August 17, 2010

Chapter 12

~

“Hey!  There they are!” David’s loud announcement rang out from across the room, over the jukebox music and the din of the late afternoon crowd.

“You actually made it,” Suzanne echoed, jumping on the bandwagon.  “We were beginning to wonder.” 

Kim smiled sheepishly in response to her girls’ knowing grins.  There was no use trying to deny what had happened at Jon’s apartment.  Marie, Wendy, Nicki, Carmen, and Suzanne could read her like a book.  They were all closer than sisters, and there were no secrets between them.

Jon let his hand linger at the small of Kimberly’s back as he guided her to a pair of empty seats at the end of the table, then pulled out a chair for her.  They exchanged a private little smile as Kim settled into the seat. 

“I’ll get us a couple dogs. You want a beer?”

Kim shook her head, declining Jon’s offer.  “No thanks.  Not before work.  A Coke?”

“Sure.  What do you want on your dog?”

“Mustard and relish.”

“Gotcha.”  Jon winked at Kim, then headed for the counter.

Kim took a deep breath and looked around the table.  Nine faces grinned back at her.  “Okay, just get it over with,” she sighed.

Wendy giggled.  “That was one long shower, Sister.”

“That or a damned fast one,” Marie argued with a dirty grin.  “As for the rest of the hour and a half you were gone…”

“Hey you two!  Back off!  You know Kim ain’t that kinda girl.”  Nicki’s sarcastic smirk was even more wicked than Marie’s.  “Maybe they stopped by church on the way here.  You know, to light a candle, confess their sins…”  She punctuated her taunt by making the sign of the cross over her chest.

Carmen snorted, almost choking on a swallow of beer.  David immediately came to her aid, melodramatically slapping her between the shoulder blades.  “Breathe!  BREATHE!” he urged.  “Do I need to do mouth-to mouth?  Chest compressions?”  His dramatics only made Carmen laugh harder, choking and wheezing in between giggles.

“Oh, I betcha there was some prayin’ goin’ on,” Richie drawled as he shared Nicki’s smirk.  He steepled his large hands together, palm to palm. “Oh GOD! Oh GOD!”  His voice raised to a breathy falsetto as his mischievous brown eyes twinkled with his tease.  Richie gave Kim a wink and an irresistible smile.  “Seriously, Darlin’…. we have to remind Jonny all the time that he’s NOT God.  You probably blew that all to Hell, didn’t ya?”

Kim blushed at Richie’s choice of words.  “Umm… I guess you could say that,” she admitted, ducking her head as she grinned guiltily.  She gave Carmen a sideways glance and saw her best friend smirking back at her.  Yep, Carmen also appreciated just apropos Richie’s words were, considering Kimberly’s oral skills.

Tico came to her rescue.  “So, a couple of us are gonna head to the Pony later, to catch Southside’s set.  You want to join us after you get off work?”

Kim smiled gratefully.  “Thanks, but I can’t.  I’m closing tonight.  I’ll be chasing drunks out long after last call.”

Carmen reached for her beer.  “You still okay for a ride home?”

“Yeah.  Sandy’s working tonight.  She’s gonna drop me off.”  Kim sighed.  “Hopefully Frankie will finish up my car this weekend.  Thanks for dragging me around the last couple days, Carm.”

Carmen waved her hand dismissively.  “No problem.”

“Who’s Frankie?” 

Kim started as she heard Jon’s voice behind her.  She looked up as he leaned over to set a tray laden with drinks and hot dogs on the table in front of his empty seat.  His expression was serious, a note of suspicion in his tone. 

“Her older brother.” Nicki answered for Kim as she picked up her plastic cup of soda, pulling the straw to her lips.  “He’s rebuilding her engine.  And taking a fucking long time doing it.” 

Kim heard Jon exhale at Nicki’s explanation, just a soft little rumble as he settled into his chair beside her.  “Oh.  What kind of car do you have?”

“A piece of shit, obviously,” Kim smiled when she heard that sexy chuckle, relieved that Jon’s voice was gentle once again.  He had actually sounded a little jealous.  “A ’77 Nova.”

“Nice.”  Jon nodded.  “Is it fixed up?”

Kim shook her head as she reached for the Coke Jon had brought her.  “Nah.  Frankie keeps saying he’s gonna do it, but he never does.”

“Ya know Kim, Jonny’s pretty good with cars.”  Richie could barely contain himself, wanting to rib his buddy about violating his brand-new rule of residential secrecy.  He grinned widely as Jon gave him a questioning look.  “He likes to get under the hood and uh… tinker around.”

“Oh, does he now?” Kim asked coyly, reading Richie’s double entendre loud and clear.  She couldn’t help but smile at Richie’s teasing.  His happy-go-lucky attitude was too appealing.  “How about you?  I bet you’ve done a little chassis work in your day.”  She winked and returned Richie’s grin.

The dark-haired guitarist smirked and leaned back in his chair, slipping an arm around Nicki who immediately snuggled against his side.  “You might say that, Darlin’.”  He returned Kimberly’s wink.

“Wait, we’re still talkin’ about sex, right?” David wisecracked, feigning ignorance.  He grinned goofily as everyone at the table laughed.  “Cause that’s a whole lot more fun than playing grease monkey.”  David turned his sparkling, mischief-filled gaze to Carmen, who giggled again.

Kim and Jon settled into their lunch while they enjoyed playful banter with their friends.  As they ate and drank they exchanged sidelong glances and conspiratorial little smiles.  Several times Jon slipped his hand under the table to give Kim’s knee a gentle squeeze, making her heart race.

All too soon it was time for Kim to depart.  With a weary sigh she pushed back her chair.  “Well, guys… I hate to be the party pooper, but duty calls.”  She really didn’t want to go to work, especially now that she had heard her friends’ plans for the evening.  

Kim was jealous; they were going to have a fantastic time partying with their new guy friends at the Stone Pony while she was slinging drinks a couple miles away.  But she had no choice; her rent and fall tuition weren’t going to pay for themselves.

“I’ll be back in a little bit,” Carmen promised David, pushing back her chair.  “Just gonna run Kim to work.”  She blushed when he captured her hand and brought it to his lips.

“I’ll be counting the seconds, Gorgeous.”

David’s romantic gesture was immediately met with jeers and curses from the others gathered around the table.

Kim laughed at Carmen’s embarrassment, pushing back her own chair.  She smiled when Jon leaped from his seat to assist her, in his own gentlemanly action.  

“Your bag’s in my car,” Jon announced, a bit obviously.  “I’ll get it for you.”  Before Richie could make another smartass comment Jon turned and nudged Kim toward the door. 

She didn’t need his encouragement. Kimberly was dying for one last minute alone with Jon, so she could say her thanks and goodbye without an audience.  She hoped Carmen would realize what was up and give her some space. 

As the trio exited the restaurant, Kim caught Carmen’s eye.  Her friend smirked and nodded, completely understanding the message Kim silently conveyed.

“I had to park on the side street.  I’ll pull around and pick you up in front, ‘kay Kim?”  Without waiting for a response Carmen turned and walked away.

Out of sight of their friends, Jon reached for Kimberly’s hand.  Wordlessly they walked through the small parking lot, to the spot at the back where Jon’s white 280Z was parked.  When they reached the car, Jon turned to smile at Kim, his long hair stirring in the slight ocean breeze.  “Sucks you have to go to work.”

“Yeah.”  Kim sighed regretfully. 

Jon leaned back against the car’s door, tugging Kim gently toward him.  She stepped in close, sighing softly as Jon released her hand and slipped his arms around her waist.  Her hands moved to his chest, her fingertips again tracing over the pendants that lay nestled in his soft fur, revealed by the ripped vee-neck of his t-shirt.  Her hazel eyes met his sparkling blue gaze and she melted.

“Thanks.”  Kim’s voice was almost a whisper.  “I had a great time.”

“Me too.”  Jon chuckled.  “Wanna do it again sometime?”

Kim smiled at his invitation, then dropped her gaze to her hands on his chest.  “Jon, I told you, you don’t have to do that.  It’s okay.”

“What if I want to do that?  See you again?”

Kim sighed at the seductive timbre of his voice.  Damn, that voice.  “You guys have a record coming out soon.  You can’t tell me you’re gonna be hanging around here much longer.”  She again raised her gaze to meet Jon’s.

“No, we’re heading out to California in a few weeks.” Jon admitted.  “And after that we’ll be getting ready for a tour.”

“So…”  Kim smiled gently, not wanting to sound mean.  “Maybe it’s better we don’t start something we know we can’t finish.”

“Maybe.”  Jon felt a little stab of disappointment at that thought.  Dammit, his timing was always shitty.  He had assumed his couple months back home would be filled with regular female companionship, but he hadn’t considered that he might meet a girl he actually wanted to get to know.  And now that he had, time was short. 

Jon sighed heavily, pulling Kim a little closer.  He smiled ruefully back at her.  “Thanks for a great afternoon, though.”

Kim giggled softly.  “It was fun, wasn’t it?”

OH yeah.”  Jon’s lips found Kim’s as he breathed his agreement.  She melted against his chest as they savored a long, bittersweet kiss.

Finally, reluctantly, Kim pulled back from their embrace.  “I really do have to go.”

“I’ll walk you to the front.”

Jon retrieved Kimberly’s backpack from his car and slung it over his shoulder, again clasping his hand around Kim’s.  They ambled slowly toward Max’s street-front entrance, where Carmen’s silver Monte Carlo waited at the curb.

Pausing by the passenger door, Kim turned to face Jon.  “Goodbye, Jon.  Thanks again.”

“Bye Kim.”  Jon couldn’t resist her soft, shiny lips.  One last time he leaned in to taste them, giving her a lingering whisper of a kiss.  Then he pulled open the car door, holding it as she climbed inside.  He handed Kim’s backpack in, closed the door, and stepped back from the curb.  Jon shoved his hands into the pockets of his cutoffs as he watched the car pull away, out onto Ocean Boulevard.

As Carmen guided the car into traffic Kim couldn’t help but glance back over her shoulder.  She sighed softly at the sight of Jon standing on the sidewalk, his bronzed body taut and motionless, his soft hair rippling in the breeze, a wistful smile on his beautiful face.

Carmen glanced sideways at her friend as Kim turned back around to stare out the windshield.   “That good, huh?”

Not averting her gaze, Kim smiled.  “Carm, I can’t even begin to tell you…”

Carmen chuckled at Kim’s dreamy expression.  “You don’t have to, Babe.  That smile says it all.”

*****

Kim stifled a yawn as she strolled toward the end of the bar.  Pausing for a moment to drop her rag on the smooth wood surface, she smiled to herself.  Turning her head slightly, Kim dropped her chin to her shoulder and sniffed.  Under the musty aroma of stale beer and cigarette smoke that clung to her clothing she could smell a faint, clean scent.

“Fresh and clean as a whistle,” Kim murmured to herself with a chuckle, before turning her attention to the booth at the back of the bar.  “Hey, you guys ready to clear out?”

A burst of raucous laughter followed her inquiry as the band shared some unintelligible joke or story or crazy idea.  Rolling her eyes and shaking her head slightly, Kim realized she was going to have to get up close and personal to get these idiots moving.  She walked over to the booth, fixing a relaxed smile on her lips though she really just wanted to scowl.

“Hey guys?  Last call was forty-five minutes ago.  You gotta head out so I can close up.”  Kim smiled sweetly at the bass player.  Rudy had been flirting with her for weeks now, and she knew he was her best bet to get the rest of the band and their hangers-on moving. 

“If we go, does that mean you’re officially off-duty?”  Rudy smirked hopefully.

“Yeah, Rudy, something like that.”  Kim chuckled at the shaggy blonde musician’s pathetic attempt to flirt.  “You want me to call you guys a cab?  Or are you gonna stumble home tonight?”

“Who says we’re goin’ home?”  Rudy reached out to grab Kim’s hand and missed, listing slightly as the movement threw off his balance.  “Unless you wanna go there with me, Sweetheart.”

“Not tonight, Darlin’.”  Kim tried to be patient with the inebriated musician as she attempted to point him toward the door.  “I have to get up early in the morning.”

“Awww, Come ON, Kim..” Rudy wheedled.  “You always say that.  You… you won’t even let me buy you a drink.”

Kim fought the urge to roll her eyes.  “I can’t drink when I’m at work, Rudy.  You know that.”

“Then… then close up the bar and you won’t be workin’ and drink with us!”  Rudy declared triumphantly, proud he had solved the problem.

Kim shook her head, giving the bassist another encouraging smile.  “C’mon, Baby.  Please?  I’m SO tired….”  Obviously flirtation was going to be the only way she was getting this bunch out tonight.  She reached out and clasped her hand around Rudy’s, tugging gently as she urged him up out of the booth.

Rudy grinned and stood unsteadily, then slipped his other arm around Kim’s shoulders.  She tried not to flinch at his whiskey-breath as the big blonde man leaned in close, grinning broadly.  “I get these guys out of here for you, ‘kay Kim?”  Next time we gig, you let me buy you a drink.  Next weekend, ‘kay Baby?”

“Sounds promising,” Kim nodded, turning Rudy toward the door.

“Come on, assholes!” Rudy announced.  “Kim’s gotta go home.  She’s tired, for fuck’s sake!”  Relishing his role as Kimberly’s champion, Rudy prodded and commanded his bandmates and their girls up and out of the booth.  His reward was a peck on the cheek from Kim as she ushered the group to the side door.

Once she had practically shoved the band out the door and locked it securely behind them, Kim returned to the bar.  Picking up the rag she had left earlier, Kim turned to face the stock.  Taking quick inventory of the bottles on the wall behind the bar, she made a few notes of what needed to be replenished before tomorrow night’s opening.  Then she grabbed the rag and began wiping down the counter under the stock shelves.

As she worked Kim glanced at her watch. Two-twenty.  Pete the Manager was counting the register in the back office; he had let Tina and Lori go home already.  Manny the Bouncer was undoubtedly out on the corner, having a smoke.  Now it was just her and Sandy, who was wiping down tables in the back room.  As soon as her co-worker finished with that task they could finally get the Hell out of this place.

She almost groaned out loud when she heard the door swing open, the noise of the street swirling in to the now-quiet establishment.

“Last call was an hour ago,” Kim barked out, not bothering to turn around.  “We’re closed.”

“Aww, c’mon Bartender… You can’t even pour me ONE little drink?”

That seductive, honeyed purr sent a tingle of excitement racing through Kim’s body, followed by a flush of heat.  A gentle smile curved her lips as Kim sucked in a deep breath and slowly turned to face him.

Jon looked delicious.  Kim’s eyes widened at the sight at him standing behind the row of barstools, his hands shoved deep into the front pockets of his ripped, faded jeans.  The sleeves of his black t-shirt were rolled up to show off his biceps, and his shaggy bangs fell softly over a folded purple bandana secured across his forehead.

And his smile… Jesus.  That smile made her weak.

“What are you doing here?” Kim asked softly, unable to keep a little tremble of excitement from her voice.

“Thought maybe you could use a ride home.”  Jon chuckled huskily at Kim’s surprise.

“Actually, Sandy was going to drop me off.  Besides, you don’t know where I live.”  Kim smiled coyly as she made that point.

“No, but you know where I live.”  Jon reached for his back pocket. “And…” He smirked sexily as he produced a paper-covered rectangle.  “I bought new soap.”

Kim tossed her head back with laughter as she recognized the Ivory logo on the wrapper.  Her sparkling hazel eyes met Jon’s gleaming blue.  “Well.  How can a girl resist an offer like that?” 

“I was hoping you couldn’t.”

Kim hesitated for a moment, grinning back at Jon, then tossed her rag into the sink behind the bar.   

“Ready when you are.”

THE END




12 comments:

norwichliz said...

Sounds more like a beginning to me! And he bought her soap...awww...LOL

Sounds like a good time was had by all. Hoods being checked under all over town. LOL

Too funny!

shelly said...

The End??!?!?! NOOOOOOOOO!! aweeee... and i was really falling in love with this whole story too :(

Anonymous said...

*applause*
Awesome! Loved it!
And like Liz said, seems more of a beginning than an ending. One can hope in more ways than one, if one were a greedy bi-atch who likes FF about a certain singer.
Oh wait, that would be me!
*evil grin* So? Any possibilities? Eventually?
-Stas

Catte Sambora said...

LOL Stas. Never can tell. My Muses have minds of their own -- who knows if Jonny and Kim will pop in for a visit in the future!

Thanks to all my readers! Hope you had as much fun with this one as I did. :)

mue03 said...

hey Catte...
that shouts beginning not the end!!!
fun to read! love it!!

Anonymous said...

I sooo loved to find another chapter!!!

...but what was that on the bottom???

end??? oh - please - you can´t be serious :-((((

Anonymous said...

Does The End mean it's time for a Richie story?

:)

totallysambora said...

Thats the way to do it Cate, leave us wanting more! I'd love to kill you right now for doing it to us, but sometimes its best to leave it where your readers are screaming for more! Looking forward to reading your next one, is Richie talking yet?

Vicki

Misty said...

Loved it Cate!! You do have a way of capturing the era! I'm sad but also excited because I know there's a steamy Richie story just dying to jump out of your head and onto the screen! Did I mention steamy -- Richie-- really steamy Richie lol!!

Great job with the story!

Anonymous said...

Loved the story but I agree a RIchie story next please
Y

kayla1193 said...

Loved it!! It was raunchy, but there was a story there too! Very nice! Maybe a part twooo?? :D

Joanna Valentino said...

I'm crying!! I wish it wouldn't end it is sooooooooo good!!!!!!!

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