John Francis - Chapter 106

Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 10:14 AM
Richie took a good look at Amanda. Her eyes were sparkling, the smile had returned to her face, and she looked so happy. It was an amazing change from how she was towards New Year’s.

“You look gorgeous, babe, life agreeing with you?”

“Really great, Richie, we talked so much! It was so beautiful there, although in truth I completely stink at skiing!”

Laughing a bit at her chagrin, he quipped, “And exactly how much snow does Florida get every year?”

She grinned at him. “Okay, okay, point taken.” Looking at him a bit closer, she could see his relaxation and ease. “I’m guessing you’re feeling better too?” Her reference to Jennifer, his previous girlfriend, was implied.

“Yeah, gonna try to stay away from the ones like Jennifer. But I am getting damn tired of being alone, babe.” Richie’s voice echoed his loneliness and Amanda wished again that Richie would find someone who deserved him. He wanted off that subject and encouraged her to continue telling him about the trip.

In talking more about her time in Tahoe she told him about getting bush-whacked by the reporter and Jon’s response to that. He agreed that her ‘no comment’ was about the best she thing she could have done.

“If you lash out at them, they manage to make you look worse than you are, even if they deserved it. It’s so much better to give them nothing to work with.”

“I just felt stupid, Rich. I got completely blind-sided by his approach, but I did learn to be more wary in the future.”

Richie grimaced at her, knowing she had no real idea of what was coming in her life being with Jon. “Honey, will you take some advice from me?”

She looked at him in astonishment. “Of course!”

“Jon is a really public figure and this is bound to happen again and again the more you are a part of his life. You saw all the shit they wrote about me and Heather and then Denise, right?”

She nodded sadly, “Yes, I’m sorry, Richie, but it was unavoidable.”

“Don’t apologize, it was everywhere, but most of it was what they made up. Doesn’t make it hurt any less, but just remember who you are and what is true and try not to let those vultures get to you, okay?”

“I will and I appreciate your advice.”

Grinning at him now, she asked, “So what’s for dinner?”

Hands on hips, he looked down at her. “Oh no, that winsome smile is not going to work for me. Dinner is a surprise, you only need to know it’s fish.”

Throwing up her hands in defeat, she added, “Okay, okay, I’ll wait.”

Jon came back into the kitchen then, freshly showed, hair slicked back.

“Damn man! Smells good in here!” He turned to Amanda. “You get the menu out of him yet?”

“Nope, he won’t tell me.” She pouted, pushing her lower lip out.

Richie laughed throatily. “Okay, the lip pout ALMOST worked, but you’re still gonna have to wait!”

Amanda set the table while Jon made small talk with Richie. Soon the smells coming from the kitchen had their mouths watering and when Richie made his presentation, Amanda smiled hugely.

“Oh my god! Fresh sea bass almandine? Damn! I should have asked for two meals!”

They attacked the food, starting with the salad, working their way through the main course with murmurs of appreciation and lots of “yummy” sounds. Richie was thrilled with their appreciation of his cooking as he really did love to do this. It was always nice to have his efforts valued and he knew they did.

~~~

Amanda made the after dinner coffee and Jon brought up what Dot has asked him about her upcoming wedding. This was also the first time Amanda had heard this information and she waited to see what had been decided.

“So, she wants you to come to her wedding, huh? You okay with that?” Richie’s concern based on Jon’s behavior during the past year was justified.

“Yeah, I want to show her my support, especially with regard to the kids, and Eric actually is a decent guy. She wants Amanda to come to.”

Amanda swung around, hearing her name. “She does?”

Jon laughed at her expression. “Yeah, honey, Dot likes you and knows we’re together. She’s not expecting that to change before her wedding.”

“When is the wedding?”

“January 31st, at six in the evening. I told her she should go for the whole works this time and she is. Dress, flowers, reception, everything…she deserves that.” His voice lowered at the end of that sentence.

Richie, knowing that Jon and Dot had married in Vegas without the usual ceremonial accompaniments, nodded at him.

“You’re right, man, this needs to be different for her. She needs it to be the start of a new life for her, but…you okay with that?”

Jon nodded. “Yeah, although truthfully without this lady here…” he gestured towards Amanda, “I probably would be an even bigger shit that I have been.”

Amanda narrowed her eyes at him a little. “Jon, I can’t be the excuse you use not to acknowledge how you feel about Dot getting remarried.”

He smiled at her. “That’s not what I mean, baby, I mean you’ve made me realize that I can be happy for someone else even though it does hurt on some level.”

“Good! If you didn’t feel something about her getting remarried I would think less of you.”

Richie watched this exchange with fascination. Amanda was changing, becoming more of a partner to Jon, calling him on what she felt needed to be clarified. He was glad she had stopped being afraid, as she had told him during that awful Christmas week, and was moving more into a relationship with Jon. He was anxious to see what the next several weeks would bring as they had a good deal of traveling coming up.

“Hey Jon, I was wondering, we’ve got all those trips coming up. What about Amanda?” Richie was also going to cut to the chase when needed.

Jon actually blushed lightly as he had not yet told Amanda what he had done. He glared at Richie, knowing his friend was egging him on.

“Uh, well, I, uh, hired her.” He threw this out into the room, wincing in anticipation of Amanda’s response.

She looked at him, her eyes as wide as they could get.

“You HIRED me? As what, for Christ’s sake? A fluffer?” She was sputtering now, astonished that he had done this without discussing it with her.

Both men dropped their jaws so fast she swore she could hear them hit the table. They had no idea she knew what that term meant and the fact that she threw it out at Jon had him gaping at her and Richie starting to roll with laughter. Jon heard his friend’s laugh and couldn’t help himself. Both men roared, pounding the table, tears finally running down their cheeks.

As for Amanda, she stood there glaring at them both now, hands on her hips, waiting for an explanation. Every time Jon tried to explain he thought about what she had said and saw her standing there with that look on her face and he lost it again. Richie was not helping at all as he could not stop laughing no matter what he did. In fact, he didn’t even try. He wasn’t the one who had to explain this. How the hell does she know what the person who gets a porno star ready for the camera is called? He shook his head, glad he wasn’t in the explaining position. Richie had over the years seen enough and heard enough to know that a “fluffer” was the person who orally prepared the male star for his “scenes” and to hear this term out of Amanda was making him laugh harder than he had in a while.

Finally managing to control himself enough to put more than two words together, Jon explained.

“I needed to hurry your passport application, honey, so I said you were another assistant. Otherwise it could have taken as much as eight weeks and we don’t have that kind of time.”

Her irritation lessened at his explanation and she finally looked a little chagrined herself.

“Sorry, you just caught me off guard with that one. I probably should have been told FIRST. What do ya think, Jon?”

“Yeah, I should have told you. Hey babe, I told you I’m starting to learn this stuff. I am gonna slip up on occasion.”

Richie was still chuckling at the exchange he had just heard. Both turned to him. Amanda’s voice was glacial.

“Richard! Enough!”

He managed to speak then, choking out, “Sorry, honey, it’s just…fluffer…holy shit!” Jon started laughing again at that too and even Amanda giggled.

“I’m gonna have to surprise the two of you more often. You should have seen your faces!”

John Francis - Chapter 105

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 9:05 AM
Jon moved through the kitchen and went outside to the greenhouse. Dot and Amanda were deep in discussion about plants and pots and fertilizers and the difference in growing things in Florida versus a greenhouse in New Jersey.

They turned to him as he entered and both smiled as they had been enjoying their discussion. He chuckled when both women at the same time put their hands on their hips, cocked their heads, and said with obvious impatience, “Well?”

“We talked, she knows Amanda is here to stay and she has to choose how much of a role she will play in my life from now on based on her acceptance of Manda.”

Amanda gaped at him. “Oh my god, you didn’t?”

Dot just nodded. “Good!”

Turning to her, Amanda was wide eyed. “Good?”

“Yes, Carol is a terrific grandmother, but she and I have had our moments over the years. Jon often had to step in and talk with her. She needs to know her ‘baby’ is grown and can make his own decisions. I’m proud of you, Jon.”

He smiled at her. “Thanks Dot, and…” he nodded towards Amanda, “thanks for making a new friend.”

They heard the sound of running footsteps then as Jesse came in to see his father. He made his walk a little more dignified as he neared his dad as befitted an almost 14 year old. He smiled at his dad and let himself be pulled in for a “guy” hug, even though he felt he was getting too big for hugs from his ‘old man’.

“Hey Jesse!” Jon’s voice showed his genuine pleasure at getting to see his oldest son. “How was practice?”

“It was great, dad, I might be making first string soon!”

“Alright!” Jon stopped before they continued their conversation. “Jesse, do you remember Amanda from Christmas?”

“Sure, hi Amanda.”

“Hi Jesse, it’s great to see you again.”

Dot gave her son a fond look and then a slight fake scowl. “What? No hug for your mother?” Her tone was light and teasing and Jesse gave her a big hug.

“Dinner’s on a plate for you in the fridge, big guy. Go eat and then visit with your dad, okay?”

“Ok, mom. Dad see you soon. Bye Amanda.” Jesse moved off to get his dinner.

Amanda surprised Jon by turning to Dot and taking one of her hands in hers.

“Dot, thanks so much for making things easier with your children. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it and admire you for it.”

Dot smiled at Amanda. “It’s like we talked about, Manda, kids are a lifetime commitment no matter what else happens. I would be a pretty crappy mom if I put any kind of pettiness before my kids, wouldn’t I?”

Amanda nodded. “I don’t think anyone could ever accuse you of being anything other than a great mom. I have a great mom myself and I know how important that relationship is.” She cocked her head at Dot and smiled at her. “I also know how to recognize a great mom!” She winked at both Dot and Jon and then asked if she could use a restroom. Dot gave her directions and she left the two alone.

~~~

After she had left them, Dot turned to Jon. “What do you think your mother is going to do?”

“She’s going to have to accept Amanda, there’s no other choice.”

He looked at Dot and decided to tell her a little of what had happened.

“…I lost her, Dot. She was gone. Richie found her and made me realize what I was doing to destroy both her and our relationship. I won’t allow my mother to do that again. Amanda is what she seems. Do you see it?”

Dot smiled a bit sadly at her ex-husband. “Yeah, Jonny, I do. I really wanted to dislike her, but it’s impossible to do, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, she’s the real deal, an honest, caring person. I can’t believe I got lucky enough to get that twice in my life.”

Dot was warmed by his words as she knew he still cared for her although their marriage was over and they had both had moved on.

“Jon?” He looked at her. “We’re going to have to talk about Eric and my wedding soon. You know that, right?”

“I’m hoping you go for all the trimmings this time. You deserve it.” Jon’s face reflected warmth tinged with loss as he smiled at his ex-wife.

She smiled at him for his understanding. “Yeah, I want the dress, the flowers, the guests, the whole works. The kids will take a part too.” She paused, then asked him, “Do you want to come with Amanda, Jon?”

He was silent for several moments. “Yeah, Dot, I think I do. I’m really coming to like Eric and I want our kids to know you have my full support, so yeah, I think that’s a good idea.”

“Thanks for that Jon, I want the kids to know that too.” Her voice was soft.

They left the greenhouse, returning to the kitchen where they found Amanda. They knew she had waited for their return and again Dot was impressed by her consideration. Calling the kids down to say good-bye, Jon gave hugs and kisses to his children and his mother, and a hug for Dot. Amanda also hugged Dot and gave Carol a smile and offered her hand.

“I hope to see you again soon, Mrs. Bongiovi.”

Carol gave her a small smile. “I’m sure we’ll see each other again, Amanda.”

~~~

The driver had been waiting for them and opened the back door as they came out.

“Sorry, Jason, didn’t mean to take so long. After you drop us home, we’re done.”

“No problem, Mr. B.”

A few minutes later they arrived at Jon’s home and he made sure he tipped Jason generously for his long wait while they were at Dot’s.

Taking their bags inside, both gave an unconscious sigh of relief at being back in familiar surroundings. After setting down the bags and hanging up coats and gloves, they could hear a whistling from the kitchen and both broke into grins.

“Hey Rich! We’re back!” Jon called loudly.

“How was the trip?”

“Great! What the hell smells so good? Is Linda here?” Jon yelled back even though they were walking towards that room.

“Nah, gave her the night off from cooking. Knew you guys were coming back tonight and figured you’d at least clean up here even if you were going out to dinner. So…I cooked.”

He shot a glance at Amanda. “Fish, right?”

She giggled then. “You remembered?”

“Of course I remembered and I’m ready to pay up.”

She hugged him then and kissed his cheek. “It smells so good, but don’t tell me what we’re having. I want to be surprised! Do I have time for a shower?” She looked at the men.

“Okay by me, darlin’, need at least 45 more minutes before I’m ready to do the fish.” Jon also nodded and she dashed off to get cleaned up.

Jon remained behind to talk with Richie and catch up. Working confidently around the kitchen, Richie still managed to get a good look at his friend’s eyes.

“Well, hell man, you look a whole lot better!”

“I am better. We had a great trip. I really got a chance to relax.”

Richie grinned at him. “I can see that…mind getting that shit-eating grin off your face?”

“Fuck you, man!” Jon laughed.

“Sorry, bro’, I like girls!” He laughed too, glad to have Jon back and even more glad his friend seemed to be coming to terms with the new choices in his life.

Jon gave Richie a rundown on their time at Tahoe, but provided much more detail about what had happened at Dot’s today, both with her and his mother.

Richie looked thoughtfully at Jon. “I wondered what you were going to do about your mom.”

Shaking his head a little, Jon smiled a bit ruefully. “Guess I gave her a bit of an ultimatum, but I’m not going to have Amanda hurt again in any way that I can prevent.”

“I’m hoping you’re including yourself in that statement too.” Richie’s voice was a bit sardonic.

“What do you mean?” Jon turned narrowed eyes toward Richie.

“What I mean, you ass, is that it wasn’t your mother who hurt Amanda, it was you. She may have provided the ammunition, but you fired the gun.”

Jon pondered his friend’s words for a few minutes and then nodded. “You’re right, dammit! I hate it, but you’re right. She doesn’t deserve to be hurt by anyone, including me!”

“About time you figured that out, you asshole.”

“Yeah, yeah, enough shit, Sambora!”

“Okay, okay, you seem to be listening now, so I don’t need to say anything…but don’t think I won’t in the future!”

Jon nodded. “I’m counting on it. Let me go grab a quick shower too and we’ll be down to help.”

Grinning his wicked grin, Richie said, “Not if you get in the shower with her…” He continued to laugh as Jon shot him the finger as he was leaving the room.

~~~

Unfortunately for Jon, Amanda was out of the shower by the time he got to the bedroom. She was half dressed, at least in her underwear, and he moved to her. He kissed her deeply, smacked her ass, and before she could respond he was in the bathroom and had the shower running. She laughed to herself and finished dressing, toweling her hair and putting on warm clothes.

Entering the kitchen, she smiled at Richie and asked, “So what can I do to help, hon?”

“Pour yourself a glass of wine and sit your pretty tush down on that chair there. I need conversation!”

John Francis - Chapter 104

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 6:24 PM
Turning to Amanda, smiling, Dot said, “It’s okay to call me Dot, Amanda. It’s what I’m used to.”

“Thanks, I will. I’ve always been Amanda, but lately I’ve been everything from Manda to Mandy and of course my best friend has always called me ‘Mands’.” She laughed a little then. “Guess that means I answer to about anything!”

They set about making the coffee and Amanda waited for Dot to bring up whatever was on her mind. Setting out the sugar and cream as Dot directed, they finally sat down with their drinks.

“While you’re here, I’d like you to give Jon and his mother some time to talk. Carol has been a little…difficult with regard to you lately.”

Amanda then gave Dot a very abbreviated version of recent events, expressing some of her worry about Jon’s mother. She then asked what specifically Dot was referring to.

“Carol can be a pretty good person, but she has blind spots and one big one is Jon. Since he’s her son, she feels she knows him best, but of course that’s not true and hasn’t been since he’s been an adult.” Dot then continued. “It helped me so much to meet with you prior to listening to her. After Maryann I took a hard look at myself and the information I had been getting…it’s really hard for me to admit that I allowed someone else to sway me so much.”

Amanda expressed her understanding. “I think Maryann blind-sided a lot of people.”

Dot nodded, “Yeah, but right now Maryann isn’t the problem, Carol is.”

Amanda spoke hesitantly, “Dot, do you know what her problem is with me?”

After a long silence, Dot nodded. “She doesn’t understand why you left your life after only a few days to be with Jon.”

Looking at her with a burst of understanding, Amanda said, “But you do, right?”

“From what you said, Amanda, you didn’t really have a life to leave. You were still recovering from your husband’s death and in what seems like pretty deep mourning.”

Nodding back at her, Amanda acknowledged the truth in Dot’s words. “I think I had pretty much stopped living any type of normal life that entire year. It was so devastating for me. I never expected to lose my husband. God, Dot, I loved him so much! When the business was sold after his death and I received his life insurance, I just pretty much existed. You are right about one thing, I didn’t have a life to leave.”

Her look now a bit analytical, Dot continued. “You know that Jon and I will always have our children in common and our past history together? You going to be able to deal with that?”

Smiling softly at her, Amanda replied, “How could it be any different? If Jon was a man to walk away from his children, he would not be someone I would want to be with. He loves you for many reasons, although both yours and his love has changed, and he adores the children. Of course I will deal with his care of his family in whatever form that takes.”

Dot was silent as she thought about what Amanda had said. Her eyes were downcast as she deliberated, but she brought them up as Amanda spoke again.

“Dot, I do have one thing to ask you, though. If there is something you hear or want to know about me, will you ask me? Can we start to have a friendship of some sort?”

Looking at her, a strange but ultimately accepting smile finally crossing her face, Dot answered her. “Well, I have all my girlfriend’s cell phone numbers!”

Amanda laughed and gave Dot her cell number and received Dot’s in return. Her spontaneous hug surprised Dot for a moment, but she was coming to realize that Amanda was generous with her affections, as well as honest and kind, and she hugged her back.

Jon walked into the kitchen to see the two women embracing. His surprise showed in his eyes as both turned to look at him.

Dot had a bit of a wicked smile on her face. She couldn’t resist.

“Jon, I’d like you to meet a new friend of mine, Amanda.”

Amanda played along, “And, I’d like you to meet Dot, a new friend of mine.”

To say Jon was amazed would have been the understatement of the year. To say he was pleased, thrilled, astounded, and so happy to have these two women reach an understanding was the second greatest understatement.

His smile at the two made his eyes sparkle and both women grinned back at the irresistible Jovi grin. Shaking her head and laughing softly at her ex-husband, Dot turned to Amanda.

“He does that on purpose, you know!”

Amanda laughed. “I am coming to learn that, yes.”

Bringing the coffee into the living room, the three found that the kids had scattered to their respective after dinner activities and Carol Bongiovi was sitting alone.

Amanda greeted her pleasantly, although her manner was a bit cautious as Dot and Jon both observed. “Hi, Mrs. Bongiovi, it’s very nice to see you again.”

“Hello Amanda. Did you have a nice time in Tahoe?” Carol’s voice was pleasant, but without real warmth.

“Yes, ma’am, we did. I’ve never been anywhere that far west.”

Serving coffee, Dot made small talk with Jon about the kids, including both Amanda and Carol in the conversation. Amanda learned a great deal about Jon’s kids just from listening to the stories, but could feel Carol’s eyes constantly returning to her.

Jon made an eye gesture at his ex-wife and she took the hint.

“Amanda, I’ve heard that you do quite a bit of gardening. Would you like to see my greenhouse?”

“I’d love to! Will you both please excuse me?” She looked first at Carol and then at Jon.

Jon answered, “Go ahead sweetie, Dot has a real green thumb.”

They went then and once out of earshot, Amanda whispered, “He wants to talk to his mom, right?”

“Oh yeah, think we’ll stay at the greenhouse until one of our cell phones ring!”

~~~

After a few minutes of sitting over their coffees, Carol spoke.

“Well, Jon, I see what I said before didn’t make much of an impression on you.”

When her son turned his eyes toward her, she was a bit taken aback at the ice that coated the blue.

“Actually mom, it made a very big impression, so big that I almost lost her. Actually, I did lose her, but she gave me another chance.”

Carol gave a bitter laugh. “Of course she gave you another chance! I told you…”

Jon’s interruption of his mother was a bit harsh.

“You were wrong.”

Her mouth dropped a bit at his tone.

“I listened to you and lost her because I kept waiting for her to fulfill what you thought was the truth. It wasn’t the truth. She is exactly whom she seems to be and even more that I haven’t learned yet. It took Richie to get me to see what I was doing to her and how I had caused her to leave me.”

At her surprised look at that last, he nodded. “Yeah, mom, she left me. Not because I didn’t spend money on her, or because she wanted things I wouldn’t buy her, but because I treated her like shit!”

He stood and started pacing now, a sure sign of his agitation.

“Mom, I love you, but I also love Amanda and I’m not going to lose her again. You are going to have to learn to accept her because she’s a part of my life now and…she’s also my future.”

Carol recovered a bit and started again, “Jon, I still think…”

Again he interrupted her. “Mom, you’re wrong about her and you’re wrong about me if you think I’m not smart enough to protect myself. I’m not a little boy anymore and as much as I love you, I’m not going to allow you to hurt her in any way.”

He sat beside her then and took her hand. “I know you have my best interests at heart, but Amanda has my heart. You have a choice to make, mom, accept her and continue to be a large part of my life, or don’t accept her and have a smaller role. Amanda is here to stay.”

Carol looked at her son and knew he meant every word he said. He had made his choice and was now giving her what her choices would be.

Taking a deep breath, she nodded. “I’ll try, Jonny.”

He kissed her cheek then. “That’s all I wanted to hear, mom, the rest will come.”

He left his mother then, quietly sitting on the couch, a bit amazed at the ultimatum her son had given her, but knowing that she would never allow herself to be relegated to a sideline role. She had some thinking to do; it was not in her nature to be thwarted.

John Francis - Chapter 103

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 6:32 PM
Amanda and Jon woke up on the couch the next morning. Both were a little stiff from their sleeping positions and from their sexual activities. Sitting up and stretching a little to move their sore bodies, they looked at each other and realized they both had grins on their faces that just wouldn’t stop. The grins stayed throughout their showers, dressing, and coffee making. Every time one glanced at the other, the grin would return. They both felt like teenagers after a first lovemaking session and their silly smiles show it.

Sitting, having their coffee, Amanda brought up a topic that was on both their minds.

“We’re going back today, aren’t we?”

Jon nodded at her, “yeah, honey, I need to get back, but god knows I don’t want to leave!”

“It’s been amazing here, in more ways than one. I loved having this time with you.” Her eyes were full of love as she looked at him.

“Me too, baby. It won’t be our last though, don’t worry!”

Sighing softly, she turned her eyes from him. He saw her look and drew his eyes together in question.

“Baby? What is it?” He reached out and took her hand.

Shaking her head, sorry she had let him hear her sigh, she tried to put what she was feeling into words.

“It’s just that being here, it was just us, and going back it’s…everything. It’s a little harder than I thought to share you.” Her eyes met his again and it was his turn to take a breath.

“Sharing it exactly what I want, Mandy, I want to share everything with you. I won’t leave you behind and we’ll take every moment we can for time to be just us.”

Amanda smiled at him then, grateful he had understood her and knew what she was trying to say.

“Thank you for that, Jon. I love you.”

“You too, baby.”

~~~

They packed their few belongings and loaded the bags into the SUV in preparation for their flight later that day. Heading out to breakfast, they choose another small café-style restaurant. They had their fill of coffee and breakfast, talking about what would be happening when they got back to New Jersey.

“Another pretty full week, I’m afraid. I actually have to talk to my assistant about what’s lined up. You made me forget my date book!”

She grinned at him. “I made you forget your date book? I don’t think so, it wasn’t my week to watch it.”

“Sass again, right?”

“Hey, that’s at least your fourth cup of coffee, so I don’t want to hear it!”

They left the restaurant laughing, unaware that Charles Carlton had been hanging around to get his “money shot” of them. They unknowingly provided it when Jon’s hand slipped to Amanda’s rear to cup it as they walked to the car. She turned to smile at him when she felt his hand, as he did to her, his famous grin flashing brightly, and they were both clearly shown in profile.

Their flight was at one that afternoon and that gave Jon a chance to show Amanda a little bit of Tahoe proper. She was charmed by the city and he promised himself he would bring her back again for a longer visit. Arriving at the airport, they returned the rental car, and checked their baggage. They were shown to a VIP lounge as someone at check in had recognized Jon. This afforded them a bit more privacy and pretty much assured Jon wouldn’t have fan problems.

They waited with a glass of wine, both thinking about the last few days. Their thoughts were good ones and each was in a bit of a sexual daze from the evening before. They held hands and just sat in comfortable silence. Boarding came soon and they settled in for the flight back to Jersey. Amanda turned in her chair and snuggled against Jon’s shoulder, feeling a bit sleepy. He found himself leaning against her for just a few minutes to feel her warmth.

They were woken by a flight attendant about twenty minutes out of Jersey. Looking at Amanda in surprise, Jon told her he almost never slept on planes.

Her smile was warm at his surprise. “We were pretty busy, I’m not surprised we slept.”

Gathering their carryon bag and assorted belongings, they left the plane and were directed to a car Jon had arranged. Their bags arrived quickly and soon they were in the back of the car on the way to his house. He had seemed to be deep in thought for the last few minutes and suddenly turned to Amanda.

“Hey, I was thinking that since I haven’t seen the kids for a few days we could stop by there on the way after I call Dot.” He knew he had been leaving her out since Christmas and wanted to stop that immediately. She nodded her agreement.

Jon called. “Hey Dot, how are you?”

“Good, Jon. Where are you?”

“Just got back from Tahoe. I was hoping to stop by with Amanda and see the kids. Is this too short a notice?”

“No, we just finished dinner. It’s fine with me. Your mom’s here, by the way.” Jon could hear the warning in Dot’s voice after all the years they had spent together.

“Thanks for the heads up. Hope you’ve been listening to your gut instead of my mother.” Jon’s voice also cued Dot into the fact that he was less than pleased with his mom.

“Yeah, I’ve been listening to my own intuition a lot more these days.” Dot’s voice a little sad as she still continued to wonder what Maryann might caused or at least aided.

“Okay, we’ll see you all in about twenty minutes then. Thanks, Dot.” Jon hung up his cell.

~~~

They were soon pulling into the gated drive where Dot, Eric, and the kids lived. Getting out of the car, Jon saw the door open and a small figure racing to his side. He swung his second youngest son, Jake, up into his arms.

“Hey big guy! How’s my boy?” He hugged the six year old to him as Jake wrapped his arms around his father’s neck. He then felt a smaller tackle around his legs as Romeo grabbed his dad. Jon managed to also get Romeo into his arms, but knew that soon the two boys would reach a size where he wouldn’t be able to do that. Jake was almost there by himself as he would be seven soon.

A beautiful young woman walked out of the house then and smiling at Amanda, moved to her father. Jon put the boys down and took Stephanie into his arms.

“My god, sweetheart, you get more beautiful every day!”

A teenage groan of “Dad!” met their ears, but she hugged her father as tightly as the younger boys has done.

“Jesse’s still at practice, dad. He’s gonna be pissed he missed you!”

Jon gave a fatherly scowl at her use of the word “pissed”, but she just grinned at him with his own smirk. Shaking his head, he gave up. He was sure the kids had at times heard him use worse.

“Hey everybody, you remember Amanda, from Christmas? She was here with us for lunch with her mom?” Three sets of Bongiovi eyes turned to her and Stephanie and Jake said ‘Hi Amanda’, while Romeo managed a ‘Hi Manda’.

Her smile for his children was full of warmth. “Hi ya’ll, it’s so good to see you again!”

Jon led Amanda inside, following his children. Dot was just coming from the kitchen, wiping her hands on a dish towel.

“Hi there!” Her smile was warm, if a bit guarded. “I see you three found your daddy!”

Romeo piped up. “Manda’s here too, momma!”

“I know, sweetie. Hi Amanda.”

“Hi again, Dorothea, thanks for having us stop by.”

Eric popped his head out of the den. “Hey everybody!”

Jon and Amanda turned to Eric. “Hey Eric, how ya doin’ man?” Jon’s voice was congenial and completely normal sounding as he shook the other man’s hand.

“Pretty good, Jon, thanks.” Eric’s smile was genuine as he was very aware of the changes taking place in his fiancé’s ex-husband.

Dot’s voice was heard then. “Go visit with your dad, guys, while Amanda and I go put on some coffee.”

“Sure mom,” they answered and Jon was swept away to hear all the latest triumphs and traumas of the three.

Amanda followed Dot into the kitchen, knowing the woman had something to say to her.

John Francis - Chapter 102

Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 8:24 PM
* * * Please read my "Thanks To All" before resuming story. * * *
Spreading a blanket on the leather couch, Amanda had Jon join her there. She poured him a glass of wine that he downed in two fast gulps. He still seemed not to have regained the ability to make coherent speech and just sat there, holding her to him, feeling his heart beginning to make a recovery to normal rhythm. He couldn’t believe what she had just done for him or what he had felt. She gave him another glass of wine and this time he sipped it. She joined him with her own glass.

The ache she felt would wait. Right now she took joy in knowing how much she had pleased him. She loved how she had made him speechless and how his muscles quivered with his need. Drawing another blanket over them, she snuggled against his chest, enjoying his aftermath. The force of his release caused a natural male reaction and with the warm female body snuggled up against him, he fell asleep. Amanda smiled a perfectly contented womanly smile as she knew what his sleep meant - total release and total relaxation.

Close to an hour later Jon woke. He felt Amanda cuddled up against him on the couch, her breathing even, but he knew she was not asleep. He cupped her face and turned her to his lips, kissing her softly. She brought one finger up and traced his perfect lips, placing a finger against them. He understood. No words were necessary. No thanks were needed.

Moving to sit up now, they ate. The ripened Brie and apples were delicious, the taste creamy and tangy at the same time. The berries were ripe, the ham salty, and the cheeses sharp. They fed each other, spilling crumbs and using mouths instead of fingers to remove the remnants. The wines complemented the foods and they ate until that appetite was sated.

~~~

Amanda was still dressed as she had first appeared to him and Jon felt his gaze continually drawn to her bare breasts. He had brushed against her repeatedly as he reached for food and was purposefully a bit clumsy when he fed her so he would have to clean the crumbs off with his tongue. Throughout the meal her nipples remained hard and he knew her arousal was growing. She shifted lightly whenever he touched her breasts and by those motions he was aware that she had been stimulated by what she had done to him. She might have caused him to lose his speech; he wanted to make her scream.

He let her hair down so he could run his hands through it. He stroked it lightly, drawing it through his hands, feeling the thickness of it. He used it to pull her face to his, to kiss her again, soft feathery kisses, licking her lips and pressing his lips against her cheeks and eyes and neck. He pushed her backwards on the couch, raising her arms above her head and pressing them there, telling her without words to keep them where he had put them.

Jon turned his attention to her breasts then. The lightness of his touch sent shivers coursing through her and caused her nipples to become even more prominent. His mouth followed his hands and he kissed and licked and sucked until she arched against him, whimpering in her throat and he felt her squeezing her thighs together. He moved her knees apart just enough so she could not provide her own pressure where she most wanted it and shook his head at her not to move her legs.

His hands continued their explorations, never coming close to meeting her needs. He avoided any truly intimate touches, turning the tables on her by biting her instep and licking up her legs. He never got close to her center and it was making her insane. She had been aching from her attentions to him. Having him touching her in this manner was driving her arousal to new heights. She was experiencing an ache so deep and so intense it felt as if the lightest touch in the right spot would make her fly into a million pieces.

Jon watched her chest flush and her head start tossing and knew she was so very close to the edge of fulfillment. He wanted to touch her there and give her pleasure in the manner she had for him, but seeing how aroused she was he was not going to be able to do that for her tonight. He had to be inside her, had to feel it when she reached her peak.

Amanda knew her orgasm was just out of reach, but didn’t want Jon’s mouth tonight, she wanted him, needed him, the fullness, the hardness, every inch. She had to speak, she had to tell him what she needed.

“Jon…” she breathed out, “I need you…inside…not the other…you in me…deep…please!”

He thought about how she had prolonged his pleasure, letting it build, and he suddenly released her and sat up, reaching for the wine. She lay there gasping at him, not believing he wasn’t touching her any longer.

“Wha…what are you doing?” she managed to gasp out. Her skin was tingling as if an electric current was running through it and the relief that was just out of reach seemed to taunt her.

“Getting some wine, baby, I’m thirsty.” He grinned at her. My god, she’s right at that edge, her face, her breasts, she’s so beautiful when she’s so aroused!

“You’re thirsty…right now you’re thirsty…? she was sputtering in her frustration.

“Yeah, and I need to take a moment too.” He got up off the couch and went to the bathroom, not to use it, but to prolong her sweet torment before he gave her the release she craved.

She lay there, stunned that he had left her. The ache between her legs was so consuming she couldn’t pull her thoughts together. Her left hand sought her breast, teasing the peak until it rose to its full height. Her breast seemed directly connected to her ache and as she pulled the nipple, a shuddering began in her thighs that spoke volumes as to the level of her arousal.

Jon had silently opened the door and on quiet cat feet he approached the couch where she was lying, one hand on her breast, the other slowing moving down her stomach towards her throbbing opening. Watching her need to pleasure herself due to her excitement was so erotic to him that he sprang erect again so fast his gasp brought her eyes open. She stopped her motions, embarrassment starting until she saw the lust darkening his eyes.

Her shuddering grew as he slowly leaned over her on the couch. The cords of his neck and the muscles of his arms and stomach were as sensuous to her eyes as his skin was to her touch. With a slowness that caused a burn inside her, he drew her underwear down. Looking at her with his eyes dark with lust, his voice came out hoarse and ragged.

“Oh no, baby, you aren’t gonna come without me…” he growled in her ear as he lowered himself to her.

He took her then, giving her everything she wanted, everything she craved. He thrust himself inside her like a man possessed and she gave him everything he needed, screaming for him when she did come, bucking wildly with the passion she felt. He continued on, slowing a little, building up her arousal until it happened again and then once more and he finally allowed himself to go with her, feeling her spasms drive him into exploding inside her. She shuddered over and over from her own explosions and the way he felt inside her. She could barely open her eyes after the pleasure she had just experienced.

This time it was Jon who wrapped them in a blanket and Amanda who drifted off into a sated sleep as she was held in his arms.

Thanks To All !!!

at 8:23 PM
Dear Friends – Thanks so much for the overwhelming response here and via email that people are reading this story and enjoying it. I was just freaking out cause it seemed only one person was reading and that made me think it must be lousy and I should stop.

All I wanted to know was that it was being read and so many of you have done that. Thanks so much for letting me know. And…on that note…here we go…

A Note To Readers

Friday, May 23, 2008 at 6:05 PM
I'm an idiot! Just ignore this page! Thanks.

Friends - It seems that those who were reading, except for Opester who always comments (thanks hon!) have lost interest in this story. I can only guess this is true as no one for a while has let me know they are reading. Not looking for complements, just want to know if story is being read.

Thanks for those who took the time to read this far into the journey of Jon and Amanda. There are so many chapters and adventures to come, but I just haven't heard from anybody to know the story is being read, so I guess it's come to an end.

Reading this several months later, I'm a bit embarrassed to have posted this Note to Readers. I can only say in retrospect that I did not have a counter or anything else to show readers at that time and I was thinking it was going all horribly wrong. Insecurity at it's worst. So, for any new readers, please excuse my childishness at that time and know that this story will continue until it ends itself. Thank you all.

John Francis - Chapter 101

at 3:17 PM
Arriving at the table, Jon stuck his hand out, almost but not quite into the man’s face.

“I’m Jon Bon Jovi and you are?” The man shook Jon’s hand, having to stand to do so as Jon made no attempt to lower his hand to facilitate “Charlie”.

“Charles Carlton, Tahoe Daily Tribune. Nice to meet you, Mr. Bon Jovi.”

“I understand you have some questions?” Only Amanda would have recognized the ice covering the congeniality in Jon’s tone. “Why don’t you ask me what you want to know?”

“Is this your new girlfriend?” He gestured to Amanda.

“Yes, she is.”

“Is the story going around about Giants stadium the night you played there true?”

“I don’t know what story is going around, so I can’t answer that question.” Jon’s tone was even cooler now.

“The word is that you left the party, carrying her over your shoulder, and disappeared for the rest of the night.” Charlie was choosing his words a bit carefully as even he could tell now that Jon was not pleased.

“If that is the question, then yes, I did carry Amanda out of the room and we did not return to the party.”

Glancing at Amanda, hesitating just a little before his next question, he took the chance.

“Does she have a drug problem?”

“Absolutely not. Amanda had an allergic reaction the night of the party you are referring to and required paramedic and hospital treatment.” He glared now at the reporter. “Let me be perfectly clear. Amanda does not now nor did she ever have a drug problem. In addition, she does not now nor in the past do drugs. I had better not see anything else printed except that direct quote, Mr. Carlton, do we understand each other?”

Swallowing a little thickly, Charlie nodded. “I understand, Mr. Bon Jovi.”

Nodding, Jon added one last statement. “Amanda is not a public figure. If you or any other reporter has questions, I suggest you speak to me, not her.”

Charlie again swallowed harshly and nodded. “I understand Mr. Bon Jovi. Ma’am, my apologies.”

Amanda gave a brief nod of acknowledgement, but refused to speak to him.

They took their leave then, returning to where Kevin and his wife were waiting. Jon’s eyes were still shooting blue fire and at Kevin’s look he explained what had just happened. Kevin gave her a sympathetic glance.

“They do that, Amanda, act like normal people and then fire off something hoping to catch you off guard. Your ‘no comment’ and then leaving were perfect!”

Jon hugged her to him. “Yeah, you did great, honey!”

“I’m just pissed that I got played! I thought the stupid jerk was hitting on me, not trying to get celebrity dirt! So, now I feel twice as stupid!”

Christine hugged her to her side. “Amanda, I’m sure if he wasn’t a reporter, he would have been!”

“Thanks, Christine. Not sure about that, but thanks anyway!” The other three exchanges looks, knowing Amanda meant the demurring comment, she wasn’t fishing for complements. Kevin raised an eyebrow at Jon and winked. Jon grinned back.

The four decided their skiing was over for the day and after saying their good-byes they went their separate ways. Jon and Kevin talked about getting together again as their schedules allowed and Christine and Amanda exchanged hugs, both women having formed the beginning of a friendship during their shot time together.

~~~

“Jon, let’s eat in tonight, sort of a picnic.” Amanda relayed an idea she had been thinking about as they were walking to the car.

“Sounds good. I know a great store.”

They went into a small gourmet grocery store and loaded up on items like Brie, apples, soft crusty French bread, cherries, strawberries, thin slices of Prosciutto ham, shrimp, limes, crackers, Gorgonzola, blueberries, and pretty much anything else that caught their fancy. Jon added a few bottles of wine and paying for their items, they left the store.

Amanda laughed as they carried the bags into the cabin.

“Our eyes may have been bigger than our stomachs! This is a lot of food.”

He turned his blue eyes on her and gave her a smile, the one that flooded her with heat.

“I intend to work up an appetite!”

At that moment she couldn’t have answered him if she had tried. Damn! He KNOWS what he does to me with that smile! Her thoughts then turned wicked. Turn about is fair play, Bongiovi.

After preparing the foods to eat later, she asked Jon to shower first and then give her a few minutes alone to take care of her own needs. He grinned at her then moved off to the bathroom.

Amanda took a few extra minutes in the shower, pampering herself, and then dried off, wrapping her hair in a towel. She took out a pair of black bikini underwear and the garters and stockings she had packed. She perfumed herself lightly, used the blow dryer on her hair for a few minutes, then put on a thick terry cloth robe and slippers to hide the stockings.

Jon was in the main room lighting a fire and getting wine for the two of them. She nodded to him, noting his surprised look at her casual, almost asexual attire, and then he continued with his chores. She went into the kitchen, got the platter of food out and leaving her robe in the kitchen, walked back into the main room with the tray, topless with only the garters, stockings, and panties. Jon was sitting staring at the fire. He had tossed back the last of the wine in his glass and was about to refill it when he heard her walking into the room. He turned and dropped the empty wine glass onto the carpet.

“Holy shit!” he whispered, captivated by the sight of her and what she was, or rather was not, wearing. Her breasts bobbed lightly as she exaggerated her walk towards him and he felt the immediate stiffening inside his pants. He unconsciously moved his hand to his pants to adjust his sudden erection and gave a start when she looked at him through slitted eyes.

“Don’t stop.” Her voice was a whispered command.

“Wha…what?” He spoke hoarsely, watching her breasts as she set the platter down on the table in front of the fire.

Husky was too mild a word for her voice as she answered him. “You touched yourself when you saw me…don’t stop.”

He watched her as he moved his hand back to himself. Her eyes dropped to his pants as his hand played through his jeans. The deep brown of her eyes seemed to shimmer like night as desire rode her. He felt a decided wickedness at her boldness and his own eyes darkened as she was drawn to his motions.

“Take your shirt off.” He did so, wondering at her game.

She continued to issue soft sensual commands.

“Move against that wall and put your back against it.”

Again, he followed her directions.

She pulled a hair chopstick out of her garter and with a few deft twists, put her hair up in a tight bun. The memory of the first time she had done that surfaced in Jon’s brain. His cock throbbed inside his jeans at how she had looked that night and the way that night had ended in the limo.

“Hands against the wall, at your sides. No touching me, no matter what.”

“Manda…” his voice a soft plea.

“No…no touching, hands flat against the wall.” He did as she asked.

Coming closer to him now, but still out of reach, her hands started at her thighs, moved just outside the juncture, and traveled up her waist to cup her own breasts. Jon jerked against the wall, fighting to keep his back against it and his hands beside him. Lightly continuing her own stroking, she moved until she could brush her breasts against the fur of his chest. Jon’s arms were trembling as he fought to keep them still.

She pressed soft kisses and licks along his neck, moving to his mouth where their tongues dueled. She felt one of Jon’s hands encircle her back and she gently pushed it back to the wall. He grunted, but complied. Her lips continued to travel downward, stopping at the nipples on his chest where she spent a good deal of time moving from one to the other. She felt Jon’s hips thrusting forward and knew he was becoming more and more aroused.

Moving back from him, she allowed her hands to travel for the briefest flash to her center. It was so quick and so surprised Jon that he wasn’t quite sure of what he had seen. His hardening maleness was sure, however, and he again jerked inside his pants. The pressure of his pants against the straining member inside was becoming unbearable. He moved his hand there again and saw her follow his movements. She watched him for a moment and then moved his hand back to the wall.

Turning to the couch, bending from the waist to present an enticing view from the rear, she took a cushion off and dropped it on the floor at his feet. Pressing her breasts once again to his chest, she slid them down his entire front, until her knees were on the floor. She gazed up at him from that position and saw his fingers flexing against the wall, his control barely maintained.

She smiled seductively and moving her face closer to the bulge in his pants, she bit him gently over and over again through the cloth. A hiss answered her motions and low groans came from deep in his throat. She looked into his eyes and very slowly unbuttoned his pants and slid them carefully over the fullness inside. He sprang free of the confining denim, the sudden release of the pressure causing a gasp. She removed his jeans.

Bending low, she started at his ankles, biting and licking her way up his right calf until she reached his thigh and continuing until she was a mere breath from his straining erection. She stopped then and moved to his other leg, repeating her movements, again stopping so close a flick of her tongue would have brought contact.

Jon felt pressure building inside his aching member, his testes drawn up so tightly they had almost disappeared. She breathed on him then, letting her breath warm him and he grew even harder, veins straining. He was leaning so far forward now, urging her to take him into her mouth, that only his shoulders and his hands kept him anchored to the wall.

Nudging his legs a little wider with her hands, she lightly trailed her nails along his thighs, up to his sac, letting them graze there, gently pulling. Jon was now making sounds she had never heard him make. Between what she was doing and how he was responding, her own arousal was making this very nearly as enjoyable for her.

Jon was practically chanting, fighting for control. Amanda heard the hoarseness of his voice as he repeated over and over the same words like a mantra.

“Oh fuck, oh shit, holy fuck, oh shit, oh my god…”

In one sudden unexpected movement she took him into her mouth and his body went rigid in surprise and the overwhelming sensation of her sucking. She drew him in, grazing him with her teeth, making a popping noise as she released him. The suddenness of her action had at first thrown his head back, but he looked down as she released him, watching what she was doing.

She positioned herself a little differently and he felt her gently take first one and then the other of his balls in her mouth, alternating between the two, using her teeth to graze and then her tongue to soothe. Jon’s thighs were trembling now and he knew he was so close, so close to release.

“Manda…for god’s sake…let me touch you…”

She only widened her eyes at him as she shook her head no. He growled then deep in his throat, the growl turning into a moan as her mouth again surrounded him. Her touch was light and teasing and there was never quite enough pressure to end his agony. His hips started thrusting against her and he was unable to stop it. She increased the pressure against his shaft, but alternated between licking and sucking so that neither was enough to cause him to finish.

Jon let out a harsh groan of frustration. “FUCK!”

Amanda knew the time had come. Increasing the pressure of her mouth, she brought her other hand up to scratch at his sac, causing a shivering and shuddering that almost made his legs collapse. She continued this time with a singular motion, moving faster and harder along his length, her other hand maintaining its play.

Jon felt lightheaded, his legs were shaking, his hips were thrusting and his approaching orgasm was starting in his toes. He felt her stop her teasing touches and now begin pulling on his balls. The sensation grew in intensity until his heart was pounding so hard he thought it would fly out of his chest.

Amanda felt Jon tense even further, the explosion she had been purposefully seeking about to happen. The words Jon had been saying earlier died away as the force of the orgasm hit him. He arched and thrust and grabbed her hair, holding on as he was swept away. On and on it seemed to go, the waves cresting and cresting and still he felt the pleasure. His ability to speak was lost as she drove him over. She slowly decreased her movements, riding out his spasms, but gentling her motions so she wouldn’t hurt him. Finally stopping as the pressure of his hands eased, she saw his head thrown back in sheer bliss, sweat thick on his face and chest and dripping from his hairline. She pressed soft kisses along the lower part of his belly, above where she had played, staying with him as he slowly recovered.

John Francis - Chapter 100

at 3:13 PM
The alarm went off at 7:30 the next morning as Jon and Amanda had their skiing plans at ten and were meeting Kevin and his wife on the slopes. Stretching in the warm bed, Amanda tried to half-heartedly beg off from the skiing as she was just too damn warm and comfortable. Jon used his extensive powers of persuasion to awaken her and change her mind and afterwards, while she felt even more languorous, she agreed that skiing at least sounded fun. He joined her in the shower that morning and by the time they were done, every nerve in their bodies was tingling again in unfulfilled anticipation.

“I don’t think I can take showering with you all the time…” she groused at him, not yet having had her coffee.

“Better get used to it, babe. You, all soapy, wet, and warm, I’m definitely not missing that!” His grin was lecherous and she threw her wet towel at him. His eyes kindled at her nakedness and she thrust a hand out to hold him off.

“Get dressed – NOW!” she commanded in a teasing tone as she saw his towel rise with the evidence of his appreciation.

She gritted out, “John Francis…” and he laughed and threw his towel at her. Now she was the one having second thoughts. Damn that man is fine! Shaking her head, she concentrated on getting some clothes on and getting her hair dried. She pulled it back into a long braid today as she was thinking that hair flying across her face as she was avoiding trees was not the best idea.

Jon put on the coffee as she was finishing and had a cup ready for her when she entered the main room. Sitting there, she asked him to give her some instructions on how to snow ski so she wouldn’t look like a complete idiot.

“Honey, if you’ll just wait a bit, I swear it’s easier to show you than tell you.”

“Okay, but if I break a leg I’m still gonna knock you flat on your ass!”

He grinned at her, rubbing his stomach.

“I remember that right hook of yours. No broken bones if I can help it, okay?”

She laughed then and agreed. They piled into the car, both dressed warmly for their adventure. Jon had skied many times before and while not an expert, was certainly no novice. They arrived quickly at the main ski area where they could rent skis. Jon made sure Amanda had shorter skis as they were easier for a beginner and chose ones similar to what he had used before for himself. A few minutes into their preparations they saw Kevin and Christine walking over. Both had their own skis with them and soon all four were ready to hit the slopes. Kevin and his wife were going to take a few runs while Jon instructed Amanda on how to turn the skis and more importantly how to stop.

“It’s called ‘snow plowing’. You turn your skis into a “V” with your toes pointing inward and that helps you to slow down and then stop.”

He took her to the beginner hill where a rope tow was used to get skiers to the top of the short run. He had her lean back a little when the rope pulled her and she realized that part at least was a little like water skiing. Arriving at the top, he again went over using her poles to help her balance and then skied himself about twenty feet down to show her. She managed ten before falling on her butt. Getting up, she managed another twenty-five feet before falling on her face as her skis crossed when she did the ‘snow plow’ stop and she fell over them.

Jon was desperate to keep his face completely composed as she attempted to learn snow skiing. He was having a hard time doing this as she would look at him suspiciously every time she fell to see what he was doing and if he was laughing at her. On her fourth attempt down the hill she made it to the bottom and managed to stop without falling. A wide grin broke across her face at her accomplishment. I can do this! It’s not so hard.

They both did the beginner slope four more times, with Amanda getting more control and a better feel for the skis each time. Jon finally suggested they hit the easiest trail and they shuffled over to that area. This time there was a chair lift instead of a tow rope. They got easily into the chair at the bottom and Amanda enjoyed the ride to the top. Jon gave her a brief instruction on how to get off at the top which consisted of putting your skis down and sliding down an approximate ten foot hill to get out of the way of the next people on the lift.

Arriving at the top, Jon put his skis down and effortlessly skied to the bottom of the small hill. As he was turning to see Amanda, he felt something clip him from behind, buckling his knees and making him fall over backwards. It was Amanda. She had put her skis down like Jon at the top of the hill, but she was not ready for the sudden downward momentum of the ten foot drop and had fallen immediately onto her butt, sliding down that way until she had crashed into Jon.

It took a few minutes before they could stop laughing enough to move. Other skiers went around them as they lay there until finally Jon said they had to get out of the way. Going down the hill in short starts and stops, with a few falls thrown in by Amanda, they made it all the way to the end. Kevin and Christine were there, having just finished one of their runs, and joined them. Relating Amanda’s descent from the chair lift as she blushed and mumbled at him, they all had a good laugh and teased her about it. She groused back good-naturedly and then suggested that Jon join the other two for some more advanced runs while she got a warm drink.

“You sure babe?” Jon asked, not wanting to leave her behind.

“Honey, I can’t ski like you three. Please, go do some runs, I’ll get a hot chocolate and wait until you’re done.” She shooed him then. “Go!” She was already taking off her skis, and giving her a kiss, Jon and the other two moved to the chair lift for the more advanced runs. Amanda got her hot chocolate and sat at one of the outdoor tables as the weather was cold, but not too windy. She was enjoying the day and people watching, when a young man came over to her and introduced himself.

“Hi! I’m Charlie. Can I share this table with you?” He was polite, but she did notice there were other tables he could have chosen. Not really sure of the protocol, however, she nodded her assent.

She introduced herself. “Hi, I’m Amanda.”

“Nice to meet you, Amanda. You here with friends?”

“Yes, my boyfriend and I are here for a few days.” Amanda wasn’t sure if he was making polite conversation or trying to pick her up, but she wanted to make it clear she wasn’t available.

“Is this a serious boyfriend?” His voice was casual.

“Very serious.” Her response was short.

“That’s great! Too many people are so casual about relationships these days.” He smiled at her and she returned his smile.

“Well, it’s not casual.” Amanda answered definitively.

Charlie turned to her then. “Then the stories are true. Jon’s got a new love in his life.”

Amanda’s eyes rounded in shock. “Excuse me?”

“You’re with Jon Bon Jovi, right? You’re his new girlfriend? The one he carried out of Giants stadium the night of their show there? The one in the paper with the drug problem? That’s you, right?”

Amanda stood up, her face rigid with her anger, her eyes flashing fire at him.

“No comment.” She stalked off then, moving as far away from him as she could. What an asshole! I can’t believe he tricked me like that! Should I have said something back to him? Damn! I have to ask Jon what to do in situations like this. This was the first time anyone had confronted Amanda and she had no idea how she was supposed to respond.

A few minutes later Jon, Kevin, and Christine came skiing gracefully down to the bottom of the slope toward the area where Amanda was waiting. She gave Jon a tight smile that told him immediately that something was wrong. Excusing himself from the others for a moment, Jon removed his skis and walked over to her.

“What’s wrong, babe?”

She looked around and spotted “Charlie” still sitting at the table she had vacated.

“Do you see that man over there, the one by the woman in the bright pink snow suit?”

He turned and looked, then turned back to her. “Yeah, who is he?”

“He’s a reporter or else a nosy jerk. He asked if he could share the table with me and I said ok. He started off making conversation and then brought you up, asking if I was Jon Bon Jovi’s new girlfriend, the one you carried out of Giants stadium, the one with the drug problem. I just said no comment and walked away.”

She was upset at being duped and asked him, “Jon, what should I have done?”

In answer, he took her hand in his and walked directly over to the man identified as “Charlie”.

John Francis - Chapter 99

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 2:35 PM
Jon and Amanda barely made it to the stable by their riding time of three that afternoon. Amanda wasn’t quite sure that a two-hour trail ride after a two hour Jon ride was in her best interest, but she decided she’d give it her best shot. Jon was a little leery of being in the saddle for that length of time himself after their afternoon together. Three times in two hours was a bit much even for him. Excusing himself for a minute, he talked to the owner who, after he assured her he would pay for the two hours no matter how long they actually rode, agreed to talk to the guide and let them set their own timetable.

Their horses were brought and both mounted, each unintentionally letting out a little groan as they did so. The stirrups were fitted correctly and they started off through the snow covered woods. At first the beauty of the scenery and the day itself was enough to take their minds off their aches and pains. Each tried to last for the other, but it was Amanda who broke first.

She pulled her horse back until she was beside Jon. Her voice was soft as she whispered to him.

“Honey, I can’t ride anymore…it’s too much after this morning…I’m sorry.”

Jon gave a huge sigh. “Thank God, if a certain piece of my anatomy bounces against this hard leather saddle one more time I swear it’s gonna fall off!”

She giggled at him, realizing they were having the same problems. Jon called out to the guide and asked that they be taken back by the shortest route. Even that took another half hour and when it was time to dismount, both Amanda and Jon sat on their horses for a few moments exchanging looks.

Amanda hissed at him. “You first! I might need help!”

A loud groan accompanied Jon’s dismount as his stiffened legs, both from their lovemaking and from straddling a horse for well over an hour and a half, protested his every movement. He walked over to Amanda a bit bow-legged and glared at her.

“If you laugh at me, I will drop you on your ass!”

She giggled a little then, but stopped abruptly as she went to throw her leg over the back of the horse and her other leg collapsed while still in the stirrup. Jon managed to catch her and they both nearly ended up on the ground. The guide was shaking his head at these two tenderfoots as he nimbly leapt off his horse to lead all three back to the stable.

Keeping her hand on Jon’s arm, using him for balance, Amanda tried to get her legs to come together again in a normal manner. Her rear-end was on fire and she didn’t even want to think about other areas in the same general location. Jon, meanwhile, was wondering if the lower parts of his manhood had fallen off somewhere back on the trail or if the gods might have been in a good mood and at least let them land in his boots so he could re-attach them later.

Getting gingerly back into the SUV, they both sat for a few minutes, feeling the pressure of the seats again their sore rears. Within a few minutes Amanda started giggling. Her giggles grew louder and were so infectious that Jon threw his head back and laughed.

Gasping, Amanda managed to get out, “Who’s idea was this?”

Still laughing too hard, Jon pointed to himself and then shook his head in self pity.

Finally slowing their laughter, Jon told her he had an idea.

“NO RIDING!” she warned him. “Not a horse or a Bon Jovi!”

He grinned at her. “Trust me.”

He drove them to the a spa in town where through a combination of charm, celebrity, and money he secured them two immediate appointments for massages and hot soaks. He even managed to get them extra long and intensive massages, with Jon checking first to make sure he really hadn’t lost anything out there on the trail. Reassured, they soaked in water so warm their muscles softened like jelly. Still on wobbly legs, they moved to the massage rooms where two muscular men pummeled their aching muscles, relieving most of their aches with their deep muscle treatments.

Feeling vastly improved after their spa treatments, they made their way back to the cabin. It was now seven in the evening and Jon had a special treat planned for Amanda. Today was an anniversary of sorts for them, they had been together one month as the Friday they had originally met did not count. Also, that day already meant something else to them, so he wanted another day.

He requested Manda to wear a bit dressier clothes this evening and she tried to surprise him by wearing a silver halter with tight black pants and dress heels. A black shawl went with the outfit in case it was cold in the restaurant. She wore a silver choker with a deep amethyst stone in the center and matching earrings. Her makeup again only enhanced her natural good looks. Jon, always a bit more predictable, wore black dress pants and a deep blue shirt. His black jacket completed the look and with his blonde hair and those gorgeous eyes he took her breath away. He just stared at her. The halter accentuated her natural assets and he loved that she wore a choker with it instead of a necklace that would have dropped between her breasts to draw attention there as most other women would have worn.

“My God, Manda, you look amazing!”

“I’d say thank you, but I’m still trying to catch my breath from the way you look!”

~~~

Driving into town they were still laughing every so often about their adventures that afternoon. Amanda was still teasing Jon about her friend Susan’s phone call, telling him that Sue would recover and tease her as bad as Richie seemed to tease Jon.

“Yeah, he tries to yank my chain pretty hard sometimes…wait til you see him out on the road. These guys like to play pranks, hell, we all do. It breaks up the monotony of one motel room after another.”

They drove for quite a while finally arriving at Tep’s Villa Roma, a restaurant known for its’ extensive antipasto bar. When Amanda shot him a grinning glance at picking another Italian restaurant, he smirked at her.

“Hey, I’m Italian!”

She smacked him playfully on the arm. “I love Italian…food.” She smirked back at him, mimicking him rather well.

Jon, the wine expert, ordered a bottle for them with their dinner. He glanced at her as they looked at the menus, but this time she told him she would choose her meal herself.

“You don’t have to be Italian to order Italian food, Jersey boy!”

The evening was one of laughter and excellent food. They felt so comfortable with one another and it showed. They were involved totally in the other, learning even more about each other’s life and likes and dislikes. Talking more about growing up where she did, Amanda made Jon feel as if he was coming to know a little more of her upbringing. He entertained her with some road stories, but most of the talking he did concerned his younger years, when he first started playing.

During the time they were separated at the spa, Jon had made some phone calls. He was hoping Amanda would like what he had done. Both were full from the dinner and declined desert. It was now almost nine and both were feeling the effects of the food, the long day, and their other activities.

Jon drove back to the cabin, hoping the arrangements he had made had been taken care of. He used his key to enter and saw they had. Amanda followed him inside, stopping to hang her coat by the door, then turned and saw the main room.

There were several vases of fresh flowers with so many varieties in them she couldn’t begin to name them all. A champagne bucket was sitting on the table by the fireplace that was ready to be lit. A small box also sat on the table.

After taking in all the details of the room, she turned to Jon with a question in her eyes. He answered it.

“Today is one month since you and I first met. I’m not counting the night before as that day has other meanings for us. I just wanted to do something to show you how I feel, how glad I am that you’ve given us another chance, and how much I love you.”

Tears came to her eyes as she looked at him and slowly shook her head.

“Jon, I don’t need things to show me that. This is so beautiful, but I don’t want you to feel you have to…”

He stopped her there with a gentle finger against her lips.

“I know what you’re going to say and again it relates to my money – how you feel about it and how I made you feel since Christmas. I promise that won’t happen again. Please let yourself start believing that, okay?”

She laid her hand against his cheek, her eyes soft and warm as she smiled in agreement, words not needed at that moment.

After lighting the fire, he sat beside her on the couch and popped the cork on the champagne. Pouring each a glass, Jon paused to say something, then gave a sideways shake of his head.

“I only have one thing to say…Thank you for loving me.”

Her eyes a bit wide, Amanda replied, “Thank you for coming back to me.”

They drank a bit of their champagne, then Amanda couldn’t help it, she burst into giggles. Jon raised eyes at her, not sure where her laughter was coming from. She saw him make his ‘duck lips’ face in concentration, which set her laughter off even more hysterically. Finally managing to speak, she looked at him sweetly, but still couldn’t quite talk without giggling.

“It’s not fair…for a master songwriter…to use his own titles…when making toasts!”

Frowning for a second, Jon thought over what he had said to her. His eyes widened and he burst into full-throated laughter.

“Holy shit! I did, didn’t I? Oh man! How corny can I get?”

She kissed his cheek. “It was a beautiful toast, honey, I can’t help my giggles sometimes!”

Still laughing, Jon begged her to never tell Richie as he would never hear the end of it.

“I promise. This is not a Richie story!”

He handed her the small box. It was from a local store, although she did not as yet know that. Jon was more crafty than she knew and had arranged for delivery of this item while he was separated from her at the spa. She opened the box.

Inside was a platinum bracelet similar to his, but in a more feminine style. She took it out of the box and looked at the back of it, knowing there was something engraved there. She gasped as she read it.

You are my future.

“Oh Jon! She reached for him, unable to say more, only enfolding him in her arms as tears softly fell. They sat in front of the fire, sipping their champagne, enjoying the company of the other for over an hour. Soft kisses were exchanged, but conversation was simply murmurs and whispers. When the fire started to die down, they both got ready for bed. While Jon had originally started his plans this day with the culmination of the evening ending in passionate lovemaking, he actually to his amazement felt a deeper sense of commitment simply taking her in his arms and holding her as he listened to her breathing deepen as she fell asleep. He felt another step had been taken on a path to their future and having her in his arms, curled around him in trust and belief, was enough for that night.

John Francis - Chapter 98

at 7:48 AM
The next morning Amanda woke first, showered and dressed quickly due to the chill and started their coffee. A big picture window showed soft snow falling, but when she walked outside there was almost no wind. It was so beautiful and the snow and the wooded landscape made everything seem so perfect. She heard the shower and Jon soon joined her.

“I think this is a perfect day for a trail ride. Dress warm though, okay? You can never tell when the wind will pick up.” He had a cup of coffee with him and had already dressed, so they stood outside for a few minutes, enjoying the snow and the comfortable temperature without a wind to chill them.

“Hey, I want to call the kids before we go. Haven’t talked to them in a few days.”

She nodded for him to go ahead, she would be in within a few minutes. She came in at the end of his call with his children and heard him speaking to Stephanie, his oldest, that yes Amanda was someone very important to him and he wanted them to get to know each other.

“Honey, I know change is hard. I know you wish your mom and I would have worked things out, but that didn’t happen and it’s not going to. Steph…Stephanie, honey, we both love you so much. We’ll always be your parents, baby. Yes, I will. I love you.”

He hung up with a wistful look on his face.

”It’s hardest for Stephanie. She hoped Dot and I would get back together, but she has come to accept Eric and she will with you too.”

She moved to him, putting her arms around him from behind. “Kids always want their parents to get back together, Jon. You’re giving her time to adjust and I’m sure that’s the right way to go.”

He leaned back against her, taking strength from her undemanding presence. Their moment was interrupted when Amanda’s cell rang. She dug it out from her purse and looked at the caller ID.

“It’s Susan.”

She answered. “Hey girl, how are ya?”

Susan’s voice on the phone was loud enough for Jon to hear.

“Don’t you ‘hey Susan’ me, Amanda Lee Matthews!”

Manda mouthed “oh shit” to Jon.

“You are in a world of shit girlfriend and you better start talking to me RIGHT NOW!”

“Susan…”

“Are you or are you not shacked up with Jon Bon Jovi?”

“Susan! I am not ‘shacked up’ with anyone. Why are you asking me about this?”

“Why am I asking you about this? You know Janet from my office? The Bon Jovi freak? Well, I had to hear it from her, INSTEAD OF MY BEST FRIEND, that Jon Bon Jovi has a new love interest! You’re in People magazine for Christ’s sake!”

“People magazine?” Amanda shook her head in astonishment. She knew Jon could hear Susan as her friend was that loud.

“Amanda Lee, you better start talking to me!”

Jon mouthed, ‘Amanda Lee?” and she glared at him.

“Sue! Shut up already!”

“I don’t freaking think so. ‘Oh I met a guy named John, he’s from New Jersey’…” she quoted Amanda back to herself. “Did you forget to mention the tiny little detail that it was goddam Jon Bon Jovi?”

Jon was making motions for Amanda to put the phone on speaker. He was laughing so hard he just had to get in on this conversation.

“Susan! I’m putting the phone on speaker…”

Her friend hissed at her. “Don’t you dare…” Amanda pushed the button, “PUT THIS PHONE ON SPEAKER!!!” Susan’s voice was suddenly louder.

Jon piped in then. “Hi Susan!”

“Who the hell is this?”

“Jon.”

“Jon? JON?! YOU BITCH! YOU DID PUT ME ON SPEAKER!”

Amanda was laughing hard herself now. “I said I was putting you on speaker!”

Laughing harder, she said loud enough for her friend to hear, “Susan, say hello to Jon Bon Jovi.”

There was silence from the other end of the line.

“Sue?”

“Amanda Lee you cannot possibly expect me to talk to Jon Bon Jovi!”

“Susan, you already ARE talking to Jon Bon Jovi! Now, say hello to my boyfriend, Jon.”

They then heard a mumbling into the phone which sounded suspiciously like “you are so freaking dead’ and then Susan’s voice.

“Hello, Jon.”

“Hi Susan, nice to speak to you. I hear you know ALL Amanda’s secrets. We’re going to have to talk.”

Amanda gaped at him. “JON!”

He grinned wickedly at her.

They then heard, “Amanda, tell me that I am not talking to Jon Bon Jovi and that he did not hear everything I just said…please?” The mortified whine in her voice caused further hysterics in Jon and Amanda.

“Susan, yes you are talking to Jon Bon Jovi and yes he did hear everything you said because you were SO FREAKING LOUD!”

“Oh my god! Then it’s true. You’re in New Jersey with Jon Bon Jovi.”

“Actually, right now we’re in Tahoe, but yes the other part is true.”

“You’re in Tahoe! Tahoe? What’s in Tahoe?”

Jon, apparently having borrowed Richie’s devil for the moment, answered her. “Well, right now we’re in Tahoe in a gorgeous cabin where in a few minutes I’m going to take this lady for a long ride.” He made motions to Amanda referring to their upcoming horseback ride.

Again there was silence from the phone but they could hear muttering in the background they could not quite make out.

Amanda’s eyes twinkled at Jon. She simply could not resist. “Sue? Honey? I’m gonna go now, okay? You know what they say, save a horse, ride Bon Jovi.” With that she hung up the phone, not knowing now whether she was laughing at her own daring or at Jon’s face at what she said.

Holding her sides from laughter, she managed to get out, “Oh come on, Jon, even I’ve seen THAT sticker!”

Laughing together, Jon couldn’t resist. “You think she’s gonna want to meet me?”

“Only if she’s manages to stop sputtering! Ya had to tease her, right?”

“Oh yeah, that was just too good to pass up! And you should talk! Mine was bad, yours was worse!”

“We are both so wicked, Bongiovi!”

He looked at her that way again and his voice was soft. “Let me show you how wicked I can be,” as he took her to heaven once again.

John Francis - Chapter 97

at 7:46 AM
They showered soon afterwards as they began getting ready to go to dinner. Amanda again made sure her hair was completely dry as it was still extremely cold outside. They dressed up a bit that night as Jon knew a seafood place that was not jeans casual. Driving into town, they talked about going horseback riding tomorrow if the weather stayed clear enough. The forecast was for a light snow, but if the wind chill didn’t drop, they should be fine.

Jon drove them to Jake’s On The Lake where Amanda ordered fresh bass and Jon chose a seafood medley. They shared bites of each other’s dinners and the wine Jon had ordered. Each felt tremendously better after their talk that afternoon and they spent the evening completely engrossed in the other. Jon seemed more casual about being recognized in Tahoe and she asked him why.

“More famous people here so I don’t stand out so much.”

Cocking her head at him, she laughed softly. “Honey, with those eyes and that smile you would have to put a paper bag over your head not to be recognized!” She laughed a little harder. “Even then, not sure what you could do about your butt!”

His mouth opened for a moment and then he grinned at her, a full-on panty-dropping grin. She sucked in a breath sharply. Her voice tremulous, she told him to stop that.

Whispering now, she said, “It’s too cold for my pants to be in that condition! So cut it out, John Francis!”

Grinning even wider at her, if that was possible, she rolled her eyes and looked away from him, trying to regain her composure. He loved that he could get her going with just a look or a touch and his smirk was a bit cocky as she turned her eyes back to him. As her eyes came back to his, she saw Kevin Costner and his wife approaching their table. She smiled easily at their welcoming smiles as she had seen them before at Mar-A-Lago at the charity event.

Kevin and Jon had met before that other night and Jon invited them to join their table. They sat for a few minutes and she was re-introduced to the couple.

Kevin smiled at her and said, “I remember you, we’ve met before.”

She nodded yes and told him it was at Mar-A-Lago.

“That’s it! Knew it was sometime pretty recently. This is my wife, Christine.”

Amanda smiled at her. “Hi Christine. It’s so nice to see you again!” Christine smiled in response and returned the greeting.

“So what are you two doing here, Jon? Last time we talked you were so busy you couldn’t see daylight?”

Jon laughed. “Well, with this lady here I’m still having trouble seeing daylight!” Both men laughed that special male chuckle that let their ladies know where their thoughts were headed. Amanda kicked Jon under the table and smiled sweetly at his slight jump and frown at her. Kevin and Christine grinned at each other as neither had missed Jon’s jump or Amanda’s angelic smile.

Turning a small glare at Amanda into a smile at Kevin, Jon answered. “I managed to clear my schedule for a few days and since Amanda lives in Florida when we wanted to take a short trip she wanted to go somewhere cold. Considering the weather reports, I think she’s gonna get her wish!”

“Yeah, we’re also getting away for a few days. Cayden is old enough now to be left for a few days and I wanted to get my wife alone for a while!”

“How is the little guy? He’s going to be two soon, isn’t he?”

“Yep, May 6th this year.” Kevin gave a theatrical groan. “A two year old running around again!”

Christine poked her husband in the ribs. “You’ll manage…” she laughed, “don’t let him fool you, he and Cayden are joined at the hip!”

Amanda piped in. “Pictures?”

Christine pulled out her wallet and Amanda showed her pleasure at how cute their son was. The two women discussed the little boy as Jon and Kevin rolled eyes at how women bonded over babies. The women were still talking as they excused themselves for the restroom.

As they had been good friends for quite some time, Kevin spoke softly to Jon.

“Serious?”

Jon nodded, “The one.”

“Congrats, man! I better be on the guest list!”

Jon motioned a “shush” to Kevin and he nodded in understanding.

“Not a word, buddy, promise. Does she know yet?”

“No, still working on convincing her I deserve her.”

Kevin nodded in understanding and as the women were returning to the table they quickly changed the subject.

The two couples shared a bottle of wine as they sat talking and Amanda was amazed at how down to earth both were. She felt really comfortable with them and realized that a few short weeks ago she would have been babbling like an idiot at meeting Kevin Costner. She has been ‘in love’ with Kevin since “Fandango” and her crush had never stopped. His movie star ‘aw shucks’ attitude in films had been her undoing and like most women in America, “Bull Durham” had sealed her fate, causing her to remain permanently weak in the knees. She had surprised herself by being so calm around him, but his regular guy attitude had a lot to do with that. Laughing to herself, she realized that having Jon beside her and Kevin’s wife beside him also probably had a bit to do with it.

Jon told them they were going horseback riding tomorrow if the weather held and Kevin and Christine said they had other plans that day, but would be going skiing the day after. Jon and Amanda agreed that they too would probably be doing that and the four agreed to meet at around ten in the morning on Sunday to hit the slopes.

Amanda laughed then. “I think after I’ve fallen enough times I’ll probably be in the lodge having a warm drink while you three ski!”

At Kevin and Christine’s questioning look, she answered, “I’m from Florida, I water ski.”

After Kevin and Jon made sure each had the other’s cell number, they ended their evening together with the plan to meet on Sunday.

Driving back to their cabin, Amanda couldn’t help but remark at what nice people they were.

“Yeah, Kevin’s a great guy and I really like his wife.”

“Me too, she was very sweet to me and their son is just gorgeous!”

They entered the cabin where Jon again started a fire. He looked at her in that way he had and she moved to join him. Their lovemaking that night was passionate and consuming and both were almost too sated to move to the bed afterwards. Amanda still trembled from the way Jon made her feel and he felt he could not hold her close enough, could not get enough of her sweet warmth. They finally made it to the bed and curling together, they slept.

John Francis - Chapter 96

at 7:44 AM
They returned to the cabin where Jon had to take some time to make some business calls. Unlike the previous times, however, he stayed in the room with her and she could see that this was one of the ways he was making an effort to share his life with her. She was coming to understand he had so many things going on at once that he never had any real time off. She was surprised he actually had a radio interview scheduled for that afternoon, one he was able to do by phone. She wasn’t able to get the station at the cabin, but she could hear his side of the interview.

A lot of the interview was about the individual band members, what they were doing while they had some time off, whether Jon and Richie were working on a new album, the success of Lost Highway, if they would be returning to Nashville at some point, and other questions related directly to Bon Jovi. A bit later in the 40 minute talk, the questions became a bit more personal with relation to Jon.

The interviewer, a guy named Chip Waters, told Jon he had heard there was a new lady in his life.

JON: “That’s true, Chip, I’ve met someone and we’re dating.”

CHIP: “There was a rather ugly story printed about a party where there was an incident. Can you tell us a bit more about that.”

JON: “As I’m sure you know from the retraction in the paper and statements made by me, my ex-wife, and Richie, the story was a complete fabrication. The lady I’m with suffered an allergic reaction that required immediate medical treatment. The only true part of that story was that paramedics were called and Richie and I were there with her when the ambulance arrived.”

CHIP: “How’s your ex-wife reacting to a new love in your life?”

JON: “Dorothea is an amazing woman whom I was fortunate to have in my life for a very long time. She and her fiancé have their own future plans and I couldn’t be happier for them. She and I will continue to share the raising of our children together.”

CHIP: “Your new lady was identified as a woman named Amanda Matthews.”

JON: “Yes, that’s who she is.”

CHIP: “How is Dorothea’s relationship with her?”

JON: “They’ve met several times and have formed a friendship. Both like the other, as I like Dot’s fiancé.”

CHIP: “So, with regard to Ms. Matthews, is this serious, Jon?”

JON: “We’re seeing each other exclusively. She was too amazing not to snatch her up immediately!”

CHIP: “Sounds a lot like love there, Jon.”

JON: “It is what it is, Chip.”

CHIP: “Ladies and gentlemen, that is Jon Bon Jovi on the radio with us talking about his music, the band, and the new love in his life. Jon, thank you for taking the time to talk with us.”

JON: “My pleasure. You all have a great day out there in radio land.”

~~~

Once Jon had hung up the phone, Amanda walked over to him from where she had been sitting quietly.

“Well, THAT’S going to stir things up a bit, isn’t it?”

“Honey, remember what I said before I started acting like I’d lost half my brain? I want to be with you and want you to be with me. I love you. I don’t care who knows it. My family, the kids, will always be a priority with me, but the kids and I talked and I want you to start to get to know them.”

Amanda nodded. “I would like that too. You just wouldn’t be the man you are if your kids were not your first priority.”

Lost in thought for a moment, she then turned and looked at him. “You really have trouble getting some down time, don’t you?”

He nodded back at her. “Yeah, sometimes I think I’m spread a little thin, but somehow it doesn’t feel right if I’m not busy.”

As they were having a bit of a serious discussion, Jon decided to get a few things off his mind. Pouring them each a glass of wine and lighting a fire, he asked her if they could talk. She agreed readily.

“I’d like to say some things and then I’d like to hear what you have to say, okay?”

She nodded, curling on her legs on the couch as she watched him and waited for what he was about to say.

“I told you about what my mom said and the old bad memories that raised in my mind. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking the last few days and there are a few things I need to discuss with you.”

“Okay, I’m listening.”

“There are some facts we can’t ignore, Manda, even if we wanted to. Your husband left you enough money that knowing you now it would have lasted for the rest of your life. Still can’t believe the only thing you did was join a gym! But the fact is I’m a very wealthy man and if you tried paying your own way with me, you would go through what Jeremy left you so fast it would make your head spin.”

She nodded as she knew this was the truth.

“I’ve asked you to leave everything in your life behind to come with me, to be with me, and I’m also asking you to fit into my life. The fact that you’re willing to do that is more valuable to me than any money could ever be. I don’t quite know how to say this without sounding like some rich asshole, but I want to take care of things for you. I want you to save that money from your husband. But I also realize I’m asking you to be dependent upon me for everything then and…well, I need to know how you feel about that.”

Amanda thought to herself for a few minutes, then answered as truthfully as she could.

“I understand what you mean, but you have to understand I am not what some would refer to as a ‘high maintenance’ woman. I don’t need expensive jewelry or designer clothes or exotic trips or some of the other things that those type of women demand.”

“Believe me, honey, I learned that lesson about you the hard way!”

“There is also the truth that there’s no way I can be a part of your life in the way you need me to be without help from you. So, how do we come up with a solution for this?” She purposefully turned the tables on him, so she could see what ideas he had. She was so far out of her realm in his lifestyle that she had no solutions.

Jon had been thinking about this for a while and gave his ideas a bit cautiously. “I would like to give you a credit card in your name attached to one of my accounts. I would also like you to have an ATM for any cash you might need. What I don’t want is for you to feel you have to come to me for every dime because knowing you, it would probably make you crazy to feel that dependent.”

She nodded that yes it would.

“I want to make it clear though that I’m not talking about some type of ‘allowance’, I’m telling you I trust you. You’ve never been after my money or my fame and letting myself even consider that possibility makes me feel like a real shit. I’m talking about a partnership between the two of us, even though I would be the financial partner of the two. Will you consider this?”

Slight tears shimmered in her eyes as she looked at him.

“Jon, I honestly don’t know how to answer you. Part of me feels like that’s taking advantage of you and another part makes me feel like a ‘kept woman’. But, I also know I can’t be a part of your life with the money I have.”

His mind whirled over this. He had expected a more enthusiastic response from her and mentally smacked himself for once again assuming she would be like other women he had been involved with. Every woman, with the exception of Dot who had been there from the beginning, had reveled in his fame and his money and here was Amanda, practically turning him down. He took a few minutes to think and then spoke.

“I don’t want to be alone anymore, Manda. I want someone to go with me to events, on the road, be with me when I travel, and really share every aspect of my life. You’re the one I want this with and you can’t do it alone.”

Her eyes were troubled as she thought over her response. “We can try and I’ll work on how it makes me feel. Jesus! I’m sorry! Here you are being so generous and I sound ungrateful. I’m not, it’s just that all I really want is you.”

Jon nodded at her, thinking that he needed to choose his words carefully so he would be understood.

“I know that. This is new territory for me too. Doing something like this has never even crossed my mind before with anyone. I’m so used to making decisions and having other people just follow along. The kind of relationship I’d like to have with you means a partnership to me, a real sharing of our lives. I guess I need you to let me share with you the things I can and you need to accept that I’m doing it because I want to build a relationship with you and I trust you.”

She nodded in understanding. “Okay, I want to be with you and that means I’ll need you to share with me that way.” She shot him a rather stern look. “You do know I won’t take advantage of you, right?”

Jon threw back his head with laughter at that and then blinded her with the dazzling white of his smile. “Oh, Manda, there’s no way you would do that. Even as dumb as I’ve been lately, I know that deep inside.”

She smiled back at him, but then brought up another subject as they were clearing the air a bit here.

“Jon, what about your mom? And for that matter, Matt?”

“My mom and I are going to talk and she’s going to have to understand I’m a grown man, not a child, and can make good decisions with regard to the woman I want in my life. Matt and I have already talked. His bad attitude came from my slide this past year into booze and…some other bad decisions. My family will understand how much you mean to me and when they get to know you better, I know they’ll see how wonderful you are. They’ll see the real you, Manda, not just what they imagine.”

“That’s all I can hope for. As much as it upset me to hear what she thought, after we talked the other night I can see where so much of what happened between the two of us came from.”

“Manda…?” Jon began, “Thank you more than I can say for giving us another chance.”

“Honey, I love you, how could I not?”

Warning and Disclaimer

The content of this blog is pure fiction. Actual places and real people are named, but in no way should anything be taken as fact. This is a story, with adult content and mature situations. If you are offended by such, please do not read.

Please do not copy any of this material to any other web site.

No harm of any sort is meant to the real people in the story and there is no disrespect intended towards anyone's family.

This is PURE FICTION and hopefully those that like this type of story will enjoy it. Comments are GREATLY appreciated!

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