When the doors opened on their floor, he pulled away from her with a groan. “I’m going to duck into my room for a few minutes. Why don’t you go slip into something a little more comfortable and I’ll be right over,” he said, then smiled. “And be ready.”
“Ready for what?”
“For whatever. I won, remember?” he answered enigmatically and then disappeared into his room.
Her heart jumped a little as she let herself into her own room. She checked her cell phone and saw there was a message and decided not to listen to it, instead turning the phone off. Time was running out on her fairy tale and she didn’t want anything to interfere with it.
She turned the radio on and adjusted the volume before walking into the bedroom. She shed the jeans, bra and sweater, and spritzed a bit of perfume on before once again slipping the white nightshirt over her head. It was either that or the flannel pajamas in her suitcase and she decided silk was definitely preferable. She brushed her hair out before pulling it into a loose ponytail on top of her head.
She saw that the turn-down service had been there, with the chocolate squares once again left on her pillow. She moved them to the bed stand, smiling as inspiration struck her.
She was hanging up the phone when he let himself into the room. She closed the room service menu and slid it into the drawer of the desk, before looking up at his reflection in the window. He had changed into a simple black t-shirt and was once again barefoot, looking casual and comfortable.
“Well you don’t look dangerous,” she said, without turning to face him.
“Yeah?” he asked quietly, moving up behind her and kissing the back of her neck. He reached to massage her shoulders and then brought his lips to her ear. “You should know by now that looks can be deceiving.” His hands moved down her sides and up under the nightshirt, and she felt a shiver run down her spine as his mouth moved slowly down the back of her neck. He brought his hands around to her breasts, pressing against her so her hips touched the edge of the desk.
Jesus Christ that feels good. She closed her eyes and leaned her head back against him, melting into him. She sighed contentedly. “I should mention that…”
“Shh,” he whispered. “No talking.” His hands slid down her body, his fingers hooking in the waistband of her underwear and lowering them. He stroked her gently, until he felt her moisture on his fingers. “Remember what you said to me back at the club?” His voice was thick with lust as he reached to undo his jeans. “I want to fuck you. Right here, right now.”
Her breath caught in her throat and she felt her knees grow weak, and an almost primal moan escaped her lips as he entered her. She leaned forward, bringing her hands to the sides of the desk to steady herself. She opened her eyes to see him watching their reflection. She flushed and started to look away. “Don’t,” he said softly. “Keep looking at me.” His eyes held hers as he moved inside her, his hands gently encircling her waist, until they moved to grip her hips as his thrusting became faster and more insistent. She watched in fascination as he came, his head back and mouth slightly open as a low groan rumbled from within him. What a vision.
“Damn,” he said, extracting himself and turning her to face him. He kissed her softly, holding her tightly against him, his heart pounding against his chest.
She felt his wetness on her thighs and laughed softly. “I guess, damn!” She reached up to smooth the hair from his face. “I like how you claim your prizes.”
He chuckled. “Oh, that’s actually not my prize. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about all night…after watching you bend all over that pool table. Then I walked in here and saw you standing here in such a perfect position and I couldn’t help myself. Sorry if it was a little one-sided.” He kissed her again. “I promise to make it up to you.”
“I have no doubt,” she smiled. “Wait a minute. What do you mean that wasn’t your prize? What exactly is your plan for me?”
He grinned. “Well, actually…” He was interrupted by a knock at the door.
“Saved by the bell,” she laughed. “That’s what I was trying to tell you earlier. I ordered a little room service. I didn’t realize I’d reek of sex when I answered the door, however.” She reached for her underwear.
“You’re going to answer the door dressed like that?”
“I was planning on it. Why?”
“Jesus, Jordan,” he laughed. “Do you realize how sexy you are in that thing? You’re going to send the waiter away with a limp.”
She looked at her reflection in the mirror. “You can’t see anything.”
“You can see enough, trust me. Did you forget what just happened here?” he smiled. “But hey, I’m sure they’re used to it.” He slapped her playfully on the butt and stepped into the bedroom, closing the door most of the way behind him.
She looked at herself again in the mirror. Hell, who cares? She walked across the room to open the door. The waiter greeted her and rolled the table into the room. She surveyed the selection and thanked him, then asked him to wait while she retrieved her purse to pull out some cash for a tip. He thanked her and wished her good night before pulling the door shut behind him.
Jon stepped out of the bedroom, grinning. “Told you.”
Jordan looked at him. “What are you talking about?”
“He was totally checking you out.”
“Please. He was not,” she laughed, shaking her head.
“Whatever. You should have seen his eyes looking you up and down when you walked over to your purse. Talk about a tip!” His eyes scanned the table. In addition to a bottle of champagne and a bowl of strawberries, there was a small fondue pot and a bowl of whipped cream. He chuckled. “And right now he’s wishing he was the lucky bastard in the bedroom.”
She found herself blushing a little. “You approve?”
He tilted his head slightly, his mouth curving just slightly at the corners. “Well, let’s see…champagne, strawberries, whipped cream, and let me guess…chocolate?” She nodded and he laughed. “Hell yes I approve. Do we need a plastic sheet or anything?”
She raised her eyebrows. “Aren’t you adventurous!”
“Do you really need to ask?” he winked, reaching for the bottle of champagne.
Jordan shook her head, smiling. “Actually, though, this table really isn’t too practical. I think what we need to do is set up a picnic on the floor.”
A few minutes later they were lounging on the floor, the table cloth serving as their picnic blanket and the fondue pot sitting beside them on the coffee table. Their eyes met over their champagne flutes. “To well-timed snowstorms,” he said, his eyes serious.
Jordan felt the rush of warmth through her veins and willed herself to remain in the present and not think about anything outside of those four walls. The words of Bonnie Raitt filled the room and Jordan tried to ignore the irony of them.
To her he might be the man of her dreams
To find where she's been hiding inside
Broken or battered, it really don't matter
Her heart's like a wave and he's the tide.
They're not forever, they're just for today
One part be my lover, one part go away.
She reached for a strawberry, dipping it in the whipped cream and bringing it to his lips. He took it from her, then pulled her to him and together they took a bite, releasing the luscious blend of juice and cream as they kissed. “Mmm. Very nice,” he said, wiping a bit of whipped cream from the corner of his mouth. “Excellent idea, young lady.”
She smiled happily and dipped a finger into the chocolate. She had brought it halfway to her mouth when he caught her wrist, instead pulling her hand to his own mouth. She gulped as she felt his tongue swirl around her finger, his eyes steady on hers. Sweet God in Heaven. He released her wrist, smiling as she withdrew her hand. “Delicious,” he said, smiling slyly. “You should try some.”
She took a drink of champagne, letting the bubbles dance on her tongue. “Oh, I plan to.” She smiled playfully. “Take your shirt off.”
He cocked an eyebrow, the smile broadening. He pulled the t-shirt over his head and tossed it aside. “And?”
“Lay back.” He did as she instructed, grinning as he folded his arms behind his head. She smiled sexily and reached for the honey dipper that was lying next to the fondue pot. He watched as she twirled some of the chocolate onto the wooden utensil and moved over him, letting some of the warm liquid drizzle across his chest. She returned the dipper to the pot and then leaned over him, her tongue languidly exploring the path she’d made.
He watched her, smiling softly. “Damn, that’s sexy,” he said, as she brought her mouth back to his. “So what do you think?”
“Quite tasty,” she answered, returning his smile. “And I thought I’d exhausted ways to enjoy chocolate.”
“Yeah? Well I’m happy I could be of assistance. Of course I’m all sticky now.” He brought a hand to her face, running a finger across her lips. “Can I have another strawberry?”
She dipped a berry in the chocolate and brought it to his lips. He let his tongue reach out and lick some of the chocolate off first, before taking a bite. “Excellent,” he replied, then finished the berry and pulled her down beside him. He leisurely began unbuttoning her nightshirt. When it was open, he let his hands explore her for a moment before reaching for his champagne glass. He held it above her, tipping it as he moved his arm down the length of her torso, letting the champagne pour slowly down and across her stomach. Her breath caught as she felt the cold liquid against her skin. He then leaned in, his tongue trailing from where it pooled in her navel up to between her breasts.
He brought his mouth to hers, letting her taste the intoxicating mixture on his tongue. He pulled away, smiling. “Now we’re both sticky.”
She laughed, letting her hands wander down his back. He reached to dip a finger into the whipped cream and held it to her lips, groaning slightly when she wrapped her lips around it, her tongue mimicking the same magic he’d felt on his dick earlier in the day.
They lounged that way for a while, savoring the sensuality of the moment and the touch, feel, and taste of each other in combination with their gourmet picnic. He let his hands and mouth explore every inch of her, slowly and methodically until he felt her trembling with desire as she lay beneath him.
“You’re killing me, you know that, don’t you?” Her voice was breathless. “Are you torturing me just so you can be sure your victory will be all the sweeter?”
He chuckled. “Well, it certainly can’t hurt. Although I’m not sure I can count on you to uphold your end of the bargain.” He thought a moment. “But then again, if I keep this up it might be easier than I think.”
“Dammit, Jon, what is it?” She reached up to pull his hair playfully.
“Ow,” he laughed. “Well… remember earlier today? Before we finally got out of bed?”
“Actually I do. Which reminds me,” she reached up and pulled his hair again.
“Ow! All right, dammit.” He grabbed her hands and pulled her arms above her head, pinning her wrists to the floor. “I’m starting to think you WANT a spanking. Which can be arranged, even though it’s not part of my plan.”
She looked at him, biting her lip, fighting the combination of laughter and lust that was building up inside of her.
“Are you going to be good?” He asked, trying to look stern, and she nodded. “Promise? Because if I have to tie you up it’s going to definitely ruin my plan and call for a whole new strategy.”
“I promise,” she answered. “Tell me. Please?”
“God I love it when you beg,” he teased. “Okay. Remember what I said earlier today, about being willing to watch you?”
She looked at him, the implication not registering with her.
“It’s also why you would need your hands.” He smiled softly, his mouth inches from hers and his eyes dark with desire. He watched as she processed his words and realization hit her.
“Oh,” she said quietly, a bit of embarrassment in her voice. Her mind raced as she tried to comprehend if she’d have the nerve to do that—even for him. She had to admit that it did sound pretty sexy, however.
“I want to watch what you do to make yourself feel good,” he spoke softly, a hand lightly stroking down her side and toying with the lace on the waistband at her hips.
She laughed nervously. “But you already know what makes me feel good.”
He nodded. “I know some of it. But not everything. Besides,” he said, sliding his hand beneath the thin material. “I want to be able to picture what you’re doing when you think of me later.”
She trembled beneath him, gasping as he stroked her lightly. “Your imagination was very busy today, wasn’t it?”
“Was it ever. But it’s your fault,” His breath was hot in her ear. “You’re like a drug that I’m not used to taking.” You get a little and it’s never enough. He stood then, taking her hands and pulling her up with him as he led her to the bedroom.
They lay together on the bed, kissing and petting like teenagers. He slid her panties off, his lips planting a trail of kisses down her thighs and his tongue running back up along the inside. He paused to let himself taste her briefly, before bringing his mouth back to hers. She was aching with longing and he could feel it radiating from her skin.
“God, Jordan, you’re amazing,” he whispered in her ear. He stroked her cheek as he looked into her eyes, the fingers of his other hand lightly teasing her. He stopped his manipulations long enough to replace his hand with hers, guiding her. “Come on baby, show me.” He laughed softly in her ear. “After all, a bet’s a bet.”
He felt her hand begin to move beneath his. “That’s it. Don’t be shy. It’s just you and me.” He kissed her again and then slid down lower on the bed so he could see, continuing to offer words of encouragement. His words emboldened her and gradually she let her inhibitions slide away, giving him what he asked for.
His own desire grew as he watched her, the raw sensuality of it almost overwhelming him. He took in every detail, the pacing, the motions, the pressure and intensity. When he sensed she was on the verge of exploding—and he could take no more—he stopped her, taking her hand in his and placing her fingers in his mouth, slowly withdrawing them. “Better than chocolate,” he teased.
“You’re stopping me?” she panted incredulously. “Now?”
“Sorry baby,” he said, removing his jeans. “But I’m tired of sitting on the bench. I gotta get in the game.” He grinned.
“God woman,” he said, resting his head on her stomach as she ran her fingers through his hair. “What have you done to me?”
What have I done to you? “Which time?”she teased, her body still tingling.
“My point exactly. Thank God you came on to me in the bar or we wouldn’t be here.”
“Excuse me? I did no such thing!”
“Yep. It’s kind of sexy though. Kind of like a tattoo only less painful and more fun to get.” He moved up to kiss her, grinning mischievously. “So out of curiosity…what would have happened tonight if you’d won the bet instead of me?”
She smiled. “Actually, mine wasn’t nearly as lascivious as yours. And actually, we could still do it.”
“Baby, I won’t be doing anything for a few hours. I’m not sure I can even walk.”
She smiled. “Don’t worry. You wouldn’t have to expend much energy. In fact, given our present state, it might be just what we need.” She smiled mysteriously at him, enjoying the look of curiosity on his face. “Let’s take a bath.”
He laughed. “That I can do. In fact, that sounds perfect.”
They soaked quietly for some time, with him nestled against her as they listened to the music, both somewhat lost in their own thoughts and neither wanting to acknowledge that the world outside was only hours away. Finally he broke the silence.
“Can I ask you a personal question?”
She laughed lightly, running a foot along the length of his leg. “Nope. I’m drawing the line there. I’ll have massive sex with you, shower and bathe with you and even masturbate for you. But you can’t ask me anything personal.”
“Okay,” her voice softened. “What?”
“Why would you consider marrying someone you so clearly don’t love?”
The question caught her off guard and he felt her stiffen a bit against him. “I never said I didn’t love him.”
“But you don’t. Not like that. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here with me.” He sat up, turning to face her. “And it’s not because you found out he was seeing someone else.”
She looked down, unwilling to face his inquisition. “You don’t know that.”
“Don’t I?” he reached to tilt her chin and bring her eyes back to his. “Jordan. Do you really believe that this happened because you got that phone call? Honestly?” She didn’t answer so he continued, his voice still soft. “The reason you ended up in my bed is not because you were pissed off at him. It’s because you needed something you haven’t had in a very long time.”
“So maybe you’re right. I needed a good lay. What difference does it make?” She shrugged, trying to appear lighthearted.
“Because it was more than that. And because I don’t understand why a woman like you would choose to settle, that’s all.” He paused, willing the frustration out of his voice. “Don’t you think you deserve better than that?”
She sighed. “You make it sound so simple, Jon, and it’s not. At some point you have to face reality.” A sad smile stole across her lips. “Well, at least most of us do.”
It struck him then, and he couldn’t believe he hadn’t picked up on it sooner: the fact that someone else had broken her heart—and some of her spirit—long before this guy had come along. He remained silent as she continued.
“I held out for a hero for a long time. But I got tired of being alone. And David fit the mold well enough, I guess.” She laughed then. “As much as I could expect an accountant to fit, anyway.”
“Accountant? Ouch.” Jon laughed with her. “Well, that explains why my ass is so worn out.”
She nodded with a smile and then continued. “And then there was the whole family thing. He was already putting feelers out to his lawyer friends to get us on adoption lists.”
That answers that question. He had noticed the almost-invisible scar along her abdomen earlier and now reached beneath the water to lightly run his finger along the small path it made across her skin. “What happened?”
“Mostly just overzealous doctors,” she answered. “My mom died of ovarian cancer when she was pretty young, so when I started having some issues my doctors decided they needed to go in and make sure I was okay.”
He felt his heart jump a little. “And?”
“It was mostly just some endometriosis and a few cysts. But by the time they got done cutting everything out, the scar tissue that was left behind pretty much ruined any chance I had of conceiving.”
“But you’re okay now?”
“Yes. I mean, we watch it pretty closely but mainly it’s just an inconvenience. I toyed with the idea of in vitro but there are no guarantees and I just hate doctors...” her voice trailed off.
“How old were you when your mother died?” He asked gently.
“Twenty,” she answered. “God, it was just…horrible. She went through months of chemotherapy that just ate away at her. And she did it for us…for my sister and me. They knew it was terminal but said the drugs would give her more time. But all it did was make her more sick and prolong the inevitable.” She sighed. “She was an amazing woman. I mean, it may sound selfish but I wouldn’t do it. Not if I knew it wasn’t going to save me.” She shook her head as if trying to dislodge the memory.
“God, Jordan, that must have been terrible. Where was your dad?”
“Oh, he left when we were pretty little. He and my stepmother live in Connecticut and I have a half-brother who is a pharmaceutical salesman in Boston.” She shrugged.
He shook his head sadly. “Not very Leave it to Beaver, that’s for sure.”
“No, it wasn’t.” She smiled softly. “Anyway, David and I decided that adoption would be the way to go, and he was okay with that. I guess I decided that I could quit waiting for the perfect relationship as long as it was, I don’t know…acceptable.”
He pulled her to him then. Suddenly he saw past the strength and independence, to something more fragile and vulnerable. He held her tightly, stroking her hair as he tried to sort out his own emotions.
“You can adopt as a single woman, you know.”
“Yes, but it’s not easy. And frankly I’m not sure I want to be a single parent. My married friends have a hard enough time.”
“Yeah, kids are a lot of work. But it’s worth…” The words were out of his mouth before he realized what he was saying. Shit.
She smiled, ignoring the slight pang that shot through her. “It’s okay. I assumed as much. And to be honest, it would be a crying shame if you weren’t reproducing.” She grinned and kissed him, trying to lighten the mood. “Come on. This water is getting cold.”
Later, as they lay together under the crisp sheets and thick comforter, he felt compelled to continue the conversation, in spite of the voice inside that warned him to leave well enough alone.
“Will you see him tomorrow?”
She sighed. “I’m sure I will. I have to go home sometime and he knows where I live. It’s not so bad, actually. At this point, I just want to get it over with.”
“So it’s definitely over?” He hoped his voice didn’t betray any of the relief he was feeling.
“Oh God, yes. I told you, I’ve been looking for an out for a while. But now…” after this, after you… “I don’t want to live the lie any more.” She looked at him, her eyes showing no remorse. “You were right about me needing passion in my life.”
“Lots of it,” he answered, reaching up to brush a lock of hair back from her face. “You just let me know what I can do to help out in that area.”
She smiled. “Well, now that I’m available again… you could point any decent, eligible men in my direction.”
“Oh I can, can I? I’ll tell you one thing; they’ll have to pass my approval test first. And I am going to be pretty damned protective.”
“Well I guess that’s okay,” she grinned. “Come to think of it… don’t you have a guitar player who is newly single?”
“Oh, no. No way in hell he’s getting anywhere near you,” he laughed.
“Oh come on,” she teased. “Why not? He seems like a pretty good guy. And he’s not too hard on the eyes, either.”
“Because, that’s why,” he shook his head. “You’re my secret. Besides, I’m not real good at that whole ‘sharing’ thing.” He paused. “Not to mention he’s hung like a moose.”
She burst out laughing. “Well in that case I think you should definitely introduce us.”
“Nope. Sorry. Next subject.” He pulled her on top of him, kissing her. “So you really don’t live under a rock, do you?”
They lay intertwined, fighting sleep as long as they could. Shortly before daybreak they finally succumbed their exhaustion. A couple hours later, awakened by the sun seeping in the window, Jordan moved to slip from his arms, only to have him pull her against him more tightly.
“Don’t. Not yet,” he spoke softly but gruffly in her ear. She closed her eyes and let herself mold against him again, the only movement the tandem of their breathing and then, eventually, the slight pulsation of his erection pressing against her.
They remained still, relishing the feel of each other and resisting the urge to act on their arousal until finally giving in to desire once more. They took their time, bringing each other to the brink several times before finally letting the flood wash over them, muffling their cries against one another’s shoulder. She clung to him then, not letting him remove himself from her. “Don’t,” she murmured, mimicking him. “Not yet.”
He laughed softly, kissing her. “Baby, I’ll stay here as long as you want.”
If only that were possible. “Oh, I like the way that sounds,” she responded sexily. “We have a little time…my flight isn’t until noon. How about you?”
“One-thirty. Actually should get me home about the same time I would have had things gone as originally planned. Go figure.”
“Will you have to reschedule your meeting?” she asked, trying not to sound hopeful.
He sighed. “Unfortunately, this was my small window of opportunity. We’re back out on the road next week and it’s pretty much nonstop for the next couple months.” He decided not to tell her that one of their stops was in Denver in just a few weeks; he wanted to hold that as a surprise. “Just more business I’ll have to conduct by phone.” He smiled broadly then. “But it is definitely worth it. I’d much rather have been snowed in with you than drinking Coors with Pork Chop any day.”
“Pork Chop?” she looked at him in bewilderment and he laughed.
“Oh, nothing. There is just one person I’d kill to share this story with, just to bust his balls, that’s all.”
“Hmm. In Denver? Is he single? You could give him my number,” she teased.
“Now don’t start with that, young lady. Besides …he’s huge. He could crush you like a bug,” he nuzzled her ear playfully. “The last thing I want is any part of you injured or marred.” And what I wouldn’t give to fix the parts that are already damaged.
“I’m starting to think you’re going to be useless when it comes to finding me some good men to date.”
Jon chuckled, shaking his head. “Okay, little tip? When you’re lying naked with a man—especially with him actually inside you—probably not the best idea to talk about other guys.”
“Good to know. I suppose that goes double for calling out another man’s name when I come?” she laughed, squeezing him slightly.
He groaned in response. “You got it. Although, feel free to always call out my name when you come,” he moved his hips against hers. “Whether you’re with someone or not.”
He laughed softly in her ear. “That’s what I like to hear. In fact, I think I need to hear it one more time before I let you out of this bed.” He pulled out of her then, letting his mouth trail down her body. She closed her eyes, giving in with final abandon as the clock ran out on her fantasy.
She showered alone afterwards, letting him lounge in bed a little longer. She closed her eyes, her emotions finally getting the best of her as her tears mixed with the water that cascaded down upon her. It was a combination of everything—sadness, relief, happiness, anticipation, fear…
She couldn’t remember the last time she’d felt so completely raw; it was as if every nerve ending was exposed and she was more acutely aware of everything than she had ever been before. Awake. If she could choose one word to describe how she was feeling, that was it. Completely, totally awake. Even though she’d had very little sleep and in many ways was exhausted.
Now what? Now you go on with your life, and you have this amazing memory. It is what it is…nothing more, nothing less. And it’s okay that it happened.
When she emerged from the bathroom, she found he’d once again had breakfast delivered. They sat, sipping coffee and picking at their food, neither having much of an appetite but doing their best to force some nutrients down before moving on with their respective schedules.
Finally, she rose to finish putting her things in her suitcase. Once everything was gathered and ready, she pulled her boots on then looked around the room with a smile. “So this is what a room at the Drake looks like.” She winked at him. “I think this is one expense I won’t be turning in. But a worthy investment, nonetheless.”
He grinned and pulled her to him. “I’m glad you feel that way.” He kissed her softly, reaching down to give her ass a final swat.
She reached to run a hand through his hair once more, then let her fingers trail to his neck and down his arm, briefly tracing the outline of the tattoo on his shoulder. “Thank you. For everything.”
“No, thank you.” He kissed her more forcefully and then hugged her tightly to him. “Have a good trip. I’ll call you.”
“No you won’t. But that’s okay. I don’t expect you to.”
He brought a hand to her face, stroking her cheek and then running his thumb across her lips. “Yes I will.”
She felt the tremor in her stomach and decided she needed to make her exit before her emotions betrayed her. “Okay, I gotta go. Good luck on the tour and all that. Get the door for me?” She pulled away from him, averting her eyes from his and reaching for her bags.
The walked together to the elevator and she leaned in to kiss him quickly one more time before stepping in.
He held her gaze as the elevator doors closed. “See you later, Denver.” He ran a hand through his hair, sighing as he turned to walk to his own room. “Fuck,” he said quietly, inserting the key card and opening the door.
To next section...