He regarded her for a moment, reaching to stroke her cheek gently. There was a need in her eyes that he hadn’t seen before, something beyond the lust they’d been feeling for each other almost from the moment they’d met.
“Okay,” he said softly, taking her hand and leading her to the bedroom. It was the first time since they’d sat together in the tub in Chicago that he saw more than a hint of her vulnerability, and it frightened him a bit. Whatever was causing this obvious turmoil, he was determined to chase it away.
He undressed her slowly, pulling her shirt over her head and tossing it aside as he brought his lips to brush lightly upon her collarbone. He undid the clasp of her bra and pushed the straps off her shoulders, letting it fall to the floor, and she felt the heat of his breath upon her and then, his tongue dancing lightly across her nipple. He planted a trail of kisses slowly up the valley between her breasts and across her throat.
It aches, it breaks
It takes your breath away…
She felt a hand closing gently over one breast as the fingers of the other twined in her hair, and heard his whisper in her ear. “It’s okay baby, I’m here. You’re safe with me.”
He brought his mouth to hers, sucking and then biting lightly at her lower lip before letting his tongue slip through to tease lightly at hers.
Baby, I don't want to fall in love with you
I try, try, try but I can't get around the truth
Please don't say my name, give this heart a break
I don't want to make the same mistake
He pulled back, his eyes soft and steady on hers as his hands gently tugged on the buttons
on her jeans. He slid them down over her hips before scooping her up in his arms and laying her on the bed. His eyes held hers as he reached to undo his own jeans.
It’s too late, I’ve crossed that line.
He let his mouth explore her—his lips, tongue and breath tracing a path that left her longing for more, teasing but not actually touching the place he knew would eventually give her release.
They were both trembling when he finally lifted himself above her, his desire for her almost overwhelming. Her lips parted slightly and a slight gasp emanated from them when he entered her, and he watched in satisfaction, knowing her desire for the real him was genuine. He held himself there, their breathing in tandem, until he felt her hips moving against his and he finally began to stroke in an out, slowly and without urgency.
She pulled his mouth to hers, craving the taste of him on her lips as badly as she needed to feel him inside her. At that point, nothing else in the world mattered to her but the feel of this person who had come into her life and made her feel whole for the first time in more than a decade. It wasn’t the rock star she needed. It was the man…the man who read her, body and soul, more than anyone before him. She wrapped herself around him, pulling him deeper, and her moans were soft in his ear.
“That’s my girl,” he said softly. “Let yourself go…feel me, Jordan. Give yourself to me.” He slowed for a moment, his face inches from hers and his eyes reflecting her own desire. “God baby, you feel so good.” He kissed her again, then moved to whisper in her ear. “Let me make you happy.”
He began moving again then, subtly increasing his rhythm, and gradually she felt the wave cresting. “Jon…oh, god…I’m …please…I…oh god…oh, Jon…”
He loved the sound of his name on her lips as she came—so uninhibited and honest, for him and him alone. Her climax triggered his own, and he lifted himself on his arms above her, his triceps trembling as he sunk as deeply inside her as could. His head fell back, a low moan escaping his lips as he felt her vaginal walls milk him until there was nothing left and he collapsed against her, his heart pounding almost as loudly as hers.
“Damn, baby,” he said, easing himself from her with a groan and falling on the bed beside her. “I may be the one who passes out now.” He pulled her into his arms, smoothing her hair away from her face. “Unless you need more,” he said with a smile.
She laughed shakily. “More? I’m not sure I could handle any more,” she answered, just as the slight tremor of an aftershock passed through her.
He chuckled, squeezing her tightly. “Oh I don’t know about that…I’ve yet to see you stop at just one. If need be I’ll bring in the reserve troops to finish the job.”
Jordan shook her head and sighed contentedly. “No. I’m happy right here, like this. I don’t need anything else.” Only you.
“Well okay. I guess my tongue can use a break anyway,” he teased, and she blushed, pinching his side.
“I’ve never said you have to do that!”
“I know you haven’t,” he answered, running his hand down her side to rest on her hip. “But I love making you feel good… and I love the way you taste.”
“Jon!” she said, the blush deepening.
He laughed at her sudden coyness. “What? You can’t be surprised. Are you going to try to tell me you don’t like going down on me?”
She smiled, shaking her head. “I can’t believe we’re having this conversation.”
“We’re naked and both just had earth-shattering orgasms. What do you want to talk about, gas prices?”
She laughed. “Those are my choices? Gas prices or fellatio?”
He grinned. “Pretty much, yeah. So what’s it going to be?”
She nodded, trying to appear serious. “Well, in that case…let’s just say I’m really happy I have an energy-efficient car.”
“Oh you are, are you?” he laughed quietly and brought his hand to her chin, lifting her lips to his.
“Mmm-hmm,” she answered, before kissing him. She ran her fingers through his hair and gazed at him, and he was comforted to see no trace of whatever had so disturbed her earlier. She smiled softly. “But yes, I love going down on you.”
He chuckled. “Thank god.”
She reached to toy with the tiny pendant dangling from the leather necklace at his throat. “And I think I want to go to Europe with you.”
He felt a small rush of euphoria through his veins at her answer. “Really?”
She returned his smile, nodding. “Yes. I mean, I have to work out a few logistics but...” She paused, trying to clarify in her mind why she was saying yes. “It’s a great opportunity, and it sounds like a lot of fun.” Not because I want…need…to be with you...
His eyes were soft. “Good, I’m glad. You won’t regret it, I promise.” It was a big promise, he knew, but he was determined to keep it. He just wasn’t ready to give her up yet.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“A tour biographer?” Tina repeated the words she’d just heard, her strides on the elliptical machine slowing for a moment. “What does that mean?”
Jordan nodded, increasing the speed on her own machine. She and Tina had met at the gym after work and Jordan was going over the events of her weekend. “Pretty much what it sounds like. I’ll take notes and pictures and try to compile it into a biography of sorts. What they decide to do with it when I’m done is up to them.”
“For a whole month?” Tina was having a hard time making sense of this one. Hell, she hadn’t really been able to make sense of any of it since she’d found out. But now her friend was going to take an extended vacation from a job she loved to follow a rock band to Europe and continue a torrid affair she was having with their most prominent member.
“Around that. We haven’t worked out the specifics yet, and they don’t leave for the European leg for several weeks.” Jordan shrugged as if it were no big deal.
“Listen to you. You don’t think this is just a little crazy?”
“What? It’s a great job offer.”
Tina burst out laughing. “Yeah…a job offer with excellent fringe benefits.”
“So…all I’m saying is that…” Tina paused. What exactly was she saying? “Would you go if you weren’t sleeping with him?”
“Absolutely. In fact I would have accepted it faster, to be perfectly honest,” Jordan replied, reaching for her water bottle. “The fact that we have a personal relationship actually made me hesitate.”
“So you admit it.”
“That you and he have a relationship.” Tina looked pointedly at her friend.
Jordan sighed. “Well, not like that. Of course it’s a relationship. I mean… we’re more like…what’s that expression? Friends with benefits.”
“Oh, is that what you’re calling it? Friends? So tell me, dear, how many other people know about this friendship?” Jordan was silent so she continued. “That’s what I thought. So answer me this: do you think he would have offered you the job if you weren’t having sex with him?”
Ouch. Jordan looked away for a moment, before bring her eyes back to Tina’s. “Probably not. But it isn’t like someone else is losing out on the job because of it.”
“I’m not saying that. And I don’t care. I’m just a little worried.” Tina stopped exercising. “I just don’t want you to end up getting hurt—directly or indirectly.”
Jordan hit the “stop” button and waited for the machine to cease moving. “I know. But really, you don’t need to worry. It is what it is—nothing more. And what it is right now is fun. And it IS a good job offer. When it’s over I’ll have some great memories and a nice addition for my resume.”
“Okay, okay,” Tina answered. But something still didn’t add up. It just wasn’t like Jordan to run off with a married man, even if it was only temporary. Even if the man was a multi-platinum rock star. She was usually so much more grounded than that. But then again…that mega-watt smile… those eyes… that ass. She could hardly blame Jordan for being a little strung out on the guy. She just hoped her friend was strong enough to handle whatever might get thrown her way. Tina was afraid that “what it was” was a hell of a lot more than Jordan was willing to admit.
“Come on,” Tina said out loud. “Kev is making dinner and you’re invited.”
Jordan laughed. “I am SO there.” Kevin was a former chef who had sold his Italian bistro when he decided the restaurant was sucking the life out of both him and his marriage. He had taken the money from the restaurant and together with a friend, invested in a small chain of sporting goods stores along the front range. Now that he wasn’t cooking for a living, Tina—and often her friends and family—had the good fortune of enjoying his culinary skills at home.
They were finishing Kevin’s signature risotto and a enjoying a nice bottle of Merlot when Jordan decided to tell her friends about the message she’d received a few days earlier.
She drained the last of the wine in her glass. “So… guess who left me a voice mail on Saturday?”
“Richie Sambora,” Kevin answered, barely missing a beat.
Jordan’s wine glass slipped from her hand and fell noisily to the table without breaking. She shot Tina an accusatory look, but her friend looked as shocked as she was.
“What?” Kevin asked, laughing. “Tina told me you were flirting with him that night after the concert… I thought maybe you gave him his number before you left.” He winked at her, teasing.
Jordan took a breath, trying to regain composure. Nothing like looking guilty. “Oh, that.” She forced a laugh and looked at Tina, who gave an embarrassed shrug.
“Now, wouldn’t THAT be a story,” Tina answered, trying to keep the sarcasm out of her voice. “Who called, Jordan?”
Jordan righted her wine glass and nodding when Kevin made a motion to fill it for her. “Rob Mitchell.”
Tina gasped. “You’re kidding.” Jordan shook her head.
“No shit,” Kevin answered, setting the wine bottle down. “What the hell did he want?” Kevin had also weathered some of the drama between Jordan and Rob. The two men had gotten along pretty well, but when the breakup went down, there was no question where his loyalty had to lie. Besides, he loved Jordan like a sister and Rob had really done a number on her. More than once.
Jordan shook her head. “I don’t know. Said he was thinking of me, wanted to know if we could get together for coffee or something.” She took a drink of her wine. “I haven’t returned the call.”
Kevin sighed. “Don’t. You remember Joe, my partner? His wife Emily is an attorney at the same law firm as Rob. I saw him at their Super Bowl party… he was there with his girlfriend; I think he said they have a house in Englewood. He called Joe a couple weeks ago to find out where he got Emily’s engagement ring.”
Tina was surprised. “You never told me any of that.”
“Well, I didn’t really see the point. He asked about Jordan and I told him she was engaged and doing great. I didn’t hang out with him all night or anything.”
Jordan nodded slowly. It was no surprise, really. But she’d be lying if she said that hearing he was marrying someone else didn’t hurt a little. She could still hear his words in her mind, even after all these years.
You are an amazing woman, and I know I’m lucky to have you…
…but I just don’t see myself settling down, with anyone…
…I really thought I did, but I was wrong... I want to travel and do what I want when I want ...
and I don’t want to have to worry about how my decisions affect other people…
…if I wanted to get married, you’d be the one, but…
She’d been crushed. They’d talked about having kids, where they’d live, what it would be like to grow old together. Then one day he just changed his mind. He packed up his things and left, and she’d collapsed on the living room floor, sobbing. She’d given him everything she had and at the time she didn’t know how she’d live without him.
She learned from his friends that he was miserable. That he was drinking too much and he was lost without her, and she’d believed them. He’d show up on her doorstep occasionally, usually when he was drunk or feeling lonely, and she’d take him in, until Tina and Kevin stepped in. What she didn’t know is that Kevin threatened to beat the shit out of him if he didn’t leave her alone and let her heal.
For a long time, she was convinced he’d change his mind, that he’d realize they were meant for each other. He’d call once every few months or so and they’d get together, eventually falling into bed, and it would last a few days or a few weeks, but inevitably the end was the same. The last time she’d seen him, they’d spent a fabulous weekend, hiking together and making love by the fire. In the morning he had tears in his eyes, saying that perhaps they shouldn’t be so quick to fall into each others arms. That it was too hard on him. That he still wanted things that didn’t include her. She’d finally lost it, telling him to stay out of her life and let her move on. That getting over him was the hardest thing she’d ever had to do and how dare he walk into her life and expect her to feel sorry for him. He’d told her he was sorry and promised to stay away.
And he had… for almost five years. Until now. Now that he was marrying someone else. Of course. He was looking for a last fling before he got married. Well it wouldn’t be with her is all she knew…
The realization hit Tina then. The missing piece of the puzzle behind Jordan’s sudden urge to run off to Europe. Maybe this was a good thing. Maybe Jordan knew what she was doing after all.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Back in New Jersey, Jon was haunted a bit by that phone call as well. He sensed that part of the reason Jordan had accepted his offer when she did stemmed from whomever had left the message. Whoever it was had caused her to fall into his arms wanting more than sex, which he had given surprisingly easily—and taken, for that matter. She gave up a part of herself that night that he hadn’t seen before. And he wanted more.
Ironically, things at home were fabulous as well. He was enjoying his few days off with his family, and everyone was in good humor. At one point his wife had looked at him and said simply, “Whatever you’re doing out there is agreeing with you.” She’d smiled softly at him and he wondered how much she suspected.
He’d heard of men who balanced two separate lives easily and without turmoil. For the first time in his life he found himself wondering how they did it and if it could last.
He’d slipped out to the studio after the kids were in bed, dialing her number as he sat at the mixing board. Her voice was sexy and warm when she answered.
“So you’re not going to back out on me, are you?” he said, teasing.
“No, I'm not. My boss was very supportive, actually. I’ve hardly taken any vacation time so she is encouraging me to take as much time as I want. I just need to take care of any loose ends before I go and leave good notes for her and my assistant, since I told them I will be totally unavailable.” She smiled, happy to hear his voice.
“Excellent. So what about this weekend? Are you coming to Vegas?” They were playing in Phoenix on Thursday and in Las Vegas on Saturday, and he had agreed to a business meeting in Vegas on Friday.
“Sure. Do you still want me to come on Friday?”
“If I have anything to say about it you will,” he teased, and he could picture the blush creeping across her face.
“You have a one-track mind, boy,” she answered, smiling.
“Sorry,” he laughed. “Yes, Friday would be good—we can sleep in on Saturday for a while and then you’ll be there for sound check and everything. Might as well put you to work now, don’t you think?” And then no one would question her presence.
“All right. How late do your meetings go on Friday?”
“I’m not sure. It’s a dinner thing but hopefully not too late. I’ll give you a call and we’ll figure it out.” He paused, smiling. “I’ll see you then, baby.”
Jordan had hung up with Jon and called her sister, apologizing for being so out of touch and promising to take time the next week to come for a visit. Morgan and her partner, Liz, lived in Boulder and both taught at the university. She and Jordan were close but not so much that Jordan had felt comfortable sharing the latest saga of her life. Her relationships with Rob and David had done little to convince her sister that there were good men in the world, and she doubted that this latest bit of news would fare any better.
And unlike with Tina, the fact that Jon was incredibly sexy would mean nothing to Morgan. Jordan fully expected a lecture from her sister and just wasn’t up for it yet. But she knew she’d have to level with her at some point, because they didn’t lie to each other.
But that could wait. Right now she didn’t want anyone raining on her parade. She was going to Las Vegas.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The rain was coming down in torrents when she slid into the taxi at McCarran International Airport. She smirked at the irony. When she’d left Denver, the skies were blue and temperatures were threatening to break 70 degrees, but the plane was delayed due to the rain in Las Vegas. How many rainy days could Las Vegas possibly get a year? Whatever. She was here and she couldn’t care less about the rain.
She checked into her room at the Hotel at Mandalay Bay, where Jon had managed to book them adjoining suites. She’d spoken to him shortly after her plane had landed—his dinner meeting was expected to go at least a couple hours, then they were moving to the Foundation Room upstairs at the House of Blues, where he hoped to be able to break free eventually. He was leaving her name at the door and suggested she come up around 9:30 or so. “If it looks like I can’t get away, call my cell or something and rescue me,” he had joked.
She looked at her watch. It was just before 6:00. She wasn’t much of a gambler so instead she decided to advantage of some of the marvelous shopping that the Strip had to offer.
She returned to her room a couple hours later, quite satisfied with her purchases—one of which started out as more of a necessity, but as she looked at it, became a source of inspiration. She smiled to herself.
Jon looked at his watch, trying not to look bored. Nine-forty. He was happy to be part of this group of philanthropists, and they’d accomplished a lot over the past few hours. But he was getting a little stir crazy. Finally he saw her enter the room, shaking the rain from her hair and brushing it from the stylish black raincoat she was wearing. She scanned the room looking for him, and when their eyes met she smiled softly. She moved to the bar, where she took a seat on one of the barstools. She crossed her shapely legs and he smiled. Obviously she was wearing a dress. He liked that she’d dressed up for the occasion. The black strappy sandals were a nice touch, with straps that wrapped around her ankles. Very sexy.
She ordered a French martini and sat patiently, smiling at his obvious frustration at being unable to extract himself from the conversation. She pulled her cell phone from her purse and punched in a quick text message. She saw him jump when he felt the vibration in his breast pocket and he reached in subtly to pull it out. He held the phone below the table where he was sitting and retrieved the message. Like my coat? it read. He cocked an eyebrow and looked up at her, hoping the other members of his party didn’t notice his disengagement. He gave a small nod, smiling slightly but looking confused. He watched has she punched another message into her phone, and bit the inside of his cheek to keep from smiling when his vibrated once again.
I’m glad. Cuz there’s nothing underneath it.
She stifled a laugh when she saw his eyebrows shoot up and saw him fighting the smirk that was threatening to take over his face. In what couldn’t have been more perfect timing, someone at the table asked him a direct question and she watched as he fought to remain serious and address the inquiry. She returned the phone to her purse and stood, taking her drink with her onto the balcony that overlook the Strip. The rain had begun to let up and there was an overhang, so she could enjoy the view while keeping dry.
Her heart was pounding a little; she was a little surprised at her own brazenness. She took another gulp from her drink. Liquid courage. She had fixed herself a vodka and soda in the room earlier, trying to get up the nerve. She’d applied some lotion with a subtle gold shimmer and slipped a pair of simple hoops through her ears, then strapped on her new Jimmy Choos before sliding the coat over her shoulders. It was soft and warm, with a small slit up the back. She’d buttoned most of the buttons, leaving a couple near the bottom and the top undone. She’d examined herself in the mirror, taking care to make sure that her secret would be safe.
Now she found herself far from chilly. She assumed it was a combination of vodka and arousal that had her so warm. She smiled as she took another drink. Her intent had been to turn him on. Who knew it would do the same for her?
He appeared at her side in the darkness, close but not touching. “Well that’s one way to get me to end a meeting.” He gazed out at the lights along the Strip. “So are you really naked under there?”
“Completely,” she answered, not looking at him.
He turned to her then, reaching to take her drink from her hand and bringing it to his own lips. “I don’t know that I believe you.”
She nodded without answering. They were alone on the balcony, and she stepped back, lifting one foot to rest on a planter nearby. “Excuse me a moment,” she said. “I think something might have bitten me.” She lifted the bottom of the coat, raising it to about mid thigh, where she pretended to look for the offending insect bite.
He grinned, looking around to see if anyone was watching. She was really going to do it.
She continued sliding the coat up, revealing her hip just long enough to convince him, then let it drop, taking her drink back from him and draining the glass.
He chuckled. “Damn lady… when you do Vegas you don’t fool around.” He smiled slyly and leaned in closer and spoke softly in her ear. “So, how’s it feel? Are you wet? ”
She smiled softly . “Actually, I am.” She looked at him boldly. “But the real question is, are you hard?”
He laughed quietly. “I am now.” He placed a hand on her back, steering her back inside to the bar, where he ordered her another cocktail and a glass of wine for himself. “We’ve got some business to conduct,” he said to the bartender. “Is the Buddha room open?”
“I believe so; let me check.” The bartender gestured for the host and Jon repeated his request. The host nodded. “It is, sir. Follow me.” He led them to a small private dining room.
“Will this do?” he asked.
“This is perfect,” Jon answered. “If you can see to it that we’re not disturbed I’d appreciate it.”
The host nodded, taking his leave and releasing the heavy velvet curtains behind him.
Jordan’s heart was pounding. “Jon, what are you doing? I just thought we’d go back to the room.”
He grinned, taking her drink from her and setting both their glasses on the table. “You’re the one who wanted to be bold.”
He reached out to release the belt on her coat, pressing her against the wall as he brought his mouth to hers. “So be bold.” He lifted the coat above her hips, and ran a hand up the inside of her thigh, sliding a finger inside her. She gasped and he chuckled. “We just gotta do it quietly.”
He continued to manipulate her until she shuddered silently against his hand, biting the inside of her lip to keep from crying out loud. Her heart pounding, she reached to undo his jeans, releasing his erection and eliciting a small groan from him. She brought her leg up, her foot resting on the edge of the table and they stifled their moans with a kiss as he slid inside, driving into her with an urgency that added to the sexy thrill of it all. He came quickly, burying his face in her neck and swallowing hard. “Oh, fuck,” he said quietly, laughing huskily.
“Wow,” Jordan said, pulling his face to hers for a kiss. “I don’t believe we just did that.”
He grinned. “See what you started?” They disengaged she laughed at the wetness on her thighs.
He laughed quietly. “Oops. I didn’t think about that.” He reached for one of the linen napkins on the table. “Guess we’ll take this one with us.” They burst out laughing then, their eyes sparkling as they looked at each other.
They reassembled themselves then sat down to finish their drinks. They knew if they exited the room too soon it would look more than a little suspicious, so they took their time, lounging on the thickly cushioned couch.
He kissed the top of her head. “I’m glad you’re here, baby.”
She lifted her eyes to his. “So am I.”
You can’t cage what you can’t tame
There ain’t no rules, this ain’t no game…
Tonight I’ll run, I need no sleep
When it feels this good you’re in too deep.