Chapter 217

Thursday, December 24, 2009 at 10:37 AM
Carol was sitting at her desk in the study of her home going over lists and plans for her son’s party the following night. She had rented out the BLT Market restaurant at the Ritz, arranging rooms for those who would be staying overnight after flying in and making sure that some of Jon’s favorite foods would be served.

She answered her phone distractedly.

“Hello?”

“Hey mom.” She heard Jon’s voice answer.

“Jon! Hi honey, what’s going on?” Carol checked off another item on one of her many note sheets as Jon spoke.

“Mom, did you call Amanda and tell her about the party tomorrow?” That brought Carol’s attention fully to her phone conversation as the truth was she was so frustrated with the lack of information from the PI she had hired that she had tried to put Amanda out of her thoughts.

Taking a breath, she answered her son.

“Jon, I’m sorry, I don’t think I did. I’ve been so busy, sweetie, with everything I think I forgot to call her. I think I thought you would tell her.” Carol made sure her tone of voice was contrite and she sighed out of earshot when Jon replied.

“I thought something like that might have happened. Don’t worry about it, mom. And thanks for doing everything.”

Smiling to herself, Carol finished the call, pleased that Jon had accepted her word. She actually had forgotten to call Amanda, but wasn’t surprised as she tried to think about her as little as possible.

Spending the remainder of her afternoon on the phone with caterers and a few of the many high profile guests who had been invited, Carol again wondered what it was about her son that made him not fully embrace the life he had earned for himself. With the right wife she felt there was no limit to what her son could achieve.

Congressman Jon Bongiovi.

Senator Jon Bongiovi.

Ambassador Jon Bongiovi.

A smile crossed her face as she contemplated what seemed to be the unlimited future for her eldest son.

Why not? If that actor, Schwarzenegger, can become governor of California, why not Jon?

Why not my son?

She had always believed Jon could do anything.

He just needs the right push.

The right wife.

She scribbled another note, this time to call the investigator after Jon’s birthday.

~~~

Amanda brought the packages into the house and carried them upstairs. The house was quiet and on her return to the kitchen she realized Jon and Richie were probably still in the studio. As Linda had weekends off, she called the men. A few words later, Richie let her know they had not yet eaten lunch and told them it would soon be ready.

They came in half an hour later still talking about the latest song they were working on. Grabbing drinks, the two men sat down to the sandwiches and chips Amanda had made. She joined them, listening quietly until Richie turned towards her.

“You packed for London?” He took a mouthful of his food. “Good sandwich.”

Smiling at his enthusiastic bite, Amanda answered.

“Yeah, all packed except for a few last things.” She shot Jon a look.

“You don’t own this plane, do you?”

He grinned around his own bite of food, finally have to settle for shaking his head no. Swallowing a sip of ice cold beer, he picked up a few chips as he caught her eye again.

“If it doesn’t say ‘Bon Jovi’ on the side, it isn’t mine.”

Something in the matter of fact way he spoke caused laughter to bubble up into Amanda’s voice.

“I’m not getting a tattoo that says ‘Bon Jovi’, Jon.”

Both men turned surprised eyes on her until the idea of tattoo’s on their women hit them and they started to laugh with her.

Feeling this was a good time to bring up the party the next day, Jon gave a last chuckle and spoke.

“I talked to mom this morning and she said she thought I was telling you about the party. I’m sorry I didn’t do that ‘cause I was thinking she would call you.”

“It’s all good, Jon.” Amanda nodded at him. “Sounds like it’s going to be great.”

He smiled then, a little relief mingled into it. “Yeah, mom does a great job with this kind of thing.”

Richie listened to this exchange, noticing how Jon took the blame on himself instead of sharing it with his mother. He wondered if in the long run this was the best thing to do.

~~~

Amanda spent the remainder of the afternoon going through the suitcase she had packed for their trip to London the day after Jon’s birthday. Somehow nothing she’d packed seemed right. Throwing down a pair of shoes in disgust at her indecision, she sat heavily in one of the chairs beside a large window.

Staring out at the snow-covered grounds of the home, she curled one leg underneath her as her mind wandered. For a reason she couldn’t yet find, the news of the party set against her own meager plans chafed. She didn’t begrudge Jon a party, but felt that she should have known somehow that he would have one. She realized that just because her family had always celebrated birthdays within the family, other people threw parties. And someone like Jon knew a lot of people.

Inadequate.

That was the feeling. She felt inadequate. How was she supposed to be a part of his life, his wife for god’s sake, if she couldn’t shake the small town girl? Her stomach gave a sudden roll, bringing her feet to the floor and her body poised to move. She sat there, willing the nausea to fade.

Stop it! You’ll learn. Stop making yourself sick over this!

Her stomach calmed and the moment passed, although a vague queasiness remained. The next hour was spent re-packing her suitcase and putting away the clothes she had discarded. With renewed determination she made herself be satisfied with her choices and closed the closet door. Giving a self-satisfied nod at the restored bedroom, she made her way downstairs.

There was no sign of the men and Amanda set about getting dinner ready for that evening. The chores of cutting up, mixing, measuring and heating took her mind off the fact that her stomach still did not feel all that well.

It never occurred to her that her nausea could be from something else.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Happy Holidays!

Chapter 216

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 5:29 PM
The next few days passed rather uneventfully with Richie and Jon in the studio most of the time. Amanda’s routine continued much the same. She was getting more used to always having someone with her when she went out and at times found herself letting them slip into the background while she shopped or went to a movie.

As Jon’s birthday approached, she found herself thinking constantly about what she could get him for a present.

What the hell can I possibly get him? What does he need? What does he want? Help!

March 1st found her lying in bed dozing after Jon had woken her an hour earlier, making love to her until she was breathless, and then kissing her softly as he left the room to go to the gym in his home.

Snuggling deeper into the covers to retain his warmth and scent, she let her mind wander. She was getting more and more anxious about the upcoming birthday. As far as she knew, no party was planned and her thought was taking him out to dinner and then a romantic evening at home. Today she would ask Richie if he had any plans that night so she could gently suggest he make himself scarce so the evening would not be disturbed.

Several minutes later following a quick shower and dressing in warm clothes, Amanda wandered downstairs for a cup of coffee. Meeting Richie at the coffee pot brought a smile to her face as she realized this would be a good time to talk to him.

“Good morning.” Richie raised his cup to her and then took a sip.

“Hi hon. How are you today?” Amanda poured the cream and took her own drink.

“Not bad for an old man.” He grinned at her as she looked him up and down, taking in the boots, jeans, deep blue opened shirt, and hair trinkets.

“Richie, you’re never gonna be old.” Amanda assured him. “You’re always gonna be you.”

“Yeah, but if I say that then I get to rag on Jon for getting up there too.” His eyes lit at that as he thought of all the sly comments he had been able to get in over the last few days while they were in the studio.

“I know, it’s tomorrow.” Amanda paused and then took the leap. “Richie?”

He turned to her and widened his eyes in question.

“About Jon’s birthday…” He nodded at her. “I thought I would take him out to dinner and then we might spend the evening together.”

Slowly setting down his cup, he took a deep breath.

“Manda, there’s a party set for tomorrow night. Jon’s mother arranged it.” His voice slowed as he saw a look enter her eyes. A sigh escaped him.

“You didn’t know about the party?”

Amanda shook her head, her eyes dropping to the floor. She felt foolish and embarrassed.

Of course Jon would be having a party.

Of course people would come for his birthday.

Of course she was an idiot.

Her jaw tightening in anger at herself, she raised her head.

“It’s okay, of course there’s a party for Jon.” She worked on relaxing her jaw and throat as she saw Richie looking at her intently.

“Where and when?” She turned to get another coffee as he answered her.

“The BLT Market at the Ritz-Carlton in Manhattan and we’re supposed to be there by seven.”

Richie stood there in the short awkward silence that followed, waiting for Amanda to answer him.

“That sounds great.” She rapidly drank her coffee, setting the cup down, softly on the counter.

Turning back to face Richie, she flashed a falsely bright smile and nodded at him.

“I have a few errands to run. See you later.”

Richie watched as Amanda left the kitchen without looking back, then set his cup on the counter and headed for the gym.

~~~

Jon was in the middle of his last set of weight reps when the blaring music that accompanied his workout was abruptly shut off. The sudden silence caused his head to whip around and he staggered a little under the weights until he saw it was Richie. He nodded and finished the set. The weights clinked as they hit the floor and Jon stood, grabbing a towel to wipe his face. A few deep breaths brought his breathing back under control.

“Hey man, what’s up?”

Continuing to lean against the wall beside the stereo, Richie’s eyes squinted slightly as he spoke.

“Did you tell Amanda about your birthday party?”

His lips pouting lightly in thought, Jon shook his head as he answered.

“No, I thought mom had called her. She said she was going to.” Jon heard his own words as he answered and his eyes quickly matched the narrowed look in Richie’s.

“We’ve been so busy writing I didn’t even think about her not saying anything. There’s gotta be some answer, Rich. Maybe mom tried and didn’t get her.”

Richie’s eyebrows raised slightly, but he said nothing. Jon wiped the back of his neck and nodded at his friend.

“I’ll talk to her. It was just a mistake, I’m sure.” He started to walk towards the door when Richie’s voice caught him.

“She’s gone out. Said she had some errands.”

Pausing briefly, Jon replied.

“Then I’ll catch her when she gets back. Let me shower and we’ll hit the studio again, okay?”

Jon didn’t wait for Richie’s answer, throwing back the door and heading towards the stairs.

Richie gave a half smile at Jon’s determination. When he was in a song writing mood, there wasn’t much that distracted him. He hoped it was a mistake, that Mom B. had tried, but his smile faltered when that thought didn’t quite ring true.

~~~

“Paul?” Amanda called out quietly to her bodyguard of the day.

“Yes Ma’am?” The large man moved quickly to her side.

A smile met him. “Would you mind taking some of these packages?”

Reaching out for the bags, Paul’s 6 foot 3 height towered over her. He was by far the largest of the men who went out with her and she had to admit that she always felt very safe when he was there.

Amanda had not tried to outdo anyone with her gifts for Jon. She had found a buttery leather jacket in a soft cream color and after having seen his battered briefcase, had replaced it with a new one of the same type. Her big surprise was arranging shipping of the motorcycle Jon had bought in Florida, with delivery scheduled for the following day.

As she wandered the shops, she found herself thinking about the birthday party the next day. She still felt foolish that she had assumed that someone of Jon’s stature would be happy to celebrate with just her. She was still so new in his life that she wouldn’t have known who to invite if she had thought of a party and again she felt a flush at knowing how inadequate her plans for Jon had been.

It wasn’t a feeling she was used to.

Chapter 215

Sunday, December 20, 2009 at 7:24 PM
Most of the adults were lounging around Tico’s living room after the kids had been taken back to the hotel by their nannies. They were all going their separate ways the next day, with Hugh and Kelli returning to their home, Richie and Patricia back to New York, David and Jen off on a short trip, and Jon and Amanda returning to Jersey. Tico and Alejandra were already home and planned to stay there for a little bit before they too went on a vacation.

Amanda was talking with her mother and Susan, trying to arrange a time when she could see them again. Giving Jon a quick glance to see he was deep in conversation with Richie, Susan asked a quiet question.

“Mands, did you two set a date yet?”

Surprised by the question, Amanda started to speak, stopped, then started again.

“No, not yet. This is really new, Susan. I’m not rushing anything.”

Jennifer nodded approvingly at her daughter.

“I think that’s a good idea, honey. Give it some time, get to know each other better.”

Jon calling out to Amanda for her to come over stopped whatever response she was going to make. With a quick smile, she walked over to the two men.

Susan and Jennifer exchanged looks, wondering if Amanda would heed her mother’s advice.

~~~

Sitting down at Jon’s side, Amanda turned an expectant smile towards the two.

“What’s up?”

Jon nodded his head at Richie and spoke.

“We’re planning on doing some writing over the next week or so and Richie’s gonna be staying at the house.”

Amanda smiled at them.

“Of course! But you don’t need my approval for that, so what else is up?”

Richie gave a low chuckle at that as Jon turned slightly widened eyes to her.

“How did you know there was something else?”

Amanda shook her head at him.

“Because you would never need to check with me about Richie staying at your house, so there must be something else.”

Richie now turned his head away as laughter shook his long frame.

Jon turned a scowl toward his friend.

“Shut up, Sambora.”

Holding up a hand, Richie got up, indicating he was getting another glass of wine.

They watched him retreat for a moment and then turned towards each other as Jon took a breath to speak.

“I’ve been offered a small part in a movie that’s being filmed in London.”

A quizzical look entered Amanda’s eyes.

“Okay, that’s great, but what’s the problem?”

Jon’s own eyes reflected a puzzled look then as he answered.

“It’s in London and we’ll need to be there for four or five days.”

Amanda gave a small laugh that showed her confusion.

“I loved London when I was there with you. I don’t understand the problem.”

With a mild grimace crossing his face, he told her.

“It’s just, I knew about this a month ago and didn’t tell you.”

Amanda laughed then, her eyes twinkling.

“So, you think I’m gonna be mad about a trip to London that you forgot to tell me about?”

“Well…yeah.” Jon’s voice now held a note of laughter.

A mile-wide grin on her face, Amanda laughed harder.

“Sure, Jon, make me go to London, a great city. I’d really hate that.”

The lightly mocking tone of her voice brought an answering smile to Jon’s face. His reply was stopped by Richie’s return, with the bottle of wine, a huge grin evident.

“I brought a peace offering.” He held out the bottle.

Standing up and giving the two men a pretend scowl, Amanda gathered herself up in a regal pose.

“I don’t do diva.”

She turned and walked toward the bathroom then as both men gave widened eyes at the other and broke into laughter. Richie managed to speak first, his voice a strangled whisper.

“She doesn’t do diva?”

They both broke into laughter.

~~~

Mother and daughter embraced and then drew back to look at the other, one with simple love, the other with love mixed with concern.

“Honey, you know I love you…”

Amanda nodded at her mother, her eyes crinkling a little as she sensed the “but” she was sure was following.

“…it’s just, you’re moving into a world so different from everything you’ve ever known…” Her voice trailed off as she tried to put into words that which was still feelings.

“Mom? What is it?”

Shaking her head gently, Jennifer just smiled.

“I just miss you, honey. It’s not that we don’t talk…” she held up her hand, “…you call often enough, it’s just different having you gone all the time now.”

Amanda’s voice softened as she realized what her mother was saying.

“Oh mom…I’m sorry…it’s just…”

“No, no…don’t do that. You have a chance here to be happy and I won’t have you miss out on it.” Jennifer’s soft hand cupped her daughter’s face.

“You’ll come to me or I’ll come to you. We’ll work it out, Mandy.”

They hugged tightly and Jennifer moved to the waiting car. She turned as Amanda called out to her.

“Mom!”

Jennifer shook her head gently, a smile of great caring on her face.

“No, honey. Go. Take your chance.”

Amanda watched for long moments until the car finally vanished from sight.

Morning!

Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 6:22 AM
This has been a good week. A friend retrieved all my stories from my poor broken-down laptop and amazingly I was able to get a new laptop.

Should be able to post next chapter tomorrow.

Thanks for checking back!

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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.

Please do not copy any of this material to any other web site.

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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