Chapter 234

Monday, April 26, 2010 at 10:02 AM
Unable to move as Jon passed her, Amanda jumped at the slam of the door and then went deathly still again at the sound of the lock. She stared at the door of Jon’s dressing room, the pounding of her heart drowning out the shuffling feet of the men beside her.

It wasn’t the woman.

It was that look in his eyes, the blanking out of emotion as his eyes met hers.

It was like she had ceased to exist for him.

Her heart just stopped.

She knew it had stopped.

She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think.

Richie touched her arm once, and then again, finally taking her elbow and turning her toward him. He winced at the expression on her face. David and Hugh swore softly, glanced at Richie and Tico, and then turned to leave for their own rooms, unsure of what to say. Amanda didn’t see them leave, her eyes darting from Richie’s own eyes to Jon’s room.

“Amanda …” Tico began, stopping as Amanda’s pain-filled eyes turned toward him.

“He’s hurting…” Tico tried to explain, throwing
help-me eyes at Richie.

“Manda…come with me…” Richie nodded at Tico, indicating he would take care of her as Tico grimaced in response and left the two in the hallway.

Richie took one of Amanda’s cold hands in his, leading her into his dressing room. He sat her down on the couch and crossed the small room to pour her a shot of Jack. She took it without response and downed it, coughing a little as the liquid fire traveled from her throat to the pit of her stomach.

Her voice came out a near whisper.

“I made a mistake…I got a text from Jon’s phone about a ticket waiting for me here, for this concert. I thought he sent it to me, that he wanted to see me.”

Richie listened as she explained, some of his questions being answered simply by his remaining silent.

“You know I couldn’t tell him the truth, about why I left. I couldn’t embarrass him, couldn’t focus the press on him that way, and his mother…no. It was better if he hated me, if he believed the worst…” her voice trailed off, then she looked deeply into his eyes.

“And he does hate me now…”

He took a step toward her. “Amanda…”, but she shook her head and backed away.

“I’m gonna go, Richie.” She smiled sadly at the man in front of her, then took that one step closer to put her into his arms. She kissed his cheek as he enveloped her a hug. Pulling back, she looked straight at him and spoke.

“You take care of yourself.”

Richie watched her walk out the door, closing it softly behind her.

~~~

Jon stood pressed against the door he had just slammed and locked, his mind turning over and over what he had just seen in the hallway, the woman in his room all but forgotten.

She’s here! Goddam it! Where has she been? Why is she here?

I can’t believe she would do this again!

How big of a fool does she think I am?

God, she looks good!

His thoughts didn’t match his deeds though as the woman he had fully intended to lose himself in that night suddenly looked like a pale imitation of what he had once had. As kindly as he could considering his sudden need to throw her out of the room, he told her he had a commitment he had forgotten, kissed her briefly, and hurried her out. She has been there less than five minutes.

Alone now, adrenaline flowing, he paced back and forth from one end of the room to another, his mind whirling, fighting down the sight of Amanda again. In disgust he peeled off his stage clothes, entered the shower and turned it on at a blistering temperature. Skin turning pink, he finally adjusted the setting to cold until his outside felt as numb as his inside.

Dressing in jeans, a silk shirt, and cowboy boots, he left his room to see the other guys just walking through the private entrance to the waiting cars. Conversation stopped as he approached and he pasted on a smile, yelling out as he passed them.

“Let’s go, there’s a party somewhere!”

The men gave another glance at each other, following Jon to the waiting limos. A few of them had seen the woman leave and they all knew, even without that, that she had not been there long at all.

Richie felt a small smile cross his face.

He sent her away. Hot damn!

Jon strode toward one of the cars and then abruptly turned.

“Which one of you motherfuckers did it? Who brought her back stage?”

Richie answered quietly.

“I did. She was in the crowd, in the front. We all saw her.”

With surprise evident on his face, Jon narrowed his eyes.

“What was she doing at the show?” He didn’t wait for an answer. “So fucking what? She was there – what made you bring her back stage?”

“I thought you might want to see her, man. You’ve been a walking prick since she left.”

Jon started to answer, puffing up with anger, when Richie cut in.

“If you didn’t want her to come, why did you send her a text message that there was a ticket waiting for her?”

That statement stopped Jon short.

“What the hell are you talking about? I didn’t send her any text message. It’s just another lie, don’t you get it? She was only here for one thing and now she realizes she misses it and wants to get back in!”

Jon shook his head with disgust at Richie’s and his own gullibility.

Throwing his hands up, Jon turned once again to the cars, calling over his shoulder.

“I’m outta here.”

The other three glanced at Richie and followed.

The lead limo pulled out.

The second limo, with Richie in it, headed in the other direction.

~~~

Amanda had taken a cab from the stadium back to her hotel. Her tears had dried, but there seemed to be something wrong with her sight as she saw nothing during the ride.

All she could see was Jon’s face as he had looked at her. There just wasn’t anything there.

Damn Jeremy. Damn him to hell.

Her head shook as she violently thrust her thoughts away from her ex-husband. If she stopped to think about that right now on top of what had just happened with Jon, she would lose it. She knew she would.

She’d called her mother from California, the tearful conversation lasting over an hour. Her mother had tried to say all the right words, tried to comfort her child, but there just weren’t any words that would make it any better.

Somehow telling her mother about Jon had been even harder. Jennifer had let out a string of cuss words that only ended when Amanda had started giggling despite herself.

“Mom!” Amanda’s voice had been choking with laughter.

“I didn’t even know you knew all those words!”

Jennifer had given a snort and then a short bark of a laugh.

“I know them, but don’t usually need to use them.” She sighed and then spoke again. “Baby, I’m so sorry…I…”

Amanda had hushed her, feeling the tears welling again and not wanting to further upset her mom.

She’d promised her mother she’d keep in touch and her mother, knowing her daughter, had let her get away with her deflection. Let her end the call before the tears came again.

Amanda was dragged back into the present as the cab pulled up in front of her hotel.

She needed a drink.

A lot of drinks.

And then she needed to figure out what to do with the rest of her life.

~~~

Jon sat in the limo, arms crossed, staring out the window as the other men talked softly.

He’s seen her face, of course.

When her eyes had widened and the pain had entered.

Pain?

Where did she get off feeling pain?

He was the victim here. Of her schemes, her lies, her treachery.

How dare she come back? And with more lies. A text message to come to the show.

He hadn’t sent her a text message. It was just another lie.

He needed a drink.

A lot of drinks.

And it was time to talk to Richie.

The car pulling to a stop had him turning to look at Richie.

Who wasn’t there.

~~~

Richie knew Amanda would be leaving. He could hear it in her voice when she told him goodbye at the stadium. He knew she wouldn’t try to see Jon again, but she needed to know not to give up.

And that he would help her.

The driver pulled up to the hotel and Richie dismissed him for the night. He had no idea how long he would be there, but Amanda deserved to have a friend at her side tonight.

A few steps through the lobby had Richie at the elevator, pushing the button for Amanda’s floor. He moved into the empty hallway and walked quietly to her door. He knocked.

Then knocked again.

Once more.

No answer.

~~~

There were a several couples inside the bar area of the hotel, as well as a group of men who seemed to be part of a convention or meeting as a few had forgotten to remove their nametags. The music was loud, but not overpowering, and a small dance floor toward the back was filled with couples.

At the very last table in the back, a lone woman sat facing the wall, a glass of Jack and coke in front of her. Her head was lowered and she remained oblivious to the crowd all around her. Her mind was filled with images – she kept returning to the look on Jon’s face.

It’s worse than if he hated me. It’s worse because he doesn’t care.

I was wrong to try to see him.

It really is over.

She had forgotten the hat on her head until it slipped a little when she tilted her head back to drink and she took it off, setting it on the table beside her. She fingered the hat for a moment, responding with a nod but without looking when the waitress brought her another drink.

During the few days since she had flown back from California with Richie, she had done little except think about what had happened. Although she knew that Richie had talked with Jon’s mother, she had little faith that Mrs. Bongiovi would do anything. She doubted the truth would ever be revealed to Jon and the result of that, never being in his life again, made her choice.

Money wasn’t a problem. She had enough in the bank that she could go anywhere she wanted.

She thought for a few minutes about returning to her home, to the life she’d had before Jon.

But that life was even more over than this one was. There was nothing to return to. Her mother was healthy and vibrant, her life filled with friends and her job and the many organizations she belonged to. They always made time to get together, but it was around her mother’s schedule, not hers.

She had no schedule.

No job.

No life.

No Jon.

Her eyes closed as pain shot through her heart once again.

She’d had hope before.

After getting that text from Jon about the concert, she went from one wild swing of elation to the downward slope of doubt and back again. She would see Jon and … if it was over … she would leave.

Sitting in the bar, reliving over and over again the rejection in Jon’s eyes, she knew it was over.

She had wanted to believe that somehow, someway, this could be worked through. But she knew, deep down, she knew.

No matter what Richie had said, she knew Jon would never let her back in.

Her decision made, she raised her drink in a small mock salute to herself, tipped her head back and let the fire flow down her throat.

Tomorrow she would disappear.

And find herself.

10 comments

  1. Alice Faye Says:

    wow great chapter...okay on with the story...she can't disappear and Jon grow some and go after her!

  2. Rike Says:

    why did Mrs. B sent the txt to Amanda without talking to Jon? Did she this on purpose?

    Richie, hurry up and find her. She can't leave

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I'm so glad that Jon did not sleep with that woman...it shows there is some hope...

    Loved this chapter Sunstreaked, thank you!!!

    Linda

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Mrs. B, why do you keep doing this to your son? You're only hurting your relationship with him more and more once he finds out the truth. Jon, go after her and find out what is really going on,

    Beth

  5. Heike Says:

    I so hope that there will be a way for the two to find love again - I think we have to keep the faith!

  6. Shelly Says:

    Wow a fantastic chapter! Amanda don't give up on Jon. I really felt her pain and Jon's.

    Great and emotional Sun! :)

  7. Sandy Says:

    Catch her before she gets away Richie! Great chapter Sun!

  8. Anonymous Says:

    I don't know what Mrs. B's plan is but it better work soon. Maybe Richie should just step in and sort it out. More please soon!

  9. Anonymous Says:

    I think Jon needs to head straight for the bar and those two need to become face to face once again. They both need to face the situation and confront it head on with one another. What better way that an accidental run in.

  10. Lovin the new background girl!!! LOVE IT

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