Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Sauna Part 223

Jon and Jim came back with a couple movies to choose from and they all met with my approval. I left the final selection to the three of them and went to make popcorn while they decided where we would watch. The only TV was upstairs in our bedroom and the guys disconnected the thing and brought it down to the living room.

“Babe, we’ve gotta buy another TV for the bedroom” Jon whispered in my ear as he joined me in the kitchen.

He was sweating a bit as it had been quite a chore to move such a large television and hook up the DVD player again. I nodded in assent as it wasn’t reasonable to haul the thing back and forth when we had company, but I was determined to find a cabinet where we could hide it in the living room as I hated the way a TV spoiled the looks of a room. Maybe we’d get a stereo too while we were at it.

Jon cracked open a bottle of wine and I carried the popcorn into the living room as Jim got the last of the cords plugged in and turned on the television. He popped the DVD into the player and we all settled in to watch ‘The Bourne Supremacy’. I sat on the floor and rested my head on Jon’s thigh and Cherie and Jim did the same on the other end of the couch.

The movie was good and held our attention and I was glad that we had chosen to stay home. Floyd curled up in my lap while Cherie was saddled with Opie in hers and Zeke was perched on the couch by Jon’s head. Eddie stretched out between us on the floor and rolled onto his back for a belly rub. It was nice to spend a quiet evening with friends and the cats.

When the movie was over, we said goodnight to our friends and headed upstairs for a soak in the hot tub before bed. The steamy hot water felt soothing as we stretched out and relaxed, enjoying the opportunity to be alone together. I slipped behind him and kneaded his shoulders and arms, working any remaining stiffness out of his muscles.

“It’s so good to be home, Trish” he said softly.

“I’m glad we had a couple of days to have fun and hang out with Cherie and Jim, but tomorrow I have to pack and take care of some things before we head back to Europe on Friday. I’ve been neglecting my responsibilities lately and there are some things with Backstage and the Foundation that I need to attend to” I told him.

“I’m sure the boss will understand that you needed some time with your husband” he grinned and I made a face.

“Yeah, but it isn’t my ‘boss’ that I’m worried about. Do you think you can entertain Cherie and Jim tomorrow while I take care of some business? It seems like you and Jim have become regular buddies” I observed ruefully.

“You know, he’s okay. I actually like him. I wouldn’t have offered him the job to write the biography of the band if I didn’t” he replied.

“How do you think the guys are going to like that idea?” I wondered.

“We’ll find out soon enough, but I think they’ll be cool with it” he shrugged. “What do you think will happen between him and Cherie? Has she said any more about Dave or when she’s planning to go home?” he asked.

“She hasn’t said anything about going back to Buffalo, but I’m not pushing her either. I was really surprised that she and Jim got together, but they seem to be good for each other and Cherie’s a lot calmer than I’ve ever seen her. I can’t say I’d be disappointed if it works out between them” I answered.

We were starting to look like prunes from the water and I yawned as I thought about all that I needed to do tomorrow. Jon stood up and gave me his hand and we grabbed our towels and dried ourselves off. The cats were already on the bed waiting and Eddie mewed that it was now passed his bedtime.

“Guess that’s a hint?” Jon chuckled as he stripped off the towel and climbed into bed.

I smiled affectionately at the cats as they repositioned themselves to make room for me and I climbed in beside Jon and stifled another yawn. The hot tub had done me in and I was ready for sleep as I laid my head on his chest.

“The heart is willing, love, but the body’s dead tired” I explained as he cupped my breast and fingered a nipple.

“S’okay babe, I’m tired too” he replied, yawning himself and we drifted off to sleep.


Jon woke me Thursday morning with his kisses and I opened my eyes to a pair of heavenly blue eyes gazing deeply into mine. I smiled back lovingly at him and he tapped my thigh with a fully erect Lil’ Jon.

“I’m awake now” I giggled as I rolled onto my back and Jon straddled me.

I opened my legs in unspoken answer to Lil’ Jon’s question and he slid into me with a groan from Big Jon. We made love without haste and without hesitation, enjoying the opportunity to wake up together. When we were finished, I realized the cats hadn’t nagged us yet for their breakfast.

“Where are the little monsters? They’re usually hungry by now” I wondered aloud.

“I heard noises downstairs, so my guess is that Jim was up first and already fed them” Jon replied lazily.

“Goddess, what time is it? I’ve got so much to do today!” I said, sitting up suddenly and shaking off the languor I felt.

“Relax, darlin’, it’s still pretty early. It’s just past nine” he reassured me.

I rolled out of bed and headed for the shower and Jon went downstairs to fetch us some coffee before joining me. He saw Jim in the kitchen making breakfast while he poured coffee into two mugs.

“Thanks for feeding the children, man. It’s nice to wake up without a symphony of cat cries for a change” Jon said with a smile.

“No problem. I was up and they heard me, so I fed them before they started nagging” he laughed. “In the mood for some breakfast?” he offered.

“No thanks, just coffee for now. Trish is already in the shower and has an agenda today, so I’d better get with the program” he replied, shaking his head.

“Uh-oh, what’s the plan for today?” Jim asked, curious that I’d hit the shower before coffee.

“She’s got some business to take care of and then there’s the packing for the trip” Jon replied, rolling his eyes.

“So, we’re on our own today?” Jim laughed.

“Pretty much. I’ll be back in a bit” he replied, taking the mugs and hurrying upstairs.

I was nearly finished when Jon stepped into the shower and he looked disappointed. He was quicker than me, though, and caught up as I was ready to step out. I saw the coffee sitting on the counter and smiled. It was the little things Jon did that made me feel loved the most.

“Thanks, babe” I said, acknowledging his gesture as he stepped out in a towel.

“I’ll leave you alone this morning as I know you’ve got things to do. I think I’ll go down and keep Jim company and take him up on his offer for breakfast. Do you need anything else?” he smiled indulgently.

“I’m good for now” I assured him as he pulled on his jeans and a t-shirt and left me to take care of my chores.

I got dressed quickly and wrapped my hair in a towel to dry and sat down at the computer to check my email. There were several from Jon’s lawyer and a couple from the web designer I’d hired as a consultant for Backstage. I opened those first as I was anxious to see what he’d come up with so far.

I read through the plan he had sent and opened the link to the sample page he’d created. I liked the design, but I wasn’t happy with the color or the particular images he’d chosen to use and emailed him back with my thoughts. He’d come up with a plan to create a separate adult-only section for the website which would require a password and a small fee. I wished there was a way to verify age without charging a fee, but it was the credit card info that would insure only adults could access the area. I wrote him another email suggesting a plan to re-credit the charges to the member once they logged in for the first time as I really felt that the membership fee was enough for fans to pay.

I opened the emails from the lawyer and that kept me busy for some time as I downloaded and read the attachments he’d sent. The language of contracts was difficult to wade through and I needed more coffee before tackling that chore. I also needed to write out the outline for how I wanted the RFP’s (Requests for Proposals) to be formatted as he indicated that a number of potential award recipients had already contacted him.

I went down to the kitchen where Jon was having pancakes and chatting with Jim about some of the band’s history that he didn’t know. I refilled my cup and started a fresh pot of coffee before leaving them to continue their discussion. I returned to the computer and spent the rest of the morning engrossed in the paperwork I’d been sent. It was after noon by the time Jon came upstairs to check on my progress.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Sauna Part 222

Cherie did a terrific job singing her tribute to Jon and he made sure to let her know how impressed he was with her vocal range and overall performance. I was glad he was able to genuinely praise her as her ego needed the boost after so much criticism from Dave for so many years. Jon declined Cherie’s prompting to sing since no one had recognized him thus far and he enjoyed the anonymity. We finished our drinks at the bar and headed home.

Cherie and Jim moved off to Cherie’s bedroom now that Jon was home and we were glad to have our own bed back. We quickly undressed and slipped under the covers and I snuggled into Jon’s waiting arms.

I ran my fingers through his shaggy mane and he sighed contentedly as he laid his head on my chest. I continued stroking his hair while he toyed lazily with my nipple, but we were too exhausted from earlier and we both craved the comfort of sleep. I kissed his forehead and smiled as his breathing became more regular and soon I could hear the sound of soft snoring as Jon drifted off.

We slept in the next morning without being woken by our furry alarm clocks. Jim had been up early and fed the monsters while the rest of us slept and enjoyed the luxurious peace and quiet. It was nearly eleven when we finally made our way down to the kitchen, following the aroma of coffee. Cherie was still in bed sleeping and the three of us chuckled over the memory of her ordeal from the night before. I decided to make us some breakfast and we were just finishing when she joined us, still blinking sleep from her eyes.

“How long have you guys been up?” she asked with a yawn.

“I’ve been up since eight-thirty, but Trish and Jon just got up an hour ago. How’d you sleep, honey?” he inquired.

“Great, once I fell asleep. I’m just not used to getting to bed quite that early” she grinned.

“What should we do today?” I wondered.

There were so many things to do nearby in the summer, but winter time had me stumped. Jon was the only one among us who knew how to ski and he was looking for something less strenuous. We decided to look on the web for ideas and began searching to see what was available locally. The idea of a sleigh ride sounded especially appealing to me and we all agreed to that as our plan.

Jon and I showered while Jim made Cherie a light breakfast and soon we were dressed and ready to roll. Wolf Creek was known for its abundance of snow and this year had been no exception, so we dressed warmly in layers and prepared for the cold. I downloaded the directions to the resort and called to make sure we could get reservations for the sleigh ride and candlelight dinner and we piled into the SUV while Jon programmed our destination.

We arrived at Fireside Cabins by late afternoon and checked in at the front desk. We were the only ones there for the sleigh ride and dinner and it would be a short wait before we could leave as they made preparations. We sat down by the large fireplace and perused the brochures I had found while we waited. The man at the desk motioned to us that the sleigh had arrived and we gathered out front as our guide explained what we’d be seeing.

The sleigh was outfitted with two beautiful horses that waited patiently as we climbed in and positioned ourselves. The air was crisp and cool and their breath looked like steam as they pawed at the ground and snorted. I was glad for the fur covered throws that our guide provided and I snuggled against Jon to stay warm. The sun was still shining and there was a light snowfall as we began our journey through the woods.

We’d remembered the camera and Jon captured our progress as the horses plodded along beside a crystal clear stream where we stopped to enjoy the view. We were surrounded by snow-covered mountains that glistened in the afternoon sunshine and the rush of the stream filled my ears in the deepening stillness. Our guide poured us each a cup of spiced cider as we soaked in the atmosphere and I inhaled deeply, enjoying the scent of fresh pine as we sipped our drinks.

The snow was quite deep and we chose to stay in the sleigh, but Jon was able to stand and get some amazing shots of the scenery. I glanced past Cherie and Jim who were seated opposite of us and realized we were headed down into a valley where the dinner cabin awaited. Jon snapped a picture of me as I smiled up into his eyes and he leaned down to kiss me. He handed the camera to me and I took photos of Cherie and Jim as they posed for a kiss and Jon nestled back beside me. I handed the camera to Jim and he returned the favor, taking a photo of Jon and I as we cuddled under the throw.

I could feel the wind on my cheeks beginning to lessen as we descended into the valley and Jon’s hand was warm as he rested it upon my knee. The ride hadn’t been far, but the views we encountered were breathtaking, but I was glad when we reached the cabin and warmth. Cherie headed straight for the large stone fireplace and I joined her while our guide hitched the horses outside. Jon stood behind me and nuzzled my neck as he helped me to slip off the heavy coat I had worn.

The cabin was small and seemed designed simply for intimate dinners as it consisted of several large tables to the right of the hearth. There were several overstuffed couches and chairs arranged directly in front of the fire and we made ourselves comfortable while a waitress asked if we wanted drinks with our dinner. We ordered mulled wine to stave off the chill from the ride while we relaxed in the cozy setting.

“This was a wonderful idea” Jon purred as he stretched out his legs and leaned back on the couch.

Jim nodded as Cherie curled up alongside him on the remaining couch and I smiled down at Jon. He patted the seat beside him and I sank into the cushions with a sigh. His arm slipped around me and he drew me closer as he reached for my hand and laced his fingers with mine. We sat in companionable silence while the staff prepared dinner and we were lulled into a drowsy state of relaxation.

Dinner was served as the choices were limited this time of year, but they had been able to prepare a vegetable dish for Cherie with winter squash and potatoes. Jon and Jim had both chosen the prime rib, while I had selected the chicken when we had initially made the reservations. The food was exceptional and only enhanced the mellow mood we were all enjoying. I could have easily fallen asleep on the couch after dinner.

Dessert was one of my favorites and I squealed with delight as I sampled the homemade bread pudding. Cherie was too full to finish her portion and I eyed it with relish despite being stuffed beyond bursting. She grinned and pushed it towards me and I giggled as I managed to finish her share.

After we finished our dinners it was time to head back and finish the sleigh ride. The sun had gone down and it was growing dark and the sleigh was lit by two hanging kerosene lamps. It was a romantic ride as we traveled back up the snow-laden mountain and passed by the stream illuminated now by the light from the lanterns. It was no longer snowing, but we huddled beneath the fur throws to keep warm and I buried my nose against Jon’s throat and he chuckled, holding me tightly.

We reached the main lodge and paid our bill which was surprisingly reasonable considering the fabulous meals and the memorable moments we’d had. Jon left a generous tip for the guide and our hosts and we thanked them profusely for such a unique experience before heading home.

The cats were screaming for their supper when we entered the house and I promptly fed them since it was quite a bit past their normal dinner hour. The evening was still young by our standards, but we didn’t particularly feel the need to go out and I had a craving for hot chocolate. Jon suggested we play a game of poker and I was about to agree when Cherie voiced her opinion.

“No strip poker! I’m keeping my clothes on tonight!” she insisted and we all laughed.

“Well, it’s no fun playing for money. How about a movie instead?” Jon suggested.

“There’s nothing much here to watch unless you guys wanna make a video run?” I reminded him as our movie collection was back home in Jersey.

“Do you trust us to pick out an acceptable movie?” Jim winked as he gave Jon a nudge and looked at me mischievously.

“I don’t know… what do you think, Cher?” I asked her.

“I think I’d better go with them and supervise or this one’s likely to go to the naughty store” she said, pinching Jim’s nipple.

“Ow! I won’t, honey, I promise” he pleaded and she released him from her grip.

“Well, alright, I guess we can let them pick something out. Jon? I want your word too” she teased as she moved towards him to extract a promise.

“No porno, I got it!” he smirked, covering his chest protectively. “And no chick flicks, right, babe?” he added with a peck on my cheek.

“Okay. Sounds like you guys know the drill. Now go and leave us to talk girl talk” I laughed as he shrugged on his coat and they left.

Cherie sat down at the kitchen table and I refilled her mug and rummaged through the cupboards for popcorn. I found the package we’d bought when we were here last and set it down on the counter and joined her at the table.

“So, tell me. Have you made any decisions about Dave?” I asked, cutting quick to the chase.

“I haven’t actually thought about Dave in two days and I don’t even know where my cell phone is. I think Jim must have hidden it” she beamed.

“You really look happy, Cherie. It’s the least anxious I think I’ve ever seen you” I observed.

“I’m really enjoying myself and I don’t feel any tension or pressure. It’s almost a little weird. I keep waiting for something to happen. It’s like I expect to suddenly wake up and discover it’s all been a dream” she said, reflecting back on the past couple of days.

“Well, Jon’s surprise visit was a bit like a bomb dropping” I laughed, reminding her.

“Yeah, there was that, but that’s not what I meant. I mean between me and Jim. Did you feel like that too when you and Jon got together?” she asked seriously.

“Actually, I did. In the beginning, I never imagined it would last past the first weekend. And then when we went to his house for the week, I figured it was a week that would have to last me a lifetime. It wasn’t really until he came home with me that I began to truly believe it was real” I admitted as I thought back.

“And now?” she eyed me curiously.

“Now I can’t even imagine my life without him. Did I tell you that we got married in the traditional sense when we were back in Jersey?” I asked, suddenly realizing I had never mentioned it.

“Are you serious? Trish, I thought you said you would never get married again” she replied with surprise.

“I know, neither did I. It was Jon’s idea because he was going on the road and he didn’t want me to have any hassles while he was gone. I gave in and agreed since we were already joined in the way that mattered the most” I explained.

“When did things really change for you, Trish? When did you finally start feeling secure?” she prodded me further.

“That’s hard to answer, I knew I was in love with Jon long before I started feeling secure, but it’s a strange thing. I could tell you there have been many turning points where I felt really secure and deeply connected, and each time I felt it more strongly than the one before. But it grew and it keeps growing still. Each day that passes I feel closer than I ever thought possible, so I can’t really answer you. But Cherie, once he came home with me and accepted my life as part of his, I just never worried about losing him after that” I finished.

“I wonder if I’ll ever feel that way with Jim. I watch you and Jon and I won’t lie and say that I don’t envy you. He adores you, Trish” she said wistfully.

“And I adore him” I reminded her.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Sauna Part 221

The music was loud as we entered the bar and Cherie made a beeline for the Karaoke machine. She was perusing the song titles while we went to the bar and the guys ordered a pitcher of beer. I ordered a JD & coke as I’d never liked beer and I was too full for something that filling. Cherie wanted a margarita, but she opted for a light beer instead when she was told there wasn’t a blender.

I asked for change for the pool table and winked over at Jon. I was feeling a bit feisty and I was anxious to play.

“Still think you can whoop me?” I challenged him.

“With one hand tied behind my back” he answered arrogantly.

“Put your money where your mouth is, mister” I said in a saucy tone.

“I’m not playing for money, but I’ll play for clothing. How about strip billiards?” he grinned lecherously.

“You’re on” I nodded, knowing I could hold my own. “Who else is in?”

“I’m in” Jim answered immediately, but Cherie hesitated.

“I suck at pool” she lamented.

“C’mon, we’ll play guys against girls. We’ll have them naked in no time” I coaxed.

“Aaawww, what the hell” she relented, trusting me to carry the game.

We tossed a coin and the guys won for the break. Jon handed the cue to Jim as he was bound by his offer to play with one hand and he couldn’t get enough power to make a good break. Jim chalked up the stick and aimed. The balls scattered, but nothing went in.

“Pay up, boy” I chuckled as Jim stripped off his jacket.

Cherie took the next shot and managed to sink something so she was safe and she passed the stick over to Jon with a grin. He took his shot and true to his word, he used only one hand, but he managed to sink one of the balls.

“Your turn, babe” he smirked as I took the stick.

I didn’t have much of a shot and I knew he’d set it up purposely to make sure I’d have to remove some article of clothing. I leaned over and set up my shot, but I missed. I handed my jacket to Jon who was waiting with his arm outstretched.

“I was hot anyway” I said as I tossed my hair off my shoulders and fanned my face for effect.

Jim took the next shot and sunk two balls at a time and Jon gave him a high five. Cherie missed her shot and scratched. She handed over her coat and looked anxiously towards the Karaoke board, wishing her song would come up before her next turn. Jon missed his shot and scowled, but he threw his coat on the pile with the others.

And so it went as we each took our turns and lost various pieces of clothing. We had attracted a crowd now as a few people had caught on to what we were doing and they told a few friends and they told a few more and soon Cherie had an audience she hadn’t anticipated. It was her turn and she was already barefoot and things were beginning to get interesting. There were only three balls left on the table. She missed.

“Trish!” she said plaintively.

“Go to the ladies room and take off your bra” I whispered.

“Are you serious?” she asked in a panicky voice.

“At least you’re probably wearing one” I hissed back and Jon cackled.

She did as she was told and came back and deposited her bra on the growing pile of clothing we had all contributed to at some point. She shoved the stick over towards Jon who I could tell was enjoying the game immensely. He made his shot and breathed a sigh of relief. He was getting down to the end of his options as well, but I wanted to see him lose his shirt. Literally.

I looked at the shots I had left and I prayed. There were only two choices and neither was good. I heard Jon chuckle as I moved about the table, eyeing the possibilities and I shot him a look. Crap! I still had a sock left before I was in real trouble. I took a deep breath and I aimed, but I missed.

“Shit!” I said loudly as I stripped off the sock and whipped it at Jon.

He looked at me smugly, but I heard a noise and whipped around just in time to see my ball roll into the pocket. I couldn’t believe it! Jim was just shaking his head.

“Give me back that sock!” I demanded and Jon knelt at my feet and slipped it onto my foot, kissing me tenderly as he stood up.

“Damn lucky shot since you’d be topless the next time” he whispered into my ear and I grinned.

Jim was up next and he had only one shot and it was easy. He couldn’t possibly miss, but he did and I knew he missed it on purpose. He stripped off his shirt and Cherie looked stricken.

“Nice move, man” Jon said approvingly and I looked at the table.

There was no way in hell Cherie was going to make the next shot. I doubted any of us could since Jim had scratched and she had to try and bank it off the far end just to touch the ball. I looked at Cherie and I could see the sweat on her brow and I scowled over at Jim and Jon who were now acting like best buddies. I could learn to hate male bonding at times like this. The crowd started hooting as Cherie prayed silently and aimed. The cue never came close to even touching the ball.

“Take off your underwear” I whispered again and she walked doggedly to the bathroom to remove the only thing that would still keep her modesty intact, at least a little.

I gave Jon a look and my eyes pleaded with him to finish this off as I handed him the stick. Cherie returned and placed her panties on top of the pile and the crowd whistled and hollered as she stood there and gave Jim the evil eye. I had to laugh in spite of my sympathy as I knew Jim wouldn’t get any sugar tonight.

The one shot remaining wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t impossible and I silently willed Jon to have mercy. He met my eyes and he winked before turning his attention back to the game and sinking the final ball. I smiled at him gratefully and Cherie breathed a sigh of relief. She grabbed her clothes from the pile and ran to the ladies room as Jon walked over and pinned me against the wall. I hung my arms around his neck and kissed him hard on the mouth as he ground his hips into mine.

“Thank you, baby. You’re still my hero” I purred hotly against his throat and he rewarded me with a soft chuckle.

“I thought Cherie was gonna have a heart attack, so I took pity on her” he laughed “and besides, I love it when you’re grateful too, babe” he said as he held up my other sock.

The crowd had dispersed now that the excitement was over and Jon knelt again to put on my sock. He kissed my foot first and I felt a shiver run threw me as his lips touched my skin. He slipped on the sock and reached for my boots as Jim leaned against the wall in the corner, watching us. Damn, he thought to himself, he’s good.

When Cherie returned, fully clothed, the Karaoke operator waved to get her attention. It was finally her turn and she bolted over to the mike and said something to the man before she began. I was expecting to hear her sing her favorite, ‘War Pigs’, and I smiled in surprise as I recognized the first notes of ‘Wanted’.

“Looks like you’re Cherie’s hero tonight” I said softly to Jon and he nodded to her to acknowledge the tribute.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Sauna Part 220

After brunch we returned to the house to relax and unwind. Cherie and Jim decided to go out and explore the area for something to do and to give us some time alone. Jon called Richie to see how the press conference went and I poured us each a glass of wine. It was nice to have the house to ourselves for a bit.

“Hi Richie!” I called into the phone and Jon handed the phone to me.

“Hey doll! How’s it goin’? Did Jonny boy surprise ya?” Richie chuckled.

“Actually, I think it was pretty mutual. Ask him to tell you what happened” I grinned and handed the phone back to Jon and he groaned.

He recounted the details of his arrival but I couldn’t hear Richie’s comments on the other end. My mind drifted a bit while they talked about business and I began to wonder why Jon had been so ready to believe it was me that he found in bed with Jim. Had he suspected that to begin with? Was that the reason he made this surprise trip? Could he really believe I’d betray him so readily?

Jon ended the call and stretched out on the couch, laying his head in my lap. I stroked his hair absently while he told me about the press conference, but I wasn’t really listening. I was distracted and I needed answers to the questions that were racing around in my head.

“It sounds like Richie handled the press really well. They wanted to hear details about what happened with Elaine, but he kept his answers pretty vague” Jon was explaining.

“That’s good. I’m glad it went well. Jon, what made you decide to come home for such a short stay?” I interrupted, changing the subject as I wasn’t satisfied with the answer he’d given me when I’d asked him the question earlier.

Jon swallowed hard and recalled his conversation with Richie before he left England. He was somewhat ashamed of what he’d been thinking and he had no intention of admitting his fears.

“I just really missed you and Richie encouraged me to come home. I guess I was just being a prick to the guys” he replied, satisfied that he wasn’t actually lying.

“Jon, you knew I’d be joining you in just a few more days and we hadn’t been apart for even a week. Tell me the truth” I demanded.

He knew I suspected there was more to the story and there wasn’t much he could say to justify his actions; he knew they were foolish. He was praying I’d drop it and he didn’t want to hear what an ass he had been for feeling jealous, so he tried another tactic.

“Call me a fool, a fool for love. I just needed to see you.”

He flashed me that smile that he used for the cameras, summoning all of the charm he could muster and praying that it would work. He’d learned how to woo women and he’d perfected his art, but it didn’t save him this time. I knew his tricks and I wasn’t so easily swayed.

“Jon, look at me and don’t give me that face” I warned, my voice tinged with irritation.

“Trish, please…” he tried, knowing he’d failed and resorting to pleading.

“You didn’t trust me, did you? You were checking up on me” I said finally, answering my own question.

He sat up and faced me but this time it was me who turned away. I was hurt and disappointed and I knew he had doubted me and I didn’t want to look at him. His distrust was insulting and I was angry. He reached out and grabbed me, turning me around and taking my face in his hands as he forced me to look him in the eyes.

“I’m sorry, alright? I knew it was stupid and I really do trust you, but I couldn’t get the image out of my mind. I kept picturing you laughing with Jim and I just couldn’t stand it. I kept thinking about Dot and how someone moved in while I was away … Trish, please, I just couldn’t bear to lose you like that. I know you’re not Dot, and I’m not the same person I was with her either. But you don’t know what it’s like to be apart for extended periods of time. Things you never expected can happen without any warning” he begged me to understand.

I saw the pain in his eyes and I crumbled. He wanted to trust me, but the past was taunting him with cruel reminders of what had happened with Dot. I ached at his torment and I wanted to comfort him, not add to his burden. I pulled him against me, holding him close, as I murmured soothingly in his ear.

“I’ll never leave you, Jon. No one could ever come between us. We’ve shared many lifetimes together; there is no one else for me. There never could be, baby” I cried.

I felt his body grow slack as he heaved a sigh of relief and he melted against me. It had been excruciating for him to admit how insecure he had been, but he had needed to face his demons and allow me to see them. He wasn’t accustomed to feeling so vulnerable and he’d fought it the only way he knew how, by trying to control it. He felt a tremendous weight being lifted and he knew how it felt to be loved, really loved. There weren’t any secrets he needed to keep anymore.


Cherie and Jim returned home later that afternoon and found Jon and I curled up on the couch, fast asleep. The change in time zones had taken its’ toll and Jon was exhausted and had fallen asleep with his head in my lap. I had closed my eyes for only a moment and that was all it took for me to nod off myself.

Opie greeted Jim and Cherie with a loud scream, announcing to everyone that it was way past his dinner time. Jim was already filling the food bowls, hoping to quiet the chatter, but it was too late. We’d have had to been dead to sleep through that scream.

“Jeez, what time is it?” Jon wondered, looking around.

“It’s about six o’clock” Cherie answered. “We found a Chinese Buffet we thought we could try for dinner and there’s a Karaoke bar right down the street. Are you guys up for it?” she beamed excitedly.

I bit my tongue and stifled a groan. Cherie loved Karaoke as it gave her a chance to sing for an audience and she never passed up an opportunity to perform. I looked sympathetically at Jon, guessing it was the last thing on earth that would appeal to him during a tour, but he smiled indulgently.

“Sure, that sounds like fun” he said amiably and I shot him a grateful glance.

He rolled his eyes for my benefit alone, but his smile told me he was in a good mood and nothing could really upset him at the moment. We hurried and got cleaned up and headed off to check out the buffet. Jim and Cherie were up front this time and Jon and I snuggled in the back seat of the car. We were happy just being together.

The Peking Restaurant was just past Pagosa on the main road and we passed by the bar on the way. I shook my head as I read the neon sign advertising Karaoke and I knew that was all Cherie cared about. It looked like a dive, but to be totally honest, I was far more at ease in places like that than I was in the fancy places we frequented back East. I teased Cherie that I’d be disappointed if there wasn’t a mechanical bull.

“Yeah, I’m just hoping there’s a pool table inside. Do you still like to play, Trish?” Jim asked.

“Hell, yeah, I love it and Jon’s not half bad either” I tickled him.

“Hey, I beat you before-I can whoop your ass again” Jon retorted.

“Maybe when we get home, babe, but not on the pool table” I giggled seductively.

“You’d better be careful, Trish. You might just be planting ideas you might come to regret” Jon bantered back with a smirk.

We had reached the restaurant now and it looked fairly busy. A crowded restaurant was a good sign and I hoped that it meant that the food was good as we piled out of the car and headed inside. There was a short line and Cherie insisted on treating us since it had been her idea and Jon put his wallet away with a shrug.

“Thanks, doll, but you really don’t need to do that. You both are our guests now, remember?” he replied.

“Yes, but I wanted to thank you for having me here and to thank Jim for well, uhm, rescuing me from the situation I was in. Besides, I won’t be able to take Trish out for her birthday, so this will have to do” she explained.

Jon didn’t argue and we followed the waitress to our table. The buffet was quite large and Jon and Jim went up first while Cherie and I waited at the table and munched on some noodles and dipping sauce.

“Sushi!” Cherie squealed with delight when Jon returned, his plate heaping with raw delicacies.

“Eel?” I asked, making a face.

“Don’t worry, babe, there’s nothing quite as exotic as that at the buffet” he grinned, recalling the first time he’d introduced me to sushi.

Cherie and I grabbed our plates and went up to the buffet. Cherie headed straight for the sushi while I steered clear of that area just to be on the safe side. There was plenty to choose from and even Jim had found things he wasn’t averse to eating. I laughed when I saw his plate stacked with chicken wings and I knew his tastes hadn’t changed all that much.

We made light conversation while we stuffed ourselves at the buffet. I hadn’t even been all that hungry, but once I had seen the variety that was available, my appetite found me. The coconut chicken was calling my name as I made a second trip to the buffet.

“Try this” I encouraged as I held out a piece on my fork for Jon.

“Damn. That is good. Where was that?” he asked as he stood up for his third round.

“Just past the sushi” I winked and he scowled at me.

Cherie was trying to get Jim to try a piece of raw something that was wrapped in seaweed and stuffed with some rice. I giggled loudly when I saw him make the sign of the cross and she pouted. He wanted to please her, but Jim had his limits and sushi was too much to ask. Jim had a hopelessly pedestrian palate and she had to accept that. I teased him about how one of my proudest accomplishments had been getting him past his zucchini phobia and even he had to laugh.

“I still don’t like it, you know. I just realized it wasn’t going to kill me” he quipped.

We’d finally filled up and the waitress brought us a platter of fortune cookies and we each took a turn reading out loud. Cherie went first.

“Romance will come when you least expect it” she read, smiling at Jim.

“Forgiveness is a gift only bestowed on the worthy” Jon announced, his eyes meeting mine.

“Opportunity knocks only once, be sure to answer the door” Jim read from his paper.

“Sushi” Cherie whispered and we all laughed.

“Compassion is greater than righteousness” I said quietly, reflecting on how oddly appropriate each of our fortunes had been.

Curious words of wisdom coming from a cookie, I thought.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Sauna Part 219

Once we were back in our room, Jon drew me against him and kissed me roughly. I slipped my hands under his t-shirt and stroked the skin on his back and he purred like a motor into my ear.

“Let’s get you naked” I prompted.

“You first” he replied lecherously as he pushed my robe over my shoulders and stood back to admire my body.

“I’m waiting, mister” I teased, eyeing him provocatively.

Jon grinned and made haste to disrobe while I watched approvingly. My mouth watered at the sight of his naked body and I could feel my muscles twitching inside in anticipation. I longed to feel the length of his cock inside me as he reached over and turned on the shower.

“C’mere” he smirked as he held out his hand.

I reached out to take it and he pulled me against him, his hands moving to grip my hips. He lifted me up and I circled his hips with my thighs as he stepped under the water. I groaned as he slid inside me and I reveled in the familiar feel of his penetration.

“Oh, baby …” he moaned, his breath hot in my ear.

I shuddered in response to the sound of his lust as he withdrew and thrust into me again, pinning my back to the wall. I pulled his head back and plunged my tongue into his waiting mouth, but not before catching the look of desire in his eyes as he buried himself deeper within me. Our hunger for each other was intoxicating as we desperately tried to consume one another in every conceivable way. He devoured my mouth as I absorbed every thrust of his tongue and his shaft as they plunged into me harder.

I felt myself beginning to come as I threw my head back and he nipped at my throat. I wanted to prolong the encounter, but my need overtook me as he sank his teeth into my shoulder. I thrashed against him as I let go and his chuckle echoed in my ear. My nails dug into his scalp as I screamed out his name and he quickened the pace, extending my pleasure.

“Here I come” he announced as he rammed me furiously and I felt his explosion in the core of my being.

“Jon …” I murmured into his hair as he panted against me, still trembling from the force of his climax.

“Trish …” he said as he pulled back and looked at me.

We both started to giggle and it soon became a full-throated laugh as we acknowledged our tempestuous nature. I felt him grow limp as he slipped from my grip and his love leaked down my leg. He lowered me back to a standing position and I leaned against the wall for support. My legs weren’t the only ones shaking this time.

“I missed you, baby” I grinned.

“I missed you too” he smiled, taking my face in his hands, as he kissed me affectionately.

We finished showering at a leisurely pace now that we’d satisfied our more immediate desires, but my appetite for Jon was insatiable and I lingered over his body as I bathed him. I massaged his scalp while I washed his hair and I kneaded his muscles as I spread the soapy lather across his shoulders and down his arms. I stroked the fur on his chest and trailed kisses down the length of his abdomen as I made my way to the patch of fur between his legs.

Jon closed his eyes and groaned appreciatively as I swallowed his limp shaft, bathing it with my tongue. My fingers danced over his thighs, circling around to stroke the cheeks of his perfect ass and I felt his cock twitch in my mouth. I coaxed and teased him back to life, grinning as I held his hardened length in my hands. He looked down at me then and shook his head.

“Trish, are you trying to kill me?” he chuckled.

“On the contrary, baby” I smirked.

He reached under my arms and drew me up to meet his eyes which were twinkling with amusement as he fondled my breasts.

“What am I gonna do with you, my greedy little wench?” he asked, cocking an eyebrow at me.

I raised my eyebrows in question, confident that he would find a solution. He shook his head again indulgently, pinching my swollen nipples between his fingers and making me growl.

“A husband’s job is never done” he lamented as he slid a finger into my soaking wet pussy.

I growled even lower and he dropped to his knees, replacing his finger with his tongue. My legs were trembling and he drew me down to the floor and repositioned himself on all fours. I leaned back on my arms as he parted my thighs and buried his head between them. It didn’t take long before I was squirming and I begged him to take me again.

He was fully erect now and hard as a rock himself and obliged, driving into me with such fierceness that I squealed in delight. The floor of the shower was slippery and we slid over the surface as he pummeled me with his thrusts. He lifted my legs over his shoulders and I reached back with my arms to steady myself against the wall and that worked. He drew a sharp breath as his eyes feasted on the image before him and he was determined to satisfy the lust he saw on my face.

He lowered his lips to meet mine and I captured his tongue as he ploughed into me firmly this time and I arched to absorb the impact. Our bodies connected in a frenzy of fevered collisions as we merged into one, reaching the pinnacle together. Exhausted, but sated, I relaxed beneath Jon as he collapsed in a heap on top of me while the water continued to beat down on top of us.

“Shit, darlin’, our friends will think that we’ve drowned up here” he chortled.

I grinned wickedly, but I nodded, as he heaved himself off me and stood, extending his hand to help me up from the floor. I stood up with an effort and he folded me to him, embracing me tightly as we both caught our breath. He pushed my hair from my eyes as he looked at me lovingly, stroking my cheek.

“It’s good to be home” he whispered contentedly.

“I love you, Jon” I smiled.


When we finally emerged from the bedroom, Cherie and Jim were waiting downstairs. Opie was perched on Cherie’s lap and she was stroking his fur and I could swear the big cat was smiling. Eddie and Zeke were sunning themselves in the window and Floyd was sprawled on the couch next to Jim.

“Where should we go for brunch? I’ve worked up an appetite” Jon snickered at me.

Jim snorted in acknowledgement and he and Jon exchanged knowing looks. I looked at the floor, hiding my blush, and ventured a suggestion.

“How about Victoria’s Parlor? They have great food and specialty coffees and it isn’t that far.”

“That sounds pretty good” Jim added his vote.

“Do they have vegetarian?” Cherie was curious.

She had been rather quiet since the encounter this morning and I was glad to see she seemed to be more relaxed now. I guessed that Jon and I weren’t the only ones who’d had an extended shower.

“I know they have salads and quiches” I answered and she nodded in agreement.

We piled in the car and drove the short distance to Pagosa. The restaurant wasn’t too busy on a weekday and there was no wait for a table. The waitress handed us menus and I noticed her looking intently at Jon and it caught my attention. Jon seemed oblivious as he concentrated on the menu but I watched her more closely, trying to judge whether she’d recognized him or was just struck by how handsome he was.

Jon looked particularly hot as he was dressed in tight jeans and a snug fitting thermal shirt that accentuated his body and I was feeling rather possessive after our morning frolic. I glanced at the menu and I was debating between quiche or a more traditional breakfast when she arrived with the coffee.

“Do you see anything you like?” the woman asked flirtatiously, looking directly at Jon.

“How’s the Quiche Lorraine?” I interjected.

“Everything’s good here, but the Belgian waffles are our specialty” she answered, still staring at Jon.

I was beginning to bristle now as her intent was apparent, at least to me. Jon looked up then and ordered the waffles and asked if he could get a side of sausage instead of bacon to go with it. He flashed his signature smile and I saw the woman melt as she wrote down his order without even looking at the pad.

“I’d be happy to accommodate you” she drawled with implied meaning.

“That’s very gracious of you” I said crisply. “I’m sure my husband appreciates it, he does love his sausage” I added pointedly as I placed my hand on his arm.

“Yes, I do. My wife knows me well” he chuckled, getting the drift now as he put his hand over mine. “What are you in the mood for, my love?” he asked me solicitously.

“I’ll have the quiche” I replied sweetly as Heather, the waitress, scowled and scribbled it onto her pad.

Cherie and Jim were placing their orders with Heather as Jon leaned over and whispered to me.

“I didn’t realize you had such a territorial nature” Jon smirked and I smiled back at him innocently.

Neither Cherie nor Jim caught the gist of what had transpired and the conversation soon turned to other matters. Jim asked about the shows in England and Cherie talked about the time she had spent in Cambridge as an exchange student. Jon asked Jim more about the kind of work he was looking for and Jim shared that he’d always worked in the automotive field, but was thinking it was time for a change.

“What else would you like to do?” Jon was curious.

“Don’t laugh, but I had always wanted to be a journalist” Jim admitted.

“Seriously? Have you ever tried writing for a magazine?” Jon wanted to know and I recognized the change in his tone.

Jon’s voice took on a different quality when he switched into business mode and our discussion no longer seemed casual. It began to sound like an interview as Jon questioned Jim with a purpose and I listened attentively, trying to figure out where he was headed.

“Would you be interested in taking a stab at writing a biography of the band?” Jon asked, revealing his intention at last.

“Are you serious?” Jim asked as his eyes widened at the potential opportunity.

“Yeah, actually, I think that I am. It’s something the guys and I had always talked about doing, but we never found anyone who we trusted enough to confide in and we’ve always kept things pretty private. There are things I could tell you to give you a perspective, but I wouldn’t necessarily want to see printed. I’d have to talk to the guys first, though” he said thoughtfully.

“I’d certainly be grateful for the opportunity to give it a shot” Jim assured him.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Sauna Part 218

It was just before noon by British time and Jon’s plane was approaching the airport. They had made good time and the flight was a bit shorter on a private plane as they could fly into Durango directly. He readjusted his watch as it made its descent; it was five in the morning on Tuesday in Colorado. Jon grabbed his bag and his guitar and disembarked, racing through the airport as he headed for the area where the limo was waiting. If he hurried, he’d be at the house before breakfast.

There had been a light snowfall and the ground was dusted with powdery white stuff. It certainly was beautiful country Jon thought to himself as he looked out the window. They made a brief stop at a Sonics and he ordered a coffee at the drive-thru, anxious to be on his way. He sipped it slowly as he felt his pulse quicken the closer he got to home.

The cats had gotten confused with the change in sleeping arrangements, but eventually they’d adapted and wandered into the guest room. I didn’t realize how small a single bed was until I was forced to share it with a horde of insistent cats. They had all taken to sleeping with me when Jon wasn’t home. I had twisted myself into a pretzel, but we had all managed to fall asleep eventually and I never heard a sound as the front door opened.

Jon left his bags in the hall and tiptoed up the stairs, careful to not make a sound. His heart was thumping wildly as he walked silently towards the bedroom, anxious to surprise me now that a night’s rest had calmed his own inner demons. He opened the door slowly and crept as stealthily as a cat towards the bed, straining to see in the dim morning light. But what he saw made his heart nearly stop.

The look on Jon’s face was a portrait of anger, shock and despair. He was too late. There in our bed he saw Jim with a woman’s arm draped over his chest as they slept. His breath hitched in his throat and he shook his head, again hoping it was all just a bad dream. But unlike the day before, Jon was stone cold sober and he knew what he saw was real.

“Fuck! Trish! How could you?” he bellowed, his anguished cry causing a panic throughout the entire house.

Jim and Cherie startled awake and sat up and stared as Jon’s eyes narrowed and he looked like the wrath of the God. I woke at the sound as the cats scattered and fled and I sat up in bed, suddenly shaking.

“Trish! Trish!” I heard my name being called as if from a great distance and I sat paralyzed for a moment as fear gnawed at my gut.

“Trish!” Cherie shrieked again and her voice broke through my trance.

I grabbed my robe from the chair and raced to the bedroom to find Jon standing frozen in the middle of the room, unable to move. Cherie was trembling and Jim held her protectively as he babbled at Jon, trying to explain. I moved beside Jon and turned him to look at me, but his eyes were unfocused as he stared at my face. I saw such a mixture of pain, rage and confusion there that I wanted to weep as I realized what had happened and what he must have thought.

I reached out to hold him and his arms slid around me, pulling me closer. He buried his face in my hair and I could feel the tremors run through him as I stroked his back reassuringly.

“Trish?” he said in a ragged voice.

“Yes, Jon, baby, I’m here” I said soothingly.

“Jesus, Gods, what the hell happened?” he whispered, trying to make sense of the scene he had witnessed.

“Baby, I let Jim and Cherie have our bed and I took the guest room since the bed was so small in there” I replied quietly, my heart still thumping wildly.

“I thought it was you, baby. Jesus, I thought it was you in the bed” he said, finally grasping what had happened.

“I know, Jon, I know. It was dark and you didn’t know about Cherie and Jim” I said softly.

Cherie was hyperventilating and Jim was trying to calm her, just as I was trying to set Jon’s mind at ease. The whole thing had been quite a scare for us all and it took a few moments before we were able to absorb the shock. Jon was relieved, but with his relief came embarrassment, as he realized how wretchedly he’d misinterpreted things.

“Cherie, Jim… I am so sorry… I thought…fuck, well you know what I thought” he said as he ran his hand through his hair. “And Trish, Jesus, Trish, I’m so sorry. I feel like an ass. I just wanted to surprise you …” he started to explain.

“Well, you certainly accomplished that, my love” I giggled, finally finding a release for the tension I felt. “Jon, I’m sorry too. This wasn’t the welcome I would have wanted to give you.”

He kissed me then and I melted against him, feeling the last of the tension dissolve. Goddess, but it felt good to be in his arms. Jim had started to chuckle as he regained his composure, but Cherie was still trembling like a leaf and it took longer before she recovered, but soon she was breathing normally as Jim stroked her hair.

“C’mon, love, let’s go down and make some coffee and I’ll fill you in on what happened” I suggested.

It was starting to feel uncomfortable with Jim and Cherie still in our bed and I was anxious to get Jon away and leave them some privacy. We went down to the kitchen and I started the coffee as Jon slid his arms around my waist and nuzzled my neck. The cats were still hiding and we were alone.

“Gods, Trish, I just never expected that. I just never imagined…” he breathed in my ear.

“I know, baby, what a shock. I would have told you what had happened, but I just found out about them myself. But let me welcome you home properly” I replied as I turned to face him.

He took my face in his hands and kissed me again, but deeply this time. There was no need for any more words now that we were together and Jon saw no reason to tell me his fears. He knew they were groundless and he was ashamed that he’d doubted me, even if only briefly.

“You know, I just bought a ticket yesterday. I was planning to fly out on Friday to join you as a surprise myself” I laughed at the irony.

“We can fly back together, doll. I can only stay a few days and blew off a press conference and an interview as it was” he murmured, still holding me tightly.

“Jon, is everything okay? What made you come home all of a sudden? It’s only been a few days, love” I asked, stepping back to look in his eyes.

He looked weary and tired and it had been a long flight for only a few days together. I wondered what prompted such an impulsive decision and it wasn’t like him to deviate from a schedule or blow off a commitment. Jon shook his head and just smiled.

“Everything’s fine, babe. I just really missed you” he lied.

Well, it wasn’t really a lie. Everything really was fine and he had truly missed me. The rest wasn’t something I needed to know and he wasn’t about to admit that he’d let his imagination get the better of him. And he was glad to be home, now that things had settled back down. The coffee finished brewing and I poured us each a cup and Jon flashed me his superstar smile when he tasted it.

“Timmy’s?” he chuckled.

“Of course” I grinned back.

I proceeded to tell him what had transpired and I shared the good news that Jim was available for as long as we needed him. Jon looked surprised when I told him I was planning to join him on tour and that I was willing to leave the cats for that long. They had finally come out of hiding and Opie was screaming for breakfast while Eddie rubbed his face on my leg.

“C’mon guys, Daddy will feed you” he announced as he opened the cupboard to get them their food.

They milled about him as he refilled the food bowl and he reached out to pet Zeke on the head.

“Sorry I startled everybody” he said to the cats and they purred contentedly as they vied for a spot at the food bowl.

Cherie and Jim finally joined us and I offered to make breakfast, but no one was especially hungry. It was still early and Cherie, for one, wasn’t used to being up at this hour. We decided to go out for brunch once everyone had a chance to get cleaned up.

“Jon, man, I really am sorry about all of this. I know how I would have felt if I’d been in your shoes and came home to find some guy in my bed” Jim said graciously.

“Let’s just start the day over and forget about it. I’m grateful you’re here and I’ll owe you something big for making it possible for my lady to come with me on tour” he replied as he hugged me and we headed upstairs to get cleaned up.

The Sauna Part 217

It was nearing dinner time and I filled the bowls for the cats before leaving to pick Cherie and Jim up at the spa. I hoped they had both been able to relax and enjoy the healing waters from the hot springs and perhaps maybe heal just a little themselves. It was just after six when I arrived and I found them both dressed and waiting in the lobby. I saw them move quickly apart as I pulled up and parked and I wondered what that was about.

“So, are you guys up for some Indian food? There’s a great little place that Jon showed me when we first came here” I suggested, watching them a little more closely.

“I love Indian food!” Cherie said brightly and I saw Jim grimace as I knew it wasn’t his favorite.

“Sounds like an adventure” he said agreeably and I knew something was certainly up.

They both appeared in good spirits and I was glad to see that whatever had happened had been good for them both. Cherie looked brighter than I’d seen her in some time and I hoped that she’d decided to share more with Jim. I knew he would do his best to help her see reason where Dave was concerned.

The Clay Oven was crowded and we had to wait for a table. I fussed a bit at the wait, having grown accustomed to Jon’s celebrity status getting us preferential treatment. I admitted I was spoiled when Jim started to tease me.

“I guess I have gotten rather used to being Jon’s wife” I said, a little chagrined, as I settled down to wait a little more patiently.

“I’m going to go and freshen up a little. Trish? Wanna join me?” Cherie announced and I saw Jim smirk.

I asked him to get us some drinks at the bar and followed Cherie into the bathroom. Subtle just wasn’t her strength.

“Okay, what’s up? What did you wanna tell me?” I kidded her, but she was too excited to care that her hint had been so obvious.

“You’re not going to believe this and I need to know if you’re okay with it” she began.

I gritted my teeth as I expected to hear that she’d decided to give Dave another chance and I prepared myself for the worst. I knew it would take time and repetition to squash her denial that he was what he was. But what she shared next really threw me.

“Jim and I, well, something happened between us. I don’t know where it’s going, but I like where it went. We made love at the spa and holy shit, you really weren’t kidding. Trish, he’s amazing! I never knew it could be like that” she said breathlessly.

I was dumfounded and blind-sided and stood there wide-eyed and speechless. I suspected some flirting as I knew how Jim was, but I never imagined Cherie would let things go any farther. She was so conservative about things like that, especially after Dave had accused her of cheating without so much as a shred of reason on his part.

“You did what?” I asked, trying to absorb what she’d said.

“We made love, Trish. He was so tender and caring and he made me feel like, well, beautiful. I just never dreamed this would happen, but you and he, well, you know. I mean, how do you feel about that?” she stumbled over her words and averted my eyes.

“Shit, Cherie, let me digest what you’re saying first. I admit I’m pretty stunned right now. How are YOU feeling about it?” I wondered.

“Oh my God, amazing! I feel totally wonderful!” she beamed.

“Well, then, so do I. Anything that makes you feel that good and realize how beautiful you are must be a wonderful thing! Should we move Jim out of the guest room then?” I laughed.

“I think that might be a good idea” she grinned.

We returned to the bar where Jim was waiting with our drinks and sat down.

“So, Jim, you finally got laid, eh?” I said as I elbowed him, sporting my own smirk.

Cherie blushed and Jim grinned and that was enough said. Our table was ready and they called my name and showed us to our seats. We proceeded to order dinner and Cherie and I both made suggestions to Jim who finally ended up settling on Tandoori chicken while we each chose somewhat more adventurous selections. I couldn’t help but notice the sly looks that passed between my two friends. I had to admit that it felt a bit odd, but I was glad for Cherie and I missed Jon more and more.


Jon’s plane had left Heathrow promptly at midnight as he’d been whisked away to the airport immediately following the show. He bit back the urge to call me, realizing it was near dinner time in Colorado and decided he’d really make it a complete surprise. It would be early morning when the plane touched down, so he needed to try and get some sleep or he’d never adjust to the time change and the jet lag would kill him.

He was keyed up after the show and sleep wouldn’t come easy, so he signaled to Vicky to bring him some wine and he opened the leather bound journal I’d gotten him for Christmas. He had an idea for a song and he grabbed his guitar which he’d brought from the show and began to test out a melody. He plucked a few chords and penned the words that kept running through his mind.

Sippin' wine, killing timeTrying to solve life's mysteriesHow's your life, it's been a whileGod it's good to see you smileI see you reaching for your keysLooking for a reason not to leaveIf you don't know if you should stayIf you don't say what's on your mindBaby just breatheThere's nowhere else tonight we should beYou wanna make a memory?

I dug up this old photographLook at all that hair we had.It's bittersweet to hear you laughYour phone is ringing I don't wanna ask

If you go now, I'll understandIf you stay, hey, I've got a planWe're gonna make a memoryYou wanna steal a piece of timeYou can sing the melody to meAnd I can write a couple of linesYou wanna make a memory?If you don't know if you should stayAnd you don't say what's on your mindBaby just breatheThere's nowhere else tonight we should beWe Should beYou wanna make a memoryYou wanna steal a piece of timeYou can sing the melody to meAnd I can write a couple of lines

Jon sighed deeply as he tried to still his inner doubts about what he would find waiting when he finally made it home. He knew it had been a close call already when he woke in Richie’s hotel room and didn’t know who was in his bed. It had been a warning to him and he swore that nothing like that would ever happen again, and he hoped that I was somehow better able to cope with being alone than he was.

His head told him not to worry, but his heart kept conjuring up images he couldn’t shake. He tried to convince himself that I wasn’t Dot and that I was used to being alone. Yet despite these reasonable thoughts, he kept picturing me laughing in bed with Jim and it almost seemed as though he was blurring his vision of me with visions of Dot just before they separated. Maybe it was the wine; he’d almost finished the whole bottle.

He read over the lyrics he’d written and shook his head. No! It wasn’t going to happen again and he was going to do whatever it took to make sure we were together as much as was humanly possible. He finished the last of the wine and leaned back, closing his eyes as he tried to concentrate on a more comforting image of me smiling when I wake up to find it is actually him in my bed.


Cherie, Jim and I had come home after dinner and we were relaxing in front of the fire when I finally asked Jim what had pushed him to end the relationship with Missy after several years. I really was curious and since Cherie was struggling with whether or not to leave Dave, it seemed like a reasonable question.

“I got tired of waiting for Missy to really open up and begin to trust me. Even though we had talked about marriage, she never used the word “we”. It was always “I” whenever we tried to discuss the future and I started to have reservations” he began.

We were both listening attentively now as he continued.

“We had been living together for a couple of years and Missy wouldn’t even sleep in the same bed with me. She never consulted me before she made any decisions and she always referred to the house as “hers”. She still wouldn’t even consider making love and she always used the word “sex” when we discussed it. I began feeling as though her virginity was just one more way she managed to avoid any real intimacy and I could see that marriage wasn’t going to change that” he finished.

I was rather impressed that Jim had come to such a conclusion and now I understood how his opinion about sex had changed. I’d been pretty surprised when Cherie had told me what happened between them and at first I had thought he was a bit of a hypocrite. I was beginning to think Jim had changed quite a bit and perhaps there was some potential between him and Cherie. And I wasn’t above a little sarcasm.

“So it seems as though you’ve finally outgrown your desire for frigid prudes?” I asked, raising my eyebrow.

“I guess I deserved that” he replied without rancor. “Yeah, Trish, I owe you an apology too for the things I had said all those years ago. I didn’t realize how lucky I’d been until after I lost you” he acknowledged.

“Jim, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said it like that” I apologized.

“No, you’re right. And you never did mince any words” he winced. “But I think I’ve grown up. I want a woman who can share both my life and my bed” he said, smiling at Cherie who’d been listening with rapt concentration.

“Speaking of that-I assume we’ll need to make other sleeping arrangements?” I teased and they both grinned.

“I have a suggestion. Why don’t you two both take my bed and I’ll sleep in the guest room? The bed in there is too small for two people and I just feel lonely in that big bed all by myself” I suggested.

“You’d certainly be welcome to join us” Jim invited, cocking an eyebrow at both Cherie and I with a mischievous look.

Cherie and I exchanged glances and we both shook our heads and giggled. I knew Jim would get over his disappointment relatively quickly.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Sauna Part 216

The time flew after Cherie woke up and the three of us decided to check out the sights. We drove into Pagosa Springs and I pointed out the spa and encouraged them to go and check it out while I did some shopping. I picked up some things for the trip and bought some more groceries and made several calls to Jon’s lawyer to settle some details about the foundation. I returned home to drop off the groceries and decided to check in at Backstage. I managed to get some work done that had accumulated from the fan club while I had the time since my guests were otherwise occupied at the hot springs.

Cherie and Jim were loving the indoor pool and the privacy that the off season afforded. There were no other visitors while they relaxed in the bubbling hot water and Jim finally managed to coax Cherie out of her bathing suit with some good-natured teasing. She was extraordinarily modest in general, but Dave’s ridiculous standards coupled with his tendency to withhold sex when he was angry with her had resulted in a desire to let go and explore her wild side. Jim’s compliments and encouragement were just the balm that her bruised ego needed and soon they were frolicking naked in the soothing waters.

“So Trish wasn’t lying when she used to tell me how well-endowed you were” Cherie observed ruefully.

“Trish must have exaggerated” Jim replied with smug satisfaction.

“Oh, I don’t think so …” Cherie replied with a hint of desire.

He knew he was lucky, but tended to downplay it himself, but there was a reason why he loved to be naked. I’d always teased him about being a closet nudist and he was sporting a very proud erection at that particular moment and Cherie’s mouth was watering. Dave had little to offer in the sexual arena and had always been a rather selfish lover, and a stingy one at that. Weeks of deprivation had turned into months and Cherie was hungry. Missy’s virginity had seemed quite appealing at first, but her prudishness in all areas of sexuality had gotten old pretty quick and Jim was raring to go. He’d show Cherie what good loving was supposed to be like.

“If you like the size, you’ll love the tricks it can do” Jim said with a wink.

“It does tricks?” Cherie prompted him a bit more, feigning naïveté.

Jim grinned and hopped up on the side of the pool, displaying his equipment more prominently. He grinned slyly as he made it bob up and down and tried his ventriloquist act which he’d somewhat improved over the years. He remembered how well this trick had worked in the past and how he’d seduced me originally by being so goofy.

“Hi Cherie! It’s so nice to meet you! I love to play! Would you play with me?” Jim’s penis said in a squeaky voice.

Cherie was nearly undone with this clever come on and she giggled hysterically as Jim turned on the charm.

“I’ve been so lonely and I need a friend. Wouldn’t you like to pet me?” his penis went on to say.

“Well, I don’t know…” Cherie began to hesitate.

“C’mon, it’ll be fun. We both deserve to have some fun, don’t we?” his penis said rather convincingly and Jim made it twitch again for good measure.

“Well, you are kind of cute…” she said a little coquettishly.

“C’mon, I know you wanna play, pretty lady” the penis implored her and Cherie relented.

She had been starved for affection for years during her marriage and in fact any attention at all was a welcome surprise. She’d buried her sexual feelings in order to escape the pain of constant rejection and their sudden emergence took her by storm. Jim’s “invitation” to play was one she couldn’t pass up. Who knew when another such opportunity might come along?

Cherie reached out her hand tentatively and stroked the length of his shaft. Jim worked hard to make it bob up and down faster which gave the impression of a puppy that was eager to have some attention. She licked her lips and looked up at Jim and he smiled down at her.

“Cherie, you’re one of my closest friends and I don’t wanna push you here, girl. But I want you to know that whatever you want, it’s cool with me. We can keep it as friends or we can see where it goes. It’s up to you” he said invitingly, using his own voice this time.

That was all it took to unleash the years of pent up frustration that had been borne during her lonely marriage to Dave. Cherie swiftly made her decision. She dove onto Jim’s waiting penis like a woman possessed and she swallowed him down in one gulp. Jim caught his breath and steadied himself with his hands in her hair as he buried himself in her welcoming mouth. He wasn’t prepared for her whole-hearted endeavor and he struggled to hold back the tide as he knew she’d gotten little pleasure herself over the years. Whatever happened between them in the future, he wanted it to be different for her this time.

He pulled her head back and she gazed up at his face with a wounded expression. What had she done wrong? Why was he stopping her? How should she please him? She’d learned to question and doubt everything she had ever done sexually thanks to Dave’s critical remarks about her body, her behavior and her appeal through the years. She’d learned to doubt herself as a woman and she assumed she had failed yet again.

Jim saw the pained look in her eyes and his breath caught in his throat. What had that bastard done to her? She was a beautiful and tender soul who he’d stomped into submission without laying a hand on her until recently, he thought to himself. Jim was angry now that he saw the extent of the damage Dave had caused when he looked in her eyes. Dammit, I’ve got to show her how much I care about her, he thought.

“Cherie, sweetheart, I wanna make love to you if you’ll let me. If you keep up kissing me like that, though, I won’t have the ability to show you how much I want you” he said gently.

Cherie’s expression showed her confusion and he reached out to pull her up from the pool. She wasn’t sure how to respond and she sat there beside him, hanging her head. He folded her to him and tilted her chin as he lowered his mouth onto hers and tasted her lips. She melted against him, tears in her eyes. Dave never kissed her as he said her breath always bothered him.

Jim kissed her deeply and felt her respond to his touch, her tongue gingerly licking at his. He wanted so badly to heal her and he forced himself to hold back. Missy had never liked kissing and had always pulled back, but Cherie returned his passion as she grew bolder. He tenderly brushed her nipples with his fingertips and she moaned in response as he tore his mouth away from her hunger.

He laid her down on the floor of the pool room and trailed kisses over her quaking body as she opened herself to his love. His tongue darted into her slippery folds and she was transported to another plane, relinquishing all her fears and self-doubts as he skillfully nibbled her fruit. She bit down on her fist, stifling her cries, as her orgasm overtook her and Jim’s mouth enveloped her stiffening bud.

“Make love to me, Jim” she cried as she came and he raised his head to meet her gaze.

Her eyes were glazed in the throes of her bliss and Jim was ready and willing, and far more than able, to take her higher than she’d ever dreamt possible. He moved with the grace of a cat as he plunged his swollen shaft into her core and she writhed beneath him in pleasure. He slipped his hand between their entwined bodies, urging her over the cliff as he echoed her release with his own. They lay quietly, absorbing the aftershocks, as their bodies quivered and shook with relief. Jim leaned over to kiss her as he wiped the tears from her face.

“Is that what it’s like?” she whispered softly.

“It is when someone cares about you, baby” he whispered back.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Sauna Part 215

Jon heard the phone through his drunken haze, but he was too tired to care and he couldn’t reach it from the bed where he lay. His head was splitting and it hurt just to move. He rolled back on his side and sat up with a start.

Holy fuck! What did I do? He thought to himself as he saw the lump under the covers beside him. His heart was racing as he stared in horror at the body in bed with him and blinked, trying like hell to make the image disappear. But there it was still. He couldn’t remember a thing and he couldn’t see what was under the covers and he was afraid to look any further. He prayed to the Gods to make him wake up and pleaded for it all to be a bad dream.

When he opened his eyes for the third time and nothing had changed, he started to panic. He shook the sleeping form gently and spoke.

“Hey?” he said in a soft voice, almost wishing the body would dissolve as he touched it.

“Fuck! What is it man? What time is it?” he heard Richie’s voice and nearly fell out of bed.

“What the fuck? What are you doing here? What the hell happened last night?” Jon demanded as he shook his buddy awake.

“Shit, Jon, you asshole! You fuckin’ keep me up all night whining and crash in my room and now you wake me up at the crack of dawn?” Richie said irritably.

Jon looked around and realized he wasn’t in his own room and that he was still in his clothes. Richie was blinking at him now and looking rather annoyed since he’d been rudely awakened. But he started to chuckle when he looked at Jon’s face and saw how his features changed as awareness began to take hold.

“Jesus Christ, bro! What did ya think happened? I never thought I could drink enough to sleep through your snoring, but I couldn’t find the key to your room and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna sleep on the floor in my own room!” he grinned.

“Jesus, Richie! I never thought I’d hear myself say I was glad to find you in bed with me, but man, am I ever glad to see you!” Jon beamed.

“Wish I could say the same! Fuck, turn off that smile, asshole, you’re blinding me!” Richie countered. “What time is it?”

Jon looked at the clock and then turned back to Richie as he ran his fingers through his hair and sat up.

“It’s almost nine. I heard the phone ring. Where the fuck is it?” he groaned, thinking he really needed some coffee now that his heart had stopped racing.

“Try your pocket, you idiot” Richie said as he rolled back on his side and pulled the covers over his head.

Jon got up then and reached in his pocket and there was his cell phone. He flipped it open and saw that there was a message from me and played it back as he grabbed his jacket off the chair and headed for the door.

“Thanks, bro” he called out to Richie as he made his way to his own room.

Once inside he hit speed dial and waited for me to pick up. It was just after two and I had fallen asleep, but I woke up and reached for the phone.

“Jon?” I answered, my voice thick with sleep.

“Yeah, babe, it’s me. You called?” he said, feeling better than he had felt in a long time. Relief was a remarkable cure for a hangover.

“I did?” I replied as I struggled to shake off the fog.

“Yeah, baby, about an hour ago. It’s okay, though, go back to sleep and call me when you wake up” he said affectionately.

“Uhm, okay. I love you, Jon” I said as I hung up the phone and fell back to sleep.

“I love you too, Trish” Jon smiled as he dialed room service and ordered some coffee and breakfast.


It was nine o’clock when I finally woke up and I headed downstairs to start up the coffee. Jim was already up and there was a pot waiting and he greeted me as I walked in the kitchen. I reached for a mug and poured in some cream before filling my cup and joining him at the kitchen table. Cherie was still sound asleep and she wouldn’t be up before noon. She never rose early if she didn’t have to get up.

“Morning” I said, taking a sip. “Thanks for the coffee. Did you sleep well?” I asked.

“Like a log. All that driving really wore me out” he replied. “Did you find out what happened with Cherie and Dave?”

“Yeah, we stayed up and talked. How much do you know?” I wondered, not wanting to break Cherie’s confidence, but wishing I had someone to talk to about the whole thing.

“Just that Dave finally crossed the line and that she’s having some doubts about the marriage. She didn’t tell me a lot, but I know she didn’t tell him where she was going and who she was with” he answered.

“That about sums it up I’d say” I replied, hesitant to say anything more.

“S’okay, hon, you don’t have to fill in the blanks, I can guess. He smacked her around, didn’t he?” Jim said as he eyed me.

I nodded in agreement since he’d already put two and two together. He’d known Cherie as long as I had and he’d never quite liked Dave all that well, but they’d managed to get along over the years.

“I hope you can talk some sense into her, Trish. Cherie deserves better than that” he said firmly.

“Me too” I nodded again. “I’m gonna go up and get dressed and take a bath. Help yourself to anything you want, okay? Do you need anything?” I asked, anxious now to call Jon.

“No problem, honey, I’m good” he smiled and I refilled my cup and went back up the stairs.

I filled up the tub and called Jon as I stepped into the water and sank down, feeling the heat and relaxing. He picked up immediately and I grinned when I heard his voice over the wire.

“Hey, baby, how’s it going?” he purred smoothly.

“I’m doing fine, but Cherie’s another story” I began and proceeded to fill him in on the details.

“Shit! He hit her? Man, there’s no excuse for hitting a woman. She’s gotta end it, babe” Jon said resolutely.

“I know, I know, but it’s going to take some discussion before she finally accepts that” I smiled.

Men were such simple creatures sometimes, I thought to myself, but not so with women. For Jon it seemed an obvious choice as he knew his limits and there were no excuses. Dave was an asshole and Cherie needed to leave him and that was that-a no brainer as far as he could see. I tried to explain how the decision was more complicated for women and why they often chose to stay with these men.

“But you’re gonna set her straight, right? She can’t go back there, not to him anyway. We’ll help her with anything she needs, okay? I know a lawyer …” he began.

“Thanks, love, but I don’t think we’re there yet. But thank you for understanding that I need to help her as much as I can and I know money is just a small part of the issue for her. Cherie was the breadwinner in that relationship, but I don’t want her going broke if he fights her, and I know he will” I replied.

“Anything she needs, darlin’. Anything at all” he assured me with his support.

“So what’s new with you? How was the show?” I asked, changing the subject.

Jon wished he could share what had happened last night, but he wisely decided to keep that a secret he and Richie would take to the grave. They’d already agreed it was one for “the vault” and he knew I wouldn’t see the humor in his momentary confusion when he woke up to find he wasn’t alone in the bed.

He chatted about the show and other mundane affairs and didn’t tell me he’d decided to fly home as Richie had suggested. He wanted to surprise me instead. He had tonight’s show and he needed to do the sound check right now and have dinner before the performance and then he’d be on the plane headed for Colorado. The crew had their orders and he was anxious to get through today and tomorrow he’d be home.

We said our goodbyes and I hung up, feeling excited that I’d be joining him soon. I planned to spend the rest of the week with Cherie and Jim and then I would fly out to Scotland on Friday. I’d purchase the ticket today.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Sauna Part 214

We had finished our chili and we’d moved to the living room to continue our visit. Cherie had wine, while Jim and I opted for coffee instead. It was my first opportunity to show off the house and entertain and I was rather enjoying myself. I had forgotten how much Jim and I had in common aside from our spiritual differences. The main topic of conversation had become the cats!

“I see Opie hasn’t been starving?” Jim laughed as the big cat purred contentedly on Jim’s lap.

“Hardly! He is down to twenty-two pounds, though!” I announced proudly.

“Down? What was his top weight?” he inquired.

“He was twenty-four pounds at one point” I admitted rather sheepishly.

“Yikes! Hey, wanna see a picture of my baby boy?” Jim asked as he reached for his wallet.

“He’s gorgeous! What’s his name?” I asked as I looked at the picture of the big orange tomcat.

“Zack. Mom’s taking care of him for me while I’m away. How long do you expect to be in Europe?” he asked, curious how long this gig would last.

“Well, that depends. How long can you stay?” I laughed.

“As long as you need, Trish. I’m at your disposal” he replied smoothly.

“I’m thinking of leaving on Friday and coming back toward the end of the month or maybe a little bit later. There’s some stuff I need to do before I leave and I want to make sure the cats are adjusted before I leave them again for so long. Would that work?” I wondered.

“It works for me, but what about you, Cher?” he asked, turning to her.

“I can stay for a few weeks at least and maybe longer. I took a leave of absence from work until I sort all this out and I can fly back if I have to before Trish is back” she offered.

I’d written out a check for Jim as I had promised to pay him for this favor and I knew he needed the money. I went to retrieve it and refill my coffee while I left them alone to discuss it. When I returned I noticed Cherie was sitting closer to Jim on the couch and I began to wonder just how much they’d bonded on the trip out here. I handed the check to Jim and he smiled and looked up at me.

“Trish, that’s more than generous. Like I said, I’m at your disposal” he said as he nodded his head.

I took them on a tour of the house and showed them each to their rooms. I had given Cherie the guest room while I’d made up a place for Jim on a couch in the den. Cherie and I lingered a bit in her room while Jim settled in for the night. He looked pretty tired as he’d done the bulk of the driving. I helped Cherie unpack as we talked now that we had some privacy.

“Tell me what happened, Cher. How did things get so bad between you and Dave?” I prompted.

“Well, you know we’ve had issues for years” she began.

“Yeah, I know, but you’ve always managed to work through them before. What’s different this time?” I wanted to know.

“Trish, he hit me” she said simply with tears in her eyes.

“Oh, sweet Goddess, Cherie, I’m sorry!” I cried as I hugged her. “Tell me what happened.”

Cherie told me her tale from beginning to end and I learned that things had deteriorated over the past month. Dave had demanded that she give up her involvement in the band she had formed with a couple of guys who were friends. They had finally gotten a regular gig at a local bar and that had been the final straw for Dave who had never condoned her outside activities, especially the band. Cherie had refused to quit and they had a heated argument and Dave began calling her names and throwing her stuff at her and told her to get out. She stood her ground this time, refusing to leave, and that set him off.

That was the piece that was different this time. She had always caved in and acquiesced to his demands, no matter how unreasonable they’d been. But this time he was asking to much and she decided to make a stand. He’d really lost it then and had grabbed her by the throat and pinned her against the wall and screamed in her face. When she refused to look at him, he slapped her again and again until she complied and she realized she couldn’t live like that anymore.

“Did you call the police? Did you press charges?” I asked, knowing we’d talked many times about just such a possibility.

“No, I was just too afraid. I know we had worked out a safety plan, Trish, but how were you going to come and get me when you were out in New Jersey” she reminded me.

I felt a lump in my throat as I realized I hadn’t been there for her when she needed me. I just hadn’t thought about that when Jon and I left and I realized too late that I could no longer be her safety net since my life had changed so much.

“Cherie, I am so sorry. I never even thought about that…” I began.

“Trish, it isn’t your fault. All those years and I never called you when I should have. Why would you think about that when it’s never come up before now? I was the one who should have seen this coming, but I just didn’t want to believe Dave would ever take it this far” she cried miserably.

“Oh Cherie, don’t blame yourself either. It’s Dave who’s at fault here and I’m so glad you’re safe right now. I understand completely now why you left as you did. Baby, you know he won’t change, right? It’s only going to get worse” I said sympathetically.

“I don’t wanna believe that, Trish. It’s my second marriage and I don’t wanna fail again. Dave’s left dozens of messages and he knows what he did and he’s so sorry. He swears he’ll never lose it like that again. He’s even willing to go to marriage counseling now” she pleaded with me to believe there was hope.

I wanted to believe it too as I knew that she loved him, but I knew better than to think he would change. Their relationship had always been about power and control, not about anger management, as Cherie wanted to believe. Dave had a hair trigger temper, but only with her. He never managed to lose it at work or with anyone else for that matter and I pointed that out.

“But Trish, he’s so insecure when it comes to me. You know how jealous he gets and he’s just afraid of losing me” she tried rationalizing.

“Cherie, that’s bullshit and you know it. It’s not love that feeds his jealousy, it’s control. C’mon babe, you’ve seen this pattern with clients. You know where it’s going” I urged her.

“But I think Dave is different; you know how his family is. He never learned how to handle things differently and he’s willing to try” she continued.

“Listen to what you are saying! You’re making excuses! He’s perfectly capable of controlling his anger at work. In fact, remember how angry he got with me that one time when we argued? He didn’t dare ‘lose control’ and try to intimidate me, did he?” I reminded her of an incident a few years ago.

“No, he just blamed me later for not sticking up for him. I know he never attacks anyone else the way he does with me, but I provoke him” she tried to excuse him again.

“Stop it! How did you provoke him? You just refused to give up your life to placate him this time and you’ve avoided this all these years by giving in to his demands! How is disagreeing with someone a justifiable cause for violence?” I demanded.

She hung her head now and wouldn’t meet my eyes and I hoped that I’d finally gotten through. I’d heard all the excuses for years from my clients and I knew how this went. Dave would apologize and promise everything under the sun while he went to great lengths to win her back, but once he felt secure again it would start all over. I reminded her of the cycle she knew well as a therapist. Hell, she’d lived it the first time around in her first marriage.

“I guess deep down that’s why I needed to come here, Trish. I trust you and I know you won’t let me go down” she said as she hugged me.

“Cherie, no matter where I might be at the time, I’ll always be here for you, kiddo. You’re my best friend!” I cried as I hugged her to me.

“Thanks, Trish” she said through the tears and I rocked her, wishing I could soothe all the pain, but it would be a long time before she was able to heal.

“We’ll talk in the morning. You need to get some rest and it’s getting late, Cher. Is there anything you need before I turn in?” I asked, feeling her sobs subsiding.

“No, I’m good for now. I think I can sleep. I haven’t done much of that lately” she smiled wanly.

I hugged her goodnight and went to my room. I really wanted to talk to Jon and I checked the time. It was just after one and I did the math; it was just about eight in the morning in England. I knew it was early, but I dialed his cell anyway and it went straight to voice mail. I left him a message and got ready for bed.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Sauna Part 213

After I finished the phone call with Jon, I hurried and threw on some clothes and headed out to the grocery store. I needed to stock the house with some food for our guests and I needed to pick something up for dinner. I wanted to have something ready when they got in and decided that chili sounded good and it would be easy to reheat whenever they arrived.

I stopped at a few places as there were a number of errands to run and I got back just after lunch time. I started the chili and went to ready the spare rooms after I’d bought several sets of sheets and a supply of towels. I tossed it all in the wash and prepared a few snacks and set about getting the fireplace going. By the time I was finished, it was going on five o’clock and I settled down in front of the fire with a glass of wine.

The phone rang and I jumped, hoping it was Cherie and that they were fairly close since the house would be harder to find in the dark. It was just about midnight in London and the band had finished up the second show at the O² and they were headed back to the hotel when Jon called.

“Hi darlin’, did your company arrive yet?” he greeted me.

“No, they aren’t here yet. In fact, I thought it might have been Cherie calling just now. I hope they make it before it gets dark, though. Remember how much trouble we had finding the place in the dark?” I teased.

“Hell, yeah, I sure do. I should let you go, I just wanted to say goodnight” he said, sounding sad.

“I think I hear a car now. I really should go; that’s probably them. I’ll call you in the morning?” I said hurriedly as I was sure now that a car had just pulled up the drive.

“Say hi to Cherie and Jim for me” he said rather gruffly.

“I will baby and say hi to the guys. I love you” I replied a bit breathlessly as I moved towards the door.

“Goodnight, love” he said as he hung up the phone.

Jon sounded a bit strange, but I guessed he was tired and he had another sold out show again tomorrow night followed by a press conference the next day before they headed off to the next round of shows in another city. I hoped we’d both sleep better tonight than we had so far since being apart.

“Cherie! Jim! You made it!” I shouted as I ran down the steps to meet them.

I gave Cherie a big hug and I mouthed a silent ‘thank you’ to Jim for getting her here safely. She looked rather tired, but otherwise she seemed in good spirits and I was relieved that they’d found the house okay as I wouldn’t have been much help giving directions.

We headed into the house and Cherie’s eyes widened in awe and Jim let out a long whistle as he took in the fireplace and set down their bags. I recalled the first time when Jon had brought me to the house and the shock and amazement I felt when we walked through the door. It sure was a far cry from the little house in Gowanda that Jim and I had shared so many years ago.

“I know, I was speechless myself the first time I saw it,” I beamed “but you must be starving and I’ve got a pot of vegetarian chili on the stove and it’s all ready. I can give you a tour later.”

Jim went out to the car to get the rest of their bags and I set out some bowls and a fresh Caesar salad before stirring the pot on the stove. I knew Cherie didn’t want to say much around Jim, but I was anxious to hear how Dave took the news of her trip out here with another man. I found it hard to believe he would have allowed it as I remembered how controlling he was and he never seemed to trust Cherie alone with me. He’d put the kibosh on trips we’d wanted to take in the past.

“How did Dave react when you told him you were coming out here with Jim for a few weeks?” I asked, unable to wait any longer.

“I didn’t tell him. I left him a note and I packed all my stuff while he was at work. Jim picked me up before Dave ever came home” she said, helping herself to some salad.

I stood there with my mouth hanging open, unable to believe that she’d done that. Things must surely have gotten pretty bad for her to have left without even talking to him first. She looked up at me then and whispered softly.

“Trish, he’d have forbidden me to come, especially with Jim, if I’d told him. So I just left a note saying that I was going away to have some time to myself to think about things. He doesn’t know about Jim and I don’t plan on telling him. My phone’s been ringing for two days and I’m just not returning his calls until I decide what I want to do” she explained.

“Does Jim know the situation?” I asked quickly before he returned.

“Only a little. He knows that Dave doesn’t know where I am or who I am with and he won’t say a word” she said in a hushed voice just as Jim strode into the kitchen.

“Hungry?” I asked as he joined us.

“Starving!” he grinned as he reached for the salad and I ladled the chili into a bowl.


Back in London, Jon was getting drunk at the bar. The show had gone well so no one understood why he was suddenly in such a foul mood. He’d snapped at Tico when he’d teased him about something earlier and he was sitting alone brooding while the guys tried to guess what was eating at him. Finally Richie sat down at his side and ordered a drink.

“Hey bro, what’s the matter? Is everything okay at home?” he prodded his friend.

“Nothing’s the matter, I’m just fucking ducky” Jon spat.

“Then why are you sitting here getting drunk by yourself and suddenly acting like a prick after you hung up with Trish?” Richie confronted him.

“Shit man, her ex-boyfriend is coming out to Colorado to visit her. He’s probably there right now and I’m fucking here, with you assholes” he replied miserably.

“What? How did this happen? Did she invite him? Talk to me, bro, you’re not telling me the whole story” Richie said firmly.

Jon sighed deeply and began to explain how the whole thing had come about while Richie listened thoughtfully. After his experience with Elaine he had some misgivings himself and he knew how it was when they were on the road. He trusted me, but hell, shit happens.

“Listen, we’ve got a few days off after the show tomorrow night. Why don’t you fly home and see Trish and then meet us in Scotland on Saturday?” he prompted.

“What about the press conference on Tuesday and the interview on Friday?” Jon reminded him.

“Screw the press conference; I’ll handle it. And the interview? Ah hell, phone it in or just blow it off. I’ll be there for it and for once I’m a bit more newsworthy thanks to Elaine. Go and see Trish and don’t let something happen that the press will really sink their teeth into” Richie urged him.

“What are you saying, bro? I trust Trish” Jon said suspiciously now.

“And so do I, man, so do I” Richie replied quickly.

Jon had been feeling left out when he knew I was having company, but he really hadn’t been jealous. Well, not exactly. He didn’t like the idea of my ex being there at first, but he’d reassured himself that it was only the circumstances that prompted the visit. It wasn’t like I had invited him out of the blue…or was it? It was my suggestion, he suddenly remembered. But it was only a joke at first, he argued with himself. It wasn’t as though I had gone looking for Jim on my own. While Jon continued to struggle with these thoughts, Richie posed another consideration that was far more of a concern. Jon had his doubts here for certain.

“I trust Trish, but what about her ex? Do you trust him?” Richie retorted.

“No, not really. I saw how he looked at her the night of that party at Cherie’s and I knew he wasn’t over her. He followed her with his eyes and he played that damn song to appease her” Jon recalled, remembering that night in vivid detail.

“What song? When did you meet him?” Richie wanted to know more.

Jon proceeded to explain what had happened the night of the party and Richie raised his eyebrows when Jon described the costume he’d worn.

“Are you fuckin’ kidding me?” Richie questioned.

“No shit, man. I couldn’t have made that part up if I’d tried” Jon explained.

“So, this guy was dressed as a giant prick and he played ‘Puff’ for Trish? Fuck, man” Richie said as he absorbed what Jon told him.

“I know, Rich, I know” Jon muttered.