Leif’s Lounge, at the bar.
Just a friendly greeting at the bar. He looked at her for a moment and she caught his gaze, smiling back.
“Har vi träffats förut… ikväll?”
She nodded but didn’t say anything.
“Talar du Svenska?”
A shy smile.
“Ehmmm… Nej… I understand a little but I can’t say anything back…” she giggled.
“Ahaa… and how come I remember you from somewhere? We met backstage tonight, right?”
She shifted from foot to foot and looked around a bit. Then nodded.
“Yes, we met backstage a little while ago. I’m in the Fanclub-team.”
She looked down on her hands which lay motionless on the edge of the bar. He was silent, pondering his tired, slightly alcohol-affected mind.
“And you name is… uhmm… Jenny?”
Her eyes came up to his quickly and he grinned widely when he saw them twinkling. He remembered her name.
“That’s a lovely name…” He was making conversation. No shit, Per was making conversation! With her!
The bartender came over to Per, after leaving him to his conversation for a while.
“What are you drinking?”
Oops. He saw that she got nervous now. What? Was it something he said?
“You were about to order something, or?”
“Eeeeh… well eehmmm… hehe… my drink is somewhere over there,” she said, waving her hand at a table with some people around it. He looked puzzled.
“You see, I wasn’t really planning to order something… but…”
She looked uncomfortable, got even shyer than before and if the light hadn’t been so dim, he could’ve sworn she was blushing.
He sighed and cursed inwardly. Of course it wasn’t really possible to have a sensible conversation with her. She was a fan. Fans don’t talk about the weather with their idols. Fans don’t bump into their idols at the bar. He ordered two drinks.
“My friend Mia said; I bet you don’t dare to go to the bar right now and order me a drink. She’s always making fun of me when I’m in Sweden… she knows I get shy when I have to ask everyone if they speak English… but that wasn’t the point, you see, I hadn’t seen that you stood here and well… I think that’s why she… she’s always teasing me. She hoped I would get really nervous and uncomfortable because you were standing here. Are standing here. So…”
She had to take a deep breath after all that. He looked into her eyes for a long time. She wanted to look away, thought she should look away but didn’t. She just couldn’t, his gaze was hypnotizing.
“So you get uncomfortable around me?”
It sounded sad, almost disappointed. His funny, pretending-to-be-sad sort of face made her laugh, breaking the tension.
“Hehe… well actually I think I’m doing quite good…”
“Here. Cider. All women like cider.” He shoved the glass over to her.
“Oooh! Thanks! You shouldn’t have…”
He held up his beer to her.
“Skål! På en skitbra kväll.”
They took a few sips.
“Now where is your terrible friend actually?” he smiled at her again, looked kind of teasing.
“She’s sitting over there, with the blue top…” she pointed at a girl sitting on one of the couches. Typically Swedish, very busy talking to some other girls. They looked up just as she pointed at them. Mia’s eyes went big and she formed “Hej!” with her mouth. Per waved at them and held his glass up.
* * *
She made this sound, sitting on the toilet and listening to the beat of the music outside. This was a good way to come back to normal, kind of. She didn’t even know if she was sitting still or not.
She washed her hands, wrists and neck. Mmm her make up could use an update. Phew. What was the time for God’s sake?! Oops, it was almost 3. Which meant she had been up for nearly 24 hours. Maybe that was why she was feeling so weird and the world acted so strange.
“Hej.” a voice said behind her when she left the bathroom. Per leaned against the wall in the hallway, with a glass of wine in his hand. Her heart stopped for a moment, then continued louder and faster than ever before.
“I was waiting for you.” silence.
“Oh. Ehm. I was in the… Toilet.” her voice sounded shaky and he wondered what she had been doing in the bathroom for over twenty minutes. He approached her. She seemed to back away. Now what?! He thought. What’s this?!
“Why did you leave so suddenly?” he thought it was best to just ask her.
“I did? I’m sorry, my mind is not clear at the moment. I don’t know.” she looked away, couldn’t bear to look into his eyes any longer.
“Oh. Well you left quite suddenly, in the middle of the conversation and…”
“Yes. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t…. I mean… I am not used to talking to… You. At a bar. And stuff. So I was…”
He sighed and the expression on his face became rather sarcastic. Here we go again, he thought.
“Oh yeah, yeah it’s ok. I understand. I am not a normal person, of course. Right? I am not like anyone else and there is no way to have a normal conversation with me,”
“No let me finish, there is no normal conversation possible, it’s not normal to talk to me, No it’s soooo special, and I am so different from all the other people in the world, bla bla. It sure was a great honour for you, right? And you hope I’ll recognize you at the next show, right?!”
He was breathing fast and looked angry and annoyed.
“I didn’t mean to…”
“No it’s fine, it’s just fine. How could I even think that I could ever…” he stopped talking because she’d placed her fingers over his lips. She stood closer to him and looked in his eyes for what seemed hours. Then she removed her hand, placing it on his cheek instead.
She held his face in both her hands.
“I’ll tell you something Per Gessle. Being around you is special indeed. But don’t worry; you are not the one making it special. It’s just that, after being in love with you for so many years, I don’t want the bubble to burst. I want to keep this perfect image of you that I have in my mind. And tonight, you’ve come too close. Sorry if I was rude, I didn’t mean to, but I just couldn’t stand it anymore. I got too tense and was afraid to make a fool of myself.”
Her hands softly caressed his face. Thumbs moved over his lips which were slightly opened. He gasped, oh shit, was she going to kiss him?! What the…
“I should go now. Goodbye, thanks for the lovely evening.” she squeezed his arm and breathed in his scent, close to his neck and then walked off.
Per stood in the hallway for a few minutes, trying to reason what had just happened. Then he stomped into the toilet and looked at himself in the mirror. Geez. You are married asshole. What the hell were you up to?! He cursed loudly at himself and then went to the toilet.
* * *
It was in the middle of the night when Per woke up with a shock. He stared blindly into the darkness, sweat dripping from the sides of his face. It was the same dream again, for the third time this week. It was always the same. He saw a big, black space with a spotlight in the middle. He would hear audience applauding. Under the spotlight sat a girl. She had long, black hair and was naked. Her legs were pulled up, arms wrapped around herself and her head lay down on her knees. She was crying.
He paced through the living room. It had to be the girl he met at Leif’s. She was keeping him busy ever since that evening. This was so… unlike him. His wife and son were sleeping upstairs and here he was, pacing the room up and down, thinking about ways to contact her, as if being a silly teenager…
* * *
“So everything is in place now. I will send out the press message tomorrow!”
“Per?” Dimberg sighed. Geez he was far off this morning. She knew he wasn’t much of a morning-person but this was ridiculous. This was the fourth time in a 30-min conversation that she felt like he wasn’t listening to anything she said.
Her hair wasn’t black. He was sure of it now. She didn’t have black hair.
“Per!! For God’s sake and mine, would you please tell me what is wrong with you today?!” Dimberg got angry now.
“Ehm… Sorry, I didn’t really sleep well, sorry. Press message?”
“Yes. Goes out tomorrow.”
“And what’s going on with you? You sound miles away.”
“Have you heard anything from the Fanclub lately?”
Dimberg was too surprised to speak.
“Yes, they were very pleased with the arrangements at the release party. Why?”
“Mmm. Nothing. I was just wondering if they are coming to the tour.”
“Well maybe it helps if we give them the tour schedule first, mhm?”
Dimberg closed her notebook and hung up the phone. She would discuss the other details with him later when his head would be clear enough to think.
* * *
“UUFF!!!” Jenny bumped right into the fence. She got a big push from behind and her ribs would sure turn blue. But! She was front row! At the première! How perfect was that! Her friends stood on each side of her, this was just perfect. She was very nervous about seeing Per tonight. Since the release party, she’d dreamt of that horrible meeting almost every night. They weren’t the pleasant dreams they should have been. She’d made a complete fool of herself and she knew it.
Now tonight, she’d decided to have fun and nothing else. This tour just had to be the best ever, and somewhere a voice inside her head said that it would be wonderful. She just knew it!
Minutes before the show, Per peeked through a curtain and saw the crowd. The kick off tonight. Huuuh. He was really nervous, unusually nervous actually. He didn’t quite grasp where it came from but he was almost shaking like a straw. He’d been to the toilet at least 4 times within 90 minutes now. Only 10 minutes to go. He took his place beside the stage and waited for the band to get their positions.
Of course, everything went alright. He didn’t trip over any wires. He remembered the chords, the lyrics and which way to walk to avoid bumping into the other guys on stage.
One of the last songs was ‘Tycker om när du tar på mej’. It had gotten quite dark now and a sea of little twinkling lights opened before him. And finally, for the first time that evening, Per dared to look down. Looking down on the faces of the fans in front of him mostly scared him, especially during the first few shows of a tour. Now he was relaxed, it was darker around him and… And there she was. In front row, a little bit to his right. She had her arms around two friends on either side of her and all of them held lighters. Her hair was black! So she did have black hair after all! He looked at her when he sang on, trying to catch her eyes. But she didn’t look up for the longest time, too caught up in singing along with her friends. Until one of them suddenly stopped and said something to her. Then she looked up.
Per was looking at her still. Their eyes met and she felt an electric shock go through her body. She couldn’t help but look back, drowning in those dark brown eyes, even though they were quite far away on stage. She smiled and he smiled back. Pushing a little harder for the last chorus, Per still couldn’t take his eyes away from her. Had to look her way, giving everything he had in this ballad…
* * *
A few days later, another gig. Per was in a very good mood when he climbed the stage. He’d been sleeping quite well these last days, to his own surprise. Jenny had been in the audience on all 3 shows he’d done until now. He hoped she would be here tonight as well.
She wasn’t there. He was almost sure about it after the first song. He saw some of her friends in the audience though, so maybe… Maybe she just didn’t make it to front row…? He’d really got the thing about looking into the audience now. Now that he was used to it again… now that he was looking for someone… it wasn’t so difficult anymore.
He got a little distracted by a photographer that stood right under him. He sat on the floor and changed the film of the camera. Next shot, Per looked away from the camera. He was a little annoyed, since the guy had been standing there for a while already. Wasn’t the press supposed to leave after two songs, he thought when he started the third… the photographer was still there, now moving more to Jonas’ side of the stage. Jonas smiled at the camera quite professionally. The camera went down and the photographer flashed Jonas a smile back. And it wasn’t a he, it was Jenny. Per now recognized the black hair, tied together in a tight knot. She came his way again and he looked down, right into her camera. He waited until she took a few pictures of him and then looked back at the audience in front of him. The next time he looked down, she looked back. The camera wasn’t in front of her face anymore.
Jenny had gone through three rolls of film within three songs. Well done, girl! Oooh those eyes when he looked into the lens… would he know? Would he recognize her? The girls said he’d already recognized her in Halmstad but she didn’t really believe that… or she didn’t notice, anyway. Now he looked at her again and she tried to hold his gaze as long as possible. She pointed her camera at him again, even though the film was full. She zoomed until his eyes were all she saw. He looked at her, he really did. And he looked very… nice. No standard-smile… or was that just her imagination?
* * *
“Excuse me, girls?”
A voice sounded behind them. The three friends had just reunited after another amazing gig and they’d found a quiet corner to talk each other through the show. The all looked startled when Li suddenly stood there and spoke to them.
“Hi. You are the Fanclub girls, right? Per wants to invite you to the after party here.”
Three even more startled faces. Kelly was the first one to speak.
“Really! Oh that’s great!” she said, with a huge smile.
Li gave all three of them a plastic bracelet.
“Wear this and show it at the side-entrance, then they’ll let you in. The party is already starting, I’ll see you there!”
A little shy and shaky, the girls entered the party some time later. They had collected all their things and checked their make up a dozen times. Jenny was shaking most of all. Did this mean he wanted to talk to her? So he remembered the talk they had… so he did recognize her then? So many questions… They entered some sort of club with a bar but it was quite empty. Everyone had spread out over the big lawn in the back, where music played and there was a huge barbecue. There were familiar faces all around them but Per was nowhere to be seen.
The girls kept pretty much to themselves. They sat in a corner, talking and drinking. Jenny was drinking water. No way she would get drunk again while Per was somewhere near. Per had arrived to the party quite late and seemed to be talking to everybody at the same time. The girls watched him and his friends and found funny things to talk about all the time.
Kelly noticed that Jenny wasn’t joining the conversation all that much. When their other friend had gone to the bathroom, she brought it up.
“Hey, you’re silent. I bet you’re wondering a thousand things right now.” The girls had been talking about Jenny’s conversation with Per on and on for a few days afterwards, and then suddenly Jenny didn’t bring it up anymore.
“Yeah… like, why we are here. Like, does he think I’m a freak? But why did he smile at me then? And so on.”
“Mmm, I can imagine. You should talk to him.”
“Me?! No way, I’m not…”
“Excuse me ladies…” A familiar voice behind them.
“Can I borrow your friend for a moment?” Per asked Kelly. Kelly smiled and nodded. He beckoned Jenny to come with him and took her to a quiet spot on the other side of the garden.
“So. There you are.” He said.
“Yeah… great show…”
“Thanks. I saw you were taking pictures… Fanclub?”
Silence. Oh wow, this conversation is getting on really well, Per thought. Jenny’s mind was blank and racing at the same time, with the same fast pace as her heart.
“You first,” said Per with an expectant look in his eyes.
“Ok. I’ve got this nasty thing bugging me and I really have to know…” she took a deep breath before continuing.
“Should I apologize? Did I behave like a complete fool last time?”
He smiled. Thank God, he smiled. He didn’t answer right away but stared at the ground for a moment, shuffling some dirt with his feet. Could he be… shy? Jenny blocked the thought right away.
“Mmm… you didn’t really make a fool of yourself. But I think you should apologize, yes.” There was a catch in his voice and naughty lights were twinkling in his eyes when he looked at her.
“Oh yes, I’m really sorry that I didn’t buy you a drink…”
“Hehe. Yes that too.”
He didn’t look in her eyes. His gaze was fixed on her lips. Alarm bells sounded in the back of his head when he felt his own nervousness and anxiety to talk with her.
A bunch of things went through Jenny at that moment. What the hell was going on in this man’s mind?! Why didn’t he just tell what the *F* was going on?! Her belly was tingling with excitement though. If it was taking him so long to speak up, it had to be good…
“You kept me quite busy after the party.” He said it softly. She held his gaze, unaware of her mouth falling open.
“As in…” she heard herself say.
“As in, I thought about you a lot. As in, I am dying to get to know you better. And such.”
Jenny tried to stay calm and smiled at him as relaxed as she could.
“I think I might need a real drink after all…” she said. Then she walked away from him and went inside, to the bar. All drinks were on EMI that evening. She ordered a strong mix. Per had followed her inside and ordered a glass of white wine. His hand casually resting on her back gave her goose bumps.
They found a nice spot inside, perfect view over the garden and sat down. Out of the blue, Jenny started talking about her trip to Sweden, telling him about the horrible yet adventurous train trips, the hostels, the camping places and the fans she met on her way. Per listened, laughed and ordered more drinks. Jenny kept an eye on her friends outside who’d become quite friendly with Per’s well-known band. They were talking with just about everybody, danced and were obviously getting a little drunk.
She excused herself and went to the toilet. Staring at her own image in the mirror, she realised she was amazingly calm. Small talk with Per. No big deal. Ha! I can handle everything.
When she came out of the toilet, he was waiting for her in the hall again. She almost didn’t see him, standing half in the dark.
“Déjà vu…” she said softly and walked up to him.
“Yeah… and we say goodbye in the hallway again. I have to go soon.”
“Ok…” she waited for him to say something more, or walk away, or say goodbye like he had just announced. He didn’t do anything she would have expected. He walked to her, took her hand and pulled her with him into some room… his dressing room.
She closed the door behind them and stood there. He walked around the room, put one light on and came back. He came very close and she stood with her back against the door now.
He was so close, she could feel his breath on her cheek.
He hesitated. She didn’t. She cupped his face in her hands again, like she did on that night in Halmstad. She caressed his cheeks and let her thumbs go over his lips. When his eyes met hers and he saw the longing, the wanting, the craving in her, he kissed her. His lips touched hers gently, very carefully.
Jenny just stopped breathing. She couldn’t concentrate on breathing and his kiss at the same time. When she felt the touch breaking, she pulled him back into her, closer. She kissed him again, mouth further open now. His lips parted too and she slipped her tongue in between them. A deep sigh left her and she finally started breathing again, when she felt his hands on her body. He placed them on her hips, just slightly squeezing her there… at the same time, he leaned more forward and their bodies touched.
An electric pulse hit him and he forgot everything around. He seemed to exist only of his mouth and all he needed was to taste hers. She let out a soft moan, barely audible. But he heard it. He was turning her on and it made him harder than he’d been in a long time.
The kiss became more intense, their tongues searching and tasting, exploring each other’s mouths. His lips left her mouth to trail down her cheek, into her neck. He breathed her in deeply… a mix of some female perfume and fresh sweat made him go crazy. He pushed his hips into her, making her feel his excitement. His head came up and his hands touched her face.
“I really have to go,” she whispered.
“When will I see you again?” actually that was a question she would ask, but it was Per who said it.
“I will be in Finspång tomorrow… and Varberg after that.”
“Malmö?” he asked. She nodded.
“I want to meet you in Malmö, Finspång and Varberg are too hectic…”
He bowed down to kiss her again.
“How can we meet?” she sighed into his mouth.
“Mmm… I don’t know. I’ll think of something. I have to…” – more kisses – “…see you again.”
* * *
Youth hostel, Varberg.
Jenny lay awake and stared at the ceiling. She hadn’t been front row at the last two shows. It had been too crowded at the entrance and she and Kelly just arrived too late. She remembered his eyes tonight, scanning the audience. A smile broke through on his face when he saw her. She’d formed a kiss with her lips and he winked at her. He had looked at her the whole time when he sung ‘Smaker på ett regn’. He even pointed ‘somewhere in the audience’ when he sang “Jenny ler så där så att man går mitt itu” (Jenny smiles in a way that makes one fall apart)… that ‘somewhere’ seemed randomly picked but was exactly where she was standing with Kelly. She hadn’t told her friends about what had happened. She said that they had a great time talking…
* * *
Jenny and Kelly sat in line, eating some fresh sandwiches when Jenny’s mobile rang. ‘Anonymous’ was interrupting lunch!
It was him. She almost chocked on her sandwich.
“Hi! Hold on.”
She stood up and walked away from a whole group of friends, to a quieter spot.
“You still there?”
“Ok. I had to walk away from some people, sorry. Hi.”
“Hi. Everything ok?”
“Yes, fine! And you?”
“Great… I got your number from… Li got it from… well it doesn’t matter. Can I meet you tonight after the gig?”
“I think so… how?”
“Again? Are you partying in every city?!”
“Haha… seems like it.”
“I’m with a big group today, I’m not sure if I can… get out.”
He was silent for a moment. When he spoke again, his voice was a little raw.
“I really want to see you…”
“Mmm… but I don’t know if… I mean…” she had no clue how to excuse herself from the big group of friends. They would all go to the same hostel tonight… agreed to have their own after party over there.
“There are a lot of people here, backstage I mean. I have to go now, I’ll call you after the show, ok?”
* * *
“So? Are we going or what?” Jenny’s Danish friend Mette looked at her expectantly. The girls had decided it was time for a party and all wanted to go into town to have a drink somewhere. Jenny hesitated. He hadn’t called her yet, and the show was over for nearly an hour. It had cost them almost an hour to get the group back together at the entrance. She checked her phone again. Nothing.
“Ok let’s go!”
At a pub
It was after 1 when Jenny’s mobile rung. She felt it in the pocket of her jeans and picked up without thinking.
“Eeeeh… have you been drinking?”
“Hell yeah. I am in a pub.”
“You didn’t call.”
“Yeah, I’m sorry, it was a bit too busy and I couldn’t get away from all those people…”
“So. Well, now you’re too late. I’m drunk.”
“Hehe. So I can’t see you tonight because you’re drunk?”
“I’m at the hotel now. Can you come over?”
She reached the hotel twenty minutes later. Up to the third floor, find room 4024 he’d said. Knock knock.
“It’s me, Jenny.”
Little noise. Then the door opened and he let her in quickly.
“Thanks for coming over. I…” he didn’t get the chance to say more, she was already kissing him on the lips.
“Mmmmmmm….” she sighed deeply.
“Mmm… Jen…” he managed to say. She wasted no time and started to unbutton his shirt. Per barely knew what hit him. His hands wandered over her ass and squeezed her… firm, warm, female flesh in his hands. Jenny pushed him through the room and eventually onto the bed. She crawled on top of him and started to kiss his neck and ears, softly biting his earlobe. His hands slipped under her tight top and he caressed her sides, on to her back and then to her belly. Her skin was hot, almost burning.
“Jen… you’re so hot…” he moaned. She kissed his mouth again, pushing her tongue inside roughly.
“You make me hot.” she breathed in his ear. Per couldn’t hold on any longer. He grabbed her wrists, linked his foot behind her legs and turned them around, so now he was on top of her. He put his whole body against hers, parted her legs and pushed his hardness against her jeans. She groaned and started to take off her top. Per’s tongue played between her breasts, along the line of the little white bra she was wearing. It wasn’t much of a bra anyway, rather a piece of cloth to prevent everyone from seeing right through her shirt.
Within minutes, both were undressed to their underwear. He lay beside her, kissing her neck and panting. He took his time to look at her body, let his hands slide over every spot…
His voice was low and thick when he whispered in her ear.
“I-I want you…”
“Mmm… take me…”
“Mhm. It’s almost a shame to remove this…” he whispered, pulling at the small white panties she was wearing. All right then. Time to take back the control of this situation, Jenny thought.
“Come here you…” she whispered hoarse and pushed him down, sitting on him again. His little black boxer short was tight… very tight. Something begged to be freed. Jenny slid her tongue incredibly slowly along Per’s chest. Down, down, further down. She put her hand on his manhood… he was rock hard, almost jumped when she touched him there.
“Shushhh….” she laid her hand on his chest and bowed down, biting him through the thin, slick fabric of his boxers.
“Jenny… Mmm…” he moaned.
She pulled his underwear down quickly, over his legs, onto the floor. Per looked down at her when she started to take him in her mouth. She closed her lips around the top slowly, wetted it with her tongue and then slithered further down, taking him deeper into her throat.
Per watched her with his mouth open. Watched how she ate him all up. Watched how his whole length disappeared into her mouth. Jenny started to move her head up and down in a slow, steady rhythm. After only a minute or so, Per stopped her.
“Please… Oh… I can’t take it… any longer…” he stuttered, panting. With a satisfied smile, she let go of him and came up. She crawled over him, hugging her whole body against him.
“Mmm…” she kissed his mouth again. Her lips were warm and wet. Per’s hands ran up and down her body. He looked hesitating.
“What?” she asked softly, looking at him with hazed eyes.
“I… I don’t know where to start…” he said with a giggle, looking at her body.
“Mmmm… I can suggest something…” she moved over the bed and lay beside him, then pulled him on top. Giggles sounded through the room. He kissed her long and slowly. She felt his heart thump against her chest. He started to push inside her carefully, looking into her eyes the whole time.
“Oh… mmm…” she bit her lip… seemed to have trouble to take him in.
“Geez… so… tight…” Per sighed.
“Yes… yes… slowly…”
“Oooooohhhh…..” he trembled against her and stopped moving. She felt a surge go through him and kept as still as she could, trying not to laugh…
Silence for a moment.
“Mmm… no… hehe… not yet.”
She gasped when he entered her again.
“Does it hurt?”
“Ahh…. a little… it will pass. Go on.”
“I was not planning to stop…”
“Mmm… good… so good…”
After a few thrusts he felt that she got more and more relaxed. She wrapped her legs around him, allowing him deeper inside. He held her hips with his hands as if to keep her in place. He noticed a difference in her when she started to let out short sighs and moans…
“Oh yes… yes… mmm”
“Oh faster… please… MMMMM!!!”
He did as she wished and increased the rythm.
“Oh yes, oooooh yes… yes yes yes… Aaahhhhh…”
Jenny trembled under him, moved her hips in all directions and held him tight against her… he felt a flood of warm wetness inside her and she cramped around him… Her orgasm was the last he could take. He thrust hard, deep and fast a few more times and then released as well, shuddering and collapsing on top of her…
Ahoy’ Rotterdam, Night of the Proms 2005
The coincidence was scary, thought Jenny while she parked her car and walked up to the employees’ entrance of Ahoy’. Two years ago, in the summer, she’d had a short – very short – fling with per Gessle. This winter, Roxette was performing during the night of the Proms – finally. 3 years later as planned…
It wasn’t even 8 yet when she walked through the building. There would be meetings all day through, including one with Roxette’s management. Per and Marie would be present as well, as a big press conference was planned for the end of this afternoon.
Jenny sat at a big table with a group of colleagues.
“When are the Swedes coming?” Danny asked, while pouring her another glass of juice. Danny was her direct assistant, a few years younger and always trying to get closer than she actually wanted him.
“Mmm… around two, I think…” Jenny absent-mindedly answered. The Swedes. Per. A nervous feeling swirled through her belly. A lot had changed since two years ago…
Jenny had a project-managerial position at Ahoy’ since short after Per’s tour in 2003. The summer after that, Gyllene Tider went on a 6-weeks summer tour through Sweden. Jenny didn’t see any of those concerts because she’s been in a car accident just before the summer. She’d needed a lot of time to recover and working her way up on Ahoy’s ladder had helped her with that. She was a different person now, had learned a lot about herself in the time she sat at home, unable to do anything.
Last inspection of the conference-room. Here she would welcome the Swedes. She looked at the list once more. Marie Dimberg, Tor Nielsen, Li Eriksson and Bo Johansson. They still worked with the same people…
It wasn’t confirmed that Per and Marie would attend this informational meeting as well, though it was to be expected. The group would get a complete tour around the building, as well as all info possible about the security, the schedule, the other performing artists and, well, anything they wanted to know.
Roxette was the most important act this year which was why Jenny handled their ‘account’. She knew exactly what they would play, when, how, and how much money they would make. The other artists were handled by Danny; Jenny was in charge of the ‘overview’ of the project.
The walkie-talkie on her hip cracked and the doorman’s voice came through.
“Jenny, your guests are here.”
“Ok, I’m down in a sec!”
In spite of the suit she was wearing, her hair that was put up in a tight roll and her attitude that completed all that perfectly… she was nervous. Her heart was pounding in her chest, her hands were cold and her cheeks flushed. She took a few deep breaths in the elevator and headed for the entrance.
She welcomed the Roxette-management with a wide smile and introduced herself. Li and Dimberg didn’t seem to recognize her, or were professional enough the hide it… she hoped the first. Per and Marie were there, as well as Per’s wife, Åsa. Jenny greeted them with the same warm smile. She knew she looked very different now than she did during that summer-vacation in 2003. Her hair was shorter and a brown-reddish colour. She wore glasses now instead of contacts (to emphasize the business-attitude even more) and had lost a few pounds.
“Welcome to Ahoy’ Rotterdam! We’ll first have some coffee in the conference-room, please follow me.”
As announced, the meeting started with coffee. She felt a bit silly speaking English to them. She’d started learning Swedish when she was recovering from the car accident and operations after that (the doctors had almost rebuilt her right leg and hip) and by now she could speak it fluently, thanks to her Swedish friends helping her out. Still she didn’t really dare to speak Swedish with THEM, now… though it would be silly if they’d find out later…
Jenny went around the table with the coffee, pouring everyone’s cup. Per sat at the end of the table in between Li and his wife. Tor, Dimberg and Marie sat on the other side. Per’s hands rested in his lap when she came with the coffee. She couldn’t help but look at them, trying to block out the image of his hands squeezing her flesh that hot night in the Malmö-hotelroom.
She got herself through the talking part of the meeting somehow and felt a lot better after that. During the ‘Grande Tour’ through the building, she became quite sure that Per had no idea. He listened to what she said, like the others. He didn’t say anything, just smiled rather politely if she looked his way and their eyes briefly met.
The meeting ended with the press conference. Before that, she gave the whole group her business card where she’d written down her mobile number. She would be available for them anytime during this project, day or night. This was especially important for Roxette’s direct manager Marie Dimberg and their bodyguard Bo.
Jenny introduced them to the press and also attended the press conference. Then it was goodbye, see you at the rehearsals, etc.
There were only two weeks left before the first show. Two weeks in which all bands and artists had to rehearse with the orchestra, and with each other, and the programme of the whole show. Jenny was at the venue almost day and night to see to it that everything went according to plan. Most things were done by other people but she just had to see it work. This was the first big project she was doing alone and it was very important for her that it went well…
Two weeks later, the evening before the first show.
Ahoy’ had organised a party – or actually, Jenny had – in their big restaurant on the first floor. All performing artists, their spouses and their managers were invited. There was a luxury buffet, some entertainment (a stand up comedian) and of course some speeches. And then! Time for a drink! Jenny had been longing for this moment. Have a drink and be able to let it all out, especially among the people she’d been working so closely with; her Ahoy’-colleagues and the artist’s managers. She’d seen more of Dimberg than of Per and Marie, for example.
While the evening happily strolled on, Danny got more and more of a pain in Jenny’s ass. Almost literally, as he constantly tried to ‘accidentally’ touch her. When she was just planning to tell him the awful truth once again, someone tapped her shoulder. It was Dimberg.
“Jenny, can I see you for a moment?”
“Yes, of course. Danny, I’ll speak with you tomorrow, ok?”
As it was policy, she spoke to him in English in the presence of a foreign associate. Though she added in Dutch, sharply, that he’d better go home and sleep off the alcohol. He could apologize to her in the morning. Then she walked off with Dimberg.
“What can I do for you Marie?” yeah… first-name-basis already…
“Mmm well actually I just wanted to sit down and enjoy a glass of wine with you. This young man seemed to be a bit of a pest…”
“Oh… haha! I shouldn’t be saying this… but actually, he is. He’s also the best assistant we have.”
“Sounds familiar. You always want to loose the people you actually can’t miss!”
They sat down at the Roxette-table. A girl came by with a tray with little snacks on it. Jenny asked her what was in them, as Dimberg said she wasn’t allowed to eat pork.
“You can eat this, that’s fish! It’s very nice it’s… it’s… ehm…” shit why didn’t she know the English word for that long fish that came from the North Sea… shit shit…
“It’s… ål…” she’d said it before she knew it.
“Ål! Jaså! I can eat that.” Dimberg answered happily and took a bite. They both ate their snack without saying anything.
Then Dimberg offered Jenny a cigarette.
“Oh that’s been ages…” Jenny said and hesitated. She accepted in the end.
“I’ve tried to quit a couple of times. Every time these two,” pointing at Per and Marie, “came up with another stressful event and I started again…” they laughed, and took another glass of wine from the waitress.
“I didn’t know you speak Swedish.” Dimberg said, out of the blue. Jenny hoped she wouldn’t turn red.
“Well… a little… hehe… I just didn’t know the English word for ål. I thought it would sound stupid if I’d say: it’s that long fish that comes from the North Sea.”
“Hahaha!! But your pronunciation was perfect.” Dimberg continued in Swedish but Jenny stubbornly answered in English.
“Thank you! I just have this obsessive interest in languages I guess…”
Silence for a moment.
“Eel.” Said Dimberg.
“Eel. Ål is eel in English!”
At the end of the evening, Jenny stood beside the door of the restaurant to see everybody out. It was almost eleven and she’d been drinking water for the past hour… not good to get drunk on the job.
“Thanks, see you tomorrow! Bye, see you tomorrow.” Shaking hands with everybody and smiling until her cheeks hurt.
Per was one of the last to shake her hand. It was only now that Jenny noticed the absence of his wife. Maybe it was that, maybe the wine or maybe nothing. But she held his hand a little longer and squeezed his shoulder when they said goodbye.
“Thanks for everything, see you tomorrow…” he said.
“Yeah, same to you! And good night!” he held her gaze for a little too long…
She dreamt of him that night. She saw cream-colored satin sheets, the tiny white panties he stripped her out of so hungrily… the look in his eyes was still vivid in her mind when she drove to work the next morning.
Almost everything went as planned on The Day. She was happy not to bump into Per unexpectedly. She kept seeing flashes of her dream on unguarded moments, almost jumping when someone would interrupt her daydreams filled with naked bodies… his strong hands moulding her soft parts, his lips closing over her hard nipple, hips moving above hers ever so smoothly…
It wasn’t until later in the evening when she saw him again. She stood between the curtains beside the stage, watching every artist going on and following their performance from there. She could see the first two rows of the audience quite clearly and recognised some familiar faces there… Roxette-fans… brought back good memories from the time when she was still an active fan. It became impossible to go with the fan-flow after…
“You should dye your hair black again,” said a hoarse whisper in her ear. There was no need to look behind her to see who that was. She couldn’t. She froze to the floor right there and then. Her cheeks got hot and she held her breath when he hurried passed her, on his way to the stage, softly brushing her bare arm with his fingers…
Oh no. He’d done it now. Jenny’s belly went all tingly and nervous…
She watched their performance from the side of the stage. When they finished, they came her way again and she gave them thumbs up. Marie put her arms in the air and cheered silently. She looked flushed and sweaty, but satisfied.
Their duties parted them for a wile. When Jenny finished up around the venue, Roxette had already left.
Another day, another concert. Jenny didn’t sleep very well and was in a dangerously bad mood. She couldn’t take anything that day, especially not Danny’s stupid jokes. They already had a fight before dinner, and the evening was yet to come. She didn’t watch the show this time but kept an eye on the things backstage, careful not to be in the way. She happened to be in the area of Per’s dressing room when he came back from his performance.
“Jenny!” he called her when she was about to walk away. She turned her head and looked at him with arched eyebrows. He beckoned her to come into the dressing room. People around them hurried to the stage, their dressing room, toilet or whatever and no one paid any attention to them.
Ok. Talking wouldn’t hurt, she thought.
“Please sit down. You want a drink?” he asked while wiping his face and neck with a towel. Some sweat glistered on his forehead. Jenny swallowed.
“Ehmm… yes, water please.”
He pulled two bottles of water out of the mini-fridge in the corner of he room and gave her one. She still stood beside the small couch.
“It’s going very well, the audience is great…” he made conversation.
“Yeah, I heard… many fans in the audience again?”
A nod from him. She didn’t meet his eyes when he looked up at her, still standing quite uncomfortably while he sat on the couch.
She flinched when he called her that. She realised once more that some kissing, a few phone calls and one night had affected her more than she wanted to admit.
She sat down on the arm rest of the couch, leaving a reasonable distance between them.
“You know, I’m very spoiled. I kind of expected to walk into you soon again.”
He was talking in the past. God she hated this…
“I’m happy we didn’t.” She stared at her feet.
The walkie-talkie on her hip cracked.
“Jenny, come in.”
It was Danny.
“Where are you? I need security assistance.”
Probably a fight in the audience or so.
“Ok, I’ll call for assistance, am on my way.” She stood up and looked at Per, suddenly oozing with self-confidence again.
“I have to go, there’s something going on.”
Without waiting for an answer, she hurried out the door.
Show number 10
So far, everything had gone smoothly. Jenny was satisfied with ‘her’ project. Things between her and Danny were getting better as well. He’d been after her again one evening she she’d gotten angry and annoyed and even screamed at him. They ended up talking somewhere into the night. He’d told her he was really in love with her; she was all he was looking for in a woman, and so on, and so on. She’d kindly but deliberately told him to take a hike. The same hike as all man at the moment. The situation between her and Per was tense, to say the least. She tried to avoid being alone with him as much as she possibly could. It was impossible to avoid him at all, but she made sure there were other people around them all the time.
Everything seemed to go fine today as well. About half an hour before the show, Jenny took the elevator from the ground floor up to the dressing rooms with some Dutch colleagues. Per joined them on the second floor. He greeted everyone and the Dutch babbling continued in a softer tone. He stood right next to Jenny. She almost jumped when he started to talk to her.
“Dimman told me you brushed up your Swedish.” He said in a low voice, in Swedish.
“Somewhat, yes…” she answered in English, trying to produce a nice smile.
“I bet you sound sexy when you speak Swedish.” He said it even softer, but the words didn’t miss goal… Jenny blushed and Per tried not to chuckle too loudly.
“It depends.” She answered after a moment, still in English.
They reached the right floor and everybody left the elevator. They ran into Marie Dimberg almost immediately and a business conversation with her and Jenny followed in English, until they’d reached the dressing room. Dimberg went inside, Per leaned against the door stand and looked at Jenny for a moment.
“Can I call you?” he kept speaking Swedish to her. His eyes questioned her and she read longing in them. She wasn’t at all surprised by her body’s response to him.
“Mmm… that depends if it’s business or…”
“Pleasure.” He stated, in English. Jenny turned red again. She bowed closer to him and spoke softly, in Swedish.
“I think you’d better not. You might regret it.”
He opened his mouth but had nothing to say. She smiled rather triumphantly and walked off, leaving him on his doorstep. She looked back just before she left the hall and he was still looking at her.
“Have a good show!” She said, and disappeared around the corner.
Jenny was watching the show from the audience tonight. This was her ‘friends’-evening, the show to which she had invited some friends and family. She had fun with her parents, brothers and friends in the VIP area.
The big after party to close down the project was tonight, right after the show. There were still 3 more shows to go but there was no time to organise a party after that.
Jenny didn’t arrive at the party until late, when everyone was there already. The bar was open, there were snacks and people were dancing. Funny to see all these different kinds of people now mingling into one incredible mix. She’d been chatting to her family for a while and then went down to her office. There she’d freshened up a bit and changed her clothes. Time to let go of the suit and get into something more party-ish. Her hair hung down to her shoulders and she’d put up a little more make up than usual. She wore a tight, black pair of trousers, high-heeled boots and a wine-red satin blouse.
Per searched eye-contact with her from the moment she came into the room. He barely listened to what Marie (F.) was saying to him, only watched Jenny walk through the room. She talked to people here and there, laughed, had fun and enjoyed some drinks and snacks with everyone. She stayed away from Per’s side of the room.
The longer the evening, the more frustrated Per got. She could at least come over and talk to him, this was just rude. She even avoided his eyes! Maybe it was time to make a move. Stir things up a little, her thought and an amused smile appeared on his face.
He caught her in the hallway when she was on her way to the bathroom.
“Hello there.” he said in Swedish. The situation was perfect; a dim-lighted hallway, nobody there, his voice soft and low beside her ear. His hand sneaked along her waist when he adjusted his pace to hers.
“Hi! Are you having a good time?” she smiled warmly at him and answered in Swedish.
“Mmm… could be better. So you DO speak Swedish then.”
“Like I said, a little. Is there anything missing on this party?” Aah. She was playing the business-game again.
“Yes. Why are you ignoring me?” They’d reached the toilet now. She slipped into the door and laid her index finger on her lips as in ‘don’t say anything’…
He waited impatiently until she returned.
Jenny took her time. The business-attitude was the best. She had to keep that up. She couldn’t answer his flirts because she didn’t want anything to ‘happen’… but she couldn’t exactly ignore him, either, because he was part of her project.
He still stood in the hallway when she came out of the bathroom. He was next to her in a second. She sighed, turned around to face him and suddenly found herself in an impossible situation… he was leaning against the cigarette-machine and took a step closer to her. Behind her was the wall. Next to her was a wall. Geez this was a narrow hallway, she thought…
“Déjà vu.” He almost whispered it. His dark brown eyes pierced into hers, lust almost pouring out of them. She’d been so caught up in maintaining her business-attitude, she hadn’t realised it was this bad… this intense. He seemed to eat her alive with his eyes, couldn’t keep them still for a moment, couldn’t focus on one thing. She almost felt his eyes creep up and down her body, hugging her forms hungrily…
“I don’t get it.” She said soft and simple.
“Am I not clear enough?”
He took another step in her direction. She moved backwards unwillingly and bumped into the wall. Her cheeks got warm, he got closer. He’d taken his arms off the cigarette-machine and almost leaned into her when a woman passed them and went into the toilet.
He put one leg forward, pushed his knee against her crouch. She was stunned. She’d never expect him to be so bold.
“Per. How much have you been drinking tonight?!”
“A lot. But nothing alcoholic. I get drunk when I see you.”
The excitement in his voice made her belly tingle. But she didn’t want this! Right?! She wanted out now! Or…?
“I have to get back to the party…”
He leaned into her before she finished the sentence, but she was faster. She moved away from him and walked away through the hall without saying anything and without looking back.
It took some time for her to calm down. Her heart was racing like crazy, chaotic thoughts went through her mind and shit, how did the room suddenly became so hot?!
She left the party soon after that, didn’t wait for it to finish. She simply couldn’t stand it anymore. She had to be alone, it had to be quiet around her so she could let her thoughts wander off and find out what the hell was going on inside her.
Two days off followed and Jenny took time to pamper herself. She did some things around the house, took a nice long bath and went shopping.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday would be the last three shows. That was how long she had to keep up with… with him. Or with herself…
Thursday evening, her mobile ringing startled her. ‘Anonymous’. It seemed to last an eternity until her voice mail answered the call. She couldn’t concentrate anymore on the crime novel she was reading and put on the television. Skipping through the channels she realised this was just crazy and picked up her mobile.
“You have one new message. Received today at fifteen minutes past nine,” the mechanic voice told her.
Silence, some background sounds.
“Jen, it’s me. I don’t know why I’m calling but… maybe I… should apologize for… for my behaviour at the party…” cracking in the line.
“…and ehm… well that was all actually. See you this weekend, bye!”
Friday and Saturday where horrible shows, everything seemed to be taken care of in the last minute. Jenny had to run around like a maniac. She did see Per occasionally but didn’t have time to worry about him.
Sunday afternoon, she arrived later at work than normal. She had decided to sleep late because it had taken her ages to finally fall asleep… her busy mind had kept her awake. Hot dreams had teased her the whole rest of the night.
She’d chosen a new suit to wear today. It was a dark purple colour and the fabric was smooth and sexy. Short, tight skirt with a jacket almost the same length. There was only one button on the jacket and it closed on her belly, underlining the slim line of her waist. Black stockings and high heeled shoes completed the picture. Her hair was tied back in a ponytail and she wore her lenses today.
She hadn’t expected the day to become such a good one, but things seemed to fall into place perfectly. The show had started before she even had time to worry about anything… this wasn’t the way things were supposed to go. A good project manager is the hardest working person on the team… but there she was, enjoying a cold drink backstage with some colleagues, while the show seemed to organise itself.
Jenny’s walkie-talkie cracked. She checked her watch; still 45 minutes before the end of the show. Would something finally collapse now?
“Jenny come in.” it was one of the security guys and he spoke English.
“Can you come over to Roxette’s room for a moment?”
Her heart skipped a beat.
“On my way!”
Roxette had three rooms; two dressing rooms for Per and Marie and one extra room where they could sit with the management and family. She heard laughter coming from the open door and her nerves relaxed a little.
“Jenny!” said Dimberg and pulled into the room. Everybody held a glass of champagne and she got one as well.
“We are celebrating a successful tour and you have to join us. Everything has been wonderful, thank you.” Dimberg said and the others cheered. Jenny turned red, of course, and gladly accepted the glass of champagne. Loud skåls sounded and they drank up. Everybody started talking and chatted and she happily joined. No problem. She was not at all impressed by Per in his tight jeans, sitting across the room. She didn’t have any difficulty NOT looking at his slick-fabric shirt with some chest hair peaking out. She was not impressed by his freshly-showered look, slightly wet hair and radiant smile. Maybe I start to believe it if I tell myself long enough, she thought.
It was almost time for the artists to say goodbye to the audience. The band got ready to head for the stage and Jenny wanted to go too. She wanted to see this from the audience. She still sat talking with Marie about the Dutch audience, when nearly everybody had left.
“Marie, are you coming?” Per asked, already standing in the hallway with Bo.
“Yes, yes!” she smiled happily and energetically jumped up to join him. Jenny still sat on the chair and met Per’s gaze from the door. He watched Marie and Bo walk away, the came in and quickly closed the door. He was with her before she could stand up.
“Jen, just a second.” He sounded out of breath, as I he’d been running.
Jenny’s walkie-talkie made a beeping sound.
“Two minutes to end-song.”
“You have to go,” she said nervously.
“I know, in a second. I just…”
He stopped talking when she stared into his eyes. She realised her game was up; he read something there. He placed a hand on her knee and kept looking in her eyes when he did so.
“I’m sorry.” He whispered. His hand slid up a little bit, past her knee, reaching her inner thigh.
“I can’t help it.” he said even softer. His hand was completely under her skirt now and she’d stopped breathing.
Knock knock!! On the door and it opened. They both stood up instantly. It was Bo.
“Per, hurry, you are too late!”
The three of them ran in the direction of the stage. Per went on, Jenny chose the stairs to the arena.
She could still feel his hand on her thigh when she joined the audience and saw all the artists come on stage. Per and Marie were just in time. She slowly started breathing again, watching them singing. She felt her panties were wet.
Back in the dressing room, Per and Marie hugged each other.
“Well well…” Marie sighed.
“Well well indeed. And this was only the start!” Per answered. Belgian and German shows were still to come, another month of touring.
“I feel great. This was a very good decision.” Marie smiled happily.
Per saw his mobile phone lying on the couch beside his jacket. That was weird. He could swear he’d put it on the side table when he left… he picked it up and saw a tiny yellow note, folded and stuck to the screen. ‘Come to my office.’ It said. His mouth went dry and he didn’t hear what Marie was saying.
“I’m exhausted, I’m going to the hotel right away. Are you going to join the others at the pub?”
“Mmm, yeah I think so. Sleep tight, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
She kissed his cheek and was off.
He sat down on the couch and looked at the note for a moment. Then he called Dimberg.
“I’m on my way to you now!” she said when she picked up.
“Ok… I’m going to the hotel because I’m really tired… will you pick up my things?”
“Yep, no problem, just go! I’ll follow you in a little while.”
He nervously bit his lip while walking through a silent Ahoy’. He took the elevator to the first floor and had to search for the offices… when he found them, there was only one room where the light was still on.
“Jenny?” he called her name before he reached the office. When he peaked into the room, he saw she was on the phone. She beckoned him to come in and sit down. He halted in the doorway and waited, took some time to watch her. Her conversation was in Dutch and he kind of understood half of it. It sounded as business.
She leaned with her ass against the desk, almost wrapped in the phone chord. One leg was innocently draped over the corner of the table, giving him perfect view on her upper legs. She followed his gaze and changed her position. She sat down onto the desk and crossed he legs, slowly. She finished the conversation as quick as possible. When she’d hung up, they stared at each other for a moment.
“Thanks for coming over.” she started.
“Of course…” he smiled as relaxed as he could.
“I have the feeling we have some… unfinished business.”
“Ahaa…” he walked into the room now and stood in front of her, arms crossed, seemingly uninterested.
“When I got this job, I just never expected we would bump into each other. I was not supposed to do music projects.” It sounded kind of defensive.
“You don’t have to excuse yourself…” he said softly.
“Maybe not… but I want to… explain. A lot has happened since…” her voice faded and she looked away.
“Since that night?” he finished for her. She nodded.
“I wondered about you, when I didn’t see you anymore…” he started to feel calmer now.
“You expected to see me?”
“Actually I did. I missed you in the audience last summer.” A smile broke through on his face. Jenny shifted on the desk a bit.
“Ah… Gyllene’s tour. I didn’t miss it on purpose you know…” she paused for a moment.
“I… had a heavy car accident just before last summer. Was right after I started this job. So I wasn’t able to even walk the stairs for quite a while, and now there is an iron pin here,” she pointed at her left hip. Per’s mouth fell open and he took a few steps in her direction.
“Jesus! What happened?”
She told him how a huge van had thrown her off her bike all those months ago. He sat down next to her on the desk and listened, amazed to hear what hell she’d been through.
They sat in silence for a moment. Per picked up her hand from her lap.
“You know, I’ve never been able to forget you…” she bit her lip and stared into his eyes. He could still make her heart stop with just looking at her.
“I hoped you remembered me. I hoped it wasn’t just…”
“I know it was just sex. But ehm… I hope it was good, at least…” she giggled and looked away.
“Hehe. Don’t worry,” he kissed her fingers.
“You’ve been in every naughty dream I’ve had ever since.” Her mouth fell open and he laughed at her.
“You’re not serious!” she whispered.
“I am! You should know… the nights I spent thinking about you…”
“But your wi…” he put his hand on her lips.
“Shushh…” he stood up.
“I have to go.”
“It’s either that or…”
“Or you make wild love to me here on this desk?” she said it without thinking.
Her eyes played with his. She called him without words. Took a more comfortable position on the desk. He approached her again.
“You don’t know what you’re saying…” he whispered when he was close to her.
“Ooooh yes I do…”
He took another step and his hands reached for he legs. Parted her knees and stood between them. He was about to say something, but she was quicker.
“Kiss me.” She breathed the words, looking up at him. Then he finally bowed down and did as she asked. Their lips met and everything was warm and soft. Her lips opened for him and he slipped his tongue inside. An electric shock went through them… she parted her legs further to have him closer. His hands cupped her face and he kissed her harder, wilder. A moan escaped her throat when he let go of her mouth.
“I have to have you.” he panted.
In answer, she leaned back and lay down on the desk. She opened her jacket and started to unbutton her blouse. Per’s leather jacket landed in a corner of the room. His hands caressed her legs, from her knees up under the skirt.
Wet kisses danced over her belly. He softly scratched the inside of her thighs with his nails. His other hand squeezed one of her breast softly, pulling away her bra. Her nipple stuck out, hard and proud. He stuck out his tongue and licked it.
He’d reached the top of her stockings and felt something wet. She didn’t wear any panties.
“Oh my God… Jenny…” he whispered in her ear.
“I want…” his voice broke and he took her earlobe in his mouth.
“Mmm… tell me… what do you want…?”
“I want to…”
“Say it. Tell me Per.”
“I want to be inside you… you are so wet…”
His hands left her body to undo his jeans. He came down to kiss her again and she felt his hard member against her upper leg.
“Do it Per… take me… please…” she whispered in his ear, panting heavily.
“Oh!” she cried out when he entered her. He stopped for a moment, studied her face. She bit her lower lip and looked at him with drowsed eyes.
“Does it… hurt…?” he had trouble speaking. She shook her head.
“Go on and take me… I need you…”
He didn’t need any more encouragements and pushed inside her harder. She wrapped her legs around him and moaned in the rhythm of his thrusts.
“Oh Jen… you feel so good… mmmm… so… tight…”
“Go on… oh yes… faster…” she tilted her hips and pushed them up.
“Do you like it… hard…?” he hissed in her ear.
He took that as a yes and pounded faster inside her. He seemed to have found the exact right spot because suddenly she started trembling and stopped breathing…
“Yes… like that… oh yes… oh Per… mmm….” Her eyes were closed in concentration, mouth wide open but she didn’t make a sound…
He slowed down a little bit. Long, deep thrusts. His face was buried in her neck and he knew nothing but the warm wetness inside of her and the smell of her hair. The rest of the world had vanished, there was nothing else but this.
“Oh Per…” she breathed in and out deeply.
“Did you…?” he looked into her eyes. She nodded with a satisfied smile on her face.
“Mmmm… this feels so good… I could do this forever.” She sighed. He couldn’t help but laugh.
“Are you comfortable?” it seemed a ridiculous question to ask, since he was still sliding deep in and out of her… but a desk wasn’t the most comfortable place in the world for wild lovemaking…
“I don’t feel anything… only this here…” he whispered and pushed a bit harder. He kissed her lips and their tongues played for a moment.
“Does it feel the same?”
“What? The same as….”
“Hehe. Mhm… let me see…” he pretended to concentrate on something and tried to look intelligent for a moment.
“You are still as tight as you were then… you are so wet… mmm…”
“Oh….” She growled and twisted beneath him.
“God Per you make me so hot… Ah!”
“Jen are you…”
“Mmm….. mmm…. Go on… slowly…”
Per felt the tension building up in his belly. He was amazed that he could stand it so long… he’d half expected to come at the moment he entered her. But he was so focussed on pleasing her that he’d been able to restrain himself for quite a while. Now to see her lying under him, her beautiful body trembling with pleasure… this was too much.
“Tell me honey…” he said, needing to hear more.
“You make me so crazy when you tell… when you say how good it feels…”
“Oooh… but it does… you are so hot inside… so wet.” He felt strong contractions inside her again, as if she was trying to keep him there.
“Oh! Oh God… you get even tighter when you do that… mmmmyes….. yes…”
“Mmm… like this… you like that…” she did it on purpose now…
“Yes… mmmmmmm…. Oh I’m gonna…”
He shoved hard into her a few times. She cramped around him and called his name when she came for the second time, a split second before he tumbled over and spilled deep inside her.
Jenny held him close to her, her fingers entwined in his hair. She panted close to his ear.
“Oh my… Per… geez… mmm… I… love you.”
Per went back to Sweden the next day. Jenny got promoted. Life went on.
* * *
It was a busy and difficult period for both of them. Per seemed unable to reach an agreement with Marie about their new album and Jenny so desperately wanted to fall in love that she broke many hearts in a short time.
Early spring 2006
Then six months later, her phone rang. She was already on the phone in her office and saw her mobile vibrating on the desk. ‘Anonymous’ would probably be her dad, as she was expecting him to call from his office. She picked up, whispered “Moment!” and continued the other conversation. It took a few minutes…
“Ja met Jenny, sorry…”
It was not her dad, it was Per.
“Oh… hi…” she switched to Swedish.
“Am I interrupting something?”
“No, no, I expected someone else… how are you?”
“Fine… it’s been ages, I know. But I wanted to say that… ehm…. I miss you.”
Jenny was silent for a moment. Her mouth was open and her hand with the full tea-cup floated above her desk. She put it down carefully when her hand started to shake.
“I’m still here. You startled me, Per. I don’t know what to say.”
“I understand…” she heard a smile in his voice. Then someone in the background talked to him and he replied in English.
“Sorry about that. I am working. That’s actually why I called. How long would you have to drive to Brussels?”
“Mmm… about one and a half hour I think…”
“I am in Brussels now and… well…”
“Do you want to meet somewhere?”
“Ok. I can leave here at four, drive through rush hour and be in Brussels a little after six.”
“Would you like to?”
She leaned backwards in her chair and stretched her neck. Sighed.
“It depends… I mean… I don’t know what you want to…”
“You. I want you.” he whispered the words into the phone.
Jenny’s belly tingled and her heart beat a little faster. She swallowed hard. A colleague walked into the room.
“Someone just came in so I have to go. I can be there around six, six-thirty. Which hotel are you staying?”
“The SAS. It’s…”
“I know where it is.”
“Ok. Room 3032. But let them call me, I’ll pick you up in the lobby for dinner, ok?”
“Yes, great. See you tonight.”
Jenny left work at three. She drove home as fast as she could. There she jumped into the shower and started thinking what the hell she was going to wear… Radison SAS… posh affair. Then dinner would probably require some decent clothing as well…
She stood in front of her closet while drying her hair. Shit, why hadn’t she done some good shopping lately! Everything was boring! It was either an old jeans with a tight top or a business suit…
Finally she left her apartment, at about a quarter to four. She was wearing a tight, black skirt, one of the most useful items in her wardrobe… she could almost swear she wore the same skirt last time she saw him but she couldn’t care less at the moment. This time, the weather was really nice so her legs were bare and she wore high-heeled open shoes with it. To appear a little more casual, she’d combined the skirt with a simple white sleeveless top and a jeans jacket. It took her almost two hours to get to Brussels.
Jenny stood in the elevator from the underground car park up to the lobby. There was a knot in her stomach and her heart raced uncontrollably. She tried to smile at the guard standing in the hallway, when she walked up to the desk.
“Hello, I have an appointment with Mr. Gessle, room 3032. Can you call him and tell I’m here?”
Waiting. She sat down on one of the huge leather chairs and tapped her fingers on the arm rest. Geez what took him so…
She stood up instantly. Her breath stalled somewhere halfway her lungs when she looked at him.
“Hi…” it sounded breathless and shy and probably silly. He smiled and opened his arms. They hugged and didn’t to let go. She felt his breath… he was breathing her in deeply and rested his cheek against her warm neck.
They let go of each other reluctantly.
“There are reservations for us in a restaurant around the corner.”
“Ok, let’s go then!” she said with a bright smile.
They walked for a few minutes in a lovely early-evening breeze.
“You look great. Anything interesting why you had to come to Brussels?”
“Thanks… you’re not looking bad yourself… mmm, I’m here for some EMI stuff. They invited me and I thought, what the heck, nice to see Brussels again, do some shopping. See you.”
Jenny was kind of stunned. Never in the world had she expected to see him again, privately that is, let alone that he would ever call her!
“So. Now I’m here. Brussels is nice but I hate the fact that they speak French everywhere…”
“Haha… I never understand shit either.”
“Well I do speak French but… I can’t stand it, haha… it’s too much of an ordeal to make one logical sentence, geez. I am too lazy to speak French, I think.”
“But you do speak it? How come you learned it then?”
“Mmm… in school. Looooong time ago. And I once had a job where I needed a lot of French so I took some courses as well. Really useless as I never use it anymore!”
They’d reached the restaurant and Per held the door for her. The look in his eyes was hungry and not just for food. It made her blush… she hoped he didn’t see it. The cool attitude felt better than the shy one.
“So there is this thing with you and languages then?” he said when they sat down at the reserves table. It was a small, quiet table in the back.
“Mmm, I guess…” she looked around a little uncomfortable. She’d never been anywhere with him where people could recognise him… or her, as she’d done some business in Brussels in the past.
“English, Swedish, French… that sounds impressive to me!”
“Dutch, German, Spanish… I don’t know where it comes from!” she giggled when his eyes went big.
“Those too?! How can you ever learn so many languages when you’re only…” he realised he didn’t know her exact age. Or not good enough to guess.
“Only what? Dutch?” she glanced at him while taking a sip of water.
“No… I was about to guess your age but I think I’d better not…” he made a joke but couldn’t hide the light blushes sliding over his cheeks. Now Jenny laughed out loud.
“Hahaha! You don’t know it, do you?” he shook his head.
“Hey! You’re not going to tell me?!”
She looked back at him with a teasing smile.
The waiter brought them the menu and took their orders for drinks. Both stared at the menu for a moment.
“Jenny.” He whispered it softly from behind the card.
“Per….” she replied, not looking at him and no question in her voice, just said his name softly.
“Not fair. I bet you know my age.” He put the menu down. Jenny only nodded and stared at the dishes for a little longer. Then she put it down too and looked at him.
“Yep. You’re forty-seven.”
“Shush!!! Don’t say it so loud…” he grinned.
“Why? Is your age a problem for you?” she leaned with her arms on the table, a little closer to him.
“Mmm. Sometimes. Maybe I feel better if you tell me…” he leaned in closer as well.
“Aaaah… you’re smart. Ok. A riddle for you: I was born around the time when you released an official album for the first time.” There. She sat back in her chair with a satisfied smile on her face. Before he could say anything, the waiter was back.
They got into a talk about French food and France, over to the French language, over to Spain and Spanish. Their food was served and it was delicious, the topic became restaurants. Hotels. Radison SAS which had lost quite some of its glance over the past years. Tylösand. Then Jenny got silent. It had all started in Tylösand. Unbelievable that it was already three years ago…
“Ay!” Per snapped his fingers. Jenny startled, she had been lost in Tylösand-thoughts for a moment. The waiter was at their table again.
“Desert?” Per asked.
“No, not for me, thank you. Just a cup of tea please.” She answered the waiter in Dutch.
“I think I know.” Per grinned at her, eyes never loosing the boyish touch, no matter how old he got or how serious the situation was.
“Twenty-six. I was born in October.”
He looked into her eyes for a long time, without saying anything. She just looked back at first but then got uncomfortable.
“Do you still get uncomfortable in my presence?” her heart skipped a beat. The way he read her was scary.
“I-I… uhmm…” she started stuttering now, oh wow well done, she thought. The waiter saved her by bringing tea for her and coffee for him. It suddenly occurred to her that neither had been drinking anything but water the whole evening. Bugger. She could use a drink now that her nerves started playing tricks on her. Those annoying tingles in her belly again.
“Jen… those blushes look really cute on you…” he whispered it. His leg moved under the table and their knees touched. She stared at her glass.
“Oh shuttup…” she mumbled. Per giggled and they were silent for a moment.
“How many times have we met, actually…” he wondered, staring out the window.
“You want dates and times?” she asked. Ha. Her confidence hadn’t completely left her after all.
“Would you remember?” he looked intensely at her. He seemed to be completely serious. She didn’t know what to say but was saved by the waiter again. He walked by and Per asked for the check.
Jenny was fighting the urge to grab Per’s hand. They walked back to the hotel, taking a little detour along a beautiful building she wanted to show him. Jenny was postponing. As much as she wanted the evening to end in bed, she also just wanted to spend time with him. Talk to him, listen to him, look at him, laugh with him… yes, she was still crazy about him. It was about time she confessed it to herself. He’d commented about the line that left her mouth after their lovemaking on her desk…
Jenny had needed Nick, Johan, Arnold and Danny – yes, after all – to see that there was no way out. She would still be madly in love with this man even if she’d never see him again. Something in her screamed for an answer. Please, tell me. Tell me what you feel. Tell me… that you don’t love me. Tell me that I am nothing more than just a fuck on a Tuesday evening… please. Tell me I am unimportant. Break the dream, please…
And then he’d called, just one afternoon, and said he had missed her. The lump in her stomach had been enormous. The work-surroundings had kept her sane, probably.
“Busy mind tonight?”
He was close suddenly. An arm around her shoulder, his mouth close to her ear. They had walked for a while without talking. She looked away, mumbled something about busy at work. They’d reached the hotel and she hadn’t even noticed it. She followed him inside and on to the elevator, ignoring his questioning eyes. They stood opposite from each other in the elevator. Jenny leaned against the wall and looked at him from under her long, black eyelashes.
Walking to the room, she suddenly felt his hand in her hair. He took the clip out of her hair with one move, making her slightly curled hair sway over her shoulders. His hand going through it sent shivers down her spine…
He opened the door with one hand, grabbing hers with the other. He pulled her inside and directly into an embrace.
“Finally… alone…” he whispered, voice low.
She couldn’t speak. His head came down, she closed her eyes and their lips touched. All her tension, nervousness and anxiety seemed to pour in that first kiss. Only their lips touched but he felt a ripple go through her, as if you throw a stone into still water. His hands reached her waist to pull her closer, deepening the kiss. He led her to the other side of the room where the bed was, his face now buried in her neck. She still wore the same, intoxicating perfume…
They lay on the bed, both still fully dressed. He’d pushed her on it and crawled on top of her, kissing her neck, lips, cheeks… and she let him. She didn’t dare to move, make a sound or say anything. Her coolness had definitely abandoned her.
He pressed his hips down, his hardness into her stomach and panted.
“God… you make me crazy.” He whispered. Jenny’s voice was raw when she replied.
“I didn’t do anything…”
“You don’t have to. Just be, and I get hard…” she couldn’t help but giggle, breaking some of her reserve.
“I can feel that…” she sighed. She parted her legs as far as the tight skirt let her, his hips in between. She felt a hand going up her bare leg, slipped under the soft fabric…
“Jen…” he growled. Ah. He reached the part where normally her panties would be, if she would wear any.
“How can you do this to me…” he hissed in her ear.
“Mmm… I just thought it was easier… quicker…”
“Uffff… you want it quick?” his eyes were darkened by clouds of lust.
“I think I’m in a slow mood tonight…” she said it softly into his ear, and then took his earlobe between her lips.
“Mmm… good.” He mumbled against her neck.
He pulled her skirt up and searched with his hand. Naughty, persistent fingers started exploring her. Jenny held her breath when he touched her. She opened her eyes when his fingers suddenly left her… what was he… oh. He moved down over he body until his face rested between her legs. He hadn’t done that before. Oh… my… God…
The first touches were his lips on her inner thigh. He kissed his way up where it got warmer and warmer. His tongue slid up and down, finding the amazingly sensitive, well hidden spot he was looking for.
“Oh… oh…” Jenny panted.
He took his time, slowly exploring, tasting, enjoying… circled around to tease her. Entered a finger inside her which made her gasp. She grabbed his hair with her hands and moved her hips into his face. He stopped for a moment and looked up.
“Go on… mmm…” she needed to catch her breath. His head came up and he kissed her with wet lips.
“One sec.” he stood up from the bed and started to undress. He was wearing a suit and everything seemed to be too warm and in the way. She got up on her elbows and watched him, gesturing that yes, everything should go. Then he stood naked before her. She watched his body for a moment and he got shy. Moved beside her on the bed.
“Now you. This is unfair.” He whispered in her hair. She kissed his lips quickly and then stood up.
First was the top that flew over her head. Bra followed a little slower. She stepped out of her shoes. The skirt was zipped open quickly and slid down her legs to the floor. That was it. Now he looked at her until she came back onto the bed. He took her in his arms and kissed her passionately. Jenny was ignoring her thoughts, ignoring the lump that came into her stomach every now and then. Her hands slid over his body slowly. She wandered over his chest, caressed his belly and sides and moulded his ass. He wrapped a leg around her. A hand went over his leg to his side and back to his knee. She pulled him closer and pushed her body against his.
He loosened from her kiss.
“Mmm… I wasn’t finished yet… before my suit started itching…”
Per started all over again, taking more time than before. He kissed down her neck to her breasts. His hands slowly caressed up and down her body… he first took one nipple in his mouth and sucked it, licked it, until it was hard. Then to the other. Jenny watched him and drew her hands through his hair. Those big brown eyes looked up at her from time to time and then she smiled at him. His kisses went on over her chest until he’d reached her belly. He kissed her belly just below her bellybutton, caressed her hips and seemed to stare at her for a while.
“Have you lost weight, since…?”
“Hihi… can you tell?”
Per nodded. His chin rested on her belly when he looked into her eyes. Gosh he was a funny sight… Jenny couldn’t help it, she had to laugh! Her belly moved and Per’s head moved with it. He smiled back at her and laid his hands on her chest.
“Jenny!” he called out, pretending to be annoyed.
“Stop laughing! This is a very serious thing I am planning to do!” he said, pointing out his position between her legs.
“Haha… sorry… mmm. I can’t help it. Hihi… you look funny.”
A second later, she was serious again. She bit her lip and nodded at him. Per grinned… she was so cute…
With her ass firmly in his hands, he started his ‘serious task’ again. Softly kissing and biting her inner thighs, grazing her flesh with the stubbles on his cheeks. This forced another giggle from Jenny and he looked up with questioning eyes.
“It tickles…” she defended herself rather weakly.
“Ah!” Jenny gasped. Per slid his tongue up and down and inside her. Soft moans and cries left Jenny’s mouth. Her eyes were tightly shut and she’d grabbed the bed sheets with her hands. Per closely watched her reaction to the moves he made. He circled around that small knot of nerves in the middle, pressed his tongue on it and sucked it… when he found what most pleasured her, he continued that. Sometimes age can be an advantage… or, rather, experience can, Per thought smirking.
“Oh… yes… oooh…” she moaned and whispered barely audible. Per felt her thighs cramping. He pushed an index finger inside her, still licking her slowly.
“Oh!” she cried out and threw her head back. She shuddered, clamping his finger inside her.
Jenny’s belly was trembling when Per kissed it a few times. He lay on top of her and kissed her. She moaned in his mouth, still half out of breath.
“Oh my… I don’t think I ever… came like that…” she panted.
“Mmm… you were beautiful…” Per’s voice was hoarse in her ear. He lay between her legs slightly sideways and ran his hands along her hip. He pushed his hard member inside her slowly, just the top. Then back, and in again. Jenny pulled one leg up.
“Go on…” she whispered in his neck.
Per was panting heavily and paused for a moment. Then he thrust again, very slowly, pushing a little bit deeper every time.
“Oh God…” Jenny moaned. She moved her hips in his rhythm and tried to make him go faster.
“You like it?” his voice was thick when he whispered in her ear. He paused again, watching her.
Jenny moaned deeply. She pressed her body against his and pushed him over, laying on top of him. Per gasped when he slid out of her and took a moment to catch his breath.
“Mmm.. I think my slow mood is over…” Jenny hissed in between kisses. Per looked at her with darkened eyes, wanted to say something but…
“Oh!! Oh, ooooh….” he could only moan uncontrollably when she guided him inside again, moving her hips up and down. His hands grabbed her arms and he trembled.
“Jen… Oh no… slow down… slow…”
“But I… I can’t… Ah!”
He pushed his hips upward in her rhythm and grabbed her waist.
“Oh… yes…” he whispered, and released inside her.
Water drummed on Jenny’s head. She tried to concentrate on the sound of that instead of the stabs of pain in her belly. She hummed a tune while she lathered her body with hotel-soap, ignoring the rather stuffy perfume. She sighed deeply a few times, trying to loosen the knot in her stomach. Shit why couldn’t she shake this feeling, this awful, horrifying hunch of… of what? Loss?
Tears ran down her cheeks, mingling with the rest of the water. She didn’t even notice she was crying until she shut the water off but the tears kept running.
Wrapping a towel around her chest, she was suddenly shaking with cold. She quickly put her hair up in a knot when Per came into the bathroom.
“Hey… finished already?”
Jenny nodded and turned her back to him, facing the mirror. She saw him wrapping his arms around her shoulders from behind, his lips coming down on her neck.
“Mmm… you smell fresh…” he whispered.
She loosened from his embrace carefully, smiled at him and left the bathroom.
The road was dark and silent and it had started to rain a little. A fresh spring rain, clearing the city from the dust and warmth of the day. Jenny drove fast. Loud, banging music sounded through the car and she sang along from time to time.
She reached her apartment around four and went straight to bed.
Thank God for flexible working hours, she thought the next morning. She arrived at work after eleven, just in time for some meeting. Made it through the meeting without preparation. Skipped lunch and worked until seven. Just as she wanted to close the door of her office behind her, the phone inside rang. A deep sigh, and she went back in. It was the guard at the reception.
“Oh you’re still there! I have a phone call for you.”
“A call via the reception?”
“Yes. He said it was urgent so… are you there?”
She swallowed hard. She didn’t have to ask who that was.
“Tell him I left. I’m sure it can wait until tomorrow.”
“I don’t think so. It’s Per Gessle and he said it was urgent.”
Damn. Why did he have to say his name? Another deep sigh.
“Ok. But I’m on my way out. Can you transfer the call to my mobile?”
She had to fumble in her purse to find the thing and it had already started ringing.
Her stomach cramped. The physical effect was unbelievable.
It was silent for a moment. The only sounds were Jenny’s shoes as she walked through the empty entrance hall.
“Now I finally have you on the phone and I don’t know what to say.” he started.
“You don’t have to say anything,” she answered softly.
“So you don’t think we have to talk?”
“No I don’t see why we should.”
He sighed. Women.
“I think you can at least tell me what I did wrong.” His tone was sharp.
Jenny had reached her car. She was still hunting her mind for something useful to say.
“You didn’t do anything wrong. Didn’t you read my note?”
“I did. But it didn’t explain why you left.”
Jenny was almost out of breath. Maybe she should just tell him. Spill everything, all here feelings, pain and worries. And then tell him to get lost and never return.
“I’m here. Thinking. It’s… it’s difficult Per.”
“I know. Still I want to hear it.”
“You know? What do you know?”
“Jenny. Is this going to be a fight? There is nothing to fight about. I just want you to explain why you left without saying goodbye. And why the note said you don’t want to see me again. I thought we had a great time…”
Charming. His voice was charming. She blushed at the thought of the good time they had. But the anger came back. The images of last night were hurting rather than exciting.
“I just can’t see you anymore. It… you stir up my life too much.”
Jenny played with the car keys in her hand. There. She’d said it. Per cleared his throat.
“Is it that bad?”
“I’m afraid so.” Jenny had now laid her head on the steering wheel and whispered into the phone.
“I was thinking. I am supposed to fly back to Stockholm tomorrow. But I can also come to Rotterdam and spend the weekend there, fly home Sunday evening.”
“No.” she’d answered before he finished completely.
“Not to… just to talk. Something feels wrong and maybe…”
“Per…” she interrupted him and took a deep breath.
“I think it’s better if we just don’t see each other anymore. Ever. I really enjoyed seeing you last night and… maybe I enjoyed it a little too much. I don’t know how else to say it.”
When he didn’t say anything, she continued.
“Don’t you feel bad at all? You are having an affair. And you don’t feel bad? You are out of the country for work. I drive two hours to sleep with you. Tomorrow you go back to your wife. It hurts. It hurts me, and I can’t understand that you…”
“No wait. That was not what I wanted to say, I’m sorry.” She swallowed, trying to push away the tears stinging behind her eyes.
“I just want to say… that I can’t do this. Yesterday was too much, we had too much fun. Don’t take your mistresses out to dinner, ok? Don’t have fun with them. They tend to fall in love.”
Per took the pause she needed to interrupt her.
“Shit Jenny. I thought we just had a good time and… and I thought you didn’t mind that… that I called you because…”
“Because you needed to get laid. I don’t mind. I just can’t do it anymore.”
“Why did you leave?”
Jenny couldn’t hold back the tears anymore and started to cry, as softly as possible.
“Don’t cry darling… please… I… I’m sorry…
“Per stop! You didn’t do anything wrong. You are just too cute.” She joked in spite of her tears.
“I care for you Jen, you know that…”
“I have to go now.”
Per was silent.
“I have to drive home, so I have to go. I… I can’t see you anymore.”
“So this is it?”