He wasn’t sure why he had agreed to this shit, but he wasn’t quite as unhappy about it all as he had been yesterday. Yesterday- before he had actually seen her up close and personal. Now he found himself standing in the shadows at the side of the relatively small venue watching her and her band go through sound check.
Mostly, he just watched her.
Months ago, when he and Richie had come up with the idea to make the song a duet and to use a country artist, he had called his buddy, Keith. It really was a shame that it hadn’t worked out. Using a big name would’ve been nice, but the girl the label had practically thrown at them had worked out okay. Better than okay, actually.
Little did he know, that this would come from that simple collaboration. CMT had contacted Bon Jovi Management; one thing led to another and here he was preparing to do an episode of Crossroads with her. Correction. Bon Jovi was doing an episode of Crossroads with Sugarland. He needed to quit thinking of it as just him and her.
He hadn’t walked into this without doing his research. He knew she was happily married, but he had always loved a challenge. Somewhere between yesterday and today, his attitude about the whole thing had changed, and he had decided working with her might just turn into an adventure.
They’d all finally been in a room together for the first time that morning. Modern technology had allowed them to put the song together without having to come face to face. He had liked her Southern charm, her genuine smile, and her sense of naivety. Success hadn’t gone to her head yet, and that Southern drawl had wrapped around him, and lust had reared it’s head. He and Lust were old friends; they had danced on many occasions. He smiled to himself in the shadows as the line from his song flashed across his mind. I’ve slept with romance, and I’ve danced with lust. Both were true, but Lust had been his dance partner way more often than romance had been his bed partner.
Suddenly, he realized the music had stopped and that she was talking quietly to the male guitarist. What was his name? Oh yeah, Kristian, or as she called him, Kris. Quietly he slipped out the side door and headed for the privacy of his dressing room. Only privacy wasn’t awaiting him there, Richie was.
Sitting with his guitar in his lap, Richie raised his dark head as Jon walked in the door. "Hey, Bro, I was beginning to wonder where you were."
"I was listening to them do sound check," he answered.
"Jennifer’ll be here in a few to go over material together," Richie informed him.
"Nice of the two of you to let me know ahead of time," he grumbled, taking a seat in the chair across from the sofa Richie was currently occupying. Jon slouched in the chair, stretching his legs out in front of him.
Frowning at him, Richie asked him, "Where’s your head, Jon? We talked about that this morning."
Maybe they had, Jon conceded silently. That must have been the background chatter that was going on while his old friend Lust was screaming in his head the same phrase over and over.
"Fuck her!". While they had talked around him, he had nodded politely, but he hadn’t heard anything except good ol’ Lust screaming in his head.
"The camera guys should be here pretty soon," Richie interrupted his thoughts.
Shit, Jon thought. That’s right, must remember, they’re shooting a television show here. They wanted footage for the show of the three of them working together. And, let’s not forget the interview segment they were going to shoot later. Things were going to be so hectic, he wasn’t sure how he was going to find the time to give in to Lust’s request. Oops, demand.
A soft knock on his door interrupted his silent musings and Richie’s idle strumming. "Come on in," he called out, "the more the merrier."
She opened the door and stuck her head around it. Smiling shyly, she asked, "Are y’all ready for me?"
"Sure, baby," Richie answered, "come on in."
Jon didn’t hear Richie’s voice. All he could hear was Lust screaming in his head again, as he watched her long blonde hair caress her shoulders. Her every move was poetry in motion. Even though that was such a cliche, he couldn’t help but think it, even as Lust yelled incessantly, "Fuck her!". He shook his head to dispel Lust’s screams and smiled at her as she flopped down on the couch next to Richie.
"I just gotta tell y’all how happy I am ta be here," she gushed, her Southern drawl tickling Jon’s ear. "I’m a big fan. I’ve loved you guys since I was a kid."
Ouch! That kind of statement could really deflate an ego and make you feel old. I’m not old, he told himself. Forty-three is not old!
"Ouch," Richie voiced Jon’s thoughts out loud. He had the nasty habit of doing that; it often seemed like they could read each other’s minds. But then, that’s what a twenty-plus year friendship did to you.
The camera crew knocking on the door saved him from making a complete ass of himself. An old ass. Somehow, he managed to make it through the whole ordeal without the camera catching the drool or the microphones picking up Lust’s voice once again screaming in his head.
Holy shit, she couldn’t believe she was actually here! That she and the band had made it to this point was blowing her mind. When she had been asked to do the duet with Bon Jovi, she was really flattered, but meeting them this morning had left her feeling like a silly schoolgirl.
When their manager had called and told them CMT wanted them to do an episode of Crossroads with Bon Jovi, she and the rest of the band had literally jumped at the chance. She was still having a hard time believing that she was going to be sharing a stage with him - the man she’d had a crush on since she was teenager, Heaven help her!
Now here she stood on stage doing sound check for what would perhaps turn out to be the most exciting show of her life. Less than five minutes into sound check, she had seen him enter through one of the side doors. Knowing he was watching had made her extremely nervous, but she tried to ignore his presence so that she could do her job. Ignoring him had been the hardest thing she’d ever tried to do, but somehow she had made it.
Turning away from the microphone, she had walked as calmly as she could over to Kris.
She whispered excitedly, "Oh, my God, Kris, he’s here!"
"Who?" She rolled her eyes, Kris was so clueless sometimes.
"Jon," she told him, exasperated.
"Of course, he is the Bon Jovi in Bon Jovi," Kris told her, grinning like an idiot, "he’d pretty much have to be here."
"Shit, Kris," she said, grabbing his arm, "I mean, he’s here. Now. Watchin’ us."
"So?" Yep, clueless.
"Never mind," she told him, finally losing patience. Turning to walk away, her eyes fell on Kristen. Maybe she would.... naaa, no way she’d get it.
The sound engineer gave her the okay, so she rushed to her dressing room. She ran a brush through her hair and checked her makeup, wanting nothing out of place once she came face to face with him again. Putting on fresh lipstick, she met her own gaze in the mirror.
What am I doing? she asked herself. He’s just a man, and you have a husband waiting at home.
Briefly, a memory flashed across her mind. She and her husband had been joking one night, and he had told her about having always had the hots for a certain female celebrity. That had been the night they made their "Free Pass lists".
Joking and teasing all the while, she had chosen three male celebrities and he had chosen three females. They had agreed to allow each other a free pass to sleep with the celebrities on their lists...if, the opportunity ever presented itself. He had been on her list. This had been a few years ago, long before fame fell in her lap, long before she was going to share a stage with him.
She smiled at her reflection. A free pass to sleep with him- too bad he probably wasn’t interested in helping her use it. After all, he was happily married with four kids.
Tossing her lipstick down on the counter, she turned and hurried out the door. The four feet of hallway seemed like the longest walk of her life, but all too quickly she was standing outside his dressing room. Realizing her palms were sweating, she wiped them quickly on her jeans then knocked on his door. She heard him answer and stuck her head in the door. When Richie answered her telling her to ‘come on in’, she self-consciously took a seat on the sofa next to him.
"I just gotta tell y’all how happy I am ta be here," she said excitedly. "I’m a big fan. I’ve loved you guys since I was a kid." The grimace that flashed across Jon’s face told her how bad that sounded. Right that second she wished she had something big enough to pry her foot out of her mouth.
Then almost left to go find something, when Richie responded, "Ouch."
Lucky for her the camera crew arrived and saved her from making an even bigger fool of herself. Yep, no way she was going to be using that free pass now.
While the cameras rolled in his dressing room, they worked on a few songs together. He and Richie had paused when she suddenly asked, "Y’all know what I think is so funny? ‘Cause I’m so Southern...and y’all aren’t Southern. So whenever we’re singing the words, it’s like," then she started to sing, "I need a little less hard time, I need a little more bliss." Then speaking again, "I almost have a two syllable bliss." He laughed with Richie, but couldn’t help thinking how bad he’d like to give her a "two syllable bliss."
He hid behind his sunglass for most of the interview segments. They had discussed the characters in their songs and his first trip to Nashville. And the whole time Lust had been screaming in his head again. He couldn’t seem to take his eyes off her, and he was pretty sure Lust had a hand in that as well. Trying very hard to stay aware of the cameras on the three of them, he looked away, only to turn to look at her once more when she started speaking again, her Southern drawl velvety smooth on his ears.
"To me, the live show is all about the exchange of energy between the stage and the audience. I want to connect with them and be able to do it in such a genuine way that the emotion translates."
What do you know? She has some brain cells in that beautiful blonde head. Silently he checked with Lust. Nope, his old buddy wasn't impressed. At least, not anymore than he already was. "Fuck her!" Lust screamed. Was she a natural blonde? Now, where had that thought come from? Probably, Lust.
"For me it’s all about lookin’ good in tight pants," he joked.
Over Richie’s laughter, she replied, "Aw right, Huney! Bring on the snake skin." He smiled when her accent turned skin into a two syllable word, and his skin burned where she laid her hand on his shoulder. Was she interested?
Too many times during the interview, he had caught Richie’s eyes on him. He knew that Richie recognized the signs, and had it figured out that Lust was in control yet again. But they already had secrets that they’d take to the grave; this would just be one more.
All through their time on stage, he laid on the charm. Flirting with her shamelessly, and flashing that smile that had gotten many a woman to rip off their clothes for him. He wasn’t sure what it was about that smile, but had practiced it many times in the mirror until his wife had caught him one day.
Too many times, he had found himself eyeing her ass, and he’d lost count of how many times he and Lust had been hoping she’d fall out of that skimpy top. He was pretty sure she had picked up on the signals he was sending, and hoped that he had properly translated the signs she had been sending his way.
Between taping interview segments and staring at her ass, he had formulated a plan. Drinks. He’d invite her to drinks at his apartment here in the city. Alibi. He would tell Richie that, if asked, he hung out with them all evening. A simple plan he knew, but he’d learned over the years that the simplest plans were the ones that worked the best. If all went well he could satisfy Lust after all.
Hoping against hope that she had smoothed over her blunder from earlier, she’d been sending out those flirtatious signals that had always worked in the past, all through the taping of the interview. Even going so far as to lay her hand on him whenever possible.
She had checked out his ass many times on stage. Several times, he had flashed that smile at her, the one that had almost made her want to shuck her clothes right there. She had been pleasantly surprised when he had actually wolf-whistled at her during the show. Shaking her hips and her boobs, she had smiled to herself. She was pretty sure he was hooked, because he was laying it on pretty damn thick.
If he didn’t make a move after the show, she planned on it. No way was she letting that "free pass" go to waste!
After the show, she had over heard him telling Richie, "...if you’re asked. All night. ‘Til she went back to her hotel."
She smiled softly at Richie’s nod and his answer, "Sure, Bro. And let me just say...Good luck. I want details later." Briefly she wondered if she could have them both. At the same time. But, unfortunately Richie wasn’t on her list, and the fact that Jon was would be the only thing that would save her marriage. If her husband ever found out.
Shrugging to herself and silently cursing Brad Pitt and Kenny Chesney, she shook off her regret at not having thought ahead and headed for her dressing room.
Carelessly she tossed her stuff in her bag, pausing to spritz on a little perfume before it too landed unceremoniously in the bag. Just as she tossed the last item in the bag, she heard a soft knock on her door. Quickly, she zipped up the bag and turned to go answer it.
Opening the door, she was unsurprised to see him leaning nonchalantly against the door jamb wearing that smile.
Her mouth began to water as she stared at those lips while he spoke, "Wanna go get a drink, Sweetheart?"
"Sure," she answered softly, "let me just grab my bag."
"Nice limo you’ve got here, Jon," she said, smiling, as the car door closed.
Suddenly he felt like the big bad wolf. An old big bad wolf.
"So, where‘re we headed?"
There was just something about that slow Southern drawl that made Lust stand up and take notice.
"To a nice little quiet place I know," he answered, dropping the tone of his voice to that raspy, husky tone that usually left women squirming in their seats. How many times had he danced with Lust? He’d lost count a long time ago. He had all the moves down to an art form- when to lightly caress and where, when to use that smile, when to appear like he was gazing longingly into her eyes, and when to drop his voice to that husky tone. On stage, it might look like he couldn’t dance, but when it came to this dance, he was a regular Fred Astaire.
"I sorta thought Richie would be comin’ along."
"Naa, he had something else going on," he gave her that smile. "You sang your ass off tonight," he knew just when to compliment too.
She gave him an all too flippant smile and tossed her hair back over her shoulder. "Right back, atcha."
He bent one knee and turned toward her in the seat, laying one arm across the back. If he moved his hand any at all his fingertips would lightly brush her bare shoulder.
"I hope you’re not disappointed," he paused, intentionally letting her wonder briefly what he meant, then continued, pointedly looking her in the eyes, "that Rich didn’t join us."
"Naa," she flashed him a mischievous grin, "not much, anyway."
He wondered what was going on behind those brown eyes, even as Lust started into another chorus of, "Fuck her!"
The car slowed and came to a stop. "Here we are," he told her.
She looked out the window. "This isn’t a bar."
The driver opened the door and Jon stepped out then held the door for her. He put his hand on the small of her back and guided her to the front of the apartment building. They were alone in the elevator on the way up to his floor.
"I keep this place here in the city for when I have to stay over for business," he explained.
She nodded. "And I’m bettin’ we won’t be bothered by photographers here."
"Nope," he grinned, "I told you, it’s a nice quiet place."
Once he had let them both into the apartment he motioned for her to take a seat, and went over to the bar. "What would you like?" he looked around at the bottles, "I’ve got a pretty good selection here, and I make a decent bartender."
"I’m easy," she grinned, "just a Jack and coke."
"Oh come on," he laughed, "that’s too easy. You can make it more complicated than that."
"Okay, over ice."
"Damn, I was hoping to get to use the blender."
"So make yourself something fruity," she laughed.
He put one hand up to his chest like she had wounded him. "You have got to be kidding."
Quickly he poured their drinks, then joined her on the sofa. He handed her drink to her, then sat like he had in the limo. He watched her take a slow sip and almost started singing along with Lust.
"Can I ask you a personal question?"
That jerked him out of his own thoughts. "Sure," he answered, lightly stroking her shoulder with his fingertips.
"How’s your wife feel about extra curricular activities?"
He almost choked on his own drink. "Excuse me?" His jerked his fingers away from her shoulder like he’d been burned.
"I didn’t stutter."
"No...no you didn’t," he shook his head. "How does your husband feel about it?" he countered.
"Normally," she paused dramatically, "he wouldn’t be happy." She eyed him over the rim of her glass, and said mysteriously, "But I have a free pass."
"A free pass?"
"Yep," she nodded, leaning forward to set her glass on the coffee table, "you’re on my list."
"Are ya goin’ ta repeat everything I say?"
"Uh," he shook his head, "I hope not." His glass followed hers.
"Are ya goin’ ta answer my question?"
"We have an agreement," he said huskily, even as he leaned forward to lightly brush her lips with his own. He and Lust were both happy they were as soft as they looked.
"What kind of agreement?" she asked against his lips as she moved to straddle his lap.
Using the tips of his fingers, he brushed her hair back off her shoulder and deepened the kiss. His tongue danced with hers, while Lust got louder in his head. It seemed to really excite Lust that her hair smelled like roses. Leaning forward, straining against her, he finally gave into the urge to caress one of her breasts through the satiny material of the skimpy top. No bra. Her nipple puckered for him and he smiled against her lips.
With Lust giving him almost super-human strength, he managed to stand with her still in his arms. He felt her legs tighten around his waist, as he headed toward his bedroom. He never broke the kiss, not that he could have with her hands clamped to the back of his head, her fingers threaded through his hair. Tightly.
He stumbled slightly through the door of his bedroom, then fell with her across his bed. Lust urged him to rip her clothes off, but he wanted to take his time. He broke the kiss long enough to jerk his T-shirt off over his head. There was a reason he spent long hours in the gym. He knew women liked to run their hands over the muscled skin of his chest and abdomen. So, he’d let her.
His teeth were grazing the silky skin of her neck, when he felt her lightly flick one of his nipples with a fingernail. Lust went crazy over that. He sucked gently at the hollow where her neck met her shoulder, as he worked at the button on her jeans. While he kissed a path down to the vee of her top, he managed to get her jeans undone. He didn’t have to work too hard to get them over her hips, since she raised them for him, without him having to ask.
When he went to work on her top, he paused, unable to suppress a moan as her hands moved down his chest to begin working on the button at his waist. He went back to work on the top, pulling it over her head before bending to take a nipple into his mouth. Sucking deeply, before pulling back to lightly circle the tip with his tongue. Her groans and whimpers became the music behind Lust’s lyrics of, "Fuck her!"
Lust let out a scream of joy when they were finally skin to skin. He was hard and ready, had been since he watched her lips as she drank from her glass. Both he and Lust let out a groan as he slid inside her. With her legs once again around his waist, her fingers threaded into his hair, and he let her pull his head back to her waiting mouth. Lust’s eyes opened wide in surprise when her tongue thrust past his lips to tangle with his. He let Lust lead him into a rhythm and was ecstatic when she matched it. Lust demanded he drive into her hard and fast, and he followed the order willingly. She gasped, and he felt her tighten around him. He and Lust both moaned with their release.
He heard Lust sigh in relief in his head, as he pulled her tighter against him.
She got dressed quietly, then sat on the edge of the bed trying to put her finger on when it happened exactly. Somewhere between that morning and overhearing Jon talking to Richie, she had quit thinking of him as Jon Bon Jovi and started thinking of him as just Jon. Maybe it was when they had sang together. Or, maybe it was the casual way he had flirted with her, almost as if it came as naturally to him as breathing. But, it really didn’t matter when it had happened- it only mattered that it had happened.
Checking to make sure he was still sleeping, she continued her search for pen and paper. She must admit she was really glad he had gotten past all of his practiced flirting and had finally got down to business. She didn’t know why he had tried so hard- didn’t he realize he had her at Slippery When Wet?
Quickly she jotted down a note, then smiled one last time over her shoulder before she quietly left the apartment.
He woke up slowly, but lay there for several minutes, eyes closed, breathing in the musky scent of sex. Or, should he say Lust? His old buddy needed a shower!
Her scent still hung in the air, causing Lust to rear his head again. "Fuck her again!" his buddy screamed in his head.
He opened his eyes as he turned toward her side of the bed. Frowning, he picked up the piece of paper left laying on her pillow.
Thanks for helping me use my free pass and the lesson about fantasy vs. reality. -Jen