Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chapter 58

Everything came to a head in Chicago. They had flown in the night before due to morning interviews, which suited Lindsay just fine. She loved Chicago, even though she’d only been there once before. She was looking forward to a few hours exploring Navy Pier and shopping on the Mile.

When she finally arrived at the arena they had already started the sound check. Rushing down the hallway she almost collided with Chad.

“Whoa, there Lindsay. Slow down before you hurt yourself.” He laughed.

“Hi, Chad. I’m sorry. I’m late and I wasn’t watching where I was going.” She apologized.

“No harm, no foul.” He assured her.

As they walked into the stage area together, she heard Obie call for Richie to try something. Sitting down, she looked at Jon and waved. He didn’t wave back.

“Where the hell have you been?” He demanded into the mic to be sure she heard him.

Raising one eyebrow at his tone she answered. “Shopping. Wait until you see what I got the kids. I found the cutest little outfit for Romeo…”

“You’re late.” He interrupted.

“Hey man, don’t do this.” Richie warned him. Jon ignored him.

“You know I want you here before sound check.” He bit out.

Facing another of his moods, her patience snapped.

“Hey! Don’t play the temperamental rockstar with me Jon! I know what you look like in the morning.” She turned to Richie and changed the subject. “Come on Swingman, show me what you can do.”

Richie immediately started into a heavy riff and everyone breathed a sigh of relief when Jon let it go.

When they were finished, Lindsay caught Richie’s eye. Understanding what she wanted he hung back pretending to be checking something on one of his guitars. When the others had left he went and sat beside Lindsay.

She sighed. “I’m sorry Rich, I don’t want to upset things before a show, but I can’t take this anymore. What the hell is wrong with him? I ask and ask, but he won’t talk to me. Is this normal for him on the road, or is there something wrong?”

He raked a hand through his hair. “No, this isn’t normal for him. I guess maybe I should have said something to you sooner, but I was hoping that he’d pull his head out of his ass on his own.” He paused. “He’s jealous, and he’s not dealing with it well.”

She frowned. “Jealous of who?”

“You and Chad.” He replied. When she just stared at him incredulously, he nodded. “I know, he’s seeing things that aren’t there, but you need to understand where he’s at right now. He was never jealous of Dorothea, never dreamed that she’d cheat on him and you, more than anyone, know how that worked out. So now there’s you. He’s crazy in love with you and determined not to have it fall apart this time because he wasn’t paying attention.”

She shook her head in disbelief. “But I have never given him any reason to think that I would cheat on him…..have I? My God Richie, he is my life! What would I want with anyone else when I have him?” Her eyes widened. “Is this because of that comment I made the night I arrived about having a thing for frontmen and that I thought Chad was hot?”

Richie sighed. “That started it. He took it more seriously than you meant it. After that, he saw you talking to Chad…at the after parties, sitting here during sound check…and his imagination ran riot. I told you he’s never had to deal with jealousy before and he’s not doing a good job of it. Deep down he knows you love him, but there’s that part of him that’s watching for your attention to turn elsewhere.” He frowned. “And to be honest, I’m not sure Chad’s intentions are innocent.”

She looked at him in surprise. “What makes you say that?”

He shrugged. “Just a feeling I get when I see the way he looks at you. And you see the way he and Jon are with each other.”

She snorted. “Yeah, talk about testosterone overload! But at least now I know why.” She sighed. “So how do I convince Jon that I love him and only him?”

“I don’t know how to help you there Linds. I guess, just talk to him…and stay away from Chad.” He advised.

When she entered the dressing room Jon stared at her. “Where’ve you been?”

“Calm down, she was helping me.” Richie answered before she could. Jon grunted and opened a bottle of wine.

Lindsay sat in a chair and watched him. She’d never been in a situation like this before and never dreamed she would be with him. She figured she would be the one having to deal with feelings of jealousy. Part of her was flattered that he would actually be jealous of her. Part of her was angry that he didn’t trust her, although she could understand why he was little apprehensive where fidelity was concerned. So…how was she supposed to reassure him?

She became aware that everyone was shooting her expectant glances. Well, that’s nice. They all expect me to fix this, but I don’t see anyone jumping in with any ideas as to how!

With a sigh, she stood and went to pour herself a glass of wine. Turning she stood in front of Jon, and gazed at him, lost in thought, not really aware of what she was doing. When he looked up their eyes locked and she saw her own pain and uncertainty reflected in his. She felt the tears building up and she blinked them away.

Seeing the wetness in her eyes Jon sighed, uncrossed his legs and opened his arms.

Accepting his invitation she sat on his lap and curled into him. “You know I love you, don’t you?” She asked him quietly.

He nodded. “Yeah, I do, and I love you too.” He kissed her softly. The tension in the room eased.

The show was excellent as usual, but Lindsay’s mind wasn’t really into it. She was still trying to figure out a solution to their problem. When she heard the opening strains of Lie To Me her head jerked up to look at Jon in horror. His eyes were closed as he sang into the mic. Shifting her gaze to Richie she raised her brows. He just shrugged. She loved the song and it was on her favorites list, but for him to pick it tonight seemed too much of a coincidence. Oh my God! Does he really think I’m lying about how I feel? That I’m pretending? If that was the case, she had a bigger job ahead of her than she thought!

When they arrived at the after party she still hadn’t figured out what to do. She also didn’t realize how much Jon had had to drink. She was returning from the bar with a drink when Chad stopped her.

“Come on babe, dance with me.” There was a dance floor to the side and a D.J. was playing some decent tunes.

She smiled, but shook her head. “Hey Chad. No thanks, I’m really tired tonight. I just want to sit and relax.” She took a step toward the table when he grabbed her arm to stop her.

“Ah, come on Lindsay. Just because he’s in a foul mood, doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun.” His voice lowered. “I’ll show you a good time. You’ll like it, I promise.”

Now she was a little uncomfortable. The feeling got worse when she saw, out of the corner of her eye, Jon get up from the table and start towards them. Shit! Now’s it’s really going to hit the fan!”

“Chad, let go of my arm. Look, I’m sure you could, but…” She didn’t get any further

“Get your hand off my woman before I remove it for you.” Jon demanded, slurring just slightly.

“Hey man, I don’t see a ring on her finger, and the way you’ve been behaving lately, I figured she might be ready to spend some time with someone who’ll treat her right and show her a good time.” Chad retorted belligerently.

“Oh get real! The only thing you want to show her is your bed!” Jon sneered.

“Well, she might like a man young enough to do it, not just write about it.” Chad jeered.

“STOP IT! BOTH OF YOU!” She yelled. Turning to Chad she frowned. “Look Chad, I’m flattered, really, but I love Jon. I’m not interested in ‘having a good time’ with anyone else. So why don’t you go try your luck with one of those pretty young things eyeing you from the bar over there.”

“Are you sure?” He asked flicking a withering glance at Jon.

“Yes, I’m sure.” She responded firmly.

As he sighed and walked away she spun around and glared at Jon. “And you! I…I don’t even know what to say to you!” At the end of her rope, she took a step toward the table wanting to get away from him before she said something she’d regret. He grabbed her arm and roughly pulled her back.

“Did you fuck him Lindsay?” He growled.

“What? Of course not! Are you serious?!” She was astounded.

“Did you?!” She gave her arm a shake. “Does he have a big cock? Does he make you scream louder than I do?” He continued.

“Jon, you’re drunk. We’ll talk about this tomorrow.” She tried to pull away, but he wouldn’t let go.

“TELL ME! Does he know how you like to be dominated? Does he know how you like your breasts caressed, and your nipples licked? Does he know how you like it deep and hard?” The anger in his face made her heart sink. “Can he make you come as easily as I can? Did he make you beg for it?” He ground out.

Anger, fear, pain, all converged in her. She slapped him. “DAMN YOU JON!” Breaking his hold and bursting into tears she ran out of the bar.

Chapter 59

Lindsay stood on the balcony of her room, oblivious to the cold air. She didn’t feel it. She didn’t feel anything really. She was numb. A knock at the door had her turning with a sigh. She knew it wasn’t Jon – there’d been no attempt to open the locked door. She had a pretty good idea who it was, but checked the peephole to be sure before opening the door.

“Better be careful Rich or he’ll accuse me of sleeping with you too.” She warned him bitterly.

He sighed as he entered the room. “He’s drunk.”

“I know. It’s the only reason I’m still here.” She replied.

“I’m glad you are. I was afraid you might have run off. No one would have blamed you if you had.” He sat down on the couch and urged her to sit too.

“I thought about it.” She admitted. “But I promised myself when I agreed to give this relationship a try that I would give it everything I had. And that means not running away when things get tough. So I’ll stay and talk to him – when he’s sober, and then we’ll see.”

Richie smiled in relief. “Good. If it’s any consolation, I think you shocked him half sober when you slapped him. He just kept saying ‘I can’t believe she did that’.”

She snorted. “He’s lucky that’s all I did. My first impulse was to use my knee.”

He winced and stood up. “I’ll be sure to tell him that – when he’s slept it off and can better appreciate your restraint. Well, I’ll let you get some rest. I just wanted to see how you were doing.”

She smiled and walked him to the door. “Thanks Rich.” She paused. “Will you do me a favour? Keep him in your room tonight? I’ve had about as much of his drunken accusations as I can stomach tonight.”

He nodded sympathetically. “I don’t think the boys would let him anywhere near you tonight anyway. Tico wanted to deck him. We actually had to hold him back.”

She smiled. “I’ll have to remember to thank him. ‘Night Rich.”

He hugged her. “’Night Lindsay.”

Lindsay watched out the window as dawn lit the sky. She’d showered, but she hadn’t slept. Thankfully, they didn’t have to travel anywhere today – they were doing a second show tonight. She was wrapped in a robe sipping coffee when she heard his key in the door. Turning from the window she watched him enter the room.

He looked like death warmed over and she hoped he was enjoying his hangover. She saw him look first towards the bedroom, and upon seeing the made up bed, glance around until he saw her. His expression was a mixture of relief, fear and pain. This was the first time she had ever seen him nervous. If she was honest with herself, there was a part of her that took some satisfaction in that. It also gave her hope that they could work through this.

He blew out a breath. “Will you sit and hear me out?”

She nodded and sat in one of the chairs flanking the couch and continued sipping her coffee. Jon paced for a few minutes then sat on the end of the couch nearest her, rested his elbows on his knees and raked a hand through his hair.

“First of all I want to apologize. I should never have said those awful things to you. They were unfounded and you didn’t deserve it. I was drunk – I know that’s not an excuse, I just...” He paused. “I know nothing was going on with you and Chad. I know that you love me and I believe you would never intentionally hurt me. Dorothea blamed what happened on me never being around…not paying enough attention to her. I was determined that I would do better this time. But I went overboard and I know it.” He raised his head and looked her in the eye. “Lindsay, I love you, and I’m so sorry for the way I behaved, and if you will stay with me I promise it will never happen again. I just want to make you happy.”

She looked at him for a long moment. “You hurt me Jon. It was more than just the horrible accusations you hurled at me. You didn’t trust me. I knew something was bothering you, but you didn’t even trust me enough to talk to me about it! It wasn’t that long ago that you were upset with me for not having faith in you, and now here you are doing the same thing…only worse because I hadn’t known you very long at that point. You keep saying that you love me, but you don’t trust me. How can this relationship work without trust? I understand why you’re a little leery, but if I’m supposed to have faith in you despite my past, then you have to have faith in me despite yours.” She took a sip of coffee. “The man I’ve been dealing with the last few days is not the man I fell in love with. I want that man back. This other man I don’t even like very much.”

He nodded. “I know. I have no excuse. I didn’t even recognize myself sometimes.” He raised tear filled eyes to hers. “Will you give me another chance? I never meant to hurt you. Lindsay, I do love you, and despite recent behaviour, I do trust you. I trust you with my life, my heart, my children. I love you, I want you, I need you! I can’t imagine my life without you in it. I don’t want to.”

Her own tears were running freely down her cheeks. “You have to promise me that the next time you’re worried about something, or you’re upset, or just not sure about something, you will talk to me about it. No more letting it fester and having it erupt like it did last night. You made me believe that we had something special. You made me believe that you thought I was special. You ripped my heart out last night Jon. I don’t ever want to feel like that again.” Her tears turned into sobs.

He jumped up to lift her into his arms. Sitting again he cradled her on his lap rocking her gently. “Oh honey, I’m so sorry.”

“Promise me Jon. Never again.” She sobbed.

“I promise.” He replied, the tears he could no longer hold back leaving tracks down his face.

They sat like that for a long time, letting the healing begin. Finally, she raised her head and glanced at her watch, then at his face. “You need to get some sleep. You look like hell and you’ve got another show tonight.”

He rubbed a hand over his face. “I didn’t sleep very well last night. The couch in Richie’s room is too narrow and he wouldn’t share his bed. Plus, I had a throbbing head and cheek.” He looked down at her and quickly added. “Not that I didn’t deserve it! And Richie tells me that I should be thankful that I wasn’t hurting worse.”

He studied her face. “Did you get any sleep last night yourself?” She shook her head. He hesitated. “Will you come lay down with me? I just want to hold you.” She yawned widely and nodded. He smiled. “Just let me call Paul to cancel my interviews – or let Richie do them. And he can do sound check too.”

Without letting her go he fished out his cell phone and dialed. “Hey man. No, she didn’t kill me.” Lindsay smiled. “I need to cancel the interviews today or Richie or the guys will have to do them without me. No she didn’t clobber me again.” She chuckled. “They’ll have to do sound check without me too. Yes, I’ll be there in time for the show. And let everyone know not to call me unless it’s an absolute emergency. We were both up all night and we need to get some sleep. Yes, I’m sure it’s safe. No, I don’t think she’s going to smother me in my sleep. Alright, just a sec.” He handed her the phone. “Paul wants to talk to you.”

“Hi Paul.”

“Hi Lindsay. Everything okay? Do you need anything? A whip maybe?” He asked.

She laughed. “I’ll let you know when I’ve decided on his punishment. All I can think about right now is getting some sleep.”

“Ok, get some rest.” He paused. “I’m glad you’re sticking around. See you later.”

“See you Paul.” She closed the phone and handed it back to Jon.

Laying it on the table he stood and carried her into the bedroom where he laid her down. Swiftly stripping off his clothes, her removed her robe and climbed in beside her, pulling the covers over them. Gathering her in his arms he raised her face until he could softly kiss her lips. “Thank you.” He murmured. She nodded and curled more closely into him laying her hand over his heart. Within minutes they were both sound asleep.

Chapter 60

When they arrived at the arena, Jon paused at the door and took a deep breath.

“Worried about running into Chad?” She asked.

He snorted. “No.” He hesitated. “Tico. He was pretty pissed off at me last night.”

She grinned. “Ooooh, you riled up the Cubano! I’d be worried too.” She grabbed his hand and tugged. “Come on , I’ll protect you – he likes me.”

When the reached the dressing room door she knocked. “Female coming in.” She warned them before she opened the door.

The guys looked up and smiled as she walked in. They were spread out around the room. Richie had an acoustic guitar in his lap. “Hey Linds.” They chorused. The smiles faded when Jon walked in behind her.

She walked up to Tico and kissed him on the cheek. “Thank you.”

He shrugged. “You’re family. We protect family – even from each other if one us is being a stupid asshole.” He glared in Jon’s direction.

Standing back she watched how this group of ‘brothers’ dealt with internal conflict.

Jon made eye contact, briefly, with each of them. “I want to apologize for my behaviour over the last few days, and particularly last night. I was way out of line. I’ve already apologized to Lindsay. She didn’t deserve any of it.” He looked at her. “I’m very happy to say that she’s agreed to stay and give me another chance.”

There was silence for a minute, then one by one, they all nodded. “You know that’s more than you deserve.” David commented. Jon nodded.

Tico caught his eye. “If you ever pull a stunt like that again, I will kick your ass.”

Jon nodded again. “And I’ll deserve it.”

Just then Obie stuck his head in the door. “Any word from J…oh good you’re here. We need the set list ASAP. Hey Lindsay.” He hesitated. “Everything okay? Or at least heading in the right direction?” She nodded. “Good. I was beginning to think that Jon had lost his mind completely, or had been possessed by some stupid, evil, mean, cruel demon.” And he was gone again.

Jon shook his head and smiled wryly. “Don’t hold back Ob, tell me how you really feel.” Walking over to a table he picked up a piece of paper and a pen. Sitting down he started writing. “Any special requests tonight?”

“Sorta gives new meaning to Living on a Prayer doesn’t it?” Hugh joked. They chuckled.

Something for the Pain? No wait, that would be if Lindsay were singing.” Tico commented. “How about Born to Be My Baby?”

If That’s What it Takes.” Richie supplied.

I’d Die For You.” Hugh added.

“Definitely Thank You For Loving Me.” Richie put in.

“I’m a Schmuk, I Fucked Up and I’m Sorry.” David contributed.

Richie looked at him grinning. “How does that one go again?” He started plucking out chords, making an almost funereal sound. They all laughed.

Tension eased, they all started their preparations for the show.

“How did the interviews go?” Jon asked Richie.

“Fine, they were disappointed that you weren’t there of course, but we just explained that you’d majorlly fucked up with your girlfriend and were desperately trying to get out of the doghouse.” He grinned. “They were all married. The men just nodded in understanding – one suggested flowers, another said jewelry. The women hoped you made it in time for the show and thought you should write her a love song – oh, and jewelry was definately a good idea.” He looked at Jon meaningfully.

Jon stared at him in disbelief.

Lindsay looked at Jon. “Did I mention that I’m partial to sapphires?” And she burst out laughing.

The show went off without a hitch. She couldn’t help grinning when Prayer started and Hugh looked down at her and winked. And they did do Thank You. Both Jon and Lindsay had tears in their eyes by the end. The fans saw Jon’s and went nuts.

Walking into the after party, Lindsay was a little nervous about running into Chad. But he seemed content to simply wave at her from the other side of the room. Relieved, she smiled and waved back.

Finished eating, she headed for the bar to get another drink. “I can’t believe that you’re staying with him.” A voice spoke from behind her.

Stiffening, she turned. “We talked it out. I love him. He loves me. You don’t throw that away because of one night.” She frowned at him. “Your behaviour was not exactly stellar either.”

“What did I do?” He tried to act innocent.

“Come on Chad. I may have been a little slow on the uptake, but I’m not stupid. You constantly tried to undermine my relationship with Jon. You knew he was jealous and you purposely did things to aggravate him. I just wished I’d noticed earlier. Maybe I could have prevented last night from happening.” She shook her head sadly. “I’ll just have to be more aware from now on. Now if you’ll excuse me I would like to join my friends.”

Approaching the table she noticed Jon watching her. Meeting his eyes she raised a brow. He smiled and this time it reached his eyes. She reached the table just as the D.J. was putting on a new song. Hearing it, she set her drink down and held her hand out to him. “Come dance with me.” He didn’t hesitate.

On the dance floor, in his arms, she smiled. “You really are on your best behaviour today.”

He raised a brow. “What makes you say that?”

“Because I know you don’t really like to dance, but you didn’t even hesitate.” She answered.

He shrugged. “I like this song.” He grinned at her. “Besides, I’ve been trying to get my hands on you all day, and this was the first time you seemed receptive.”

Smiling, she kissed him softly, leaned into him, laid her head on his shoulder and just absorbed the feel of his arms around her, his body next to hers and Big and Rich’s Lost in This Moment flowing around them.

When the song ended, by unspoken agreement, they gathered their things, said goodnight to the guys and headed for their room.

In their bedroom, he pulled her close, framed her face with his hands and just gazed at her for a long moment, stroking her bottom lip with the tip of his thumb. “God, how I love you!” He whispered fervently just before he lowered his head to replace his thumb with his tongue. Tracing her lips with the tip he inhaled her sigh as she opened for him and swept inside to taste her completely.

Lost in the sensation of his tongue stroking hers she reached out and gripped his waist to anchor herself. Feeling the cloth of his shirt she pulled up until she could slide her hands underneath and caress his skin enjoying how his muscles tightened in response to her touch.

Releasing her he stepped back and pulled his shirt over his head and threw it aside. Standing still he watched her face as she stroked the skin he had bared for her. The obvious pleasure showing there as much as the sensations her fingers evoked had his breath shortening and his pulse increasing. When she added lips and tongue to her assault, he closed his eyes, let his head fall back and groaned.

Lifting her head from where she’d been teasing a hard male nipple she grinned. “Oh, you like that do you?”

“Like I like breathing sugar.” He rasped out. Opening his eyes he looked down at her. Her breath caught at the desire she saw blazing there. “But now it’s my turn.” She gasped as her shirt was quickly drawn over her head and dropped to the floor. Her bra soon followed. Stepping closer, he gently held both her hands behind her back in one of his. With his free hand he caressed her from collarbone to waist over and over. Covering a breast, he kneaded firmly then teased the hard kernel at the peak, smiling as her back arched back giving him more access and pushing her breasts towards him, silently asking for more. Obliging, he cupped one breast raising the nipple towards his mouth. Bending his head he first licked then sucked her sensitive flesh.

Pulling her hands free of his hold, she tangled her fingers in his hair and pulled him closer. “Mmmm…..yes, Jon…. More…..please!”

“Oh you like that do you?” He repeated her words back to her, grinning as she gasped at the feel of his breath on her skin. Blowing lightly he increased the torture.

“Jon! Please!” She moaned.

Giving in to her plea went down on her breast in a slow tortuous suckle. She cried out. Feeling her legs start to buckle, he swept her up and carried her to the bed. Laying her down, he eased away from her to remove the rest of his clothes….and hers. Climbing back on the bed he carefully lowered himself on top of her, letting her feel his weight as he captured her mouth again.

Wrapping her arms around him she stroked his back, kneading the taut muscles. Opening her legs she reached down with both hands to caress and squeeze his buttocks trying to urge him where she most wanted to feel him. He resisted.

Lifting his head he murmured.” Not yet.” Raising up on his knees he sat back on his heels and looked at her lying flushed and open before him. Placing a hand on each of her knees he slowly caressed upwards. Holding her hip with one hand, with the other he teased her curls before lightly stroking her most sensitive flesh, then probing her gently. Feeling her wetness, he pressed first one, then two fingers deep inside her, massaged and watched her writhe.

“Mmmmm….Jon, please….I need to feel you!” She panted.

Glancing up he saw her watching him through slitted eyes, pleased with the hunger he saw there. Removing his fingers, he gripped her hips with both hands and lifted them onto his thighs. Sliding his hands up her back to help support her he groaned as she languidly arched her back more as she sat up.

Bracing one hand on his shoulder she slid the other down his chest and over his abs until she could wrap her fingers around him and squeeze firmly. Hearing him groan and feeling his fingers spasm on her hips, she smiled and set out to torture him a little more. Looking down she watched him swell even more as her fingers played. Stroking from base to tip, she circled the top with her thumb, spreading the drop he couldn’t hold back. He moaned.

“Sugar, enough…I need…” The breath was ripped from him on a ravaged moan as she raked her nails – very lightly – up his length and squeezed the tip firmly. His hips jerked in reflex.

“What do you need?” She purred.

“I need to be inside you.” He gasped. “Now!” Lifting her hips he moved her over him and she guided him home.

They both groaned as she slid slowly down until she was fully impaled. Wrapping her arms around his shoulders she took possession of his mouth as she began to rock against him. As the sensations increased so did her speed. But it wasn’t enough.

Wrenching her mouth from his she gasped. “Oh God….Jon…feels…so good…but….I ….need…more.”

Sliding his hands up her back to her shoulders he gripped and tipped her upper body back. Feeling him penetrate even deeper at this angle she leaned back even further, crying out at the feel of him so high inside her.

He would have chuckled, but he had no breath for it. He was holding on by a thread, but refused to let go until she did. Bending, he took a nipple into his mouth and suckled in time with the thrust of his hips. The twin sensations did it for her. He felt her spasm tight around him even before her scream rent the air. Pulling her upright again, he wrapped his arms tightly around her, grinding his hips against hers.

“Oh God Lindsay!” He cried out as his own release swamped him.

When he could breathe again, he lifted her gently off him, laid her down and curled around her.

“I love you.” He murmured in her ear, kissing her temple.

“I love you too.” She responded, turning her head to kiss him softly, before pulling his arm more snuggly around her waist, pressing back farther into him and drifting off to sleep.

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