It was while the guys were getting dressed that her phone rang.
Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true
You're a pal and a confidant
She shot Richie a look and shook her head. He grinned.
“Hi Tori, are you in T.O?”
“Yes. We got in this afternoon. The guys are just getting ready for tonight’s show. Are you here yet?”
“Yes. I just got in. I wanted to check in and see what the plan was for tomorrow.”
“Well, I’ll be available by lunch, does that work for you?”
“Sure. Do you want to meet at your hotel or at Hemmingway’s?”
“Hemmingway’s? I haven’t been there in ages. Why there?”
“I figured you’re probably staying at the Seasons so it would be close for you.”
Tori laughed. “You’re right. That’s fine we can meet at Hemmingway’s. I’ll make a reservation. Is there anything special that you want to do after or should we just play it by ear?”
“Let’s play it by ear. What time do we have to be at the ACC?”
“Well, sound check is about five, but I don’t have to be here for that, but I should be here before the show starts.”
“Ok, well we can figure it out tomorrow. Is Richie joining us for lunch?”
“I’m not sure I haven’t asked him. Would you be opposed to it if he did?” She cradled the phone between her ear and her shoulder as Richie moved to stand in front of her for help with the ‘danglies’ on his pants.
“Do I strike you as stupid?” Karin asked dryly.
Tori laughed. “I’ll take that as an invitation. I’ll pass it on.”
“Okay, well I’ll let you go and get ready. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Right. Bye Karin.” Hanging up she looked up at Richie. “Karin wants to know if you’re joining us for lunch tomorrow.”
“What do you think? Should I or would you prefer to keep it girls only so that you can talk about me?”
“It would be a good opportunity for you and Karin to get to know each other a little bit. We’ll have plenty of time to talk about you when you leave for your interviews.”
She grinned and blew him a kiss.
“Let’s go!” Jon hollered from the doorway.
The show went off without a hitch, and the guys were having a blast and it showed. They went back to the bar at the hotel for the after party.
They had just finished their meal and were sitting back relaxing for a moment when a waitress walked up and set a slice of fruitcake in front of Richie. There was silence around the table while they waited for his reaction. He stared at it for a moment, then reaching out, broke off a piece and popped it in his mouth, chewed and swallowed.
“Not bad, but yours is better.” He assured Tori.
Laughter erupted around the table.
“I gotta ask Bela, What made you do it?” Hugh asked.
“He was being a pain in the ass. He was always in the way and making smartass comments about everything, not to mention eating everything as fast as we could make them. But it could have been worse. Joan threatened to thump him with the rolling pin.”
“And what did Ava think of your treatment of her father?” Jon asked
Tori grinned. “Are you kidding? She held the bowl.”
In the midst of the resulting laughter Richie shot Tori a look that promised retribution. Blue eyes twinkling, she leaned over and kissed his cheek.
A couple hours later, after circulating with the crowd, they were preparing to leave when Paul called out to them.
The fact that he was standing talking to David should have been warning enough.
“Betty Crocker called. They received your application to be a taste tester, but they’re not hiring right now. They suggested you try Duncan Hines.”
Richie flipped him off as snickers could be heard all around them. Tori covered her mouth with her hand but couldn’t suppress a snort.
“That’s it!” Richie growled. In one smooth movement, he turned, bent, hoisted her over his shoulder and carried her out of the bar.
“Richie! Put me down! What are you doing?” Tori gasped.
He ignored her and continued towards the elevators, likewise ignoring the looks they were getting from the people in the lobby.
Hanging down his back she could feel the blood rushing to her face. She braced her hands on his back and pushed up to take a look around. Seeing the number of faces watching them, she was suddenly thankful for the explanation for her red face. She pushed up further trying to lift herself off his shoulder. His hand connected with her butt.
“OW! What was that for?”
“Stop wriggling. Watch your head.” He warned as he stepped into the elevator. Pushing the button for their floor he still wouldn’t let her down.
“What are you doing?” She asked again. Looking in the mirrors that lined the walls of the elevator she could she the small smile that twisted his lips.
“I warned you that you would pay for your little stunt.” His smile widened to an almost evil grin. “It’s time for me to collect.”
As he carted her out of the elevator and down the hall she contemplated what he could have planned. She knew that he would never hurt her, so the options that left had her pulse increasing and excitement swirling in the pit of her stomach.
Entering their suite he put the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door and closed it behind them. The click of the lock sliding into place sounded loud and threatening in the silence of the room. Tori braced herself to be set down, but Richie just continued into the bedroom.
“Babe?” She lowered her voice to a purr.
“Don’t try to suck up. It’s too late. What did you tell me about Ava? That she needs to learn that there’s consequences to her actions? Well apparently she’s not the only one who needs to learn that lesson.”
Still not releasing her he approached the bed and reaching out, pulled the covers down and over the foot to puddle on the floor. Tori’s adrenaline level kicked up a notch. Next he walked over to where a bag was sitting on the floor by his suitcase. Tori was curious. She hadn’t seen that bag before. With his foot he kicked the bag towards the bed. Obviously, whatever was in it wasn’t breakable. Nudging the bag along he returned to the bed where he finally shrugged her off his shoulder and dropped her onto the mattress. Before she could even think about moving he pinned her down and began removing her clothes. Unaccountably, his near silent actions and the determined look on his face scared her a little and she began to fight him. But he was bigger and stronger than her and he just chuckled at her efforts. Catching her eye and seeing her fear he stopped and held her still.
“You know I would never hurt you, right?”
“Then relax and accept your punishment like a good girl.”
Within minutes he had wrestled the rest of her clothing from her. When he reached down for the bag she saw her chance and tried to break his hold and roll away from him, but she got no more than a foot before he grabbed her ankle and pulled her back. Turning to look at him she saw what he had taken out of the bag – silk scarves.
Having a pretty good idea now of what he was planning, Tori groaned. No, he wasn’t going to hurt her…..he was just going to drive her insane with desire! The idea made her a little nervous, a little excited…..and more than a little aroused.
Hearing her groan, seeing the heat in her darkening eyes, he grinned. “I see you’re beginning to understand.”
In short order he had her wrists and ankles tied, spread eagle to the bed. She didn’t try to stop him….she knew she couldn’t – and wasn’t sure she really wanted to.
When she was rendered immobile, he stood beside the bed and looked down at his captive, the warmth of his dark gaze as it licked over every inch of her dispelling any embarrassment she might have felt at being completed naked and effectively staked out in front of him while he was still fully dressed.
“Comfortable?” He asked solicitously.
She nodded and licked lips suddenly gone dry at the look in his eyes.
His weight dipped the bed as he sat at her side. One hand reached out and traced her facial features – eyebrows, nose, cheek bones, lips. Then he shifted to her arms, starting at her wrists, and sliding down her inner arms, callouses scraping lightly. Moving to her shoulders he slowly caressed her torso, passing over her breasts without stopping on is way to her hips. There he paused, squeezed then continued on down the outside of her legs. He massaged each foot briefly before reversing direction and stroking up the inside of her legs. When he reached the top of her thighs he stopped, lifted his hands, moved back up to her face and started all over again.
His fingers followed the same path over and over until her skin was flushed, her breathing was slightly laboured and her body arched towards his touch. Then he traded hands and fingers for lips and tongue.
Once again he began with her face, dropping light kisses along her hairline, her eyes, her cheeks before reaching her mouth. There he stopped for long minutes, teasing, sipping, tasting, but always keeping it light. Her head lifted from the pillow to increase the pressure but he backed away, chuckling when she growled in frustration.
He turned her head to the side so that he could access her ear and neck, nuzzling his favorite spot beneath her ear and suck lightly at the network of nerves gathered where her neck joined her shoulder. His lips then followed her collarbone, before moving on to explore her torso, pausing to salute her nipples which were already standing tall and begging for his attention. Laving them with his tongue he nibbled on them, then moved on to explore the depths of her navel. Reaching the juncture of her thighs he once again avoided her most sensitive flesh, anointing her legs instead, spending long minutes tasting the firm warm skin of her inner thighs.
He repeated this sequence again and again, increasing the pressure each time until a sheen of moisture appeared on her skin, her breath came in pants and she was begging him for relief.
“Richie, please! I didn’t torture you!” She moaned as she felt him nip her inner thigh.
“Not directly.” He agreed. “But you are responsible for my torture, so I’m going to be responsible for yours.”
Tori was sure she was going to combust. Her whole body was a quivering mass of sensation. Unable to touch him and hold him where she desperately wanted him she was reduced to accepting whatever caress he chose to bestow on her – and it was driving her crazy!
Realizing she was on the brink, Richie stopped and stood up. He left the room, returning with a glass full of ice and a Diet Coke which he set on the night table. Standing where she could see him, he slowly stripped off his clothes, smirking when he saw her watching avidly. Returning to the bed he took a drink and contemplated his next move.
He reached out with one hand, and smoothed it up her inner thigh from knee to hip. One finger stroked her damp cleft. Her hips jerked upward in response. Opening her he slid that long finger deep inside her and held it motionless, savouring the feel of her sheath gripping it tightly. Then he stroked. Sometimes only penetrating her an inch or so, sometimes reaching as deep as he could, but always more slowly than she needed.
Undulating against his hand she bit her lip and whimpered. Control was far beyond her. She could only endure and pray that he would tire of his torture soon and put her out of her misery.
“Baby, please. I can’t take any more!” She cried.
“Yes you can.”
When he sensed she was close he stopped again and sat sipping his pop for a few minutes, letting her calm slightly. Sucking on an ice cube he perused her bound form. Her eyes were mere slits, her lips parted and her breasts heaving as she desperately sucked in air, her entire body glistened. Dropping the ice cube into his hand he grinned down at her. That was all the warning she got.
She cried out as the cold ice met her hot flesh. He slowly circled her nipples watching them harden even more and the melt water left trails down the sides of her breasts and down her abdomen to pool in her navel. Her stomach contracted as the cube followed. But it didn’t stop there. When she felt the cube invading her she gasped and shuddered.
His mouth made its trek yet again, only this time, not quite so gently. Along with the licks and kisses were bites and nibbles, marking her, drawing more gasps and cries from her – and not from pain. When he reached her breasts, he licked up the water droplets, took each nipple in turn into his mouth and suckled – hard. She screamed. Settling himself between her legs he followed the trails of water over her abdomen to her core. Parting the swollen flesh with his fingers he ran his tongue slowly over her, up one side and down the other, lapping at her, sucking the mixture of melted ice and her own juices that pulsed gently from her, periodically flicking her clit.
“Sweet.” He murmured.
Her cries had subsided to low breathy moans – she had no voice left. She was trembling all over.
“Richie….no more…please!” she whispered.
Glancing up he finally decided he’d pushed her far enough. He slid his body up hers until his shaft nuzzled her opening. Instinctively her legs flexed as widely as the scarves would allow giving him as much room as she could and tilted her pelvis to take him in.
“Now, baby, please, I can’t take anymore!” She sobbed.
“Shhh, baby, I’m here.”
Flexing his hips he filled her with one quick thrust. She screamed as her body convulsed. Thrusting deeply, he rode out her storm, driving her higher and higher, until she screamed again as a new climax swamped her even before the ripples of the previous one had completely subsided. The last thing she was aware of was his cry as his own orgasm hit and the warmth of his release deep inside her. Then her world went black.
She woke to find that he had untied her and pulled her into his arms and the covers up over them. Blowing out a breath she rolled onto his chest and gazed up at him.
He crooked a brow. “So did you learn anything?”
She looked thoughtful. “Well, I learned that maybe I should be grateful for your...um…vast experience, since I’m definitely reaping the benefits.”
He chuckled. “And will you think twice before pulling any more stunts?”
Her lips twisted into a wry smile. “You know Rich, I hate to break this to you, but punishments are supposed to be a deterrent, not an incentive.” She blew out another breath. “Although I will admit, it might be awhile before I’m recovered enough to risk it again.”
Laughing he hugged her tight, and pulled her up for a deep kiss. “I love you Angel.”
“I love you too babe.”
Stepping out of the shower the next morning, Tori caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and gasped. “Holy shit Rich!”
“What’s the matter?” He came to stand in the doorway. Looking at her his eyes widened for a moment, then he grinned.
She gave him a withering glance. “Well, it’s a good thing it’s winter and I’m not planning on wearing a bathingsuit anytime soon.” She frowned. “I’m not sure what I’m going to wear to the show though. Everything I brought bares my arms and has a fairly low neckline.”
“Guess you’re going to have to keep your jacket on then.”
Her eyes narrowed. “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you planned this.”
“Nope, it’s just an added benefit.” He moved to stand behind her. Gripping her waist with his hands he bent and kissed her shoulder, his gaze touching each mark he had left on her body the previous night before meeting her eyes in the mirror. “But whatever you do, don’t let Jon see them. He’ll think I’m beating you, and then you and the rest of the world will be deprived of my talents.” He waggled his brows.
She laughed, then looked at herself in the mirror again and sighed. There were love bites on her neck, shoulders, the inside of her arms, two on her collarbone, ribcage, by her navel and on her inner thighs.
“And David calls me Bela!”
Entering the restaurant, Tori looked around and saw Karin waving at her from a table near the back. As she walked across the room, Richie following close behind, she noticed several looks and whispers directed their way. Reaching the table, she gave Karin a hug and introduced her to Richie.
The waitress came over to take their drink orders. Karin ordered a beer, then froze and blushed, looking very uncomfortable. Tori clued in first, smiled and order a beer herself while Richie ordered a coke. Karin gave Tori a questioning look and got a reassuring smile in return.
“It’s okay.” Tori assured her. “It doesn’t bother him.”
“Really? You’re sure?”
“Why do I feel like I’m walking in on the middle of a conversation when I’ve never left the table?” Richie asked bemused.
Before either girl could answer him the drinks arrived. Tori pointed at her beer.
“Oh. Yeah. No problem Karin, drink whatever you want. It doesn’t bother me at all.” He waved aside her concern.
The conversation flowed as the girls got caught up with each other’s lives – although Karin was more interested in talking about Tori’s than her own, for obvious reasons. Richie was his usual, amusing self, adding colourful commentary to Tori’s stories and relating some of his own.
While Karin was a full participant in the conversation, Tori noticed that something was off. Several times she caught her staring at Richie, a strange look on her face.
“Okay Karin, spill it.”
“You’ve been acting strangely ever since we got here. What’s wrong?”
Karin blushed. “Sorry, it’s just that I’ve never had a regular conversation with a rockstar before. I guess it’s just taking some time to get used to.”
Richie’s lips twisted in a wry smile. “I’m just a regular guy, darlin’.”
Karin snorted. “Yeah. Sure. That’s why everyone woman under sixty in the restaurant keeps looking over here – and even a few of the older ones!” She turned to Tori. “How do you stand it?”
“Believe it or not you get used to it. It’s even worse when Jon’s with us. As long as they don’t swarm us I can almost forget they’re there. And you’ll find that once you get passed the ‘rockstar’ thing, they really are just regular guys. Very successful, wealthy, confident regular guys, but regular guys just the same.” She frowned. “Well, except maybe Shirley….he’s a little….different .”
Richie snickered. “I’m telling him you said that.”
“Notice he’s not disagreeing with me. He just wants to get him off his back.”
“Shirley?” Karin asked.
“Oh, sorry. David.”
“Why do you call him Shirley?”
“As in Temple.”
“Oh, the curls…yeah I can see that. What does he call you?”
“Bela.” She hoped that Karin would think that it was the Spanish bella and let it go. She should have known better.
When Tori didn’t respond she turned to Richie. “As in Lugosi.” He offered.
“Dracula?” Karin raised her brows in surprise. “Why?”
Tori hesitated and played with the neck of her turtleneck sweater self consciously. Richie smirked. “Because she likes to bite when she gets…..excited.”
Tori slapped his arm. “Look who’s talking!” Seeing Karin’s confused but interested look, she sighed, and glanced around before pulling the neck of her sweater down enough for Karin to see a portion of Richie’s handiwork.
“Aah! So David saw the evidence of your….affection….for Richie and now won’t let you forget it. He really is a Joker then.”
“Yeah. Whatever you do don’t let on that anything bothers you or you will never hear the end of it!”
“You mentioned that Richie wanted David off his back. Can you tell me why?”
It was Richie’s turn to sigh and look uncomfortable. Tori grinned and related the story.
Karin looked at Richie and burst out laughing. “I’m sorry. I’m just picturing you with batter running off your face….”
He glared at Tori and tossed his balled up napkin in Karin’s direction.
Fifteen minutes later Richie glanced at his watch and rose from the table. “Well ladies, sorry to break up the party, but I’ve got to go to work. Karin, I really enjoyed lunch. We’ll have to do it again soon.” Shrugging into his coat he gave Tori a considering gaze. “Remember that you love me when you get into girl talk mode.” Bending he kissed her. Easing back he hesitated, ran a finger down her nose and tapped the tip. “It would really make me happy if you would try to be at the arena before the doors open.”
Tori grinned. “Now was that so hard?” He crooked a brow. “Wording that as a gentle request instead of an order?”
He sighed. “That depends. Are you going to honour my request?”
“I promise to try.”
“That’s all I can ask. Call if you need Jack to come pick you up.” He kissed her again and stood upright. “Have fun girls. Be careful. See you later.”
“What was that all about?” Karin asked as they watched him walk out the door, along with every other female in the place.
Tori gave her the run down on the whole safety versus independence controversy. Karin frowned.
“Don’t you think that they may have a point?”
Tori sighed. “I don’t know, maybe. But I honestly haven’t seen any signs of it. I’m not stupid. If it gets to the point where it becomes a problem, I will accept the protection, but I want to hold on to my independence as long as I possibly can. When you meet Jon you’ll understand. He’s used to being in charge and everyone jumps to do his bidding – except Dorothea.” She realized how that sounded. “Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great guy and everything he does is out of love and for the greater good, but he can be a little autocratic. Between that and Richie’s protectiveness, if I don’t make a stand now, they’ll take over and I will lose me. They won’t mean to, but it will happen nonetheless.”
Karin nodded. “So break the habit before it forms. That makes sense.”
They decided to head down to the Eaton Centre to do some shopping. While Tori was putting on her coat, Karin waved the waitress over and asked for the bill.
The girl smiled. “Mr. Sambora already took care of it.” She glanced at Tori. “Miss Adams, are you going to be at the show tonight?”
“Yes I am. Are you going?”
The waitress nodded. “Looking forward to it. A friend of mine saw you in Montreal and said you were fantastic. Could I have your autograph?”
“Sure. And tell your friend I said thank you.”
Exiting the restaurant, they walked half a block before looking at each other and bursting out laughing.
“Wow! You really are a celebrity now!” Karin chortled. “Just think how much the Enquirer would pay for some of the pictures and stories I could share!”
“Oh shut up!”
After a couple hours of shopping they headed back to Tori’s hotel so that she could change for the show. When she stripped off her sweater Karin gasped.
Tori blushed. “I know. Now help me figure out what to wear that hides them the best, but is still sexy enough for the concert.”
Karin was silent for a long moment then looked at Tori with eyes that shone with happiness for her friend, but also with a touch of envy. “You really are a lucky bitch you know.”