John Francis - Chapter 140

Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 9:00 PM
Everyone decided to have dinner at the hotel that night as they had an amazing restaurant called The Cellar Bar. After everyone showered, they met in the bar at eight. Amanda was not sure if the service was always as excellent as it appeared or whether the men she was with caused it. They seemed like such regular guys, but there was definitely an aura about them that commanded the eye and attention of others.

They all dressed casually, but elegantly, as this was not the type of place where jeans and sneakers would be appreciated. Once again she found herself surrounded by the five men as they entered the bar area and were shown to a table. Drinks arrived with amazing speed, but they lingered over their choices for dinner. Jon and Amanda decided to share the antipesto and garlic bruchetta, as well as a baked Camembert cheese with French baguettes.

Richie declared a passion for the roast turkey dinner. Tico and David chose the Irish fillet steak and the Irish sirloin steaks respectively, while Hugh was more traditional, deciding on the Merrion fish and chips. Wines were chosen by Jon and Richie, both doing their usual arguing over what went with what.

By the time the food arrived, the guys were laughing and joking with one another, although to her eye Jon appeared tired and bit out of sorts. She wondered if he was still replaying the conversation with Dot about his mother, but she wouldn’t ask, especially in front of the others.

“…so we don’t have anything scheduled except the early press conference at eleven tomorrow morning…?” Richie was asking, making sure tonight things were relatively free for the next few days.

Jon nodded, “Yeah, that’s it and then the concert on Friday night.”

David looked at the other men. “Where’s Obie?”

Hugh answered. “He got room service tonight as he said he had too many details to go over and he would just eat while he was on the phone.”

“Yeah, I’m supposed to meet with him after dinner.” Jon’s sigh was heavy. He was more tired tonight than he cared to admit.

Richie looked at them all. “Anybody up for hitting some of the pubs around town?”

David, Hugh, and Tico agreed, but Jon nodded ‘no’ as he still needed to meet with Obie and then try to get some sleep. He urged Amanda to go if she wanted to, but she was also pretty beat and thought an early night sounded good. After dinner they all went their separate ways. Amanda laughed softly to herself as she could see that the other four men were intent on having a good time tonight.

Walking to their room, Jon opened the door, but didn’t come inside. “Gotta go for a bit, babe, see you soon, okay?”

She kissed him. “Take your time, hon.”

Jon nodded and went off to talk with Obie.

~~~

Amanda occupied herself with unpacking for them for a short while, but it was only 9:30 and although she was tired, she wasn’t sleepy. She didn’t want to stay cooped up in the room and not knowing how long Jon would be, she left him a note that she was going to go outside and walk for a little bit. She grabbed her cell phone, purse, and room key and left, closing the door softly behind her. The night was cool, but not too cold for a walk and most of the pubs and taverns were doing a brisk business even on a Wednesday evening. She planned to stay within a two block radius of the hotel, but the streets were not quite laid out in the grid formation she was used to. Her sense of direction had always been what she considered her greatest flaw and it was in full effect tonight as she got turned around several times.

Trying to stay to streets that were well-lit and populated, she moved through the town, enjoying the charming effect of the old fashioned buildings. The area she was walking through had darkened a bit and taken on a slightly seedier atmosphere as she tried to work her way back to the hotel. She was looking around and up so much that she didn’t see a group exiting one of the taverns until she ran smack into what seemed to be the middle of a forest of men. She stumbled a bit and strong arms caught her. Moving back from the man, she felt her back hit another. A little wary now as she saw there were at least seven men in the group, she tried to smile her thanks and make her way around them. The biggest of the men, at least six feet six, took one of her arms as she tried to make her way past.

“Where you goin’ girl?” He rumbled at her from his great height. His friends seemed to be encircling her and she tried to remove her arm from his grip.

“Back to my hotel. Excuse me, please.”

“Ah, American…visiting our fair city, are ye?” She could smell the alcohol on his breath as he spoke to her.

“Yes…please let go of my arm.” Her voice was commanding as she again tried to move away from him.

Another one of the men spoke then. “We like American women and they sure do like us!” The men laughed harshly then, continuing to enclose her in a circle of bodies.

“Look at the hair, Sean…” one of the men called out.

“Forget the hair, look at the tits.” Another spoke from further back.

“Listen to me…I’m not interested. Let me through now!”

Her tone was as firm as she could make it as she was trying to hide her fear. This was so stupid! I don’t know anything about this place! She tried looking around to see if there were other people, but at this exact moment they seemed to be the only ones in the area.

“Ah, girlie, but we’re interested…very interested…”

The chilling words by the man named Sean, who still gripped her arm and started pulling her in towards him, had Amanda reacting instinctively. She brought her knee into his groin as hard as she could. It doubled him over and his grip on her arm was broken. Her eyes widened and she gave a sudden dart through the group. She almost broke free except one of the men grabbed her hair as she ran past, stopping her so suddenly she ended up flat on her back, the breath knocked out of her.

Lying there on the sidewalk, trying to re-learn how to breathe, Amanda prepared herself to fight for her life. She was roughly pulled to her feet and held by two of the other men as the man she had knee’d strode toward her. The fury in his face filled her with true fear as he stared at her with angry narrowed eyes and then without warning, drew his arm back and slapped her across the left side of her face, snapping her head back. The force of the blow was such that the only thing that kept her upright were the arms of the other men.

Amanda was pushed then toward a brick wall where she slumped, her face burning and her eyesight blurring from the force of the blow. Trying to clear her vision, she heard people approaching and she let out the loudest scream she could manage. The men in the group backed away from her as a larger group of men and women approached. Seeming to melt into the shadows, they slipped away and she felt tears of relief start. One of the women in the group approached her.

“Are you okay?” A lilting Irish voice asked her.

Shaking her head, trembling from the encounter, she shook her head no. “I need to get the Merrion Hotel. A group of men stopped me and wouldn’t let me past. Please help me.” She raised her head to look at the woman who sucked in her breath at the swelling of Amanda’s face. She heard the woman call out “Michael!” and a man appeared at her side.

“Those men around her, look what they did!”

“Dammit! Did you hear any names?” The man name Michael asked her.

“Just one, Sean. It’s not important, but can you please tell me how to get to the Merrion?”

Michael and the woman whose name she learned was Heather gathered the rest of their friends together and all agreed they would walk her to the hotel. She was glad of their assistance as she stumbled several times and both Heather and Michael were there to provide a balancing hand.

“Do you need to see a doctor?” Michael asked her, concern evident in his voice.

“No, I just need to get back to my room. Thank you, though.”

Her words were slightly slurred as her face was swelling more than she could imagine and the shock of the encounter and the blow were now starting to hit her hard.

Amanda was surprised she was only two blocks away from the hotel. Arriving at the main door, she thanked them all for their help and after asking once again if she wanted medical attention, they bid her good night and left her at the entrance.

Pulling her hair forward to hide her face, Amanda entered the lobby and made her way to the room. She hoped Jon was still meeting with Obie so she could get some ice on her face before he returned. Her shoulders, back and buttocks were also hurting from hitting the sidewalk when one of the men had grabbed her hair. She supposed she ought to be thankful he had kept his grip on her hair as she fell, otherwise she might be looking at even worse injuries.

She turned the key and entered the room, but stopped suddenly as she saw that Jon was back. He was on the phone and she turned to keep her left side from his sight, trying to get into the bathroom before he got a good look at her. She just felt too stupid and wanted to have a few minutes to take care of herself before he saw her.

She almost made it to the bathroom, but as she passed Jon he reached out to grab her arm and she hissed as her shoulders, arms, back, and rear hurt from the fall. He heard the sound she made and although still talking, turned his full attention to her. Still trying to hide her face, she turned away from him, her hair falling forward. He froze as he got closer to her and she heard…”I’ll call you back…” as he hung up.

Brushing her hair back from her face, he gently took her chin in his hand. His eyes were chips of blue ice. There was no mistaking that someone had hit her.

“What happened?” His voice was low and tight.

“It was stupid, Jon. I went out for a walk and…” she paused, then spilled the entire story rather than have him drag it out of her bit by bit. He sat there in stunned silence.

“I’m sorry, it was my fault. I shouldn’t have…” He stopped her with a look of concern.

“Take your shirt off!” His voice brooked no argument.

She carefully removed her shirt and he could see bruises already starting to form. He looked again at her face, the left side swollen almost double the right. He rubbed his hand softly on the right side of her hair and went to the room phone.

“Front desk? This is Mr. Bon Jovi in Suite 10. I need a doctor sent to my room as soon as possible.” He listened, then “You have one on call, right? Please send for him immediately. Thank you.” He hung up the phone and turned to her.

“Jon, I don’t need a doctor, just some ice or something.” He shook his head no – “doctor!”. She slumped on the bed, waiting.

He sat beside her, trying to get his emotions under control. He knew he was being curt with her and it was because he was so furious that someone had hit her that he didn’t trust himself to speak in more than simple words. She started trembling as the pain from her injuries began to intensify. Confused, thinking he was angry with her, Amanda felt tears start. A sob caught Jon’s attention and he put aside his conflicted feelings to help her with hers.

“Baby, you’re gonna be okay. I just want a doctor to check you out. I’m not mad at you, it’s just that someone fuckin’ hit you and that’s what’s making me crazy!”

He pulled her gently into his arms where she finally let go of her pent up emotions and sobbed against his shoulder. They stayed that way until a knock was heard at the door.

7 comments

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I loved this chapter. I could feel her fear. Can't wait for the next chapter.

  2. Shelly Says:

    And you leave it like that? LOL

    Who's at the door?

    Poor Amanda...Tell me they find Sean!!! Jerk!!!!!

    Can't wait for the next chapter hon...

  3. Anonymous Says:

    That was a great chapter. I'm with Shelly, tell me that JON finds Sean.

    Please don't make us wait too long. Just like Cathy said yesterday, I check in with you before I check my email!

    I don't know what I'm going to do when I have to go back to work and can't check from there!!!!

    Linda

  4. Sunstreaked Says:

    Thanks so much guys - I really appreciate your comments. I'm sorry I didn't post for several days, real life intruded but all is well.

    Much more of this story to come and I really would like to thank you all for sticking around so long!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    You're leaving it right here?!?! Ahhh!!!! And I'm leaving for the weekend! Not sure I can stand a few days without my "guilty pleasure"!!

  6. Anonymous Says:

    not what a tired and emotional Jon needs.
    Someone will pay for this.
    your story is just so fun to read. I check everyday ( oh all right.... more) waiting for the next chapter.

  7. jovikitn65 Says:

    When Jon tells the guys what happened to Amanda there wont a place on this earth that Sean and his jackass friends can hide. They will be found of that I have no doubt!! Amanda just let the doctor check you out, if for nothing else but Jon's peace of mind that you are ok.

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