Sunday, January 9, 2011
MacKenzie finished the final touches of her lip gloss. She wasn't a girly girl in the first instance but she knew how to clean up pretty well. Tonight Jon was hosting a party at the apartment for a few of his friends and family. It had been her idea as in a way of a pre-thanksgiving party for the adults, to take his mind off the fact that he couldn't have the kids around for him for the holiday.
She'd discussed it with David in private and the situation was just too volatile to risk even a secret secure location to have them all meet and she'd feel awful if something happened, let alone she knew Jon would never forgive himself if it did. It had been a stretch to get David to agree to a party at the apartment, but with the right subtle security they were confident that they could pull it off. She pinned some long silver sliver-earrings into her ears and let her hair tumble loose around her shoulders. She adjusted her casual light peasant style top. It may have been icy outside but Jon liked his house pumped with plenty of heat so it was easy to dress like summer indoors.
She smirked in the mirror, just like something else.
It was no secret she had been enjoying having just the simplicity of someone to hang out with, a little more physically than she had been used to. Jon and her seemed to just fit, she could curl up beside him on the couch while he read or tended his phone, or he would prop his feet up in her lap and while he chilled out. There hadn't really been much chilling but she was working on it. Neither of them was all that good at just chilling. She slipped into boots that gave her a little more height and headed downstairs.
Jon was outside on the balcony smoking. She'd be lying is she hadn't noticed that he had been going through cigarettes faster than usual but she couldn't bring herself to even hassle him. If that was how he dealt with this stress then so be it. She joined him out on the balcony and slipped behind him wrapping her arms around his waist and tucking her chin into his shoulder.
"Everything ok out here?"
He took a deep puff and flicked away the rest of the cigarette and clasped her hands around his middle. "You smell good."
"That wasn't an answer but yeah I do."
He chuckled and turned, used his thumb and tilted her chin and blinked. "Wow. You look...amazing Kenz."
She relaxed her arms up around his shoulders and leaned in as their lips met. "Flattery will get you almost anywhere." She arched her brow. "Maybe even the coat closet during the party?"
Wherever he had been in his head, he came back to her as the blue in his eyes deepened and his smile spread across his face. He kissed her again, her tongue slide down his and her body melted into his. Their bond was strong now, the only problem was that no matter how intimate they got, there was always the gang situation hanging over their heads like a pesky rain cloud that wouldn't go away.
"Mmm that might be a plan." He tucked a strand of hair behind her hair and fingered one of the silver earrings. "Pretty." The sadness in his eyes had bled away but she knew it still lurked inside of him.
"Promise me you'll try and relax tonight?" She asked sliding his hands in hers and standing back against the skyline.
"Of course. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone, I've missed--"
"And IIIII will allllllllwaaayyyyyyyys loveeeee youuuuu......" David Bryan burst onto the terrace with his hand on his heart and his arm spread out wide as did his best Whitney Houston impression.
"Oh Jesus...get over here you goof." Jon dropped her hands and met David in a man hug. MacKenzie smiled as they got reacquainted. Part of this night had been also around the decision to tell Jon's inner circle the full story of what was happening with the gang so everyone knew what they were agreeing to coming to his penthouse, and of course the extra security that would be obvious. The band had been briefed and as per usual not surprised that Jon had dealt with this pretty much alone apart from Richie knowing.
They broke apart and David smacked him on the back of the head.
"Hey! What the hell?"
"That was for trying to handle this crap by yourself." He turned to MacKenzie and put on his best smile.
"Now you must be MacKenzie. Richie was right..." He took laughed as he took her hand and kissed it.
"Richie was right about what?" Jon asked rubbed the back of his neck.
"She's hot and totally with the wrong guy." He waggled his eyebrows.
"Fuck off and you're spoken for Lemma." She raised her brow as Jon wrapped his arm around her shoulders. "This is MacKenzie. Kenz, this is David. My biggest pain in the ass."
She laughed and smiled broadly. "Are you sure you're not his pain in the ass, I've lived with you buddy." She elbowed him playfully.
David cackled and pointed to her. "Now you I like. Let me get you a drink and you can tell me all that secret spy stuff you know." He stepped back inside to collect them.
"Are you going to gang up on me with all my friends that arrive?"
"Awe, feeling a little picked on?" She rubbed his shoulder mockingly.
He turned and ran his finger over her lips. "Just you wait." The fire sparked in his eyes.
"Oh I'll be waiting." She dragged her hand down his belly and cupped him gently matching his fire with a smirk. "Now go and have some fun."
He narrowed his eyes and kissed her on the lips. "You are a bad girl, and I like it." He left her out on the balcony staring at the skyline. She needed to relax just as much as he did truth be told. It was hard when somewhere out there, somewhere out in that concrete jungle there was people trying to bring harm to him. She sighed and just hoped that they could get a break-through in the case before someone else got hurt.
"Whoa, brother can I get you another one of those?" Matt patted him on the back as he slammed the shot glass down onto the counter.
Tico slid into the bar stool beside him. "Who ya racing to the finish line Jonny?"
Jon took another shot and winced as the whiskey started the slow burn to his belly. "No race. Want one?"
Tico nodded as Matt poured the next round. "I've been watching you from across the room Jon. You don't drink like this. Everything ok?"
He chuckled. Yeah everything was great. He had a girlfriend that used to be his bodyguard, he had gang assholes that wanted something from him for not letting their colors anywhere near the Philly Soul. He was confined to his apartment more or less. Everything was just fucking wonderful. "It is what it is Teek. You know what's happening now."
The party was going great, better that expected. His nearest and dearest were here, smiling away with a sympathetic pat or two while security blocked the perimeter of the apartment from outside. Kenzie meant well, and hell he really thought he could let loose and relax with his friends but the reality was everything always came back to this. Back to why he was being imprisoned watched and targeted.
Tico nodded and tipped back his shot. "Quite a woman you’ve got there." He nodded in Mackenzie’s direction where she was chatting to David and a few others quite comfortably.
He snorted. "I know. Doesn't change that fact I'm a prisoner in my own home." He swung around to Tico. "Can't you just go all Cubano on these sons of bitches and get them the hell off my ass?" The liquor was buzzing through him and his words drawled a little longer than they usually did.
Tico laughed and wrapped his arm around his shoulders. "I'd love to, but not my domain Jonny. You know I would if I thought anyone could help but they don't touch these sorta guys. It's an unsaid thing."
"Story of my life. I didn't fucking do anything wrong." He cupped his next shot and hunched over the bar. He certainly didn't hold his liquor like he used to, hell he didn't usually down a half a bottle of Jack Daniels within an hour either.
"How are the kids? I gotta assume they don't know about all this."
Jon curled his fingers around the glass and the honey-brown liquid blurred. "No they don't. Dorothea does now and she's angry. No kids till its over." He swung back the shot and hissed. "If it is ever over."
"Come on. It'll be over. How long have you been like this?"
Jon looked at one of his oldest friends who always had an uncanny way of just knowing. "I'm fine T. I just am pissed off."
"Pissed off is good. I'd be worried if you weren't pissed off. Are you scared?"
Jon froze and stared past Tico at the wall, his heart hammered in his throat.
"Jon, I'm just worried-"
Jon pulled back his arm before Tico could touch it. "Don't. I need a smoke."
He didn't wait for anyone and pushed himself off the stool and out to the back balcony that he barely used, letting the door flap behind him. It was the fire escape, he could easily jump down the stairs and just disappear. Disappear away from all this shit and be free. He gripped the wrought iron railing, who was he kidding? Run to where? Right into the clutches of these bastards? Fire burned in his gut as the door closed behind him. He didn't need to look to know Tico would have followed him out there.
A heavy hand cupped his shoulder. "Jonny."
He dropped his head and closed his eyes. "I've had too much to drink. I'm fine."
"I hate to ask this but is it safe for you out here?"
It bubbled in his belly and ripped through his throat as he let it go. Like a raged animal he screamed and blinding heat shot through his foot as the he for a moment forgot that his foot wasn’t made out of the same steel that the railing was. "Fuck!"
Tico whirled him around and pushed him against the door, one hand on each shoulder. "Jonny, let it go. Let it go now before you do something fucking stupid elsewhere."
"I'm fine Tico!" He growled and tried to move but Tico's strength kept him nailed to the wall. Fucker had arms as wide as tree trunks.
He gnawed his lip, fought back the lump in his throat but it was sliding away from him. Just like all his control in the last few months had slipped away. "No. I won't. I can't."
Tico rammed him against the wall. "Yes you fucking can. You're not superman, I know you think you god damn are but you're not. It's OK to be afraid and pissed off.
Jon brought his arms up and gripped his wrists, his forehead connecting with his. "No it's fucking not! Don't you get it, they win... they fucking win Teek." His arms vibrated as he stamped down the fear. "They've already taken my freedom, they're not going to take my kids!"
Glass punched through his lungs and he sank against the wall, sliding down into his knees along with Tico. He didn't say a word, wiped his cheeks with the back of his hand and blew his breath as he tipped his head back.
Jon took a few deep breaths and chuckled. "No I'm fucking not. But thanks." Tico smiled and stood up offering his hand. Jon took it and hoisted himself back up into the world and nodded.
Jon took one from him and settled his lungs. Holy Christ. It had come to this, come to the worst possible thing. Not only had he lost control of his kids and his freedom but he'd lost control of himself. And that was bad. Real fucking bad. "I need a minute."
Tico lit his own cigarette and leaned back. "I know."
Jon realized how lucky he was Tico had been around. If he'd lost it in front of Mac, god his family he'd never of forgiven himself. He'd already lost it once in front of MacKenzie and that was ball busting enough.
"You want me to go and see the kids tomorrow?"
Jon raised his brow. "Really?"
Tico flicked his ash over the railing. "Jesus Jonny. They're like my own kids, it's not like it's a chore."
"That'd be great if you could. Just ring Dorothea first and we better tell MacKenzie. Christ. See what I mean. I have to ask three people if I have to shit."
Tico laughed. "It won't be forever Jon and you know it. Just hang in there. And call me-anytime." He rested his hand on his shoulder once more. "I mean that. Anytime."
For a songwriter he was lost for words so he nodded. "Ok." The bond between brothers was unspoken though. Jon didn't use them enough as he should have in the past so maybe it was time to admit that he was out of his depth. Big time.