He tried to sleep, but all he did was toss and turn until the sheets strangled him. Rain splattered against the large expanse of glass that showcased the city skyline. It usually comforted him having the city so close, but at a distance he could be safely alone. But tonight, it felt like a fishbowl and the glass was choking him instead of making him feel at ease. Each time he rolled over, closed his eyes and tried to to start over the night, just one image haunted him. The man in the car with eyes of steel and a face of death, running his children down in the SUV while his feet were helplessly stuck to the pavement. Then his cold blade slicing through MacKenzie's chest and the life melting out of her eyes.
He launched up, clutched the sheet at his chest and the sweat poured from his temples. He was used to dealing with crazy crap in his life, but this was his own personal private hell. He'd never felt so alone, and so afraid of what to do next. This was as a dangerous game with only one guarantee, somebody was going to get hurt and there wasn't a damn thing he could do about it. The thunder clapped above him and lightening fused the sky. This was hopeless, he wasn't going to get any sleep anytime soon. He ripped off the sheet, pulled on his jeans, and padded up the hallway. MacKenzie's door was a crack open, he nudged it with his shoulder. He was tempted to wake her but she looked so peaceful, her arm wrapped around a pillow and her hair tumbling around her shoulders.
He didn't know if he needed comfort, but hell---he needed something. He scraped the pad of his thumb down her jawline, to her earlobe. She was beautiful and none of this was her fault. She'd been amazing truth be known, and he'd been a complete ass hole. They were so much alike and Jon didn't realize how much he'd missed having someone that understood him, and was comfortable with just who he was. When it came down to it, he was just a regular guy away from all this and that's how she'd always treated him. She was so strong, hell she matched him in strength body and mind and he hadn't had to contend with that in a very long time.
But no, you had to go and fuck it up.
Tempted to wake her, crawl into bed and lose himself inside her, he brushed his lips gently against hers. She didn't stir, they needed to talk but he didn't have the words today, he wasn't sure if he did now, he would tomorrow. He clicked the door closed and headed up to the kitchen, he pulled a beer out of the fridge and stood at the window and watched the rain slice the deck. What did he do now? He wasn't even sure, and that alone scared the crap out of him. He always knew what to do, it's what he did. He had been so used to taking cues from MacKenzie as much as he hated it, and now he wasn't sure what the hell to do.
Her favourite arm chair swallowed him, her smell bled out of the fabric, she loved to sit here and read or work as it faced the Manhattan skyline. It disgusted him that he stood behind her hiding like a coward back at the yacht club instead of standing up for himself. He was used to being the man that did that for his woman, but this, was a whole new ballgame. But who was he to talk a guy down with a knife? He was good at talking the talk on any day, but this was totally out of his league.
He twisted the top off the beer and watched the rain. The world was a crazy place, he wasn't stupid and he didn't wear rose tint glasses but he just didn't understand why he was being chosen as a target here. Some of his peers in the industry were self-proclaimed assholes, and well known for it but not him. He did what he could to help out and he wanted to do it, not because he had to. Was he that naive to believe that people were just cruel for the sake of being cruel? What the hell more could they want?
He stretched his neck and sighed, here he was again, out of control and lost. He reached into his case where he kept a few things, and dug for his spare cellphone. He flipped it open and his thumb hovered over Richie's number, it was three am, but they had the code. Anywhere, and anytime. He closed his eyes and waited for the for the click.
"What the hell, hello?"
Jon chucked, "Rich. It's Jon, were you asleep?" Dumb question.
"Jon? Why the hell is your number different?"
"It's the spare Rich. Sorry, I just didn't know who else to call."
"It's the spare Rich. Sorry, I just didn't know who else to call."
The line crackled and popped, then came clear. "I'm up, I'm up. What the hell's up? It's been years since you've called me in the middle of the night, not since..."
"Dot," Jon finished. He'd used to call Richie when the marriage was falling apart, even then it had taken a lot of prompting by his friend to do so.
"Ah yes, Dot. Is everything ok? Nothing's happened has it?"
"Everyone is fine." On the outside. "But something did happen today." Jon explained the confrontation at the yacht club to Richie. "His eyes Richie, I'll never forget those eyes. He meant it, and it's just fucked up." Jon blew out his breath, he hated to admit weakness but hell, Richie was the only one he could do it to.
"What about MacKenzie, what's she doing about it? Any leads?"
Jon sighed, "things between us aren't the best. No thanks to me." What if something had happened to them, to her? What if he never had the guts to tell her what he truly felt for her.
"What happened now? Did you go all CEO on her?"
He snorted, "no. I wish that's all it was. It's a little more complicated than that."
There was a silence and Richie let a low whistle out. "OK, say no more. I had an inkling you both were close, but I didn't want to say anything. None of my business."
"I don't know about close, we've---I. God, I feel like a fucking teenager with no words." He raked his hand through his hear , stood and pressed his forehead against the cooling glass.
"It's messy and we both let it get to this point, I've been as ass."
"Now that I find hard to believe." Jon could instantly picture his friends sly grin.
"I'm serious Richie. I honestly don't know what to do." It hit him like a punch in the chest, admitting it out-loud. He closed his eyes, the tension throbbed up his neck. "I'm in love with her, and I didn't really expect to be."
"Christ Johnny, I thought you were just talking about sex here. Not love."
He pinched the bridge of his nose, so did he until the truth hit him like a fry-pan in the face. "Yea, surprised the hell out of me. But it's just not the right time, I feel guilty as fuck for even thinking about it when the asshole is threatening my family."
"The heart wants, what the heart wants Jonny."
Of course Richie would say that, he fell in love quicker and more frequently than he ever did. "I know, it's just fucked up Rich. All of it---"
"You tell her all this and then you put it aside while you figure out the safety stuff. It's that simple Jon." The problem was she'd already gone and done that and he'd hardly recognized it. How many times had she alluded to, or told him that she loved him? He'd been stupid to just not deal with it.
"I wish it was, we tried that but things have spiraled out of control," he lost his breath and stopped. "And now I'm worried about her as well." It was a fucking mess. He wanted someone to tell him it'd be all right, he wanted MacKenzie to tell him---as hell he had a hard time trusting anyone else at the moment.
"I'm coming around."
"No, Rich---it's ok. I'll be fine. I'll talk to her in a few hours, she's always up early anyway. I just needed---"
"Someone to bounce stuff off?"
Jon managed a smile, "yeah. That."
"Ok---well if you need me tomorrow for anything just let me know ok?"
"I will. And thanks Rich, for everything." He hated to admit he needed someone, but hearing his best friends voice of reason was better than the drink resting in his hand. Richie god bless him, knew the moments not to tease the holy hell out of him as well. He always just knew.
"Anytime Jon, and I mean it, you don't have to be invincible every day."
"Just every other day though right?" Jon chuckled as they said goodbye and hung up.
He didn't remember falling asleep in the chair, he blinked as the sun crept up his skin. There was movement in the kitchen and the aroma of coffee lured him to move. She was in jeans and a grey turtleneck that hugged her curves. "Hey."
She reached for his mug and poured him a coffee, turned and handed it to him. "Hey." The smile didn't quite reach her eyes but curved the lovely lines of her face.
"Thanks, I must have fell asleep out here."
"Did you sleep at all?" she asked as she picked up her own coffee and leaned back against the counter, and brought it to her lips.
He half laughed, "not really. You?" He sipped and relaxed. Her hair was pulled back, showing off her high cheekbones, most women would kill for her morning looked so effortless.
"Not really, I did quite a bit of thinking, and I was worried about you." The warmth in her eyes crept back in.
"I'm sorry Jon. For this, for everything. I've truly fucked this up."
He frowned and rested his mug down, "Hey. Don't talk like that. You haven't done such a thing, if anything I haven't been that great in this whole situation." How could she even think that? She had on more than one occasion thrown herself under the bus for him. Her job or not, she was not a failure to him, not in the least instance. He took her mug off her and put it aside. "There is something I have to do that I should have done awhile ago." He cupped her jaw and moved in, he pressed his lips against hers and tasted her. She moaned and sank into him, her hands slid up his arms and rested on his shoulders. Pleasure rushed through his veins as he took the kiss deeper, he kissed her chin, down her jaw to her ear as he tugged her in.
Her body moulded into his, he needed to feel her strength. Her fingers curled into his hair, and even though layers of clothes separated them, he could still feel the heat that bubbled between them. He raked his hands through her hair, pulling it loose so it fell around his hands. The kiss was slow and deep, the first time he'd taken his time to let her know exactly how he felt. His tongue lapped against hers, and he knew he could get lost in her. When he eased back, they stared at each other, breathless.
The words beat louder than one of Tico's drums in his head but still he held them at a distance. "Kenzie."
Her hands moved down to his chest and she rested her cheek against his shoulder, he wrapped his arms around her and held her there, just for a minute. "Jon, we need to talk."
He closed his eyes and took in the scent of her hair, "yes we do."
"I need to move out Jon."
His eyes popped open and his hands fell to his side. He stood back, "move out?"
"David's going to take over, I need you to understand I-"
Jon stepped back and held his hand up, she was abandoning him? After all--god, after all they'd been through? She was just going to move out? Not even stick by him through this? "Fine. Go, do what you want."
She grabbed his arm but he yanked it back, "do what you have to do MacKenzie. I don't need you." His belly bottomed out as he walked away, it was a load of crap, he needed her and he thought she did too. Something had changed, was it David? Maybe he'd said something to her? He reached his bedroom door and smashed his fist into the wall, pain zinged up his arm. This is why he gave up women, for fuck's sake. And now David? Was she kidding? He stared out the window of his enclosure again. He wasn't a zoo animal for fucks sake that could be just passed to the next keeper.
No fucking way was someone just going to come in and take over, they could all go to hell.