“Miracles happen every day, Jordan. Everything is going to be okay,” both Morgan and Tina had assured her. Tina had pressed her once again to consider telling Jon, but she steadfastly refused. Telling him goodbye wouldn’t be easy but it would be easier than telling him…
Than telling him this.
She was sure he’d want to be at her side if he knew, and that carried with it such a myriad of heartache and ramifications she could barely think about it. And yet, as much as she hated it, a tiny part of her was fearful that he wouldn’t want to be there, and that was almost as painful.
No matter how many different ways she examined it, she returned to the same conclusion: that it was in everyone’s best interest for her to remain silent.
She had managed to disguise her turmoil whenever she spoke with him on the phone, telling him she was battling a bad case of allergies and a sinus infection that she couldn’t shake. He was disappointed but understanding when she couldn’t join them for the Boston show as originally planned.
She promised to join him in Chicago, however. She had told her doctors that she had business that needed to be taken care of and they’d acquiesced, on the condition that as soon as she returned she follow their instructions and recommendations to the letter.
By the time she packed for her trip, she had more or less accepted her reality, and she was determined to make their last time together as positive as possible. She’d debated endlessly what she would say—what he would be most likely to accept, and what she’d be able to pull off. She realized the argument for ending the relationship was much easier than the case they’d been building to sustain it, but the most obvious one was one that she knew he could—and would—argue. The one they’d been navigating the past few months.
Which meant she was going to have to be more forceful, more convincing. She couldn’t let him break her resolve. Not this time.
The sun was glistening over the lake as her plane circled to land. She took a cab directly to the venue, where she found the band in the midst of sound check. She stayed in the background for a few minutes, just watching them and taking it in. Suddenly she wanted to savor each moment, every note of every song, every stupid joke and every smile.
When he finally spotted her, a huge grin spread across his face and his eyes lit up. She felt her heart soar and break at the same time. “Well it’s about time you showed up,” he said into the microphone. “Hey boys, look who finally decided to come back to work.”
“Jords!” they all said in unison, and she couldn’t help but laugh. Jon motioned for her to join them and each of the men greeted her warmly, their hugs a welcome if brief comfort.
“So what do you wanna hear?” Jon asked. “I’m in a request kind of mood.”
Jordan returned his smile. “Hmmm…How about a little Elvis?”
The band members laughed as Jon shook his head, smirking. “Well I was kinda thinking one of OURS but let’s see…”
He ran a hand through his hair while he pondered for a moment. Then he gave an sly grin as he brought the microphone to his lips.
Treat me like a fool
Treat me mean and cruel
But love me.
Wring my faithful heart
Tear it all apart
But love me.
He started out a cappella but then the guys joined in with a smooth, slow groove. Jon was swiveling his hips and copping an Elvis-like snarl.
If you ever go
The others joined in with backing vocals and she laughed, shaking her head. It was all in fun, she knew, and it was a song she’d always found sexy. But today the irony of his choice left her feeling bittersweet.
When they finished, Tico did a “buh-dum-bum” on the drums and they all laughed. “How was that?” Jon asked, his eyes teasing.
She nodded. “I think you should put it in to the show. Just give the cleaning crew a heads up that they’ll need more mops handy.” She could just picture the virtual orgasm that would sweep through the crowd if they were to witness a full-blown version of Jon doing that song.
They burst out laughing at her response, and nodded in agreement. “Hey,” Dave said, grinning. “You making fun of our fans?”
Jordan shook her head. “Of course not. They’re just predictable, that’s all.”
Richie chuckled. “True. But it makes our job easier that way.”
They ran through a couple more songs and then filed into the vans for the ride back to the hotel. When they pulled up in front of the Drake, Jon leaned over to whisper in her ear. “Surprise.”
She was settling into her room—the same suite she’d occupied the last time, she discovered—when she heard a light knock on the door. She opened it and Jon slipped inside quickly, smiling and closing the door behind him.
“Hi baby,” he said, softly, pulling her to him as he brought his mouth to hers. She returned his kiss with a hunger she hadn’t anticipated—a mixture of longing, fear, desire and affection. She needed to touch him, to feel him, to chase away reality for one more day.
He buried his face in her hair, nuzzling her neck. “I missed you,” he said, lustfully.
“I missed you too,” she sighed, melting against him. Suddenly neither of them wanted to talk, their hunger for each other taking precedence. Together they moved towards the bedroom, tugging at their clothes without disengaging. They pulled the covers back on the bed and then fell onto it, his mouth tracing a path along her body. She arched her back, lifting herself towards him in response and reaching to pull his mouth back to hers. He entered her slowly, his breath catching in his throat as he heard his name escape her lips. He held himself still for a moment, savoring the velvety feel of her, but she clung to him desperately, urging him to take her, urging him deeper. “Please,” she breathed in his ear.
Her plea fueled the fire rushing through his veins and he responded with an equal fervor. He drove into her with a consuming desire, as anxious to bring her pleasure as he was to find his own release. When she cried out quietly, clinging to him, he slowed, savoring the feel of her climax. As it subsided, he brought his lips to hers softly and began moving again, building slowly until she came a second time and he followed suit, shuddering violently against her. “Oh, god, Jordan,” he panted, biting lightly at her neck. “What you do to me.”
He groaned softly as he withdrew from her and collapsed on the bed beside her. Over the past few weeks he had found himself hoping that his appetite for her might dissipate. But any doubt he’d had about extending his offer to her—about keeping her in his life—had vanished the moment he saw her.
The part of him that needed her was a part that she had awakened; a need that could not be fulfilled without her. Because of her, he’d discovered a compartment of his heart that he hadn’t known existed. In an odd way it was much the same as he’d felt with the birth of his children; she was something he hadn’t known he was missing until he found her.
He pulled her into his arms and stroked her hair. Their hearts still pounding, they dozed off without even pulling the sheet over them.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The band was on fire on stage that night, and Jordan let herself get lost in the moment, refusing to think about anything else. She let the music wash over her, letting it lift her spirits and feeding off the energy of the band.
Later, at the after party, she joked and laughed with them, enjoying the camaraderie and celebration while she could. Eventually, however, she realized that she’d had enough of the festivities; it was her last night with Jon and she wanted him to herself.
She moved to him, touching his arm. “I think I’m going to head up to my room. Care to join me?” she asked, lowering her voice. “Master?”
His eyebrows shot up and then he chuckled, shaking his head slightly. “And to think I left my handcuffs in my other pants.” He leaned in to kiss her lightly on the temple and spoke quietly in her ear. “I’m sure we can improvise. Go ahead. I’ll be up shortly.”
When he let himself into the room, he found her standing near the window, looking out at the lights along the lake. She was wrapped in a green silk robe and sipping from a glass of ice water. Dozens of candles flickered throughout the suite and soft music filled the room.
He laughed quietly as he moved to her, taking the glass from her hand and setting it down before wrapping his arms around her waist. “You’ve set quite the scene for seduction, my dear.”
She blushed slightly, bringing her arms up to encircle his shoulders. “Well, I just wanted something special.”
He reached to brush a lock of hair from her face. “Oh, I’m not complaining. I’m just impressed.” He kissed her gently, smiling. “You do realize, however, that you had me at ‘Master’?”
She smiled. “Yes, I thought you might find that a little intriguing.”
He laughed softly. “You know me too well, I’m afraid.” He brought his mouth to hers again, sucking lightly at her bottom lip before letting his tongue sneak in to tease at hers.
She molded her body against his and they began to sway together as Boz Scaggs came over the speakers. She was so keenly aware of her love for him she physically ached.
Hope they never end this song
This could take us all night long
I looked at the moon and I felt blue
Then I looked again and I saw you
Eyes like fire in the night
Bridges burning with their light
Now I want to spend the whole night through
And Honey, Yes, I'd like to spend it all on you
She couldn’t believe they were there again, in the room where it had all begun…and where it would end. A fairytale journey that had come full circle, only without the “happily ever after” part.
But she had tonight, and she was going to take advantage of every second. No rushing, no urgency.
She reached to pull his shirt over his head, and he raised his arms obligingly. She leaned in, planting a trail of kisses down his neck and across his chest. She brought her eyes to his as her hands played across his skin, her fingers exploring him as if it were the first time.
He followed her lead, releasing the belt on her robe and letting it fall open. He let his gaze wander down her body and he felt the familiar stirring of desire. “God, Jordan,” he said, softly, brushing her skin with the back of his fingers. “You’re so beautiful.”
They continued their slow seduction, and Jordan found herself trembling as much as she had the first time she’d come to him. He smiled, puzzled. “Baby, what’s wrong?”
She looked at him, her eyes unreadable. “I just want you so much,” she answered, her voice shaking.
“Well, you got me,” he replied, his hands grazing her breasts as he once again brought his mouth to hers. When he pulled away, his eyes were dark with desire. “So what are you going to do with me?”
She laughed softly and took his hand. “Follow me,” she said, and led him to the bedroom. The bed had already been turned down and the candlelight danced on the walls. He kicked off his shoes and she reached to unzip his jeans before letting her robe slip off of her into a silent puddle at her feet. He pulled her to him, craving the feel of her skin against his. Like her, he was in no hurry to rush things, although he wasn’t sure why—it was just a vibe he was getting from her, one with which he was happy to comply.
She slid the jeans off his hips and down his legs and then pulled him down onto the bed with her. They took turns then, feasting on one another, and he was surprised when a small and unexpected orgasm overtook her as she straddled him, a response to his hardness that was simply pressing against the warmth and wetness between her legs.
He watched as the shudder passed through her, and he felt his erection throb against her. “Come here, baby,” he said hoarsely, and pulled her mouth to his, tangling his hand in her hair. They kissed voraciously and finally she lifted her hips long enough to lower herself onto him. She rode him slowly, carefully, and he laced his fingers with hers, closing his eyes and losing himself in the sensation.
When he could stand the sweet torment no longer, he sat up, wrapping his arms around her and grazing her collarbone with his teeth. He rolled her beneath him and hooked his arms behind her knees before lifting himself above her, doing whatever he could to get as deep inside her as possible—to satisfy the nagging voice in him that was urging him to fully possesses her. His strokes were long and deliberate, and he was acutely aware of each and every nerve ending that was sending pleasure signals to his brain.
She was trembling beneath him and he realized she was fighting the orgasm that was beckoning. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could last and he slowed, his breathing labored as he spoke to her. “Jordan, honey, it’s okay. Don’t hold back.” He laughed huskily. “I’ve seen you come before…no need to be shy.”
She felt the tears forming in her eyes as he once again picked up his tempo, and when she felt the telltale signs of his pending climax, she finally gave in, clinging to him as the mixture of pleasure and pain rushed through her.
As their tremors subsided, he folded her into his arms and pulled the covers over them. He stroked her shoulder softly as he fought to stay awake, part of him for some reason afraid to waste even one second, but he was spent. He needed to sleep, just a little…
Jordan let herself drift off as well, her breathing in tandem with his. She woke a few hours later, alone in the bed. She found him in the living room standing in his jeans near the open window. She was surprised to see him smoking.
“You’re not really supposed to do that in here, you know,” she teased quietly, pulling on her robe.
He looked up, smiling sadly. He’d woken from a disturbed sleep, haunted by the signs he’d picked up on earlier. “Yeah, that’s why I’m at the window.” He reached for a soda can on the nearby desk and extinguished his cigarette, letting it slip through the opening at the top of the can.
“Well, don’t expect me to kiss you while you taste like that,” she joked, trying to break the tension she felt in the air.
He didn’t return her smile. Instead he regarded her quietly. Finally he spoke up. “You’re not taking the job, are you?”
She looked at him for a moment before shaking her head. “No,” she answered, her voice barely audible.
He nodded silently, looking back out over the lake.
“Jon, listen,” she said, moving closer. “It’s a great offer, it is. But…” her voice trailed off and she prayed for the strength to make it through what she had to do.
“But?” He replied, not really sure he wanted to hear more.
She took a breath. “But it’s not enough. I thought it would be, but it isn't.”
“It could be,” he answered. “If you give us a chance, it could be.”
She shook her head. “No, it wouldn’t. Because ultimately I would still sleep alone every night, and eventually I’d come to resent it. And you. Or worse, you’d come to resent me for wanting more.”
He turned to look at her then. “You’re wrong. I’d be there for you. I’d make time for you. We’d see each other all the time—and you’d have a great new job and be in a great new city with lots to enjoy when we weren’t together.”
“I know,” she said, softly. “But mostly I’d be the woman you fuck during the day before you go home to your wife and kids.” She cringed inwardly as she said it.
His eyes flashed with pain. “I have never treated you like that.”
She swallowed the lump in her throat as a tear escaped down her face. “I know you haven’t. But you don’t think that’s what it would become?”
“No, I don’t.” He held her eyes with his, challenging her.
“Jon, I can’t be the secret you have to keep.” She brought her hand to her face, wiping the tear away.
His voice was quiet. “I thought you liked our secret.”
She fought to keep her voice steady. “I love it. But it’s not realistic. You’re not just some guy on the street. People pay attention to where you go and what you do. Some day you’d get tired of the sneaking. And of me.”
“You’re wrong,” he said again. He raked a hand through his hair, blinking back his own tears. “Tell me what you want.”
She stood there, not speaking. I want this not to be happening. I want to wake up and find that everything is okay, that this has just been a horrible dream.
“Damn it Jordan, tell me what I can do to change your mind.”
Her voice was trembling when she spoke. She hated to say it but she knew she had to. “That’s just it, Jon. The one thing that would make a difference is the one thing you won’t do.”
“Maybe I will,” he answered, knowing he was lying. “If that’s what it takes.”
She shook her head. “No you won’t. And I don’t want you to. Because if you did, I promise you, one day you would resent me for it.” She sighed. “You have a great life, Jon. A life you love and worked hard for. I can’t be the reason you turn your back on it. Too many people would be hurt, and the press would eat you alive.” She paused. “Do you honestly think we could survive that?”
He looked away then, not answering her.
“Jon, we let this go too far; we got in too deep. But we can still get out relatively unscathed.”
He laughed bitterly. “Oh, you think so, do you?” He had been so sure she was in the same place with the relationship that he was—so sure she’d accept his offer.
“I’m sorry. I thought it was what I wanted…but it’s not,” she lied. “I want a man who can hold my hand when we walk down the street together.” It took all the strength she had to hold back the tears.
He felt the pit grow in his stomach. She did deserve more than he could offer her, and he knew it. Finally he spoke up, his voice sad but resigned. “Okay. But if you ever change your mind you know where I am. Because I didn’t come this far to just turn my back and forget you.”
She smiled sadly. You have to. She held her hand out to him. “Come back to bed for a while?”
He nodded and together they walked back to the bedroom, sliding beneath the covers and holding each other without speaking.
He couldn’t believe this was the last time he’d feel her against him. The sadness that consumed him was hard to describe. He realized that until now, another luxury he’d enjoyed in his life was the fact that he’d never experienced true heartbreak; not at this level, and not this personally. Common sense told him he was better off, that what he had been picturing for them was unrealistic at best—and dangerous at worst.
He told himself he should consider himself lucky they hadn’t been caught. That she was simply a fantasy that had come into his life; that he was fine before he’d met her and he’d be fine without her.
Eventually they rose and showered together, their heartache palpable as they tried to make the best of their last morning together. They ordered room service then both proceeded to pick at their food while they attempted to carry on a conversation. She assured him she’d finish the biography project and get it to him as promised, and he tried to talk her into joining him for a couple more stops on the tour at least.
She shook her head. “I can’t,” she answered. “We can’t keep putting ourselves through this.” He nodded without answering.
He looked at his watch. He knew the van would be waiting downstairs to take him and the rest of the band to the jet within the hour. He stood, taking Jordan’s hand and pulling her into his arms. They held each other tightly, and he stroked her hair. He brought his mouth to hers and she parted her lips. They kissed softly at first, then more forcefully. He felt her weaken in his arms as she clung to him.
Damn it, he thought, she was wrong. She had to be; what they had between them was too big to just give up without a fight.
He kissed her harder, his tongue forcing its way between her lips as he grasped a handful of her hair, tilting her head back and letting his lips trail down her neck.
“God damn it, no,” he said roughly against her skin. He took her face in his hands. “I’m not letting you go. I am not letting you do this to us.”
He kissed her again, not giving her a chance to respond. When he pulled away, his eyes were dark and angry. “I love you. And I know you love me.”
“Jon,” she said, her voice almost a whisper. “Please don’t.”
“You can’t tell me you’ll be happier without me.”
She shook her head, trying to push him away. He was making this even harder than she’d anticipated; her will was weakening and she couldn’t let it. “Please, Jon, go,” she whispered.
He ignored her plea, his mind clouded by grief and anger. He kissed her again and this time she didn’t push him away. He buried his face in her neck, biting lightly at the hollow near her collarbone. He needed to feel her, to taste her—to take part of her with him, at least. He tugged at the button on her jeans and lowered the zipper, bringing his mouth back to hers.
“Jon, don’t,” she murmured.
His breath was heavy in her ear. “Don’t push me away, Jordan.” He forced her jeans down and pressed her back against the love seat until her knees buckled beneath her. His mouth was hot against hers as his hands pressed her thighs apart and he fell to his knees in front of her. He lowered his head then, and she struggled lightly against him, gasping when she felt his breath on her, his hands gripping her thighs tightly.
It wasn’t tender or teasing; there was a quiet desperation seeping from him, as his mouth and tongue played against her, the way he knew she loved.
In the background he realized “Miracles” was playing over the radio, and he had to fight to keep from laughing at the bitter irony.
As he expected, her struggles were soon replaced with trembling, and he felt her swelling and responding beneath his tongue. “Damn you, Jon,” she said softly, crying out as the shudders wracked her body.
He remained where he was, continuing his cunnilingual motions until the last ripple of her orgasm had passed. It was only then that he realized just how tightly he’d been holding her, and he released his grip, cringing a little when he saw the red marks his fingers left behind. He kissed one of the telltale bruises lightly and rested his head against her stomach for a moment before bringing his eyes back to hers.
Her lips were trembling but she shook her head slowly. “No,” she said quietly, and he pushed himself away from her, moving to the bathroom to splash some water on his face. He looked at himself in the mirror and shook his head, her voice echoing in his mind.
We let this go too far; we got in too deep.
When he emerged, she had reassembled herself. He ran his hand through his hair. “Well I guess I should go,” he said, and she nodded.
They hugged and he kissed her softly, his lips lingering against hers. She could taste herself on his tongue and it made her ache all the more.
“Tell the guys good-bye for me?” She asked, and he nodded.
“Okay. But they aren’t going to like that you didn’t do it in person.”
She smiled softly. “I know, but I can’t.”
He sighed. “Yeah, I know.” They kissed again and reluctantly he pulled away. He reached to run a thumb across her lips. “I mean it. You ever change your mind, or if you ever need anything, call me.”
She nodded without speaking.
He gave her a final kiss. “I’m going to miss you.”
She stifled a sob as he pulled away from her. “Take care of yourself, okay?”
He nodded. “You too.” He reached for the doorknob. “Good-bye, Denver,” he said softly.
When he was gone she whispered quietly after him. “I’m sorry baby. I had to.” As she said the words, she let down the wall and her tears flowed freely as she slowly collapsed onto the floor. It was like a sharp knife through her stomach then when she heard James Blunt come over the speakers of the radio.
Across the hall, Jon was listening as well. He was emptying one of the tiny bottles of vodka from the minibar into a glass, the radio in his room still playing from when he’d turned it on the night before. As he listened, he shook his head. You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. He lifted the glass to his lips and poured the stinging liquid down his throat.
It may be over but it won't stop there
Goodbye my lover.
He emptied a second bottle into the glass as he felt the first shot burning in his stomach. Cheers, asshole. He threw the second shot back, realizing too late that he was washing the last taste of her from his mouth.
And as you move on, remember me
He shook his head. “Fuck,” he said, flinging the glass against the wall.
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