John Francis - Chapter 132

Sunday, July 6, 2008 at 3:11 PM
Snatching his cell phone to stop the piercing ring, wincing as he did so, he answered.

“Yeah?”

“You up?” Richie asked, his own voice a bit deeper and more pain-laced than he realized.

“Barely. What’s goin’ on?” Jon answered back, his voice reflecting his current condition.

“How’s Amanda?”

“Trying to leave the country.” Jon chuckled.

He heard laughter from Richie’s end. “Got coffee?”

“Yeah…”

“Then open the damn door, asshole!” He slammed the phone closed in Jon’s ear.

Moving carefully, Jon opened the door to see his very rumpled, but freshly showered friend, leaning against the doorway. Richie came in and moved directly to the cart where he poured himself some coffee. Amanda saw him come in and burrowed a little deeper into the chair.

“Hey darlin’…” he whispered to her as he refilled the cup he had just downed.

“Hi…” she answered and then made little whimpering noises.

Laughing as softly as his head would allow, Richie spoke again. “Yeah, wine hangovers are a bitch, aren’t they?”

“Oh yeah…” she whispered. “So not doing this again!”

Teasing her a little now as the coffee hit his system, Richie grinned at her and then spoke in a chiding voice.

“Jesus, Manda! You’re dangerous when you drink!”

She looked at him then, not understanding what he was referring to.

“Dangerous? What the hell are you talking about?”

Pointing to his neck, Richie said, “Whiplash.”

Looking back and forth at the two grinning men, she gave a small moan.

“Oh no! What happened? What did I do now?”

They proceeded to tell her. By the time they were done, both men ad libbing and embellishing as they went, she was in tears from her laughter. Trying to hold her head and her stomach, she begged them to stop, that she had heard enough.

~~~

Moving carefully to the cart, she tried a bit of eggs on her unhappy stomach. They seemed to settle there although it was touch and go for a few seconds. The other two were busy eating as they knew food would help. She tried some toast and that also stayed down. Within a few minutes she actually thought she was going to live, although after hearing some of last night’s stories she wasn’t sure she wanted to.

She looked at Jon and Richie. “Can we not tell the other guys about the bar, please?”

They just grinned at her and she knew it, knew it in her bones that this story was not gonna stay quiet.

“I really don’t like either one of you right now.”

She spoke in a grouch at them, but their grins wouldn’t let her stay grumpy. Richie looked like a kid on Christmas morning and Jon wasn’t too far behind.

She muttered ‘where the hell is my passport?’ and they laughed.

~~~

“So, what are we doing today besides pissing and moaning about our hangovers?” Richie threw out a few minutes later.

“There’s nothing on the schedule…want to do the tourist bit for Amanda?” Jon asked him.

“Yeah, sure, why not. You two get ready, I’ll call the other guys and see what they’re doing.”

“Ok, man, see you in an hour.”

Jon turned to Amanda. “We have two days here before we leave and nothing scheduled. Want to look around?”

Her smile brightened as she answered him. “Of course!” She kissed him then and moved off just a wee bit slowly to get dressed.

~~~

An hour later Jon knocked on Richie’s door. He opened it and met them with his sunglasses already on. They laughed as they both had on theirs too, Jon for his hangover and attempted anonymity, Amanda just for her hangover.

“Teek, Dave, and Hugh all have their own plans, so it’s just us three.”

They entered the lobby and saw a small group of people outside. Evidently pictures of them at a local pub made the paper and fans now knew they were still in town. Seeing the people outside, they asked the desk to call them a cab. Once the cab pulled up, the guys grabbed Amanda again and they hurried through to the waiting car. All the fans got were nods and smiles from the two this morning as neither one felt up to chatting or signing. They still weren’t sure yet they knew how to spell their names. Jon told the driver to take them to Kyoto Gardens. This was a quiet spot in a very busy city and he wanted to start out with as little noise as possible.

The lurching movements of the taxi as it negotiated the heavy city traffic left all of them a bit queasy and it was with great relief that they arrived at Holland Park where the gardens were located. Paying the driver, Jon was the last out of the cab as Richie and particularly Amanda had exited as quickly as they could. They walked to one of the entrances and found the area Jon had been thinking about when he made this decision. There is a bridge at the foot of a waterfall that is one of the city’s most peaceful spots and they sat when they got there, enjoying the quiet of the late afternoon.

After a bit they strolled through the gardens and exited back onto a street. They had no real plans that afternoon and wandered, enjoying London again through Amanda’s eyes as her excitement was genuine. Around seven they had finally come to the consensus that they were all going to live and if so, more food was necessary. Entering one of the many pubs that seemed to be in the city, they were shown to a table. Amanda ordered a soda as she was sure that even a small amount of alcohol was not a good idea. The men ordered pints as they subscribed to the ‘hair of the dog that bit you’ school of thought. She shuddered a little as she watched them drink, shaking her head and making a face when Jon asked her if she wanted a sip.

When it was time to order, Richie told her, “Trust me on this, Manda, order real food, no salad shit, it will help you feel better.”

She nodded at him and asked for as mild a meal as possible, a burger and fries. The two with her ordered the same and asked for another pint. They made small talk as they ate and Amanda realized that with real food in her stomach she actually did feel better. She thanked Richie for his advice and he grinned at her.

“Been there, done that, got the t-shirt…” Richie responded.

Jon threw back his head and laughed. “Shit, man, if we got a t-shirt for every time this has happened we’d need three houses each for just them alone!”

Shaking his head, Richie agreed. “And we always say we’re not gonna do this shit again…and then…”

“Hey, I blame you for most of it, Sambora. Dot always said the devil wasn’t going to be red and have horns, he was gonna look just like you!”

Richie cracked up at that. “I saw that interview, you asshole, you know how much shit I got from Heather for that?”

Both men laughed then, obviously remembering some of their wilder times together. Amanda grinned at the two and their silliness. She loved seeing their friendship, it reminded her of the times she had spent with Susan, although she knew her stories were nothing like theirs.

“I wish I had some great stories to throw into the mix here, but between the two of you I seem to have lived a pretty tame life!”

Her grin was wicked as she was thinking about all they had been saying.

“So, I guess there really are secrets the two of you will take to the grave!”

Looking at each other, the men exchanged grins and both nodded simultaneously.

“I know I don’t want to know, so don’t worry, no questions. It would probably take Chinese water torture anyway and even then the results aren’t guaranteed!”

Looking at them with real affection in her eyes, she smiled. “Do you know how rare the friendship you two have is? You’re both very lucky.”

They smiled back at her, glad to know she accepted their friendship and that even though she would never know the depth of it, she still valued it.

She grinned at them then, a devilish smile on her face.

“Of course, sharing a history of Spandex would make a rather close friendship!” Both groaned at that reminder and glared at her.

“Hey, don’t glare at me! I didn’t wear those pants! Haven’t you two ever heard of underwear?”

At the mention of underwear, Richie broke out into a huge grin and ducked his head, taking a sip from his beer to try and hide his smiles. Jon now glared at Richie himself and Amanda glanced between the two.

“Okay, gonna let me in on the joke?”

Richie started laughing so hard he choked on his beer and Jon made motions with his hand of ‘no way’ as he also seemed to be laughing so hard he couldn’t talk. Shaking her head at the antics of the two ‘children’ she was with, Amanda let it go, knowing that if it was a ‘Jon and Richie’ story, they wouldn’t tell her anyway.

“Go ahead, keep your secrets, at least this one isn’t about me!”

She chided them with her tone, then looked even more confused as they roared with laughter, not even trying to be subtle about it.

7 comments

  1. Anonymous Says:

    oooh! One more before I hit the road on vacation tomorrow! Thank you! That was the fix I needed!

    Seriously, though, I'm thinking of taking my laptop with me, because I am hooked on your story and The Sauna!

    Have a great week!

    Linda

  2. Cathy Says:

    Two great chapters that had me laughing so hard. I love Jon, Amanda and Richie together they are great.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    the past few chapters have been hilarious ...thanks so much!!!!

  4. Anonymous Says:

    “Hey, I blame you for most of it, Sambora. Dot always said the devil wasn’t going to be red and have horns, he was gonna look just like you!”

    This is one of my favourite quotes. It was such a fun chapter!

    Arwen

  5. Opester Says:

    “Of course, sharing a history of Spandex would make a rather close friendship!” Both groaned at that reminder and glared at her.

    I just totally loved that comment! Amanda really got in a good zinger there, but those spandex years do make our guys rather vulnerable targets, LOL!

  6. Daydreamer- Says:

    Your chapters keep getting better and better, and the dialogue is laugh out loud funny!

    Great job. I love how she's become such a natural part of Jon & Richie's friendship.

  7. jovikitn65 Says:

    " You up? Barely How's Amanda? Trying to leave the country. You got coffee? Yeah Then open the door asshole." Lol I can so see Richie saying that. Just a great chapter.

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