December 19, 2001
“Let’s go, Rich!” Jon was cold and anxious to get their car from the onsite garage at the airstrip, and get to the vineyard before dark.
Richie was just being adorable Richie and thanking the pilot and staff individually for their safe flight over from New Jersey.
“Sorry Jonny,” the tall brunette came down the stairs with his ever present leather portfolio bouncing off his hip. “Damn! It’s cold out here! How come you didn’t get the car?”
“Didn’t think you’d take this long!” Jon grumbled.
He was tired from the usual stress of getting their latest album out to the public; he mentally shook his head thinking he’d be used to the business side of album releases by now, but it still made him edgy. Then Bernard had vaguely said that there’d been a few changes at the vineyard which he was anxious to see.
So he made the conscious decision to take a break over Christmas so that he and Richie could get away for a while. He also arranged for Marta and Bernard to go and visit with their son for the two weeks.
Since being with Richie, Jon had learned the importance of breaks and of taking weekends off- sometimes long weekends and even national holidays. It rejuvenated him and everyone in the band and especially his and Richie’s relationship. He would still consider himself a workaholic, but not like before. Richie was so good for him.
“I’m sorry, baby,” Richie apologised again. “I’ll pack the car while you get warm inside.”
He opened the garage door and drove out, making sure the heater was running. He quickly packed the few small bags they had as Jon climbed into the driver’s seat and warmed his hands in front of the vents.
“You okay, babe?” he asked Jon after he’d closed the passenger door. He was concerned with Jon’s sullenness.
“Just a gut feeling I’m getting and it’s making me kinda jumpy, I guess,” Jon sighed and he set the car in motion, heading out of the lot toward their home. This was more their home now than their houses back in the US in his mind, and he couldn’t wait to get back.
“What did Bernard say that’s got you worried? He never mentioned anything to me when I spoke to him the other day.”
“You spoke to him?”
“Yeah, Marta wanted to know how much food to stock in the house and if there was anything special we might want for Christmas day.” Richie explained, “I told them not to worry too much as I thought we’d take care of that ourselves being our first Christmas in our home.”
“Ahh baby, you know exactly the right things to say!” Jon reached for Richie's hand and kissed the back of it as he drove along. “I’m sorry I was being a cranky fuck back there. Forgive me?”
“Always Jonny, you know that,” he said and squeezed Jon’s hand.
They drove the rest of the journey in an easy silence, commenting on the changes to the countryside in just a couple of months. Passing through the township, he and Richie were delightfully surprised how pretty the town looked with the night Christmas markets getting ready to open. Richie considered bringing Jon back here tonight once he’d seen that everything at the vineyard was okay.
They finally turned off the main road and followed the rough unpaved pathway down to the vineyard’s buildings. Jon tooted the horn as they drove past the older couple’s cottage to let Bernard and Marta know that they’d arrived, before parking in their spot close to the main house.
Jon sat in silence for a moment as Richie started to get out.
“What’s up, babe?” Richie watched his partner’s forehead crease. “Still got that feeling?”
“Something’s missing-” he trailed off before being startled by Bernard rapping on the window.
The thought was temporarily forgotten as greetings were exchanged with their overseers.
“Bernard, you said there’d been some changes around here?” Jon asked as he cast his eyes around quickly. “I can’t wait to see what it is; everything looks about the same.”
Jon spun on his heels when he heard a happy woof coming from the pathway. He now knew what had been missing moments ago and a sense of peace slowly seeped through him only to be quickly followed by surprise. A very fat, very obviously pregnant Pepper slowly trotted up to greet her favourite human.
“Pepper! I told you to stay inside, you silly dog!” Marta scolded. “Well this is the major change.”
“It seems the neighbour’s dog went roaming one night, unknown by all involved except this one,” Bernard continued, indicating the dog. “We would have expected her to have had them by now, but seems she’s been waiting on something.”
“Or someone,” Marta smiled and winked at Richie who grinned knowingly back.
“I’m sorry, but you boys will be on puppy watch while we’re gone,” Marta said. “Come! We go inside where it’s warm to discuss this. Mama needs her warmth.” She looped her arm around Richie and Jon’s waists and urged them forward into the main house.
Jon was still in a bit of a daze; he didn’t know what he was expecting but he was sure it wasn’t this. What did he know about dogs? What did he know about dogs giving birth to puppies?
Marta bustled everyone inside and set to warming the soup she’d prepared as the boys took their bags upstairs and freshened up.
“I hope you don’t mind but I thought we’d eat here at the main house tonight?” Marta asked. “I’ve stocked your kitchen with the basics, as you asked, Richie dear.”
“Not a problem,” Richie said as he came back into the room. “Smells amazing as usual, Marta, thank you!” He kissed her on the top of the head and gave her a hug, just as he would his mother.
Jon came down next and quickly saw that Pepper had taken up a spot in front of the fire, her belly huge.
Bernard put a drink in his hand, shaking him out of his reverie. “Here, son, you look like you could use this,” the older man said. “I know I should have said something on the phone the other day, but we were expecting the pups to come last week!”
“It’s okay, really! I’m stunned, is all,” Jon replied. “I had a feeling something was different as soon as we pulled up but couldn’t think of what it was. It was Pepper not jumping in my lap as soon as we stopped the car.” Both men chuckled at the statement.
“We will give you all the details for the vet in town and any instructions you need before we leave tomorrow.” Bernard said to him. “And thank you, both of you, for letting us use your plane for our trip! I've never been on a private plane.”
“It's our pleasure,” Jon said. “It’s two-fold really. You get to see your son over Christmas and we have the place to ourselves.” He shrugged a little shyly at Bernard’s grin.
“Ahh we’ll be out of your hair early tonight, since we have an early flight tomorrow,” Bernard said. “You should be all set with everything. There's plenty of firewood and blankets and there is snow in the forecast all week. Perfect for amore in front of the fireplace.” He grinned and Jon blushed.
They were called to the table to eat and the four dined on the hearty soup and crusty bread before the older couple bade an early night.
“Come Pepper!” Bernard said as they readied to leave.
“She can stay. She looks too comfortable to move,” Richie said, looking to Jon for confirmation.
“You spoil her. She usually sleeps in the barn,” Marta said, gently patting Jon’s cheek in admonishment, softened with a wink. Jon gave Marta a bashful grin and hugged her goodnight.
They closed the door on the departing couple, and Jon melted into Richie arms for a hug.
“So- we’re going to be parents?” Richie chuckled into Jon’s hair.
“Haha! I guess so.” Jon said. “Not exactly the way I planned it, though.” He felt Richie stiffen in his arms.
“You- you want to have a baby?” Richie asked incredulously. He pulled back out of Jon’s arms slightly to look at him, searching his eyes earnestly.
“Um well, maybe, one day, yeah sure, I guess,” Jon stammered out. “What about you?”
Richie’s answer was to crush him in his arms and sear his mouth with a kiss. When they finally broke apart, Richie had to clear his throat before he was able to talk.
“I- ah- I had hoped that one day I’d work up the courage to ask that question,” Richie said. “But I guess Pepper helped out with that. Remind me to buy her a steak as a thank you!”
“Ha, okay,” Jon agreed, his heart still hammering hard.
“It’s okay, Jonny. It’s a major decision and a conversation for further down the road.” Richie kissed Jon’s wrinkled forehead, knowing exactly where his thoughts were heading. “I’m not going to try and get you pregnant tonight!”
“Funny, Sambora!” he replied as he slipped away from Richie to sit on the sofa in front of the fire. “We could still have fun trying, right?”
“Anywhere, anytime, baby,” Richie said lovingly, sitting down beside Jon and facing him. He linked their fingers along the back of the couch, and grazed his thumb over Jon’s in a soothing motion. “Do you feel up to going out tonight? I thought I’d take you into town for a couple of hours? We could walk around through the markets?”
“No, not tonight,” he said resting his head on his own shoulder, gazing at his lover with a small smile playing on his lips. “I don’t want to share you with anyone else tonight. We can do that tomorrow night. Can we just savour this moment for a little longer?”
“The moment we both acknowledged that we want to become parents? Absolutely! Come here.” Richie scooted into the corner of the sofa and patted his lap, indicating for Jon to come closer.
Jon got to his knees and threw one over Richie’s thighs to sit on his lap facing him. Richie cupped Jon’s face in his hands and drew him close for a chaste kiss.
“Sweetheart, can I tell you a dream I had recently?” Richie asked.
“Sure,” Jon chuckled, trying to lighten the mood slightly. “Was it a dirty one?”
“No, but you were in it.” Richie tugged on a strand of Jon’s hair gently before continuing his story. “I dreamed that we came back here one summer, maybe three or five years from now, I don’t know when. We were laughing as we were getting out of the car. You opened the back door and half climbed in. At first I thought you were just getting bags out of the back seat, but when you stood up you had the prettiest little baby girl in your arms. She was blonde and would have been about 18 months old, I guess. She had her little arms wrapped around your neck and her head on your shoulder as she was a little sleepy still from the car ride.”
Richie had to swallow hard and blink away the tears that had formed in his eyes at the memory of the dream. He hadn’t dared to look at Jon at all while he was telling the story, otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to continue.
“I saw myself walk around to you both and say, ‘Welcome home, little one,’ before kissing her cheek, then your mouth. She wrapped her closest arm around my neck too and called me ‘Papa’ before climbing into my arms.”
“Oh Rich-” Jon choked out.
“Jonny, it was the most beautiful dream. I didn’t want to wake up from it. I etched it into my memory before it disappeared.” Richie’s voice broke slightly, “That’s when I knew what I wanted.”
“A child, a little girl?” Jon asked quietly.
“Uh huh,” Richie nodded, still choked up.
“When we got together, I thought we would miss out on that,” Jon admitted. “Since we’re both-” he paused, “but- yeah.”
“We can,” Richie reassured him. “We can have lots of kids. We can create the life we want.”
“One stipulation though! I want her to have your eyes, Rich.” Jon sighed, “So that she sees the love and beauty in the world that you do. I lose myself in your eyes every time you look at me, baby.”
“Jonny, I-” Richie started to say before Jon kissed him.
“I know, me too,” Jon said quietly. “Now shut up and kiss me again!”
“Mmm okay,” Richie murmured before submitting to Jon’s talented mouth again.
Richie squirmed down into the cushions further and hooked his fingers into the belt loops of Jon’s trousers to bring him closer. He then set to work on teasing the soft skin just above those belt loops, making his way around to the button barely holding in Jon’s growing erection.
When he popped the first one and teased the V it revealed, Jon growled lustfully. He straightened enough to pull his shirt off and saw the spark of lust it incited in Richie’s eyes. He reached down and unzipped his own pants, freeing himself from the confines of the fabric.
Richie reached for Jon again, pulled him down on top of him and ran his hands over the newly exposed warm skin of his back. He slipped his hands inside the loosened waistband to cup each cheek in his hands, kneading the muscles into submission and his fingernails scraping the soft skin. They’d been so careful not to mark each other early in their relationship, but those restrictions flew out the window at Tico’s place where lust took over their portrait session.
“Oh,” Jon gurgled, fisting Richie’s shirt. “Off. Take this off. Please,” he begged.
“I’ll have to let go of your ass and I don’t want to.”
“Temporarily,” Jon pointed out. “It will still be there. After all, it’s yours,” he whispered softly.
“Mine!” Richie growled back to his lover. He reluctantly pulled his hands out and sat up briefly to shuck his sweater, adding to the pile on the floor beside them. As he was pulling the garment over his head, he felt Jon’s eager fingers at the fly of his pants, his belt already long gone.
The heat from the fireplace kept the men warm as the rest of their clothes eventually came off.
“Let's move to the floor, shall we?” Richie suggested.
Jon temporarily removed his mouth from Richie's ear. “With the dog?”
“She's asleep,” Richie shrugged.
“There are blankets,” Jon informed the brunette, with a nod to the occasional chair to one side. “Do you think Bernard or Marta left these here on purpose?”
“Of course!” Richie chuckled. “They know you’re my little sex machine.”
“Bernard told me we should have lots of sex while they’re gone,” Jon revealed. “In a roundabout way.”
“Excellent suggestion!” Richie grinned wickedly.
The two men worked at spreading out the blankets, one by one, saving the cashmere one for the top. It was a smart choice as it felt wonderfully soft against their bare skin.
They knelt down on their makeshift bed facing each other. The firelight was doing wonderful things for their skin and picked up the blondest strands in Jon’s hair. Richie had to shake himself mentally at the vision before him. He thought of all the women in the world that would love to be in his place right now. Sometimes he still could not believe that Jon chose him as his lover.
“Whatcha thinkin’, baby?” Jon asked quietly. “I can see something working around in that beautiful head of yours.”
“Hmph,” he shook his head. “Nothing worth mentioning now.” He reached out to Jon’s neck and slipped his fingers around into his hair, watching the blue orbs slip behind the lowered lids in appreciation. He drew him closer still and claimed his mouth, his tongue gently slipping through into heaven.
Jon shuffled forward on his knees, bringing their aroused bodies within a whisper of each other. Their cocks jumped simultaneously at the first touch. He placed his hands on Richie’s hips and rocked them both gently, finding their natural rhythm.
Jon reached further around Richie’s body and started caressing the crease of his ass. Richie automatically widened his stance to allow the questing digit easier access to its target. The move also rubbed his cock down against Jon’s and made him groan out loud. It felt so good he bet he could get off just from this but he knew Jon wanted more.
Jon also gently bit down on Richie’s lower lip. After a year and a half together, they’d found each other’s weaknesses and Jon had planned on using all of Richie’s tonight. He knew that Richie liked a little pleasure/pain and didn’t mind a bit of biting and not being fully prepared for him. He reached up and fisted his hand into the dark locks and pulled back harshly to expose the pounding veins along his neck, before nipping his way from Richie’s earlobe downwards. He felt Richie’s hands slacken as desire swept through him. He used this opportunity to lay them both down, sinking gratefully into the softness.
“Ah fuck Jonny,” Richie swore and arched his back as his nipple was pinched between sharp teeth. “Feels so good.”
“Need you, baby,” Jon breathed. “Need you so much-”
“I’m here Jonny,” Richie murmured. “I’m ready for you- always!”
His hand slipped down between them and wrapped around both cocks as best as it could and with strong, steady strokes, Richie made sure they were both ready, their bodies’ own fluids being all they needed most of the time.
“Jesus, Rich, that’s-” Jon exhaled and his nostrils flared.
“Uh huh,” Richie continued his strokes. “Tell me Jonny. That’s what?”
“Ahh- amazing!” Jon breathed.
“So how does it feel when I do this?” he asked, with a slight twist of his hand.
He looked down between their bodies at his hand engulfing both heads, both darkened and slick. He hissed at his own actions. He rolled them both onto their sides, Jon’s leg automatically draping over Richie’s hip.
“Rich, I could come right now, it's so good.”
“Then come, baby,” Richie crooned. “Come for me. Come. For me.”
“Wanna- ung- wanna be in you,” Jon managed to get out of his clenched jaws.
Richie let go of his handful and they moved quickly.
Jon poised himself above Richie for a moment, his aim true, muscles bunched in preparation, as he pushed through into the hot depths of Richie’s ass. “Oh, that's it,” Jon announced.
They stilled for a moment, trying to clear the stars from their vision and catch a breath, before Jon started his agonisingly slow and torturous strokes. He liked to draw the ecstasy out for as long as possible, but he wasn’t sure how long that would be tonight. He felt his orgasm curl around his spine as he looked at Richie’s rapturous face.
“Jo- Jonny,” Richie whined, as he felt his own orgasm hit him like a freight train. “Fuck!” His back arched, his eyes rolled up and his hands gripped onto Jon, almost death-like, leaving bruises for the morning.
With a full body spasm, Jon finally let himself come. “Yesssss!” he hissed loudly. He filled his lover up fully with his hot spurts.
Richie held him tightly to his chest on top of him, their hearts beating together fast and loud.
“Oh Richie, that was fucking awesome,” Jon sighed with total sexual satisfaction.
“Won’t deny that!” Richie hugged him tighter, kissing the side of his head.
Through their heavy breathing, they heard movement close to the fireplace.
“Look who's awake,” Richie said.
The two lovers looked over to see Pepper sitting up and watching them, her head tilted in confusion.
“What a weird dog,” Jon commented.
“She's probably just horny,” Richie reasoned. “I hear pregnant women get horny.”
“Who knows? I get horny when I see you naked,” Richie ran a hand lovingly up Jon's bare hip.
Pepper whined a little and walked to the door.
“Think she wants to go out?” Richie asked.
“I’ll go,” Jon said as he gingerly got up off the floor. He didn’t care how soft the rugs were, the floor was not as comfortable as their bed upstairs.
Richie rolled over onto his stomach and watched his lover’s beautiful bare ass as he walked to the door.
“Rich, can we now make love upstairs in our nice soft warm bed?” Jon asked as he came back to Richie. “And remind me not to go to the door naked in winter. It’s fucking cold out!”
”You didn't like it on the floor?” Richie asked.
“I loved it,” Jon smiled. “It was sexy. You know I love a fireplace. It's just that the bed is so much softer.”
“Fair enough,” Richie agreed. “Let’s leave these here for now. We can pack them up tomorrow.”
“You think Pepper will be warm enough out there?”
“Yeah yeah, they said she always sleeps out there. She’s fine,” Richie soothed. “It’s cute that you’re worried about her.”
Jon blushed. “I’m not worried.”
“Dogs have been sleeping outside and giving birth by themselves for the history of time, by the way.”
“Yeah, but it’s so cold out tonight,” Jon sighed. “But you’re right! I’ll leave the doggy door open. Just in case.”
“You want her to come in and watch us making love again? Are you becoming an exhibitionist, Jonny?” Richie teased.
“Do I have a choice with that dog?” Jon chuckled. He held out his hand to Richie and helped him up from the floor. “Let’s go to bed, baby. I want to snuggle under the covers with you. And can we leave the curtains open to see if it snows overnight?”
“That sounds lovely baby,” Richie answered.
They put out the fire and killed the lights before heading upstairs to their haven. After a quick run through of their nighttime routine, they finally climbed under the covers and Jon wrapped himself around Richie’s warmth. They had hung Tico’s painting over the mantle facing the bed. They liked looking at it while they were in bed together.
“Come to me, baby. I’ll keep you nice and warm. The cold temperature is no match for Richie Sambora,” Richie bragged then yawned broadly and reached to turn off the bedside lamp.
“Phht! Who are you and what have you done with my husband?” Jon pulled back and gave him a comical look. “How exactly is it, that you are always so warm? You very rarely have to layer up as much as me?”
He snuggled closer and shifted his leg up and over Richie’s thighs, his toes sifting through the hairs on his legs.
“Shit, Jon! Your toes are still cold,” Richie complained. “I dunno why, baby, probably because you get me so hot all the time.” He chuckled at his own joke.
He kissed Jon on the top of his head and tucked it under his chin. The only response he got was a sleepy murmur and a soft sigh. Jon was out for the count. Richie just chuckled to himself, buried his nose in Jon’s hair and was almost instantly asleep himself. Neither of them saw the first sprinkle of snow for the season.