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?”


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?”


  1. Oh! A new character... good for Richie!!

    Can't wait to see where this one goes.

    Great chapter!

  2. Romaine Says:

    Wow, I love where this is going!! More Richie....yay :-D

    Can't wait to hear more about these two!! I guess Amanda and Jon need a little break. Gooo Richie!!!!

    Great chapter!!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    You're an evil woman making us wait to see what happens with Jon and Amanda. However, this detour with Richie sounds like it could be interesting. Can't wait for more.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Okay, great. I'm very happy for Richie that he's going to get laid tonight...

    But what I really want to know is what happened after Jon got laid???

    He he. I sent you an email before I discovered this chapter. Feel free to reply with the NEXT chapter attached!!


  5. Heidi Says:

    Oh finally a decent woman for Richie :)

    And at the Bongiovi-houshold, the drama continues...

    Can't wait for more.

    Greetings from Switzerland

  6. Shelly Says:

    ooh. I like patricia...

    okay.....let me continue to play catchup...

    what is going on w/jon?

  7. jovikitn65 Says:

    Patricia is exactly what Richie needs, a woman with brains, beauty, and a sense of humor. Go Richie!

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