Turning for Home
"So tell me – what do you really like?" Lindsey was cuddled to Damon after they woke up.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, I love having my back rubbed. What kind of touch do you like the most?"
He grinned at her and kissed her. "Anything. I'm easy that way." His eyes were twinkling. He was in a good mood, and Lindsey was glad.
She laughed. "Tell me something I didn't know. Seriously, everybody has something they really like. Girl I was in college with loved having her feet rubbed. Tell me what you like. I want to know."
"You'll laugh at me."
"No I won't. Just tell me."
He sighed. He couldn't say no to this woman. "Two things, really."
"What are they?" Now he had her curiosity roused.
"I love having my head scratched."
Lindsey smiled. "Wish I had longer fingernails." She reached up and stroked her hand through his hair and then scratched his scalp. "Like that?"
"Yeah," he nodded, eyes half closed in pleasure, like a big cat. He was kind of cat-like anyway, Lindsey thought. "That's really good," he sighed.
"What's the other thing you like?"
He was so blissed out from the scratching, he said without hesitation,"Having my tummy rubbed."
"Why would I laugh at that?" she asked.
"I don't know. It's not exactly dignified," he murmured.
Damon was fiercely proud, Lindsey knew, and was always sensitive about being laughed at. She knew the feeling. "If it feels good to you, it doesn't matter. Lie on your back."
"Humor me," she said.
Grumbling a little, Damon turned on his back and Lindsey put her left hand in his hair, scratching his scalp, and placed her right hand on those oh-so-perfect abs and started rubbing back and forth over his stomach.
The reaction was immediate. She had him squirming. "Oh, babe. That is too, too good." Lindsey grinned. He was all but thumping his foot like a dog. "It's almost too much, but please don't stop."
She leaned over and kissed him. "I think someone else has a little skin hunger that needs feeding."
"Maybe I do," he sighed. "Oh, that is so perfect."
"What's so good about it? Tell me," she prompted him.
He squirmed a little more. "I dunno. Sensory overload. But it relaxes me. Calms me. Makes me want to sleep." As he said this, his eyes closed and his body stilled. He was asleep again. Lindsey smiled widely and kept up the caresses, but slower, lighter, for a while. When she finally stopped, she heard him sigh like a child and he was definitely out like a light. Well, wasn't that something good to know? If scratching his head calmed him down, that was very good information to have.
"You ready to head a little farther west?" Damon asked her over breakfast.
"Sure. Where did you have in mind?"
"How about Denver?"
Lindsey gave him a huge grin. "Denver? That would be fantastic! I've always wanted to see Denver and the Rocky Mountains! When do you want to leave?"
"Early tomorrow morning good?"
"Yeah. Fine. How far is it? I'm not sure."
"Nearly 800 miles, so we'll split it up and maybe drive all day tomorrow, spend the night in Amarillo and go on to Denver the next day."
"All right. That sounds fine to me. I'll have to get to a computer and see what all there is to do in Denver," she said.
"A lot, believe me. And it's within driving distance of some neat towns. Good time to go, really, since there's not much chance of getting snowed in."
"Not in the middle of summer, anyway. I'm just glad the air-conditioning on the car works."
"Me too. I mean, I can deal with the heat, but I'd rather not." Damon shook his head.
"We'll have to meet Jakob for dinner or something tonight, then. I'd like to see him to say good-bye," Lindsey mused.
"I was just gonna call him," Damon said.
Lindsey looked up from the newspaper at him. "Damon, you don't think I've got a crush on him or something, do you?"
He lowered his brows. "You wouldn't be the first one who did. I know he's a lot easier to get along with than I am."
She reached to stroke his hair. "Maybe so, but I love you. I like him. Big difference. But he's been really sweet, and I just think it would be nice to see him again."
Damon sighed a little. "You're right. I just have this problem with..." his voice trailed off.
"A little green-eyed monster? It's all right. I wouldn't be really polite about sharing you, either." Even though I know I may have to, one day, she thought.
"I'll be sorry to see you guys leave. I've enjoyed seeing you again, Damon, and meeting you, Lindsey," Jakob said.
"Likewise," Lindsey answered. "So you're driving. Where are we going?"
"Damon told me you like music, yeah?"
"Best karaoke in Fort Worth, and it's a Tuesday, so we should get to sing a lot."
Over Damon's groans of disgust, Lindsey said, "You sing?"
"I've been known to," he answered.
"C'mon Jake. Karaoke? Are you kidding? Karaoke? Nothing but a bunch of drunks singing 'Love Shack' off key! My ears can't handle that," Damon groused.
"So get drunk and join them," Jakob chuckled.
"Not on your undead life!" Damon shot back.
"C'mon, Damon. Don't be a stick in the mud." Lindsey's word choice was deliberate since she knew that was Damon's favorite description of Stefan.
"I am NOT a stick in the mud! I just happen to have some taste in music."
"It's just karaoke, Damon. What's the big deal? The bourbon will numb your eardrums," Jakob laughed.
"Well, looks like I'm going regardless, but do NOT put my name in to sing! I'll start snapping necks if you do," he grumped.
Lindsey was in the front seat and turned around. "You start snapping necks and I'll hide your daylight ring. Assuming I can find anywhere it won't leave a softball-sized lump, that is."
"Give it a rest about my ring, willya? I know it's ugly."
"Got your mind off karaoke," she smirked at him.
Damon opened his mouth to reply, but couldn't come up with a suitable comment, so he sat back in the seat, arms crossed, and glared at her.
"Love you. Mean it," she said with a grin, finally teasing a reluctant grin from him.
There weren't many people in the club when they walked in, but the host apparently knew Jakob well.
"Jake!" he greeted him. "Long time. Good to see you. Who are your friends?"
"This is Damon, one of my oldest friends – not a singer, by the way – and his lady, Lindsey, who is a singer. Guys, this is Tim, who runs the karaoke show."
"Awesome! Great to meet you guys. Lindsey, grab some slips and a pen and one of the books and turn in something. We'll get started in a few minutes."
"Thanks, Tim. Nice to meet you too," Lindsey said. She got the book and slips, and handed some to Jakob. They found a seat and Damon was still looking like a thundercloud. She nudged him as they sat down. "Snap out of it. You might have fun."
"Humph," was all she got, so she slipped her hand under his hair and started scratching his scalp. He started for a second and then inclined his head toward her. "That is such dirty pool," he said.
"Works, though." She looked at Jakob. "I'm sure it's a big country crowd, but what else do people sing?"
"Oh, nearly anything, except metal or indie/alt stuff. You know, Guns 'n Roses is all right, but not Nirvana."
"Gotcha. Not exactly my style, anyway."
He grinned. "I didn't think so."
She flipped through the large binder and found a song. She filled out the slip and handed it to Jakob. "Would you take mine up when you go?"
"Sure," he said.
"What are you singing?" Damon asked.
"You'll find out."
When Lindsey was called to the microphone, she grinned at Damon and went up.
"What is she singing?" he asked Jakob.
"She told you, you'll find out."
The music started, but Damon wasn't immediately familiar with the song.
She sang, "There's a boy trying to steal my heart and I'm tempted.
Even though he could tear it apart, I'm tempted.
In his eyes, there's mystery, every time he smiles at me.
I know how it could be, and I'm tempted.
Each time he looks my way, I'm tempted.
Just a little more every day, and I'm tempted.
It's so hard to resist the thought of his sweet kiss.
Can't take much more of this, and I'm tempted.
Tempted and tried, deep down inside. I can't deny that I'm tempted."
Jakob grinned widely. "Good choice, lady," he murmured.
Damon saw she was looking right at him the whole time she sang. She was messing with him deliberately.
Jakob leaned over to Damon. "She has a really nice voice." Damon nodded, still listening intently. He could hear the nuances in her voice that he knew were meant for him. She finished the song, nodded to the crowd and went back to their table.
Jakob kissed her cheek. "Good job, girl! You're a good singer."
"Thanks. I'm not Ann Wilson, by any means, though. Wish I had her pipes."
"Well, not many people do, but you know how to interpret a song."
"Thanks, Jake. You're up, by the way."
"Oh! OK." He strolled to the stage, and Lindsey grinned. Every woman in the place was giving him lustful stares. His skintight jeans tended to provoke that reaction.
She looked over at Damon, a question on her face.
His eyes were smoldering. "That song was deliberate."
"What? I've always liked Marty Stuart. I bought the album when it came out."
"You know what I mean." Here, he scooted his chair close to her and put his arm around her shoulder. "But I liked it. A lot," he said in her ear, as he gave her earlobe a nip, making her shiver, and he chuckled in that sexy way.
Jakob's song started. "Oh, 'Kentucky Rain.' Probably my favorite late Elvis song," she said.
He started singing, "Seven lonely days, and a dozen towns ago, I reached out one night and you were gone..."
Lindsey's jaw dropped and she turned to Damon. "Oh, my gosh! He has an incredible voice! Wow!"
Damon nodded. "Yeah, he's always been able to sing."
She listened as he sang with a smooth, rich, mid-range tenor. Lindsey could read music and had a good ear, and he never wavered off pitch. What a voice. She looked at Damon. "Can you sing?"
He snorted. "Can't carry a tune in a bucket. Never could. Stefan has a pretty decent voice, but I don't. That's another thing Mother and I had in common. She couldn't sing, either."
Lindsey grinned. "Neither could my mom. But she could hear a sour note in a 200-voice choir."
Damon chuckled. "So can I, unfortunately."
When Jakob got back to the table, Lindsey shook her head at him. "You didn't tell me you were a ringer!"
"What d'you mean? I said I liked to sing," he said, his eyes twinkling.
"Yeah, but not that you were the best singer in the place! You're great!"
He grinned at her. "Thanks. I'm pretty good."
"Modest. Would you sing 'Amarillo by Morning' for me?"
"Sure. Great song. What's your next one?"
Damon leaned over. "Sing 'City of New Orleans' for me." He remembered her singing that song when he stepped into her dream.
Lindsey grinned. "All right." She handed Jakob her slip and he took it up to the host.
"I like that song," Damon said.
"I know. So do I." She reached to scratch his jawline and then slipped her hand in his hair and gently scratched the back of his head. He was thrumming in pleasure. He was so sexy, and his hair was so soft under her fingers. She just wanted to kiss him senseless in front of all these people.
Damon ended up having a much better time than he thought he would. He actually enjoyed seeing Lindsey sing, and being unself-conscious. She just sang. She and Jakob even sang a duet on the heartbreaking "Whiskey Lullaby," which made Damon remember why he didn't like country music – but he couldn't not love the way Lindsey's voice sounded as she sang. He had the strong feeling the song hit a deep chord for her.
As they said goodbye to Jakob, he looked at Damon. "Just this once," he said, and swept Lindsey into a breathless, passionate kiss. His mouth was sweet and delicious, and as he set her back on her feet, he said, "If you can't find Useless over here, and you need me, call me. I'll be there for you."
Lindsey put her hand on Jakob's face. "Thank you, Jake. You don't know how much I appreciate that."
"Safe travels, guys," he said, pressing one more kiss to Lindsey's forehead.
On the way home, Lindsey turned to Damon. "You know I'd rather be with you, right?"
"I know," he said, but his voice was distant.
She sighed. "I love you, Damon. Jake's a sweet guy, but I love you. I'm traveling the country with you, not staying put in Fort Worth with him, all right? I love you and want you."
"I'll be glad to show you back at the cottage. It isn't that late."
"I may take you up on that," he purred, as he glanced at her.
They were stopped at a light when the song "Magic Man" by Heart came on the radio. Lindsey loved the song and turned the volume up. "Come on home girl, he said with a smile. You don't have to love me, and let's get high a while, but try to understand... I'm a magic man," Lindsey sang. She glanced at Damon, who had an unmistakable smirk. The lyric, "Never seen eyes so blue" clicked into place, and she had a strong feeling she knew who had actually inspired the song. Let's see if her reporter skills could tease the real story out of a vampire as wily as Damon Salvatore.
"I love Heart, don't you? Ann Wilson has such an incredible voice. Jakob and I were talking about that tonight," she said.
"They're good. Yeah, she's got a great voice," he answered.
"They were doing a show in Seattle when I was there in 1991. Wish I could have gone to see them. Have you ever seen them in concert?"
"Couple of times."
"That's so cool. I'd love to see their show. Ann said she wrote 'Magic Man' about her first husband."
"Is that so?" he said.
Lindsey grinned in the dark; she could almost hear the disdain in his voice. "It is. She said it in an interview. Have you ever met them?"
"Yeah, at a party in L.A. They had done a few gigs, but hadn't done their first album yet."
"Wow. So did Ann really write that song for her husband?"
The streetlights showed shock on Damon's face. "How would I know?" he said, a little irritably.
"Because, listening to the lyrics, knowing you've met, I think she wrote it for you."
"How the HELL did you know that?" he squawked, to Lindsey's absolute delight.
"I didn't for sure, until just now. Oh, that's great," she said, giggling.
He smacked the steering wheel. "Dammit, you got me again." He glanced at her. "And you are so friggin' pleased with yourself. You are gonna regret it when we get back."
"Oooohhh. I'm scared," she teased. "Really, though. For real. It's perfect for you. I mean, it could be your theme song. It's you, up one side and down the other. It was a huge hit, defined them as a group. Why not own it if someone figures it out? Be proud of it. Patti Harrison was the subject of 'Something,' 'Layla' and 'Wonderful Tonight.' Own it. She does. I think it's beyond cool that I'm with the inspiration for that song. I mean, it's a sexy song! Why let it bother you?"
"You can't tell anyone."
"Of course not. Who'd believe me, anyway? But it was definitely meant to be your song. Still cool."
He finally laughed. "O.K. I concede that it is pretty cool that she wrote it for me."
"I can't blame her. Wish it hadn't been written already so I could do it, if I wrote songs, which I don't."
Once inside the cottage, Lindsey ran to the shower and locked the bathroom door before Damon could catch her and decide he needed to shower with her. Not that she minded, but she did want a tad of privacy occasionally. She knew Damon could get in if he really wanted to, but he did actually respect that her locking the door meant she wanted to be alone for a little while, at least. That, and he didn't want to pay for a new door. Or compel the owners to forget about it. This was easier.
She was brushing her hair out when she heard an impatient tapping on the door. "Lindsey, if you're not out of there in one minute..." he left the threat hanging in the air.
"Keep your hair on, Hot Stuff. I'd like to brush my teeth."
"I'm tired of being a gentleman tonight," he huffed.
"You poor thing. Why don't you do something useful, like get naked?"
Even Damon couldn't argue with that logic. "How naked?"
"Surprise me," she teased, and she tensed as she heard his low chuckle. It should be illegal for him to even exist, she thought. He was too sexy for this planet.
She slipped out of the bathroom and made sure the lights were off. She could make out Damon's form on the bed. "This naked enough for you?" he said.
She could see all he had on was his black shirt. "That'll work," she murmured.
"I'm so glad." He was lying on his stomach and she could see his absolutely perfect butt. A man should not have a rear end that looked like that. Period. She could see him turn over lazily, and his eyes widened at her nightgown.
"Where did that come from?"
"I bought it a couple of days ago while you were looking at something boring in the mall," she said. "You left me by myself and I went to Fredrick's of Hollywood and got into mischief."
"The hell you say," he said, getting off the bed and coming to stand in front of her. "Turn."
She did. She wore an ankle-length satin charmeuse gown in midnight blue. Like her shorter chemise, it had spaghetti straps and flowed to the hem. There were insets of sheer net that sliced through the satin at an angle, around her body. She ran her hands up his chest. "Like it?"
"Oh yeah. How did you get it past me, though?"
She laughed throatily. "I'm a woman, Damon. I have my ways."
"Apparently. Can't say I mind them."
"We all need a little surprise every now and then. You don't need to see everything I buy. Where's the suspense in that?" She kissed the hollow of his throat and scratched his scalp, making him hum in pleasure.
"I get the point. Any other surprises waiting for me?"
"If I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise, now would it?" she chuckled.
"Woman, you're trying my patience," he growled.
She kissed him. "You'll be all right." She backed him up to the bed and said, "Be a love and lie back, how about it?"
He did as she asked, seeing her feline grin in the darkness. She went to the side of the bed and started stroking the smooth skin on his stomach, feeling him twitch underneath her hand. She reached into the night stand drawer and took out a bottle. Damon saw it, but watched as Lindsey squeezed a drop of the liquid on her finger and tasted it. "Not bad," she said, and then quickly swiped a drop across Damon's lips. He licked his lips automatically, and his eyes widened at the intense cherry flavor and that something in the stuff made his lips and tongue feel warm.
"What is that?"
"You're darn tasty already, but this just makes things a little hotter. She moved down to drip some of the liquid on his member, and licked it to coat him in the lube. Suddenly, he felt the skin heat up several degrees, as she blew gently on his shaft, and then licked him again. She saw his toes actually curled in pleasure and she grinned. "Do you like that?"
"Hell, yes. Where did you get that stuff?"
"Fredrick's. Very well stocked store, I have to say." A little more lube, a little more licking. "Still feeling good?"
"Yeah," he grunted, hardly able to speak. He nearly came off the bed when she rubbed the lube on his testicles and blew on them. Whatever was in that stuff made him feel like his skin was sizzling, but her tongue soothed the burn into bliss. At least she didn't torment him, but she did proceed to give him what had to be the best oral sex he'd ever had – and that was saying something. He was growling as he climaxed, and then went limp. As she usually did, Lindsey bathed him with a warm damp cloth, which felt incredible after all the other stimulation. "Too good," he panted.
"Gotta take care of my man," she said smugly. "And I take pride in my work."
"As well you should, sugar." Damon was relaxed.
"I enjoy it," she chuckled.
"Apparently," he said, and taking her hand, pulled her to his chest. "Makes it nice to know you like it and you're not just doing it to please me."
"No, I like it," she said.
Damon grinned. It must be that she was an adult, but Lindsey was refreshingly not coy about telling him what she liked and didn't like. "I like this gown, too. It's like the other one. Slides across your skin. Very sexy."
Damon flipped them over so he was on top. He pushed up the hem of the gown and his fingers immediately found her center. "You are so damn wet for me."
"Only for you," she whispered, which made his shaft twitch again.
He dropped his mouth to her ear. "You hot thing. You are a bad, bad girl." He slipped two fingers inside her heat and started moving them. "Good girls wouldn't get turned on like this. You're a bad girl and you're horny for me all the time, aren't you?"
Lindsey nodded and Damon rumbled in his chest and kept up the X-rated commentary as he touched her. Finally, when he couldn't wait another second, he plunged inside her body and she met his hips with hers. Their climaxes were close together and Damon rolled them to their sides.
"You really are so hot, sweet lady," he murmured in her ear and drew Lindsey to him for a delectable kiss. Oh, what his mouth could do to a woman... She drifted to sleep in his arms, hearing him whisper "I love you" as she did.
Lindsey loved Denver, and the little towns nearby, like Georgetown and Breckenridge. They made their way to Nevada and went to Reno and Lake Tahoe, which was as beautiful as she'd always been told it was. They went on a catamaran cruise on the lake and as they stood at the railing, looking at the water, Lindsey turned to Damon. "I'm not ready for you to leave, but I am ready to go home."
He nodded. "Alabama, here we come."
As they pulled into the gravel driveway of her house, Lindsey looked up drowsily. "So good to be home," she said.
He looked at the old farmhouse, still well kept, and the big maple tree, with the leaves starting to turn orange, now. It was October, after all. They had been on the road since early July. Lindsey was dead on her feet, but she got up the steps of the porch and unlocked the door. As she stepped inside, she said, "What are you waiting for?" Damon was standing on the porch, not coming through the door.
"You have to invite me in," he said.
"Come on in, Damon. Please."
He grinned and stepped inside. The front hall was dim in the afternoon light, but there was an immediate peace that settled on him as he walked in. It was like this old house had been waiting on him and when he got inside, the house welcomed him in, too. It was a strange, if pleasant feeling.
Song credits: "Tempted" written by Marty Stuart and Paul Kennerly.
"Kentucky Rain," written by Eddie Rabbitt and Dick Heard
"City of New Orleans," written by Steve Goodman