Jon swallowed with a bit of difficulty. The green sweater she wore matched her eyes and that would have been enough. The collar slipping down her shoulder dusted with freckles and the creamy complexion of the Irish was just cruel.
His eyes met hers and held. He’d been thinking about her since he’d left. He’d tried hard not to. He had so little time with his family in the last few months with all the work on the new album and his responsibilities with Habitat and now with Ken’s company, but her eyes just wouldn’t leave him alone.
He wasn’t a fanciful man. He enjoyed pretty women and had lost himself in a few since he’d signed the divorce papers, but nothing had plowed him like this. He’d liked the women he’d dated, but none of them had stayed with him. Hell, one or two he hadn’t even been able to hold enough of an interest past a few dates.
Her eyes were still a little smudged with makeup but the rest of her was fresh faced, if a little tired around the edges. He had to admit he was a little tired too, but seeing her dissolved the last bit of tension from the afternoon.
The excitement of the Kids Corner had taken its toll on Jake, leaving him high strung and difficult. Romeo had been well past his naptime by the time they’d left Chapters. They missed their mother and the two older kids couldn’t be bothered with him. In his head he understood, but his heart was another matter.
His children came first before anything and anyone, especially himself. He’d told himself he would go in and talk to her during the week, but driving back from Dorothea’s, he’d found himself in her parking lot.
She opened the door wider. “I’m sorry, come in. It’s freezing out there.” If Santa had been on the other side of the door she wouldn’t have been more surprised.
He dug his hands deeper into his pockets. “I know it’s late…”
She flicked the lock and her pulse jumped when the outside floodlights snicked off. “Well, not that late.”
His gut churned. God, could he pick the timing or what? “I’m sorry, I’ve come at a bad time…you’re locking up.”
“Believe me, you couldn’t have picked a better time.”
He grinned, his muscles unknotting. “Oh yeah?”
Her heart lurched. God, what was she saying? “Umm…That did not come out right.”
“Works for me.”
She laughed nervously. “I’m just surprised.” She touched his arm, “Glad, don’t get me wrong. So very glad.” She dropped her hand.
He tugged his hands out of his pockets and caught her fingers before they fell to her sides. “I’m not sure how I ended up here and I have no idea if I even should be here.”
A tiny frown line formed between her eyes. “You shouldn’t?”
“If you only knew the insanity that is my life right now,” he said with a sigh.
Tessa’s hand burned where he gripped it. God, was she sweating? Were her hands clammy? “Oh? I knew there was a new album getting put together,” she said absently.
Jon grinned. He shouldn’t be a surprised of course, he worked hard to make his band a household name. “Are you a fan?”
She pressed her lips together. “Define fan.”
His grin widened. “You have everything I’ve recorded and go to shows.”
He laughed. “Really?”
Tessa winced. He might as well know how crazy she was up front. “I’m in the fan club and I’m pretty active. I travel for shows. I camp out for tickets.” She hung her head. “I have bootlegs,” she whispered.
His head fell back and he said nothing.
Oh shit! Tessa gripped his hands. “But I can get rid of them if it offends you. I mean I know it’s not sanctioned and there are all sorts of rules on that kind of thing.” She looked down at their still joined fingers and her heart fluttered at the missing wedding band. It was so odd to see him without it off stage.
She could feel him shaking. Oh God, she’d pissed him off. “I-“
The laughter that came out of him was amazing. She’d heard that kind of laugh a few times in interviews and the occasional show when Richie got him going, but to see it up close? To hear it?
“Oh man, I never in my life thought I’d be attracted to an all out fan. They usually scare the crap out of me.”
Tessa blinked. “Scare you?” Then tripped over her tongue, “Attracted?”
His laughter faded. “Oh yeah, you have no idea the pedestal I get put up on. I’m so not pedestal status. Not even close. As for the attracted part,” He stepped closer. “You have no idea.”
“You have no idea? Are you kid-“ he pulled her in and the flood of words died. His hand slid around her back and the last coherent thought she had was, damn he smelled good.
His lips were gentle, just as she thought they would be. Her hands lay limp at her sides as he cupped her jaw with his other hand and simply sipped from her. There was no other word to describe it.
His thumb skimmed the crest of her cheek and slid into her hair, pushing the headband away. Her hair felt like silk, he thought as he continued to taste her. His fingers cruised over the short hair at the base of her head, then down the graceful line of her neck. He knew he’d shocked her with the kiss and was patient enough to wait for her to join him. Until she did he’d learn the taste of her with the soft glide of his lips on hers.
Tessa moaned and her arms finally moved. Her heart skidded to a halt when she felt the flick of his tongue along her lips. She pressed her hands to his stomach, slowly inching higher until the planes of his stomach curved into the expanse of his chest.
He’d changed his shirt, the button down corduroy was open at the third button and the coarse patch of hair at his chest curled around her fingers. They broke apart and she gasped when her eyes met his. The blue was deep like the darkening sky outside. Her fingers splayed over his warm skin reaching higher to his shoulders.
He crushed her to him, needing to taste her again. He knew the kiss had a lot less finesse, but he couldn’t seem to care. Her simple touch had his body hot and tight in a way he hadn’t felt in a long time. He’d played the field most of the summer, but work, children and the schedule he’d built for himself since the fall, left little time for a woman. Hell, he hadn’t even missed one until just now.
Her arms wrapped around his neck and she drew herself on tip-toe to get closer to him. His hands slid down her back to the tops of her hips, his grip a little more insistent now. The warm softness had raged until she couldn’t catch a breath. She couldn’t get close enough to satisfy the need inside of her.