Well, that and the fact that he was, well … who he was. She wasn’t sure which aspect of the situation was more unsettling.
Realizing she wasn’t going back to sleep, and that the call of nature was getting louder, she eased from his arms and padded to the bathroom.
The image in the mirror startled her somewhat. Her hair was wild and tangled, her lips dark red and even a little bruised, and she flushed when she saw the hickey on the inner curve of her shoulder. She reeked of sex and wasn’t sure how she felt about it. She was definitely no prude and had always been comfortable with her sexuality, but never before had it appeared so evident to her. The person looking back at her in the mirror was far from the person who met with million-dollar donors and CEO’s of major corporations. She smiled, thinking that, truth be told, a lot of those CEO’s would love to see this side of her.
She tried to finger-comb her hair but it was far too much of a mess. Then, taking into consideration who was lying in the other room, she opened the toiletry case sitting on the counter and sure enough, found a brush nestled inside. After some amount of work she managed to tame her tresses a bit. She splashed some water on her face and opened the complimentary bottle of mouthwash, swishing the minty liquid in her mouth and spitting it in the sink.
Now what? She took one of the plush robes from the hook by the shower, slipped it on and opened the door, stepping quietly back into the room. She watched him sleep; he’d kicked off the comforter and lay naked on his stomach, his arms encircling the pillow. She smiled softly to herself. It was probably one of the sexiest sights she’d ever seen—the bed head that was as bad or worse than hers, the light growth of stubble forming on his face, the hint of a smile at his lips, the finely toned body … not to mention his bare ass. She felt the early stirrings of desire beginning again and shook her head in disbelief.
“What are you looking at?” His voice startled her and he laughed quietly. He opened his eyes and smiled. “Enjoying the view?”
“I…uh… um…” she stammered. She felt a bit foolish at having been caught.
“What, you’re gonna get shy on me now?” He rolled over casually and she fought to keep her eyes on his rather than let them travel southward. “C’mere,” he said softly, patting the bed beside him. She moved to join him, folding her legs under her as she sat, leaning against him. He raised himself up on his elbow, resting his head in his hand and watching her. “Good morning.”
“Good morning,” she smiled back. She fought the impulse to reach out and run her fingers through his tousled hair. Suddenly she was a little afraid to touch him. “How’d you sleep?”
He groaned satisfactorily. “Like a dead man, I think. Thanks to you.” He moved his hips against her sexily. “And you?”
She flushed. “Ditto. I don’t know if I could have moved if there was a fire.” She laughed lightly then, sighing.
“Damned straight you couldn’t.” He grinned at her and she reached over him, swatting his ass. “Ooh. I like that. But can we save the spankings until after we have some coffee?”
She laughed, shaking her head. “You are incorrigible.”
He grinned back. “You had no complaints last night.”
She leaned in closely, as if to kiss him, then whispered in his ear. “Neither did you, as I recall.”
He reached up and pulled her down beside him, pressing against her and growling in her ear. “I’m tempted to give you your spanking right now, woman.” Then he released her. “But I gotta pee.” He winked at her then rose from the bed, and this time she let herself watch him without embarrassment as he crossed the room.
She lifted herself from the bed and walked to the window, pulling the drapes aside to survey the scene outside. It was still cloudy and gray but the snow had stopped falling some time during the night. Snowplows were out in force along Michigan Avenue and a few hardy souls were out with snow shovels already.
She was lost in thought when he moved up behind her, lifting her hair to kiss her lightly on the nape of her neck. He wrapped his arms around her waist and rested his chin on her shoulder. “So what’s the damage out there?”
“Looks like a couple feet. Was it supposed to be that bad?”
“I don’t know. At least the wind hasn’t kicked in to make it worse,” he said.
“So do you suppose this means we’re stranded here a little longer?” she asked, not sure how she felt about what the day might hold. “I guess we should call the airline or turn on the news or something…” her voice trailed off. She wasn’t ready to deal with reality yet, and she was somewhat embarrassed to admit it, even to herself.
He turned her to face him. “Probably a good idea,” he answered, without conviction. He pulled at the belt on her robe, letting it fall open, and then slid his hands inside. He pulled her to him and planted a minty-fresh kiss on her lips. She felt the beginnings of an erection stirring and she couldn’t help but smile. “Well, Someone’s awake now.”
“What can I say? I like what I like.” He stepped back, letting his eyes scan her up and down, and noticed the mark on her shoulder. “Oops. Looks like I got a little carried away there. Sorry about that,” he said, his fingers lightly touching where his mouth had branded her. He couldn’t help but feel a little bit of pleasure, though. He liked that he’d left a telltale sign of their passion. He was about to kiss her again when there was a knock on the door.
“Room service,” a voice announced.
“There’s a phone in the bathroom,” he said, answering her before she could ask the question. He pulled her to him quickly and bit her lightly on the neck, growling softly against her skin before pulling her robe shut. “Now where the hell are my pants?”
He found them lying half beneath the bed and smiled. He pulled the jeans on, grimacing as he tucked his semi-stiff penis inside. “I believe yours are in the other room. I’ll be sure to hide them before I let him in.” He grinned again, pulling the bedroom door shut behind him.
Minutes later they were sitting, sipping steaming cups of coffee. She laughed as she surveyed the spread in front of them… a basket of pastries, an assortment of fruit, a Belgian waffle, some scrambled eggs and a plate of bacon and sausage. They had freshly-squeezed juice, yogurt and granola, as well as a bottle of champagne on ice. “Are we expecting company?”
She felt her stomach flutter at his reference to their sexcapade. Without the influence of alcohol, her awareness of his unabashed sexiness what more acute than ever in the light of the morning. No longer was she seeing the rock star; instead she saw a man completely at ease being himself—a man comfortable with his sexuality but who saw it for nothing more or nothing less than just a part of who he was. He showed no discomfort with the situation.
She, on the other hand, was trying to sort out her own emotions. In addition to admitting the complete wantonness of her actions, she was faced with a “morning after” that she’d never encountered before. All of this in addition to the fact that he wasn’t just some guy she’d met in a bar, and they both had to return to their real lives before the end of the day. From what she could tell, none of this concerned him. But then again, she had to admit that such occasions probably weren’t as foreign to him as they were to her.
He watched her, wondering what was going on behind the green eyes. He couldn’t help but pick up on the fact that she was holding some part of herself in check, and he was surprised that it bothered him a little. She’s probably thinking more clearly than you are. He pushed the thought away as quickly as it entered his mind. He wasn’t going to listen to that voice quite yet. As long as it was just the two of them, he was going to make the most of every moment.
“So,” he said, breaking the silence that was threatening to become uncomfortable. He reached for the champagne bottle. “What looks good? Besides the obvious?” He winked at her again, coaxing a laugh out of her.
She took another sip of coffee, enjoying its richness and warmth. “You’re feeling especially cocky today, aren’t you?”
He nodded, trying to appear serious as he poured the champagne into the flutes, followed by some of the orange juice. “Yes, I am. I rather enjoyed hearing you cry out my name,” he paused and looked slyly at her. “More than once, if I’m not mistaken.”
She tried to ignore the warmth spreading across her face. “I’d think you’d be used to women screaming out your name after all these years.”
“Yeah, you’d think so, wouldn’t you?” He picked up the glasses and handed her one, waiting until she raised it to her lips. “But most of them don’t have their legs wrapped around me at the time.”
She choked, almost spitting the mimosa back into the glass. He smiled satisfactorily and took a drink from his own glass, reaching for a slice of bacon.
Their eyes met and he felt some of her reserve melting away. She smiled, shaking her head. “So I enjoyed myself. What’s wrong with that?”
“Absolutely nothing,” he said, some of the laughter leaving his eyes. “You’re alive with passion, Jordan. Don’t feel the need to suppress that or apologize for it.”
“I don’t, really. But…” she paused. But what? She couldn’t tell him that he brought something out in her that she hadn’t felt in a long time. What would be the point?
“But what?” he held out the plate of fruit and she took a strawberry.
“Oh, nothing,” she took a bite of the strawberry, buying time while she thought of something to say. She knew he wouldn’t let her get away with not finishing the sentence. “It’s just that not everyone is privy to this side of me,” she finally managed.
He nodded, although he suspected that wasn’t what she was originally going to say. “Well, for the record … not many people have seen this side of me, either.”
“Please. You don’t have to pretend that I’m that special. I’m far from a naïve schoolgirl.” She took piece of bacon herself.
“I know that, and I’m not claiming to be any kind of angel. I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a time when I—we—ran a lot of girls through our hotel rooms,” he scooped some eggs onto his plate, picking the green peppers out with his fork. “But they never woke up in my bed or had breakfast with me the next day.”
He raised his eyes to hers, accentuating his point. “And I damned sure didn’t care if they called out my name.”
“Look, you know I didn’t set out to seduce you. And I know you didn’t set out to seduce me. It just happened. And since I’m being so frank here,” he stopped himself, realizing maybe he was going too far.
She watched as he drained the last of the mimosa in his glass and suddenly became very interested in the basket of breads. He selected a large blueberry muffin, breaking off the top and popping part of it in his mouth.
She was a little surprised when her heart jumped a little as his blue eyes finally came back to rest on her. He sighed, a hand slowly stroking the stubble on his face. “Part of me would like nothing more than to learn that the airport is still shut down,” he said. “So we have no choice but to stay here all day, and…” he smiled slightly then, letting the thought linger.
He grinned. “Well, there are worse ways to pass the time. And hanging out in a crowded airport with a few thousand other delayed passengers is at the top of that list. I’m not going to make my meeting anyway.” He poured some more coffee into their cups and held hers out for her.
“All valid points,” she said, returning his smile and taking the cup from him. It also meant there was no reason for him to go on to Denver, she admitted to herself.
“And be honest… are you in any more of a rush to get home now than you were last night?”
Even less, she thought. “Don’t you think we should at least check in with… people?”
“Sure. You check in with your people, I’ll check in with mine, we’ll take a shower” he paused, taking a sip from his cup. “Then we’ll get all sweaty again.”
They turned the television on to WGN while they finished their breakfast. Reports were that the airport was scheduled to resume flights later in the afternoon, but that it would be the next day before things were running on time—if that—and that passengers should expect lengthy delays. The phrase “no unnecessary travel” was being mentioned frequently.
Their eyes met across the table and he smiled softly. “Well there’s our answer.”
She nodded slowly. “Yep. Snowbound in Chicago. Sounds like a movie.” She rolled her eyes at the lameness of her humor.
He grinned. “Yeah, well… snowbound at the Drake isn’t exactly a hardship.” In fact I couldn’t have written this better if I’d tried. “Why not take advantage of it?”
She smiled. “I have no doubt we’ll do just that.” The idea of spending the entire day hidden away with him certainly had its appeal, even if it was postponing the inevitable. “So did you see my jeans anywhere?”
“Maybe. But I kind of like you in that robe. Easy access.”
She felt the rush through her veins again. Damn him. She wondered if he realized just how much power he had over her. Probably. Hell, it’s what the guy did for a living…hold women in the palm of his hand. Instantly her thoughts flashed back to the night before, and she smiled as she replayed scenes in her mind.
“Access doesn’t seem to be a big problem for you,” she teased. “As I recall, it took you no time at all to get my jeans off.”
He burst out laughing. “Are you kidding? It took me all night.”
“Well, I meant once I was in the room with you,” she grinned.
She stood, shaking her head in mock offense. “I have a good mind to spend the day in my room by myself reading the newspaper and watching bad movies on TV.”
“The hell you do,” he moved to her, wrapping an arm around her and pulling her close to whisper in her ear. “Now go make your fucking phone calls so I can take advantage of you again.”
Jordan gathered her nightshirt and then snuck across the hallway to let herself in her room, feeling almost like a guilty schoolgirl sneaking in the house before her parents woke.
She brushed her teeth while looking out over the lake. Snow was beginning to fall lightly as the snow removal vehicles continued their chore along the roadways. She realized she needed to at least call the airline and get some idea of when she could expect to get a flight home.
She pulled her phone out of her purse and turned it on. There were four messages—one from her office, one from Tina and two from David. Everyone basically checking to see if she was okay and when she’d be home, although David’s messages were a little more strained. If you’re not going to call me back at least let me know you’re okay. It’s not what you think it is, really. I love you. Please call me. Please come home.
She sighed. Somehow he was going to manage to make her the bad guy here, she could tell. She couldn’t help but wonder if her behavior the night before wasn’t partly retaliatory. Whatever. Truth be told, it was worth it.
She dialed the airline first, and after several minutes on hold was told that they could possibly get her on a flight out at 8:30 that night but were reasonably confident that the noon flight the next day would be leaving on time. She had them rebook her on the latter, then called down to the front desk to extend her stay another night.
She called her office next, leaving a voice mail for Beth, her boss, letting her know what was up and promising to keep her updated. She hung up and lay back on the bed, debating the next call. She supposed she should feel a little guilty about what she’d done but oddly enough, the emotions wouldn’t come. She was still a little too high from it all to feel bad about it.
She took a breath and hit a speed dial number. The voice that answered sounded worried. “Jordan, thank God. Are you okay?”
“I’m fine; I just got snowed in in Chicago.”
“Really? You’re okay?” Tina sounded unsure. “Have you talked to David?”
“No, I’m not really ready for that. And to be honest I don’t even know what to say at this point.” She heard a knock at the door and rose from the bed. “Will you do me a favor though, and call him just to let him know I’m okay?” She walked to the door and opened it, finding Jon on the other side. She let him in, motioning for him to stay silent and he nodded.
Tina sighed. “Of course I can. Not that he deserves it. But for you, I will. What do you want me to tell him if he asks where you are or what you’re doing?”
Jordan looked at the man she’d spent her lustful night with—and with whom she was planning on spending another lustful day—and smiled. “Tell him I’m holed up in a hotel room with a rock star.” Jon cocked an eyebrow at her and grinned.
Tina laughed. “Okay, I like that. But seriously, Jordan, he’d better not try to give me any excuses or I’ll rip him a new one.”
Jon came up behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist and nuzzling her neck.
“Please don’t,” Jordan answered, trying not to let the laughter escape her lips. “I’ll deal with it when I deal with it. But I appreciate the thought.” She felt his hand sneaking in the front of her robe, teasing her nipple, and elbowed him. He laughed quietly in her ear.
“Jordan… what’s going on?” A tinge of suspicion could be heard in Tina’s voice.
“Nothing; I’m just going to enjoy a day off, that’s all. Really, Tina, I’m just not that sad. I think it’s been coming for a long time. I just wasn’t ready to admit it. I’m going to take the day to do some…” she paused, watching as he walked to the bathroom and turned on the shower. “Introspection.”
“Okay. As long as you’re all right. Call if you need anything.” Tina seemed pacified, for the moment at least.
“Thanks sweetie. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.” Jordan hung up and tossed the phone on the bed. Looking up, she saw his jeans lying on the bathroom floor. She walked into the bathroom, undid her bathrobe and opened the shower door, stepping in with him.
He smiled sexily, pulling her to him and beneath the cascading water. “Introspection, huh?”
She wrapped her arms around him, bringing a hand up behind his head to pull his face closer to hers. “Yes. You’re helping me rediscover myself.”
His eyes sparkled. “Mmm. I like the way that sounds.”
“Do you?” She watched as he gave a slow, almost imperceptible nod. “I’m glad.” She kissed him lightly, teasingly, her tongue barely touching his.
He chuckled. “I am certainly up for a little exploration, myself.” He pulled her closer, his mouth more demanding on hers as her hands tangled in his wet hair. They stood under the water, kissing voraciously for several minutes before coming up for air.
“Well this is fun,” she murmured, reaching for the shampoo. She rubbed it into a lather between the palms of her hands, smiling seductively. Talk about fulfilling a fantasy of millions…
He closed his eyes and let his head fall back as her fingers massaged his scalp. It felt luxurious and oddly decadent, given the other things they’d already done. When she took some of the lather and moved her hands down his torso to the patch of hair below his stomach, he groaned in appreciation. “My turn,” he said finally, taking the shampoo bottle from the ledge.
The room filled with steam as they soaped, fondled and teased each other. Eventually their play became more serious, desire overtaking them. He pressed her against the shower wall, lifting her in his arms as he entered her, her legs encircling his waist and her mouth hot on his. He drove into her until she once again cried out his name and her tremors made her cling even more tightly to him. He breathed heavily in her ear. “God I love that.”
“What?” she panted, as her orgasm slowly subsided.
“I love the way it feels when you come on my…” he paused, deciding to choose less graphic words. “When you come with me inside you.”
She sighed, still shaking in his arms. “I love the way you make me come with your… when you’re inside me.” She contracted her muscles then, setting off a second wave that caught her by surprise. He moaned and began pumping into her again until his own climax overtook him. He gasped, throwing his head back and letting the water rain down upon them.
Slowly they disengaged, their hearts pounding and legs shaking. They stood that way under the shower for some time, kissing and laughing lightly. She was the first to speak.
“That’s my idea of a morning workout.”
“No shit. This is much better than the hotel gym,” he grinned, turning off the shower as she opened the door to retrieve their towels.
He lie naked on the bed, the sheet casually pulled across him as he watched her slip the robe over her shoulders and then proceed to comb the tangles out of her hair. “So what’s next? I’m definitely liking this whole introspection thing.” He flashed that beautiful smile at her and she couldn’t help but laugh.
“Well I was thinking as soon as I’m done here we could go again.”
“Jesus woman… you ARE trying to kill me,” he laughed, shaking his head. “I’m forty-four years old. You gotta give me a little recovery time.”
“Well you have only yourself to blame. You brought this beast out in me, mister.” She walked to the bed, sitting beside him. “So you’d better be prepared to tame it.”
He nodded as if in deep thought. I can’t believe what’s-his-name was willing to fuck up such a good thing. “Well, I don’t expect I can tame it but I’m damned sure willing to strap myself on for the ride.” He reached up to grab the collar of the robe, pulling her to him and pressing his lips to hers. “However, you are going to have to wait a little while for me to become fully operational again. But in the meantime…”
She let him pull her down beside him, his hands undoing the belt on the robe. “In the meantime what?”
“In the meantime I hope you don’t mind a little whisker burn on your thighs.” He licked his lips in anticipation and she laughed.
“Well, if you insist…”
Some fifteen minutes later she lay in his arms, languid and spent. It occurred to her that she’d come more with him in the past several hours than she had with David in the past several months. You’d better get your fill, girl. Because tomorrow you turn back into a pumpkin.
His own mind was wandering as well. The rush he was feeling from the warm body curled against him was disconcerting. A one night stand was one thing, but this…
He was surprised at the odd sense of satisfaction he felt at being able to bring her to such ecstasy. Even more, he was surprised at the sense of jealousy he felt for the man who had placed the diamond on her finger but, from what he could tell, whose name had never passed her lips in the throes of orgasm. He loved the taste of her on his tongue and the way her body responded to his every touch…and he loved that the last man to have her wasn’t able to do for her what he himself could. He wanted to do it again and again. And again. What the hell was he thinking?
Knowing what we’re doing’s wrong but better left unsaid.
He drifted off to sleep, only to awaken to the feel of her mouth on him. He lay silently, his eyes closed as she fellated him slowly and he grew hard in her mouth. Gradually she increased her intensity, bringing him fully awake with longing. Groaning, he sat up, reaching down to stop her before he came. She removed her mouth long enough to look lustfully into his eyes, then placed a hand on his chest, gently pushing him back against the pillows. He sighed, watching her for a few moments then letting his eyes close and losing himself in the sensation. Finally he could hold back no longer, his hands clutching at the bed beneath him. “Baby… I’m gonna… damn… Christ, Jordan!”
She kept her mouth on him until he went soft again, drinking him like he’d drunk her. She felt his hand twining in her hair and lay her head on his thigh. Her own heart was racing and she felt the wetness between her thighs growing. Wow.
“Get the hell up here, girl.” He reached down to pull her to him, looking into her eyes and running a thumb across her swollen lips. He kissed her, tasting himself slightly as well. He wrapped his arms around her and she rested her head on his chest, feeling his heart pound.
The words of Johnny Cash echoed in his mind as he stroked her hair.
I fell in to a burning ring of fire.
I went down, down, down
And the flames went higher.
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