John Francis - Chapter 91

Friday, May 16, 2008 at 1:52 PM
Richie took the elevator to the 8th floor and went to Amanda’s room. He knocked and she opened the door slowly, not expecting anyone. Her eyes widened in shock.

“What are you doing here?” Her voice was leaden, as if she couldn’t even summon up enough emotion in it to show her surprise.

He moved into the room before she could shut the door on him. “Being a friend. Didn’t we agree on that?”

She stared at him, her eyes getting wider and wider and her breathing starting to hitch.

“Richie…not now…I can’t…it’s…” and then she broke into full throated sobs, sobs he had not heard since that first morning he met her. Once again, he held her as she cried.

“I don’t know what I did. I don’t know what changed. You should have believed me before, that he would get tired of me, that it couldn’t last…why didn’t you believe me?” She was still crying.

“Honey, I still don’t believe you. You still love him and he still loves you.”

“I’m always going to love him but he doesn’t want me anymore.” She moved suddenly out of his arms. “I have to go. If you know where I am, he’ll find me and somehow he’ll get me to stay. I can’t make him love me now that he’s stopped and I can’t…I can’t…”

Holding up his hands he then grabbed her shoulders, stopping her. “He doesn’t know you’re here, only I do. I saw the key before when your purse was opened. I told him I don’t know where you are.”

She collapsed on the bed at that. “Are you telling me the truth?” He nodded.

“Okay, I’ll stay for a few days like I planned, but you need to go now. He’ll be looking for you.”

“I’ll go, but keep your cell phone on, please?”

She nodded, then added. “I won’t answer if Jon calls.”

“Okay, understood.”

Richie got to his feet and kissed her cheek. “It’s going to be okay, Manda, I swear!” He heard her voice soft and low as he was leaving the room.

“Good-bye Richie Sambora.”

~~~

Moving quickly to the elevator, Richie pulled out his cell and called Tico.

“He still in there?”

“Yeah, but not sure how much longer the three of us are going to be able to keep him here.”

“I’m on my way.”

Richie entered to find Jon in a heated argument with the other men. He wanted to find Amanda and was refusing to believe that none of them knew where she was. Unfortunately for Jon, but to the benefit of the other men, the alcohol he had drunk that night was now taking full effect. Richie ducked out to get him a room, requesting room 819. It was available. Coming back in, he heard Tico quietly berating Jon for his behavior.

“I want to know what she did. I want to know what she did that made you treat her like this.” Tico’s voice was grave and the look on his face was serious and stern, showing Jon that he wasn’t going to let him get away with not answering.

Jon took in a deep breath. “She didn’t do anything…it was me…”

Looking him square in the eyes, Tico spoke again. “I thought you wanted to change, that you wanted someone to share your life with you. So why did you chase away the one person you’ve found who was willing to do that?”

Jon had no answer for Tico’s probing questions. His head was spinning and he felt nauseous from the alcohol and the knowledge that Amanda was gone. He looked at his friends and band mates, the men he had known for 25 years and saw emotions ranging from pity to antipathy to confusion.

Richie broke the strained silence. “He’s gonna have to stay here tonight. He needs some baby-sitters and I need one other volunteer.” He glanced at Tico, who nodded, but then groaned.

“If he pukes again, YOU clean him up this time!” Richie’s wry grin was answer enough.

After telling David and Hugh that they would be in touch with them if needed, Tico and Richie helped Jon into the elevator, managing to get him quiet enough to get into the room next to Amanda’s. Richie told Tico that Amanda was in the next room.

After getting Jon into the shower, Richie explained what his general idea was.

“We need to keep him quiet or she’s gonna run. I told her no one knows she’s here, but this one” – he pointed in the direction of the bathroom where Jon was in the shower – “needs some help here or he really is going to lose her.”

Alternating the water temperature and ordering coffee and food, within a few hours Jon was much more sober. Sitting wrapped in a towel, he looked at them.

“What did I do?”

“You mean besides fuck up your life?” Richie slammed him.

“She hates me, doesn’t she?” Jon’s voice was hoarse.

“No, you ass, it would be better for her if she did, but she loves you.”

Tico still hadn’t received what he thought was a satisfactory answer to his question downstairs and asked again, “What did she do to you? What made you turn against her?”

Shamefaced, Jon repeated what he had told Richie.

“What did she do that made you think she was like that? You let doubt over-ride what you felt in your heart?”

Nodding, Jon acknowledged that he did. Tico shook his head sadly. “That woman was the rest of your life.”

Turning his head to the side, the men saw something they thought they would never see happen in front of them as tears fell from Jon’s eyes.

Both men left him alone for a few minutes, although Richie did slam the door a bit as they left.

~~~

Amanda was lying on the bed in her room, still wide awake, when she heard voices from the room next door. She couldn’t make out the words, but they were loud enough that she thought about going over and asking them if they could be a little quieter. Although it was New Year’s Eve, the sounds from next door were grating on her already shredded nerves. A few moments later she heard the door slam loudly, then there was quiet.

Without warning there was suddenly loud cursing going on and she decided she’d had enough. Dressing in the hotel bathrobe, she opened her door and went to the room next to hers. She had thought about calling the hotel front desk, but figured she could ask her ‘neighbor’ first and then call later if needed. Knocking on the door of room 819, she heard further cursing and almost thought she’d better leave whoever was in there alone, when the door flew open.

Completely startled blue eyes met even wider brown eyes as the two stared at each other. Faster than she could back up, Jon’s hand reached out and pulled her into his room. His arms wrapped around her and he was trembling.

“Oh my god! You’re here, you’re really here. Jesus, Manda, I’m so fuckin’ sorry. Please forgive me, please give me another chance…I…” His voice broke then and she heard his tears and felt them against her face.

She was still for a moment and then almost against her will her arms came around him and she hugged him to her. For the life of her, she couldn’t believe it was Jon in the room next door to her or that he was holding her in his arms again. She couldn’t stop herself from shaking and holding onto him. He felt her trembling, gasped, and managed to choke out what he really wanted to say.

“I love you. I love everything about you. Please don’t let me lose you, Manda…”

Her tears mingled with his and she pulled back to look at him.

“What’s changed, Jon? I’m still the same person I was a week ago. You wouldn’t even tell me what was wrong. How do I know you won’t do this again?”

Holding her closer, he looked at her, his eyes clear and open, every emotion showing.

“I won’t ever do that again or anything like it. There isn’t any way for me to make you believe me right now, but I swear to you I won’t hurt you again.” He looked at her, waiting for her response, not realizing he was holding his breath.

“Jon, I never stopped loving you, didn’t you know that? You have my heart.” His breath left him in a rush, but almost stopped again as she continued. “But don’t you ever do anything like that to me again! I didn’t deserve that.” Her voice was tremulous, but firm.

Amanda kissed him deeply then. She has missed the man she had fallen in love with and he was back from wherever he had gone. An ache to feel him filled her, a demand to chase away the loss she had felt, the pain that still lingered. She moved toward the bed and had him sit with her. Surprise was evident in his eyes.

“I’ve missed you. I need the man I fell in love with. I need you, John Francis.”

Amazement filled him as he gazed at her and realized what she was asking him. Once again she was asking him to heal, but this time it was not just her who needed it. They needed to mend each other’s hearts. Jon used every skill he had ever learned to please her, to make her feel how much he loved her, how much he had missed her. The sweet cries of her release caused his eyes to tear again. Neither heard nor saw the slight opening of the door during their lovemaking or the eyes that quickly saw them, closed the door, and then smiled in satisfaction.

3 comments

  1. Well, Amanda is certainly a better woman than I. Love or not, I would have expected her to demand some sort of explanation. I like the way you had Richie cleverly get the room next door. He had to know Jon would get mad then loud. Let's see if Jon can keep his word. Amanda was dead on - she didn't deserve that. Jon's damned lucky she didn't leave, and that he has a friend as loyal as Richie.

  2. Opester Says:

    Amanda let Jon off awfully easy-which I can see-but he needs to promise to talk to her about what's going on (and went on) in his head and he could start by telling her what happened. And, dammit, she needs to get angry with him! She hasn't even been angry, just hurt. I can see being relieved that it wasn't what she thought-that he stopped loving her-but once she realizes she hasn't lost him she needs to confront him about his behavior!
    Sorry, guess I feel really strongly about this, but dammit, Sunstreaked, you got us invested in these characters! (Okay, just reminding myself it's just a story, it will be okay-breathe, just breathe!)

  3. jovikitn65 Says:

    I agree with Opester. Amanda let Jon off way to easy, after the way he treated her nothing short of begging would do. Just for the record, sex is all well and good but it doesn't solve the issue. Great chapter.

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