(NOTE to the READERS: Sorry for the delay in publishing. If some of you have checked my blog, you’ll know I’ve been away on a trip. Serendipity simply wasn’t ready. We do hope Karin and Landry have been able to entertain during the pause. So here it is – enjoy reading! Hugs, Fauxy)
It’s quiet, Jessica noticed when she let herself into Jeremy’s apartment.
“Jer,” she called out as she took her coat off. No answer. She noticed the yellow note on the hallway mirror. Playing – it was written in Jeremy’s handwriting.
Jessica knew exactly where he’d be. He liked to use the complex’s basketball court in the evenings – when he’d have it all for himself.
When the Knicks ended the season with a pressconference a few days ago, Jeremy was asked about his plans for the future because he was entering the offseason as a free agent. The press asked whether he was going to be a Knick the following season. He had answered as honestly as he could – that he wanted to be with the Knicks, but no deals have been made yet.
Off-season did not mean off-season for Jeremy; he will be using the most of the off-season training. Jess and he had talked about it. He still needed some work – he wasn’t moving as fast nor was jumping as high as he used to do before the injury. They were told that his rehab and training would take time, so Jeremy had been cooperating steadily with Kenny Atkinson of the Knicks ever since he was able to jog again.
Jessica and Jeremy both knew that he needed to be in Cali because that was where SPARTA was, but Jeremy did not want to leave New York; he did not want to leave Jess.
“I want to be near you,” he said, as they lay in bed one night. “I promised myself that I will never put distance between us again.”
“Physical distance cannot threaten what we have, Jer,” she assured him as she lay with her head resting on his chest. They had spent almost every night together since the Knicks ended their play-off run. She was disappointed that the team did not reach the Finals, of course, but a selfish part of her was happy to be able to have Jeremy alone with her again.
Jess also knew that she needed to convince Jeremy.
“They’ll never leave you alone here,” she said, referring to the press who constantly hounded Jeremy’s every move.”You’ll be able to train and rest in the Bay Area; people would give you room. Ken said he’d come work with you in Cali if it was needed.”
Jeremy was quiet as he stroked Jess’ hair.
“I’ll be with you as soon as my summer vacation starts. We’ll also be together in China,” Jessica reminded him; she will be joining his team as a Volvo representative.
“It’s still too little time,” Jeremy complained. “I want you with me.”
“You have me,” Jess said simply and turned towards Jeremy.
“So this is just another chapter of our book?” Jeremy asked Jess.
“Another chapter, not the end,”she answered.
When Jess reached the rooftop terrace, she could hear the sound of rubber hitting concrete – the sound so familiar and comforting.
It reminded her of their childhood. She’d heard that sound from across the street since she could remember. If there was a rhythm to it, she’d know that Jeremy was warming up by dribbling the ball up and down the half-court they had behind their house. If he was playing against Josh, she’d catch grunts and shouts as well. Sometimes, when she heard a swishing sound, she’d know that Jeremy was simply practicing his free throw shots.
Jessica leaned against one of the lampposts illuminating the court and simply looked at Jeremy move. She loved watching him train. He had worked up to a sweat now – his T-shirt drenched with perspiration. Jess could see the way his muscles flex and relax with each arm movement. When Jeremy jumped, his shirt revealed his just as sweaty abs and smooth back.
Jess felt a tug in her gut and acknowledged that feeling – she wanted him.
He looked irresistibly hot, all sweaty and shiny. She wasn’t totally immune to those thoughts – she was after all human.
Her friends had assumed that they had taken the next step in their relationship, so they were surprised when Jess said they hadn’t – yet.
“You haven’t?” Pansy had said with wonder in her voice.
“No,” Jess repeated.
“Leave her alone, Pansy,” Christine defended Jess, “They’ll do it when they’re ready.”
“I still want a full report,” Pansy declared, nearly causing Jess to choke on her tea.
Jess and Jeremy were both raised to believe in chastity before marriage, but it’s not like they’d been told to absolutely keep themselves as virgins until that time.
They kiss a lot – hot and passionate kisses. Jess loved those plump lips of his and the way they felt against hers. And those hands of his! When Jeremy touched her – no matter where – his hands drove her crazy.
They were as intimate as as they could be without crossing that line. There had been times when they had been close to crossing it, but either Jess or Jeremy had pulled back.
Jess knew how she affected him. She felt Jeremy’s desire for her – made her feel empowered that she could affect him that way. Part of her wondered about how it would be when they do finally decide to do it; the thought both frightened and excited Jess.
When Jeremy saw her, he stopped and walked over with the basketball in his hands. He smiled and Jess could see his dimples appear. She sighed. It was getting more and more difficult to control her urges.
Jeremy noticed Jess standing under the halo of light from one of the lampposts. She had changed into sneakers, shorts and one of his Linsanity shirts that were a bit big on her.
“Nice shirt,” he commented as he approached her to give her a deep and thorough kiss. With the basketball in his right hand, Jeremy looped his left arm around Jess’ waist in an embrace.
“I’m sweaty,” he mumbled against her lips.
“Mmm… don’t care,” Jess whispered. She loved tasting the salt in his lips.
As Jeremy felt her body mold itself to his, His body reacted quickly to her – it was almost painful. Easy, Jeremy, he told himself.
“Hard day at work?” he asked when he freed her lips.
“Just busy with planning your trip,” she answered – and swiped at the ball Jeremy had in his hands.
“You’re slow, number 17,” she teased.
“You cheated – I was distracted by your lips,” he laughed and tried to block her path to the hoop.
They had played one-on-one as kids. Jeremy would let her take shots – she did everything to get the ball back when he had it – yes, even knock him down.
But they were no longer kids, Jeremy realized as Jess bumped into him in an attempt to block his path to the hoop. Jess had grown into a woman – and all that entailed. He was always conscious of her body – specially at times like these when they were being very physical.
He loved the way their bodies fit – the feel of it against his when they kiss, cuddle and sleep alongside each other. While it drove him crazy – wanting Jess – he did not want to pressure her into anything.
So he pulled back and fought his desire for her – it was a battle Jeremy’s mind was losing.
Jess stared out of the huge windows in Jeremy’s apartment. Jeremy smiled at the sight of her in one of his Golden State Warrior t-shirts. It was quite long and looked like a dress on her; her bare legs in their full glory.
She could hear him approach.
“Penny for your thoughts,” he said as he wrapped Jess in his arms. Jess could feel his lips strife her neck; it sent shivers staight to her toes.
“Just admiring the city,” she answered as she half-turned to look at him.
“You do know you’re in Knicks territory,” Jeremy laughed.
Jess looked down at the shirt she was wearing and chuckled. “Once a Cali-girl, always a Cali-girl,” she answered. “Even if I love the Knicks.”
Jeremy’s hair was wet from the shower; he had not put on a shirt yet.
Jess lay her head against his chest and breathed in the smell of soap. Funny how his soap smelled differently on him – he smelled clean and pure. On her, it smelled fresh and sweet.
She absently ran her right hand up his left arm and felt his arm muscles. How can arms so strong be so gentle when they were holding her like this? she thought. When her hand reached his chest and moved onwards down to his abs, she felt Jeremy shiver. She smiled as she spread her fingers on that six-pack to feel each ridge of muscle. Jess could feel the heat from his skin.
Jeremy was quiet in his struggle – half in ecstacy and half in pain.
He turned her in his arms; Jess looked at him with glazed eyes and a tiny smile on her lips.
“You do this to me, Jess,” he whispered before he took her lips and pulled her body tighter against his. He could feel Jess gasp as they kissed. Jess could feel Jeremy’s arousal against her thigh – was surprised at the sensations of both pleasure and surprise coursing through her lower body.
Jeremy ran his hands down her back; one hand came down to cup her butt as he kept her close, the other savoring the feel of bare skin underneath her shirt.
When Jeremy’s tongue grazed hers, she groaned. Her hands gripped at Jeremy’s waist tightly. She wanted more – let her lips against Jeremy’s to express just how much she wanted him.
Jeremy wanted so much to just pick Jess up right then and there to take her straight to the bedroom – to touch her, taste her and do everything to her. Not yet, Jer, he reminded himself.
“Jess,” he could barely croak out as he pulled back.
Jess moaned as she buried her face against his neck and kissed the spot along his collarbone that was ticklish. She did it to protest their stopping – and to tease Jeremy. Her heart was racing – beating at a furious rate – she could barely breathe.
Jeremy squirmed and chuckled.
“I have to concentrate – I have something for you,” Jeremy said after he had taken a few calming breaths. “Let me get it,” he said.
Jess reluctantly let him go. She grabbed a pillow from the couch and buried her face in it in a silent scream. She was so frustrated…
When Jeremy came back a few minutes later she was once again looking out the living room windows.
He showed a small box in the light green color which Jess recognized.
“You shouldn’t have,” she began to say.
“I wanted to,” he offered her the gift.
It was a silver bracelet with two charms – two J’s with a heart that linked them.
“Don’t think too little of me, if this makes me feel gooey and weepy,” Jess said as Jeremy locked the bracelet around her wrist.
“Of course not,” he answered. He had given her gifts before, but not like this.
“Don’t forget us,” Jeremy told her with a kiss.
She murmured “Never“against Jeremy’s chest as they stood and looked at the lights of New York City.