower to arranging for her favourite meals, he made sure she had whatever she wanted or needed. “What’s with all this?”
He shrugged. “Just thought we’d have a nice dinner. By staying in we can be comfortable and not be bothered.”
Veronica looked over the table, set with linen table cloth and napkins and fine china. “I feel a little under dressed though.” She glanced at his bare chest. “Or maybe over dressed.”
Jon chuckled and bent to kiss her neck as he sat her formally. “Whatever makes you comfortable sugar.” Two fingers plucked out the clip she’d used to pull back her hair while she was working, allowing the ebony locks to fall back around her face. “That’s better.”
During dinner, they talked about everything and nothing. Afterwards, Jon sat in the corner of the couch, Veronica curled up against him while they watched a movie. Calloused fingertips caressed the smooth skin of her arm and slid underneath the hem of her shirt to access the warm firmness of her stomach. Feminine fingers played with the thick mat of his chest hair.
A while later, Jon went to say something to her only to realize that she was asleep. Smiling gently, he carried her to bed.
When they arrived at the hotel in Stuttgart, the concierge handed Veronica a sheet of paper. “Ms. Watson, here’s your schedule for the spa. If you wish to change anything, just give them a call.”
“Oh, but I didn’t.....”
“Thanks.” Jon interrupted and nudged her towards the elevator.
The elevator doors closed and the car began to move. “You want to tell me what this is all about?” She waved the sheet.
“I thought you deserved a day of pampering and relaxation after all your hard work the last few months.” Jon ignored the smirks from his bandmates. He wasn’t hiding what he was trying to do, from Veronica or anyone. He just hoped it worked.
Loud kissing sounds came from behind him. He ignored that too.
“Your nose is getting a little brown there Kidd.” Richie commented.
“Ignore them.” Veronica advised, lifting her face to kiss him. “I appreciate it. Thank you.”
“That’s all that matters sugar, and you’re welcome.”
“Watch it Joker, or I’ll have a little chat with Lexi.” Veronica warned their tormentor.
There were no more comments from the peanut gallery.
Veronica opened the door to the suite, feeling pummelled, buffed and polished...and more relaxed than she had in months. She hoped Jon was okay with staying in for dinner – she didn’t think she had the energy to go out.
Stepping into the sitting room she found all five band members and Matt sprawled on various pieces of furniture. She sank down onto the couch, leaned her head back and closed her eyes.
“How was the spa little girl?”
“Wonderful! I feel like a melted puddle of goo that has been buffed and polished to a high gloss.” She opened one eye and looked at Jon. “Do you mind if we stay in for dinner tonight? I’m not sure I can get up off this couch.”
“That’s fine sugar, whatever you want.”
She closed her eye again. The room was silent for so long she opened her eyes again to see if they’d all left. They hadn’t. In fact, they were all staring at her – four of them expectantly, Jon a little warily. “What?”
The other men all looked at Jon, who shifted slightly in his chair. “Did I ever mention that we were thinking about doing a free show in Central Park?” He held his breath, hoping the answer wasn’t one that would put him in the doghouse again, but he couldn’t honestly remember whether he’d told her or not.
“I vaguely remember hearing something about that. Why?”
“I just got a call from the Mayor’s office. It’s a go.”
“That’s nice. When?” She closed her eyes again.
“July 12.” Jon let out a relieved breath at her unconcerned reaction.
The others exchanged glances. “That’s all you have to say? You’re not going to start yelling?”
Veronica opened her eye to look at David. “No. Why would I?”
“Because we – well, Jon – just dropped another surprise show on you.”
“It’s a free concert, right?”
“So...I don’t really have to promote anything. A joint announcement with the Mayor, you guys mention it in a few interviews,” She glanced at Matt. “A note on the website, maybe something with Pierre at the radio station, that’s pretty much it.” She yawned. “No sweat.”
“Gee, just because she just promoted the hell out of the first ever rock concert in the Middle East, basically single handed, she thinks she can do anything.” Richie winked at her.
She grinned. “Yep! If you can play it, I can sell it.”
“No argument there, sugar.”
“I’m not disagreeing with her, but she could say the sky was green and you wouldn’t argue with her.” David pointed out.
Jon shrugged. “I may be slow on the uptake, but I’m learning.”
Veronica just smiled and closed her eyes again.
Several hours later, Jon and Veronica were curled up on the couch, watching T.V. after dinner, when his phone rang.
“Hi Steph. What’s up?”
“Are the kids coming out with you again this tour?”
“Yeah. The end of June, as soon as you guys are out of school.”
“Um...we’ll be in England.”
“Again?” There was a slight whine in her voice.
“I’m sorry that it always seems to be England when you guys come out, but that’s the schedule – England in June.”
Big sigh. “Okay. Will you let us know when as soon as possible?”
“Uh huh. Mom and I will discuss times.”
“Okay. See you soon. Jesse wants to talk to you. Yes Jess, talk to him about it!”
“Okay. See you sweetie.” This didn’t sound good.
“Hi Jess.” He braced himself.
“Is Ronnie there with you?”
“Yes, she’s here.”
“With you? I mean....with you? You’re still together?”
“You didn’t drive her away with your lying and breaking promises?”
Jon lifted a hand to rub his temple – a sure sign of stress. “No, I didn’t drive her away! I know I screwed up!” He sighed in frustration and held out the phone. “Here, you talk to him!”
Veronica took the phone. “Hi Jesse.”
“You really are there with Dad?”
“Yes, Jess, I am.”
“And you’re still....together?” Jesse didn’t sound convinced.
“Yes.” She wondered where this was coming from.
“Even though he broke his promise to you? How can you do that? How can you trust anything he says?”
Aaahh! “Jess....people aren’t perfect. They make mistakes. Even adults....even parents... make mistakes. Everyone deserves a second chance. Yes, your dad broke a promise to me, but he knows he was wrong to do that, and has promised not to do it again. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. That’s what people who care about each other do. We don’t block people out of our lives just because they make a mistake. We may make the next one.”
“But what if they keep making mistakes like that?”
“Well, then you sit down and talk about it. If they can’t change, and learn from their mistakes, then you walk away from them.” She paused. “Give him a chance Jess, he’s trying.”
“Not hard enough. He makes promises, but it doesn’t mean anything.” He paused to swallow heavily. “It...hurts when he doesn’t care enough to be there.”
She shot Jon a dark look. “He does care Jess. He loves you all very much. He’s just having some time management problems. He’s working on that, but we all have to be a little patient and help him. It will get better.”
There was silence at the other end for a long moment. “Promise?”
“Yes, Jesse, I promise.”
“Okay. I guess I’ll see you in England.”
“We’ll see you then. Check on Boots if you get a chance. Bye Jess.”
Jon hugged her close and kissed her “Thank you.”
“Mmmm...now don’t make a liar out of me.”
“I won’t. I promise.”