Monday, January 9, 2012


As the gates swung open and the car drove through, Melanie wiped her sweaty hands on her jeans and hoped her heart didn’t jump out of her chest. It hadn’t stopped pounding since she got the email from Matt followed by the plane ticket and instructions.  Not only was she going to get to meet her idol, but she’d been invited to their home for a barbeque with his family! 
And all because she’d been able to pass on some information about a crazy woman who’d stolen a baby.  She hadn’t done it because it was Richie – she would have done it for anyone in that position.   She had children herself and could imagine what it would feel like to have your baby taken away. Standing by when she could help hadn’t been an option. She was just glad it had all worked out okay.

The car came to a stop and the driver held her door for her. As she stepped out, the front door opened, revealing Ava dressed in purple Capri pants and a multicoloured a la Jackson Pollack shirt. Holy crap! She looks even more like her mother up close.

“Hi, you must be Melanie. I’m Ava.”

“Hi Ava. Nice to meet you.”

“Come on in. Dad, T-Mom and the squirts are out back by the pool.”

T-Mom? That’s what she calls Tori? She filed that little piece of trivia away for future reference. Glancing around, she tried to take in as much as she could of the rooms they passed as she followed Ava through the house.

As they neared the door that led out to the back yard, she could see Richie checking over the grill, shaking his head, while a small dark haired boy danced around him.  Her heart sped up even more at the sight of him in beige chinos and a black T-shirt tight enough to display his well muscled chest and biceps. As they got closer, a toddler in pink jogging pants and a shirt similar to the one Ava wore darted past him, headed for the pool and he rushed to catch her. The shrieking giggles that followed his tossing her in the air could be heard easily through the glass.

Ava shook her head, but smiled indulgently as she reached for the doorknob.  “That’s my sister Lauren. She’s a little tornado – or a natural disaster, depending whether you’re talking to Dad or T-Mom.”

As they stepped outside, movement out of the corner of her eye drew her attention to their right and she saw Tori sitting with her legs straddling a chaise lounge putting a clean diaper on a baby. A golden retriever lay on the ground beside her.

Seeing them, Tori looked up and smiled. “Melanie?  Hi. Welcome.”

“Thank you so much for inviting me. You have a beautiful home.” Melanie was proud that she was able to get out her prepared little speech in a mostly steady voice.

“It was the least we could do after what you did for us.” Richie argued as he approached them, Lauren in his arms. He reached out to shake her hand, struggling not to drop the squirming toddler. “This wriggling worm is Lauren.”

Lauren giggled and patted her father’s face. “Da!”

A hand on his leg had Richie looking down. “Who dat Daddy?”

“This is Melanie.” He glanced at her. “This is Stevie. Can you say hi Peanut?”

“Hi.” Stevie smiled shyly and with her first sight of the dimple in his left cheek, Melanie knew that he was going to be a heart breaker when he got older. “I go simming Daddy? Puhleeeeaaase!”

Richie shook his head. “I told you, it’s too cold.”  It might be a warm sunny day – and a welcome one after the cold spell they’d had, but it was only April and not that warm.

“Mama?” Stevie tried a different tactic.

“Sorry, my little tadpole. You heard Daddy. It’s too cold.” Tori stood and joined them, ruffling her son’s hair. She shifted the baby to her left arm so that she could shake Melanie’s hand. The four month old turned his head to look at Melanie, one small hand clutching his mother’s hair. Seeing Melanie’s eyes drop to the baby, Tori smiled. “And this is Zachary.” She studied the other woman’s face for a moment.  “Do you want to hold him?”


“Sure. After all, if it wasn’t for you we wouldn’t have him with us.” Tori blinked away the tears the thought still brought to them.

As Melanie gathered the infant into her arms she couldn’t help but smile down into the cherubic little face. Dark eyes gazed up at her solemnly for a moment, then a smile curved the perfect bow mouth with its full bottom lip. She couldn’t resist stroking the cleft in the tiny chin with a finger tip. She glanced back and forth between Richie and his youngest son. “Wow.”

Tori smiled knowingly. “Yeah. He’s a real mini me.”

A blur of caramel and red streaked past them, setting Lauren off into angry shrieks until Richie set her down and she could chase after the dog.

“Taffy tooked ‘Mo again.” Stevie observed.

Catching Melanie’s gaze she rolled her eyes. “We just hope Zack gets Richie’s temperament too.”

Grinning, Melanie looked down at the child in her arms again and stroked his cheek. “So it looks like you and Jake are going to be the next generation DD.” Her eyes widened when she realized what she’d said – or rather who she said it to.  She grimaced at Tori. “Sorry.”

Tori just chuckled and waved aside the apology. “You’re right. Jake is Jon all over again.”

“Much to Dot’s chagrin.” Richie added, then gestured towards the chairs nearby. “Let’s sit down. Melanie, can I get you a drink?”

As they sat and talked, Melanie’s nervousness faded and she began to see them, not as celebrities, but as normal people....a husband and wife and their children, and she found herself relaxing and even sharing some information about herself and her family and stories from her own life. Throughout the rest of the afternoon, she noted that it was a rare moment that Richie didn’t have at least one of his children on his lap.  Even Ava stayed close by.  The love and affection between Richie and Tori was the way they looked at each other and the small touches they exchanged so casually it was obvious it was done out of instinct and not conscious thought.

“We really can’t thank you enough for your help in finding where Jasmine had taken Zachary.” Richie said as he reached for a carrot stick on the tray in the middle of the table.

“I’m just glad I could help and it all worked out okay.” Melanie assured him, smiling at the infant currently in his arms. “He’s beautiful. They all are.”

“Thank you.”

Tori saw a look pass over the other woman’s face and frowned. “What’s wrong?”

Melanie sighed. “I just wish I could have done something to prevent it from happening in the first place. I knew she was obsessed with Richie, but I thought it was just normal fan lust. I never dreamed she was so far gone.”  She shook her head in dismay.

“Hey.” Tori reached over to squeeze her hand. “Don’t beat yourself up. We all met her and none of us saw it coming. We’ve got him back safe and sound and she’s gone. That’s all that matters.”

“What do you think happened to her?”

“I really don’t know.” Tori answered honestly. “She just....disappeared.”

“Hmmm. Well, I hope that she’s someplace where she can’t hurt anyone and can get the help she needs.”

Richie and Tori exchanged glances, but didn’t comment.

After dinner, Ava took some pictures of Melanie with Richie and Tori - and a couple with Zachary – and Melanie prepared to leave.

“Thank you again, so much for this. It really was a dream come true for me.” Melanie held out a hand, which Richie promptly ignored, pulling her in for a hug instead.

“Thank you for helping us get our son back.”

As the car pulled away, Melanie took one last look at the family standing in front of the house, waving goodbye. She knew her friends would be clamouring for details of her visit, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to share everything. Some memories were for her and her alone. And it was going to take a bit to process the experience. She would relay general impressions of the house and grounds as well as of Richie, Tori and the kids and what they talked about. But if anyone pushed for details, she’d just tell them no.

It was a family matter. 

And there it is.  The latest chapter in the lives of Richie and Tori - and their children. I would like to thank everyone for joining me on this journey and I hope you enjoyed the ride.

Until next time  

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Chapter 62

Richie sat in bed, his back against the headboard, a book in his lap, listening to his wife’s voice coming through the baby monitor and smiled. She was singing softly to Zachary while she fed him his bedtime snack. They’d already put Stevie and Lauren to bed.
He’d been home three days and was feeling pretty good, but the women in his life were determined to coddle him.....and he wasn’t stupid enough to argue with them – at least for a few more days. He expected it from Rosa and Tori, but even Ava had gotten in on it, insisting he let her do any fetching and carrying he needed done while he sat and rested his shoulder.

The song ended and was followed by a loud burp. Richie grinned. That’s my boy! A few minutes later the door closed and he glanced up to see his wife walk up to the bed and climb in.

“Zack asleep?”

“Mmmhmm.” She nodded, letting her gaze roam over his exposed chest. When she came to the bandage on his shoulder, she frowned.

Richie watched her, seeing the guilt and sadness in her face when she looked at his shoulder. He’d let her take the blame, but the truth was it was only partially her fault. He had to take a share of the responsibility. It was because of him that Jasmine came after their family in the first place. And Tori had been right when she said he could have waited outside and let Mike get her out.....if he wanted to be a coward and let someone else fight his battles. On second thought, maybe it was all her fault.

Sitting close to him, Tori leaned her head on his good shoulder. “How’s your shoulder feeling tonight?”

“The pain’s down to a dull ache. It’s bearable.”

“We should change your dressing. I’ll get the stuff.”  She crawled off the bed and headed for the bathroom for gauze and salve. Returning to the bedroom, she approached his side of the bed and climbed on, straddling his legs and sitting on his thighs as he set aside his book.

Very carefully, she removed the bandage and inspected the line of stitches closing his wound. The damaged flesh was still red, but not as bad as the day before. She smoothed salve over the tender skin with the lightest touch, afraid of causing him any more pain. The feel of his muscles tensing under her hand was like a stab to her heart.

Pressing gently on the last piece of tape securing the clean bandage, Tori sat back looked at him with shining, sad eyes. “I’m so sorry this happened Rich.”

“Hey.” He pulled her against his chest, kissing her head while his hands rubbed her back. “She’s gone and we’re all here, together and safe. That’s all that matters.”

She blew out a ragged breath and nodded her understanding of what he was trying to tell her.  It didn’t make her feel any less guilty though. Turning her head, she dotted a few kisses on his chest and let her fingers toy with a patch of hair and caress the smooth skin. She felt his body’s response under her. Sitting up, she glanced down at the tented sheet beneath her hips, then back up at her husband.

Richie’s lips twisted into a wry smile at her surprised look. “What did you expect? My body knows what those clever fingers can do....and it’s been deprived of that magic touch for a few days.”

“Are you really up to it?”

He snorted. “What’s it look like to you?”

Tori pulled the sheet back and wrapped her hand around his rapidly swelling shaft. “It looks like my favourite toy wants to play.”

Leaning forward slightly, she pressed her lips to his, her tongue slipping between to taste him. At the same time, her hand stroked his length, hardening him even more. His hands fisted in her nightgown and tugged.  She released him long enough to remove the offending garment, then went back for another taste.

For long minutes their tongues duelled and their hands roamed as their desire slowly built. The feel of his calloused fingertips scraping lightly down her back was a familiar thrill that never failed to set her skin on fire and raise goosebumps at the same time. A shiver ran the length of her spine and she arched against him, pressing her breasts closer.

“Mmmmm.” She deepened the kiss even more, her mouth hungrily demanding.

Richie’s groan was a rumble deep in his chest, the pain in his shoulder buried beneath the pleasure her touch incited. He reached down to cup her ass, moulding her hips to his. Long fingers lightly probed her feminine core.

Tori whimpered and rocked against the hard flesh beneath her, bathing him in the evidence of her arousal. Desire rapidly escalated to the hot burning passion that was, and always had been, an integral part of their relationship. Familiarity didn’t make it any less intense or exhilarating.

Tearing her mouth from his and sitting up, Tori shoved the blankets further behind her, baring him completely. “Now Richie,” she panted. “I need you inside me now!”

She had positioned herself over him and was starting to sink down and take him in when he remembered. “Wait!” He grabbed her hips to halt her.

“What? Why?” She shuddered and groaned. “You’re killing me!”

His chuckle was low and....dirty. “Hang on a minute. I got a new toy for us.” He waggled his brows. “You’ll like it, I promise.”

She sat back on his thighs, a slight frown wrinkling her brow. “You think we’ve reached the point where we need toys?”

Need them? No.” Framing her face with his large hands, he leaned forward and kissed her. “God no! We’re so hot together it’s a wonder the house is still standing!” He paused. “But there’s nothing wrong with trying something new is there?  Not because we need to, but because we want to? For fun?”

Reassured, she smiled. “When you put it that Where is it?”

He reached into the drawer of his bedside table and pulled out a large ring. It was made of smooth, flexible plastic, and had a bulge on one side.  His eyes closed against the sensations as he slid the ring down his engorged shaft.

Tori’s eyes widened at the sight of the ring struggling to contain him. She ran her fingers lightly up and down his length. “Does it hurt?”

Richie shuddered, but shook his head. “No. There’s some pressure, but no pain.”

As she watched he appeared to swell even more. “Mmmm. Look at how big he’s getting!” Unable to restrain herself, she bent to run her tongue around the ridge, then sucked the throbbing tip into her mouth. “Mmmmmm.”

The pressure, suction and vibrations from her humming threatened to snap the last thread of his control. “Angel...” He had to pause and swallow hard before he could continue. “As much as I love what you’re doing, if you don’t get on with it, this will be all over and you’ll miss the best part.”

Intrigued, she released him with an audible pop and raised her head. “Better than this?”

“Shared pleasure is always better.” He gestured towards his rigid erection. “Have a seat and you’ll see what I mean.”

Tori moved forward, gripped his good shoulder with one hand and used the other to guide him to her entrance. A gasp was ripped from her as she sank down.  For a moment she didn’t think she could take him, but then her internal muscles eased and her body opened even more and let him in. When their bodies were completely joined, she sat motionless and focused on catching her breath. She’d never felt so full. She was almost afraid to move. “Jee.....sus!”

Richie would have laughed if he had the breath. If she thought it was overwhelming now she was really going to lose it when she got the full effect. “Okay?”

Tori took a deep breath and nodded.

Richie grinned, pushed her knees wider, gripped her hips and thrust upwards, causing the bulge in the ring to press into the sensitive nub of her clit. He rotated his hips and watched her face.

“Holy shit!” Tori gasped.

“See, I told you you’d like it.”

Tori was beyond speech. In fact, she was beyond thought. Her world was reduced to pure sensation....and she wanted more. Shifting her hips, she experimented until she found the movement that produced the most intense stimulation. The first climax took her by surprise. “Oh! Oh! Mmmmm.”

Richie gazed up a her, noting her heaving chest as she struggled to breathe. One brow quirked. “Had enough already?”  That would be unusual for her, but it was the first time with the new toy.

Tori’s eyes narrowed at the veiled challenge. Leaning back slightly, bracing her hands on his thighs relieved some of the friction of the plastic on her clit as she rocked against him.

Richie leaned back against the headboard and let his gaze roam over his wife. This was how he loved to see her best – lost in passion and desire...for him. Her eyes were deep cobalt, glowing as if lit from within. Her creamy skin was flushed a rosy pink as was covered with a sheen of sweat.

He skimmed his hands up her sides to cup her swollen breasts, attempting to ease the pain each bounce would no doubt be sending through her body as she writhed above him.  It was a sight he could look at all day. Unfortunately the demands of his body - and the pressure of the ring compressing his aching flesh - wouldn't allow for it. In fact, it was taking all of his considerable control to remain passive and let her take as much pleasure as she wanted or needed to sate her craving. But he was determined to hold out as long as he possibly could.

Sweat was running in rivulets down his spine by the time the next orgasm overtook her body. He gathered her against his chest and waited for her tremors to subside. The hot gusts of her panting breath were still tickling his ear when he felt her hips grind down against the ring, searching for more of the addicting sensation. His head dropped back as he struggled to maintain control. Feeling her nibble on his adam’s apple didn’t help.

“Mmmm. Oh God Richie!” Tori groaned and swivelled her hips faster, the abrasion of the bulge in the ring against her clit sending jolts of sensation through her body like an electrical current. It was both exciting and overwhelming, and quickly took her over the edge. “Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh God! Oh God! OH RICHIE!!!!”

“Angel!” The vice like clench of her feminine flesh around his embedded shaft took him right to the verge.  The ripples of her release took him over. “Fuck!”

When the trembling eased and enough strength returned to her limbs to allow her to move, Tori lifted off of her husband and settled beside him. She reached out with delicate fingers to ease the ring off his softening shaft. “This is definitely a keeper!”

Richie chuckled. “I told you you’d like it.”

“Mmmm. I do.” Setting it on the bed side table, she leaned up to kiss him. “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Curling up against him, listening to his heart beat rhythmically under her ear, Tori felt herself completely relax for the first time in weeks. Her knight in shining armour had saved her life, the little princes and princesses were safe and the wicked witch had been vanquished once again. All was right in her world. Hopefully this time it would last forever.