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.

7 comments

  1. Great chapter! Its nice to see Richie with a nice girl and that she and Amanda are getting along. I hope she is for real... Richie deserves a nice girl!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Great chapter-a nice relaxing evening out with no complications!!
    Glad everyone was able to have fun!

    Linda

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Oh thanks for the new chapter. Glad to see Richie has finally found someone "Real" she seems just like what he needs.
    Wondering when the pics of Amanda at the diner will surface?
    Cant wait for more :)
    Chris

  4. Kay Says:

    Glad to see Richie with a nice, real woman!

    Love the silent interplay between Jon and Richie.

    Jon's mom is gonna have a cardiac...

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Glad to see you are back - Richie deserves a "real" girl who cares for him - still waiting for more....
    Heike

  6. Shelly Says:

    So happy for Richie. Like Linda said it was nice relaxing evening out w/Jon and Amanda sharing a special moment w/their best friend.

    Mrs. B may die of a heart attack though when she finds out...LOL

  7. Anonymous Says:

    hoping we can get some more soon :)

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