Tuesday, November 7
The next several days were a roller coaster of emotions for Jordan. She was excited but at the same time an element of anxiety kept creeping in.
They had spent more than an hour on the phone that night when he called her with the news about the upcoming concert. Once she’d slipped beneath the covers, she let him talk her into having phone sex with him. At first she decided to just pretend; if she was a good enough actress, he wouldn’t know the difference. But as she listened to him and his detailed description of what he’d be doing if he were in the room with her—and what he was envisioning her doing to him—she found herself a willing participant in the fantasy. Again. Afterwards she could hear the smile in his voice and she believed him when he said he missed her, that he wished she were lying beside him instead of thousands of miles away. “Sweet dreams baby,” he’d told her softly, before hanging up.
She hadn’t heard from him since. She chided herself for being disappointed; she knew better than to have any expectations, but the way she felt when she heard his voice made her lose some of that perspective.
She was scared of what she’d feel when she saw him again. It would be different than before—he was going to be on stage in front of 16,000 people and she would be just one in the crowd. She was anxious to see the show, absolutely. But he wasn’t going to be alone this time and this was probably as much as he could give her. She feared the longing she would feel upon seeing him—and the subsequent emptiness once it was over, when he left the stage. In a way she wished he hadn’t sent the flowers and hadn’t called her.
So much for “what happens here stays here.”
But the other part of her was almost giddy with delight. He’d brought something out in her she’d thought had died long ago. She felt alive and sexy and full of energy. Whatever it was, it must be showing because she could tell that men were noticing her in a way they hadn’t in a long time. She saw the smiles, the double-takes and the lingering glances. Whatever it is they should bottle it.
She decided that she’d let herself ride the wave for as long as it lasted. Go to the show, enjoy it, and don’t expect anything more. She certainly didn’t want to complicate things for him…or humiliate herself in the process.
She had, however, stopped at a local music store and made a significant dent in her wallet, snatching up each and every one of the band’s CDs she could find. At the checkout stand, the cashier had chuckled and asked, “Getting ready for the show, are we?” She’d blushed and nodded, feeling as though she’d been exposed.
That night and through the weekend she’d devoured each of them, finding favorites and marveling at some of the stories held within the lyrics. Some were just fun sing-along songs and others more profound and thoughtful. And sometimes his voice was so overwhelmingly sexy to her that her body would respond involuntarily—from a simple shiver to a rush of warmth through her veins, her mouth actually watering and her…
Tell me you need me.
She couldn’t wait to see him. As long as she didn’t let herself get carried too far outside of reality she was okay.
She’d invited Tina to join her at the concert, saying simply that she had met someone through work who had “connections” and had offered her a pair of tickets. Technically that wasn’t even a lie, and Tina hadn’t even questioned it. They were simply looking forward to a girls’ night out.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
In the days leading up to their Denver date, Jon found it more and more difficult to push her from his mind, which was exactly the opposite of what he’d hoped would happen once he hit the road. He told himself that if it weren’t for the fact that the tour was taking them through her town, he probably wouldn’t be giving her a second thought; that it was in a weak moment that he sent the flowers and then called her.
Weak moment my ass. Weakness was more like it. She was like kryptonite to him. The minute he heard her voice on the other end of the phone it all came rushing back, and the fact that she was naked in the bathtub on the other end of the line sure as hell didn’t help. The ease of the conversation and the sexiness of her laugh made him ache to be there with her. Then the sound of her passion after he talked her into…
It had echoed through his mind later as he tossed and turned, unable to sleep. His own orgasm had done little to quell his hunger; he didn’t want to be jacking off alone in a hotel room. He didn’t like that he needed her and was angry with himself for approaching her that first night.
The next day he was a total prick; so much so that Richie finally pulled him aside and called him on it. “What the fuck is eating you?” Jon had shrugged and said something about being tired.
“You’re full of shit,” Richie had responded. “If you want to talk about it, great. I’ll listen. If not, fine. But do us all a favor and get over it before tonight.” It was a bold move but he was right, and Jon knew it. They didn’t let their personal shit get in the way, and he was the one who had laid down that rule from day one.
So he’d gone back to the hotel gym to work out some of his aggression and was in much better spirits when he took the stage that night.
He decided it was best not to call her again before they got to town—not if it was going to make him so grouchy. Instead he tried to limit his down time, keeping his mind as occupied as possible. But at night, after he’d made all his other phone calls and was alone with his thoughts, he found himself sitting up with his guitar.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say
When you’re this close I’m afraid of
The way I feel when I touch your hair
The way I miss you when you’re not there
That I’ll see you when I close my eyes
It’s too late, I’ve crossed that line.
As much as he hated to admit it, he’d never been so excited to get to the Mile High City in his life. A thought occurred to him and he picked up the phone, dialing Richie’s room.
“Hey Rich, I have an idea.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The following Saturday dawned sunny and unseasonably warm. Jordan woke to Abby and Brando wrestling on the bed, and looking at the clock, was surprised to see how late she’d slept in. She was glad for it though, as it had taken her hours to fall asleep the night before. She couldn’t believe how nervous she was.
She wandered into the kitchen and put some coffee on, forgoing her usual Saturday morning ritual of NPR for one of her new CDs instead.
She went through her regular Saturday routine—laundry, housework and paying her bills, trying to settle her nerves. She spent more than an hour trying to select the right clothes to wear, all the while realizing how ridiculous she was being. She finally decided less was more, settling on jeans and a scooped-neck white t-shirt. After all, she was going to a rock concert, not the Met.
She showered and spent too much time on her hair and makeup, suddenly feeling as if it were 1987 all over again. She smiled to herself, thinking of the first time she’d seen him. Little did I know…
She glanced at her watch, realizing that Kevin should be dropping Tina off at any moment. Almost as if on cue, the doorbell rang. Jordan turned down the stereo before going to answer it.
“Damn, girl, are you rocking out in here or what?” Kevin laughed, stepping in with Tina and giving Jordan a big hug. “I could hear Tommy and Gina all the way out in the parking lot.”
Jordan blushed. “Sorry, guess I got a little carried away with pre-concert ceremonies. You’re staying for a drink, I hope.”
She opened a bottle of wine as Tina pulled plates out of the cupboard for the take-out appetizers she’d picked up from P.F. Chang’s. Soon they were enjoying lettuce wraps and crab wontons over a glass of Conundrum—Jordan couldn’t resist, even if she were the only one in the room who knew the story.
Kevin spoke up. “Okay, Tina’s been telling me about this so-called change in you. I thought she had to be exaggerating, but I don’t think she is. I have to say, Jor, that I liked David okay but this single thing is definitely agreeing with you. Although I am a little concerned about your apparent trip back in time here. You do realize the 80’s are over, right?” he teased.
“Fuck you, Kevin,” she answered, laughing.
“You gotta ask my wife first. I’ve been trying to talk her into bringing another woman into our bedroom for years.” He winked at her.
“Kevin!” Tina slapped her husband’s arm shoulder, laughing. “Ignore him. He’s just jealous that he can’t come with us.”
“Yeah, that’s it.” Kevin answered, rolling his eyes. “Actually, I hear these guys still put on a good show. As long as you send my girl home all hot and horny, it’s fine with me.”
Jordan grinned. “I’ll bring her back safe, sound, and ready to jump your bones, I’m sure.”
After he left to meet some friends at a local sports bar, Jordan smiled as she filled Tina’s wine glass. “He really is a keeper, you know.”
Tina sighed. “I know. You’ll find Mr. Right, too, you know. If that’s what you want.”
Jordan smiled softly. Finding him is one thing. Getting to keep him is another.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Jon had told her that they took the stage around 8:30, and it was just before 8:00 when she and Tina pulled into the parking lot of the arena. At the will call window, Jordan gave her name and the woman looked through her stack. “I don’t haven anything here. Is there any other name it could be under?” Jordan felt a small panic rise in her.
Shit. Maybe he changed his mind and that’s why he never called.
“I don’t think so. I was told they would be waiting for me here.” She knew she couldn’t give Jon’s name. The woman looked through her stack again, and shook her head. “I have nothing here.”
Jordan felt the tears burning in the back of her eyes and took a breath. “Okay. Maybe I was mistaken. What do you have available for purchase?” Her heart was pounding and she could feel the embarrassment flooding her face.
“Not much; we’re pretty sold out.” The woman could see her disappointment. “Tell you what honey, why don’t you step over to the side for a minute and let me see what I can find.”
Jordan nodded, moving aside so the people behind her could step up. Tina moved beside her. “What’s going on?”
Jordan took a breath, not wanting her friend to suspect anything. “They can’t seem to find the tickets but they’re going to see what else they have.” Please, please don’t let me lose it.
Just then the woman called her back. “I’m so sorry. They just got delivered to us, with the rest of the reserve tickets. Sorry about that.” She handed Jordan the envelope with a smile. “Enjoy the show.”
Jordan took the envelope, her hands shaking. Calm down, dammit.
“Jordan, are you alright?” Tina brushed the hair back from her friend’s face. “I didn’t realize you were that excited,” she teased. “We could have bought tickets if we had to, no big deal. Then you could have given your friend grief for forgetting us.”
Jordan pulled the tickets out of the envelope, her heart pounding. “Holy shit,” she said out loud.
“What?” Tina took the tickets from her. “Holy shit is right! Jordan… these are first row.”
Jordan nodded, feeling her knees grow a little weak. She had assumed she’d be in one of the corporate suites or something. She wasn’t expecting to be so up close and personal.
They worked their way to their seats, the usher leading them past the rows of people. Their seats were center stage, and Tina was babbling with excitement. “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!”
Jordan’s eyes took it all in…the massive stage, the drum riser, the keyboards set up on either side of the stage, the white microphone stand directly in front of her. The energy in the arena was palpable as the strains of Aerosmith’s “Walk this Way” could be heard over the loudspeakers. She felt as if she was in a dream. She sat down, taking a drink from one of the bottles of water Tina had the good sense to insist they stop and buy at the concession stand. The arena was packed, and Tina was already visiting with the people sitting on the other side of her.
A man in an official-looking shirt and wearing a lanyard with a badge that read “Staff” appeared before her. “Are you Jordan?” She stood, nodding. He took her hand, wrapping a fluorescent orange strap around her wrist. “I’m Chris. I’ll be back for you later in the show. Is this your friend?” He motioned towards Tina, who had just noticed him. Jordan nodded again. He took Tina’s wrist and wrapped a strap around it as well. Then he leaned in to Jordan. “Boss asked me to ask you to wait right here after the show. Someone will be out to get you.”
“Okay,” she answered, stunned, then watched as he disappeared behind the stage. Could he see her from where he was?
“So what’s this?” Tina’s voice interrupted her thoughts. She was holding her wrist out.
“I don’t know, actually,” Jordan answered. I think I need a drink.
Just then the lights went out and the roar of the crowd came up. The wail of the guitar could be heard and then the spotlights illuminated the members of the band. Then suddenly, there he was—not fifteen feet in front of her. The tight tan leather pants left little to the imagination, and the brown, long-sleeved shirt outlined every muscle like a glove. He looked like a palomino stallion, she thought. For a brief moment she felt faint, as the cheers got even louder.
Slowly the shock wore off as she got swept away by the music. There was so much to watch that she couldn’t take it all in. Tina kept grabbing hold of her and pulling her arm in excitement—especially when Jon moved right in front of them, flashing that blindingly white smile, his eyes lingering just briefly on hers before he winked and moved on.
They were clearly masters at what they did, and she watched as he drew each and every audience member in. On either side of the stage was a small section where crew members were bringing groups of fans—mostly women, she noted—and letting them stand for a few songs. Periodically, Jon would wander over to them, touching hands and occasionally dolling out a hug, while the other band members offered winks and smiles or copped poses for pictures for the lucky chosen few, each of whom sported a brightly colored wristband.
So that’s it. She looked at Tina and gestured towards one of the groups and then pointed at her own wristband. Tina nodded excitedly, apparently having already put two and two together. Then, about ninety minutes into the show, Chris the crew member appeared before them, motioning for them to follow him. They were taken and placed at the head of a line off stage that almost reminded Jordan of being at Disneyland. Several other people were soon waiting behind them, and as one group came off the stage, Chris guided them up some steps and suddenly there they were, on stage and looking out across the masses.
Richie sauntered over to them, smiling teasingly before tossing a guitar pick towards Tina. She caught it in mid air and then screamed in excitement, turning to high-five Jordan, who couldn’t help laughing with her. What a cutie he was.
Not to mention he’s hung like a moose.
When she looked back towards the stage, her heart skipped a beat. Jon was walking towards them, singing a song that she had decided was one of her favorites off of a five-disc box set she’d picked up.
Working hard eight days a week
Most days we got no time to speak
I feel like I'm chasing after my own life
Girl can't you see you're my only vice
He was right in front of her, cocking his head and flashing that silly grin. She held on to the hand rail to steady herself, as the other fans reached over and around her, trying to touch him.
Take the phone off the hook
Turn the lights down low
We'll play some old Sam Cooke
Baby, let yourself go
She felt Tina gripping her shoulder, shaking her, but she could hear nothing but him.
All I wanna do is you
I'll do anything you want me to
All I wanna do is you
The people around her were jostling to get closer and her heart was beating so hard she thought it might pound right through her chest.
I don't need no champagne on ice
Girl, can't you see that you're my only vice
Turn the whole world off
Keep your high heels on
Take it nice and slow
And make it last 'til dawn
Then the music bridge began and he took her hand, pulling her on stage and into his arms. He grinned. “Wanna dance?” She returned his smile then and followed his lead, briefly forgetting they were in front of several thousand people. “God it’s good to see you baby,” he said in her ear.
When they were done, he took her face in his hands and kissed her softly on the lips and then moved his mouth to her ear again. “You’ll wait for me after the show, right?” She laughed and nodded, and she couldn’t help but wrap her arms around him for a hug. He chuckled and reached down to squeeze her ass. It was only then that she heard the screams of the crowd, and let him pull away from her. “Okay. I gotta go back to work now.” He winked and turned away, bringing the microphone back to his mouth.
Tina watched as Jordan returned to her spot, expecting her friend to be almost hysterical from excitement. Instead she was as cool as a cucumber. The man had just had a conversation with her, kissed her and had his hand on her ass and she was acting like it was no big deal. Well, except for the smile on her face. It was radiant and not unlike the smile Tina had been seeing a lot of the past few weeks.
“You lucky bitch,” Tina said, hugging her friend tightly.
Jordan laughed, nodding. You don’t know the half of it.
They were ushered back to their seats and before they knew it, the second encore had rolled around. Jon stepped to the mic, running a hand through his sweat-drenched hair. “Thanks for coming out everyone—we really appreciate it. It’s been a blast. So whad’ya say…you got time for one more?” The crowd responded with a resounding cheer.
“Well okay then,” he looked down at Jordan and grinned. “Here’s a little something special just for you Rocky Mountain fans.” He smiled, then counted it down.
I still remember it was autumn and the moon was shinin'
Our 60 Cadillac was roarin' through Nebraska whinin'
Doin' 120 man the fields was bendin' over
Tina watched as her friend burst out laughing and smiled at him, and as he winked in response. It was if he knew Jordan was a huge Bob Seger fan. If she didn’t know better, she’d think they had their own little secret.
We told her that we needed something that would get us going
She pulled out all she had and laid it on the counter showing
All I had to do was lay my money down and pick it up
The cops came busting in and then we lit out in a pickup truck
Go! Get out of Denver, baby, go, go
Get out of Denver, better, go
She looked at Jordan, who was wiping tears of delight from her eyes from laughing so hard. Jon saw it too and almost started laughing himself, looking quickly away before he lost track of the lyrics.
The man standing next to her watched the exchange as well, then leaned in to shout in Tina’s ear. “Does your friend know him?”
Tina shook her head in response, then looked at Jordan and then back at the singer on the stage. Of course not. But then again…
Was it possible? She started paying closer attention to the eye contact between the two of them. It certainly didn’t feel like an exchange between strangers. Slowly she felt the pieces of the puzzle falling together.
…the front-row tickets and on-stage passes…
…the flowers with a card signed, “See you soon. J.”
She told herself she was crazy. This was her best friend…and one of the hottest rock stars on the planet. Why would they know each other? Then she remembered the phone call from Chicago.
Tell him I’m holed up in a hotel room with a rock star...
What if it were true? And if so, why hadn’t she said anything?
The song ended and the entire crowd was on its feet, the cheers deafening. Finally, the band took their bows and exited the stage, drenched in sweat and high-fiving each other. Then the lights came up, silencing the cheers.
Jordan and Tina sat down, happy to finally rest. Jordan reached for her water bottle and looked at her friend. “So, what did you think?”
“Amazing,” Tina responded. “And the concert was pretty awesome, too.”
“What are you talking about?” Jordan laughed. She was so happy she felt drunk.
“Oh, nothing.” If she didn’t know better… “I can’t believe we got on stage. And you got a dance and a kiss. What was he saying to you up there?” That’s the million dollar question.
Jordan hesitated. “You know, I couldn’t really hear him.”
Liar. “Well the crowd was going nuts, that’s for sure. I wonder if he does that every show or if you were just lucky?” She was baiting her, fishing for more clues.
“Oh, I’m sure it’s just part of the show.” Jordan took a drink from her water bottle.
Tina nodded, reaching for her coat. “Well should we start working our way out?”
“You know, why don’t we just wait a little while—let the crowd thin out and rest a little longer?” Jordan wasn’t sure what was going to happen next or what she’d tell Tina, but she was rolling with the flow.
“All right,” Tina answered, watching as the aura of happiness oozed from her friend. You’re being silly. It’s probably just a rock and roll high. God knows she’d be in daze if she’d been the one he had pulled on stage to dance.
The stage crew was beginning to fold up chairs when Chris appeared before them again. “Okay, we’re ready. Grab your things and come with me.”
Jordan looked at Tina and then back at Chris. “Okay. Where exactly are we going?”
“There’s a car waiting to take you to the after party,” he responded. “Do you have a car here?” Jordan nodded. “Well if you want to give me the keys, a description, and the license number, we’ll see to it that your car gets moved as well.”
Tina watched in disbelief as her friend took the pen and paper from him, jotting down the specifics before handing over her car keys. Finally she could contain herself no longer. “Jordan, what the hell is going on?”
Jordan looked at her, smiling. “Wanna go to a party?”
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