John Francis - Chapter 167

Friday, August 29, 2008 at 8:52 AM
The honk of a horn brought them down the stairs, rushing to finish what had been undone a few minutes earlier. They made it downstairs where Jon helped her into her coat and she finished slipping on her shoes. A quick glance in the hall mirror told her she was acceptable and they left the house. The driver had the door open and they slipped into the back. Jon instantly moved closer to her, wanting to be near her. She chuckled softly.

“I’m guessing you like my perfume?” She had a small smile and a raised eyebrow as she looked at him.

“I’m thinking it should be illegal.” He smiled at her, dazzling her.

“Behave yourself tonight.” She admonished him, still grinning.

“Don’t leave my side.” He growled back.

During the drive to the Four Seasons, Jon was playful and talkative. He was in a great mood and knew himself well enough to realize it was not all from the sexual release he had just experienced. He was happy to be with Amanda and just spend time with her. He was pleased she wanted to be with him as the social aspects of his life had not always been Dot’s favorite thing. He had gone by himself more times than he could count to events that he wished he could have shared. Now he had someone who wanted to share things with him and he found himself looking forward to functions he had once dreaded.

Pulling up to the entrance of the hotel where the party was to take place, they saw the walkway lined with paparazzi and Jon squeezed her hand in reassurance. She took a deep breath and turned to him.

“Thanks to you, I actually feel really pretty tonight. This dress, this jewelry, so beautiful. Thank you, honey.”

As often happens with people in love, Jon was astonished that she did not feel as beautiful as she looked to him.

Giving a small shake of his head, he asked her, “Don’t you know how gorgeous you are?”

Shooting him a “yeah, right” look just as the limo came to a stop, Amanda grabbed her small clutch purse and got ready to get out of the car. The driver opened the door and Jon got out first, then helped her step out.

Flashbulbs went off in a blizzard of white as the two exited the vehicle. Jon smiled at the cameras and nodded towards a few of the reporters he knew by sight. He kept Amanda’s hand tucked into the crook of his arm and she also smiled at those taking their photographs. Questions were thrown out at them, but Jon didn’t answer and she followed his lead. Moving steadily towards the door, they were soon inside.

Amanda leaned a little closer to him and whispered, “Okay, tell me the truth, how long did it take you to get used to that?”

Chuckling deep in his throat, he told her. “About twenty years.” She laughed herself at that.

Moving into the main dining area, they saw perhaps a little less than a hundred people gathered for the dinner. It didn’t take long before they heard Sambora’s laughter and saw him by the doorway of the room. He also spotted them, eyes widening in surprise, and he worked his way over.

Leaning in to kiss her cheek, Richie theatrically greeted her. “Good evening, my sweet…” He caught a whiff of her perfume. She kissed his cheek.

“Don’t you look pretty!” She teased him back.

He turned to shake his friend’s hand as Amanda started to look around the room. Leaning in he grinned at Jon.

“She smells good.”

Jon grinned back.

“Yeah, we’re leaving…soon!”

They entered the room, Jon making introductions and Amanda remembering at least some of the faces of the people who had been to the before Christmas party. There were waiters tonight as the gathering was relatively small, passing through with champagne and taking drink orders. They ordered a wine and after getting their drinks they moved further into the room. Spotting Tico and his wife, along with Hugh and a woman who had to be his wife, as well as David and his date, across the room, Richie excused himself to return to the other guys and his own date.

There seemed to be a large crowd around Jon most of the early part of the night and Amanda was included in the conversations as this time of the evening was for socializing. The people she met who worked for and with Jon were pleasant and seemed glad to see her, some again, some for the first time. Those who had been at the other party where she had experienced her allergic reaction asked how she was and she assured them that it was over quickly, just an allergy, downplaying the incident.

Jon was enjoying how Amanda seemed so much more comfortable with her surroundings tonight. She laughed and talked with everyone who came up to them, answering questions without providing too much detail. He held her hand, her elbow, along her back, a lock of her hair, whatever he could manage to reach depending on the number of people around them. She too would lean into his arm, or stroke his hand when it held hers, or some other small gesture that kept building on the closeness they had felt earlier.

They were talking to Jon’s brother, Tony, at that moment, when Amanda felt a hand on her upper back. Turning, she saw Tico and she smiled brightly at him. Leaning a little she kissed his cheek and he did the same. He then introduced her to his wife, Alejandra, and Amanda first expressed her pleasure at meeting Tico’s wife and then thanked her for when she was a guest in their home.

“Did you two fly in just for this?” She asked, looking from one to the other.

“Yeah, we left the little guy with the nanny for a few nights. We got in late yesterday and we’ll fly back after Dot’s wedding.”

Jon asked then if they wanted to get together after the dinner tonight and they both nodded yes as they had expected to. Hugh and David wandered up at about that time and introduced the ladies they were with. Hugh was with his wife, Kelli, whom all but Amanda had met as she had not gone on the three concert European tour. David was there with his new girlfriend, Jen. Apparently David and Jen were a fairly new couple, but they seemed to have a genuine fondness for the other and between the two, she was laughing almost constantly as Jen was throwing out hysterical comments and David was no slouch in that department either.

Amanda was talking with the other couples when she realized that Richie was nowhere in sight. Glancing around a bit, she saw him talking quietly with a tall blonde. Jesus! Amanda thought to herself as she looked at the woman. She’s gorgeous! And the woman was, a beauty who definitely fit in with Richie’s type if you took Heather and Denise as an indicator. Walking over to the group, Richie introduced her as Jackie Parsons.

It seems everyone but Amanda and Jen had met Jackie before and as she was introduced she smiled warmly at the other woman. Jackie responded with a gentle press of her hand, but didn’t seem interested in pursuing further conversation as she turned again to Richie. Amanda’s eyes were a little quizzical as she tried to figure the situation out, then she gave herself a mental shake, realizing it was none of her business.

Richie was a big boy and he had been taking care of himself for years. Mind your own business, Amanda! She scolded herself. It’s just he’s such a nice guy! Her friendship with Jon’s best friend had been growing and she felt a sisterly affection towards him, just wanting him to have what he deserved.

Dinner was interesting with the five guys and their dates and the two wives. Alejandra and Tico were a pleasure to see together. Amanda had seen him at his house and then for the three shows overseas and he had never given the slightest indication that he felt anything except one hundred percent devotion to his wife and son. Even now, talking with the others, the two seemed cocooned in their own little world.

Hugh and Kelli seemed like such a matched couple. He was usually so quiet, but Kelli was a bubbly enthusiastic woman who was evidently loved very much by her husband if his fond glances were any indication. She was very sweet and spent at least ten minutes talking with Amanda about what she had thought of traveling and how she herself tried to go with them as much as she could.

David and Jen seemed as if they would spend all of their time laughing. Between one and then the other’s teasing, they kept the table in stitches. David seemed to slip sometimes and call her “G”, but refused to explain what the joke was. Jen simply shook her head and said, “I could tell ya, but then I’d have to kill ya” and laughed, throwing David a sly look.

Richie and Jackie were obviously comfortable together and seemed to have known each other for a while. Amanda admitted to herself that her curiosity was driving her crazy and she would have to ask Jon later if he would tell her anything. Considering the blonde thonged-bimbo from a short time ago at Jon’s house, she didn’t think Richie was serious with Jackie as he just didn’t seem like the type to do that in a committed relationship. After listening for a while and observing, it suddenly hit her. Jackie was someone he brought out when he needed a partner for a function, like tonight. She had no way of knowing if she was right, but it felt like the pieces fit.

The main reason for the function tonight was the amazing success of the Lost Highway album and tour and this was a sort of “thank you” for all the people who had worked to bring it to the level it had achieved. Jon spoke for a short time after dinner, thanking all those involved, and then a few others also spoke, giving huge credit to the guys for their songwriting and the success of the album. Amanda knew that Richie and Jon were already writing again and she was looking forward to hearing more of their new stuff. They were on hold right now until after Dot’s wedding.

At roughly ten that night, the dinner seemed to be winding down and the five men and their ladies were going out. Richie, Jackie, David and Jen were riding together in one limo. Tico and Alejandra along with Hugh and Kelli were in another, leaving Jon and Amanda in theirs. Once inside, Jon pulled her against him again and nuzzled her neck.

“I’m thinking we should maybe make it an early night,” he whispered into her ear. She pulled back and pouted at him with a twinkle in her eyes.

“Sure, make me get all dressed up and then make me take it all off again…” Her grin was wide, as was his answering one, as he strove to remind himself that maybe she really did want to go out for a bit.

Whispering into his ear now, she answered him. “As early as you want, honey. You look good too!”

John Francis - Chapter 166

Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 1:06 PM
Tuesday passed quietly for the two as Jon made a few business calls and Amanda checked in with her mother. She had a long talk with her mom, telling her about Jon’s mother and what was going on, asking for advice as she and her mother had always been close.

Jennifer paused during the conversation, then asked, “What is Jon doing about this?” She wanted to know if he was allowing his mother to treat Amanda badly.

“He says she’s the one who has to change or he’s going to ask her to leave any functions we’re at when she’s there.”

“Well, I’m sorry to hear that, but I would rather that was happening than him taking her side or allowing her to continue to treat you badly.”

“I’m just so confused by this mom. I mean I’m not some young chick he picked up or some ‘trailer trash’, so why has she been so against me from the very beginning?”

“It almost sounds to me, honey, that she would have been better if you were a young chick or ‘trailer trash’. I think she believes you’re a threat, either to her position in Jon’s life or in some other way. That’s just what comes to mind when I hear what you’re saying about all this.”

“I suppose. I know I have more thinking to do about it, that’s for sure.” Amanda brought the conversation around to the article. “Did you see that article, mom?”

“Yes I did. At least it was accurate, but they sure do dig, don’t they?” Jennifer was a little taken aback at the article mentioning her. “I’m surprised there wasn’t anything in there about your dad.”

“Give them time, I’m sure someone will look things up. I doubt it will get very much news time though, heart attacks aren’t ‘sensational’ enough for them to bother with. But, mom, you know I can’t stop this, right? I didn’t talk to anyone about myself or you, they just did their own research.”

“I agree, honey, your dad was a wonderful man whom I loved with all my heart. There is nothing to write except that Michael and Jennifer Adams were married for 42 years until he was taken from me too soon. And I do know you can’t stop them from printing what they want.”

“Yeah, I know. I wish daddy could have met Jon, I think he would have liked him.”

“Me too, baby, your daddy was a good judge of character and I would have liked to hear what he had to say about his ‘baby’ dating one of the biggest rock stars in the world!”

“Mom! You know I don’t think about Jon that way…” Amanda gasped and then giggled when she realized her mother was teasing her. “…you are an evil woman, mom, you did that on purpose to get me to laugh!”

“Guilty as charged.” Jennifer laughed with her daughter and they ended their conversation with ‘I love you’, both feeling better for having talked.

Sitting on the couch with a smile still on her face, Amanda saw Jon walking back into the room from the kitchen. He had two glasses of wine with him and after setting them down on the table, he plopped down next to her.

“Whatcha smiling about?”

She laughed, then told him. “My mom teasing me to get me to laugh. She said she would have liked to hear what my dad would have said about his ‘baby’ dating one of the biggest rock stars in the world.”

“When did he die?” Jon asked, instantly getting that impression, rather than divorce.

“Four years ago, a heart attack. They were married for 42 years.”

“You’ve never mentioned your dad before, do you know that?” He asked, puzzlement evident on his face.

“I don’t know why, except like a lot of things it got a little lost in my own grief over Jeremy. My dad was great, Jon, he was my friend, as well as my father.”

“Sounds like you were lucky, sweetheart, to have two really great parents.”

“That’s for sure, I was and I am.”

He took her hand in his. “You ready for this party tonight?”

“Well, right now we’re one and two for parties. As long as I don’t end up in the nearest emergency room, I think so.” Her eyes twinkled at him as she teased. “Where is it at?”

“The Four Seasons in the city. The limo will be here at 5:30 and the party starts at seven.” She looked at her watch, it was 3:30. “Well, guess if I want my hair to dry, I had better get into the shower.”

“Want some company?” He grinned at her.

“Only if the company uses his magic fingers to…wash my hair.” She grinned and jumped up as he chased her up the stairs. She ran into the bedroom to find a wrapped package on the bed. Turning to him, she asked, “And what’s this?” He smiled at her, his eyes crinkling.

“It’s actually a present for me…” She looked at him and scrunched up her nose.

“For you, hmmm? And what would that be?”

“Open it.” He gestured to the box and sat down on the bed. She eyed him again and then picked up the medium-sized box. Pulling the bow, she opened the lid and the tissue paper to find stockings and garters in several shades and colors and she started laughing.

“I see what you mean. This IS a present for you!” Nodding his head, looking completely unrepentant, he continued.

“There’s more.”

Walking to the closet, he opened it and took out a garment bag that he brought over to her. Inside was a creamy rose color cocktail dress that was cut in the front into a deep V with a brocade appliqué that would be under her breasts.

“I think you’ll find that there are stockings and garters that match the dress…so, I was wondering…” He smiled at her again and she felt warmth start.

“You’re wondering if I’ll wear them with this dress, right?” She teased him.

Pouting out his bottom lip, he answered her. “Well, only if you want to…”

“Hmmm, gorgeous man wants me to dress sexy for him…I don’t know, that’s a tough one…” She pretended to be thinking of the pros and cons, then smiled rather wickedly herself. “I think I can manage that.”

Jon gave a huge fake sigh of relief. “Good, then you get your other present!” He brought out a much smaller box from the bedside table and handed it to her.

“What did you do?” She asked, knowing this was nothing as simple as a dress or some stockings.

“Aw hush, woman, and open the damn box!” Jon growled at her playfully.

She opened the box and saw a tear-drop diamond pendant on a silver chain, with matching earrings. Her eyes were huge as she looked at him. As she was taking in a breath to speak, he quickly reached out and laid a finger softly against her lips. Coaching her, he said, “Thank you, honey.” She gave a small shake of her head, silently protesting his extravagance, but he just kept his finger to her lips and said it again.

“Repeat after me…Thank you, honey.” His eyebrows were raised and the look in his eyes was not quite so playful.

She let out her breath. “Thank you, honey,” her voice soft and husky. She kissed him and then bit his chin, just to let him know he hadn’t completely gotten his own way.

~~

A leisurely hour later, Amanda slid the dress carefully over her hair and makeup, and Jon fastened the back. Lifting her hair up, she watched as he put the necklace on her and then she put on the earrings. The teardrop nestled at the top of her cleavage and was perfect for the dress. Jon’s shirt was blue, but in the same shade palate as her dress. His black suit complemented the color of the shirt and made his eyes an even more intense shade of blue.

As Jon slipped his jacket on, Amanda applied her perfume, the one she had made the day before. Stopping in mid shrug, he turned to her.

“What is that?” His nose almost quivered as the scent hit him.

“A perfume I love.” She held out her wrist. “Do you like it?” He took her proffered hand and brought her wrist closer to his nose.

“Jesus! What the hell is that?” The aroma of the perfume mixed with her own unique scent was like nothing he had ever smelled before. He wasn’t sure what buttons had just been pushed, but what he smelled seemed to travel straight to his groin and his thoughts instantly turned to ripping off their clothes and getting inside her. amorous

He glanced quickly at his watch and pulled her to him. He stuck his nose into her neck and hair, right near her ear and again breathed in. He pressed himself against her, his hand moving to her breast and started rubbing her nipple through the material. She gasped and pulled back from him.

“Jon! What are you doing? Don’t we have to go?”

He was making her breathless with his sudden attentions. He just continued to nuzzle her, sliding one hand up the side of her dress and connecting with the bare flesh of her thigh above the stocking. She grabbed his hand, pulling back a little.

“Honey? Don’t we have to leave soon? It’s almost five.”

She looked into blue eyes that had darkened with a sudden onslaught of passion. The heat inside his eyes seemed to travel directly to her and she released his hand. Jon slipped off his jacket, shirt and pants as she undid her dress.

His voice hoarse, he looked at her. “Leave the hose on…please?” She nodded in agreement.

Moving swiftly to her, he waited the briefest moment for her to remove her panties and then with a near tackle she was flat on her back on the bed. He moved her legs up and was in her warmth in a rush. The sudden thrust of him arched her back and made her gasp. She was not quite fully wet and the slight pain sensation from his hugely swollen shaft brought a moan to her lips. He lowered himself to her, raising her legs and using them to pull her towards him as he moved inside her.

Jon felt an overwhelming mix of love and lust pour through him as he slipped in and out of her heat. She was grasped tightly around him, her own excitement rising and as her chest began to flush and her hips started to arch in anticipation of her orgasm, Jon’s own climax suddenly slammed into him and he strove to drive himself even further into her. That extra bit of movement threw Amanda into a toe-tingling orgasm that had her scream from the intensity. They slowed their movements as the sensations rode through them and the heat they generated seemed slowly re-caged for the moment.

Rising shakily from the bed, they moved to the bathroom to do a quick clean up. There was no time to shower, so both managed as best they could and then re-dressed. Amanda touched up her makeup and re-brushed her hair, but other than the glow she seemed to have, nothing else looked amiss.

Jon washed quickly and dressed, shaking his head at himself. Christ! I AM acting like a fucking 18 year old! He gave a soft chuckle as he had no intention whatsoever of stopping.

In the bathroom, with a devilish grin at herself in the mirror, Amanda refreshed her perfume.

John Francis - Chapter 165

Monday, August 25, 2008 at 7:51 AM
Grabbing a quick bite in the kitchen, Richie said he was gonna head to his mom’s for the night as it had been a few days and they had the record company dinner the following night.

“Let me know if you need anything. I can make phone calls from there too.”

Jon assured Richie he would and Richie left for his mom’s. Taking his beer into the living room, Jon turned on the TV to relax for a bit. It couldn’t have been more than a half hour later when he heard a car pulling up to the front of the house. He smiled, sure it was Amanda coming home. He opened the door as his mother was walking up to it.

Schooling his face to not show surprise, he called out to her. “Hey, mom.”

“Hello Jon,” his mother responded as she entered.

“What’s going on?” He asked, confusion evident in his voice.

His mother handed him a magazine and asked if he had read it. Jon looked at it, seeing “Jon Bon Jovi’s Newest Love Interest” on the cover.

“No, I haven’t read this. What’s the problem?”

“Who has she been talking to, Jon? Almost this whole article is about her, so who did she give an interview to?”

“Let me read it.”

Jon motioned for his mom to sit and he read the article. He was even more confused. There was nothing mentioned that any halfway competent reporter couldn’t have found out, including Amanda’s husband’s death and her mother. There were no quotes from her and nothing that indicated she had talked to anyone.

“There is nothing in here that even remotely hints that she gave an interview to anyone. So what are you talking about?”

“Are you blind? This entire article is about her and I want to know who she thinks she is giving interviews?” Carol was pacing now, her agitation clear.

Jon heard the door opening then and knew that Amanda had come home. She called out, “Hello! I’m back!” as she walked into the living room, carrying her few bags. She saw Carol standing there, Amanda stopped and her smiled dropped a bit.

“Hello Mrs. Bongiovi.”

“Out spending my son’s money again, I see.” Carol almost sneered, starting in immediately with her attack. “Who have you been talking to?”

Looking at his mother and at Jon, confusion was clear on her face. “I don’t understand.”

Carol snatched up the magazine where Jon had put it and waved it toward Amanda. “I’m talking about this, this article about you. Who interviewed you? When did you do this?”

“I haven’t talked to anyone. I don’t know who wrote the article.” Amanda again looked at the two of them.

“Mom, stop it! She said she hasn’t given an interview. Any reporter could have found out that information.” Jon attempted to reason with his mother.

“You’re just blind when it comes to her!” Carol turned to face her son.

Amanda had a slow to burn temper, but Carol had been against her from the beginning and her temper was starting to ignite.

“I don’t know what I did or said to you, but it’s pretty obvious that you’re going to believe the worst of me. That’s okay. You don’t have to like me and I don’t have to like you. I love your son and it’s what he thinks that concerns me.” Her tone was quiet and remained respectful, but Jon heard the steel underneath.

Turning to Jon, she spoke softly to him. “Jon, I don’t know why, but your mother has a problem with me. I think it would be best if I avoided situations where she’ll be present if at all possible.”

Understanding what Amanda was offering, to help by not attending functions where his mother would be, Jon gave his famous temper free reign. Shaking his head ‘no’ at her, he turned to his mother.

“Mom, I told you how things were going to be, but you’re not listening and the truth is you’re getting worse. I asked you not to make me choose, but you didn’t listen to that either.”

He walked over to Amanda and took her hand in his. “She’s staying with me because I’m not going to let her go. The one who’s going to get left out, mom, is you.” He stared at his mother and saw her eyes narrow.

“If you think I’m going to let this woman, this nobody, push me out of my son’s life then you aren’t thinking at all. Jon, listen to me. You don’t know anything about her. She came to you with nothing and you just took her in, let her in to your life and around your children. She has nothing to give to you, she can only take.”

Amanda was quiet during this speech by Jon’s mother, waiting to see what he would do. She had been dreading some sort of confrontation and didn’t know his mother well enough to even try to get through to her.

Jon, still holding Amanda’s hand, took a step towards his mother.

“You’re the one who’s wrong. She has lived a good, hard-working, simple life. She didn’t ask me to take her in, I asked her to come with me. You say she has nothing to give me. I don’t know if you mean money or prestige or what, but I don’t give a damn about any of that. What she’s given me is everything she has and everything she is.”

He stepped back towards Amanda and put his arm around her waist. He turned to her.

“Amanda, I’m not going to ask you to spend time around my mother until she accepts that she can’t run my life and that I’m not going to let her be rude to you. When we go to family functions, you are coming with me. My mother can either be civil to you or…” He turned and looked straight into his mother’s eyes, “…she can leave.”

Carol Bongiovi gave a small gasp at that. “You’re putting her before me? Is that what you’re saying?”

“No, what I’m saying is you have a choice. You can either be civil to Amanda or you can leave. I’m not going to let you do what you did at Dot’s, talk about her like she’s not there or bad-mouth her to anyone. I love her and thank god she loves me back. You need to stop this, mom, because I’m not going to let you hurt her.”

“I’ve always been looking out for you, you’re my son. I don’t understand why you don’t care about my happiness.” Carol’s voice was sad, but even Amanda could hear the manipulation underneath it.

“Actually, mom, what I don’t understand is why you don’t care about my happiness.” Jon’s voice was firm, but there was hurt and confusion in it. “Amanda makes me happy and I’m going to do everything I can to make her feel the same way.”

Slowly shaking her head, Carol realized she was losing some of the control she had managed to keep over Jon even through his marriage to Dot. She had never thought anyone was good enough for her son and this belief had colored many of her actions and words. Not being able to manipulate Jon into seeing things her way, although she would not have called it manipulation, was a new experience for her.

Looking at her son and at Amanda, she raised her head and visibly gathered herself together. She grabbed her purse and turned to leave, pausing only for one last shot.

“Someday you’ll realize that I’ve only had your best interests at heart and that you should have listened to me.” She walked to the door then and left, slamming it a bit as she did so.

They both stood there for a moment and then a small “wow” escaped Amanda’s mouth. She turned wide eyes to him and put her hands over her mouth. “Sorry,” she mumbled through her fingers. He actually smiled at her and the smile reached his eyes.

“All that and all you can manage is ‘wow’?” He grinned at her. “Honey, I’ve been dealing with my mother for my entire life. She’s just learning there are some new rules now.”

Amanda was surprised to say the least and shook her head. “I just can’t figure out why she’s been against me since she first met me. What could I possibly have done?”

“You didn’t do anything. She didn’t talk to me for almost three months after Dot and I eloped and it took a while before Dot learned to stand her ground with mom. Most of the time I don’t bother to argue and she thinks she gets her way. I’m not willing to do that this time, so she’ll have to be the one to change.”

“And you think she will?” Amanda questioned him.

The steel returned to Jon’s voice as he answered her. “She has no choice.”

~~

Carol Bongiovi drove home from Jon’s house, her mind working overtime. She was not used to being thwarted in what she wanted and she started making some phone calls. It was time to get her other sons involved.

~~

Jon and Amanda ate a rather late dinner that night and then decided to relax, watching an old favorite movie of both, “Young Frankenstein”. The movie helped take both their minds off the confrontation with Carol and gave them the bit of relaxation they needed. At the end of the night, they were curled together ready to sleep, when Amanda quietly whispered, “Thank you” to Jon. He just hugged her tighter and kissed the back of her hair.

Tuesday morning started with the ringing of Jon’s cell at an early hour. Looking at the readout, Jon stated, “It’s Tony”.

“Hey man, what’s up?”

“Just giving you a head’s up, Jonny, mom called me and Matty last night.”

“Yeah? What for?”

“She’s pissed and not at all happy about Amanda. She thinks we can talk some sense into you, and that’s a quote by the way.”

“God dammit!” Jon hissed into the phone.

“Hey, I’m not saying shit. I’m just letting you know, okay?”

“Okay, yeah, thanks Tony. She was here last night and I just don’t know what her problem is except she’s not getting her way in trying to run my life.”

“I already talked to Matt. He’s not gonna try anything with you as he already knows he screwed up the first time he met Amanda.”

“No shit! Alright, thanks for the info, bro’, I appreciate it.”

Jon hung up his cell with a low growl in his throat.

“Mom calling in reinforcements?” Amanda quirked an eyebrow at him.

Sighing deeply, Jon answered. “Yeah, she called Tony and Matt. I guess I’m just gonna have to show her I mean what I say.”

“I feel like I’m causing a problem here.”

Turning to her, Jon’s look was fierce in its intensity. “YOU are not causing any problems, she is and that’s who is going to do the changing. Okay, babe?”

“Okay. I have to follow your lead as I’m way out of my depth on this!” She grinned as he turned to her, pulling her back into his arms.

Nice distraction there, Jon, but your mother still hates me.

John Francis - Chapter 164

Friday, August 22, 2008 at 12:07 PM
Amanda found the mall easily and parked, grabbing her bag and locking the car. She entered and started roaming. During this last year she had spent a lot of time doing this same thing. It relaxed her and let her mind wander as she browsed through the different stores. She hadn’t talked to Jon about his mother, but she felt that Carol was going to continue to be a problem. The other day she had purposefully not brought up the subject, changing it to Richie as they had left Dot’s as she felt the timing wasn’t right. She decided to grab a coffee and call Susan.

“Hey Suze!”

“Mands! How ya doin’ honey?” Susan answered her friend’s call enthusiastically.

“Pretty good. You busy or can you take a few minutes?”

“Nah, I can take a few. What’s going on?”

Amanda told Susan about Jon’s mother, both what she had heard and what she had suspected and asked her friend what she thought.

“I’m not sure I understand, Manda, I mean it sounds like she hasn’t even tried to get to know you.”

Amanda realized she was shaking her head ‘yes’ in agreement, but that Susan couldn’t see her. “Yeah, I do know what you mean. It feels that way to me too. I don’t know why she’s so set against me when she knows so little.”

“What does Jon say?”

“He says he’s the only one who can get through to her and that he will.”

“What about everyone else?” Susan asked, curious as to how Jon’s ex-wife had been.

“They’ve all been great. Dot and I are actually forming a bit of a friendship and the kids seem to be fine with me. I haven’t been pushing, just letting them talk when they want to. And Eric is a really nice guy. Even Jon’s dad is sweet. It’s just his mom who seems to have such a problem with me.”

“Just from what I saw the few days I was there, I think I would go along with what Jon is saying about him handling his mother. Manda, there’s no way you could even begin to know their history, the true stories anyway, and this one sounds a bit like walking through a mine field.”

Amanda again indicated her agreement with what her friend was saying. “Thanks, Suze, I was leaning that way, just wanted some sensible advice and some confirmation that it was the right direction.”

“No problem sweetie, call anytime. I want to talk to you too, but not here at the office. Can you call me at home soon?”

“Sure. Anything wrong?” Amanda asked with concern in her voice.

“No, just some girl talk, okay?” Susan answered a bit evasively, both because of where she was and what she wanted to talk about.

“Alright hon, talk to you soon. Love ya!”

Amanda put her cell back in her bag and looked around. She began walking and browsing a bit more and found herself in front of a Barnes & Nobles bookstore. She went inside and started looking at the new magazine section. One of the cover stories caught her eye. In bold black type it read: “Jon Bon Jovi’s Newest Love Interest”.

After a quick glance around to see if anyone was watching her, she took the magazine to a chair and sat down to read the article. Within a few paragraphs she could see that the author of the article had done his homework. Inside were details about her life, from where she had worked, to a long section on her husband’s death, information on her mother, and where Amanda had been spotted with Jon, to some rumors and a bit of speculation as to her place in his life. There were multiple photos of her, most with Jon, but a few alone.

The article stated that “Jon Bon Jovi in two separate interviews has denied any marriage plans with Ms. Matthews, stating only that they are in a ‘committed relationship”. The article ended with Dot’s upcoming marriage and reminisces about Jon and Dot’s previous marriage. Amanda closed the magazine and put it back. There wasn’t anything damaging in the interview and the reporter seemed to actually have stuck to pretty much the truth about everything. She wasn’t used to being written about, however, and it did give her a strange, almost surreal feeling.

A woman who appeared in her late 30’s or possibly early 40’s sat down in the chair next to her, glancing and then staring at Amanda.

“You’re her, aren’t you?” The woman asked quietly, a copy of the same magazine in her hand.

The question startled Amanda a little as she had been thinking about what she had just read. She turned to the woman. “I’m sorry, what did you say?”

Her voice still quiet, the woman repeated her question. “You’re her, Jon Bon Jovi’s new girlfriend, right?”

Seeing the magazine in the woman’s hand, Amanda didn’t try lying. “Yes, I’m Amanda.” She answered, her voice also quiet.

“I just read the article. I’m sorry about your husband.” The woman seemed sincere and this sincerity along with the unexpectedness of the kind remark had Amanda looking at her a little more carefully.

“Thank you for saying that.” Her response was warm.

“I lost my husband six months ago. Cancer.”

Amanda instinctively reached out to touch the woman’s arm. “I’m so sorry. That’s awful.”

“Yeah, it really was. He was so sick at the end.”

“I can’t imagine going through that. I’m really sorry for your loss.” Amanda gave a small smile and removed her hand.

They were quiet for a few moments and then Amanda made a movement to get her bag so she could go.

“Can I ask you a question?” The woman looked at her, smiling softly.

“I’m not sure I can answer, but okay.”

“Was it…did you…” She paused, seeming to struggle a little in what she was saying. She took a deep breath, then continued. “…Did you feel you were doing something wrong by falling in love with someone else?”

The question surprised Amanda and she wasn’t quite sure how to reply. She finally took her own deep breath and answered her. “No. I wasn’t looking for it and didn’t expect it, but if it had been me who died instead of Jeremy I would never have wanted him to go through the rest of his life alone.”

“Thanks for telling me that, Amanda. I don’t care about Jon Bon Jovi, I just wanted to ask someone who had lost their love and then found another how they felt about it.”

“It’s okay…” She paused and the woman supplied her name, “Maureen”. “It’s okay, Maureen, every loss is so hurtful. I guess we all just get through it the best we can.”

Maureen nodded at her, rising from her own chair. “It was nice to meet you, Amanda. Good luck.”

“You too, Maureen, take care.” The women parted and Amanda continued on her way. She felt for Maureen, it would have been unbearable to watch Jeremy linger through that kind of death. Although the article had caused it, she actually felt a sense of normalcy after having spoken with Maureen and having the conversation not be about Jon. She laughed at herself. Get used to it, girl! That kinda talk is going to be the exception not the rule! She wandered out of the book store and was drawn into a perfume shop.

Taking her time in this store, Amanda decided she would treat herself to a perfume she would make up. There were flasks of essential oils that could be mixed and matched in any manner one could want. There were stores like this where she lived and she had a blend she loved that she hadn’t thought to bring with her. A woman came over to help her and Amanda described what she wanted. The base was Egyptian musk, a few drops of vanilla, and an oil called “Dragon’s Blood”. The three combined together to create a scent that Amanda felt was uniquely hers. The attendant let her create her own combination and then filled the different holding bottles. One large one was for home and a second was a refillable roll-on as oils don’t spray well.

Extremely pleased that she had her scent available to her again, Amanda happily paid for her items. It was a wonderfully seductive scent and she hoped Jon would enjoy it also.

~~

Jon and Richie meanwhile were on the phone most of the afternoon and then in the studio for the remainder when they just couldn’t take one more call. They were both in a good mood and the music for their new album seemed like it was going to be more uplifting that some of the poignant songs on “Lost Highway”.

They were at the ‘having a few beers stage’ now, relaxing after a busy day. Jon had brought his cell into the studio with them and every once in a while would check it to make sure it was turned on.

Richie finally started chuckling. “Why don’t you just call her, ya dumb ass?”

Jon scowled at him because he had been thinking of doing that very thing.

“Nah, don’t want her to feel like she’s on some kinda leash, but damn, she’s been gone a while, hasn’t she?”

“Yeah, about four hours. Hey, you know women and malls. You might not see her until tomorrow!”

“She’s not like that though, Rich, she’s not much of a shopper.” He then told Richie about the money, ATM, and credit cards he had arranged for her. “I think she spent a all of $75.00 total the whole time we were in Europe!”

“So, she’s definitely after your money then, right?” Richie laughed and Jon joined in. “Yep, Kidd, she’s a big spender alright!”

“Aw shut up, man, I made that mistake once. I am trying to learn to be different, ya know!” Jon groused at Richie as his friend continued to laugh softly.

Laughing harder now, Richie cocked his head at Jon and asked with a wry grin.

“How’s that workin’ out for you by the way?”

John Francis - Chapter 163

Thursday, August 21, 2008 at 8:05 AM
Gathering the kids to say goodbye to their dad and Amanda, everyone exchanged hugs and promises to see the others soon. Jon had pulled his kids aside before he was ready to leave and talked to them about Amanda and their grandmother. They had some questions and he answered them honestly. Stephanie was the one who asked if he was going to marry Amanda and Jon told her that they were still getting to know one another. She seemed satisfied with that, as did Jesse. The two older kids understood what Jon was saying with regard to their grandmother, while it was a little over the heads of Jake and Romeo. He assured them they were welcome at his house anytime whether he was there or not and they agreed they would come over as their school schedules allowed.

Carol was not present when everyone was saying goodbye but Jon was not concerned. At this moment his priority was Amanda and he was a bit too angry to worry about his mother right then.

On the short drive back to Jon’s house, Amanda thoughts were not on his mother, but on Richie. She didn’t want Jon giving him a hard time and so said what was on her mind.

“Hey, I’ve been thinking about Richie.” Jon turned in surprise, his foot actually hitting the brake briefly, but a long honk from a car behind them quickly brought his attention back to the road.

“Yeah…?” He drawled out, a question in his voice.

“I want to call him and let him know that dinner will be at about eight after such a late lunch. He probably thinks you’re gonna bitch at him, Jon, and since I was the one the bimbo directed her comments at, I’d like to call.”

He thought for a moment and then nodded his agreement. “I’ll agree IF you take back that I would bitch at him!” He grinned and she knew he was teasing her.

“Okay, I got my way, I take it back.” She dialed and heard his voice.

“Hey Manda. What’s up?” He was a little leery of her response due to the screw up that morning.

“Hi hon. Wanted to let you know that dinner will be at around eight as we had a late lunch at Dot and Eric’s. Just letting you know so you can make it on time.” Her voice was light and cheerful and he relaxed just hearing her.

“Sounds great, darlin’, thanks for the call.” Richie’s voice held definitive signs of relief.

“No problem, hon, see you soon. We’re almost back at Jon’s.” They said goodbye and ended the call.

They both decided a before dinner drink sounded great and for fun Jon had her come with him to his pub, The Shoe Inn. He took great pride in showing her around and after mixing some cocktails, they decided to shoot a few games of pool. Jon was better than her, but not by much as Amanda and her husband had played many times over the years. It was close to seven and both were a little tipsy from their pre-dinner drinks.

Walking back to the main house they could see Richie’s car and knew he was there. Entering Amanda called out for him. He answered from the kitchen. She walked in, a little unsteadily, and saw that he was busy with sauces and meats and veggies and what looked like at least two different kinds of pasta.

Hands on her hips, she looked at him. “What are you doing, Richard?”

She slurred slightly and he took a better look at her and then at Jon. His friend also had that relaxed ‘I’ve had a few drinks’ glow and Richie was even more glad then that he had decided to cook.

“Making amends?” Richie replied.

Swaying a little as she walked over to him, she tried to kiss his cheek, missed and got his ear.

“Thank God! I have a feeling cooking is beyond me tonight!”

She giggled then and decided to sit in a chair quickly. “That one…” she pointed dramatically at Jon, “…seems to think that if he gets me drunk enough I won’t beat him at pool.”

“She’s pretty good, huh?” Richie asked Jon.

“Oh yeah, definitely pretty good. Had to make her drinks a little stronger or she might have beat my ass!” He laughed at that as Amanda’s face turned from giggles to a grimace.

“You mean you cheated?” She growled at him.

“Nah, just don’t play me when I’m the bartender.” He smiled at her full on, his eyes lighting up, and she sucked in her breath. Blowing out the breath she had just taken in, she forcibly turned her eyes from him and asked Richie what she could do to help.

Teasing him now just a little, she deadpanned, “After all, I AM the hired help!”

Richie groaned then. “Aw shit, Manda!” His face turned red and he nearly dropped a pan.

“Okay, but Richie we definitely have to work on your ‘choices”’. That’s the first time I’ve been told I’m gonna be fired from a job I don’t have! And don’t these women ever wear anything but a damn thong!”

Richie actually blushed then and mumbled almost underneath his breath “shit, you’re worse than Jon!”

Amanda laughed. “Well, if you want me to turn him loose on ya…”

“HELL NO!” Richie yelled back, then caught the look on her face of a suppressed smirk.

Turning to Jon, Richie groaned, more than a bit chagrinned.

“Damn, man, now you have her doing that damn smirk!”

Giggling madly now, Amanda managed to choke out.

“Okay, enough teasing, I promise!”

She was as good as her word and Jon decided to follow her example. They ate the delicious meal, praising Richie and thanking him for taking over the cooking chores that evening. After helping clean up, Amanda announced she was going to take a shower and left the men in the kitchen.

Richie prepared himself for a bit of a lecture from Jon and was surprised when none was forthcoming. Instead, Jon started talking about his mother and the problems she was causing.

“I was pretty short with her tonight, not letting her manipulate me like she tries to do sometimes, but I know her, Rich, she’s not hearing me.”

“What do you think you’re gonna do?”

“First I’m gonna talk to dad, let him know I ain’t putting up with this shit. I love my mom, but she’s not gonna keep treating Manda like she has been.”

“Yeah, I’d definitely talk to your dad. He might be able to get through to her a little. Sounds like she doesn’t have Dot’s support and she sure doesn’t have yours, so if your dad applies a little pressure too…” Richie trailed off, letting Jon think about that.

“I’ll call him tomorrow. I’m gonna hit the hay, Rich, thanks again for dinner.”

“No problem…and, Jon…” Richie looked at his friend, “…sorry about this morning.”

Jon waved him off with a ‘no biggie’ gesture. “Hey, man, shit happens. Don’t sweat it. I’m not.”

Leaving the room, Jon didn’t see the look Richie threw him as he stared at his friend’s back. He really is changing! Holy shit!

~~~

Waking before Amanda the next morning, Jon grabbed coffee and called his dad. He explained a little what had been happening and asked John, Sr., if he had any ideas.

“I’m not sure what’s bothering your mom so much, but I’ll try to find out, son.”

“Thanks, dad, I really care about Amanda and I don’t want mom saying or doing things that are going to hurt her.”

They talked a bit more about family business and then Dot’s wedding as the senior Bongiovi’s would be there. After hanging up, Jon felt a little better that his dad would at least try to get his mom to stop her attitude.

Pulling up his schedule while sitting at his desk, Jon gave an inward groan at how full the next few days were going to be. He started making phone calls. It was a few hours and several cups of coffee later when he came up for air, realizing he hadn’t seen Amanda or Richie this morning yet. Checking his room showed Amanda was not there and knocking on Richie’s door also revealed an empty room. He wandered around the house until he found himself in the gym area where even through the door he could hear the clink of weights.

Jon went into the gym and saw Amanda on an elliptical machine and Richie on the other side doing arm presses.

“Hey babe!” Amanda called out a little breathlessly. Richie just let out a grunt as he was fully involved in his current set. Slowing her pace as she was nearing the end of her time on that machine, Amanda motioned for him to come over. She looked at both sides of his head and seemed to be staring at his ears with a little grin on her face.

“What?” He looked at her.

“Just wanted to make sure the cell phone hadn’t grown attached!” She smirked at him.

“Yeah, yeah, so I had a lot of phone calls…” His voice grumbled.

“I know, busy guy…so, you ready to eat yet?” She smiled at him, knowing Linda was at the grocery store.

“Actually I’m starvin’!” He realized it was true as his stomach grumbled.

“Hey Rich! Breakfast in thirty minutes!” Amanda called out. Richie nodded his head and continued his work out.

Amanda grabbed a speed shower and started breakfast, having it ready almost within her thirty minute timetable. Richie had also finished and showered and the three sat down to eat.

“So, I looked at your schedule for the next few days. Apparently you barely have enough time to breathe, so is there anything you need me to be at, or is this all business stuff?”

Jon thought about what was upcoming. “Okay, Tuesday is a dinner with our record guys, but it’s also a social event so that’s a yes. Today is more damn phone calls. Wednesday and Thursday Rich and I are in the studio. Thursday is also Dot’s rehearsal dinner, but we aren’t going to that.”

“Think I can borrow one of the cars?” She asked as she started clearing some of the dishes.

“Sure. Need any directions?” Jon asked.

“Yeah, since my internal compass is permanently broken, I need good directions on how to get back here!” She laughed at herself.

She went upstairs to change as Jon wrote down some general directions to a local mall and back to the house again. She came down about fifteen minutes later, dressed in a black sweater and dark blue jeans. She had on boots and had braided her hair back. Her makeup was light and she had a carry-all with her. Giving Jon and Richie a quick kiss good-bye she got into the SUV Jon had chosen for her to drive as it would handle better on the roads if there was any snow.

“You got any plans in mind there, babe?” Jon asked curiously as Amanda had not really said where she was going.

“Actually, just wanted to get out and about for a bit if that’s okay.” She smiled, but in truth she was feeling a little cooped up and didn’t want to sit and read or watch TV while Jon made his phone calls. She felt the need for some fresh air and some walking.

Jon and Richie both grinned at her. “Call if you get lost.” Jon’s smile deepened as he said that.

“I will – both probably get lost and most likely call!” Amanda laughed and started the car. Taking a moment to look at Jon’s directions, she left the driveway and started towards the mall.

Richie turned toward Jon as Amanda left the estate. “Surprised you’re letting her outta your sight, man.” He said this in his teasing tone.

Jon grinned back. “Hey, I said I was keeping her, didn’t say it was gonna be in a cage!”

The men laughed and returned to their business.

John Francis - Chapter 162

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 at 7:59 AM
Standing up, Dot said she was going to finish lunch preparations and Amanda again asked if she could help. Knowing Carol was in there didn’t give Dot more than a seconds pause.

“Sure, I’d love to have your company. Come on, this crowd is gonna be hungry in a few minutes!”

They moved into the kitchen. Dot directed Amanda to the dishes and silverware as they entered. Carol was washing some dishes at the sink and turned at hearing Dot’s voice. She gave a small smile and then went back to washing. Amanda gave raised eyes to Dot, and then moved to get the dishes and silverware.

After the table was set, she moved into the living room to get some stray glasses to bring in to be washed. She was returning when she heard Carol and Dot talking.

“Dorothea, I am being as pleasant to that woman as I can. She’s living in my son’s home, living off his money, bringing bad press to him, and lord only knows what else.”

“Carol, I’m sorry, but you’re wrong about her.”

“How can you say that to me? I’m his mother and only want what’s best for my son. He picked her up who knows where and she’s now living with him? And she’s around my grandchildren? Don’t you care who’s around the children, Dot?” Carol’s voice was argumentative as she tried to persuade Dot to be on her side.

Dot’s voice was a bit harsh as she answered her ex-mother-in-law. “Carol, I’m not going to have this argument with you again. I happen to like her and I’m not the least worried about MY children being around her.” Softening her tone a little, she tried another tack. “You’re alienating Jon over this, Carol, I’ve heard it in his voice. I don’t think he’s going to give her up and I think you’re making a mistake in trying to get him to choose between you and her.”

Carol sounded shocked as she replied, “What are you saying? My son would NEVER choose some woman over his mother! You’re wrong, Dot, my son loves me.”

Shaking her head softly as she had been over this numerous times with Jon’s mother, Dot didn’t reply. She knew she couldn’t get through to her, only Jon would have a chance to make her understand how he felt about this.

Amanda made her footsteps louder as she approached the kitchen, calling out to Dot that she had found some glasses in the living room that probably needed washing. She brought them in and put them in the dishwasher as Carol moved away from the sink. Flashing a quick look at Dot, she mouthed ‘thank you’ and continued to help with lunch preparations. Carol went to call the gang in for lunch and Dot and Amanda started putting food on the table.

“You heard, right?” Dot whispered.

“Yeah, but it’s okay. It’s better to know what’s going on than not to know.” Amanda whispered back.

The kitchen filled with the sounds of laughter and running feet as four mildly sweaty kids and two extremely sweaty men entered. Jon was carrying Romeo and Jake had finagled a piggy-back ride from Eric. Dot shooed them all into various bathrooms to wash up and the women all laughed at the grimaces from six faces at being told to wash their hands before eating. Sitting down to lunch, the kids were talking excitedly about the football game and how they had beat the two older guys. Jon and Eric took the slight exaggerations good-naturedly and assured the kids that they wanted a rematch.

The kids finished eating quickly and were excused to wander off to various other activities. The five adults ate a bit more leisurely and Jon asked some questions about the upcoming wedding and where Dot and Eric would go on their honeymoon. Carol and her husband were coming to stay with the kids at the house for a week while their mother was gone.

“Mom, Amanda and I will be glad to take the kids some of the time. I have a busy schedule as usual, but there will be plenty of free afternoons and mornings.” Jon offered, knowing the four kids could be a bit much.

“Oh, I don’t think that will be necessary, Jon, your father and I will have the nanny here and I’m sure we’ll manage.” Carol replied.

“Well, I’m sure you will, but I’m still going to take the kids over to my house for visits whenever I can, mom.” Jon answered evenly.

“Really, Jon, I think too much change is not good for the kids. Their mother getting re-married is one thing, they know Eric. I don’t think it’s a good idea to bring a stranger around during this time.”

“If you’re referring to Amanda, she’s not a stranger and she and the kids get along great.” Jon’s voice was losing its even tone now.

“Jon, I’m going to have to insist that you respect my wishes in this matter. I have your children’s best interests in mind.” Carol’s voice was rising a little now as she also heard the tone in her son’s voice.

“Mom, what you’re going to do is respect MY wishes with regard to MY children. I will see them whenever I want to and Amanda will be a part of that if she chooses to.” Jon’s voice lowered now as his anger was growing.

Dot, Eric, and Amanda watched this ping-pong debate, none daring to interfere at this moment.

“It’s obvious that Amanda is not used to children, not choosing to have any, and I don’t think she’ll have much of an idea of how to take care of a four year old.” The entire table heard Amanda’s gasp at Carol’s last statement and with tears filling her eyes she quickly excused herself.

Jon turned to his ex-wife and looked at her. “Dot, please?” Asking her to follow Amanda while he dealt with his mother.

Turning to his mother, barely hearing Eric excuse himself, his eyes were cold and hard. He had had enough.

“Listen to me and listen to me carefully. You will NEVER again talk about Amanda as if she isn’t sitting right there listening to every word you say. You have no idea of how you just hurt her with the ignorance of your last statement.”

Carol interrupted Jon. “Are you calling me ignorant? I am still your mother, young man!” She took a breath to continue, but Jon held up his hand.

“I am not a ‘young man’ mom, I’m almost 47 years old. These are MY children we’re talking about and the only ones who have any say so over them are Dot and me. So you and I are going to get a few things very clear. You will not speak badly about Amanda to my kids because I will be asking them what you say. You will immediately stop treating her like she doesn’t deserve to be in your presence, let alone in my life, and you will start being pleasant to her.”

“She’s turning you against me, Jon, that’s what it is…” Carol began, trying a sympathy ploy as her demands seemed to be being ignored. “You’ve never talked to me like this before…”

“That’s because you’ve never been so rude to someone I love before.” Jon stated baldly. His mother’s face reflected her shock at his choice of words.

“Amanda has never said a bad word about you, even though you’ve given her plenty of words to use. I told you before, but I guess it didn’t sink in. Amanda is going to be a part of my life, the biggest part second only to the kids, and if you can’t accept that then you will be a very small part.”

“You can’t mean that!” Carol’s voice was strident as her anger reared.

“Yeah, I damn well do mean it! Don’t ask me to choose who will have a bigger role in my life, mom, you won’t like the answer.” Jon’s voice indicated clearly that to him the subject was closed.

~~~

Dot followed Amanda into the living room where she sat on the couch. She sat beside her and took Amanda’s hand. “I’m sorry.” Wiping her eyes, Amanda shook her head sideways. “It’s not your fault, but thanks.” Her voice lowered, “I would’ve had kids if I could have. I love children. I wasn’t able to.” Dot winced at the pain in Amanda’s voice as she made her quiet statement.

Giving herself a small shake, Amanda looked at Dot. “It’s okay, really, she didn’t know. I was just surprised at…”

Dot finished for her, “…how damn mean she was being?” Nodding, Amanda agreed.

Eric walked in then and the two women changed the subject.

Visibly trying to lighten the mood, Amanda smiled as well as she could and asked, “So, what should I wear to this wonderful wedding?”

John Francis - Chapter 161

Monday, August 18, 2008 at 7:49 AM
“So…” Jon snuggled Amanda closer into his arms in the shower, “…Richie will be gone for a bit taking the bimbo home and I was wondering…”

“You were wondering how long it would take me to get dressed and ready for the day, right?” She teased him.

“No…actually, I was wondering how long it would take to get you flat on your back in the bed out there.” His smile was wide and started the heat inside her.

She finished rinsing herself off and grabbed a towel as he stood there looking at her with eyes blazing.

“Well, that depends Bongiovi, how fast can you get your ass outta that shower?” She squealed in surprise as he turned the water off, grabbed a towel, and then her, dragging her naked wet body along with his to the bed.

“That fast enough for ya, baby?” He asked as he pushed her onto the bed and fell on top of her, bracing his weight on his arms.

She answered him by starting to lick the water off his skin, concentrating on his neck and upper chest muscles, running her hands over his back and ass, feeling the moisture from the shower. His eager shaft was pressing against her leg and she pushed him up enough so she could rise into the position she wanted. Moving her head between his legs, she started to lick the water off him, teasing and nipping as she went, as Jon’s legs strained from his squatting position. She took him full into her mouth, feeling the softness of the skin of his cock that coated the hardness underneath. He grew more erect in her mouth and teasing a little further, she moved her hand to his shaft and her mouth to his testes, again nipping and licking until small groans were heard.

Jon felt her mouth on him and felt the rush of orgasm building. He wanted to prolong it though and brought his hands to her waist where he pushed and flipped her onto her back, spreading her legs in a decisive movement. She gasped in anticipation, knowing he was about to turn the tables on her. Moving his mouth to her softness, he returned her teasing motions, licking and nipping her as she had done to him until his fingers inside her told him she was ready for him.

He entered her slowly this time, prolonging his pleasure and hers, feeling her tighten around him as her excitement increased. She stroked his chest, rubbing the hair there and lightly teasing his nipples as his motions increased. Soon he was stroking into her more fervently, increasing his pace and she moaned her appreciation. He saw her begin to arch as her orgasm approached and he plunged deeper and deeper into her, her excitement causing his own peak to near. With a deep groan Amanda came and grabbing Jon’s ass to pull him even deeper inside her, she brought him with her. Their moans mingled into music as each felt the other fall into bliss.

Collapsing onto her, Jon felt his body shudder from the effects of their passion as her legs continued to quiver under his.

Gasping in little breaths, Amanda managed to speak. “…Gotta…admit…I like…how…you think.”

Jon laughed breathlessly and answered her back. “…and I…sure like…a woman who thinks…like I do.”

He rolled off her then, but kept her in his arms. Amanda felt such deep satisfaction, not solely from their lovemaking, but from how he held her afterwards and how he made her feel. Eventually they did get dressed and make their way downstairs, but as often happened with them, the lovemaking seemed to draw them closer in some way that made their eyes meet more often and small touches seem necessary.

Amanda fixed breakfast and Jon threw on a fresh pot of coffee, removing one scoop at her raised eyebrow. He grinned like a kid caught in the act of being bad and she laughed at him. While they were eating, Jon asked her to come with him to see his kids.

“I’d love to. How soon do you want to go?”

“Well, it’s eleven now, half hour okay?”

“Sure, I’ll be ready.” She nodded at him as she was loading the dishwasher.

Jon called Dot to make sure the timing was okay for the kids’ schedules.

“Hi Jon.” She answered.

“Hey Dot, wanted to know if the kids were going to be home for a while. I’d like to come over with Amanda and see them for a bit.”

“Sure, they’re home this afternoon and I know they’d love to see you.”

“That’s great! We’ll be heading out in about a half hour so see you soon.” They hung up after their good-byes and Amanda went to finish getting ready.

They were just pulling into the driveway of Dot’s house when Jon swore softly. Amanda turned to him.

“What?”

“My mom’s here.” His voice was a little tight as he spoke.

“Oh. Okay, so we just deal with it, right?” Her voice was a bit cajoling as she could see his tension level rising a bit.

“Right.” He answered as they got out of the car and walked to the front door.

Eric was home and answered their knock. “Hey guys! Nice to see you.”

Jon extended his hand and Eric shook it. “Nice to see you too.”

Eric started to shake Amanda’s hand, but she turned it into a small hug and smiled brightly at him. “It’s really nice to see you again, Eric.”

He gestured for them to come in and called out to the kids that their dad and Amanda were there. Footsteps were heard coming from several directions as Jake and Romeo rushed to hug their dad. He staggered a little from their combined onslaught on his legs, but laughed and hugged them back as they both started talking at once. Jesse walked in a few seconds later, with Stephanie a few steps behind him. Both hugged their dad and said hello to Amanda. Dot and Carol walked into the main room from the kitchen, both with dishtowels over their shoulders.

Amanda smiled at both women. “Hi Mrs. Bongiovi. Hi Dot. Thanks for having me over to visit again.”

Dot’s smile was definitely warmer than Carol’s as she welcomed Amanda.

“Well, if the dishtowels weren’t enough of a clue, I’d have to say that with the amazing smells coming from the kitchen you’re cooking. Need a hand?” Amanda asked with a smile.

Dot started to answer, “Sure, we can…” when Carol interrupted. “No, thank you, everything is under control.” Taking in the widening of Dot’s eyes but responding to Carol, Amanda replied. “No problem, but please let me know if there’s some way I could help.”

Nodding at her, Dot answered. “We sure will. Thanks for the offer.”

Amanda sat on one of the couches listening to Jon talk with his children. She asked Stephanie about something she was wearing and soon they were both engaged in talk about clothes and current teen fashions. Amanda mostly listened as Stephanie complained about things she wasn’t allowed to wear at school and rolled her eyes at her mother’s restrictions. The boys seemed intent on getting Jon outside to play some football and Eric seemed pleased when Jon invited him to go along. The five were soon involved in an elaborate game of touch football that seemed mostly to involve no one running over Romeo. Amanda could see that Stephanie wanted to join in and she urged her to do so.

“I think the teams are uneven Stephanie, so you’d better go outside and help your dad.” She smiled at Stephanie’s grin and then at her sprint to the door to join in the game. Dot came in just after that, bringing Amanda a cup of coffee. She had her own with her and sat down to talk.

“How are you doing? How’s your cheek?” Dot asked first, remembering seeing the pictures of the huge bruise Amanda had.

Raising her hand to her cheek, she smiled wryly. “Almost completely healed, thank goodness! That bruise was huge! Got yelled at by my mother for not calling her before she saw it on the news.”

They talked about what had happened and how the three shows had gone. Amanda brought the conversation around to Dot’s impending wedding and for the next half hour they discussed dresses, flowers, food, guests, cakes, and all the details that make a wedding so special.

Taking Dot’s hand in hers, Amanda said, “I know I don’t know you, Dot, but I hope this is a really special day for you and for Eric.”

Swallowing a little hard, Dot gave Amanda’s hand a squeeze. “I think it will be, but it’s also going to be hard…” She broke off.

“Because Jon will be there.” Amanda supplied, guessing where the other woman’s thoughts might be going.

“Yes, there is that. It’s what I want and I love Eric, but I never thought until it actually did happen that Jon and I would ever not be together.”

“I don’t think anybody ever thinks it will happen to them, no matter what the loss is…” Amanda began, “…and I do think that as corny as it sounds it is better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all.” She gave a chagrined smile then. “Sorry, that was so Hallmark card, but I know I wouldn’t have missed one single minute with Jeremy even though I thought I would die too when he did.”

Dot was quiet for a few moments and then looked at Amanda. “You’re right. I wouldn’t have missed any of the love we once had or our kids. Now I need to look forward.”

“You got another chance, Dot, and it sure seems like you’ve found love again. Your eyes light up when you see Eric, did you know that?” Amanda cocked her head in question as she had also seen the way Eric looked at Dot. Shaking her head, Dot said no. “Oh, they do, and I’ve seen the way Eric’s eyes follow you whenever you’re in the room. I think you’re both very lucky to have found each other.”

“Thank you, Amanda, you’ve given me a lot to think about.” Dot smiled at her, realizing that she was speaking the truth. She had loved Jon but she loved Eric now and she was looking forward to her new life.

John Francis - Chapter 160

Friday, August 15, 2008 at 9:40 AM
Full bellies, wine, and a very tiring day had everyone ready to turn in early that night. Amanda caught Richie before he went to his room and stopped him with a hand on his arm. Looking deeply into his eyes, she thanked him for what he had done for Susan.

“You’re a good man, Richie. Thank you.” She kissed his cheek and made her way to her room.

Jon was in the shower when Amanda returned to the room. “Can I come in, hon?” She called out.

“Of course. Been waiting for you.” She joined him in the shower, however, both were tired and full and just enjoyed touching each others skin that night. They moved to the bed and curled into what was becoming their favorite sleeping position, Jon spooned behind her, holding her close.

~~~

It was close to 2:30 in the morning when Susan left her room to get a drink from the fridge. She was in a large t-shirt that had belonged to her ex-husband and opening the door, grabbed a bottle of water. It was quiet in the apartment and she walked over to the large window to look out onto the city lights. She was having some difficult thoughts this evening. In her heart she knew she could never do what Amanda was doing, changing her life in the manner she did, traveling, putting up with the crowds and all that came with being with such a famous person. She wondered what was going to happen to her friendship with Amanda with her life having changed so much. A voice in the darkness was heard.

“You’re up late, sweetie,” Richie spoke softly to her so he wouldn’t spook her. He had seen her come out and get a drink, but he was deep in the shadows of the room and knew she hadn’t seen him.

“Holy hell, you startled me!” She hissed back at him, surprised that she was not alone. “Can’t you sleep?” She asked him.

“I was, just woke up and couldn’t fall back asleep yet.” He looked at her. “What about you?”

“Just thirsty.” Richie motioned to one of the other chairs.

“Want to sit for a few?”

“Sure.” She settled herself comfortably in a chair, sipping her water.

“Everything okay, Sue?” Richie asked after a few minutes.

She sighed and shook her head yes, but then started talking. “I can’t help but be a little worried about Amanda.” Richie was silent, waiting her out. “What’s going to happen to her when this is over, Rich?”

He was more than a little surprised by this question. “What makes you think it’s going to end?”

“Rich, I can read, he’s made it clear a couple of times that he’s not going to marry her and actually that’s a good decision, it’s too soon. They just met really. But, dammit, she loves him, I can tell, and at some point she’s gonna come home, back to reality, and I’m worried.”

In a quandary because of his loyalty to his friend, Richie had no real response for Susan. “Don’t you think we need to let the two of them make up their own minds?”

“I know and I swear I’m not saying a word to her, but I don’t know how she does it. I don’t think I could ever live this lifestyle and be happy. I like coming home to my house at the end of the day, seeing my friends and co-workers, having my routines. I’m sure that makes me sound like a stick-in-the-mud, but she and I have always been different in that way.” They sat quietly for a few more minutes, both thinking their own thoughts, then Susan stood, said goodnight, and went back to her room. Richie was awake a bit longer.

~~~

The next two days were fairly quiet as Jon and Richie worked in the studio and Amanda and Susan spent the rest of their time together. The guys had some meetings on Friday, but spent almost all day Saturday in the studio. They saw the men when they brought in food and drinks and at dinner. Susan was flying out at seven Saturday night as she had previous plans for Sunday she couldn’t change. Amanda and Jon drove her to the airport, Richie staying at the house this time. They made small talk on the drive, Susan thanking Jon for having her come for a visit. She hugged her friend hard when it was time for her to board her plane and asked her to keep in touch. Amanda kissed her cheek and assured her she would. They waved as Susan left the boarding area and then turned to leave.

On the drive back Amanda was a little quiet herself. “You okay, baby?”

“Yeah, but something was up with Susan. I’ve known her too long. I just don’t know what it is.”

“Maybe she’ll be ready to talk about it in a few days. I mean, nothing happened that you know of, right?”

“No, nothing. I can’t explain it, just a hunch I guess.”

Jon took her hand in his. “So, give her a little time and then ask.”

She smiled at him. “I will. Thanks again for having her come for a visit, hon.”

His answering smile was bright and sweet and she felt herself melt inside.

~~~

It was still early enough when they returned from the airport that Amanda asked if they wanted coffee and then went to put some on. Jon and Richie went into Jon’s office where he questioned his friend regarding Amanda’s concerns about Susan.

“She’s worried about Amanda, that’s all. This life isn’t for Susan and she doesn’t get how easily Amanda fit into it. At least that’s what I got.” Richie told Jon, letting him know a bit about some of their other conversations.

Jon nodded his understanding and they returned to the kitchen. Richie had decided that he wanted to go out that night, however, Jon and Amanda begged off. He gave them a well-deserved smirk and went up to shower and get ready to go out. He did agree to Jon’s condition that he take a limo and Jon called for one. Richie gussied up to go out was quite a sight and Amanda put her hands on her hips and gave him her own wolf whistle. Jon grinned as she did so and with a wave, Richie was off.

Spending a quiet evening in front of the TV watching a movie sounded great to them both. They ended their evening in bed, sharing their warmth and their heat.

~~~

Early Sunday morning Amanda woke and exited the bedroom as quietly as she could after brushing her teeth. She walked down the stairs and started to go into the kitchen. Linda was off on weekends and she planned on getting herself some coffee. As she entered the kitchen, a woman’s bare rear-end with only the thinnest of thong straps showing was bent over getting something out of the bottom of the fridge. Stunned for a moment, Amanda actually rubbed her eyes to make sure she was seeing what she thought she was. She must have made a noise, because the rear-end stood up and the upper body it was attached to turned to look at her.

The large-breasted blonde dressed in a skimpy camisole and the aforementioned thong looked at Amanda in her terry cloth robe and appeared to dismiss her, except it seemed, to assume she was hired help.

“I’d like some coffee, doll.” The blonde spoke with what Amanda considered to be a bad New York accent. It grated on her ears anyway. Not moving yet as she tried to get her not yet awake brain to process this new information, the blonde threw her a hard glare.

“Look, lady, you work here. All I want is some fuckin’ coffee.” Moving aside then to give Amanda a clear view of the coffee pot, the woman plopped herself down on one of the chairs. Not answering her, Amanda proceeded to make the coffee as the blonde sat waiting to be served.

“I like it with cream and sugar too.” She informed Amanda, who nodded and continued. When the coffee was ready, she brought two cups to the table, poured, and then sat down at the other end. The blonde finished her cup and motioned to Amanda for a refill. Amanda pointed to the pot. “Help yourself,” she gritted out.

“What the fuck? I just told you I wanted another cup of coffee!” The outrage was apparent on her face at being dismissed.

“And I told you to help yourself. The pot is right there.” Amanda replied evenly.

Getting up indignantly, the woman threw Amanda a glare. “Don’t think I won’t tell Richie how rude you were to me. You’ll be looking for another job by the end of the day.”

Before Amanda could answer there were footsteps on the stairs and Amanda could see Jon coming through the living room. He had on jeans only and his hair was slicked back from the shower. A slow smile started on her face. This should be good, she thought. Jon was also brought up short by the nearly bare rear-end that was facing away from the coffee pot and he looked at Amanda who cocked her head at him and just sat there waiting. Apparently the woman hadn’t seen Jon yet or heard him come down the stairs as she was continuing to berate Amanda.

“Why are you sitting here anyway? You could at least start breakfast.”

Amanda’s eyebrow quirked up at Jon and he had to school his face into sterner lines as he was about to laugh at her expressions.

“Good morning!” His voice called out, causing the blonde to spin and then drop both her coffee cup and her mouth at the sight of Jon in just his jeans. Totally ignoring the blonde as if she wasn’t even in the room, Jon crossed on the other side of the table away from the broken cup and went up to Amanda. He gathered her into his arms and kissed her soundly.

“Morning, baby. You sleep well?” His voice was a whiskey purr that almost seemed to radiate sex as he spoke to her.

She hooked her hand in the top of his jeans and pulled him closer. “When you finally let me get some sleep, yeah, I slept well.”

A small whimpering noise escaped the blonde and they heard her clearly. “Holy shit! You’re Jon Bon Jovi!”

“Yeah, I am. Who the hell are you?” His voice no longer had the purr.

“Shari, Shari Somerfield.”

Looking at Amanda, Jon winked and then let out a bellow, “SAMBORA!!!” A few minutes later a hung-over Richie Sambora came down the stairs from the shower and saw the blonde in her thong and camisole, Amanda in her terry cloth robe, and Jon in his jeans. Amanda spoke first.

“Richie, apparently I’ve been rude to your guest by not getting her another cup of coffee, only telling her to help herself. She assures me that you won’t be pleased by this and that I’ll need to be looking for another job by this afternoon.” Richie winced at both her tone and at the stink eye she was throwing at him.

“Uh, Cherry, uhm, I never said this was my house.” Richie began rather lamely, now getting stink eye from Jon.

“Richie…” Jon’s voice was low as he spoke, “…this is SHARI, Shari Somerfield, to be exact. You two have met before, right?”

Glancing away from Jon and Amanda, Richie mumbled, “Yeah, we’ve met.”

Amanda chose that moment of tension to get another cup of coffee and excuse herself to use the shower. She couldn’t help herself and gave Richie’s arm a discrete one-friend-to-another squeeze as she passed. She moved silently out of the room and upstairs.

~~~

Jon grabbed a broom and started sweeping up the broken glass. Shari made no move to help and no move to cover herself. Sober this morning, although with a bitch of a hangover, Richie almost groaned out loud at bringing Shari back here to Jon’s house. They had stayed down in one of the staff bedrooms, but still, Jon was sure to be pissed. The broken cup was cleaned up and Jon made a call on his cell phone. Richie overheard “thirty minutes, sounds good” and then he hung up, cocking an eye at Richie.

“Shari…” Richie called her name “…we’re heading out in half an hour.” He got up then and turned her to head out of the kitchen back toward one of the staff rooms. Jon grabbed himself a coffee and headed up to join Amanda. He went into the bathroom after hearing the shower running and saw her back to him, shoulders shaking. He stepped in and took her in his arms only to realize she was laughing and trying to hide her laughter with the sound of the shower.

“Oh Jon! You should have seen her ordering me around! It was hilarious! We have so got to find a nice woman to hook Richie up with though, that one really was a bimbo!” Her laughter was infectious and Jon felt his own anger draining away. He would have read Richie the riot act about bringing that type of woman back to his house, but no real harm was done and Richie was sure to be more embarrassed that Amanda knew than if Jon himself were to give him shit.

John Francis - Chapter 159

Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 9:20 AM
Jon found Amanda already up and in the shower when he brought the coffee to her. He knocked on the door and entered at her ‘come in’. He handed her the coffee, enjoying her soapy wetness and she grinned at him, taking the cup gratefully.

“Why thank you, kind sir.” Her voice was warm.

“You’re welcome, my lady. Damn girl! You look good in there!” He just sat on the edge of the sink as she finished her shower and they talked a bit about going into the city.

“So, who’s up besides you and me?” She asked.

“Richie’s back from the airport and Susan’s having coffee with him in the kitchen.”

“Uh oh, that means I was last up again! You are wearing me out, Bongiovi!” Her grin was wicked, as was his as he asked, “You complaining?”

“Hell no!” She stated forcefully, flipping her wet hair at him as she did so. He ended up more splashed than she intended as her hair was still really wet. “Oh crap! Sorry Jon!” She laughed as he looked like he had been hit with the spray from a hose.

Looking at his t-shirt and jeans, he grinned devilishly at her. “Just remember about paybacks!”

She got a twinkle in her eyes at that and her smile matched his. “Okay, let me get dressed. Hey! What’s the weather like?”

“Dress warm, Florida girl, it’s gonna be a cold one today.” He left her with a slap on her bare ass, laughing as he did so.

~~~

Entering the kitchen again, Jon saw that Susan had left and Richie was now by himself.

“Where’d she go?”

“To get dressed, told her to dress warm as I figured we’d be in and out all day today.” Richie joined Jon in getting another coffee.

The women joined the two in the kitchen a short time later, Susan wearing jeans and a light green sweater and Amanda in jeans and her favorite rose sweater. Both had done a little makeup and Jon and Richie were struck by how alike, yet how different, the two women were. It was easy to see they had been friends for ages, growing up together to the women they had become.

Linda had breakfast ready and they all sat down over eggs, waffles, bacon, and fruit. The ladies ate a little more delicately than the men, but not much as Linda was a great cook. Finishing their meal, they all gathered coats and scarves and gloves for Amanda and Susan and they exited Jon’s home to his parked SUV.

Jon had a bit of a surprise planned for the two women and instead of heading towards the city, he drove to a private airfield in Jersey. The guard at the gate waved Jon in and he drove to the parking area. Richie knew what they were doing as soon as Jon headed in this direction and tried to contain his grin. They all got out of the car, with Amanda throwing a questioning look in Jon’s direction. He smiled at her and led them all over to a waiting helicopter. The two women stopped dead in their tracks. The men had continued on for another few steps until they realized they were walking alone. Turning back, Jon put his hand on Amanda’s back and Richie did the same to Susan, gently propelling them to the waiting chopper. With wide eyes the women boarded and put on headsets as indicated.

Within a few minutes the chopper was airborne and gasps could be heard loud and clear through the headsets as the women saw this area of the country from a viewpoint they couldn’t have imagined. Susan was mesmerized, while Amanda, still in awe, couldn’t help but turn and smile at Jon. She mouthed the words ‘thank you’ to him and he smiled at the brightness in her eyes. The helicopter first took them on a trip around New York City giving them a look at the city from this angle and then returned to a local helipad where there was a waiting limo.

Their first stop was Central Park where they all got out after Jon and Richie had donned their ‘rock star’ disguises. Jon took Amanda’s hand as they walked and Richie stuck close to Susan. The women were astonished at the size of the park, so much green in the middle of so much city. They saw some of the more recognizable areas, but didn’t wander too far from the limo that was following them.

Motioning for the car, Jon then directed the driver to take them by Rockefeller Plaza and Radio City. They stopped to explore St. Patrick’s Cathedral and then enjoyed a walk on Fifth Avenue. By this time it was almost one in the afternoon and they were all starving. Richie directed them to a restaurant he knew and soon they were having beers, fish and fries, wings, mini pizzas, and other finger foods. They were all laughing and having a great time, enjoying the day as ‘tourists’.

After filling up on food and beers, they caught the limo to the Empire State Building where they went to the top and both women anxiously peered down and over the edge. Next was Greenwich Village, then SoHo, then the South Street Seaport. Their next to last stop for the day was Chinatown and Amanda and Susan could hold out no longer. They had to do some shopping. They bought flirty skirts, sequined tops, scarves, sarongs, costume jewelry, hair clips, perfumes, and a few other items they couldn’t resist. Both protested mightily at Jon and Richie’s insistence on paying, but both men scowled at them so fiercely they were reduced to giggles and rolled eyes. Both women were frugal shoppers though and knowing the men were paying made them even more so.

Jon caught Richie’s eye and whenever one of the women showed an interest in something and then glanced at the price tag and put it back, one or the other of the two men made sure to get that item while the other provided a distraction. Soon Richie and Jon were as loaded down with packages as Amanda and Susan and Jon called for the limo to make a baggage offload. They did so and then continued walking through the area, enjoying the sights. They had actually saved their very last stop for Times Square as it was getting darker now and the lights would make this more special. The limo dropped them off at the middle of the area and they started walking.

The streets were extremely crowded and Susan found herself getting bumped a bit from the rushing New Yorkers and the gawking tourists. Richie saw this and asked if he could take her hand as he was taller than her and he could ‘break trail’ as he put it, with a grin. She smiled her thanks at him and followed along. Amanda and Jon were a little bit ahead of them and as it was getting darker and darker, Jon had removed his glasses, but not his cap. In New York he had always had the freedom to move around without attracting too much attention, but what neither man realized was that there were several tours going on that day, at least two from the “Sex and the City” diehard fans who were there taking in the sites from that show.

So many non-native New Yorkers were probably what caused what happened next. Catching Jon completely by surprise there was a scream from someone in the crowd of “Jon Bon Jovi!!!” and a ripple passed through everyone with hearing distance. Jon and Amanda were suddenly in the middle of a huge crowd of people, all jostling and trying to move closer to Jon. While the native New Yorkers cultivated a blasé air of “been there, done that, not impressed”, the many tourists in the area were not so unaffected.

Richie was already on the cell calling the limo and giving the driver their exact location. Susan watched in amazement as Jon held tight to Amanda’s hand as the crowd reached out to touch him. Keeping a close eye on his friend, Richie didn’t see when the attention started in his direction. Faster than he could react, although he did grip Susan’s hand tighter so he didn’t lose her in the crowd, there were yelling women surrounding him also.

The names of the men were being shouted out and the crowd was swelling when Richie saw the driver’s head pop up from his open door and he moved Susan to the waiting limo. Jon was scanning the area and saw Richie heading toward the street and realized he had called the car. Seeing it through a small gap in the crowd, he headed that way with Amanda firmly in tow. The driver popped the door locks as the men rapidly helped the two women inside and then got in quickly themselves. Hands were pulled back out of the way of closing doors and the sound of the doors being locked was heard inside the car.

The driver started blowing on his horn to clear the roadway, but the car was pretty much surrounded by this point. No stranger to these situations, the driver called the non-emergency police number for their location and soon sirens could be heard. Police got as close as they could in their vehicles and then on foot began to clear out the area in front of the limo so they could leave. Two waiting patrol cars provided an escort out of the area as the limo shot forward, leaving the surging crowd behind.

Susan was a bit shaken with how quickly the crowd had formed and was quiet as they started moving. Amanda gave a laugh, complementing Jon on the strength of his grip, but telling him she would probably have bruises tomorrow. Richie also seemed rather nonchalant about the whole situation. Jon noticed how quiet Susan was.

“You okay, Susan?” He asked her.

She nodded her head, but didn’t answer.

“Suze?” Amanda called her name. “Susan, it’s okay, really.”

Giving her friend wide eyes, Susan looked at Amanda. “THAT was okay?”

“Well, usually I get left behind, so yeah, for me that was okay.” Three out of the four laughed at that, but Susan only gave a small smile. She gave herself a little shake then and smiled more broadly.

“Alright, if you say it was okay, but geez! Does that happen a lot?” She looked at Jon and Richie as she asked that.

“Not always…” Jon answered, “…but enough so that we’re pretty used to it.”

“I’ve never see anything like that before. It happened so fast!” Susan was still a little dazed, but at least she was smiling now.

“That’s why the limo driver is on speed dial!” Richie grinned, holding up his cell phone. Jon used the intercom then, instructing the driver to take them to his apartment. They were soon pulling into the parking garage and grabbing all their bags out of the trunk. Jon and Richie talked with the driver for a moment, but they were dismissing him for the night, both thinking that eating in sounded better than taking another chance on getting recognized with Susan with them. They got off the elevator on Jon’s floor and were soon inside. Showing Susan what bedroom she could use took only a moment. Richie already knew where his room was.

Meeting back in the main room a few minutes later, they started talking about when they all wanted for dinner. After spending the afternoon in Chinatown they all admitted that the wonderful smells had gotten to them and that Chinese for dinner that night sounded great. Richie and Jon went off to get some menus and order and Amanda poured Susan a glass of wine. Speaking quietly, Susan turned to her friend.

“Mands, how do you deal with this?” Susan was genuinely puzzled.

“Suze, it’s just what happens sometimes. The guys are very approachable and sometimes people just get a little carried away.”

“I gotta admit, it scared me.” Susan gave a small shudder.

Amanda looked at her friend gently. “Don’t you think that’s partly because you don’t like crowds like that?”

Susan nodded, “Yeah, that probably had a good bit to do with it. Okay, enough, it’s over.”

The men came back into the living room then told her the food would be there in about forty-five minutes. Taking off their shoes, the women got comfortable on the couches as the men grabbed their own wines and relaxed.

Turning to look at Jon, Richie asked, “Well, bro’, we gonna show ‘em now or later?”

Jon winked, wanting to see their surprised faces. “Oh, now, definitely!”

Exchanging looks, the woman crinkled eyes at the two men, who jumped up and returned with bags and bags of items from Chinatown. Clearing the big coffee table in-between the couches, they both upended bag after bag of items, the ones the women had looked at, then put back.

Gasps and squeals met their ears as the two women realized what they had both done. Hands on her hips, Amanda turned to Jon.

“Oh no, you did not!”

Grinning widely and then giving her ‘duck lips’ he smirked, “I most certainly did!” Amanda nearly jumped into his lap as she gave him a huge kiss of thanks. He enthusiastically returned her kiss and winked at Richie.

Susan’s mouth fell open as the amazing assortment of items she had looked at were sitting on the table. She turned to Richie. “Did you do this?” He nodded at her. “Why?”

Grinning himself now, he answered her. “Because it’s your very first trip to New York City and I wanted to.” She smiled at him, touched by his kindness. Moving to his side, she gave him a kiss on the cheek.

“Thank you,” she said softly.

“You’re welcome, sweetie,” Richie’s voice was also soft.

Amanda and Susan then turned to the other and dove into the pile. Richie and Jon laughed until their sides hurt at the exclamations coming from the two. The women were still talking and giggling when the food arrived.

Warning and Disclaimer

The content of this blog is pure fiction. Actual places and real people are named, but in no way should anything be taken as fact. This is a story, with adult content and mature situations. If you are offended by such, please do not read.

Please do not copy any of this material to any other web site.

No harm of any sort is meant to the real people in the story and there is no disrespect intended towards anyone's family.

This is PURE FICTION and hopefully those that like this type of story will enjoy it. Comments are GREATLY appreciated!

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