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.


  1. Anonymous Says:

    Hmmm. I'm not sure what to think. I thought for sure they would talk about what happened....

    Wonder where Amanda is heading off to?


  2. Daydreamer- Says:

    Uh oh, trouble usually happens when Amanda goes off alone!
    Thanks for all the new chapters, I'm really enjoying the story.

  3. Opester Says:

    I think Amanda is just becoming more confident in herself and her new surroundings and as the relationship evolves, she and Jon are settling into a more omfortable routine. Everyone needs their own space now and then!

  4. Anonymous Says:

    ooo I hope she goes to Mrs. B's house. Could be very interesting.

  5. Shelly Says:

    Wonder where Manda's going too?

    Glad Jon talked to his father. Maybe Carol will finally stop with all this nonsense.

    I really am loving these new chapters.

    Great job hon!

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