Saturday, August 30, 2008

Chapter-Eighty One

Jesse glanced down at her watch, five thirty-eight. She was on her way home from the office. Jon had been and picked up Stephanie who Jesse couldn’t remember the last time she'd had so much fun at work that afternoon. Things had been busy but Stephanie had fitted right in and even ended up answering Jesse’s calls for a bit. She smiled to herself pulling into the parking lot of her complex. Finally she felt like she knew one of the kids just that little better.

She turned off the ignition grabbed her bag and coat and lifted herself out of the car. There was an eerie silence around the place as dusk was settling in. Her phone beeped loudly echoing through the concreted area. Fishing through her red leather purse she found her phone and flipped it open.

Steph cannot STOP talking about today. See you at 7 gorgeous. You have the wine. I’ll bring dinner.
J x

She grinned into her screen and was about to reply when she almost walked straight into someone.

“Shit, I’m so sorry” she said stuttering looking straight into angry brown eyes. Jason. His appearance was overwhelmingly ominous and he was pissed. She could see it not only in his eyes but the way his hands were clenched into fists at his side. What the hell was he doing here?

“Jason!” she said cringing at how surprised she sounded.

“Yes it's me Jess, forget that we had a meeting after work or were you two busy playing text buddies with Rock-star boy?” he asked. She took two steps backwards till feeling the cool steel of the car hit her backside through the wool blend skirt she had on. Something about him was really starting to scare her.

“Jason” she said calmly “time just got away on me, I’m sorry” she apologised. He inched closer, so close that the aroma of beer mixed in with his cologne wrapped around her senses.

He laughed and crossed his arms “You’re not sorry. Not one bit. What’s happened to you Jesse? Am I not good enough for you anymore? You never were the social climbing type even in all your height in your fashion world you remained so genuine and impartial to the hypocrisy that exists in your industry.” The darkness in his eyes slowly crept back in.

“I want you to leave” she stammered. Her heart was beating loudly against her chest threatening to explode right out and into his hands.

He leaned forward his lips inches away from hers “Leave? I don’t think you do. Come on Jess come back over from the dark side you know you want to” his lips teased her own. Her eyes closing, and her body shaking. Who was this man? This wasn’t the man she married at all.

His warm heat brushed over her cheek, his arms sliding up her sides lifting her top to reveal skin. “Jason, please…” she stammered. God please stop.

His lips hit her ear “When I was tied up in that camp and they threatened to kill us everyday…even left us rope in the room if we wanted to hang ourselves…you know what the only thing that kept me sane was?” his calloused fingers slid up her sternum to scrape along the bottom of the lace of her bra.

She bit her lip there was she couldn’t take him he was a Marine for god’s sake. “Jason, I’m asking you please let me go. This isn’t right” she pleaded.

Jason ignored her words, his thumbs brushing by the tips of her breasts instantly hardening at his touch. God how much he wanted her, wanted to take her right now and screw her to the hood of the car.

She moaned inwardly. This couldn’t feel good. It just couldn't.

“It was you Jesse” he continued “the thought of getting out of this god forsaken hellhole so I could come home into your arms. Make love to you, fuck you blind like we used to, till we couldn’t breathe…” his voice had grown raspy and dangerously low.

Her skin goosed and tears pricked at the corner of her eyes. She just wanted to scream her way into her apartment and lock the door but right now she was pinned like a rack of meat to the butcher’s cutting board. He was so much bigger than her he’d be able to do whatever he wanted with her, she had no doubt.

With his arousal pressed hard against her stomach warning bells sounded in her mind but no-one could hear them. “Jason, we can’t do this. Its over” she said trying to sound diplomatic as possible. His eyes lifted and drilled into hers, pressing his forehead hard against hers.

“I can’t let you go Jesse. I just can’t. I love you too much and I know you still love me... say it” he demanded and like a fiery dragon his hot breath consumed her.

His grip tightened on her body. The urge to scream rose through her like a freight train. “I love Jon, Jason, its over” she whispered keeping her eyes closed waiting for the reaction. Too scared to meet his eyes.

God. She was lying, he just knew she was. She loved him. She swore at the alter she always would in life and death. That fucking Jon needed to go.

“If he wasn’t here would you have me?” he asked quietly.

Her breath caught in her throat seeing the madness in his eyes. He meant it as well.

“Don’t say things like that Jason, please…you don’t mean it” she had to get inside to call Jon and call the police. He was fucking crazy. One part of her heart ached for how this had ruined him but the other feared for the life of the one that she now loved more than life itself.

The brightness of headlights intruded their space causing her eyes to slam shut and she felt Jason release the grip he had on her arms. Thank you GOD she silently prayed.

She smiled at the middle aged business man that got out from the Black BMW. She didn’t know his name but knew he lived in the complex.

“Everything alright here?” he asked obviously seeing the uneasiness in her eyes.

“Sure he was just leaving” Jesse said before Jason could even think about saying anything. She pulled her coat on, swung her bag over her shoulder and walked away from him. He couldn’t follow her now, no way.

The astute business man waited for Jesse to catch up to him before walking her into the complex. Once safely at her door he asked "Everything ok? It didn’t look it from where I was standing”

She fumbled with her keys and jimmied the lock till the door opened. “It is now, I’m calling my fiancé and the police as soon as I’m inside. Just someone I am having little trouble with” she admitted.

“Ok, well call me if you need to I’m in apartment eight up there” he said pointing. “And it’s Shaw by the way” he said sticking his hand out.

She smiled into crystal blue eyes framed with cropped almost platinum blond hair.

“Pleased to meet you, It's Jesse, and thanks for rescuing me” she said shaking his hand and walking inside.

“You’re welcome Jesse, take care” he said as she closed the door behind him and bolted it. She leaned with her back pressed against the door. Her hands still unsteady with fear fumbled for her cell phone in her bag and dialled Jon’s number. It went straight to voicemail. Shit where are you?

She left a brief message trying not to sound off centre but she was sure it would come across that way. Making sure again that the locks were on the door along with the chain and bolt she walked to the kitchen and poured herself two fingers of Jack Daniels and waited.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Chapter Eighty

“Jason? What are you doing here?” Jesse got up and walked to the door and stood to partially obscure his view. She sucked in her breath at his appearance, the edginess in his demeanour had her a little wary. His face had a five o’clock shadow that was inching around his jaw line and lack of sleep was evident from the black rings around his eyes.

“What can’t a friend come and see a friend?” he asked. She was obviously a little rattled to see him and the young girl in the room behind her just watched them carefully.

Jesse sighed “Of course you can but I was going to call you later, I’m kind of a little busy at the moment” she whispered not wanting to draw too much attention to him with Stephanie right there.

“Work experience?” Jason asked nodding in the young girl’s direction that looked vaguely familiar to him but he couldn’t picture it.

There was no way that she was telling him that it was Jon’s daughter “That’s right, she is just spending the day with me to see what the fashion industry is like” Jesse explained nervously hoping that Jason would take the hint and leave.

Jason looked behind her and back at her and slyly grinned “Its Jon’s daughter isn’t it?” The resemblance in the eyes was uncanny. Why the hell was Jesse so uneasy about it?

Jesse didn’t answer him, the voice deep inside her was screaming that she needed to get Jason out of here and quick.

“Jason, we’re really busy, can I meet you after work? But if it’s the divorce that you want discuss maybe we should be waiting till the lawyers?” she bit down on her lip as the soft lines in his face suddenly turned hard and his brown eyes darkened.

He shifted his feet and moved inches closer to her “So that’s how it’s going to be then? Five years you just want to throw away, not even give the time of day?” his voice fell dangerously low. This wasn’t the Jason that she knew and loved once upon a time and truth be told he was starting to scare her.

Please just leave.

She forced a smile on her face “Not at all Jason, I just need to get some important stuff done today” she had to keep him calm. This wasn’t the place to do this, not here, not now.

Jason forced himself to dial down the anger that was raging through this blood, so the rock star had turned her too. What had happened to the sweet sassy Jesse he loved and adored? He’s turned you against me too. Damn him.

“Ok Jesse, after work though? Just you and me?” he asked softly this time reaching out and putting his hand on her arm.

Her eyes fell to his hand and then back to his. Her body stiffened at the touch, what the hell was wrong here? Why did she get such a bad feeling?

Say yes, anything to get him out of here. She tried to conceal the unsteadiness of her body underneath his slight touch and nodded “Meet me at Jimmy’s at five” she said.

He stood back satisfied “Jimmy’s at five, I’ll see you then” he said before he turned around and left the office. Jesse closed the door and locked it before leaning in against it closing her eyes. Her heart was beating loudly in her chest. She again forced the intermittent panic and turned around and smiled at Steph.

“Now where were we?” she asked knowing instantly the look in Steph’s eyes was going to ask her questions.

“Who was that?” she asked. Jesse still looked shaken up to her; he must have been someone nasty.

“That was Jason, my ex-husband, your daddy told you about him?” Jesse asked walking back to her desk. She was tempted to email the security of the building and bar Jason from coming back in the building.

Steph followed her and sat in the chair opposite her desk “Yeah he did, was he ok, he seemed angry about something?” she asked. Jesse fumbled with the sharpie on her desk trying to stay calm she had to in front of Stephanie.

“He just wants to talk about the divorce, since I’m marrying your dad, it needs to become official, and I guess in some ways Jason might still be having a hard time accepting I’m with your Daddy now” Jesse tried to explain as simply as she could. She had to only assume that was the reason Jason seemed to be perturbed. And she’d expected it to be honest with the way he’d taken it so easily when she’d chosen Jon. But something was different, she couldn’t put her finger on exactly what though.

“Do you still love him?” Stephanie asked curiously.

Jesse smiled “Oh Steph, its hard to explain yes and no” she said. How did you explain it to the daughter of the man you were meant to be marrying?

“Try me, I won’t tell Dad” she said honestly her ocean blue eyes sincere.

“Well….” Jesse fiddled with the edges of the corners of her diary before continuing. “Somewhere still inside me I care about him, he’s the man I did marry. But Steph when he died, and this sounds weird but I buried my love for him in a way with him. But I still feel guilty that I don’t love him, after everything he went through.” She said honestly.

Steph nodded, wow Jesse was a really nice person and so open. Worried she might be sounding nosy she actually was genuinely interested how someone comes to make that decision.

“He still really loves you?” she asked.

Jesse nodded “I think so Steph” Jesse pulled herself together and stood up “See, this is why you don’t need to worry about boys for a long long time, you hear?” she teased trying to change the mood.

Stephanie laughed “Now you sound like my Dad.” Both of the women shared a knowing smile of understanding before Steph went back to the table of material.

“So where were we?” she asked picking back up the slim piece of material Jesse was about to start on and held it out to her with a grin.

“Right yes! I was teaching you how to make a boring pair of jeans not so boring” she said taking her seat back at the sewing machine. The next few hours flew past as Jesse and Steph talked more fashion and perused over the summer line Jesse was working on with Stephanie offering screeds of ideas that Jesse was definitely going to execute.

When George came in and took them out for lunch at the local café he entertained Stephanie even more than before which left Jesse to digest the events of the morning as she sipped her orange juice. The way Jason was, so uneasy and almost anxious wasn’t like him at all. Always the strong confident one, being in the Marines had taught him that, always straight up and didn’t mess around but now Jesse felt like he’d become a stranger. Maybe that was her fault? She’d moved on.

“Earth to Jesse” a voice in the distance teased. She looked up at George and Stephanie both looking expectantly.

“God, sorry I was a million miles away” she blushed.

“You haven’t touched your sandwich even” George pointed out, she had something on her mind but he wouldn’t ask until Stephanie wasn’t around.

“I know, it looks too divine to waste as well” she jumped when her cell phone vibrated in her pocket. Guessing it was going to be Jon asking how his little girl was, she flipped it open to reveal the message.

Jess sorry about before. I just miss you and meant what I said on the card. Friends. See you @5. Jase.

She snapped it shut and slipped it back in her pocket. “No one important, now let’s eat” she said picking up her sandwich and taking a bite. George shook his head something was going on and he’d make sure he got to the bottom of this.


Five – thirteen and she still wasn’t here. Where the hell was she? He brought the half filled beer to his lips and took a long sip. The nervous tension inside him was bubbling away making him more anxious with every minute that passed by.

He’d called her and got her voicemail, he’d sent two text messages and still no reply. He’d just wanted to talk to her give her the benefit of the doubt she’d not turned into a trumped up American tart that thought she was better than everyone else because of HIM. It wasn’t Jesse’s fault, sweet unassuming Jesse had trusted him, that pathetic symbol of all that was good in the world Jon Bon Jovi. She would never see it. So Jason had to make her see it. Once he was gone, it would be one down out of hundreds. And maybe then Jesse would see the real American Heroes rather than the instant ones with all the fame and money in the world. Just maybe.

Five-thirty three he left twenty bucks on the table and stormed out of the bar. She’d never showed or call, nothing. Well fuck them all.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Chapter Seventy-Nine

Chapter Seventy-Nine

The next morning Jesse got to work early so she could clear her emails and phone calls before Jon was due to bring Steph in around ten. She sat at her desk staring at the email from Mr Prashad around the Milan trip details. She still hadn’t had a chance to talk to Jon about that just yet. Picking her second cup off coffee on her desk she took a long sip and closed her eyes. A small smile slipped on her face remembering the night she’d ended up having with Jon after they had retired to bed. Undoubtedly she was the luckiest woman in the world.

Her thoughts turned to Jason’s flowers and his card. Rubbing her temples she didn’t know whether she should be meeting him for dinner, maybe Jon was right and letting the lawyers deal with it was the right thing. But then she still had that small feeling of obligation towards him to be civil and assume the best. He’d let her go without a lot of fuss after all.

George brought in the mail just before ten and sat down in the chair opposite her desk, he always had this uncanny way to know when she needed to talk.

“What is it my Jesse darling, you look so sad for a woman that has almost everything?” he said straightening the cuffs of his pinstripe shirt.

She looked up at him and smiled “I do have everything, and yes I’m happy, Jason left me flowers last night. He wants to meet to discuss the divorce over dinner” She explained watching George’s eyes narrow through that flick of hair that always partially covered one side of his face.

“You don’t think it’s a good idea?” she asked leaning back resting her feet on the foot stool under her desk.

“Well, depends how you feel on that one Jess, he fed you the line of wanting to remain civil and friends? And you feel guilty that you feel like you almost have to?” he asked reading the small worry lines on that usually perfectly smooth face of hers.

She laughed “You’re good, I really want to give him the chance but I don’t want to make things worse, have him think something more could happen, god I don’t know George, why does life need to be so complicated?” she asked burying her face in her hands.

He chuckled “If it wasn’t complicated honey, it’d be too easy. Don’t be so hard on yourself Jesse, you’re launching a fantastic name for yourself here, you lost a husband the same year he comes back from being dead, and you’ve met a fantastic man in-between all that, so its ok to feel frazzled, god I would be” George picked the blue marker up and walked to the board where Jesse kept tally of her sales and updated it.

He stood back and read the figures and grinned.
“At this rate girl you will be five assistants by Christmas time and I have a feeling Milan will help influence that”

“I hope so George, but I couldn’t have done it without you, you know that right? Expect a good Christmas present this year” she winked taking a sip of her coffee opening the next email which indicated more sales for her.

“Look forward to it, can it be your fiancé for an hour?” he asked raising his eyebrow, a wide smirk spreading across his lips.

Jesse choked on her coffee and hysterical laughter started to bubble from her throat.
“Oh George, you fancy Jon huh?” she asked wiping the tears from the corner of her eyes.

“Well I did always say you had great taste” he teased “it just extends to your choice of men as well” he crossed his arms in a matter of fact manner.

She shook her head and was going to reply but the soft knock on the door came. “Speaking of which” she said getting up and walking towards the door. “Shall we ask him if he’s up for it?” she teased opening the door to George snorting and laughing.

Jon and Stephanie were standing behind the door waiting patiently.

“Hey baby” Jon said leaning to kiss Jesse on the cheek still holding back her laughter, he looked at George who looked as though he was about to have kittens.

“OK what’s so funny?” he said leading Steph in.

“Hey, hi Steph” she smiled standing aside so they could walk into the office. “Just a joke baby, George and I were being silly” she said winking at George.

“Just pop your things down on the table in the corner Steph” Jesse pointed to the table in the corner so Steph put down her bag and coat before straightening the jeans and black peasant top she was wearing.

“Steph this is George my assistant, George meet Steph who is here to help us out for the day” Jesse introduced them both.

“Pleased to meet you sweetheart, I can see where you get your good looks from” he said throwing a wink at Jon.

Jon laughed “Thanks George” he smiled as Jesse and Steph had already immediately started talking about what they were going to do today. Jesse had nothing to worry about with Steph he knew his daughter would soon see Jesse for what she really was and love her like he did.

“Ok girls I need to go, I have a few meetings but I have my cell if you need me” he said drawing Jesse into his arms for a quick kiss, the scent of warm vanilla tickled his nose. God she always smelt so good.

Minty fresh and soft his lips were on hers “Ok, will do we’ll see you a little later on” her hands sliding around his waist pulling him close to her body for a second before he let go again. Tucking a strand of hair behind her ear he turned to Stephanie.

“You behave for Jesse now Steph” Jon instructed.

Steph propped her hands on her hips and rolled her eyes “Yes Dad” she moaned. She just wished that he would leave so that she could get on with the day. She’d been waiting so long for this. Once her Dad had disappeared and the funny man that was her assistant had disappeared to Jesse closed the door behind them and breathed out a sigh of relief.

“Well now all the men have gone we can really have some fun” she said with a grin. She cleared away her desk for Steph to sit down and Jesse sat in her own plush visitor’s chair.

“Well you’re in charge now, what do you want to know?” Jesse asked.

Steph sat back in the leather swivel chair and looked around the office in amazement. It had been decorated in plain colours with a red feature wall which hung a number of framed what looked like awards. A large oak table spanned across the back wall with piles of different color materials and an older looking sewing machine on the end. The other table nestled in the corner where she’d put her bag held piles and piles of sketches. The desk in the centre of the room that she now sat out was a lot less cluttered with just a laptop, phone and diary on it. The silver framed photo on the corner was of her Dad pulling a stupid face at the camera which made her laugh.

“For a pretty photogenic guy he can make the most ridiculous faces cant he?” Jesse asked when she saw her laughing at it. Jesse smoothed down her skirt and crossed her legs enjoying Stephanie take in the room.

“Dad can be pretty dorky at times, wait till you see him with Romeo and Jakey” she said remembering the way he acted around her brothers sometimes.

“I can just imagine” she held her hands out to the room “So what do you want to know before we do some work, ask anything you want” she said.

Stephanie stood up and walked over to the table that held all the materials “So you make all your own clothes as well?”

Jesse followed her over “Only the mock ups, when I sketch them I make it as well, so when I have them made up the sewing teams can actually see what I meant, some of the stitching and the way the material grain goes is all in the makeup of the piece” she explained by showing Steph a skirt that displayed a special stitch across the hem.

“I love your work, you always make the most simple things so cool” Stephanie gushed “Like this” she said picking up the white shirt that that plain and simple but it had swirls of navy blue stitching down each sleeve.

“Thanks Steph, every designer is different but my own personal philosophy is that that most clothing is great in its purest form, skirts, shirts, pants but what changes it from being just a shirt is a subtle touch, I am totally into adding just that little bit of flair to something, stitching obviously to make it unique from it just being a shirt or dress.” She explained. She picked up a back large portfolio folder and laid it out on the table.

“And this is my summer collection, it’s highly under wraps so you will be the first to see the sketches and who knows you might have some ideas for me” she winked.

Steph’s eyes widened “Me? What could I know?” she asked amazed Jesse would even ask.

“A lot, you’re in that trendsetter age group so your input is invaluable to designers like me and this will give you a taste of what its like. Just do not tell your dad you helped me design bikinis ok?” she asked spreading out the designs she had sketched so far.

“I won’t promise! These are SO cool!” Stephanie said examining each one excitedly. The door opened at the funny man came back in and asked them if they wanted drinks.

“What do you drink Steph?” Jesse asked her “George goes to Starbucks for us” she said.

“A Chai Latte please if that’s ok?” she asked.

“A Chai it is sweetheart, the usual Jesse?” George said bowing in the girl’s direction. Jesse rolled her eyes while Stephanie laughed.

“You got it hot stuff, make it a double” she teased. George soon left them again and Jesse noticed Stephanie was looking over her the jeans that Jesse had designed.

Stephanie looked at Jesse with a question in her eyes but not really sure how to ask it.

“Yes he is Steph, he’s the sweetest man you will ever meet though” Jesse said sensing she was going to ask about George.

“He seems it, but these make my jeans look so boring” Steph moaned picking up a few pairs of the jeans Jesse had made for the fall collection.

“They aren’t that bad you know, nice cut, bootleg and I bet there is a way we could make them better” she winked moving the stool to the sewing machine.

She is just so awesome Stephanie thought to herself watching Jesse in her zone. She was really nice and she could see why her Dad liked her so much.

Jesse tied up her hair in a loose roll and stuck a pencil through it beofore picking out a long piece of red suede and fired up the sewing machine, it was almost an antique in its black steel appearance. George always was at her to get a new one since she could afford it, but this one held sentimental value to her as well as being reliable. It had been the first sewing machine that had made her first ever piece that was bought by a buyer, and since then Jesse had never had bad luck with it. It had been left to her when her late Grandmother had passed, she being the one that always believed in Jesse as a designer and encouraged her to chase her dream where her parents had seen it as a wasted flimsy career.

She was halfway sewing some purple embroidery on the suede when a knock on the door stopped her. “George you don’t have to knock” she called rolling her eyes at Stephanie. The door opened and standing there was not George, it was Jason.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Chapter Seventy-Eight

Jon and Jesse arrived a little later to dinner than intended, their pre dinner activities to blame for the tardiness. As Jon stepped out of the car he’d ordered for the evening he offered Jesse his hand taking a minute to admire her when she stepped out onto the sidewalk. A low cut back sleeveless dress fell just above her knees showing off to perfection her silky tanned legs. Of course this was complimented with black killer heels. The dress was gathered at the waist by a deep red chiffon belt which accentuated her hour glass figure and she carried a matching red purse. The epitome of a fashion goddess she was with her dark wavy hair swept into a loose French twist with a few stray ringlets shaping her face and diamond tear drop earrings fell from her lobes. God she was just gorgeous.

“Ready?” she asked him with a grin as he straightened himself before taking her hand. “As always, we better get in there before Sambora has a coronary that I’m late” he teased leading her through the entrance of the quaint little Italian Bistro that he had chosen. The waiter recognized Jon and immediately showed him over to the corner table where Kia and Richie were already seated and halfway through a bottle of wine.

“Well look who decided to finally show their faces?” Richie asked watching the waiter seat Jesse and then Jon. He was about to continue when his eyes fell on the buttons of Jon’s shirt that were buttoned wrong, he had an extra piece sticking out the bottom of his leather jacket.

“Sorry we’re late traffic was awful, you’d think I would have learnt by now living in the city for so long” Jon laughed opening the wine menu and signalling to the bottle he wanted to the waiter before he disappeared again.

Richie whispered something into Kia’s ear before she started to giggle. Jon raised his eyebrow at him “Problem Dean?” he asked shaking his head at Jesse.

Kia picked up her wine and took a sip leaning forward her blue eyes sparkling “So this traffic” she began the smirk slipping across her lips “was it hard and fast? Or was it slow and sensual?” she asked.

Jesse had just taken a sip of the wine the waiter had poured for her and Jon when she found herself choking on it at Kia’s words. A blush crept into her cheeks when her eyes met two pairs of mischievous ones across the table.

“I think you two had too much wine before dinner” Jon said sipping his Sauvignon Blanc.

Richie snorted “I think you two had too much sex before dinner” he retorted with a knowing look at them both.

“Richie!” Jess whispered realizing how quiet it was in the restaurant and how much his voice carried.

Jon’s eyes widened “What are you talking about asshole?” he asked how the hell Richie could know that, he was just jesting as usual. It was then Jon looked down when he went to pat down his shirt and saw what obviously everyone else had seen, well except Jess.

“Oh Christ, I can’t even re-dress myself baby” Jon said readjusting the buttons on his shirt. Jesse burst into laugher when she saw what had foiled their little sex-capade so well. She put her hand over her mouth trying to hold it in. How embarrassing. Jesse knew by now those two loved to razz on each other big time.

“God and I always usually do you the once over before we go out, it’s just a habit from the fashion shows, I guess I forgot this time” she said biting her lip.

Jon picked up his dinner roll and threw it at Richie “Anyway since when has it been illegal to have a quickie with your fiancé? We had something to celebrate man” he said laughing.

“Oh god what now? You’re not having a baby?” Richie asked worried. Kia looked over at Jesse and was relieved to see her shake her head with a don’t worry, no I’m notgesture.

“We’re getting a new place – together” Jon said proudly.

‘Well fuck, you’re going to sell the pad? THE bachelor pad we built from scratch?” Richie teased.

“I’m hardly a bachelor anymore Rich and it’s the right thing to do by both of us” Jon said proudly taking Jess’s hand.

“Well fuck, cheers to you both we expect an invite to the house warming” he said winking at Kia before leaning in to give her a lingering kiss.

“I’d have to nail the door shut to keep you away” Jon threw back at him.

Jesse laughed and rolled her eyes “Lord Can you two never have a conversation without it turning into a battle?” she teased them both. It was one of the things she loved the most about Jon and Richie, that they reminded her of herself and Kia a lot of the time. Tough on the outside but knowing when push came to shove, they would be there for each other no matter what just like her and Kia.

“Not with this one, no” Jon laughed when the waiter came back and took their order. Jon ordered an assortment of Italian dishes for them all to share along with some garlic foccacia bread and more wine of course.

Kia smiled “Well I think its great and if I didn’t tell you before its great to see Jess so happy again Jon and I know that’s a testament to you so thank you” she said raising her glass.

Jon smiled “What? No promise to remove my balls if I screw this up with her? You going soft on me baby?” he teased finishing the glass of wine he had remembering the first few times he’d met Kia.

“Oh that still stands, that’s what girlfriends are for” she winked at Jesse. Any reservations she had about Jon right at the beginning and the way he’d been there for Jesse through Jason coming back had all vanished. But again it was always fun to tease. Keeps him on his toes.

The night continued with good company, great wine and exceptional food. The four of them thoroughly enjoying the meal and Jesse swore she’d need to run for two hours on the treadmill the next morning to work this one off. They left the restaurant with Jon having them driven home again. She watched him clear his messages on his cell-phone before a smile broke on his lips.

“Can I bring Steph in tomorrow? She’s bugging me again” he said holding his phone to her with a text message that simply read:

Have you asked her yet Dad? :-)

Jesse laughed “Bring her in around ten tomorrow that way I can clear the back log in the morning and then we can have some fun, girls only though” she warned him.

Jon’s eyes widened “Oh fine I see, it’s like that huh. I’m not good enough to hear the fashion talk?” he said drawing her in close across the soft leather seats. His lips feathered across the arch of her neck back up to her lips where he placed a long warm kiss.

She could have got lost in him so easily if they weren’t in the back of a chauffeured driven car, he always had that effect on her, like an aphrodisiac the minute his lips hit any part of her body.

“Oh you can stay if you want to, but I have better uses for you later” she said tugging on his bottom lip between her teeth.

His hand crept around her waist almost pulling her onto his lap “You play a dangerous game Ms Adams” he whispered his other hand hiking up her skirt traveling up the silky length of her leg.

She was about to answer but the car came to a stop outside her apartment and the driver getting out of his side and opening the door on Jon’s side.

He his hands retreated off her and instead he helped her out of the car and thanked the driver leading her to her front door. Jesse let a long yawn out when they walked slowly to the apartment, it had been a long day and all she wanted to do was crawl into bed. On the doorstep of her apartment to their surprise was a large bunch of flowers sitting against the door.

“Well somebody is popular” Jon said “Should I be worried?” Who was sending her flowers? Not to be the jealous type he was still very interested.

Jesse sighed picking them up and smelling the fragrant scent of lilies and jasmine. They were from Jason, she didn’t even need to look at the card, they were her favorite flowers and only he knew that.

She unlocked the door with the flowers in one arm and walked inside opening the small card inside the charcoal envelope and read it.

Dear Jess.

Sorry things got so weird between us, I don’t want to hurt you and I respect your decision but I would love if we could at least remain civil even so much as friends. I don’t want to lose you for good Jess. Let’s get together for dinner and talk about the divorce.


She handed the card to Jon, she felt indifferent about the card and flowers. Jason usually didn’t make gestures like this, it was a little out of character for him but maybe he really did just want to remain civil. They were married for five years and a tiny part of her still felt so guilty for him how this had all worked out not in his favor after everything he had been through.

Jon read the card, it seemed innocent enough he didn’t know Jason well enough to know if he was being sincere or not. But something about him wanting to take her out to dinner bugged him, he didn’t know why but it did.

“Well, it’s a nice gesture, but don’t you think you should be discussing the divorce with your lawyers?” he asked her.

She put her purse and keys down on the counter with the flowers. “I will for the official proceedings of course” she said reaching into the cupboard for a vase she could sense Jon uneasiness with the situation.

“You don’t want me to go to dinner with him?” she asked turning the tap on filling the vase mid way.

“Its up to you baby, do you want to have dinner with your ex husband?” he asked.

“Well you see your ex wife nearly every day right?” she asked arranging the flowers in the vase.

Jon bit back a retort, she was right but he couldn’t help feel something deep inside him that this was different. He didn’t want her alone anywhere with her for maybe the simple reason he didn’t trust Jason not to try and make a play for her. He knew in Jason’s position he wouldn’t have given up so easily. Fuck.

“I guess so Jess, just be careful. I don’t know why but I just have a bad feeling about it” he said honestly. He had to trust her to deal with this if she wanted to this way.

She turned grabbing each side of his shirt collar and pulled him closer to her letting her lips glide over his.

“I chose you and nothing will change that, ok Jon? Now all I want to do is go to bed and I want you to ravish me stupid before I fall asleep” she whispered her eyes locking with his. This could wait till tomorrow to figure out what she should do.

With a lopsided grin he scooped her up in his arms pushing back any niggling doubts in his mind and began the walk to the bedroom captivated with the woman in his arms.

“Don’t have to tell me twice baby”

Friday, August 22, 2008

Chapter Seventy-Seven

“And what idea was that?” Jesse asked watching his blue eyes twinkle intrigued.

“Well” he said swirling the last of the wine left in his glass before drinking it and placing the glass back on the table.

“This is about new beginnings right? You and me, and us building the future?” he asked resting his hand on her knee. He should have seen this earlier it was the perfect solution.

She nodded “Of course it is” she said not really knowing where this was headed.

“Then I think, I will be putting my apartment on the market and we better start looking for a place for us to live in” he announced.

Jesse just about spat out her wine “But you love your place?” she asked “I know how much you put into that apartment, and it’s your baby” she said. She was taken aback, the last thing she’d expected was this.

He chuckled and looked around the room they were in “And this is your baby, so its time to make our own babies, together.” He took her hand and brought it to his lips.

“Babies?” she questioned raising a fine brow his way knowing she was teasing him.

“Well house babies, then maybe we can talk other babies” he grinned “Later”. He wanted more children? She had kind of thought about this possibility but never actually imagined it he would actually consider it till now.

“I love you Jesse and I want you to start my life all over again with you, so this is the right thing to do by both of us” he searched her eyes for the answer he needed.

She put her wine down and took his other hand in his drawing him in closer for a kiss. “I love you too, and yes I would love that Jon. I really would” Their lips met in a sweet touching kiss before the fire and passion exploded within their mouths.

It was then Jon lost it, pushing her down on the couch his fingers making light work of the tie of her robe. He needed to be with her now and feel her heat. Parting the terry cloth material he exposed her body to him. His fingers tips ran lightly over her curves eliciting small moans from her.

Feasting on her breasts he heard her choked scream as her heart pounded loudly against his mouth. Her own hands were desperately trying to find his shirt buttons also making easy work of them. Finally she made head way pushing it off his shoulders still tangled in a steamy kiss with him.

He gasped when he felt her nails scrape over his nipples only spurring his desperation to be inside her. The temptation to eat her alive was playing heavily on his mind with each tongue stroke and nibble against the pebbled flesh.

“Off. Off… “She mumbled between the hungry kisses fumbling with his heavy belt buckle and fly soon finding his heat in her hands. Her eyes becoming dark and heavy drugged with lust.

“Jess, fuck” he tilted his head upwards exposing his neck to her savouring her touch on him. She pumped him a few times in her hands him sure he was about to explode over her hands right there. Teeth scraped down his neck across his clavicle, her mouth showing him no mercy.

Pants and groans rang through the room and in a desperate tumble pulling at his pants he was finally buried deep inside her. Her legs clamped around his waist matching each thrust each movement he threw at her. This man would be the death of her. She was ready now. She’d always be ready for him.

As he relentlessly drove into her he was going crazy on watching the emotion wash across her, each gasp, and each flicker of pleasure that shot through her face under him nearly made him cum right there and then. Her body arched high off the couch with each hitched breath she took the heave of her breasts glistened with the light coating of sweat. He took her harder, faster and higher till she finally fell off the edge screaming her way into the sweet orgasm they shared.

He let her body ride it all out before finally letting himself go, spilling deep inside her. She held on tight to his shoulders seeing the veins clench in his neck and then relax. He slumped hard against her the light slap of skin meeting skin. He buried his face in her hair, savouring the smell of sweat mixed in with the herbal shampoo.

“God damn woman, you are going to kill me one of these days” he dipped his head lower and kissed her on her lips.

She chuckled against his kiss “I beg to differ on the who is killing who here” she said running her hands down his back. “I love you Jon, I really do” she said. Brown eyes met blue when she again kissed him never getting enough, knowing that some way this would all work out in the end for them.


Jason sat staring at the papers he’d been looking at blankly for the last half an hour. Divorce papers. He’d had his lawyer draw up a fair divorce settlement for him and Jesse and now all he had to do was get her to sign them, then she’d be free. Free to go and marry that fucking Jon Bon Jovi. His fist tightened at the thought of him all over Jesse, kissing her, making love to her. He’d let her go yes, but the pain and reality of the decision had finally settled in.

After months and months in the Prisoner of War camp the only thing keeping him alive and motivated was the thought he’d see his wife again. And this is how she’d repay him. In the time spent in the camp the locals had attempted to chastise these soldiers against the ways of the western world.

But all that had kept Jason’s hope unfounded was his Jesse. Waiting for him to get home so they could finally start the family he always had dreamed off. He had plans to quit the Marines once he’d escaped and been home to live a normal life with the woman he loved, and get a respectable career that would always keep him close to home. He’d decided that he couldn’t do this anymore serve his country at the expense of being away from his family. His Jesse.

Well that had all gone pear shaped, thanks to big ego rock stars preying on marine widows. Some freaking country he thought wryly. America the brave, America the beautiful. If you were a ramped up rock star it certainly was. Jason had researched Jon’s past and seen how patriotic he supposedly was. Sure, patriotic to take what he thought was his.

As he drove home that day Jason’s internal battle between what was good and what was evil distorted. Months tried to being convinced that suicide bombings and killing innocent people was the right thing to do by Allah to show defiance to the western world was beginning to make sense in a warped way.

What really did he have to live for? The war in Iraq had seemed pointless, his life back home and the reasons to stay had all gone. Or could he change that? Maybe he’d see Jesse again and try to make her see that they should be together. He needed her. God he needed her. Nights of endless dreaming of making love to your wife only to find when you got home, it was all ripped apart. He just wanted to hold her, touch her, and feel her one last time.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Chapter Seventy Six

By the time Jesse arrived home it was after five and Jon was due there in a matter of minutes from the text she’d received an hour ago that indicating that. They arranged to have a drink and chat before meeting Kia and Richie for dinner.

Jesse smiled as she carried her bags into the house and dumped them on the couch before heading to the shower. It had been great to catch up with Kia, she’d missed her so much and with both of them becoming pretty involved in new relationships they vowed not to let it become that long again which theoretically shouldn’t be that hard considering they were dating two guys that were best friends.

She stripped her clothes off and slung them over the rack in her room before finding the steam of the shower to engulf her and the warm beads of water drummed down on her face to sooth her. After spending five minutes in there she wrapped her terry cloth robe around her body and padded back downstairs just in time to hear the doorbell go. She bundled her wet hair into a claw clip before heading to the door.

The feeling did never get old, knowing there was a man on the other side of the door that loved her. And like an excited teenager she flung open the door.

“What ever you are selling I don’t want any” she teased biting her index finger as demurely as possible.

“Oh I think you might change your mind Miss when you see what I have on offer” he said holding out the bottle of Pinot Gris.

She grinned taking him all in, freshly showered his hair styled with a just been meshed kind of look. The black silk wide collared shirt he was wearing was buttoned low just showing a scattering of that amazingly soft fur on his chest. The black dress pants he wore rode low on his hips and Jesse bet with herself if he was shirtless she’d be able to see that V that drove her crazy.

“Well I’m willing to test the product out, I suppose” she said coyly standing aside as he walked in. The smell of his shower wafting with that spicy man smell floating right past her.

He sat the wine down on the table and when she walked past him to grab two wine glasses he pulled her in close the softness of her robe pressing against him. Drawing her in he met her lips in a soft kiss, his tongue breaching her lips to teasingly run over her teeth. It was Jon’s turn to breathe in the citrus smell of her skin along with the herbal infusions in her damp hair.

“You smell just too good not to do that woman” he growled into her lips. From the minute he’d left her this morning he’d craved this moment all day, to be with her and have her in his arms. He’d wondered at times would this ever go away, the newness and excitement he always had when he thought of her.

She’d been on his mind most of the day, and after his conversation with Richie earlier in the day and when he’d spent time with his kids. Stephanie still pestered him about spending time with Jesse at her work but she did understand that Jesse was flat out at the moment, while Romeo and Jake were more interested in playing lets tackle the Daddy. Jon knew that it was the less time he spent with them caused them to be more all over him when he did visit.

Dot had spoken to him about wanting a holiday without the kids in a month or so which meant Jon would have the kids for two whole weeks. He’d said it would be no problem the album stuff he was still doing with Richie he could do from home if need be. What Jon had hoped was this meant Jesse would get to spend time with them as well since she had niggles around that aspect of their relationship.

He felt the sigh of her into his chest before she pulled away to collect the wine glasses. He sat leaned on the counter top resting his elbows on there and smiled at her.

“Yes I am planning of getting changed very soon, I just needed a sloth moment to relax before dinner, and work was bloody awful” she said knowing the conversation on Milan would have to be mentioned soon enough.

Jon laughed “Hey I never said anything, although I have no complaints especially if you are naked under there” The smirk that played on his lips Jesse was all too familiar with.

“Maybe I am. Maybe I’m not” she said nonchalantly placing two glasses down and waiting for him to do the honours handing him the wine knife taking every effort to actually keep this one out of the bedroom for a change.

Jon picked the wine up and expertly corked the wine before pouring her a drop in her glass waiting for her taste it.

She picked up the glass and brought to it her lips tasting the wine knowing well that Jon always chose the best. The full bodied flavour of the white wine settled in her mouth. She held the glass out and put on her best imitation of being deep in thought before continuing.

“Soft yet subtle, this wine has a refined character blended with at a guess peach, pineapple and passion fruit which provides it with a great balance and long finish” she said raising her eyebrow at him.

He chuckled impressed “Well very very good” he said inspecting the bottle to see she was exactly right before pouring her a fuller glass and for him too.

They both sipped the wine before both of them said “Jess” and “Jon” at the same time. They both laughed and shook their heads before Jesse walked around the counter and into the living room and sat down on the couch before she was joined by Jon. He leaned forward and tucked a wet strand of hair back behind her ear before he spoke.

“Jesse I wanted to talk and get this sorted, I felt like this morning I was rail-roading you into something that you didn’t want all of a sudden” he said honestly.

She scooted back and lifted her legs resting them in his lap and took a draw of wine. “Jon, you know I love you right, and I want all this, and now I know more than ever I want you but today just threw me like a bell went off in my head that the little fairytale we’d been living has a little bit of reality to get used to” she said.

Jon frowned at her a little confused, was she referring to his kids as being reality. “My baggage you mean?” he asked crudely.

“God Jon, no that’s not what I meant, what I mean is that this, you and me is about just more than us, it is about the kids too, you can’t deny that” she said stunned he’d even think she thought of them that way. “It’s not just about me accepting and be ok with them which I am, you know I love your kids, they’re adorable but what about them Jon? Are they going to be ok, knowing when they are staying with us we’re sharing a bed?” she asked.

Jon left his breath blow out and nodded, she had valid points but she was over analysing this and normally he was the one to do that ironically enough.

“Let me be honest Jess, I have no idea what they will think about that, but its happening, either way they will get used to it ok, we all will adjust to the new arrangement, I wont allow it not to work” he said running his fingers lightly across her the arch of her foot.

Jesse bit her lip “I’m just scared Jon I guess” there she admitted it. What if she sucked at being a stepmother or whatever she would become to his children?

“Jess, you will be fine. Look at you babe, you can do anything and I have every confidence in you, and besides once they spend time with you they will love you just as much as I do. Well maybe not that much” he winked.

“I suppose, its all just a big change Jon and I freaked out this morning but you were right about one thing” she said.

“What was that?” he asked.

“The house, I think I’m ready to move out” she declared, There she said it. One small step for mankind, one great leap for Jesse Adams.

The wide smile grew across his face “Great because I have the best idea”

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Chapter Seventy Five

A knock on the door made Jesse looked up at the clock, realizing it was past lunch. She put her head down on the desk for a moment; she was just too tired to deal with whoever was at the door.

“Come in” she finally called knowing they wouldn’t go away any time soon. They never did.

A familiar blond came bouncing in armed with two trays of sushi and starbucks. Jesse was so relieved to see her. She stood and grinned while standing up and waited while Kia placed the trays on the desk before wrapping her best friend in a hug.

“God it’s so good to see you woman” she said as Kia hugged her back just as tight, she had missed her so much.

“Likewise Darlin” Kia laughed to herself, she’d spent merely over a week with Richie and already was picking up his lingo? God. She had to admit for someone that had gone through what Jesse had been through she still looked like she’d stepped fresh out of the pages of a magazine.

“I brought reinforcements, told George we were not to be disturbed for an hour so its time to play catch up” Kia said ripping the sushi packets open “But I’ve got to ask Jess, Jason? Holy fuck? What the hell happened?” she asked handing the tray out to her and sitting in the oak chair opposite her.

Jesse stood behind her desk and scooped some eel sushi into her mouth before swallowing to continue. “It ripped me from half way to Sunday Kia” Jesse explained again the whole story about Jason and what had gone on with Jon and her decision in the end to stay with Jon.

Kia sat and listened to Jesse talk about everything and by the end of it she’d cursed herself internally for not being there for her, instead she’d been off with his best friend. But the one thing that made Kia smile was listening and watching the way Jesse talked about Jon, the way she smiled. The type of smile that met her eyes and the relaxed posture of her body told Kia more than anything that Jesse had it in gold in Jon.

Jesse leaned back in her leather back chair and sipped her latte “So Ms Kia, tell me how is the dark one?” she asked lifting her eyebrow. She’s not stopped freaking glowing since she’d arrived.

“Richie?” she asked twirling a long blond strand in her hair innocently “Yeah he’s a lot of fun Jess, a lot of fun” she winked. Kia leant back and sighed.

“Hussy” Jesse teased.

“Hey when was it illegal to be happy, not my fault he’s good at what he does” she exclaimed in a giggle.

Jesse ran her finger along the rim of the plastic lid “Oh please” she laughed watching her friends cheeks flush a little pink, it was good to see Kia so happy.

“He’s so funny, he just makes me laugh so much, a big exterior but an equally big heart, and he’s a sweetie” she said.

“Jon was going to ask you and sweetie for dinner tonight with us I believe” Jesse said. Her desk phone soon rang throwing her thoughts into a spin. “Hold that thought” She reached over and picked the desk phone up.


The familiar croon came over the phone “Hello baby”

She smiled and felt her heart flutter just a little bit. Why could he make her feel like that with just a simple word?

“Hey you what do I owe this pleasure?” she teased twisting the cord around her finger.

Kia rolled her eyes and made puking movements guessing it was Jon. Ok so she was just the same every time Richie text or called her but Jesse didn’t need to know that.

“Can’t a man just ring his fiancé just because?” Jon asked.

“Sorry babe it’s been one of those days, Kia was the goddess of the day and brought Starbucks and Sushi in though, so I’ve dialled down the cranky” she laughed picking up her latte and taking a sip.

Jon noted she sounded a bit more relaxed than this morning but there was still unfinished business around what they had discussed. It’s been on his mind all day but he finally did have a small idea on how to resolve the issue.

“Jess, I booked in the restaurant for us tonight, but I’d really like if we could talk before we go” Jon said gently with his serious voice now on.

She sighed and closed her eyes “I know, I freaked out a little this morning, I’m really sorry. …” she paused knowing this wasn’t the place to have this conversation so she stopped.

“Its ok baby, we just need to talk this one out, I guess I didn’t think about a few things properly, but I want to work through and discuss them with you so we both feel comfortable. That you feel comfortable” he added.

“I know Jon, we’ll talk tonight, I’ll be home around five so why don’t you come around then” she suggested.

“Sounds good baby, I will see you then, don’t work too hard” he teased before hanging up.

“Lover boy I presume?” she asked finishing the next Ahi tuna piece of Sushi in her mouth.

“Yeah it was, we kind of had a strained talk this morning, and he wants me to move in with him” she said.

Kia nodded “And this is an issue because?” she asked noticing the worry lines on her friends brow.

“God I’m really stupid aren’t I?” Jesse asked her friend. Here she had the best guy in the world wanting to do everything right by her and yet somewhere, something inside her was still so tentative.

“You really want me to answer that Jess?” Kia quipped “But seriously if you’ve agreed to marry him what’s the issue here?” she asked. She could hazard a guess that Jesse didn’t want to give up her independence so soon after Jason but waited for her to continue.

Jesse ran her finger across the desk back and forward before continuing “I dunno Kia, part of me feels like moving into his place he’s already established with his kids is weird, and what I just slip right in as the step mom figure?” she asked her.

“Ah yes well four kids to inherit so to speak is not an easy task, but Jess, it will just take and they haven’t had the time to get to know you. Things are just going to be different and changing a little, but that’s who Jon is right? You know part of him is a dad” she pointed out. She knew Jesse would be freaking out about the kids as well. It was a huge change in her lifestyle for one thing.

“I know Kia, it’s not a big shock or anything but I guess when I accepted his proposal I didn’t think about all those things” Jesse said biting her lip at how it all sounded.

Kia’s brow raised again “Cold feet now that the reality is settling in?” she asked.

Jesse brought her hands to her cheeks and rubbed them gently “I don’t know, I’m so confused Kia” But why am I? This shouldn’t matter I love the man, and this should all just follow on from here.

Kia leaned forward and grabbed her hand “Because Jesse this has all happened so fast, if you look at yourself a year ago, you were married to someone else, and look what you’ve been through since then, a hell of a lot right? So you’re only human if you are freaking out about this. You need to talk to him though and really tell him what’s going on inside that head of yours” she said. “He’ll understand, if I know Jon the way I think I do. He’ll understand what you are feeling” she said.

Jesse nodded knowing she was right, she picked up the Milan schedule that had been faxed through to her today, originally she had planned to take Jon with her and he accepted. But now she was thinking that it would be better to go by herself to clear her head. God what was she doing? Was she crazy and just being paranoid?

“What is that?” Kia asked

“Its schedule for Milan, did I tell you from the launch they want me there a week to go through my designs and talk about selling them over there?” she asked.

Kia’s eyes widened “You’re shitting me, Jesse that’s fantastic, I know you’ve always dreamed about this! Holy shit” she said flying at her giving her a hug. “I’m so jealous MILAN” she said pulling the paper from her hand reading it.

Jesse laughed “Thanks babe, hey why don’t you come with me? I’ll be busy most of the time but I know I get downtime to go out and explore and we could shop till we drop, like we used to” She watched Kia almost fly out of the seat.

“Oh my GOD, that would be incredible!” Kia squealed in excitement “I’m so there!”

“All that wine, gelato and coffee, and of course all those Italian men at our disposal” she winked.

Jesse bit back a laugh “Are you forgetting something?”

“Ohhh yes, handbags!” she exclaimed. Jesse rolled her eyes but she was so glad that Kia had agreed to come. It maybe just what she needed? Now she just had to tell Jon when they talked tonight and hoped he’d understand.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Chapter Seventy Four

Jon arrived at Richie’s and soon was knocking on the door of his apartment. It took a few minutes but eventually the door opened and the bleary eyed version of Richie Sambora complete with bed hair was standing there staring back at Jon. Thankful he’d taken the time to put on a pair of sweats, as it had been too often that Jon had caught Richie without clothes.

“Hey Dean, you look like shit, sorry to come over so early” he said walking in. Richie just stood there still half asleep watching Jon head to the kitchen and put on the coffee. He scratched his head and followed him into the kitchen sitting down on one of the stools at the counter.

“Okay, what’s going on that’s got you here at this hour of the morning?” he asked Jon watching him fill the coffee pot and place it back on the element firing it into action.

Jon leant back against the counter top facing Richie “I asked Jesse to move in with me, and we kind of came to a small disagreement on the situation” he explained as he scratched his chin.

Richie raised an eyebrow “You guys are engaged though right? Its kind of the next obvious step I would have thought” he said agreeing with Jon.

“Exactly but she still feels so attached to the place, she explained it like she was losing her independence or something by moving in with me” he said confused. The truth honesty was he truly wanted to share everything he had with her now.

Richie accepted the cup of coffee Jon poured for him and took a sip and nearly spat it back out. “I forgot you liked drinking tar” he joked at how strong the taste was.

“It’s good for you, puts the hair on your chest” Jon grinned.

“You must drink a shit load of coffee then” Richie teased making a quip at Jon’s chest hair that had always been a topic of conversation for the ladies.

“Jesse never complains” he said with a smirk.

“Oh I bet she doesn’t, anyway Kidd, look. The way I see it is Jesse has a lot of history in her house so she’s probably scared of letting it all go, even for you her fiancé. It’s a big step for both of you, but realistically Jon you’re keeping your place and she’s giving up hers. Where’s the compromise?” Richie asked.

Jon looked at his friend, he was right in a way, he was asking Jesse to give up everything of hers and move in with him to a place he’d already established, a history of divorce with kid’s rooms and everything he’d built after the divorce with Dot, and she would be leaving everything she’d built after Jason.

He ran his finger around the brim of the coffee mug deep in thought, there was really only one way of resolving this. Eventually they would be married and they would have to live together but Jon wanted to make sure he did everything right this time around. Jesse deserved nothing less.

“You’re right you know” Jon said lifting the mug to his lips again.

Richie snorted “Great, let me grab some paper so you can write that down” he winked at Jon.

Jon was about to rebut when the door opened from the bedroom and a familiar blond woman walked out in one of Richie’s oversized t-shirts.
“Well what do we have here?” he teased as Kia walked up behind Richie and wrapped her arms around his waist giving him a kiss.

“Morning Darlin” Richie said giving her a kiss on cheek snaking his own arms around her.

“Hiya Jon, how’s Jess doing?” Kia asked. She had felt awful, the last few days had been just so hectic between her job and her new found relationship with Richie she’d hardly had time to do much else. She’d had to hear the entire goings on with Jason through Richie. She had been shocked to the core knowing Jason had been still alive and knew that Jesse would have been devastated. She took much comfort in knowing that Jon had been there the entire time for her through all this and she had made the right decision in the end choosing Jon. But today it was all going to change as she was heading into see her and get the real details of it, girl style.

Jon grinned watching the two lovebirds “She’s doing well, we’ve sorted a lot of things out, it’s been a hell of a time as you can imagine. She’s missed you though” Jon said. He felt a bit bad as he’d taken up so much of her time of late Kia wouldn’t even had the chance to see her if she’d had been trying.

“I know but I got told she was being looked after” she winked at him. She now trusted Jon fully. From the time she’d spent with Richie and of course seeing the way Jon was around Jesse she knew he loved her the way he said he did.

Kia could see that Jon and Richie had been in the middle of a “guy” discussion so she reached up and gave Richie a kiss on the lips brushing back his bangs. “I’m going to have a shower, but don’t be too long, I’m going to need someone to wash my back stud” she said with a teasing grin walking back towards the bathroom knowing he was watching her every step of the way.

Jon shook his head and threw the dish towel at Richie to get his gaze back to him. “Hey asshole, remember me?” he asked bemused watching his friend.

Richie snapped back from watching the most glorious set of legs waltz away from him “Uh yeah I’m here bro” he said coming back down to earth. “Isn’t she something” Richie asked picking his coffee back up.

“Sure she is” Jon agreed. It was good to see Richie happy again, and ironically with Jesse’s best friend it was even better.

“So what are you going to?” Richie asked Jon seeing he still was unsettled with the situation.

“I don’t know Rich, I need to go around to see the kids, and I promised I would take them out but did you and Kia want to have dinner tonight?” Jon asked gathering his keys and cell phone.

“We always have dinner” Richie teased back knowing what Jon meant but he couldn’t resist winding him up.

Jon laughed and punched him on the shoulder “Remind me that in love Richie is impossible to have a conversation with next time” he said rolling his eyes.

“I can’t help it bro, now you know what it was like when you first started seeing Jesse.” He said standing and stretching is long frame. “But sure, we’ll have dinner with you, just let me know when and where” he said putting the cup in he dishwasher.

“Will do bro, I’ll drop you a text later on, now go and have a shower you horny bastard” Jon said walking out the door back to the car.


Jesse arrived at work with George already in a fluster around the calls he was receiving around her launch.

“Thank god you’re back!” he said giving her a huge hug and then proceeded to flick that one strand of hair from his face that was slicked there.

She laughed “It’s good to be back believe me, everything ok while I was away?” she asked powering her computer into action and picking the pile of coloured post-it notes that were left on her desk.

“They’re going crazy for your pieces Jesse, I’ve had calls from Milan, Brussels and Los Angeles this morning, and that’s just the beginning” he chattered away at a mile a minute. “And Jean Prashad wants you to ring him as soon as you can about the Milan trip” he said handing her the special post-it he had reserved for Mr Prashad’s number.

All thoughts of the conversation with Jon this morning flew from her mind in a flash as attention to her work called. She tried to dispel thoughts of worry and anxiety behind her while she waded through emails and phone calls.

She’d agreed to marry Jon and she had no regrets about it, but in reality they were still such a new couple. Knowing most things about each other yes, but was Jesse really ready to take that next step and become a step mom to four kids she hardly even knew. They were wonderful kids and she had no issue with them being in her life but maybe the thought of an instant family was jarring her just a little bit, how was she supposed to act? She had no experience with children at all either. She was so lost in thought it wasn’t until the hot liquid spilt across her.

“Shit!” she exclaimed standing up grabbing a fistful of tissues from the box to mop up the coffee narrowly avoiding her skirt as it dripped off the end of the desk. Throwing the soaking wet tissues into the bin she sank back into the chair.

Pull yourself together Jess, you just need to talk to him, he’ll understand. He always understands. She fished around in her hand bag for her cell phone with half a thought to call him and see if he wanted to meet for lunch but quickly put it away.

What would she say? Jon I don’t know how I‘m going to be a mother? They’d talked about kids before briefly but how would that even work with four of his own. She put her hands in her face. God, this was a mess.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Chapter Seventy Three

Jesse rolled over when sunshine started to peek though the blinds and glanced at the bedside clock. It was well after the time she should be getting up having promised work she’d be in today. She had far too much work to keep on top of with the launch orders coming in and the trip to Milan to organize. She sat up and stretched her body, her muscles tight from feeling like she’d done a vigorous aerobic workout the night before. God no more sex on the stairs she thought chuckling to herself.

She looked down beside her and saw the man responsible for her delicious aches splayed out on his tummy, his head buried in the pillow and arms spread across the bed. In half a mind to leave him and get dressed the temptation to touch him proved too strong. She traced her finger around the steer’s head tattoo on his arm before trailing it back up across the deep curves of his back.

“God please tell me it’s not morning” he mumbled into the pillow.

Jesse bit back a laugh, he was so hopeless in the mornings “Okay it’s not morning” she confirmed. He managed a soft grunt before rolling over on his side to meet her gaze with a lopsided sleepy grin.

“Liar” he propped himself up on his elbow reaching up to meet her in a sweet kiss.

“I have to go into work baby, no rest of the wicked I’m afraid if I want to get these orders out by Milan” she said going to shuffle across the bed but he reached out and grabbed her hand.

“Jess, I need to talk to you” His blue eyes were now more aware and serious than five minutes ago when they were foggy with sleep.

She sank back into the pillows pulling the sheet up to sit loosely above her breasts “What’s up?” she asked noting his serious tone.

He shifted so he too was leaning back against the pillows bringing his knees up. “I just started to think last night, now that we’re getting married and moving on, we should talk about our living arrangements” he suggested. He knew exactly what he wanted to happen but he had to make sure she was ok with that. Hoping like him she wanted to move past all this and start afresh with him.

Jesse raised her eyebrow “Well yeah, I guess you’re right. What exactly were you thinking?” she knew any minute he was going to ask her to move in with him. Which in retrospect made a lot of sense, the house would no doubt now be sold due to the divorce that she and Jason would get, but something, and just something deep inside her was still so attached to this place. Not because of Jason but it was because it was where she’d poured her heart and soul into for the last five years, everything she’d decorated herself, and made it her own haven.

Jon reached out brushing his knuckles down the soft curve of her breast “I was thinking you should move in with me, there’s so much room there” he added looking back up her to see her brown eyes narrow a little.

“I know there is Jon, it’s just this is my place…I know it was Jason’s too but I’m kind of attached to it” she said fisting the sheet below her chin. Why was it always the woman that had to give up her place? Was there some man code somewhere that said that it wasn’t masculine to offer to move in with the woman?

Jon scooted up further so he was sitting upright “I know baby, I understand that but my place has room for the kids when they come to stay and their stuff is already there plus it’s handy to the city and your work” he said.

She closed her eyes, god the kids. She’d obviously met them but what would happen with them staying when she was there? Would it be weird for them, for her? Why hadn’t she thought about this before.

“Jon, will the kids be ok with us, you know…in the same bed?” she asked knowing how stupid she probably sounded.

He scratched his chin before breathing out “I honestly don’t know but its just something we will have to get through, we’re getting married so it is expected, they just have to get used to things like that, the school plays, teacher parent interviews…” he trailed off.

Jesse’s eyes widened “What? You don’t think they want me there for all of those things do you? I mean, I’m not their” she stopped. Well technically she would be a stepmother to four kids, Jesus Christ why hadn’t this hit home before? They were great kids but it just seemed a little overwhelming right now.

He reached over and took her hand. “You’ll be my wife Jess, obviously I need to talk to Dot about all this, but eventually they’ll get close to you too, and hell they seem to love you already, Steph especially and she’s the hardest one to impress believe me”

She snorted softly “Well it didn’t hurt that my job is her desired career” she teased.

She sighed, so much was changing, she wanted this, more than anything but the small independent bone inside her body just wanted to bring it all to a screaming halt.

Jon frowned “You don’t want to move in with me?” he asked sensing the undertone to her sigh.

She tucked her hair behind her ears and gave him a reassuring smile “Jon of course I do, I love you silly, its just this was harder than I thought it would be, this place will be sold no doubt, but I’ll just miss it” she said honestly.

Jon was trying to decide whether it was wise to say what he was really feeling about this, he took some Dutch courage and spat it out. “I don’t want to live here, when I know you lived here with Jason” he said. It was the truth. He wasn’t a man that liked to share, he respected that she had memories here with Jason but this was a new part of her life now and he didn’t want to share her with that.

Jesse just looked at him. She should of realized that’s what it was, she understood but at the same time she felt a little peeved that he was just asking her to give up everything she had to move in with him. God, you’re being pathetic, he’s the best man you’ve ever met and you’re throwing a fit over where to live. Kia would kick your ass over this, god KIA! Her best friend and she hadn’t even spoken to her through all this craziness. Feeling the guilt pile up she did end up sliding out of bed and walking into the bathroom with no response to his comment.

The hot beads of water hit her soothing her stiff joints from the previous night’s activities. She got lost in the memory of how alluring and rough Jon was last night and almost made herself wet just thinking about it. By the time she’d showered and wrapped herself in a towel she padded back through to the bedroom scooping a bra and panty set from the draw to change into, she’d forgotten about the small niggles of the where to live conversation and impending stepmother hood.

He watched her step into her underwear and dry the rest of her body, she hadn’t spoken since the Jason comment and he just hoped he hadn’t overstepped the mark but hell it was the truth, she needed to know that’s how he felt. He only wanted the best for them and their future. He admired her as she dressed in the sharp charcoal skirt that fell to her knees and watched her zip up the knee high leather boots with those damn heels. She turned and caught his stare and managing a small smile.

“Like something you see?” she teased throwing the white shirt on and thumbing the buttons up.

“Come here and I’ll show you exactly what I like” he purred crawling to the end of the bed.

“Uh uh, I need to go to work, so you can either stay there all day or come with me and grab some breakfast with me before I go” she said giving him the only two choices she was accepting. She smirked and started to walk out the door.

“You drive a tough deal Jesse Adams” he said rolling off the bed and looking around for his jeans. She watched him leaning against the door frame and pointed down the hall.

“First landing I believe” she chuckled knowing their clothes were scattered half way from here to Sunday across the house.

Jon found his clothes and they both ate a leisurely breakfast of bagels with strong black coffee before parting for the day. Jon had arranged to take Jesse out to dinner that night and hoped that Kia and Richie could join them. He’d make sure to call Richie in the day to organize it. His mind drifted back to the conversation of the house’s and the kids. It was a lot of change for her, he had to understand it. He glanced at the clock in the viper and made the decision to see Richie, he’d more than likely get told to fuck off since it was a little after eight but he needed to bounce this stuff off him.