John Francis - Chapter 243

Sunday, June 26, 2011 at 11:07 AM
In the studio in his home in New Jersey, Jon poured another glass of wine that was half gone in two swallows. He set the glass down and turned once again to pace from one end of the room to the other. He stopped at the piano, glanced at it without touching it, moved to his guitar, then the window, and back to the wine glass.

He could not get Richie’s voice of out his head.

What if there was a reason why she left?

The argument that had landed Jon in his current position was still fresh in his mind. Earlier that day he and Richie had been working, trying to put the finish on a song for their new album. Jon had only been one bottle into the day at that point, but lack of food had the wine hitting him faster than he actually knew. He’d barely noticed when Richie had left the studio for a few minutes and was actually dozing off when Richie came back in. He didn’t see his friend stand there, watching him as he half dozed on the couch, the wine glass barely gripped by slackening fingers.

“Jon?” Richie said.

“Hey.” Jon said, stirring awake and clutching the slipping glass.

“Hey yourself. What are ya doin’?”

“Sitting here having a fine pinot noir and thinking.”

“Yeah? Thinking about what?”

The wine sloshed over the rim as Jon raised it to wave in the air.

“Oh, this and that.” A splash punctuated his words.

“Shit! You’re drunk!”

“No, no, not nearly as drunk as I’m gonna get tonight.” The slur in his words was now more evident.

“Jon, this ain’t fuckin’ helping…”

“Oh yeah, it sure as shit is.”

Richie walked over to the couch, standing above the nearly prone figure sprawled there.

“Look, you know you want her back…” He began, then stepped back as Jon suddenly flew up from the couch, the glass crashing into the wall behind Richie’s head.

“Want her back? Are you fucking insane?” He actually took a step toward Richie as he spoke, hands curled into fists at his side.

Richie saw Jon’s clenched hands and then raised his eyes back to the incensed face in front of him.

“What are you gonna do? Huh? You gonna hit me because I’m tellin’ you the truth?” He stood his ground, his eyes filled with a mixture of anger and pity at what he saw.

Jon stared into the eyes of his friend of almost thirty years, the one person he trusted beyond all others. Richie could actually see the anger leak out of Jon as he seemed to deflate in front of him, his shoulders and then his head slumping. Jon turned his head away before he answered.

“I don’t want to love her anymore.”

His voice revealed heartbreak with every word.

“Shit, Jon, it doesn’t work that way. You can’t will it to stop.”

“What if there was a reason why she left? Richie’s voice was soft as Jon raised his full wine glass.

“It wouldn’t matter. She led me along real well and I fell for it. Whatever the reason, it’s not good enough.”

After that, the entire conversation had gone to hell.

He sat down on the edge of the couch, one leg crooked over the arm, the wine glass full once again.

So what if there IS a reason she left?

She’s still married. She still lied about it.

And I’m still right back at square fucking one.

The empty wine glass at his lips had him scowling and rising from the couch with a hand out to steady himself. He walked over to the wine bottle, swearing softly at the few drops that remained. With a disgusted shake of his head, he moved to get the other bottle he had brought with him and tripped over something beside the chair just as his hand reached the wine.


Jon’s arms flailed wildly for a moment as he sought to regain his balance, smacking one hand against the wall and scraping his knuckles as he struggled to keep the bottle and the glass from falling.

“God dammit!”

Back against the wall, Jon stood for a moment slowing breath that was suddenly too fast.

“Son of a bitch,” he muttered.

Jon straightened up, thankful the wall had caught his fall. He looked around to see what had made him trip.

Shit. Richie’s bag. Apparently he’d pissed Richie off enough earlier that he’d left without it. Jon grabbed the bag, moving it from the floor before he forgot it was there and crashed over it again. He tossed it on the couch and let loose with another string of cuss words when the contents of the bag spilled across the couch and onto the floor. He closed his eyes, tilted his head upward, and asked once again to be given the gift of patience he so lacked in this lifetime. When he opened his eyes, the bag was still open and the papers were everywhere.

Jon stopped swearing long enough to pour himself another glass of wine and then moved over to begin picking up the contents of Richie’s bag. Taking a sip, he reached for the first scattered sheets. He really had no intention of reading anything, but scan reading happens without conscious thought and bold type letterhead caught his eye.

Davidson Investigations.

Jon stopped in mid-pile as he read those words. Crinkles appeared at the corners of his eyes as he squinted a little to see what was on the page.

“Through various government sources who will not be revealed in this report, it has been determined that Mark Russell is the former Jeremy Matthews, reportedly deceased in a car accident in Miami, Florida, on December 6, 2007.”

… Jeremy Matthews …

Amanda’s husband.

Jon sat down hard on the floor, scrambling to find the rest of the report amongst the scattered papers.

It wasn’t more than a few minutes before he knew the whole story. Not only was Amanda married, her husband was a suspected drug dealer. He searched through the papers again, finally turning Richie’s bag upside down, causing a cascade of the remaining papers to fall out.

He picked up a hand written note, his eyes widening as he read it.

Amanda –

Inside are papers detailing the information my investigator has discovered about you and your husband. The husband you claimed was dead, who is very much alive.

Whatever scam you were planning involving my son is over. You are a married woman and you accepted an engagement with Jon. I don’t know if you wanted money or whether you are like so many today who want their fifteen minutes of fame, but you aren’t getting anything.

I will not permit you to drag my son into the sordidness of your life. Your husband is apparently involved in drugs in some way and the FBI is investigating him. If there was a way to have you arrested for fraud, I would do so.

Instead you are going to get out of his life – immediately! And you are going to do it in such a way that he never wants to see you again. You obviously have a talent for lying and deceiving, I’m sure you’ll think of something.

If you had a conscience, you would be deeply ashamed. But a woman who would plan what you’ve done obviously has no conscience at all.

Carol Bongiovi

Jon reached for the wine bottle as he set the page down. He poured the dregs into his glass and threw them back with one hard swallow. He stood, swaying a little, as he gathered the entire report together, taking it and his empty wine glass into the house.

A short while later, halfway through the third bottle of wine, Jon reached for the phone.


Carol sounded surprised when she answered.


“Listen, I wanted to tell you I know what you did and that I don’t blame you.”

Carol couldn’t speak for a moment as her mind raced. What did Jon know and how did he know it?

“Mom?” Jon said.

“Uhm, I’m here Jon. What are you talking about?”

“You had Amanda investigated, right?”

A small gasp met his question.

“Ye…Yes, I did.”

“I’m not mad, Ma, you did me a favor.”

Jon’s words took Carol completely by surprise.

“Jon, no, I didn’t do you a favor. You don’t understand. I was just about to call you…” Carol trailed off as Jon interrupted her.

“Ma, don’t worry about it. S’it’s okay…” Jon’s words slurred a little and on her end of the receiver Carol squinted her eyes in suspicion.

“Jon, are you drinking?”

“Juss a little, Ma, don’t worry about it. ‘nd, donn worry ‘bout Manda anymore either.”


“Love ya, Ma, bye.”

Carol looked at the cell phone in her hand and then at her husband, who was watching her with worried eyes.

“John, he knows and … he thanked me.”

Her husband rose from his seat and walked to her.

“What did he say, Carol?”

“He said he knew what I did and that I did him a favor…” Carol’s voice trailed off as puzzlement overtook her features. “I don’t understand.”

“Did Richie tell him?” John asked.

“I don’t know!”

“Call Richie. We need to get to the bottom of this.” John said.

“Alright, I will.” Carol said, dialing as she spoke the words.


The ringing of Richie’s phone found him in mid-stroke in the final moments of the second time he had made love to the woman who was carrying his child.

Understandably, he ignored it.

“Uhh….Richie…uhh… your phone…” Trish gasped, nearing her climax.

“Fuck it…” Richie ground out over her feeble protests.

“Ahhhhhh…god!” They cried out together as Richie thrust one final time, sending them both over the edge.

He slumped over her, resting his weight on his elbows. His eyes sought hers, a grin curving his lips.

“So … we’re having a baby…”

Trish grinned up at Richie.

“Yeah…we are.”

They both forgot about the phone call.

John Francis - Chapter 242

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 6:06 PM
“Trish, dammit! Let me in!” Richie yelled through the closed bathroom door, kicking the door frame in frustration. He could hear her inside the bathroom, throwing up again, for the fourth day in a row.

Richie had come to see her after leaving Jon’s that afternoon, too angry to want to be on his own. He’d hoped Trish would let him use her for a sounding board again as his frustration in not being to tell Jon the truth about Amanda was making him more than a little crazy. He’d entered her apartment just in time to see her running for the bathroom.

“You need to see a doctor!” He rattled the doorknob once more, in case it had been unlocked when he was shouting. He glared at the door as if he could frighten it into opening and then resumed pacing in front of it.

“Four days you’ve been sick …” he mumbled as he strode in ever-increasing steps. “Every morning you’re in the bathroom, puking up your breakfast, and now you’re doing it in the afternoon …”

He turned and faced the door, arms wide as he shouted once again.

“Every morning you’re sick! Trish, you‘re going to the doctor! You shouldn’t be throwing up every … morning…”

His voice wound down as he actually heard what he was saying. His eyes went wide and he drew in a sharp breath.

Ohhh…shiiiitt. She’s throwing up every morning? Jesus H. Christ…she’s pregnant?

Richie startled when the toilet flushed, his mouth snapping shut. He heard the water faucet turn on, then a moment later the click of the lock being turned. He stepped back as Trish opened the door. Her eyes met his and he watched as the color drained from her face. He reached out and put his hand on her arm, afraid she would faint.

Trish knew from his face that Richie had figured out what was wrong with her. She opened her mouth to speak, then closed it, then opened it again, finally shaking her head. She didn’t know what to say. Once the words were spoken it would be real and she would have to deal with it. She would have to let him know what she was going to do - no matter what he said.

Richie took Trish’s hand in his and led her out into her living room. He motioned for her to sit on the couch and she did so without a word.

“Do you want some water?”

Trish nodded her head so hard her hair swirled.

Anything to delay.

“Yes! Please!” She said, her voice a bit louder than she intended it to be.

Richie stood for a moment, still looking at her, then turned toward the kitchen.

Trish slowly let her breath out as she watched him walk away. She was petrified. This was not a discussion she was ready to have yet. She’d wanted more time to prepare - to find the right words - to …

Her thoughts just stopped as Richie returned with the glass of water, the ice cubes clinking softly as he handed the glass to her. Trish took a sip gratefully, her throat dry and tight. Richie sat down on the other end of the couch, facing her. He gave a small cough that was more a beginning of speech than clearing his throat.

“So…” Richie said, then making the same sound, he tried again. “So…” He waved one hand around in an all-encompassing motion, then sighed, giving a small shake of his head.

Trish watched him as he, like she, seemed to be searching for words. Jesus, she was nuts about this man. A small smile crossed her face.

“Richie…,” she began, pausing as she licked her suddenly dry lips, “I’m pregnant.” She started to say more, then bit back the words.

She heard Richie take in a great chest full of air and then blow it softly back out. His voice seemed to take a great deal of time to travel from his throat to her ears.

“And…?” he said.

“And I’ve made up my mind and there’s nothing more to be said about it.” Trish said, nodding for emphasis.

Richie’s eyebrows rose, then lowered ominously.

“What does that mean?” He rose to his feet, agitation beginning to color his voice.

Trish also got to her feet, too nervous to stay in one place.

“It means I’ve done nothing but think about this for days now and I’ve approached it from every angle, as clinically as I could considering how hard it is to remain objective when you, yourself, are the subject and being completely objective is never …”

Richie listened to her ramble on in ever-increasing psychobabble, the complexity of her words increasing as she tried to convince him that she had made her decision.

What she had decided, he had no idea, but she was very sincere.

He tuned back in more fully as he heard “…and I don’t want you to think that you have to do anything…”

Richie raised a hand. “Trish. Stop. Just stop.”

She did, mid-word, her teething making a “thunk” noise as her mouth closed.

“Are you telling me I don’t get a say in this?” Richie said, his jaws doing their own bit of tightening.

Trish’s eyes got wide. “No! That’s not what I mean. I want to hear what you have to say, but no matter what you have to say, I’m …”

Richie shook his head and again held up his hand for her to stop.

“We need to talk about this before you make a decision.”

“Richie, talking about this isn’t going to change my mind.”

“Dammit, Trish! This is not just your decision!” Richie tried to control his voice as it neared a shout.

“Dammit, Richie! I’m the one who has to live with the decision!” Trish’s voice also rose.

Both Richie and Trish stood for a few moments, their breathing the only sound in the room.

Richie sighed loudly. “Ok, let’s both calm down.”

Trish nodded, not trusting her voice as she felt tears prickle behind her eyes. This was not how she wanted to tell him.

“Alright,” Richie began, “we’re two adults here and we can talk this out and …” He stopped as again Trish shook her head.

“What?” Exasperation tinged Richie’s voice. “Why are you shaking your head? Aren’t we adults? Can’t we come to a decision? Can’t we… Trish, you’re not alone here!”

Her chin rising, Trish said, “Yes, we’re adults and yes we can come to a decision, but you’re not understanding that what I do is already decided!”

“So you’re not going to listen to anything I have to say?” Richie said, an incredulous look overtaking his face.

“I’m listening to everything you have to say!”

Richie’s eyes widened in astonishment.

“Trish, you’re not letting me say anything!”

Trish gaped at him.

“You’re telling me you want to discuss this and I’m telling you that I’ve thought about this logically and taken everything into consideration and I‘m …”

Richie yelled just as Trish finished and the words were almost identical.

“… having this baby!”

“What?!” Trish said, not sure she had heard what she thought.

“What did you say?” Richie asked, sure he had not heard her correctly.

“I said, I’m having this baby.” Trish’s voice was suddenly calm, as the words were finally out.

A slow, easy grin spread like honey across Richie’s face.

“Richie? What did you say?”

“The same thing you did, darlin’. We’re having this baby.”

Trish fell that final bit more in love with Richie as she looked at him and burst into tears.

Richie just grinned as he took her in his arms and kissed her tears away.

John Francis - Chapter 241

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 7:35 AM
Amanda sat in another airport, waiting for another connection, one that would take her to a destination she had chosen almost on a whim.

She’s lasted two days in London before realizing she needed to get away - not just from the States, but from anywhere that reminded her of Jon. She certainly wasn’t going to do that in London, not with Bon Jovi signs seeming to be everywhere she turned and her memories of the time she had spent with him there. She needed some place not associated with him and that was what had led her to pass by, then backtrack, to a travel company she’d found on one of her long walks.

Brochures seemed to overflow the rack, each destination more exotic than the next. Africa, Australia, Russia, even the Middle East - at least parts of it - beckoned with flowery words and promises of “the adventure of a lifetime”.

She didn’t want adventure. She wanted to disappear to somewhere she couldn’t be found where she could lose herself in sights and sounds that did nothing to remind her of what she had left behind.

What she had lost.

It was the colors that caught her attention. The gorgeous blues of the roofs against the white of the buildings, themselves against the blue of the sea.

Santorini island. Greece.

She’d never been there and even better, she’d never heard Jon talk about it.

Eighteen hours later, two connections, and one layover, she was one short boat ride away from the villa she had rented. She sat on the deck of the ferry as it chugged on its way to the village of Oia where she would finally be on the island. Although the sun was bright and high in the sky, Amanda felt her eyes closing behind the dark lenses of her sunglasses. It had been a very long 18 hours and she wanted nothing more than to shower, change into something cooler, and fall into bed for at least as long as it took her to travel there.

She let her head fall back against the wood of the deck wall and her mind drifted to brochure she’d read a dozen times on the plane. There were several small villages on the island, from Fira - a town perched on cliffs - to Megalochori, a traditional Greek village known for its old white churches. Pyrgos was the highest point on the island, while Kamari was home to a renowned black pebble beach. And Mesaria was the center of the island.

The ferry docked at the port of Athinios and Amanda waited her turn to get off the boat, noting wryly that she was apparently in with the other tourists who were gawking at the sights around them. Those who hurried off seemed to be natives who had seen the wonders around them a thousand times before. Amanda, on the other hand, wondered if she would ever get her mouth to close again. She wanted to be everywhere on the island at once, but didn’t want to leave the dock as she hadn’t seen it all yet.

Shaking her head with a slightly embarrassed grin on her face, she scolded herself.

“You can come back down, ya ninny,” she mumbled softly, moving to where a taxi was returning from taking others up the steep hill.

She handed the smiling taxi driver the address she had scrawled while at the travel agency in London. She knew it was in the Santorini caldera, one of the highest points on the island, and yet somehow “highest point on the island” hadn’t quite registered in the confines of the travel agency. It did when the taxi began the steep climb upward, taking first one 180 degree turn, and then another, and another, and another until Amanda was afraid to keep counting, although not keeping track was impossible.

Seven turns later, slightly dizzy and not a little carsick, Amanda breathed a sigh of relief as the road seemed to have gone as high as it could - or at least there no more turns in sight. Her smile of relief turned into a concentrated frown when the driver stopped the car in front of the entrance to a villa.

She scrambled from the back seat at the driver hurried to the trunk to get her bags.

“Excuse me!” She held out the paper in her hand with the address of her room on it.

“Is this the right…?”

The driver interrupted her, smiling and pointing at the door.

Amanda crooked an eyebrow and made a moue of her lips as she paid the man and then watched as he made a several point turn on the narrow road to head down the marina once again, the “toot-toot” of his horn barely disappearing before he did.

Sighing, still doubtful she was in the right place, Amanda rolled her suitcase down the stairs and then came to a dead stop.

Now she knew she couldn't be in the right place.

“My god!” Her voice sounded hoarse even to her ears.

An infinity pool spilled out before her, on a balcony overlooking the sea. It was one of the most beautiful sights she had ever seen.

A touch on her elbow jarred her out of her stupor and she turned slowly to see a woman who appeared to be in her early 70’s.

“Hi,” Amanda breathed in a rushed whisper, then cleared her throat and tried again.

“Hello. I…think I might be in the wrong place.”

The woman smiled at her, crinkles appearing next to still bright blue eyes.

“You are Mrs. Matthews, yes?” The English words had the inflection of a Greek accent and sounded musical to Amanda after her long trip.

“Y--es.” Amanda drawled out questioningly. “Mrs. Christopoulos?”

“I am Mrs. Christopoulos. You are in right place.”

Amanda looked around wide-eyed as she followed the woman into the interior of the home.

As Mrs. Christopoulos pointed out the living area, the bedroom, and the bathroom, Amanda found herself in the unusual position of not being able to think of a single thing to say. She was stunned and frantically trying to remember just what she had booked nearly a day ago during that spur of the moment decision. Whatever it was, she wanted to make sure she did it again.

This was a slice of heaven and it was hers. She could stay here. Hell, she might move here.

The sudden silence brought her attention back to the woman looking at her curiously.

“Your home is lovely.” Amanda managed to sputter as a wide, delighted smile spread across her face.

“Thank you. I am much happy you come to stay.” The owner smiled back at her, taking in her slightly travel-worn clothes and the fatigue that seemed to weigh her down despite her glowing smile. She’d rented out this portion of her home for years and had seen many expressions on the faces of her guests. Some were detachment from the surroundings, never stopping their chatter on their cell phones to bother to see what was right in front of them. Others were delighted and carefree as they began their foreign adventure.

This woman in front of her was different somehow. She’s seen the shock on the woman’s face as she took in the outside of the villa and as they’d moved inside she’d seen Amanda’s eyes dart over the features she’d taken such care to preserve. That shock had turned to delight, yet something in the woman’s eyes hinted that her reasons for being here were not for a carefree vacation.

There was a decanter of wine on a small table and Mrs. Christopoulos poured a glass for herself and Amanda, as a soft breeze from the open terrace doors fluttered the napkins piled neatly to the side.

“You come to me, any problems, I fix. When you here, you family to us. Share dinner if you want, not share if you want private.” She smiled as Amanda kept looking around at different things in the room.

“There is small basket of food in refrigerator for you, to welcome. Tomorrow I take you to market where there much fresh fish. You like fish?”

Amanda gave a huge smile as answered. “I love fish and I would love to go to the market.”

Nodding in approval, Mrs. Christopoulos patted her on the arm and turned to leave the room. She stopped at the door, giving Amanda a thorough look from head to toe.

“You rest here. Much peace. You need this, yes?” She cocked her head as she spoke, her eyes searching Amanda’s.

Nodding back, her wide grin fading, Amanda nodded.

“Yes, I need this.”

Chapter 240

Friday, June 10, 2011 at 9:42 PM
For Jon, the next few days seemed to defy the concepts of time and space. He was extraordinarily busy with all his business ventures and yet, each day seemed to have a thousand hours in it. He was constantly surrounded by people, but he felt detached and alone in a way he hadn’t for a while. Over-riding it all were his emotions that roller-coasted from a high every time he tried to reach Amanda on the phone, to a low with every unanswered call.

Four days after he had seen her at the hotel, his emotions and his exhaustion were reaching rock bottom. Richie hadn’t spoken another word to him about Amanda, but an uncommon tension between them had Jon on a defensive edge. An edge small enough that he was starting to fall over into an abyss of anger that had him turning his rage outward.

By the end of that week even those closest to him were walking on egg shells. He’d made his assistant cry twice, Dorothea had hung up on him, Dave and Tico were speaking in one syllable words and Richie had raised his eyebrows so many times they were starting to take root at his hairline. It wasn’t that often that “Jon” and “douche” were used in the same sentence, however, as the week crawled by murmurs of that - and worse - could be heard by those left in a room after Jon had scorched the paint from the ceiling.

For Carol Bongiovi the last few weeks had passed with their own distortion. For her, though, the two weeks since she’d seen Richie, since he’d told her the truth of what she had discovered, had flown by with a speed that seemed to pressing her closer and closer to the confrontation she had hoped to never have.

She was going to have to talk to Jon.

Every day since Amanda had been forced to leave, forced by her interference and distrust, by her manipulation of people and events, Jon had grown progressively more distant and more depressed. Where he had been kind, he was now cruel. Where he had been open and friendly, he was now closed and distant. He barely spoke to the guys, refused to discuss anything with Dorothea, and his tone with her was at the lowest level of civil when she called him.

Carol was sitting in the study of her home, the room where she came to do her correspondence, make phone calls, and to think. She was staring out the window at the late afternoon sun when she heard her husband knock at the open door. She turned to him.

“Carol, what’s wrong? I’ve known you too long not to know when something’s bothering you.”

She gave a small smile at her husband, a mere ghost of a smile, and nodded.

It was time.


John sat there after his wife had finished telling him what she had done. She explained her reasons, which in hindsight sounded petty and selfish, and what she had learned, both from the investigator and from Richie. She voiced her concerns over the changes in Jon and how she wanted to tell him what she had done, but she feared losing even more of his love than she already had.

Her husband looked at her. She was scared of what he would say, how he would be right to call her out for the being the petty tyrant she had tried to be. She had made so many mistakes and now she simply didn’t know how to fix them.

“You know what you have to do, don’t you?” John asked her softly.

“I’m afraid, John.” She whispered back.

“Do you want our son back, Carol?”

“More than anything…” she began, but John interrupted her.

“Enough to admit you were wrong, wrong from the beginning, and that you were the cause of what happened between the two of them?” He loved his wife, but the time for cosseting her was over.

“I was wrong. I hurt that girl, John. When she was so sick she could barely stand, I told her that her husband was alive, thinking she knew, that she was a fraud. She passed out cold when she heard that and that’s when I knew. I knew she wasn’t lying, that she didn’t know her husband was alive. And then, as sick as she was, I made her leave.”

Carol admitted all this, getting it out now, while she was brave enough to tell her husband everything.

John started to speak, but she hurried before he could say anything.

“I told her to leave and then I manipulated things in such a way that Jon would never look for her. I made it look like she deliberately hurt him so he would get over her and get on with his life.”

Tears filled her eyes as she looked at her husband.

“How could I have been so cruel? How could I have done that?” Tears started in earnest now as she felt the deep shame of what she had wrought.

Looking at his wife, John found himself shocked at what he was hearing. Carol could be cold when she chose to, when she felt someone or something was threatening her family, but she had never treated anyone before like she had treated Amanda.

“Carol, you were against her from the first. You never even gave her a chance. Why?”

“I’ve been thinking about that since Richie came here to the house. This is going to make me sound even worse, John, but the truth is I liked how much Jon involved me in his life after his divorce. I felt needed again in a way I hadn’t in years. And then he brought Amanda in and again the truth is I felt he could do better. He had a chance to find someone who would enhance his life in a way Dorothea never could and again he chose someone like her. I wanted better for my son.”

Shaking his head side to side, John looked at her and his eyes had hardened.

“What was better for him that someone who really loved him? Who wanted to be in his life just the way it is?”

Carol opened her mouth to answer, but then the words John had spoken sank in as his eyes held hers.

“Nothing. Nothing was better than that.” Her voice was flat in final acceptance of how wrong she had been.

John stood up and extended his hand to her. She looked up in surprise.

“What? Where are we going?” Her voice shook a little, as deep inside she already knew.

“To see our son.”


Jon and Richie were in the studio, although to say they were working would have been a little like saying a dog has fleas. Jon was almost frenetic in his obsessive need to keep himself busy, his thoughts occupied, and his mind on anything but how unhappy he was. Richie was quiet, not at all his usual self, his mind returning every so often to the text message he had received in response to the repeated calls and voice messages he had left on Amanda’s phone. It had taken her almost two days to respond, but at least he knew she was okay, even if he had no idea where she was.

I’m fine. Away for a while. Don’t worry. Thanks for your help.

Some message, Richie thoughts were a growl, doesn’t tell me a damn thing. He was interrupted when he heard the distinctive sound of a cork being pulled from a bottle. Looking up he saw Jon opening another bottle of wine.

“You trying to become an alcoholic?”

Standing still for a moment, Jon just lifted his head and raised a mocking eyebrow.

The insinuation in that movement made the hackles rise on the back of Richie’s neck. He set his guitar down, stood up and looked at his friend. With lightly squinted eyes and a voice roughened by repressed anger, he answered that look.

“Yeah asshole, I know what you’re thinking. It took the worst decision I ever made, driving after drinking with my kid in the car. Took that for me to learn. What’s it gonna take you?”

The two men stared at each other, neither wanting to take another step along a path leading to words that could not be taken back.

“What if there was a reason why she left? Richie’s voice was soft as Jon raised his full wine glass.

“It wouldn’t matter. She led me along real well and I fell for it. Whatever the reason, it’s not good enough.” Jon’s voice was a low growl filled with anger and hurt and frustration. Amanda hadn’t answered a single phone call. He had no idea where she was and he couldn’t admit to Richie - hell, he could barely admit to himself - that he wanted to talk to her. That he wanted to see her.

Richie turned to leave the studio at hearing that. He paused with his hand on the doorknob at Jon’s voice.

“Where ya going?”

He turned back and answered.

“Outside for a break.”

Jon nodded and started to turn away.

“Oh, and Jon?” Richie called out as he opened the door.

Jon turned back and looked at Richie in question.

“I want you to remember what you just said. About no reason being good enough.” With that he left the studio, closing the door softly behind him.

Jon stood for several moments staring at the closed door.

Wondering ...

What the hell has happened to my life?

Warning and Disclaimer

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.

This is PURE FICTION and hopefully those that like this type of story will enjoy it. Comments are GREATLY appreciated!


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Sunstreaked, South Florida, United States

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