Jon tried desperately to get his synapses firing again, but it was difficult when all brain power was let loose below the belt. Tessa had always been a knockout. In fact, her seemingly endless collection of boots and tight pants left him with more than one sleepless night, but this…
Copper shimmered from the thinnest of straps and bloomed out in a slim panel of gathered material that seemed to have been created for her body. It curved around her breast and left a whole lot more skin showing than he would have liked, but his currently bloodless head didn’t have a lot of say in things. Nor could he deny the innate power that had been infused within her as she smiled at him, knowing that she was killing him slowly.
She shifted and turned for him and his breath halted as her milky white skin glowed. From the natural sway of her unencumbered breast that looked as if it would flip out of its perfectly nestled cup to the silky shimmer of her shoulders in the same unearthly hue, it all begged for his touch.
The rest of the material hugged every curve as it skimmed down her flat tummy and dropped away from the gentle flare of her hips. The copper fell into a straight column of liquid darks and lights as she walked toward him.
It was then that he noticed the steep slit as a perfect thigh pierced the molten material and followed the trail down a shapely knee and calf, ending in four inch stilettos that matched the dress in every way.
His eyes traveled back up the staggering length of her and his eyes, body and blood heated at the plunging neckline that enhanced her perfectly shaped breasts just as she turned, showing off her back that was equally awe inspiring. The copper crisscrossed in a dizzying latticework of iridescent skin and stunningly elegant design. It dropped low on her back, hugging the heart shaped ass he couldn’t tear his eyes from.
“Sweet Fuck,” Jon said with a hoarse groan.
Tessa’s head swiveled as she looked over her shoulder. “Daria said it would kill you.”
Jon swallowed with a bit more difficulty than he’d like to admit and glanced at the woman standing next to Tessa. “I’ll take a standing appointment for every New Year’s Eve as long as you’re working for the spa.”
Le gave a demure smile. “Thank you, sir.” She bowed her head slightly. “Good-bye Tessa Donovan. Thank you for a most inspiring day. My job is worth all the work when I see a man such as Mr. Bon Jovi’s reaction to the end product. Enjoy your party.”
Tessa rushed after Le as she showed her to the door and Jon took a minute to recover. Part of him wanted his old Tessa. He didn’t want to share this goddess with the red carpet and a roomful of people he barely knew. He wanted to lock her in here and find out just how those ties opened along her back, or just how easy it would be to untuck her breasts from their gilded perch.
He closed his eyes as her slim hand rested on his shoulder, her nails curling through his hair at the base of his neck. “I’m not sure you should be touching me right now,” he said roughly.
Tessa slid her hand down his shoulder and curled around his waist and pressed herself along his back. “And why is that?”
Sucking back a groan at the press of her breasts on his back he forced himself to go very still. “You’re too lovely to touch.”
She scooted around him and laid a hand on his chest. “I’ll never be too anything for that to happen, let alone the lovely part." She held up a hand when he started to protest. Her hand smoothed over his t-shirt, "You make me feel lovely. You make me want to do all this ridiculous ritualistic stuff to make you proud.”
“None of that stuff matters to me, but believe me it's going to be all eyes on you tonight. I'll be second fiddle on the red carpet.”
She laughed, “Sweet talker.” She lifted her finger to his bottom lip and traced it. “I’m completely touchable. In fact, everything Le did to me today makes me even more touchable.”
She lifted his hand, uncurling his tightly fisted fingers and placed them on her shoulder. “She did something called polishing. I think she described it as scrubbing every last dry skin cell off of me. Whatever she did, it made me feel softer than I’ve ever felt.”
Jon closed his eyes as the supple glossiness of her skin made his entire body come to instant and complete alert. She drew his hand down to meet her fingers as she laced them together then coasted them both up the front of the dress.
“Daria said the dress was a perfect fit,” she brushed his knuckles along the tips of her breasts. “It feels like I’m wearing nothing," She smiled and let her voice drop lower, "At all.”
Jon leaned in, forgetting that she was all made up, but Tessa drew back and he went for her neck instead. Her scent was pears, as always, but there was a hint of something else…something spicy and exotic. The sleek line of her hair tickled his nose as he drew her in. Lost in her touch and her scent, he let his fingers linger along her back.
The tips of his fingers slid along the checkerboard of sinfully soft skin at her lower back and up into the cool cap of hair that sifted so perfectly around his hand, teasing his wrists. “You make me insane,” he murmured against her throat and sipped from her again.
She shivered once then both hands flattened against his chest. “We are never going to leave this hotel if you don’t stop that.”
He pulled back, smiling wide. “No way, we need to get out there and show people exactly how gorgeous my…” he hated to use the word girlfriend, but that’s pretty much what she was. The undeniable other half of himself just seemed so pale in comparison when you left the definition as girlfriend. "Other half," he finished with only a moment's hesitation.
He leaned in and kissed her every so lightly on the mouth. “I’ll be right back.” He gathered his suit and hung it on the door, unzipping the garment bag to let the steam ease out the wrinkles that had come with the drive. Needing the few minutes to get himself back together he lingered a little longer in the shower than he normally would.
He wasn’t worried about how Tessa would act in the public eye, but he was a little worried about how she would react to the public. Unforgiving and cruel were the paparazzi’s motto. He just hoped her first real foray into the world of celebrity didn’t turn her off.
Twenty minutes later Jon led her to the elevator with a sleek black jacket shielding her amazing body from the elements. It didn’t stop the onlookers from lingering on her ethereal skin and elegant neck as they made their way to the private car he had waiting for them.
He’d given his regular driver the night off after he’d dropped off Tessa. Henry was a family man when he wasn’t playing stoic bodyguard/driver. The man taking care of them tonight already knew their destination so the privacy guard screen stayed up through the drive.
He tucked her into the curve of his body, but the closer they got to their destination, the quieter she got. He tried not to say anything, knowing this was going to be difficult for her. Even in the best of circumstances it was tough to make that first step on paparazzi row. He’d contemplated taking her out into the city first, to dinner, to a show, a premier, but in the end it just seemed like it was just best to get it over with.
Maybe he was testing the waters. It was a shitty thought, but seriously he just wasn’t sure what he was getting into when it came to the public. He’d been pigeon holed as the perfect family man for so long that he wasn’t sure how the public would react with a new woman on his arm.
Her foot started to wiggle as they rounded the corner and got into the lineup of cars that were doing their dropoffs. He laid his hand on her knee. “Relax,” he said quietly.
She didn’t look at him, just out the window. “Easy for you to say.”
“It’s one aspect of my life that I find a necessary evil. I don’t need the constant barrage of paparazzi in my life, but there are certain times where I need to make an appearance.”
“I know,” she said quietly.
Jon turned in his seat to meet her gaze. “I’m used to doing these things on my own if it’s not for you.”
“I’ll get used to it,” she said absently.
Knowing it was silly to take anything from that, he relaxed back against the seat. He hadn’t even been aware he was holding in a few nerves of his own. He’d grown so used to Dorothea’s company line, as it were, that it was his spotlight, not hers. She’d been content, even adamant about staying in the background. He had to drag her to any and all functions, and she wasn’t shy about letting him know she was only doing it out of obligation.
Their turn came, and the door swung open. Jon stepped out first, then held his hand out for her. “Ready?”