They got Tori’s clothes put away in time for dinner – well Tori and Ava did. Richie sat on the bed and watched, making comments now and then if something really appealed to him. When the last suitcase was emptied, Tori looked around, frowned and started looking in drawers and the empty bags.
“Missing something angel?”
“Yes, my…..” She stopped and eyed him with suspicion. “Where did you put it?”
“Put what?” His expression was one of pure innocence….and she wasn’t buying it for a minute.
“Richie…” The warning was clear in her tone.
“What?” He blinked wide eyes at her.
Snorting, she walked around to the other side of the bed and started searching. She looked under the bed and under the pillows, then noticed that while he turned his head to watch her he didn’t move. Placing both hands on his shoulder she pushed. His upper body fell back on the bed, but he otherwise stayed in place. She couldn’t budge him.
“Come on Rich, give it to me.”
“Give you what?”
Ava came back into the room after hanging Tori’s robe in the bathroom to see Tori trying to roll her father over. He was chuckling , but wouldn’t move.
“What’s going on?”
“Daddy’s hiding some of my clothing, and won’t give it up.”
“I know how to get him to move.” Ava motioned her over and whispered in her ear.
Tori turned to look at Richie and grinned. Together, they approached him and his expression turned wary. “What are you two up to?”
“I’ll give you one more chance Rich. Give it to me.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He insisted, his lips twisting.
“Liar.” She raised a brow at Ava who nodded.
They climbed up on the bed, one on either side of him. He tensed, waiting to see what they had planned, his eyes darting back and forth between them.
“Last chance Rich.” Tori warned. He didn’t move. She caught Ava’s eye and nodded.
With a grin, Ava poked him in the ribs, making him twitch. When he reached to grab her, she pulled away and Tori poked him from the other side.
“Hey! No fair! I’m outnumbered.”
“Welcome to your new reality honey. Give it back.”
He didn’t budge. They poked again, back and forth, easily evading his hands grabbing for them. Pokes soon turned into outright tickling, which quickly had Richie gasping for breath, tears of laughter running down his face.
“Stop!” He begged. Ava giggled.
“Give it up!”
Ava’s small fingers knew exactly the right spots to hit. “Okay, okay, I give!” He rolled over and curled up in surrender.
“Aha!” Tori scooped up her nightshirt – which he had been sitting on - and waved it in triumph.
Ava looked at it, then at her father and shook her head. “It’s just a shirt. Daddy, you’re weird.”
“No, he’s a boy.” Tori looked at him and rolled her eyes. “Why did you want to hide it anyway?”
He grinned. “It’s mine isn’t it?”
“But you gave it to me.”
“So, I’ve got others.”
“But that’s the one you gave me….and it has special memories attached to it. Why did you take it?”
“I wanted to see what the alternative looked like.”
She snorted and shook her head. “Come on Ava, let’s go see what Rosa’s got for dinner.” Glancing at Richie, she lowered her voice. “If you’re lucky, I just might give you a sample later.”
“What about Daddy?”
“Well, if he promises to be a good boy, we’ll let him sit at the adult’s table.”
Ava looked at him, a sad expression on her face. “I’m sorry Daddy, looks like you’re stuck at the kiddie table.”
Tori burst out laughing. Richie gave his daughter a stunned look. “Oooh, think you’re smart do you?”
“Gee, I wonder where she gets that from?” Tori was still snickering. She had to step out of the way quickly, as with a growl Richie rolled off the bed and started after Ava.
“I’ll get you, my pretty.”
Ava let out a small scream and took off running, Richie in hot pursuit. Tori sighed, smiled, put away the shirt, looked around the room and followed more slowly. “We’re definitely not in Kansas anymore.”
When she reached the dining room she was surprised to find it empty. Smiling to herself she headed for the kitchen and found them sitting at the table there. Ava was still breathless and giggling after their chase through the house while her father quizzed Rosa on the dishes she was serving. When Richie saw Tori he jumped up and rushed over to her. Offering her his arm, he bowed.
“May I escort you to your seat milady?” His voice was nasal upper class and made her smile. The twinkle in his dark eyes warmed her heart.
She bobbed a curtsy and took his arm. “Why thank you kind sir.”
Reaching the table, he held her chair for her as she sat. “For dinner this evening, we’re offering tender slices of prime rib roast of beef, accompanied by fluffy mashed potatoes with just a hint of garlic, and crisp green beans with slivered almonds. For dessert we have your choice of creamy chocolate or strawberry ice cream or a light but decadent chocolate mousse.” He spoke normally. “We’re out of cookies until you make some.”
Ava giggled at his performance. Tori laughed. “You’re a nut!”
He sat and leaned towards her, lips puckered. “But a loveable nut.”
“Yes, a loveable nut.” She leaned to meet him and kissed him.
“So what are we going to do over the next couple weeks?”
Ava grimaced. “I have school.”
“And I have songs to work on, not to mention, the rest of my belongings to unpack when they arrive.”
Richie wrinkled his nose at them. “Let me rephrase my question. What are we going to do for fun over the next couple weeks?”
“What do you want to do Daddy?”
“Well, I was thinking that we should maybe show Tori around. Not just L.A., but Southern California. If she’s going to live here, she should get familiar with it.” He turned to Tori. “Is there anything in particular you’d like to see?”
“Well, there is one thing, but it doesn’t have to be within the next couple weeks. It may be better to wait until fall. I’m not sure what the best time is to go. I know that summer wouldn’t be good. And maybe it wouldn’t be a good place for you. I don’t know.”
“Spit it out angel.”
“I’d like to go to the San Diego Zoo.”
“Ooooh, yeah! Daddy can we go? Please? And maybe Disneyland too?”
Richie chuckled. “Now why am I not surprised that you want to go there?”
“Well, I bet Tori’s never been there.”
“You’re right Bean, I haven’t. I’ve been to Disney World several times, but never Disneyland. I’ll warn you though, I don’t do the teacups. They make me sick.” She made a face and touched her stomach.
“You would really go to Disneyland?” Richie asked.
“Sure, why not? It’s the happiest place on earth. I may not be young anymore, but I like to think that I’m still young at heart…….and I know you are!”
He just grinned. “Okay. If you want to go to those places we better go before your face gets too well known. It’ll be easier that way. And I’m adding Laguna Beach to the list. After all, this is supposed to be our downtime. And even Bongiovis need to relax some time.”
Tori blew a raspberry at him. Ava giggled.
When the meal was finished and they started clearing the table – Tori insisted they help Rosa – Richie glanced at the clock then at Tori, the four-year-old pleading look in place. “Will you make some cookies now? Please?”
“Can’t you wait until tomorrow?”
His one word response made her snort. “I don’t even know if we have all the ingredients. I haven’t had a chance to check with Rosa yet.”
Richie looked at Rosa and raised his brows.
She chuckled. “Si Miss Tori we have everything.” Once she realized how much Richie and Ava liked Tori’s cookies she made sure to always keep a supply of the required ingredients on hand.
“So? Will you make some? Please?” He leaned down to murmur. “I’ll make it worth your while…later.” He kissed the sensitive spot beneath her ear.
She sighed. She really needed to build up some sort of resistance to him. She couldn’t keep letting him get his way so easily. But he was so obviously happy to be home and have them all together, that she didn’t have the heart to disappoint him. “Okay. Suck. Bean, do you want to help me?”
“Thanks angel. You’re the best!”
“My brother would be so disappointed in me.”
“Uncle Jon? Why? Because you agreed to make cookies?”
“Because I let Daddy talk me into doing what he wanted with only that little boy look and a kiss.”
Ava shrugged. “Don’t feel bad. Mommy always said that when he used that look and the Sambora charm, no one could resist him.”
“But Uncle Jon says that Bongiovis are built to resist it.”
“Oh, well maybe you need him to teach you how then.”
Tori chuckled. “Now there’s an idea.”
After the cookies were baked and Rosa’s kitchen set back to rights, they sat down to relax and watch a movie. By the end of it, Tori and Richie were both yawning – they were still on east coast time – and Ava was fighting to stay awake.
“Bedtime Bean.” Richie nudged her.
She didn’t argue. “Nite Daddy, Nite Tori.” She kissed them both goodnight.
“Nite baby girl. I’ll come tuck you in in a few minutes.”
“Nite sweetie. Sleep tight.” Tori hugged her.
When Richie went upstairs a little later, Tori walked out on the patio for some fresh air. She was still standing there looking at the stars and the glow of the city lights when he came back.
“What are you doing out here?” He stood behind her and slid his arms around her waist.
“Looking at the stars. It’s a nice night.” She leaned back against him.
“Beautiful.” He agreed, but he wasn’t looking at the stars. He bent his head to kiss his favorite spot under her ear, and was gratified to feel her shiver and her pulse rate increase.
“Mmmmm.” She tilted her head to give him more access, one hand coming up to slide into his hair when he accepted her invitation.
One hand came up to cup her breast and knead gently. Moaning softly, she arched into his touch. She pulled away and turned to face him. Cradling his cheek with one hand she reached up to touch her lips to his.
“Meet me upstairs.”
Realizing that she wanted a few minutes alone, he released her and watched her enter the house. He looked up at the stars again, grinned and followed her inside. Blood humming in anticipation, he made the rounds, shutting off lights and checking locks.
When he entered the bedroom, a glance at the closed bathroom door told him she wasn’t quite ready. He hit the switch to open the skylight above the bed, pulled back the covers and started to undress. She was taking a long time.
“Angel, are you okay in there? What are you doing anyway?” He bent to remove his pants and socks and threw them to join his shirt on a chair.
“You wanted to see the alternative, so I thought I’d show you one.” Her voice was low and sultry….and not muted by a door.
He glanced up, and his breath caught in his throat at the vision that stood in the doorway. “Sweet Jesus!” He breathed. The lilac coloured baby doll was made of lace over her breasts, gathered beneath and held together with a ribbon tied in a bow between them, before falling to a mid thigh hem. The smooth skin of her abdomen and the matching lace panties were clearly visible through the sheer material.
She watched his eyes darken as they roamed over her and could almost feel her skin heat everywhere his gaze lingered. Glancing down she smirked. “I take it that you like it.” The cotton of his underwear couldn’t hide his body’s reponse.
He swallowed heavily. “Oh yeah.”
“I thought you might like the colour.”
“Um..yeah…it’s the colour.” He walked towards her. Framing her face with his large hands he tipped it up to his, his eyes searching her features. “You are so beautiful.”
When his lips touched hers she had to grasp his arms to stay upright. The feel of his velvety soft lips and teasing tongue threatened to steal the strength from her legs. For long minutes, they were content to simply taste each other, savouring the ever changing flavours. But it soon wasn’t enough. Wanting more, needing to touch him, she reached for his chest and pressed closer.
He groaned at the feel of her hands stroking his skin.When her fingers found his nipples and first tugged on them, then scraped her nails over them, he slid his hands down her back and crushed her to him, his mouth never leaving hers.
With an approving purr, she looped her arms around his neck, raised on tiptoe and undulated her hips against him.
Growling, he scooped her up and moved to the bed, depositing her on it. Shucking his underwear, he laid down beside her. With a reverent hand he stroked her body, rubbing the lace over her already hard nipples. When she whimpered in response he glanced at her face. “Hurt?”
She could only shake her head as lightning bolts of sensation ran from her breasts to the pleasure centres of her brain.She reached to pull him closer, but he resisted. Instead he bent and took first one hard tip, then the other into his mouth. At first he laved them with his tongue, then, sucked…hard. Tori had to smother her cry and her back arched involuntarily, pressing her breasts into his face.
Releasing her, he pulled open the bow and spread the halves of the baby doll wide. Tori watched his face in fascination as his gaze followed his hand as it smoothed over her stomach. The desire clearly evident on his features had her shivering and flushing even more. She lifted a hand to caress his cheek. He looked at her.
“I love you.” She whispered.
“I love you too.” He kissed her palm and slid his hand between her thighs. He could feel her heat through the lace. He caressed her slowly, rubbing the lace against her sensitive flesh.
“Oooh, oh, ummm..Richie.” She sighed his name as her eyes drifted shut and her hips moved against his hand. He dotted kisses along the waistband of her panties. “Please!”
In response he slid the lace down her legs and off. Reversing direction his hands caressed their way over her calves and thighs and up to her hips. Leaning down he touched the tip of his tongue to her swollen nub and flicked it. She gasped. He raised his head to watch her as he slid two fingers into her warm depths. He stroked them in and out, first slowly, then faster as her hips lifted to augment his rhythm.
Her hands ran feverishly over ever bit of his skin that she could reach, urging him closer, but he held back. His eyes watched her body writhe, flicking up periodically to see her pleasure echoed in her face.
“Richie please! More!”
His response was to slide a third finger alongside the other two. He curled them slightly to stroke the sensitive spot in the front wall of her slick channel.
“Oh God! Yes, ummm….right there…..ummm…don’t stop!” Her hands fisted in the sheet beneath her and her head began to thrash. He increased his speed. “Umm…yes…oh..ummm….RICHIE!!” Her whole body shuddered as she reached the peak.
He slowed his movements, but didn’t stop. Panting, she forced her eyes open enough to see him. Gripping his shoulders she tugged. “I need to feel you. Baby, please.”
He slid his fingers out and covered her body with his. She spread her thighs wide to make room for him. He settled his hips in the space she provided, but still withheld himself. Her hands massaged the long muscles of his back while she licked and kissed his neck and upper chest. When she cupped his buttocks and kneaded he began rocking his hips against her stroking her cleft with his hard shaft. “God baby! You’re so hot.” He whispered in her ear as he licked and sucked her lobe.
She wrapped her legs around his waist and lifted against him. “Baby please, I need you to fill me.”
He pushed back enough to reach between them and position himself at her entrance. Locking his gaze with hers, he watched her eyes darken and dilate as he slowly buried himself inside her. He groaned at the feel of her velvet flesh engulfing him. Bracing himself on his elbows he smoothed the hair back from her face. He remained still as he studied her. She was an incredible sight in her passion. Her skin was flushed, her eyes glowing sapphire slits, her lips red and swollen, the marks left by her teeth in an effort to stifle her cries and not wake Ava visible. Her chest was rising and falling rapidly as she struggled to suck in oxygen. Her breasts were swollen, their hard tips stabbing deliciously into his chest. This was how he loved to see her best.
He bent to sip at her lips. Leaning on one arm, with the other he caressed her breast, pinching and tugging the nipple gently. She moaned and rocked her hips against him, driving him just a little bit deeper. He grit his teeth and fought to remain motionless. He wanted more from her tonight. Sweat gathered on his upper lip and brow, as he fought his body’s inclination.
Frustrated at his stillness, she unwound her legs, braced her feet on the feet on the bed for leverage and ground her pelvis against him. As her next climax approached she raked her nails down his back and lifted her hips clear off the bed, sending him deeper yet, and her over the edge. His mouth muffled her scream. Raising his head he watched her descend passion’s peak, panting, pulse racing and struggled to maintain his control.
When she could force her eyes to open again, she searched his eyes and raised a shaking hand to brush a lock of hair off his forehead. She licked her lips and had to swallow before she could speak. “Why?” Was all she could get out.
He knew what she was asking. “Because I like to watch you. Tonight is special. I wanted something more. You are so beautiful in the grips of passion. I love seeing ecstacy glowing in your face when you climax.”
“Oh I will. This time we’ll go together.” He started to move, thrusting gently.
“Oh God!” She moaned, feeling her body gear up again. Wrapping her arms around his shoulders and her legs around his waist she urged him to lie fully on her. When he did she tightened her grip and settled in for the ride.
His hands tilted her hips towards him and lifted her into his next downstroke and increased his pace. For long minutes the only sounds in the room were flesh meeting flesh, his harsh breathing and her strangled moans.
“Richie help me please!”
“What…do you…need?” He voice rasped in her ear.
“Harder….deeper!” She pleaded.
He raised up a little, reached down and grasped one of her legs, lifting it to his shoulder. Changing the angle he slowed his thrusts, but increased the force behind them. “Like this?”
“Oh! Oh…umm…yes…yes….God yes…” She was shaking uncontrollably and almost sobbing. She tightened around him.
“Yes baby, that’s it, come for me. Come with me!” He rammed her even harder, over and over.
Finally, she couldn’t take anymore and muffled her scream in his shoulder as her body went rigid, then shattered. With a throttled shout he let go found his own release.
It was several minutes before either one of them could do anything other than focus on breathing. Taking a deep breath Richie lifted off of her to collapse on his back beside her and pulled her into his arms, removing the top of the baby doll and tossing it over the side of the bed. They stared at the stars visible in the skylight for a few moments. A finger under her chin tilted her face up to his. He kissed her gently. “Welcome home.”
Tori woke the next morning, glanced at the clock and decided it was too early to get up - even for her, especially after her exertions the night before. The memory brought a smile to her face and a feeling of contentment and well being to her soul. With a sigh she rolled over and cuddled close to the source of those feelings.
Richie turned on his side towards her and threw an arm over her waist. Tori moved closer until she could nestle her head under his chin, one hand spread over his chest. Taking a deep breath, inhaling his scent, she let it out and drifted back to sleep.
When she awoke again, Richie was still sleeping. She watched him for a few minutes. He looked so young and peaceful. She still hadn’t figured out what she’d done to get this lucky. Sure there’d been some bumps along the road, but on the whole she was very pleased with her life at the moment. She had a wonderful new family, an exciting new job, a beautiful new home, and she’d found the love of her life – that also came with a lovely little girl. She really couldn’t complain.
Noticing the sun coming through the skylight inching its way towards Richie, she slipped from the bed and hit the button to close it so that he wouldn’t be disturbed. After showering and dressing, she headed downstairs. Rosa greeted her with a cup of coffee and offered to make her breakfast. Since Ava wasn’t up yet either, she decided to wait for her and just go with the coffee for now.
Restless, she wandered into the livingroom with her mug, and stood for a moment gazing out at the bright California sun reflecting off the water in the pool, and went over her mental list of everything she had to do before they left for Europe. When she thought about what Jon had asked her to do she grimaced and headed for the studio. Ava found her there half an hour later.
“Morning Tori. Breakfast is ready.” She noticed the guitar in Tori’s lap. “What ‘cha doing? Practicing?”
“Morning Bean. Yeah, sort of. Uncle Jon wants me to work on a couple songs for the shows in Europe.”
“You’re going to play with them? Cool! I’ve been on stage with them before. I danced with Uncle Jon. It was fun!”
“Weren’t you scared with all those people watching you?”
“A little at first, but Daddy was there and Uncle Jon, and Uncle David, and Uncle Tico. And Stephanie and Gabrielle and Lily were dancing with me.” Her face lit up with excitement. “Maybe I can dance with you, when I come out on tour this time.”
Tori smiled. “Maybe. We’ll have to talk to Uncle Jon and see what he’s planning. Come on, we’d better go eat before breakfast gets cold and Rosa gets mad.”
“She never gets mad. Well, unless someone walks over the floor with muddy shoes after she just washed it.”
Tori chuckled. “Yeah, that would make me mad too.”
By the time Richie joined them, they had finished and had the grocery list ready for their day of baking.
“Do you want us to go ahead or wait for you?” Tori asked him.
“Wait for me and I’ll drive you.” He saw her grin. “What?”
“I’m just picturing you walking up and down the aisles of a grocery store.” She had visions of him surrounded by fans in the frozen food section.
“I didn’t say I’d go in. I just said I’d drive you. I’ll wait in the car.”
“Probably a good idea.” She started chuckling. He crooked a brow at her. “I can see the headlines now. How to Eat Like A Rockstar. Checkout What Brands the Samboras Prefer.”
He laughed, and watched her face carefully, his grin lingering when he realized that she wasn’t even aware of what she’d said – or at least of the impression her words gave.
In the parking lot of the grocery store, Ava quickly jumped out. “I’ll get a cart!”
Tori undid her seat belt and reached for the door handle. She paused, turned back to Richie, leaned over and kissed him.
“What was that for?”
“Do I have to have a reason?”
“No, of course not.” She just didn’t usually initiate the PDA’s.
She shrugged. “You’re not the only one who likes to kiss. We won’t be long.”
He leaned his seat back a bit and pulled down the brim of his hat. “I’ll be here.”
Back at the house, Tori and Ava settled into the kitchen and Richie settled into the livingroom to watch T.V. Each time Tori passed him, where he was sitting on the couch, whether she was on an errand or bringing him a drink or a sample of their efforts, she would hug him or kiss him. He watched her, and wondered what was going on. When she came in again to retrieve the plate she’d left there earlier, she came up behind him, and slid her hands down his chest. He tilted his head to see her and she kissed him. When she moved to step back, he held on to her hands.
“What’s up with you today?”
“What do you mean?”
“What’s brought on the ….. frequent displays of affection?”
“Hell no! I want to know how to keep it this way.”
She shrugged. “I guess, I just feel…I don’t know…more…settled.” She shrugged again. “I’m happy.”
He searched the dark blue of her eyes and smiled. “So am I.” He tugged her close again for another, longer kiss.
“If you guys can take a break from playing tonsil hockey, Tori could you come look at the cake please? I think it’s done.” Ava spoke from the doorway.
The adults choked. “Where did you hear that?” Her father wanted to know.
She shrugged. “Uncle David.”
“That confirms it. He’s not allowed around the kids without supervision!” Tori muttered.