John Francis - Chapter 54

Friday, May 2, 2008 at 9:50 AM
Dressing casually for their evening at Chickie & Pete’s, Jon told her more about the meeting with the guys the next day. They were going to run through some songs they hadn’t played for a while and although the sound check at the stadium wouldn’t be until Thursday afternoon, Jon wanted them to give the fans a little bit more of the older stuff that wasn’t usually included in shows and they would run through those songs.

Having been to Chickie & Pete’s so much, Jon didn’t bother with his hat, but did keep his sunglasses on. The owner immediately recognized him and took them to a booth a bit out of the public view. Looking at the menu, Amanda once again asked Jon to order for them figuring he would know the best items. They enjoyed a lobster pizza and several other goodies that left Amanda figuring she would need to hit a gym soon. Then she grinned slyly to herself. She had been getting in a good bit of strenuous exercise lately outside the gym.

Noticing her smile, Jon asked what she was grinning about. She told him and he laughed loudly, saying he planned on staying in shape that way with her. As they munched on the various offerings the restaurant had, Amanda thought to tell Jon about the photographer taking her picture when she was entering the Hyatt. She had forgotten about it, but it re-surfaced during their conversations.

“What do you think that would have been about?”

Jon thought he might have an idea, but as he wasn’t sure he told her someone had probably seen her picture with him in Florida and then saw her again in Philly. He stayed at the Hyatt quite a bit and the tabloid journalists were pretty effective at finding out where someone was and waiting for the right moment to snap a picture.

“Honey, if you are with me, your picture is going to be taken. There really isn’t anything I can do about it, except try to keep you out of the limelight as much as possible.”

Nodding at him as her mouth was full of the pizza, she swallowed finally and was able to say what she had been thinking. “I know, or at least I think I do, that when we’re together they’ll be taking pictures. I was just surprised that someone would take my picture when I was alone.”

He played it off casually, but thought he would have his assistant start checking the papers for mentions of him and Amanda.

Leaning back against the table, rubbing her over-stuffed belly, Amanda gave a soft burp and blushed. “Oh God! Sorry!” She started giggling then which made her grab her stomach even more.

Smiling at her silliness, Jon remarked: “That was a girl burp. Want to hear a guy one?”

“Oh Lord, no! Don’t make me laugh anymore. I’m so full! This was really wonderful. Thanks for bringing me here.”

“I love this place. Try to get here every chance I get.”

The owner chose that moment to come to their table and inquire about their dinner. Jon thanked him and told him it was wonderful as usual. He introduced Amanda as his girlfriend and she too thanked him and told him the food was amazing.

Leaning in a little closer to Jon, the owner spoke softly. “Jon, my friend, I am sorry to tell you that the parking lot outside is full of the media, both print and TV, and, unfortunately there is also quite a large crowd of fans waiting for you.”

“Shit!” Jon swore softly under his breath. “What the fuck caused this? I come here all the time.”

The owner just cut his eyes at Amanda and Jon nodded his agreement. She caught the look between the two men and with round eyes she asked plaintively, “Me? The media is here because I’m with you?” Looking back and forth at the two she offered her apology to Jon. “I’m sorry…I didn’t tell anyone…I…”

Jon took her hand in his and stopped her protests. “This is absolutely not your fault and it was bound to happen sooner or later. The media usually lets me keep a pretty low profile, but there hasn’t been a woman with me since Dot. This was inevitable…” he sighed.

“Why don’t you walk out first and I’ll take a cab back to the hotel?”

Throwing her a “don’t even think about it” look, Jon asked the owner for a few moments alone. When he had given them their privacy, she heard his voice speaking to her in a firm, no nonsense tone.

“Do you think I’m ashamed of you? Or that I want to hide you? We are not sneaking anywhere. I love you, Manda, and I don’t care who knows it.” Then a thought occurred to him. “Do you care who knows you love me?”

She melted at the slightly unsure tone in his voice and took his hands in hers. She looked deep into his eyes, smiling with love at him.

“John Francis Bongiovi, I love you! Let’s go give ‘em hell!”

Starting a little at her use of his birth name, he flashed his million-dollar smile at her when he realized yet again that to her that’s who he was.

Paying their bill, Jon put his hand on the small of her back and they prepared to face the modern day barbarians.

Flashes from multiple cameras blinded Amanda even though she tried to keep her eyes lowered a bit so she could see where she was going. Jon kept his hand firmly on her back for which she was immensely grateful and led her quickly to the waiting limo. Screams seem to come from all over and she could hear “Jon! Over here, Jon! Who’s the woman? Jon, can we get a picture? Over here! Jon!”

Standing at the open door of the limo with Alex acting as a block from the other side, Jon and Amanda turned to face the cameras. Realizing they were being given their “money shot”, the flashes of the cameras grew even brighter. Amanda tried to keep a relaxed smile on her face and not squint. She was starting to understand why Jon wore sunglasses all the time.

Microphones were thrust toward them as reports shouted out questions again. Holding up his hand for quiet, Jon made a short statement.

“I’ve started seeing someone, this lady here, and her name is Amanda. I would ask that you respect her privacy as she is not a public figure. Thank you.” He quickly ushered her into the limo and followed her, with Alex closing the door quickly.

Amanda’s voice was relieved. “Whew! Good job there. I’ve read the tabloids, mention “girlfriend” or my last name and they will find and hound my mother and everyone I’ve ever known. Thanks for doing it that way, Jon. I really appreciate it!”

She again surprised him. He had told her they were a couple and they were, but he knew why he had not mentioned that to the press as they WOULD have hounded everyone she knew. He was amazed that she understood that.

Looking at her, a bit of a puzzled expression in his eyes, he had to tell her.

“You amaze me, Manda. I ask you to be with me, exclusively as a couple, then I don’t mention it and downplay who you are to me and you are completely okay with it, aren’t you?”

“Of course I understand…didn’t I offer to take a cab back to the hotel? There is so much crap written about celebrities. Those vultures don’t need any handouts.” He pulled her to him and kissed her.

“I love you.”

“I love you, too, John Francis.”

1 Responses to John Francis - Chapter 54

  1. Opester Says:

    Welcome to Jon's world, Amanda. I'm glad she handled it so well and that she was so reasonable about the situation. It's nice to see a woman who's mature enough to know what to expect and isn't insecure!

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