Authors: Kristy Kay
“I didn’t hurt you did I?” I frowned. Pain was nowhere in that equation. “Your head, I tried not to jerk your head too much.”
I burst out laughing. I couldn’t help it. I giggled until tears were rolling down my cheeks. He smiled down at me curiously, given me the,
you are a mad woman but I find you adorable
“No Daniel, you didn’t hurt me. The complete opposite as a matter of fact.” I reached up and kissed him softly on the mouth. “You can do that to me anytime you want.”
He grinned up at me, then brought me back for another kiss. This one a deeper, soul wrenching, desire stoking kiss, the kind that touched all the right places without him having to touch me anywhere else. He smacked my butt through my skirt and sat up. He went to the closet and quickly pulled on fresh clothes, pair of worn jeans and a simple black tee followed by a blue hoodie.
“I have to feed you now. Do you want to eat in or do you feel like going downstairs?” I looked down at my wrinkled and abused clothes, grinning at how rumpled I looked. Just as I was about to answer another knock sounded on the door. Me and Daniel looked at each other, both raising our eyebrows in question. He moved quickly to the door, looking through the peephole. His face broke into a wide grin before he flung the door back, stepping aside before the whirlwind that was waiting in the hall could bowl him over.
“Momma! I was so scared. Tyler came home and told me to wait an hour or two than bring you some clothes and things. Are you okay?” Lily flung herself at her mother who grabbed a hold of her daughter before she could knock them both off the bed. I closed the door then leaned back to watch them. Lily was always full of so much energy and exuberance. I was always amazed at how well Kathryn handled her. Right now Lily was inspecting her mother like a trained doctor, searching for any sign of the debilitating pain that she had been in just an hour before.
At the memory I pushed away from the door, frowning. That was still something Kathryn and I were going to discuss. I moved out onto the balcony to give mother and daughter a little bit of space. A few minutes later Lily came to stand beside me where I was watching the people of New York moving around, going about their hurried business. I had never been in a city with so much movement, so much going on that it never stopped, no matter what time it was there always someone awake in this city, doing something.
“Momma is going to take a shower then she said we could go grab some lunch.” I nodded as I turned to the beautiful young woman beside me. I had met her nearly six months ago in Paris, two days before I made love to Kathryn for the first time. She looked so much like her mother it made my heart ache. Except the blonde hair and the miles of pain in Kathryn’s eyes that thankfully was absent in Lily’s the two women could be twins. Lily looked up at me and I saw the intelligence, the sharpness that a lot of people overlooked because her undeniable beauty. “You really do love her don’t you?”
“With my whole heart yes.”
“More than those other women, more than the woman you married before?” It was stated more as fact but sounded like a question so I went ahead and answered.
“Lynn was a mistake. I thought I loved her, I thought I was ready for marriage and kids and everything. I knew my career was taking off but I was arrogant enough to think I could do it all. I could juggle everything and make everything work, even if it hadn’t turned out that Lynn was a liar,” I rubbed my hands on the back of my neck and smiled sheepishly at her. “I was wrong. The only person who could have done that would have been your mother.”
Lily smiled and nodded. She turned back to the railing and we watched the people below for a few more minutes together in companionable silence. I loved Kathryn’s kids as much as I loved her. They opened my eyes to possibilities I didn’t know existed, reminding me of the joys long forgotten, brought laughter and hope back into my life, even the prickly Tyler. I put an arm around Lily’s shoulders, pulling her into my side. She placed her head on my shoulder, wrapping her arms around my waist, as comfortable with me as she was with her mother and her brother. I kissed the top of her head enjoying having her here, even if it was just waiting for her mom and people watching with me.
I walked out after taking a long warm shower making sure to wash every ounce of my body, shave any unwanted hair, rinsing the last bit of lingering pain and sweat from Daniel’s passionate appetite from my skin. I left my hair down the way he liked, just towel dried it as much as I could adding some extra conditioner to the wavy length, throwing some moisturizer on my face, and lotion on my legs before pulling on the comfortable jeans and v neck sweater that Lily had brought me. Thankful she had been thoughtful enough to make sure I had everything I needed including my favorite lotion and razor. She even remembered to grab me my favorite pair of boots so I didn’t have to wear the heels from last night.
I walked into the bedroom then followed the sound of girlish giggling and male laughter to the balcony where I found Lily and Daniel standing at the railing commenting on the people who were walking on the sidewalk down below.
“Well I do believe we have a winner Lily, that gentleman right there in the burgundy tight pants, lime green tee and red suspenders.” Lily went up on her tiptoes to follow where he was pointing then fell back in a peal of laughter.
“Is that an actual top hat and was that a bow tie? An actual bowtie?” She bent over, clutching her sides as if her mirth was going to bust right out of her. Daniel looked down at her, his own laughter ringing out across the open space. I stopped, speechless. Daniel was looking at Lily just like her own father had so many years ago, with such affection and love that it just seemed to make him glow with it. I gasped as tears filled my eyes, spilling over before I could stop it. They both stopped, turning towards me, alarm and fear chasing all the joy from their faces. Lily was the first to run across the room to fling herself at me but Daniel was right behind her, his eyes searching mine.
“Momma are you okay? Do you need more medicine?” I shook my head as I looked at them, these two people who I loved more than anything else in this life. That realization about drove me to my knees, I gasped again and sat shakily on the nearest object that happened to be one of the lounge chairs. Daniel came and knelt in front of me, Lily kneeling beside him.
“Kathryn what’s wrong? Please let us know what we can do.” His Irish brogue was thick with his worry as he searched my face for any sign of pain. I placed a shaking hand on his cheek, feeling the roughness of his beard, the other hand I placed on Lily’s face. I smiled down at them both.
“I am fine.” My eyes still shone with unshed tears so they glanced at each other then back at me, clearly not believing a word I was saying. I laughed. “Truly I am fine. I am hungry though. Can we go eat?”
How quickly they rushed to their feet made me laugh again and shake my head. “I am not dying you two. It’s just a headache. Lily you have been dealing with me having them all your life. This is nothing you haven’t seen and dealt with before. Daniel,” I reached up again resting my hand against his cheek, going on my tiptoes so I could press a kiss against his mouth. “This is something you will have to deal with the rest of yours as well. So get used it.”
I grabbed the small medicine case inside the larger bag just in case and threw it in my purse that was flung on the table by the door as we had come in last night. I threw it over my shoulder then opened the door and walked through it, only then noticing I wasn’t being followed. I stopped and turned back, looking around the door into the sitting room where Lily and Daniel still stood. Lily’s mouth was hanging open and while Daniel was slightly more self-contained I still had to giggle at the look on his face.
“Seriously guys, I am starting to feel a little faint and dizzy here, really need to get something to eat.” That spurred them into action. Lily grabbed her small purse that she had dropped off when she had come in, Daniel grabbing his room key from the dish on the table by where my purse had been and shoved it in his jeans pocket. Before I could turn and exit the room, Daniel grabbed me around the waist pulling me tightly against him, slamming his mouth against mine, kissing me until my toes curled in the boots I wore and my mind started thinking of the inviting bed behind him. He groaned when he pulled back and saw the look in my eyes.
“You are killing me, Kathryn. Stop giving me the fuck me now eyes or Lily is going to have a crash course in the meaning of socks on the door.” I giggled like a little girl as I turned and hurried to catch up with my daughter while Daniel made sure the door was shut behind us. Lily’s bodyguard, Nathaniel was waiting patiently by the elevators and I smiled over at him.
“I am glad to see you feeling better Ms. James.”
“Thank you, Nathaniel. You didn’t have trouble keeping up with this scamp did you?” He grinned even more and shook his head.
“No ma’am. I have learned to walk pretty fast since I have been watching her.” Lily rolled her eyes and pouted which made us all crack up with laughter and even Nathaniel chuckled a little. He held the elevator doors at the lobby until we all excited then followed behind slowly, keeping a watchful eye as we walked to the restaurant. Daniel insisted that he join us inside the restaurant for lunch and he reluctantly agreed, better to keep an eye on Lily anyway.
Lily had been glancing over at me with a weird look all the way down the street and into the restaurant. Finally while Daniel went to secure a table, I turned to my daughter. “Okay out with it. What’s up?” She looked from me to Daniel who was speaking to the hostess and over to where Nathaniel was looking at each patron, searching for a threat.
“He loves you. It’s pretty obvious.” Then she turned and looked up at me. “What I didn’t realize is how much you love him as well. I always thought you were so easy to read, you never kept anything inside. But you do don’t you?”
I hugged my daughter tightly. “I love him very much, but to be honest I just now realized that myself. It’s hard to let go and let yourself feel that way again.” She hugged me back just as tightly.
“I know momma.” She stepped back and started laughing. “Tyler is so not going to like this. He thinks Daniel is a womanizing jackass with no manners and more arrogance than he rightly deserves to have.”
“Please tell me that was a paraphrase and not word for word.” We turned towards the drawl tone, my eyes closing briefly before they meet the curious blue eyes of my Irish man. Lily started giggling and placed her hand over her mouth. “I prefer being an arrogant asshole with more women than I rightly deserve to have.”
I smacked his arm as we all started laughing.
“Don’t worry about Tyler, Lily, he will come around. Eventually. Hopefully.” She raised her eyebrow at me, a gesture so like her father and brother but didn’t say another word as the hostess led us to our table.
We had a lunch full of laughter and joking, even getting Nathaniel to let down his guard enough to join in. He was twenty-five, had spent six years in the marines, he had then got out and was recruited by Josh, his ex-commander for private security. He was a handsome young man with dark brown hair and watchful green eyes that even relaxed never missed a thing. I felt secure in the knowledge he would stop at nothing to keep Lily safe from whatever threat may be out there.
After lunch Lily had to go home and rehearse for the scenes she was supposed to do this week so I handed her off to Nathaniel, watching as they walked away towards the townhouse. Daniel wrapped his arm around my shoulder and pulled me in close to him. I wrapped my arm around his waist and heard him sigh deeply.
“She is in good hands with that one.”
I nodded then turned and looked up at him. “I know. Want to take me for a ride on that motorcycle of yours?” He grinned down at me, then grabbed my hand and started pulling me back to the hotel making me laugh at his eagerness. Oh how I loved this man.
I pulled her back down the few blocks to the hotel, heading straight to the garage before I stopped and turned back to her.
“Is that sweater warm enough?”
She shook her head, a look of pure disappointment shadowing her pretty face. I leaned down and kissed her softly, grabbing her big purse.
“Stay right here.”
I left her standing in the lobby by the check in desk, taking the elevator up to my room, dropped her purse by the bed and grabbing my leather jacket out of the closet along with a heavier sweater for myself. I rode the elevator back down the lobby and found Kathryn conversing with the concierge while she waited. I noticed the way he was watching her smile and how his eyes worked their way down her body when she turned towards me. I pulled her in close and glared at him over her head until he turned his head away. I held the leather jacket out for her to slip her arms into then pulled her in close for a kiss that left me wanting more. Before I threw her against the wall right there in the lobby I pulled away and rested my forehead against hers.
She bit her bottom lip and nodded.
“Then let me take you for the ride of your life.”
She grinned up at me, her eyes sparkling mischievously. “I thought you had already done that last night.” I moaned and she laughed as she stepped back and grabbed my hand. “Come on big boy. Let’s go play with your toy.”
She smirked over her shoulder when I growled at her. It was her turn to pull me towards the car garage. I watched her walk ahead of me, captivated by the way her hips swayed gently in her jeans. I felt my jeans getting snug as we finally hit the garage. I walked us over to my bike. I helped her put the helmet on over her head, kissing her nose before I closed the visor. Then I put my own on. I sat on the bike, kick starting it before holding out my hand to her. She slid on deftly like she had been doing it all her life. Wrapping her legs and arms around me without needing to be asked.
“This is as close to heaven as it will ever get, your arms and legs around me my grá. Don’t ever let go!” I spoke softly threw the speakers in the helmets but I knew she heard me. She tightened her arms slightly and laid her head on my back as I pulled out of the garage, waving to the attendant as I passed.
I took her through the city, without any destination in mind. Just enjoying the brisk fall air, the gorgeous colors of the trees turning colors, and the feel of Kathryn’s arms wrapped around me. I circled Central Park a few times, and up and down the streets of New York. When the sun started heading towards the horizon and the air got even colder I headed back to the hotel. I waved to the new attendant as I pulled into the garage, parked in a spot near the elevators, and then turned the bike off. I helped her climb off before I leaned the bike on its stand. I stood quickly when she wobbled, her legs weren’t used to being astride for as long as she was. I pulled my helmet off, and then helped her pull hers off before I wrapped my arms around her.