John Francis - Chapter 147

Friday, July 25, 2008 at 1:20 PM
Amanda was able to fix her makeup and her clothes were still in relatively good condition, but her hair was sopping wet and she wasn’t sure how that could be explained. She decided to follow Jon’s example and not answer any questions she didn’t want to. Besides, only the other guys would be bold enough to ask. Jon dressed in casual clothes after their shower, jeans and a white long-sleeved shirt. Giving her a grin, he asked if she was ready to go. Shaking her head ruefully at her appearance, she said yes. They moved out the door and down to the after party room.

Entering together, although they tried to just mingle their way in, still caused quite a stir. For one, they were pretty late coming in, and second, Amanda was glowing, Jon was grinning, and both looked like they had just had a good time, wet hair and all. The other guys shook their heads, grinning at each other; however, the press in the room had a field day. Cameras flashed before Amanda realized they had even been seen. Questions were called out by the press as the bruise on her face was apparent to everyone. Jon knew they were going to have to address this or else the press would run with whatever they wanted to.

Holding up his hands, Jon indicated that he would take questions. They came fast and furious at first.

“Who’s the woman, Jon? - What happened to her face?” - Why are you late getting to the room? - Is this your girlfriend? - Are you getting married, Jon? - Who hit her?”

Jon answered the questions he wanted to.

“This is Amanda Matthews, my girlfriend. The other night she was unfortunately attacked by a man while she was out walking in the city. When she attempted to free herself from this man and his friends, he hit her in the face. Ms. Matthews has reported this to the police and the man responsible has been caught.”

Another reporter spoke to Amanda.

“Ms. Matthews, was the man who hit you a resident of Dublin?”

“I don’t know where he resides, but the incident took place here.”

Another reporter tried, but Amanda shook her head.

“Jon has provided you with the information as to what happened. I would prefer not to talk about it any further. Thank you.”

She then turned away, heading toward the drink table. The band formed a half circle around her, preventing any further reporters from getting near her. She could hear them again relaying that she had nothing additional to add.

Jon moved away from her then, knowing from experience that most of the reporters would follow him. He started talking about the benefits for different charities from their concerts and where they would be going next. He refused to hear questions that related to Amanda and the press soon realized he would not answer anything else with regards to her.

Richie bumped Amanda’s arm with his to get her attention. “You okay, darlin’? How’s that pretty face doing?”

“Well, I know I still look like hell…” she gestured vaguely towards the press around Jon, “…but it doesn’t hurt quite so much.”

“That’s not what I meant, Manda.” Richie almost scolded her.

She nodded at him. “Yeah, I was more scared than anything. I really am okay, Rich.”

He nodded at her then. “You know we’re heading out tomorrow, just one more show in Scotland, and then a few days off and then back to the states.”

“I’m surprised you guys are doing this so soon after the last tour.”

“We usually wouldn’t have and we’ll be hitting the studio when we get back, but the benefits for charities were too good to pass up.”

Amanda smiled at him. “That’s something I really admire about you all. You really do give back to communities and organizations that help other people.” Cocking her head at him, she grinned.

“Does that mean I get to see you guys in action in the studio?”

His grin was wicked as he answered her. “Pretty sure that’s a yes. Jon doesn’t seem to be able to let you out of his sight for long.”

He paused then and grinned even wider. “Nice wet hair, by the way.”

She grumbled under her breath, “Dammit, Sambora, I knew you would be the one to say something!”

“I…uh…happened to knock on Jon’s door before…” he left that sentence hanging as she blushed remembering Jon had told her she was loud.

She gave a groan of embarrassment, “Oh my god!”

Laughing full out now, he answered her. “Exactly!”

~~~

The party lasted only another hour and they all left to go back to a bar by the hotel. They were leaving the next day for Scotland, so they were staying close, not doing the entire town. Amanda settled herself next to Jon on the seat, Richie again on her other side, the other three on the opposite seat. They were discussing the concert and Tico was giving Richie and Jon a good-natured ribbing about their joking around during the show.

“Between you shakin’ your ass, Kidd, and Swing over there playing it for the ladies, I’m not sure they even heard the music!” His grin was wide as he said this and David and Hugh chimed in with their own grousing about the women in the audience going nuts whenever Jon shook it or Richie wore his Stetson or gave Jon a hard time on stage. They both laughed, realizing he was right, but Jon defended the two of them a little.

“Hey, got to change it up a bit or the fans are gonna think they keep seeing the same show over and over.”

Richie threw in, “Don’t believe that shit for a minute! Jon knows the women go nuts when he shakes his ass and he likes to hear those screams.”

Amanda’s muffled giggles stopped Jon’s response to Richie’s comment. He turned to her.

“What?” His face giving her a mock scowl.

“Hey, don’t look at me, but I do believe the phrase ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it’ does apply to you, John Francis!”

He grinned at her then and flashed her a full smile that caused her to blush again and the other men to laugh.

Their arrival at the bar put an end to that line of conversation for which Amanda, for one, was grateful.

They made their way into the tavern, ordering drinks, and starting to relax after their performance. There were several crew members who had been invited, as well as other locals associated with the show. From the joking in the car, Amanda knew the guys were all in a good mood tonight and ready to cut loose a little. She noticed that several of the local ladies were also present and when the music starting blasting everyone hit the floor dancing.

David was dancing with a very pretty woman and enjoying himself, while Tico and Hugh danced, but as was their way, kept their behavior appropriate for married men. She saw that a leggy blonde had attached herself to Richie and she watched as the woman fell for the dark haired man’s charms.

Jon was standing beside her and she glanced at him and then inclined her head towards Richie. Giving a slight shake of his head, he just grinned at her. “Richie likes blondes,” was all he offered in explanation. Taking a handful of her hair in his hand, he rubbed his fingers through it.

“Me…guess I’m partial to brunettes.” She smiled at him and gave him a considering look. “So, I guess no dye job for me?”

“Shit no, woman!” He gave a look of disbelief that she would even consider it.

Teasing him then, she said, “And how many colors has your hair been over the years?”

He grinned, then laughed. “Ok, guess I’m not the best one to give advice in that area.”

Nudging him then, she urged him to go mingle. “Jon, go visit with your friends and the people you need to. I don’t think I need any baby-sitting here.”

She ordered them both another drink and then with a slap on his ass, sent him on his way. He gave a start when she smacked him and turned to give her a considering look. Laughing at his expression, she mouthed “no way” and shooed him off. He gave her a smirk and moved off to schmooze with some of the local bigwigs who had been invited to this party. She watched as several of the women there seemed to hone in on Jon as if he was wearing a beacon, but after what had happened with them today, she wasn’t worried.

Chris was there and keeping a close eye on Amanda. He had taken Jon’s instructions to heart and when he saw that she was looking around the tavern, he made the assumption that she wanted to find a bathroom. He was suddenly at her side and touched her arm lightly.

“Manda? You need to leave for a few minutes?” He asked her quietly.

“Hey Chris, yeah, I do.”

He motioned toward the back of the pub and indicated that he would accompany her. Before leaving, he caught Jon’s eye and motioned that he would be with Amanda when she left the room. Jon, deep in discussion with the Mayor of Dublin, nodded.

Exiting the room, Amanda followed Chris as he led her to the bathrooms. She thanked him and entered, taking a few minutes after her urgent need was taken care of to brush her hair and take a look at her face. The bruise was a vivid purple and seemed to run from her hairline to her chin. She had never in her life before been hit by someone in anger and she was still a little stunned at what had happened. Thank god they caught that guy. Jesus! He was even bigger than I remembered!

Opening the door, she stuck her head out and saw Chris leaning against a wall a little down the hallway. She moved towards him, but when he started to go back to the room, she asked if they could just hold off for a few minutes.

“Chris, I have to tell you again how grateful I am for your help today. That radio…well…I think I would’ve been really hurt if I didn’t have a way to call for help.”

Although Chris knew what she was saying was true, he was still angry at himself for not sending someone to her immediately when he had been called away.

“Amanda, I’m just sorry I didn’t send someone over to you as soon as I had to leave. That was just stupid on my part.”

She put her hand on his arm. “There’s no way either of us could have known he would be here, so stop thinking you did something wrong, okay?”

He nodded at her. “Ooh-kay, but from now on, you get security with you, agreed?”

“I feel ridiculous needing security, but I can’t argue, so…agreed.”

“Amanda…can I speak frankly with you?” Chris began hesitantly.

“Of course!” She was surprised he felt he needed to ask.

“These guys, this band…this is the big leagues, Amanda. They aren’t some small time group just hanging on. They have millions of fans and not all of them are just fans, some are what we call fanatics. They will do anything to get close to Jon or Richie or the others. I know this is something you aren’t used to, but it sure looks like you’re going to have to.”

She was listening to him, considering what he was saying to her. “Chris, is there something you’re really trying to say to me?”

His eyes raised a bit in surprise, but he nodded. “Yeah…it’s pretty apparent that you and Jon are…together, and not in a casual way. The press has been a little slow on the pick up with his new relationship with you, but it’s going to be public in a big way anytime now. Don’t be surprised if not everyone is happy for the two of you.”

“You mean the ‘fanatics’ as you called them?” She asked.

Nodding at her, he confirmed what she had just asked. “Yes, that’s what I mean. Once your picture is in the paper enough, you’re going to be approached in public and not everyone will be nice about it. I just felt you needed to know.”

“I understand and thanks for giving me this information. I’ll keep it in mind.” She started to say something else, but at that moment Jon appeared in the hallway to the bathrooms. He saw them talking and quirked an eyebrow at Chris in question.

“No problems, boss, Amanda just wanted a break for a few minutes.” Chris responded to Jon’s unspoken question.

Turning to her, he asked, “You okay, baby?”

She smiled at him. “Yep, doing good. Just had to thank Chris again for his help today.”

Jon turned to his head of security. “Chris, if I didn’t express it well enough earlier, thank you.”

Nodding at Jon, the three made their way back to the main room of the tavern.

4 comments

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Chris is a smart guy..

    Enjoyed this chapter!

    Linda

  2. Shelly Says:

    I'm w/Linda..

    Chris is a smart guy...

    And Richie.....that cracked me up!!!

    LOL!!!!

    Enjoyed this chapter hon very much

  3. Kay Says:

    Methinks that Richie needs to keep away from them blonds!

    And Jon...don't you have a blow dryer?!

    ROTFL! Sheesh...men!

  4. Opester Says:

    Gotta agree with Teek! And Jon eats it up, but in truth it is their behavior together that makes for the most memorable shows. When they're having fun, it's truly contagious!

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