Friday, March 30, 2012

Chapter Forty-Eight: Be Careful What You Wish For

Jon texted his accountant as he left Devon at the salon. He was worried. She was a smart business woman who on the outside appeared to have it all going for her but if he knew her like he thought he did, she wouldn’t ask him for help if she truly needed it. It puzzled him that she had so much cash on demand. It was one thing to have a few grand tucked away but he was
beginning to think it was a lot more than that.

Did she not trust American banks? Hell, he didn’t at the best of times but it was sure as shit safer to have your money tucked away there than just lying around in your business waiting to be stolen. The other thing that was puzzling him was that five grand was a lot of money for a small business like hers. Yet, she didn’t panic that she’d lost it, at least not in front of him.
He cracked his knuckles as he turned into Starbucks and nodded to the cashier. “Latte, Tall non-fat.” His phone buzzed in his pocket and he answered it while juggling some bills over to the cashier.

“Hi Jon its Miles here.” Miles, his accountant came through his ear over the garbled chatter in the coffee shop.

“Hey, I didn’t expect you to ring. How’s things?”

“You know, busy and we’re winding down to the Christmas rush. What can I do for you buddy, everything ok down in the rat race?”

Miles had been his accountant for as long as he could remember. An old family friend from Long Island, ex-marine now turned accountant that his Dad had trained with.

“Pretty good. This call isn’t so much about me. It’s about well-a friend that owns a business.”

“You are buying it?” Miles joked.

Jon laughed. “No, it’s a beauty shop.”

“Oh the girlfriend huh?”

Jon collected his drink from the end of the counter and busted out the door into the street. “My Pop’s been talking huh?”

“You know your old man. Said she’s a wee gem. Not like those Hollywood ladies you often date.”

“Jesus. Ok, yes it’s Devon. I’m worried about how she’s using her money or how much she stores on her.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well she seems to have a large stash and I’m going guess in the tens of thousands. Maybe twenty in her safe at work. She was robbed this morning but they got the petty cash which was five grand. I’m just worried she’s not using her money wisely.”

“Well. It varies how much money people do keep on site but that does seem like a large amount for such a small business. I can look up her in the tax records and see if she has a listed accountant.”

“Well I don’t want to if you’re breaching privacy.”

“No, I wouldn’t do that even for you Jonny boy but these are public records. If I know of the accountant I can tell you if they’re trustworthy. That’s what you’re worried about right? She’s not trusting one with her money.”

He scratched his head. He felt like an asshole doing it behind her back but if he could help her someway he would but he only wanted her to succeed. ”Devon Scott and the business is Allure Beauty.” There was muffled silence as Jon hopped over a couple of sidewalk performers gear.


“What is it?” He asked quickly.

“No listed chartered accountants.”

“Thought that might be the case.”

“Did you want me to come into town and see her? See if I can help her out. Quite often small business owners just need advice on free cash flow handling and there are other ways to keep a track of things she may not know about.”

“That would be great but I better speak to her and make sure she’s ok with it. She’s not American so I don’t want to push her into something she’s not comfortable with.”

“Got it. Just flick me an email when you get an answer and we’ll work out a time.”

“Sounds great Miles, thanks.”

He slid his phone back into his jeans pocket and rubbed his hand over his face. He hoped he hadn’t crossed the line with her but he only wanted to help. And that was some fucking blow job she gave him five minutes ago and while he wasn’t going to turn her down he knew she used it for blatant distraction. But he was pretty sure the image of her pretty pink lips hugging his cock would be ingrained in his head for a long time.

Good fuck.


She locked the doors behind her staff and breathed a sigh of relief. The day from hell was over. It only cost her nearly twenty grand but it was over. She rummaged into the staff fridge and found the bottle of wine that one of the customers gave her last week and carried it upstairs with her box of cash under her arm. That was after she set the new stealthy alarm systems the technicians had installed for her.

She had a long night of book-keeping ahead of her and even though she knew she had more than enough to pay for the expenses. She had to pay it back and fast. She hated that she was anal about keeping that money at the floating amount but she was. In some ways it cushioned the fact that everything around her was from that money as it had been paid back by the business itself in the end.

It was a warped way of looking at it but that’s how she slept at night.

She poured herself a glass, kicked her shoes off and started the books. Two hours later and four glasses of wine she’d had enough and she wasn’t happy with her projected income at all. The intercom buzz made her jump but the voice at the other end made her sigh. It was a welcome distraction.

“Dev, it’s me. Can I come up?”

She wanted nothing more than that but she had to pull herself together and let him in. She tucked away the box under the couch with the book and keyed the alarm before unlocking the door down the back passage to the street.

“Hey. Come on up.”

She unlocked the door and stood at the top of the stairs. He was carrying flowers and a box tucked under his arm. He was bundled up in a charcoal woollen coat and dark jeans with boots and looked just as tired as she felt.

“Are you going to bring me flowers and -” She glanced sideways at the box once he hit the light. “Godiva when we move in together? As I may have to reconsider if not.” She smiled as she breathed in the sweet aroma from the bright blue gerberas. “And my favourite flower at that.”

“I know.” He winked smugly as he leaned forward and kissed her on the lips. “I figured it’s been a shitty day so I thought I’d bring you something cheerful - me.” He grinned wider. “And then I saw these and thought why not?”

She rolled her eyes and dragged him in by the lapels of his coat so the rustic spicy smell hit her hard. “You are very sweet.”

She kissed him hard on the lips then laid her head on his shoulder. “I’m exhausted.”

“I know baby. Let me come inside and pamper you for a change.”

“Oh yeah?” She asked.

He snorted. “I meant a shoulder rub. I can give a mean one.”

“You are on.” She took his coat and then settled herself down on the floor cross legged while he sat on the couch behind her.

She closed her eyes as his hands smoothed over her shoulders and let out a blissful sigh.

“I haven’t even started.” He chuckled.

“Your touch feels good. That’s all.” She murmured as she tried to relax which wasn’t hard when he touched her. She felt so safe yet the feeling of dread still chomped in the pit of her stomach.

She giggled as she groaned when his fingers kneaded into the shoulders. “Yup. Stay there, forever.”

“See, this is what you have to look forward to when you move in with me.” He said proudly.

“Bribery will get you almost anywhere.” She tipped her head back and let the buzz trickle down her back floating her away on a fluffy white cloud. She didn’t open her eyes until she realized he’d stopped.

“My turn!”

“Equal opportunist I see.” She stood up and swapped places with him.

He cupped her chin. “Love you too darling. Muah.” And gave her a smacking kiss before he sat down.

I wouldn’t mind some wine either.” He announced.

“Oh please let me get it for you. Since you came around to spoil me and everything.” She quipped as she padded to the kitchen for an extra wine glass. She laughed as he crossed his legs as she waited on him.

“Hey what’s under here?”

The wine glass slipped from her fingers but she caught it on the way down as she saw him twisting around and reaching in under the couch.

“A steel box?”

Her heart skidded in her throat and she knew she had to think fast before he asked too many questions. Or worse. Opened it. She hadn't relocked it.

“Hey! Don’t be nosey!” She exclaimed as quickly straddled his lap to pin him back down.

“I wanna know...obviously something embarrassing.” He grinned. “You were stealthy Devon.”

She grabbed his hands and cupped hers around him and pressed them into his belly. “You are being nosey mister. What girls got in a locked box, stays in a locked box.”

His eyebrows shot up. “Ohhhhh...vibrator huh?”

She bit her lip and ran with it. “Maybe.”

“Is it pink? Does it sparkle?”

“How on earth would you know what they look like-no wait I don’t want to know.” She shook her head.

“Oh, I know.” He grinned wickedly. “I’m not averse to using one either if you want to whip it out.”

“ We’re not going to do that tonight.”

“Does it have one of those bunny things?”

She gripped his hands tighter. “Your daughter probably has one.” She teased.

He slammed his eyes shut. “No she does not. She still plays with Barbie dolls and My Little Ponies.”
“You wish.”

“Why would you do that to me? Why?” He asked horrified.

To shut you up silly.

“Look, come here.” She breathed his scent in and nibbled on his chin. “I just need to relax it’s been a hard day.”

His face softened and he pulled one of his hands free and cupped her cheek. “I know. I’m sorry I was just teasing you.”

“I know. I just need to forget about this day. Can you make that happen? Please?” She asked with earnest. She craved the security and the normality he brought back to her. When she was with him she forgot about the past and it was like she was born all over again in a different life.

“Of course. I’m sorry Dev. You know I live to tease you.”

“In more ways than one.” She commented through slitted eyes as they kissed. He was a combination of a breath of fresh air and flint of flame into her heart. The kiss was soft, it was silky and it melted into her soul. The stress of the day flowed out of her like a river breaking free from a dam.

When the broke apart barely inches, his fingertips traced her bottom lip. “I did want to talk to you about something.”

Her eyes were heavy but her muscles relaxed as their noses bumped. “Yes?”

“I think it can wait till the morning. I’m losing you. You need to go to bed.”

She tucked her head under his chin and sighed. “I win the prize for party animal of the century. Will you stay?”

“Sure.” They got up to their feet and she set the alarm on full for downstairs.

“What will you do with this space when you move in with me?” He asked looking around her modern loft as he pulled his top off.

“Good point. Storage? I don’t know. I guess I could rent it out.”

“Ahh the opportunities when you slide into bed with a man like me.” He wiggled his eyebrows and slipped into her bed. In a million years she’d never seen this picture in her head of a man like Jon lying in her bed waiting for her. He wasn’t just giving her the ability to live again but the ability to dream. And that was something she really hadn’t done in a very long time.

“You’re awfully sure of yourself huh?” She flicked the light off and snuggled down with him behind her and his arms wound round her belly.

“You realize I’m going be wide awake for a while.” He whispered in her ear. “I am used to vampire hours here.”

“Play angry birds on your phone.” She mumbled sleepily.

“How about I roll you over...and you just lie there and I take advantage.” His hand slid under the sheet and cupped her breast. Through the thick haze of sleep his thumb over her nipple sent little bolts down her skin. His lips brushed down the arch of her neck to her shoulder. Her nipples hardened and arousal knocked.

“I hate you.” She muttered as she rolled on her back when she couldn’t ignore it any longer.

He hovered above her and slid inside her and kissed her. “That’s what all the girls say.”

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chapter Forty-Seven: Chaos and Debauchery

Devon smiled humming the last notes of Romeo and Juliet as the car rolled back into Mercer Street. The dusky fog hugged the streets of Soho and the cobblestones were glossy with morning’s early kiss. She was dead tired but it was nothing a triple shot coffee was going to fix as she had a lot to get through today. Jonathan would have the store open and the coffee brewing and pretty much everything would be perfect.

Well so she thought.
The police car parked outside her salon dropped her stomach to her toes. “What the...” She whispered as a hundred scenarios rushed through her head and none of them ended well. They couldn’t know? Could they?

She didn’t even thank the driver as she stepped out of the car and paused at the bottom of her steps. Her heart raced and she looked behind her at the empty streets and a quick contemplation of running off into them. She clutched her bag and walked up the stairs to the salon and opened the door. Jonathan was standing talking to the police-officer who was scrawling on a notepad.

“Devon! Thank god!” He rushed over to her and hugged her.

“What’s happened?” She asked cautiously as the officer nodded at her and kept scribbling.

“We’ve had a break-in. I tried to call you but your phone kept going to voicemail.”

Devon dug into her purse and retrieved her phone. “Dammit. I must have turned it off. What the hell happened?” Her eyes flicked around nervously. “What did they take?” She swallowed hard not really wanting to know the answer, as once you knew all hope was gone.

“Well, so far I’ve tracked down that they stole some steamers and the some of the till money--I haven’t been able to--god, it’s just awful”. He exclaimed.

Her gut churned. Money? Oh shit. She dropped her purse and dashed to the back office and tugged the draw that contained the box of money and thankfully it didn’t budge – still locked. She slid down to the floor against the desk and heaved a sigh of relief while her heart caught up with her.

“Everything ok?” Jonathan asked within the doorway behind her.

“God, sorry I just wanted to check. Well the draw.” She said lamely.

“The one you keep some spare money in?” He asked softly.

She half-smiled. smiled. “Yeah that one.” She must have been an idiot to think Jonathan didn’t know about it. But he wouldn’t have known exactly how much.

“Thank goodness and they didn’t go upstairs either. The cops think it was early this morning the break in. I think what they’ve taken is still going to be worth a bit though. You’re insured, right?” He asked as he helped her up concerned.

She brushed off her pants. “Yes, I am. And it’s fine. We’ll get by until that comes out. How much was left in the till last night?” She asked.

“Probably close to five thousand. It was the end of the week roll over.”

She blew her breath out. Dammit. She usually always cleared the tills on the weekend but of course she wasn’t here this weekend. “Ok. It’s ok. We’ll get that back, I’m just glad no one is hurt and the place isn’t trashed. I’ll get the security guys in today and upgrade the alarm system as clearly it wasn’t enough.

“Great, you’ll be ok financially to do that? I can lend you some if you need it.”

She sighed and put her hands on Jonathan’s shoulders. “Relax, I’ll be fine but that is very generous babe. What would I do without you?” She hugged him tight and breathed a sigh of relief.

“Well you wouldn’t bag hot rock stars without my help.” He said matter of fact.

She chuckled. “Yes I guess you are to thank for the extra push.”

“You realize I just want an invite to the hottest wedding the New York has ever seen.”
Devon laughed. “Well, we’re getting ahead of ourselves here but...”

Jonathan’s eyes widened. “What! What are you not telling me you hussy!”

“He did ask me to move in with him and we agreed in a month that I would.” She bit on her lip as she watched Jonathan burst.

“What! Oh this is fantabulous news! Congratulations honey. Wow, I had to push you to even go out with him and now you’re jumping into his house.”

She shrugged. “It feels right - It just feels right.”

“I am ninety-eight per cent happy and two-per cent jealous for you!” He sighed. “No, okay I lie. I’m eighty-per cent happy and twenty per cent jealous.” He broadly grinned and she loved him for it.

“Thank you.” She breathed out again and pulled herself together. “Now, we need to talk to the officer, right?”

“Yes he just wants your details and I’ll make you a coffee while you do that.”

“Thank you.” She paused as Jonathan walked back out and her eyes fell to her draw. She knew she had enough to cover the robbery and replace any equipment easily until the insurance came through but she still didn’t like dipping in when she didn’t have to. She also was going to have to pay for the security upgrade as she couldn’t afford it to happen again. And it would take some scrimping to put all that back but she could do it. It’s how she’d managed most things.

The initiative she had with Carol and the fundraising she had with Dorothea would provide good publicity so if she was smart she would leverage it as much as she could so it would all work out.

Happy Monday indeed.


By mid-afternoon she’d restored some kind of palatable order to the salon. They were open for business as usual and after a quick inventory they had a list of what had been stolen and she had ordered new equipment and lodged an insurance claim. The security guys had just arrived in her salon and were fitting some new heavier locks and upgrading the alarm system. All this in the middle of Monday’s rush.

Just like Mrs Stonyhurst microdermapeel.

She was juggling fifteen things but still managing to see all of her regular Monday morning clients on time. She moisturized the final touches of the shine serum onto her face with her fingertips and stood back.

“All done Mrs Stonyhurst. Looks great and that pigmentation really has evened out.” She handed her a mirror and washed her hands.

“It’s so soft and I’m glowing. I don’t know how you do what you do Devon but you’re a miracle worker.”

“All part of the service.”

She showed her client out and checked her watch, she hadn’t eaten all morning so now was the time to try and grab a quick bite to eat before the next round. She quickly snuck into her office for her coat but stopped dead in her tracks at the door.

Sitting in her swivel chair was Jon with his legs crossed and arms folded and his face was flat.

“What are you doing here?” She asked as she leaned in her door frame.

“Sheesh no, wow--what a surprise. You’re the best boyfriend in the world for bringing me lunch on what I would class as a shitty day which you never bothered to text your favourite boyfriend about.”

He teased her but the guilt did creep in that she had been avoiding telling him. The truth was she knew he’d ride in on his white horse and try and fix it all which, god who didn’t want that, really? But she maintained she wanted to control of this herself. For one of many reasons.

“Sorry Hun. It’s been a nightmare. Look at me. I’m a mess.” She straightened her top and patted down her pants.

“What happened Dev? Who broke in?”

She came in and closed the door behind her and slid onto his knee on the chair. She wound an arm around his shoulder and pushed back his hair. The warmth against of him against her soothed her instantly “They don’t know who did. Just thieves that took what they could. The police think it was random.”

“So what did they take? You should have rang me, I would have come right in.”

The concern etched on his forehead was enough to make her felt guilty for not telling him sooner.

“I know, sorry. It’s been hectic. I wanted to get the business running and then get onto the security. Monday is one of my busiest days. I didn’t want you to worry, like you are now.” Her fingers traced around the worry lines in his forehead.

“Well I am, so what did they get away with?”

“Some dehumidifiers, some product and cash.”

“How much cash?”

“Five grand, it was left in the till.”

“What the hell was five grand sitting in the till for?” He exclaimed and she taken a back.

“It was end of the week. I usually come in on the weekend and cash it up. But I wasn’t here this” It was silly mistake but there wasn’t much that she could do about that now except to make sure it never happened again.

“Devon. God.”

“See, this is why I didn’t tell you.” She chuckled nervously.

“Well it’s a good thing you got the security guys in at short notice that must be costing a lot. Can you afford to pay their call out up front?”

“I’ve paid for the full installation already.”

Jon chuckled. “Gee can I have the name of your bank guy? You seem to get cash flow pretty quick.”

“What? I had a little stashed away. Sue me.” She snapped unintentionally as the paranoia bit away at her toes.

“Hey, I was just joking baby. But in seriousness you shouldn’t leave that much cash on the premises especially now. How much have you got here?”

She fluttered her eyelids. “A few grand.”

He relaxed his hands around her waist. “Must be more than just a few grand if you kept five in the till. I know a good bank guy that might help you manage your cash flow a little better, so it’s safer.”

With some quick thing to desperately get him off the subject she ran her fingers down his neck and around the hem of his sweater. The classic combination that he usually wore on causal days that consisted of a ribbed thermal top tight enough to show off his muscles and well-filled jeans suited her well.

Her lips brushed over his as his eyes watched her as she kissed down his chin.

His fingers threaded into her hair. “Subtle Dev, really subtle.”

“What?” She purred. “Do you want me to stop?” She slid down the chair and slowly to the ground so her knees bumped onto the floor.

His eyes locked on her as she hovered her mouth over the tight denim.

“That door is unlocked.” He noted weakly as she popped the first button open on his jeans.

“And?” She dragged her nail down the seam of his pants and it instantly hardened under her hand.

“Someone could walk in.”

And she would die if they did but this was worth the risk distracting him within an inch of his life.

She looked up at him. “Does that make you hot, knowing we could be caught at any moment?” He shifted in the seat and bit down on his thumb nail. “Well does it?”

His Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed hard. “Yes.”

“Did you want me to stop?” She asked innocently as she tugged the zipper down.

“No.” He whispered coarsely.

“What did you want me to do?” She asked as her fingers danced delicately along his length.


“Are we down to one-worded sentences now? Cat got your tongue all of a sudden?”

She leaned down and whisper licked ever so gently the tip of him. He groaned and gripped each armrest until his knuckles turned white.

“Not so soft.”

She raised her eyebrow and wrapped her mouth around him. She slowly slid down his length and back up.

“And faster.” He cleared his throat and wiggled in the chair.

Her teeth scraped over the delicate skin and he sucked in a big breath. She was crazy doing this in her office, hell in broad daylight. Usually people left her alone in her lunch hour but it was still risky but she had to get Jon off her ass about the money.

The hair around the base of his cock was soft and downy and the skin was hot. She reached in and cupped him sliding her thumb to the back of the soft skin of his sac.

“Oh Crap!” He jolted upright but took him deeper. His fingers gripped into her hair and he held her there as she slid up and down his length.

“Fuck.” Hard blue eyes drilled into her as her lips curved in a while hugging his cock.

Devon dug her nails into his thigh and squeezed his balls the lust coursed through her like hot blood. His breathing was shallow and the air was thick around them. She used the width of her tongue down his shaft and she wet between her legs from the pleasure she was giving him.

The sound of sucking skin filled the room as she picked up the pace. He clutched both hands on her head, spread his knees wider and arched back off the chair with a growl. Precum had dripped into her mouth and she knew he was only second away from climax.

“Mother-fucker.” He yelled as she scraped his balls one last time a she sucked and he came sizzling against her tongue. His hands released her head and she leaned back as he tipped his head forward. Sweat poured down his temples and his face was full of flush.

“You are evil. So so evil.”

She buttoned up his jeans and slid back onto his lap. “But you love me.”

His eyes narrowed. “I may do. But you totally just played me.”

Their noses bumped and her lips brushed against his. “Are you really complaining here, really?” Her eyes flicked up to his as she smirked. His face was flat but his lips twitched.

“What am I going to do with you?” He asked seriously as he kissed her gently.

“Oh, I have a few ideas.” She squealed her backwards and his fingers slid down the waistband of her pants.

“First though. I have to repay the favour.” He winked with a devil’s smirk.

And he did. Twice.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Chapter Forty-Six: Romeo and Juliet

Jon rolled over in the middle of the night his arm flopped out to emptiness instead of the warm body he expected. The roar of wind and the rain outside curled his toes but he blinked and adjusted his eyes in the dark room.

“Dev?” He croaked.

It had been the second night that Devon had stayed, the kids having gone back with Dorothea and they’d survived. He rolled over, swung his feet onto the ground and rubbed his neck. He’d convinced her to stay over Sunday and by having a car ready for her at six am to drive her back into the city for work.

“Two freaking am. Are you kidding?” He asked the room as he got up.


He grabbed a robe and padded downstairs towards the glow of light. The lamp was on in the living area and Devon was curled up into the corner of the couch with a book.
“Whatcha reading?”

“The complete Rock and Roll History.” She smiled as she closed his almanac and stifled a yawn. “Sorry I couldn’t sleep and I didn’t want to wake you.” Her soft sleepy face was adorable with her silk pale pink nightshirt and her fluffy pink slippers high up on the couch. “And I love listening to the rain.”

He chuckled. “Yeah it’s calming. You want something to drink? I make a mean hot milk with a bite.”

“I could be tempted.”

“I’ll be right back.” He said as he kissed the top of her head and went to make the middle of the night snack. An old insomnia tradition was milk with a drop or three of whiskey and he’d used it many a time on tour. Of course the more Jameson that went into it the better the effect.

This house really was too big for him and only him but he liked it and so did the kids. He’d pitched the idea of Devon moving in with him and he hadn’t mentioned it again for a couple of days. He wasn’t a patient man at the best of times. He wanted Devon to live with him and he was sick of being alone. Jon wasn’t usually reckless in his decision making but Devon was worth the risk.

“So I was thinking...” He pondered as he carried two mugs of milk back into the living area and sat on the other end of the couch with his legs up facing her.

“Oh god, should I be scared?” She laughed as she took a cautious sip. “You are trying to get me drunk here! Milk with a bite indeed!”

“Will you move in with me?”

Her eyes widened. “You don’t give up easily do you?”

“Ha! You of all people should know that Darlin. I’m serious though. Correct me if I’m wrong but you’ve enjoyed having a pretty much instant family.”

“Wow-Jon, I mean yes of course I have. But I hope you’re not pitying me - the alone girl with no family here.”

“No! God, that’s not how I see you at all.”

“And I’m not a gap filler, we’ve discussed that.”

He scratched his head. “No you are not one those. I hope you don’t think that’s what this is about. I sincerely do want you to move in.” She wasn’t a gap filler. The reality was he could have had that before he’d met her. He’d had a few women that he could rely on to take as dates to functions if he needed it and they certainly made it clear they would do more for him but he didn’t want them to. There had been no one that had come even close to the way he felt about Devon.

“No of course I don’t and I wouldn’t have even considered it if I thought that's what you wanted.”

“So, you are considering it then?” He asked with an amused grin as his foot rubbed against the side of hers.

“Maybe.” She hid her smile behind her mug.

“You can redecorate if you want.”

“Stop bribing me!”

“I can already see the way you look around these big old rooms that you’re thinking about it.”


“I’m not a maybe man Devon. So is your answer yes?”

“In two months.” She replied simply.

He raised his brow. “Two months huh? Too long.”

“Six weeks.” She offered with a shrug.

“A month.” He countered and his eyes zeroed in on her.

She pondered for a second and then held her hand out. “Deal.”

He grinned as he shook on it. “Deal. Nice doing business with you Miss Scott.” He could do a month. He’d be fully back into recording by then there was a simple comfort about having Devon to come home to.

“Can you play me something?”

He raised his brow. “Really? Now?”

“Yeah-it’s Devon’s all request hour.”

He rested his glass down and heaved himself off the couch. “Ok you’re the boss.” He plucked one of his acoustic guitars he’d left propped up in the corner and sat back down on the couch and lightly fingered the strings. He closed his eyes and found the chord and started the melody.

“A love-struck Romeo sings the streets a serenade
Laying everybody low with a love song that he made.
Finds a streetlight, steps out of the shade
Says something like, "You and me babe, how about it?"

He let the melody sing and opened his eyes to meet hers matching her smile. At this moment she was beautiful, the pale pink nightshirt complimented her creamy skin. Her blond hair curled around her face and spilled loosely on her shoulders. Her blue eyes cut through the dim light in the room and straight into his soul.

Juliet says, "Hey, it's Romeo, you nearly gave me a heart attack!"
He's underneath the window, she's singing, "Hey la, my boyfriend's back.
You shouldn't come around here singing up to people like that.
Anyway, what you gonna do about it?"

He had fun with the words and somewhere in the middle of the still of the night the bright light burned between them. Stripped down and just their own emotions, it was pure and simple. She’d agreed to move in with him and if she didn’t, he’d visit the bottom of her balcony every day until she would.

“Any other requests?” He asked as he strummed the last note of the song.

“I didn’t request that but it was a good choice. I have one now though.”
“Oh yea?” He asked amused as she rested her cup on the table. “Beatles? Jovi? I can play Bono…” He said proudly knowing he’d heard U2 a few times in her salon.

She didn’t reply but walked on her knees down the couch and he dropped the guitar gently to the floor as she climbed onto his lap straddling him. Her hands cupped his jaw and she kissed him letting her tongue ran under his top lip. He groaned and let his hands slide under her nightshirt over her skin, his thumb grazing over her navel.

She purred against his mouth as he cupped her breasts and the tips of his fingers rolled over her nipples. They hardened instantly and so did his cock.

“Why is it, I can’t ever get enough of you?” He asked in a whisper as his mouth disappeared down her neck. Under his mouth she always was warm and soft against him. His teeth made light work of the first two buttons and he parted the material with his nose edging his mouth further down between her breasts.

She dragged him back up to her lips and wrapped her arms around his neck pushing her body hard up against his. The kiss was hungry and it left her sweetness on his lips.

“I’m utterly in love with you Jon and it scares me.”

He responded by nipping her chin and the fire burned in his belly pushing him to consume her. The raw honesty of the statement was sexy. He felt the same way and what Devon didn’t know is she had him under her spell. He was willing to give her almost anything and that alone was scary. Especially at how meticulous he was about control in his own life.

She was already in his lap but the flashes of her naked, sucking him off in all the times they’d made love threatened his cock to drip with cum. She made him feel like a teenager again. In his twenties he’d been known to bang women all night long and it had made him feel invincible. He felt invincible now but the difference was now it came with a need so strong for her.

The soft towelling of the robe created a delicious friction as the hint of pleasure jolted through him and then lingered as a slow burn as her hand rubbed against his shaft.

“Fuck.” He panted as she pumped him. His hand shot down into her panties and his fingers slid up her clit, she squealed in delight as he touched her most sensitive area.

“God. More.” She breathlessly pleaded as their lips hovered over each other’s.

He obeyed this time and slid two fingers inside her. He was rewarded as her short nails scraped over the tip of his cock causing him to shudder and his skin tingle. Her fingers dragged over his lips as his spare hand cupped her breast and thumb worked her nipple.

“Oh crap. Jon...”

The cries grew louder and each one throbbed inside his cock. He was going to cum soon on the same pace as her as she tugged cock with a desperate rhythm that matched his fingers inside of her.


“Yes. Yes!”

She tipped back her head and clenched around his fingers. He spilled into her hand and he grunted as the release didn’t calm him but only amplified his want. He pushed her back flat on the couch and hovered over her. He entered her, nudging the satin of her panties away as it had now become an inconvenience.

He watched her expression drift over her face, her eyes half closed and a sleepy post-orgasm grin. He took her moans in his mouth and cradled her soft curves in his hands. He stroked long and hard inside her making sure he filled her until she had nothing left.

His control was crumbling as her hands and clever fingers scraped nails down his chest and over his nipple sending shockwaves to his core. The rain was still pouring outside but inside he was flooding her with lust and desire. He popped the rest of her shirt open so his eyes could watch her spectacular breasts move with every move he made.

On his knees now, he lifted her leg up over his shoulder and slid in even deeper. She was clamped around his cock and each contraction pushed him closer to climax. Devon clawed at his chest as she got closer but fell back as she came undone around him.

He ejaculated and the orgasm exploded in his brain as he emptied inside of her. Sweat rolled down his face like the rain rolled down the windows outside. He was done. He flopped down on top of her and tucked the tresses of hair away from her sweet face. His chest burning as he struggled for breath.

“We might have to have separate rooms when you move in.” He managed as his muscles relaxed.

She caught her breath and snorted. “Yeah right. He who has no self-control.”

“You started this one. I am not to blame.” He pointed out as they shifted him onto his back and she curled around him on the couch, her head resting on his chest.

“You sang the seductive song thank you very much!”

He chuckled and she sighed against him as they fell silent with the sound of wind and rain battling against each other outside took over the room. They were tangled in a robe and nightshirt but he didn’t care. The warmth of their bodies was enough to keep them warm.

“Now I know what to do when I want you. Just sing to you.”

“Well I gotta say and try not to get a big head here if you can…” She teased. “But if you’re stripped down like that just sitting there in the dark with a guitar singing to can pretty much have anything you want.”

He laughed and even if that was true he was determined he’d give her everything she had ever wanted. He sank into the cushions with the women he now loved and closed his eyes and sang in a gentle whisper and a sweet contented smile on his face.

Juliet, when we made love you used to cry.
You said, "I love you like the stars above, I'll love you 'til I die".
There's a place for us, you know the movie song.
When you gonna realize it was just that the time was wrong, Juliet?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Chapter Forty-Five: Fitting in

Jon hoisted a football back at his eldest son and dusted his hands off. Pleased with the way the meeting had gone he’d had pretty good judgement that the kids wouldn’t have issues with Devon. They were well adjusted to Dorothea and Bruce being together so this shouldn’t have come as a shock. According to Stephanie it should have happened months ago. He’d had women but none that he’d considered to introduce to the kids as he knew that they were fleeting relationships. He kind of hoped that this time was going to be different. Hell, he knew already that it was.

He watched her as she stood on the grassy verge with her arms wrapped around herself, she was still nervous and he didn’t blame her. His kids were good but they could be overwhelming and in your face. It was a testament to Dorothea how well-mannered and behaved they really were.

“C’mon let’s see you throw!” Jon called to her as he slid his sunglasses on and pulled on a baseball cap out of his back pocket.

She stood with her hands on her hips indignantly. “You really expect me to throw the ball? Do you even know me?”

He chuckled and ran over to her. “Here, Jesse!” He held his hand up as the ball hurtled towards him and caught it. He handed it to her but she folded her arms and backed away as if it was a grenade he was holding.

“Uh uh, I’m going over there.” She pointed where Steph was with the younger boys down by the river-bank.

“Just one throw, then I’ll leave you alone.” He wasn’t a tall guy but he enjoyed hovering over her petite frame and the fun sexual intimidation never got old.

“I doubt you ever could leave me alone.” She said smugly. “You just want to laugh at me, don’t you?”

“Noooo, I’m shocked you would suggest something like that!” His eyebrows wiggled behind his glasses. She wasn’t an athletic girl but she was in fine shape.

“Gimme that!” She snatched the ball from her and the fire shot into her eyes. “Ready Jess?”

“Why does he have to be ready he’s yards away--you should be pulling him in, you’ll never throw that far.” Her small frame and delicate way she moved and did things was not built for football. And it didn’t have to be, he loved that about her. She had such a calm and lovely way about her - that was until she taunted him like the devil woman.

“Shut up Bon Jovi.”

“Ohh fightin’ words!” He slapped his hands together and watched her take two steps back and then charge releasing the ball. To his astonishment it flew it carried through the air to his son. It wasn’t the most powerful of throws but hell, she had the length.

“Awesome throw Devon!” Jesse called victoriously.

“Well aren’t you full of surprises.” Jon commented as he stretched his arm up for Jesse to return him the throw. He stepped back as the ball sailed towards him and caught it. He blinked and then lost his footing as the wind was knocked out under him by something, no someone as he tumbled to the ground with Devon in tow giggling.

He had hit the ground hard and stretched the kinks out of his back. “Holy crap-what was that?”

Devon sat up and dusted off her pants before standing above him. “Tackling, that’s how you play rugby.”

“Holy crap Devon.” He sat up and rubbed his neck. “You’ll owe me a massage tonight after that.” He dusted his own pants and got off the ground and turned to see Jesse and Steph barrelled over laughing.

“Oh c’mon...I was totally unprepared.” He defended but couldn’t help the grin spread on his face as he watched his kids laugh.

“Oh god. Dad-that was so funny!” Jesse snorted as he slapped his leg. “BOO-YAH!”

“Ok that’s enough! And you!” He pointed directly at Devon. “Where in the hell did you learn to tackle like that?”

It was her turn to wiggle her thin brows and wink. “Wouldn’t you like to know?”

Jesse joined them while Steph went back to the boys. “You are a legend; man can you do that again?” He tugged out his cell phone from his pocket. “I want to record it for my friends. One minute you were standing them and BOOM you were on the ground Dad. By a girl!” He snorted and Devon bit on her lip and tried to look as innocent as hell.

“You’re not my son anymore.” Jon grumbled.

Jesse slapped his shoulder. “What’s wrong pops? Can’t handle being slammed to the ground by a girl. She is my hero!” Jesse grinned as he threw his arm around Devon’s shoulders.

Jon stepped back and chuckled. If he was right, he’d guess his son had a little crush on Devon. He’d seen it when they were in the kitchen he was trying to impress her. His kid didn’t do that unless he thought she was pretty. Just like his old man he mused. Not so subtle on the flirting thing.

“You’re dirty.” He folded his arms and looked Devon up and down at the smears of dirty across her arms and pants.

She shrugged. “It was worth it.”

Devon and Jesse both grinned broadly before Jesse patted his father’s shoulder and jogged up to the other kids. “She is a keeper, Dad.”

Jon rolled his eyes and wrapped his arm around the top of Devon’s shoulders, tucking her into him as they walked along the river.

“Are you really OK? I didn’t make you pull out back disc or something did I?”

He breathed in her sweet scent at the top of her head before laughing. “I’ll live. I’m not that old.” He closed his eyes as Devon’s hand around his back slid up his t-shirt and her fingers pressed gently into his back in a mini circular motion. “Mmm, yeah you need to give me one of those tonight.”

Jesse had stripped off his tee-shirt and was sitting on the grass with Romeo. It was no secret his son was lean and fit and he’d certainly gained a few muscles since he saw him last. “The Playboy over here thinks you’re hot.” He commented loosely.

“What?” Devon asked confused.

“Jesse. He thinks you’re cute.”

“What?” Jon laughed as her cheeks flushed.

“Relax it’s just a little crush I’m sure.”

“Did he say something?”

“He didn’t have to.” Jon stopped and turned her and leaned in. His nose bumped against hers and his lips hovered over hers. “He’s got good taste.”

“Stop it-god!” She slammed her eyes shut but he chuckled against her lips before silencing her with a kiss. “I told you they’d like you.”

“Well that's great and Romeo thinks I’m the new nanny.”

Jon laughed. “Well he’ll soon realize you aren’t. Don't worry about that." He’s just used to having a nanny when he lived in this house. You’re the first woman I’ve introduced them to officially. So he’s just a little confused.”

She relaxed in his embrace. “They are great kids.”

“Yeah they are. Are you OK with Dorothea wanting to invade your salon?”

“Of course. I have to admit I was a little scared of that whole situation but she is fine. Not that scary.”

“Dorothea is good. She does a lot of good things and it’s a compliment that she wanted to work with you. Believe me if she didn’t approve of you, which is none of her business anyway she’d have no issue telling you.”

“Well thanks. I’m looking forward to a new business opportunity even in addition to the one I created for your mother.”

“I’m just taking over your life huh?” He mused. He knew he was far from it but Devon was worth the effort he’d been able to give. He knew a good business when he saw it and more importantly a good business women and he had the connections to get her started.

“Yeah you are.” She sighed into another kiss. “But in the very best of ways.”

He rubbed the small of her back and they made their way across the lawn to the kids. He counted his blessings regularly and today was one of those days. He had the love of good woman and his kids around him, and it was just what he needed to regroup. He had some decisions to make with the band coming up and this was a nice temporary distraction.


By the time the youngest kids were in bed and then two hours later Jesse and Stephanie had headed up to bed, Devon was exhausted. They’d had a fun night with Jon ordering pizza and watching a couple of movies on what could only be described as a ridiculous movie screen that popped out of the floor the size of a wall in the family living space.

She sat on the corner of the couch with her legs tucked under her balancing a glass of wine on the arm of the couch. Jon strolled back into the room from disposing the empty cups and plates. “Are you coming up to bed?”

She covered her mouth as she yawned when he she tried to speak. “Yes.” She finally said.

“Everyone is asleep. A blessing that I now have older kids. It used to be a nightmare.”

“Carry me up the stairs?” She asked jokingly as she straightened the cushions.

“I would normally but you smashed my back today and you probably weigh a ton after the all the pizza and wine you just drank.”

“Hey!” She fired one of the cushions across at him. “That wasn’t nice.”

But he ducked the incoming missile. “I’m not a nice guy. Oh and I’ve already decided you need to give me a massage or a blow job for tackling me.”

“Oh really? And when did you make this decision?” She asked as they made their way up the stairs. He was a cheeky bugger sometimes. She still relished in the fact she took him down. Little did he know that her family was rugby mad back in New Zealand. The good times the family had were great before she grew up and had to make stupid decisions.

“I just did. I’m up for either. Oh there is a third option too.” He closed the door to the master suite behind them and kicked off his shoes.

“Oh yea? Gee I wonder what that could be.” She said sarcastically as he pushed her gently back towards the bed.

“I’m horny.” He whispered as his lips scraped up her jaw and the fell back onto the bed.

“You’re always horny and I thought I already said no about this.” He was all over her in seconds. His hands had swallowed hers pinning them on each side of her and her legs were tangled around his like pretzels.

“They’re asleep. And we’ll be quiet. Which I know is a stretch for you.”

She blushed. “I hate you right now.”

The jokes stopped and his face softened and his eyes dilated. “Devon. I need you. Today is the first day I’ve felt complete in a long time.”

Oh god. He knew how to lay it on and she was buying it too. “Don’t say things like that, you know I’m a sentimental girl.”

“I’m serious. I had my family with me today, my new family.”

Her heart swelled. “God, Jon...I’m glad you feel that way I liked them a lot. And I’m glad to now know what makes you, well you. And I can see that they do.”

“My kids ground me Dev. You ground me.”

“If you make me cry I’ll be so mad.” She giggled too offset the tears that pricked in the corner of her eyes.

The kiss was long and slow, his tongue teased the top of her lip as it burned right through her. His fingers moved to her jaw and held her to assure her. He tangled his fingers in a fist full of hair and his mouth was barely a breath from hers. He was warm like sunshine, sunshine into the shady places of her life.

What was she doing? She asked herself. His kids were in the house and she was lying at the mercy of their father on their parent’s bed? It should have been weird and she wanted to push him back and go enforce her earlier statement about this but she couldn’t. How could she with a declaration like that one? Jon didn’t know it but family and belonging somewhere was something she’d missed in all this time abroad. Honestly, she had never expected to get it from Jon. She’d fell for his charm and good looks and the rest had all just followed.

Had it been fate he’d walked into her salon that day? Who would ever know but one thing was sure the more he gave her, the more she wanted to wrap herself around him and never let go.

She felt her bones melting and she sank deep into the bed as if she was on clouds. There was no turning back from falling in love with him. She’d already come to terms with this. She buried her head into his shoulder as his hands made light work of her clothes, his skin on her skin. His hands cupped her breasts and his thumb rolled her over her aching nipples.

She growled and wriggled under him. He always knew how to get her.

“Shhhh.” He whispered to her ear. “Can you do quiet Devon? While I rip you apart?”

She was instantly wet. “Yes.” She said in no more than a whisper.

He chuckled and his hand slid into her panties. His mouth was hot on her neck, his teeth gently scraping skin as his finger slid inside her.
“So wet.” He groaned against her ear and she quivered. She was falling and fast. Lightning spears of pleasure shot through her leaving her trembling under him.

“Devon.” He said it again as he kissed her and swallowed her gasping breaths. Rocked to the core she brushed his hair back and framed his face in her hands. She was taut as a wire but she needed more from him. “More.”

“I had no intentions of stopping.” He tugged off his jeans and slipped inside her. The urge to cry out his name was there but she covered his mouth with hers as she groaned. Her nails found his ass as he slid deeper rocking her to one more crest.

“Shhh.” He whispered again reminding her that what they were doing was a little naughty. It didn’t nothing to curb her desire for him right then and there.

She gasped and tipped her head back, biting her lip as his mouth was like a brand as it kissed down the centre of her breast. She arched back and threaded her fingers into his hair. The pressure tipped over inside her body as she held the assault on her body.

“Jon-oh god...” She panted before the shudder and his hand slapped across her mouth as she screamed uncontrolled against his palm. Her heart hammered as he buried his face in her hair and let himself follow. Stunned silence held in the room with only the sound of their hearts beating between them.

“Oh shit.” She panted as she lay back trembling and wiped a brow full of sweat away. She wanted to curl into him and float away.

He kissed her shoulder, the bottom of her neck and then her lips. “See. I knew you couldn’t keep quiet.”

“And I knew you wouldn’t be able to keep your hands to yourself.” She whispered hoarsely as they shared a kiss before he pulled her up from the bed. They changed and climbed into bed snuggling down. She relaxed into the side of his chest and draped her arm across the band of his chest.

“So, is my debt paid for tackling you?”

“Hmmmm.” His grip around her tightened as she closed her eyes. “I’ll have to think about that.”

“Of course you will.” She snorted lightly as they both fell into sleep.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Chapter Forty-Four: Just Add Water

Devon settled into the master bedroom and slid her heels off and into a pair of jandals in favour of the nice day that beckoned outside. Jon had left her to make sure the kids rooms were aired out and ready for their arrival. The master suite was beautiful with its creamy neutral colours and thick lines. If she had her way it could do with a tiny splash of colour as just some flowers or the odd piece would do the place the world of difference. The bathroom was elegant and to die for, she was sure it could swallow her whole apartment whole. Gleaming porcelain square basins and polished granite counters looked fresh out of the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens. A splash of colour could have bought this room alive too.

She dug in her bag for her makeup purse and decided to freshen up before the kids got here. God willing she prayed this would go well. She didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes or be an elephant in the room with them. She applied her lip gloss as she thought about the situation rationally. No one expected her to just fit in and she didn’t want the kids to have to like her just because she was with their father. But what if they didn’t like her?

“You ok?” He propped himself against the door frame and watched her.

“Just nervous. You probably think I’m being ridiculous.” She snapped on the cap of her lippy and fussed with her hair.

“Hell no I don’t. It’s like an instant family just add water. I may be all sexy and charming but the gloss soon wears off when you learn I have four children right?” He impishly grinned at her and how he ever thought that’s what she could think about this.

She zipped up her makeup bag and walked up to him. She traced a finger across his jaw. “You think it would lessen the appeal don’t you? I can tell you it doesn’t.” Her fingertip tugged on his bottom lip. “I bet your fans don’t think so either.”

His eyes followed her finger as she removed it from his lips and kissed it slow like a lollipop. He always was an easy tease. His eyes narrowed and his face softened. “You are just a little ball of evil, you know that right?”

Devon grinned as she brushed back his hair where the sides were showing a few flecks of grey in between the dirty blond. “Uh huh. Too bad your kids are arriving soon. Daddy could have punished me.” She fluttered her eyes innocently as her lips kicked up in a smirk.

He tugged her in tight and hooked an arm around her waist. “Wait until you’re alone again Miss Devon.” It wasn’t a threat it was a promise and it tingled down her spine right to her toes.

Her fingers drifted up his neck around his jawline. “Well that’s going to have to wait until the kids go home tomorrow.”

“What? Why? I have a lock on my door.”

His shocked face was enough to make her giggle. “No way, no sex around the kids.” She pushed him back gently. “Not negotiable. Not even with those ridiculous puppy eyes.” She warned as she stared into his big blue eyes that usually given five minutes, he could always have pretty much what he wanted. But not this time, she was going to be firm about this. It would be weird especially if one of the younger boys came into the room at night. Hell. It was going to be weird just without the sex.

“I understand Dev, but seriously my kids sleep like the dead.”

“So will I after today!” She laughed. Whew. Her stomach was still flip flopping at the thought of meeting them as they were his world and him their world so it was kind of a big deal. And as stated before she wasn’t out to win any mother of the year contests nor did she want to be their mother. God, shut up! Her head always got away on her and she couldn’t help but wind herself up like this.

Jon checked his watch. “I’ve got enough time to make you a coffee from the world’s best coffee machine downstairs. You might be impressed but you do make good coffee.”

“Ok sold. Let’s go.”

She sat at the counter where moments ago they’d just made love and watched him fumble around the kitchen and try and operate the large coffee machine against the far wall. The doorbell rang just as he delivered her cup. He slapped his hands together. “They’re here. I’ll go and get them.”

Oh dear god.
She sipped her coffee and wished it was something stronger.

The explosion of chatter and laughter floated down to the kitchen as she heard Jon and the kids reacquainting themselves. A stronger female voice could be heard too. Oh god, Dorothea? She was here too? She quickly straightened herself up and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. She didn’t know how she felt about meeting not only the women that used to be in Jon’s life but in her ex-home as well. Wouldn’t that be weird? Weird or not she really didn’t have much time to think about it as they all spilled into the room.

“Guys, guys!” Jon called flanked by two younger boys at his side and Stephanie and Jesse followed in behind them. They were stunners and so was their momma as she came in wrapped up in a woollen coat with her chocolate brown hair spilling around her shoulders.

“I want you to meet Devon.” He grinned proudly.

Devon smiled and more than likely awkwardly. “Hi guys. Your Dad has told me so much about you.”

“Did he tell you I can beat his ass at football?” Jesse asked with an impish smirk that mirrored his fathers. He had height with a lean athletic build that moulded the tight t-shirt and jeans he worse.

She burst out laughing. “No, he didn’t but if that was true it would have been a deliberate oversight. We all know your Dad doesn’t like to lose.” She said confidently as she relaxed a little. They didn’t seem fazed by her at all.

“Hey!” Jon exclaimed as Stephanie and Jesse laughed. “We’ll see about that. Down on the river later just you and me.” Jon signalled at his eldest son.

“You’re on!” Jesse laughed reached for a soda from the fridge.

“She’s good Dad. Pleased to meet you finally Devon. “Stephanie smiled. Her sun kissed blonde hair was swept back from her face and she was wearing thin dark designer frames on her face. She also had the height and a very gorgeous figure that was showed off by the loose sundress and leggings she wore.

“Same with you guys, it’s really nice to meet you all after hearing lots about you.” She waved at Jake and Romeo who seemed more interested in Jon for the moment.

“Hi.” Dorothea stuck out her hand and smiled warmly. “I’m Dorothea.”

“It’s so nice to meet you. What gorgeous children you have.” She shook her hand and was surprised that it didn’t feel awkward like she thought it would. Dorothea’s smile was welcoming and she looked pleased to be getting a break from her kids if anything. Devon couldn’t blame her as she had no doubt she was about to find out just how much work four children were.

“You might change your mind about that in a few hours. In fact I’ll bet on it.” She winked. “Jon was right, you’re lovely.”

She couldn’t help but blush. “Well thanks. I do care about him very much.”

“So I’ve heard. I’ve also heard your salon is amazing so if it’s not too weird I’d love to pop in sometime.”

Devon’s eyes widened. “Wow, I mean--sure I’d love to have you there. Anything I can do for you let me know.”

“Great, I’ll be in the city next week. Carol tells me you’re doing some new things as well with groups. I might be interested as I run a couple of community groups for the ladies here. Maybe you’d be interested in fundraising a little with me?”

“Well I’d love to be able to help, sure. Come in next week and we’ll talk.” Fundraisers were a different angle but she was always open to anything and already knew both Jon and Dorothea were very good at them and she had no problems helping out.

“And I get told off for talking shop.” Jon interjected throwing an arm around Devon’s middle.

“Oh go away! Oh and before I leave I need to talk to you about Steph. She wants to get a part time job in the city but I told her we’d need to discuss it. Between school and things we just have to be careful.”

“Got it. We can do that.” Jon nodded.

“What sort of work does she want to do?” Devon asked. “Sorry, not trying to be nosey.”

Dorothea shrugged and threw her hands up. “God, anything. She’s a fashion bug but I guess she just wants some exposure to that world before she makes up her mind and goes to college.”

“Well...” Was it rude to start suggesting things for them when it wasn’t their daughter? “I know of a couple of clothing places in Soho that are clients of mine. I could always ask if they had some weekend hours going.”

Dorothea raised her eyebrow. “You’d do that?”

“Sure-I can’t guarantee it but I can ask and put in a good word. They’re trendy places so she’d get a good taste of pure fashion.”

Jon hooked his arm over her shoulder and squeezed it. “Babe that would be awesome. Then we’d least know she was in good hands.”

Dorothea smiled. “Sure. As long as we can work out with her that it won’t affect her grades then I’m good with it.”

“I’ll call Andre Marcus on Monday. They own a fashion boutique down the road from the salon in Soho. Lots of young people go through there. She’d love it.”

“Sounds perfect. Thanks Devon, we appreciate it. Now, I need to get going but it was lovely to meet you. Don’t take any crap from the kids either.”

Devon grinned. “I’ll try not to.” She let Jon and Dorothea talk while she shifted her coffee cup into the dishwasher draw.

“You want a soda?” Jesse asked her standing in front of the fridge making a quick and dirty sandwich.

“I’m good thanks, Jesse.”

He flashed her grin. “Your accent is really cool.”
She caught Stephanie’s look at her brother before she rolled her eyes. “She just had coffee doofus.”

“Shut up.”

“Don’t worry he always acts goofy around girls he thinks are pretty.”

Devon blushed. “Ah-well-” Good grief.

Jesse smacked her over the head gently. “I’m going outside to throw some ball. Jake you comin’?”

Jake followed Jesse out while Steph picked up their bags. “Boys.” She commented as she walked out of the room with just Romeo left standing there. He was the cutest kid with his sandy blond hair and big eyes. The bob the builder matching tracksuit was pretty adorable as well.

“What about you? huh?” She bent down to his level and ruffled his hair. “You want something to drink or eat?”

He shook his head. “I want to go outside too.”

“Ok well we can do that!” She held out her hand but instead he held his arms up.

God, he wasn’t THAT tiny. “Ok sure.” She lifted him up and stood up and adjusted the weight. Holy crap.

“You speak funny Mrs Devon but you smell nice though.”

“Just Devon to you darling, but thank you.”

“Can you make my pyjamas warm tonight?”

“Sure I can.”

“I can bath myself now too.”

“That’s great, you are a big boy aren’t you?” Having held next to no babies in her life. Devon thought she was doing pretty well hauling a six year old into her arms.

“And can you read me a story? Mrs Brownlee used to always read us one.”

Before she could answer Jon met her in the hallway and laughed. “Romeo--here. Hand him over. You’re too big for this.” He offloaded him and carried him outside with her. Romeo thought she was the new nanny. Damn. Well she just hoped he’d be ok with the fact the new nanny actually slept with Dad as well. Jesus. What was she getting herself in for?

Jon released Romeo and he ran to where his brothers were spread along the grassy river-bank ready to play some ball.

“Hey Devon! Check this out!” Jesse called and pitched a long throw a fair way down the river bank to his brother.

She clapped. “Wow--that’s pretty impressive!”

Jon chuckled and rubbed his chin.

“What?” She asked as she folded her arms.

“He’s showing off.”

“Like father like son if you ask me.”

“Oh ouch.” He clutched his chest and pretended to stumble. “Where is Steph?”

“Being the good girl and taking their bags to their rooms.”

“She’s a good kid and thank you for suggesting your friends.”

“Well they’re not friends but we do have a business mutual agreement to pimp each other’s business and they’re lovely guys that run the store. A married gay couple and I assume that’s not an issue.”

“Not at all-sounds great. Dorothea was impressed with you.”

“Yeah? Pass her test to be left alone with her kids.”

Jon hooked his arm around her shoulder as they walked out to the yard. “Sure did. She couldn’t believe I’d landed someone so young but mature.”

“It’s not weird that she wants to come by and work with you? I could tell her if it makes you feel uncomfortable. She can be a woman hard to say no to, that’s all.”

“I thought it could be weird but I think I can see that your family is so used to you guys being separate now. She’s not here to threaten me and I’m not here to threaten her. If we work in harmony it’s only got to be good for you and the kids, right?”

He kissed the top of her head. “You baby are beyond your years.” She closed her eyes as a cool breeze swirled around her feet and her skin drank in the sunshine. It wasn’t the first time that she’d been told that she was wiser beyond her age, she’d dealt with a lot and made decisions that had made her grow up in an instant through her life.

She sighed as they strolled down the path that cut into the grass down the bank. So far so good and they didn’t hate her so that in itself was a big plus.

Will you share her secret?