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.

2 comments

  1. Bayaderra Says:

    Soooo, mommy dearest strikes again! Jon, you need to set her straight once and for all!
    Amanda, don't worry about a gift...all he wants is YOU!

  2. Sandy Says:

    So glad you are back Sun! Just found these two new chapters today...what a great Christmas present. Thank you!

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