John Francis - Chapter 190

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at 10:26 PM
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With a small smile on this face, Richie drew out his cell phone and made a call.

“Hey! I caught you!” He was surprised when Trish laughed.

“Yeah, it’s lunchtime so we’re all taking a break. How are you today?” Her voice was warm, pleased he had called.

“So, you still free for dinner tonight?”

“Richie! I told you last night I was. There’s no way I’m gonna believe you have to work for a date, stud!” She laughed as she adjusted the cell.

“Stud! And how would you know that, considering I’m at my mother’s and you’re there at the hotel?” His grin could be heard through the phone.

“Your reputation precedes you, Mr. Sambora!” She shot back at him and now he could hear her grin.

His chuckle was warm and husky.

“About dinner…? He prompted.

“Yes, we’re still on for dinner, but I’m going back home tomorrow morning.”

That’s not a problem. You live in the city.” He replied, already planning when he could see her next.

They had found themselves talking for hours the night before and he had enjoyed every minute of it. Patricia had gotten over the initial surreal quality of having dinner with him rather quickly and had found herself laughing more and more as the evening progressed. Richie had charmed her with his questions about what she did and how she had become a psychologist and his genuinely funny personality had made it one of the more enjoyable evenings of her life.

Richie had found himself drawn to Patricia. She was funny and extremely smart, engrossed her career, but at a bit of a crossroads as she was trying to figure out where her life was going. He had made a gentle pass at her the night before, but she had deftly turned him down and after a moment of disappointment, he was pleased she hadn’t followed the norm, choosing a slower course.

Her voice broke into his thoughts.

“I should be finished with the last meeting by 5:30 and can probably get out of here and be ready by 7:00. Does that work?” She was not surprised to find she was looking forward to dinner with him again. He had tried to make a move on her last night, but when she had turned him down he had been gracious about it, making a potentially awkward situation a funny incident.

“I’ll be there at 7:00. Just call if things run late, okay?”

“I will. See you later, Rich.” She smiled again.

“See you later, Trish.” He also smiled again, looking at his watch to see how long he would have to wait. They both hung up, neither realizing their grins stayed in place.

~~~

“Let’s go out to dinner.” Jon suggested, looking at her over the newspaper he was reading.

Startled eyes met his over her section of the paper.

“What? You want to go out?” Her eyes widened a bit at the idea.

“Yeah…” He nodded, warming more to the plan, “let’s celebrate a little. How about if we see what Richie’s doing and invite him along?”

She grinned at him, then mock scowled.

“Richie again, hmmm? You do know you can talk to me too, right?” Her tone had shifted then to a slightly more serious one.

“Wait, yes I know that. I heard you last night…” he grinned, flashing teeth brightly, “…you made sure of that by saying no over and over. Richie is my friend, Manda. My best friend.” His eyes squinted at her as she raised a hand.

“Of course he’s your friend. That’s not what I’m saying. I know there will be things you only talk to him about. Just not everything, okay?”

“No, not everything. Damn, woman, you really made me work for that yes! I don’t want to blow it already!”

“Oh, Jon…don’t you know yet that I really love you…?” She grinned, “Even if you are an arrogant ass at times!”

He gave a belly laugh then as he was reminded of what she had said before.

Still chuckling, he replied, “You sure you don’t mind being married to an arrogant ass?”

She glanced at his rear and then at him, a devilish light in her eyes.

“We’ll work on it…get rid of the arrogant and keep the ass!”

Her shriek of laughter could be heard throughout the house as he launched himself at her.

~~~

“Come on…come on….pick up!” Jon muttered into the phone.

“Hey! What’s up, man?” Richie answered.

“Whatcha doin’ tonight?” Jon cut right to the point as Richie started laughing softly.

“I gotta a date for dinner. Why?”

“Manda and I are going out for dinner and we want you to come with us.” Jon urged.

“Your ears working? I said I have a date.” Richie growled into the phone.

“So? Bring her with you!” Jon shot back before curiosity won out. “Wait! A date with who?”

Again Richie laughed softly before replying.

“I met her the night of Dot’s wedding in the hotel bar where Tico and Alejandra were staying. Her name’s Patricia and she’s a psychologist.”

Jon found himself nodding as he listened. “A horny psychologist?” He teased, a grin on his face.

“You asshole! No! Well…hopefully, yeah…” Richie laughed outright and then continued. “But, no, not that night or last night…”

“Hell! You saw her last night too? What’s goin’ on, Sambora?” Jon joked with his friend.

“She’s cool, man, that’s what’s goin’ on…the Sambora magic just ain’t working yet…” Richie admitted with a rueful grin that Jon couldn’t see.

“Holy hell! She shot ya down, huh?” Jon now openly laughed as Richie muttered ‘fuck you’ in the background. He stopped laughing long enough to repeat his request.

“So? Ask her if she wants to go out to dinner with your friends. Come on! If she says no, then okay, but at least ask her.” Jon asked his friend.

“I will, I’ll send her a text and call you when she answers. Talk to you later.”

“Later, man.” Jon grinned as he hung up. He wondered about the woman Richie had met as his friend had been pretty badly burned by Denise and had not really pursued a woman since then. About goddam time, Jon thought, glad Richie was interested in someone. A psychologist! This oughtta be good! He smiled and went off to tell Amanda.

~~~

Richie arrived close to seven that evening and went into the hotel bar where he was to meet Trish. She had agreed to dinner with his friends and after picking her up they were to go to Jon’s where the driver would take them into Manhattan for their dinner reservations at Buddakan, an Asian cuisine restaurant. This was one of the more beautiful and vibrant restaurants in the city and Jon liked the open yet cozy atmosphere where there were more private tables available. Trish had grabbed a ride from the city to the hotel conference with one of her long distance co-workers and after Richie had requested it, she had agreed to ride back with him.

Entering the bar, his eyes immediately found the beautiful redhead. She was sitting at the bar, a glass of red wine in her hand, and she brightened at his approach.

Smiling as he approached her, he leaned down for a kiss, again getting her on the dimple he found so intriguing.

“Hello gorgeous…” He murmured near her ear.

She ducked her head a little as she returned his greeting. He sat down beside her and ordered.

“How’d your last day go?” He asked, as she filled him in on the last meetings of the day.

“…so…everything went according to schedule and I’ve made some good contacts for whatever I choose to do…” She smiled at him then, her eyes bright in anticipation. They visited for a few more minutes, finishing their drinks and then Richie escorted her to her room to get her bags. She invited him in and he closed the door as he did so. He strode from the door to her side purposefully and stood looking down at her.

“I want to kiss you…” his voice was husky and warm.

She turned wide eyes to him and nodded. Richie drew her into his arms and gently pressed his lips against hers. Trish gave a small gasp as he did so, his arms firm around her waist, his lips gentle against hers. He lingered over her taste for several moments before they both broke for air.

“Oh my…” Trish murmured as she struggled against the heat the suddenly suffused her.

“Now that was real nice…” Richie grinned down at her irresistibly.

Unexpectedly she swatted him on the arm and his smile widened in delight.

“We are NOT staying here!” She moved back from him as he started laughing.

“Darlin’, I don’t think I asked to stay here…” He teased as he watched her redden to almost the color of her hair.

Her mouth dropped open as she realized she had betrayed the direction of her own thoughts. A few stammered vowels were all she managed before she gathered herself together and shook her head back and forth hard enough to cause her shoulder length hair to swing.

“Okay, I’m an idiot…let’s go before I embarrass myself further…” She grabbed her briefcase, stopping only when he put his hand on her arm. He quickly kissed her again and got her small suitcase as she watched, unable to move for the moment.

He grinned at her before moving to the door.

“You didn’t let me finish…I said I don’t think I asked to stay…yet…” He shot her a smoldering look that again had her color rising.

As she moved to the door, he thought he heard a whispered ‘Jerk!’, but wasn’t quite sure. He smiled deeply behind her back, his thoughts drifting for a second to Jon and Amanda a few months ago. She had also liked that word.

John Francis - Chapter 189

Sunday, October 26, 2008 at 2:23 PM
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Sunday morning dawned with a fury as a mid-winter storm hit the northern United States. The wind roared at gale force levels as a heavy snow blew in, quickly covering the roads and slowing down the early travelers. Inside an opulent house in New Jersey, Jon stirred as snow pelted the windows of his bedroom. He looked at the woman sleeping in his arms. She pressed closer to his warmth as she slept and he brushed back a curl from her face. A soft smile crossed her face as she woke at his touch. She turned to face him.

“Good morning.” Jon smiled at her.

“Good morning.” Amanda spoke, smiling back at him.

“Did you mean it?” He asked, a slightly unsure tone to his voice.

“Yes, I meant it.” A dazzling smile grew as she answered him.

“Are you sure?” She squinted at him.

“Yeah, baby, I’m sure.” He kissed her nose and then drew back to see her face.

“You know everybody’s gonna think you’re crazy, right?” Her voice was lightly mocking as she asked him this.

“Not anybody who really knows me.” He grinned at her.

“Jon, your mother hates me.” She reminded him.

“Amanda, my mother can shut the fuck up!” He growled.

Her jaw dropped at his words and a giggle escaped before she could prevent it.

“I’m sorry…” she laughed as he raised a hand to begin tickling her. “Jon…I’m sorry! Jon!” She laughed harder as he attempted to bury her under pillows.

She pushed the pillows away and finally managed to stop giggling, but his smile wouldn’t allow hers to die away.

Amanda looked at Jon and her expression sobered for a moment. She cocked her head to the side and spoke softly.

“Thanks for listening to me. For wanting to try.”

“Damn woman! I had to!”

He laughed almost to himself. “Don’t ever tell Sambora you turned me down three times! I’ll never hear the end of that!”

Amanda shook her head at the man in front of her. She was coming more and more to realize that Richie would always figure into the equation for Jon and she was glad he had formed a friendship with her.

“Not my fault. If you weren’t such a ‘guy’ with that knee-jerk reaction to ‘sharing your feelings’, you might have had a different answer.”

He raised eyebrows at her with that statement and then lowered them to scowl slightly.

“Did you just insult me? Your fiancée?”

That startled a laugh out of her.

“No…well, yeah, a little.”

He smirked at her.

“Admit it, Jon, you’re used to getting your own way. Right?”

The smirk turned into a full on self-satisfied smile.

“I did get my own way.”

She punched him in the stomach.

He laughed as she grimaced and shook her hand.

~~~

Eric joined Dorothea that evening on the balcony of their room. She was sitting outside relaxing after one of their day trips and with a smile she took the glass of wine he brought.

“How’re you doin’ hon?” He joined her at the table, casting a glance at her face as he did so.

“I’m really good. Those dolphins today were amazing.” She sipped slowly at her wine.

“Yeah, they were, but that’s not what I meant.” His gaze was loving as he caught her eyes.

“I know what you meant and that’s really good too. I love you, Eric. And I’m really happy to be your wife.” His hand was warm in hers as she covered it.

“I’m really glad to be your husband, but since that gives me new ESP powers…” he chuckled at her mock frown at him, “…I can tell when you’ve got something on your mind. So give it up…”

Shaking her head at him in amusement, she nodded.

“I do. I think Jon is going to ask Amanda to marry him.”

“What makes you think that? Did he say something?”

“No, it’s just…I know him…when he goes after something he gets it.”

His moved his hand to hold hers. “Are you okay with that?”

“I am…but…I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I’m a little pissed that she’s going to get what I always wanted. She’s going to get his attention whenever it’s not on work because she doesn’t have kids and she’ll go with him.”

“Doro, you never did say why you didn’t travel with him, even after you had Stephanie and Jesse, you could have gone. Why didn’t you?”

“I thought I could do both, but I wanted the kids to have a stable home, the same bed, friends. But things really started changing when I stopped traveling with him. That’s when we started to lose each other and we never went back.”

Eric winced a little at the hint of loss still evident in his new wife’s voice. He had known going in that marrying the woman who had been married to a legend was going to be hard. The only two things he had to offer her were constancy and his love.

Dorothea saw the small face Eric made and leaned forward in her chair to touch her lips to his.

“I know what I want, Eric, and this is it. Being with you, having you with me, this is what I want. I love you.”

Eric pulled her to sit on his lap, kissing her softly and cupping her face in his strong hand.

“I love you too, Dorothea.”

The sunset that evening was particularly lovely.

~~~

Amanda blinked at Jon.

“Fiancée? Is that what you just said?”

He looked at her wide eyes and started to laugh.

“Yeah, when two people get engaged, they are called a fiancée…” He laughed harder at her sudden glare.

“I know that! It’s just…that makes it more real…”

It almost seemed as if a light bulb turned on over Jon’s head as he suddenly jumped up and walked over to his dresser. Amanda watched him in silence as he took something out of a drawer and came back over to sit on the side of the bed. He looked at her, a crooked grin on his face.

“Let’s make it more real…hold out your hand and close your eyes…”

She continued to look at him.

“Manda…close…your…eyes…” He looked at her and put his hand in front of her face.

“Okay, okay, they’re closed…” She moved his hand away and tilted her face so he could see her closed eyes.

Jon opened a small black box and took her left hand in his hands. For a moment he hesitated as he realized he had never checked to see if it was her size, but it seemed luck was on his side as it slid onto her finger. The center diamond was large, but her fingers were long and it seemed just right to him.

“You can open your eyes…” He instructed her, looking at her face.

She looked at her hand. Memory stirred and she squinted in remembrance, bringing the ring closer. She turned her hand to the right and then to the left and then turned the light on to see better. Memory suddenly flashed and she gasped and with enormously wide eyes she turned to him.

“Is this…the auction…you bought THIS ring at that auction…” Her voice trailed off as her mind thought back to that time and she tallied the days.

“JON! You bought this ring our first week together!” She shook her head and looked at him, trying to understand.

“Yeah, I did…” He ducked his head a little at that as she continued to stare at him.

“You said it was for your mother…that she loved this color!” She asked him as she remembered more of that night.

“I didn’t want you to know yet…it was never for my mother…” He captured her with his eyes.

“It was always for you.”

His voice was soft as he told her this and he watched as her eyes suddenly filled with tears.

“Jon, don’t say things like that. You don’t have to make things up.” She grimaced a little with these words and he moved his hand to her chin, turning her face to his.

“I’m not making anything up. I got this for you. I had this feeling, that we were going to be together for a long time. It’s just that my long time is forever.”

His eyes met hers and she saw the naked sincerity in them. It’s always in his eyes, she thought again.

“You mean that, don’t you?” She asked him wonderingly.

“Yes,” his nod of agreement was sure, “I mean it.”

She looked from her hand to his face and the beauty she saw there eclipsed anything fashioned by man.

Slowly his smile engulfed her as he pulled her into his arms and shared their first kiss as an engaged couple.

~~~

Standing in the shower a while later, Amanda let the warm water run over her body. Jon had showered quickly and gone down to make coffee. She had asked for a few minutes and after giving her a kiss he left. Amanda washed her hair, grinning as the ring caught in her hair and she had to untangle it. She kept looking at it as she bathed, smiling at her hand, until a thought hit her and she suddenly clutched the ring to her chest.

Holy shit! A million five! On my hand! MY hand! She moved rather numbly after that, finishing her shower by rote, drying and dressing without conscious thought. Grabbing a sweater, she moved to the stairs, clasping her left hand in her right. I have almost two million dollars on my HAND! She went down the stairs and through the living room, moving toward the kitchen and a much-needed cup of coffee. She blinked when she entered the kitchen as Jon turned in the chair to see her. Seemingly without a glance at him, she went to the coffee pot and poured a cup, grabbing the cream, and sitting with a plop at the table.

Taking a sip of the coffee, she turned slightly startled eyes to Jon. He raised his eyebrows quizzically at her expression.

“What’s the matter, baby?” He asked with a smile in his voice.

She actually took a breath to tell him and then suddenly a tremendous blush overtook her as she realized how juvenile she would sound.

“I…uh…I think I really needed some coffee this morning…” She finished rather lamely as she tried to turn his interest from her near faux pas of a moment ago.

He cocked a half grin at her and she wasn’t sure she had gotten away with it, but he didn’t pursue it and in a few moments she shot him a genuine smile.

“I’m a little overwhelmed here…” her smile widened as he grinned at her. She held out her hand, emphasizing the ring.

“This is…so beautiful…it’s amazing…but…” she stopped as he frowned suddenly and shook his head at her.

“No ‘buts’, understand?” His voice was low and he looked at her intently.

“I know what it cost, I bought it, remember? I got it for you and it’s not too much, so stop thinking that, okay?” He took her hand then, holding her eyes with his.

She nodded, but her eyes were still unsure. Grinning crookedly, she shook her head.

“Please tell me you have it insured?”

Jon again threw his head back and laughed.

A small chuckle broke through as she spoke again. “Why do I think this is gonna get crazy?”

He laughed even harder, throwing his arms out wide.

“Welcome to my life!”

John Francis - Chapter 188

Friday, October 24, 2008 at 8:18 AM
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“No.”

For just a moment Jon just lay there, his body still wedged against hers, staring at the woman he had just made love to, the woman he had just asked to marry him. She reached out a hand, cupping the side of his face.

“Jon…I love you, but that isn’t enough.”

He looked away from her face, totally thrown. This was not the answer he had expected.

An unexpected vulnerability hit him and he slipped off her, to the side of the bed, standing up and pulling on a pair of sweats from the floor. He stood for a few moments as Amanda gathered the covers, pulling them over her breasts.

“Jon…”

He waved a hand at her, motioning for her to stop speaking.

“It’s okay…I…understand.”

“No, you don’t.”

His voice roughened as he answered.

“Yeah, I do.”

A few quick strides took him to the doorway, where he paused without looking back.

“I’m gonna get some coffee.”

And with that he was gone.

Amanda stared at the empty doorway then threw herself backwards onto the pillows.

“Shit!”

~~~

Jon padded barefoot downstairs and into the empty kitchen. He was putting the grounds into the coffee maker when Amanda entered the room. She had obviously just thrown on a robe as her hair was unbrushed and there hadn’t been enough time for a shower. She stood there at the entrance to the kitchen, watching him as he studiously avoided her gaze.

Abruptly putting her hands on her hips, she stalked into the kitchen. She stepped into his path and moved a hand on his chest.

“When did you become a coward?”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“Growl at me all you want, I’m not afraid of you.”

A surprised look entered his eyes at that.

“Of course you’re not afraid of me…” He started to bristle.

“Then why are you afraid of me?” She shot back.

“Manda, what are you talking about?” His initial hurt was being overtaken by exasperation at her line of questioning.

“If you’re not afraid of me, why won’t you ask me why I said no.” She cocked her head at him, determined to have this out, now, before it could fester for another day.

“You don’t want to, that’s why.” He started to turn away, but her hand stopped him.

“I swear to god, Jon, I’m gonna punch you in the stomach again!”

His eyes widened at this and he was actually startled into grinning at her.

She gave him an abrupt nod.

“There, that’s better.”

Rolling his eyes at her, he shook of the grin. He switched the coffee on and then turned to face her, crossing his arms and leaning back on the counter.

“Okay, why won’t you marry me?”

She shot back. “Why won’t you talk to me?”

“That’s why you won’t marry me, because I won’t talk to you?” His voice rose as he questioned her.

“Jon, what do you want in a wife?” She looked at him quizzically, wondering if he would tell her.

“What? I want a partner, a friend, someone who…” He broke off at her nod.

“Someone who wants to be with you, just as you are?” He gave a brief dip of his head in answer.

“Does a partner share with the other?”

He nodded again.

“I’m not asking you about your past because I know that will come. I’m asking you to share now with me. That’s what I want in a husband.” Although softly spoken, her words seemed to echo around the large room.

Jon was silent for what seemed forever and then seemed to decide an internal battle that ended in a big sigh and a nod of his head in agreement.

“I had to see Dorothea last night. Right until that last minute I wasn’t sure it was over, but it was. It felt like the biggest failure of my life and I don’t do failure.”

Her hand came up to snuggle between his crossed arms.

“Don’t you think I could see how you were feeling? I keep telling you I’m not a child you have to protect. I’m a grown woman and I know about having a past, having loved someone else.”

Jon relaxed his arm to let her hand to grip it more completely. With his eyes gazing off toward the distance he allowed himself to continue.

“It was everything that day and the drinking only made it worse. When we got back to the house and I…couldn’t…it just made me crazy and I took it out on you.” He paused, deeply ashamed at what he had to say next.

“…and later, what I said…” He looked at her now, refusing to hide from whatever she showed him. “…can you forgive that? I know you’ll never forget, but can you forgive me?”

Amanda paused for a long moment as she considered what he had said. That had been hurtful, no doubt about it, instantly taking her breath away like a blow. The truth was though, he had been married for almost 18 years and he was drunk. He slipped. She doubted it would ever happen again. She squeezed his arm.

“Yes, I can forgive you for that.” She felt his arms loosen further as she smiled her answer.

They both hesitated as the coffee finished and Jon got cups. It wasn’t even dark outside yet, but both were feeling a tiredness deeper than that from their recent activities.

Both leaned against the counter, sipping the hot coffees, silence settling around them. Jon softly cleared his throat.

“Somehow I keep hurting you…everything tells me to trust you, that it’s safe to do so…yet somehow I keep pushing you away…” He struggled to get the words right, not missing the irony of having trouble getting his feelings out.

“Jon, if you’re angry I can take it. If you’re upset, or frustrated, or any of a hundred things, I can take it. But I won’t be someone you keep things from. I can’t settle for that.”

He took another sip of his coffee and looked at her. Her eyes were softly luminous and her expression warm and welcoming.

“I want to try. I want to be with you. And I am sorry for hurting you.”

The sincerity in his voice brought an answering smile.

“That’s a start.”

Jon frowned at her, his mood still on the dark side from her refusal. He had been badly surprised by that, expecting her to immediately accept. He set his coffee cup down and moved in front of her. His arms crept around her back as he pulled her close, kissing her lips gently. He deepened the kiss, but stopped and pulled back to crook an eyebrow at her as her hands gently pushed at his chest.

“I like this start.” His voice lowered as he tried to nuzzle her neck.

With her hands firmly on Jon’s chest, Amanda looked at him.

“You’re trying to hide again.”

Jon’s smile faltered.

“I’m not trying to hide.”

Her head shook softly side to side as she looked at him.

“You don’t want to talk anymore and you think if you get me in bed, I’ll stop talking.”

Jon took a slight step back.

“That’s not true.”

Amanda just looked at him, her eyes never leaving his face.

He took in a deep breath and ran fingers through already unruly hair. His eyes skittered over different surfaces as what she’d said ran in his mind.

“I do that, don’t I?”

“Yes, you do.

“Well, hell…” He began, frustration of a different nature now in his tone.

“You did it when I came back this afternoon. We rushed off to bed before we could talk.”

“What do you want me to say, Manda?”

“I want you to know that you do that and realize it doesn’t get rid of problems, it only postpones them.”

He nodded a little grimly, realizing in a spark of insight that he had been doing this for years with Dorothea. He would come home and instead of dealing with all the little issues that were waiting for him, he would continually distract his wife until she simply gave up. Apparently that wasn’t going to work anymore.

“So how will you know, how will I know, if it’s okay after we’ve talked?”

“I’m pretty sure that me smiling and moving into your arms will be a good enough hint.” Her eyes gleamed as she gently teased him into accepting a new way of dealing with problems.

He gave a small chuckle and then pursed his lips.

“Anything else?”

“Oh for god’s sake! Men! I don’t have a list here, you know!”

That got a genuine laugh out of him as he looked at her over the lip of his raised coffee cup.

“So…if I kiss you now…and you kiss me back…I’m out of the doghouse?”

A answering grin crossed her face.

“Let’s just say you have a temporary reprieve.”

He moved a little closer to her.

“So I’m on parole?”

She moved a little further from him.

“Definitely on parole.”

He took two large steps that put him right in front of her.

“I have to earn my way back?”

She put up a hand to stop his forward movement.

“With words, John Francis!”

He grabbed her hand, pulling her toward him and using her momentum to raise her onto his shoulder.

“Jon!”

He strode purposefully to the stairs, then started up as she squirmed against the shoulder in her stomach. Setting her down inside the bedroom, he shut the door and engaged the lock. Gleaming eyes met hers as she stood with her hands on her hips, watching him.

“I have words. I want to be different with you. Give me a chance.”

Moving to stand in front of her, he wrapped a curl around his fingers, tugging on it gently as she watched his face.

“Give me a chance.”

Amanda searched the blue eyes meeting hers. She saw sincerity and intention. She nodded at him and watched the serious look dissolve into a luminous smile. She moved into his arms and kissed him. A few minutes later he pulled back and grinned at her.

“Can I ask you again yet?”

She grinned at him, her eyes twinkling and her smile a quick flash as she leaned her head forward to murmur against his lips.

“No.”

John Francis - Chapter 187

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 at 7:58 AM
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Jon heard a car pull up to the front of the house. Glancing out the window he saw her get out and head for the front door. He left his study and went to meet her there. The key scraped in the lock as she came in, closing the door behind her. She turned to see him standing there and for a second the two just stared at each other.

She spoke.

“Jon…I…”

He answered.

“Don’t…”

And then he moved.

Shock flew through her when they collided, as he had hurriedly crossed the last few steps to her. She started to speak again, but he stopped her with his lips. His mouth was bruising as he tasted her and as always happened she was helpless to do anything but answer him. He slowly backed her to the door, pressing her against it as he pressed himself to her curves. They ate at each other’s mouths, tongues fiercely possessive, as their bodies began to tremble. Gasping, they eased up to breathe, their eyes never leaving the other.

Amanda stared at Jon as she tried to slow her ragged breathing as urgency threatened to overwhelm her. He looked deep into her eyes, seeing them dilate with her passion. He threaded a hand into her hair, pulling her back to his mouth as he kissed her softly, nibbling at her full lips with his teeth and the lushness of his lips. Her teeth grazed his bottom lip in response as she felt the roughness of his unshaven beard rub against her softer skin.

So deeply lost was she in his eyes and his sweetly tempting mouth, she startled when he cupped her breast, squeezed it lightly, rubbing the nipple until it sprang up against his touch. He loosened his grip on her hair, moving both hands to her breasts and she trembled as he fondled her through her shirt. His mouth never let go of hers and both forgot that breathing was necessary for life in their need for the other’s taste.

She felt his hands leave her breasts and whimpered softly at the loss. A moment later she felt the spreading warmth of his hands on her bare skin as he slipped them under her shirt, holding her waist, bending her back a little with the force of his lips. She arched against him, pressing herself against the hardness that awaited her. Jon ground his hips into her and heard a gasp when he shifted to thrust against her warmth. Her head tilted back and he kissed her exposed throat, nibbling at her neck, warming her skin and igniting her desire with his lips.

His hands slipped out from underneath her shirt and grabbing the two sides he split it in two, causing her to lift her head in surprise. A flick of his fingers undid the front of her bra, his hands moving to replace it. Her skin flushed as he rubbed his thumbs against her tips, making them peak in his hands. She dropped her head to his shoulder as she felt a heaviness in her groin and the tightening of an impending orgasm. He nudged her head with his chin and captured her lips again when she raised it. His fingers persisted in their sweet torment against her swelling breasts.

Their tongues continued to explore as they fought for breath and control in the rising of their need for the other. She worked the buttons of his shirt, fumbling in her haste, until he took his hands from her and ripped the shirt open. In a blink his hands returned to her, continuing their explorations. Her hands moved to him, glad the barrier against his skin was gone. Her hands shook as she placed them on his chest feeling the burn of his heat against the sensitive nerves of her fingertips. She spread her fingers to feel more of him underneath her hands. His stomach quivered as she hungrily moved to feel more of the muscles under the fur.

Jon reluctantly pulled back from her but knew he had to have her soon and he didn’t want to take her on the floor in the hallway. He captured her hand in his, pulling her along with him up the stairs. She followed him silently, jagged breaths the only sounds as they hurried to their bedroom. Jon swung the door closed as they entered, then pulled Amanda into his arms to continue his assault on her mouth. They ended up as they had been downstairs, her back pressed to the door and his hardness nestled against her loins.

He kissed her again and again, gently teasing her tongue with his until once again her breathing grew ragged. His hands resumed their explorations, stroking her skin with his fingertips as she moved herself closer to him. Her body was on fire from his probing tongue and skillful hands and with a push she urged him to lead her to the bed where the burn she felt could be quenched. He pulled her with him, each dropping clothes as they neared the bed.

With a gentle shove, Jon had her sit on the bed. Before she could reach for him, he pushed her back and knelt on the floor. Grasping her legs, he kissed the inside of her thigh as he worked his way to her. Amanda lay on the bed, near to panting in anticipation.

“Jon…oh god!” Her voice was tremulous as she breathed out her need.

“Shhh…” He whispered back to her before dipping his head to gently touch her with his lips and tongue.

Electric shocks seemed to go through her as he touched her. His breath burned and his lips urged her on. He felt her thighs begin shaking and she suddenly moaned and thrust herself closer as the waves broke over her. She tossed her head wildly as he refused to let go, riding it out with her, as she clutched at the sheets and screamed his name.

Lying there boneless afterwards, she felt him rise up to her. She moved to welcome his kiss, but he stopped at her breasts, laving the tips and mounding them together while pressing his hardness against her leg until she began to shiver again. He moved then, holding her open to his gaze until she looked at him and saw the wild light in his eyes. Capturing her eyes, Jon moved his aching shaft to her opening, taking himself in hand to wet the end, rubbing it up and down until her eyes blazed and then he struck home.

~~~

“I want you to find out everything. Do you understand?” The woman’s voice was low, yet forceful, as it traveled through the phone.

“Yes, ma’am, I do understand. It will involve travel, so those expenses will be extra.” The man on the other end answered.

“That’s not a problem. It’s only one city. Find out whatever you can about her.” The woman instructed.

“I’ll call you as soon as I have something.” He informed the voice on the phone.

“No, I’ll call you in a week.” The woman hung up the phone with a self-satisfied smile.

~~~

The couple raised a wine glass as the dark-haired male of the two spoke.

“To meeting new people.” He said in his distinctive voice.

The woman smiled, dimples flashing, surprised that the man had actually shown up.

“That’s a good toast. To meeting new people!” She smiled as she responded to his twinkling chocolate eyes.

~~~

The woman sat, sipping a beer, as she cut letters out of a paper.

“Fucking bitch! Get rid of me!” She continued to mutter to herself as she thought about all she had lost and who had caused it.

She smiled as she pasted the letters on the paper and addressed the envelope.

~~~

A cooling breeze flowed over the woman, bringing her the scent of warm seas.

The door on the balcony opened and the man came out, carrying a glass of wine. He captured her lips with his.

“You okay, honey?” He asked her, his lips in her hair against her ear.

“Yeah, I just had to…let go a little more I guess.” She answered him back.

“Take your time, love, I’m not going anywhere.”

She smiled as he said this. That was what she was counting on.

~~~

He slumped over her, barely able to breathe from the force of their mating. She held him with trembling limbs as she gulped great mouthfuls of air. Her skin was warmed by his as he lay on top of her, partially supporting his weight, his head buried in her shoulder. The room was darkening as night slipped in, their play having lasted far longer than either expected. He raised his head, capturing her eyes with his.

“Marry me.”

John Francis - Chapter 186

Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 4:42 PM
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Amanda had finished her shower quite a while ago, dressing and then drying her hair, putting on light make up, straightening the room – anything to avoid going back downstairs. Taking her time, thinking of what to say, what not to say, what to do, her thoughts whirled. I have to leave. I can’t leave. I have to leave. I CAN’T leave! She shook her head violently, trying to dispel her thoughts, the ones that hurt so much.

Jon sat at the outside table after getting a coffee refill, another cigarette in his mouth. What the fuck happened last night? I remember… And then, like a tsunami, memories hit, the breath nearly leaving him as suddenly everything was so clear – the drinking, his failure, the fight, her anger, making love…and…Holy fuck! I called her Dorothea! He sat there, stunned, sick, and…he suddenly realized…frightened.

Understanding she couldn’t stay in the bedroom forever, Amanda came back downstairs into the kitchen. Jon wasn’t there, but as she poured herself yet another cup of coffee and downed the aspirin she so desperately needed, she saw he was out sitting where she had been. His gaze was distant and…her cell phone was in his hand. She slid the door open, standing watching him, until his eyes moved toward her.

“Jon…? What are you doing with my phone?” She cocked her head as she asked this, taking in the sight of him as if it were an arrow to her heart.

Startled by her sudden presence, he stuttered when answering.

“Uh…I…um…I was talking to Richie…”

Surprisingly, her eyes narrowed at that comment as she looked at him.

“May I have my phone back please? I need to go out for a little bit.” She held out her hand.

He looked at the cell and held it out a bit for her. It hit her then…this was not her cell and the car she was about to ask to borrow was not her car…they were his and…wrong or right…at this moment she felt like one more thing he had bought.

She started to speak to him, but taking in the man in front of her, she suddenly stopped. She saw his bloodshot eyes, the strain in his face, the slump of his shoulders and she knew she couldn’t say anything yet about yesterday and last night. It just wasn’t in her to kick someone when they were down and the man in front of her looked like he was down and had already been kicked and counted out. She couldn’t add to his pain.

She moved to take the phone and he suddenly reached out, grasping her hand in his, bringing her to him. His head dropped forward until the top of it rested below her breasts. He dropped the phone onto the table and his hands grasped her waist, pulling her toward him. He rested his head against her, feeling her warmth, her unspoken acceptance of him, and felt shame at his earlier thoughts. That she would harangue him that morning, verbally castigating him for his faults.

Soft fingers suddenly entwined themselves in his hair. She stroked him as a mother would a child, soothing him. His hands tightened and he just held himself there, against her, accepting her comfort. Tears welled in her eyes as this amazing man held onto her. Let me in, Jon, please, let me in! She silently urged him to do what he had so far found impossible. To trust her enough to really let her into his heart.

She managed to stop the tears and gently pulled back until he let her go. He still sat slumped forward, not meeting her eyes.

“Jon…I need to go out for a while.” She spoke softly to his bowed head.

He nodded at her, but didn’t move otherwise.

“Do you need anything?”

He shook his head back and forth, indicating ‘no’.

“Okay…good-bye…”. She picked up the cell and turned to leave, almost reaching the door before she heard his voice.

“Manda…”

She turned back to him, seeing him raise his head to look at her.

“…I do love you…” His voice was a near whisper.

She was silent for a moment, then nodded gently.

“I know…” She turned and left the porch, softly closing the door behind her.

~~~

Sitting there unmoving after Amanda left, her parting words reverberated over and over in his mind. I know…I know…I know…I know… Not ‘I love you, too’, but ‘I know’. What did I do to her last night? What did I do to us? What does she want from me? He shook his head; he knew what she wanted. Sure, he had blustered through the conversation with Richie, but he didn’t need a neon sign or a whack on the head to get it. He did get it, he just didn’t know if he was capable of it.

He knew it would be easier if she just wanted what he had already given her – money, access to his lifestyle, his home, his love – but she only cared about one of those things, his love, and that was the one thing he seemed to be unable to give her in the way that meant the most to her.

Returning to the kitchen, he took more aspirin as his head was pounding both from drinking too much and from his emotional turmoil. Could he give her what she seemed to need? He had trusted Dot, but that had failed although he knew he had lost her through his own actions, and he still trusted Richie with his life. But taking that final leap with Amanda was something he had not done…and somehow she knew it.

Amanda drove aimlessly once she left the house. She had no real plan, nowhere to go, but the idea of staying in the house with so many things unsaid between them had seemed unbearable. Leaving the gates of Jon’s driveway, she had not noticed that a car was following her. She drove around for a while and then stopped at a small diner to get something to eat, hoping that was what her churning stomach needed. The car following her also stopped in the parking lot and took several pictures as she left the car and entered the restaurant.

Taking a seat in a booth by the front window, Amanda ordered a small breakfast and an ice tea, her stomach rebelling at the thought of more coffee. She wished she had brought one of Jon’s cigarettes as she desperately wanted something to do with her hands. She took her cell phone out and looked at it. She knew she could call her mother, but wasn’t sure she wanted to tell her what had happened or what seemed to be happening. Richie came to mind, but she knew that Richie would always be Jon’s friend first and foremost no matter how close the two of them might ever grow.

Turning the phone over and over in her hand, she remained unaware of the photographer in the parking lot who was still able to shoot through the window. The news about Dot and Eric’s wedding was out. Someone had talked and the media were mobilizing to swarm. The man taking the photos had been instructed by his newspaper to follow Jon or his newest girlfriend and see what he could dig up. These photos showed an obviously troubled woman who soon was seen wiping away what could only be tears. He took several more shots and made some recorded notes.

Sitting inside after eating, Amanda again picked up her phone, turning it over and over in her hands. Unexpectedly tears hit and she used the back of her hand to wipe them away, turning toward the window away from the other people in the restaurant. She was able to stop quickly as anger closely followed whatever had made her start to cry. We have to talk. Will he ever be able to trust me enough?

~~~

While visiting his mother, Richie’s mind was on both Jon and Amanda. He knew there was more to what was happening than either had told him and after his conversation with Jon yesterday he was starting to question the depth of Jon’s feelings. To his knowledge Jon had never really discussed the divorce with anyone in any great detail and he felt this was beginning to become a real problem – both for Jon and for his relationship with Amanda.

He didn’t know what he could do to help either one of them unless they were willing to talk to each other or to him or anyone, just talk. He was distracted from this line of thinking as his mother asked him a question.

~~~

Amanda felt better after eating, leaving the diner to continue her travels. She had no idea of where she was going, taking road after road, until she realized that somehow she had ended up along the beach. The ocean beckoned to her – it felt like home – and she pulled into a parking spot so she could walk along the edge. She moved over the loose sand, glad of her flat shoes that day, as she began to just walk. She stared at the rolling water, hearing the waves break on the shore, unknowingly providing more photographs.

The photographer didn’t know what had happened but his experienced eye saw a woman with problems, someone who needed to think, and he wondered what else was happening in the life of Jon Bon Jovi.

Almost two hours had passed by the time Amanda realized she was getting really cold. The day was bright and sunny, but the temperature was still New Jersey in the winter. It was a little after noon when she returned to the car. Her thoughts had calmed and she felt more in control. She had made her decision.

As his headache receded, Jon busied himself with business calls for the next few hours in an effort to distract himself from his problems. Losing himself in business allowed the time to pass, but the effort was a waste, as he never forgot for even a few minutes. He rubbed his stomach subconsciously, feeling a knot of tension that refused to subside. It took him a little while to figure out what he was feeling, but when he did he felt a sense of peace come over him.

He had made his decision.

John Francis - Chapter 185

Friday, October 17, 2008 at 9:07 AM
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Richie looked at the dead cell in his hand in confusion and astonishment. In all the weeks he had known Amanda, he had never heard her speak so harshly or so angrily, even after finding Carrie in Jon’s room. He wasn’t able to get enough information out of her to really know what had happened, but he was sure there was more to the whole situation.

Sitting at his mother’s house, he replayed yesterday in his mind. He suspected that Jon had not really dealt with his divorce, he had simply buried it – in booze, late nights, and anonymous women. From what Jon was saying and not saying the day before, he thought his friend might have issues that were coming to the surface regarding the divorce and his new relationship with Amanda.

Jon had told him very quickly after meeting Amanda that he wanted to marry her, that he was in love with her, that she was “the one”. He remembered cautioning Jon about letting Amanda in or letting her go and it seemed this was the source of one of Amanda’s main complaints. She felt shut out and with Jon being as closed-mouth as he was, playing his emotions so close to the vest, Richie foresaw major problems.

~~~

After hanging up with both Susan and Richie, Amanda sat drinking coffee and having a few more cigarettes until she realized that they were making her feel more sick than she already did. Crushing out the last one in disgust, she pushed the pack away. Sitting, thinking, her mind working overtime on everything she had heard, seen, and felt over the last few days, she realized she simply didn’t know what to do.

The last thing she wanted to do was leave him. She had only given her heart once before and it had nearly killed her to lose that love. Not literally, of course, but she had felt dead inside in so many ways for an entire year afterwards, only coming alive again because of Jon. It wasn’t a choice any longer – how she felt or didn’t feel, she loved him and that colored all her thoughts.

She had gone through the entire pot of coffee and went inside to put another one on. Opening the door from the enclosed porch, she almost dropped her cup when she saw Jon standing at the coffee pot, waiting for it to brew. She stopped immediately upon seeing him and the opening of the door combined with that suddenness drew his attention. His eyes were deeply bloodshot this morning, his hair still wet from a shower. She turned toward the sink to rinse out her cup, taking a few moments to do so.

Jon had been standing, waiting for the coffee, willing his head to stop its incessant pounding. He felt sick this morning with the after effects of the alcohol he had consumed and his stomach was churning with acid. He heard the door from the porch open and saw Amanda come in, see him, and stop suddenly. Her eyes had widened and then she had turned from him to the sink, washing a coffee cup.

Vestiges of memories of last night came to him and he winced at her back, hoping she wasn’t the type to start a fight first thing in the morning. He winced again at that uncharitable thought and despite the pounding in his head, made himself speak first.

“Good morning.”

Without turning, Amanda answered. “Good morning.”

There was silence then as Amanda moved from the sink to the cabinet where there were aspirin. Taking the bottle, she shook out three for him, setting them beside the coffee pot. She put the bottle back without a word. Moving past him then, towards the living room, he heard her softly call out that she was going to take a shower. There was quiet in the kitchen after she left the room, the gurgle of the brewing coffee the only sound.

Finally getting his first cup, he moved to the door leading to the back to see where Amanda had been. A few items on the table caught his eye and he went out to see what they were. He saw his cigarettes and an ashtray with five butts in it. He picked up the pack then glanced back toward the kitchen. Amanda didn’t smoke. But she had been out here, his cigarette pack and some obviously smoked ones were present, and he hadn’t been out here last night.

What the hell? Was his first thought as he continued to look almost stupidly from the cigarettes to the door and back again. She was smoking? She doesn’t smoke! His head hurt and this wasn’t helping. He took a large drink from the cup and then lit his own cigarette, the smoke making him cough. I know we fought…why?…what the hell happened? He struggled to remember.

Upstairs, in the shower, Amanda hung her head allowing the warm water to run over her. She had already done everything necessary, but the water and the solitude were wonderful. Jon wouldn’t join her this morning, she knew. She doubted he remembered what had happened, although he would retain the memory of something being wrong. Thinking for so long had left her with her own pounding headache and she wished she had taken some aspirin herself.

Downstairs Jon continued sitting outside, unknowingly mimicking Amanda’s position of a short time before. He saw her cell phone, a bit to the side of a plant in the center of the table, an item he hadn’t noticed at first. Out of more of a sense of something to do with his hands than anything, he scrolled through her last calls. He saw that one was to Susan at a little after seven that morning and then one from Richie a little after nine. Damn! She was up early if she called her friend around seven. Wonder what Richie wanted?

Richie’s cell rang and he saw it was Amanda. He quickly answered and started talking.

“Hey darlin’, I’m glad you called back. Manda, don’t hang up again. I know you’re pissed, but I’m sure Jon will…” He was interrupted.

“This is Jon. What the fuck is goin’ on?” His hangover made Jon’s voice harsh.

“Why are you callin’ on her phone?” Richie asked, confusion evident.

“Cause it was here and I looked at it and saw you called, so I called to see what you wanted.” Jon explained a bit defensively as he knew what this looked like – invasion of Amanda’s privacy.

“I called to see how you were doing. What the fuck did you do, man?”

“What are you talkin’ about?” Jon was immediately on the offense. “We had a fight. She told you about it?” He could feel himself getting angry at this, believing Amanda had complained to Richie.

“Not much, she didn’t want to talk. She was pissed. Never heard her quite like that before.”

“Yeah, well you should have heard her last night then you wouldn’t be surprised.” Jon grumbled, feeling both self-pity and disgust over what he could remember of the night past.

“Jon, I can hear it in your voice. You’d better talk to her and find out what happened first because you probably don’t remember it the way it happened.” Richie counseled wisely.

“I don’t remember much, I know, except we fought over something.” Jon admitted.

“You had way too much to drink bro’, it was like the bad old times that aren’t so old, ya know?” Richie asked, trying to remind Jon that his drinking had been a problem for almost a year.

“Shit! So fuckin’ what? I had too much to drink! Big fuckin’ deal!” Jon was again taking an offensive position.

“I ain’t the one with the problems this morning, man, so you tell me what’s the big fuckin’ deal?”

Richie’s voice now reflected his own growing anger and exasperation of dealing with Jon in one of these moods.

Silence for a few moments, and then, “I don’t know, okay? I don’t remember most of it! I think she’s pissed about the drinking and…” his voice trailed off.

Richie thought for a few seconds, then took the plunge.

“She did say one thing, Jon. She asked what you needed her for.”

“What? What does that mean? What do I need her for?” Jon’s voice was filled with confusion and traces of residual memories.

“Yeah, she asked what you needed her for, said it wasn’t to share your life ‘cause you weren’t doin’ it.” Richie responded softly.

“Jesus Christ!” Jon’s voice exploded into the phone. “I share everything with her! My home, my money, my life – everything!”

“Maybe you’d better find out what her definition of ‘everything’ is.” Richie again encouraged, considering his conversation with Amanda that morning and his friendship of many years with Jon.

Silence again filled the line as Richie waited for Jon’s response.

Finally, a tired, husky voice filled his ears.

“Yeah, okay…I hear ya…” Jon answered.

“Think about it, man, that’s all I ask.” Richie quietly urged.

“Yeah…later…” Jon hung up Amanda’s cell, sitting again quietly, lighting another cigarette.

Thinking.

John Francis - Chapter 184

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 7:49 AM
Richie Sambora Pictures, Images and Photos

At least an hour passed before Amanda finally rose from the chair and without hesitation took the entire pack of cigarettes from Jon’s jacket and more coffee back out onto the porch. Lighting another, she sat, wondering why she couldn’t think. She would start a thought and then would drift off, staring at a tree branch or a few leaves or some snow. Then another thought would hit and she would repeat the entire cycle.

The ringing of her cell phone startled her into almost spilling her coffee. She looked at the Caller ID and saw it was Richie.

“Hello”

“Hey darlin’! How’s my favorite girl this morning?” Richie’s voice was cheerful, almost too cheerful Amanda thought and she looked at her watch – 9:10 AM? And Richie was calling?

Amanda avoided the question neatly, by asking one of her own.

“Richie Sambora! As I live and breathe, what are you doing up this early?” Her voice also sounded preternaturally cheerful.

Her tone took Richie aback and he strove then for casualness.

“Just wanted to check on Kidd this morning. He was drinking a bit much last night. Wanted to make sure he didn’t do anything stupid.”

He waited for Amanda’s response…and waited…and waited.

“Aw shit! He did do something stupid!” Richie groaned into the phone.

~~~

Richie’s night had been much more enjoyable than Jon’s. Patricia, or Trish, as she liked to be called, had been playful, witty, entertaining, a dream to talk to, and his sides still hurt from how much he had laughed.

It had been close to three in the morning when she had finally looked at her watched, gasped, laughed and explained that she had a presentation in five hours. It had taken him another ten minutes to get her to agree to give him her cell number and a further five minutes to make a date for dinner the following night.

Trish had gathered her purse and suit jacket and after accepting a kiss on the cheek, right on her dimple as Richie couldn’t resist, she had walked out of the lounge to the elevator and her room. Intrigued by the woman and the evening they had spent together, Richie walked immediately to the registration desk and secured a room from a rather sleepy looking desk clerk.

Humming to himself, he checked into his own room, showered quickly, and laying his clothes neatly on a chair, fell naked into the bed where he immediately fell into sleep, a small smile on his face.

Waking early the next morning, he drove to his mom’s where he could get fresh clothes and while sitting in the living room, he decided to call and see how Jon was. He admitted to himself he was a bit worried about his friend. The drinking he had been doing did not bode well and even though Jon had opened up a bit to him, he felt there were some deeper issues remaining as Jon had always played his feelings close to the vest.

Believing he would have more luck reaching Amanda this early than Jon, considering his condition the day before, he dialed her cell.

“Hello” He heard her greeting.

“Hey darlin’! How’s my favorite girl this morning?”

“Richie Sambora! As I live and breathe, what are you doing up this early?” Her voice avoided his question with a forced cheerfulness.

“Just wanted to check on Kidd this morning. He was drinking a bit much last night. Wanted to make sure he didn’t do anything stupid.”

He waited for Amanda’s response, feeling tension rising with each passing second of silence from her end of the phone.

“Aw shit! He did do something stupid!” Richie groaned, wondering what the hell had happened.

“Manda? What happened? What’s going on?” He prompted into the silence as she had still not answered him.

Taking a deep breath and blowing it out, Amanda finally answered him.

“We had a fight, well…an argument, but I doubt he’ll remember.”

“Can I ask about what?” From his viewpoint there were a whole slew of items for them to have chosen from to fight about, everything from Jon’s mother to his drinking.

In a very even, very eerily calm voice that exacerbated Richie’s worries, Amanda laid out some of the things bothering her.

“…and I know he was hurting yesterday, Richie, and he didn’t turn to me to help. He kept everything in, not talking to anyone…” she stopped as Richie interrupted.

“He and I talked, babe, when we went outside he wanted to talk about…” now he was the one who trailed off, as he would not say that Jon had said he might still love Dorothea.

“He talked to you? I get shut out completely and he talked to you? Dammit!” She actually drew the phone away from her ear for a moment as a completely furious feeling engulfed her. She heard her name being called and brought the phone back up.

Without even listening to what Richie was trying to say, she started in.

“What I am doing here, Richie? What the hell does he need me for? It sure isn’t to share his life cause he’s not doin’ it. And if it’s sex, Carrie would take him back in a minute.” She sputtered to a stop, pissed at herself for allowing Carrie’s name to even pass her lips to let Richie know that still bothered her.

From his end of the phone, Richie was staring with wide eyes and a near dropped jaw as he hadn’t heard quite this tone from Amanda before. Into the silence he spoke.

“What’s Jon doing right now?”

A snort met his question. “He’s sleeping. It’s barely nine and he was drunk last night…really drunk…” the last part added in such a way that Richie’s own radar twitched.

“Do you want to tell me what happened?” He asked her softly.

“Nope…” she shot back, her voice clearly denoting that disclosure would not be forthcoming. In the ensuing silence she lit a cigarette. Although she couldn’t see him, Richie’s face had screwed up in puzzlement.

“Are you smoking, Manda?” His voice conveyed disbelief.

“Yeah, a few. I quit years ago, but it sure as shit comes back easy.” She sounded disgusted with herself, but he was more concerned with what had happened to get her smoking again.

Trying once again to find out what had happened, Richie made another attempt.

“Manda, I can’t help if I don’t know what happened.”

Shaking her head, knowing he couldn’t see her, but unable to stop as the irony of his statement hit her, she answered him.

“I’m sure you’ll hear all about it, Dr. Richie, after all he talks to you. But you aren’t going to be able to fix this. Only Jon can and only if he stops treating me like he’s still waiting for me to screw him over.” Her voice seemed harsher as she spoke those last words and immediately Richie responded.

“Honey, what does that mean? How are you supposed to do that?” He kept his voice soft and non-confrontational.

Even though she hadn’t meant to, some of last night slipped out with her next few statements.

“How? Don’t you know he’s given me everything? What more do I want? Those are quotes by the way…” she paused then repeated what she had said in anger last night to Jon, “…I don’t think he knows me at all.”

Richie wasn’t sure what to say and was thinking furiously when he once again heard her voice.

“I think Susan’s right. I’m expecting too much. Two months – what’s that compared to his life?” Her voice changed in tone as she suddenly realized she had been speaking out loud and to whom she was talking. Adopting a brisk voice, she prepared to end the conversation.

“So, I’ll tell him you called when he gets up, okay?” She rushed the words out.

“Manda…I really wish you…” he was interrupted when she shot out her next words almost as a shield.

“I gotta go. I’m sure he’ll call you. Bye, Rich.” The phone suddenly clicked dead in his ear.

\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

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John Francis - Chapter 183

Monday, October 13, 2008 at 10:54 AM
eyes Pictures, Images and Photos

For the briefest of moments Amanda was sure her mind was playing some sort of trick on her. She had been so jumbled inside from her own feelings the entire day regarding Jon and Dot, their marriage, their current relationship, whether everything was over, and so many more thoughts that when Jon called out his ex-wife’s name at the penultimate moment with her, she believed she had only been projecting. Unfortunately, her gut over-rode her brain and she realized she really had heard it.

Jon, carried away during the moment, had not realized what he had said. He dropped down over Amanda, burying his face into her neck and hair, murmuring to her that he loved her. She found herself completely unable to choose a course of action and reflexively patted him on the shoulder as he eased his weight off her, but kept her tightly bound to him by his arm across her chest and his leg over hers. Light snoring soon told its own tale, while Amanda found herself awake long into the night.

~~~

Morning arrived at the Bongiovi house and Amanda woke first. Wiggling out from underneath Jon’s arm, she freshened up as quietly as she could and went downstairs. Starting a pot of coffee, she found herself just wandering once the fresh cup was in her hand. She seemed to have nothing but random thoughts in her head and simply traveled from room to room, seeing everything and nothing at the same time.

During one of her passes through the living room, she saw a pack of Marlboro’s sticking out of the pocket of Jon’s suit jacket from yesterday. Although Amanda had quit many years ago, the cigarettes called out to her and she snagged two, as well as his lighter, and took a refilled coffee cup and the smokes outside onto an enclosed patio that opened up off the kitchen. It was still quite cold, but in her warm robe and with the wind blocked, she was comfortable enough. She had also grabbed her cell phone and after checking the time and knowing she would still probably be waking Susan, she dialed.

“Uhmmm…hello?” Susan’s sleepy voice answered.

“Suze?” Amanda’s voice was a bit shakier than she intended it to be.

“Mands? That you?” Susan was waking up more by the moment. “What time is it?”

“Almost seven. I’m sorry, I know I woke you up.”

“What’s up girl? Why are you calling so early? Are you okay?”

A loud sigh met Susan’s ears.

“Mands? What’s wrong?” Susan’s voice now showed some concern, both at the early call and at her friend’s silence.

“Sue, I need to talk to someone. I know it’s early, but…” Her voice fell off as she waited for her friend’s response.

“No problem. Give me two minutes and then I’m all yours.” Susan put the phone down after Amanda’s agreement, took care of her morning needs in rapid time and started her own coffee.

Sitting there waiting for Susan’s return, Amanda lit one of the cigarettes. A cough accompanied her first few tentative puffs, but unfortunately as an ex-smoker, she knew it would soon come back like she had never quit. A moment later she heard Susan returning to the phone.

“All set, coffee’s on, and I’ve got all the time you need. What’s going on, hon?”

Another sigh escaped Amanda as she started to tell her friend what had happened. After detailing the last few days, everything from helping Dot, to Jon’s mother, to his drinking, to the final moments of last night, she finally wound down like a toy with weak batteries.

“Oh shit, Manda! Are you okay?” Susan’s voice held real concern for her friend, along with what seemed to be a bit of anger at the hurt she had to be experiencing.

“I’m not sure how I’m feeling. It’s not so much that he called out Dot’s name, although that sure didn’t help, it’s that he shut me out of everything. He didn’t let me in even a little. I’m not stupid, I could see he was hurting and he never said anything.”

Talking about this was bringing things out that Amanda had been turning a blind eye to, things such as Jon’s need for control and the walls he kept throwing up whenever she sought to get closer. To her, a relationship WAS closeness and she realized she didn’t know what it meant to him.

Susan now took her own deep breath before she answered Amanda.

“Honey? Do you think maybe you’re expecting too much?” She began tentatively.

“What do you mean?” Amanda’s voice evidenced true puzzlement.

“I mean this whole thing is moving really fast…you’ve only been with him for a little more than six weeks and you’re living with him and…” Susan’s voice trailed off. She didn’t want to add to Amanda’s pain, but she had been worried about her ever since she had visited them in Jersey and had seen a glimpse of the life of a major celebrity.

“Manda…I’m just worried about you. I’m afraid you’re going to get hurt and I don’t want to see you go through anything like when Jeremy died.”

“You mean you don’t think this is anything serious for him, don’t you?”

“No, I don’t know him well enough to make that judgment, but…Amanda…have you really thought about who he is?”

A sharpness entered Amanda’s voice as she answered. “Of course I’ve thought about who he is! Don’t you think I know he could have anyone? Don’t you think I…that I’ve…” her voice trailed off. She did not want to voice what had always been her greatest worry, that this would end.

“I know what I’m doing, Sue, what the story is. He’s already said twice that he’s not getting married again, so…I know…okay? I can’t help the way I feel about him.” Amanda realized she sounded defensive and wondered how she had gotten in that position.

“Manda, it’s just that he’s got a lot of history and a lot of baggage. I told you that even before I knew who he was, when you said he was divorced with four kids, remember?”

“Yeah, I remember. But I love how close he is with the kids and I even think it’s great that he and Dot are still such good friends…so what the hell is wrong with me?” She ended on a near wail as despair and anger warred inside her.

Starting out slowly, Susan answered her friend as honestly as she could.

“Well, first of all you’re used to really sharing your life with your man and that doesn’t seem to be happening. Second, you just had a real shock being called another name by a man you love. And, third, you don’t know where you’re going. You always had a plan for your future and now everything is uncertain.” She stopped then, not wanting to hurt Amanda, but Amanda wasn’t dumb.

A quiet voice reached Susan’s ear. “You don’t think it’s real, do you? Deep down, you think I’m being played somehow, don’t you?”

Complete silence met Amanda’s question. Her voice rose then as her cold fingers hugged the phone tighter to her ear.

“Answer me, Susan! You really don’t think he loves me, do you?”

“…Manda, please don’t make me answer that…” Susan’s voice held the hint of tears.

A long silence was all Susan heard and then Amanda took a deep sigh, feeling her own tears about to fall.

“You just did.”

\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

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John Francis - Chapter 182

Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 5:56 PM
Richie Sambora Pictures, Images and Photos

Leaving Jon and Amanda to their own devices, Richie had called Tico to see what he and Alejandra were doing before they returned to their home in Florida. Both were agreeable to meeting and Richie drove to the hotel where they were staying. The couple was downstairs in the bar when he arrived and hitching himself up on a barstool, he ordered a drink and gave a sigh.

Soft chuckles from the couple met his ears as it seemed they could see tension pouring off their friend.

“Hell of a night, eh?” Tico threw out, grinning.

“No shit, my friend. You have no idea.” Richie shook his head, remembering all that had happened that evening.

Alejandra leaned around her husband to ask Richie a question that had been on her mind, one only he could answer.

“Did you get Jon to open up…even a little?”

Nodding at her, he gave both a smile and a grimace.

“He’s got a lot of shit going through his head right now. Between his mother, how he feels about Amanda, how he feels about Dot getting re-married…and who knows what else…he’s got some issues.” Richie would never be too specific, even with Tico, as he and Jon enjoyed a friendship that surpassed that of brothers and they kept private conversations just that - private.

“Does anybody know what is going on with Jon’s mother?” Alejandra asked, looking at the two men. “She embarrassed me tonight, talking only to Kelli and me and excluding Amanda as if she didn’t exist.” Smiling at her husband, she slipped her arm through his.

“Thank you for coming to my rescue, mi amor.” Tico gave his wife a loving look and patted her hand.

“I like being your rescuing knight…” he teased her, his already low voice deepening even more with the love he felt for his beautiful wife.

Laughing now at the byplay between the two, Richie threw up his hands.

“Alright you two, I get enough of that with Jon and Amanda! Get outta here…go! Enjoy the rest of your evening!” He made shooing motions and although they made mild protests, it was obvious that both were eager to be alone. Richie waggled fingers at them as they laughingly departed the lounge, then turned back to his drink. He was quickly deep in thought about all he had learned and what he suspected throughout the day.

~~~

Patricia Russo was quietly enjoying a glass of wine after attending conferences that morning and afternoon related to her field of psychology. She was grateful that unlike others who had needed to fly in for the three days of meetings, she lived in New York City and only needed to drive to the hotel where the meetings were held. She was staying at the hotel for the three day conference and had two more days of meetings to go. She had already arranged with her office to take the following week off as this particular conference was held on a weekend and not during normal business hours.

The last few weeks had been particularly busy for her as she was transitioning her patient load to others who worked with her in the clinic she was in. She was making a decision with regard to her life. She had just turned 34, had been divorced for two years as of one month ago, and while professionally she was flourishing, personally she felt she was turning into a desert inside. She had obtained her Master’s degree and had been working in her chosen field for more than six years, but socially her life was a disaster.

She still felt flashes of anger at her ex-husband’s sudden betrayal of their life plans. He had known, as she had been clear from the beginning, that she had always wanted children and when she had approached him almost three years ago, three years into their marriage, talking about how she had felt the time was right for them to start their family, he had shocked her to the core by announcing that he wasn’t ready. After days and then weeks of discussions and finally arguments, it had come out that he had never wanted children and he never would. He wanted their life to be one of travel and high living and he was never going to want the burden of having kids.

Shock had been the least of her emotions. She had felt a deep betrayal and a deeper sense of loss at the years she had wasted on someone who had lied to her from the very beginning. Now, after two years had gone by, she was grateful she had found out what he was before she had spent another second with someone who would so selfishly lead her on with no intention of ever following through.

It was now close to eleven and the bar was picking up a little business wise as couples entered, laughing and holding each other close. Some were obviously there on first dates, while others were just as obviously married or long time partners. A man at the end of the bar opposite her caught her eye. He was ignoring those around him and sipping at a dark-colored drink as he gazed off into space. The bar was rapidly filling and she soon realized that a couple was standing close to her seat, hoping perhaps to sit together. She smiled, gathered her purse, and moved down to the other end, near the man she had seen as there was one remaining seat on the far side of him.

Deep in thought, Richie caught a whiff of perfume and a flash of red hair as a woman sat down on the empty seat beside his. He watched as she caught the eye of the bartender and ordered another wine. Seeing his gaze had turned to her, she raised her glass slightly and nodded a hello. He caught the hint of dimples as she smiled and raised his glass in response. A half smile accompanied his brief toast and Patricia saw the dark eyes that were not quite engaged in that smile.

Trained in the observation of body language, Patricia immediately made an accurate guess that whomever this man was, he was not happy and had a lot on his mind. It was not in her nature to turn away from what she perceived was a troubled person and when he glanced at her again, she spoke softly.

“I don’t mean to be pushy, but are you all right?” His dark expressive eyes met hers, seeing concern in their hazel depths. His practiced eye moved over her. Despite, or perhaps because of, the hazel color of her eyes, he could see she was a natural redhead as her hair had too many different shades to have come from a bottle. She was dressed conservatively in a chocolate skirt and light melon shirt, the jacket of the suit hanging from the back of her chair. Her make-up was light and it was apparent that she didn’t follow the current trend of burying her natural skin tones under layers of foundation. He could see freckles on her cheeks, a darkening of her lashes, some type of light blush, and lipstick that appeared almost the same color as her own lips. From what he could see of her figure under the business suit, the outlines appeared lush.

Apparently Richie had taken too long to answer during his appraisal of her, as she gave a small shrug and turned her attention away from him. He realized he didn’t want to lose that attention.

“I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to ignore you, it’s just I started looking at you and then couldn’t stop.” He gave her a lop-sided, quite endearing grin to go along with that statement and she felt herself respond against her better judgment.

“Well, that’s one of the better lines I’ve ever heard.” She grinned at him herself then and also gave him a long look. Dark eyes met hers unflinchingly. She took in the black dress suit he was wearing, with a colorful purple shirt underneath it, and the cross on a chain around his neck. His skin was tanned, but seemed also to be of a natural olive hue. She extended her hand.

“I’m Patricia.” He took her hand in his, his fingers long and warm. Lightly returning the handshake, he introduced himself.

“My name is Rich.”

“Nice to meet you, Rich. You live around here?”

“Yeah, most of my life. How about you?”

“I live in New York City.”

He crooked his head at her. “So what are you doing here when you live so close?”

She gave a big sigh. “Business meetings, three days worth.” A small grimace accompanied her statement.

“Over a weekend, huh? That doesn’t sound like a whole lotta fun.” He smiled back at her.

“Well, at least I have next week off, negotiated that before using up a weekend on back to back meetings.”

Sizing her up a bit more, Richie asked with genuine interest. “What’s your job?”

“Psychology.”

He was even further intrigued. “So you’re a therapist?”

“I have been, but now I mostly oversee other therapists at the clinic where I work. Things are changing a bit for me there, so I don’t have as many clients as I used to.”

“Changing? What are you going to be doing?”

Patricia gave a rueful laugh at that. “You want the truth, Rich? At this moment I have absolutely no idea…”

Richie shook his head at that, not quite following her meaning. “Are you leaving your job?”

“I don’t know. That’s one of many things I’m going to be figuring out in the next few months.” She shook herself, mentally chasing away this aspect of the conversation, and neatly turned the tables on him.

“So…your turn. What do you do?”

“I’m a professional musician.” He answered her with his own wry grin.

She glanced him, looking closely at his hands. “Let me guess…very long fingers…piano?”

A genuine laugh poured out of Richie then as he shook his head in the negative.

“I play the guitar actually.” That got a look of puzzlement on Patricia’s lovely face as her quick mind starting adding certain facts together. Dark hair, dark eyes, purple shirt, guitar player…

Richie saw the woman in front of him actually go pale as her eyes widened. Her voice was an almost inaudible murmur.

“Rich…guitar…” She was looking down at the bar as she mumbled to herself and then took a rather large swallow of her wine. Without looking at him, she caught the bartender’s eye, signaling for another drink. Finally shooting him a sideways glance and a smile that deepened her dimples, she spoke out loud.

“So…did I win?” Her response caused Richie’s eyebrows to rise in puzzlement as he considered her question. Pursing his lips, he made the universal “whooshing” sound and the hand gesture over the head to indicate that what she had said went right past him.

“Did you win what?” He grinned at her.

“The ‘duh’ award of the year, that’s what!” She broke into giggles then as enlightenment dawned in his eyes.

The bartender set her wine in front of her and she asked him to bring Richie a drink. He raised his eyebrows at her, but she just grinned at him.

“It’s the least I can do. I can prove I’m considerate since I’ve already raised the question that I’m a bit slow in other areas!”

Richie laughed then, relaxing in her presence. She hadn’t freaked out and to his utter surprise once she had realized who he was the ever-present variation of “holy shit, you’re Richie Sambora” hadn’t materialized.

Still grinning, she offered a bit of a defense.

“I have to admit, running into you in a hotel bar may have been what caused my memory lapse…so don’t take off too many intelligence points, okay?” Her dimples deepened as his laughter and smile was contagious.

“I promise, not too many.” He laughed again, realizing he was enjoying talking to her.

“Okay, Patricia, now that my secret is out…” He stopped as she started giggling again. “…what?” His face formed a mock scowl.

“Were you in disguise?” Her eyebrow raised as she appraised him. Smirking at her then, he teased back.

“Well, it fooled you, didn’t it?” His grin reminded her of a ten year old boy getting off a good zinger.

“Ouch, Rich…” she clutched at her heart, “…low blow. I can see you’re not the forgiving type!”

Grinning wickedly at her, she heard his deep voice as it drawled out his response.

“Ah darlin’, I’m a very forgiving man…” he paused and if possible his eyes gleamed even more.

“…so does that mean you’re going to give me something else to forgive you for?”

John Francis - Chapter 181

Friday, October 10, 2008 at 7:59 AM
Photobucket


Upon Jon’s return after saying goodnight to Romeo and Jake, he and Amanda gathered their coats and with back slaps, handshakes, and kisses for the ladies, they said goodnight to the others. Richie had driven there with them and Jon agreeably turned over the car keys as he knew his friend had much less to drink that he did.

Settling herself in the back seat as Richie drove and Jon rode shotgun, her eyes inadvertently met Richie’s in the rearview mirror and both made wide eyes at escaping the escalating tension in the house. Jon was quiet for a few minutes, then surprised them both by letting out a string of cuss words.

“Dammit! My mother is really pissing me off!” He ended his rant, then started laughing.

“Sorry! Just had to get that out!” They laughed with him, then all three started with deep belly laughs as each one’s laughter fed on the other. Small chuckles continued throughout the short drive to Jon’s house. Arriving at the top of the driveway by the front door, Richie informed them he had planned on heading to his mother’s that night. Bidding the two goodnight, he got into his car and was off with a wave.

Jon and Amanda entered the quiet house, knowing they were alone as Linda had weekends off. Shedding his jacket and loosening his tie to remove it, Jon then helped Amanda with her coat and both gratefully slipped off their shoes. Moving to the bar in the dining room, Jon poured himself another drink and brought one for Amanda. Starting a fire, they finally settled themselves on the couch, relaxing for the first time that day.

Sitting quietly, Amanda’s hand in his, Jon allowed his thoughts to wander. Talking with Richie had helped somewhat, but he still had an emotional storm swirling through him. I know we made the right decision, I know it. What the hell is wrong with me? She’s gone, really gone now. How did this end up happening? We were supposed to last. We were supposed to beat the odds. What a joke. What a fuckin’ failure. He sat silently sipping his drink, the last several hours catching up with him rapidly. As if it had been a vulture circling, waiting for the right moment to land and devour, the alcohol he had been indulging in most of the day, that he still continued to drink, hit, and hit hard.

Amanda was sitting quietly next to Jon, her hand held by his, as he sat sipping yet another straight Jack. He wasn’t talking and seemed to be lost in thought. She had no real idea where his mind was taking him tonight, but was willing for the moment to simply be there with him as he worked through whatever he was thinking. Her mind kept returning to Jon’s mother. The situation was getting worse and she felt that so far their encounters had only been the tip of the iceberg to come. Her thoughts were so deep it took her a moment to realize that Jon had turned to her on the couch.

“Hey baby…” he whispered to her, the softness of his voice not hiding the sudden apparent slurring of his words. He captured her mouth with his and she could taste the drink and again caught a whiff of smoke on his breath. His kiss deepened and his hand moved to her breasts, his touch arousing in his mind, but a bit rough in reality. She grasped his hand in hers, gentling his touch, a movement that he took as encouragement. He slid his hand under her shirt, quickly unclasping her bra and even more swiftly undressing her. His eyes devoured her near nakedness and darkened as passion swelled.

Amanda felt an urgency in Jon tonight and answered him with all the love in her heart. She removed his shirt, lingering over the strong muscles that always tempted her. Brushing her fingers lightly across the heavy fur of his chest, her fingernails teased as they moved, drawing a low moan from Jon’s throat. Stopping for another swallow of his drink, he began kissing her again, long, slow, lingering kisses that soon had her breathing shallow into small gasps as she felt herself responding more and more to his need.

A few minutes later had them both unclothed, warm soft skin against warmer fur-covered muscle. He returned his attentions to her breasts, suckling and nuzzling their rising softness. Laying her back on the couch, Jon shifted his weight half atop her, pressing himself against her. It was that contact that brought Amanda a little out of her passion into a more aware sense of touch. For the first time the seemingly ever-present hardness that always accompanied Jon’s intentions was not present. She continued her touches, sure this was temporary, however, it soon became evident that this was one of the moments that can happen to men, no matter what their mind wanted.

Jon was becoming aware of his lack of response and it caused him to intensify his efforts at consummation. He touched, licked, rubbed, stroked, and finally resorted to taking himself in hand to rub against her warmth. Nothing worked and he felt panic replace passion. Sweat broke out over his body as he struggled to finish what he had started. He could not look at Amanda, shame at his body’s failure overcoming his common sense. Finally pushing himself off her, he jumped up, swaying a bit more than he knew, and swiftly pulled on his pants. He drained his drink and walked rather unsteadily toward the bar, filling his glass yet again.

Amanda sat up, throwing on Jon’s shirt as she crossed the room to where he was standing, leaning on the bar. She placed her hand softly on his shoulder, wincing as she felt him stiffen at her touch.

“Jon…” she began, wanting to reassure him, “…don’t…” He swiftly turned then, a harsh expression on his face.

“No…just stop…don’t talk…” He spat out, words now deeply slurred.

“Please, don’t drink anymore. Please!” She asked him, worry evident in her tone and the expression on her face.

In answer, he looked her straight in the eye and tossed back the drink in a single large gulp, immediately turning to pour himself another.

She stepped back from him, but refused to back down.

“Why won’t you talk to me? You think this is the first time I’ve seen a man drink too much and not be able to finish what he started? Do you think I don’t have an idea of what you might have been feeling today?” Her voice remained calm, but the words hammered into his tortured brain.

Whirling to face her, almost stumbling now, icy eyes met hers and he sneered, more angry at himself than anything.

“You think you know so much? You think a few months gives you my life story? I’ve given you everything! What more do you want?” His voice ended on a drunken plea.

A gasp allowed a small glimpse of the anger and hurt that were mixed inside Amanda as she drew back from him as his words felt like a blow.

Standing with her hands on her hips, Amanda narrowed her eyes and spoke strongly and clearly to get through to this impossible man.

“What do I want? I want someone who isn’t threatened to need someone. I want a man who cares enough to let me in. My god, you can be such an arrogant ass, Jon! What do I want? The only thing I’ve ever wanted from you. Just the man. I think you’re the one who doesn’t know me at all!”

Whirling away from the open-mouthed staring man in front of her, she gathered her clothes up from the couch and without another look in his direction walked directly to the stairs and up to the bedroom.

~~~

Amanda threw down her clothes in disgust. He’s so goddam stubborn! Every time we take one step forward, he throws up some new wall! She took off his dress shirt and threw on a t-shirt, brushing her teeth and using the bathroom, and then nearly stomped to the bed. She figured he would be too drunk to even make it upstairs tonight and at this moment she thought a night on the couch might do him some good. The long exhausting day finally caught up with her and after tossing and turning, she slipped into a light sleep.

Jon hadn’t moved during the entire time Amanda had been gathering her clothes and walking up the stairs. He had rarely seen her temper, but it felt as if he had been slapped with her angry words. Finally stirring from his stunned position at the bar, he rambled over to the couch, plopping himself down angrily on the soft leather. He indulged himself then in something he seldom did - self-pity. What the hell does she want from me? Why do women always want you to spill your guts to them? What does she mean I don’t know her? He sprawled on the couch, sipping his drink, angry at the world at this moment. Finally setting the empty glass on the table, he slipped into sleep, hardly aware when it crept up on him.

A few hours later, bladder pressure had a still boozy Jon getting up rather urgently from the couch to find the bathroom. Sleeping for a few hours had started to purge the liquor from his system, but not enough for him to remember why the hell he was sleeping on the couch. He moved upstairs after using a bathroom and entered his bedroom. His mouth felt in bad need of a toothbrush and that was the only thing that stopped him from immediately falling into bed.

Amanda woke as Jon entered the bedroom. He was not quiet, but it was easy to see it was not lack of consideration, but lack of coordination, that was causing the noise. She heard him brushing his teeth and then the light went out and he moved to the bed. The bed dipped as his weight hit it and he began to stretch out. Amanda had been lying more to the middle of the bed and she tipped toward Jon as he settled himself. He felt her softness against him and he turned to her, kissing her mouth, making love to it with a leisurely slowness that ignited fires in them both.

Through many years of marriage, Amanda knew that a man sometimes needed the intimacy of sex before they could allow themselves the even deeper intimacy of opening their hearts and minds. She welcomed his embrace, her hands encouraging him to explore her, to take what he needed, letting him know in every way she could that she wanted him. She didn’t need to speak and apparently he didn’t either as the gasp, moans, purrs, and growls that escaped them both heightened as their arousal rose.

Jon felt himself harden and he knew there would be no failure of consummation this time. He touched the woman underneath him more intimately, assuring her complete readiness, and then he plunged himself into her warmth. The fully erect shaft that entered her caused a gasp to fly from Amanda’s throat as Jon buried himself again and again inside her. She could still smell the alcohol on his breath, but apparently the few hours of sleep had done enough to overcome the debilitating effects it had caused. He shifted her hips suddenly and the rise in her pelvis caused an almost immediate orgasm to overtake her. She clung to him, low moans and tightening muscles confirming her peak.

The room was completely dark and sight was useless as Jon moved again inside her. Sensation was over-riding thought and he was lost in the sheer bliss of his approaching orgasm. Nails dug into his back, legs brushed against his ass, and propped up on his strong arms, he drove himself harder against the welcoming warmth. He felt himself losing control as his body took over. The force of his spending arched his back, thrusting him inside her just that little bit further. Unbidden words flew from his mouth as pleasure poured through him.

“Oh god, Dorothea…yesssss!!!!

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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