John Francis - Chapter 248

Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 9:05 AM
Jon was proud of himself.

He’d waited until his parents had gone, the door closed and locked behind them, before he turned and smashed his coffee cup against the stone fireplace with one strike-out strength throw.

Richie sighed, re-adjusting the ice pack he’d applied to his swollen lower lip.

“How much you gonna trash?”

Jon turned at Richie’s wearied tone.

“I still can’t believe you didn’t fucking tell me.”

Raised eyebrows and a near sneer met that statement.

“Oh really? You can’t believe it? When did you get stupid?”

“Fuck you, Sambora.”

“No, fuck you. What was I supposed to tell you?” Richie’s voice rose as his own frustration overflowed.

“Was I supposed to tell you that your mother threw Amanda out, that she set it up so Amanda would look like she was a fraud? Is that what I was supposed to tell you?”

Jon didn’t answer as everything he had learned whirled inside him. He flew between one extreme and the other, first so angry that words almost wouldn’t come and then overwhelmed with the loss he had been denying for days.

“Shit -- no, I guess not. Jesus, Rich--how the hell could she do that?” Anger rolled through Jon again, along with impotent rage that the person who had hurt him the most was his mother.

Richie looked at Jon as he stood there, bits of broken glass sparkling in the light. He took a breath and shook his head.

“Bro’…it’s wasn’t all her.”

Jon’s head snapped up as his eyes locked onto Richie’s.

“You helped by allowing her to say what she wanted. She put Amanda down and you barely said a thing…” Richie held up his hand as Jon pursed his lips to speak.

“Just listen for a minute.”

Jon signed, the anger spilling away a drop at a time.

“You’ve always defended your mom, always. Not to mention you would take the head off anyone, including me, who said something bad about her. Hell, I would too. But this time she was wrong. And she knows she was wrong.”

“So you’re saying this is my fault?” Jon asked incredulously.

Richie shot him a look.

“How long did you look for her?”

“What?”

“Admit it. You came home. Read that note. Called her for a few days and that’s it.”

Jon’s jaw was set stubbornly as he tried to think of a way to deny Richie’s accusations.

“Your goddam ego was bruised. Wasn’t it?” Richie moved closer to Jon as he spoke, his own frustration bubbling over into his words.

“How dare she? Wasn’t that part of it, Jon?”

The two men stood there for a moment as Jon’s hands opened and closed at his sides, the knuckles whitening as his fists clenched.

“Yeah, dammit, that was part of it. Why didn’t she trust me? She’s always talking about me letting her in and then she shuts me out and fucking leaves?”

“Okay, hold it right there. Just hold it. Listen to what you’re saying. She should have come to you…riiiight.”

Jon blinked at the sarcasm in his friend’s tone.

“She did come to you. The concert -- Remember?” Richie waited for Jon to speak, but when silence met silence, he asked the question he’d wanted an answer to for days.

“What the hell happened that night at the hotel?” Richie asked.

“The hotel -- awwww, fuck …“ The words escaped Jon’s throat in a whisper. “I…we…” He made a sweeping motion with his hand that was meant to summarize the encounter with Amanda, but he stilled as a sense of shame again welled.

“We spent the night together -- and then I left.”

“That’s it?” Richie raised rather dubious eyes, remembering Jon’s voice the next day and his accusations.

“I left her a note, okay?”

Richie continued to look at him, knowing there was more.

“A note? What did you say?”

Jon winced, recalling what he had done.

“It wasn’t really a note -- I -- left my autograph.”

“Oh fuck, man! Were you trying to hurt her?”

It seemed Jon wasn’t going to answer, until a sigh was heard and a voice filled with self-disgust spoke.

“Yeah --I was.”

~~~

Amanda was up again at 3:00 AM, the sheets sticking to her sweat-soaked body. She had been dreaming, a nightmare. Jeremy was walking down the street with a little boy’s hand in his and his arm around a heavily pregnant woman. He and his family moved in her direction and as she stood on the sidewalk, tensing to confront him, they had walked right through her, as if she wasn’t even there. She had called his name, but he had never turned to look at her.

She had watched them move down the street until they were out of sight and all she could see was a single figure walking towards her. Sunlight flashed off his hair as he approached and his eyes were so blue, so alive.

Until he saw her.

Then those eyes stopped being alive.

And as he walked past her, she realized he could no longer see her. Would no longer see her.

She finally escaped from that nightmare.

Until she woke.

And realized it was real.

~~~

Jon and Richie talked late into the night and dawn was just breaking on the horizon when Richie returned again to the timeline of what had happened.

”…so after I found those papers I thought the same thing you did. Except it just didn’t fit. She’s a really lousy liar and she had no clue what I was talking about when I demanded your stuff back. No idea. So after I got home I read the papers again and realized the photographer was her husband. Well, ex-husband. The next day I went there and he told me everything. He seemed glad to do it. To let me know she didn’t know anything about it.”

Jon had re-read the report from the investigator after Richie had started telling him about meeting Amanda in California. It was sometime during the middle of it that he began to realize what she had done for him, because of him.

“She refused to tell you about your mom, Jon. And I mean absolutely refused. We sat there trying to come up with a way to tell you, without telling you, and there was nothing. No explanation except the truth, and --well...”

Jon stood up, his entire body itching to move, to do something.

“Have you been talking to her? Where is she?”

Shaking his head, Richie gave a mildly disgusted sigh.

“She sent me a text saying she was fine, but that’s been it. No phone calls. Nothing.”

Richie watched Jon move from one end of the room to the other, raking a hand over and over again through his hair. He stopped to pull his cell out, looked at it, then his hand slowly sunk down.

“How the hell am I gonna get her back, Richie?”

Richie cocked an eyebrow at Jon, then shook his head as he spoke.

“How the hell are you gonna find her?”

John Francis - Chapter 247

Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 5:15 PM
One cold shower later, two cups of strong black coffee, and near a quarter pack of cigarettes had Jon staring at his mother.

“Jon…say something!” Carol’s voice rose slightly as she looked at her son.

She had told him.

Everything.

And he just stared at her.

Frozen.

Then he looked down at the envelope she had given him.

The one with everything inside that he thought Amanda had taken.

He had been played alright, but not by the person he thought.

Carol looked at her husband and at Richie, but both men were eyeing Jon, watching him, both of them knowing that underneath stubbornness lived a temper Richie had just experienced and John had just watched.

Jon’s mind tumbled over itself, thoughts coming faster than he could hold onto them, his mother’s words tumbling like loose boulders, striking each other and throwing off new thoughts until his head roared from the avalanche.

He lowered his head as tears only half from anger filled his eyes.

“I’m so sorry, Jon…I’m --” Carol’s voice wound down as her son raised his eyes to meet hers.

Carol gasped, her heart giving a sharp jolt.

Such pain. Such rage. At her.

Jon shook his head slightly as he continued to look at her. He spoke, his voice hollow, as if the emotions were draining out of him, leaving an empty core.

“How am I supposed to forgive you for this?” He asked. “I love her and now she’s gone. Because of you.”

His mother just looked at him as tears spilled from her eyes.

“Why, mom? Why did you do this?”

Struggling to find her voice, crying openly now, Carol answered her son.

“I wanted better for you.”

Jon’s mouth dropped open, then closed only to let out a roar.

“You WHAT?!”

His chair scraped loudly as he abruptly stood up from the table, no longer able to sit quietly as he listened. He moved to the door of the kitchen, then turned back to face his mother who was looking at him as his sudden rage seemed to simmer in the air.

“You wanted…you wanted..better for me? What was better?” He stood across from her, hands on hips as he waited for her to answer.

“She came from nothing, Jon. She’s -- she’s a --” her voice trailed off as Jon’s lip curled in disgust.

“She’s a nobody, right, Ma? Isn’t that it?”

“Jon -- you, your success, your influence -- you could do anything, go as high as you wanted to --” She stopped when John put his hand across her arm.

“When is it going to be enough, Mom? When will I be successful enough for you?” Jon shook his head, his mouth hard with his anger.

“I don’t know how many times I have to say it to you, I don’t want to be in politics! God dammit, Mom! You did this for your ambitions, not mine.” Jon pounded his fist on the table in front of her, anger rising as he realized just why she had done it.

His voice tight and hard, stabbed with every word.

“Listen closely. Don’t ever bring this up again. Don’t ever speak to me about what you want me to do.”

Carol nodded, but her mouth tightened just a little in defiance, from years of getting her own way -- eventually.

Jon’s eyes narrowed as he looked from her to his father. John’s head cocked slightly to the side and he gave a small shrug of his shoulders. Permission was given.

“I promise you, you don’t want to test me on this --” Jon’s voice trailed off.

“Jon, I --” Carol began, then stopped abruptly as Jon held up his hand.

“No, we’re done here. Done.”

He started at her, the full force of his blue eyes and the chips of ice they could turn into now turned to her.

“I’m going to find Amanda and I’m going to beg her to give me another chance.”

His mother opened her mouth to speak, then stopped as Jon didn’t give her a chance to do more than draw in a breath.

“When I do--” Jon’s jaw tightened as he stared into his mother’s eyes, “--don’t ask me to choose between her and you--“

Carol’s eyes widened as Jon held her with an iron stare.

“Because I won’t choose you.”

John Francis - Chapter 246

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 6:42 PM
Morning sunlight filling the bright white of the interior rooms of the villa was what woke Amanda. She stretched out on the clean sheets, enjoying for a brief moment the sensation of blankness until where she was and why she was there came rushing back and she froze. Closing her eyes in an effort to shut off her thoughts worked and she got out of bed, throwing the covers back up as she did so.

An hour later found her outside where Mrs. Christopoulos was enjoying her morning coffee on her own terrace.

“Good morning.”

A bright friendly smile greeted Amanda as she walked onto the patio.

“Good morning, αγαπητέ.”

Smiling herself at the woman’s words, Amanda cocked her head in puzzlement.

“What did you say?”

“I say ‘good morning, my dear.”

Amanda’s smile widened as Mrs. Christopoulos motioned for her to sit at the table.

Sitting in comfortable silence in the morning light, overlooking the blue of the sea hundreds of feet below them, the two drank the deep, rich coffee.

More awake this morning, Amanda was able to fully appreciate the beauty of the island, at least the side she could see. There was so much to do here and she knew a scooter was the preferred method of travel. She felt sure her hostess would be able to provide any information she needed. A voice broke through her thoughts.

“Market now, yes?”

Turning from the view of the ocean, she met the woman’s warm eyes.

“Yes.”

They both rose and started the walk in to town.

Amanda tried very hard to convince herself she really was on a vacation.

~~~

John and Carol pulled up to Jon’s house as Carol tried to reach Richie’s cell phone once more. She shook her head at her husband when he turned an inquiring eye toward her. The phone had again gone to voice mail. She admitted to herself that she had wanted Richie here when she told Jon, if nothing more than to help rein in her son’s famous temper a bit.

The senior Bongiovi’s got out of their car, Carol with reluctance slowing her down. John crooked an eye at her. A small look of peevishness crossed her face and threaded through her tone.

“I’m coming, John,” she said, then stopped, a look of surprise on her face.

She hadn’t realized until just that moment how furious John was with her. What she had just seen on her husband’s face was a look that had never been there before. For a moment she was truly frightened. Her eyes dropped for a moment and then rose as she called his name.

“John?”

He turned toward her and she winced again at the look he wasn’t bothering to hide.

“I’m sorry. I know how wrong this was,” she said.

John looked at his wife, holding his jaw tightly clenched for a moment before slowly nodding at her.

“You’re going to make this right, Carol.”

She nodded at him, swallowing hard as she struggled to get the words past a suddenly tight throat.

I will, John. Somehow, I will.”

They walked to the door and John raised his hand to knocked as the door shook, sending both the senior Bongiovi’s stepping backwards as the door seemed to vibrate in its frame. They looked at each other wide-eyed as the sounds of glass breaking came from inside the house.

Carol stammered, “John?”

John tightened his lips as he pounded on the door.

“Jon!” he called, pausing only long enough to ring the doorbell in-between hammer-like blows.

Carol added her voice. “Jon! Open the door!”

She fumbled for her keys at the moment John reached for the doorknob and turned it. He signaled her to stay behind him as he opened the door and stepped into the living room of his son’s house. Carol had no intention of being left out and hurried behind her husband, nearly slamming into him as John came to a dead stop.

An overturned couch, at least three lamps crashed to bits on the floor, dirt from a large plant ground into the carpet … John and Carol blinked in disbelief before grunts and blows drew their attention from the disarray to the two men crashing back into the living room from the direction of the kitchen.

“Get the fuck off me, Jon!” Richie ground out between clenched teeth.

“You knew! All along you fucking knew!” Jon’s voice carried all the Jersey he had left behind so long ago.

Jon swung once again at his friend, alcohol and anger over-riding the caution years of friendship should have brought to his mind. He missed, then stumbled as Richie’s fist caught him in a sharp direct blow to his stomach. He stood stunned, reeling, gasping for air. He heard a woman’s voice.

“Jon?” Carol called out softly.

He turned to see his parents standing in the doorway.

Jon squinted, clutching his stomach, as he tried to make sense of a world that seemed to have gone mad.

Then he threw up.

~~~

It was midnight in Greece on the same day that Jon’s mother started her talk, when Amanda rose from the bed and moved out on her terrace. She had tried to sleep, but after an hour of restlessness, she knew no sleep would be coming for some time. Opening a bottle of water, she wrapped a blanket around her shoulders, tucking her feet up on the chair and underneath the warmth.

The sea around her was relentlessly black the further out she looked, with only the sparkle of a few boat lights to give the sense of something out there instead of empty space. She thought back to dinner that first night with the family who owned the villa, relishing the time off from her thoughts as she asked and answered questions.

Santorini was definitely a tourist destination in some areas of the island, but time and news seemed to travel a little more slowly, at least in her own little corner, and no one had recognized her or asked any questions. She had moved around freely the entire day, a hat on her head for shade, and sunglasses for the sunlight reflecting off so many white buildings. She soon saw there was no need hide who she was.

Mrs. Christopoulos had introduced her to several of the market stall owners and she had added a few words to her previously non-existent Greek vocabulary. She now knew ‘hello’ and ‘good-bye’, as well as ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. She had added a phrase or two by the end of her first week on the island. Her days were quickly settling into a routine of sorts. Every morning she had coffee with Mrs. Christopoulos, then one or both of them went to the market, and then she would take off on the scooter, visiting a different area every day, usually ending with a trip to one of the beaches. Dinner, other than the first night, was alone.

Sitting outside that night, she swore silently as once again she converted the time in her head to what time it was in New Jersey. Five p.m. When would she stop doing that? When would she stop turning in a crowd when a certain shade of hair caught her eye? When a baseball cap on a male tourist stopped her in mid step. It had been almost a week and she was still looking for him.

You need to stop this. He doesn’t know where you are and even if he did, he’s not coming.

Tears still refused to fall.

Until she finally slept.

John Francis - Chapter 245

Monday, November 14, 2011 at 4:29 PM
Jon sat there, the disconnected cell phone dangling from one hand.

Motherfucker.

Disgust curled his lips as his mind raced with what he had learned, adding in bits and pieces to what he thought he knew.

It had taken a few moments to convince Jeremy, or ‘Mark’ as he now called himself, that he really was speaking to Jon Bon Jovi.

Then the revelations started.

The double life Mark had led that Amanda knew nothing about. Mark’s son and the two on the way.
Why the FBI had thought he was involved in drugs and how he was cleared. His and Amanda’s divorce and his remarriage. Everything he had kept from Amanda.

Jon had been startled out of his thoughts at one of Mark’s questions.

“Didn’t Richie tell you all this?”

“What?” Jon asked, barking out the word.

Mark repeated, “Didn’t Richie tell you all this?’

Jon nearly slapped himself off the stool as his palm met his forehead. Everything suddenly clicked into place and he was furious to the point of not having words.

“Mr. Bon Jovi?” Mark said.

“Yeah, I’m here. Fuck.” Jon said, the last word spoken on a low breath. “Listen - thanks for telling me this.”

“Jon?” Mark asked.

“What?” Jon answered, distraction clearly evident in his voice now.

“When you see Amanda, tell her … tell her… ”

Mark’s only answer was a phone line gone dead.

~~~

“Trish, I need to go to Jon’s. Will you drop me off there?” Richie asked, already pulling out his wallet to pay their bill.

Trish looked startled for a moment, then nodded, taking a last bite of toast as she stood, settling her purse over one shoulder.

Richie threw some bills on the table and took her elbow as they walked to the door in silence. A silence that lasted for nearly half of the 20 minute drive to Jon’s house. Finally, after several loud sighs and not a few curse words, Richie filled Trish in on everything that had been happening. He’d told her some of it, but now, with words running into each other as he tried to fit it all in before they arrived, he told her the rest.

“Jon’s mother is going to meet me at his house,” he explained, running his hand through his hair in agitation. “This has got to stop. She has to tell Jon what she did.”

Trish rested a hand lightly on Richie’s arm. “Are you sure that’s what she’s going to do?”

Richie nodded. “Yeah, she said so on the phone.”

“Okay,” Trish said, “then just call me when you need picked up.”

“I will,” he grinned at her. “Meet me with a bag packed for the both of us.”

Trish’s forehead crinkled slightly as she looked at him with questioning eyes.

Richie’s grinned widened, but he didn’t answer as he entered the security code at Jon’s gate and then pulled into the driveway.

“Richie! Why am I meeting you with a bag?” Trish demanded only half teasingly.

Shaking his head, grinning even more widely, Richie pulled the car to a stop. He put it in park, got out and waited for Trish to come around to the driver’s side. Laughing eyes met his smile as Trish stopped in front of him, a hand resting on her hip. Richie kissed the tip of her nose.

“Because we’re going to Vegas, baby, and we’re getting married! I’ll call my lawyer after I’m done here and get the papers ready and everything will be set for you to become Mrs. Sambora!”

Trish smiled back at him, although Richie didn’t notice that it wasn’t quite her normal smile. She nodded, turning to get into the car. He waited until she’d fastened her seatbelt, then banged lightly on the top of the car as she began to go.

He wasn’t looking forward to the next several minutes and was glad at least one area of his life was going well.

Trish drove out the gate of the home of Jon Bon Jovi and was livid before the car tires had connected with the street.

How DARE he just assume I'll marry him?

She loved Richie, and she was having his baby…she just didn’t know yet if she wanted to marry him.

~~~

Jon heard a knock at his front door from what seemed to be a long way away. He’d been toying with an empty wine bottle as he thought about what Amanda’s husband -- no -- her EX-husband had said. Even with a mind fuzzy from alcohol, some things just didn’t make sense.

The knock came again and he grumbled under his breath as stood up, wincing a little at the stiffness in his back. He wasn’t sure how long he’d been sitting there, but feeling the twinge of his lower back as he stood meant it had to have been a while.

“I’m coming, dammit!” He hollered as he walked through the living room to the door.

Throwing the chain and snapping the dead bolt, he opened the door.

Jon stepped back, waving Richie into the house. He closed the door, turned, and punched Richie right in the mouth.

Richie staggered, his back hitting the wall as his feet fumbling beneath him. He slid down the wall, a stunned look in his eyes, blood trickling down from one corner of his mouth.

Jon stood, looking down at him.

“Motherfucker.” Jon said, venom coating his words.

Richie raised his hand to his mouth, touched the blood that flowed and looked at it. He raised his eyes to Jon.

“Likewise.” He said, a half-grimace, half-grin crooking one side of his mouth as he rose to his feet.

The sounds of fists hitting fleshed echoed through the silent house.

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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