Welcome to Love's Legacy: Frankie & Jonny

The start of the story can be found
here and it can be navigated by using the menu to the right or by selecting newer post or older post at the bottom of each chapter. It may not be updated with quite the frequency of Edge of a Broken Heart but I will do my best to post at least once a fortnight.


Thursday, September 9, 2010


Due to a personal tragedy, this story will be on temporary hiatus. I hope to get back to writing in the future.

I thank you for reading and for your support.



Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Chapter 24

The engine of the Chevelle growled in protest as Jon turned the key in the ignition and shut it down. He scanned the street quickly with wary eyes before getting out and briskly walking the hundred or so yards to Frankie's building. A plump middle aged gaudy woman emerged from the shadows just as he approached the door.

"I'm a huge fan Jon.... I'd do anything for an autograph?" she purred, leaning into him.

Jon fought to hide the scowl that itched to erupt on his face, with a tight lipped smile. "Sure honey...where do you want it?" He asked.

She pulled one side of the neckline of her top down low to reveal a mound of creamy white flesh and the hint of a dark pink nipple. "Right here Jonny," she ran her fingers suggestively across the flesh and presented him with a Sharpie. "I'm gonna immortalize you in ink and get it tattooed on."

Jon tried not to shudder at the thought. "That's sweet. Thanks." He quickly scrawled his name where she had indicated. "Look, sorry but I really have to go...I'm meeting someone."

"Sure baby," she purred, "...thanks for taking the time to…do me," she winked a bright blue eyelid at him.

"Uh huh...no problem" he grinned another tight smile and hightailed it into the building.

Jon hit the button for the elevator and impatiently tapped his foot as he waited for it to arrive. He risked a furtive glance in the direction of the door, only to find the fan pressed hard up against the glass with a camera trying to get another memento of her encounter. He loved his fans…he really did…but hell, some of them just didn't know when to quit. If she kept that up the paparazzi would be on Frankie's doorstep in no time. With everything that had happened in the last twenty-four hours he was sure they were keeping an eye on the place, if not staked out somewhere nearby.

The elevator doors slid open and a good looking young man stood, resting casually, against the rail at the back. When he saw Jon he immediately straightened. "Hello Sir." He nodded. The polite greeting was a little unexpected given the guys appearance. He was tall…he had a good five or six inches on Jon at about 6'4", and the kid was built…not body builder buff, but there was some serious muscle hidden beneath the threads.

Regardless, Jon couldn't help but chuckle to himself at the 'Sir'. In another part of the country it was simply a sign of respect. Here in New York it just told him he was getting old.

"I love your work." The young man said, his green eyes twinkling with excitement as he stepped out of the elevator, holding an arm across the door so it wouldn't slide closed. His broad muscular form dominated the space. He was a little younger, and the wrong gender for Jon's usual audience, at somewhere in his early twenties, Jon figured. He looked relaxed, from his sun-streaked blonde hair to the toes of his Nike Air's, and there was a hint of cockiness about him. With a light stubble smattering his jaw, it looked as if he'd just rolled out of bed. A huge grin seemed permanently plastered on his face, revealing bright white, even teeth. In Jon's world, the kids unkempt appearance and relaxed demeanor usually only added up to one thing…the dude had just gotten laid. And good luck to him too.

"Thanks man." Jon stepped past the young man, into the gleaming steel and Beech wood cube and hit the number for Frankie's floor.

"You're welcome Mr. B. Have a great night. I'm sure we'll see each other again real soon." The kid said as the doors slid closed, leaving Jon to ponder his curious sentiment as the elevator moved effortlessly to its destination. Strange, Jon thought, the familiarity in the kid's manner almost made it seem as if he knew him. But he didn't…did he?

A digital female voice announced the elevators arrival and the doors slid open quietly. Jon stepped across the small foyer and lifted his hand to knock just as the door swung open.

"Heard the elevator," Frankie offered in explanation upon seeing Jon's startled expression. He nodded. "Come on in," she said, ushering him inside and closing the door behind him before heading for the stairs, "as you can see I'm running a little late." Damp waves of dark blonde hair bounced around her shoulders as she moved, contrasting with the too short black silk kimono that was wrapped around her lithe physique.

"How are you honey? Your Mom said you were leaving work early. Did you get held up?" Jon called after her, trying very hard to ignore the niggling feeling in his gut.

"I'm good and nope…I did manage to come home earlier than usual to get ready," Frankie yelled from upstairs, "but I got a little…distracted by a friend."

"Oh?" Jon's gut clenched. He moved to the base of the stairs so he could hear her better.

Frankie appeared at the top of the stairs in a pair of jeans and a white tank. She glanced down at herself, shook her head and turned back in the direction from which she came. "Yeah, actually," she projected down, "I'd be amazed if you didn't see him on your way up. He left like sixty seconds before you got here."

Shit, shit, SHIT. "Ahh, buff dude in a black T and jeans?"

Frankie appeared at the top of the stairs again, the white tank was gone, replaced by a black lace halterneck. "Yep, that would be Jai," she smiled.

That explained the familiarity Jon thought. The kid is God damn fucking my daughter. "As in your boyfriend Jai…the one your Mom said picked you up this morning." Jon fished, frowning. It was an involuntary reaction he just couldn't suppress, so he turned away from the stairs to glance around the neat-as-a-pin apartment.

"Yes, Jai picked me up this morning. And yes, he is a boy and my friend….sooo…. I guess you could say that," Frankie stifled a giggle. This was so much fun.

"He's a..ah…he's a little old for you isn't he?" Jon asked as Frankie retreated back into what Jon presumed was her bedroom.

"Not really," she called back, "he's been a year above me in school since like…well forever, really."

"Oh…you've known him that long?" Jon picked up a picture frame that graced a nearby hall table and studied it for a moment before carefully returning it to its place.

He couldn't help but smile at the image of a very young innocent Frankie that graced the frame. She was laughing and carefree…on a see-saw in some unfamiliar park.

"Yeah. He's Soph's brother. You remember Sophie…my assistant at the gallery?" Frankie asked. "We were practically in diapers together."

He did know. It was her with Frankie in the photo he had just been looking at.

"Sure…nice kid. He's her brother, huh?" He said still scowling, glad that she couldn't see him as he busied himself at her music collection.

"Yep…at least that's what their parents tell them." Frankie replied, appearing directly behind him. "Ready." She announced.

Jon turned to look at her and all thoughts of Jai and what she had been up to with him disappeared from his mind. "What happened to the jeans?" he asked, as he took in the expanse of bare skin that extended from the hem of a very short black leather micro mini to the tips of her Jimmy Choo's.

"Nothing…I just feel more comfortable in this."

"I am not stepping foot out of this apartment while you are wearing that Frances." Jon said in his sternest Dad voice, one that it seemed he was having more and more need of lately, with Stephanie now firmly entrenched in her teens…not to mention Jesse.

"Well I guess I'm going alone then. There's cable and the remote's on the coffee table." Frankie said, indicating in the direction of the widescreen. She retrieved a small purse off the kitchen counter and went to stand by the door. "You sure you wouldn't rather come and play body guard?"

Jon took one look at his daughter and the flash of silver at her navel and scowled. "Do you at least have a jacket?"

"Yep," she held up a filmy garment that would have been more in place in the bedroom than in a concert arena.

"So where is it?" He asked looking pointedly at the diaphanous fabric.

"You're looking at it."

"Come on Frankie…seriously…you aren't gonna make me take you out looking like that are you? You're barely covered." He observed, exasperated.

"Well you didn't seem to mind too much when it was Moms bare skin you were ogling." Frankie retorted, her hands on her hips in a stance so similar to her younger sister that he had to suppress a grin. Instead he tried to rearrange his features to look wounded.

"Yeah well, your Mom's not my eighteen year old daughter. So…" he drew out the word with measured patience, "I suggest, if you would like to do this tonight you go find yourself another jacket…personally, I'd be quite happy to stay here and get in some quality time alone where we can actually talk to each other."

"You're right. I shouldn't have mentioned mom. I'm sorry. That was disrespectful." Frankie acquiesced smiling sweetly and hoping to divert his attention from the clothing issue. "Can we just go now...please?"

"Frances…the jacket," Jon reminded her undeterred. "Don't you have a like a…I don't know…a jean jacket or something?"

"It's at the cleaners." She replied flippantly.

"Seriously Frankie I won't take you out with you looking like this. Get another jacket or it's a night on the couch with a bowl of popcorn." He said sternly.

"I have the tickets." She reminded him.

"Granted…but I have the Backstage Passes and the face to use them. Of course if you'd rather not meet Chad and the boys…." He let the sentence trail off.

"Fine!" Frankie stomped a black platform clad foot in an action so reminiscent of a five year old he had to chuckle. Upon seeing his amusement Frankie turned on her heel and headed for the stairs. When she appeared a minute later the jacket she held out for inspection was not much better than the last. The only thing that could be said for it was that the fabric was at least opaque.

"Frankie?" Jon arched his brow and pursed his lips.

"Look that's it...I'm not changing it again." As Jon opened his mouth to argue she added, lying, "Daddy bought me this jacket...if it was good enough for him… its good enough for you."

Jon ran his hand roughly through his hair. "Ahh yeah…ok then… you're right. I'm not trying to replace your dad here."

Frankie hid a small satisfied smile by turning towards the door. "Good….can we go now?"


Jon pulled the Chevelle to a stop at a security checkpoint at the back of the Arena. He handed a pass and some I.D. to the guard at the gate and waited as the guard checked the credentials. When all seemed to be in order, the guard handed the documents back with a fast smile and an excited salutation, and rushed to open the gate.

Behind a nearby barrier, a hoard of screaming fans anxiously awaited the arrival of the band. They ranged in age from screaming teenagers to a few older more 'seasoned' fans. As Jon got out of the car, a couple of the older women screamed for his attention. He turned and gave them a cursory wave and smile before joining Frankie on the other side of the car. As he put his hand on the small of her back to lead her inside one of the fans yelled, "Finally traded Dotty in for a younger model Jonny?"

Frankie felt Jon cringe, but he said nothing. He ushered her promptly to the door where they were both escorted inside and led down a long corridor. As they walked along, following behind a uniformed staff member, the ambient noise from the arena increased until finally individual screams and shouts could be picked out of the dull roar. They paused briefly while the burly man leading them gave instructions to some other members of the crew.

Frankie glanced around her. Ahead, where the corridor opened up to a cavernous space, the backstage area was a hive of kinetic energy. People were moving in all directions, each with determination and purpose. Large packing crates were distributed seemingly haphazardly around the area and encroached on the end of the corridor they were standing in. She could see what appeared to be the back of the stage and a set of stairs that led upwards, the top of which could not be seen. She took a few more steps towards the end of the corridor, suddenly freezing in place when she spotted him. Off to the right, almost completely obscured by shadow was Chad. He was talking animatedly with a younger guy whose long hair was pulled back into a low pony tail.

Frankie had taken no more than two steps in his direction, when she felt a hand grasp the top of her arm. She spun on her father, "What the hell?"

"Not now." He hissed.

"What do you mean 'not now'? Do you know who that is?"

"Yes, I do. But believe me when I tell you, he will appreciate your adoration much more after the show than he will now while he is trying to take care of business." Jon explained.

"And you know that how exactly?"

"Frankie, honey…" Jon said on a deep exhale, "Have you forgotten how I make my living?"

She crossed her arms over her chest. Reluctantly she had to admit he had a point.

"'Scuse me, comin' through," a deep voice said, as a hand pushed gently on her shoulder to move her aside.

Frankie flattened herself against the wall and then stood staring in awe as the rest of the band passed by, the drummer winking as he did so.

"Time to go," the man who had led her and her father in said. "House lights are just going down now, so we can get you out there safely before the show starts."

They were led in Chad's general direction. The butterflies in Frankie's stomach increased with each passing step. When they were adjacent to him, Chad nodded in her father's direction, "Hey Jon, good to see you here."

"Wouldn't miss it, man." Her father said. And then, though she couldn't be sure in the dim light, she thought Chad winked at her.

They were led away into the arena, through a barricade and to two seats front and center. No sooner had they taken their seats, than a deafening blast reverberated around them and the show started. Frankie immediately jumped to her feet. And when Chad appeared directly before her moments later she let out a scream that would have put a Banshee to shame. Jon chuckled. It was amusing seeing this from the other side of the microphone. All around him women were going wild…and the comments…well some of those could have made a sailor blush. It was something he wasn't generally privy to.

From the second Chad appeared on the stage, Frankie was in heaven. The song was 'Animal' and the sexy growl of Chad's singing was primal. Frankie felt it to her very core. She couldn't believe it when he paused in front of her, crouched and gave a slight nod in her direction as he sang...

You're beside me on the seat
Got your hand between my knees
And you control how fast we go by just how hard you wanna squeeze
It's hard to steer when you're breathing in my ear
But I got both hands on the wheel while you got both hands on my gears

A camera appeared before her and then her image was splayed across the large screen behind the stage. As Chad rose to his feet he reached out, grabbed her fingertips and this time there was no doubt in her mind…he most definitely winked at her.

Frankie tore her eyes away from the stage to share her excitement with her father, only to see him frowning at Chad with disapproval. This sooo wasn't like going to a concert with Soph. By now she would be clutching her friends arm for dear life and making obscenely suggestive comments about just how much of an "Animal" she'd like Chad to be with her, and Soph would be replying in kind, squealing in excitement right along with her.

As Chad moved away and focused his attention on the crowd to the left side of the stage, Jon's features smoothed and he seemed to be enjoying the show a little more, but every time Chad showed even the slightest bit of attention to Frankie, the frown would return. When, about halfway through the night, Chad turned and pointed to the screen, showing Frankie who was dancing suggestively to the beat, and said, "Now there's a hottie who looks like she's ready for some fun", Jon started to see red. He fixed Chad with a stone cold glare but he singer only grinned at him. From that moment though, it seemed he did seem to focus his attention elsewhere. Frankie wasn't pleased.

The rest of the show passed in a blur of sound and motion. Around Frankie the crowd jumped and surged in time with the music, while her father stood sedately by her side. When the band left the stage before their encore, a guard came to collect the pair and ushered them backstage. Frankie was directed to the side of the stage so she could watch the rest of the show, while Jon was led to another area somewhere in the rear. Frankie figured it was because Chad didn't want him up that close after his appalling behavior up front.

Three stools were placed before the mics at the front of the stage. In the dim light, Frankie watched as three shadowy figures took their places on them. A fourth mounted the drum riser and took his position there. A guitar tech walked past her and onto the stage, handing Chad a black acoustic guitar. The lights came up and after a short intro they began to play "Rockstar".

During the second chorus, Frankie was surprised to see a larger than life image of her father flash by in a montage of famous rock stars on the main screen behind the stage. She was even more surprised when, after the song, Chad called for a "well respected and brilliant artist" to join him onstage and her father strutted out to the spot light. They rocked an impromptu version of Elton's "Saturday Night" and engaged in a manly embrace before Jon sauntered off stage towards her.

"Did you ask to go up there?" Frankie accused the second he was in ear shot.

Jon shook his head, "Honey...I know this is a little hard for you to believe, but it was only a couple of months ago that these guys were our support act."

"That doesn't answer my question Jon. Was that some kind of lame effort on your part to impress me? Because I can tell you now it didn't work." It actually had. Frankie had never paid attention to her father's talent before…but on that stage it was undeniable. He was charismatic and commanding and thoroughly entertaining. And while she hated to admit it, he had even managed to draw her attention away from the band.

"No, I didn't ask Frankie. In fact I tried my level best not to go out there. But it seems these days what Chad wants Chad gets." He said, frowning a little as he did.

"Let's hope so!" Frankie replied grinning, her attention clearly focused over her father's shoulder at the singer taking his final bows on stage.

The gentleman who had escorted them earlier once again appeared at their sides. From the pass around his neck Frankie observed his name was Doug. "Let's get you two back there to the party. The boys will be in as soon as they freshen up."

They were led down the same corridor they had entered through, and off to the right into a largish room that was bare apart from a long buffet table that spanned the west wall. It was piled high with everything from pizza to sushi and all manner of other international cuisine. Jon headed straight for the sushi, surprising Frankie for the second time that night.

Several more people had entered the room immediately after her and her father. A group of young girls about her own age were off to one side chatting animatedly and occasionally looking toward Frankie. She naturally gravitated straight to them – after all...her father was busy with the buffet -and struck up a conversation. They recognized her from her appearance on the screen…they also recognized her father…much to Frankie's dismay.

When the girl next to her grasped her arm so tightly that her manicured nails bit into Frankie's skin, she knew the band had arrived. She had her back to the door but it didn't take a genius to figure out what was going on. The girls were competition winners, and were very enamored of their star encounter.

Frankie turned and looked over her shoulder, only to see Ryan, the sexy guitarist, enter and make a b-line straight for her father who looked genuinely happy to see him. She changed position slightly so she had a better view of what was going on across the room, and winced when her father pointed to her and waved. She raised her hand reluctantly and Ryan raised his beer to her in salute. The girls around her went wild. She shook her head and focused on her drink as she fought the blush rising to her cheeks. When she risked a glance in their direction again, both her father and Ryan were busy looking intently at Ryan's wallet. Her brow furrowed momentarily in confusion until her father pulled out his own wallet and presented it to Ryan...pictures of their kids she assumed. So much for the bad boy rockstar image, it was so completely normal it was unnerving.

After excusing herself from the small group of girls she was with, Frankie made her way to the bathroom. Her father was still deep in conversation with Ryan as she exited the greenroom. When she reentered a few minutes later, the girls had moved across the room closer to the impromptu bar that had formed. One of the roadies stood behind one end of the large buffet table, a plethora of alcohol spread before him.

She was almost back to the girls when she was grabbed around the waist and spun in the opposite direction eliciting a squeal of surprise.

"I've been looking for you little lady," a warm voice rumbled in her ear.

Frankie turned inside the tight circle of arms that refused to relinquish their hold on her, to find herself pressed hard up against Chad.

"Well here I am," she replied coyly, "now the question is… what are you gonna do with me now that you've found me?"

Chad raised a surprised eyebrow and a slow grin revealed even white teeth. He released her, stepped back, and grabbed hold of her hand. She instantly missed the warmth of his body, but the feeling was short lived. He led her to a secluded corner in a small alcove off the main room, where he backed her up against the wall and then stepped in so close to her, she could feel the heat radiate off him and smell the whisky on his breath.

He leaned in and whispered in her ear, "I know exactly what I am gonna do with you honey. Where would you like me to start? Here," he gently, briefly, pressed his lips to hers, "or lower?" he trailed one finger down her cheek and along the lines of her neck, between the hollow in her breasts and down to her belly button.

A second of trepidation trembled through Frankie, but instead of moving away she just smiled up at him. This was sooo cool!


Jon re-entered the room after taking a quick tour of the stage with the band's Drummer, they had done some interesting things with the drum riser and he had wanted to see how it had been done. He was alarmed to see that Frankie was no longer where she had been when he'd left the room only minutes before. Not only was Frankie gone, but the entire group of girls she had been talking with had also disappeared. Damn it!

He searched the crowd and spotted Ryan on the other side of the room. He nudged his way through the sea of people who were now crammed into the relatively small space, to the younger mans side. "Excuse me," Jon smiled indulgently at the woman who was gushing over Ryan, turned to him and asked, "Did you see where Frankie went?"

"Sorry? Who?"

"Frankie…my daughter?" Jon replied, impatience clear in his tone.    

"Nah man, sorry. She can't have gone too far though." Ryan replied. "Maybe she's with Chad. It seems he took a liking to her on stage and I haven't seen him for a while either."

"Lucky girl," the woman exclaimed.

Jon frowned at her, but addressed Ryan. "That's what worries me." His eyes scanned the room, searching intently for his missing child. He had been here before…of course he was usually the one in a dark corner or a private room with the girl, and on the run from the irate father. He had never been that father himself…and it disturbed him on more than one level. Karma was a bitch!

"He wouldn't hurt her. He's just having a bit of fun." Ryan reasoned. "We've both been there."

Jon raised an eyebrow at that. "Ry, man…would you leave your daughter in Chad's hands?"

Ryan's face took on a perplexed expression. "Point taken. I'll help you look for them." Ryan excused himself and headed off in one direction while Jon headed off in the other.

Jon spotted the group of girls Frankie had been standing with on the opposite side of the room. She clearly wasn't with them…but he headed over to them in hopes they'd know where she'd gone. As he approached he passed a nearby cluster of groupies all looking off in the same direction…a dark secluded corner at the back of the room. It started alarm bells ringing in his mind. He diverted his course bringing himself within earshot of their conversation. It didn't take long for them to unwittingly confirm what he'd feared.

"…lucky bitch. I bet he has her squealing within ten." A tall tattooed blonde exclaimed.

"Good…the quicker he puts another notch on that belt of his, the quicker he'll be back for us…then the party can really start." Another said.

"Yeah but why her?" A third whined, "I mean she wasn't even that hot! How did she manage to pull Jon Bon Jovi and Chad."

Oh hell No!! Jon rushed forward to the darkened area ahead and hoped he wasn't too late.


It had taken Frankie exactly sixty seconds to realize she was in over her head. The problem was she didn't know what to do about it. Chad had his tongue in her ear, and the hand not holding a very large glass of scotch, on her ass pulling her hard against his none too subtle arousal.


"Chad…please stop. I don't want this."

"Of course you do honey…this…" Chad leaned in harder against her and ground his straining length against her thigh "….is why you're here."

Frankie's mind was reeling... She had no idea to get herself out of this. Suddenly all of her father's dirty looks and subtle warnings were making sense. "Please not like this…I don't want it like this. Can't we go somewhere a little more…" And then over Chad's shoulder she saw him. She simultaneously relaxed in relief and cringed with embarrassment.

"How's it going man?"

" Jon..buddy...good to fuckin' see ya!. That was some show huh?" Chad turned towards Jon, but kept a firm hold on Frankie, merely spinning her with him.

"Yeah man, you rocked." Jon replied smiling, hoping to do this without a scene.

"Listen dude...do you think I can catch up with you in a few? I have a little business to take care of here." Chad ran the knuckles of the hand clutching the scotch glass down the side of Frankie's face. His other hand was still grasping her ass possessively.

"Sorry Chad, not with her you don't." Jon replied smoothly.

"Jon...man...Look I know she came with you…but you're getting on now and you've had your fair share of ass...it's time to pass the mantle."

Chad licked a line up Frankie's throat and claimed her mouth in a kiss. It took her breath away…but not for any of the right reasons. And then he was gone, dragged away from her body by her father. When she looked up she saw Chad glaring murderously at him, the two men barely a foot apart. She squeezed between them, putting a hand on each of their chests.

Jon fairly vibrated with barely suppressed anger. And yet when he spoke his voice was smooth and controlled. "That may be the case Chad, and under some circumstances I might even agree…but I ain't gonna pass you my daughter, that's for sure."

"Awe come on man…you just want her for yourself. Your daughter is what…fifteen? And this little hottie ain't no kid." Chad leaned into Frankie but Jon grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back.

"This is no joke Chad…don't test me on this." Jon growled.

Later, when things had calmed and she was at home alone, Frankie would wonder how it was possible that her father's usually cool blue eyes could seemingly spark with fire. But for now she would be content with getting them both out of there.

"Jon…" she said softly, his gaze on Chad didn't falter, with a sense of urgency she called again, "Dad…" This time his eyes were immediately on her, she seized the opportunity, "…can we go...please?"

"Sure baby…let's get you home." He agreed.

Frankie turned to Chad, "It was a pleasure to… meet you," she said for lack of a better word and offered a small smile. "And he was telling the truth…he is my father." She didn't know why she wanted him to know that.

"Oh honey…the pleasure was all mine…though not nearly pleasure enough. Maybe we can try this again sometime when your guard dog's on a leash." He replied provocatively and got just the reaction he was trying to incite. Jon surged in his direction, but by now Frankie had a firm hold on her father's hand and she wasn't letting go.

"Thanks again." She said and pulled her father across the room and out into the night.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Chapter 23

Beth started awake, disoriented and horny. She felt across the bed only to find it empty…The wetness between her legs was the only evidence of a very pleasant dream. She thought of the man sleeping peacefully across the hall and blushed as she slipped her fingers into the soft flesh at the apex of her thighs, efficiently dulling the frustration before sliding out of bed and heading for a cold shower.

All was quiet in the house a short time later as she ventured out of her room and padded down the stairs for coffee. She didn't know much about Jon's morning routine, but she did know he was a fairly early riser. It would be nice to repay his hospitality with a hot breakfast. She immediately set to work.

Not long after she heard the hesitant footfalls of Frankie making her way to the kitchen. She had obviously heard the noise, but Beth surmised she wasn't sure who was making it, hence the wariness, as she poked her head around the corner before entering the room.

"Oh, it's just you," Frankie proclaimed as she walked over to her mother at the stove. "You making breakfast now too?"

"Morning Sweetheart, I thought it was the least I could do to repay Jon's hospitality." Beth explained.

"Well don't make anything for me…my ride will be here in a few." Frankie told her mother as she leaned against the counter and picked at a piece of bacon she had procured fresh from the pan. "Ouch, this is hot." She shook her fingers a sucked her forefinger into her mouth.

"What? What ride?" Beth turned to look at her daughter surprised.

"Jai is coming." Frankie said around a mouth full of flesh, as she soothed her burned finger with her tongue. "I called him last night before I went to bed. I have some work to sort through at the gallery this morning and with Sophie in L.A. and Jon not being forthcoming with the transportation…well, I called Jai," she shrugged. "He should be here any minute actually. I might go out front and wait for him. Do you know what the deal is with the gate?" She asked.

"No honey, I don't. But I did notice a grounds man out there a few minutes ago. I'm sure he can help you out. But sweetie are you sure you can't stay? I'm sure Jon would love to meet Jai…and he'll be upset that he didn't get to say goodbye." Beth pointed out.

"Mom, really, for once this isn't about avoiding Jon. I really do just have to get back for work. Tell him goodbye for me and I will see him tomorrow night. It should be fun." She offered her mother a tight smile. "I'm trying Mom, I really am…but please…be careful around him. Don't fall for his charms."

Beth smiled, and laid a hand on her daughter's cheek. "You have nothing to worry about, baby," she said, "and I know you're trying. But please…don't hold whatever this is between Jon and me against him. It's not his fault."

"So you admit there is something there?" Frankie asked, surprised at her mother's admission.

"No…not necessarily. I still don't see how he would be interested in me…but….I like him, Frankie. He's been a good friend to me. I need that right now. A lot of our old friends stopped coming by after your father died. I think they found it too hard to cope with the pain. And even those that do…well they just remind me of him. Jon is someone new…someone separate from that life. Being around him has been a new lease on life for me. Do you understand?" Beth so badly wanted the answer to be yes. For once she wasn't disappointed.

"When you put it like that…you know, I think I do. If he's that important to you Mom, I'll try a little harder." Frankie paused when she heard a distant horn sound. "Oh shoot, that must be Jai. He can't get in the gates. I have to go, Mom." She laid a kiss on her mother's cheek and headed for the door without a backwards glance. "Love you," she said as she disappeared into the hall.

"Love you too," Beth called after her daughter a few seconds too late.

Beth got back to work preparing breakfast. She hoped Jon would wake soon - it was almost done – and she wondered whether it would be appropriate to take a tray upstairs for him… If he wasn't downstairs by the time the pancakes were done, she decided, that's exactly what she would do.

Jon was fast asleep, enjoying a very pleasant dream when a light tap on his door roused him. He glanced at the clock and cursed himself for oversleeping. "Yeah," he rasped, his voice choked with sleep.

The door cracked open. "Is it ok if I come in?" Beth asked hesitating in the doorway. "I brought you up some breakfast." She held up the tray in confirmation.

He nodded. "Shit! What time is it?"Jon said rubbing his hands across his face, and looking towards the clock on the bedside table. "Damn it," he cursed, "why didn't you wake me, Beth? You didn't have to do all of this. What kind of host am I? Letting the guests do all the cooking? "

"It's nothing…really." Beth told him smiling. "It was my pleasure…a way to say thank you for your hospitality." She said as she walked to his bedside, looking every bit as good as the food she was carrying.

She was wearing the old Soul jersey he had given her the night before. It danced tantalizingly across her thighs with every graceful stride she made towards him. Jon scooted up on the bed, propping himself up on pillows against the headboard and she laid the tray across his lap, crossing her arms self consciously across her body the second they were empty. It was only then Jon realized he had been staring at her. He turned his attention to the tray on his lap.

"And what a thank you it is." Jon looked at the cooked breakfast before him. Scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes with banana and maple syrup were piled high on the plate, and a mug of steaming aromatic black coffee sat off to the side. The morning newspaper was also there along with a glass of orange juice. "I hope you're planning to help me eat this?"

Beth shook her head, "Nope…it's all yours. I had toast and coffee while I cooked. That's more than enough for me. Besides, I have to head back down and clean up." She told him, watching as he began devouring the meal.

"Oh no you don't," Jon reached out and grabbed her hand, "stay….please….talk with me while I eat. I will be the one to do the cleaning up. You've done far too much already."

Beth glanced around the room for somewhere to sit before coming up empty and finally perching tentatively on the edge of the bed. He watched her covertly, even while he appeared to be focused on his food, and was happy to see that he had her full attention. He was used to women looking at him – it came with the job – but when Beth looked at him in that same way, it gave him a certain kind of pleasure that he usually didn't experience. Beneath the downy duvet he was naked, rock hard and straining - a fact that could only be partially attributed to his usual early morning wood - and was grateful for the soft plump folds of fabric and the breakfast tray that hid the evidence of exactly what that certain kind of pleasure was.

"Really Jon…it's nothing," she paused for a moment and he looked up at her. He could see she was choosing her words carefully. "I'm sorry about last night….you know… Frankie and all," she finally settled on.

He smiled at her softly, "Bethie, honey, you have nothing to be sorry for. And I'm not sorry at all. Seeing you looking like that made it all worthwhile." He chuckled to lighten the gravity of his words.

Beth blushed, "Oh, stop you." She slapped his leg beneath the covers. "You weren't supposed to see that."

"Oh, but baby…I'm so glad I did," he said wiggling his eyebrows.

"Jon!" she exclaimed in shock.

"What? Is it wrong to enjoy looking at a beautiful woman?" he asked her.

"Stop it," she blushed.

Jon sobered then, "Bethie…can I ask you something a little personal?" He didn't wait for a response. "I ah…well…" he stammered, "I think it's pretty obvious that I'm attracted to you…and believe me…this isn't something I planned," her pretty blush and small smile gave him the courage to continue, "And I realize this is the worst timing in the world, for both of us. But Bethie, what I'm feeling for you, it's more than just physical, and I guess what I'm wondering is…well, I'm wondering if you feel the same about me?"

"Oh Jon," she sighed, "I can't deny that I've had those feelings too." A huge grin broke across his face. "But we have to look at this realistically. It's just because both of us are hurting, me because I miss Branson and you because you miss what you once had with Dot….then throw this whole mess with Frankie and Gina in there…well you can see what I'm saying can't you?"

But Jon hadn't heard a single word past her admission that she felt the same as him. A warm glow had spread throughout his body, he was having trouble concentrating, and a goofy grin had affixed itself to his face. He lifted the tray from his lap, leaned over and set it on the floor beside the bed.

"You have a little syrup…," Beth pointed to his chin, where he dutifully wiped.

"No, that's not it." She reached forward and swiped at the offending drop with her thumb.

That slight touch sent his pulse racing. He gazed deep into her eyes, captured her hand and drew her syrup covered thumb into his mouth. It was definitely a taste he wanted more of.

"Oh Jesus Beth…" he whispered huskily, and reached up behind her neck, tangling his fingers in her curls and pulling her forward until their lips met in a fiery kiss.

He was encouraged as her body relaxed and melded into his. He deepened the kiss, tasting her slowly…fully. His hands roamed up and down her back in luxurious circles, the right running over her firm behind and forward onto the silky skin of her thigh.

Never losing contact with her lips, Jon moved over on the bed and dragged her down beside him until she was laying full length along his body, her body fitting his perfectly even though she laid on top of the covers. He let his hand drift down to her knee and hooked it over his hip before tracing a path up the back of her thigh and under the loose fabric of the jersey. He sighed contentedly when his fingers found the edge of the risqué panties he had seen the evening before. He grasped the bottom edge of the jersey and looked to her for permission. A slight nod was the only prompting he needed. Beth raised her torso slightly off the bed and he dragged the jersey over her head in one movement.

"Frankie?" he asked, as his attention narrowed to the exposed puckered peaks of her breasts.

"Gone." She said simply.

Jon looked down the length of her body and chucked lightly. Beth raised a questioning eyebrow in his direction.

"These," he said as he run a finger under the elastic in her panties, "very nearly got me in a lot of trouble last night."

"That's only fair," Beth replied breathily as his finger sank a little lower into the lace, "it would seem they are going to get me into a lot of trouble now."

"Oh honey," he growled, "You have no idea." He captured her mouth in another mind-numbing kiss, before dragging the covers out from between them which earned a sharp intake of breath from Beth when she realized he was naked..

"You like what you see baby?" he asked her.

"Oh honey," she said, throwing his words back at him, "you have no idea."

But he thought he did. She practically devoured him with her eyes. He dragged her back to him, loving the feel of her pressed against him, skin to skin, her nipples pressing insistently into his firm chest. His hands roamed over her body as he continued to seduce her with his mouth, until she captured one hand and placed it over her breast. He moaned…she moaned in response to him.

He moved his hand from her breast and she arched up in protest, so he replaced it with his mouth, freeing his hand to travel down to the warmth between her thighs. He slipped under the lace of her panties once again, and into the soft curls that modestly covered her sex. She instantly bucked against his hand. He slipped a finger between her folds and gently worked her sensitive little nub.

Beth purred with pleasure, "Oh…Jon…I need…" her voice trailed off, but she guided his hand deeper into her flesh, showing him exactly what it was that he needed. Her body squirmed under his ministrations.

She was warm and welcoming and so very wet. As he slid a finger further into her silky depths, he marveled at the tightness he found. The fact that she had never borne children, had in this respect served her well. A groan rumbled deep in his chest.

"I want you inside me Jon…now…I can't wait…"

"I want you to come for me Bethie…"

"And I want you to feel me coming….from the inside…" she growled in his ear.

"Oh fuck Beth…" What this woman could do to him with a few well chosen words. He was ready to come all over her.

"Please…" she begged, as she wrapped her hand around his straining cock, pumping slowly up and down its full length.

Jon rose up on his haunches and immediately missed her warmth. In one swift swipe her panties were off her and on the floor on the other side of the room. Her legs parted inviting him in, showing him exactly what was waiting for him. He stalked up her body and hovered just above her, suspended on his knees and elbows. Beth reached between them and took his rigid pulsing length in her hand and guided it to her core, rubbing the tip up and down the length of her folds and over her sensitized clit a few times before placing him at her entrance and arching off the bed to embed him there. As soon as she had him where she wanted him, she pulled his weight down on top of her, and sighed contentedly.

Jon slipped easily into her welcoming heat. "Oh Christ, Bethie," he exclaimed, "you're so wet…so tight." She pulsed around him as she flexed all the right muscles, to show him just how tight she could be. "Fuck!" he growled. He lay still inside her for a long moment, just enjoying the fit of their complimentary bodies. It felt as if they were made for each other…two halves of a whole. Her body welcomed him like a warm silky glove.

He began to move within her slowly, with long steady sure stokes.

"Oh Jon…," she murmured in his ear between sweet kisses, "I've dreamed of this…so many times…" she added on a sigh.

"Me too baby..." he said. "I've also dreamed of this," he said as he swiped a thumb over her nipple, eliciting a purr from her. "And this…" he added, when he took that same nipple in his mouth and sucked, gently nipping and licking at the puckered flesh. Beth's hand threaded into his hair holding him to her breast and her body arched off the bed in pleasure.

Jon was thrumming with sensation. His cock caressed by her silky depths, his mouth around her sweet flesh and her tantalizing fingers trailing all over body. He reveled in them all, together and separately. He breathed deeply of their mingling scents, the heady aroma of their sex. He moved his lips back to hers to taste her fully, and felt her soft contented moans reverberate in his mouth. He opened his eyes to gaze into hers, completing his sensory banquet, they were alight with passion and tenderness.

Beth threaded one hand into his hair and together with the gentle pressure of her hand on his back, drew his full weight down on her, tilting her head to show exactly where she wanted his mouth next. He was happy to oblige, trailing his tongue up the length of her slender neck before latching onto her earlobe and sucking gently.

"So beautiful…." he whispered, his breath a welcome caress to her overheated flesh.

Jon changed the motion of his pelvis to slow circular grinds. Beth groaned and grabbed at his ass, her nails biting into the firm flesh…it only urged him on more, propelling him to higher levels of arousal than he thought possible. Her ankles hooked around his calves, her thighs opening to him even wider. Her hips began to undulate up off the bed, meeting each of his strokes with one of her own. Her breathing became nothing more than shallow pants, every little sound that escaped her was music to his ears…the most erotic symphony.

Before he knew what was happening, Jon was flat on his back and Beth was straddling his hips. Her warm hands were woven into the hair on his chest, her neatly manicured nails flicking at already pert nipples.

"Ohhh Jon," she sighed as her eyes fluttered closed and she lost her self to the sensation.

Her hips undulated above him as she rocked back and forth, leaning forward just enough so that her clit was stimulated with each movement. With her eyes still closed as they were he was free to study her. Her ample breasts, nipples tight and puckered, heaved with breathless gasps, her head was thrown back with abandon causing her silky hair to tickle and caress his thighs, one side of her plump bottom lip, now flushed with color from their kisses, was clasped firmly between her teeth. Her eyelashes fluttered, as if she felt him watching her. She looked at him briefly and offered him a shy smile before averting her eyes. Her head rolled over her shoulder and back, her face looking up to the ceiling once again, as a moan escaped her.

Beth removed one hand from his chest and bought it to her own, caressing her flesh and worrying a nipple, pinching it between her thumb and forefinger. The sight was too much for Jon. He grasped her ass, one hand on each cheek, holding her firmly on him as he lurched up to a sitting position and sucked her free breast into his mouth.

Beth's legs curled around behind him and his splayed out in a lotus position, his feet tucking up to the back of her ass, prompting her closer. Her hands moved to caress his back. Her gentle fingers fluttering over his flesh, soothing his worries, teasing and tantalizing, pulling him ever closer to her.

The couple remained like this for several minutes, reveling in each other's bodies, sharing long languid kisses, never relinquishing their sensual embrace. Jon moved both hands to her breasts, massaging them for a while before slipping one down between them and thumbing her clit. Beth arched and rocked against it, her pace becoming increasingly fevered. He latched onto a nipple with his mouth, flicking mercilessly as he sucked the rippled peak into his mouth. And then she was groaning and crying out his name in ecstasy.

Jon held Beth close until her breathing had steadied, and then rolled her back down onto the mattress, careful not to lose the intimate connection of their bodies. Every now and then he would feel he pussy grip his cock in the aftershocks of her orgasm. It was the most exquisite torture.

He propped himself on his elbows and cradled her face in his hands. "Let me see you baby," he whispered to her softly, brushing her hair back from her face as he started to rock gently back and forth above her. He pressed a chaste kiss to her lips and then proceeded to lavish them all over her face. Soft, gentle, tender kisses intended to show her that this was more than a sex, more than a fling… she was cherished, now and forever.

Her breath hitched and he felt her body begin to convulse around him once again, and to his surprise – his very pleasant surprise – she did not turn away from him as he had expected, but had captured his gaze and held it as she screamed his name in her release. Beth's orgasm triggered his own. His back arched as her silken depths clutched at his steely aching length, milking every last drop of cum from his body.

Jon awoke with a start. His hand was pumping furiously at his cock and cum was splattered all over his stomach and chest. "God Damn it," he grumbled, "I'm way too old for this shit. Wet dreams for Christ sakes...what the fuck…." He complained to the empty room.

He reached for a tissue from the box on the side table, cleaned himself as best he could and then headed for the bathroom, more than a little annoyed with himself. Shit what was he? A fucking teenager? Damn her and her fucking lingerie, he thought.

He emerged from the bathroom twenty minutes later, cleaner but no less annoyed than when he'd entered. He opened his bedroom door and the smell of breakfast immediately assaulted his senses. He checked the length of the hallway. Both doors to the guest rooms were open. He peered into Beth's as he passed. The bed had been made and her things were sitting on the end of it, but she was nowhere in sight.

He stomped down the stairs, grabbed the newspaper off the table in the entry – it was always placed there by the care taker when he was in residence – and marched into the kitchen.

Beth turned from the cooktop when she heard him enter. "Good Morning," she said cheerfully, a slight blush creeping into her cheeks. She couldn't help it.

"What's good about it?" he grumbled.

"Like that is it?" She didn't wait for an answer. "You want some breakfast?"

Jon ignored her question, "Where's Frankie?"

"Gone. She left about an hour ago…" Beth said.

"Damn it," he cursed.

Beth ignored him and continued, "She asked me to say thank you and that she was looking forward to tonight."

"Yeah, I just bet she is." He muttered caustically.

"OK…that's enough!" Beth said, throwing the spatula into the pan and rounding on him. "I don't know what happened to you since I saw you last, and frankly I don't give a damn. Maybe you're this much of an ass every morning…and if that's the case I'm surprised Dot didn't divorce your ass years ago. Regardless…I don't have to put up with it. I have obviously out stayed my welcome here so if you will just call me that car… I will be out of your hair before you know it."

Jon didn't think he had ever seen her look so beautiful as she did in that moment, all full of passion and fire. Granted the passion was misdirected, but that could be fixed. She was wearing the pants she had worn to the press conference, and the shirt he had loaned her the night before. Her nipples protruded proudly beneath the soft fabric. Oh Christ…no bra, he thought, his eyes fixated there.

"I'm sorry Beth," he mumbled without raising his eyes.

"You know it would be polite to look me in the eyes as you apologize… instead of staring at my tits" she said coldly.

"Huh..wha..?" Jon finally lifted his eyes. "Oh shit Beth…I'm sorry. I didn't have a great night, that's all. I didn't mean to take it out on you. You could never outstay your welcome here. My home is your home."

"Hardly," she said dryly and turned back to the cooktop. "Do you want any of this before I toss it all?"

"I'd love some. Thanks. And…sorry…again."

"I'm not one to put up with shit Jon." Beth said sternly, "You'd do best to remember that. I'm not one of your minions."

"I never thought…" he stopped mid sentence and tried for a change of subject, "So where did Frankie go…and how?"

Beth scowled but answered none the less. "She had to get some things sorted at the gallery. I assume she'll be wanting to leave early this afternoon to get ready for the big night out. And as for the how…she had a boyfriend pick her up."

"She had a what…?" Jon exclaimed, bringing his hand up to a suddenly throbbing temple.

Beth took a deep breath and sighed. "Relax Jon. It's nothing serious…though...not through lack of Jai's wanting." She indicated to the table. "Sit…your foods almost ready," she said as she retrieved a plate from the counter and started filling it with food.

Jon dropped into the nearest chair, placed his elbows on the counter and rested his head in his hands. His head was pounding out a steady rhythm, and it was taking all of his energy not to ogle Beth. Within seconds there was a plate placed before him, soon followed by a steaming cup of black coffee and two small white pills. He glanced at Beth questioningly.

"Tylenol," she said simply, placing a glass of water in his hand.

Jon retrieved the tablets and threw them into his mouth, then took a large gulp of the water.

"Thank you," he said and turned his attention to the plate before him.

Beth sat down at the opposite side of the counter and slid a knife and fork in his direction. Jon reached for the cutlery and their fingers met. A jolt of electricity zapped up both of their arms, their eyes locked and their breath quickened. They moved towards each other involuntarily, inching closer and closer across the counter until they could each feel the other's breath on their face….and then the toaster popped and the spell was broken.

Beth jumped backwards and spun towards the offending appliance at an alarming rate, busying herself with the golden bread to avoid looking at Jon. He once again studied his plate…this time a little more carefully and gave a wry chuckle. The plate before him could have been pulled directly from his dream.

"What's so funny?" Beth asked despite herself, placing the plate of toast on the counter.

"Never mind…it was nothing."

"Jon?" she cocked an eyebrow.

"Fine," he said exasperated, she asked for it. "I dreamed this…you making breakfast…you making this breakfast. Only in my dream…."

"What?" she pushed.

"In my dream you delivered it to my bed."

The following silence was deafening. Beth's thoughts immediately returned to her dream – cooking had provided her with somewhat of a distraction until that moment. As for Jon…well his thoughts had never really left his…a fact that was somewhat evident by the uncomfortable fit of his pants.

Beth stole a look at him. He was pushing his food around his plate, a small – and annoyingly cute - grin turning up the corner of his mouth. He looked up at her furtively to see she was blushing profusely, her attention focused very intently on her manicured nails. He immediately looked back down at his food, he didn't know why his statement had her so rattled, but he wasn't going to risk raising her ire a second time within the hour by asking her.

Jon finally broke the silence a few minutes later. "Do I need to apologize again?"

"What for?" Beth asked as she stacked the dishwasher.

"I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable, Bethie," he explained, "I was just teasing."

"Oh, I know that Jon," she brushed him off, "don't even mention it…it was nothing."

Jon rose and took Beth gently by the arm, pulling her upright so that she was looking into his face. "Are you sure?"

"Of course," she squeaked, her flippant reply belied by her traitorous voice. Her heart was pounding with his proximity. Her flesh was alight under his touch and her stomach clutched and released and clutched and released. "I better go get dressed," she said abruptly, putting as much space between them as she could before she did something to embarrass herself – like ohh…pushing him against the counter and taking him where he stood. "I need to get home…could you please call me that car?" she asked from the doorway.

"Don't be silly Beth…I'm driving you in. Get yourself sorted. I'll finish up here…I'm ready to go when you are." He told her and smiled kindly.

"Thank you…I'll be ready in five." She said and rushed from the room, hoping that she would be able to contain her scattered emotions until she was locked behind the safety of her own door.

Jon shook his head as he watched her leave – bolt from, really– the room. Could it be possible her behavior was the result of the attraction Dot had told him she saw? Did he dare to hope that it was? The only thing he knew for sure was that every second he spent with her, he was further enthralled by her charms and there was less chance that he would ever escape them.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chapter 22

Twenty minutes later Jon was freshly showered and pulling on a pair of low slung pale grey sweats. They had been the bane of Dot's existence, hanging around since the New Jersey tour back in '89 but they were his favorite pair. Now threadbare to the point of holes and super soft from years of laundering, he knew that they were well past their use by date but could not bear to part with them. Dot had tried on several occasions to entice him with new ones of the exact same brand and type but it was never the same...they weren't his…they weren't this pair.

As he was sliding into them he realized that the girls probably didn't have anything they could wear to bed. He crossed the hall to the bedroom he had shared with Dot – the one where his clothes remained - and pulled two of his T-shirts from the top drawer and slung them over his arm.

He rubbed the towel that had been draped around his neck through his dripping hair once more before discarding it and heading for Beth's room. He knocked at the door and waited for her reply. When none came he called her name softly, not really wanting to draw Frankie's attention to the fact that he was there. When there was still no response he tried the knob. It was open. He turned it so slowly that the mechanism of the lock barely made a sound. As the door swung inward it revealed a sight that took Jon's breath away.

Beth was emerging from the bathroom, her hands busy at her back with the clasp of her bra…an unbelievably sexy pink and black sheer lace creation - La Perla if he had to guess – that came with equally sinful barely there panties. HOLY SHIT! In all of Jon's wildest fantasies he could never have imagined the moment to be this good…never have imagined that she would look so…ooohhhh! Who would have thought that his practical little Bethie would sport under garments that were quite so racy? And while it was what drew his attention initially, it certainly wasn't what he was focusing on now. He took in the rounded curve of her breast, the tapered line of her waist, the long toned length of her legs, and skin so soft it practically begged him to touch it. He suddenly felt the blood rush to his groin and a low strangled moan escaped him as his eyes travelled over her delicious body.

Beth turned her attention to the door, her eyes widening as she realized she had an audience, at the exact same time that the last hook securing her bra snapped open. She inhaled sharply, her arms crossing protectively over her breasts as the straps of her bra slipped of her shoulders. Blushing profusely, she couldn't keep her gaze from traveling over his muscular…tanned...perfect body…the broad expanse of his firm chest, the proud nipples that jutted out from their nest of brown and silver fur, those defined washboard abs and the protruding hip bones that formed a distinct V pointing the way to where her eyes finally came to rest - on the prominent twitch in his low-riding sweats. Oh. My. God. What she could do with that twitch.

"Jon! What are you doing in here?" she gasped.

"I um...ah…oh fuck me!" he stuttered.

"Um …yeah… I think…NOT!" was Frankie's response from right behind him. She stepped around him to stand protectively before her mother. "Would you mind looking away there Jon"

Jon's eyes closed as he realized his daughter had witnessed his moment of weakness. "Fuck," he uttered under his breath.

"Mother…get some clothes on, would you?" she hissed, pointing to the bathroom.

Jon threw one of the T shirts he was carrying across the room to Beth, who let it fall at her feet. No way was she moving her arms from her breasts. "I was just bringing you these," he said lightly, flinging another at Frankie, trying to distract himself from the vision of loveliness before him.

Frankie caught the shirt he'd flung at her and handed it to her mother saying "Mom please…put it on." She pleaded, before bending down to retrieve the other shirt.

At her daughters urging Beth fled into the bathroom.

Frankie turned on Jon, "What in the hell do you think you're doing?" She hissed through clenched teeth.

"I ah...I was just bringing you both something to sleep in. I didn't want you to be uncomfortable," he said, looking rather uncomfortable himself in that moment.

"Yeah right," she muttered dismissively, as she took in his half naked form and her gaze paused on the telltale sign of his arousal. "Jon, we talked about this…you assured me you wouldn't be acting on these feelings. I can't believe this. Christ you didn't even last the night out."

"I swear Frankie…it wasn't like that. I meant what I said tonight…I'm not ready for any of this…"

"Looks like you're ready."

"You are old enough to know that there is a world of difference between being physically and emotionally ready." He replied.

"Well would you mind doing something about that," she said looking pointedly at his poorly disguised erection.

Jon shifted uncomfortably and adjusted the front of his pants, then stopped and wondered what the hell he was doing. He had done nothing wrong and he was sick to death of defending himself to this insolent child. "Hell Frankie… I'm so done having these conversations…I don't have to explain myself to you."

"Whatever Jon, but seeing the physical manifestation of your attraction for my mother is not something I enjoy." She said coolly.

"Get the fuck over it Frankie," he snapped. "You are in my house now and I expect more respect than you are presently showing. We're all adults here…at least I thought we were, but the way you're behaving now reminds me of Stephy at about thirteen."

Frankie scowled at him but her focus turned to the bathroom as the door opened. Beth emerged from the room, she was dressed in her own clothes once more, but there was now a relaxed grace in which she wore them. Her silken sapphire blouse hung loose over her black wool knit pants. His eyes were drawn to the expanse of creamy white skin at her collar. As his gaze drifted a little further afield it was evident to him that she no longer wore the lingerie that was so clearly emblazoned on his brain.

Beth saw the mutinous expression on her daughters face and the aggravated expression on Jon's and knew that there was another situation she would likely have to diffuse. "What's going on here?"

"Nothing…" they said in unison. Beth looked between them suspiciously but said nothing. For the next few moments the silence in the room was deafening before Jon broke it.

"Look, I've done what I came to," he said. "I'm gonna head to bed…it's been a long day…" He knew there was no way Frankie would be leaving Beth alone in his presence, and it really had been a long day…they all needed a good night's sleep.

He crossed the room and placed a hand on Beth's upper arm, leant in and kissed her gently on the cheek. "Good night, honey." He whispered softly and smiled as she let out a barely audible sigh.

He just hadn't been able to resist the opportunity to get close to her…if only for those few brief seconds. As it was the warmth of her body begged him to stay…but he tore himself away. As he passed Frankie he bent to lay a soft kiss on her forehead… "Goodnight sweetheart… sleep well." He said and looking at her pointedly.

When the door finally clicked closed behind him Beth turned immediately to her daughter, "What just happened here Frances?"

"Isn't that what I should be asking you? What were you thinking? Parading around before him in your underwear? Honestly Mom, are you trying to seduce him?" Frankie asked.

"As usual you have misinterpreted what you have seen, but regardless Frances, what I was thinking is certainly none of your concern. If I choose to seduce him that would be well within my rights" Beth admonished.

The look of shock on her daughters face almost…almost bought a smile to Beth's.

"The hell it isn't my concern." Frankie said

"Watch your mouth with me young lady. I seems I have had to remind you way too often lately about minding your manners."

"Well hell Mom if you insist on bedding a Rock Star…" Frankie let the sentence trail off.

"Just because I'm attracted to him, that doesn't mean I'm going to act on it. Your father hasn't even been gone a year and besides, what's to say Jon feels the same?"

"Oh please mother, don't be so naïve. His attraction to you was pretty evident."

"Come on Frankie…if that's the case it's only a physical reaction because he hasn't been getting any at home lately," Beth said. "Things haven't been good between them for a long time now. Did he tell you they are divorcing?"

"He may have mentioned something in passing…but one thing has nothing to do with the other," she would not be deterred from this line of conversation.

"Come on honey, you're a smart girl…given everything that has gone down, do you honestly think that his first foray back into the dating scene would be with me? There are just far too many complications…especially given the press conference and all the denials that were just made…how would that look? Can you imagine how damaging that would be to him?" Beth reasoned.

"You know what Mom…I really don't think he gives a shit. When that man wants something he takes it and worries about the consequences later. I mean hell…just look at what he did to Gina."

Outside Beth's door, Jon frowned. He had stuck around to see if Frankie would give his feelings up to her mother, and while he was pleased that she hadn't done so, he couldn't help feeling that her comment about Gina was a betrayal. It seemed for every two steps forward, they were taking one back. And while he knew Beth's opinion about why a relationship between the two of them would be a mistake was logical, he also knew that he couldn't stop thinking about her…that he wanted to be close to her. Even the most common place moments like the simple act of kissing her cheek and saying goodnight seemed comfortable, natural…the way it had been with Dot, many, many years before.

Jon heard footsteps heading for the door and quickly ducked back into his bedroom before he could be discovered. Even after all he had heard, his cock apparently had a mind of its own - still semi erect in his pants…with a sigh he headed back to the bathroom for his second shower of the night. This one would be decidedly cooler.

Finally alone in her room Beth headed to the bathroom for her much anticipated shower. She turned on the faucets, then stood before the full length mirror and tried to see herself as Jon had seen her….for, while she had rejected Frankie's observations, she had seen the way Jon had looked at her and the evidence of his favorable assessment.

She stepped into the steaming hot stream of water and ran her hands over her svelte body. She had to admit she was in good shape for her age. Her body was trim and toned, her hair still thick and lustrous, and while her face now had more lines than it did - even into her thirties - they somehow added to her beauty rather than detracted from it. She was aging gracefully. But Jon Freakin' Bon Jovi! Hell he could have any woman he wanted. She had watched them all fawn over him at the Gala. Women half her age tripping over themselves and each other to get close to him…women much less complicated than her. And while the idea that he was attracted to her pleased her, she couldn't help but think she would only be a passing fancy…and that was something she would never allow herself to be.

It was a good half an hour later that Beth slipped naked, as she always did, between the sinfully indulgent fine linen of Jon's guest bed. The silky softness of the 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton felt like a whisper against her skin, already soothing away the day's stresses. She snuggled in beneath the light fluffy down duvet, placed her head on the soft down pillow and allowed her mind to drift…

Despite her best effort her thoughts kept bringing her back to the same image…of Jon…in her doorway, staring at her with passion firing in his eyes, his hard body tense with desire and ready. Ready for her. There was a knock at the door and Beth started. She rubbed her eyes absently and tried to focus on the figure standing in the backlit doorframe.

"Jon?" she asked disoriented from slumber.

The figure made no sound but slipped into the room shutting the door behind him. She was not afraid…it could only have been him. He was the only man in the house.

Only the light of the full moon drifting through the open drapes afforded her some visibility. He moved quietly around the room and came to rest at her bedside, standing over her…staring intently. It took her a few moments to realize that in sleep the duvet had drifted down and exposed her breasts. She reached to pull it up, but his raspy voice gave her pause.

"Leave it," he said hoarsely, "I want to look at you." And her hand froze.

His eyes were alight with passion, his breathing uneven. She could see the tense line of his shoulders as he struggled to retain control.

"I want to touch you," he groaned, but he made no effort to move.

Beth raised herself on one elbow and reached her hand out towards him. He allowed her to take his hand and draw him forward until his thighs were pressed against the side of the mattress, and then he moaned as she guided that same hand to her breast.

His touch was a blaze on her skin, as he gently kneaded the soft mound of sensitive flesh. Slowly Beth lowered herself back down to the mattress, and he followed. She reached up with her right hand and cupped the back of his neck and pulled his lips down to meet hers. The first touch was timid…uncertain…he sipped from her and waited for her reaction. When her tongue darted out to caress his lips, he deepened the exchange, taking all that she was offering and more. His tongue darted into her, giving her the first real taste of him…and it was better than she'd ever imagined. He was skilful and gentle, and he could do things with his mouth she had not known were possible. She ached to have it elsewhere on her body.

Again she reached up to him, reveling in the feel of soft skin over hard flesh as she traced the line of his ribs up over his back to pull him down to her. He braced himself with a hand beside her head and a knee on the bed and paused.

"Why are you stopping?" she asked him.

"Is this what you want Bethie? Am I want you want?" he asked, eyes dark blue with passion.

Beth paused and for a moment so did time. She tried to remember why this was a bad idea, tried to remember why it was wrong, tried to remember Branson…but all she could see was Jon, all she could feel was Jon…all that she wanted… was Jon.

She pulled his mouth to hers once more, "Don't stop," she whispered against his mouth.

He groaned, "God Beth, are you sure? …'cause once we start this, I don't think I can stop."

"I don't want you to. I want to feel your weight on me. I want to feel your skin against mine. I want to feel you inside me. Take me Jon…I need you to…" he cut her words off with a kiss. He had apparently heard all he needed to.

"Take them off," she uttered feverishly against his lips.

He didn't need to be told twice. Jon pushed himself off the bed. Beth watched as he slid his sweats down over his straining erection and let them pool at his feet before stepping out of them. He stood there for a long moment and allowed her to admire him. And admire him she did.

He was backlit from the soft yellow glow of light that flowed in from the cracked bathroom door. His skin still held a hint of golden summer tan. She watched the play of his muscles as he absently ran a hand through his short brown hair. His nipples were tight hard peaks, his abs tight and rippled. A line of dark fur drew her eyes downward. His erection was magnificent. It stood proud from his midsection, purple and straining and reaching for the sky. She immediately began to imagine what her mouth could do with it…what he would taste like. She bit down on her lip in anticipation.

Beth forced her eyes back to his…they were calm, smiling. In a bold move she threw back the duvet displaying herself to him and smiled with satisfaction as his expression changed, becoming dark and stormy. Gooseflesh rose over her body as his eyes surveyed their prize.

"Ohh fuck," he breathed, "you are so beautiful Bethie."

Beth looked up at him through hooded eyes. She held a hand out to him fingers splayed, and he entwined his in hers. She moved over slightly on the bed and pulled him down on top of her. She sighed under his weight.

"Am I hurting you baby?" he asked as he began to shift his weight from her.

"No…please," there was an edge of desperation in her tone, "stay there...you just…oohh Jon…you feel so good." She ran her hands up and down his back, drawing him closer to her. She could feel his hard length pressed into her thigh and tried to move against it but he had her pinned. His right leg parted her thighs and his torso covered hers as she dragged him in for their first full contact kiss.

His lips on hers were soft and warm but reserved, almost like he was unsure how to proceed. She wanted more. She caught his lower lip between hers and sucked gently and was rewarded with a "Mmmmm." She tried for another kiss but when she couldn't get the depth she desired she shifted her weight and rolled him so she was on top. It had been so long…too long. She needed this so bad, for while she had been able to orchestrate her own physical release, it had not given her the emotional attachment she craved…that she was starved for.

"Hey up there," he said grinning up at her, pleasantly surprised by her forcefulness.

"Hey yourself."

Straddled across Jon's hips and looking down at him, she could see herself reflected in his eyes and marveled at the wonton woman she saw there. Unable to draw her eyes away, she closed the distance between them, and covered his mouth with hers. This time he parted his lips and welcomed her in with his tongue. The kiss was slow, sensual and full of heat. For a long time they stayed like this and explored each other…tongues exploring mouths, hands exploring bodies.

The soft fine hair on his chest rubbed across her nipples with every movement. The hard rigid length of him prodded at her core, and she squirmed at the sensation, purring with satisfaction…soon it would be inside her…it would fill her and complete her….but not yet. She wanted this to last. And she wanted to taste him first.

Beth started at his neck with feather light kisses and gentle nips at his flesh. She dipped her tongue into the hollow at the base of his neck beneath his Adams apple and tasted the salty tang of him…he smelled good - of earthy spices …he tasted even better. She sat up so she could bring her hands to his chest and took them straight to his nipples…they were hard and straining and she felt them tighten further under her fingertips, then their mountainous little peaks under her palms as she spread her fingers through the fur. It tickled her lips as she bent to kiss them, and draw them into her mouth one by one. She was rewarded with a guttural groan.

Running her hands over the gentle undulations of his ribs and following them with her lips, Beth worked her way lower. She caressed his taut defined abs with both her hand and her mouth. When she reached his hips, she paused there to marvel at the sensual lines they created…a perfect treasure map to her final destination…but not yet. There was so much more of him to explore. She reached up, arching her back slightly, running her fingers through her hair to tame it somewhat and heard his sharp exhale when it fluttered over his manhood as she knew it would. She grinned as she pressed her lips to his pelvis and felt his fingers thread through her luxurious auburn waves, gently massaging her scalp with only the slightest pressure which still allowed her full movement. She licked the underside of one of those delicious curves, but stopped short of where he wanted her most...of where she wanted to be most. There was plenty of time for that.

Beth reached up and grabbed two pillows from the head of the bed and laid them, stacked, in line with his pelvis.

"Roll over," she instructed throatily.

Jon didn't hesitate, and rolled immediately. She settled onto her knees beside him. With his legs parted, his straining cock was on perfect display for her, thanks to the pillows upon which it now rested, its glistening tip pointing down to the bed. They served more than one purpose, not only preventing his glorious manhood from being hidden under his body, but also prominently displaying that perfectly toned and rounded ass. Oh. My. God! She just wanted to eat it. She bent down and nipped at the firm flesh. Not hard enough to actually hurt, but she got a "ouch" just the same.

"Shhhh," She soothed and lathed over it with her tongue, "I'm nowhere near done with you yet."

"Fuck me, Beth…" he exclaimed…it wasn't a request.

"Yes...we'll get to that," she assured him, "but right now I'm a little hungry."

She dipped her head between his legs and gave one long stroke with of her tongue up the length of his cock and over his balls and felt him shudder as he struggled to retain control. Pre-cum welled at the tip of his cock.

Beth slid up his body and whispered breathily in his ear, "Not yet baby. I'm not ready for you to cum just yet." She swirled her tongue around his ear and sucked on the lobe, giving him a taste of what he could expect. Her breasts pressed into his back and that perfectly manicured triangle between her legs rubbed across his ass.

"Christ Beth…I can't hold it much longer," his voice was shaky with need, "I need to be in you. I want to fuck you senseless. First that deliciously dirty mouth and then this." His hand reached back and went straight to the wet overheated flesh between her thighs and it was her turn to moan.

Though every fiber of her body wanted to lean into his touch, Beth pulled back from his hand. "Uh uh uh…not yet…" she chided, "you'll get your turn to play."

This wasn't about her yet. That time would come. And she knew that when it did, it would be all the better for waiting. She kissed down the length of his spine, all the while smoothing her hands over the muscles in his back that rippled beneath his olive skin. There was an amazing amount of strength in his compact frame. She knew that if he wanted to he could overpower her in seconds. And yet he stayed where he was. She ran her hands down the backs of his thighs and moved to settle herself between his legs.

"Are you ticklish Jon?" she asked mischievously.


"Are you sure?" laughter tinkled in her voice.

Jon nodded.

"Well no laughing then."

She leaned forward and let her hair fall over the sensitive skin behind his knees. She swished it back and forth a couple of times and felt him squirm beneath her hands, obviously affected, but not so much as a giggle escaped him.

"Very good," she said then trailed her hair up the back of his thighs, spreading them wider with her palms. It was time to get serious, her own need now acute.

Beth bent down and lavished attention on the juncture of his buttocks and thighs, licking and nibbling along the lines that led to the prize between his legs. He whimpered, and his body shook.

"Do you like that Jon?" she asked. "Do you want me to go lower?"

His hips arching up off the bed was her only response. She pressed a feather light kiss to the exposed underside of his sack and then flicked her tongue across it and inhaled deeply the musky scent of his arousal.

She took another lick up the length of his cock and asked, "You ready for me baby?"

"Fuck yeah," he growled.

"Then roll over so I can get to work."

He moved so rapidly she almost toppled of the bed. "Anxious are we there Rock Star?" She smiled down at him. Jon reached for her but she avoided his grasp. "No honey…lay down like a good boy."

He let out a frustrated groan, but did as she demanded. Laying back he entwined his fingers behind his head so he wouldn't be tempted to grab at her. Damn but he was a beautiful man, she thought, all tight coiled power in a perfect package.

Settled between his legs once more, her eyes travelled the length of his body hungrily, from the mirrored hunger in his eyes and down to the object of hers – his straining, purple, pulsing cock. Pre-cum oozed freely from the tip now and it was too hard to resist, she leant in for her first real taste, flicking her tongue out and lapping it up, licking her lips afterward.

"Jesus Bethie…please…" he begged, his voice cracking, "no more…please…please do me now."

"No more?" She smiled teasingly.

"No. More. Teasing." he said carefully pronouncing each word. "I need to be inside you…now."

Beth didn't hesitate any longer. She took his entire length in one stroke and moaned when she felt him hit the back of her throat. Peripherally, she saw his hands shoot out from behind his head to fist in the sheets beside his hips as they arched up of the bed, driving him further down her throat. She took it in her stride and drew back off him running her tongue up the underside of his dick as she went.

"Just a little longer baby," she murmured against his swollen tip, "you only have to hold on a little longer."

Beth took the top of his cock into her mouth, sucking lightly as she rolled her tongue around it, paying special attention to the sensitive area under the bottom of the head. She kissed down his length and one by one sucked his balls into her mouth, rolling them around gently before releasing them and licking her way back up, taking his length down her throat once more.

"Beth...Oh God …Beth…I'm gonna…"

Beths tone was stern, "No Jon, you're not, …not until I say you can."

"Beth please…" his tone was pure desperation, his stomach was rigid with his effort for control, his teeth clenching, his hands fisting and she was loving every second of the control she had over him.

Beth slid her mouth down his cock one last time. When she felt him at the back of her throat she growled, and the tenuous hold he had on his control snapped and he came with several jerks and a bone deep shudder.

The wetness between Beth's legs increased with every swallow. When he was done and she had licked him clean, she rolled back to lie on the bed beside him while he took a few moments to recover. He lay still, and panting, his eyes closed and shielded with one arm. He looked like he was out for the count but she was ready and she needed her own release…now. She had become so used to taking care of her own needs over the past year that her hand instinctively moved the junction of her thighs. Christ she was wet. Her fingers slipped easily between her folds and then she felt his hand on her wrist.

"What do you think you're doing Miss?" He was propped on his elbow, his eyes boring into hers, passion firing. He slipped his finger into her folds on top of hers. "I believe this is my job…though I'd hardly call this work." He dropped down and kissed her full on the lips, their tastes mingled. He kissed down the line of her neck and beyond until his lips enclosed around one exquisite nipple.

"It's your turn to lay still, baby. And not a sound, you hear?" he murmured against her flesh.

She moaned in protest.

"Ok, I think we can forgo that last bit," he whispered hoarsely, looking into her hooded eyes "you sound so fucking sexy when you moan. And I'm gonna make you scream. But Bethie…if you move…I'll stop."

He kissed slowly down the center of her torso, until she could feel his hot breath over her core. Her legs opened wider for him instinctively.

"Is this where you want me baby?"

"Yes…oh yes," she sighed.

"Let me see…are you ready for me?" He asked as he slid a finger deep inside her. It did nothing to satisfy her craving for his long hard length.

"So fucking wet…is that all for me?" His eyes burned with passion as he looked up the length of her body.

Her hips involuntarily lifted of the bed when he bought his mouth down to her and ran his tongue up the length of her slit, "Mmmm so sweet," he licked his lips savoring her taste, "but remember…no moving baby. You don't want me to stop do you?" He smiled when she shook her head.

"Ok, but I think this," he swiped his thumb over her clit, "…this will have to wait 'til you've calmed down some." He chuckled when she whimpered.

He positioned himself between her legs, on his knees and ran his hands down the backs of her thighs, and then moved to the end of the bed as he followed the length of her legs, over shapely calves down to delicate feet and dainty toes. He kissed the manicured digits one by one, taking some into his mouth and sucking on them gently, caressing them with his tongue all the while massaging her feet gently with skilled hands. Beth's legs shook with the effort it took not to flinch away from his touch. Her feet were insanely ticklish, and the attention he was lavishing on them would normally have earned him a kick in the nose. Just when Beth thought she could control her impulses no longer, he took mercy on her and started his journey back up her body.

It was a slow and sensuous trip, heavily punctuated with licks, nips and kisses. When he reached the apex of her thighs, just when she could once again feel his warm breath tickle her soft curls, he got up and stretched out beside her, and she felt that warm breath at her ear.

"You ready for me baby?" his voice was deeper than she'd ever heard it…rough.

"Please…" she whimpered.

"Please what Beth? Tell me what you want."

"I want you." She moaned.

"You have me….I'm right here."

"Not close enough," she muttered and reached for him.

"Now now Beth…what were those rules? Looks like someone needs to be punished…roll over baby." He told her, a mischievous glint in his eye.

Beth did as instructed and promptly felt the sting of his hand on her ass. His lips and his tongue were the salve that eased the pain. She moved on purpose, then flinched and moaned in ecstasy when he did it all again. He stilled her then made a point of laying feather light kisses on each of her vertebrae as he worked his way up her spine.

When Jon's hot kisses reached her neck, gooseflesh rose all over her. And when he finally ran a hand down the seam of her ass and dipped between her thighs body shuddered involuntarily with the promise of pleasure that was to come. Even as she lay on her stomach, he slid his finger through her soaking wet slit and applied the lightest pressure on her clit. In her over sensitized state, it was all it took to send her body into convulsions of ecstasy. A hoarse moan tore from her throat and she buried her face in the pillows to stifle it.

As her body stilled Jon rolled her over gently. Her thighs fell open ready to accept him into her and she reached for him.

"Oh…I'm not done yet," he said, as he leaned in for a long, hard, demanding, breathtaking kiss. "No where near done," he promised.

He kissed his way down her body a second time. There was a little more urgency this time around. His cock was once again purple and straining, but he was determined to have her scream before he satisfied himself.

He kissed her inner thighs and this time, when his mouth touched on her pussy, it did not move away, but lingered. He started with gentle kisses all over, up and down her slit and all over her mound. She heard the intake of breath as he breathed in her musky scent, and couldn't remember ever hearing anything sexier. He was relishing her, reveling in her body, in her sex. She felt wanted and for the first time in too long, she felt cherished. And then his tongue dipped into her slit and flicked over her clit and her world exploded in a myriad of sensation.

Her release was hard and fast but he didn't let up. He parted her lips gently with the fingers of one hand and dipped his tongue deep inside her, tasting her fully, feeling the remnants of the convulsions of her orgasm. It wasn't enough…she wasn't screaming…yet.

Jon licked up the length of her slit and latched into her clit with his lips just as he slid two fingers deep into her hot wet flesh. He found that special place inside her and began to exert gentle pressure there as his tongue flicked lightly over her erect little nub. Within seconds, Beth was squirming and writhing beneath his mouth. Her hands fisted in his hair, pushing him down, trying to pull him away. It was the most exquisite form of torture. She felt, rather than saw him smile against her flesh. She had never known a man that enjoyed pleasuring a woman so much…and he did, very obviously, enjoy this.

When he felt the flesh around his fingers begin to quiver with the onset of release, Jon took one last hard suck on Beth's clit and drove her over the edge. Her vision momentarily blacked out, and there was a strange ringing in her ears. It took her a few seconds to realize that it was her own screams of pleasure.

Jon rode her hard until the last wave. Just when she thought she was going to have a moment to recover he positioned himself over her and asked, "So you ready to do that again?" He didn't wait for her response; his own need now was too great. With a single thrust he was balls deep into her, and GOD but he felt good.

"Ohhh God Jon…" His mouth covered hers and silenced her as he began to move, long slow strokes that left her empty then filled her completely. She could taste herself on his tongue and found that it was an incredible aphrodisiac, as she remembered the pleasure he had taken in pleasing her. As his thrusts became more urgent, she wrapped her legs around his waist and moved with him, angling her pelvis, drawing him deeper into her. The weight of his upper body was suspended on his elbows. Her nails dug into his back and she bit down hard on her lip to keep from screaming in his ear. He drew her lip from between her teeth and sucked it into his mouth.

"Oh yeah….oh baby…" he murmured against her collarbone as he nuzzled into her neck.

She turned her face towards him and licked at a bead of sweat that was running down his temple, she laid kisses across his face until she once again possessed his mouth with hers. She felt rather than heard the deep rumbling groan that indicated his imminent release. It vibrated through her and sparked her own.

He broke his mouth away from hers in time to moan, "Fuck Beth I'm gonna...I shit….aghhhh…"

He came hard as her pussy clenched around him. Her nails bit into the hard flesh of his ass, holding him inside her, as his cock pulsed over and over again in release. She knew he was finally spent when he collapsed on top of her, his weight a comforting presence.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chapter 21

After dinner Frankie returned to her movie in the family room and Jon and Beth retired to his office to wait for the car.

"Will you share a bottle of wine with me while we wait?" he asked. "I promise no more hard stuff."

"Maybe just one glass. Thank you. It's kinda been a tough day all round." Beth rubbed her hands over her face and moved to take a seat on the sumptuous leather sofa that sat opposite his desk.

Jon popped the cork on a bottle of red, poured two generous glasses and handed one to her. She watched as he sniffed the bouquet and nodded - apparently satisfied - and took a sip. Lounging casually on the front edge of his desk, his feet crossed at the ankles, swirling the ruby liquid around his glass, he was a picture of self-assuredness. Not to mention stunningly beautiful, so much so, he made her mouth water. She took a large gulp from her wine glass.

It was good, rich and satisfying, just as she imagined him to be. Christ, she was thinking like that after only five minutes alone with the man, how was she going to get through the next hour. Apparently it had been far too long since she had had any physical contact with a man and it appeared her hormones were writing checks her brain just wasn't ready to cash. She was damn sure her body was though…it was reacting in ways she didn't even remember.

"You can say that again." He said, watching the stress play across her face. But there was something else there as well. He studied her a little more closely, noticed the shallowness of her breathing and the nervous way she was toying with her wine glass, running her fingers constantly up and down the stem. It was out of place for the woman who was usually so calm and collected. He bit back a curse as his groin tightened involuntarily. He adjusted his stance accordingly.

Unaware of his discomfort Beth blurted out the question she had been worried about for hours. "Jon, can I ask you something?" Beth asked cautiously, still a little upset over his demeanor earlier.

"I guess…" he wasn't sure if he was in the mood for twenty questions…not even from her.

"Have I caused problems between you and Dot? I feel just awful about what happened outside this afternoon."

Jon sighed heavily…he had so hoped not to go into this tonight. All he wanted was to forget…forget the divorce…forget it all, but he certainly couldn't have Beth feeling that she, or particularly Frankie, were responsible for what was about to go down. It would be better if he could discuss it with her here and now rather than her hearing it second hand later.

He closed the distance between them in two strides and perched on the coffee table before her, leaning forward so that his elbows rested on his knees, his hands clutching the wine glass between them. The posture had his face so close to hers she could clearly see the minute imperfections the camera usually missed… the small freckle just to the left of his nose, the fine lines at the corners of his eyes that were now a permanent feature even when he wasn't smiling, it made him seem so much more real to her… not the celebrity, not the rock star… just Jon.

Jon noticed that she seemed to squirm uncomfortably in her seat and wondered if it was his nearness that caused it. He was unsure how much of what Frankie had told him he should take at face value. Nevertheless, Beth certainly seemed to have a heightened awareness of his proximity…hmmmm….

"I'm not going to tell you everything is ok, Beth. I can't lie to you, but what is happening between Dorothea and myself has been a long time in the making. This thing with Frankie is just the latest in a very long line of problems that we have been dealing with," he explained. He paused for a long moment, lost in thought, intently focused on some small imperfection in the flooring, then he blurted, "She asked for a divorce today Beth." Shit, he hadn't meant to say that.

"Oh…I'm sorry Jon…" Beth lowered her eyes to the ground, the hurt in his was just too real…too raw. "Is there any way you can work it out?"

"No," he shook his head, "There's no going back from this. Things have been bad for so long now that I barely remember them being right. But fuck Beth…that's why I expected this to be easy and it's…it's so….it's just not."

Beth leaned forward and hesitantly placed her palm on his face, and stroked her thumb across his cheekbone, "Oh sweetie, I'm so sorry."

He wanted to melt into that touch…wanted to do so much more but recognized that this was not the time to be doing that. God but he wanted to though…he wanted the comfort she offered and he wanted that offer to extend to more than her hand. He wanted to be wrapped around her…wrapped up in her. But of course that wasn't right, so instead he dropped his eyes to focus again on the spot on the carpet and simply said, "Don't be."

"So what does this mean for you now? What about the kids?" she asked, as he refilled their glasses.

Again he shook his head. This time it was a little slower, "I don't know Beth…I just don't know. Dot and I will have to talk it all through. I know this is the right thing to do…at least my head knows it, but damn it I wish my fucking heart would catch up."

As Beth sat there before him her heart bled for his pain. She had only ever known love from Branson. Sure there had been arguments but just like in a sitcom they had usually been solved before nightfall. In fact it was their resolution to never fall asleep angry. It had worked for them for over twenty years. She was grateful that she had never known the pain that Jon was suffering now, but it left her at a loss as to how to console him.

"I wish I could do something for you," she whispered.

"Just being here is enough." He sighed deeply shook his head and wondered aloud, "where is that god damned car?"

Just as the words left his mouth the shrill ring of the phone on the desk had both him and Beth startled in their seats. "God damn it," he uttered as he rose to stop the offending noise. "Yeah?" he said brusquely into the receiver. "You have got to be fucking kidding me. Just send another one…hell send a limousine or one of those God damned Hummers…just get me something here within the hour…do you understand me?" There was a pause as the person on the other end of the phone explained something to Jon. He turned his back on her and cursed into the phone, "Give me a minute…" He turned back to Beth, "The car they had sent has broken down. He's saying he can't get another here until sometime in the early hours…they're all booked. I can't drive you 'cause I've had a little too much to drink, but he says he can organize a cab or of course…" he trailed off.

"Of course what?" She asked.

This is what he had been trying to avoid. Presently, in his vulnerable state Jon was having more than a little control issue, in fact even now he was picturing her upstairs and naked in his bed. And that was most definitely not the way to treat a woman like Elizabeth McKenzie. Well not under these circumstances anyway…he was sure under others she could be quite pleased with the results…after all his song did guarantee satisfaction.

He suppressed a grin at his wit and kept his eyes focused on the floor, "Well…you could both stay here," he suggested.

"Oh no," she said adamantly, "I don't think that would be a good idea."

Jon was surprised at the disappointment he felt, "And why the hell not?" He asked. "Look at the size of the house Beth…. We could have a room each and never see each other…besides it's only for the night."

"I just don't think it would be appropriate. Especially with all that has gone on today. I mean… what would Dorothea think of it? I am sure she wouldn't approve of our little sleep over. No," she reiterated firmly, "just get them to send the cab…its best if we go home."

Jon did not respond to her but instead spoke into the receiver, "I'll get back to you in a few." And then he hung up the phone.

"Now that didn't sound like you ordering a cab," Beth observed eying him shrewdly as she rose to her feet.

"Hear me out here…ok?" Jon said as he moved to stand before her.

He was close again…too close. Beth was rapidly learning that when this man got this close…trouble soon followed.

"I'm listening," she said reluctantly.

"It just doesn't make sense to have a cab come all the way out here. I have to be back in the city in the morning anyway to see the kids, I can drop you both home then."

"I don't know Jon," Beth murmured, the strength of her conviction waning. She took a couple of steps towards the French Doors and peered out into the night, putting some much need distance between them. There seemed to be a distinct correlation between her ability to think coherently and his proximity.

"Bethie, you're not worried I'm going to take advantage of you… are you?" He joked playfully, "I mean …we do have Frankie as a chaperone."

He was propped against the desk again. He had loosened the top few buttons of the white button down he had changed into for the press conference, and a sprinkling of silver fur could be seen in the deep V. Oh. My. God. Look at his eyes, only his eyes. Beth drew her gaze back up to his face. Yeah right like that helped… he was wearing that stupid cocky smirk of his, the one that enhanced the little lines at the corners of his eyes, and made those cornflower blue irises sparkle with mischief.

"That is sooo not funny Jon." Beth said exasperated, trying to quell the tinge of excitement she had felt at the thought. "Christ, after what we have gone through today…please don't be tempting fate like that."

Hmmm, I'd rather be tempting something else, he thought. Damn, where had that come from? You dumb fuck you're supposed to be mourning the death of your marriage.

"I'm sorry Beth. I was just trying to lighten the mood a little…I know I need it," he said, "but seriously though…I don't see anything untoward about my daughter spending the night here."

Beth sighed deeply, and took a long draw from her glass. "I know you're probably right Jon. I guess I'm just being a little oversensitive after everything that's happened."

"That's understandable," he agreed.

"And Frankie is so worn out right now," Beth continued, thinking aloud, "She hates to show any weakness but I can see that the day has taken a huge toll on her."

"Yeah, I agree, she hasn't been her usual sassy self with me at all today." Now that the transportation and accommodation details had been sorted, or so he thought, Jon took it upon himself to refill Beth's wine glass.

"Thank you," she said bringing the glass to her lips as she looked up to the starry night sky. "Wow the stars are so pretty out here. Not at all like home, everything there is washed out by the city lights."

"Would you like to go for a walk? I can grab your coat." He offered.

"Hmmm…maybe some other time. I had better get in there and tell Frankie she'll be sleeping in someone else's bed tonight." Beth smiled gently, "She won't be happy. Even as a baby the only place she would truly settle was in her own crib."

"Funny Stephy was a bit like that too," he reminisced, "with me touring she didn't always have that option though. That was one of the things that keep Dot from touring so much. We decided it was better to give them a stable home than a full time father. I often wonder if we made the right choice. I mean don't get me wrong….all of my kids are turning out great…but…I don't know… sometimes I feel like Steph and Jes just missed out on a little too much of my time."

Beth turned to look at him and saw the shadows that plagued the depths of his eyes; the same ones that only moments before had been full of laughter and fun. He was a rollercoaster of emotion tonight. "Don't beat yourself up Jon. You were doing what you thought was right at the time," she said. "Even Branson was an absentee father a lot of the time, what with the gallery and all of his charities…"

The faraway look on Beth's face in conjunction with the small smile that played at the corner of her mouth told Jon that she was remembering both the good and the bad times with Branson. "This past year has been really rough on you huh?"

Beth just shrugged. Rough just didn't seem to cut it…the last year had been hell. The anniversary of Branson's death was in a couple of weeks and it seemed to be speeding for her like a speed train. She knew that it would dredge up all those emotions she was trying so hard to put behind her.

"I'm sorry I've added to that Beth…I really am. Perhaps it would have been better if I'd never pursued this whole thing with Frankie…better for you at least." He said as he topped up both of their wine glasses once again. Damn but the woman could drink….she was keeping up with him just fine.

"Don't even think that way Jon. Everything happens for a reason. Frankie needs a man in her life…a father, and while I don't think for one second you will ever be able to take Branson's place, I do believe that you are beginning to notch out your own," Beth offered him a winsome smile. "I mean look at this whole concert thing… a couple of weeks ago do you think she would have even accepted the tickets, let alone asked you to go with her?"

Jon smiled and her heart skipped a beat. She loved to see that smile…loved to see him happy. "Yeah…that was somethin' huh? I can't believe she wants her old man there with her. I know she doesn't think of me that way…but she knows I do."

"And believe me when I say she is coming around to that way of thinking too." Beth said.

"What am I coming around to?" Frankie asked as she appeared in the doorway. "And where is this damned car?"

Beth turned to her daughter's voice, "Oh, I was just coming out too see you. The car isn't coming Frankie. It broke down, so Jon very kindly offered us the use of his guest rooms. We'll be staying here tonight."

"And you actually believe that load of bullshit?" Frankie retorted. She stepped further into the room and observed the two empty wine bottles and raised an eyebrow, "So that's how he did it huh…plied you with wine so you'd agree to stay. We know how much you love your Pinot Noir…Mom." She said, heavily accenting the last word disrespectfully.

Beth rose from the sofa her fame quivering with anger. Jon watched with his breath stuck in his throat as she stalked across the room and came to a stop just inches before her daughter, her nostrils flaring and her cheeks tinting a deeper shade of pink preparing to give Frankie the set down she richly deserved. Oh man, he thought, this will not be pretty.

"Young lady, I am going to tell you this once and only once, if you ever speak to me in that disrespectful manner again I will beat your bottom like I did when you were five…and don't think for one second that I won't." she fumed.

Jon watched in amused silence from the sidelines, waiting for Frankie to find her voice. He'd never known to be at a loss for words. When she looked in his direction, clearly seeking assistance, he merely shrugged…no way was he getting in the middle of this. He'd had far too much experience with Stephy and Dot…and after years of trying to referee a cat fight he knew better than to stick his nose where it wasn't welcome.

After a long moment of silence, where Frankie and Beth continued to stare each other down, Jon thought better of it and finally spoke up, "Ladies…I think this is all just a misunderstanding."

In unison the women replied, "Fuck off Jon."

"Oh kay then" he drew out the words "I think I'll just go wait in the kitchen…should I have the first aid kit ready?" The cold stares that he received had him retreat from the room…his office…his domain…without another word.

Beth turned her attention back to her daughter, "Young lady, I did not raise you to behave this way. How many times do we have to have this conversation? It is not acceptable for you to speak to me or anyone else in this disrespectful manner."

Frankie glared at her Mom. If only you knew what I know, she thought. But looking into her mother's eyes, and seeing the pain she'd inflicted…the pain that was compounded by all they had been through together over the last year, she couldn't bear to stay angry at her over something so trivial. "Sorry Mom."

"Enough is enough Frankie…do you understand? No more!"

"Yes Mam," Frankie said obediently.

"Good. Now let's go find Jon…I'm ready for bed."

As Beth and Frankie stepped from the office they found Jon loitering in the foyer as close to the office as he could discretely be. "You ladies ready for bed?"

As Beth walked on ahead Frankie muttered softly for his ears only, "Bet you've said that a few hundred times."

He looked at her and wiggled his eyebrows…a mischievous smile playing on his lips. Frankie simply rolled her eyes in return.

"What was that?" Beth asked.

"Nothing," came Jon's reply in his daughter's defense as he suppressed an amused chuckle.

Jon showed the ladies to the two guest rooms upstairs that were made up. He showed Frankie into the first room at the top of the stairs. It was all pink and frills and so far removed from what she was accustomed to, she wondered how she would ever be able to settle.

The room he showed Beth to was the polar opposite in all respects. It was at the far end of the upstairs hallway, and the décor was sleek, masculine and modern. A king size bed adorned with an expensive looking red duvet she seemed to recall was a limited edition Frette creation – she had admired it when shopping for her own new linen after Branson had passed - dominated the room, which was decorated in hues of slate grey, steel blue and cream. Her eyes flickered to an old acoustic guitar that sat propped in the corner of the room.

"I'm not stealing your bed am I?" Beth asked softly, feeling like an intruder. The room was so inherently his…she didn't need the fact to be confirmed. Damn it…it even smelled like him.

"No ...it's just one of the guest rooms." He replied. "Dot's and my bedroom is next door," he added without thinking.

Beth looked away, uncomfortable, "Um… well…thank you. Is it ok if I use the shower? I hate going to bed without one."

"Sure…bathroom's through that door. There should be fresh towels on the rack and toiletries in the vanity. If you need anything else I'm across the hall…in there." He pointed to a doorway that faced hers.

"Didn't you say your bedroom was next door?" she asked.

"Yeah…it was," he said quietly and left, shutting the door gently behind him.