Monday, November 28, 2011

Chapter 57

Richie pulled the Hummer to a stop and hurried around to the passenger door to help Tori out. “Wait until I get your crutches.”
Tori scowled at the wooden aides, but grudgingly used them to hobble into the house.

“Why don’t you go lay down on the couch and I’ll get you a cup of tea and an ice pack for your ankle?” Richie suggested. “Can I help?” He would have carried her, but he was afraid of hurting her.

“Thanks. I can manage.” She grit her teeth and struggled into the living room.

“Mama! Mama!” Stevie ran up and hugged her leg, almost knocking her over.

“Careful Peanut! Don’t knock her over.” Ava cautioned her brother. “Why don’t you let Mommy sit down, then you can sit beside her.”  She pulled Stevie out of the way and helped Tori get settled on the couch, putting her crutches out of the way. “How are you feeling?”

Tori lifted her bad foot up onto the couch and grimaced. “Like the tree won.”

“Mama got a boo-boo?” Stevie frowned at the bandage on her ankle.


“I kiss it better.” He leaned over and pressed his lips to the bandage with a loud smacking sound. “Der.”

Tori smiled at him, her love shining in her eyes. “Thanks Peanut. It feels much better now.”

Richie came in with an ice pack and a cup of tea. He handed the tea to his wife and carefully laid the ice pack on her ankle. “Okay?  Do you need anything else? How’s the pain?”

“I kissed it and made it better Daddy.”

“That’s a good boy Peanut. It’ll be healed in no time now.”

Taffy wandered into the room, saw Tori and rushed over to the couch. After sniffing Tori over from toe to head, she planted herself on the floor beside the couch. No amount of coaxing from Stevie or Richie would get her to move.

“Looks like she’s in protector mode again.” Ava laughed.

“Gnh!” Lauren toddled in a book clutched in her hands. She walked straight to her father and held it out. “Ugnfn.”

“Okay Sweetpea, Daddy’ll read the book to you.”  He settled into the big armchair with Lauren on his lap.

“Me too Daddy!” Stevie tried to climb up.

“Okay Peanut, you too.” Richie helped him up and opened the book.

Tori smiled at the scene and let his voice telling the story of Cruella De Vil and her quest for a spotted fur coat lull her to sleep.

“How’s Tori feeling?” Joan asked her son.

“She’s sleeping right now.”

“It probably took more out of her than she wants to let on,” was Joan’s opinion. “She won’t want you to know how much pain she’s in either.”

Richie snorted. “No kidding. She’s a Bongiovi.”

Something in his voice alerted her mother’s instincts. “Something wrong? Are you two having problems?”

“No, we’re fine. We’ll be better when Jon’s investigator finds the crazy bitch. And it better be before Tori gets hurt even worse!”

The slight emphasis he’d but on his friend’s name gave Joan an idea of what was bothering him. “Do they feel they’re getting close?”

“I don’t know.” He raked a hand through his hair. “They tell me they are. Maybe Jon knows more.”

Aaah. “Richie.....does it matter who’s running the show as long as your family’s protected?”

“They’re my family Ma. It’s my responsibility to protect them. Mine. Right now I feel like I’m on the sidelines twiddling my thumbs. Useless!”   

“Who does she turn to for comfort and support?” Joan sighed at his grunt. Men and their macho thinking. “You know son, being her Knight in Shining Armour means being there when she needs you.  And it doesn’t always mean you have to slay the dragon.  Basically, it means that when the chips are down, she can count on you to be there to help do whatever needs to be done for the care and support of the family. Sometimes that means fighting off enemies, sometimes it means finding the right people to do the job......sometimes it just means she needs a hug.  Tell the caveman to back off.  Let the professionals do the dirty work, Richie. Just be the rock your wife can depend on.”

After dinner, they settled into the living room again. When the baby awoke and announced he wanted his dinner too, Tori reached for him, then froze, her eyes flying to Richie’s.

“What did they give me at the hospital?”

“It’s okay.” He assured her. “The nurses knew you were breastfeeding and said nothing they gave you would hurt the baby.”

Relieved, Tori gathered Zachary close and leaned back against the couch to feed him, wincing when he wiggled against her ribs. When he was done, she laid him back in his bassinet and stretched out, letting the cushions cradle her aching body.

Richie studied her for a moment, then approached her. Pulling the blanket off the back of the couch, he opened it and spread it over her. “Sit up for a minute.”

“Why?” She asked, but didn’t wait for an answer to comply.

He slid in behind her, making her question mute. Wrapping his arms around her, he gently pulled her back against him. “Comfortable?”

“Mmmmhmmm.” She turned her head to see him. “What’s with you?”

“I almost lost you.” He squeezed her carefully and kissed her forehead. “Don’t like that.”

Tori smiled and lifted a hand to caress his cheek. “I’m here, I’m okay.” She melted back against him. “I love you too.”

“Holy shit Tori! Are you okay?” Karin didn’t even try to hide her shock.

“A little battered and bruised, but I’ll be okay.” Tori assured her.

“This is nuts! Somebody’s got to stop the crazy bitch, and fast! What are the police doing?”

“As much as they can, but they don’t have the resources to spend all their time working on our case. Jon’s PI friend is working on it. From what I can gather he’s got a whole army swarming the city looking for her.”

“And that’s enough for you?” It wouldn’t be for the Tori she knew.

“For now.” Tori paused. “What choice do I have? It’s not like I can leave the kids and go looking for her myself.” At least for now.

“Mmmm. True. How is Richie holding up?”

“Frustrated as hell and trying not to let on to me how much this is bothering him.”

“And obviously not succeeding.”

Tori snorted. “No. I know him too well for that. But I appreciate the effort. I know how hard it’s been for him to take a backseat and accept a supporting role instead of directing things himself.”

Karin couldn’t help but laugh. “I think you’ve been in Hollywood too long. Do you hear yourself? Supporting role instead of directing?”

“Ha ha.  Gail would be so proud.” Tori chuckled.

“But seriously, he’s really kept the caveman locked up?”

“So far. He’s been a real rock. I couldn’t have kept it together this long without him.”

“Good for him.” Karin paused. “I’m surprised you’re being as calm about this as you are.”

“You caught me at a good moment. Most of the time I’m champing at the bit worse than Richie. I just have to have faith that they’re going to find her soon.” And then I’ll make sure she can never hurt us again.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Chater 56

Jasmine slammed the door of the rented room shut behind her and threw the bottle of water she carried across the small space where it hit the wall and slid to the floor.

“That fucking bitch!” She’d been watching Richie’s house, hoping for even a glimpse of him. But after she left her little present, there were always guards around. Someone else even walked the dog now. “It’s all her doing. I know it! She’s keeping him away from me!”

She paced the room several times before stopping in front of the mirror. Her eyes narrowed and her lips twisted into a snarl. “But I’ll take care of her. She’ll regret ever trying to stand in my way.  He’s mine and I will have him! The bitch is going to get what she deserves!”

Things had been quiet around the Sambora house for the last few days.  They’d showed Rob and the police the doll and note and had filed an official report. But the police didn’t have the manpower to monitor their house, so Rob had called in a security company he knew.

Tori was trying very hard not to get overly frustrated at basically being held prisoner in her own home. She couldn’t step out without a security guard with her. The only thing that kept her temper from exploding was the fact that it was all to keep her children safe. The funny thing was that before this she’d often sent several days in a row at home, busy with her family, and never thought twice about it. But being told she had to was driving her nuts.

Richie watched his wife wander around the back yard and his heart went out to her. He knew the stress of knowing Jasmine was still out there, wanting her out of the way, was taking its toll on her.  She was trying to put up a brave, and slightly angry, front, but he knew underneath it was more than a fragment of fear. He just wished he knew some way to help her. But the only thing that would make her feel better would be to find Jasmine and make sure she could never hurt them again. Come on Mike, hurry up and find the crazy bitch!

A plaintive cry behind him, urged him to open the door. “Angel! Zachary’s hungry!”

Lifting her head, Tori waved to show she heard him and started for the house.

After lunch, Tori looked at her watch, then at Rob. “Zachary and Lauren have doctors’ appointments in an hour.”

Rob nodded. “I’ll  grab the coats.”

Rob caught Lauren as she came running into the Doctor’s waiting room. “Whoa there kiddo. Wait for Mommy.”

“Thanks.” Tori puffed as she rushed to catch up, Zachary in his carrier, in one hand, diaper bag in the other. Stevie had stayed home with Richie.


“Yes Sweetpea, we’re going home now.”

Rob picked the little girl up and escorted all of them out to the car, his watchful gaze scanning the area. When he noticed Tori watching him, he smiled reassuringly. “No out of control cars cruising the parking lot.”

Tori snorted, but smiled back and fastened Zachary’s carrier into its base. When Lauren was buckled in, she climbed behind the wheel and glanced at her bodyguard. “What do you think about taking the long way home and going by the beach?”

“Need a little fresh air and open spaces?” Rob guessed.

She just shrugged.

He’d spent enough time around her  now to have an idea how much she resented the restrictions she was being forced to live with, so he was happy to be able to agree to her request. “That sounds nice.”

There wasn’t much traffic on the coastal road she chose so she slowed down and opened the windows, enjoying the breeze that brought the scents of sand and sea inside. At a flat, open spot, she pulled over and stopped. Closing her eyes, she let go of every thought and just focussed on the sounds of the waves crashing on the shore.

Rob watched her take deep breaths. With the release of each one, the lines of stress around her eyes and mouth eased. Yes, this little cruise was just what she needed. “You like the beach, don’t you.”

Tori smiled and answered even though his tone was more of a statement than a question. “Yes. It’s my favourite part of living here. When the kids get older I’d like to talk to Richie about moving to Malibu so I can see and hear the ocean. I find the sound of the waves very soothing.” She sighed. “But we’d better get home before Richie starts to worry. Plus it’s just about nap time.”

Pulling out, she pointed the car towards home. The road she turned onto had a hilly section so she slowed down a little. On a particularly steep descent, she touched the brake.

And nothing.

Frowning, she pushed harder. Her foot went right to the floor with no resistance. As the car’s speed increased, so did her anxiety. “There’s something wrong with the brakes!”

Rob had been watching the buildings and people they’d been passing on the tree lined street, but at her words, his head spun towards her. “What do you mean?”

“They’re not working!” She pumped them several times, all with no effect. “Nothing!”

The car continued to accelerate.  And so did her panic. She didn’t wonder how or why, all she could think about were her children in the back seat and prayed they wouldn’t get hurt.

The buildings on either side of the street became blurs of grey and beige with the odd splash of red and black. If there were people on the sidewalks, she couldn’t see them.

As they approached an intersection, Tori held her breath and laid on the horn, warning drivers and pedestrians alike to stay out of her way.  The next one was a stop light – thankfully green for her. But she knew that her luck couldn’t hold out forever. “Rob?”

“Stay calm Tori, you’re doing great. Just a couple more streets. We’re almost at the bottom, then the car will slow down on its own.”

Tori nodded and tightened her grip on the wheel, praying he was right.  The next light was also green, and she was beginning to think they’d make it. Please, please, please....FUCK!

Just as they reached the last intersection – and the bottom of the hill – a lady pushing a stroller stepped out onto the road. Tori had no time to think. She reacted instinctively, seeking to cause the least amount of harm possible. “Hang on!”

She jerked the wheel to the side, sending the SUV careening off the pavement, over the curb and sidewalk, finally coming to an abrupt halt when it met a tree. Her last thought was for the safety of her children, then her world went black.

Tori opened her eyes and blinked at the bright sunlight coming through the window.  A quick glance around the room told her she was in a hospital, but the reason why didn’t immediately come to her.

“Angel? Are you awake?” Richie anxiously leaned over the bed.

She turned towards the familiar voice. As she stared into dark worried eyes, it all came back to her. She grabbed his hand, tried to sit up and gasped at the pain the movement caused. “The kids? Rob?”

“Easy angel, relax. Everyone’s okay. In fact, they’re in better shape than you are.” He stroked her hair back from her forehead. “How do you feel?”

“Like I ran into a tree.” She shifted trying to find a more comfortable position. “What’s the damage?”

“You’ve got bruises from your seatbelt and the airbag, and a cracked rib and strained ankle from the impact with the tree.” He blew out a breath. “It could have been a lot worse.” He wasn’t sure if he was trying to convince her or himself.

“Well, that explains a lot.” She squeezed his hand. “But Zachary and Lauren are okay?  They weren’t hurt?”

“They’re just fine.”  Rob assured her as he entered the room, Lauren in one arm, Zachary in the other. “I brought them in so you could see them before I took them home.”

“Thank you. Are you alright?” Tori pushed the button to raise the bed and held her arms out for the children.

“Yes, I’m fine. A few scratches, but nothing serious.” He set Lauren down beside her mother and held the carrier while Richie took Zachary out and put him in her arms. He gave Richie an awed look. “Your wife’s a hell of a driver!”

“Thank God!” Tori hugged the kids close, but her eyes locked with Rob’s, ignoring his comment about her driving skills. “Have you had a chance to check the car over and figure out what happened?”

Rob hesitated, not wanting to scare her further, but he couldn’t keep it a secret from them. “It looks like the brake lines were cut.” He looked at Richie. “With a knife or some other sharp implement.”

Richie glanced at his wife, then back to Rob. “Jasmine?”

Rob shrugged. “I can’t say for sure, but...”

“But how? When?” Tori frowned. “The car’s always in the garage. She can’t get at it.”

“Except when you go out.” Rob pointed out. “If she’s following you, she’d just wait until you parked somewhere and left the car.”

Tori thought about her schedule the last few days. “Like the doctor’s office this afternoon?”

“Yeah.” Rob nodded. “Probably.”

Tori’s eyes filled with tears of frustration. “When will this end? Will someone please stop her!”

“The police will be by soon to take your statement.” Richie rubbed her back, trying to comfort her.

She snorted. “For all the good it will do.” She looked at Rob again. “Is Mike getting anywhere with finding her?”

“He’s working on it. After what happened today, he’s calling in more help to try and speed things up.”

Two hours later, in New Jersey, Jon hung up the phone after being assured his sister and the kids were okay. Fighting the urge to punch a wall, he growled and picked up the phone again.

“Mike? It’s Jon. I want this bitch’s address.”

“We’re getting closer. I’ve got all my men on it and have called in favours. It won’t be long now. Especially since we know she’s still in the LA area. We’ll find her.”

“When you do, I want you to call me with the address.....and then get your people out of the area.”

Mike’s curiosity urged him to ask what Jon had planned, but his saner self warned him that it was probably better that he not know. “Understood. Will do.”

Monday, November 21, 2011

Chapter 55

The next morning Richie clipped the leash onto Taffy’s collar. “Come on girl, let’s go for a walk.”

As they neared the gate, Taffy found something lying against the iron. Stepping closer Richie saw what looked like a hunk of some sort of material. He looked closer and realized it was a rag doll with dark curly hair and blue eyes and.... “Taffy leave it.”

The doll’s eyes had been blacked out with big Xs and there were multiple tears in the torso. To his untrained eye they looked like they were caused by a knife. He picked it up to have a closer look and found a piece of paper attached to the doll’s back.

I hope you enjoyed your family holiday bitch. It’ll be the last one you ever share with him!

“Fuck!” Richie closed his eyes. Despite Tori’s close call in the parking lot, he’d really hoped that Jasmine had gone away. Evidently, she wasn’t giving up that easily....and obviously Tori was definitely now the target. “What are we going to do Taffy? Do we tell her or hide it?”

“Woof! Woof woof!”

“I know. If...okay, when she finds out about it, my ass is in a sling for not telling her.” Richie sighed. “She’s going to be pissed.”


When they arrived back at the house it was to find it in mild chaos. Lauren was crying, Tori and Rosa were calling out to each other, and Cathy ran by with an armload of towels.

“Richie, where’s the valve to turn the water in the bathroom off?”

Hearing that, Richie set down the doll and rushed to the downstairs bathroom where he found Tori ankle deep in water, industriously working a plunger in the toilet.

“What happened?”

Tori glanced at him and blew a strand of hair out of her eye. “Ask your oldest son.”

“Peanut?” He looked around. “Where is he?”

“Hiding in the kitchen.” Rosa answered as she returned with another pot that she tried to scoop water up with.

“Richie!  The water!” Tori had to holler at her husband when he started to turn away.

“Right. Sorry.”

They got the water stopped, but Tori still couldn’t get what was plugging the toilet out. Richie took the plunger from her and tried for a few minutes, but he didn’t have any better luck. Finally he grimaced and knelt beside the bowl, rolling up his shirt sleeve.

“I hope this is something other than what usually goes in here.”

“Oh I think that’s a safe bet.” Tori assured him.

Richie reached in. His fingers touched....something, but he couldn’t grab it. He moved closer and bent down further, stretching as far as he could. Now he could grab whatever it was, but it wasn’t easy to pull out. It took several minutes of twisting and tugging before it finally came loose. Richie looked at it and started to chuckle while he squeezed water out of the synthetic fur.

“Well, that explains why Sweetpea’s crying. Guess he couldn’t wait for Taffy to destroy it.” He held up the soaked Elmo for Tori to see.

She shook her head and looked at him in horror. “Are we going to have sibling rivalry going in two directions now?” She closed her eyes and groaned. “I don’t think I can handle it. Why can’t they just stay babies?”

“Don’t fall apart on me now angel. We’ll survive it.” Richie ignored the rest of her rant and studied the toy. “And I don’t think that this was a rivalry thing.”

“No? Then what was it?” She looked around at the disaster area that used to be a tidy bathroom. “Fun? Or just to drive me nuts?”

“I’m not sure. But I bet he’s got a story.” At her look he shrugged. “I remember some of the stuff I came up with as a child.”

“Great.” She rolled her eyes. “Boys!”

He grinned at her sarcasm. “Should we put it in the dryer?”

“Are there washing instructions on it?”

“I don’t see any. Maybe that’s why he put it in the toilet.”

“Ha ha.” Tori sighed. “Maybe if we put it on low. I don’t think Sweetpea’s going to wait until it dries on its own.” She reached for a towel. “Let’s get this cleaned up.”

With the bathroom cleaned up, Tori followed Richie into the kitchen and sat down at the table where Stevie was running his Tonka trucks over the wooden surface. Big blue eyes filled with tears as he watched his parents settle into the chairs beside him. “I sorry!”

Richie set the now partially dry Elmo on the table. “Why did you put Elmo in the toilet?”

“Him wanted to go simmin but I couldn’t open de door.”

“So you flushed him?” Tori was trying to grasp his logic.

Stevie nodded. “So him could go outside.” He frowned. “But him got stuck and I couldn’t get him out.” His eyes widened. “And den the water was....all ober de froor.” He met his father’s gaze. “Him too big to fit. Need bigger hole.”

Richie’s lips twitched, then twisted into a wince as pain shot up his shin where his wife’s foot connected. The look in her eyes promised more pain if he laughed, so he bit his lip and fought to keep a sober expression. But it was hard. The logic was understandable. It sounded so much like something he would have done.

Another nudge from his wife spurred him into action. Clearing his throat, he tried to sound appropriately parental. “Do me a favour Peanut? Next time you want to flush something outside...or see if it fits in the toilet, check with Mommy or me first. Okay?”

“Okay Daddy.” A second later both parents were forgotten as the truck continued on its path across the table.

Tori shook her head and looked to Rosa for help....and was met with a sympathetic look – and a grin. No help there.

A second later, Taffy bounded into the kitchen and skidded to a halt beside Tori.

“What have you got Taffy?” Tori bent to take the hunk of material out of the dog’s mouth.

Richie watched her study the doll, his stomach knotting in dread and waited for her reaction. He had a feeling it wasn’t going to be pretty. Should have hidden the damn thing.

“What the....” With a glance at her son, she bit back her temper. Instead, she stood and headed towards the door to the garage, out of earshot of kids, the look she threw her husband over her shoulder said she expected him to follow.

He didn’t want to go, but he knew it would only be worse if he didn’t. Closing the door carefully behind him, he faced her and braced himself.

“What the hell is this? Where did Taffy get it?”

“We found it by the gate when I took her for a walk.”

Tori had been reading the note attached to the doll again, but looked up at that, her hands trembling. “She was here?  SHE WAS AT MY FUCKING HOUSE??!!”

“She didn’t get inside the gate.” He assured her. “It was locked and the doll was on the outside.”

“Where the fuck was the security guard?”

“Angel, calm down. We...”


“Tori stop it!” Now he was getting pissed. “We talked about security and agreed that with the gate and the alarm system on the house we didn’t need guards around property. You agreed to that. Don’t accuse me of not protecting my family!”

Tori closed her eyes and visibly fought to bring her temper under control. She took a deep breath. “I know. I’m sorry. It’s just....” She looked down at the note again. “She’s not going to go away is she?”

“Doesn’t look like it.” Richie reluctantly admitted.

Tori was quiet for a moment. “She hates me. She really wants me out of the way.”

Wrapping his arms around her, he gathered her close. “We’re not going to let her hurt you. We’ll call Rob and show him the doll, and see what he suggests.” Framing her face between his large hands, he forced her to look at him. “We’ll find her and stop her. You and the kids will be safe. I promise.” He pressed a kiss to her lips to seal his vow. “Okay?”

Tori nodded, slipped her arms around his waist and hugged him close, her face pressed to his chest, the sound of his heart beating steadily under her ear somehow reassuring. She knew that he would fight to his last breath to keep that vow.

Her expression turned to determination and she made a silent vow of her own. We will be safe. I won’t let the bitch win. She will leave us way or another.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chapter 54

On the drive home Richie was quiet and distracted. Tori left him alone for awhile, then finally tried to get him to talk.

“What’cha thinking about?”

He sighed and raked a hand through his hair. “Ava.”

“Ava in particular, or your girls growing up in general?”

He shot her a look. “You’re annoying, you know that?”

Her chuckle echoed around the interior of the Hummer. “Why? Because I know how your mind works?”

He wrinkled his nose at her, which only made her laugh harder. “Brat.”

“Don’t worry Daddy. Both of your girls will be just fine.”

“I’m not worried about Sweetpea - much.  If any guy tries any shit with her, she’ll kick his ass.” His lips twisted. “She reminds me a lot of Stephanie already.”

Tori couldn’t argue the point. Jon always tried to say that Stephanie’s independent attitude and self-preservation skills came from Dorothea, but he was only half right. The other half was pure Bongiovi.

“You don’t have to worry about Ava either. She’s a very smart girl. She’s not impulsive. She tends to think things through very carefully before she jumps in to something.”

“I know, I know. And I know that she talks to you when she’s not sure or needs advice. But I’m going to worry. I can’t help it. She’s my baby girl.”

And Daddy’s a big softie. And no matter what he said now, she knew he was going to have the same worries when Lauren hit the teenage years. “You’ll survive. I’ll help you.”

When they reached the house, Richie parked in front of the door instead of going into the garage. At Tori’s raised brow, he just grunted. “Tyler will need a ride home.”

She had the feeling he meant sooner rather than later.

Inside, the found Ava and Tyler on the couch watching TV, Zachary asleep in his bassinet on the floor.

“Happy New Year. How’d it go?” Tori asked. “Did Zachary take the bottle okay?”

“Happy New Year. He fought it at first, but I managed to talk him into it.” Ava grinned. “I played him a little of Daddy’s music. Worked like a charm.”

Tori laughed. “For some reason babies seem to like it.”

“Babes of all ages like it.” Richie smirked.

“Maybe I should become a musician.” Tyler quipped, earning a swat and an eyeroll from his girlfriend. “What?”

“You’d have to learn to play an instrument first and you can’t sing.” Ava retorted.

“What? No musical ability?” Tori looked shocked. “That’s it. You can’t be part of this family.”

“I’ll learn!” Tyler promised.

When Richie and Tyler had left, Tori eyed Ava. “How did it really go?”

Ava didn’t pretend she didn’t know what her stepmother was referring to – and it wasn’t the babysitting. “Pretty good actually. Sweetpea loved him. She wanted him to read her bed time story. And he built a skyscraper with Peanut.” She frowned.  “He was uncomfortable with Chickpea though.”

“Men often are. They just don’t know how to handle babies that small. They’re afraid they’ll hurt them. They get better the more they’re around them.” Tori assured her. “So....there’s potential there?”

“Maybe. We’ll see.” Ava shrugged. “Anyway, I’m tired. Going to bed. Nite.”

“Nite Bean and thanks for babysitting.”

Richie returned to find everyone upstairs in their rooms. Locking the door, he shut off all the lights and followed.

Tori was just finishing feeding Zachary when Richie walked into the room. She’d taken off her dress and bra, but still wore her panties and garters.

His body stirred at the sight. Down boy. You still have a few weeks to wait. Watching her bend to put the baby back in his cradle and reach for the nipple cream didn’t help calm his libido. Without even being aware of moving, he found himself beside her. He reached out and took the tube of cream from her hand. At her raised brows, he gestured for her to lie down.

Tori read the expression in her husband’s eyes and obligingly stretched out, raising her arms to rest them above her head, a smirk curving her lips.

Her pose did nothing to ease the hardening of his body. But even knowing he couldn’t do what he really wanted to do to her, he couldn’t resist. Sitting on the side of the bed, he squeezed some cream onto his fingers and gently rubbed it into her nipple, gritting his teeth when it hardened at his touch.

Moaning softly, Tori closed her eyes and arched her back as his hand moved to her other breast. God how she wished they could take their play to its logical conclusion!  Her libido seemed to be recovering faster this time, but her body wasn’t keeping up. She’d just have to be satisfied with half a loaf.

The sounds she was making – not to mention the undulations of her body - were driving him crazy! Lowering his body over hers, he braced himself on his elbows and bent to capture her lips with his.

Senses rapidly deserting her with every nibble, every lick, every thrust of his tongue, Tori lowered her arms to clench her hands in the silk of his shirt. Before her control vanished completely, she forced her mind to concentrate long enough to tell her fingers to find a way through the offending material that separated her skin from his. Buttons slipped rapidly from their moorings beneath her determined hands.

Richie sucked in a ragged breath, his muscles twitching as her nails scraped lightly over his chest and stomach. When she reached his waist, undoing his pants and reaching inside, he couldn’t find the will to stop her. Her fingers wrapped around him and all he could do was flex his hips, sliding his length along her skin.

Finally, on the verge of going over the edge, he pulled her hand away and broke the kiss, trailing open mouth kisses over her cheek and down her neck. He kept his lips pressed against her skin as he slid down her body, cruising over the swollen mounds of her breasts, dropping light kisses on the sensitive tips. He kissed, licked and nipped his way over her stomach, taking his time in an unconscious effort to show her he didn’t care that it wasn’t flat anymore, she was still beautiful to him.

When he reached her garter belt, he skipped over it, spreading her legs apart to nuzzle the warm skin of her inner thigh and groan. “Why do you torture me with these?”

It took a minute for her pleasure fogged brain to process the question. She reached down to slide her fingers into his hair and chuckled breathlessly. “Because I know you like them. I don’t even really think about it. When I get dressed to go out with you, I automatically reach for the stockings.”

The idea that doing things to please him was second nature to her just about pushed him over the edge. Clinging to control, determined to return the favour, he lifted his head slightly to press his mouth to her clit, biting it lightly through her panties.

“Richie please!”

The urgency in her voice sparked an answering need deep inside him. Rising to his knees, he stripped off his shirt and set to work on her garters and stockings. Once he had her completely naked, he settle between her legs again, sliding his shoulders under her thighs, his hands came around her hips, his fingers holding back her swollen folds, opening her to...whatever he wanted.

One long, slow lick only served to whet his appetite. “Sweet. So sweet.”

Tori’s eyes drifted shut and her back arched as he feasted. Her breath came in pants and her heart pounded as he licked and kissed her hot moist flesh. When his lips closed around her clit and suckled, she cried out, the wave of pleasure overwhelming her. “Richie!”

He didn’t stop. Alternating a calloused fingertip with his smoother tongue, he rubbed and flicked, prolonging her orgasm. Without warning, she crested again. And still he continued. Her hands fisted in the sheet beneath her as she fought to breathe. “Jesus.”

When she came a third time, Richie decided she’d had enough...for now. Releasing her, he rolled onto his back, threw his arm over his eyes and fought back his own arousal.

Tori let her gaze roam over the masculine form lying beside her while she waited to regain her breath. She watched a shudder shake his body and felt guilty, knowing he was suffering. When she could move she set about easing his pain. She reached into the drawer of her bed side table and pulled out a container. Scooping out some lotion she turned back to Richie – or more specifically, to his erection standing tall and strong through his opened pants. She circled his shaft with one hand, rubbing in lotion as she stroked him up and down.

Releasing him, Tori went to work on removing the rest of his clothes. Glancing up, she saw a frown crease his brow. “What’s wrong?”

“What did you put on me?” One hand reached down to touch himself, then rubbed the lotion between his fingers.

She grinned. “Feeling a little heat?”

“Mmmhmm.” His hips shifted.

“It’s just that warming lube you used on me.” Tori crawled up until she could reach his lips. “I added a little flavoured lotion to it.” Her lips grazed his.

“Yeah?” His interest perked up even more. “What flavour?”

“Chocolate of course. My sweet tooth is acting up.”

“Angel.....I hate to rush you, but....” Richie shifted his hips restlessly.

Tori bent to worry a male nipple with the tip of her tongue. “A little uncomfortable?”

“A little.”

“Well, we’ll have to see what we can do to make you more....comfortable.” With a low chuckle she kissed, licked and sucked her way down his torso. When she reached his waist, she spread his thighs so that she could lie in between. Ignoring his aching shaft for the moment – what’s a little torture between lovers – she focused on his sac. She took first one ball, then the other into her mouth, sucking hard. The tip of her tongue rubbed the sensitive spot behind them grinning when his back arched and his hands clutched the sheet.


The growled words were almost indecipherable, but the urgent need was loud and clear. His erection bobbed in front of her eager for attention. Starting at the very base, she ran the flat of her tongue along his entire length, following the big vein that pulsed on the underside. When she reached the tip, she stopped then started at the base again, licking him like an ice cream cone, over and over, savouring his flavour. Opening her mouth wide, she swallowed as much of him as she could, increasing her suction as she slowly released him, the tip coming free with an audible pop.

She stifled her giggle and continued to play. The sounds he was making warned her to get on with it. So she brought her hands into play. One wrapped around his erection and began to pump, using a slight twisting motion. The other cupped his sac, stretching the soft skin then reaching beneath to rub the spot that drove him crazy. At the same time she alternated licking and sucking the throbbing tip, and blew lightly on it.

“Fuck angel!” He was breathing like a racehorse, his entire body tensed, fighting to hold back his climax. Finally, he couldn’t hold back anymore and he grabbed her head and pulled her down over him, exploding in her mouth.

Tori sucked and swallowed, pushing the magic spot with her finger to make sure nothing was left inside him. When she was sure he was empty, she pulled up the blankets and settled into her favourite spot curled into his side.  

As wonderful as the past hour or so had been, she still felt a little....less than completely satisfied. But there would be no cure for that for a few more weeks. And then he’d better be ready, because I’m going to wear him out!

Richie blew out a breath and hugged her closer, kissing her forehead. “Love you.”

“Love you too.”

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chapter 53

“Shit!” Tori swore as she hung up the phone.

“What’s the matter T-Mom?” Ava sailed into the room and dropped onto the couch.

“The babysitter I had lined up for tonight just cancelled on me. She’s sick.” And the chances of finding someone else at this late date – especially on New Year’s Eve – were slim to none. Joan had gone back to New Jersey and she refused to ask either Rosa or Cathy to give up their holiday.

“Which party are you going to?”

“Down at the Hilton. They’re doing a silent auction for Stand Up for a Cure and your dad gave them a signed guitar.” With a mental shrug and internal sigh, she silently accepted that she’d be staying home – alone – this year. Richie needed to be there. This sucks! She’d been looking forward to getting dressed up and spending some time with adult company for a few hours.

She picked up the book she’d been reading to Lauren and tried to refocus on Cinderella’s predicament. They were having a little girl time while the boys were down the hall in the studio having a guitar lesson.

“I can babysit.” Ava offered.

“Don’t you have plans with Tyler?” From what Tori gathered, Ava and Tyler had managed to work through their last tiff and were getting along well.

Ava shrugged. “We were just going out for dinner and a movie. We can order in food and watch a movie here. Can’t we?”

“Sure, but...I don’t want you to change your plans for me. You deserve to go out and have some fun.”

“So do you. It’s fine. Besides,” she grinned at her stepmother, “Who’s going to convince Zachary to take the bottle if I’m not here? You know my siblings won’t take it from anyone else but me – at least at this age.”

Tori smiled, but a shadow darkened her eyes at the thought of the one person he’d taken a bottle for. Forcing the memory aside, she considered the teenager beside her. “Are you sure?”

“Yes. It’s fine. You go out and have fun with Dad – or at least go out with Dad.  I’ll call Tyler to come here and we’ll stay with the squirts.” At her stepmother’s probing look, she shrugged. “Tyler’s an only child. He’s never been around squirts.”

“Ah, I see.” And she did. Suddenly, small hands pushed against her, and a loud screech announced displeasure.

“Okay, okay Sweetpea, calm down. We’ll get back to the story.” Tori picked up the book again. Princesses and evil sisters indeed!

“Jesus Christ Tori!” Richie stepped into the dressing room and just about choked.

“What?” Tori adjusted the neckline of her gown.

“That’s not helping.”

“Why do I have the feeling that we’ve had this conversation before?”

“Because you keep wearing dresses like that when we go out.”

Tori shrugged, but a smirk tugged at her lips. “Just trying to fit in at a Hollywood party.”

“You’re barely fitting into that dress!”

“Do you think it’s too tight?” She surveyed her reflection in the mirror. The pink silk set off her creamy skin perfectly and the loose fitting sheath hid her still rounded belly. Of course the low neckline that revealed the tops of her swollen breasts tended to draw the eye away from such minor imperfections anyway.

“Nothing there to be tight.”

His grumble made her grin and confirmed her suspicion of what he objected to. She walked closer to smooth the lapels of his jacket and straighten the collar of his shirt. Fighting to keep her expression neutral, she trailed a fingernail down his chest, revealed tonight since he wasn’t wearing a tie. “Don’t you like the way I look?”

Aware of the minefield surrounding that question, he chose his words carefully. “I love the way you look.” He lifted a hand and let a calloused fingertip roam the exposed flesh he couldn’t take his eyes off of, smirking in satisfaction when her nipples hardened at his touch. Apparently she was feeling the effects of their enforced drought too.  “And so will every other man who sees these tonight.”

“But you’re the only one who gets to touch them. Well, you and Zachary.”  

Richie chuckled and dropped a kiss on her lips. “Come on you big tease, or we’re going to be late.”

Tori stepped back and turned towards the door, tossing a smouldering glance at him over her shoulder. “Not teasing. Promising. Later. If you play your cards right.”

He groaned, but his body reacted to her taunt. “Brat.”

“Honey, I swear half the room hated to see you walk in the door...and the other half thanked God you did.”

Tori turned at the distinctive voice and laughed. “I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing or bad.”

“I’ll let you know when I decide which half I’m in.” Cher turned to Richie. “Damn baby, if I’d known that was the result of having your babies, I would have kept you around.”

“Don’t let him snow you. It’s the Bongiovi genes.” Tony informed her as he joined the group. “Hi sis.” He leaned down to kiss her cheek, then shook Richie’s hand. “You let her out looking like that?”

“Do I have a choice?”

“No.” Tori and Cher answered in unison.

Richie sighed, but nodded his understanding. “There ya go.”

Cher glanced around and sobered. “I heard about what happened.  Everybody doing okay?”

“I’ll be better when they catch the crazy bitch, but yeah, we’re okay. Thanks.” Tori assured her.

“What’s this world coming to? I mean, there’s so much hate and insanity out there.” Cher shook her head sadly.

“But there are still some bright spots.” Tori pointed out. “I saw Chaz on Dancing With the Stars. He did a great job.”

“And despite what my parents tried to tell me, ballroom dancing ain’t easy.” Richie added.

“You actually tried it?” Tony grinned.

“Like I had a choice?” Richie grimaced.

Cher patted his shoulder consolingly. “Well Chaz says he had a blast. I just wish people would just accept and not judge.”

They all nodded in agreement.


A little while later, they ran into Heather and Jack.

“I’m so glad you found the baby.” Heather gave Tori a hug.


“Ava says Lauren’s having jealousy issues.”

“Yeah. She doesn’t like sharing Daddy’s attention.” Tori grimaced.

“Speaking of Daddy’s girls’ how did you get Ava to change her plans and agree to stay home and babysit?”

“I didn’t. She offered.” She paused. “Tyler has never been around children.”

“Oh.” Heather’s eyes widened, then she squeezed them shut. “I’m not ready for this! She’s only fifteen!!”

Jack and Richie exchanged glances and shrugged.

“ of you want to fill her father in?” Richie looked at his wife. “Or do I not really want to know?”

Tori hestitated, then shrugged. “She’s testing potential father material.”

“But...but.....she’s only FIFTEEN!!” Richie looked like he wanted to throw up.

“Honey, relax.” Tori rubbed his back. “She’s not thinking about starting a family right away. But she’s growing up. She’s starting to think about the future and what qualities are important for the man in her life to have.”

Richie grimaced.

“It’ll be okay. She’s got a good head on her shoulders.” Tori glanced back and forth between Heather and Richie. “Both of you...relax! She’s a smart girl!” She nudged Richie. “Trust me.”

Belatedly, he remembered the conversation he’d overheard between his wife and his oldest daughter regarding this exact subject. As Ava’s questions and Tori’s answers replayed in his head, he calmed – a little – and knew he could do just that – trust his wife to help guide his daughter  -  both of them - through the minefields of learning about men and relationships.  

As much as she was enjoying an evening out, Tori was glad when midnight arrived. She was tired and ready to go home.