John Francis - Chapter 201

Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 9:39 PM
WOW! I had no idea this would go on so long (too long according to some!) and that there would be so much more to go. Thank you all very much for sticking with me and I hope you decide to stay for the rest. Thanks for reading, for your comments, and for helping me have a heck of a lot of fun!


Outside the restaurant one of the female field reporters was going over some of the footage of the night, seeing if the shots of people going in were good enough, when she suddenly stopped the camera tech.

“Wait! Back it up about ten seconds…no, no, okay…hold it!” She leaned closer to the monitor and after pointing to an area on the screen, the tech sharpened the focus.

“Holy Hope diamond, Batman!” She mumbled out loud as the small crew gathered around her.

She pointed, touching the screen. “Do you all see that?” They nodded at her, the feel of a scoop vibrating in the air.

Glancing at the other two, she commanded. “Get ready.”

Unfortunately for her, she wasn’t alone in her discovery. Murmurs started to fill the air outside as one after another of those present with digital cameras or film were reviewing their shots and preparing their new stories.


The remainder of the evening passed quickly as those present mingled, talking about the new season, the upcoming charitable projections, and just every day catching up with friends and associates.

Patricia was charmed over and over again by Richie’s easygoing manner and how he frequently threw in jokes and wisecracks. She found herself watching him as he talked with some of the players, realizing they were as comfortable with him as he was with them. She wondered if there was any situation he could be in where he wouldn’t be at ease.

Jon and Amanda made the rounds also, receiving congratulations wherever they stopped as the news had traveled fast throughout the room. Once again Amanda found herself inundated with a barrage of new names and faces and she felt as if a permanent smile was etched on her face. Excusing herself at one point, she traveled the length of the room to the bathrooms where she could gain a few minutes respite.

After using the facilities, she was washing her hands at the sink when the door opened and Patricia walked in around the corner of the entrance. A woman exited one of the stalls, smiled and said hello as she washed her hands, then headed for the exit. Waiting for the almost silent ‘snick’ of the door, Patricia and Amanda’s eyes met and both woman gave a sigh at finding a familiar face. Rolling her eyes, Amanda grinned.

“Got any tricks for remembering a gazillion names?” Her voice was full of laughter as her question was met by a shake of Patricia’s head.

“You too, huh?” Trish asked, pantomiming an exaggerated heartbeat.

“Ooh yeah, I’m good with the people at the table, but the rest…I think I’m gonna have to use the internet and start checking out the Soul website.” Amanda shook her head, thinking about all the people she had met tonight, including the players and their wives and girlfriends.

Her voice full of amazement, Patricia began relating how she had seen Richie just charm his way through the room, so comfortable with everyone.

“He is one of the most likeable people I’ve ever met. I can see why he and Jon have been friends for so many years.” Amanda replied, grinning a little at the look on Trish’s face, that of pure enchantment.

Cocking her head, she continued. “You really DO like him, don’t you?”

Patricia blushed lightly and cast her eyes down to the floor and then back to Amanda’s face.

“He’s…I’m…it’s…” she took a deep breath. “…he’s really great, Manda, not at all how I expected somebody so famous to be.”

Nodding in agreement, Manda answered her. “They are just so…normal…” she laughed then, “…until they’re NOT, but that always comes as a surprise…”

Laughing herself, Patricia agreed, then changed the subject to a question she had wanted to ask for the last hour.

“At the table, that woman…?”

A huge eye roll answered her question. “That was Jackie. I met her a few weeks ago and she was pretty rude. Tico’s wife, Alejandra, called her on it and I think Richie dumped her that night…or it was mutual…either way it seems that was an attempt to cause Richie some embarrassment. Sorry to interfere, but I just couldn’t let her get away with a snarky comment.”

With a small frown on her face, Patricia replied, “I didn’t mind that, Richie said pretty much the same thing you just did, but I think you surprised him. He said you usually didn’t say things like that.”

“Just because I don’t usually go on the attack with people doesn’t mean I’m a pushover. I’m just not a quick to anger kind of person, that’s all.” Amanda’s voice was firm as she answered.

“Well, thanks just the same. She doesn’t seem like the nicest of people.”

“Not from what I’ve seen anyway.” Amanda answered quietly.

Grinning suddenly, Patricia whispered, “So, how does it feel to be engaged to Jon Bon Jovi?”

Gasping at that, Amanda started to reply. “I’m not engaged to…oh hell, whether I think of him as John Francis or not, he is Jon Bon Jovi, isn’t he?”

Laughing now, Patricia nodded her head vigorously. “Yep, and that guy I’m here with is Richie Sambora. Just pinch me now, okay?”

“Nah, I heard how you two met. I think he liked that you didn’t know who he was at first. And then you didn’t freak out when you did.”

“What about you and Jon? Did you ‘freak out’ when you met him? I mean, Richie hasn’t really told me anything about that.” Patricia asked, curious as to Amanda’s first reaction to Jon.

A surprising blush rose up to cover Amanda’s face as she shook her head. “Yeah, I freaked out, but…well…oh hell, I will tell you, Trish, but not tonight and not here, okay?”

“Sure, another time. Wanna do a girls lunch?” Patricia invited spontaneously.

“I’d love to! Next week, okay?”

“Next week. Sounds great!”

Finishing touching up their lipstick, the women closed their purses, and gave one last look in the mirror.

“Ready?” Amanda asked.

“Yep, ready.” Patricia answered.

Neither heard the quick silent opening of the door as the reporter who had been in the bathroom when Amanda entered slipped out before the other two turned the corner.


Hurrying out to her news van, Debra Patterson could almost feel the blood pounding through her veins. Gathering her crew at the back of the van, she related what she had overheard.

“No shit! You heard the other woman SAY they were engaged?” This question came from the camera man as he prepped another camera.

“Definitely, the one named ‘Trish’ asked her and the other one – Amanda right?” She looked at her tech for confirmation and continued at his nod. “Amanda said she was, but she thought of him as John Francis.”

Wide eyes met her statement as she blurted out, “THAT’S the angle we’re gonna use for this! You guys ready?”

The two men nodded at her and quickly prepared what they needed.


Patricia and Amanda returned to the table where the others had gathered once again. Their men smiled at them in greeting as the women slipped into their chairs. Taking a sip of her wine, Amanda looked around the room seeing most everyone engaged in conversations of one sort or another. She was lost in thought when she realized that Jon was standing gathering his few items in preparation to leave. He held his hand out for her.

“Babe?” His voice was questioning.

“Oh, sorry.” She answered as she gathered her coat and bag. “I was just people watching.”

“You ready?” He held her coat as she put it on.

“Yes…thank you.” She nodded as she slipped on the coat. Looking across the table, she saw Richie and Patricia doing the same and moving towards them. The four said their goodnights to the people at their table and others as they moved to the entrance of the restaurant. As the men opened the heavy wooden doors to the outside, letting Amanda and Patricia walk thru first, the walkway exploded with camera flashes and both women stopped in their tracks, startled at the intensity of the lights. Jon and Richie moved up quickly after a fast glance at the other, taking a hand in each of theirs as they pulled the women gently to their sides.

“Jon! Over here! Jon!” The calling voices came from all sides as the cameras continued to flash.

“Jon! Are you engaged? When are you getting married? Amanda! How long have you been engaged? Jon! Richie! Did you know? When are they getting married?” The shouted questions continued as the four made their way to the waiting car.

Amanda stepped a little behind Jon at this barrage from the waiting reporters, keeping a small smile on her face and her eyes straight ahead. A squeeze of his hand was her only warning as he stopped, knowing he had to address this before the papers printed whatever they wanted. She squeezed his hand back, letting him know she was ready. Jon stopped and Amanda stood at his side. Together they faced the cameras and the questions.

A clear female voice cut through as soon as those waiting realized Jon was stopping to speak with them.

“Jon, Debra Patterson, WJNO, is it true you’re engaged?”

“Hi Debra, yes, Amanda and I are engaged.” Jon smiled an easy-going smile at her, knowing direct answers without elaboration were best.

“When did you ask her Jon?” A voice called out from the crowd.

“We’ve been engaged for a little over a week. There were other people we needed to tell first.” Jon replied, knowing from long experience where this was going.

“Is it true she calls you ‘John Francis’?” Debra called out before another reporter could be answered.

Turning towards the woman a little, a small frown flashed across Jon’s face as he considered his answer. With a quick decision, he laughed, smiling his huge press smile, and answered her.

“Yes, she does call me that sometimes. Just reminds me who I am underneath all this.”

The other reports laughed at this, most finding they were smiling back at Jon in reaction to his smile.

“You two met in Florida, right Jon?” Another voice filled the air. “How did you meet?”

“Yes, we met in Florida at a small restaurant near Tico’s home.” Jon answered, then scanned the crowd, anticipating another question.

“What does Dorothea say about your engagement Jon?” A voice from the back called.

“Dorothea is very happy in her new marriage and wishes us the best, as we did for her.” Jon replied. Amanda could hear a certain tone enter his voice now as the questions turned toward his ex-wife. The tone intensified when the next question concerned his children.

“What about your kids, Jon? Do they know they’re going to have a new step-mother?”

Jon took a breath to answer, but an overzealous reporter saved him by asking another question.

“Do you have children, Amanda?”

Feeling a slight jerk of her hand in his at the first real question directed at her, he again pressed his hand tightly against hers. She let out her breath and answered.

“No, I have no children.”

“You were married before, right?” Debra shot out.

“Yes, my husband was killed in a car accident.” Amanda answered, not quite realizing she was mimicking Jon by keeping her responses direct and to the point.

Richie had moved Patricia to the car during the time Amanda and Jon had stopped to answer some of the reporters and returned now, calling out that they needed to get to their appointment. Jon nodded at his friend, turning and moving toward the waiting car.

Knowing there was more to this story from what she had overheard in the ladies’ room, Debra took a gamble to ensure that she would stay on the good side of the temperamental Jon Bon Jovi. Her voice was clear as she called out to the departing couple.

“Congratulations to both of you!”

As she had hoped, her courtesy halted them in their tracks and she gave a silent prayer that her cameraman was ready as Amanda and Jon turned and provided the best photograph of the night. Their smiles were genuine, their eyes bright, and their hands intertwined. Cameras again flashed and with a wave the two were in the car and it was pulling away.

A voice whispered in Debra’s ear.

“Good job, Deb. Got that one nailed.”

Debra smiled at her cameraman and nodded.

“We need to get research on this.” He inclined his head at her in agreement.

She whispered to herself.

“Oh yeah, there’s a story here.”


  1. Anonymous Says:

    Oh-you are spoiling me, Sunstreaked!!! I love all the new chapters this week and I am so glad that the story is going strong. I can't wait to see how all these hanging pieces-Jon's mom, some stalker or two out there, and the reporter's digging all pan out.

    I Love, love, love your story!!


  2. Anonymous Says:

    Oops-I almost forgot to tell you, The pictures you are posting with these chapters are great! Being somewhat new still, I haven't seen most of them before and I really love them (actually I really want to take them to work with me and just stare at them all day-but that's a different issue!)

    And I laughed when you used "snarky" in this chapter. I use that word at school frequently!!


  3. Anonymous Says:

    another great chapter - I'm loving all this - & No I don't think it's too long and I hope it continues for a good long while :)

  4. Bayaderra Says:

    Great chapter Sun!
    Love the bonding thats developing between Amanda and Trish. Had to laugh at that pesky reporter in the bathroom. Watch out for her, she maybe trouble! And Trish, yes Richie is all that and then some ;)

  5. Sandy Says:

    Thank you so much for all the new chapters. This story is great. Don't listen to those that say it is too long, there are more of us that love it and want you to keep going.

  6. I love it!! It's all gonna get interesting from here...

  7. jerseygirl Says:

    I'm a new reader and I finally caught up. I actually put off reading the last couple of chapters becuase I didn't want to be caught up and have to wait for more. In a little over a week and a half I read 201 chapters, so I hope you know that means that I expect that much every 2 weeks or so (just kidding...kida) I absolutely LOVE your story, and I hope it keeps going for another 200 chapters. I love your characters sooo much, I have to re-channel my own versions of the characters before I can write. The chapter I'm writing now I had to scratch like half of it becuase my main character had too much Amanda in her to be believable. lol I could go on for pages about everything I love about this story, but I'll spare you. The only other thing I'll say is don't keep me waiting too long. I'm thinking another 150 chapters by Christmas...sound good?


  8. Anonymous Says:

    I love the friendship between Trish and Manda - they deserve each other - and they will need each other in their upcoming relationship with the boys

  9. Y Says:

    Thank you so much you are a gifted stort teller, I never want this story to end, I feel that I know them all now.Amanda and Trish sound like they could be the best sisters in law, along with Dot. Nicely balanced by the wicked witch Carol.
    Looking forward to each new chapter,

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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.

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No harm of any sort is meant to the real people in the story and there is no disrespect intended towards anyone's family.

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