John Francis - Chapter 198

Monday, December 1, 2008 at 4:12 PM

Sharon was right on time the next morning and Amanda was ready for her shopping expedition. After starting their morning with hot coffee, they were both ready for a busy day ahead. Jon had arranged for a driver for the women so they didn’t have to worry about traffic or parking. He had a late meeting in the city, but the timing was such that he would have to drive to the house himself. Sharon’s car would be left in the parking garage of his building as she was staying overnight with a friend, while Amanda would be driven back to the New Jersey house.

Sharon and Amanda had been riding for about a half hour, talking about the upcoming events and what type of clothing she would need when suddenly Sharon’s eyes widened and she stopped in mid sentence. She quickly glanced away and tried to resume normal conversation, but her eyes kept cutting to Amanda’s hand. It took a few moments as Amanda wasn’t looking at her at that exact moment, but hearing the hesitation she glanced back and caught Sharon’s look.

A small laugh escaped her as she looked at Jon’s assistant.

“Yeah, still surprises the heck outta me too!” She smiled at the startled look on Sharon’s face.

“You two…?” Sharon managed to get out.

“He asked, I said yes…he said that meant we were engaged.” Amanda expected a smile from Sharon and was a little surprised that her face continued to register shock.

Amanda frowned. “Sharon?”

Snapping out of her daze, Sharon gave a chagrined smile.

“I’m sorry! I was just surprised. Congratulations Amanda.”

Still with a slight frown on her face, Amanda nodded but felt there was more to the woman’s reaction.

“Sharon, please be straight with me. What’s wrong?”

Shaking her head, Sharon tried to make up for her faux pas of a few moments ago.

“I really am happy for you. It’s just I was thinking about the media, when they get wind of this. Does Dorothea know?” She asked unthinkingly before almost slapping her hand over her mouth.

“Of course…she, Eric, and the kids were the first to know. He asked me last week, but I didn’t wear the ring until after we had talked to everyone.”

“You didn’t wear…?” Sharon was even more surprised. The ring was amazing and she couldn’t imagine taking something like that off once it had been put on.

Knowing that Sharon had been Jon’s assistant for many years, privy to some of his most intimate issues due to her handling of his scheduling among many other things, Amanda gave a little more information than she would have normally.

“Sharon, I’m not after Jon’s money or his fame. I really love him and I didn’t think that would happen again in my life.”

At Amanda’s words, Sharon reached out and took one of her hands.

“Oh, I’m sorry! That’s not what I meant at all! Damn! I screwed this up, didn’t I? I’ve seen him over the past year and since he’s been with you and he’s happy again. It’s just…” she hesitated.

“It’s just what? Sharon…it’s okay, please just say what you mean.” Amanda urged.

“It’s just you’re gonna need a tough skin to be in his life, Amanda. Women used to crawl over Dorothea to get to Jon and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. And Jon can be gone for a long periods of time and…” She stopped as Amanda interrupted.

“I probably can’t do anything about the women crawling over me to get to Jon, but he’s not going to be alone anymore. He wants me to be with him, to travel, go to events, and I want to.”

Sharon gave a rueful smile. “Then, honey, you’d better develop that thick skin because this…” and she gestured to Amanda’s hand, “…is gonna be big news and when you get married…”

“Okay, I think I’m beginning to understand. By the way, I’ll take any help I can get, alright?” Amanda smiled at Sharon who nodded back.

Inside Sharon was thinking she has no idea.


Arriving at the exclusive shop called Christine’s, the limo dropped the two women off. They assured the driver they would call when they were ready to be picked up.

Entering the store, Amanda felt her eyes widen at the open yet cheerfully cluttered layout of the shop. A saleswoman in her 20’s came to their assistance, then nodded when Sharon asked if Christine was available. A few minutes later they were interrupted in their browsing by an elegantly coiffed woman in her mid-50’s who smiled as she approached.

“Sharon! How nice to see you again. And who have you brought to me?” The deeply rich cultured voice asked as she looked from one to the other.

“Christine, it’s a pleasure to see you too. This is Amanda and she needs some very special items.”

Amanda shook the woman’s hand as they were introduced. Christine backed up a few steps and looked at Amanda carefully from head to toe.

“Size 8, yes?” She asked, quirking a brow.

“No, a 10.” Amanda smiled in reply.

Christine shook her head. “I am seldom wrong about these things. You are an 8.” She looked at Sharon. “Formal?”

Sharon nodded. “At least five, as well as cocktail, luncheon wear, dressy casual…”

Nodding her head as she listened, Christine concluded, “…she needs a press wardrobe, yes?”

Amanda tried to interrupt. “It’s just some dinners and lunches and…” She trailed off as both women looked at her.

Crooking a finger, Christine pointed her toward one of the dressing rooms. “I’ll bring them to you. You get undressed.”

Throwing Sharon a rather nonplussed look, Amanda followed the woman’s instructions and began two hours of sheer delight. Christine had exquisite taste and had decided that Amanda needed jewel tones, ranging from deep amethyst to emerald green. She found to her surprise that she did wear a size 8 and had to laugh when Christine just rolled her eyes at her as if to say, “of course I was right!”.

She ended up with six formal length gowns, eight cocktail dresses, and an assortment of other dressy casual clothes that would cover most occasions. Shoes, handbags, and jewelry were added to match the outfits and when Amanda began to protest at the additions, Sharon related that she was under strict instructions as to what items were to be purchased. Shaking her head at the stubbornness of both Jon and his assistant, Amanda just grimaced internally at the cost and went ahead with the business of being outfitted.

Sharon paid for the purchases with Jon’s card and Amanda shook her head again at the total.

“I love the clothes, Sharon, but…” Amanda began protesting, but stopped as Sharon regarded her closely.

“Amanda, these are just a few items you’re going to need. Jon has so many upcoming events I can’t even begin to list them all. These will get you started.”

“I guess I haven’t checked his schedule lately…”

Laughing a little at that, Sharon assured her all information was updated, she just needed to look.

Christine laughed then also and then handing the bags and boxes to the women, she spoke quietly to Amanda.

“May I offer my congratulations to you both.”

Amanda smiled at the woman who had been so helpful. “Thank you.”

As they exited the store and Sharon called the limo driver to drop off their packages, Amanda casually asked what she had been thinking when Christine had greeted Sharon like an old friend,

“So, do you shop there much?”

Sharon shot her a look, slightly confused. “No, just a few times.”

“It just seemed Christine knew you pretty well.”

“Oh, yeah, well…I have been there before to get things for Dorothea…” Sharon realized where Amanda was going with her questioning. “I’ve never been there for anyone else, just to pick up things for Dorothea and occasionally for myself on special occasions.”

Amanda laughed ruefully. “I’m that transparent, huh?”

“No, but I would be wondering too. I think it’s a woman thing!”

The driver pulled up then and loaded their bags as the two women turned to the other and said at almost the same moment “coffee!” and headed off to a nearby Starbucks.


  1. Opester Says:

    I wanna be Amanda! I wanna be Amanda! Shopping and Jon? So not fair!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Bayaderra Says:

    ROFLMAO! I'll second what Opester said! "I'll have what she's having!" On the serious note, I hope Sharon will become Amanda's friend and help her navigate Jon's rocky world.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I agree-I want to be Amanda, too! I am still concerned about who is after her, though.


  4. Anonymous Says:

    Could you just imagine that kind of shopping - No rumaging through racks. Stuff hand picked for you and of course it all fits perfect and looks beautiful - oh yeah and cost is not a factor. Oh to dream - yeah I wanna be Amanda too.
    Thanks for the new chapter. Can't wait for Jon to see her all dolled up. Also hope Amanda can withstand the pressure. Anxious for more.

  5. What an amazing "pretty woman" moment... I WANT ONE TOO!!!

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