John Francis - Chapter 195

Monday, November 17, 2008 at 9:02 AM


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 cliché of the letter inside. Oh for god’s sake! Cut out newspaper letters? She stopped laughing as she read.


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.”


  1. Anonymous Says:

    That was a wonderful response that Dot had..

    Why isn't Amanda sharing the threats she is receiving? She's been seriously hurt twice already and is still taking chances?


  2. Opester Says:

    Good grief! Is there no relief for Jon and Amanda? I sure hope that Jackie gets hers-it was so great to see Amanda stand up to her-I just hope she isn't going to have to pay for her assertiveness. She really needs to tell Jon, tho, even if she doesn't share her suspicions-he can't protect her if he doesn't know!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    OMG if Jon finds out about the private dective and then if it comes out that it is actually Mrs B sending Amanda that hateful stuff that will be the end of the line - I doubt Jon could ever forgive her after all that. Hmmm but maybe it's not Mrs B and it's not Jackie either - maybe it's some scary psycho fan that's going to try to harm Amanda. Oh she really needs to tell Jon about this NOW!!!!!

  4. Kiwigirljbj Says:

    Ohh now Amanda has just gotta let Jon know, after all, she is now doing what she has asked Jon 'not to do'. She has to let him know about the threats.

    I just love how you write, you really take the reader in and i can picture all of it in my head, just wonderful.

    So looking forward to reading new chapters!

    Maxine :-)

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