Janae rushed over to his grandmother. “Oh, my goodness. Are you all right?”
“I... Yes, dear.”
Janae stooped down to pick up the pieces. “Terrence, don’t just stand there. Get some paper towels and help me clean this up.”
He smiled and shared a look with his grandparents. Grabbing some paper towels, he squatted next to Janae and helped clean up the mess. Standing, he took her hand. “Grandpa, Grandma, I want you to meet Janae Simms. Janae, these are the two most special people in my life, Ray and Eleanor Campbell.”
“It’s so nice to meet you,” Janae said. “Terrence has told me lots of good things about you.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Janae,” his grandfather said, reaching out to shake her hand.
“I’m very happy to meet you, Janae,” his grandmother echoed, and brought her in for a warm embrace. “Terrence hasn’t told me one thing about you, so we’ll have to get to know one another. How did you two meet?”
“We met at his concert in San Francisco.”
A smile bloomed on her face. “So you’re the one who gave Terrence the paintings. They’re magnificent. Are you a full-time artist?”
“No. I teach a fourth-and fifth-grade special education class. I paint for relaxation.”
“It takes a special person to be a teacher. You’re going to make a wonderful granddaughter, isn’t she, Ray?”
“Most definitely, Ellie,” he answered enthusiastically.
Janae’s eyes widened. “I... We....”
Terrence cut in. “Uh, I’m gonna give her a tour of the house. We’ll see you guys later.” He hustled Janae out of the cottage before his grandparents could say another word.
* * *
While putting on her pajamas, Janae reminisced on the whirlwind day. She and Terrence had shopped, then shared dinner with his grandparents. They were wonderful, and she could feel the love between them and their grandson.
Shaking her head, she recalled the text she’d received from Devin saying he was five minutes away from getting on a flight. Honestly, she had forgotten to call, but assured him everything was fine. It wasn’t until Terrence talked to him that he backed off. She had also called Karen and told her about the many dilemmas she faced. Karen told her to stop worrying and reminded Janae that she could find a teaching position anywhere, especially with her background.
Walking out of the bedroom and down the stairs, she went to find Terrence. Not finding him in the kitchen or family room, she meandered through the house, peeking into rooms again, and then she heard the music. She followed the sound until she came to his studio at the back of the house. Janae pushed the partially closed door open and found him tinkering on the piano.
His head came up, and he smiled. “Hey.”
“Are you busy? I don’t want to disturb you.”
“Nah. I’m just fooling around. Come on in.”
She closed the door and strolled over to where he sat. “Play something for me.”
He played one of his songs, segued into a jazz number, then launched into the blues. Her mouth dropped when he played a piece by Chopin. He held her spellbound as his fingers flew over the keys like a classically trained pianist.
“That was absolutely amazing. Was classical music your concentration in college?”
“No. I only took a couple of classes.”
“Like I said, you’re a certified genius.” She laughed at the embarrassed expression that crossed his face. “So, are you working on songs for your new album?”
“Actually, I haven’t been able to concentrate since things got messed up with us.”
“Well, now that we’re straightened out, your creative juices should start to flow again. I don’t want to stand in the way of getting my advance copy,” she added with a giggle. “Sooo, whatcha got?” she asked, wiggling her eyebrows.
He stood and went over to a complicated-looking system. “This is the last song I wrote. It’s only the music for now—the words haven’t come to me yet. Tell me what you think.” Terrence pressed a few buttons, and the music filled the room.
Janae closed her eyes, leaned her head back and listened. Soon, the slow, deep bass pulsed through her body. “It’s very sensual...almost erotic,” she breathed.
* * *
Her words instantly aroused Terrence. He came up behind her and trailed kisses over the exposed column of her neck. His hands came around, searched beneath her top and massaged her breasts. Her low moans fueled his need, and he spun her around, his head descending and crushing her mouth in a passionate kiss. He tore his mouth away and whipped her shirt over her head, then bent low and sucked hard on a nipple. He dropped to his knees, stripped away her shorts and latched on to her core.