John Francis - Chapter 178

Friday, October 3, 2008 at 11:12 AM


“Ladies and Gentleman, it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you…Mr. and Mrs. Eric Richardson!” The minister made this announcement at the conclusion of the ceremony and the guests stood as one and clapped for the newly married couple.

Eric’s kiss when they had been pronounced husband and wife had drawn near sighs from the assemblage as he had held her face and kissed her as if he had been given the most precious of gifts. Dot’s face was glowing afterwards and when they turned as they were introduced as husband and wife, their smiles brought answering smiles from all who saw them.

Walking down the aisle back towards the tent opening, the couple only had eyes for each other, while those who watched continued to clap and cheer their congratulations. Jon felt the briefest of touches on his shoulder, however, he already knew it was Richie. He turned his head slightly and nodded, acknowledging the other man’s unspoken understanding.

The guests filed out of the tent slowly, talking amongst themselves about the ceremony and Eric and Dot. There were a few times Jon heard his own name mentioned, but he refrained from trying to hear what was being said, staying close to his friends as they left the wedding tent. Keeping Amanda’s hand in his as they moved, the group was laughing and joking, trying almost visibly to keep a positive atmosphere in keeping with the spirit of the day.

Amanda could already see the catering staff bringing out tables and setting up the chairs used during the wedding. There would be eight people to a table, and Dot had small place cards and a table chart she had made for the catering staff. There was a longer rectangular table set at the front of the tent in front of the flowered lattice work arch, the lectern already having been removed, where Dot, Eric, Melissa, and Michael would have their wedding supper. The wedding cake was a three-layer white cake with white icing with several different shades of climbing roses and leaves made of baker’s icing with fondant accents.

The group moved into the large dining area, already snacking on the h’ordeurves and getting drinks. As had been expected, people overflowed into the living room and various groups formed and reformed as everyone chatted about the events of the day. Walking with Jon to the bar, Amanda heard him order a Jack on the rocks and she felt a small frisson of anxiety cat walk itself up her spine. She also ordered Jack, but with coke, and Richie joined her, seeming to prefer that beverage.

Their crowd of eight stayed mostly together, as while there were several of Dot’s friends there, along with some married couples they had socialized with while they were husband and wife, it seemed these friends were a bit reluctant to approach Jon or at the very least hesitant because they didn’t know what to say. The majority of the guests were friends, relatives, and a few business associates of Eric’s and their group had yet to really meet these people, although they were approaching their group more often to talk.

Several were asking questions about the band itself, with a few of the younger women openly ogling Jon and Richie. David was also the object of much female attention, while it was the married couples who seemed to be gravitating to Tico and his wife and Hugh and his. Even with Jon holding her hand or resting his arm across the small of her back, the young women didn’t seem to believe that was any deterrence to their attempted monopoly. Richie and Jon excused themselves to return to the bar and Amanda watched as the women followed the men with their eyes and then turned back, now looking at her.

One of the women in the group seemed to decide the time was right to get some information and after introducing herself as Tamara, Eric’s cousin, she asked Amanda for her name. She supplied it and then Tamara asked her outright if she was with Jon.

Giving a half smile, Amanda replied, “Yes, I am.”

“Oh…” came the other woman’s rather disappointed response, “…I had heard he was seeing someone, but…” she trailed off, obviously unsure how to proceed, “…it seemed he was just casually dating. So, you two are dating?”

Amanda nodded her head at Tamara, then clarified her status. “We’re not seeing anyone else, so I guess that qualifies as a little more than dating.”

Another woman spoke up then. “I heard you’re living with him.”

Her head turning to answer this new inquiry, she answered, “Yes, we’re staying together, but I live in Florida.”

An almost imperceptible wave of what Amanda could only term ‘relief’ seemed to pass through the women standing around her.

She heard someone whisper in the back of the group, “…nothing serious…” and an answering whisper of “…hell, he wasn’t ever off the market even when he was married…” and then a “…shhh…” as one women chided the other for the remarks she was making.

Unknown to the women, Jon and Richie had returned in time to hear the near-whispered comments made by the women in the rear of the crowd, who by sheer happenstance were right in front of the two men as they had waited a moment before disturbing the group. The three women nearly jumped out of their shoes when the distinctive voice of Jon Bon Jovi chillingly cut the air with an ‘excuse me’ as he moved through them, Richie following. He reached Amanda and handed her a fresh drink. His eyes met hers then and he cupped her face as he drew her towards him for a kiss.

As always, his touch caused all rational thought to leave her mind and she arched a little toward him to receive the soft brush of his lips. All worries about the women standing there watching him kiss her receded as she felt the press of his lips against hers. Pulling back from her, he spoke to her loudly enough to include his friends.

“Should we head over to the h’ordeurves?”

Enthusiastic nods and ‘oh yeahs!’ greeted his question and they moved over to the tables, leaving the other guests to their own devices. Helping themselves to the foods provided, they made small talk as they ate and drank. Amanda excused herself to check on how the tent preparations were coming along, but as she had expected the catering company had quickly transformed the area into a beautiful setting of tables with rose color table cloths, flowers in the center, and several wine and champagne glasses in front of each place setting.

Her eye caught a place card written in calligraphy with the name “David Bryan”. Looking at the others at that table, she saw that Dot had placed them all together…along with Carol and John Sr. Their table would be the largest, with ten at it instead of eight. A large sigh escaped her as she realized Jon’s parents would also be at their table and with a soft shake of her head, she returned to the dining room where she saw that once again Jon was at the bar getting a drink.

~~~

Tico, Richie, David and Hugh had also noticed what Jon was drinking. As always, it seemed to be his drink of choice when he was upset or pissed and over the past year it had always been a toss up as to what his mood would be when drinking straight Jack. At times he would genial and more mellow as the hard liquor hit his system, while at others he would be quick to snap and almost impossible to reason with. They could only wait and see what this evening would bring.

Amanda had also come to relate Jon’s moods with what he was drinking and she too wondered what surprises awaited this evening. She said not a word about it though as she joined his side. He had gotten her another drink too, but this time she sipped slowly as this would be her third and the drinks were strong.

Dot and Eric were moving from group to group accepting congratulations, kisses, and hugs from their friends and relatives. Working their way through the throng, they were soon in front of the Jovi men, Alejandra, Kelli, and Amanda. Her eyes shining and her hand threaded through Eric’s, Dot beamed at the group, giving them hugs in return for their good wishes. Eric’s hand was shaken by all present and his ‘thank you’s’ at their best wishes were sincere.

Dot again thanked Amanda for all her help the day prior, telling them all in great detail everything she had done. By the time Dot was finished, Amanda had a light blush in place and softly chided Dot, telling her she had only helped complete what Dot had arranged.

“You can downplay it all you want, Amanda, but Dot and I both know everything you did!”

Eric’s voice was warm with appreciation as his new bride had told him all about the help Amanda had provided. Jon and Richie both turned to look at her as she certainly had said nothing about how much she had actually done the day prior. Raising an eyebrow at her, Richie drawled a comment in his distinctive voice.

“A few organizational details, hmmm, Manda?” She blushed harder then, scowling at Richie and urging him with her eyes to shut up.

Richie and Jon exchanged glances behind Amanda’s back, both wondering what else she had neglected to tell them. A bell was heard then as it was announced that dinner was ready to be served. The largish group of people started moving back into the transformed tent area.

Holding back a little to let the others pass by first, Jon leaned over to whisper in her ear.

“Why didn’t you tell me what you’d done to help?”

He was curious, not angry, but surprised that she had obviously stated so little about helping.

“Jon, really, Dot had everything ready to go, I just made sure things got to where she wanted them. It wasn’t anything extra special or even tough. It was just getting things organized.”

She smiled at him, urging him to leave off with the questions and accompany her into the tent. He did, but again he got another drink, this time a double.

And once again at the sight of his drinking, Amanda found a previous thought intruding.
Damn! What the hell is going on?

10 comments

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Hm, I don't know why but I don't like where the story goes. I'm not sure Amanda can trust Jon, really trust him to stay with him. She doubts him now....I'm afraid their love won't last!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Time for Jon to shake things up!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Not sure what to think...you've got me wondering if this is heading to problems or what??

    Linda

  4. Opester Says:

    Loved how you planted the reminder of jon's previous infidelity via the jealous women...Amanda certainly does have a lot to think about and consider. I also feel for Jon who would be experiencing so many conflicting emotions and yet he is managing to "appear" relatively calm and contained. It must be so hard to be such a public figure and know that nothing you ever show will remain private between the people you intend it to stay with. I would think that no matter how much you practice and polish a false self, how damaging it must be to one's sense of self to need one.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Hm, I think it would be better if she leaves Jon now. She needs someone she can trust a 100%, and that's not Jon...Sad, but true.

  6. Kay Says:

    Amanda having doubts is not a good sign.

    But Jon having these emotions is even worse.

    It might be an interesting turn of events if you took it off the 'happily ever after' path.

  7. Sunstreaked Says:

    Thanks guys for the comments. I really love that you're getting the emotions I was going for - the regret, missed chances, big changes, still love but not in love, all that.

    Oh, and Kay, the happy train IS about to run off the rails!

  8. Ohhhh, I really want Jon to tell his mother off tonight!

    I finally got caught up again, thanks for the great chapters!

  9. Romaine Says:

    I don't know why, but speaking of happy train running off the rails...I'm thinking of Richie...

    Hm, well, it's sad for them! I still hope they come back together!!!

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I'm loving Amanda's character. I think with the 'liquid courage' she's been fuelin on, that she should just let loose on Carol and set her straight at the reception table.
    Man I'm loving this stotry!!!

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