Jon sighed wearily as he settled into the back seat. He quickly scrubbed his hands over his face, squinting against the pressure over his eyes. Tipping his head back against the seat, he kept his eyes closed as his hands fell to his lap. He sighed again, as much from frustration as from exhaustion.
He shouldn’t be here, in the back seat of a hired car headed for a hotel room. He shouldn’t be drained from yet another almost-three-hour performance. He shouldn’t be walking into a lonely hotel suite and climbing into an empty bed.
He should be with his wife. It was Valentine’s Day, after all.
Jon’s lips curved into a pout as he brooded, silently cursing his job as the roar of the crowd still buzzed in his head. He would give anything to hear Cate’s sweet whisper in his ear right now, instead of the dull rush of silence.
After a few minutes Jon tugged his iPhone from its holster. A quick scan revealed two new text messages, neither from Cate. No missed calls, either. Jon frowned at the glowing little screen. He hadn’t talked to her at all today.
She had sent him a text early this morning, telling him she would be out of contact most of the day and that she would talk to him when she could. Jon knew she couldn’t tell him why. He just hoped Cate’s job didn’t have her jetting off to chase some criminal on a moment’s notice. Not today. That would just be Karmically unfair.
He hadn’t even been able to wish her Happy Anniversary.
Jon had sent Cate the customary bouquet of roses but at her insistence he hadn’t bought her a gift. Instead he had planned to sing for her, a song that so perfectly expressed how he felt about her. But he hadn’t been able to reach her prior to the show.
She had been on his mind and in his heart through the entire show. He hadn’t been able to resist throwing a couple extra romantic tunes into the setlist tonight, just this once letting his yearning get the better of him. When he trudged down the steps at the end of the set and glanced at the clock, Jon’s heart sank as he realized their first wedding anniversary would be past before he could talk to her.
He had hastily texted Cate from his quick-change beneath the stage while the crowd thundered around him. Then he brushed a gentle finger over her photo and turned back to his Mistress. She was the one who demanded his attention tonight. She was here – Cate was far away. But he was going to sing to her, Dammit. Even if she wasn’t there to hear him.
The crowd had gone into a frenzy when he crooned the first line of the song that had been in his heart all day. But he hadn’t heard them. All he heard as he poured out his heart in song was Cate’s voice in his ear.
Thank You for loving me
For being my eyes when I couldn’t see
For parting my lips when I couldn’t breathe
Thank You for loving me.
Jon scrubbed his hands over his face again as the car glided to a stop. He took a deep breath before climbing out the back door and slipping his shades over his eyes. He didn’t want to see them, the fans that would be lingering in the lobby. He just wanted to get to his room and drown his loneliness in a bottle of wine.
After a dash through the lobby and a silent elevator ride Jon strode to the door of his suite. He curtly dismissed his security shadow and jabbed the keycard into the slot, snarling as the little light flashed red. With a muttered curse Jon yanked the card back and tried again.
On the fourth try he got it right, shoving the door open when the green light winked. He slammed the door behind him and flipped the lock, then leaned against the wall to toe off his boots and strip off his socks. Kicking them aside, he turned to wander barefoot through the dimly-lit sitting room.
It took Jon a second to notice it. A tired smile curved the corners of his mouth as he spied the long-stemmed red rose resting on the coffee table. A white card stood tented beside it, a small red foil heart shining on its cover.
With a soft chortle Jon moved to the table. He picked up the rose and held it to his nose, inhaling its delicate aroma. Then he reached for the card.
Happy Anniversary, Superman. All My Love… Your Wife.
Jon’s eyes moistened at the sight of her handwriting. Somehow Cate had managed to give him a little piece of herself today, even though his job had taken them away from each other. She must have asked Matt or someone to deliver the card.
Gently closing the note and tucking it into his hand, Jon again raised the soft bloom to his nose. He wandered slowly across the big room toward the bedroom door, his mind filled with tender thoughts. He would try again to call her. Maybe it wasn’t their anniversary anymore now that the clock had ticked past midnight, but Jon needed to hear her voice now more than ever. He needed to thank her for loving him.
Jon sighed softly and dropped his hands to his sides as he strolled toward the bedroom. With the movement the card slipped from his tired fingers and fluttered to the floor. His gaze automatically followed the movement.
He stopped in his tracks and blinked when he noticed the card wasn’t the only object lying on the plush carpet. At the same time he felt something smooth and soft under his bare feet. Jon stared at the floor as his brain struggled to comprehend what was before him.
Scattered like confetti over the carpet were hundreds of red and white rose petals. Astonished, Jon looked at the intact long-stemmed rose in his hand, then back to the floor. It took him almost a full minute to realize that the petals strewn over the rug formed a pattern of sorts. A trail, leading to the bedroom.
Jon’s eyes widened and his pulse raced, yet he stood frozen. She couldn’t possibly be…
With a jolt of realization he found the ability to move. His heart pounding, Jon strode to the double doors separating the bedroom from the rest of the suite. The rose fell from his hand as he grabbed the handles and yanked open the doors.
She was there.
A huge smile lit Jon’s handsome face as he took in the romantic scene. Soft light shimmered from dozens of flickering candles and glinted off a pair of wine glasses and a silver wine bucket on the bedside table. The chocolate-brown satin cover on the big bed was strewn with rose petals, marking the end of the floral trail. And at the end of the bed sat the most beautiful feature of all – his wife, wearing a modest red satin slip and a tender smile.
“Happy Anniversary, Baby.”
Jon crossed the big room to where she sat quietly waiting. He stopped in front of her, gazing lovingly down at her upturned face. His eyes glistening with happy tears, Jon dropped to his knees in front of Cate, his hands reaching to cover hers on her lap.
“Oh, Baby…” Jon sighed huskily. “I… I’m just so…”
Cate chuckled softly, her heart melting at the emotion in her husband’s voice. “Missed me, huh?”
Jon nodded wordlessly and pulled Cate’s hand to his lips. “I’m so happy to see you. I missed you so damned much today. Well, yesterday.” Jon sighed as Cate raised her other hand to stroke his cheek. “Baby, I’m so sorry. We should have been together for our first wedding anniversary. For Valentine’s Day.”
“It’s okay, Jon. I understand. You had a show. Besides…” Cate chortled softly as her thumb traced gently over the corner of Jon’s mouth. “We don’t do well with planning. Spontaneity seems to be our M.O.”
Jon grinned and leaned forward to lay his head on her lap, savoring the feel of her soft skin against his cheek. “Yeah, I guess so. That’s how we ended up with this anniversary date, ain’t it?”
“Yeah Baby, it is.” Cate giggled softly. “A couple of romantic saps, aren’t we?”
Jon didn’t answer, his heart warming as he recalled how on impulse he and Cate had found the nearest Justice of the Peace and had gotten married on a Maui beach at sunset, just a year ago this night. He turned his head to place a gentle kiss against Cate’s thigh before raising his face to hers. He had to clear the lump from his throat before he spoke.
“I’m so glad you’re here. I hated being away from you today.”
“Me too.” Cate leaned down to place a gentle kiss on Jon’s forehead. “ And since you couldn’t come to me, I decided to come to you. I’m just sorry I couldn’t get here before the show.”
“God, if you had I wouldn’t have wanted to go on. I woulda just wanted to stay locked away in here with you.” Jon tipped his face up to Cate’s, seeking her lips.
With a smile Cate lowered her mouth to Jon’s, purring contentedly at the familiar softness of his kiss. They savored each other for a long minute, then Cate pulled back. “Baby, you must be tired.”
“Not really. Not anymore.”
Cate saw through his lie. She knew Jon was always drained after a show. And he had come straight back to the hotel rather than hanging around the reception room at the venue, another sign of his intention to retire early. “Well, I know you’re not gonna want to sleep…” Cate giggled as Jon’s brows arched and he grinned in response to her statement. “But I want you to relax. I’m here to take care of you.”
“Oh, you’ll take care of me, all right.” Jon’s playful growl made Cate giggle again, then gasp in response as he slipped his hands to the insides of her thighs, prying gently in an attempt to part them.
“Yes, Baby. I will. But first I want you to relax.” Cate’s voice softened to a seductive purr. “So, I thought maybe we’d have a glass of wine…” She raised a fingertip trace along Jon’s lower lip. “I’ll give you a back rub….” She watched Jon’s lips pucker to kiss her fingertip before she drew it downward over the little cleft in his chin. “…And we’ll just wrap ourselves around each other and take it nice… and… slow….”
Jon chortled softly in response to Cate’s croon. He reached over to pick up a rose petal and pulled it gently across Cate’s thigh. “Sounds fantastic, Baby. Lay me down on a Bed of Roses.”
“Exactly.” Cate chuckled. “Corny, perhaps, but Heavenly. Now c’mon, climb up here and let me take care of you, Superman.”
Cate grinned as Jon groaned softly with the effort of climbing to his feet. “Wait a minute.” Her quiet order halted his movement. Cate’s lips pursed thoughtfully as her eyes traveled up and down Jon’s form.
“Think I better undress you before you get on the bed.” Cate rose from her seat on the edge of the mattress, her body brushing against Jon’s with the movement. She felt her nipples pebble against the silk slip at the touch. “Once you lay down you may not get back up.”
Jon snorted a laugh. “True. But that wouldn’t be my fault.” He smiled amusedly as Cate’s hands went to his waist, pulling at the fastening of his jeans. Leaving that task to her, Jon reached behind his head to tug his black henley up and over his head.
Cate growled softly as she undid Jon’s jeans and pushed the worn denim down his thighs. “Still being modest, huh?” She chuckled as her fingers stroked over the soft knit of Jon’s black briefs.
Jon’s hands moved to Cate’s hips as he stepped closer to her. “Thought you liked these.”
“I do. Very much.” Cate giggled quietly. “I’m just used to seeing you go Commando.”
“Not when I’m on the road, Baby. Well, unless I’m wearing leather. Can’t have a panty line when I’m onstage shaking my ass for all those swooning cougars.” Jon grinned at Cate’s musical laugh in response.
“Ah. Well, this swooning cougar likes it when there’s nothing between Superman and the leather, too. ”
“Funny, that’s what Superman says.”
Jon swallowed Cate’s witty reply with his kiss. With a happy sigh Cate circled her arms around his neck and let her body melt against Jon’s, savoring the warmth of his flesh as her tongue tangled with his. Jon’s arms slipped around Cate’s waist, pulling her hips against his as his cock surged with delight.
When finally they parted Cate smiled up at Jon, her heart squeezing with the joy she saw in his sparkling indigo eyes. “ ‘Kay, Baby. Lay down and let me rub your back.”
“Yes ma’am. “ Jon gave Cate one more light kiss. “But only if you promise to rub my front too.”
“Promise, Baby.” Cate lowered her hand to smack his ass. “Now lay down.” She giggled softly as Jon pulled away and turned to crawl up onto the bed, pausing on all fours before he collapsed onto his stomach with a groan.
“Christ, I’m gettin’ too old for this shit,” he sighed, sliding his arms forward to pillow his head.
“No you’re not,” Cate argued gently. “You love this shit.” She stepped over to the dresser and retrieved a small plastic bottle, then climbed up onto the bed beside Jon. With a throaty chuckle she squeezed one taut cheek before straddling his thighs. She exhaled softly as the wiry hair blanketing Jon’s legs teased the soft skin of her inner thighs.
Jon purred happily at the contact of Cate’s body with his. He drew in a deep breath and smiled as a light, spicy fragrance floated into his nostrils. “Mmmm…. that’s nice.”
“Spearmint eucalyptus. It’s calming.” Cate rubbed her hands together, coating them with a generous layer of massage oil. Then she leaned forward, pressing her hands to Jon’s tautly-muscled back.
“Ohhhhhhhhh……” Jon groaned contentedly as Cate began to knead his tired muscles, starting with his lower back and working her way slowly upward. He lay silent save for a series of contented grunts and purrs, feeling his body yield under her hands. After ten minutes of her magic touch he felt completely relaxed. “Jesus, Cate…. you are... just too… fucking amazing….” Jon’s throaty croon escaped his lips in rhythm to the movement of Cate’s hands.
“Your back is so tight, Baby,” Cate observed softly. “You needed this.”
“Uh huh.” Jon agreed sleepily, lulled by the massage. “Baby… don’t let me fall asleep, ‘kay?”
Cate chuckled huskily and paused long enough to lean down and place a gentle kiss on a cluster of freckles on Jon’s shoulder. “Honey, if you need to sleep, you need to sleep. I’m not going anywhere.”
“Nuh uh.” Jon raised his head and shook it briskly, as much to rouse himself from his fog as to disagree with her. “I’m not gonna let this night go to waste. I can sleep in tomorrow. We don’t have to travel.” He twisted around to look at Cate. “Besides, I have something for you, too.”
Cate raised up on her knees as Jon turned under her, settling on a hip and propping himself up on his elbow. She arched a brow at his smile. “You promised, no gifts. I didn’t get you anything.”
“I didn’t buy you anything, honest. Well, except for the four dozen roses that are probably sitting in the lobby of our building with the doorman since you’re not home to get them.” Jon grinned cheekily at Cate’s sheepish smile.
“They were waiting when I went home to get my bag. They’re gorgeous. Thank you, Baby.” Cate leaned forward to place a gentle kiss on Jon’s lips. He chortled huskily, his gaze automatically dropping to Cate’s chest as her position gave him a straight view down her nightie. Jon’s cock jumped again as he saw the satin slip did not have matching panties.
“Besides, you did too get me something. You flew all the way here, did all this…” Jon picked up a handful of rose petals and let them flutter back to the bed. “This is the best gift you could have given me, Baby. Just you.”
“This was for me, too,” Cate argued gently. “I wanted to be with you on our anniversary.” She straightened as again Jon shifted under her until he was sitting upright, his legs extended between her parted thighs. With a hand on her hip Jon urged Cate down onto his lap, groaning softly as he felt her dampness against his thighs. Jon felt another surge of lust as his dick pushed at the knit of his briefs, tenting their front.
“I’m glad you’re here,” Jon whispered against Cate’s lips before he kissed her.
“Me too....” she murmured against his mouth. Cate’s body flushed with heat as she melted in his arms. She scooted forward on Jon’s lap, seeking what she yearned for. Jon grunted softly when her movement sandwiched his rigid cock between his tight abs and her firm mound.
“Baby…” Jon breathed, pulling Cate with him as curled backward onto the bed. He felt the velvety softness of the rose petals against his skin, still warm and moist from the massage oil Cate had applied to soothe his tired muscles. A contented smile curved Jon’s mouth as Cate stretched out on top of him, the slick satin of her nightie as sensual against his front as the rose petals and satin duvet was against his back. Jon felt like he was being enveloped in bliss. He sighed happily.
Wanting to share the sensation with Cate, Jon circled his arms around her waist and slowly rolled sideways, easing her onto the bed beside him. She exhaled softly at the exquisite brush of the petals against her dewy skin. Cate chortled as she couldn’t stop Jon’s lyric from floating through her head.
Cate’s throaty laugh told Jon exactly what she was thinking. He smiled as he crooned softly against her lips.
I want to lay you down on a bed of roses….
“Oh Jonny…” Cate breathed, her eyes fluttering closed and her head tilting back to offer him her throat. Jon chuckled at her reaction, knowing he had pushed the right button. His lips slid down her neck and across her shoulder, gently nudging the thin red strap away from her skin. Jon moaned softly as he felt Cate’s hand on his hip, her fingers slipping under the elastic waist of his briefs and guiding them downward. His cock surged at the contact of her damp warmth against its velvety skin.
Jon nuzzled at Cate’s chest, pushing aside the red satin from her pebbled breast. He felt Cate arch against him as he rolled his tongue over her nipple then closed his lips around the peak, sucking gently. “Oh, Baby…” he purred against her flesh. You are so beautiful…”
“Jonny…” she whispered, pressing her hips hard against him and wrapping her leg around his, opening herself to him. “Baby, please…”
With a soft growl Jon granted her request, slowing pushing himself inside her. He sighed blissfully as her walls closed around him, sheathing him perfectly. Jon lay still for a moment, gazing into Cate’s swirling sapphire eyes. The contentment he saw in her soul made his heart sing.
Capturing her lips with his, Jon began to move, slowly pulsing and rolling his hips, playing his part in their practiced dance of ecstasy. After a year of marriage he and Cate knew intuitively just what moves to make, what cues to heed. But tonight their lovemaking was far from rote.
Jon smiled as he heard Cate’s throaty tigress purr. It was the sound only he could evoke from her, the one that filled his heart. He felt the familiar tingling at the base of his spine, alerting him to the buildup of his release. He knew from Cate’s breathing that she was close too. More than ever before he yearned to share this most intimate of acts with her, to share their climax of ecstasy .
“Oh, Jon… Baby…” Cate panted softly as Jon began to thrust more forcefully, picking up the pace. His increased intensity ignited her, causing a flush of heat to surge through her body. “Oh… God… JONNY!” Cate cried out his name and shuddered in Jon’s arms as she bucked against him, her orgasm exploding in a rush of white heat.
“Cate!” Jon grunted out her name through clenched teeth as his release surged forth. He gasped for breath as his heart pounded in his chest and he saw stars. “Oh God, Baby…”
Together they lay still, panting softly and holding each other tight. Jon smiled as he realized he could feel Cate’s heart beating in her chest as he hugged her against him. It was in perfect time with his.
“Oh, Jonny…” Cate’s husky voice filled Jon’s heart. He had longed to hear that beautiful sound all day, and now here she was. They were together, as they should be today, thanks to her. “You.. you make me so happy.”
Jon pulled back to look into Cate’s eyes at the hitch in her voice. He saw them sparkling with tears and he felt his own moisten. He chuckled softly. “Don’t cry. You’re gonna make me do it too.”
Cate chuckled and fluttered her lashes, trying to blink away her tears. “Sorry. I just can’t help myself. You do it to me.”
Jon pulled her close, smiling as Cate cuddled against his chest. He sighed happily and dropped a kiss on the crown of her head. “Baby, this was the most wonderful present ever. Thank you.”
“It’s not a gift. It’s just the way it should be.”
Jon felt Cate pull back to look at him, and he met her gaze. “Well, I do have a gift for you, if you'd like it. Nothing I bought…” he added hastily at her raised brow. “A song. I was going to play it for you on the phone today, but I couldn’t reach you.”
Cate’s heart melted at his gentle expression. “Something new?”
“No. In fact, it’s not even mine. But it’s perfect.”
Cate smiled and leaned in to kiss him. “Please.”
With a little grin Jon gently untangled himself from Cate’s embrace. She giggled softly as she watched Jon sit up and scoot to the end of the bed.
“What?” Jon gave her an amused look.
“You have rose petals stuck to your ass. And your back.” Cate let out another little giggle.
Jon chortled and swiped his hand over his derriere as he stood, brushing off a cluster of sticky petals. “Well you're the one who lubed me up with the massage oil. Now I look like a damned Rose Bowl Parade float.” He beamed as his wisecrack evoked another peal of musical laughter from his wife. He loved that sound more than almost anything on earth.
Grabbing his briefs from the corner of the bed, Jon quickly tugged them on and strode for the door. He disappeared into the sitting room, returning a moment later with a black acoustic guitar in his grasp.
Cate arranged her slip over her breasts and sat up, scooting away from the damp spot on the comforter. She watched as Jon pulled a chair from the small table on the other side of the room and carried it over to the bedside. As Jon settled on the chair and cradled the guitar on his lap, Cate swung her legs over the side of the bed and sat facing him. She felt a shiver of anticipation run down her spine as she watched Jon quickly tune the instrument, then turn his loving gaze to her.
“I was listening to my iPod the other day and this song came up. I hadn’t heard it in awhile, but it hit me like a ton of bricks.” Jon’s voice was soft and gentle. “It’s like somehow Bruce crawled into my head and looked through my eyes and wrote down everything I feel about you.” He chortled softly. “Damn, I wish I’d written this one. But Cate... maybe I didn’t write the words, but they’re in my heart.”
Cate felt tears spring to her eyes at the first word that passed Jon’s lips. She knew this simple tune, these heartfelt lyrics. But they had never sounded so beautiful as they did at this moment.
The way your heart beats when I hold you tight
The way you sigh when we kiss goodnight
The way the wind blows through the trees
That's the way you belong to me
The way you warm me Baby when I'm cold
The way you make me want you body and soul
The way the rivers run to the sea
That's the way you belong to me
The way you soothe me when I'm in pain
The way you make the blood rush in my veins
The way the winds rush through the trees
That's the way you belong to me
When I lose faith you take my hand
The way you make me feel like I'm a man
The way the sun belongs to the sea
That's the way you belong to me
The way you make me feel like I belong
And if I could girl though I know it'd be wrong
I'd lock you deep inside 'til the last rains fall
And hide you from the emptiness of it all
Sometimes at night I lie awake
I pull you close and feel each breath you take
The way the rivers belong to the seas
That's the way you belong to me
That's the way you belong to me
Jon watched Cate’s face as he sang to her, his heart overflowing with emotion at her reaction. She sat stock-still, her beautiful eyes shimmering with unshed tears and the most beautiful smile he had ever seen curving her perfect lips. When his last note faded to silence, a pair of silvery tears slipped down Cate’s cheeks.
Silently she rose from the edge of the bed and stepped forward until she stood in front of him. As Jon gazed up into her radiant face he could see the beauty of her soul swirling in the midnight depths of her eyes. Without a word Cate reached for Jon’s guitar, gently disengaging it from his grasp and setting it aside, propped against the bed.
Jon’s hands slipped around Cate’s waist as she settled onto his lap. She gazed earnestly at him for a long moment, then raised a hand to trace a fingertip along his jaw. Her lips parted and she paused, the corners of her mouth curving upward. When she spoke Jon thought his heart would burst with joy.
“Jon… Let’s have a baby.”