John Francis - Chapter 14

Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 8:46 AM
Jon’s grip on Amanda changed from that of comfort to the initiation of sex. She gently took his hands in hers and pulled back to see his face. “Jon, right this minute that’s not what you need. I understand wanting to lose yourself and your thoughts for a while, but they’ll still be there when we’re through.”

He was shocked she had read him so well and understood his intentions. He had wanted to bury himself in sex, the way he had been burying himself in booze for the last several months. And she was right, no matter what he did, his thoughts were still there when he was through.

He cocked his head and asked her, “How do you know me so well already?”

“The same way you seem to know me. I feel, I think, I listen and so do you.”

Slowly his face began to clear and life returned to his eyes. He kissed her softly. “Thank you.”

She smiled at him and cupped the side of his face. “I know all about getting lost in grief. Thank you, too.”

This time the smile reached his eyes.

Still standing, touching, they heard the front door open and Richie’s voice calling out loudly, “I’m comin’ in, this is your only warning!”

Jon rolled his eyes and Amanda giggled. “For Christ’s sake, Richie, we’re just in the kitchen!” Jon shouted back.

“Yeah, like THAT would have stopped you two!” Richie laughed.

Richie entered the kitchen and looked at the two of them. Like a shark scenting blood, he felt vibrations in the air that had nothing to do with sex. He looked at Jon and thought he saw some puffiness in his eyes that was not there before. He glanced at Amanda, but couldn’t read her as well. “Did I walk into the middle of something here?”

Jon spoke quietly but with much less pain as he explained the phone call from Dot.
Richie swore out loud – “Fuck me! You okay, man?”

“Yeah, Rich, I am. I really am.”

“Did you do this?” Richie asked as he cocked his head sideways at Amanda.

“I didn’t do anything.” was her reply.

“Yeah, honey,” Jon whispered hoarsely, “you did.”

Richie nodded his head slightly, understanding that somehow Amanda had stopped another downward spiral by Jon without using sex and without Jon using booze. At that moment Amanda gained a friend for life.

Jon went outside for a smoke leaving Amanda and Richie in the kitchen. Unknowingly, she gave a big sigh and shook her head.

“What’s the matter, hon?” Richie asked.

“What?” she replied, startled out of her thoughts.

“You…the big sigh…shaking your head…tell Uncle Richie…” he grinned winningly at her.

Laughing, Amanda gently shook her head again, then sobering she spoke in a quiet voice.

“Richie, this person, me, isn’t really me…” she began, mixing her words in her confusion.

“I don’t know what you mean, hon.”

“Jon asked me to stay with him,” she told him.

“I know, I’m glad.”

“You are?” she looked at him with squinted eyes. “Why?”

“Because you’re real, honey, not a groupie, not a ‘star fucker’, just a real woman who I think is needed very badly by someone,” came his soft response.

“Richie, for cryin’ out loud, he’s Jon Bon Jovi! And I’m…just a regular person…I…don’t know what is happening to me!” she wailed plaintively.

“Actually, sweetie, he’s John Francis Bongiovi, Jr. He’s a man. ‘Jon Bon Jovi’ is what he does. Tell me something, Mandy, did you go to bed with him yesterday because he’s Jon Bon Jovi?” he quizzed her with a considering look to his eye.

“NO! I asked him because he made me come alive again and I had to…I had to be with the man who did that. I…Oh God…this is so embarrassing…I needed him, Richie.” Her voice dropped almost to a whisper as she continued, “I still need him…”

She paused again, shook her head, then looked at him, willing him to understand. “Truth?”

“Of course.”

“I have to remind myself that he’s Jon Bon Jovi, Richie, and it’s getting harder and harder to do. He’s a man to me…an amazing man…but – I’m feeling things that I haven’t felt…” her voice trailed off as she couldn’t yet put her emotions into words.

“Babe, I’m not Jon, so I can’t make you any promises, but during the last year I’ve seen him go through hell and now he seems to be coming out the other side. It wasn’t Tico or me who finally got him through either…I think it was you.” Richie stared at her while he spoke.

Neither Amanda nor Richie realized that Jon had come back inside and had overheard their last few exchanges. He hung his head and thought she has to remind herself that I’m Jon Bon Jovi. Christ! When is the last time that happened with a woman? He continued to listen.

“Mandy, if Jon had been sober and had been his usual charming self – Fuck! can’t believe I said that! Richie laughed, “but if he had, that night at the café, would you have gone home with him?”

“No, that would not have happened. She paused, then softly, “Richie…I’m not a very experienced woman.”

He cocked an eyebrow at her.

“I mean, of course, in a way I am, but not with many men. A high school boyfriend, then Jeremy, then…Jon. I was faithful to Jeremy for 24 years, including this last year. It was easy, I loved him. But I can’t compete with the kind of women Jon has access to…I just can’t.”

Richie looked at her, now willing her to understand. “This year has been hard for Jon, Mandy, and I’ve seen some things that surprised me, but the thing that has surprised me the most is that he asked you to stay with him. And asked us if you could stay.”

“Why is that surprising?” she asked and inwardly Richie groaned because if Jon heard what he was about to say he would probably kill him!

He took a deep breath, then began “ During this past year, there has not been a single woman that Jon has brought around anyone in the band. He…excuse the crude expression…but he came and he went. End of story.”

She looked at him with her dark eyes, almost the same color as his. “You mean…?”

“Yeah, he didn’t want to be around any of them the next morning…hell, I’m pretty sure he didn’t even stay a full night with anyone. The only one we’ve met and who he’s still with after a few days is you.”

Her eyes widened at that, but she didn’t know what to say. He just nodded at her.

Jon hung his head for a moment but he could not make Richie’s words untrue. He had been with more than a few women since his divorce, trying to fill an ache deep inside, and he had run from their beds as quickly as he could.

He also couldn’t get Mandy’s words out of his head, that she had been faithful and that it was easy because she had loved her husband. He had loved Dot, but he had never been entirely faithful. There were periods, long periods, where he would not stray, but on a tour, especially in other countries, he would fuck around. And, he knew now, so had Dot. But here was a woman saying it was easy to be faithful just because she loved. The ache he had been carrying for more than a year was slowly being replaced with a need to be loved like that and to love someone back like that.

Pretending he had just entered, Jon re-closed the door loudly and started for the kitchen.

Amanda and Richie heard the door closing and she grinned at him, whispering “Secret to the grave, right?” He grinned and nodded as Jon entered. She immediately turned to him and smiled a sweet, loving smile that stopped Jon in his tracks. He was worried how she would look at him after what Richie had told her, but her loving acceptance evidenced by her genuine smile just blew him away.

“Rich – you making time with my girl?” he asked with a grin to lighten the mood he was feeling. Richie, knowing Jon as well as he did, cocked an eyebrow in understanding, and shot back with “Hey, man, I haven’t thrown up on her yet! She likes me!”

Amanda laughed at the two men and their closeness with one another. At least those stories were true, they really were brothers.

“I need more coffee” she rose up, “and this time I’M making it!” Shooting a look at Jon. “You really DO drink the grounds!”

She laughed loudly at his pouty expression. Oh god, she thought duck lips!

“Okay, okay, but one less scoop, alright?” She grinned.

He grinned back, “Okay, ONE less scoop!”

She started to make the coffee as Jon glanced at Richie, then motioned to her “Gotta talk to the man here about one of our promotions. Be right back, okay?”

“Sure, coffee’s gonna need a few minutes anyway. Richie you take cream and sugar or do you drink it caveman style too?” she teased.

“I like my cream and sugar with a little coffee,” Richie grinned.

Jon and Richie moved into the living room as Amanda busied herself with the coffee.

1 Responses to John Francis - Chapter 14

  1. Opester Says:

    “Hey, man, I haven’t thrown up on her yet! She likes me!”

    Leave it to Richie! He won't let Jon get away with anything! Good for him!

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