Entering their hotel room, Tori saw that her suitcases had indeed been delivered. While Richie was in the bathroom, she pulled out her nightgown – Richie’s T-shirt – and quickly changed. Grabbing her bag of toiletries she headed for the bathroom, passing Richie on his way out. She ignored his leer when he saw what she was wearing, but couldn’t prevent a squeal, when he gave her a light smack on the rear end as he passed. His chuckle followed her into the bathroom.
After washing her face, and brushing her teeth, she returned to the bedroom to find the bedside lamp draped in some sort of material to soften the glow, several lit candles set around the room, music playing softly, the blankets in a puddle off the end of the bed, and Richie, lying naked in the centre of the mattress, facing the bathroom, his head propped on one hand, and a rose held between his teeth.
She had to smile. “Gee babe, did you want something?”
His response was a crooked finger, beckoning her closer.
When she reached the side of the bed, she stopped. “You make me wish I could draw.” She murmured as let her eyes trace the long length of him appreciatively. “Maybe I should ask Tico to paint you for me.” His reaction was pronounced and immediate. Reaching out he grabbed her hand and with a quick tug, tumbled her onto the bed.
Laughing, she rolled into him. Turning on her side she faced him. “Is that for me?” She motioned towards the rose.
He nodded and let her take it. “I tried to find something as beautiful as you, but this was as close as I could get.” At her look he shrugged. “I know it sounds corny, but it’s true. Next to you, everything else pales in comparison. There is no bloom, no gem, no work of art as beautiful as you are to me.”
Reading the sincerity in his eyes, she blinked back tears, put the rose to her nose, inhaled deeply and swallowed around the lump in her throat. “I think that maybe you missed me almost as much as I missed you.”
She shook her head, raising a hand to stroke his cheek. “Not possible. You’ve been my first thought when I woke up in the morning, my last thought before falling asleep. I couldn’t count how many times during the day I’d catch myself imagining I saw you out of the corner of my eye, and my heart leaped. And the nights…” She shuddered. “Every night I’d lie awake, aching to feel you all around me, inside me, to experience again the kind of pleasure only you have ever brought me, and to fall asleep, safe and secure in your arms.”
“Oh baby,” He groaned. “I longed for that too!” Setting the rose on the night stand he crushed her against him, and initiated a deep kiss, his tongue stabbing deep into her mouth when she opened for him, before backing off to lick and suck and nibble on her lips. All the while, his hands where stroking up and down her back, until, wanting to feel the satin of her skin instead of the cotton of his shirt, he reached for the hem , and, pulling upwards, stripped it from her.
They laid there for a long time, caressing each other, watching their hands trace the lines and curves of the other’s body, pausing periodically to kiss briefly before resuming their explorations. When Richie cupped her breasts, prodding her nipples to stiff peaks with his thumbs, she moaned softly in her throat and arched her back, pressing her aching flesh more firmly in his hands. Obliging, he kneaded her full mounds firmly, then bent to taste them, nibbling gently, making her gasp before taking the engorged nipples in his mouth, one at a time and suckling hard.
Crying out at the sharp stab of pleasure that traveled from her breast to her brain Tori fisted her hands in his hair, holding him close for long minutes. When the sensations became too much to bear, she tugged, urging him up so that she could explore his mouth with her tongue. With one hand she reached down to grasp his hard shaft and stroke him slowly, squeezing rhythmically, feeling his groans reverberate in his throat. Finally, her skin on fire, her core molten and aching, she rolled onto her back, urging him to follow.
Lifting over her, he spread her thighs wide, settled his hips in between and filled her with one controlled thrust.
Gasping, she clung to him, tilted her pelvis and took him deeper. Pulling his mouth back to hers, she sucked on his tongue, her hands rubbing frantically up and down his back, her hips undulating against him. All control gone, she trusted him to keep her safe.
With a growl, he started to move, thrusting deeper and deeper inside her. Within minutes she was crying out as her climax hit. He slowed, riding out the waves of her release until the last of her shudders subsided and she started to relax beneath him. Taking possession of her mouth again he picked up his pace again. He brought her to orgasm twice more in quick succession, but it wasn’t enough for him.
“God, Tori, help me! I can’t get enough!” Grasping her knee he lifted first one leg, then the other onto his shoulders, opening her completely to his possession. Gripping her hips firmly he thrust harder.
Head thrashing back and forth, bombarded by sensation, Tori fought to breathe. She couldn’t think, she could only feel. A scream was torn from her throat as another orgasm rocked her…..and still he kept moving.
“Oh God Richie!” She gasped.
“I’m sorry baby, but it’s not enough, I need more, I need….” Gripping her tighter yet he thrust harder and harder, slamming into her over and over, completely out of control, his breath raspy pants in her ear.
Her moans had become whimpers as she hung on and simply absorbed every deep thrust. As she reached yet another peak, her whole body went rigid, clamping tight around him.
“Yes, that’s it! TORI!!” Finding his release at last, he collapsed on top of her.
His warmth flooding her was the last thing she remembered before her world went black.
When she came to she realized that she was lying on her side, wrapped in Richie’s arms, still intimately joined…..and that he was hard again inside her. Tipping her head back to see his face, she stared at him incredulously. “You can’t be!”
He chuckled. “Yes I can.” He moved his hips slightly to prove his point. “But don’t blame me. I haven’t been like this since the 80s. It’s all you babe.”
She groaned as the nerve endings she thought were burned out fired up again at his movement. “You’re going to kill me.”
“This time I’ll be gentle, I promise.”
And he was. Lifting her knee to rest on his hip he undulated his hips, rocking gently into her, slowly, repetitively. This time they came together on a sigh.
“I love you angel.” He kissed her gently, but thoroughly.
“I love you too Richie.” Curling up against him, feeling his arms close around her, she smiled in contentment and complete satiation and drifted off to sleep.
Tori awoke the next morning feeling remarkably well rested – until she moved. She had to bite back a whimper as she slipped out of bed, not wanting to wake Richie. Every muscle in her lower body ached. Standing, she blew out a breath and remained motionless for long moments until she was sure her legs wouldn’t give out on her. She walked slowly into the bathroom and turned the water on in the bathtub – hot - and added a few bubbles. When it was full, she sank into the heat with a sigh of relief. Leaning her head back against the rim she closed her eyes and let the heat ease her tight muscles.
That’s how Richie found her when he entered the bathroom half an hour later. Taking in the sweat beading on her forehead and the steam rising from the water, he frowned.
“Darlin’, are you alright?”
She opened her eyes and smiled at him. “I’m fine.”
Relieved he leaned down to kiss her. Moving to meet him, she didn’t quite conceal her wince as her muscles protested.
He froze. “You are not fine! What’s the matter? Did I hurt you?”
“Honey, really, I’ll be fine. I’m just a little….tender, that’s all.”
“Shit! I’m sorry baby. How bad is it? You should have stopped me!” He raked a hand through his hair in agitation.
She snorted. “That would have required being able to think! Besides, I really didn’t want you to stop.”
“But I may have seriously hurt you. Maybe we should take you to the hospital and let them check you out.”
She couldn’t help it…she burst out laughing. When Richie frowned at her she just laughed harder. “I…I’m…I’m sorry. I know you’re upset, it’s just…” She was off again. “I…I’m…I’m just imagining what we’d tell them the problem was! Just think what it would do for your reputation!” She lost it again.
Richie stared down at her, then his lips twitched. “Brat!” Placing one large hand on top of her head he suddenly pushed down, dunking her.
Sputtering, wiping bubbles out of her eyes, she tried to glare at him, but she was still chuckling. “Hey! Are you trying to kill me – again?”
“I guess you’re going to live. Get your tender little ass in gear. We’re supposed to meet the guys in an hour. I’ve ordered breakfast.”
An hour later they walked off the elevator to find the rest of the guys already waiting in the lobby.
“Well, well, well, Sleeping Beauty finally woke up!”
“Fuck you Rashbaum. You’re just jealous because your dates don’t stay all night…..you’re not willing to pay the extra!”
Knowing by now that it was best to just ignore those two when they started on each other, Tori greeted the others. “Ready to go?”
“Lead on madam tour guide.” Jon gestured towards the door.
Walking side by side, Jon and Tori simultaneously reached for their sunglasses and put them on before exiting the hotel. Tico and Hugh noticed and exchanged amused glances.
They spent the rest of the morning touring around a few museums. Thankfully, as she walked, her muscles eased and she was able to walk normally without biting back groans. She was going to let them loose on Rue Saint-Laurent after lunch. That’s where the new designers and the more avant guarde artists had their shops. It would be a great spot for them to find some cool stage clothes. Maybe she could even help David find something decent!
They had just finished a late lunch in a small restaurant close by the shopping area, and were waiting for the bill when Tori’s phone rang.
Everybody was kung fu fighting
Those cats were fast as lightning
In fact it was a little bit frightening
But they fought with expert timing
Checking the number she glanced at Jon, then Richie and shook her head. Richie grinned.
“Hi Tori. How are you?”
“I’m good, how are you?”
“Good – well a little frustrated actually. Are you with the guys?”
“Yes I am.”
“Could you please tell your brother to turn his phone on? I’ve been trying to reach him all morning.”
Tori moved the phone away from her mouth. “Jon, turn your phone on.”
He frowned, pulled it out of his pocket and flipped it open. “Shit! Sorry honey!” He said loud enough for Dorothea to hear.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Dorothea answered dryly. “So Tori, are you nervous about meeting Ava?”
“A little….well, more than a little actually,……terrified might be a better word. But I’m trying not to think about it. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.”
“Don’t worry, she’s really a sweet little girl, and she’ll love you.” Dorothea assured her. “Call me next week when you get back from L.A. and tell me how it went.”
Tori didn’t answer for a long minute, replaying Dorothea’s words in her head, sure she must have misheard her. “Excuse me? I’m sorry Dorothea, but what makes you think I’m going to L.A.?”
Now it was Dorothea’s turn to not answer immediately. Then she sighed. “He didn’t talk to you about his plan to take you home for Thanksgiving did he?”
“No, no he didn’t.” She gave Richie a hard look. He had the grace to look a little uncomfortable.
“Try not to be too hard on him. He means well, he really does. But, well, he’s a man and doesn’t always think things through as much as he should. He doesn’t see anything to worry about in you meeting Ava, so he wouldn’t imagine that you might and would need time to prepare.”
“Yeah, I know.” Tori replied quietly. Standing up she grabbed her purse and coat. “Here, I’ll pass you to Jon. And thanks Dorothea. I’ll talk to you later.” She handed the phone to Jon. “Here, talk to your wife.” And she walked out the door without a backward glance.
Jon frowned at Richie. “What did you do?” He heard someone yelling. “Sorry honey, I’m here. I charged my phone last night and I must have forgotten to turn it on this morning when I put it in my pocket. And it looks like we have a bit of an issue here. Tori just got up and walked out the door.”
“I’ll bet she did. Tell Richie that springing a surprise trip home for Thanksgiving to meet his daughter was not the smartest move he ever made! I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she refused to go. I know if it were me, I’m not sure I would.”
“He did WHAT?” Jon looked at Richie and shook his head in disgust. “Man, I thought you understood women better than that.”
David sat up at that. “What’d you do?”
Richie shrugged. “I planned to take her to L.A. for Thanksgiving. Ava really wants to meet her, and I thought it would be a good opportunity.”
“But he didn’t discuss it with her.” Jon pointed out.
“Oooh,” Tico winced. “Well, it’s been nice knowing ya man. What kind of flowers do you want at your funeral?”
Grimacing, Richie stood, pulled on his coat and headed out after Tori.
He found her standing a few shops down, staring in the window, huddled against the cold. He walked up and stopped beside her, also facing the window. She didn’t acknowledge his presence.
“You’re still here.”
She was silent for so long he was beginning to think that she wasn’t going to respond.
“I couldn’t abandon you all in a city you’re not familiar with. Besides, I don’t run away from my problems.” She shot him a glance.
He sighed. “I’m sorry.”
“When were you going to tell me? When it was time to go to the airport?”
“I hadn’t figured that part out yet. Look, all I wanted was to have the two girls I love the most meet and get to know each other. Ava really wants to meet you, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.” He paused. “But if you don’t want to, we don’t have to go.” He sounded dejected.
“Don’t! Don’t you put this on me Richard Stephen Sambora! This is all your doing! Do you have any idea how much the thought of meeting Ava scares me?”
“Because she’s your daughter, the light of your life. A yea or nay from her will determine where this relationship goes. The thought that she might not like or approve of me makes me feel sick to my stomach, and my palms sweat. That little girl holds my future in her hands.”
He stared at her. “Don’t you think you’re being a little melodramatic?”
“Am I? Can you honestly tell me that you would even consider a long term relationship with a woman that your daughter didn’t like?”
He couldn’t. She was right. And he finally understood her fear – even started to feel a little of it himself. “That’s not going to be an issue, because she’s going to love you.” She snorted. He gripped her by the shoulders and made her face him. “No, I’m not just saying that, I’m serious. Listen to me. She’s going to love you because she’s a very bright girl who will see the same things in you that I do. You are smart and funny and loving and caring and compassionate. Trust me, Ava will appreciate all of that as much, if not more than I do. Plus, you laugh at my jokes, but don’t put up with any of my shit. I can guarantee that she’ll like that most of all.” He tipped her face up to him with a knuckle under her chin until their eyes met. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner. I honestly didn’t realize how nervous you were. But I promise you it will go well. I just want to get the initial meeting over with so that we can begin to build our family. So how about it Tori? Will you come home with me and meet my daughter?”
Staring into his dark eyes, unable to resist the plea she saw there, she blew out a nervous breath….and nodded.
“Thank you.” Bending, he kissed her softly.
Raising his head, he wrapped an arm around her and urged her back towards the restaurant. “We better go check on the guys. They’re probably still arguing over who’s picking up the tab.”
Approaching the restaurant they found them all standing just inside the door, faces pressed to the window. Seeing Tori and Richie, they joined them outside.
“What were you doing?” Tori asked.
“Well, it’s too cold to stand outside, but we wanted to see if blood was spilled.” David explained.
“I only bite in private.” Tori assured him. “Come on Shirley, let’s go shopping and see if we can find you some stage clothes that actually look good.”
When they entered the first store, Jon held Tori back. Handing over her phone his eyes searched her face. “Are you alright? Do you need me to speak to him?”
“No, I’m fine. I think he understands now why I was angry and why I’m so nervous about meeting Ava.”
“She’s great, and she’ll love you, so try not to be nervous, and he should have known better than to spring something like that on you. But that’s not what I was talking about.”
“Then what were you talking about?” She was confused.
He actually blushed. “I’m talking physically. Are you alright? You hid it pretty well, but I noticed you moving a little slowly this morning, and I saw you wincing a few times. If he’s hurting you….”
“Jesus Jon!” She closed her eyes and covered her burning cheeks with her hands. “I am so not talking to you about this!” She met his eye. “I’m fine, just a little stiff. He’s not hurting me.” Mortified, she turned and headed to where David was looking through a rack of shirts, brushing past Richie as she went.
Noticing her red face, Richie turned to Jon, to find his face equally red. “What was that all about?”
Jon just stared at him for a moment. “I think you need to be a little more gentle with her. She’s not as, um, shall we say, experienced, as some of your previous, um, friends.”
Now it was Richie’s turn to blush. “Is that what she said? That I was too rough?”
Jon shook his head. “No she said she was fine, but I saw her wincing when she moved this morning.” He grimaced. “She’s my sister, I’m just looking out for her.”
Richie nodded curtly and went to check out a rack of hats in the corner.
The afternoon passed swiftly and with much laughter as wardrobes were augmented, although it was a couple hours before she could look at Jon. Tori was pleasantly surprised when David actually listened to her advice – and took it! While he still had a long way to go, she was satisfied that they had a least made a start.
After a quick stop at the hotel to change and make sure everything was packed, they arrived back at the Bell Centre in time for their sound check then sat relaxing in Jon’s dressing room until show time.
When the guys took the stage, Tori found her spot off to the side. A few songs into it, she heard someone calling her name. Glancing around she didn’t see anyone and figured she must be imagining it. Then she heard it again. Looking around again, she finally noticed a few people in the fan pit waving at her. Surprised, she waved back. Richie noticed what was going on and grinning, motioned her toward the pit. Seeing that Jon was on the other side of the stage, Tori walked to the pit and leaned over to shake a few hands.
Suddenly, she felt hands grip her waist and push like he was going to push her into the pit, pulling her back at the last minute. Straightening, she turned to smack a laughing Jon on the arm. Hugging her, he kissed her cheek then turned to the fans in the pit, who were obviously enjoying every minute of this. Standing behind Jon she considered him for a moment, then grinned and winked at the fans. Grabbing the waistband of Jon’s pants she gave him a little shove – not a big one, just enough to knock him off balance for a second. The fans in the pit screamed and held up their arms as if to catch him. The security guard sitting between the pit and the stage yelled. “No!”
Pulling Jon back with her grip on his pants, she made sure he was secure on the stage before dissolving into laughter at the stark look of fear that had crossed his face for a split second. Glancing around she saw Richie, David – even Lorenza laughing. Jon shook his finger at her, grabbed her hand and dragged her to the white mic and finished the song.
“Jeez sis, I know you said last night that you were going to kill me, but I didn’t think you meant it!”
Reaching for the mic she grinned. “Naw, the girls would have caught you. You wouldn’t have been hurt. You might have ended up naked, but not hurt.” The crowd roared. The girls in the pit nodded.
Richie was bent over with mirth, tears running down his face.
“Keep laughing Sambora. If you insist on hanging out with her you’ll find out the hard way – her paybacks are a bitch!”
“Naw…she’s an angel.” Richie replied.
Tori smiled innocently and blew Richie a kiss. Seeing the tech coming towards her with a monitor, she looked at Jon who arched a brow at her. Nodding, she turned her back to the tech so he could attach the battery pack, fitting in the earpieces.
After three songs, Tori returned to her spot on the side of the stage. After the show, as they were heading for the dressing rooms, Hugh asked what Tori had done earlier. From where he was standing he couldn’t see.
“Jon pretended to push Tori into the fan pit, so she returned the favour.” David explained. “You should have seen his face! I’ve never seen him so scared!”
“Are you implying that I shouldn’t have been scared?” Jon asked. “I was afraid of ending up naked and bald – and not just my head!”
“How did you find out what I said last night?” Tori asked him.
He grinned. “I went onto the website and read a writeup of the show one of the fans did.”
“Cheater!” She laughed.
“Nope, just smart.”
“What were you doing by the pit Tori?” Tico asked.
“Some fans were waving at me, and Richie suggested I go over and say hello. Since Jon was greeting the pit on the other side, I did.”
After quickly showering and changing, they gathered to head for the airport. Once again running the gauntlet to the vans, Tori was surprised to hear people calling her name, and complimenting her on her singing. Slowing she smiled and waved, until finally Richie grabbed her hand and literally pulled her to the waiting vehicle.
Climbing in, she immediately took a seat by the window so that she could look out at the crowd.
“Jeez, Tori, I thought I was going to have to pick you up and carry you!” Richie commented.
She turned to look at him and Jon, eyes shining. “I have fans!”
Jon smiled. “Pretty heady feeling isn’t it?”
She nodded, then sobered. “It’s probably only because I’m your sister though. Jovi fans are very loyal to the band members and their families.”
“That may be part of it.” Jon agreed. “But they wouldn’t compliment your singing if you weren’t good. Loyalty doesn’t go that far.”
“You should be prepared to lose a few too Tori.” Tico warned her. He’d entered the van in time to hear the end of the conversation. “As soon as they find out who you’re dating, some of the Richie girls will not be impressed.”
“They’ll get over it.” Richie assured her. “My fans just want me to be happy. Hell, they even accepted Denise – for awhile.”
Tori frowned. “I’m not sure I want to be compared to that....that…..to her, thank you very much!” She didn’t say what she really wanted to say…she didn’t want to lower herself to that level.
“I didn’t mean to compare you to her...” Richie quickly replied. “I only meant to say that my fans are very loyal to me, and while some might be a bit disappointed at first, when they see how happy you make me, they will welcome you into the fold.”
Arriving at the airport, Tori was amazed at how quickly they were cleared through security.
“Wow, I need to travel with rockstars more often!” She turned to Jon. “You’re sure my luggage will make it?” She was a little uncomfortable with someone else looking after her stuff.
“Relax angel, and let go of some of that control.” Richie murmured in her ear. “Look at it this way. If they forgot to pick up yours, then they forgot to pick up mine. What do you think would happen in that situation?”
“Someone would be in deep kimchi.” She acknowledged. “Ok, but this VIP treatment takes a little getting used to.
“Just sit back and enjoy it Tori.” Jon advised. “It becomes old hat all too soon.”
Tori snorted, not sure she would ever get completely used to having everything done for her.
They arrived in Ottawa, loaded into the waiting vans and were soon unloading at the hotel. Walking through the lobby, they were quickly approached by the concierge who handed them their keys and assured them that their luggage was already on its way up to their rooms.
Entering the room Tori shook her head in amazement. There, inside the bedroom of the suite were their suitcases – hers included. “I have to say that the experience of my arrival in Montreal made me wonder about the staff that Jon had hired, but they really are efficient aren’t they?”
“Most of the time.” Richie agreed with a yawn. “If they’re not, they don’t last long. Jon doesn’t deal well with incompetence.”
Exiting the bathroom, ready for bed, Tori found Richie already there. She climbed in beside him. “Tired?”
He nodded. Pulling her close against him he kissed her. In response to the pressure of his mouth she opened hers, sucking his tongue deep, moaning softly as he tasted her. Groaning, he crushed her to him for a long moment, his hand sweeping up and down her back. Then he eased back from her and slowly ended the kiss.
“Sorry baby, I’m beat.”
Hiding her disappointment she stroked his face and kissed him gently. “Sleep honey.”
He urged her onto her other side, facing away from him, so that he could slide an arm over her waist and pull her into the curve of his body. Kissing her neck below her ear he sighed. “Sweet dreams angel. I love you.”
“I love you too.” She stroked his arm. She might have bought the tired excuse – after all he had just performed a two and half hour show and then traveled a few hundred miles - if she hadn’t felt him growing and hardening against her. In fact, she could still feel his semi-erection nudging her. No, she knew what he was doing. She just couldn’t decide if she should be pleased that he was concerned about possibly causing her pain, or pissed that he was making this decision for her. She still hadn’t decided when she drifted off.