Saturday, December 28, 2013

Chapter 51

Brianna drove through the gates and parked. She'd spent the entire drive trying to mentally prepare herself for what she was going to face inside the house, but she doubted she was really ready. She had never had to deal with death much - other than her grandparents - so she wasn't sure how well she would handle it or how much help she would actually be to Jon and the kids. Dorothea's weak voice and urgent tone during the phone call summoning her back, gave her the feeling she'd be finding out sooner rather than later.

Taking a deep breath, she climbed out of the car, grabbed her suitcase out of the trunk and headed for the house, not surprised when the door opened before she got there. The shadows in Jon's usually bright blue eyes made her heart hurt.

"Hey. You're back early." His subdued voice showed his surprise.

She stared at him. Does he really not know? "Dorothea called me this morning and said she needed me Didn't she tell you?"

Jon shook his head. "No, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Things are.....deteriorating. Quickly."

Brianna nodded. "Linda told me."

 "Oh, right. The shopping expedition. How much did that set me back?"

The grumpy words didn't fool her. His tone and the expression in his eyes told of his lack of concern. "It could have been worse. Kenneth didn't have the full winter line in the store."

"Thank God for small mercies." He sighed and reached for her suitcase. "Come on in. Mom's here. She's making dinner. Jake will be thrilled to see you."

"I missed him too." She grinned and followed him inside.

"Bianna!" Jake ran into the foyer, threw his arms around her waist and hugged her. "You came back!"

Frowning, she knelt down front of him to look him in the eye. "Of course I did. Did you think I wasn't?"

He nodded, tears filling his eyes.

"Oh, buddy!" She hugged him again, her own eyes nearly overflowing. "I'm not going anywhere."


"I promise." She looked up at Jon to see his eyes shining as well.

Carol had been watching from the doorway and decided it was time to step in. "Hello Brianna, nice to see you. Hey Jakey, the first batch of cookies just came out of the oven and I need someone to taste them and make sure they turned out okay."

Jake sniffed, but released Brianna and turned to his grandmother. "I do it!"

Watching his son leave with his mother, Jon sighed, raked a hand through his hair and helped Brianna to her feet. "Dot's in the room next to my office. You go ahead, I'll take your bags upstairs."

"Thanks." Brianna wiped her eyes and took a steadying breath as she walked down the hallway. She hesitated in the open doorway, the sight of the woman lying in the hospital bed in the middle of the room shocking. She'd lost weight, the bones of her face more prominent than before, her cheeks sunken. Her dark hair, normally shiny was now dull and graying. Her skin was loose and sallow. She almost didn't recognize her.

She was sleeping, and Brianna was loathe to wake her. She was about to turn around and leave when Dorothea sighed and opened her eyes. In the depths of those dark eyes, Brianna finally saw the woman she'd first met about two and a half years ago.

"You're back. Good." Dorothea waved her forward. "Come in, sit down. Sorry about cutting your vacation short."

"No problem." Brianna sat in the chair pulled up beside the bed. She looked around the room. "What made you decide to set up your room down here?"

"I can't do the stairs anymore and it's easier for me to be down here so everyone doesn't have to run up and down the stairs." She paused. "And it will limit the sad memories in that room - for everyone." Including you when you move in there.

"That makes sense." Brianna agreed. "You sounded...urgent...on the phone. What do you need me to do?"

"I'm afraid we're running out of time."

"For what? Do you want to add something to the books or change them?"

"No, you did a fantastic job on them. They're perfect. Thank you." Dorothea assured her. "We've covered the past. Now it's time to prepare for the future."

"In what way?" Brianna asked warily, not sure where this conversation was going.

"What I want.....hope....for my family's future. Things I want them to have, values and morals I want the kids to learn."

" want me to write this down for Jon?" Brianna reached for a pad of paper and a pen.

"Oh he already knows and he'll do his best, but we all know most of that type of education comes from the main woman in their lives. From everything I've seen and heard, you've got all the qualities I could ask for. I have every confidence you will guide them well."

Brianna frowned, trying to grasp Dorothea's meaning.

"The first hurdle you'll have to face will of course be my death. The kids you'll know how to deal with. They'll just need love – possible a little tough love in Jesse’s case - and arms to cry in. Jon will be a little trickier. He'll react one of two ways. Either he'll act like nothing happened for the most part and continue on normally, or......he'll shut down completely. If he does that, you'll have to be strong and tough with him." She paused and looked Brianna in the eye. "You'll have to make him angry at me. Say whatever it takes to snap him out of it. He'll be angry at you at first, and may react a little violently - you should be prepared for that - but once he calms down, he'll understand and appreciate what you did. It won't have any lasting, detrimental effect on your relationship."

"Dot......of course I'll help Jon and the kids in any way I can, but......isn't there someone else.....someone closer than his assistant that should deal with something that....personal?"

Dorothea shook her head. "Sorry, this one's all on you."

Brianna frowned. "Why?"

"Because you're the only who will be able to get through to him. The only one whose sole focus and loyalty is to him and the children. And it will solidify your position in the family."

"And what position is that....exactly?" Brianna was pretty sure she wasn't going to like the answer.

"Lover, caretaker...." Dorothea paused. "....mother.......wife."

Brianna's eyes widened. "You're joking, right?"

"Not at all. Why do you think I've spent so much time helping you learn all about them and how best to handle them?" Dorothea sighed, shifted position and tried to explain. "Ever since it became clear that the treatments weren't going to work, I started thinking about what my family would need to survive and thrive. You were the answer to my prayers. You're great with the kids and they love you, you've earned Jon's trust and respect - which is no easy feat, let me tell you - and you understand the need to balance his work and his personal life.....and you have the strength to stand up to him and enforce it if need be."

"None of that is reason enough for marriage!"

"But it's a great start. And I know there are feelings there." She held up a hand to forestall Brianna's protest. "Don't try and deny it. I can see it in the way the two of you interact. And I think it's great! That's what I was hoping for."

Brianna stared at her, stunned. "Have you told Jon about this plan of yours?"

"Jon? No. Not yet."

Something her voice made Brianna suspicious. Her eyes narrowed in thought. "You told David!"

"Told? No. He figured it out on his own."

No wonder he's been so interested in my relationship with Jon! It was all too much for Brianna to process. "You're crazy!"

"No, I'm dying. And I need to know that my family will be looked after...and happy."

Before Brianna could come up with a response, Jesse appeared in the doorway. "Hi Brianna. Grandma sent me to tell you dinner's ready."

"Okay, thanks Jess." Brianna looked at Dorothea. "Can you make it to the dining room or do you want a tray?"

Dorothea grimaced. "I have no energy anymore. I don't have much of an appetite anymore either."

Brianna considered. "Soup or scrambled eggs…or maybe a grilled cheese sandwich?"

"Ummm....soup sounds good."

Brianna nodded and started to leave the room. At the door she stopped and looked back. "This isn't finished."

"No, it's just beginning." Dorothea agreed, deliberately misunderstanding Brianna's comment.

Frustrated, but unable to say anything with Jesse standing there, Brianna ground her teeth and led the way to the dining room.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Chapter 50

Brianna sat down gratefully at an empty table, glanced at her watch and sighed. It was the end of tour party and she was counting down the minutes until she could go home. But first she had to convince her boss that meant her apartment in Manhatten, not his home in New Jersey.

"Well, you made it through your first tour." Richie commented as he sat down at the table and handed her a glass of wine. "What do you think?"

"I'll let you know after I've slept for about a week and feel human again."

Richie laughed. "Yeah, it tends to have that effect. You'll probably have flashbacks in a few months. Are you taking some time off?"

"That depends on the boss. I hope so."

"Nina!" Tico patted her on the shoulder as he sat beside her. "You survived your first tour!"

"That remains to be seen Teek. I'll let you know when the fog has lifted from my brain."

The echoes of Tico's laughter had several people looking in their direction. "If it helps, it gets easier each tour."

"Good to know." If this last year had taught her anything it was that life was unpredictable. Who knew where she'd be by the time the next tour rolled around...if another tour rolled around. She'd just have to wait and see.

"Bri! You're still here. Good!" Jon sat down and set a glass of wine in front of her.

Brianna eyed the offering warily. "Is it good news or bad news?"

He grinned. "Relax. I just wanted to say thank you for a job well done, especially under some difficult circumstances." He sobered, "Seriously Bri, you went above and beyond and did a great job."

"Thank you."

"Why don't you take the next couple weeks off. You deserve a break."

"Thanks!" She started making a mental list of what she wanted to do. Then she thought about Dot and frowned. "But...."

He knew where her mind had gone. "We'll call you if we need you sooner."

She was gathering her belongings preparing to leave when David approached her. "Did you get your time off?"

"Yes." She eyed him speculatively. "You spoke to him, didn't you."

David shrugged. "I just reminded him to look at the bigger picture." He hugged her with one arm around her shoulders. "Enjoy the time and recharge." He paused. "Don't forget when things the next while, that I'm close by. Don't be afraid to call in reinforcements."

Brianna smiled. "Thanks."

Home! Setting down her keys, purse and suitcase, Brianna sighed in relief. Flipping on the lights, she was gratified to see that the cleaners had been there. The fridge was empty, but food wasn't a priority at the moment - sleep was. In fact, everything else could wait until she'd gotten at least eight straight hours of unconsciousness. Turning off the lights again, she made her way to the bathroom where she quickly washed her face and brushed her teeth. In the bedroom she stripped off her clothes and sank gratefully into bed. She was asleep within seconds.

Bright sunlight streaming through the window woke her. She wasn't really surprised to look at the clock and discover the afternoon was fast approaching. Sighing, she debated getting up or going back to sleep. Suddenly, she realized she hadn't put her phone on its charger - hadn't even taken it out of her purse! She jumped up to find it, hoping she hadn't missed any urgent calls, relieved to find she hadn't. Now wide awake, she headed for the bathroom and a bubble bath. After a long soak she ordered in some food, unpacked and sorted laundry while she waited for it to arrive.

Over the next few days she settled into a routine.....of doing whatever she felt like doing. She didn't travel - she'd done enough of that for awhile. She got caught up with friends, went to the new shows on Broadway, but mostly spent her time reading and relaxing....and researching what Jon and his family were going through and how she might help them.

It was a peaceful, relaxing time. And if she turned multiple times a day to say something to Jon it was only because she was so used to him being there -  not because she missed him or considered him so much a part of her every day, private life.

Meanwhile, in New Jersey things were not quite as.......serene. Jon wasn't sure who was more upset about Brianna not being there - Jake who sulked for three days and couldn't understand why she couldn't spend her 'bacation' with them, or Dot who understood, but wasn't overly happy about it. Her cryptic comment of 'I hope she gets back before it's too late' haunted him and had him debating calling her back early. He'd even had his finger on her number a couple times. He told himself it was for his wife, not because he missed her.

But he did. He missed their late night conversations. He missed having her close by to bounce ideas off of, share a joke or a story with - not that he was alone. Dorothea was there, but they'd been together so long they knew all each other's stories. Plus her obvious fatigue and discomfort made him hesitate to push her for idle conversation.

And it wasn't as if there weren't other adults constantly around. One or several members of their families were always around, particularly Dorothea's sisters and his mother.

But none of them were Brianna.

At the beginning of her second week off, Brianna's phone rang and a glance at the display made her stomach clench. She took a deep breath before she answered. "Hello?"


"Hi Steph. How are you?" she didn't know whether to be relieved or more concerned.

"Okay. Aunt Linda's taking me shopping for school clothes tomorrow and I wondered if you wanted to come with us. Maybe have lunch?"

Brianna didn't know what to say. She wasn't opposed, but..... "Um....does Aunt Linda know you're calling me? Maybe she'd rather it just be the two of you."

"She knows. She's okay with it."

Knowing Linda's......concerns....about her relationship with Jon, Brianna was surprised......and curious. "In that case, sure. I'd love to go shopping with you."

"Great! We'll meet you at Kenneth Cole's at....ten?"

Brianna smile at Steph's choice of meeting place. She just might have to do a little shopping herself! "Sounds good, I'll meet you there."

While Stephanie was in the change room, Linda turned to Brianna. "I have to confess to an ulterior motive to inviting you today."


"Stephanie needed a day away from.....everything. She missed you and wanted to shop with you. Apparently she likes your choice of stores. And I thought it would be a good opportunity to fill you in on what's happening with Dot."

Brianna grimaced. "How bad is it?"

"We're bringing in a hospital bed....and setting it up in the sitting room near Jon's office."

"Wow. She fought that for so long. What made her finally agree?"

"She collapsed on the stairs a couple days ago. If Jon hadn't been there she would probably have broken her neck." Linda had to pause to blink back tears. "She's fading fast Brianna. It's like she was hanging on, waiting for Jon - and you - to get home from the tour, but she just doesn't have the strength to fight anymore. I don't think she's going to last much longer."

"Those poor kids." Brianna was fighting her own tears.

"Bri? Aunt Linda? What do you think of this?"

Both women sniffed and forced smiles. "Looks great sweetie."

"And I know where to find the perfect top to go with it." Brianna added.

Three days later, Brianna was sitting on her balcony reading when her phone rang. "Hello?"

"Brianna, it's Dot." She had to pause to take several breaths before she could speak again. "I need you to come home. Today."

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Chapter 49

The rest of the tour ping-ponged back and forth from New Jersey. Aside from Chicago and Boston, they made it home every night - much to Brianna's relief. It made it much easier to avoid temptation. As much as Dot and Jon kept telling her their being together was fine, it still didn't sit well with her.

Part of her was thankful that the tour was almost over, but she dreaded what was coming. Dorothea was starting to fail more quickly. Walking was becoming more and more difficult and they were talking about bringing in a hospital bed. Brianna was afraid she wouldn't last a whole lot longer.

Walking into her hotel room in Boston after the show, Brianna looked at the connecting door and sighed. It was their last night on the road, and she was afraid Jon would want to spend one last night together before the tour was over. There was only the last show at Giants Stadium the day after tomorrow left. After Florida, they'd managed to control their urges, and Brianna wanted to keep it that way. Rather than have yet another 'discussion' on the subject, it was easier to avoid him and difficult situations.

With that thought in mind, she grabbed her purse and room key and headed downstairs to the bar. Remembering what happened in Japan, she ordered a glass of wine and some chicken wings. A few minutes later the murmur of the crowd - and a familiar security guard - warned her that at least one of the guys had walked in. She waited to see if they'd find her.

"Hey Beautiful." David slid into the chair beside her. "What brings you down here? Having trouble winding down? Or avoiding your boss?"

She shrugged. "Take your pick."

"I thought after that loud steamy night in Florida you two had come to an agreement and accepted Dot's free pass."

Brianna grimaced. "That was to work him out of my system."

"What are you going to do now that that didn't work?"

Her brows rose. "How do you know it didn't?"

"I've been watching both of you. You're avoiding him as much as possible and it's making him frustrated - and feeling guilty about it. Not to mention the air fairly sizzles with sexual tension whenever the two of you are in the same room." He fanned himself with his hand.

Brianna snorted and sighed. "This whole situation is a mess."

He studied her face. "Why do I get the feeling you're talking about more than a little fun between the sheets with Boo Boo?"

His choice of words made it sound even more sordid. She sighed again. "That's the biggest part of it, but..."

When her voice trailed off David reached over and squeezed her hand. "Come on Beautiful, you know you can trust me. Tell me. Maybe I can help."

"I'm in way over my head here Lemma. This is so much more than what I signed on for."

"You don't like the job?"

"I love the job - as his assistant. It's the 'personal' side of it that's becoming a little overwhelming." She shook her head sadly. "I'm not a grief counsellor. I'm not trained to deal with this. I'm not the right person for this. I'm not what he...they need."

The tears in her eyes got to him and he slid an arm around her shoulders to hug her. "You're a considerate, caring woman, who is doing what you can to help a family through a horrible time. You're helping a dying mother record memories for her children. You're helping to ensure those children are fed and cared for, and have someone to talk to when they need to. You're helping a man keep his businesses going while he tries to cope with losing his wife. And you're also helping him keep his sanity. You're being someone he can rely on and lean on when he needs to. There is no training for that. It's pure instinct. You are proving yourself the right person for the job. You're exactly what they need. And you're doing a great job."

"At the expense of my values and beliefs!" And the suspension of my life! She grimaced. "That sounds selfish doesn't it? With everything they're dealing with I'm moaning about how it's it affecting me.'s becoming my life too. I spend almost all of my time with him and his family. It's not right. I shouldn't be there! This is a painful, private, family time. They don't need strangers invading their space at a time like this."

She closed her eyes and leaned her head on his shoulder. "Am I a horrible person for wanting some 'me' time? A little time away from......everything?"

"Horrible? No. Human? Yes. And you should have some time on your own. You need to find a balance or you'll burn out. We found that out during the New Jersey tour. If you want, I'll talk to Jon and remind him of what happens when you don't take time out for yourself."

Before she could respond, the murmur of the crowd rose in volume and they could see a dark head coming towards them. Brianna sat up and wiped her eyes.

"Hey!" Richie sat down and looked back and forth between them. "Everything okay? Am I interrupting?"

"No," Brianna shook her head. "Everything's fine. I'm just tired."

"Glad the tour's almost over?"

"Yeah, although it's been a good distraction."

Richie grimaced. "How's Dot doing?"

"She's failing. I have a feeling it's not going to be a whole lot longer. "

They sat in silence for several minutes, then turned the conversation to more pleasant subjects.

Half an hour later, Brianna stood up. "Well gentlemen, it's been fun, but I need to get some sleep."

"Night Beautiful, sleep well."

"See you in the morning."

David entered his room, more than ready for bed, although his conversation with Brianna kept running through his head. He'd warned Dot that her 'plan' might blow up in her face, but he hadn't foreseen the depth of the distress it would cause Brianna.

Slowly undoing and removing his shirt, he tried to think of a way he could help her. A knock on his door broke his concentration and he went to answer it. He wasn't totally surprised to see Jon on the other side. A wry smile curved his lips. "Having trouble winding down or avoiding your assistant?"

"Take your pick." Jon grumbled, pushing by his bandmate to enter the room and take a seat on the couch. He needed to talk to someone and David was the only one who knew the whole picture. He leaned his head back and sighed. "This whole situation is a mess."

Holy déjà vu Batman! David blinked at hearing the exact same words for the second time that evening.  "So Brianna tells me."

Jon's eyes flew open. "She talked to you about it?"

"I ran into her in the bar downstairs....looking pretty much like you do right now."

"And of course you got her to spill her guts." He ignored the fact that he was in David’s room to do exactly that.

"You know how good I am at that." David chuckled. "I just loaned her my shoulder and my ear." He studied his friend. "She needs a break from all of this Kidd. It's overwhelming her." He used the old nickname on purpose to remind his friend of their own overwhelming time.

Jon considered that for a moment. "Is it me or Dot?"

"It's everything. Dot's illness and being pulled into an intense family crisis, you and this crazy free pass plan that goes against everything she believes in but neither one of you can seem to resist, all while trying to learn a new job and travelling all over the world."

"Wow." Jon had never thought about everything Brianna was having to deal with like that. He raked a hand through his hair.

"Yeah. I'm surprised she hasn't quit and walked away."

Jon shook his head. "She wouldn't do that. She's stronger than that."

"Even the strongest people have a breaking point. We should know. We've been there."

Jon sighed. "Does she want out?"

"No, she just needs some time off - from all of it. A few days to rest and recharge."

"Why didn't she talk to me about this?"

"She probably will when the tour ends. She didn't ask me to talk to you." David admitted. "Plus, when you two get near each other there's too much guilt and hormones flying around to have a rational discussion about it."

There was too much truth in David's statement for Jon to argue. He grimaced. "I've never had a problem controlling myself before - when I chose to. What is it about her I can't resist?"

"I don't know, maybe because she's beautiful, sexy, smart, caring and extremely competent? Oh and you have your wife's blessing to fuck her brains out?" David sobered. "And she can distract you from what's going on with Dot."

Jon stared at him. "That sounded like a Dr. Sambora answer."

David shrugged. "You don't have to study psychology to see what's going on here."

"But obviously it's too much to ask of Bri. I know her guilt is eating her up, no matter how much we all try to convince her that she doesn't need to feel guilty." He frowned. "I don't like what this is doing to her. It's not fair to her. But....I don't want to lose her too."

At David's look he raised his brows. "What?"

"Do you have feelings....romantic...feelings for Brianna?"

"No! Of course not. You just finished telling me how 'extremely competent' she is. She's the best assistant I've ever had. I don't want to lose that."

"And is that the only reason?"

"The kids like her. Especially Jake. I think he's in love with her."

I think his father's heading down that road too. "Whatever, I don't think you'll lose her. She just needs some time off. She'll come back. She'll be there when you need her. Just give her a few days off after the tour to take care of herself, then she'll be in better shape to help you and the family."

Jon just nodded.....and prayed he was right.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Chapter 48

Jon's eyes flew open at the feel of Brianna straddling his hips. Even as he ate up the sight of her, still flushed from her last orgasm, his brows rose in question.

She grinned. "My turn to.....explore." 

"Um....okay." His voice was still raspy. "Just don't be disappointed if you don't get the response you want....immediately."

Brianna chuckled and bent to take his earlobe between her lips. "I'll take my time. You just relax and.....recover."

Her hot breath in his ear skittered over his nerve endings, telling him recovery was closer than he thought. He hesitated, then sank into the mattress and let her have her way, curious to see what she'd do.

Delicate fingers traced the tendons in his neck, followed by her mouth. When his head tipped back, exposing his Adam's apple, she nibbled along the ridge.

Muscles flexed under caressing hands as they roamed his chest, a low groan rumbled around the room when thick chest hair was tugged.

Brianna started to lower her head when the glass of wine caught her eye. Reaching out, she dipped two fingers in and took her turn anointing his nipples. They hardened when she blew on them, just like hers had. But she took it a step further, setting her mouth to the masculine paps. Agile tongue licked up the drops of golden nectar from the sensitive skin. Her lips closed over each nub sucking up anything her tongue had missed.

While her mouth teased and tasted, her hands stroked his shoulders and arms, feeling the muscles bunch beneath her fingertips. "Mmmmm."

The stiffening of his erection against her stomach in response to her low purr and her touch reminded her that there were other parts of his body awaiting her attention. Releasing his nipple, she retreated down his torso, nails scraping his sides lightly. The indentation of his navel lured her to pause and let the tip of her tongue explore it's depths, smiling to herself when his stomach muscles contracted.

Shifting, she nudged his legs apart, giving her room to explore him - and she planned to take full advantage.  She started - not with his cock that was standing up, asking for attention - but with the balls nestled underneath. Taking one into her mouth, she ran her tongue over it and sucked.

Jon's groan turned into a hiss when her fingernails scraped the inside of his thigh. Her other hand reached underneath to rub the bare spot and his hands fisted. "Fuck Bri!"

She released him to look up with a grin. "Don't like that?"

He growled. "Enough with the fucking torture!"

"What do you want?"

One hand grasped his now throbbing cock, angling it toward her while the other hand tangled in her hair and tugged. "Suck it."

But she wasn't ready to give in quite that quickly. Instead, she licked the swollen shaft from base to tip with the flat of her tongue. Nudging his hand aside, she wrapped her own around him loosely and pumped slowly. Her tongue slithered around the tip and the ridge beneath it, using his moans to guide her movements.

"Dammit Bri!" Sweat was breaking out on his upper lip as he fought for control.

Brianna chuckled and relented, opening her mouth wide to take him in. She started with just the head, then backing off, then taking a little more a little deeper until finally she concentrated on relaxing her throat muscles and swallowed his entire length. "Mmmmmmm."

The vibrations of her hum rippled along his buried shaft and acted like flame to a fuse, sending sparks throughout his nervous system, making him moan louder. She eased back, then bobbed her head slowly up and down, the added friction had him fisting both hands in her hair and his hips lifting towards her. When she began to suck, he shuddered and suddenly found himself on the verge of explosion.

He tugged on her hair until she lifted her head and released him, one brow crooked in question. "You've got about two minutes to decide where you want me to come."

While she considered her options, the tip of her tongue ran absently along the slit, scooping up the drop of fluid he couldn't hold back.

He growled."Make that one minute."

Brianna chuckled and sat up, once again straddling his hips. Guiding him with one hand, she sank slowly down, her eyes closing at the feel of him stretching her. "Mmmmm. That feels so good."

Jon didn't disagree, but speech was beyond him at the moment. It was taking all of his concentration to hold it together. The feel of her hot, welcoming flesh surrounding him made it all but impossible. His hands clenched on her hips.

Resting her hands on his chest, she started to move, rocking her hips against his. She opened her eyes to look down into his flushed face. His normally bright blue eyes were dark with passion, his lips parted as he panted for breath.

Grinning, her own breathing slightly laboured, Brianna bent over to kiss him, her tongue dipping in for a taste. The change in angle made her gasp and slide her hands up over his chest to brace on the mattress above his shoulders. She rocked faster and faster, driving him in and out of her body.

Jon stroked his hands up her back to once again bury them in her hair, and struggled to resist the urging of his body. He wanted her to come first. "Sit up."

It took a moment to process his raspy, growled words, but she was happy to comply. Sitting up and leaning back on his legs pressed his erection against the front of her passage, the head and ridge underneath it rubbed against her most sensitive spot. "Oh! Oh yes! Mmmmm."

His hands skimmed along her ribcage to cup and massage her breasts while his eyes ate up the vision of her writhing above him. But tightening in his groin warned him time was rapidly running out. Lowering his left hand, he set a callused fingertip on her clit and rubbed.

"Oooooh shit!" Brianna cried out and shuddered. "Too much!" She tried to pull his hand away.

But Jon refused to stop. "Come for me Golden Eyes."

"Oh! Yes! Yes! Yes! JON!" Shaking, shuddering, she kept moving, desperate to ride out the storm overtaking her body.

Strong fingers gripped her hips, holding her down while his hips lifted, thrusting hard, once, twice, three times before he couldn't hold it off any longer and he exploded, his body pumping out its release into the depths of hers. "Bri!"

Brianna collapsed onto his chest and waited for her convulsions to subside. After several minutes she rolled off to lie beside him. "Now we're done." She hoped it was enough to work him out of her system.

Jon frowned slightly at the note of finality in her voice. He understood her concerns - and her guilt - but he also knew some things just couldn't be controlled that easily.  Don't bet on it sweetheart.

It seemed like she'd only been asleep for a few minutes when the phone rang with her wake-up call. Hanging up, Brianna sank back into her cocoon and tried to summon the energy to get up. The heavy band tightening around her waist and the sigh ruffling her hair reminded her she wasn't alone in the bed.

"Why didn't we fly up to Montreal last night again?" Jon grumbled.

"Because you decided you don't like flying at night unless you absolutely have to. I believe the instructions we all got said 9:30am flights only."

"Oh. Right." He sighed again. "Why the fuck did I decide that?"

Brianna had to laugh. "I have no idea." She sat up, yawned, and stretched her arms up into the air. "We'd better get moving if we're going to meet your schedule. Hopefully we can sleep a little on the plane."

Jon just grunted and watched her walk into the bathroom and close the door. When he heard the sound of running water, he rubbed a hand over his face, sighed yet again and dragged himself out of bed in search of his own shower.

Dressed and packed, he walked back through the connecting door to check on her progress. He found her in the bathroom, staring unmoving at her reflection, mascara wand in her hand. Giving her latest suit a quick once over, he stepped up behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist. Their eyes met in the mirror. "I like you best in red, but yellow is nice too."

Brianna managed a weak smile. "Thanks."

He studied her face. It was obvious that something was bothering her and it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what it was. He sighed, kissed her neck and squeezed her. "Hey! No guilt, remember?"

She grimaced. "I'm.......trying. But it's not that easy."

"I know. But it's what she wants." He grinned. "Last night felt pretty damn good to me. How about you?"

She knew what he was doing. He was going to force her to admit it. "Spectacular." She acknowledged.

"Good. Are you just about ready?"

"Yeah. Two minutes."

They met up with the others in the lobby. David eyed them knowingly. "Hey Beautiful, you look tired. Didn't sleep well?"

"I slept great, just not enough. You look tired too. Rough night?"

Jon was impressed she could keep a straight face.

So was David. "Strange noises kept waking me up. Did you hear them?"

"No, I didn't hear any strange noises." She glanced at Jon. "Did you hear anything?"

Jon shook his head. "No. What did it sound like?"

"Two cats in heat."

Brianna swatted his arm, Jon burst out laughing.

As they headed out to the van, Richie glanced at Tico. "Do you ever feel that you're missing part of the conversation?"

"Yeah." Tico eyed the two walking in front of them. "And I think it might be better that way."

Richie considered for a moment. "You may be right."