Jon propped his head on his hand as Tessa disappeared into the bathroom. Part of him was happy that she was going to be so busy today. He was going to have to do a little research on his end and see just how much Char had said on the news.
He was pretty sure he’d be able to get a copy of the episode from a friend in the network news. He’d had every intention of taking Tessa out to a few parties during the New Year’s Eve celebrations he had to go to. But he wanted to start out small. The least favorite part of his life was all the socializing he was expected to do.
Most of it was okay. The parties had enough celebrity to them these days that he was pretty low on the list of must meets, but with all the press about himself and Richie he was cornered nearly everywhere he went.
No one seemed to understand the idea of privacy in the media. What happened between the band, stayed between the band. It was as simple as that, though the singularly most difficult thing to have people get when it came to him.
He rolled onto his back and stretched. Richie seemed more than pleased with Tessa so letting her into the inner circle would be a lot easier than he’d originally anticipated. Richie’s on and off girlfriend, Denise, had been decidedly locked out. The band as a whole didn’t like Richie’s penchant for the starlets who needed attention as much as they needed to breathe.
They’d tolerated Heather because of her easy humor and just one of the guys demeanor. But with each passing year she had gotten more desperate to stay in the limelight and Richie’s comfortable ways were less than limelight material.
Richie wanted to stay home with Ava on his off time. To get to know his wife and daughter again. He wanted to have more children and play Dad as much, if not more than he liked to play Rockstar.
Tessa came out of the bathroom in a cloud of steam and pears so he rolled back onto his elbow to enjoy the view. She’d tucked a towel around herself but the dewy droplets of her shower still clung to her smooth shoulders. Her red hair was slicked back flipping up at her neck.
She bent to gather clothes for the day and the easy line of her thighs flashed from the towel and had him grinning. He hoped the fascination he had for her would stay just like this. He had a feeling it would.
As if she could feel his eyes on her she grinned over her shoulder. “Enjoying the show?”
“I’d enjoy it more if the towel was on the carpet.”
She stood and bumped the drawer closed with her hip. “Is that right?” She dumped her clothes at the end of the bed and sat next to him.
He leaned forward and sipped from her shoulder, letting his tongue lap up some of the droplets of water. He tugged her towel from the back and grinned when it slipped to reveal the curve of the side of her breast. He raised her arm and pressed a kiss against the swell and was rewarded with a cooperative towel. He nuzzled his nose and breathed in the crisp pear scent that would forever be associated with her and the lingering scent of soap and shampoo.
She slid her hand into his hair, smiling down at him as she turned into him. He sat up and caught her mouth in a gentle kiss. Her skin was cool as her breasts pressed into his chest. He dragged his fingertips over the dip in her back and back up to her shoulders.
He pushed his fingers into the wet silk of her hair and just tasted her for the pure joy of tasting her.
She groaned against his mouth. “There’s nothing I’d like to do more than to just kiss that amazing,” she swiped her thumb over his bottom lip, “Mouth all day, but the retail gods are chanting,” she kissed him again, “My name.”
“Yeah, I know. That’s the only reason the towel is still around those amazing hips of yours.”
She stood and twirled the towel. “I don’t have hips,” she said and snapped the towel at his butt. She scooped up a pair of bra and panties in a pretty ice blue and shimmied into them.
“You have amazing hips and the best ass in New Jersey,” he called to her as she disappeared into the bathroom to do those female rituals that made men beg for more. He rolled out of bed and stepped into his cargos, then pulled on his rumpled t-shirt from the night before.
“I’m going to go start some coffee,” he said as he left the room. He put some of her precious Dunkin Donuts coffee on to drip and dug into his bag for his cell. The red light on the top blinked furiously.
Flipping it open he groaned, “Four messages, just great.” Two were from friends wishing him happy holidays and the last two were from Richie.
“Hey man, give me a call. I think the wrath of Dot is going to be twisting your way soon.” He punched the number seven to move onto the last one, “I hope you still have that cup from your uniform with the Soul, man.”
She came down the stairs all fluffed and beautiful. A burgundy sweater hugged her slim body and the cowl neck curved around her long neck. She wore slim grey slacks and boots. “Is there something wrong?” she asked and stopped at the banister, tossing a bag over the rail.
He climbed two steps and kissed her. “No, it’s just a minor crisis.”
She looked skeptical, “You sure?”
“God, I hope so.” He slipped his hand around her waist and hugged her in close. “When are you leaving?”
“Just filling my To-Go mug and I’m outta here.”
“Got an extra one for your favorite guy?” he teased.
The suspicions faded and she smirked down at him, “Maybe.”
He kissed the smirk off her face and backed down the stairs. As Tessa busied herself in the kitchen he kept up with the idle chit-chat about their day. Forcing himself not to rush her, he gathered his clothes, stuffing them back into his bag. The sooner he knew how deep the shit was, the sooner he could figure out an answer.
He walked her to her car and opened the door, “How about my place tonight?”
“You’re not sick of me yet?” She teased and leaned in to tuck her mug into her holder and toss her bag in the passenger seat.
He ran his hand over the bulk of her coat and tugged her out. “I told you I’m not sleeping alone anymore.”
“Well what a handy coincidence that I packed a bag to sleep over.”
“I like sleepovers. Will you tell me a scary story and hold me when I cry?”
Her laugh was bubbly and carefree. “How about I just show up after work? That should sufficiently scare you out of your socks.”
She simply did not know how beautiful she was from sun up to sunset. Even filthy from playing in her window or wrung dry from customers, she just gave off this amazing vibe that made him want to be around her all the time. “I like bedtime stories though.”
She ran the tip of her finger over the dent in his chin. “I’ll have to peruse the shelves. Maybe I can find a different story altogether.”
His grin was wide and he forgot all about Dorothea for a moment. “I like the way you think.”
She brushed her cheek against his for a minute, then pulled back and pressed a lingering kiss to his mouth. She kept her eyes closed as he looked down at her. “I don’t want Christmas to end,” she said softly.
He slid his fingers into her hair and pressed her cheek to his chest, “Me neither, babe.” He knew it was going to be a very long day. He breathed her in one last time and let her go.