Saturday, September 29, 2012

Epilogue: Kingdom of Days

Every bone in his body ached as the car turned down into the village. He was home, it had been a long year on the road with trips back home in between but he was done. This tour had been brutally long but equally rewarding.

They had dealt with his injury, Richie’s drinking problem had come back to bite them in the ass again, and Matt’s back had been playing up. But in the middle of it all Devon had been his rock. Between her commitments to Lush, her new beauty salon and school, and the tour that never ended she still found time to make multiple trips out to see him.

Her new business had exceeded any of their expectations. She had a two year waiting list for students and it had boosted the profile of her New York Salon in the process. He was proud as hell of her. He may have given her the seed money, but she’d brought it all to life. Many young women and men had benefited from her training program and her role as teacher suited her down to the ground. Just like he’d known it would.

Life was good and he couldn't wait to see her and enjoy the normalcy of being home every day with her. He’d missed her more than he had been prepared for which made this homecoming stand out more than all the rest.

“Home sir?”

He shook his head. “No, drop me at the salon.”

He had to see his girl. It had been a month since he’d seen her and the last time had been barely twenty four hours. He'd been worried about leaving her alone so much, and he was surprised how well she'd adjusted to his crazy schedule. He envied her ability to juggle it all and still make everything look easy. And keep her sense of humour and ability to tease him throughout.

Jet lag dragged at him. The long flight home from Australia was catching up with him. He lifted his bags and grinned at the gaily hung Christmas decorations from the outside. The whip of the wind felt even colder after Australia’s baking heat as snow crunched under his feet. He was home.

“Hey Dad!”

“Hey Steph.” He lifted her off the ground and wrapped his arms around her. “I’ve missed you.”

“I didn't think we’d see you until tomorrow.”

“We got away a little earlier than scheduled. Where's Devon?”

Stephanie grinned. “She’s in the back playing with stock. It’s all we’d let her do.”

Jon snorted. “And I bet that she just loved that.”

“You know Devon, she’s tireless. I have to hold her down to make her rest. Reminds me of someone else I know.” She grinned wickedly.

Jon scratched his head and glanced to the back corridor. “She has been resting, though?”

“Yes Dad, she has.”

He followed the long corridors out back to the storage room where he heard familiar music playing that reminded him of his youth. She was playing the New Jersey album. He stopped at the door way and grinned as she came into view.

The tight black dress showed off her curves and accentuated the ever growing bump in her belly.

“Cool band, I heard the lead singer is a bit of a spunk.” He used her slang and her eyes shot up and her jaw dropped. She nearly dropped the tablet she was using and burst into tears.

“Oh baby.” He rushed to her side and pulled her in tight until she laughed and his anxiety eased.

“Hormone tears, huh?” He teased as he tipped her head up and kissed her gently. His hand slid down and over her belly and he closed his eyes as he enjoyed her warmth. When she’d told him she was pregnant after the European leg of the tour he’d almost burst. He smiled as her belly fluttered under his hand.

“Daddy’s home.” She whispered between kisses.

“You have no idea how good it is to be home. You all OK?” She’d kept him updated
daily but he knew it wasn't the same as being here.

“I am good, just stupid hormones.” She grabbed a wad of tissues. “God, you look so tired.” She ran her fingertips around his eyes.

“Gee thanks, babe."

She rolled her eyes.

"You look good.” She was glowing.

“You’re just being nice. I’m fat and ridiculous.”

He tipped his head back and laughed. “C’mere.” He hauled her in, her sweet scent was one more thing he missed. It was a long way from stale airplane air, cigarettes and men he was around all tour. It was the smell of home. Her baby bump nudged him in his belly as she snuggled in under his chin.

“Are you really OK? You haven’t been over doing it? You forget, I know you.”

“How can I? You've got spies everywhere I go. I hope you paid them well for that.” She mumbled against his neck as she nosed in his hair and he groaned as her fingers forked through his hair against his scalp.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Of course you don’t.” Her finger drilled into his chest. “I know you too well, husband to be.”

He chuckled. “We’re gonna have to do something about that aren't we?”

They had intended to marry during the year but things had spun out of control with the tour and her salon so they’d both agreed to do with once their daughter was born.

“We are. How’s your leg doing?”

He stretched it out and rolled his foot around. “Nearly as good as new, see?”

“Good. Come with me.” She led him into one of the empty salon rooms down the back of the building and he raised his eyebrows.

“Nookie time?”

“Nope. Lie down in the chair.”

He did as he was told and she raised the chair with a button and reclined it back.

“What are you doing?”

“Relax. I know you don’t do it often but try.” She smoothed her hand over his forehead and his body sank into the chair. Her touch was always so calming.

“ OK I’ll try - but what are you going to do to me.”

“Just give you a peel.”

“A peel? But-oh-whatever.” He was too tired to fight her and honestly had missed the way she fussed over him.

She laughed. “Good boy. So this wedding...” Her fingertips smoothed over a cool lotion over his face and he popped his knuckles. “I have an idea or three.”

“Do you just? What is that smell?” It reminded him of something his mother used to have in the garden.

“Lavender and Rosemary oil. Your skin is so dry, all that travelling huh?”

“Yeah. You know how it goes. I did keep up with your routine with what you gave me though.” Before he’d left for each leg of the tour she’d packed his skincare regimen. He’d protested but it had turned out she knew what she was talking about.

“Good. God, I have missed you.”

He took her hand and squeezed it. “Me too but look at you. Business is booming, you read the latest figures that Mike sent through right? As I expected the publicity here would make your New York salon sky rocket in profit.”

“I did. Jonathan is so pleased. He’s doing me proud. Turns out you do know a little about business after all.” She teased as she gently wiped away the oil with a hot sponge.

He beamed. “ You've seen my bank account baby. How could you ever doubt me?”

“Show off.”

“You know it.”

She applied a cool gel that made his skin tingle and he lay there and tried to enjoy it. It was always was hard to switch off and make the transition back to normal life. From months of hauling his bag through airports, sound checks, hotels to coming home and being stationary. He was a long seasoned veteran at this life though and it made him always appreciate the people that he had waiting at home for him.

And it had been a long time since he was actually happy to be home. Years of disconnect with Dorothea had made homecomings difficult, so much so he’d wished he was back on the road again. He loved the road and he loved what he did, especially now that he had Devon to come home to.

He was a blessed man.

“Next week is Christmas...” he began again as she smoothed away late nights and grueling schedules.

“Yes are you ready for the madness of your family? I have us booked in on several family gatherings I’ll have you know.”

He groaned. “Can’t we just elope somewhere?”

“Ha! I suggested that months ago and you said no no, Christmas is all about family.”

The smile played on his lips. “I did.” She massaged in some moisturizer around his temples and then dusted off her hands.

“All done.”

He sat up and grinned as her face was inches from his.

“What?” She asked suspiciously. “What is that look for?”

“I wasn't going to tell you but your pretty face makes it hard for me to keep secrets from you. I’m flying your parents over next week.”

She dropped her cloths and her eyes widened. “What? They told me they were off to Nelson for Christmas!”

“They lied.” He said smugly.

He knew it meant the world to her, he’d watched them rekindle their relationship over phone and email and she’d never asked for him to do anything. From his own experiences with parenthood having your mother there for your first baby was something women cherished. Even if Patti and his own mother had been supportive nothing was ever the same as your own.

“Shut up! Dammit!” She stole some tissues from the box as he drew her in.

“Good surprise?”

“The best.” She said as she kissed him hard on the lips and wound her arms tightly around his neck. “You are getting the good sex tonight.” She laughed against his ear and his cock jumped. No pay per view and crisp hotel sheets could ever replace the touch of his fiance.

“You’re up for that?” He asked hopefully not knowing what to expect with a pregnant woman loaded with hormones.

“Uh huh.”

He nestled her in close and nipped at her chin. “If we didn't have responsibilities I’d whisk you away somewhere where I could take advantage of you for a week.”

She laughed and both of her hands ran down the back of his head. “That’s called new year’s.”

He cocked a brow. “I like how you think.”

“My parents will be here.”

He smirked. “They’re staying for four months honey.”

Her eyes widened. “What? Dammit.”

He chuckled as tears rolled down her cheeks and he wiped them away.

“So at the end of the four months you can be like every other daughter and say thank god they’re gone.”

She laughed. “Mum must be so excited.”

“She’s only called me twice a day for the last two weeks.”

Devon hugged him tight. “You really are the best.”

Jon shrugged. “I could be, but it would be rude not to get married while they’re here.” He pre-empted the reaction and grabbed a wad of tissues and handed them to her. "I figured we could honeymoon in New Zealand as well. I met some fans outside the hotel that gave me that suggestion." Devon couldn't make it down on the tour with with him with her pregnancy in the last trimester and he'd knew it had hit her hard.

"Since when do you take suggestions from fans?" She teased.

"When they tell me to. I told them I'm used to bossy Kiwi women though." He winked.

“Everything is pretty perfect huh?” He asked her but she shook her head.

“No, it’s perfectly perfect.”

The End.

Thank you all so much again, I was so overwhelmed with the comments from the ending. Muah! Awesome. I'm going to miss these two a lot. Hopefully I'll be back soon to make more mayhem and I'll let you know as soon as I am.

Kia Kaha,

Oh and PPS this chapter was named after this gorgeous song, as this is Devon & Jon's Kingdom of Days.

Will you share her secret?