John Francis - Chapter 197

Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 6:26 AM

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Jon spent the remainder of the day closeted in his study on phone call after phone call. During that same time, Amanda had called Sharon, Jon’s primary assistant, to discuss some upcoming functions with her. There were two dinners to attend, a charity luncheon, another social lunch, and the weekend would be spent in Philadelphia where Jon had Soul business.

“Sharon, I really need some advice. Do you have a few minutes?”

Amanda was quietly panicking at the thought of the formal dinners and luncheons as she had no idea of what she should wear and her dress up wardrobe was rather limited.

“Sure, Amanda, what can I do for you?”

Sharon and Amanda had spoken several times over the last few months and Sharon knew firsthand just how undemanding Amanda could be.

“I need to know what to wear for these dinners and at the luncheons and also where I might get those kinds of clothes!” Amanda’s voice rose on the last as she was at most a Macy’s shopper and somehow she didn’t think that was going to work.

Sharon was thoughtful for a few minutes. “Okay, one of the dinners is more a cocktail type of affair and the other is formal, long dress required. The luncheons need dressy casual. Hmmm…let me think…there’s a shop in the city that should be able to provide what you need. Do you know ‘Christine’s’?”

Amanda laughed. “No, not a clue! Oh god! I completely suck at this!” Her voice again alternated between a laugh and a wail.

Sharon giggled good-naturedly. “Okay, tomorrow is the first dinner. Let me check with Jon and if he’s okay with it, I’ll go with you.”

“Oh my god! That would be so great! Are you sure you don’t mind, I mean I know you’re busy and…”

“Amanda! Just let me check with the boss. I’ll call you back.”

Within a few minutes Jon was walking out of his study talking on his cell, smiling at her the whole way.

“….uh huh…so she does, huh? Well, I guess I can turn the two of you loose with my credit card…” He smiled hugely then as Amanda glared at him, standing with her hands on her hips.

“Yeah, nine o’clock…take good care of her…okay, I’ll tell her…bye.” Jon hung up and crossed over to Amanda.

He waggled eyebrows at her. “More shopping, hmmm?” She tried to continue glaring, but then he smiled at her and her glare melted away as his eyes took on a certain gleam. She moved then, putting the couch between the two of them as she looked at him from head to toe.

“Nope, you’re busy and I just want you for you money…” she tried teasing, backing away thinking she had a good enough of a head start until he suddenly vaulted over the couch and landed inches from her. Her gasp was loud as he grabbed her hand and dragged her toward the stairs. Laughing and trying to plant her feet to prevent him from moving her in that direction, he just glanced back at her and gave a tug that landed her in his arms. Turning her, he gave her a sharp slap on the rear that made her give a yelp and suddenly she was the one dragging him up the stairs.

Both were laughing as they entered the room and Jon gave the door a resounding slam. She wasn’t sure how, but her shirt ended up in shreds on the floor, with his in nearly the same condition. Pausing only long enough to struggle out of suddenly too-tight jeans, her underwear was now as useless at her shirt and her ass was tingling from the stinging slaps Jon delivered to heighten her already inflamed senses.

Jon loved the gasps and moans he was able to get from her whenever his hand made contact with her rear or when he nuzzled at the rising peaks of her breasts. He had caught himself rubbing his thickening member several times while on the phone when his thoughts had gone to her in the other room and he was already near to bursting now that he had her naked.

Amanda saw how stiff he was and how that rigid flesh was nearly purple with the pressure that was building. A teasing grin lit her face as she sat on the edge of the bed and had him stand in front of her. She blew lightly on the unyielding staff and saw it quiver in anticipation. Her tongue slipped out, delicately flicking the tip, tasting the evidence of his extreme arousal. With fingernails and small nips to his front, she reached a hand around to feel his buttocks tightening as he tried to control the urge to thrust.

“Jesus…Manda!” He hissed out, slowly losing control as he grasped her hair gently in his hands. She increased the pressure of her mouth at his touch, approving his efforts and he breathed out a near sigh of relief at her encouragement. Jon’s legs were rigid in the maintenance of his stance and he felt her lips and tongue encircle first one then the other of the drawn up evidence of his arousal. Her teeth grazed him and he nearly stood on his toes from the sensation. Soon he felt the wet warmth of her mouth as she drew him fully in.

Jon felt the suction of her mouth as she moved and her hands grasping the tautness of his ass as she directed his advance. A hum vibrated from deep in her throat as she heard the harshness of his breathing and the tightening of his hands in her hair. Jon felt his hips begin a barely controlled thrusting as her mouth and tongue beckoned him on. A tingle in his toes signaled the onset of his release and his head dropped back as he surrendered to the rushing explosion. Fingernails dug deeply into his lightly furred ass as Amanda took all he had to give.

He felt rather than saw her smile as she had not yet released him. So, she thinks she’s won this round, Jon grinned at that, knowing she couldn’t see him. Releasing her hair, slowly gathering his wits, Jon turned from her and bent to pick up his jeans. Holding them in one hand as if preparing to dress, he smirked at her.

“Thanks, baby, now I can get my mind back on my work.”

He could barely keep a straight face as her eyes widened and her mouth dropped open. Her jaw working like the tin man, she finally sputtered her words.

“Why you…you…” Her mind failed her then as she couldn’t think of just exactly what she wanted to call him.

Jon paused, looking at her flushed face and taut nipples, seeing her barely able to sit on the bed from frustration. He broke into a wide smile, throwing his head back to laugh. He pounced on her before she could speak what he was sure was a string of curses aimed directly at his quickly recovering manhood. She fell backwards as his weight settled on her, pinning her legs and grabbing her hands with one of his, holding them above her head. His hand moved downward as he lightly brushed the glistening curls that awaited him.

Amanda found her voice.

“Back to work? Get OFF me, you…you…ohhhh!”

She moaned as his fingers struck home, teasing her, stroking her most sensitive spot as she writhed back and forth as his exquisitely talented fingers tormented her, increasing her ache. Jon felt her tighten around his fingers and he grew in direct proportion to her spasms. Stopping just before she peaked, he used a knee to open her fully as she watched him take his erect shaft in his hand to guide it into her. The urgency having been satisfied by Amanda’s play, Jon was able to enter her an inch at a time until he was fully seated inside her. Drawing out he repeated his sweet torture as she began moving her hips to urge him to greater speed. A slow, lazy smile broke across his face as he again slowly repeated his actions again and then again.

Gasping now, feeling welling inside her as from the depths of a dark pool, Amanda grabbed Jon by his hair, forcing his eyes to her.

“NOW DAMMIT!”

She thrust her hips up to match her words, pulling harder on his hair to emphasize her seriousness.

“Ouch!”

He grumbled then grinned as he felt her legs lock around his hips, her heels against his ass, drawing him in to where she wanted him to be. Withdrawing again he heard her growl of frustration as she thought he meant to tease her once more. The growl turned into a near scream as he suddenly thrust fully and forcefully into her warmth. His hard strokes forced her over and she moaned her pleasure. Her legs remained locked behind as she continued to contract around him, riding out the sensations he had caused and with a tightening of his own muscles he again let go, this time burying himself in deep to ride out the waves.

They lay there panting, sweat pouring off their bodies, relaxation turning muscles into jelly and bones into rubber.

Jon murmured in her ear.

“I need…to take more breaks…from work…”

Amanda bit his ear.

“Smart man…all work and no play…makes Jonny…”

He raised his head to look at her…the most wicked smile curving his lips.

An enjoyable time later she agreed he definitely wasn’t a dull boy.


John Francis - Chapter 196

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 9:09 AM
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Monday morning found Amanda and Jon waking to a bright clear day with mounds of snow still present. Both were entwined with the other and when one stirred the other woke. Beautiful blue eyes gazed into equally lovely dark brown ones as they shared a kiss that moved slowly and lovingly into shared passion.

After dressing for the day and heading downstairs for coffee and breakfast, Jon stopped her on the last step.

“Did you forget something?” He asked with a twinkle in his eyes. He once again slipped the ring on her finger and drew her in for a burning kiss.

“Jon, we still have other people to…” she began as he finished, “…to tell, I know, babe. But I want you to wear this. Remember, I told you I was keeping you!”

Amanda laughed then and with joined hands they entered the kitchen to find Linda readying breakfast.

“Well, good morning you two, you’re up early today.” Linda smiled at the happy laughing couple who went immediately to the coffee pot.

“Yeah, it’s gonna be a busy week, Linda, and it starts today.” Jon answered as Amanda grabbed plates and silverware for the table.

They sat down to eat and at Jon’s request Linda joined them. Going over his schedule with her a bit so she would know about dinners and such, he was in the middle of a sentence when Linda gasped, jumped up out of her chair, hugged Amanda and then him. Both were open-mouthed at her actions until she began to beam at them.

“I’m so happy for you two! When did this happen?” She asked Jon, wondering why she hadn’t seen a ring on Amanda’s finger before.

“Last Sunday, but we needed to talk to Dot and the kids first and we did that last night.”

“And there are others who need to know too, Linda, like my mom and…Jon’s parents.” Amanda didn’t mean for the slight hesitation to enter her voice, but Linda picked up on it.

“Well, it’s not my place to say…” she began, then glared at Jon as he dared to snort with suppressed laughter, “…but since you two are adults and you make each other happy, then that’s what counts.”

Jon nodded at Amanda. “See? Listen to the woman! She hardly ever gives her opinion, so I think we should…” he tried to maintain a straight face, but broke up into laughter at the glower he was receiving from Linda.

~~~

“Hey mom! How are you?” Amanda smiled as her mother answered the phone.

“Good sweetheart! How are you?” Jennifer’s voice was enthusiastic hearing from her daughter.

“Everything’s great, mom, really going well. What’s new with you?”

For the next several minutes they chatted about every day things, with Jennifer relating that she had joined a dance class where she had met several people her age. In fact, her big news was that she had gone out to lunch and dinner several times with a man from her class.

“Mom! That’s so great! It’s about time, you know!” Amanda teased, happy her mother was doing something she liked and that she had met someone to spend some time with.

As Jennifer was winding down a bit from telling her daughter what was going on down in Florida, she started asking questions of her own.

“Actually, mom, I do have some news…” Amanda started and there must have been something in her tone as she suddenly had her mother’s full attention.

“What’s wrong, honey? Did something happen?”

“Mom! Nothing’s wrong, in fact, everything is right. I’m engaged, mom.” Amanda smiled as she relayed her news.

“Oh honey! Jon asked you to marry him? When?” Jennifer was more than a little stunned.

“Last Sunday, but we needed to tell Dot and his kids first, and you, of course, so that’s what I’m doing.” Amanda sounded so happy that Jennifer pushed her doubts to the background for now.

“Amanda…are you sure, honey? I mean, Jon seems like a wonderful man, but are you ready for his…”

“…crazy life? Is that what you were going to ask?” Amanda grinned into the phone.

Laughing now herself, Jennifer replied, “Yeah, I guess that’s what I’m asking.”

“I know I love him. The rest will come, just like with anyone.” Amanda’s voice sounded sure and again Jennifer resisted voicing her concerns.

They continued their conversation as Amanda shared her excitement.

~~~

The other half of the happy couple was having a completely different conversation with his parents. He had them both on the line as he relayed what he had done and how the talk with Dot, Eric, and his kids had gone.

John Sr., although knowing this before Jon’s call, expressed his good wishes and congratulations as if hearing it for the first time, while Carol remained suspiciously silent throughout the conversation.

Jon tried again. “Mom, I love her and I want her to be my wife. Can’t you just be happy for me?”

“You can’t be asking for my blessing for this…this…thing you want to do?” Her voice expressed her simmering outrage. “Of course she said ‘yes’, Jon, she hit the jackpot with you!”

Jon gave a sigh at this, feeling anger and resentment bubble to the surface. He directed his next words to his father.

“Dad, I’ll let you know where and when if you’d like to come. I just wanted to tell you before it hit the papers. I have a lot of public appearances this week and Amanda will be with me.” He paused, then, “And dad, thanks, your support means a lot.”

“I love you, son, and Amanda seems to make you really happy. Of course you have my support.”

Carol spoke up then, her son’s words registering. “John! What are you saying? You know how I feel about this!”

“Yes I do, Carol, you’ve made it very clear. But you aren’t the one getting married. I’d like to stay in my son’s life. What do you want to do?”

There was silence then as Carol fully realized she had neither her husband nor her son’s support.

“I guess there’s nothing else to say then.” She finished a bit huffily.

Jon’s voice was quietly firm as he answered her.

“Not if you’re going to continue with what you’ve been saying, mom.”

And, on that note, the conversation was over.

At least as far as Jon was concerned.

~~~

Amanda’s call to Susan went a little differently than the one to her mother. She had caught Susan at her office as it was Monday and her friend kept her voice quiet in that setting.

“Mands, are you sure? I mean after the phone call on Saturday I thought…well, I thought things were over between you two.”

“Oh Suze, I know I sounded awful then, it was hard having Jon not turn to me when he was so upset. I did a lot of thinking though and realized that I was expecting him to be Jeremy when what he and I had developed over a lot of years.”

“What did he say about what happened?”

“We talked and both apologized. I love him, Suze, I really love him. Can you understand that?” Amanda’s voice softened as she urged her friend to accept what she was saying.

“I do understand, I just can’t help worrying about you and what your life is going to be like now.” Susan had herself followed the band for years and Janet, the Jovi nut in her office, was a permanent fount of information.

“My life is going to be spent with the man I love. What more could I ask for?” Amanda knew what Susan meant, but to a certain degree she had still been somewhat sheltered from the media as she had not followed the band as a fan and actually knew less about what was sure to happen than Susan did.

“Oh Manda! I just want you to be happy.” Susan breathed out in a near whisper.

“I am happy, so please be happy for me too, okay?”

“Well, girl, then I guess congratulations are in order!” Susan imposed cheerfulness into her voice. She really did love Amanda as her dearest friend and she wanted her to be happy.

“Yes they are! I’ll call you when you’re not at work, okay?” Amanda smiled at Susan’s small laugh.

“Yeah, I just barely managed to shoo Janet away a few minutes ago!”

Amanda groaned theatrically. “Oh lord! No spilling the beans, right?”

Again Susan laughed but a little louder. “Sure, as if these beans aren’t about to spill from here to Australia!”

“Okay, okay, I get it!” Amanda laughed again at her friend’s description of upcoming events.

Susan thought no, you don’t GET it, honey, but you will as she said out loud that she had to go.

The two women hung up, one filled with joy, the other with worry.

~~~

The talk the night before with the children had gone reasonably well. Dorothea and Jon had answered their questions, reassuring when needed, and again, as with Dot and Eric’s decision, the two parents presented a united front.

Before returning downstairs, Jon and Dot had stopped for a moment in one of the guest rooms to talk privately.

“You okay, Dot?” Jon asked, reaching for one of her hands. She gripped his tightly for a moment and then let hers drop away.

“Yeah, Jonny, a little surprised, I guess…but then again, not really.” She looked at him and gave a small smile.

“I do like her and she’s good with the kids, not pushing herself on them, just letting them come to her.”

“She really likes them, Dorothea. She’s always encouraging me to spend whatever time I want with them, even if that time doesn’t include her.”

“You know things are gonna get crazy for a while, don’t you?” Dorothea asked, having lived that life with Jon for so many years. “You think she’s ready for it?”

Shaking his head, Jon grimaced a little. “I don’t know, but no matter when it happened, the damn media are gonna do what they do.”

“Yeah, follow you and her and write anything they can. I saw those photos from last week, her crying and then walking on the beach. What happened?” Dot knew what the papers had said, but wanted to hear it from Jon.

“We had a fight…my fault…I was pretty much an idiot after your wedding and I took my feelings out on her.” Jon admitted this while looking at the floor.

“Do you remember what you said to me when you left the room?” Dot asked softly. Jon cocked his head as he had thought and said so many things that day.

“You told me to be happy…now I’m telling you…if you’re sure she’s the one, then be happy.” Dorothea smiled a little wistfully as Jon just looked at her.

“Don’t…don’t give her a reason to regret this, Jon. I think she really loves you and I don’t think she’ll…accept certain things…like I did for so long.”

“Damn, Dorothea, I really am sorry…” Jon began as Dot put a finger against his lips to hush his confessions.

“I don’t need to hear this anymore, Jon. I accept your apology, but I don’t want to hear anymore about what happened when I wasn’t around.” Dot’s voice held the barest hint of anger then, as well as regret for what they had once had that they didn’t any longer. She made her voice more even as she continued.

“We’ve managed to stay friends. Don’t say things that might change that somehow, okay?”

Jon gave her a weak smile and slid his hand along her cheek in a comforting, yet strangely regretful gesture.

“Thanks, Dot. I really am happy for you. I think Eric’s a great guy and you deserve that.”

“Yeah he is and yeah I do…so let’s go downstairs to our futures.” A genuine smile crossed both their faces then as they did just that.


John Francis - Chapter 195

Monday, November 17, 2008 at 9:02 AM

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Jon and Amanda stayed cosseted in the New York apartment for the entire day Saturday. Both knew they needed to speak to the others in their lives very soon and without even discussing it, they realized they wanted an undisturbed day before what might possibly be an emotional storm. Jon’s very Type A personality was chafing at having to hide his feelings about Amanda and while he understood and appreciated her sensitivity towards the others by not wearing the ring he had given her, he wanted to see her wear it. He wanted it known she was his.

Amanda found herself quietly astonished that she could miss something she had only had for one day. It wasn’t the ring itself or the amazing quality of it, it was what it represented and she too wanted to know that what had happened was real. Seeing the proof of it on her hand satisfied something deep inside her, opening her heart even further if possible, and she missed it in a way she hadn’t expected.

Deep in thought, Jon twirled a wine glass and watched the red liquid coat the sheer crystal. Dot’s home tomorrow, but do I want to do this on her first day back? I have to talk to the kids too. When? There’s no way this is gonna be a secret for long. Is Manda really ready for this? He looked at her.

“I need to talk to the kids and Dot…” he started, but stopped as her eyes shot to his.

“Not tomorrow, Jon, not their first day back.”

“Honey, if I don’t do it in person tomorrow then with what’s going on next week, I’d have to do it over the phone. I just can’t do that to them.”

She nodded her head slowly, still not convinced this was the best course, but realizing she had to defer to him with regard to his family.

“I’m still not sure about this, Jon.” She tried again.

A crooked grin crossed his face as he answered her.

“I’m not that sure either, babe, but I’m gonna do it anyway. We have a lot of functions to attend next week and I’m tired of lying and saying I have no plans for marriage.”

Her eyes widened at that.

“Lying? You were lying when you said that?” Her voice rose in astonishment.

“Yeah, I knew a long time ago, Manda, but with Dot’s wedding coming up it just didn’t seem right to say anything. Dorothea was never in the press much but she deserved her own day with Eric.”

Jon was moved by the love that shone from Amanda’s eyes as she realized how much he cared for the people in his life.

~~~

When they arrived back at Jon’s house the next day in the late afternoon, he checked in with the kids and his mother, making sure everything was going okay. His mother remained cool towards him, but didn’t say anything against Amanda.

Taking her few items upstairs to put them away, she heard Jon call up to her that he needed to make a few calls and he would be in his study. Returning to the hallway where the mail was kept she saw an envelope addressed to her. Opening it rather absentmindedly, she gave a sharp bark of laughter at the clichĂ© of the letter inside. Oh for god’s sake! Cut out newspaper letters? She stopped laughing as she read.

BITCH

Underneath the word was a picture of her that had obviously been cut out of some magazine and then scratched or cut with a knife or scissors. It was recognizably her, but the picture had been deeply scarred.

There was no signature and despite her initial laughter at the melodrama of the letter, she felt a chill as she read the words. Putting the letter back into the envelope, she went to the bedroom where she buried it underneath sweaters in a bottom drawer of a dresser she was using. Again the idea that Jackie was behind this flashed through her mind, but once more she knew there was no way she could say that – to anyone.

Linda had been shopping during the week and as Amanda prepared a light dinner for the two of them, Jon relayed what was happening during he next week. There were a few dinners, several meetings, time planned in the studio with Richie, and of course, talking with various family members.

~~~

Dorothea and Eric had already arrived back home and Jon had already spoken to Dot, asking if he could come over tonight to talk to them. The newlyweds had sounded relaxed and happy and although she had missed her children, Dot was glad they’d had the time to themselves.

The drive over to the Richardson’s house - Damn! That’s a new thought! – Jon realized, was short and when they entered they could see that everyone was buzzing with excitement. The kids were thrilled to have their mother back and it was apparent that Eric was being accepted in his new role as step-father. The senior Bongiovi’s had already departed for their home after staying for the week and Jon was glad to have the chance to talk to Dot and Eric without his mother being present. He would be speaking to her later by himself.

The two younger children seemed to be running on high octane fuel as they dashed to the door for their customary knee tackle of their father. Surprisingly, Romeo soon wiggled down from Jon’s arms and raised his up for a hug from Amanda. A genuine smile lit her face as she hugged the littlest Bongiovi and gave him a kiss on his slightly sticky cheek. Jake followed his younger brother’s example and also gave her a hug and a kiss. Dorothea and Eric watched indulgently as first the younger two then the older ones gave their father a hug. Jesse and Stephanie also included a hug and a smile for Amanda and she quickly closed her eyes to hide the emotions their show of affection roused.

Eric and Dot looked tanned and glowing and their looks and small, almost unconscious touches were endearing. Jon felt the small lump in his throat, the one that had been there since the wedding, dissolve as he realized Dorothea was truly happy.

After the kids had scattered, the four adults met for coffee in the kitchen as Dot and Eric related their honeymoon adventures. They had gone on several day trips and enjoyed many quiet evenings together, however, there were enough funny stories to keep everyone laughing as they talked.

“I’m really glad you got to spend so much time with the kids while we were gone.” Dorothea smiled at Jon and Amanda. “They were telling us all about it almost as soon as we got here!”

“We were glad to have them and believe me, they quickly took over the house!” Jon laughed, remembering the toys scattered about and the video games that always seemed to be on.

Amanda smiled. “I have to admit I was glad for Linda’s expertise as I didn’t know there could be so many different ways to make the same food!” Each of the kids seemed to have their own way to eat the same dinner and Linda knew through long experience what each of those ways were.

“Yeah, I know it. Dinner is always an adventure here, but I know that leaving most everything plain and letting them add what they want seems to work the best!” Dorothea and Eric both laughed at that as they had gone through many nights of “Yuck!” from one kid or the other if they didn’t let them fix their dinners as they liked.

Getting up to pour more coffee, Dot looked at her two guests as she refilled the cups.

“Now, not that we don’t appreciate the welcome home visit, but I’m guessing there’s another reason for your stopping over tonight?” She glanced between the two and then at her husband.

Both Jon and Amanda busied themselves fixing their coffees, looking down at the table, and Dot suddenly just knew. She had been right. She looked straight at Jon until he raised his eyes to her and then reached for her husband’s hand.

“So when are you telling the kids?” Her gaze traveled between Amanda and Jon, waiting for their answer.

Amanda felt her mouth drop open slightly at the other woman’s astute observation and she turned to Jon, not knowing what, if anything, she was to say.

“Dot…I…” Jon started, but she interrupted not unkindly, while reaching for Eric’s hand.

“It’s okay, Jon, really. You waited, didn’t you, until after our wedding?” Jon nodded yes and Dorothea smiled.

“Thank you, Jon.” Eric also chimed in with his thanks, understanding where Dot was going with this line of questioning.

Eric spoke up again as he gently tugged his wife’s hand for her to sit beside him.

“Congratulations to both of you. And thank you for telling us first.” He gently and lovingly rubbed his wife’s hand as she squeezed his back.

The four sat quietly for a few moments as this news was taken in. Amanda felt herself holding her breath, waiting for whatever was coming her way. She was unprepared, however, for Dorothea’s response.

“Take care of her, Jonny.” Dot smiled at Amanda and shook her head slightly, turning again to her husband.

Dorothea leaned over and kissed his cheek. He looked at her with love in his eyes, a love she returned. Facing Jon again, she stood.
“Let’s go talk to our kids.”

John Francis - Chapter 194

Friday, November 14, 2008 at 5:29 AM
richie Pictures, Images and Photos


Friday afternoon found Carol Bongiovi making a phone call.

“Hello, this is Mrs. Bongiovi. Is Mr. Davidson in?”

“Yes ma’am, one moment please.”

Carol was put on Muzak hold for less than a minute.

“Davidson here, Mrs. Bongiovi, how are you?”

“I’m fine. Did you find out anything?”

“I have a lead I need to follow up on, but it looks like her husband wasn’t as squeaky clean as he appeared.”

“What does that mean? You have to know something!”

“Not enough yet, I don’t work that way. Let me confirm things and then I’ll have a report.”

Silence came from the other end of the phone and then Carol’s voice hummed as she thought.

“Find out. I need to know.” She demanded. “I’ll call in another week.”

~~~

Peter Davidson, ex-FBI, retired, now head of his own investigative agency, looked at the phone for a few minutes after he had hung up. He knew who Carol Bongiovi was, of course, as one of the first things he always did was an investigation of those who hired him. He valued the contact he had, both in police departments and at the FBI, and working for someone who planned harm to the person he was investigating once he had found them, wasn’t in his plans.

He had been investigating Amanda Matthews for enough time to realize she had a remarkably unremarkable past. No arrests, a few minor traffic tickets, no bankruptcies, no outstanding debts, no enemies that he could find yet, and nothing else out of the ordinary. The only thing he had found so far that raised a red flag for him was the amount of time her deceased husband had spent in Miami. That and the car license plate of one Enrico Sanchez.

A woman in the office next door to where the Matthews’ business had been located had copied down the license plate of a car that had struck her vehicle, scratching the bumper. The car had left without stopping and she had caught the license number, intending to ask Jeremy if he knew who owned it since the man had come out of his office. The next day Jeremy had been killed in a car accident and she never got to ask. It was only when he had been talking to her that she had suddenly remembered the scrap of paper thrown into a drawer of her desk. She had turned it over to him and he had run it.

Enrico Sanchez. Miami. Major drug trade. Jeremy Matthews and Enrico Sanchez. Was there a connection? Or was Sanchez just a customer.

He called and arranged for a flight to Miami.

~~~

Patricia and Richie had spent the entire week together and Friday found them returning to Trish’s apartment after a decadent dinner out. As had become their custom, they settled on the couch with a glass of wine and talked more about their lives, their dreams, where they had been and where they were going.

Silence began to creep into the conversation as each turned more thoughtful as the time progressed. A rising tension in the air belied the calm exteriors of the two. Richie found himself visually tracing her from brow to waist as their discussions died down. He saw a flush start to cover her face as the silence stretched. He reached out with his hand, stroking the fullness of her lips and smiling as they parted.

Patricia took a shuddering breath at his touch, closing her eyes to feel the sensations he was causing. She opened her eyes to see him gazing deeply at her and she knew she wanted this man. Wanted him with a longing that had been growing since they met for their first dinner. Richie seemed to sense a change in her tonight and the ache he’d had since that first night grew in direct proportion to that change.

“…Richie…” she breathed out.

“…Trish…” he answered, his voice deeper with want.

He let her take the initiative, not wanting her to have any regrets. She moved into his arms then and he enfolded her, tasting her sweet mouth in a leisurely manner, arousing her senses until she made small sounds deep in her throat. She stood then, looked at him, then took his hand in hers, leading him to the bedroom.

Everything seemed to move in slow motion as they undressed the other, pausing every few moments to kiss, his lips soft and undemanding even as he felt himself reaching a level of painful arousal. Trish’s body was on fire from his touches and her senses were reeling from the warmth of his mouth on hers.

Neither was sure when they moved to the bed. The room was lit by one soft lamp in a corner and the light caused as many shadows as if the room was lit by candles. Pressing Trish back against the bed, Richie paused over her before he moved to arouse her more deeply.

“Baby, you sure?” His voice was so hoarse with need that she shivered just hearing it.

“Oh yes, I’m sure…” She breathed out huskily, her skin aching to feel his against it.

A slow, lazy, deeply satisfied, yet sweet smile spread across his face as he began to make love to her. Nuzzling the full breasts that pouted so prettily at him, he felt her arch to allow him greater access to her. He blazed a trail from those rounded mounds, kissing his way to her aching center. A gasp, a feeble attempt at demurring, and then surrender met his persistence. She moaned over and over as he pleasured her until the explosion occurred and she went limp and languid in his arms.

Richie raised his head, taking in the temporarily sated woman on the bed. He took another sip of his wine, allowing the warm liquid to heat in his mouth before he again took one of her breasts in his mouth. Trish stirred, now urgent to have him inside her. She had no idea how well that urgency would be answered.

Managing to apply a condom while still kissing and caressing her, he poised himself above her as she opened to him. He nudged himself into position, gentling his movements although he ached to plunge into her until he was buried to the hilt. Slowing increasing the pressure, gritting his teeth as he did so, he felt her expand to accommodate him. He looked at her, making sure she was not hurting and she smiled at him to continue. The longing he saw there filled him with a burning desire to take her, to lose himself inside her. He thrust to the hilt then, hearing her gasp as he filled her with every last inch. Her eyes widened in surprise and then he moved, plunging inside her again and again as he brought her over and she screamed her pleasure.

Richie felt her response, felt her fly over the edge into orgasm, and allowed himself to follow her into sweet release. Sweat soaked their bodies as they floated in a sea of sensation and passion and fulfillment.


John Francis - Chapter 193

Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 8:56 AM
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Leaving a short while later for the first of his meetings that day, Jon thought about all that had happened over the last few days. He knew that she was right about telling her things, especially things that concerned her, but his first instinct was always to protect, to make things easier for the people he loved, to shield them from the less attractive aspects of his life.

Throughout the long day where Jon met with Soul personnel who had traveled to the city and into the late afternoon where he finally finished a Habitat meeting, his thoughts continually returned the tabloid he had picked up on the drive to his first meeting. The Star printed the closest thing possible to outright lies, just managing to skirt the line on the side of not being sued.

The pictures were of Amanda at a restaurant, obviously wiping away tears, and then on the beach where she looked to be deep in thought. The accompanying story focused on Dorothea’s wedding the day prior, along with some cheap shots about Jon Bon Jovi’s girlfriend and her ‘distress’. The reporter, no byline provided of course, skewed the pictures to make it seem that Amanda was ‘despondent’ and ‘depressed’ as she was probably on her way out as Jon’s girlfriend. The article even managed to make it seem that Jon very seldom took her out in public and that she seemed to be his ‘secret’, the reporter making a play on words from a Bon Jovi song. The article ended with the prediction that Jon would soon be available again.

Furious over this turn of events, the phone call from his mother couldn’t have come at a worse time.

“Hey mom.” He answered, his voice lacking inflection.

“Well, Jon, I hope this article is true. You’ve finally come to your senses.” His mother practically purred into the phone.

“Considering it’s ‘The Star’ and they’re a piece of shit, I’d say it’s not true.” Jon gritted out between clenched teeth.

“Jon! I don’t appreciate your language!” Carol spoke in her best ‘parent’ voice.

“Mom…for god’s sake…what do you want?” Jon sighed into the phone.

“I want you to end this before you get hurt.”

“Ending this is what WILL hurt me.” Jon shot back.

He could almost see her shaking her head on the other end of the phone. “I just don’t understand, Jon. Don’t you know what kind of woman you could have in your life? There are other people just like you that would make you a good match. Amanda is a nobody.”

Now Jon was shaking his head. “Mom, I used to be a nobody too. Dorothea was a nobody. If the only thing you have against her is that she’s not a ‘celebrity’, then you’ve forgotten where we all came from.”

Carol’s voice was harsh. “I haven’t forgotten where we came from. I just think you’ve forgotten who you are.”

A near-snort from Jon met her last remark. “Last time I checked, mom, I was John Francis Bongiovi, Jr. I think I forgot that for a long time. Thank god that’s what Amanda thinks I am.”

His mother tried again. “Jon…”

“Mom, I’m done talking about this. Is there anything else ‘cause I’m getting another call.”

A big sigh then. “No, Jon, I can see you’re still not listening…”

Jon interrupted. “…if this is what you’re going to talk about, then you’re right, I’m not listening. Bye mom.” He heard his mother sigh and hang up. He dropped his cell onto the seat beside him.

~~~

For the next several days Jon and Amanda stayed at the Manhattan apartment, only traveling to the house a few times to get together with the kids. They did lunches and dinners and although Carol remained cool towards Amanda, she didn’t say another word to Jon. His father was as genial as he had been every time he had seen his son and he watched Amanda closely, seeing her interactions with his grandchildren and with Jon. She was supportive and unobtrusive, letting the kids seek her out and then responding with genuine pleasure and interest when they did so.

Something in the way Jon and Amanda looked at each other when they thought no one else could see, the soft lingering touches, their behavior in general caught his interest and he was the one who sought out his son during a quiet afternoon.

Jon was sitting outside having a smoke waiting for the kids to get ready for a dinner out when his father joined him. Seeing his dad, Jon gave a slightly guilty glance and prepared to stub out his cigarette. John Sr. waved at him, indicating he wasn’t there about that.

“Hey dad. What’s up?” Jon greeted his father.

John Sr. stood quietly with his hands in his pockets for a few minutes, then gave his son a sideways look.

“Is there something you want to tell me, son?” John’s voice was soft, but Jon felt himself respond simply out of the respect he had for his father.

Glancing away and then meeting his father’s eyes, Jon answered him.

“I asked Amanda to marry me and she said yes.”

John shook his head up and down as he considered this.

“So you’re engaged?”

“Yeah, dad, we are.”

“Don’t see a ring her on her finger.”

A small laugh escaped Jon then as he answered.

“I gave her one and she said there were people who needed to know before the press did – the kids, Dot, you and mom, her mom – and she thought it would be better for everyone else if she didn’t wear the ring yet.”

John turned to fully face his son.

“You asked that woman to marry you, gave her a ring, and she’s the one who said it wasn’t right for her to wear it yet? Am I getting this right?” His face and eyes expressed his surprise.

With a wry smile on his face, Jon confirmed his father’s assessment. Both men stood for a few minutes until the elder Bongiovi spoke again.

“I worried about you, son, after the divorce. Saw a bit of what was happening…” he held up a hand, “…don’t bother to deny it, I heard enough to concern me.”

His father’s eyes locked and held Jon’s as he continued.

“I’m not worried anymore. That woman loves you. Really loves you. And you love her. She’s how things could have been with Dorothea if she had really shared your life with you instead of letting you go off so long on your own.”

Jon started to defend Dorothea and explain his own blame for the failure of their marriage, but again his father held up a restraining hand.

“Hear me out, Jon. It’s not good to go through your life as a visitor in your own home. You’re not made that way. This woman wants to be with you, right? Travel? Share everything you do?”

Jon nodded, a bit surprised at his father’s astute observations.

“You made mistakes before. You gonna make them again?” John asked, his look now piercing.

“No sir, I…I don’t want to be alone anymore.” Jon admitted as his father shook his head in understanding.

“Then you take your time, tell the people you need to, and then marry her. Haven’t seen you this happy in a very long time, Jonny, don’t let her get away from you.”

Jon stood silently for a few moments, then turned again to his father.

“Mom…” he started, then stopped as his father’s eyes again met his.

“I love your mother, Jon, but I won’t support her in this fixation she has against Amanda. You found someone who loves you for who you are, not what you are, and if you ask me, you’re damn lucky.”

John paused for a moment and then looked again at his son.

“I’m not going to tell your mother yet. You do that when you’re ready.”

Jon smiled his thanks, his eyes crinkling. He hugged his father briefly, feeling lighter inside than he had in the past few days.

“I love ya, dad.” His voice was hoarse with emotion.

“I love you too, son.” John patted his son’s back and with a final glance returned to the house.

John Francis - Chapter 192

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 8:15 AM
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The ride to the apartment was fairly short and using the underground garage avoided the possibility any lingering paparazzi.

Arriving at Jon’s apartment, Amanda left out an involuntary sigh of relief. It was apparently louder than she meant it to be as Jon turned to her with a look of puzzlement on his face.

“What’s the matter, babe?” He asked her softly.

She shook her head, really not wanting to discuss her worries about their engagement breaking out into the media. Dorothea needs to know first, and the kids, and MY mother and oh god, Jon’s mother! She shivered involuntarily at that, knowing Carol was not going to be happy about this.

Taking a deep breath, she decided to attempt an explanation.

“I want to talk to you about something, but I want to say it right so you know what I mean.” She hesitated, waiting until he nodded at her to continue.

They took off their coats and she held off until they were settled on the couch with glasses of wine and a fire started before she continued.

“There are important people who need to know about this before anyone else – Dorothea, your kids, my mother, your mother…” her voice dropped at the last. “I’m so happy you asked me, but there are other people to consider.”

Jon was silent for a few minutes as he thought about what she had said. He knew she was right as he had chosen a similar course by not asking her before Dot’s wedding. He also knew the kids needed to hear it first and his mother…he was not looking forward to that.

She twisted the engagement ring on her finger as she pondered her next words.

“Jon…please don’t take this wrong, but I don’t need this ring right now to know that you asked me and I said yes. We could avoid all sorts of complications if we just wait a little bit on that.”

For a moment his need to do what he wanted and damn the consequences rose, but he tamped it down as he realized she was making a lot of sense. She was doing this for him, he understood that the more he thought about it. And she was right, they would know and that was enough for right now.

He turned to her and took her hand in his, bringing his other hand up to cup her face in a gentle motion before he kissed her softly.

“Yeah, babe, I see what you’re saying and I think you’re right.” She brightened at his words as it seemed he really did understand what she meant.

Amanda removed the ring from her finger and handed it to Jon.

“Put this someplace safe, okay?” She teased, a twinkle in her eyes.

He took the ring, tightening his hand around it. He looked at her then and his eyes were eloquent.

“Only for a little while…a very little while.” His soft lips against hers belied the determination in his voice.

~~~

Arriving at Patricia’s apartment, Richie helped carry her bag upstairs and after a slight hesitation she invited him in.

“Would you like a drink?” She asked, prolonging the moment of his departure.

“How about some coffee?” He asked, having noticed her hesitancy at the door.

The gust of a sigh met his question as she nodded and moved to the kitchen. Richie settled himself on her couch and took in the largish well-kept apartment. There wasn’t any clutter and the colors were soft and muted, with vibrant splashes here and there. He liked the open, yet cozy, feel of the rooms and smiled at Trish as she returned with a tray with coffee and fixings on it.

“I like your apartment. It’s really comfortable.” His smile was genuine as he looked at her.

“Thanks. I sorta like everything in its place.” She served the coffee and then moved back onto the couch next to Richie.

They were silent for a few minutes as each sipped the warm fragrant brew. Richie’s arm was on the couch behind her and his hand reached to make small circles at the base of her neck. Setting his cup on the table, he turned to her, his warm eyes capturing hers.

“I want to kiss you again.” He smiled as he asked for permission.

“I’d like that.” She answered a little shyly and set her own cup down.

Warm expressive lips took possession of hers as he gently nibbled and teased, opening her to taste the flavors of coffee and mint that met his foray. She leaned forward into his kiss, enjoying the soft wooing of his mouth and his hand in her hair. They stayed like that for long minutes, then Richie moved a hand up to cup her breast. Trish startled at his touch and drew back.

“Richie…” she breathed rather raggedly, “…I don’t…not yet…I’m sorry…” She closed her eyes, not wanting to see the rejection she was sure was to follow.

She opened her eyes suddenly at the delicate touch of a roughened finger to her lips.

The eyes that met hers did not hold rejection or disappointment or anger – just hunger and the beginnings of acceptance.

“Darlin’, we don’t need to rush. I’ve done that in my life – hell, sometimes that was my life – but with you…” He hesitated himself then, somewhat unsure of what he was thinking. He suddenly decided to take the plunge, consequences be damned.

“I like you, Trish, and I want to get to know you, spend time together. If it’s right, the rest will come when we’re both ready.” He waited then for her response, hoping he had not just made a fool of himself.

Patricia blinked at him, searching his face. She saw only sincerity and honesty and she just melted, there was no other word for it.

“I’d like that very much. Thank you for understanding.”

At that Richie gathered her in his arms, tucking her head under his chin as they sat there thinking about possibilities.

~~~

Monday morning showed a lessening of the snowstorm that had continued through the night. The decreasing snow was the only thing that was slowing though as Jon’s phone started ringing early and didn’t seem to show any signs of letting up. Amanda woke to his voice low on the phone as he sat on the side of the bed, apparently woken out of sleep by the ring. She heard him making plans for an urgent meeting in a few hours and when she placed her hand on his lower back to let him know she was awake, he turned to her with a rueful smile that indicated his reluctance to let anything interrupt them.

Ending the call, Jon turned to her, brushing her hair from her face. His eyes were warm and she willingly answered the unspoken rising urgency she felt when he continued his exploratory touches.

The phone’s insistent ringing brought an end to their time together before they could finish and Jon growled as he glanced at the ID and answered his cell.

“Yeah?” His voice was rough with growing passion.

He listened to the voice on the other end and she could see his eyes begin to squint and his jaw tightened.

“Okay, I got it, Tony…what paper?” He listened again.

“That fuckin’ rag?” His voice now held traces of anger.

“Goddam it! Alright…I’ll take a look at it…” he trailed off as Tony was obviously saying something.

“What’s she saying now?” Jon raised a hand to his head as if a headache had suddenly started.

“I’ll talk to her after I see it…okay? I have a meeting in a few hours and I’ll get a copy.” His voice had flattened out now as he thought about what he had heard.

“Yeah, I hear ya. Talk to you later.” Jon hung up the cell and just sat on the edge of the bed. Amanda’s hand hovered near his back again, but did not land as she waited for him to tell her what was going on.

“Jon…? She asked quietly.

He turned then, but she saw his eyes were closed and his smile didn’t reach them.

“It’s nothin’, babe…” He started, but then stopped as her face changed in response to his answer.

“Don’t do that! I’m not stupid!” Her voice came out a bit stronger than she intended as she was still a bit bothered from the recent days.

“Jon, you have to stop this. Just start talking…the rest will come.”

His shoulders lifted with the strength of his sigh as he heard her words and the last few days flashed through his mind.

“Okay…you’re right. There are pictures of you in The Star. Recent pictures. And a story to go with them.” He looked at her then, gauging her reaction.

“You know I didn’t talk to anyone, right?” There was worry in her voice as she thought of his mother’s accusations.

“Of course I know that! There are shots from a restaurant and the beach…” He began, only to have her interrupt.

“What?! I did that Saturday, after…” She trailed off then, not wanting to bring up what she had been thinking.

“Let’s just pick up the magazine and see what they said, okay?” His voice was soft as he looked at her.

“Okay…shit! What did they say about me now?” Her voice ended in a near wail.

“Baby, it’s gonna happen. It’s my life…” He stopped when she started to giggle and then roll on the bed with her laughter. He thought for a moment she might be losing it.

“…and…it’s now…or…never…right?” She laughed even harder then, nearly rolling off the bed with her deep belly laughs.

Jon looked at her with astonishment for a second and then the irony of it hit him and he dived onto her, catching her before she did roll off the bed.

She continued to giggle even when he captured her lips with his and squirmed even harder when those same lips traveled to her neck.

“Oh my…Jon…stop!” She begged him as her stomach began to hurt from her laughter.

He kissed her silly and she enjoyed every second. His cell again interrupted.

“FUCK!” He growled loudly as he recognized the distinctive ring of his partner in crime, Richie.

“Yeah…? He hissed into the phone.

“Shit, man, what’s with the greeting?” Richie laughed a little at Jon’s apparent irritation.

“Anybody ever tell ya you’ve got bad timing, Sambora?” He laughed into the phone.

“Yeah, you, but not for a while. So how’s the fiancĂ©e? Richie’s voice turned sing-song as he asked this.

“She’s fine. So what’s up?” Jon grinned at Amanda as he answered.

“I wanna know if you need me this week studio-wise?” Richie asked.

Jon thought for a few minutes, realizing he had several meetings, a few dinners, several interviews, and a Habitat function, but no studio time scheduled.

“Nah, wasn’t planning on hitting the studio this week. What’s up with you? You goin’ somewhere?”

“No, but Trish has the week off and I want to spend some time with her.” Richie admitted this and then held the phone a little ways off from his ear as he waited for ribbing he was sure to get.

Jon didn’t disappoint. “You like her, huh?”

Richie reluctantly admitted his interest. “Yeah, I like her.”

“Did you sleep with her yet?” Jon asked with a sly grin on his end.

“Fuck you, man!” Richie shot back, starting to take a breath to say more when he heard Jon answer.

“Sorry, bro’, that was a shitty comment. I like her too.”

Taken aback a little by Jon’s sudden stop to the teasing, he could only sigh on his end.

“She’s…” he stopped, wondering at his sudden thought.

Jon didn’t hesitate.

“…real…”

“I’m fucked, aren’t I?” Richie breathed out in a voice as close to a male whine as he could get,

“Yep, could be lookin’ that way…” Jon agreed.

“Okay, yeah, well…” Richie surprised Jon by stammering just a little then.

Jon laughed, a genuine expression of pleasure for his friend.

“Go! Have fun and get to know your lady. Call when you get a chance.”

“I will…and Jon?” Richie paused.

“Yeah?”

“Take care of that woman of yours. She has no idea yet what she’s in for when this breaks.”

“I hear ya and I do know what you mean.” Jon finished his conversation with that and hung up.

He turned back to Amanda and relayed the conversation he’d just had with Richie, including the warning.

John Francis - Chapter 191

Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 10:02 AM
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“It’s still snowing, babe, dress warm!” Jon called up the stairs from the living room where a fire burned, a glass of wine in his hand. He turned as he heard her footsteps on the stairs.

“I did…I had the TV on while I was getting dressed.” She came up beside him and he took in her charcoal gray slacks and white ruffled shirt. She had dried her hair in deference to the weather and her makeup was light, but effective. Jon was wearing black pants and a dark blue shirt, the color making his eyes a deeper hue. He gestured to the wine glass he had waiting for her on the table in front of them and she smiled her thanks as she sat next to him.

Jon answered his ringing phone, acknowledging the call from the limo driver that he had arrived. He glanced at his watch, realizing Richie and his date should be there any moment. He leaned over then, kissing Amanda lightly and grinned at her.

“You look beautiful.” She smiled back at him.

“You don’t look so bad yourself…” She teased, sipping her wine. He arched an eyebrow at her and she winked in return.

“So…her name is Patricia, right?” She asked, resuming their earlier conversation.

“Yeah, he said he met her two nights ago and they went out to dinner last night.” He chuckled then. “Apparently she didn’t fall into his bed…”

“Jon!” She admonished him. “You say that like it’s a bad thing!”

“Nah, just not sure Swing is used to being turned down…” He laughed outright then.

Amanda’s tone turned more solemn as she looked at Jon with worried eyes.

“What do you think he’s going to say? Or did you tell him on the phone?”

“No, I didn’t tell him on the phone and he’s gonna be happy for me…for us…” He reassured her, knowing Richie’s previous response to his statement that he was going to ask Amanda to marry him.

The doorbell chimed before she could respond and they both got off the couch to answer. Jon opened the door to see a grinning Richie and a beautiful dark red haired woman, about five feet eight inches tall in her high heels. He and Richie shook hands as Richie motioned for Patricia to enter. The woman looked at the two in front of her and for a few moments her smile seemed frozen.

Trish was maintaining a tight grip on her tongue by sheer willpower. Within a second of the door opening she had realized who was standing in front of her and while the words “oh my god!” careened around like crazy pin balls inside her head, she kept her jaw tightly clenched.

Jon closed the door and Richie helped Patricia off with her coat. He turned and placing a hand on the small of her back, he introduced her.

“Jon, Amanda, this is Patricia Russo. Trish, this is Jon and Amanda.”

Amanda reached out and shook Patricia’s hand and smiled warmly at her.

“I’m really pleased to meet you, Patricia.”

Trish smiled and murmured ‘pleased to meet you’ in response. Jon took her hand then and shook it lightly.

“Nice to meet you, Patricia, glad you could join us.” He released her hand and put his arm around Amanda.

Their entirely normal greeting penetrated Patricia’s frozen mind and she relaxed, leaning back a bit against Richie’s hand.

“Thank you for inviting me.” She was relieved her voice sounded completely like her own.

“Hey sweetie…” Richie called out as he leaned over to kiss Amanda’s cheek.

She grinned hugely at him as she returned his kiss.

“Hey yourself! Come on in you two, how about a glass of wine?” She motioned towards the living room as Jon moved to the wet bar looking at the two for their answer.

“Sure, red for me.” Richie answered, turning to Patricia.

“Red also, please.” She answered as they moved to opposing couches.

The three sat as Jon brought over the two glasses for the newcomers.

He looked at his watch.

“We’ve got a little time. It’s only 7:30 and the reservation is for 9:30. We just need a little more than an hour to get there.” He settled himself on the couch, his arm comfortably about Amanda’s shoulders.

“Where are we going? Richie didn’t tell me yet.” Patricia asked the three, her eyes traveling from one to the other.

“Buddakan…you like Asian?” Jon answered, sipping from his wine.

“Very much! I’ve never been there before, though.” She drank from her own glass, grateful for the soothing liquid.

They made small talk about the restaurant and food in general for a few minutes until a soft curse from Richie was heard.

“Holy shit, Kidd, you did it!” Richie’s grin was a mile wide as he looked at Amanda’s hand and then at Jon’s face.

Amanda blushed lightly at Richie’s enthusiastic remarks as he suddenly got up and walked to her side. He pulled her into his arms and kissed her cheek, stepping to the side to shake Jon’s hand.

Jon’s grin was dazzling as he looked at his friend and Amanda. Richie shook his head and moved back over to the couch beside Patricia.

“So…when?” He asked, looking from one to the other.

“Last night…” Jon answered, still smiling, reaching for Amanda’s hand.

“Who knows?”

Another smile met him.

“You.”

“Oh…” Richie trailed off.

“Who are you telling?” He asked suddenly.

Another grin.

“You…” Jon answered, “Until I can tell Dot and the kids.”

Jon shot Patricia a crooked smile.

“Would you mind not spreading the good news just yet?”

Trish nodded at him and Amanda, seeing their smiles and answering with one of her own in return.

“May I see it?” She looked between the two.

Amanda held out her hand as the other woman took it. Richie also had a look, raising an eyebrow at Jon in admiration.

“It’s beautiful.” Patricia nodded her appreciation.

“It’s amazing…” Amanda’s voice held a trace of awe.

“How long have you two known each other?” Trish asked them.

Jon looked thoughtful for a few seconds, then answered her.

“A little over two months.”

Amanda chuckled then as she spoke.

“He sorta swept me off my feet…”

Both men laughed then, remembering exactly how the two had met.

Jon continued. “She sorta saved my life…”

Richie laughed harder then, shaking his head at Trish’s look of puzzlement.

Amanda blushed then and shushed the men.

“If you two start embarrassing me again…” she threatened.

Both men raised their hands simultaneously in the same gesture and that started the women laughing at how alike they were at that moment.

Amanda stood, gathering the empty wine glasses and taking them to the kitchen. Jon and Richie glanced at the other and got up, moving toward the door. They exited the home to the waiting limo and began their night out.

~~~

Sitting cozily against Jon on the drive into the city, Amanda listened as Richie and Trish talked and joked with each other. She was starting to really like the woman Richie had brought with him. Big improvement over Jackie! She grimaced a little at the reminder of her and what she suspected about her mysterious “package”. She had never shared her suspicions with Jon as she just didn’t want Richie to find out something like that about someone he had been seeing.

Laughter and small talk filled the evening as the four were driven in to the city. At some point during the ride, Richie had taken hold of Patricia’s hand and rested both comfortably on his knee. Jon and Amanda were sitting together, his arm around her shoulders as she leaned back against him.

They arrived at the restaurant and were let out at the entrance. Settling into the their booth, Jon on the right of Amanda and Richie on the left of Patricia, the four got comfortable and the women chatted as the men ordered drinks and appetizers. Both women were looking around, amazed at the colors in the room and the elegance of the furnishings.

Dinner was a huge success, however, Amanda found herself making an effort to keep her left hand under the table, keeping the ring in the shadows. She had heard what Jon said about telling Dot and the kids first and she was more aware these days of the photographers that seemed to find these guys almost no matter where they went. She did NOT want to have to deal with Jon’s mother again over something that wasn’t her fault. Well, accepting Jon’s proposal might be my “fault”, but not photographers!

Richie and Patricia said their good-byes to the other two as they left the restaurant after retrieving Trish’s bags from the back of the car. They were going to take a cab to her apartment.

“You sure you two don’t want a lift in the limo?” Jon asked with a sparkle in his eyes.

A wicked smirk fleetingly passed Richie’s lip before he answered.

“Nah, I can get a cab from there to your place. You’re staying here tonight, right?” He knew Jon would probably stay at his apartment here rather than drive back this late to his home.

“Yeah, we’ll be there and you’ve got a key…” Jon left that statement hanging.

A nod from Richie was Jon’s only answer as he grinned again and helped put Trish’s bags in the cab trunk. With a hug between the two women and a wink at Jon, they were off.

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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