“Bela! Where’ve you been?” David gave her a hug and kissed her cheek. “I was beginning to wonder if you’d been staked.”
“She was certainly looking for someone to sink her teeth into when I found her.” Obie commented.
She nodded. “And it was just about you!”
Tico and Hugh approached for a hug and a kiss. “You had us all worried nina.” Tico admonished her.
“Why didn’t you call to let us know you were okay?” Hugh scolded her.
Tori threw up her hands in defeat. “Ok, ok, ok. I’m sorry I didn’t call. Jeesh, you guys are worse than my mother!”
Sitting in Jon’s dressing room – his was the biggest and had room for everyone to sit – she recounted her adventures that day. Now that she was where she most wanted to be – namely in Richie’s lap – she could see the humour in it. “And I didn’t call because I kept thinking that I would be here shortly, and, well, frankly I was so busy trying not to lose my temper that I didn’t think to.” She looked at Richie. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to worry you.”
“Honey, I love that you’re independent, but when you’re late, I’m going to worry. Next time call. I’ve been going crazy, and taking everyone else around here with me.”
“Well, that would have been a short trip for Shirley.” She observed.
“Hey! I resemble that remark!”
“Ten minutes guys.” Obie reminded them.
That got them moving. Tori smiled watching them do last minute hair and wardrobe checks – they reminded her of a group of women.
Using his hands to smooth his hair, Jon caught her look in the mirror. “What?”
“I liked it better longer.”
He grimaced. “It was fried and driving me nuts.”
She nodded. “I know the feeling. I thought about cutting mine off too, but I figured there would be no end to the grief I’d get if I did.”
“You’re right about that.” Richie commented as he started to stand up.
David looked at Jon, shocked. “How come she can talk about your hair without you having a hissy fit?”
Jon threw him a withering glance. “She’s allowed. She’s my sister.”
“Honey, can you help me? I’m caught.”
Turning, Tori had to chuckle. “You don’t fish much do you.” The strings dangling from the back of Richie’s pants had gotten all tangled – some up inside his jacket, some around the spindles of the chair he’d been sitting in.
“He doesn’t have to. The ‘fish’ just jump into his boat.” David commented with more than a hint of envy.
“I throw them all back.” Richie assured her quickly.
“Catch and release eh?” She quipped, trying to hide the stab of uncertainty David’s comment had caused by bending over to take a closer look at one stubborn string.
“Hey.” He said softly, pausing until she looked up at him. “I’ve landed my quota, but you’re my keeper. I’m not letting you swim away. Ok?”
“Now I’m hungry. Anyone feel like sushi after the show?” David asked.
Straightening, Tori smiled at Richie, nodded and reached up to kiss him. Leaning back she noticed something sparkling in his hair. Looking closer she grinned when she saw the little guitars that she had given him for his birthday. Untangling them from other strands of his hair she laid them straight and in front.
Looking down he fingered the locket that was lying on her upper chest. He smiled softly when he saw goosebumps appear on her skin in the wake of his calloused fingertip, and felt the shiver that shook her body. Glancing up he met her eyes. As the heat between them grew he bent to press his lips to hers.
“Showtime!” Obie yelled.
“Damn!” Richie whispered. Dropping another quick kiss on her mouth he stepped back, took her hand and started out the door and down the hallway towards the stage. He pointed at a door they were passing. “That’s my dressing room.” Tori nodded.
Reaching the stage, he was about to mount the stairs when she grabbed his arm to stop him. “Whoa, wait a minute.”
Glancing at his bare chest which was visible beneath the shirt that was open almost to his waist she frowned and shook her head. Reaching out she quickly did up buttons until his display stopped mid chest. Seeing his grin she shrugged. “I’m only willing to share so much.” Another quick kiss and he was off.
A stage hand showed her a place on the side of the stage near Richie where she could stand and watch the show. Seeing it up close and from this angle was incredible. She could look out at the crowd and watch them dancing and singing along, and she could literally watch the sweat form and drip off the guys – particularly Jon. It didn’t take long for the fan in her to take over and she was dancing and singing along just like the rest of the crowd. In between songs she’d look up and Tico or David would smile at her, sometimes shaking their heads at her antics. Once she looked up to find Richie watching her. He winked. She shrugged, blushed and grinned. Hearing him sing These Days brought tears to her eyes.
About halfway through the show, Jon walked to the back of the stage in between songs to take a drink of water. He glanced over at her and smirked. That was the only warning she got.
Jon walked up to the mic and looked over the crowd. “So, do you guys want to meet my sister?” The crowd roared. He turned to Tori and motioned her forward. She shook her head in protest. But Jon wasn’t taking no for an answer. Strutting over he grabbed her hand and pulled. She was no match for his strength and in her heels she couldn’t hold her ground so she had no choice but to follow him. And she couldn’t even yell at him. He had the monitors in his ears – he wouldn’t hear her anyway. She shot a pleading look at Richie, but he just grinned at her.
“Everyone, this is Tori…..Tori, this is everyone.” Jon introduced her to the crowd.
“Salut mes amis. J’espere que vous s’amusez de ce concert. (Hello my friends. I hope that you are enjoying the concert.)” The cheers were deafening. “On doit dire au revoir a Jon, parce que je doit le tuer maintenant!(You need to say goodbye to Jon, because I have to kill him now.)” Laughter echoed around the arena. She looked at Jon and smirked.
“Ok, I have no idea what she just said, but I have a feeling she wasn’t composing love sonnets to me.” Jon remarked. More laughter. “Are you going to tell me what you said?” He asked her.
She shook her head. “C’est completement entre nous. (It’s totally between us)” She gestured back and forth between the crowd and herself. “Although Tico may have caught enough to get the gist of it.” Turning to look at him, she found Tic nodding and laughing.
“Ok, Miss Smartypants, just for that…” He motioned to one of the techs. “Bring her a monitor.”
Eyes widening she shook her head and started backing away. He caught her hand.
“What do you say folks, do you want to hear her sing?” The crowd roared.
Pulling her hand from Jon’s she headed for the side of the stage, only to be stopped by Richie, who snaked an arm around her waist to prevent her from leaving the stage. “Oh no you don’t baby. We all want to hear you sing.” He murmured in her ear.
Turning to look at Jon she saw him smirk. She stood still while the tech threw the earpieces over her shoulders and attached the battery pack to the back of her jeans, planning her strategy. Fitting in the earpieces she gestured towards Jon’s mic. He held a hand to his ear signaling that he couldn’t hear her. Walking up to Richie’s mic, she levered it down so that she could reach it. “Do I get to use the white mic stand?” The crowd cheered.
Jon laughed. “No.”
The tech returned with a hand held mic for her. Noticing Richie laughing she decided that he deserved a little payback for his part in all of this. Locking her eyes with his she stripped off her jacket and handed it to the tech. She watched his eyes heat as they licked over her. David played a little striptease music while the men in the crowd whistled. Richie frowned. Tori smiled in satisfaction. Taking the mic from the tech she joined Jon at centre stage. “Ok, big brother, what’s your plan?”
Nodding to Tico, Jon turned back to the crowd. “WHO SAYS YOU CAN’T GO HOME?”
Tori stayed for three songs before Jon finally let her leave the stage. Handing the tech her monitor she took back her jacket and the bottle of water he offered.
“Nice job.” He commented.
“What did you say to the crowd?” A voice behind her asked.
Turning she saw Paul. She smirked. “I told them that I hoped that they were enjoying the show and that they needed to say goodbye to Jon because I was going to have to kill him.”
Paul laughed. “Could you wait until after the tour? Please?”
When the break before the encore came, and knowing that the guys would be flying through to change, Tori tried to stay out of the way. She didn’t count on Richie detouring her way to grab her arm and pull her along with him, catching the towel a staffer threw at him and wiping his face. Once he was sure she was moving he let her go to strip off his shirt as he strode down the hallway.
“Put your jacket back on.” He all but growled at her.
“Why? I’m too hot.”
“That you are Bela.” David piped up from behind them.
“Fuck off Shirley.” Richie threw back at him.
Tori glanced at Richie speculatively. Reaching his dressing room, he threw open the door and urged her in with a hand on her back. Leaving the door open he peeled off his pants while she took the towel and dried his back.
She stood back and watched appreciatively while he dressed in clean clothes. “Why couldn’t I stay on the stage for the break?”
“I’m not letting you out of my sight. Would you please put your jacket back on?” His eyes raked over her bare arms and shoulders and plunging neckline.
“I told you, I’m too hot.”
He looked around, grabbed a shirt and threw it at her. “Then put this on.”
She fought back a smile. “Richie, are you jealous?”
He grunted. “The word you’re looking for darlin’ is possessive. It’ll make life easier for both of us if you remember that.”
She let her smile emerge. Setting aside both shirt and jacket, she walked up to him and reached up to pull him down for a kiss. “I love you.” She murmured just before their lips met.
“Let’s go!” Jon called as he walked by the open door. Shooting a glance at Tori he frowned. “What did you say to the crowd?”
“Ain’t tellin’!” She replied as they followed him down the hallway.
“Tico? What did she say?”
“ She said: Espero que usted esté gozando de la demostración. Usted necesita decir adiós a Jon, porque necesito ahora matarle.” Tico winked at her. She grinned.
“Thanks, that helps a lot.” Jon replied dryly.
“How did you know that Tico would understand what you said?” Richie murmured.
“Because French and Spanish are enough alike I figured that while he may not understand every word, he’d get enough to get the gist of it. Just like I caught enough of what he said to know he understood my French.” She explained.
He blinked. “I actually understood that.”
“Good for you. It’s all Greek to me.” David commented on his way by them to the stage.
Returning to her spot on the side of the stage she watched the encore, amazed as always at the energy Jon exuded. By the time they left the stage her adrenaline was almost as high as theirs. While they were taking their bows she headed towards the dressing rooms. Remembering that she’d left her purse in Jon’s she hurried to grab it before he got there. She was just coming out and heading for Richie’s room when she heard them in the hallway.
“Angel, where are you?”
“By your dressing room.” She called back.
The sound of male laughter echoed down the hallway, and she could just imagine the comments that had elicited it. They really were like kids sometimes.
“Good show guys – well most of it.” She commented when they neared her, shooting Jon a dark look. “That wasn’t fair.”
“And you’re little conversation with the crowd was?” He retorted.
“That was payback!”
“Now children, don’t fight or I’ll have to call your father!” Richie chuckled trying to urge her into his dressing room.
“I don’t care, he’ll take my side.” Tori assured him with a smug smile.
“He’ll take my side.” Jon mimicked her derisively, curling his lip, then stopped. “He probably would.” He had to agree. Tori grinned. They all laughed.
“Can we save the sibling rivalry ‘til later and get a move on please? I’m hungry.” Hugh complained.
“So am I.” Richie murmured in her ear.
She had the distinct impression he wasn’t talking about food. The look in his eyes as he locked the door behind them confirmed it. It suddenly occurred to her that this was the first time they had been truly alone together since she had arrived. That thought, combined with the way he moved towards her like a wolf stalking its prey, quickly transformed her adrenaline into something else. Stepping forward to meet him, she slid her hands up his chest to twine them around his neck. With the touch of their bodies, of his lips to hers, the embers that had been smoldering between them burst into flame.
Their kiss was anything but gentle. It was all thrusting tongues and nipping teeth as they devoured each other. Sliding his hands down her back he gripped her buttocks and lifted her, grinding his pelvis against hers. Moaning, she tightened her arms, pressing herself against him even more.
Opening his eyes, Richie surveyed the room, quickly determining their options. Without releasing her he walked to the dressing table that was the perfect height, setting Tori down on top, spreading her knees apart so that he could stand closer.
Feeling the security of the table beneath her, she relinquished her hold on his neck, her hands moving to the buttons of his shirt. Undoing them rapidly, she spread the halves wide, reaching up to push the shirt off his shoulders, only to reverse direction, lightly scraping her nails down his chest to the waistband of his pants, chuckling in her throat at his groan. Pulling her mouth from his she kissed her way down his neck and chest, while her hands quickly opened his pants, and pushed them over his hips.
His breathing laboured, he pulled his arms out of his shirt, toed off his boots, stepped out of his pants and kicked them aside. Trying to ignore the bolts of sensation that shot through him when her mouth found his nipples, he examined her top, trying to figure out how to remove it. Glancing in the mirror, he saw a bow at the bottom. Tugging it undone, he smiled in satisfaction as the material, now loose, slid aside, revealing her to his avid gaze.
Feeling her shirt give way, Tori glanced down, then reached up to her nape to undo the other tie, allowing it to fall to the table. Gasping, she braced herself with her hands on the tabletop as Richie covered her breasts with both hands, squeezing and kneading, pinching the hard peaks lightly, before cupping one firm mound, and bending, taking the nipple between his lips, and sucking hard. She moaned, as the heat of his mouth on her breast sent shivers down her spine, melting her deep down inside her core.
“Mmmm, Richie, yes!”
Turning his head he gave her other breast the same treatment, drawing a cry from her.
“Ssh,” He cautioned in a gravelly voice. “These walls are thin.”
Nodding her understanding, she bit her lip against a groan as first his hands, then his mouth slid down her torso. Undoing her jeans, he lifted her hips enough to peel both denim and panties off her hips. Setting her back down, he continued pushing her pants down her thighs to remove them and hit a snag – in the form of her boots. Growling, he searched for the zipper tab, and finding it, quickly slid it down, pulling off her boot and throwing it behind him. Repeating the procedure on the other boot, he then resumed the removal of her pants.
Chest heaving as she fought for breath she basked in the heat of his gaze as he surveyed her naked form.
“God I’ve missed you baby.” He whispered.
Sitting upright again, she reached out to grasp his hard shaft in her hand, glancing up to see his eyes close and his head drop back on his shoulders as he bit his own lip to hold back his cry of pleasure as she stroked him. She loved seeing him like this, watching the ecstasy on his face, knowing it was her that was bringing him such pleasure.
Finally, unable to take any more, he grabbed her wrist and pulled her hand away. Seeing her pout, he shook his head. “It’s been too long for me baby. I don’t want it to end that way. I want to be inside you.”
Placing his hands on her knees, he stroked upwards until he reached their juncture. Holding one hip firmly, he slid his other hand to explore her heated folds. Finding the nub of her clit he stroked it lightly with one calloused fingertip, quickly covering her mouth with his to muffle the cry she couldn’t hold back as her hips jerked towards him in reflex. One finger slid inside her humid channel, checking her readiness. Sliding in a second finger, he stroked deep, absorbing her shudder.
Breaking the kiss she gasped for breath. “Richie, now, please!” She whispered.
Nodding, he reached out with one hand, searching through the items on the table, cursing softly when he couldn’t find what he was looking for.
Realizing, she smiled. “Babe, I’ve been to the doctor, so unless, you have a medical reason,….”
He shook his head, a huge grin splitting his face. “Nope, I’m clean.”
“Then, come here.” She whispered
Leaning down to kiss her, he urged her to wrap her legs around his hips. Conscious of her recent abstinence he entered her slowly, groaning at her tightness. Buried to the hilt he held still, letting her adjust to him, while his mouth ate at hers.
She groaned at the feel of his fullness stretching her. When he didn’t move immediately she gripped his shoulders for balance, tightened her legs and rolled her hips against him, flagrantly urging him on.
Obeying her silent message, he started to move, withdrawing almost all the way before sliding back in. He kept his strokes slow and gentle at first. Pulling her mouth from his she put her lips next to his ear. “More Rich, harder!” She bit down on his earlobe.
Reacting to her plea and the sharp sting of her teeth he picked up his pace, scything in and out of her. He buried his mouth in her neck as he fought his approaching climax, brought on so fast due to his abstinence and the incredible feel of her warm sheath pulsing around him with no latex barrier to mute it.
Suddenly she went rigid, sinking her teeth into the strong tendons of his neck to muffle her scream as her climax exploded.
Feeling the ripples of her release all along his shaft he held her tighter, thrusting deeper and more forcefully into her, muffling his own orgasmic cry in her neck, marking her in turn.
Holding him to her, she smiled when she felt his warmth flood her, his breath rasping in her ear.
They stayed like that, unmoving for long minutes as the world slowly settled around them. Finally she lifted her head from his shoulder, kissing the indentations left by her teeth. Feeling him do the same she leaned back, met his eyes and smiled, and shrugged. “Shirley would expect nothing less.”
He laughed, causing her to moan softly – he was still buried inside her. Reluctantly withdrawing from her, he dropped a kiss on her lips. “I’d better hit the shower before they come banging on the door.”
Nodding, she unwound her legs from his waist and looked around for her clothes, while he headed for the bathroom. Sliding off the table to retrieve her boots from across the room, she saw him come back in, a washcloth in his hand. “Thanks.” She said, taking it from him and cleaning herself up.
By the time she was dressed again, he was exiting the shower.
“Not always darlin’.” He winked at her as he reached for his street clothes.
Laughing she sat back to enjoy the show. When he was dressed she walked up to him, reached up to adjust the collar of his shirt, and kissed him lightly. “Melia was right.”
“She said that the ‘see ya laters’ sucked, but the ‘welcome homes’ were fantastic!”
He chuckled. “Darlin’ that was just the appetizer!”
“Well you need to feed me – food – before the next course. I’m starving!”
Helping her on with her jacket he pulled on his own, and heading out into the hallway, started banging on doors.
When they were gathered in the hallway Jon glanced at Tori and Richie, raised his brows and gestured towards their jackets, which were almost identical. “Did you two plan that?” Laughing, they shook their heads. “Coincidents like that freak me out.” Nodding at Kevin that they were ready he looked at Tori again. “Stay close. Running the gauntlet can be a little hairy sometimes. No matter how hard we try some fans always find our escape route.”
She frowned down at her feet.
“What’s the matter angel?” Richie asked.
“These boots were made for walking, not running. They’re not going to work real well for this.”
“They work for me. Besides, just makes you easier to catch!” He leered at her.
“Yeah, ‘cause she’s really running!” Jon interjected dryly. Richie grinned.
“Can we go please?” Hugh whined.
“He gets cranky when he’s hungry.” Tico explained.
“Ok, ok, we’re moving. Tori, stay between me and Richie.” Jon instructed. “Kevin…”
“I’ll keep an eye on her.” Kevin promised.
And they headed for the exit. There were a few fans standing outside waiting for them, but security had cleared them a path to the van. Always having been on the other side of the barricade, Tori found it all a little surreal. She couldn’t help but slow down and take a look around at the avid faces of the screaming fans…she even waved back. Richie’s hand pressing on her back got her moving faster again. Returning her attention to the matter at hand she noticed that Jon was already in the van and waving at her. Climbing in, she took a seat.
“What were you doing?” Jon asked.
“Checking out the view from inside the barricades, I’ll bet.” Richie guessed, taking a seat beside her.
She looked at him, surprised. “How did you know?”
He shrugged. “I have a pretty good idea how your mind works when it comes to this stuff….and I could see it in your face.”
Gazing into his dark eyes, she smiled softly, warmed at the thought that he was making an effort to understand her.
Arriving at the hotel, they headed straight for the bar/restaurant where the after party was being held, calling for menus as they staked out a table. Slipping off his jacket, Richie turned to help Tori with hers.
“Are you sure?” She teased.
“The guys are family, and the staff know better than to try poaching.” He responded.
She started to laugh, then realized he was serious. She just shook her head.
“And Bela strikes again!” David crowed, seeing the love bite on Richie’s neck when he shook his hair back. “I told you they had time.” He jeered at Tico. When Tori turned to look at him, and he saw her neck, he gasped. “Oh my God, she’s turned him.” He looked at Richie. “I thought crosses were supposed to protect you!”
Tori stared at him solemnly. “Shirley, you really need to find a woman!”
“I know.” He lamented. “Next show I want my dressing room next to Richie’s. If I’m not getting any action myself, at least I can live vicariously through him. Are you a screamer Tori? Or could you become one?”
Richie smirked, Tori blushed, and Jon changed the subject. “Could we order please?!”
Suddenly realizing what they were discussing in front of the ‘older brother’, they turned their attention to the menus and a rehash of the show.
“I know you didn’t want to do it, Tori, but you sounded great, and the crowd seemed to like it.” Tico commented.
“What I was pissed about, was not having any warning, or time to prepare.” She glared at Jon.
He just shrugged and grinned. “It was kind of a spur of the moment idea. I knew you could handle it.”
“I’m glad you did.” She retorted. “I was scared to death, that I’d be flat, or forget everything we worked on.”
“Wasn’t going to happen.” Jon assured her. At her questioning look he explained. “You’re a Bongiovi and a perfectionist…just like me.
Just then the waitress showed up to take their order, and quickly returned with their drinks.
Tori turned to Richie. “How come you don’t walk over closer to the fan pit? You look over and smile or make faces, but you don’t get real close like Jon does. Why not?”
“Because they grab at my danglies.” He replied with a straight face.
She stared at him, her mouth opening and closing several times before she gave up and reached for her glass. Glancing around she noticed them all watching her, waiting for her reaction. She shook her head. “Sorry, I’m not touching that one!”
“That’s not what you said an hour ago.” Richie pouted.
She shrugged, ignoring the blush heating her face. “Must have been the adrenaline.”
The guys hooted, Richie laughed and raised his glass in salute. The waitress arrived with their food.
“Thank God.” Jon muttered.
“So what’s the plan for tomorrow?” She asked changing the subject.
“You tell us, you’re the tour guide.” Jon informed her. “We have to do a quick sound check about five, but other than that we’re all yours.”
They discussed several ideas for things to check out around Montreal, and made their plans.
“When are we leaving for Ottawa?” She asked.
“Tomorrow night after the show.” Jon replied.
“Saturday night after the show.”
“So we’ll be in London on Sunday. Good. Mom wants all of you to come for dinner.”
“A real home cooked meal?” David licked his lips. “What’s on the menu?”
“I’m not sure, she was talking about…” She suddenly stopped, stared at him and put her hand over her mouth. “I’d better call her and tell her not to cook pork!” He laughed.
After they finished eating, they made the rounds chatting briefly with all of the guests, Jon introducing Tori to some of the people he deals with on a regular basis. Glancing around to see where Richie was she found him watching her. She smiled. He winked and continued his conversation. This happened several times over the next couple hours. Towards the end of the evening she looked over to see Richie backed against a wall, a petite, but very well endowed blonde all but pressed up against him, gazing up at his face, a seductive look on hers. Excusing herself from the group around her she headed for the importuning tart.
Approaching them, she considered how best to deal with the situation. She didn’t want to cause a scene, but she wanted the message out: Richie was off the market!
Glancing up, Richie saw her and smiled, a fleeting look of relief passing over his face. “Hey baby ready to go?”
The blonde turned to look at her, obviously annoyed at the intrusion. Her look quickly turned to shock. “You’re Jon’s sister!”
Sliding her arm around Richie’s waist, Tori nodded. “Yes. I’m Tori.” She held out her hand. The blonde shook it automatically, a confused expression on her face as she looked back and forth between them, noting Richie holding Tori close against his side.
Richie kissed Tori’s temple. “Tired angel?”
She nodded. “Can we go up to the room soon?”
“You bet. Let’s just say goodnight to the guys and we can leave.”
“You’re Richie’s girlfriend too?” The blonde asked in a small voice. Richie nodded.
“Sorry.” She whispered, and all but ran away.
Richie chuckled. “Nicely done, honey.”
She moved to stand in front of him, wrapping both arms around his waist. Tipping her head back to see his face, she grinned. “I don’t like poachers either!”