Chapter 19

Jon hung up her coat and purse in the vestibule on the brass rack and snatched the white to-go bag on his way into the kitchen. A blur of milky legs and a familiar shirt whipped by him, skidding on the hardwood of his entryway as she caught herself on the doorjamb.

“Hey!” he shouted and sprinted after her, bare feet slapping on the hardwood then tile as he scooped her around the waist and off the floor.

“I win!”

He laughed at her bright eyes and twinkling laughter when she turned in his arms. He couldn’t stop the answering smile and he imagined he looked very goofy, but he couldn’t seem to care. Not when the woman in his arms had a cap of copper hair that was rumpled around a sweet and open face and the glint of the devil lurking. “I don’t know, it was pretty close.”

She stretched on her tip-toes and curled her arms around his neck. “Nope, I definitely won.”

“I was getting the food.”

“Excuses, excuses. Someone doesn’t like to lose,” she tsked.

“No, I don’t,” he said and growled into her neck. His hands smoothed down her back as his fingers curled into the soft corduroy of his own shirt. “You do look good in my shirt though, so I’ll concede.”

“Is that a fact?”

His fingers slid lower to the ends of the shirt tails teasing her butt. “Oh yeah,” he said laughing when she squirmed away.

“Oh no, I’m eating this time,” she slapped at his hands. “You are lethal. Hands off.”

He dragged her back to him trapping her as he grabbed the bag, backing her into the counter where the microwave sat. He reached around her and hit a few buttons then pressed his hips into hers. “We have two minutes to make out,” he said and dived in.

Tessa laughed around the beginning of the kiss. The laughter and the tenderness was something she’d never had before. Sex was something for the bedroom after careful thought. She didn’t seem to do anything carefully around this man. His tongue was clever and thorough by the time he was done with her. Distantly she heard the microwave ping.

He pulled back and looked down at her upturned face. When she pressed her lips together again without opening her eyes he puckered up until she did.

Tessa opened up one eye and the laughter returned. “Hello duck wips.”

His eyebrows shot up. “Duck wips?”

“Oh yeah, you just have no idea how many pictures there are of you looking just like that in the world.”

He pulled his lips back in self conscious. He rubbed the heel of his hand against his jeans and she stepped back. “I’m sorry, maybe I shouldn’t have said that.”

He turned to the microwave and pulled the bag out. “No, it’s okay. I just forget that you’re a fan and when you say stuff like that it surprises me I guess.”

Tessa twirled the fat silver ring she wore on her thumb. “I am a fan, but I’m with the man not the singer. Don’t get me wrong, I love your music and the lyrics have pulled at me on more than one occasion, and you know you’re an attractive man.”

He studied her warily. “Yeah…”

“I won’t lie, the initial attraction was obviously because of the man on the screen and at the various shows I’ve seen, but I’ve met a ton of celebrities in my career and none of them have gotten to me like you do.”

He folded his arms over his bare chest, the nuked food forgotten. “A ton?”

Tessa forced her eyes to stay on his face and not wander over the chest on display or the arms bulging with tension. “I’ve worked in Manhattan for most of my life. I’m thirty-six years old, Jon, not a stupid little groupie who’s enamored with you. I’ve run a multi-million dollar 5th Avenue bookstore that was frequented by many a celebrity. Hell, I was Tom Hanks’ personal shopper when it came to books for himself and his kids.”

He couldn’t stop the tug of a smile. “Tom Hanks, huh?”

She stepped forward and poked him in the chest. “You are simply not that special,” she huffed and dropped into the chair. Unfortunately her huff was ruined by the temperature of the chair on her bare butt. “Dammit,” she gasped.


“Oh be quiet.” She shifted in the chair until the tails of the shirt were under her on the seat.

He laughed and brought the food to the table, grabbing a pair of Fiesta ware plates on his way. “You’re right about one thing. I’m not that special. I’m just a guy and the fans seem to forget that.”

“Yes, well if you weren’t so larger than life perhaps we would look at you a little differently.”

“Well I hope you will.” He took the burgers from the bag and split the fries on their plates. He hopped up and swung open a fridge that blended into the wooden paneling throughout the kitchen. “Ketchup?”

She frowned at him. “That’s it?”

“Yup. I’m a simple guy, Tessa. So, you want ketchup?” snagged the bottle and sat back down, squirting a generous amt out of the bottle then dunking his fry and licking the ketchup off his fingers.

Tessa reached for the bottle. “Have a little fries with your ketchup.”

“Hey don’t knock it. I’m just as generous with whipped cream.”

Tessa’s mouth went dry and she choked on the fry she just popped in her mouth. “Now why would you say that?”

The sparkle was back in his eyes. “I’ve got a fresh can of Reddi Whip in there. I’ve worked up a powerful hunger.”

Tessa flushed from her face down to her toes. “You know, zingers like that will give a girl a heart attack.”

He unwrapped his burger and pushed the insides back to where they belonged, tugging some wilted lettuce out. “I still have at least four more hours to show you how many zingers I can come up with.”

Tessa brought the huge burger to her lips. “That’s what I’m afraid of,” she said and took a bite. The flavors exploded in her mouth, a hint of heat blended with onion, pickles and barbecue sauce. “Oh my God,” she said reverently.

Jon smiled and took a big bite himself. “Good huh?” he said in between man-sized bites. “Eat up; I’m not nearly done with you.” He wagged his eyebrows. “You’ll need your strength.”


mamybest said...

zinger's!!! i willnever look at them again!!! bring on chapter 20 soon tara!!! four more hours!!!

mamybest said...

boy did i misspell alot in that post!!! what i meant to say was i will never look at finger's the same again!!!

Anonymous said...

I see we're heading into whipped cream territory - Yee Ha!

edgebag said...

Jeez, I have a new appreciation for my Fiesta ware! LOL! Loved this chapter! I'm picking up on some insecurities on Jon's part...

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