John Francis - Chapter 249

Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 9:07 PM
Richie turned the key to his apartment and groaned softly as his sore fingers hit the door jam as he did so. He shook his head, cursing again under his breath at his mistaken notion that having it out with Jon would be a good idea. His tongue ran over the small split in his lower lip where a right hook from Jon had caught him when he had zigged instead of zagged. He chuckled a bit at the idea of two men near 50 years of age trading punches like teenagers just proving their manhood. His grin faded as he “Ow”d at the tenderness of his lip.

He shut the door softly as he entered, throwing his keys onto the table near the door. Raking a hand through his hair, he stood for a moment by the door, feeling every single bump and bruise screaming at him that he wasn’t a kid anymore. He’d called Trish once he’d left Jon’s as the sun was just barely a warm rising glow. She’d sounded sleepy and he knew he’d woken her. He’d told her he was fine and that he would talk to her later that morning. All he wanted to do now was stand for a few hours in a warm shower until the aches and pains of the night were turned to a dull roar.

He settled for just under thirty minutes and stepped out of the steamy shower feeling as if he was only 90, instead of 95. Wrapping a towel around his waist, he shook back his hair then ran a brush through it. He cleared a section of the mirror with a swipe of his hand and took stock. The swelling in his lip was going down, although he might end up with a minor black eye before all was said and done. He left the bathroom, throwing on a pair of loose shorts. The kitchen, or more importantly, coffee, beckoned.

Richie wanted to speak with his lawyer first thing, which unfortunately meant waiting until at least 8:30, to get the paperwork in order. With serious money came considerations beyond just love and there were things he had to protect no matter who entered his life. He could afford to be generous, but he could not afford to be naïve.

Another thought popped into his mind and he gave a quick glance at the wall clock. Damn! Too early to call Ava in California. He’d also have to talk to Heather about he and Trish getting married. A small involuntary sigh escaped him. He’d thought he wouldn’t ever recover after Heather initiated their divorce. He had really expected to be married to her forever and to find that she had fallen out of love with him, no matter what excuse she gave to the press about another woman, had been devastating. The cruelest words on the planet had to be “I don’t love you anymore”.

Richie shook his head to clear away the small pain that seemed to linger like old cobwebs in an abandoned home. He knew his feelings for Trish were new, but he felt a peace when he was with her that he had not experienced for a very long time. A smile lit his face as thinking about Trish had him also thinking about the coming baby. He was going to be a father again and this time he would have a wife who wanted to travel with him and one who wanted to experience everything his life could give them.

By the time Richie had finished his coffee, it was close enough to 8:30 that he could call his attorney. Jack Marshall answered his private line with a deep-throated hello.

“Hey, Richie! How are you doing?”

Richie smiled as he answered, “Good, Jack, working but not right at the moment.”

“Good, take some time for yourself when you can.” Jack replied.

“I do, my man, I do, and that’s pretty much the reason I’m calling you so early,” Richie said.

“What can I do for you?” Jack asked.

Richie gave a small chuckle. “Jack, I’m getting married.”

Jack paused mid-sip of his own coffee. “Wow! Congratulations! Who’s the lucky lady?”

“Patricia Russo, she’s a psychologist and -- well -- we’re having a baby…” Richie blurted out, then winced. I sound like a kid telling my dad!

“Holy shit, Rich!” Jack said, a slight hint of caution entering his voice.

“Yeah, I know, Jack, but it’s a good thing and I’m really happy,” Richie said.

Jack nodded, knowing as he did so that Richie couldn’t see him, then spoke. “Fair enough. So -- I guess you’re calling me about the legal aspect of this marriage?”

“I need you to draw up a prenuptual agreement.”

“Can you come in this morning? About 10:30?” Jack asked.

“Sure, I’ll see you then.” Richie answered.

“Okay -- and Richie? All my best, man.”


Richie was finished at the lawyer’s a little before noon and as he was leaving took out his cell phone to call Trish, getting her voice mail.

“Babe! I’m on my way over. See you in about 15 minutes.” He hung up and hoped she wasn’t feeling bad today as he had another time set with Jack Marshall that day for Trish to sign the prenup. He wasn’t too worried about her signing the papers, but he was a bit worried about rushing her through it. But, dammit, he wanted to be on a flight later today to Vegas so they could get married, so it had to be a little fast.

He drove the roads effortlessly, although not just a little recklessly as he was distracted with a thousand and one thoughts about his future. Pulling up in front of Trish’s apartment, he nearly bound out of the car, so eager was he to see her. He kept his wide smile until she opened the door.

“Trish? My god, what’s wrong?” Richie’s voice shook as he took in the face of the woman before him. His first thought was a terrible one - she had lost the baby. His second thought, that someone had died, wasn’t much better, yet all he could think was disaster as her eyes were red from crying and she hadn’t yet spoken a word.

“Are you okay?” Richie demanded.

Trish shook her head. No, Richie, I’m not okay.

“Trish, what is it?” Richie’s voice rose as his sense of panic grew.

“I had to see the doctor this morning.” Trish started to explained. Richie nodded vigorously, urging her on.

“I woke up and when I went to the bathroom, there was some blood.”

Richie closed his eyes as fear trilled through him. He waited to hear the worst.

“The doctor said the pregnancy is fine and that the spotting was normal for some women.” Trish’s voice drew to a whisper as she watched Richie’s eyes snap open in surprise and relief.

He stuttered as he spoke. “Ssss…so you’re okay? The baby is okay?”

Trish nodded and then swallowed hard, trying to find the words to finish what she needed to tell Richie.

“Why were you crying? Is something else wrong?” Richie asked.

Trish shut her own eyes now, but quickly opened them as his grip on her arms suddenly tightened.

“Trish, you’re killing me here. What’s wrong?” Richie demanded, fear once again rising. “Is something wrong with the baby?”

Time seemed to stop as he waited for Trish to answer his question. If she was okay and the baby was okay, then…

“What did you just say?” he asked, stunned out of his thoughts by the strange word she had just whispered.

Trish raised her eyes to his, staring at him as she repeated the news that had sent her home from the doctor’s in a near panic, the word from the doctor that had changed her whole world.



  1. Summer Says:

    Oh. My. God. I'm freaking out being pregnant with one. Can't imagine three! Good luck to them.

  2. Rike Says:

    whoow, Richie, that was a great shot a couple months ago *rofl*

  3. Bayaderra Says:

    *shakes her head*
    Dear Lord, that man doesn't do anything on a small scale....

    Well, talk about instant famly...

    And Rich... I don't think she'll be doing much traveling with ya!

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Holy crap

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Wow! What a shocker! Richie will just be happy that everyone is ok.

    So, how's Jon holding up?

  6. Erin Says:

    OMG...did not see that one coming..

  7. Diane Owens Says:

    Ok! I got this far in this wonderful story and it ends?? Please tell no. Please tell me where it keeps going. Please

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