When Tori landed and made her way to baggage claim she glanced around and had to smile. “Hi Jack. This is becoming a habit.”
“Hi Tori. Yeah, if we keep meeting like this Richie’s going to get suspicious.”
She laughed and pointed out her baggage to him. His brows rose when he saw everything she had brought but he didn’t say anything.
When they arrived at the estate she had him stop in front of the main house. She was pretty sure they were staying in the guest house, but she wanted to stop and say goodnight to the kids before Richie commandeered her time and attention. The front door opened, and the kids came piling out, followed by their parents. Movement in the corner of her eye had her glancing towards the guest house to see Richie walking up the driveway.
As she turned to greet the kids, Jack lifted her suitcase out of the trunk. “Tori what do you want me to do with these boxes?”
“Oh. Those can go on the plane. They need to go to L.A., so they can just stay in the cargo hold for now.”
Jon crooked a brow. “So now I’m a moving service too am I?”
“Think of it as your brotherly contribution to my move.” She shrugged. “Or part of Richie’s contribution. Whatever works.” She turned to give Richie a kiss hello. “Will you make sure they get to yo….the house?”
“Nice save angel. Yeah. I’ll take them with me. What’s in there anyway?”
“Just some decorations for the living room. Some of my favorite knick knacks that I’d like to keep. Luckily, they’ll fit right in.”
That surprised Dorothea. “You have the same decorating scheme?” Tori nodded “Wow. Freaky.”
“Yeah. That’s what I said the first time I saw his…the house.”
Richie frowned at her.
“Hey! It’s going to take some time for me to get used to. Cut me some slack here! I’ve already starting moving things, what more do you want?” She asked in exasperation. He wisely bit his tongue, but his dark eyes were sparkling. Seeing it, Tori rolled hers. “Later.” She murmured.
They moved into the house and settled in the den where Romeo promptly crawled into Tori’s lap. She turned to her niece. “So what’s the game plan for this weekend?”
“We’ll leave around noon tomorrow. I wanted to go earlier and do some sightseeing, but…..” Stephanie shot a look in Richie’s direction. Tori smiled and nodded her understanding. “Then we’ll have dinner before going to the game.”
“Chickie and Pete’s?”
Tori turned to Richie. “When do I get to see the condo?”
“There’ll be time before dinner.” He assured her.
“Are you really moving in with Uncle Richie?” Jesse asked. Tori nodded. “Cool.”
“Then on Sunday I thought maybe we could play tourist a bit before Dad’s birthday dinner and the show.” Steph continued.
“Sounds good.” Her aunt agreed.
Jon frowned. “I want you to take security with you.”
Brother and sister locked gazes for several moments. Finally Tori sighed and shrugged. “He can carry the parcels.”
“Make it one of the younger guys please.” Stephanie grimaced at her father. “I don’t want to have some old, father figure hanging around frowning at me all day.”
“Are you saying I’m old?” Jon asked, immediately shooting a warning look at Tori, who hid a smile and bit her lip.
“No, just older!” Stephanie and Jesse answered in unison.
Tori laughed, the rest groaned. Jon turned to his wife. “How’d our kids get to be such smart asses?”
Before she could answer there was a commotion at the front door.
“The party can now begin. I have arrived to bring joy and sunshine to your lives!” David breezed through the doorway. He stopped beside Tori and bent to kiss her cheek. “Bela! How’d your parents take you abandoning your homeland to move in with tall, dark, and loathsome here? Did they warn you to sterilize everything?”
“She’s moving in with me not you, Typhoid Mary. What’s the matter, you lose your lollipop or are you just jealous?” Richie shot back.
Dorothea crooked a brow at her husband. “Does that answer your question?”
The next day Tori and Richie walked up the driveway to join the others by the waiting van. Tori was pleased to find John and Carol were joining them.
“Hi honey,” Carol hugged her. “We heard your news. It’s wonderful.”
John hugged her then picked up her left hand and frowned at her bare ring finger. He shot a glance at Richie who squirmed uncomfortably. Carol saw and poked her husband in the ribs.
“Stop it. The boys lived with their girlfriends before they got married.” She reminded him.
“Exactly. The boys. Not my daughter.” John insisted stubbornly.
Tori snorted. “Nice to see the double standard is alive and well.” She looked at John. “You do realize that I’m a grown woman, right?”
He sighed. “I know. But I don’t have to like it. And I know that Richie’s a good man and he’ll treat you right. But as a father, I can’t help but prefer that you did things in the proper order – and that went for the boys as well.”
Bickering in the van got their attention. Looking inside to see who was fighting, Tori sighed and rolled her eyes at the adults around her. She climbed in and flicked both miscreants as she took her seat beside Richie.
“OW! Bela, what was that for?”
“Angel, that hurt!”
“It was supposed to. You two need to knock it off! Jake and Romeo are better behaved than you two!”
Richie slid his arm around her shoulders and pulled her closer. His free hand settled on her thigh. He bent to nibble on her earlobe. “But you like it when I’m naughty. At least that’s what you said last night.” He murmured.
She swatted his chest, but didn’t move his hands.
“Hey Aunt Tori, Dad says you’re learning to play the guitar too.” Jesse commented as he climbed in and took a seat.
“Yes, Uncle Richie’s teaching me.”
“Did you bring your guitar with you?”
“No I didn’t. But between your dad and Uncle Richie, there’s always plenty around if you want to have a little practice session.”
“Have you started packing?” Carol asked.
“Well, right now it’s mostly sorting through things and trying to decided what to keep and what to throw out. And even that’s hard to do until I see the condo and get some ideas.” She smirked. “Then there’s my collection of souvenirs and memorabilia that I’ve collected over the last twenty-odd years that I don’t know what to do with.”
Jon snorted. He knew by the smirk on her face and the time frame given what type of memorabilia she was talking about. “Throw it out. What do you need it for when you’ve got the real thing now?”
“I don’t know. Some of that stuff is collector’s items and might be worth something. Besides, there’s a lot of memories tied up in that stuff.” She sighed. “Although I never got the Superman pendant necklace.”
Jon rolled his eyes. “I can get you one.”
“But everyone can buy them now. It’s not the same.”
“How about the Slippery shirt? Did you get one of those?” Richie asked with a leer. “I really liked those.”
“You just liked the way they fit.” David snorted.
“Oh like you never checked out your share.” Richie retorted.
“Sure, my share, but nobody was in your league Sambora. ‘King of Swing’ wasn’t just some cute nickname, remember.”
“Jealous Shirley?” Richie shot back.
“Boys!” Tori raised her hand in warning, fingers set to flick, and shot a glance towards the kids.
Remembering where they were, and who they were with, both men winced and lapsed into silence.
“Ooh, Aunt Tori used her ‘mommy’ voice.” Jake chortled.
“And it worked.” Stephanie sounded impressed.
“It usually does when grown men are acting like children.” Tori replied glaring at the two men.
“Good luck with that.” Dorothea rolled her eyes. “I’ve been trying for twenty years.” Carol hid a smile.
After a few minutes, Richie, after making sure the kids’ attention was otherwise occupied leaned over to murmur in Tori’s ear. “You never answered me about the shirt sweetheart. Do you have one?”
She turned slightly to look at him and just grinned. He grinned back. “If I’m a good boy will you model it for me sometime?”
“Maybe. If you’re really good.”
When they arrived in Philly, they all went to settle into their rooms. Richie told the rest that they would meet them at the restaurant – he was taking Tori to see the condo.
Getting out of the car she tilted her head to look up at the imposing building. “What floor are we on?”
“On the top baby. Best place to be.”
Entering the building she took a quick glance around the lobby. Very spacious and clean. The doorman came to greet them.
“Hi Henry. This is my girlfriend Tori Adams. We’re going up to let her have a look at the new digs.” Richie introduced them. “I kinda bought it without her seeing it first, so you might want to have paramedics on standbye in case she doesn’t like it.”
“Oh, stop it!” Tori blushed and swatted his arm.
Henry laughed. “You’re a brave man Mr. Sambora. My wife would kill me if I bought a home without her seeing it first. Don’t worry, I’ve got emergency services on speed dial.” He turned to Tori. “Welcome Miss Adams and I hope you like it.”
“Thank you Henry. I’m sure I will.” She shook his hand.
When they entered the elevator, Richie hit the button for their floor and Tori watched the lights at the top of the car. “Has Jon been in this yet?”
“Yeah. It’s not his favorite, but he’s okay with it. If you talk to him during the ride it helps.”
They exited the elevator and Richie directed her towards the door a little ways down the hallway. Pulling a key out of his pocket, he unlocked the door and ushered her in ahead of him.
The entry way was spacious with a large coat closet and a spot perfect for a table and maybe a mirror above it. She toed off her boots and continued in. She wandered around, not saying anything and keeping her face impassive. After all he deserved to sweat a little after what he’d put her through. The kitchen was very large, with an island and plenty of counter space and opened up into the living room which had a gas fireplace and a balcony, the door to which was set in a wall of windows overlooking the city. There was an area off to one side that could hold a formal dining table. Shrugging off her coat and laying it on the island, she followed a hallway to find five bedrooms, two of which had ensuite bathrooms. In addition, the master bedroom had a Jacuzzi bathtub and a balcony as well. There was another bathroom as well.
Tori already had colour schemes going through her head and knew exactly which room should be Ava’s. She walked back into the living room and stood looking out the windows. The room was very light and airy and she wanted to keep that feel, but wasn’t sure quite what to do with it. This room was going to take some thought.
Richie had been following her from room to room, trying to get a sense of what she was thinking. She wasn’t giving anything away. He was starting to sweat. Laying his coat next to hers he turned on the fireplace and walked up to stand behind her. He slid his arms around her and pulled her back against him, looking out over her head. “So…..what do you think?”
She could hear the undertone of nervousness in his voice and bit back a smile. “I think that I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me….and I can’t wait to get started!” She tilted her head to look at him. “I love it. Good job honey. It’s beautiful.”
His whole body relaxed. “So are you angel.” He nuzzled the sensitive spot beneath her ear.
“Mmmmm.” She tilted her head further to give him greater access and raised her hand to slide it into his hair.
He slipped a hand under her football jersey and caressed her stomach before rising further and cupping a breast. Kneading gently he prodded the nipple with his thumb until it rose and hardened for him. “What do you say we christen our new home?”
“Now? We don’t even have a bed yet.” Her back arched as she sought greater contact.
His other hand flicked open the button on her jeans, lowered the zipper and slid under her panties until he could stroke her moist cleft. “Do we really need one?” He sucked and nibbled on her ear lobe.
“Richie.” She moaned.
For long minutes he held her there, teasing, torturing her until her hips were pushing against his hand, and her breath was coming in whimpering pants.
“Come away from the windows my love. I don’t want to share you with some rooftop gardener with a pair of binoculars.” He growled in her ear.
Removing his hands he picked her up, carried her across the room and laid her in front of the fire. With gentle hands he stripped her naked, worshipping her body with his eyes. “You are so beautiful.” He whispered.
When she reached for his shirt, he shook his head, stood and quickly undressed. Laying back down beside her he set his hands to her body, stroking her over and over until she was a quivering mass of nerves. Then he started all over again with his mouth. Latching onto a nipple he swirled his tongue around it, then, without warning, suckled hard and strong.
Her back arched like a bow, her hands clenched in his hair as a scream was torn from her throat.
He released her only to repeat the torture on its sister. This time her scream came out as a ravaged moan. His hand rubbed over her belly to bury two fingers inside her heated channel. He stroked firmly and deeply, ignoring her fingernails that were leaving crescent marks in his shoulders.
He leaned back to watch her body’s response. Her eyes were closed, her head tilted back showing the taut tendons in her neck. Her teeth were gripping her bottom lip, her skin was flushed, and her nipples stood out proud and hard and dark pink. Her hips were thrusting against his fingers. She was a woman lost in the throes of passion, she was beautiful, and she was his.
Unable to wait any longer, he withdrew his fingers, nudged her legs apart and settled his hips in between. Pressing his aching erection against her opening, he paused.
“Baby look at me.” He rasped.
It was a struggle, but finally, she was able to force her eyes open and locked them on his.
“Stay with me.” He pleaded as he pushed home. He loved watching her eyes darken and glow with her desire as he filled her. He slowly withdrew, then returned, repeating the sequence over and over.
Keeping her eyes locked with Richie’s, Tori fought for breath. Once again he’d taken her outside of her self and stripped away all control. All she could do was absorb every deep thrust and savour the feel of his flesh stretching hers.
“Please baby, harder, faster!” She tugged at his arms wanting to feel his weight on her.
He did as she asked, lowering himself down completely. When she wrapped her arms and legs tightly around him, he slid his hands under her hips, tilting up into his next downstroke.
“YES! Like that, please Richie, more!” She gasped in his ear, nipping the lobe.
Responding to both her plea and the sting of her teeth he set up a hard driving rhythm, holding nothing back, lifting her further off the floor to reach deeper. “Like this? Is this what you want?” He rasped in her ear as he pounded into her.
“YES! Oh God yes! RICHIIIEEE!” She screamed as her body went rigid and shattered.
Feeling the shudders racking her body, he succumbed to the lure of her sheath fisting around him, let go and joined her, slowing his thrusts as he emptied into her.
Panting, he kissed her neck. “You okay? I didn’t mean to pound you so hard into the floor.”
“Mmmmm.” She replied stroking his back. “We might want to think about a rug though. What do you think of doing this room in an outdoor lodge theme? You know a fur rug before the fire, Adirondack chairs on the balcony, maybe some wooden beams on the ceiling.” She wasn’t sure that’s what she wanted, she was just throwing out some ideas to see what he thought.
“Where are you going to put the moose?” He quipped.
Considering their recent activities, she couldn’t resist. “Back in your pants.”
He was silent for a moment, then burst out laughing. “Where did that come from?”
She just smiled and shrugged. “Ain’t telling.”
He rose up on his elbows to look down at her. “Come on angel, spill. It’s my body, don’t you think I have a right to know where your little names come from?”
“Sorry babe. Sistahood secret.”
He shook his head. “Fans! I think I need to spend some time on the boards.” He threatened.
She wasn’t taking the bait. “The girls would be thrilled.”
Rolling with her so that he wasn’t pressing her into the floor anymore, he stroked her back and looked around the room. “Well, I don’t know about the lodge theme, but I’m liking the idea of a fur rug in front of the fire.”
As his hand came up to smooth back her hair she grabbed it to look at his watch. “I don’t suppose you brought a towel with you? We need to get going and I’d really like to get cleaned up before I have to face the kids….and Shirley.”
They did manage to get themselves cleaned up with some supplies they found in a bathroom cabinet. After dressing and redoing her makeup Tori looked at herself critically in the mirror. Other than a slightly slumberous look in her eyes, and the flush that still stained her skin – and the satisfied smile tugging at her lips, she didn’t think there were any visible signs of their….interlude....in the living room.
“You’re beautiful.” Richie stood in the doorway watching her.
She smiled. “Thank you. You’ve been saying that a lot today. What’s up?”
He shrugged. “I know I don’t say it as much as I should. I guess today it’s finally sinking in that we’re taking the next step. That we are committing to each other. That this will be our home – well, one of them anyway. That you are mine.”
She walked over to him and slid her arms around his waist. “And are you mine?”
He grinned down at her. “Oh you’ve got me babe. Body, heart and soul.”
“Good. That makes us even then.” She raised up on tiptoe to press a quick kiss on his lips. “Now, we need to get going.”
“I know, I know. You’re hungry.”
When they reached the lobby Henry came over to say goodbye. “Since Mr. Sambora is still in one piece I assume the apartment met with your approval Miss Adams?”
Seeing the smirk on Richie’s face, she couldn’t stop the blush that stained her cheeks. “Yes it did Henry. It’s beautiful. He did a very good job.”
“Then I can look forward to seeing you both again soon. Good luck with the game tonight.”
“Thanks Henry. I think it’s going to be a good season all around.” Richie replied.
Tori was quiet in the cab to the restaurant.
“You okay babe?”
“Hmmm? Yeah, sorry, I’m decorating in my mind.”
He grinned, then reached for his wallet. “Oh, I almost forgot to give you this.” He handed her a credit card in her name. “For your decorating adventures.” He explained.
Her first reaction was to protest, then she realized that it didn’t matter. It wasn’t his and hers anymore, it was theirs. Besides, more than likely, she would be the one paying the household bills, so she could deal with it then. And it would make him happy. The smile he gave her when she accepted it and put it in her wallet without argument told her she was right. “Thank you.”
The restaurant was busy, but they were shown to an area in the back that was mostly blocked off from the main dining room. The others were already there.
“So?” Dorothea asked. “What did you think?”
“I love it!” Tori exclaimed. “It’s beautiful.”
“Told ya!” Richie blew raspberries at his bandmates. The kids laughed.
“So are any of your things going to work there?” Carol asked.
Tori nodded. “It’s a blank slate, and it’s going to take some work, but my stuff will actually split between L.A. and here. It’s actually going to make my move a whole lot easier.” She frowned. “Although I guess I better get to work on it if these guys want to use it during the season.”
“Just throw some beds, towels and a couple of couches and chairs in there, and we’ll be fine.” Jon assured her. The women just rolled their eyes.
David had been looking at Tori very closely. Now he leaned toward her and sniffed her neck. His brows rose. “You wearing Richie’s cologne now, Bela?” He murmured in her ear and got the blush he was looking for.
She shrugged. “I like it. You should try it Shirley. Maybe then you could find your own woman to sniff.”
“Ouch!” He clutched his chest. “Shot through the heart!”
“And you’re to blame.” Steph and Jesse sang and pointed at Tori.
Groans were heard around the table.
“You give love, a bad name!” Came from the crowd on the other side of the partition.
The guys looked shocked. Tori laughed and clapped delightedly.
After a delicious meal of steak sandwiches, wings and lobster pizza, they headed for the arena, resounding cheers of ‘Go Soul!’ following them out the door.
As they were getting settled in the owner’s box, Jon announced that he had to go talk to a few people. He looked at Tori. “Want to come with me?”
“Sure.” Leaving her coat and purse with Richie she followed him out the door.
Jon showed her his office and introduced her to Craig and Ron and a few of the players that they came across. As they were heading back Jon got her attention. “Tori after you get your domestic situation sorted out and settled, you and I need to have a talk.”
“Oh? What about?” She had wondered when he was going to bring up the subject.
“Well, since you’re going to be out of a job – being Richie’s assistant aside, I wondered if you would consider helping us in the merchandizing department. Just helping with choosing stock items and pricing, that kind of thing. I know you’re really busy right now with moving and decorating and everything, but think about it. With your background and training, you’d be a really big help.”
She nodded. “I’ll think about it. We probably can work something out.”
He nodded. “Good we’ll talk again when you’re settled.”
Re-entering the box she took a seat and accepted the drink Richie handed her. “Thanks.”
“So? Did you get a job offer?” He knew Jon’s methods very well.
She laughed. “Yes. We’re going to talk about it after I get moved and settled.”
Just before kickoff, everyone took a seat. Dorothea and the kids sat a few rows back to keep them out of the average camera shot with Jon. Some photos were unavoidable, but it was better than having them sitting with their father. Richie originally sat beside Jon with Tori on his other side, but quickly realized that sitting between the siblings was not the safest place to be. He sat in stunned disbelief. Tori was as bad as Jon! They both lived and died with each play, high fiveing each other when it went in the Soul’s favour, groaning when it didn’t. At one point, watching Orlando run a play they both curled their lip. Carol saw it and nudged John. He looked and smiled.
At half time they sat back to have a drink and relax with the rest of the group.
“Wow Aunt Tori. You really do like football.” Jesse commented.
“I like arena football.” She clarified. “I’m not such a big fan of the outdoor game.”
David snorted. “We’ll take you to a Giants game. That’ll change your mind.”
She smirked. “I’d rather watch the Pats.” And she ducked as all manner of objects came flying at her. She tried to hide behind Richie.
“Don’t look for me to protect you. That’s sacrilege there darlin’.” He informed her.
“Alright, alright!” She held up her hands in surrender. “I’ll give the Giants a look.”
After the game – after the Soul won – there was much hugging and cheering. The group went back to the hotel where the kids headed to bed and the adults headed to the bar for a celebratory drink.