Chapter 106

Tessa glanced at the alarm clock, watching the digits head from five into six o’clock before her gaze returned to the ceiling of her bedroom.  It was night three that she’d found herself alone.  Work had been crazy enough to keep her busy during the daytime hours, but the nights were getting long without him.
Jon had Dad duties with the kids until they returned to school and that counted her out of the mix.  She tried to be understanding about that.  It was going to take some time to blend their realities into his reality, but damn it smarted a little that she wasn’t even allowed around them. 
She knew he needed time with them. In fact, she’d been hogging his time most nights for the last few weeks.  She should get used to the fact that his time was limited and his life was going to take him from her, more often than not.  But the sleeping thing was starting to grate.  She was getting used to sleeping curled into his arms. Her bed felt huge and lonely without him.  She’d never been the type to sleep with a man.  She liked her space and her independence, but everything seemed to have new rules with Jon in her life.
Sick of counting the shadows that danced along her ceiling she flipped back her blankets and shut the alarm off just before it buzzed under her hand.  She lingered through her morning routine, taking the time to do her hair and make up, hoping it would make her feel better. 
She even took more time with her clothes and jewelry, hoping to kill some time before she headed into the store.  Hell, her office was definitely being rewarded with her restless nights.  It was so organized she couldn’t find things.  That’s when she knew a room had been thoroughly cleaned.  She’d even managed to read a few of the ARC’s she’d been putting off.  She’d had time to start a few special projects for the store and to spend time with Adam and Nic, but when she got home it was Jon she wanted.
Shaking her head as she zipped up her boot she blew out a disgusted breath.  She was becoming one of those women she hated.  One of those women that lived for her man and didn’t know what to do with herself when she was alone.  “How the hell did that happen?” she asked herself.
She stopped by the kitchen and grabbed a granola bar and filled her coffee mug before heading out, her mood darkening like the sun that wasn’t even up yet. And here she was heading to Chapters even though she didn’t need to go in this early. But if she stared at her walls for another minute she was going to do something crazy like call him.  At friggin’ six thirty in the morning,
Even just to hear his voice on his voicemail. How pathetic was that? It wasn’t like he didn’t call her.  He’d made sure to touch base with her every day, even if it was just a moment between child shouts and his ever ringing phone. 
Dumping her bag into the car, she slid in and gave a quick start when her hip started buzzing.  Who the heck? She unsnapped it from its clip and felt the warmth that had been missing from her flood.  “Hey you.”
“Hey there yourself, I was just calling to leave a message.  What are you doing up so early?”
“I don’t have my extra pillow.”
“Hey now, I know I’ve been slacking on the abs but you don’t have to call me a pillow do you?”
She laughed as she knew she was supposed to.  “I miss you like crazy, foolish man.”
“Now that’s more like it. Tell me more…spout words of love and devotion and that you can make all my Soul Foundation troubles go away.”
“You are my reason for living, and fire the lead of the project and promote man number two, he or she is usually doing all the work.”
“I love when you talk dirty and talk executive to me in the same sentence. It gives me all the, uh…warm fuzzies I can handle.”
Grinning because there had to be midget ears in the room she couldn’t help herself.  “Really? Warm fuzzies?  And here, I thought that the nice trim I did last night would be enjoyed. I’m all smooth from my lonely bath.  Didn’t have anything else to do or anyone else to play with but myself.”
He choked on his the slurp of coffee he’d just made and she laughed.  “Are you trying to kill me?”
“No, I would never do such a thing.  I was just informing you that warm fuzzies were not on the menu.  Just helping you out, that’s all.”
Groaning first, it slid into a sigh.  “That just makes this call even harder.”
“Or is that you?”
“Believe me babe, when I say…both. Shi-“ he cut himself off. “Hey Romeo why don’t you go get your bag for pre-school, huh?” He cleared his throat. “When I get home to you I’m going to find every inch of that smooth skin and show you how much I missed it and you.  But that’s not going to be for a bit longer.”
She could hear the wince in his voice and she swallowed down the disappointment.  The clue to the Soul Foundation certainly should have raised a red flag.  “Gotta go into Philly huh?”  She tried to keep her voice light and teasing.  “My busy boyfriend,” she said with mock wistfulness.
“Why don’t you come into town with me?’
She could hear the offer was supposed to be sincere, maybe he even wanted it to be, but she knew he’d be too busy schmoozing and working to need to worry about her.  “It’s okay, you’ll be busy and I have to-“ concentrate on getting through another night without you, “get ready for inventory.” In April.
He sighed, “I’ll try to wrap things up and get home by Friday.”
“Friday?” she said and immediately laughed to cover up her own selfishness. Dammit, she just had to get used to this.  Suck it up you silly shit.  “Well, I guess I’ll have to make sure there’s a nice dinner planned that night,” she said with what she hoped was a purr.
A crash and a scream cut off anything else he’d meant to say. “Dammit, babe, I gotta go make sure there are all the fingers and toes that are supposed to be in the next room.”  He laughed.  “Love you,” he said absently and was gone before she could reply.
Unclipping the phone from her skirt she flipped it and her cell into the bottom of her purse.  Obviously she wasn’t going to need that today. 


Twelve hours later she was wondering why she thought that opening her own bookstore was a good idea.  Did she really want to work with the public twenty-four seven, three hundred fifty eight days a year? She tried her most winning smile on the customer in front of her.  “Ma’am I would love to take the book back, but I don’t sell it. It’s a textbook.”
“I special ordered it,” the woman stated emphatically.
“Perhaps you ordered it from one of the major chain stores?” She flipped open the cover again and groaned when it said, Copyright 2003 on the title page.  “I’m sorry if you don’t have a receipt there’s nothing I can do.”
“You have the worst sense of customer service I’ve ever heard of!” she said as loud as humanly possible. 
“Have a nice day, Ma’am.”  The woman stalked off and Tessa gave a tight smile to the next customer in line.  She’d given Nichole the night off to enjoy her husband’s last night off before the new college semester started back up.  At least someone should enjoy the evening, she thought darkly. 
“Hey, Tessa, you can start the closing stuff if you want, I can handle the front.” 
Smiling gratefully at her backup head cashier she finished the sale and locked her terminal.  “Thanks, Suze, just buzz if you need me.”  She escaped to the back office and started running her evening reports, dropping into her chair for a second before she needed to work the pile of reshelving she had to do before closing. 
She heard a small beep from her purse and leaned down to find her forgotten cell phone lit up at the bottom.  She pulled it out and flipped it open, surprised to see seven text messages.  She opened the first one and couldn’t stop the laugh. 

[9:23am] *stuck in traffic and was seriously thinking that it would be far more exciting if we were necking*

[10:18am] *waiting for meeting number two to start…wish they had your on-time work ethic. Thinking about your lips still.*

[12:42pm] *I’m hoping you’re not mad, just busy.  Still missing your lips.*

[1:39pm] *Soo…about those lips.  I don’t think I managed to concentrate on a single thing we talked about in a marketing meeting.*

[5:21pm] *Had a salad for dinner.  Am I boring you yet? Good, because that’s how excruciating my day was.  I’m definitely snacking on your lips when I get home tomorrow.*

[7:01pm] *I think I’m going to need to call you from the hotel.  I haven’t touched you in four days and my dick is in withdrawal. Your lips are still on my mind.  And no, not in regards to my dick.  Maybe. LOL*

[7:03pm] *Am I going to have to resort to dirty voicemails? Are you ever going to reply to me? When I see you, I’m going to make out with you for an entire hour, then start taking off your clothes.  I miss you.*

She glanced at her watch, it was quarter after seven.  She flipped open her phone and swore when it took three tries to just type in a word.  “How the hell did he text so fast?” she muttered as she painstakingly spelled out each word.  And somehow she pictured him under the desk, fingers flying over the keys as a corporate dynamo gave his speech, trying to impress Jon.

*I miss you too.  Phone sex at 9pm sharp, if you can handle it stud.* 

And she shut the phone and returned to its clip at her waist and headed to the floor with a sprint in her step and a tune humming through her system.  A moment later her hip buzzed.  She looked around to make sure no one would catch her and flipped it open.

[7:17pm] *I’m probably going to have to ‘handle’ it. ;)  Get your candles out sexy, you’re mine in less than two hours.*

She flew through her evening closing rituals and had the door locked by eight and in her house by twenty after.  Treating the night as if it were a date she flew up the stairs and stripped for a shower.  Deciding that ambiance was what she needed, she took his advice and lit a few candles with a little light jazz playing as she settled herself in the overstuffed chair that sat in the corner of her bedroom. 
And when the phone rang at a minute before nine she breathed both a sigh of relief and let her smile show when she answered.  “Hi.”
“I’m beginning to forget what you look like.”
“I know how you feel,” she said and curled her legs under herself.  “I loved the texts, by the way.”
“I thought you were mad at me.”
“How could I be mad?” She asked and rose to stretch out on her bed.  “I honestly just didn’t have my phone on me all day.  I didn’t know that my guy was going to dirty text me all day.”
“That wasn’t dirty texting, baby.  I’ll show you that tomorrow.”
She couldn’t help the flush that the words caused as she rolled onto her back, stuffing a pillow under her head.  “Well, whatever they were, they made my day.”  It had been beyond shitty, but she didn’t think he’d want to hear about it. 
“Well then you’re far too easy, and I like that about the women I’m sleeping with.”
Her grin spread, “The women, huh?”
“Oh yeah, you know I’m dangling at least four or five.”
Because his voice was so playful and sarcastic at the same time she settled into her bed, completely at ease for the first time all day.  “I was told I only had three personalities.  So, who are four and five?”
“Well four, gives a constant deep tissue massage without complaint and the fifth one is at home, naked waiting for her man.”
“Hmm…I’m half naked, is that good enough?”
His voice practically purred in her ear leaving that delicious flush again.  “Just how naked?”
She tucked an arm behind her head letting his white dress shirt ride high on her thighs.  She looked at the mirror across from her bed and sat up.  Feeling delicious and just a little naughty, she mussed up her hair, unbuttoned a few of the tiny buttons and lifted her cell.  The cell took great shots.
With a few deft clicks she saved and sent the pic.
“You’re killing me, just how naked?”
“You have mail.”
“Is that you beeping in my ear?”
“Hmm…I don’t know, could be.”  She laughed when the phone was obviously pulled away and he was flicking through functions then a quick and muffled curse was his instant response.
“I think I just found my new wallpaper for the phone,” he said with a low voice. 
“Is that right?”
“Damn, I’m bringing all my shirts to your house.”
“Well don’t you say the sweetest things?”
“How many buttons are left?”
“Three,” she said and laughed when he groaned.  “Whoops, make that two.”
“Awww hell,” he whispered.  “Can you take another picture?” 
And she laughed.


Chapter 105

Tessa woke to a corner of the mattress and a very deceptively heavy man half on and half off of her. Normally she loved when they slept entangled. In fact, it was her favorite thing in the world.

When she wasn’t hung over.

She squinted against the glaring sun that streamed into their hotel room like a stage spotlight. The night skyline had been conducive to romance; however hangovers and daylight did not mix into anything other than a trip to see the porcelain gods.

She slammed her eyelids shut and reached for a pillow on the floor to block out the world for a little bit longer, but Mother Nature had other, more insistent plans. With a low moan, she inched her way out from under Jon until she rolled to the floor with a thud. Her body hurt in so many places she couldn’t even pinpoint the pain. Alcohol wasn’t so fun after the buzz was gone, that was for sure.

She looked over her shoulder, but he hadn’t moved an inch. Too proud to crawl her way to the bathroom she forced herself to stand and stumbled over the pile of clothes and a very empty box of condoms on the floor. Holding her hand up against the glare she spotted the control panel for the shades and nearly whimpered when the room went from stabbing bright to dim.

She took care of business and couldn’t even care that she looked like the wrong end of a dog. Feeling less than sociable as aspirin was not something she’d thought to pack, she pushed at Jon until he moaned and shifted onto his back. “Can I have some of the bed please?”

“Huh?” Jon peered at her through a slitted eye and rolled away into a pillow on the far side of the bed. He just moaned and grabbed for the blankets curled under them. “Would you give up some sheets?” he said with gravel for a voice.

“If you give me some of the bed,” she groused and snapped half the sheets his way.

“I’m over here, aren’t I?”

She punched a fist into the pillow and growled, “Good, you friggin’ bed hog.”

The bed began to shake and she looked over her shoulder. “Would you cut it out?”

The shake got even more blatant as a belly laugh escaped him. “Never thought I’d see a morning bear replace my Tessa,” he said and slipped his hand over her hip.

She pushed his hand away. “Seriously?” she said amazed that he went from grouch to grope in a matter of seconds.

His stubbled cheek and chin tried to tease they’re way into the crook of her neck. Feeling less than sexy and a little queasier with each dip and sway on the bed she rolled over and sweetly smiled, inching into him. “Baby?” she whispered, flicking her tongue along his jaw.

“Mmm-hmm,” he said and nuzzled her back.

She inched closer, and drew one hand over his furred chest, up over the rock hard pecs that usually gave her far more delicious thoughts and pushed. Unprepared for the movement he tumbled to the floor, still laughing.

She snatched the blankets and spread herself across the bed. “Take a cold shower and stop laughing like a loon,” she said and promptly tucked herself into the opulent bed clothes and pillows. She closed her eyes and was determined to sleep her way through the queasies.



Twenty minutes later Jon just shook his head as he towel dried his hair and stood next to the bed. She was still curled into the sheets and down comforter with only a fluff of red hair peeking out the top. Letting the towel swing free, he tugged on jeans, leaving them unsnapped as he quickly dried his hair and brushed his teeth.

When she still didn’t stir, he went back to the bed and sat next to her. “Hey there grouch, wake up.”

A muffled, “No,” came from the depths of linen.

Amused he tugged until one pissed off green eye met his. “You don’t get to drink like that if you’re going to be pissy in the morning, darlin’.”

The visible eye went from angry to gloomy. “I hate hangovers,” she mumbled.

Charmed enough to lean in, he kissed her forehead. His Tessa wasn’t so good with the morning after party recovery process. He filed that away for future use. “Well, I’m going to say my hangover cure and yours are not going to be even close to the same, so why don’t you try a shower and we’ll head home.”

“Can’t I just stay here until next week? I think I’ll have enough rest in me by then.”

He brushed a thumb under her bruised and make-up smudged eyes. She’d been running herself ragged through Christmas and then the return season at her store. She was entitled to some time off, but she wasn’t the type to complain. That told him more that anything that she was definitely feeling off.

He went back into the bathroom and started running water in the big tub; he sniffed at the bottles to find a light scent and dumped some of the oil and bubble bath in. When the water was the right temperature he went back to the bed to lure her out.

“C’mon baby, a bath will help. I promise.”

“That requires getting out of bed.”

Laughing, he tugged at the sheet she had twisted into her fist. He leaned down and scraped his teeth over her fingers until she let go. “You can take a nice bath and I’ll make some calls. We’ll go home and vegetate the rest of the night with movies and ginger ale.”

“Promise no football? I can’t take the commentary.”

“Boy, I don’t know…no football is pretty painful.”

She transferred her grip from sheet to jeans and yanked him down, nearly unseating his boys. “Have pity on your poor girlfriend. She doesn’t do hangovers well.”

Laughing, he righted himself and quickly snapped up the buttons to protect him from a feisty female then scooped her up.

“Jon! Put me down!”

A wiggling, naked female was one of his favorite things, but not if it meant breaking his back. “Settle down Tessa. Enjoy the pampering when I can give it.” He shifted her until her arms came around his shoulders. “That’s a girl.”

“I’m not a girl,” she mumbled irritably.

He got to the tub and didn’t trust himself not to hurt her, so he set her onto her feet. He brushed a kiss on her forehead and rubbed his thumbs over her shoulders. “Just sit there and soak. I’ll order up some foo-“

“No food!”

He laughed, “I promise, it will help.” He held her hand as she stepped into the frothy bubbles that smelled of ocean breezes and calming sunshine. When she eased back and tucked her neck into the cushioned pad along the back he left her to it.

He flipped his cell open and turned it on, dialing room service with the hotel phone he ordered a light breakfast. Making the first round of calls to his family he wished everyone Happy New Year and stretched out on the bed to talk to his kids.

Within that time the food cart had come and he’d blasted his way through a serving of eggs, toast and sausage. Deciding he’d left her long enough to get pruny he leaned against the door jamb. “Hey slug,” he said in a light voice.

“Hey,” she said quietly.

He kneeled beside the tub and pushed the last of the bubbles that lingered along her shoulders away, dipping his fingers into the still warm water until he found skin. The soft curve of her breast and immediate puckering reaction of her nipple drew him closer into her.

He pressed a soft kiss to her lips, letting his hand slide into the water and smooth over her slick flesh. With an arm wrapped around her back he smiled against her mouth when she responded. Unhurried touches and sweet sighs were exactly what he was looking for. Drawing her out of the water, he wrapped her in a towel, surprised when she pushed for more.

Keeping the mood light, he let her touch him and returned the favor in the same soft lingering ways. Deciding a little morning loving was Tessa’s hangover cure he lengthened each touch until she was boneless in his arms. And when he finally followed her into release she was curled in front of him in a tangle of arms and legs.

Pressing a kiss into her shoulder he held on as shudders faded into smooth breathing and nuzzling touches. Needing the connection and sensing her mood, he kept them joined a little longer. “I love you,” he said into her ear.

Sighing she traced her nails through his forearm hairs as she did when relaxed or pensive. “Is it wrong to want to just stay here and lock the world away?”

Looks like it was pensive, he thought as he slid his thigh between hers, cupping her into the curve of his body. “It’s a nice thought,” he said against her skin.

They lay there like that, close as two people could be without climbing into each other’s skin for a long while before Jon spoke again. “You know, going back doesn’t mean everything’s going to change, babe. It’s just like we’ve been doing for weeks.”

“I know. And I know I’m being stupidly sensitive about this right now. I’m weak from dehydration and alcoholic influence. I’ll be better, I promise.”

“Hey,” he turned her in his arms so they were face to face. “I don’t need better, I just need you.”

Still quiet, they gently parted and got dressed. Both of them were in jeans and t-shirts when they left the hotel, dress bags in hand. The car ride home was quiet, save for his buzzing phone. He routed the driver to her house, deciding her creature comforts were just what they would need to finish out the evening.

And six hours of mindless movies, including Die Hard, the oddly hilarious Princess Bride and his introduction into the Highlander phenomenon he had a happy and sated Tessa, a full belly and a sense of contentment that would help him make it through the week.

He hoped.


Chapter 104

Tessa felt the world whirl as she backed into the car, but she decided that she liked the long, slow spin and fastened her lips to his to ride it out. His flavor was like a narcotic.  The bump and grind of the dance floor, then the teasing touches in the hallway had jump started her libido.
It was a mindless thing, she couldn’t think about even a slice of propriety at that point.  She wanted him naked, wanted his skin on her, inside of her and around her until she smelled nothing but his fresh soapy scent and the hot, darker flavor of him skin to skin. 
She could feel him fighting her, fighting the riptide she was bringing down on his head, but she was too far gone to worry about what he thought of her.  She wanted him to feel what she did, to want like she did.  Consequences be damned she would taste him in the next five minutes or she’d tie him down.
Pushing him back, she slammed down the lock on the door and crowded him into the door.  Flashes of light came from the headlights of cars and the streetlights that swished by as the driver headed for the hotel.  She could see him though; the darkness slowly gave way to the perpetual life of New York. 
He hissed as she nipped at his ear and tugged his shirt tail free and started popping buttons from the bottom up.  The thin line of hair at his belt grew and widened over his belly and chest as she pushed at the shirt.  Wanting his flesh, wanting his taste in her mouth, she swung her leg over his.
“Tess, wait,” he said and caught her fingers, laughter in his voice mixed with a little frustration.
She hiked her dress and watched as his eyes went from teasing and exasperated to that flame center hot that made her melt.  She’d known most of the night that he would have a coronary when he found out that she’d gone sans underwear that night.  Every, little thing showed in the line of her dress, so she’d gone with thigh highs and skin, knowing the slit in her dress modest enough to pull it off.
She settled herself on his thighs and widened her fingers to splay over the ridge of muscle along his stomach and up across each pec.  “I don’t want to wait,” she said with an exaggerated pout and yanked his tie down and through its loop slipping it out from his shirt and around her own neck.  “I can’t wait another second not to,” she leaned forward, letting her hips undulate against his tense thighs as she scraped her teeth over and around the dogtag hidden beneath his shirt then to the underside of his pec.  She followed the trail of shadows and light as she made her way down his washboard abs.
She flicked the buckle open and reached inside, letting her tongue taste what she was craving.  “Taste you,” she said and looked up at him.  His eyes had gone hooded, and the blue was dilated in awareness and barely controlled lust glittered as she slowly drew him into her mouth.
She pushed the zipper placket back and cupped him just the way he liked, letting her touch and the soft hum of her pleasure drag him into the stilted, powerless passion she was feeling.  Carnal heat, mixed with a dab of pre-cum as his hips lifted to thrust into her mouth.  She took him deeper, letting herself relax around him and took him all. 
She looked up to see him watching her, his fingers teasing the tips of her hair as he tried not to close his eyes against the pleasure she was giving him.  She could see that he wanted to take action, she could feel his body shudder as she crawled up to sit just below the painful erection that pressed against his belly. 
She braced her hand on the line of the door and the roof of the car and raised herself up.  “I need you,” she said with a ragged breath.  She bit down on her lower lip as he took a hold of himself and angled the tip of himself over the hood of her.
She wanted to slam down onto him, ached to take him hard and fast, but he held a hand to her belly and stopped her.  The tip rubbed there in the molten heat he’d created inside of her.  She’d been half wet the entire evening, but add in the play and the teasing, then the alcohol and the power of his touch she was so ready she would have to force herself not to scream her way down 57th.
She growled and tried to push herself down onto him but he held her still with ease.  She dropped her hand from the door and twisted her fingers into his shirt and pulled him up.  The clash of wills was unexpected but blinding in the heat of the moment.  “Fuck me dammit!” she said hoarsely.
Startled by her words and the reckless shout of pleasure as she sheathed him he just held on as she moved against him.  The world was centered here on this man, and the pleasure she sought. She rode him hard, unable to quench the thirst inside of her, the need to have all of him.
She cried out a frustrated groan as her orgasm was just out of reach.  He reached around her neck and pulled his tie down over her shoulders, wrapping the ends around his hands to haul her in.  The angle and the pressure of the silk caused her back to arch in response.  He pushed aside the slinky material with his mouth and found the tip of her breast, sucking deeply at the tight nipple.
He moved from one breast to the other and the sliding, rasping tongue was just enough to send her over.  She clenched down on him so hard that she heard a shout of surprise release come from him as she viced down on him.
She collapsed onto him, her body and mind whirling with sex, alcohol and the unique blend of her man’s scent on her.  She buried her face into his neck and felt the pull of the whispy black night around her.


Jon felt her go boneless against him and let out a long breath.  She’d taken him with a wildness that bordered on the frantic.  He’d wanted to wait, maybe just fool around in the car and let their play culminate in the hotel, but as it always was with Tessa, life had other plans.
His fingers traced up and over the latticework of ties that went up her back and relaxed into the soft rise and fall of her in sleep.  He hoped it was just sleep anyway.  It would not exactly be the ending of the night he’d planned if she passed out on him.
He tried to sit up a little, the curve of plastic and leather that usually only granted comfort was now digging into his back.  He was still buried inside of her, their scents mingling and merging into the overheated backseat and he ruefully smiled.  They’d certainly made their mark on this car.
“Tessa,” he whispered.
No answer.  Not even a change in her breathing.  Well shit, she probably did pass out on him. Not wanting to disturb her, but not willing to have a broken back either, he sat up and detangled them.  He shifted her next to him and lowered her dress, sighing in contentment when she curled into him so trustingly.
What should have only been a passing fling had grown so fast and furiously into something he wouldn’t live without.  He was beginning to think, couldn’t was more or less the correct word for it. 
Watching the city pass by, the short car ride came quickly to an end with the bright lights of the Time Warner Center in full bloom.  The fountains in the center were flowing in pretty colors and the stars that showcased the front display were in their ever-changing flush of reds, blues, oranges and pinks. 
“Pretty isn’t it?” she said from his chest.
“Hey, you woke up,” he said and pressed a kiss on her hair.
“I just needed a little catnap.  I don’t want to waste a moment of tonight,” she whispered and looked up at him.  The iridescent cast of light could have been harsh, but it only accentuated the rise of her cheeks and the devil bright smirk flirting with her lips.  “I have plans for you tonight, Mr. Bon Jovi.”
His smile widened as he lowered his mouth to hers.  “I like the sound of that,” he said against her lips.  Drowning in her softness he let his lips coast along hers.  Where speed and urgency had been, there was now gentleness. 
Jon breathed her in, anxious to get her to the room, to get her within skin to skin reach.  He’d had enough of the public, the niceties, the persona he had to play.  He wanted her to himself.  All to himself. 
Stepping from the car, he pulled her into him, pouring the slow burn of need into a kiss that spoke of long, slow nights and the cover of night.  When he felt her shudder against him, the satisfaction was nearly in his grasp.  Leading her inside and up to their room, he did nothing but keep her occupied both with his mouth.
The long, drugging kisses were beginning to affect him as well, but he was adamant about making this night one to remember.  One to get them through the quick pull of crazy that was coming up on him.  He knew their time was limited.  His life and his job were going to make themselves heard and he didn’t want to face that quite yet.
Tonight was about them.
He backed her down the hallway with laughter and took advantage of the soft eyes that still floated a bit with good booze.  “Okay, you gotta stop, my head’s spinning,” she managed as he backed her into their door.
“And that’s the point,” he said and dipped again.  She sagged against him, her soft tongue sliding against his as he delved inside of her. 
She broke away and groaned as he switched his options and hit her neck with every bit of knowledge he had about her body.  Knowing what would drive her mad, and make her whimper he exploited her skin and the line of sensitive flesh behind her ear. He dug his keycard out of his pants pocket and quickly got them inside. 
He backed her through the door and pulled her to a stop at the end of the hallway.  He pushed her against the wall of mirrors that made up the closet and turned her to face them.  “Time for this delicious dress to hit the floor,” he said into her hair.
She reached behind to untie the laces but he stilled her hands, forcing them to her sides.  “Let me,” he said and started at the small tie at the small of her back.  Instead of just loosening them, he slowly brought the string up and through each eyelet that gathered the dress.  As it slowly opened, the front of her dress began to fall forward. The gentle curve of her breast peeked through the slash of copper. 
Her head fell back against his shoulder as he pressed a kiss over each inch he revealed.  A tiny shuddering breath released when he reached her shoulder blades and traced the line of freckles that flirted across each crest.  Her head fell forward as the dress opened and the slight straps at her shoulders drifted down to her elbows. 
A minute later the dress was in a pool at her feet.  The only thing left was skin and silk stockings held onto her thighs by sheer will.  He traced his fingers down her neck and over her shoulders, curving his palm around her right breast in the mirror.
Smoky, copper eyes met his in the mirror, her spring green eyes were going a stormy sea color as she watched him watching her.  Without a word, he brushed his hand across the flat of her midsection and over the tiny curve of her belly and down to the thin line of red curls already glistening with excitement. 
Her naked mouth opened and her tongue darted out to wet the dryness as her breath caught just as his fingers tested her.  He groaned low and slow into her ear as he felt her slick center open for him.  Teasing her, he drew his palm over her hood and trailed his fingertips over the stockings.
Moaning, she tipped her head back to his shoulder and opened for him.  Her lips were swollen with need as he was drawn back into the heat of her. Watching her watch him touch her had his cock in a stranglehold behind the placket of his zipper.  Even the quick fuck in the car did nothing to distance his need for her. It was in-your-face rampant and screaming in his brain, but he wanted slow.
He wanted to show her gentleness now.  But it wasn’t gentleness straining at his dress pants.  Taking a deep breath, he only drowned in pears and spice instead, steeping himself in the scent of her, driving his control to the edge of disaster.
Her mouth opened wider as he teased the outer rim of her curls, then deeper, further inside her as her body drew his fingers forward.  The slick, warmth beaconed him and he pushed two fingers into her.
She gasped and bucked against him, but he stilled her with his other hand, his lips at her shoulder, then her neck, then her ear and the sense of urgency that rode him eased when she softly mewled her way through her first orgasm.
Tessa lifted her arm and draped it behind her and over his shoulder until her fingers were threaded into his hair.  She met his eyes in the mirror.  “If you’re done showing me the extent of your technique,” she said a little breathlessly, “I’ll take the real Jon now.”
His eyebrow rose.  “Excuse me?”
She turned around and wound her arms around his neck, stepping out of her dress as she pushed him into the room.  “I want you.”
”I just gave you me.”
“You gave me a show,” she said and nipped at his jaw line, then the tiny cleft at his chin.  She flicked open the rest of his buttons and pushed both the shirt and the jacket off together until it dropped behind him.  He leaned around the corner to flick on the light in the bedroom, but she stilled his fingers.
“I think the lights outside are enough,” she said and tugged at the tab and slot buttons of his slacks until they hit the floor with a dull thud.  He glanced out the window to the harbor and the flood of city lights then back to her.  “I want it all,” she murmured against his mouth and cupped him with her soft, sure hands.
He whipped the covers back and pushed at the pillows, settling her on the sateen sheets until the fire of her hair haloed around her head and he eased himself against her, groaning when her legs opened and surrounded him.
He met her mouth with equal fervor, feeling the threads of control unraveling.  “I want this to last,” he said against her mouth. 
“I want you lost,” she said against his mouth as the kiss turned feverish.  “Lost like I am when you touch me.” She smoothed her hands over his back and down to cup his ass.  “Be with me,” she said on a breath.
And he let go.
Let the night take them through the paces, the peaks and the shuddering lows as they touched and learned each other again.  And just as the skyline melted into the deepest of night they slept the sleep of the sated and the found.

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