John Francis - Chapter 34

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 10:45 AM
Sitting at the table a few hours later, a completely embarrassed Richie Sambora groaned, holding his head, avoiding his best friend’s eyes.

“Fuck, man, I am so fuckin’ sorry,” he managed to get out.

Jon had his arms crossed and was giving Richie what Richie well knew was “the look”, the one where Jon’s eyes turned to ice. He tried to keep his eyes away from the look, but knew it would just prolong the inevitable.

“You want me to leave, man?” he asked Jon softly.

“You are such an asshole sometimes,” Jon started as Richie winced, “but then again it takes one to know one.”

At that Richie’s head shot up and he looked straight at Jon, who continued, “You really think that after I’m just barely managing to crawl out of a bottle myself that I would throw out my best friend when he’s hurting? What kind of friend do you think I am?”

“But…Amanda…” Richie stumbled in response.

“She’s not upset at what you did, she’s upset at how you feel and what happened to you.”

“What the hell am I supposed to say to her, man?” Richie’s voice was plaintive now.

“Well, you could BOTH promise to stop passing out on my boobs!” came a grumbling voice moving into the kitchen.

Richie’s face flamed scarlet at that and his mumbled “aw fuck” was still loud enough for the other two to hear.

Standing with her hands on her hips, she scowled at Richie, who was trying to avoid meeting her eyes.

“Sambora!” Came her slightly raised voice.

His head came up and he looked at her with a wince on his face. “Amanda…I’m so fuc…”

“Shut up!” she growled at him. He shut up.

“Are you my friend?” She asked him more quietly.

With wide eyes he just nodded a vigorous ‘yes’ at her, then winced again at the throbbing that re-ignited in his head.

“Friends get to make mistakes with one another. Friends forgive those mistakes.” Her voice firm and attention demanding.

“Richie…I need friends…so many of my ‘friends’ couldn’t handle my grief after I lost Jeremy and I ended up losing them too. Please don’t take away another one…please?” Amanda’s plea was accompanied by tears as she thought of how many people she had let drift away.

With a quick glance at Jon and at his return nod, Richie got up and took Amanda in his arms to hug her with the true affection he had for her. His hug was brotherly and hers was returned in true friendship. She caught Jon’s eyes and he smiled his brilliant smile at her, letting her know how much he appreciated her forgiveness of Richie and the return of the growing friendship between two of the people he cared most about.

Taking his bags up to the room he was using, Richie informed them he was going to shower and clean up from his trip.

Once he was out of earshot, Amanda turned to Jon.

“Do you know what happened?” she asked quietly.

“Not yet. He was too embarrassed about what happened with you to tell me what was going on.”

“If he wants to, I’m going to try to get him to talk about it, okay?”

Jon nodded his head. “Yeah, I know from personal experience and from the other guys that keeping it all inside isn’t always the best way to go.”

“I’ll start some fresh coffee and I’m going to ask him to help me get dinner ready. I don’t think he needs to go out tonight. I think he needs us…well, you anyway…” she stated.

Shaking his head softly, Jon realized that she still didn’t know how important she was becoming to him and apparently to Richie, although on a different level. To her questioning glance, he replied, “I think helping to fix dinner and just doing something normal will help. Thanks, babe.”

“Honey, I like Richie…” she began, but stopped when Richie reappeared in the kitchen.

Trying to get over his previous embarrassment, his natural wise-ass personality (with just a little help from all the booze) was reasserting itself. Theatrically clasping his hands together and putting on a moon-struck face, he crooned:

“She likes me, she really likes me!” Dancing into the kitchen, he twirled in front of Amanda, grabbed her in a deep dip, and brought his mouth to her ear… “Thanks, darlin’…” he whispered to her. She laughed at his silliness and kissed his cheek.

When she was standing upright again, she winked at Jon. “Is that where the nickname ‘The King of Swing’ came from?”

Both men started choking with laughter, shaking their heads ‘no’, but refusing to enlighten her as to the origin of that nickname.

Laughing herself, she scolded them, “Okay, keep your secrets…how the hell old are you two anyway?”

Tears now rolled down two sets of cheeks as Jon managed to choke out, “We’re not old…” and Richie gasped, “Just older!”

“Oh my God! I walked RIGHT into that, didn’t I?” she sputtered.

Outright laughter was all she heard in response.

3 comments

  1. Opester Says:

    “but then again it takes one to know one.”
    I like this new insightful Jon! He's really grown and recovered himself so much and he has Amanda to thank for bringing him out of his dark period.
    Loved the "just older" comment-it's so hard to resist saying that when the opportuniy presents, isn't it? People grown now when I say it myself! LOL!

  2. allina_90 Says:

    Not old - just older. They're getting used of this sentence I think :p

  3. jovikitn65 Says:

    Nice to see Amanda loves and accepts Richie for being the sweet, goofy guy he is. I can actually feel the friendship between the 3 of them. Nicely done.

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