“Jon?” I asked as we lay there motionless now.
“I’m still here, babe” he replied.
“Thank Goodness, I thought I died” I said heavily and I heard him chuckle, a very self-satisfied chuckle, but I was serious.
“It would have been worth it though” I added. He rose up on one elbow, propping his chin on his hand and smiling at me. “That was amazing. No one has ever loved me like that” I said as I looked up at him.
“Will you believe me now that you are all I want?” he asked tenderly tracing the curve of my lips. I kissed his finger and closed my eyes. I had no doubts after that.
“Yes” I said dreamily.
“We should get dressed” he said without moving an inch. “We’ll be home soon.”
Home. God, how I loved the sound of that word when he said it.
“Ask me for anything. Ask anything at all right now and I couldn’t refuse. But don’t ask me to move” I blurted out, my eyes still closed and he chuckled again.
“I know, darlin’ I know” he said, still not moving either and dropping his head back on my shoulder.
We continued to lay there, moving not at all. I listened to the steady sound of his breathing, feeling his heart beating strong against me. I had never felt so fully satisfied, so completely happy. And then the limo slowed down and stopped. Jon reached up and hit the button, locking the doors.
“Oh God” he groaned, struggling to sit up. “We’re home.”
He gave me his hand and pulled me up so I was sitting beside him. We looked at each other and both burst out laughing. The situation was just too ridiculous. There we were, totally naked, locked in the limo, like two guilty teenagers.
“I’m too old for this” he laughed.
“Watch it. I’m two months older than you, love” I said.
“Shit, we’re both too old for this” he chuckled again.
He held my shirt up and I put my arms through and he began buttoning it for me. I found my panties and pulled them on as Jon wiggled into his jeans. He grabbed my pants and his shirt and started to open the door of the limo.
“C’mon, we’re decent enough to get from here to the house” he said, getting out of the car.
Rick had already made several trips to the house, and unloaded the suitcases and most of the bags. He was on his way down the steps and back to the limo when he saw us trudging up the steps half clothed. I looked up sheepishly and Rick had the biggest grin I’d seen yet. Jon just looked at him.
“Don’t say it. Just don’t say it” he warned him and dragged me along up the steps past Rick and into the house.
“Man, I’m starving” he announced.
It was six-thirty. Right on time. There was something so comforting about Jon’s appetite. It lent an air of normalcy to what otherwise would have seemed surreal.
“Where’s the kitchen” I asked, slightly disoriented.
“Over there” he pointed.
“I’ll see if Rick brought in the food” I said as I walked into the spacious kitchen and flicked on a light switch.
It was bright and clean, so clean in fact, I wondered if it had ever been used. I opened the fridge and there was precious little in it. A bottle of red wine, five beers left from a six-pack, a carton of milk, bottled water and juice cups. And a box with an ancient leftover pizza. I assumed the juice cups were left from a visit with the kids, but otherwise it was every bit a bachelor’s fridge. Jon came in then, after having finished supervising the placement of all the packages and dismissing Rick and the limo.
“So what have we got to eat?” he inquired as he came up behind me, wrapping his arms around me and nuzzling my neck as I began unpacking the groceries.
“Well, I bought a roasted chicken, biscuits, salad and stuff to make spaghetti and meatballs” I laughed, glad I bought enough that didn’t require a lot of cooking.
“Let’s have the chicken” he said as he opened the container and began picking at it. I slapped his hand.
“Let me heat it up. Go sit down and I’ll get it ready. Where should we eat?” I chided him as he licked his fingers and grabbed two plates and silverware.
“Let’s eat on the terrace, it’s out back” he suggested as he disappeared out two french doors.
I turned on the oven, and popped the chicken in, glad it came in a metal roasting pan as I realized there was precious little in the way of utensils to cook with. I found a bowl and began preparing the salad, glad I had bought dressing just in case. I proceeded to put away the rest of the supplies, lunchmeat, bread, hamburger and pasta, laughing as I opened bare cupboards with the exception of a few packages of cookies and a lone can of tuna.
“What’s so funny?” I heard as he reappeared at my side.
“Does someone actually live here?” I asked mockingly.
“Well, yeah. Sort of. I’m not here that much and I can’t cook” he said apologetically, his hands in his pockets.
He looked like a little boy at that moment and I didn’t have the heart to scold him. I took his face in my hands and kissed it.
“We’ll make do” I said.
“Can I help? What do you need?” he offered.
“Why don’t you pour us some of that wine, and …um …toss out the petrified pizza?”
He opened the fridge and then opened the pizza box and made a face.
“Yuck. I forgot that was here. Sorry” he said, tossing it in the garbage. He did have wine glasses, surprisingly, and poured us a couple glasses.
“There’s a little store around the corner where we can pick up any stuff you need tomorrow. The only female who’s ever been here is Steph. I’m glad you’re here. I’ve missed a woman in my life. No one’s cooked for me in over a year” he said as he hugged me.
He was lonely and he missed having a family. I turned then and I could see longing in his eyes. I put my arms around his neck.
“I’m no domestic Goddess, but I can boil water and make spaghetti if you have a pot?” I said and he laughed then.
“You don’t have to cook, darlin’. It’s enough to have you here. I really don’t want to keep you barefoot and in the kitchen, you know.”
He kissed me then, long and hard. I noticed he left out “pregnant” but decided not to comment right now and returned the kiss instead.
“How long before dinner’s ready? I’ll go and put your other purchases away.”
“Not long. Just waiting for the chicken to warm up and I’ll finish the salad. Go ahead” I replied.
He gave me another quick kiss and disappeared then into the house. I was finishing the salad and about to check on the chicken when he reappeared again wearing one of the wife-beaters I’d bought and waiving the stuffed cat.
“What’s this?” he asked incredulously.
“Oh, I just thought I’d break you in gradually to the idea, that’s all” I smiled and he groaned indulgently.
“And where does it go?” he asked, rolling his eyes.
“On the bed” I replied smoothly.
“The bed?” he looked at me, eyebrows raised.
“Uh-huh” I replied.
“Shit” he groaned again and returned to the bedroom and I was smiling now.
The chicken was almost done and I popped in the biscuits to warm them up and cleaned up the remaining stuff. I took the salad and bowls and a roll of paper towels out to the terrace and looked around. It was really beautiful. The terrace was tiled and open and I could see the ocean off in the distance. We were on a bit of a hill, or an escarpment really, and the view was quite impressive. It was a warm night yet with a light breeze blowing. I remembered the roses and walked back to the kitchen, looking for a vase, but couldn’t find one. I walked into the bedroom where Jon was stretched out on the bed watching TV now.
“Babe, I was looking for a vase for the roses. Where are they?” I asked.
He pointed to the dresser where Rick had placed them earlier. I walked over to them and picked them up in my arms and Jon motioned me to come over to him. I sat on the edge beside him and he slipped one out of the bouquet and broke it off, placing it gently behind my ear.
“I don’t have a vase. I haven’t bought roses in a long time” he said quietly as he sat up. I set them down and he pulled me close, rolling us onto the center of the bed.
“But we’ll get one tomorrow” he whispered in my ear. Suddenly I remembered dinner and the biscuits.
“The oven!” I said.
“I’m hungry for something else right now” he growled, licking my throat, “but I don’t want to spoil dinner” he said, pulling us up.
“You’re such a tease!” I chided, re-buttoning my blouse he’d managed to undo.
“I’m only a tease if I don’t make good on it later. C’mon, let’s eat!” he laughed.
He was incorrigible, but irresistible. We walked into the kitchen and I opened the oven. It was ready.
“Pot holders?” I asked.
“Towels” he answered and grabbed two from a drawer and carried the chicken out to the terrace. I speared the biscuits with a knife and joined him.
As we ate, I gradually learned more about the discussion with Dot and the kids. Jon explained that Dot was more unhappy about the way she had learned about our relationship than she was about the fact that he was in love with someone else.
“She said she expected it would happen eventually and she actually said she was glad. She has the kids all the time and her life hasn’t changed that much because I’d been gone on tour and she was used to my not being around. But for me, it’s been a big change with not having the family to come home to. She knows I’ve been lonely” he told me.
I knew it was true. I was glad for him that I was able to fill some of his need. I listened as he talked about his children.
“I was worried how the kids would respond to the news about you and me” he continued. I liked the sound of “you and me” I thought to myself.
“Dot was there when I told them all together. Steph watched Dot’s reaction and Dot smiled at her and it seemed to make it okay. She didn’t say much, she just listened when I explained about you. Jesse and Jake, they had a lot of questions. You should have heard them! The big one was whether you had kids. I told them you had cats” he said, looking at his plate.
“And how did that go over?” I laughed.
“Jesse made a face. He’s taken after me, I guess. But Jake wanted to know if he could meet them. Romeo, well he’s too little yet for any of this to really affect him. Steph will be the toughest, but I think she’ll come around. Especially with Dot’s help.”
I had to admit, I was grateful to Dot for being the person she was and I understood why he loved and respected her. But I was glad he wasn’t in love with her.
“I’m so glad it went well. And I am really grateful to Dot for her support for you. There aren’t a lot of women who could have handled this so well. She must be a remarkable person” I admitted.
“She is. I feel blessed to have been lucky enough to have two remarkable women in my life” Jon said as he patted his lap and I rose and came to him and he pulled me onto his lap.
“Dinner was good, babe. How about dessert?” he said, eyeing me with a devilish look.
“I almost forgot! I bought dessert!” I exclaimed as I jumped off his lap and disappeared into the kitchen. I returned carrying the thawed Tiramisu I’d bought and 2 forks. Jon grinned.
“You thought of everything. Wow. I am lucky. I love Tiramisu!” he said grabbing the fork and taking a bite.
“I see you found the shirt I bought you, too” I commented, admiring how good he looked in the tank.
“Oh, yeah. I got the hint. I do have other clothes, you know. I just didn’t pack anything besides the stuff for the show” he said defending himself and I grinned.
“I figured, but I wasn’t taking any chances, just in case” I added as I settled into his lap again and he held a forkful of dessert to my mouth.
I opened my mouth and accepted the sweet, creamy Tiramisu, just as I readily accepted the love he was offering me. I knew we were going to be alright.