Monday, March 31, 2008

The Sauna Part 135

We were all up early the next morning and had plenty of time before leaving for the airport. Richie made a hearty breakfast and even I had an appetite today after having feasted on nothing but junk food yesterday. We arrived at the airport just after eleven and had a drink in the club while the crew loaded our bags and made the plane ready.

Despite my intent, I still got misty and cried as I hugged Richie goodbye. I knew he wouldn’t be lonely for long as Lainie was flying in tomorrow. I wished she had been there during our visit, but still it was nice just to have Richie to ourselves and we’d see her at the end of the week at the show. We boarded the plane and settled down for our flight as Vicky checked on what we wanted for dinner.

Jon watched a movie on DVD while I returned to reading my book, a habit I’d adopted years ago on plane trips to while away the time. Jon had finished watching ‘Men in Black’ and was now seeking attention, like a little kid who didn’t know how to occupy himself when there was nothing on TV. I reluctantly closed my book and turned my attention to him.

“So, what should we do to pass the time until dinner?” I inquired with a twinkle in my eye.

“C’mere” he said in a throaty voice.

I climbed into his lap and he closed his eyes as I nuzzled his neck. I began unbuttoning his shirt, running my hands across the soft fur on his chest, as his hands crept under my shirt to fondle my breasts. The plane hit some minor turbulence and pitched forward, throwing me against him and we both grinned.

Jon stood up, carrying me with him as he walked to the rear of the plane and deposited me on the couch. He stripped off his jeans, sporting a magnificent erection, and I lifted my skirt in invitation. He lowered himself onto me as the plane pitched again and he entered me with one quick thrust that made me catch my breath.

I dug my nails into his back as he continued to make love to me, steadily building the rhythm as the plane began to steady itself. I could feel myself beginning to come and I bit my lip, trying to hold back the coming tide.

“Let it go, babe, I’m just getting started” he cackled with a devilish grin.

No longer resisting, my orgasm washed over me like a wave of warm water and true to his word, Jon was just getting warmed up. He slowed the pace, taking my lower lip between his own as he kissed me and my hands strayed to the hardened muscles of his ass, caressing the firm mound of flesh.

He nipped at my shoulder, blowing gently on my scorched skin and I shuddered as the stubble from his five o’clock shadow scraped along my neck. His tongue sought my ear and I began to squirm in earnest, unable to contain the rising heat in my loins. I bucked wildly beneath him, desperate now to bring him along with me over the edge.

I ran my palms along his sides, lingering along the muscles in his arms, palpable beneath the fabric of his shirt. I buried my hands in his hair, thankful he’d obeyed me and not gotten it cut and I licked along his neck, settling in the hollow at its base. I heard him take a sharp breath of air and I knew he was close now too.

I tickled his ear with my kisses, urging him onward, before moving in for the final move. I sank my teeth into his shoulder and he threw back his head and yowled, ramming me now as hard as he could. I met his thrusts with my own and we came hard in a fit of sputtering, panting, shuddering spasms. His seed drained into me and I wrapped my legs tighter, preventing any chance of his slipping out as I milked him dry.

The plane had steadied itself now, the turbulence behind us, but I was far from steady myself as I tried to stand. He caught me in his arms and we tried to smooth our clothing and make ourselves presentable. I excused myself briefly to use the restroom and clean up the remnants of our passion before Vicky appeared with dinner. I returned to the seat beside Jon, and laughed as he looked at me, practicing his innocent look.

“How’s this? Do you think Vicky will be any the wiser?” he asked.

“I think innocence is not in your repertoire” I teased.

He made duck lips at me, but he knew it was true. He’d been accused of many things, but that was unlikely to ever be one of them. He reached behind me and chuckled, noting the knot of hair at the back of my head. It was another dead give away to anyone savvy enough to notice, and fortunately my sister was not one of those people, but I guessed Vicky was sharper.

“Help me” I pleaded as I searched through my purse for a brush and he attempted to comb the snarls with his fingers.

“Give it up, babe-we’re too late” he whispered under his breath as Vicky appeared with dinner and I felt the color rising in my cheeks.

“I’m sorry about the turbulence, but there was a bit of a storm” she said apologetically as she placed the trays in front of us. “I hope it wasn’t too bad back here, but the do not disturb sign was on so I couldn’t check on you” she explained.

“We managed okay” Jon said casually as he dug into his meatloaf.

After she’d left us, I asked what she had meant as I didn’t realize there was such a thing. Jon swallowed and cackled gleefully, explaining it was something he’d had added years ago as a way to signal the crew that privacy was desired. He pointed to a small button on the wall near the couch and I raised my eyebrows.

“So that’s how she knows not to bother us” I said, awareness finally dawning.

“Yep. Pretty clever, eh?” he said, proud of himself.

“Except that it’s almost like advertising what we’re doing, dontcha think?” I wondered.

“Well, kinda, I guess. But at least we’re not likely to be interrupted unless I forget to hit the switch” he admitted.

We finished our dinners and Vicky cleared the trays and we thanked her. I was quite surprised at how good the food was and what she was able to achieve in the small galley of the plane. She explained that she had a list of all the guys’ favorites and always made sure she had plenty of food stocked in the freezer before take-off.

“What’s your favorite, sweetie? I’ll make sure we have it next time” she offered.

“She likes almost anything with chicken or lobster, as long as there’s no tomato sauce” Jon piped in and Vicky nodded.

“I’ll take care of it for the next trip” she volunteered before I could object as I didn’t want her to go to any extra trouble.

It was growing dark outside the windows now and I guessed we were getting pretty close to our destination. The food and the sex made me sleepy and mellow, and I rested my head on Jon’s shoulder and closed my eyes. He stroked my arm and I soon fell asleep, happy and content. In just under an hour I felt Jon gently shake my shoulder to rouse me.

“We’re just about to land” he said, kissing me as he took my hand in his.

It was past eight by the time we got all our stuff loaded into the limo and were on our way. I had called my sister when we landed so she’d be expecting us at about nine or so. We snuggled in the back seat for the duration of the drive, sipping wine and talking about all manner of things and I tried to give Jon a quick overview of the things he needed to know about my family.

“So, basically, I really have to be on my best behavior with your sister especially, but her husband won’t blow a gasket if I fart?” he summarized.

“That’s it in a nutshell” I laughed and proceeded to explain a bit more about my mother and the dementia.

I was glad we wouldn’t see my parents until tomorrow morning as we were arriving late and she’d usually be in bed by this time. We’d have all day to spend with the family tomorrow and then Thursday was the holiday and then we’d meet up with Tico and Eva and the rest on Friday before the show the next day. We’d really only have a few nights at my sisters before we had some real privacy again.

We arrived at Linda’s at a little past nine and she was waiting at the door to greet us. I introduced her officially to Jon and he and her husband, Pat, shook hands. There was a bit of tension as we walked from the kitchen to the living room, leaving our bags in the garage for the moment.

“Your parents are here” Pat whispered to us and Jon could feel me stiffen next to him, but I braced myself and was grateful for the warning.

“Hey, we’re here!” I announced, sounding more cheerful than I felt and glad for the wine in the limo.

“Trisha! What a nice surprise!” my mother cried excitedly, having forgotten apparently why they were there.

I hugged her hello and held myself in check as I fought the urge to recoil from her clinging embrace. I introduced her to Jon and she was gracious and pleasant, her superficial social skills not having been affected by her illness. My dad stood and reached to shake hands and Jon introduced himself, showing great respect towards my father.

“I’m so glad to meet you, sir. Trish has told me so much about you and I just want you to know how much I love your daughter” he said sincerely.

My father was a bit taken aback and I was a little startled myself, but Jon had never been one to mince words and he had no difficulty expressing his feelings as did the rest of us. My father recovered his composure and mumbled that he was welcome in our family and glad that I had found someone who made me happy. And then he hugged me hello.

“I’m glad to see you, Trish” he said as he held me a moment longer than I expected.

I was feeling a bit emotional and I hadn’t quite been prepared for that, but I blinked back the tears and told my father simply that I’d missed him. And that was the truth. I loved my dad more than anyone else in the world besides Jon and despite the tension between us at times, I was glad to be here and relieved that my dad was truly glad to see me.

Jon made a fuss over the dog, Belle, who thoroughly enjoyed the extra attention and he bent to scratch her head and she rolled over onto her back. He rubbed her belly as he explained he was by nature more of a dog person and that getting used to my cats had been a rather harrowing experience at times. This went a long way towards winning over my father who had never been particularly fond of them either and I was struck again by another parallel between Jon and my dad.

My parents didn’t stay long as it was way past my mother’s bedtime and we said goodnight with a promise to come to the house tomorrow. I had mentioned about the car show we’d seen and my dad was anxious to see the pictures and Jon asked if he could see my dad’s collection of models. I was so proud of him and any fears I had about this meeting dissolved as they talked amiably about cars.

Pat brought in our bags and Linda offered us some snacks as we sat down to discuss the plans for the next couple of days. I wasn’t really hungry, but Jon rarely passed up a snack and tonight was no exception and Linda was tickled to have an appreciative audience for her cooking. She brought out several plates of goodies and offered to make Jon a sandwich, but I explained we had just finished a big meal on the plane. I shook my head as Jon made me look like a liar by gobbling down the goodies.

Linda was anxious to show Jon around the house and make sure that he felt welcome and I went along for the tour too as she always had new items to see and was a far worse compulsive shopper than even I was. Jon complimented everything and she was clearly pleased when he asked who her interior designer was and she told him she was in charge of that. He also lingered over the many items we pointed out that my father had made over the years, noting the wooden tables made from tree trunks that mirrored those that I had in my house.

I started to yawn despite the coffee that Pat had waiting for me when we arrived and Linda ushered us towards our room where our bags had been deposited. There was a dresser and closet we could use, and I laughed to myself thinking that I was the only one who would probably need that. She left us to unpack and unwind as she and Pat usually went to bed early themselves and the dog was already sleeping on their bed. Jon sat down on the bed and yawned as he pulled me over to stand between his legs.

“So, babe, how’d I do?” he asked with another yawn.

“You were perfect. You were absolutely perfect, love. I couldn’t have asked for a better meeting. You kind of surprised us all when you greeted my dad, but I was glad you just put it out there. My dad will respect that. And you certainly made him smile with the sarcastic comments about the cats” I said, pouting just a little.

“It’s the truth, you know. If there was anything in the beginning that gave me pause, it was adjusting to them. They are so different from dogs, but I guess I’d have to admit that I’ve come to appreciate them after all. Come to bed, wife” he said as he began to tug at my skirt.

I was tired, but a little wound up as well from all the tension and I needed a cigarette. We couldn’t smoke in the house, but Linda always made me a spot with an ashtray on the lanai and I kissed Jon goodnight and went out to smoke. It was good just to have a few moments to myself.

Pat was turning lights off around the house and asked me if I wanted more coffee before he turned it off. He knew I often stayed up into the wee hours and tended to sleep little when I was on vacation, but I declined tonight and said goodnight as I went out onto the linai to smoke.

I glanced around, noting my ashtray and butt can were there as usual and lit up the cigarette. The string of old Christmas lights that lit the area gave it all a familiar feel and I stared at the pool, thinking how rarely we’d ever used it. I turned my attention to the hot tub and smiled silently thinking Jon would have to wear his shorts here if we decided to use it.

I smoked a couple cigarettes as I reflected on all that had happened since leaving Buffalo. Being here again, in the familiar surroundings, almost made the past few days, even the last few months, seem like a dream as visions of our life together floated in and out of my awareness. I focused on the present then and the man I loved in the next room waiting for me to come to bed. I snuffed out the cigarette and went inside. I brushed my teeth and crept quietly into bed, snuggling against Jon’s sleeping form. He stirred slightly, but didn’t wake, and soon I fell asleep beside him.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Sauna Part 134

I woke early and crept silently out of bed so as not to disturb Jon who was still sleeping soundly. I slipped on my robe and quietly stepped out into the hall and went down to the lobby to fetch some coffee. It was still very early and there were no other guests about, so I asked if I could take a pot of the coffee upstairs and they could just charge it to our room. The desk clerk nodded and told me not to worry about it.

I returned to the room and poured myself a cup as I searched through my purse for some aspirin. I swallowed a couple and took a drink of water before I took my cup and went over to stand by the window. I opened the curtains a bit just to see what the day looked like as I waited for the aspirin to kick in. I took a sip as I silently greeted the day.

I was lost in thought and I never heard Jon get out of bed until I felt his arms slip about my waist. I could feel the warmth of his naked body pressed against mine even through my robe and I leaned my head back against him. He rested his chin on my shoulder as he stood holding me.

“Whatcha thinkin’ about, babe?” he spoke softly, his voice still thick with sleep.

“I was just thinking about how happy I am and how much I love you. I can’t even imagine my life without you. You’re all I ever wanted or needed” I replied honestly.

“Darlin’, come to bed” he said hoarsely. “I want you near me”

He led me to the bed and I removed my robe and climbed in alongside him and he held me tightly. His lips brushed my cheek and he lifted his head to look at me. His eyes were as clear and blue as the water of the Bay and I could feel the steady beat of his heart as he gathered his words.

“I’m happier than I ever imagined possible and something inside me has changed. I feel a sort of peace I’ve never known. Richie teased me about it yesterday, but he was right. I’ve always been restless and unsettled; craving the next thing I thought would bring me satisfaction or some degree of comfort. But now, each moment with you is so precious, so amazing. It’s as though I wish I could stop time and we could just stay here in each and every moment forever” he said thoughtfully.

He was so much better at putting his emotions into words than I was. I understood completely, but I lacked the vocabulary for expressing feelings I felt as deeply as those I felt for him. I felt like shouting to the world how much I loved him, but that couldn’t come close to describing what he had just said so eloquently.

“I wish I had your words, but you express for me what I lack the language to say” I said simply.

He kissed me deeply and I felt myself slipping away into him. The lines between us blurred as I became we and we made love in the morning sunlight. We took our time, slowly savoring every moment, every touch, and every sensation. Perhaps time did stand still at moments like this, just as they did in trance. Perhaps we had just transcended it. I knew that these images were embedded in my soul and it felt like I could not distinguish between memory and the present.

Making love was becoming a ritual, like the first time after we had been handfasted. It was magikal, it was spiritual and it was all-encompassing. The building could have crumbled around us for all we cared, so lost in each other were we. I was drowning in his ocean. Nothing else seemed real, and in that moment I was aware only of us.

But life around us did continue, whether we were conscious of it or not. There was a soft tapping on the door, which neither of us heard. I hadn’t locked the door when I had returned and Richie cracked the door quietly, assuming we were still asleep and intending to wake us so we could get an early start, but what he saw froze him in his tracks. There was a thick mist that hung in the room and he could just barely make out our shapes, almost as if from a distance.

He closed the door and leaned heavily against it and smiled. Perhaps it was just his imagination, but he doubted it. Richie had just been in the presence of the God and the Goddess, but he didn’t recognize what he had witnessed. What he did know was that what he’d just seen was most certainly magik.

When Jon and I returned to this plane, we both felt the hangover that comes from experiencing magik. Unlike the hangover I had when I first woke, this was different. There was a feeling of heaviness and awe, but also a lightness that is hard to describe. We managed to rouse ourselves from our reverie and got showered and dressed. It was still early; only nine-thirty and Jon called Richie to see if he was awake.

“Yeah, man, I’ve been up for a bit. I knocked on your door, but when you didn’t answer I decided to give you some more time” was all he said of what he’d seen.

We grabbed our bags and met him downstairs for breakfast, but again neither Jon nor I had much appetite. We had coffee and Jon picked at some fruit, but only Richie seemed really hungry and we watched as he gobbled down pancakes and eggs. We had a six hour drive ahead of us and figured we’d stop along the way if we got hungry.

The next couple of days flew by as Richie took us to some of his favorite haunts and acted as our tour guide. Jon enjoyed the winery tour on Sunday immensely, but my favorite place was the Santa Monica Pier Carousel, only about half an hour’s drive from Richie’s place. It reminded me a lot of Asbury Park, or my own native Crystal Beach, but on a much grander scale. We spent the day there on Monday and I catalogued the event with the camera.

The rides were a blast and the lines weren’t bad since we decided to go on a weekday. I loved seeing Jon and Richie together, playing and laughing like little kids playing hooky. We saw the famous carousel and walked along the boardwalk, stopping occasionally to hunt for souvenirs and I knew both of them were wishing that the kids could have been there with us.

Richie screamed like a banshee on the roller coaster and I laughed so hard I nearly wet myself. I really envied their relationship; it had been many years since I had a friend that I was as close to as they were with each other. I wondered at the fact that this was the first time they had ever managed to get to an amusement park together to just enjoy the day and hoped it wouldn’t be the last time. It was our last day in California and I was glad we had made some terrific memories.

We sat down on the beach for a rest, having filled up on junk food all day, and just needing an opportunity to catch our breath. The ocean was calm and inviting, but a little colder than I was expecting. The guys splashed in the water while I dug in the sand for treasures. I would miss Richie when we left and I wished that we didn’t live on opposite coasts, but decided I wasn’t going to let that thought spoil the time we had left. I always began to feel sad at the end of any trip.

The guys returned to where I was sitting and we started to build a sand castle. This endeavor precipitated a squabble over the basic design of the structure and I had to laugh when they each decided finally to build their own. Not wanting to be left out, I began work on my own creation as we talked and soaked up the warmth of the dying sun.

“I am really going to miss you, Richie” I said with a sigh.

“Hey, darlin’, I’ll see you both in less than a week in Florida” he ventured with a sad smile while Jon focused on his masterpiece.

“I know, but it’s not quite the same. This week with you has been so wonderful and I just wish we all lived closer” I said, getting a bit misty despite my resolve not to think about saying goodbye.

I used my toe to draw a road in the sand, connecting the three castles we had built; somehow trying to illustrate what I felt was a strong bond between the three of us. I had known Richie only briefly compared to my other friends at home, yet I felt closer to him than I did to them. Jon looked up then as Richie gave me a hug and I sniffed back the tears.

“Babe, we’ll see each other more than you think” Jon said soothingly and Richie nodded.

I wasn’t as used to saying goodbye as they were and I reminded myself that there would be other opportunities like this. Jon’s schedule was usually so hectic, though, that I wondered how often he allowed himself to just kick back and enjoy an extended vacation. I snapped a picture of our sandcastles then, capturing the moment to always remind me. Just then my cell phone rang and I heard my dad’s voice on the other end.

“Hi, father. Yes, we’ll be flying in tomorrow evening. No, don’t worry about picking us up, we’ll take the limo” I said, looking to Jon for confirmation and he nodded.

“What time will you be here?” Dad wanted to know.

“I’m not sure, but we’ll call you as soon as we touch down, okay?” I offered.

“Well, make sure you check the time. You don’t wanna miss your plane” he reminded me.

“Don’t worry Dad. We’re taking Jon’s plane so we aren’t as locked in to a schedule as you are thinking” I smiled.

“Oh, yeah. I forgot about that. I’m not used to my daughter’s jet set lifestyle” he said with an edge of sarcasm. “Is everything okay?” he added then.

“Yeah, dad. We’re here in California with Richie and we’ll be leaving tomorrow morning. Is everything okay there?” I asked, wondering suddenly at my dad’s phone call.

“Yep, just dandy. Call me when you get in” he said with a tone of finality that made me question what had happened that he wasn’t telling me.

I shrugged my shoulders in answer to the question in Jon’s eyes and dialed my sister. It might just be that he was having a bad day, but Linda would tell me the truth. I wanted to be prepared.

“Linda, it’s me” I announced.

“Where are you? I thought you were coming in tomorrow. Is everything okay?” she asked, sounding anxious and I realized how much my family always seemed to expect the worst.

“We’re fine. We’re still in California, but we’ll be flying in tomorrow evening. Is everything okay with daddy?” I said, getting to the point.

“He blew up at mother this morning. He wanted to go out to a board meeting for the development and she called him six times while he was gone and he was only away for an hour. She’s really getting to him lately” she explained.

“Oh Linda, I’m so sorry. I wish there was more we could do. I’m hoping that this trip will be a bit of a change for him. Is he looking forward to us coming?” I asked, feeling discouraged as there was no real answer to the problem.

“Actually, to tell you the truth, I think he is. I think he’s anxious to check out Jon” she laughed.

I laughed then too. Some things never changed. I might be forty-four, but dad still needed to screen my boyfriend. Linda and I talked a little more and firmed up the details of our arrival. I was glad we’d be staying with her and her husband as it was depressing to be with my parents for extended periods.

“My Dad is anxious to check you out, love” I said as I smiled at Jon.

“Uh-oh, dude, you’d better get a haircut before you meet him” Richie chuckled.

“I know! But someone won’t allow it” he said rolling his eyes in my direction.

“You’ve got that right” I acknowledged.

We picked up our stuff and started the long walk back to the car. When we arrived at Richie’s place we set about packing up and getting ready for the trip tomorrow. Jon called and confirmed that the plane would be there and ready at noon and we settled down for our last night together.

Richie had a hot tub himself and it seemed like a great way to end our visit. Jon got the wine and I got the glasses and we joined Richie on the terrace. I still had my bathing suit on under my clothes and Jon simply stripped and jumped in. Richie had his bathing trunks and we all laid back and relaxed, enjoying the beautiful California night as we sipped our wine under the twinkling stars.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Sauna Part 133

We were roused by the sound of Jon’s cell phone and I glanced at the clock as he reached for it. It was nearly ten o’clock and I was stunned that we had slept so late. It was Richie who was already downstairs waiting for us for breakfast. I heard Jon tell him to go ahead and eat and we’d be down as soon as we’d showered and I heard Richie offer to have some coffee sent up. Jon thanked him and we hopped in the shower and got ready as quickly as we could.

I was still trying to dry my hair a little while Jon opened the door to the hall and retrieved the pot of coffee that room service had left. He poured me a cup and I took it, my mind still foggy from last night’s afterglow. Jon stopped my frantic attempts to do something with my hair and took my face in his hands as he kissed me.

“Darlin’, you’re beautiful just like that. Stop fussing” he said in a soft voice.

I relaxed and leaned against him as he brushed my hair tenderly and I marveled at how he was able to still me with just a few simple words. No one had ever made me feel so loved, so cherished, so special or so safe. I silently thanked the Goddess for the greatest gift she’d ever given to me.

We met Richie for breakfast and he smiled warmly as we joined him. Neither of us was particularly hungry, having satisfied ourselves quite fully the night before and Richie looked surprised. It was unlike Jon to skip a meal.

We had a quick cup of coffee and headed for the car show. It was obviously a bigger event than we’d realized and the place was mobbed. We parked a good half a mile away, having been lucky to even find a spot at all. Jon had his baseball cap disguise and both he and Richie had dark sunglasses and we blended in quite well among the throng of people.

There must have been over three hundred cars, or so it seemed to me, and they stretched out as far as I could see. We finally got to the admission gate and realized after looking at the program that this was one of the most famous shows in the southwest. The cars were grouped by category, and Jon and Richie debated where to start, as I had no particular preference. I was curious to see what the steam engine cars looked like however.

We wandered about the expansive grounds, and I found it rather interesting despite the fact that I wasn’t much of a car enthusiast. These cars weren’t the typical ones I’d seen at shows back home, although the muscle cars were all present and accounted for and I had a particular affinity for old Chevy’s. The ones I found really fascinating were some of the very old and rare models, like the Edsels, and a couple Duesenbergs, and I was completely flabbergasted by the prices on some of the ones that were for sale.

Jon and Richie talked about various engines and special features and we saw a couple examples of cars with “suicide doors” which I had heard of but never seen. I wished my father could have been there as he would surely have appreciated so much more than I could and he had been collecting small scale model cars for years. I hoped that perhaps this might be an area that he and Jon could share in common. Jon nudged Richie suddenly and pointed, grinning.

“Hey, c’mon, there’s somebody I want you to meet” he said turning to me with an impish look as I wondered who he saw that he knew.

“Jay” he called as he waved at a man standing beside an old classic.

The man turned around and I was taken aback as I recognized Jay Leno. I never knew he was a car buff, but it came as no surprise to Jon who explained that Jay had an extensive collection of rare cars and loved to restore them, even rebuilding engines himself. He saw Jon and waived us over.

“Hey, I didn’t know you were in town! Are you doing a show here?” Jay asked.

“Nah, we’re doing a special show in Florida next week. We’re just here to visit Richie” he explained as he proceeded to introduce me.

“So you’re the lady that’s taken him off the market? Well, good for you! None of us need the competition out there! Am I right, Richie?” Jay jibed and Richie nodded his agreement.

They chatted about cars and motors and such and Jay explained that he had two antique autos entered into a contest and was waiting for the judging. They talked a little about bikes and Jay mentioned there was a big antique bike show in a couple weeks, but we would likely not make it back for that. The guys chatted a bit more and shook hands and Jon agreed that he’d make time for an appearance on Jay’s show sometime in the near future and we went on our way.

It was mid-afternoon and Jon’s stomach was growling and I was a bit hungry by now too. There were vendors everywhere and we got some hotdogs, hamburgers and fries and I located an iced coffee vendor. We sat down in the shade to eat and rest a bit while we looked through the program. There were all kinds of car events and swap meets and even a demo derby in the evening.

By six o’clock we were pretty sure we’d seen everything. The steam engine cars were pretty special and I learned that Jay had several to his credit and even had a mechanic who worked exclusively for him just to maintain them. The demo derby started at seven, so we decided to stay and walked over to the stands to get a seat, but the bleachers were already filling up. We opted to stand near the fence in order to see and I explained that one of my friends had won a national competition for demos, but had since retired. Jon and Richie weren’t the only ones who knew a celebrity!

The derby was fun, as they always were, and I rather enjoyed the crowd spirit in cheering on certain favorites and booing the guy who kept taking cheap shots. Jon looked at me, a little surprised that I could appreciate the “sport”, but my friend and his wife had worked hard to educate me on the finer points.

After the derby ended, we began walking back to the car. I was convinced we were heading the wrong way and I said so. They were both stubborn males and this also prompted Jon to tell the story of how I had gotten lost coming home from the airport. Since I couldn’t argue with that particular truth, I held my peace until Richie began to express his own reservations. Jon gave in without a fight when I suggested we ask someone who worked there to point us in the direction of the main gate.

It turned out I was right all along and I just smugly made duck lips at Jon. Rather than being irritable, he reached out and pulled me against him and kissed me, apologizing for being a pig-headed smart-ass. I thought Richie’s mouth would drop off as he expected a pissy response instead. Jon was indeed mellower than even I was accustomed to seeing.

“Man, bro, what’s gotten into you?” Richie wondered, staring at Jon.

“I’m just so ridiculously happy, Rich. I just can’t get wound up over stupid shit anymore” Jon confessed.

Richie stopped where he was standing and just looked at us. We stopped too and turned to look at Richie. It was the truth. We were both just deliriously happy and beaming like a couple of loons.

“Damn, somebody got laid last night” Richie speculated.

“It’s so much more than that, bro. So much more” Jon breathed.

“Yeah, man, I know. I’m really happy for you both” he said, breaking into a wide grin now too.

We walked back to the car and decided to head back to the hotel and get cleaned up and maybe have a late dinner there. It had been a warm day and we all feeling grubby, especially from all the dust at the derby. I mentioned how great a hot tub would feel and Richie admitted he got the room with a hot tub. Jon punched him in the arm playfully and wondered if that was a lame invitation.

“Hey, I’m always willing to share” he teased back and this time Jon didn’t seem disturbed by any ghosts from the past.

When we got to the hotel we all took a quick shower and changed into our swimsuits. Jon and I joined Richie in his room and we ordered room service instead of going down to the hotel restaurant for dinner. We were anxious to try out Richie’s hot tub and I was glad I’d brought my bathing suit along just in case. Even though we’d all seen each other sky-clad, the three of us soaking naked in a hot tub just wasn’t quite the same thing.

The hot, bubbling water was a welcome treat and I sank down, letting the heat surround me. Jon poured us each a glass of champagne and we all began to relax and pick at the dinners we’d ordered. I stole a shrimp off Jon’s plate and he slapped my hand.

“Remember what happened the last time I let you have shrimp in a hot tub?” he said, eyeing me playfully.

“I certainly do” I responded, keeping my eyes level with his.

And so we got to telling stories. We told stories about me and Jon and the guys told stories about the two of them and stories about the band. I reached for another piece of shrimp and this time Jon let me have it after extracting my promise to behave. I wished Lainie was here and thought about how much she’d have enjoyed the stories they were regaling me with and I wondered just how close she and Richie had become. Apparently Jon wondered the same thing as he voiced my own thoughts.

“So, bro, tell us about you and Elaine” he prompted.

“What d’ya wanna know” Richie said a bit evasively, but the champagne was kicking in and he was ready to talk.

“What are your plans?” I ventured.

“We haven’t really discussed any plans” Richie answered.

“No, Richie. I mean what are your plans?” I asked again pointedly.

“Truthfully, I wanna marry her. The traditional way, I mean. I wanna have more kids and I wanna be a family again” he shared.

“Have you asked her?” Jon wondered.

“Hell, no. I think it’s too soon and I don’t wanna scare her away” he explained.

He was probably right, I thought to myself. Elaine was a strange bird. As much as I believed she loved Richie, she was hard to read. And she had a way of sabotaging anything good that came along. I wished she’d just let go a little and take a few chances once in a while, but I knew that even having a relationship with Richie at all was a big step for her. It would take time.

“Whaddya think, Trish? Am I being too cautious?” Richie asked, turning to me.

“No, I think you’re being wise to go slow. Lainie’s skittish and she likes to be in control, but she won’t risk making the first moves. You’ll have to set the pace, but if you push her too hard or too fast she’ll bolt. Just don’t give up on her, Richie” I replied.

“I’m not giving up and I can be patient. Sometimes things worth having are worth waiting for, you know?” he said a little wistfully.

I nodded and looked at Jon. Even though our relationship seemed to move pretty fast, I’d actually been waiting my whole life for him. Many lifetimes in fact. And it was definitely worth the wait. Jon yawned and looked at me. His eyes were tired, but filled with such infinite tenderness that I yearned to be in his arms.

We excused ourselves and said goodnight to Richie, the champagne and the hot water having taken its toll and I wanted nothing more than to fall asleep wrapped in the warmth of his love. We walked across the hall to our own room, dropping the towels we’d wrapped about us and stripped off our wet bathing suits.

We crawled into bed and I curled up against him, wishing moments like this could just last forever. He unpinned my hair and stroked it, tossing the hair clips onto the floor. He stroked my cheek with the back of his hand and I nuzzled it before twining my fingers in his.

“I love you, wife, and I wanna show you how much, but I can barely keep my eyes open” he yawned again.

“No need to show me, my love. I feel you inside my very soul” I replied as I laid my head upon his chest.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Sauna Part 132

The next morning I woke early and I was anxious to find the clothing boutique that was my only agenda while in California. I realized most people would have had other priorities, but going to Tienda Ho was nothing short of nirvana for me and neither Jon nor Richie could resist ribbing me about my excitement. The analogy of seeming like a kid on Christmas morning was not far off the mark.

We drove to Berkley, a suburb of San Francisco, where the store was located. Richie let us off at the shop while he went in search of a hotel with a vacancy. He was stiff from spending the night on the couch and knew Jon would be cranky if he had to keep himself in check another night. I caught my breath as we entered the shop.

It was filled with every shade of Moroccan cotton I’d ever dreamed of and gorgeous batik fabrics I hadn’t even imagined. I was overwhelmed and not sure where to begin when we were met by an attractive sales girl who offered to assist us. I was wearing a skirt I had ordered from the store earlier in the year and explained that I wanted to see that exact skirt in every color they had and Jon just shook his head, but the girl nodded knowingly and led me to a round rack with every color in the rainbow.

“Can you just pack up one in every color for us while we look around?” Jon asked and the girl’s eyes widened in surprise as they were just under $100 each.

“Certainly” she agreed and began collecting the items, taking one of each color.

I didn’t argue and Jon didn’t need to persuade me to spend his money now as I was addicted to these clothes. We wandered about the store and he dutifully followed behind me, carrying all my selections as we made our way to the dressing room. The girl who was assisting us had returned and had twice relieved him of his burden, taking all the articles to a room for us. When I had finished my tour, she unlocked the door and never batted an eye as Jon followed me in with a final armful.

“We’ll never get this all in the suitcases” he muttered, looking at the assortment.

“I’ll have them ship whatever I buy except the ones I’m likely to wear this week and next” I replied.

“So, you’ve really been planning this for a while, haven’t you?” he observed, raising an eyebrow and I grinned at him, acknowledging that there wasn’t a shopping issue that I couldn’t solve.

“So, let’s start the fashion show” he said indulgently, settling into a chair to watch.

I proceeded to model several styles, holding up various similar pieces to be sure the colors matched and Jon nodded his approval. I began to suspect I might as well have been modeling potato sacks, so I decided he needed a little diversion. The music in the store was not exactly what I would have chosen for a strip tease, but it would have to do and I began to slowly remove one garment at a time while keeping my eyes fixed on his.

I slowly removed the scarf I had wound about my waist and draped it around his neck, noticing that I had gotten his full attention now. Next I let the jacket I was wearing slide off my shoulders and fall to the floor as I spun around, enjoying the feel of the skirt as it swirled about my legs. I moved closer to him as I slowly undid each button on the shirt I was wearing, allowing my hands to slip inside and caress my breasts before pushing the shirt away to follow the jacket to the floor.

Jon licked his lips as I drew closer still, grabbing the ends of the scarf which still lay around his neck. I used it to pull him forward as I bent to kiss him, barely brushing his lips with mine. He reached for me, but I sashayed away before he could get hold of me and I heard him mutter under his breath. I turned away, watching him now in the mirror as I began to slip the skirt over my hips while I bent forward, continuing the erotic dance I was performing for him alone.

Naked now, I turned to face him and I could see from his expression that my plan was working well. I smiled seductively as I knelt on the floor and began to crawl towards him at an achingly slow pace. His eyes were locked on mine as I crept closer, torturing him with every movement until finally stopping between his knees. I unzipped his pants to free Lil’ Jon who was now standing at attention as well.

I slid my mouth around his shaft, tasting him, while my tongue circled the swollen tip. He let out a soft groan as I reached inside his jeans to fondle his balls, heavy with their burden. His hands reached for my head and he buried his fingers in my hair as I went down on him there in the dressing room. It took little coaxing before he shot his load down my throat with a stifled cry and I licked the remaining drops of his sweet cream before zipping his pants back up.

His eyes were closed and his lips were curled into a lazy half smile as I stood and began to pick up the clothes I had strewn about the dressing room. He grabbed my hand and pulled me to him as he stood, capturing me in his arms. He lifted my hair into a pony tail as he kissed me deeply and whispered in my ear.

“Ohhh, baby, that felt soooo good” he crooned.

“See how much fun shopping can be?” I teased and he chuckled as he slapped me on the ass.

I finished dressing back into the clothes I had worn in and collected my selections, leaving behind only a few items I decided I didn’t need. The salesgirl saw us emerge from the dressing room and I wondered what she must have been thinking when we headed to the checkout, each with an armful of purchases. I chose several pieces to take with us and asked her to package and ship the rest as Jon handed her his credit card.

“I must say, ma’am, I envy you. Most men would be pretty cranky after spending over an hour shopping for women’s clothes, but you seem to be smiling. You deserve the Man of the Year Award, sir” she said, turning to Jon.

“My wife has me trained well. I’ve actually come to rather enjoy it” Jon replied jovially and I hid my smile as I leaned over to kiss him.

I saw the girl look up again from the register quickly after recognizing the name on the card, but she said nothing and I assumed she was accustomed to seeing celebrities in the store. Just then Richie popped through the door and laughed as he watched her ring up our purchases.

“So I see this trip was productive?” he observed.

“Indeed, my brother. You have no idea” Jon replied meaningfully and Richie’s eyes lit up as he caught his meaning.

“Well, I have good news too. I found us a hotel and I booked us two rooms” he announced cheerfully.

“Well done, man. How about lunch? I’m starving!” Jon suggested.

We ate lunch at a little bistro and drove back to the Bay area where Richie had managed to find a hotel and we checked in to make sure we were registered. We spent the rest of the afternoon taking a street car tour of the city and walking along the Bay as we watched the sun set. I really liked this part of California and felt right at home between the plethora of New Age stores, boutiques and antique shops.

We had a late dinner at an Italian restaurant with an outdoor patio and a view of the Bay as we discussed what to do for the evening. We decided to check out the nightlife and after dinner we walked to a nearby club called El Diablo. It was a small club with a dark, smoky atmosphere and a blues band that wasn’t half bad. We listened to the music and shot a few games of pool with some locals, glad that the darkness provided some anonymity.

Jon and Richie went to play a few rounds of darts and I stayed at the bar, chatting with the bartender about the area attractions and events. It turned out there was an antique car show tomorrow, on Friday, and the guys wanted to stick around and see it. Since we had no real need to be anywhere, we decided to see if we could book another night at the hotel and stick around another day.

It turned out that we could have the rooms one more night as long as we left by checkout on Saturday morning and so we reserved the rooms and said goodnight before going our separate ways. Richie was restless and headed for the hotel bar while Jon and I went to our room. I was feeling pretty mellow from the wine and the music and I flicked on the radio. ‘I’m No Angel’ was playing and I wrapped my arms about Jon’s neck and we started to dance slowly, Jon singing the words softly. We both grinned when he came to “let me show you my tattoo” and I fingered the spot on his arm where his Superman tattoo lay beneath his shirt.

As the song ended, he turned my face up to his and kissed me. His kiss began gently at first, growing more fierce as I responded with my own rising desire. He pulled my shirt over my head as I reached for the button on his jeans and we undressed each other with increasing urgency. Locked in a passionate embrace, we tumbled into the bed, struggling to position ourselves without letting go.

We made love with reckless abandon, dissolving into one mind, one heart, and one soul. I ran my hands along Jon’s skin, savoring every inch of his body as I lost myself in the feel of flesh on flesh. His tongue probed my mouth, finding no resistance as I welcomed him deeper inside me. The music in the background seemed only to fuel our fevered need as we devoured each other with shameless devotion.

The God and Goddess filled us that night, taking us into the mists and the heights of rapture. We were consumed with the burning need to merge, to be one with each other, inseparable. The love we shared filled us both so completely, so intensely that the climax almost seemed to go unnoticed as we reveled in the joy of oneness; oneness with each other and oneness with the world. The energy we created that night would sustain us through the passing of many moons.

We lay there motionless and breathless, twined in each other’s arms and filled with such peace and contentment such that we had never known. Jon was so much more to me than my mate, he was my very life’s blood. Without him, I would cease to exist. He fed every hunger, healed every wound and calmed every storm within me. I turned to him, tears streaming down my face, and I saw that he too was crying. There were no words needed between us.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Sauna Part 131

The morning sun streamed in through the french doors and I could hear the faint sound of seagulls in the distance. I wondered absently if Richie chose this place because it reminded him of Jersey, but it was a beautiful area even without the memory to enhance it. It was still early and I drifted back to sleep knowing there was no rush to get up and that Richie tended to be a late sleeper anyway.

I woke about an hour later and Jon was gone. I listened for the shower, but the house was still quiet, so I made my way downstairs silently so as not to disturb Richie if he was still sleeping. There was a fresh pot of coffee and a note from Jon.

Went for an early run-be back at 9-don’t shower without me-Jon

I laughed at the note and muttered a “yes, master” to myself as I poured a cup of coffee and began to clear the dishes from last night’s dinner and load up the dishwasher. It was the least we could do after all the trouble Richie had gone to for us. I sipped my coffee and decided to sit on the terrace and wait for Jon.

I heard some movement and turned, expecting to see him, but it was Richie who greeted me. He had a mug of coffee and Jon’s note, which I’d forgotten and left in the kitchen and he was grinning.

“Thanks for taking care of the dishes, doll. I assume this was meant for you?” he joked.

“Unless there’s something you’re not telling me, Richie” I quipped right back.

“Trust me, I love Jon like a brother. A rather spoiled, peevish little brother, but that’s all” Richie answered emphatically, emphasizing the word little.

I laughed so hard I nearly spit coffee as the look on his face was priceless. Richie had a way of making faces that were so expressive and he was a natural born comedian. I imagined that he could charm his way out of any situation just as easily as Jon could and I wondered how his wife had ever managed to stay mad at him long enough to leave him.

“I was thinking about something this morning” he began, his expression changing.

“Instead of flying to San Francisco on the weekend, what would you think about driving down there today and staying tonight and tomorrow and driving back on Friday? It’s a beautiful drive along the coast, with lots of places we could stop along the way and no real pressure then to hurry along. I haven’t done a road trip like that in years and we’d still have plenty of time to see stuff back here when we got back” he suggested.

“That actually sounds like a lot of fun. I’m game, as long as Jon didn’t make any other commitments here during the week. He doesn’t necessarily tell me the plans in advance” I said ruefully just as Jon appeared in his running shorts and a sweaty t-shirt.

“What plans?” he asked, having just caught the tail end of the conversation.

Richie explained what he was suggesting and Jon confirmed he hadn’t made any appointments or commitments. He was ready for an adventure of sorts and we made haste to get ready. We showered quickly, confining our behavior to bathing this time, and by ten-thirty we were loading up the car and on our way.

The drive was more than scenic and we stopped at a couple of rest areas that were simply breathtaking. I had not forgotten my camera and I was determined to chronicle our trip on film. I soon learned that traveling with two men was much like traveling with two boys as Jon and Richie had a tendency to bring out the adolescent in each other.

They were silly and sweet, at times whiny and competitive, but genuinely playful. Jon could not resist harassing Richie about his driving and occasionally demanding that he be allowed to drive. Richie, for his part, tried harder to behave like a grown-up, but Jon’s ribbing would get the better of him and soon his behavior degenerated to the juvenile level as well. I was finally forced to insist on taking the wheel myself, thinking to end the squabbling.

Richie conceded, acknowledging that I was somehow more fit to be the parent here despite being the only one who was childless among the three of us. The driving was no longer the source of bickering, however they seemed quite capable of finding other ways to torment each other until I threatened to banish one of them to the back seat if they could not behave. But in truth, I wasn’t serious at all and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them play. I wondered how long it had been since either of them had had a chance to express their inner children.

We stopped at an ocean side restaurant for lunch and I managed to get a little souvenir shopping in since I had control of the keys. We made it to the Bay by about seven o’clock and the search for a hotel began as none of us had thought once about not having reservations. The name Bon Jovi would get us a table at a crowded restaurant, but it wouldn’t get us a room in a packed hotel when most of the guests had already checked in.

We finally found an old Bed & Breakfast with a vacancy as they had just received a cancellation, but there was only one room available with one bed. Jon pouted and Richie smirked and I convinced the owner that we would behave ourselves and were just very tired and not planning to engage in any unusual activities. The owner’s wife eyed me a bit suspiciously, but she was clearly envious and I could hardly blame her.

The offer to pay triple the price finally won out and I had the keys in my hand. We entered the room and flicked on the light. Richie immediately sprawled out on the bed with a sigh and grinned.

“Looks like the bed is big enough for the three of us” he said mischievously.

“Your couch is right over there” Jon pointed out, not at all amused.

“Awwww, c’mon man. I thought we were brothers. You’re not gonna share?” he teased again and I started to smile, but Jon’s expression stopped me instantly.

“Don’t go there” he said in a quiet tone.

“Jon, he’s just kidding you. Relax, love” I said soothingly.

I wasn’t really sure what I was trying to interrupt, but I began to suspect that this scenario was kicking up some memories better left buried. I knew that they had both been wild in their younger days and I didn’t really care to know what sort of things they might have shared, but it damn sure wasn’t going to be me. I was certain that whatever the past had been, Richie was just teasing now, but sometimes he didn’t know when to quit and this was definitely one of those times.

“I’m sorry, babe. I’m an ass. You’re right. Sorry, Rich” he apologized, his features relaxing as he drew me to him and kissed my forehead.
“I really was only kidding, man. Really” Richie said apologetically.

Whatever ghost had been raised, the shadow passed and Jon’s face brightened. He grabbed a stack of menus off the desk for some local take-out places as there was no room service and sat down on the bed, pulling me along. He tossed a menu to Richie and handed one to me.

“What should we order?” he asked, his attention now focused on dinner.

“Pizza” Richie and I said in unison and we all laughed, the previous tension completely gone now.

We ordered a pizza and settled back on the bed, flipping through the channels on TV as we decided what to watch. I left the decision to the boys, deciding to take a shower and wash off the grime from the road and figuring it would give them an opportunity to discuss whatever had led to the earlier tension.

Jon joined me instead, deciding I was the one who deserved an explanation as Richie understood his reaction better than I did. He stepped in behind me and slipped his arms around my waist, kissing my neck, as he whispered in my ear.

“I’m sorry” he said softly.

I turned to face him and he looked ashamed, but not angry. I put my arms around his neck and kissed him, wanting him to know that it was okay. We all had a past and that was then, this was now.

“When we were younger, we did some things I’m not really proud of. I guess I just over-reacted as it brought up a memory I would rather forget and I thought Richie was jerking my chain on purpose. I …” he began when I put my finger to his lips to stop him.

“Jon, you don’t owe me any explanations. I know you weren’t an angel and neither was I. But the past is the past. Let’s just leave it there” I said, seeing no reason for him to confess.

“I love you so much” he murmured into my hair, holding me tightly.

“I know and I love you too” I said, comforting him.

We finished our shower and somehow the intimacy we shared seemed enough. I wanted to make love to Jon, but I didn’t need to make love right then. We were as close as I imagined two people could ever be, and that was enough for now. We emerged from the bathroom just as Richie was paying for the pizza.

I hadn’t brought a nightgown, never having had a reason to need one before, but I did have my fuzzy bathrobe. Jon wrapped a towel about his waist and a smaller one around my hair to dry it and Richie actually had PJ’s. We piled onto the bed and dug into the pizza and if anyone had seen the three of us, they would have been hard pressed to believe this was a rock star slumber party.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Sauna Part 130

“I see you aren’t in a hurry to unpack?” I observed, eyeing him from the closet where I was hanging up clothes.

H e stood up and dug around in the small suitcase and found two t-shirts, a pair of shorts and swimming trunks and threw them in a drawer. He flopped back on the bed and patted it again as he announced he was finished.

“Okay, all done” he grinned.

“Smartass! I get the point” I conceded and joined him on the bed.

“Let’s get you out of all those clothes” he purred, not waiting for an answer as he began pulling my shirt over my head.

I didn’t argue and soon we were both relieved of our clothing and managing to make a mess out of the nicely made bed. Jon’s hands roamed across my body, sending a wave of excitement through me as our mouths met in a hungry kiss. His touch could always arouse me in an instant, but it was the look in his eyes that really fanned the flame. They were dark and shining, his pupils dilated with his desire.

His tongue darted inside my mouth as he tasted me and I felt myself growing wet in response. I guided his hand between my legs and the smile that flickered across his face made me shudder with anticipation. His long finger slipped between my creamy folds and he stroked my hardened pearl with exaggerated attention. I raised my thigh and wrapped it about his hip as he massaged my clit with his thumb, his finger moving inside me with rhythmic precision. I squealed with delight as he nipped at my shoulder blade and I felt the climax begin.

He played my body as skillfully as he played any instrument and I succumbed to the pressure building inside me, clamoring for release. I bit my lower lip to quell my cries as I came hard against him. He murmured softly in my ear, encouraging me to let go and my body obeyed, bucking wildly.

He withdrew his fingers slowly as my movements subsided and rolled onto his back, holding his engorged penis in his hand. He began to stroke it himself, his hands slippery with my juices as he looked at me invitingly. I climbed astride him, lowering myself onto his rigid shaft and he groaned as I slid him inside me.

His hands gripped my ass, holding me firmly as I rocked gently and he closed his eyes for a moment. His fingers dug into my flesh as he held me still, rolling his hips beneath me, controlling the pace to keep from exploding too soon. I leaned back slightly as my hands reached for my breasts, gliding my fingers across the nipples as I touched myself for him. His eyes widened and he smiled approvingly as I proceeded to pleasure myself, pinching the aching flesh between my thumb and forefinger.

I saw him catch his breath as his eyelids flickered and he jerked beneath me, stiffening then as he released his steamy load inside my depths. He groaned low in his throat as his fingers grew slack and I took the opportunity to ride him harder, as the moaning became louder. I placed my finger to my lips, but I was smiling, having succeeded in getting him to relinquish control finally.

He began to giggle then, unable to contain himself, and the sound was infectious. I began to laugh too and we seemed unable to hold back at all, peals of laughter ringing forth in utter joy until he breathlessly begged me to stop moving. I collapsed on top of him and we held each other close in a sweaty embrace, chuckling at ourselves.

“Hey, dinner’s just about ready” we heard Richie’s voice calling us from our reverie.

“Coming!” Jon yelled hoarsely as we both dissolved into a fit of laughter at the strangled sound of his voice.

Minutes later we were entering the kitchen rather sheepishly as Richie grinned knowingly and motioned to the table in the dining room.

“Working up an appetite, I assume?” he smirked, unable to resist teasing.

“You don’t miss a thing, do you?” I teased back, too embarrassed to meet his eyes.

“Well, I know it would never take Jon that long to unpack” Richie explained and I realized there were no secrets with Richie.

Jon sat down at the table, grinning like the Cheshire cat who most certainly got the cream while I poured the wine into the glasses set out for the three of us. The aroma from the kitchen was intoxicating and my appetite for something besides Jon was finally piqued. Richie really enjoyed cooking and he had spared no expense in preparing this meal.

Jon was already digging into the bacon and spinach salad and I couldn’t resist the cheddar and garlic biscuits in the warming tray beside me. Richie came from the kitchen carrying a tureen of pumpkin soup and proceeded to ladle it into our bowls. I was beyond impressed.

“Richie, this is incredible! Everything is delicious and I can’t believe how much trouble you went to-I have never felt so welcome or been so spoiled, at least not with food” I added, glancing at Jon.

“Yeah, Rich. Man, this is good. But there’s no need to try and steal my woman now. You have Lainie, remember” Jon teased.

“I know. This is actually my practice dinner before she gets here. She’s quite a gourmet, you know, so I needed to test this out on you two first” Richie beamed, delighted with our enthusiasm.

“Richie, I’ll be your guinea pig anytime” I smiled appreciatively, slightly envious of Elaine now.

“Just save room for the main course and don’t forget there’s dessert too” he announced proudly.

The main course was even more impressive than the soup, which was a masterpiece in itself. Richie had prepared a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in true California fashion with roasted turkey he had smoked and sliced days before, chestnut stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce and a sweet potato casserole with pecans and spices that he shared was an old family recipe. There were mashed potatoes as well and the gravy made me swear I would never again settle for the canned stuff I had always been content with.

I was beyond stuffed as we finished the dinner, unable to resist sampling everything, at least a little. Richie promised he would share his recipes, but I doubted very much that I would ever be able to recreate such a culinary masterpiece myself as I looked at Jon apologetically.

“Love, you should have married Richie when he was still available. I could never manage to prepare a feast like this” I said, feeling ashamed at my own rather pathetic repertoire.

“S’okay, babe. You satisfy my other needs, but damn, man, I never knew you could cook like this. Remember when Tico impressed us all in the old days with figuring out how to cook a fish in the dishwasher?” Jon reminded Richie.

“Shit! I’d forgotten all about that” Richie roared.

“What on earth are you talking about?” I demanded, completely lost.

“When we were all living in a little rented apartment back in the old days while we were recording ‘Slippery’, the oven was broke and we didn’t have much food. We took off and went fishing and Tico ended up cooking the fish in the dishwasher by running the “dry” cycle after we wrapped it in tinfoil with some butter and shit” Richie explained.

“You’re kidding, right?” I asked incredulously.

“Nope. Honest truth” Jon chimed in. “And it was pretty good as I remember, but then we were pretty hungry by then”

The two of them laughed while I pondered the plausibility of such an endeavor and marveled at the ingenuity that took. It would never have occurred to me and yet I could see how it could work. It must have been before they discovered sushi, I mused.

We moved out onto the terrace, too stuffed for dessert and too lazy to feel like going out anywhere. Richie had brewed a fresh pot of coffee and to my surprise and delight, he had somehow managed to secure a supply of Tim Horton’s which I recognized immediately. Lainie was a lucky lady indeed and in for quite a treat.

It was a beautiful, warm night and the air was thick with the scent of jasmine and honeysuckle. It was pure pleasure to sit back and relax and listen to Jon and Richie as they reminisced about some of the old times together when the band was still struggling and I began to truly appreciate the experiences that made them the brotherhood they had become.

By midnight, we were ready for dessert as Richie was anxious to see how his plum pudding turned out. He had found a traditional British recipe for it and was hoping it turned out as he’d never made it before. The process was quite complicated, but I was more than willing to test it as it was an absolute favorite holiday treat of mine.

It was every bit as scrumptious as the rest of the dinner had been and compared to all those I’d tried over the years, it was one of the best. The brandy hard sauce served as the crowning glory and I finished a huge dish despite feeling like I would burst.

“So, Richie, have you got an elevator here too that you can roll us into? I can barely move, I’m so stuffed. Usually my sister is the only one who deserves that much praise for her meals. This was an awesome feast” I concluded.

“Yeah, bro. Thank you for this” Jon added, spreading his hands to indicate the remains of dinner and dessert as we headed into the kitchen.

“I’m glad it all turned out well and that you enjoyed it. I just hope it’s good enough that Lainie decides to keep me” Richie said as he smiled softly.

“She’d be a fool not to” I said, giving Richie a hug. “Can we help clean up?”

“No, really. There’s not that much left” he laughed. “And I’ll get the dishes in the morning. I just don’t feel like doing them tonight”

“You sure, man?” Jon asked, checking, and Richie nodded.

“Night, man. Night, Trish. I’m really glad you guys are here” Richie added as we said goodnight and lumbered toward the stairs and our waiting bed.

Once upstairs, we stripped and climbed into bed, groaning, too full to even cuddle. It was a good thing we’d made love earlier as neither of us could have managed it in our bloated condition. I kissed Jon goodnight and we both rolled onto our backs with a giggle, feeling like beached whales. Soon there was nothing but the soft sound of Jon snoring beside me.

The Sauna Part 129

The day passed quickly as I caught up on chores that needed doing and I sent Jon to the store to pick up some groceries for dinner. It was a dreary, gray day and I was in the mood to bake some bread and I had the supplies at home.

“What smells so good?” Jon asked as he came in through the back door.

“Bread-Don’t open that oven!” I warned him as I saw him reaching for the handle.

“Okay, okay. It just smells so good. What’s for dinner, wife?” he said as he slid his arms around my waist.

“That depends. I can make shepherd’s pie if you got the ground beef or I can make a turkey casserole or we can just have soup and sandwiches. What’s your preference?”
I replied.

“Shepherd’s pie sounds intriguing. Can I help?” he offered.

“Actually, yes. You can chop up some onions and celery” I decided, handing him a knife.

Jon went to work on the vegetables while I made the mashed potatoes and cooked the ground beef. We mixed it all together and I added a can of corn and popped it in the oven and hunted around for some gravy mix. The bread was done and we each had a warm piece to tide us over until the meal was ready.

Soon dinner was done and we cracked open a bottle of wine. I lit a couple candles and we sat down to eat. It was a simple meal, but one I’d always liked on a cold, gray day and Jon seemed to enjoy it as well. Warm, fresh bread was true comfort food and when we were finished, I had a craving for hot chocolate.

We made a couple mugs and I had just enough Buttershots left to spike it and we settled down to watch TV. There was little worthwhile to watch on a Sunday evening, so Jon scanned my collection of videos and laughed when he saw that Roadhouse was among them.

“You really do like action movies, don’t you?” he said, sounding surprised.

“Yeah, generally. But there are a couple chick flicks there if you’d rather” I teased and he threw a pillow at me.

“I like action flicks just fine, but I was in the mood for something mellow tonight” he said defensively and I made duck lips at him then.

“How about ‘Dirty Dancing’ then? That one always makes me cry” I suggested.

He gave me a look, but searched again and found it, popping it in the VCR as he settled next to me on the couch. I pulled a big plush blanket off the top of the couch and we snuggled in to watch the movie.

I’d seen the movie a dozen times before, but it was one of my favorites and I became engrossed immediately. Jon had seen it too, but he liked it, and was absorbed in the story when the phone rang. It was Richie.

We paused the movie and he and Jon talked for a few minutes, and we firmed up our plans to fly in on Tuesday and stay until the following week. Lainie was coming in to spend the holiday with Richie, but we would miss her as we were leaving the day before. I wanted to give us some time with my sister and my folks before the holiday and the show, but we’d see her then as she was coming to Florida for the concert.

Jon turned the movie back on and we finished watching. True to my word, I cried at the scene between the father and the daughter, and Jon handed me a Kleenex after drying my eyes. When the movie ended, we were both tired and relaxed and headed upstairs for bed. I put a few remaining dishes in the dishwasher and set it and we brushed our teeth and went to bed. We were beginning to seem like old married folk now.


The next day flew by as we packed our suitcases and made ready to leave for Richie’s. I confirmed that Cherie would watch the cats while we were away and by Tuesday we were on the plane for California. I was looking forward to getting away from the dull, gray, rainy weather that plagued Buffalo this time of year.

It was a long flight, but having a private jet helped enormously and we were truly pampered compared to commercial flights. Vicky offered us drinks and all manner of snacks during our flight, but primarily gave us privacy. I guessed that she had seen quite a few things over the years she had worked for the band and knew privacy was the most precious commodity.

But today Jon and I were relatively average passengers and we didn’t give her a lot she had to be discreet about. I was absorbed in the book I’d been reading and Jon was preoccupied with phone calls and making arrangements with the guys to meet on the following Friday for a quick rehearsal prior to the show and to run down the set list. We touched down in California in the late afternoon and Jon gave Richie a call on the cell to let him know we’d arrived.

“Hey, bro, we’re here. We’re just about to land. How’s the weather here?” I overheard Jon say.

“It’s a balmy 78 degrees, so you’d better shed those parkas before you get off the plane. I’m just pulling up to the airport now, I’ll meet you at the usual spot in about fifteen” Richie replied cheerily.

“Right” Jon acknowledged and hung up. “We’d better change our clothes, it’s 78 here and we’ll be dyin’ in all these clothes” he suggested, turning to me.

We had dressed pretty warmly leaving Buffalo, but we’d packed cooler clothes in the overnight bag in anticipation. The plane had touched down and we were taxiing to the hangar now, so Jon stood up and grabbed the travel bag and dug out our clothes. He changed into a t-shirt and stuffed his sweatshirt back in the bag and I changed into a tank top and my favorite black skirt, handing him my folded jeans and sweater.

“Aren’t you forgetting something, babe?” he asked with a grin.

I looked at him quizzically, not catching his meaning and he lifted my skirt playfully. I rolled my eyes and sighed as he assisted in removing the panties I’d been wearing with my jeans.

“Better?” I asked rhetorically.

“Much” he smirked, slipping an arm about my waist and drawing me to him.

He kissed me just as Vicky entered and announced that we were at the gate. I grabbed the carry on bag and a smaller suitcase while Jon took the larger one and a medium-sized suitcase from the storage compartment.

“I knew I should have supervised your packing” he said with an exaggerated groan.

“Yeah, right. If it were up to you, I wouldn’t even have been allowed a bathing suit” I pouted, feeling that I had only packed bare essentials given it would be nearly two weeks before we got home.

Jon tugged on his baseball cap disguise and we disembarked and made our way to the VIP club to meet Richie. He was there already, waiting with a drink. Jon ordered a couple glasses of wine as I hugged Richie and we sat down at the bar to discuss our plans. We were about thirty minutes away from Richie’s house and I soon learned that San Francisco was about six hours away, so we might just fly there instead of driving over the weekend.

We decided we’d go back to Richie’s and just relax after the long flight and hang out for the night. He was anxious to show me the sites, but I really wanted to see the house and get settled. Ava wasn’t with him since he would have her next week for the holiday, so Richie was pretty much a free agent while we were there.

The weather was beautiful and the sun was shining with barely a cloud in the sky. I had never been further west than Colorado and I was looking forward to seeing the ocean and the area for the first time. The warmer temperatures and blue skies alone were a welcome change from Buffalo. Richie pointed out some of the local spots and areas of interest and we arrived at his house around five.

“So whatcha makin’ for dinner, bro?” Jon started as soon as we walked through the door.

“Shit, man, you’re here two minutes and you expect me to wait on you” Richie laughed.

“I can’t believe you’re hungry after that lunch we had on the plane!” I exclaimed.

“Hell, yeah. It’s been a couple hours” he said defensively, patting his stomach which actually growled for added emphasis.

“Actually, I had something in mind, but let’s see what we’ve got for snacks since it’s still a little early” Richie said indulgently as we dropped our bags and wandered into the kitchen.

The house was enormous and I was overwhelmed almost immediately. Jon’s place in Jersey was small by comparison and my own house seemed like a doll house in contrast to the grand scale of Richie’s estate.

“Richie, this place is absolutely fabulous! I want a total tour-I’ve never seen a place like this” I exclaimed breathlessly.

Richie beamed and Jon looked at me, a bit surprised. I had to admit I was star struck. Jon’s home was beautiful, but it was a bachelor pad compared to this. I wanted to ask Richie for a map as I was certain I’d get lost just trying to find the bathroom.

“C’mon, I’ll show you around. Jon’s seen it all before and he can find the food without me” Richie announced and escorted me through all the rooms, ending at the guest “room” I’d be sharing with Jon.

“It’s more of a suite” I commented, more to myself than to Richie.

“You’ve never been inside Jon’s old house-where Dot lives now, have you?” he wondered.

“No, just his current home. This is magnificent” I breathed.

We returned to the kitchen to find Jon scarfing down some cookies and making coffee and we both laughed, but I was grateful for the coffee. He poured us each a cup while I gushed over the house and Jon smiled knowingly at Richie.

“I’ll start dinner since someone is so hungry, but why don’t you two go upstairs and unpack or go outside on the terrace and relax.” he grinned.

“Do you want some help? Maybe I’ll learn something” I volunteered, but he shooed me and Jon away, preferring to keep his culinary secrets to himself.

Jon and I grabbed our bags and went upstairs to our room and I began to unpack while Jon opened the french doors onto the terrace. The light evening breeze felt good and carried with it the scent of honeysuckle. He stretched out on the bed and patted the mattress and I knew then that I wasn’t going to get much else unpacked.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Sauna Part 128

I woke again at nine as the phone was ringing, but I heard my father’s voice as the machine picked up.

“Aren’t you up yet? You’re gonna sleep the day away. Trish, call me when you get up” I heard and then click.

“Oh no” I groaned.

“What’s the matter” Jon asked sleepily.

“He’s thought of a reason he can’t come to the show and stay at the hotel. You watch, I guarantee it” I said, knowing my father.

I went to make a fresh pot of coffee and needed to wake up before I tackled this conversation. Discussions with my dad didn’t go well when I wasn’t fully prepared. I washed my face and splashed it with cold water, forcing myself to shake off the mellow feeling and focus before I made the call. Jon was up now too and poured us coffee as I joined him at the kitchen table. I took a sip and dialed my father.

“Hello?” I heard him answer.

“Hi father, we’re up. What’s going on?” I began.

“Trish? Is that you?” my mother piped in.

“Yeah mom, it’s me” I replied blandly.

“Trish, listen, about that show …” my dad started and I interrupted.

“Yeah, we’re all set. Jon cleared the dog with the management and we have suites reserved for everybody for that night” I went on, hoping to ward him off.

“I don’t think we’re going to come for that. It’ll be over four and half hours of driving and the traffic will be awful after the holiday. And I don’t enjoy that sort of music, you know that. I just can’t take the aggravation” he countered.

“It’s that far away? Four and a half hours?” I asked, looking at Jon.

“We’ll take the plane, babe and the limo from the airport. It won’t be that bad” Jon whispered.

“Dad, Jon’s right here. We’ll be taking his private plane and a limo from the airport so don’t worry. You won’t have to drive at all, besides you’ve never been in a limo. It’ll be fun!” I said encouragingly.

“Yeah? He’s got a private plane? Limo? C’mon, are you kidding?” my dad said in disbelief.

“No, I’m serious. Jon has his own plane that we take when we need to travel. It’ll be fun and no stress for anyone, okay? Please now, we’ve really got this covered so just relax and stop worrying. It means that much to both of us that you’re all there” I added for emphasis.

“A private plane, huh, and a limo. Well, that would be something different” he reflected and I could sense him giving ground.

“And the hotel can make diabetic meals for mother too” I ventured, looking at Jon who was smiling and nodding.

“Alright, I guess that might not be so bad. Why is this so important to you, anyway?” my dad relented.

“Because I want us all to be there and for you to meet Jon’s parents too. And I want you all to see how amazing Jon is on stage. I just want my family to be a part of this” I explained, smiling at him.

Jon made duck lips at me and I leaned over and kissed them, whispering “thank you”. I imagined he had never had to work so hard to get anyone to come to a concert and he was willing to do whatever it took to make it happen. He knew this was important to me and I think he wanted to show my father that he could take of his little girl too.

“Tell Jon we said thank you, then, as I’m sure he’s gone to a lot of trouble on our behalf. I am anxious to meet him now, but tell him to get a haircut. Those pictures I saw of you two in that celebrity magazine-his hair is way too long” he teased.

“I’ll tell him thank you” I said as I laughed and we hung up.

There was no way I was asking Jon to get a haircut, even though I knew he would and probably wouldn’t mind. I would mind, and so would his fans I thought. If I was going to run the fan club, I had a responsibility to his fans now, I thought, but truthfully I knew it was as much for me as for them.

“What was so funny? What did he say?” Jon asked after I’d hung up.

“He said to thank you and that he’s anxious to meet you now. He also suggested that you needed a haircut, but he knows me too well to think I would ever suggest that” I laughed.

“See, I told you. I can get my haircut” he threatened, running his fingers through his hair.

“Noooooooooooooo! Don’t you dare! Not even to please my father!” I commanded.

“C’mon, babe, I need to make a good impression and I’ll take all the help I can get. It is getting pretty long” he said, trying to cajole me.

“Mmmhhmmnn, yeah” I agreed, licking my lips as I reached out to stroke the blond locks, curling at his neck.

“Okay, okay. You convinced me. No haircut” he laughed as he patted his lap and I sat down.

He wrapped his arms around me and kissed my neck, slipping his hand inside my robe to fondle my breast. I ran my fingers through his hair lovingly and I could feel his cock stiffen beneath me.

“Shower?” he asked in a husky voice.

“Works for me” I purred as he scooped me up in his arms and carried me to the shower.

Jon set me down and reached to turn on the water. I slipped off my robe and reached for the belt at his waist. I tugged at it slightly and his robe opened. He gave a shrug and his robe fell to the floor as he stepped closer to me and lifted me off the floor. I wrapped my legs about his hips as we kissed and he impaled me on his shaft.

He stepped into the tub and backed me against the wall amid the spray of warm water. He made love to me passionately, our mouths locked in a feverish kiss. I could feel his fingers bruising my tender flesh as he held me, my back smacking the wall with every thrust. My hands tangled in his hair and I wrenched his mouth away from me, offering him my throat instead which he greedily accepted.

“Harder” I urged, my voice hoarse as I felt myself beginning to cum.

“Like this?” he growled back, ramming me with all his strength.

“Yessssssss” I hissed, my jaws clenching as my body contracted.

I gripped the muscles in his arms, hard as steel beneath his slippery smooth skin. I felt his teeth sink into my shoulder blade as I came explosively, thrashing against him like a wild tiger as my claws dug into his arms. My head hit the wall as he bit down harder and shot his load deep inside me and I cried from the pain as much from the pleasure of the release.

Slowly his thrusts subsided as the last of his juices seeped out and I felt him growing slack inside me. He released my shoulder from his jaws and gently lowered me to a standing position, leaning heavily against me and the wall as he panted in my ear.

“You drive me mad, baby” he sighed, stroking my cheek with the back of his hand as I turned to kiss it.

“I love when you take me like that” I smiled.

He examined the teeth marks in my shoulder and smirked. He wondered what made him become such a savage suddenly as he’d never behaved that way with anyone else. He hated that he’d hurt me and marveled that I didn’t mind. In fact, I somehow provoked some primal instinct he’d never experienced before. He ran his finger lightly over the mark, and I winced.

“Baby, I feel like such a brute, but I just lose it sometimes” he said apologetically.

“Do you hear me complaining?” I grinned wickedly.

“No, in fact I think you like it. I think you like making me lose control” he observed, shaking his finger at me.

I kissed it playfully then and laughed because he was right. I loved it when he was tender, but I loved it when he was brutal too. I somehow needed the total surrender, both his and mine, and I pointed out it wasn’t he alone who lost control.

“It’s not only you, my love” I purred, turning his attention to the blood trickling down his arms.

“Apparently not” he agreed, inspecting his wounds.

We finished our shower, actually bathing each other this time, and dried off. The room was warm now and filled with steam and I opened the door to let in some air. Zeke sauntered in, followed by Eddie and Beowulf, and they milled about as we continued to dry off.

“They probably heard all the noise you were making and now they’re checking to be sure you’re okay” Jon commented, leaning down to pat Floyd who’d now joined the group.

“Me? You were louder” I teased back.

I scooped Floyd up in my arms and kissed him, but he was having none of that. He hissed at me and swiped at Jon who just snickered proudly when I pouted. He was a jealous little cat and there was simply no soothing him. I set him down on the floor and he promptly smacked Eddie in the head and stalked off. Jon laughed hysterically at that and I had to admit that his actions were pretty comical sometimes and I knew he’d forgive me eventually.

The Sauna Part 127

We went to bed and decided to sleep on it. Surely something would present itself as the traditional roles didn’t seem to fit well for us. I snuggled against Jon and he held me closely, stroking my hair, as I prayed to the Goddess for an answer. I fell asleep listening to the steady sound of his breathing as he lay beside me.

Jon stared at the ceiling as he turned the problem over in his mind. He began to run through the list of people he knew who had solid relationships and how they seemed to work it out between them. Most of them had children, and therefore similar relationships, including his own parents. Others tended to both have careers and they often split the various responsibilities more evenly between them.

Having a baby together would resolve it, but neither of us really wanted that and that was a poor reason to have a child. Although, if it happened, Jon would have been okay with it. He loved his kids and he had no doubts that I would have been a good mother if that had happened. That wasn’t likely, though, and not necessarily a good idea at our age even if it was possible.

If I returned to work, it would only have solved a piece. I would have something meaningful in my life again, but it really didn’t contribute significantly to our financial well-being. Even though I made a good salary, it was a drop in the bucket compared to what he earned. He started to ask himself what was it that he really needed help with. What is it that never gets enough of my attention?

Then it hit him and an idea began to form. He needed help running the fan club. He had asked his mom to step in as he needed someone he trusted, but she was older and not really devoting much time to it. That had become obvious when he saw what was happening on the boards. He also needed help with managing the charities. He needed someone to make decisions about what type of requests he should consider and someone to watch how they were being run and how the money was being spent.

He had always dreamed of starting his own foundation and running it himself and had always hated having to depend on existing organizations to determine how to spend his money. He’d planned to change all that one day when he retired from performing, but that day was still a long way off. I was ideally suited to both of these jobs as I had the experience and the passion to do it the way he would have done it himself if he had the time. These were both responsibilities he would be grateful to turn over to me and that he knew I would handle effectively.

He smiled then, having found a solution he thought would make us both happy. He turned and kissed my head where it laid on his shoulder, still sound asleep. I nuzzled closer as he turned towards me, drawing me into his arms. He could wait until morning to share the news as he closed his eyes, ready to sleep himself.


I woke early the next morning, snuggled against Jon’s warm body and thinking about the conversation from the night before. There was nothing I wouldn’t do for the man lying beside me, if only there was something he needed. I turned restlessly, frustrated that there was so little I had to offer him. He was so competent in everything and there seemed to be nothing that he needed, save my loving him, and that was as natural for me as breathing. He stirred slightly and pulled me closer, whispering in my ear.

“Morning, babe” he purred and I could picture the smile he was wearing.

“Morning, love” I replied back as I turned to kiss him.

“I was thinking last night about what I needed and there are a couple things that I could really use your help with, particularly because of your background and familiarity” he announced, turning my face to his.

“And what would that be?” I asked, sounding skeptical.

Jon proceeded to describe what he’d been thinking and I listened, brightening at the thought. These ideas weren’t merely things he’d dreamed up to keep me occupied, but were really substantial areas where I could make a difference. This was something I could sink my teeth into and genuinely make a contribution to something that would benefit us.

“When can I start?” I exclaimed excitedly.

“After breakfast” he growled, rolling me over onto my back as he climbed on top of me, licking at my neck.

I giggled as he continued to bathe me with his tongue and I gave in to his desires as my own began to surface. He moved his way down my neck and my chest, stopping to nibble on my breasts as I dug my fingers into his blond mane. He glanced up at me and I smiled at the twinkle in his eyes.

His tongue moved lower as I felt his hands spread my thighs apart, raising my legs to rest across his shoulders. I groaned as his tongue slid between my slippery folds, parting my lips. I arched my hips as I felt his mouth on my budding center and he sucked gently at first, building my desire until I was begging him to bring me home. He replaced his lips with his thumb, massaging me as I moaned gratefully, nearing the peak.

His fingers slid inside me deftly, his timing flawless, as I hurtled over the edge of the precipice. My climax came in waves that left me breathless and my heart beat wildly, keeping time with the throbbing inside me. I was clawing the sheets and calling his name and he did not deny me.

Our bodies melded together like hot metal as he entered me slowly, absorbing the shock waves from my contractions. He began to grind his hips against me, followed by long, deliberate strokes that allowed me to appreciate every inch as he filled me fully. I savored every moment as I felt his tempo quicken and we began to race together towards the finish line. He let out a loud groan as his hot seed spilled inside me, our juices flooding the sheets.

He laid his head upon my shoulder and I kissed his cheek tenderly, stroking his hair. The morning stubble on his cheek tickled my lips and I shuddered as he cupped my breast with his hand. We both giggled again, too spent to do anything more.

“Gods, but that felt good” he sighed.

I couldn’t have agreed more as all the tension from the previous night ebbed away. I could barely think and I was filled with a sense of contentment and peace. All was right with the world.

Except all was not right with the cats’ world. They had been waiting patiently for us to finish and now that we lay there motionless, they demanded their breakfast. Eddie was on the bed and began screaming loudly in my ear and he was joined by Zeke and Opie who were still on the floor pacing.

“I guess someone else is hungry too” I quipped as Eddie swatted Jon’s head for the second time and he batted back at him.

“Stay here, wife. I’ll feed the children this morning” Jon volunteered and I was in no condition to argue.

He heaved himself up and swung his legs over the edge of the bed and Eddie jumped down before racing ahead to the food bowl. Jon grabbed his robe and trudged off to the kitchen while I stayed in bed, unable to move. He returned after a few moments with two steaming cups of coffee and climbed back into bed.

The smell of fresh coffee was always enough to rouse me from my languor, but this morning I wanted to cuddle more than I wanted coffee. He set the cups down as I reached my arms around his waist and he snuggled back in beside me and I whispered softly.

“I just love Sunday mornings” I grinned.

“Those little buggers were hungry. Shit, you should see them pushing each other around. Your sweet little Eddie smacked Floyd just to get at the food bowl and Opie has his face buried in the one!” he teased me.

“Oh, I know. They do keep us on a schedule” I agreed, looking at the clock.

It wasn’t even seven yet and I had no intention of getting up this early when there was no need. The cats were content now and would soon be returning for the morning nap and I had every intention of joining them. Jon wasn’t anxious to get up either and we could always make another pot of coffee. We rolled to his side of the bed, avoiding the wet spot, and promptly fell sound asleep.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Sauna Part 126

We drove home in a somber mood, both trying to work on a solution. I tried to explain what I was thinking, but it was still fuzzy in my own mind. I wondered how he and Dot had managed it as I knew she didn’t contribute equally in a financial sense, but she was a mother and stayed at home to raise the kids and take care of the house. That was not a role I saw myself ever being in for many reasons.

“Jon?” I said, getting his attention first as he too was lost in thought.

“Yeah, babe?” he responded, still sounding preoccupied.

“I was wondering something. How did you and Dot handle the money when you were married?” I asked, cracking the window.

“I pretty much handled it and we didn’t really discuss it unless it was a big decision, like buying the house. Even then, the discussion was more about where to live and what kind of house we wanted and she just trusted me to determine what we could afford” he answered.

“Did you ever run into a situation where you had to decide over a couple of choices because you couldn’t afford everything you both wanted?” I wondered.

“Not as far as the house or the cars or vacations or stuff like that. She usually spent a few grand every month on food, clothes, and stuff for the kids, whatever and we never really had to discuss it. What was mine was hers and theirs. I still pay all the bills for the house and whatever the kids need, and she gets five grand a month in alimony which she’ll always get unless something changes drastically. Does that help?” he asked, wondering where I was headed.

“A little, but I wondered if there was ever something that either of you wanted that you couldn’t afford or had to make a choice together about?” I pushed.

“I guess when I wanted to buy the football team. I wanted an NFL team, but I knew that was unreasonable myself. So I settled for part ownership in the Soul and I’m actually glad it worked out that way as I like it better. We never really argued about money. You and I have had more discussions about it than Dot and I ever did” he said ruefully.

I was silent then, wondering just how to take that. Did he see our discussions as unnecessary annoyances and wish I would just get over whatever it was that was bugging me? Did he want to keep it that way now, being in charge completely and making all the decisions himself? Was I being unreasonable expecting to have some say in how we spent money I hadn’t contributed to? Did I really need to be involved if Dot had never needed to? Did he want me to be involved? The only way I’d know how he felt was to ask.

“Did you like it that way? Did you want Dot to be more involved or were you glad that she never questioned your decisions?” I ventured.

“I never really gave it much thought, honestly. It never bothered me. She made most of the decisions about the kids and I never really questioned them as I trusted her judgment” he added.

Perhaps it was really different when you had as much money as Jon did. Did I really need to have a say in what the money was spent on? No, not really. I did trust Jon and I was beginning to wonder if he doubted that. Besides, what right did I have to question him? I wouldn’t like it if I was in his position and it really wasn’t about the money. It was about sharing and equality. And trust, mutual trust.

“Jon, I am so sorry. It’s not that I don’t trust your judgment in financial affairs, although it probably seems like that. I’m just feeling like I have no role at all, no responsibility for anything. Dot took care of the kids and that was a big contribution and you depended on her for that and trusted her. But what do I do? What do you depend on me to take care of? What decisions do you trust me to make? Where do I fit in?” I asked, the tears forming again.

“Baby, I trust you completely. More than I ever trusted another living soul. I depend on you for my happiness and I trust you with my life” he began, but stopped as he realized that wasn’t the same at all.

“I know, love, but I feel the same way towards you. That’s equal and balanced and we both depend on each other emotionally. My life can’t just be about pleasing you, though. I need to feel useful and equal in this relationship” I pointed out, the specter of my mother casting a shadow over me.

“I know. And I don’t want or expect your life to revolve around me and my needs and I know that would never be enough for you, as appealing as that idea might sound” he said, smiling for the first time since we started the discussion.

I began to relax a little then as he no longer seemed irritated with me and I knew he was beginning to understand. We both needed responsibilities in order to feel good about ourselves and to be productive in our own ways. I smiled back at him as we pulled into the driveway.

“How do other people work this out? How did your parents manage it or did they both work?” he asked as we went inside.

“My mother never worked and she never handled the money. I guess she was responsible for the house and the meals and raising my sister and me, although I wish my dad hadn’t trusted her with that so much. She really wasn’t a very good mother” I admitted.

Jon looked at me then, understanding suddenly much more than I had even realized I had shared.

“Is that why you never wanted kids, babe? Were you afraid you’d be a bad mother?” he asked gently.

I hung my head. I didn’t really know, but I guessed that was part of it. I just didn’t want to ever be like my own mother and end up being dependent and helpless like she was. My parents’ marriage was anything but balanced and my dad had been responsible for most everything, including my sister and me by default when he realized he couldn’t really trust her to make good decisions about us.

I had emulated my father in my first marriage and I knew that didn’t work. I grew to resent my husband because he had no responsibility and I didn’t want that to happen with Jon. I would rather have died than to have him grow to resent me for being so dependent. I was also terrified at the thought of being anything like my own mother but I had gone overboard in my attempts to avoid that and ended up like my dad, needing to control everything.

“I don’t think it was just that, but maybe partly. I never thought I would be a good mother, but more than that I just didn’t want to be like her. I admired my dad and I wanted to be like him and I just saw my mother as weak, helpless and dependent and having nothing outside her family. Maybe if she had been a better mother, that role would have seemed more appealing” I said as much to myself as to Jon.

“I didn’t realize how you felt about your mom” Jon said quietly, absorbing this new information.

“My sister never had kids either and she feels the same as I do. Neither of us had any respect for my mother. She was so smothering towards us as we were all she had and she tried to control everything in our lives. She was involved, but not in a good way. My sister still has nightmares about her” I shared.

“Jesus, babe, I had no idea. I’m so sorry it was like that” he said, holding me close to comfort me, and wondering what my mother had done.

He thought about Dot then and what a good mother she really was and how much he valued that about her. He had always trusted her and depended on her to take care of the kids and she had always done just that, allowing him to focus on his career and the business. They really had had an equal partnership and he understood now what was missing between us.

He would have trusted me with the kids, but there was really no need. Dot was their mother and my role would always be peripheral, not primary. My role in my relationships had always been the same as his. I had the career and I managed the money. And that was all gone now. No wonder it seemed like it was all about the money. It was really all about the role.

“I can see why our situation right now is making you panic. We both need to feel needed, but we’re both used to doing it in the same way” he said as he hugged me tighter, wanting to fix this, but not really knowing how to make it alright.

I was relieved that he understood the dilemma and that it wasn’t about the money or about not trusting him. It wasn’t even about wanting to be in control. I needed a role in this relationship and he had the one I was used to having. I just didn’t know where I fit in anymore. I needed to find another way to contribute to our life together and to be responsible for something.