At the studio, Jon called it quits for the day. “Nice work everyone. Let’s go home.”
Tori turned to her husband. “Rich, do you have any gum?”
“Yep. Here.” He handed her the pack.
“Thanks. Anyone else want a piece?” She unwrapped a stick and stuck it in her mouth.
“Sure.” David held out his hand. She place a stick in it. “Thanks.”
“You’re welcome.” Turning back to Richie she handed him back the pack, a smirk twisting her lips.
Glancing at the gum he noted that only one stick was missing. He raised a brow at her. She winked and went to pack up Stevie’s diaper bag. He sighed.
Jon heard him. “Something wrong?”
Richie glanced around. “Keep your eyes and ears open. And you might want to keep your distance from Shirley.”
Jon frowned, then followed Richie’s gaze to Tori. “Payback in the works?”
“I think so, but I don’t know what it is.”
“Hey Bela, what’s for dinner tonight?” Tico asked.
“Mexican. Rosa’s making some of her family’s favourite recipes.”
“Yum!” David licked his lips. Tori bit her lip against a laugh and turned to fiddle with Stevie’s t-shirt.
Shanks stared at David, but Jon nudged him and shook his head before he could say anything. In the hallway they passed a couple technicians and studio musicians. They too stared at David as he spoke to them, but didn’t say anything. In the lobby, Mandy came out from behind the desk to say goodbye to Stevie, looked at David and raised a brow at Tori, who just winked.
“He’s going to kill you.” Richie warned as he fastened Stevie’s carrier into the base in her car.
She shrugged. “You know he asked for it. He knew if he went after Stevie I’d have to retaliate.”
“I know. I’m just glad we’re just about done and he’ll be going home soon.” At her inquiring look he explained. “I’m afraid of getting caught in the crossfire.” She just patted his cheek.
Back at the house, Ava couldn’t suppress her giggles when her ‘Uncle Shirley’ greeted her. He frowned and turned to Richie. “What’s with her?” Richie just shrugged.
Rosa walked into the living room. “Dinner’s ready.”
“Yum.” David licked his lips. “I’m starving and Bela said you made Mexican tonight.”
Rosa nodded. “Si Mr. David.”
“Did you make guacamole?” Rosa nodded again. “Great! You make the best guacamole! I’m going to wash up.”
Rosa watched him walk towards the bathroom, then turned back to the others who were now bent over with laughter. “Why are Mr. David’s teeth black?”
Tori grinned. “He ate a piece of joke gum that I gave him.”
Rosa thought about that for a minute then nodded. “Well I bet that Mr. Stevie’s safe from his jokes now.”
“I hope so. At least for a little while.” Tori agreed.
“My protective mama bear.” Richie hugged his wife and nuzzled her neck.
The guys burst into laughter again.
David stomped into the room. “Why are my teeth – and tongue – black? What did you give me?” He turned to his bandmates. “And you guys let me walk out of the studio like that?!” They were laughing too hard to respond.
Tori’s brow rose at his growling tone. “Just some trick gum. It’ll be gone as soon as you brush your teeth.” She pointed a finger at him. “Leave my kids alone or it’ll only get worse.”
“Uncle Shirley, you’d look really funny without any teeth.” Ava chortled. David grabbed her, made like he was biting her neck and hung her upside down while she giggled. Suddenly, he looked at Tori, his eyes wide. “She asked for it!”
That night when Richie joined his wife in bed, he looked at her hesitantly. She crooked a brow. “What?”
“I had an idea.” He paused. “You’re concerned about losing control when we make love...when I touch you, right?” She nodded. “What if we start with me giving you a massage? Let you get used to feeling my hands on you again. Do you think that might help?” As much as he loved what she’d done to him that morning, and regardless of what she said, he still felt guilty and selfish not giving to her in return. He knew that it would take some time to get their sex life back to where it had been, especially since trust was such a large component of it, but he had to start somewhere. Thinking about the oil she’d used had given him the idea.
She thought about it for a long minute, then blew out a deep breath and nodded. “Let’s try it.”
Rising from the bed, Richie threw back the blankets and headed to get the lotion from the bathroom, choosing the soothing, relaxing lavender for this first attempt. When he returned to the bedroom he grinned to see her lying naked, face down in the middle of the bed.
He climbed on the bed, straddled her hips and hesitated. “If you’re too uncomfortable, just tell me to stop. Okay?”
She nodded. “Okay.”
Pouring oil into his palm, he set aside the bottle, rubbed his hands together and started with her shoulders. His strong fingers worked over her muscles, kneading out the knots formed by her activities during the day and smoothing the skin down to her waist. She sighed in appreciation. He paused. “Okay?”
“Mmmmm. Magic fingers.”
He grinned and resumed the movements of his hands. When he shifted back and cupped her butt cheeks, she tensed, then forced herself to relax. He didn’t linger, but moved on to her legs, working his way down to her slender feet. Her toes curled.
“Turn over.” He murmured. She did, and kept her eyes closed. Once again straddling her hips, he poured more oil and started with her arms, massaging from shoulder to elbow to wrist. Next he pressed his thumbs along the tendons in her palms, then laced their fingers together and flexed his hands. Releasing her hands he took a deep breath and set his hands on her collarbone. He moved them down slowly, carefully circling her breasts, seeking to soothe, not incite. After all, they were Peanut’s territory for now.
Her eyes flew open and she tensed. Glancing up he locked his eyes with hers, but continued his slow movements. When his hands moved on to her ribs and stomach, she relaxed, although he could sense the fine tremor beneath her outer calm. He shifted and started again at her feet and slowly moved up.
Tori closed her eyes and forced herself to breathe deeply, evenly, despite the racing of her heart. His hands had always done that to her, whether he was trying to relax her or arouse her. It was like he’d promised in Hawaii - he’d touched her until her skin hungered for more. She couldn’t fight it. Couldn’t control it. And that scared her. When his hands reached the tops of her thighs and slid to the inside she sat up and grabbed them. “Stop.”
He instantly lifted his hands and moved to sit beside her. “Okay. It’s okay. We’ll stop there.” He swallowed his disappointment and reminded himself to be patient.
Chest heaving, she looked at him for the space of several breaths, then pushed him to lie flat on his back. He laid still and waited to see what she had in mind. He didn’t have to wait long. She straddled his hips and wrapped a hand around his half hard erection and stroked. Her other hand slid up his chest and caressed the firm muscles there.
He’d resigned himself to letting her have her way and having to once again be the selfish taker, so he was surprised when she leaned over, kissed him deeply, then took a deep breath, held his shaft upright and slowly impaled herself.
His hands clutched at her hips. “Easy angel. Take it slow.” She was tight despite the lubrication her aroused body provided.
She nodded and paused for a moment to let her body adjust and ease to let him in. Once she was fully seated, she caught his hands, laced their fingers together and began to rock against him. Settling into a rhythm she gradually picked up speed, raising her body higher and higher before sinking back down.
He couldn’t take his eyes off the vision above him. Her face was flushed, her eyes were sparkling and dark with desire. It was a sight he’d been afraid he might never see again. She had never been more beautiful.
Her teeth closed on her bottom lip. “Rich. Help me!” She was trying, but something inside her didn’t want to let go.
He locked his eyes with hers. “I love you angel.” His hips bucked against her. Her eyes searched his. “I love you. I love you. I love you.” He repeated the litany over and over, never breaking eye contact.
Finally it was enough, and she let herself fly over the edge, taking him with her. “Richie!” She collapsed on top of him.
His hands came up to stroke her back soothingingly. He smiled and pressed a kiss to her hair when he felt her breathing even out in sleep.