Tessa lay in the flickering firelight, Jon quiet at her back. Brie and fruit had been picked over, but unfortunately the Cool Whip hadn’t survived the heat from the fireplace. Well, it could have been them too, but she couldn’t seem to care when something that profound was the result.
His arm slid around her waist as his chin rested into the crook of her neck. “I love you,” he said softly. “I needed to say that more than anything tonight,” he said roughly.
Turning in his arms she curled into him. “Tell me what’s eating at you,” she whispered into his neck. The words he’d given her and the way he’d touched her told her something was up. She probably should have asked then, but he seemed to need the physical more than the talk at that moment. Even his note on the door should have been a warning to her, but maybe now with the connection there between them she could get him to talk.
He sat up hooking his legs around her so she was in between his knees. He sighed, pressing a kiss to her forehead as he draped his forearms over her shoulders until she leaned into him. She scooted closer, her knees gathered into her chest.
He brushed his chin along her hair and took a deep breath. He cleared his throat. “This album is getting to me. Richie and I really bonded over all the shit that’s happened and all that’s coming back now that we’re getting it recorded.” His arms fell to her hips, linking around her back loosely. “Some of the songs…” he trailed off.
Her palm flattened on his chest and smoothed up to his neck. Pushing back she met his stormy blue eyes. “Only the best stuff hurts, you know that.” She brushed her thumb over his bristly chin then to his lower lip. “You have a gift. I mean I know all of you guys have a gift but that voice of yours…” She sighed, “You just don’t know what you do with that voice. You can rip my guts out and make me cry, but that’s a good thing.” When he smirked down at her and bit her thumb she rolled her eyes. “I know you get weirded out when I talk about your music.”
When he just shrugged she blew out a disgusted breath. “You just don’t know what kind of magic you have inside you sometimes.”
“I’m glad you think so,” he said cautiously. He hauled her into a tangled pretzel of a hug. “I know what you’re saying and I see the holy shit factor in the songs but listening to Richie play this week has been hard. Reading his words and playing with them in the studio…merging them with mine.” He pressed his chin into her shoulder. “I think about where I was even just a year ago and seeing Richie still there. Still drifting,” he pulled back to look her in the eyes again. “He’s so much stronger than I am. I watch him pull it together every day, pushing himself harder than I’ve ever seen. I…” He trailed off for a moment. “I’d lose my mind if I didn’t have you.”
Leaning in, she kissed him, melted into him until the tears that were clogging her throat eased. Watching the pain and the doubt cloud his eyes carved out a spot in her heart she was pretty sure had just become his. As if he didn’t have all of it anyway.
When he rolled her back onto the blankets again she was determined to drive the desolation in his eyes away and to see him smile again. “You have me,” she whispered and took him into her body. And where the first half of the night was only sweetness this was his other half.
The part of Jon that choked on demons sometimes, that self doubt that lingered inside of every man and was rarely seen. As he drove into her with madness in his eyes, she accepted that part of him too.
They rolled and she watched him fight for control. Instead of letting him have it, she rolled him over and rose above him. He reared up teeth scraping, fingers gripping as he tried to pull her down to him. She pushed him down and clasped his hands in hers, linked palm to palm as their fingers gripped. She pushed his hands into the floor looming over him as she slowed the pace. Turning the jarring thrusts into long, lingering strokes she pressed her lips to his.
She felt the wildness in his kiss, the nip of his teeth and the straining muscles under her as he arched up. She gasped when his teeth found her neck and the fragile skin at her collarbone. “You have me,” she said and arched with him at the contact.
He used the slice of weakness against her and pushed up in a seated position. Her knees instantly looked for stabilization on the floor as his abs strained under her. His arms came around her and lifted her, dropping her onto his rock hard cock.
The shock of invasion came out in a muffled shout as he went deeper and the angle changed. Her pelvis tilted forward and stars flared around her vision as he hit something deep within her. Again and again he drove into her until she her eyes locked onto his.
Whatever he’d been looking for must have been there because he shouted his own release as he curled around her, hugging her until there wasn’t a space or even a breath between them. She buried her face into his sweaty neck and shook as her body recovered from the roughness. From the sweet to the fiery she couldn’t ever gauge when it would happen.
They sat there for a long time, neither one of them saying anything as they held on. What could you say when you burned hot and bright like that? What was there to say when the love was so overwhelming you couldn’t find words?
She woke to sunlight flooding Jon’s room and her face pressed into his shoulder. Her sleepy smile slipped away when she realized there was way too much sun for a February morning. She popped up with a start and yelped when she saw the clock. “Oh my God!”
She heard the quick intake of breath as Jon woke. “What’s wrong?” he said with a sleep roughened voice.
“It’s eleven o’clock? Are you kidding me?” She tried to crawl over him but was stopped by a pair of strong arms.
“Hey, relax Tess.”
“It was my morning to open the shop,” she said and tried to wiggle free. “I can’t believe I slept this late!”
Jon laughed. He was laughing? This was not a laughing matter. She had a business to run, she couldn’t be snoozing the day away with her…she growled. God, it sounded so stupid to call him her boyfriend. “Stop laughing you moron!” she said as he straddled her, pinning her to the bed.
His blonde hair was in his eyes and two days worth of beard scruffed his pretty face up. His eyes were clear again, the earlier demons and hurts washed away in the night. She sighed and stopped struggling. “I have to go to work,” she complained.
“No you don’t.”
“I cannot play hooky. I own the damn shop!” she groused. How many times did he need to hear that to get it through his head dammit?
“I called Nic.”
She stilled. “You called Nic?”
“Yup,” he said with a smug smile.
“It was her day off, Jon!” She dropped back on the pillow. “When did you call her?”
“About eight. I figured it gave her time to sleep in and get to the store for opening. She was up anyway.” He caged her in, his biceps straining as he held himself over her. “She said if it made you relax for once she’d be happy to sacrifice a day off. She said she’d switch with one of your shifts this week if it made you feel better.”
“You can’t just keep expecting Nic to take over whenever you feel like asking her, Jon.”
He frowned down at her. “Tessa, how many days do you actually take off?”
“How many do you?” she countered and gave him a bland stare.
Ignoring her he plowed ahead. “You needed a day. You can go in later if you feel guilty, but I just wanted to give you a chance to sleep in and maybe come into the studio with me.”
She bolted up, her head smacking into his chin. “Ow!” she rubbed her forehead. “Are you kidding me?”
Laughing, he rolled to the side and wiped at his lower lip. “Shit, you have a hard head.”
“Don’t tease, Jon!”
“I’m not!” He laughed.
Forgetting all about guilt she launched herself into his arms and knocked him onto his back. “Seriously?” she pressed kisses all over his face and wrapped her arms around his neck. Holy crap! The real deal. The studio and songs from the ground up? Her fanatic heart went into overdrive. “I can’t believe it. Do I get to hear some new stuff?” she breathed out the question. She hadn’t dared to ask.
He shook his head. “What else would I be in there to do? But you know,” he leaned back on the bed again watching her through slitted eyes. “If you want to go to work, then—“
She slapped a hand over his mouth. “Oh no. Unh-uh. I’m going.”
Laughing he popped his knees up to tumble her forward. When her hands slid away for balance and her lips hovered over his, he grinned. “I think bribing is in order now.”
Tessa’s lips quirked, “Oh really?”
She let her sheet slide away, pressing her naked breasts into his chest.
He glanced down made a little face of maybe. “Eh, I had that last night. I want something else.”
Her eyebrows rose. “You’re such a shit!”
He dumped her on the bed and rolled over on his stomach. “I’ll take a backrub instead.”
Tessa wiggled her foot under his hip. “A backrub, huh?”
Jon buried his head in his crossed arms. “Yeah, that’d be—“ He grunted as her foot flipped up and she kicked him off the bed.
“I’ll remember that you asked for a back rub instead of sex for the next six months you know!” she called out and headed for the shower. She laughed when she heard the muttered, “Man! What is it with her and knockin’ me off beds!” from the bedroom and shut the door.