Thursday, November 2
They lay quietly for a while, her fingers lightly tracing patterns on his chest. Finally he squeezed her, kissing the top of her head. “So do we just want to stay like this all day or should we actually do something?”
She smiled. “I thought we were doing something. In fact, I’m quite sure I just did.”
He chuckled. “I’ll say you did. Let me rephrase that ...do we just want to lay around here in naked orgasmic bliss or should we actually put some clothes on and leave the room?”
She sighed contentedly. “Well, naked orgasmic bliss has a nice ring to it, actually. But I could be persuaded. What do you have in mind?”
He pulled her on top of him, running a finger down her cheek and smoothing her hair back from her face. “Oh, I don’t know. I was thinking maybe just a little fun. I’m actually dying for some good Chicago-style pizza. And maybe some music somewhere. We could just go play,” he grinned. “In the snow.”
“Sounds wonderful. But is it really possible? I mean, could you…” her eyes met his with the unspoken question.
“Well, we’d have to be strategic. I’m thinking some darker, local places. There’s no way I could go into the House of Blues without someone recognizing me. But given the fact that no one really knows I’m here, we should be able to escape the hotel easily. I can do incognito pretty well.”
She nodded, letting her fingers stroke the stubble on his face. “Well I’m up for it if you are.”
He smiled, kissing her. “Cool. We can talk to the concierge and see what he recommends.” He let his hands wander down her back, to the top of her thighs. “Although this is very nice, too. I could be persuaded to keep you naked all day.”
She bit him softly on his shoulder. “Too late now. Besides,” she brought her eyes back up to his, teasingly. “You’ve already basically admitted that you can’t keep up with me.”
“Oh, man… you are going to end up getting a spanking yet, woman.” He grinned and kissed her forcefully, rolling her over and pinning her beneath him. His planted a trail of kisses down her neck as his fingers slid deftly between her legs. Within minutes she was quivering and aching for release once again. His whisper was hot in her ear. “Are you about there, baby?” She moaned softly, nodding and clinging to him. “Good. Then my work here is done.” He gave her a final kiss and pulled away from her, rising from the bed.
She lay there gasping, looking at him in disbelief. “Oh… you are evil!”
He grinned mischievously. “Feel free to finish the job yourself. I’d be happy to watch.”
She through a pillow at him. “I am SO not giving you that satisfaction.”
“I don’t think my satisfaction is what we’re talking about.” The smile broadened and she tried not to smile back. Damn him. “You want me to get you some chocolate?”
She laughed. “Bite me.” He cocked and eyebrow and she immediately regretted her choice of words. “I will get even.”
“Yeah, yeah…what was it you were saying earlier about my creating a beast?” he winked at her as he pulled on his jeans. “This can just give you something to look forward to later.” He bent down and kissed her. “Get dressed. I’ll go make a couple calls and see what I can find out.”
She hugged a pillow to her and looked at the clock, scarcely able to believe that it was almost 4:00. What a marvelous way to while away the hours, she thought.
About twenty minutes later he was back, letting himself in with the key he’d grabbed on his way out. He was once again dressed in the black turtleneck and carried the ball cap and coat, which he tossed on the chair by the door. She was smoothing some lipstick on when he entered the room. “So,” she inquired, as she placed the cap back on the tube, looking at him in the mirror.
“We have a plan,” he said simply.
She smiled and turned to face him. “And I should just trust you?”
“Absolutely, ” he replied, grinning.
She shrugged. “Okay.” She too was wearing a black turtleneck with her jeans and they sized each other up and down, laughing. She pulled on a pair of tall black boots with low heels and transferred the contents of her brown purse to a black one. “I’m ready if you are,” said, reaching for her coat.
He smoothed his hair back, pulling the hat on and slipping on his sunglasses. Added to the day’s growth of beard on his face, it just might be enough to keep people from recognizing him easily. He pulled on his coat and held the door open for her. “Well then let’s do it.”
There was a cab waiting, the driver having apparently already been given instructions as to where to take them. The main roads had been cleared but remained relatively quiet, and it wasn’t long before he dropped them off in front of a nondescript restaurant and bar. A small sign hung above a stairwell that led down to a garden-level entrance. The smell of pizza wafted onto the street. Jordan felt her stomach rumble and Jon looked at her knowingly. “See? Smells heavenly, doesn’t it?”
The space was surprisingly bigger than it looked from the outside, although clearly still very much a hole-in-the-wall kind of place that catered primarily to locals. They were seated in a corner booth with no one giving them a second look.
They placed their order and soon they were enjoying a rich, spicy deep dish along with some ice cold beer, laughing at each other’s jokes and finding no loss of things to talk about. She asked him about his foray into films and he was pleased to learn she was a huge film buff. When they stumbled onto politics, they were pleasantly surprised to find they had shared views about a lot of issues, each taking their own turn on the soapbox until they decided to move on to a less ire-inducing topic.
Jon motioned toward an empty pool table nearby. “You play?”
She smiled. “God, not in years. I used to be pretty good though. Of course that was then.”
“Come on,” he said, rising from the table and grabbing their beers. “It’s kind of like riding a bicycle.”
“Really?” she said, doubt in her voice as she stood.
He shrugged. “I have no idea. But what the hell.”
She laughed and nodded, following him. “Okay then. Are you any good?”
“No. I suck,” he replied, setting the beers down and reaching for a pool cue.
“Well in that case, wanna play for money?” She smiled, reaching past him to find a cue of her own.
He grinned. “Money? Money’s boring. How about some more interesting stakes?”
She sized him up for a moment. “You’re actually really good, aren’t you?”
“I think we already established that.” He took a swig of his beer and winked at her. “Oh… you mean at pool. What, you think I’d lie to you?”
“Yeah, actually, I do.”
“Chicken.” He taunted her as he inserted the quarters into the slot.
“Just put your balls on the table, mister.” She chalked the end of her cue.
“Oooh. I like it when you talk dirty.” He grinned, reaching for the rack. “So you’re in?"
“Sure.” She took a drink of her own beer, meeting his gaze boldly. He liked watching her bring the bottle to her lips and for a moment let his mind slip back to earlier in the day.
“Don’t you want to know what’s at stake?” he said, pulling his thoughts away from the image that was running through his head.
“Kinda makes it more fun if we don’t say, don’t you think?”
“Hmm. You have a point. You got something in mind?”
“Yep,” she answered, smiling slyly.
“You’re not going to make me paint your house or anything are you?”
She burst out laughing. “Nothing that requires that much manual labor, I assure you.”
He nodded slowly. “Well alrighty then. Let’s get the party started. You break.”
A couple hours later they were into their fourth game, he having won two and she one, although it appeared she was about to win her second. He watched with admiration as she bent to size up her next shot. That gives me a couple ideas. He moved behind her, slapping her on the ass playfully. Undaunted, she sank the eight ball and stood up, reaching for her beer. “Shall we go for a tie breaker?”
He nodded. “Either that or we just agree to grant the other’s request.” He grinned as he brought his own bottle to his lips.
“What fun is that?” she teased.
“Well unless your request is a hell of a lot more boring than mine, I’m guessing it’d be a lot of fun.”
“Ah. So you’re saying we’d both win?”
He lowered his voice and moved closer. “Well, does your request involve us both being naked?”
She chuckled. “Actually yes it does. And yours?”
“Yeah. Well…you at least,” he raised his eyebrows lasciviously.
“I don’t know if I like the way that sounds,” she pushed him playfully. “So rack ‘em up boy. Winner take all.”
“Okay.” He took the triangle and racked the balls, his eyes meeting hers right before he struck the cue ball for the break. “But just remember…you asked for it.”
She watched as he proceeded to clear the table. She leaned against the wall, resigned. “You’re a shark is what you are.” She sipped her beer, trying to ignore the voice inside that kept reminding her that time was running out on their little rendezvous.
He sauntered up to her, placing his cue in the frame beside her. “I prefer to think of it more as … inspired calculation.” He wanted to kiss her but realized that in a public place he needed to be careful, even if no one appeared to have recognized him.
“So what do I have to look forward to?” she inquired, her eyes reflecting the same thought.
“I think I’m going to keep that a secret a little longer,” he winked at her. “Let’s get out of here.”
After a short, brisk walk later, they ducked into a dark blues club. There were plenty of empty tables and he selected a semi-secluded booth near the back. A few musicians were warming up on stage as they settled into their seats. Jordan shivered a little as she removed her coat. “Well that was an invigorating little walk!”
“No shit. That’s okay; it helped clear some of that pizza and beer haze,” he laughed. “Good thing I got my directions straight or we’d have frozen our asses off!”
They looked around the club—two separate but connected rooms with a stage set up in each. “When one band takes a break, the other takes the stage, so there is music all night long.,” he explained, having to speak loudly over the noise. “Kind of a cool concept.”
A waitress appeared before them to take their drink order. Her eyes lingered briefly on him as if trying to place him but she said nothing. They ordered two more beers, along with a couple of bottles of water. They watched as she walked back to the bar and placed their order. She motioned towards them and the bartender looked over.
“So do you think you’re busted?” Jordan asked him, realizing they were going to have to sit closer to one other in order to converse at all.
“I don’t know. At a blues club in Chicago?” Jon shrugged. “Maybe they think I’m someone else. Or maybe they think you’re someone else.” He grinned.
They watched as the bartender approached with their order. “Here you go,” he said, sitting the bottles down as his eyes scanned them. “Want me to start a tab?”
Jordan spoke up. “That’d be great, thanks.” The bartender nodded and walked away. When he returned to the bar, he looked at the waitress and shook his head with an “I’m not sure” motion.
Jordan laughed. “I don’t think it’s me they’re checking out.”
“Nope. But they still aren’t sure,” he took a drink out of the water bottle. “This should be interesting. Pretty soon they’ll send the dishwasher out or something.”
Sure enough, a few minutes later another employee came out of the back, making his way through the tables and greeting people. He stopped at their table and introduced himself as the manager. He thanked them for coming in and told them to enjoy themselves. He walked back towards the bar, nodding at the bartender.
“And there you go,” Jon smirked. “It was nice while it lasted.”
“Do you want to leave?” Jordan sounded disappointed.
“Not yet,” he shook his head. “I don’t think they’re going to make a big deal out of it. My guess is they’d rather keep me here for a while so they have a story to tell their friends. They may tell the musicians, I don’t know,” he shrugged. “I guess I can take this off for now.” He took the ball cap off and tossed it on the seat beside him. “How bad is my hat head?”
She laughed. “You might want to shake it out a bit or something.” She fought the impulse to reach out and finger-comb his hair herself, realizing that they were very much under a microscope now.
When their beers were close to empty, two more appeared in front of them, the waitress simply saying, “Compliments of the boss. Thanks for coming in.”
Jon smiled. “Well then, tell the boss thank you.” She nodded and walked away. “Free drinks are always a perk of the job,” he joked, as they clinked their bottles in toast.
The band members began to assemble on the small stage, and they both smiled when a saxophone player took his place among them. The music was soulful and clear, with a man and a woman sharing lead and backup vocals. It was a nice mix of traditional R&B, Chicago blues and even a few originals. The band on the other side was smaller, with just a trio that included two guitars and a bass, and stuck to older, southern blues.
During their break, the male singer came up to the table and extended his hand to Jon. “Leroy Davis. Just wanted to thank you for stopping in.” Jon shook his hand and invited him to sit. Leroy slid into the booth beside Jordan, shaking her hand as well.
“You folks having a good time?”
Jordan nodded. “Very much so, thanks.”
Jon nodded in agreement. “Great sound. Great place—I’ve never been here before.”
“Ah, hell…the best blues in Chicago happens right here, my brother.” Leroy grinned, displaying a brilliant smile with a gold capped tooth on the bottom row.
“I believe you,” Jon laughed. “Can I buy you a beer?”
“Hell, yeah,” Leroy answered, “So what brings you two fine folks out tonight?”
“Snowstorm stranded us in town so we figured what the hell,” Jon replied, signaling to the waitress. She came over promptly with a cold beer.
“Well I’m glad you decided to brave the elements and come out on a cold Chicago night. Cheers,” Leroy held his beer up and they did the same. “So is there any chance you might want to join us for a song or two later?”
“Oh, I don’t know about that,” Jon answered with a slight smile, shaking his head.
“What, you sayin’ you can’t do blues?” Leroy winked at Jordan and she chuckled. If anything would get him, that would.
“Fuck you I can’t do blues,” Jon replied with a grin.
Leroy burst out laughing. “You rock and roll boys all do blues if you get enough liquor in you.”
Jon nodded. “True enough. Let me think about it.”
Leroy smiled. “You do that. Just send up a note with Delores if you think of something you’d like to do and we’ll see what we can work out. I gotta get back up there.” He stood, nodding politely at Jordan. “Ma’am.”
As he walked off, Jordan nudged Jon under the table. “So much for incognito,” she laughed.
“I didn’t say I was going to do it.”
“No, but you will,” she smiled.
“How do you know that?” he took a drink of his beer, his eyes dancing playfully.
“Because you want to,” she answered. “And besides…I haven’t heard you sing since I was 17.” His smile faded and he tilted his head, looking hurt. “Live, I mean,” she added, rolling her eyes. “Christ, I don’t live under a rock!”
He grinned. “We’ll see,” he answered noncommittally. They settled back into their seats, enjoying the set that included Mustang Sally, The Thrill is Gone, and The House is Rockin’. She watched as his fingers tapped along on the table top and could feel the energy building up inside of him. “Shit,” he said finally. “You got a pen?”
She smiled and reached into her purse to hand him a pen. He took a cocktail napkin and scribbled a few lines on it.
“Let me see,” Jordan said, reaching for it.
“Nope,” he answered, folding it and motioning for the waitress. Delores came over, took the napkin from him and delivered it to Leroy, who read it over, nodding. He tipped his head, gesturing for Jon to sneak around behind the stage.
Jon looked at Jordan. “You okay here on your own?”
“Please. I’m fine. Go!” She pushed him out of the booth and he laughed.
The band finished an amazing blues cover of Prince’s Purple Rain, with the female singer taking the lead, and then Leroy pulled them together in a quick huddle before stepping up to the microphone.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’re proud to welcome a special guest to the stage on this cold winter evening,” he smiled, waving Jon up on stage. “Get your east coast ass up here, boy.” Jon joined them, shaking their hands. They spent a few moments with their heads together as the audience watched in curiosity and anticipation.
There was some polite applause as he stepped to the microphone. He waited until it got quiet again and then began a cappella.
Oh, she may be weary
Young girls they do get weary
Wearing that same old shaggy dress…
Jordan felt her heart skip a beat. Wow. She looked around, watching as the crowd became more interested in this person who had invaded their stage.
But when she gets weary, try a little tenderness.
You know she’s waiting, just anticipating…
The thing that she’ll never, never, never, never, possess, no, no, no
The band joined in then and the song gradually built up tempo. Jordan was enthralled. Damn. That rock and roll boy was doing the blues pretty damned good.
You've got to love her
Squeeze her, don't tease her
Never leave her
Hold her tight
Just, just try a little tenderness
You’ve got to…
You’ve got to…
You’ve got to…
Smooth her, soothe her,
Move her, love her
Just try a little tenderness…
Jordan felt the familiar rush through her veins and smiled to herself. Very nice song choice, she thought.
By the end of the song, the entire bar was standing and cheering, even the old-timers who had no idea who he was. When the familiar opening notes of Sweet Home Chicago could be heard, the cheers got louder.
Afterwards, he returned to the table, smiling nonchalantly. He slid into the booth, reaching for his beer. “So what did you think?”
“I think I want to fuck you. Right here, right now.” She winked at him.
“You groupie you,” he joked. “Actually, though, I think we will have to go soon. I’ve had just about enough of this not-being-able-to-touch-you shit.”
You and me both. She smiled. “I’m ready when you are.”
He tossed some cash on the table and they gathered their things, sneaking out while the crowd was shifting to the other room for the next set.
They sank into the back seat of the cab and were greeted by a cheerful Nigerian driver. “How are you folks tonight? Where to?”
“Great, thanks,” Jon answered, as he reached over to take her hand, placing it on his groin. A small smile stole across her lips and she squeezed lightly, feeling the movement beneath the thin material of his jeans. He stifled a groan. “The Drake Hotel, please.”
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