I purposely didn’t tell Ara that I put a hold on the private pool, told the hotel I wanted to reserve it, didn’t want anyone else to have access to it, not the public, not even the employees.
No one knew I did that, except Cheryl, and only because I needed her help. She raised her eyebrows at me but didn’t say anything about my request. I think she was slowly beginning to accept what was eventually going to happen, I’m not sure if she liked it or not, but since she didn’t heckle me about it, I sure as hell didn’t say anything to her.
I was anxious to take Ara there, to let the water wash away the hustle and bustle of our busy day. It had been a whirlwind of activity; masses of people attended the I Heart Radio festival so I didn’t have much time to spend with Ara alone. She was there with me for the whole thing looking beautiful and so eager, which only fueled my want to be alone with her.
When it was my turn to perform, she stood at the side of the stage her eyes all bright and alive, waving her hands in the air to the music. My ego swelled at the sight of her, and I couldn’t stop grinning.
My performances were not that long, only a few minutes each, but when I sang Broken the audience went nuts, half were singing along, the others screaming wildly. I could hardly hear myself, even with my earpiece; it was so crazy, but definitely rewarding, and when I glanced over at Ara the smile on her face made this whole thing worthwhile.
After that, we both got swept up in the chaos backstage, running into more artists, reporters, and songwriters than I can remember, we were talking music and concerts and different venues. We all agreed on one thing though, how fast the night was going for all of us.
So after all that crazy winded down, my heart started begging again for some time alone with Ara, someplace where I could relax. Where I didn’t have to worry about the watchful eyes of Cheryl or anyone else.
It was close to midnight when we arrived back at our suite, Ara looked exhausted, but that happy glow still surrounded her.
“I hope I didn’t tire you out Miss Ara, would you like something to drink?” I wanted to keep her from heading to her room just yet. Didn’t want her to see what was lying on top of her bed.
“No thank you Jackson, I’m fine, not that tired, I’m still so wound up.” Her words played perfectly into what I was going to suggest next.
“I know what you mean, I’m a little tense myself.” I rubbed my upper arm near my shoulder, feigning soreness. “Sometimes holding that guitar all day can wear a man out.” My words instantly created worry in her eyes, and I pushed down that tiny twinge of guilt that threatened to invade my mind at what I was about to do.
“Are you okay? Does it hurt?” She took a few steps towards me stretching out her hand near my shoulder but hesitating in touching me.
“Just a little sore is all, hopefully I’ll be okay for the concert tomorrow,” I grabbed my hat off my head and tossed it casually over to the sofa, rubbing my shoulder again, “Usually a good soak in the hot tub does wonders, but there weren’t any more suites available with the hot tub.” I lied.
“Well, what about the hotel pool? Doesn’t it have a hot tub? Maybe you can use that one.” She was trying to take care of me, it made the guilt a little bit harder to swallow.
“Cheryl doesn’t like me using the hotel pools, she won’t let me go there unless I have someone with me, just in case I need them to send for security or something like that. I’ll just have to deal with the pain.” I shrugged turning around, avoiding looking into Ara’s eyes.
“I’ll go with you.” This time she touched the back of my shoulder gently, unaware of the jolt that ran down my spine at her touch, thinking I was merely flinching in pain, “It looks like it’s painful Jackson, let’s go the pool. I won’t leave your side. I didn’t bring a suit with me but I promise I’ll sit there with you.”
“That’s mighty nice of you, but I can’t let you do that Miss Ara. It’s not very gentlemanly of me to ask you to go to one of the most luxurious pools in Vegas and not be able to enjoy the water.” I turned around to face her, “Not fair of me to be able to relax while you have to sit there and watch. I’ll just deal with the pain, take a couple of Tylenol.” Now I really was feeling guilty, the look on her face, she was so concerned, her eyes bore into mine filled with worry, shaking her head no at me. I fought back against the guilt, going right to point to make this move along faster, “Oh, by the way Miss Ara, Cheryl called me earlier, said she dropped off a few new things for you. There’s a package on your bed I think. I’m just gonna grab a glass of water, let me know what she brought you.” I started walking away from her again.
It worked perfectly, she gave out this little sigh sound, spinning around, still muttering under her breath about how I needed to take care of myself and she wished I would just let her go, even without a suit.
I almost chuckled, almost.
When I heard her voice coming from her bedroom I knew she had opened that package, and I also knew what she found inside it too.
“Jackson! Jackson wait! You’ll never believe what Cheryl brought me! It’s a swimsuit! Well there’s all kinds of other things in there too, but there’s a swimsuit, a blue one!”
She was back, fluttering around the living room like a vibrant butterfly swinging that tiny, two-piece bikini, up around her head as she spoke, and I couldn’t wait to see it on her.
I noticed right away , his walk, he was slower to move around, and when I reached out and touched him, he flinched in pain.
It tortured me, to see him so hurt, so tired. If I had some kind of superhuman strength, I would’ve dragged him to the pool myself, never mind I didn’t even know where it was.
I nearly begged him to let me take him. I wanted to see his eyes bright and beautiful again, not tinged with ache.
But he was stubborn, something about being a gentleman, which I didn’t buy for one second. I gave up then, Jackson refused to budge, acting like a typical man saying he would just deal with it, not listening to a word I said.
I was on the verge of calling Cheryl; maybe she had a suit I could borrow. I wasn’t even thinking that her suits would most likely be too small; I was ready to squeeze into anything.
Still rubbing his shoulder, Jackson mentioned that Cheryl had been here already, leaving some stuff for me. I don’t even know what for, but I perked up when he said that, now I could go to my room and call her, I could pretend I was going to go see what she brought me, perfect excuse.
A large, white, simple shopping bag rested on my bed, near my pillows. I hadn’t the slightest clue what could be inside, but when I got closer, my eyes focused on the dark black lettering, the circling rope symbol around it.
Prada. It was a Prada shopping bag. With a small gasp I pulled open the white braided handles. I’d never set foot in one of their stores before but I knew whatever was in here was going to be so so expensive.
There was some kind of white sheer cover up or something, it had these tiny glistening pearl white beads near the neckline and a tie at the waist. I just tossed it on the bed thinking it was some kind of fancy lingerie that Cheryl was trying to get me into, but then I pulled out these heeled sandals, kinda like beach sandals, glamorous beach sandals.
That’s when I started to get excited. I bet Cheryl was planning on taking me back to the spa. She’d mentioned something about us maybe doing a mud bath or some other oddball beauty method that she’d done before. If luck was on my side hopefully there was a swimsuit in there.
There most definitely was.
Cheryl somehow managed to pick out the teeniest…tiniest…barely having any fabric swimsuit that I ever laid eyes on. I wouldn’t be caught dead in something so revealing, but I was still so full of worry about Jackson’s shoulder that I jumped back from my bed in a delighted bound, swimsuit in hand and made a beeline for the living room, anxious to show him what I had found.
Jackson was just as surprised as I was when I told him Cheryl brought me a swimsuit. I tried to explain that it probably was for our appointment at the spa the next day, but he was in so much pain he didn’t say much.
“Now we can go to the hot tub, you can relax your shoulder, it’ll make you feel better.” I thrust out the swimsuit towards him nodding my head.
“Are you sure Miss Ara? I don’t want to drag you anywhere if you’re tired.” Jackson eyed my suit quickly before resting his gaze on me.
I brushed him off with a wave of my hand, “Let me just go change. I’m lucky, there was a cover up in there too.”
“Uh, okay Miss Ara. I’ll grab my stuff, meet you back here in a couple of minutes.” He was still holding his shoulder but not rubbing it anymore. I hoped he was feeling a bit better. I knew the hot water would be a huge help.
Back in my room, my cheeks wouldn’t go back to their normal color. Standing in front of the mirror reality began sinking in. I was going to have to go parade myself like this in front of Jackson, wearing practically nothing. The cover up was a lie. It didn’t “cover up” anything, the material was so sheer you could see right through it, every inch of my skin was exposed. And those sandals, I felt a bit silly wearing them, they almost looked like heels, like something a model would wear on a runway.
I most definitely did not want to walk around a casino dressed like this. I paced a little bit, before I went back out into the living room. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to look Jackson in the eye in this getup. Cheryl was going to hear from me later, that’s for sure.
Taking a deep breath, I gave myself one last look in the mirror, wishing I didn’t have such a boyish figure, cursing my body for not having more curves or bigger boobs, at least my stomach was flat, that had to count for something right?
There was nothing to hide behind walking out into that living room, so I fixed my gaze onto one of those fancy hanging portraits that graced the fireplace and headed for the sofa. Maybe sitting down would hide some body parts better.
I don’t think I even made it five steps in. Jackson was already there, his bare back towards me. He was looking out the huge skyline window, the view all ablaze with flashing neon signs and twinkling Vegas lights.
I had to remind myself to keep breathing. The sight before me was breathtaking, and I’m not talking about the Vegas lights either. Every inch of Jackson’s bare back was rippling with pure muscle and flawless skin. He looked like a god, just pure heaven. But then he turned around, and I realized that I hadn’t been looking at heaven yet because heaven definitely had to be somewhere below his rib cage, somewhere where that beautiful skin stopped showing and his low slung swim trunks started…oh yeah…it was in there, all right.
He looked startled to see me, like he’d been daydreaming or something and I surprised him. He opened his mouth but didn’t say a thing; maybe he was still in too much pain.
“I don’t know what Cheryl was thinking.” I fumbled over my words trying to explain my clothing, or lack of it. “It was the only swimsuit in there though. I’ll definitely look for a one piece tomorrow.”
Jackson still didn’t say anything, just kept starring at me, seemingly frozen in place, that is, until he tilted his head a little bit. I’m sure I started to blush when I caught his eyes roving over my body, but hey, what could I say, I was just doing to same thing to his backside not two seconds ago.
“Do you think they’ll let us out dressed like this?” I started rambling again, saying anything that came to mind to avoid looking at those swim trunks, and what was hiding behind them. It was easy to see that Jackson was um…well endowed.
“What?” Jackson finally blinked, shifting awkwardly from foot to foot.
“This isn’t what I usually wear to go swimming.” I avoided his eyes starting to feel a little naked at the way he was starring at me.
“There’s no way I’m letting you out of this room wearing that.” Jackson’s voice was gruff; he blinked again, shaking his head. He walked over to one of the many hall closets and opened it up grabbing two big white fluffy robes with the hotel crest on them. “Here Miss Ara.” He kept himself at an arm’s distance, stretching his hand out and giving me the robe.
I hadn’t thought this through.
Didn’t think about the physical effect Ara’s presence was going to have on me.
She was taking forever and a day to come out of her bedroom. I almost came to the conclusion that she changed her mind, wasn’t going to come back. I stared out into the Vegas night sky, it was all lit up, didn’t matter that the clock already struck midnight, the party was just starting down there.
Apparently it was starting up here in my swim trunks too when Ara walked back into the room. I just held my breath, standing there looking at her.
She was a vision. An absolute stunning, near naked vision, and I willed my body not to betray me.
I don’t even know what she was telling me, she was talking but all I could see was this delicate, exquisite treat waiting to be devoured. The bikini I purchased, or had Cheryl purchase, was leaving nothing to the imagination, and the cover up didn’t hide one single curve that Ara possessed.
Her body was magnificent. Beyond gorgeous. Beautiful round breasts that swelled slightly, big enough to peek out from her bikini top yet not so huge that they spilled over. Her hips filled out her bottoms perfectly, and the blue color of the suit just sparkled against her light skin.
I shifted my feet, trying to hide my obvious turn on. My brain raced rapidly, torn between finding something to stand behind to hide my erection, and finding something to cover her up with, because there was no way I was letting her out of this room dressed like that.
She had the same idea, questioning if the casino allowed its guests to walk around in their swimsuits. I was betting they would when they got a glimpse of Ara’s body. That’s what jolted me from my stunned state and making me grab two robes from the hall closet, for the both of us. I didn’t want to get too close to her just yet, my blood was still rushing to places other than my brain, and I knew if I touched her, even just her hand, I’d probably explode.
She looked a bit self-conscious as she took the robe, but thanked me graciously, wrapping it around her body and hugging it tightly to her.
Once our robes were on I knew I had to get us out of that room or things were going to happen that I wasn’t going to have any control over. I ushered her out the door and over to the private elevator. We rode in silence, up to the highest floor. There wasn’t anything on this floor except the private pool, and you really had to pull some serious strings to reserve this pool because it was like walking into paradise.
I’d only been here one other time, years ago when Toby Keith hosted a party here. That was a wild night, booze, music and naked women. I think I lasted thirty minutes max before bowing out and heading back to my room.
The lights were low when we entered. There was a glass patio type setting that you first walked into. You had to move down further, along a small hallway before coming upon another door. That was the real door to the pool.
I managed to calm down a bit during that short walk, so when we reached the glass patio I reached for Ara’s hand, leading her down that hallway and over to the solid tan door.
I knew it would take her a minute to get over her surroundings. Her eyes were so wide they didn’t even blink. She took in the Olympic sized pool, the bubbling hot tub, the granite bar that took up an entire wall. Her hands fell limply to her side in disbelief when I pulled out two of the biggest, softest towels from this cherry wooden cabinet for us to use.
“Would you like to try the pool first? It’s heated.” I offered, giving her a small smile, shaking off my robe and tossing it over one of the white ceramic chairs.
“Umm…sure…if you want to.” Her voice still sounded stunned and her gaze fell to my chest, making me thank all that guitar playing I did that helped me stay in shape.
“Ladies first.” I waved my hand in front of her, gesturing at the wide steps that led right into the water.
Her eyes finally moved, following my hand and then back up to my face. Very slowly and carefully she untied her robe, not realizing the effect she was having on me, slipping out of her shoes at the same time.
I was trying not to grunt, but damn it was hard. She gave me one last self-conscious glance and then spun around heading for the pool steps.
“Oh, it’s so warm.” The water was right under her breasts and she closed her eyes in pure pleasure.
That made me groan.
Her eyes snapped open in worry at the sound, and she picked up her hand. “Is it hurting again?”
If only she knew where it really was hurting.
I waded into the water, moving up next to her, “Just a little. Not that bad.” I was using every bit of self-control I had not slide my hands around her waist.
“You like to swim?” she tilted that pretty little head to the side, those brown eyes watching me.
I nodded my head, “I love to swim. Been swimming since I was three years old. Had a creek a little ways behind my parents house, swam in there every chance I could.”
She smiled at me, bobbing a little in the water. It was making her breasts bounce, distracting me to no end.
“I love to swim too. My parent’s didn’t have a pool or anything, but every summer all the kids would hang out at the community pool. We had a lot of fun there.” Her hands floated back and forth in front her, making little ripples in the water.
“There’s a pool back at my house.” I tried to focus on her eyes, “I ought to take you there one day. I bet you’d like it.”
“I can’t even imagine being at your house.”
Ara’s eyes grew bright with wonder and I wished I could’ve shared with her how many times I already pictured her there, at my house, in my bed.
“When I get another couple of weeks off I’ll fly you out there. Show you around. Ever ride a horse Miss Ara?” I moved closer to her, in the water. It was a subconscious act, my body just couldn’t stay away, it wanted to feel her heat.
“A horse? No. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen a real live horse before.” She was bouncing more now and my hands were reaching for her, stretching out. I tried hard to control it, snapping out of it at the last minute and rubbing my own shoulder to keep my hands busy.
She eyed me worriedly and then glanced over to the hot tub. “Come on Jackson, let’s go over to the hot tub now. Did I ever tell you I can give a really mean massage? I used give my dad massages all the time, and when I want to, I can make a grown man cry.”
Fuck, she was teasing but it was affecting me all over again, making me shift in the water, trying to adjust myself without being noticed. I just followed her out, not being able to say anything, swallowing hard when her perfectly round, wet bottom came into view as she exited the pool.
Inside the hot tub she gestured me to sit in front of her, sitting herself on the higher step so that once again her breasts were right above the water.
I figure it would help calm my body down not facing her, but I was wrong, there would be no calming down for me. She slid those soft hands up my back and over my shoulders, her fingers making small circles on my skin. It felt heavenly, and it was all I could do not to gasp out loud.
“Try to relax.” Her voice was warm and soft in my ear, “I can feel how tense you are, it must really hurt.”
I just hung my head down and closed my eyes, giving in to that voice, to those hands. She was like magic, moving her fingertips up the back of my neck, behind my ears, and down my shoulders over and over again, making these little humming noises as she worked.
It sent my imagination into overdrive and all I could see behind my closed eyes was her underneath me, humming in pleasure as I explored every inch of that glorious body, thrusting into her over and over again. It made me so hard I wasn’t even trying to hide it anymore. Luckily she couldn’t see it from where she sat.
The minutes ticked by and neither of us said another word, we didn’t have to. The silence between us was so charged and full, it traveled through me like a thousand streams.
I nearly jumped out of my skin when her hands slipped up over my shoulders past my neck and sliding down the front of my chest. She had to lean forward to do that and I could feel her breasts rubbing up and down on my back.
That made me groan out loud, and practically come.
“Am I hurting you?” she whispered, sliding her hands back up to my shoulders.
I just shook my head slowly, “No,” that was all I could grunt out; my hands were gripping that cement step with all my strength, my body straining painfully against my trunks.
She didn’t move her body away. It stayed pressed up against my back, the water bubbling up between us.
“Does it feel good?” she whispered again letting her nails scrape slightly along my skin, making me suck in my breath.
“Yes Ma’am…” I murmured as her hands traveled back up my neck and into my hair. I wouldn’t let myself open my eyes, I knew if I did, the little control I had left would be gone.
She kept working on me, taking me to new heights with every stroke, every touch, and all I could do was sit there with my head down, trying to keep my heart in check.
I could feel her breasts bounce and slide along my back as she moved, feel her legs and thighs graze my arms whenever she shifted her body. My brain buzzed with desire and my body throbbed with need, I didn’t want to wait any longer.
“Okay,” Ara’s soft voice broke the silence between us, “How do you feel now? Better?” Her hands dropped away from my shoulders, she was waiting for an answer.
I finally lifted my head; thankful the water was helping hold up my shaking body, and turned around to face her.
I’m sure she could see it all over my face. I wasn’t trying to hide it, my eyes were hooded and dark, my breathing heavy. She was looking back at me almost the same way, pressing those perfect pink lips together tightly.
“Thank you.” I half grumbled, my voice dripping with desire, and I leaned into her, my hands reaching out and gripping the back of the step she was leaning against. The tips of her breasts teased my chest and I felt her hands slide up my arms.
Her eyes grew wide and her mouth opened. It welcomed me in, the warmth of her body, the feel of her hands, I couldn’t wait to touch her, to taste her, to make love to her.
She turned her head at the last second, squeezing her eyes shut with small gasp-like sob. That sound shook me right to my core, thundered in my ears. My lips rested against the soft skin of her cheek, guilt and despair coursing through me. We didn’t move for a second, just stayed frozen that way our hearts and souls touching but miles apart at the same time. I just kept taking in these big breaths of air, struggling to apologize, and trying to control the remorse.
“I’m sorry.” Her voice cracked, she hadn’t opened her eyes.
Her apology jolted me from my wretched state, and I pushed back with my hands, careful not to touch her.
“No.” I answered forcefully, trying to get her to look at me. “Ara. No. You shouldn’t be sorry. I should be sorry. I am sorry.”
“It was my fault.” she shook her head, looking at me finally with wounded eyes, “I mean the way I was…the way I’m dressed.” her voice trailed off.
"No baby,” I whispered, her words just caused my heart to ache further, “It’s not your fault. You didn’t do anything wrong. It’s all me, I take all the blame.” She just kept shaking her head at me, probably not listening to anything I was saying, and I knew that I would never try to do something like this to her again.
I was being greedy. Enjoying this too much. Jackson’s skin felt so hot underneath my fingers. I let my hands roam over every hard muscle, every groove and dip, touching the back of his neck and even letting my fingers tangle in his hair.
He just grunted and groaned, it fueled me, excited me, made me want more. I could already feel my own body respond to his verbal pleasure, my breasts grew hard, crying out for attention, and that burning warmth flooded between my legs, making me wish I could grind my thighs together to ease the ache.
I even teased him,or tried to. I didn’t know if it worked or not, but I pressed my breasts to his back, letting my hands run down his chest, using that as my unspoken excuse, trying to release some of that thirst I had for him.
And he let me, let me do whatever I wanted, just closed his eyes, hanging his head down giving me silent permission.
Oh, how I wanted this man. I just didn’t want to touch him on the outside, I wanted to capture his heart too. Make him want me the same way I wanted him. That little voice inside me kept telling me this wasn’t just lust, but I was so afraid that’s all it was for him.
I might be with him now, but I wasn’t his wife. I was somebody else’s wife, and when he turned around to face me his eyes dark with desire, it was like a slap in the face, that none of this would ever be permanent, that I would always have to leave, and her would be with her.
This kiss would’ve been real. We wouldn’t be able to say we were just acting, that it was all for a video, no, it would’ve been real, and there would be no denying it later. No denying it to each other, no denying it to our spouses.
I guess that’s what tore the sob out of me, and the apology. I should have never allowed myself to be put into this situation, should never have allowed him to get so close. It was my fault, all of it.
I could only look into those beautiful green eyes filled with anguish and ask him to forgive me. Couldn’t blame him if he didn’t. Wondering if he was going let me leave this time and not want me back.
He held out his hand to me, to help me out of the water, and I let him, let him slip the robe over my shoulders too.
And it tore at me, all night long, that this amazing man still treated me with nothing but gentleness, kindness, even when I threw it in his face.
The thought made me toss and turn all night long, giving me no rest, no peace.
When daylight finally peeked through the curtains I made my way into the living room, trying not to relive the night before, straining my ears for the slightest sound coming from his side of the suite, there was none.
I wondered if Cheryl was still planning to take me to the spa, or if my visit to Vegas was suddenly going to be cut short.
I didn’t have much time to ponder over that because it was Cheryl who knocked on the door.
“Ara.” Her voice held worry, “How are you this morning? Did Jackson tell you he left?”
“He left?” A large lump formed in my throat at her words, I shook my head, “I haven’t seen him since last night.”
Cheryl glanced around the room uneasily. “Ugh! I don’t know how to tell you this,” she shook her head at me, clearly upset, “He isn’t coming back here, at least not today. I got a call early this morning at some godforsaken hour. I had to wake him up and get him out of here. His concert is tonight.” she just kept shaking her head at me.
“He doesn’t have to go.” I picked up my hand stopping her from telling me what I already knew, “I’ll go Cheryl, I can catch a plane right now. Tell him to come back, I won’t bother him anymore, I promise.”
Cheryl just starred at me, confusion tinting her eyes. She shook her head rapidly at me making this little humph sound. “What are you talking about Ara? Where will you go? Jackson would kill me if he thought I made you go anywhere.”
Her words just sent a circle of turmoil to my already hurting heart. “Tell him I’m sorry, and that it was my fault.”
Cheryl wrinkled her nose at me, “But it’s not your fault. What makes you think it’s your fault that Layla’s here?”
I could only stare at her, my entire body flooding with shock, shock and apprehension, “What did you say?” I tried to stop my hands from trembling but they had a mind of their own.
Cheryl was already suspecting that we’d been talking about two different things. “What happened last night Ara? Both you and Jackson looked perfectly happy at the I Heart Radio concert. Did something happen after? Jackson looked pretty distraught this morning when I dragged him out of here, and that was before I told him Layla was here. He told me to make sure you were okay, to not let you leave.”
I spun around, not wanting Cheryl to see the tears that threatened to fall, “Nothing happened, we didn’t do anything. We’re…we’re fine.”
Cheryl didn’t say a word, at least not until I turned back around to face her, she just closed her eyes and took a deep breath, then looked straight at me, ” Well whatever you didn’t do, it affected him as well, and I guess that’s none of my business, but now that Layla’s here I have to make it my business. Jackson’s back at his bus, well actually he’s at rehearsal.” Cheryl shook her head a little, “I don’t know why Layla is here yet. Her plane touched down a while ago but she’s yet to show up, she’s probably out shopping or something. In either case, I’m here to let you know that, so most likely, she’ll be backstage at the concert tonight, and if she decides to stay, she be with him for the rest of the festival.”
I didn’t know what to say, how to react, this was all spinning out of control and going way to fast for me. I just let Cheryl take total control, and she did, helping me get dressed, reassuring me that we were still going to the spa, telling me with a hint of animosity in her voice not to worry about Layla, she would make sure I looked stunning tonight, and I got the feeling that Cheryl didn’t like Layla, and I was already pretty sure I wasn’t going to either.
Vegas was nothing like I imagined it would be…