John Francis - Chapter 200

Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 8:10 AM
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They quickly returned to the waiting men who were already talking to Craig Spencer, the other majority owner of the Soul, and Ron Jaworski, the team president. Introductions were made and Amanda immediately sensed the genuine friendship that existed between these men. Richie was also a member of the ownership group, something neither Amanda nor Patricia found surprising.

Moving into the bar area, the group found Joe Krause, the Soul director of sales, and Matt D'Orazio, the arena bowl winning quarterback, getting drinks. The women were introduced to the two and Jon was given a friendly slap on the back from D'Orazio, the 6’4” man a large figure next to Jon’s shorter height and smaller frame. Amanda ordered a white wine, while Patricia opted for a red. Jon and Richie got their own drinks and moved into the center of the restaurant.

A hum seemed to go through those gathered as Jon and Richie entered, the two women at their sides. Most of those present were friendly with the two men, but there was still a level of celebrity that had been attained by these two that coupled with their presence commanded the attention of those gathered. Making the rounds, Jon and Richie split up, taking different sides of the room. Amanda was introduced over and over again and had more names thrown at her than she could possibly remember, but she was pleasantly surprised at how nice everyone was and felt herself relaxing, her grip of Jon’s hand lessening as the evening progressed.

Seated a while later at a table that included Craig Spencer, Leo Carlin (also a member of the ownership group), Rich Lisk (the general manager), Ron Jaworski, Richie, Patricia, and the spouses of the other men, the talk centered around the 2009 season and the upcoming February All-Access Party at The Franklin Institute, the 2009 Open Practice, and the Season Ticket Holder Invite. Amanda was a little taken aback by all these scheduled events and gave a silent “thank you” to Sharon for taking her shopping. She resolved right then to pay much more attention to the schedule that was updated on her phone, realizing she would need all the advance notice she could get.

Richie was attentive to Patricia during the dinner, turning to her frequently to make sure she was not left out of the conversation and answering her questions about arena football, a game she also was unfamiliar with. Seated next to Jon, Craig turned at one point and gave his partner a wide smile and a nod.

“I can see congratulations are in order.” His voice was low and did not carry as he talked to Jon.

A wide smile met his words as Jon nodded and nudged Amanda to include her in the conversation.

Craig smiled at her also. “Congratulations Amanda.”

“Thank you, Craig.” She answered him softly, realizing he was the first outsider to say anything to them.

Perhaps subconsciously she had been keeping her left hand down, either against her side when standing or in her lap during dinner. Cutting her food had made using her left hand inevitable and she figured she shouldn’t be surprised that other people had noticed.

Not having heard something before, Craig inclined his head toward Jon.

“How long?” He asked, again smiling.

Jon grinned back. “About a week now. And, no…” he answered before Craig could ask, “…the press haven’t found out yet.”

Craig nodded. “Ahh…got it.” He had been a friend and partner of Jon’s long enough to know how he felt about his private life and those in it.

“Well, that’s really good news…” He started, when Jaworski’s voice across the table called out to them.

“What’s good news?”

Quickly glancing at Jon, Craig answered.

“That most of the players from 2008 are signed again for the new season.”

Jaworski grinned at that.

“Oh, thought you might have meant those two getting engaged.”

The table was suddenly silent as every eye turned toward Amanda and Jon.

Smiling a crooked grin at Jaworski, Jon answered him.

“Leave it to you, Jaws, to bring the conversation to a stop!”

Laughter broke out when Richie started humming the theme to the movie “Jaws”.

“Dunh, dunh…dunh, dunh…dunh, dunh, dunh, dunh…”

He suddenly stopped and “oofed” at an elbow to the ribs from Trish. More laughter was heard then as she had not been subtle about it.

Jon threw back his head and laughed. “Rich, man, I think that one’s smarter than you. I’d be careful.”

Richie grinned at his friend. “You know me, man, I’m always careful.”

At that Amanda started laughing. “Oh please! Here speaks the man who needs followed around with a wooden spoon to stop his mouth!” She glanced at the others who while not knowing exactly what she meant seemed to understand why she would say it.

Craig decided to join the teasing.

“I see she knows you, Richie. Yeah, we have to practically hog tie him to get him to sit and listen in the meetings.” He nodded at the other men, who grinned back, knowing Richie’s penchant for injecting a smart-ass remark whenever possible.

Richie’s face reddened at bit that that before he recovered and laughed.

“Hey, don’t hate me because I can multi-task.”

Jon laughed harder. “I think it’s called Attention Deficit Disorder these days, bro’.”

In deference to the other ladies present, Richie refrained from shooting Jon the finger, but raised an eyebrow, indicating his “brother” would pay for that one.

‘Jaws” had listened to this byplay, but as was his nature, returned to finish the ‘meal’.

“Congratulations, you two.” Ron called out over the remaining laughter, the others joining in to add their best wishes.

Jon shook his head at Jaworski’s single-mindedness, but both he and Amanda grinned and smiled at the words of those at the table.

The conversation returned to discussion about the Soul and after a few post-dinner speeches by Jon, Craig, and Bret Munsey, the head coach, about the championship win and the upcoming season, the rest of the evening was spent socializing.

Having “worked the room” with Jon before the dinner, Amanda thought she had seen everyone who was there. There were roughly 150 people in the largish restaurant and between being introduced and one additional trip to the restroom, she thought she had seen everyone there. She was laughing at something Craig had said to Jon when she saw Jackie approaching with a man who looked about thirty years older than her. They neared the table, with Jackie tucking her hand possessively around the other man’s arm.

“Jon, Craig, how are you doing?”

Both men turned to see the new arrivals. Jacob Falcon was a businessman located in the Philadelphia area who had been a rather late arrival to the Soul. He was on one of their charitable boards and was in his late 60’s.

Jon’s smile had turned from genuine to press as he saw who was on Jacob’s arm.

“Jake! Nice to see you. Glad you could make it.”

Craig also added his hello’s, noting himself the sudden change in Jon’s expressive face.

“This is Jackie Parsons. Jackie this is Craig Spencer and of course Jon Bon Jovi.” Jacob introduced the men to Jackie.

“Nice to meet you, Craig. Jon and I are old friends.” Jackie purred out her greetings.

It was obvious to Jon that Jacob did not know the full history of Jackie’s comment. His eyes narrowed when she turned toward Richie and Patricia.

“Hey Richie…” Jackie began, throwing a contemptuous look at Patricia. “That’s the best you could do, hmmm?”

Patricia’s face reddened and Richie’s face began changing into a thundercloud as Amanda’s voice cut into the air.

“Yes, isn’t is amazing how much better you can do when you stop looking in the gutter?”

The heads of those present at the table all swiveled in her direction as she continued to look at Jackie who was now staring at her with open-mouthed astonishment. Continuing to meet Jackie’s eyes unflinchingly, the two women were locked in what seemed to be a staring contest. The silence at the table finally seemed to register in Jackie’s ears and she turned a deep shade of red at the barely hidden snickers that were beginning.

Craig’s voice was heard then speaking to Jacob as the others gave glances around and resumed conversation, deliberately trying to ignore what had happened. Jon glanced at Amanda who continued to stare at Jackie, refusing to back down until the other woman finally turned her head away from the table. She shot a quick glance at Richie who caught it and winked at her while continuing to talk to Trish. Craig and Jacob finished and the he and Jackie moved off to another table.

Once those two were out of earshot, small chuckles broke out amongst those who had heard the exchange. Ron “Jaws” Jaworski laughed as he looked at Amanda.

“Remind me to stay on your good side, sweetheart!”

Amanda grinned back at him.

“You aren’t the only one who has teeth, Jaws!” She teased him, hearing Jon and Richie join in the laughter. She glanced at Patricia then and saw her smile back. Obviously whatever Richie had said had put her at ease again.

While Jon and Craig talked, Jon continued to shoot glances Amanda’s way, wondering at her sharp rebuke. He had never heard that tone from her before and was a little surprised, but glad Jackie had been shut down in her attempt to start trouble with Richie in front of the others. When Craig turned to speak with another person who stopped by the table, Jon turned to her.

“I don’t think I want to be on your bad side either…” He teased, a grin crooking his lips.

She smiled back as she answered. “Sorry, but she’s a bitch and my limit is low on those.”

He laughed softly. “Glad I don’t get bitchy then…”

He stopped at the widening of her eyes as she struggled not to snort with laughter.

A deeper tone entered his voice as he looked at her.

“Why are you laughing? I do NOT get bitchy! Men do not get BITCHY!”

These low-toned statements just managed to set her off in peals of laughter at the expression on his face. Seeing others turn at her giggles, she waved a hand to show she wasn’t talking, but she did keeping grinning at the expression of outrage on Jon’s face.

She had almost managed to get herself under control when he leaned over and spoke in a whisper.

“I do NOT get bitchy!” He attempted to look affronted, but by the crook of his smile he failed to pull it off.

Amanda whispered back. “Men never think they get bitchy…but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…”

Her sudden explosion of laughter only made his duck lips stick out further.

8 comments

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Hey sun, good to have you back - nice to see the "other" side of Manda - ...
    Love your story,
    Heike

  2. Bayaderra Says:

    Happy 200th chapter Sun!!!!!

    Loved to see Amanda striking back at the bitch!
    Now, on to the next 200 chapters!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Happy 200th Sunstreaked! Still loving your story as much as Chapter #1!

    Someone remind me who Jackie was...I forget...

    Linda!

  4. AliceFayeNC Says:

    200 chapters!!!!!! thats like 100 times 2...100 + 100...300 - 100!

    okay that is as far as my math skills go.

    Once again loved the other side of amanda coming out...jon and the bitchy remark...looks like a duck...quacks like a duck...waddles like a duck...

    Super chapter!

    AF

  5. Anonymous Says:

    This used to be my fav fan-fic, but it seems like you're just dragging along now. Where is the plot going?

  6. Anonymous Says:

    my only comment is - EXCELLENT CHAPTER!!!! It has it all - Love this story :)
    hmmm wonder if Jackie saw the ring as is high tailing it to the rag mags.
    Chris

  7. FANTASTIC CHAPTER!! You really captured the personalities of the Soul guys. They are a great group.

    Congrats on 200 sweetie!! Looking forward to the next 200... LOL!

  8. jovikitn65 Says:

    Congrats on 200 chapters I know it's not an easy thing to achieve, but you did. Great job Sun : )

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