John Francis - Chapter 211

Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 7:00 PM
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Jon’s eyes took in the woman standing in front of him, saw her own light enhanced by the warm reflected rays of the fading sun. Her smile as she saw Jon standing there widened and radiated with her love.

“Nice day baby?” He asked as he kissed her cheek.

“Amazing day. Thank you.”

Jon had a wine at the ready and sipping the chilled white, tasting the light almost not there barest hint of fruit, she smiled her approval of his choice. They sat in companionable silence for a few minutes, both turning to watch the waves as they rolled onto the shore. There were a few people still on the beach, catching the last of the rays, while some were gathering towels and moving toward the hotel.

“Ready for dinner?” His words, spoken softly, brought her thoughts back to the man across from her.

“Sure. Here?”

“No, somewhere else. Let’s go.” He pulled her chair out and they walked from the room.

Expecting to be led to the main entrance of the hotel and a waiting car, Amanda was surprised to be taken to a hallway that apparently led to a series of rooms. Glancing quickly at his watch, Jon smiled and then opened one of the doors. Amanda stepped in to see a crowd of people, all yelling “SURPRISE!”. She started laughing as she saw who was there. It seemed Jon had been busy.

Along with her mother, Susan, and a few of her other close girlfriends, there was Richie, Patricia, Tico, Alejandra, Hugh, Kelli, David, Jen, Obie, Chris, Matt and Tony and their wives, Richie’s mom, and a few others in attendance. She gave a gasp of surprise as her legs were suddenly tackled by a small set of arms. Looking down she saw Romeo and then the rest of Jon’s children along with two women who appeared to be their nannies. Quickly giving and receiving hugs and kisses, she was moved through the crowd, birthday wishes coming from all her friends and family.

Jon stood back a little, watching Amanda’s reactions to the evening he had planned for her. He caught Richie’s eye and saw his friend wink at him, a big grin on his handsome face. Working his way over to Jon, he moved through the mingling crowd, ruffling Romeo’s hair as he passed by. He reached Jon and stood at his side. They both watched for a few minutes.

“Did she suspect anything?” Richie asked without turning his head.

“Nah, not a thing.” Jon’s grin was wide enough that Richie caught it from the corner of his eye.

“Ya did good, bro’…real good.” Richie also grinned as he spoke.

Jon had sent the plane for everyone from the New York and New Jersey area, while Amanda’s mother and her friends were picked up and driven to the hotel. The only people who had declined were Dorothea and Eric and his parents. He could understand Dot’s reasons and appreciated that she had allowed the kids to come without a fuss; however, his parents were another story.

His dad had relayed the information that Carol wasn’t feeling well and didn’t want to travel, but he was fairly sure she wasn’t as sick as she made out as evidenced by her normal-sounding voice when he called to check on her. Hearing laughter from others in the room, he shook off his dark thoughts and got back into the moment.

“Jon?” A woman’s voice and the touch of a hand on his arm brought him turning to his other side.

“Hi Jennifer…” A warm smile and a flash of white greeted Amanda’s mother.

“You really surprised her. Thanks so much for doing this.” She squeezed the strong forearm in her hand as she spoke.

Jon put his hand over her smaller one, patting it as he widened his smile. His eyes traveled from the mother to the daughter. He watched her for a few minutes as smiled at something Susan said then threw her head back in laughter, a hand reaching to cover a smile that wouldn’t stop even as her eyes twinkled with another.

He inclined his head toward Jennifer, speaking almost from the corner of his smile.

“I love hearing her laugh.”

Nodding her head, watching her daughter intently, she leaned towards Jon.

“Me too.”

Jon gave a slight lurch as Romeo, who seemed to think he was suddenly a linebacker, grabbed him. A quick step forward saved him as he turned to find Romeo firmly attached.

“Hey big guy! Come here!”

Romeo giggled as he was swept up high by his father, then settled against a hip. Jon almost winced at the stickiness that met his cheek, but the sweetness of the kiss that accompanied it turned the wince into a smile. His youngest beamed at him as he pulled back from the kiss.

“Dad?” Bright eyes met those of his father.

“Yeah?”

His son’s emphatic “Bathroom!” was accompanied by a point of his finger and a wiggle to get down.

A wry grin from Jon was all that was needed for Jennifer to break out into a big smile. She laughed at the expression on his youngest son as he tugged his father’s hand.

“Better hurry!”

Those legendary blue eyes rolled as he allowed himself to be pulled from the room.

Susan glanced up to see Jon being led out the door to the room by his son and Jennifer watching them with a fond smile. She moved over to her and gave a small chuckle of her own at Romeo’s nonstop talk. She figured it was the last rather frantic “Dad! Come on!” that did it.

“Hey mom…you having fun?”

Jennifer turned to her daughter’s friend, a big grin still on her face.

“Yeah…I am. He’s really good with those kids, isn’t he?” Her gaze traveled once again to the closed door, before turning to Susan.

“This is the first time I’ve seen him with them, but I’m thinking that’s a yes.”

“How’s our girl doing?” Jennifer nodded toward her daughter.

“She’s having a blast. Just got out of the spa here and says they have a gorgeous room, so…” Susan trailed off as she also watched Amanda beaming at those around her.

Amanda saw two of the people she loved most talking to the other and excused herself to walk over. Hands on her hips, she cocked her head at them.

“And what are you two talking about?”

Susan quickly piped up.

“You, of course!”

Raised eyebrows met that.

“Oh? And I’m that interesting suddenly? Hmmm?”

“Hell yeah, girl! Haven’t seen you for weeks and in the meantime you’ve gotten engaged! I’d say that’s interesting.” Susan’s voice was teasing as she smiled at her friend.

Before she could respond to that, she was grabbed from behind by a small figure. She gave a slight lurch forward and reached out a hand, catching Susan’s. Turning to look behind her, she grinned at Jon’s littlest one.

“Hey Romeo! Where’d you go?”

“Bathroom. With daddy.” He let her go and turned to look around.

“Where’s Jakey?” His eyes found his brother and he dashed off before she could answer, a young woman quickly following him.

Jon came up behind her then, his arm slipping around her waist as he pulled her back to him.

Looking at the other women, he nodded towards the table.

“You ladies ready to eat?”

~~~

The birthday dinner was over and most of the guests were in the bar. Jon had offered a room to both Susan and Jennifer and they had accepted. Even Tico and Alejandra were staying over at the beautiful hotel, although Tico lived extremely close. Their son was with his nanny and their evening was free.

Drinks and laughter flower throughout the elegant room as the guys delighted in telling Amanda’s mother some of the stories about her. She found herself threatening one then the other with bodily harm when they were in the midst of some tale that usually found her at the losing end. Her mother exhibited a laugh close to Amanda’s when she heard what her daughter’s friends were telling her.

“You punched him?” Jennifer turned wide eyes to her child.

“Well, yes, but not very hard.” Amanda stuttered as those who had witnessed the event roared.

“Uhm, excuse me, it was my stomach.” Jon turned to look at Amanda, squinting his eyes as he did so. “It was hard.”

“Oh yeah, right! Like I really hurt THAT stomach!” Amanda retorted before what she said reached her own ears.

They all laughed at the blush that consumed her.

Jon flashing his stomach to the room at that moment didn’t help.

9 comments

  1. Bayaderra Says:

    Wellcome back Sun!!!!
    Very nice and sweet chapter. We need to send our men to the Bongiovi school of charm so they could learn how to treat their women!
    But, uhmmm, Sun, I'm in SEVERE JF withdrawal...I need more then one chapter to satisfy my needs... LOL!

  2. jerseygirl Says:

    Welcome back Sun!!!! You have no idea how much I missed you, and JF. Loved the chapter, I like seeing them all mingle as a big group. More please, one chapter isn't enough. :-)
    ~Rachel

  3. jovial Says:

    Yay! You're back! Great chapter!

  4. Kris Says:

    Yesss! She's back...great idea Jon, great idea...but when will Carol finally come around? Stubborn woman.

  5. Sandy Says:

    Welcome Back, you were definitely missed! And your back with a great chapter as always. Thank you!

  6. Rue Says:

    Welcome back. You've been missed!
    Thanks for another great chapter!

  7. Alice Faye Says:

    wow came on here and here you are. great chapter full of laughs and sweetness. Man where can I find a man like JF?

  8. Kay Says:

    Yay! Finally, a new chapter!

    Don't you just hate problems with the puter?

    Glad to have you back.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    So excited to see another chapter. What a sweet chapter too.

    Beth

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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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