Jamie’s teasing smile faded. She climbed out of her chaise, heading for Jon. “What’s going on, Ace?” His body was as taught as a snare drum, his face lined in misery. Her hand hovered over his forearm, but something told her not to touch him. She curled her fingers into her palm. “Are you okay?”

“Leave it, James.”

She arched a brow and crossed her arms over her red bikini top. “Hey, you crashed my party, not the other way around.”

He jammed his hands into his pockets. “I didn’t know you were up here.”

“Yeah well, that was the point.” She’d hoped that baking in the sun would erase some of the ache that was a constant reminder of her prize title loss with Alec. Nothing like a fist full of metal to leave a lasting impression. It didn’t bother her most of the time, and the little fuck was smart enough to stay away from her, but the bruises were fading into an ugly yellow that was hard to cover with makeup.

Not to mention that it was too damn hot to have her hair down in her face. At least up here, she was alone and she’d found sunglasses large enough to escape most of the questions. Not to mention that she was sick of tripping over a bandmate, roommate, or fan every five seconds. She'd just needed a little chill time and rooftops were becoming her safe haven.

He took a step back toward the door, but she reached out for his hand. “No, it’s okay.”

Instead of letting her go, his fingers twisted with hers, pulling her closer. He was overthinking something. Of course, when wasn't he overthinking something? She frowned, jerking back when his other hand came up to slip her shades down. “Don’t.”

“Let me see.”

Normally she’d tell him to jump off the damn roof, but there was something in his eyes that held her tongue. Something a little sad and hurt. She flipped the shades into her hair, letting him see the naked truth of the violence that had touched her—touched him. Alec was from Jon's neighborhood. For God's sake, he'd known him before he could even pretend he was legal. She could practically smell the responsibility on his skin like a cologne. "It's not your fault you know."

He didn't answer her, instead he brushed her cheek with the back of his knuckles. Butterfly wings held more substance than that subtle touch. And when nothing between them could ever be called subtle, she knew they were in deep shit. Between his bleak eyes and the uncharacteristic gentleness, she couldn't even push his buttons. What the hell was he thinking?

She could normally read him. Just give a girl a few years of do-anything-to-avoid-being-alone with him, then a few months of a constant diet and voila! Instant specialist--Riiiight. But there was one thing she did know, his eyes were the only way to read him. Even at his most serious there were times when his blue eyes danced with an inner laughter he didn’t let out nearly enough. But there was no laughter right now. Just a bone-deep sadness that he didn’t need to shoulder alone.

She took his hand and pressed it to her cheek. “I’m fine. No lasting damage.” When he only stared at her, not seeing her, just the bruise, she lifted onto her toes until there was no room for error—until his eyes met hers. “I’m all right, Jon.”

“It could have been so much worse.”

The misery in his voice had her voice gentling. Firm wasn’t going to work here. Firm would just start a fight, and she just didn’t have it in her this afternoon. She stepped into him, her hand resting at the center of his chest. She could feel the crinkle of hair under the faded T-shirt. She wanted, more than anything, to get under that shirt and feel his skin. She wanted to tangle her fingers in the crisp hair and drag in all that warm Jon smell. No cologne, just soap and something darker--something that promised sweat and a pleasure no other man could give her.

She swallowed a groan. It just couldn't be healthy to be this wound up over one guy. Instead, she smoothed her way up to his neck, into the heavy curls that just wouldn’t stay away from his face. She moved in closer, their eyes locked as she brushed her lips with his.

He stood still. Hell, was he even breathing? She hovered there, the heat of his lips and the lingering bite of whisky was there between them.

“But it wasn’t. I’m here, and I’m fine.” She was so close to him that each word brought their lips together for just a teasing moment. “Can’t you feel how alive I am?”

He wanted to back up. She could feel it in the utter motionlessness of him. It was as if everything stopped, heart, mind, and even the light breeze didn't dare move. Didn’t he realize the freedom here? There was no one to see, no one to know if he touched her—if she touched him. A hidden pocket of time that was just theirs. If she didn’t think he needed it just as much as she did, she wouldn’t have pressed the issue.


But he did. And if she couldn’t have all of him, she could have this tiny moment. And she took it.

She bit down on his lower lip. God, it was soft. She watched him day in and day out, and always it was the lips that drew her—so soft and sexy. The rest of him was so angular, but those lips? The tender fullness slowly slid through her teeth, and she wanted it back almost instantly. His only reaction was the dilation of his pupils. She took a return trip with the tip of her tongue, finally finding the warmth of him. And there in the moment where the only connection was here, breath to breath, he still watched her.

Long and slow, there was a softness and giving between them where they’d only known the hard edge of lust. Her eyes fluttered shut to accept and remember every little flick and bite. Nothing had ever tasted like him. It was as if she'd been waiting just for this singular flavor. Mint, heat and the smoky edges of whisky. He kept her on the precipice, even though the freefall of lust was right there waiting stage left. She couldn’t—wouldn’t—ask for more right now.

His fingers slid down to her shoulders, brushed through the ends of her hair and across the fullness of her breasts lifted by the bikini. Her entire body shuddered in reaction. She could hear his breathing, or was it hers? She could barely hear above the roaring in her ears. Then all that was left was sunshine on her skin and her lips, and the soft snick of the door when he left her alone to her rooftop.


lifetimejovifan said...

OMG!!! You soooo did NOT just leave it there, and Beth calls me the cliffhanger queen PISHAW!!

Great chapter lady!


Anonymous said...

OMG .... that was well worth the wait.

Loving this .... you write so well


The Goddess Hathor said...

Dayyyuuummmm, Tara....

Even a one-sided kiss is smokin-hot. She's (you're?) dead on about his eyes. SO much is unspoken with just a glance...

Great job, can't wait for the next chapter!

~ Hath

keypad said...

Yeah finally!!! But the waiting was worth it - that was hot!! I love how you write Jon, that he feels responsible and guilty for what happened with James and his eyes that tell you everything he doesn't! I have just one question - when will there be the next chapter???

VENUS said...

Fantastic Tara. I wanted to be there. I wanted to be her. And honey... If you fan fics are this good, I absolutely can't wait to get a look at your other pieces. Now you just know I'm gonna have to ask for more right?

TaraLeigh said...

Thank you everyone. I know I kept you waiting way too long. LOL

I do appreciate the loyalty tho. Things have evened out a bit, so I should be able to post much more regularly. LOTS to tell. ;)

Leigh - of course I left it there. I want you to come back wanting more! ;) isn't that the name of the game?

Charlie - Thank you! I beat my head against plasma for that scene. 11 rewrites and bazinga! ;)

Hath - *muah* Always there with a response - you da best! You know me and my crazy POV postings. LOL

Keypad - That's my Jonny - always shouldering WAY too much responsibility. This is just the beginnings of the man we know now. New chapter? Why, tomorrow of course. ;)

Venus! Look at you...hello there one of my favorite people from Oz. Thanks, babes. I hope you will get to pick up my non-FF stuff someday. I'm working like a maniac on it. LOL

More? Hmm...I think I can swing that.

norwichliz said...

Everyone's been commenting about Jon, so I'm going to talk about James. I'm not sure why (well, I am, but we won't get into it here), but I feel bad for her. She put herself out there and he walked away. Even though she understands him and why he would do that, it's still got to sting a little. I know how I'd react...waiting not so patiently to see how she does.

The Music

I'm no songwriter, so I snag music through the ages. Reality has no business in this story, so if I like the tone of the song, the words, the fun--anything goes. You'll see songs from 80's, 90's & Today. click on the links above for vids and downloads.