Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chapter Thirty-Eight

There was no better way to bastardize a football club than have it's core value be, "Saving one soul at a time," and having Jon Bon Jovi walking around like he owned the place, down to every single piece of over-priced silverware in the joint. He was all about the greater good, well fuck that was a load of hypocritical bullshit. He doubted Mr Bon Jovi had even seen the bad ways of the world, him or his pearly white teeth.

He peered through the glass as Jon and his squeeze, circled the crowds. He eyed her, she was tall, slim but athletic, and they'd never thought of the possibility she was his bodyguard until Tony lost a few teeth in a run in with her. Clever, he mused as he took a long drag of his cigarette. She was either carrying in her purse, or in a thigh holster. She had smoking legs and a rocking body, and hell, he wouldn't mind getting his own piece of that.

Were they just good actors? Or was Bon Jovi dipping his pen in the company ink behind closed doors, he'd put money on it. He was a man after all. He clicked his cigarette case closed and tucked it into the back pocket of his jeans. This wasn't about innocent casualties, they were a waste and often pointless. This was about showing society that they are the biggest bunch of fucking hypocrites. Their shiny cars and their fat check books did nothing to close the gap of inequality between people, here, throw money at this cause and become a fucking hero overnight. Not like Wes, who just wanted was to play ball, live the dream he was constantly promised by these fuckheads, American Dream his ass. The knife he pulled from the sheath on his belt, glinted in the sunlight, and he smiled imagined it dripping with Jon Bon Jovi's blood. Wouldn't that just be poetic?

His phone buzzed, he snapped it open. "Yeah."

"Can you see them?"

He flicked his ash over the railing. "Yup, he's here."

"And the chick?"

He nodded, "and the chick."

"You know what to do?"

He blew out his smoke and slid his sunglasses up his nose, "I know what to do."

"Good. Don't fuck it up."



Jon fished in his pocket for painkiller, his head pounded like a jackhammer. He rubbed the back of his neck and leaned in to MacKenzie, "do you have any ibuprofen?" Ginger scented skin teased his nose, he was an ass the way he was playing her. But there was no other way, he had to keep things professional even if it meant strapping a muzzle around his cock when around her.

She popped open her purse and handed him a sheet, "are you ok?" Her eyes stayed on the room, her tone bland. He didn't blame her, he was being a prick.

"Headache." He downed them with his wine and continued making small talk with people, while MacKenzie stayed at his side. He linked his fingers through hers and instantly felt her warmth. They had to keep up his charade, feelings or no feelings. Everything was so unsettled, and it unnerved him to no end. "I need a smoke," he glanced out to the deck that overlooked the harbour. "Since you can see me, do you have to come?"

MacKenzie narrowed her eyes, "I'm not letting you stand out there alone Jon."

He rolled his eyes, "alright, well c'mon then." He excused them and tugged her outside, he retrieved his sunglasses and jammed them on. "Christ."

"Have you ever tried to give up those things?"

He flicked his flame and took a puff, "if it bothers you. Go back inside."

She folded her arms and faced the water, "did you get your period after we had sex?"

He choked on the breath of smoke he took, "I'm sorry?" Her sarcastic wit flared with a straight face.

She turned and raised her brow, "well did you? You've been a complete ass and if it's your way of saying you you got what you wanted, and you're moving on. Just say it, instead of playing childish games Jon."

He did get what he wanted, the problem was now instead of it being out of his system like he expected it would be, at least until this was over. He wanted more. Her long tanned legs glowed in the sunlight, and he itched to unravel her tight ponytail, to feel her hair around his wrists. "It's best. Too much is happening."

She lowered her sunglasses, "that's no reason to make me look stupid. We should at least talk about it."

He was done talking, All Dorothea wanted to do was talk when they were together, talking turned into shouting, and shouting turned into divorce. "Let's just leave it at that, chalk it up to excitment driving us over the edge."

She dropped her hands, "unbelievable."

He jerked, she moved her face into his, her lips millimetres from his mouth. "I risked our safety worrying about us, going out there on a limb to see if you felt the same way about me and now you're telling me we're chalking it up to adrenaline?"

He swallowed, distracted by her shiny lips and wondered if that was that stupid mint gloss she used. "Mackenzie, this isn't really the time to talk about this."

"Why? Because then people will see what an arrogant ass you're being," she backed up. "Hey at least this looks real to anyone watching because I am pretty fucking pissed off with you right now Jon."

He grabbed her wrist and dragged her in, his mouth finding hers like a radar. His hands shot up into her hair and he tugged the ponytail free. She jerked and her hands pressed against his chest, her fingers dug into his skin. Peppermint burned between them, his tongue wanting more. He cupped her jaw, tilted her head and she opened for him. The breath between them melted as she rose on her tip toes. His hands slid down her back and over her perfect ass, his cock snug against her thigh. She groaned, he stumbled two steps back and blinked. The slap of hand to cheek stung him like a knife.

"Fuck, what the hell was that for?" He palmed his cheek and stared at her.

She smoothed her dress down and flicked her hair over her shoulder. "You're not kissing yourself out of this one Bongiovi."

"Well well, isn't this a pleasant gathering?" His eyes flicked over his shoulder as the man rounded the building, his boots thumped like bullets on the deck.

MacKenzie whirled around and backed up against Jon, "What do you want?"

Jon felt his stomach sink as the man casually opened his jacket, the bare blade of his knife caught in the sun.

He pulled his cigarettes out of his jacket pocket and pointed them at Jon, "Care for one?"

"Don't," she hissed under her breath.

Well fucking duh, he wasn't about to take anything from knife guy. If he tried anything it would have to be quick, anyone could walk out here and break the confrontation. Whether that was a good thing, or knife guy would just go crazy. His veins pumped with ice, as MacKenzie's ass pressed up against him.

"What do you want? We were just enjoying the view."

The man chuckled, he was at least six foot, clear Puerto-Rican descent and it was clear this was not a coincidence. "I've come to deliver a message."

"Oh?" MacKenzie's hand poised on her thigh.

"My boss would like to invite you both to come and see him, for a little chat."

Jon's eyes widened behind his lenses and his hand rested on the small of her back. He trusted her, he had to believe she knew how to handle this as he sure the fuck didn't.

"We're not going anywhere."

He sneered, "your call. You can do this the easy way, or the hard way."

"How about the cops way, I can call them right now." Her voice never wavered, she stood upright and confident, how, he'd never know. He was a coward standing behind her, and this was one of the most humble moments of his life.

"Lady, you are the cops. Why don't you reach for your gun? Oh wait," he turned around to the wall of glass where people were lunching, completely unaware what was unfolding out here. "We don't want to create a scene now, do we?" He nodded to Jon, "that wouldn't be a good look for Rock-star over here."

His heart thumped as his face flashed through his mind. He was the guy in the car, the day he was nearly hit at the studio. Oh god. Reality was unfolding, and all he could think about was that the only thing standing between a crazy gang member and his safety, was the woman he was in love with.

He clenched as the guy took two steps forward, and Mackenzie froze, ready to pounce. "She's got your balls as well as your dignity huh?"

"Tell your boss, if he wants to talk to us, he can talk to me," MacKenzie said evenly.

The waves that lapped at the edge of the wharf were the only sound above the pulse in his ears, this was it. In ten seconds, this guy could seriously injure someone. He swallowed, even kill someone.

He towered over MacKenzie and covered her hand on her thigh as she reached, "You don't want to know how that ends pig. I'm giving you one more chance, wait for the call on where to meet him and I swear to god if you come with more than just yourselves, or don't come at all..."

In forty seven years of his life, Jon would never forget eyes of steel that burned through his. "Or you and your children won't see Christmas."

Acid bubbled in his throat, and the guy doubled over as Mackenzie's knee connected with his balls. "Run, get to the car." She shoved him forward, he lost his footing but regained composure quickly as she dragged him around the building out to the front where the cars were waiting. She yanked open the door and pushed him in, slamming the door behind him. The red leather interior blurred as she demanded the driver to get the hell out of here. She clicked on her Blackberry and held it to her ear, the world spun as he pressed his cheek against the seat and clutched his belly, still swirling with shock. He caught parts of her conversation, but the rest was jumbled sentences as the car rolled away.

"David, it's Mac. I need the surveillance team to scan all cars near the yacht club-"

"No we're not hurt, he's OK."

"The kids, get a status on the family for me."

He wanted to tell her he recognized the guy, from the hit and run but he couldn't find words. He sunk into the seat, rested his cheek against leather and waited for the world to stop spinning.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Jon yanked the water bottle out of the holder and squeezed it into his mouth. His feet pounded the treadmill, much like his head pounded with uncertainty. Why had he gone and slept with her? What the fuck was that going to achieve? Then, much to his disgust he was cold to her. He saw the hurt she masked in her eyes, but he reasoned it was the only way. Things had just got complicated to a fifteen, on a scale from one to ten. And it was all because he couldn't keep his cock in his pants. But fuck, if that wasn't a good bout of love-making in there. He slapped his hand on the panel, "sex Jon. Sex." Love-making was something you did with your wife, and he no longer had one of those. MacKenzie wasn't his wife and she wasn't his girlfriend, well his real one anyway.

The three mile mark ticked over on the display so he jammed up the speed. He felt like he could fly for god's sake. He was going to beat his personal best for five miles, all because he had sex with his bodyguard. And then was a prick afterwards. He could go back and apologize, hell she'd probably slap him around the head if he tried anything now. It was the for the best, he had people that wanted to hurt them both. He had a wife who wouldn't let him see his children, what the hell else could go wrong? A flash of skin and breast writhing under him propelled him forward.

"Fuck," he gripped the railing and slammed the big red button. The treadmill rolled to a complete stop and he hung his head heaving. He was a mess, she'd rattled him good and he had no one to blame but himself. He had to get his wits back, he had to be "on" this afternoon for the Soul and then the sponsors meeting after that.

Fortunately he knew how to turn himself off, years of practice, leaving his personal life waiting in the wings of the stage as he performed his heart out night after night. Smiles and laughs, that were so fucking fake when all he was doing was screaming inside. He remembered the night that him and Dot had ended it, and he performed at a small show in Jersey with Southside Jonny. He couldn't even remember the show itself, Southside had been his savior in that replacing Jon's usual tea with whiskey in his stage cup. There would be no whiskey now. Besides, this was his bodyguard not his wife.

Even though he was in love with her. Fuck.

"No." He was going to be an asshole. He wanted nothing more than to storm outside, drag her back to the bedroom and show her exactly how much he'd thought about her in that way in the last few weeks. Her perfect athletic body, mouthful sized breasts and strong thighs wrapped around him as he pounded them both into the next century.

His nails dug into the rubber grip of the bar and he growled. He couldn't do complicated right now and there was too many things at stake, his kids, her safety, and his. He would not compromise it for his cock, and that was it. His belly coiled with fear, sometimes still unable to comprehend why he was such a target, what the hell had he done? He'd always been a good guy. So why now?

He trudged through the last miles, grabbed his gym towel and dried himself off. His iPhone buzzed against his hip so he plucked it off and pushed the green button. "Hey Rich."

"Hey yourself, how the fuck have you been?" No matter when Jon and Richie were apart, unaware of each others schedules, his friend always had this uncanny way of knowing exactly when to call.

"I've been better. Lots going on with this gang business, the and Soul. You?"

"Obie told me."

Jon rolled his eyes, "I only spoke to him this morning. He told you that quickly?" Obie was one of his closest friends, along with Richie. Obie would never break Jon's trust to anyone but Richie and only if he was worried about him.

"Uh huh. You know Dorothea is just freaking out right? She'll calm down."

Jon picked at the label on his drink bottle. "She has every right to be angry. I should have told her, I just didn't want them to worry anymore than they had to." He sank down into the gym chair and propped his feet on a medicine ball.

"Jonny, it's me. You don't have to pretend you're ok. I know you're not."

Jon sighed. "I've got MacKenzie. I'll be fine, even though they probably know who she is now."

"Is she handling it all ok? Do you still trust she can keep you safe?"

Jon rolled the butt of the bottle across his belly. "Yes, MacKenzie I do trust. As much as that pains me to say."

Richie laughed, "that's more the Jon that I know. You're still getting on ok with each other? I can't imagine you like having a woman up your ass twenty four hours."

Jon raised his brow, they were more than getting on, and that was what the problem was. "We're doing fine. I get pissy but she knows me, well." A little too well, truth be told.

"Is that all? I saw you guys on some pap thing the other day, god knows why I was watching it. I hate those things but you two were all cuddled up on the red carpet."

The teasing tone in his friends voice pissed him off, "its called acting Richie. She's paid to look like my girlfriend. She's a good actress." So good, he never could tell when she was pretending and not pretending. Again, another problem that led him down this path of debauchery.

"Whoa, relax buddy. I meant you, not her."

Jon stopped and frowned, "what are you talking about?"

Richie chuckled, "you forget that I've known you for a very long time Jon. I know the way you look at people, whether you're genuine or not."

"If you're implying that I feel something for Mackenzie besides being my employee, yes she's easy to get along with and we've got a lot in common but there is nothing going on."

"You've always been a shit liar too Jonny. It's ok--I didn't ring to push your buttons, I just wanted to see if you were doing alright after everything. Which I assume you're going to tell me you're fine and you're really lying."

He pinched the bridge of his nose, god dammit he hated when Richie was right. He was so wound up, and the one person he could trust that would understand all this was the one he'd just slept with and fucked the dynamic up completely. "I'm handling it Richie. I appreciate your call though."

There was a silence, "OK Jonny. But call me anytime. If you need to. Or hell, just call me. I'm worried."

Jon smiled. "Thanks Richie. I will. Maybe you can come to the apartment for dinner sometime this week." It might be just what he needed. He could give MacKenzie the night off to go and do what she wanted and stay put at the apartment. Space.

"Sounds like a plan. Call me."

He clipped his phone back on his waist and snagged his water. He was not looking forward to the next few hours being so close with her, pretending to pretend to not feel anything for her, while actually touching her. Christ this was just a clusterfuck of a situation. By the end of the day, her haunting ginger scent would be stuck to all his clothes and he'd have a hard on, no matter how hard he tried not to. "Operation freeze out begins." For him, his cock and his life.


She showered and wrapped a towel around her body. Her thighs throbbed as what should have been a delicious reminder of the sex she'd had earlier. But now, it was more like salt on the wound. It was Jon dealing, and inside she knew that. She'd known the man long enough that she knew that's exactly what he was doing. She slid into a knee length, sleeveless linen dress and cinched a belt around her waist.

She slathered lotion on her arms and pinned her hair back in a high ponytail. The dress was loose enough she could strap her thigh holster and carry her 20mm Black Widow. Protection of this kind was essential now. She just hoped like hell, she'd never have to use it in a very public situation.

She applied a thin layer of makeup. She was lucky she was never the kind of girl that needed a lot. She had good genes and even toned skin. She tucked her essentials into the small clutch and wished she had Valium she could slip in as well. She had to erase the need of Jon and replace it with the need to protect them. This was her job, her job was not to kiss him stupid and ride him screaming into the next orgasm. Her cheeks flushed as she took a deep breath. God, she was just as much an idiot as he was. She pulled out her Blackberry and her thumb hovered over David's number. She was breaking her pact of complete honesty with him, he would kill her if he knew how deep she really was in. She jumped at the sharp rap on the door, plummeting her back to reality.

"Are you ready? The driver is downstairs."

She slipped her phone into her purse and clicked it closed. Guess she was just going to have to deal with him herself. She opened the door and plastered a smile on her face. "Ready."

Had he read her mind earlier? The white crisp shirt, top button open peeked out threads of silver chest hair she was up close and personal with just hours ago. She swallowed hard. God and he smelled delicious. By the time they got to the car, the cool exterior she'd applied had melted off. Being around him just made her want him, and want him to admit to her he was being ridiculous freezing her out like this. They clearly had an attraction so there was no point acting like a seventeen year old and ignoring it, no matter how fucked up things were right now. Not after what happened in there.

He held the car door open, and she slid across the backseat. It was ridiculous they hadn't even spoken about what happened. Not one word. She crossed her legs and pursed her lips, if he wanted hardball. Let him have it. She watched the streets fly by, and glanced in the rear view once and while to make sure no one was following them. She had a car tailing them discreetly, just until she knew what they were dealing with. She rubbed her belly, she hoped they'd know what they were dealing with soon. MacKenzie didn't like the unknown, not when it was her client and her in the firing line. And her lover.

How could he sit there so stiff and pretend nothing had happened? They'd destroyed each other ten times over and he sat there like a statue pretending that things were just fucking dandy. Evidently he was more professional than she was right now. God, she hated that. She needed to put this behind her and just do her damned job. God be damned. She took his hand and smiled.

"Jon," she coaxed.

He looked at her hand, curled his fingers around hers and gazed out the window.


"Are you ok?" She had to say something, short of reaching down his throat for words. She smoothed down her the skirt of dress.

"Sure, why wouldn't I be."

She closed her eyes as they came to a red light and bit her lip. Because we just blew each others mind and all you can do sit there and pretend it's fucking ok. "No reason at all."

"MacKenzie." He said softly, the warmth reached his eyes.

"Yes?" Her eyes searched his, the cinnamon locks framed his face, his jaw was tight and his lips looked every bit as kissable as they did this morning.

"Are you going to be ok today? It'll be revolving around football."

She sighed, it was sweet that he'd thought of that but it annoyed her on the other hand as she knew he was doing it to change the subject. "Yes, I'll be fine Jon. Thank you."

"Ok, well let me know if you do. I wouldn't want any of us distracted today."

God she wanted to slap him, right there in the car. He was being a prize jerk. Of course it was his plan not to deal with them, freaking men. The car rolled up to the yacht club, she stepped out of the car, leaned into him and whispered. "You should have thought of that before you put your cock inside me." It was low, and it was completely unprofessional of her but she took small satisfaction watching his eyes pop as she slipped her arm in his.

"Kenzie," he lowered his voice.

"No I get it Jon. You want professional you'll get it. Just don't even think about touching me at home or your balls will be lodged in your throat." She smiled and waved as Jerry and his wife made their way over.

"MacKenzie, Jon--good to see you again."

"Likewise Jerry." She smiled and laughed along with the rest of them, held her head high and did her job. She kept an eye on the perimeter which was manned with regular security, as there was a few dignitaries attending the luncheon, and she kept sturdy watch on anyone that glanced their way. She stayed close to Jon and took her cues, he squeezed her hand and kissed her cheek when necessary, but as far as she was concerned he may as well be slapping her with a wet-fish. She had made a big mistake sleeping with him, and for the first time in her professional and personal life. MacKenzie Cooper didn't know whether to laugh or cry.