Chapter Thirty-One

When they pulled up to Jon's place twenty minutes later, a sleek black Hummer sat in the driveway. Jon groaned. "Shit..."


Erin looked at him quickly, her stomach growing tenser with nerves, but he shook his head. "No, it's Richie. I just didn't know he was coming..."

Erin relaxed a bit, confused but suddenly slightly anxious. She hadn't met any of the other members of Bon Jovi before, now that she thought about it; she hardly even thought of Jon as the lead singer of the world-famous band anymore. He was just a regular man to her - a wonderful, handsome, sexy as hell, kind man...but a man just the same. Everything Bon Jovi was unattached when it came to them.

But now, for some reason, just the name 'Richie' threw the entire situation out of whack - as if Erin were suddenly in a parallel universe. Now she realized with a skip of her heartbeat that she was indeed sitting next to an internationally famous, multi-million dollar rockstar...he was a god to thousands of women in the world. His status suddenly downright scared her, and for the first time, despite her feelings for him, she felt like she was in over her head.

Jon was entirely unaware of her inner mental turmoil as he pulled up along Richie's Hummer and hopped out. "Come on, baby," he said casually as he opened her door and hurried up to the house.

Erin followed, her heart fluttering slightly with anxious nerves. Jon opened one massive French door and ushered her inside, where the sprawling living room was warmly lit. Richie sat reclining on the sofa, his legs extended and crossed casually, like he'd done that a hundred times before. He looked up as they came in.

"Finally! Where were -" he stopped as he caught sight of Erin, and she blushed as he caught her gaze. "Oh, hey..."

Jon tossed his keys on the end table. "Hey, Rich. This is Erin Sullivan. The one I've told you about."

Erin frowned slightly. The one I've told you about?

They seemed to exchange an unspoken message before Richie smiled and extended his hand. "Nice to meet you, Erin," Erin smiled and took his hand, feeling like a teenager.

Jon grinned. "Erin, this is Richie Sambora," he winked.

Erin's heart was pounding, but she succeeded in playing it cool. "Nice to meet you too, Richie. I've heard a lot about you." Well, she realized, that's not true...not from Jon, anyway. But elsewhere...

Richie smiled politely, but looked at Jon. "Where were you?"

"I was with Erin," Jon said pointedly. He said no more, and Erin wondered if there was tension between them.

Richie raised and eyebrow, waiting for more. "Uh-huh. Well I've called you at least a dozen times tonight. You never answered."

Jon exhaled and headed toward the kitchen, motioning for Erin to follow. "Like I said, I was with Erin," he said over his shoulder. "We needed a night out."

Richie looked like he was trying to keep his cool. Erin suddenly felt like she was in the way, and she hurried up behind Jon, nudging him in the back. "Where's the bathroom?"

Jon opened the fridge and nodded his head to the right. "Down the hall, first door on your left."

"Thanks, I'll be right out," she headed off down the hall, and closed the golden-handled bathroom door. The inside was magnificent, and reminded her of the nicest restaurants and hotels she'd been to for business trips. The ones where she was always comped suites and tables by the panoramic windows. She whistled under her breath, and busied herself with touching up her makeup. She tried not to listen to the men in the kitchen, but found she couldn't help herself when their voices carried down the hall so easily.

"She's as pretty as you said, that's for sure," she heard Richie say. "But Jon, we've got a tour coming up. You're going to be gone again, for weeks at a time. Does she know this? Is she ready for that?"

Erin heard the clink of glass bottles and Jon's voice, lowered. "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it, Rich. To be honest, there are far more important things to worry about right now."

Richie sighed, as if he were annoyed with Jon. "Jonny, do you know what you're doing here? I mean, really know? Because last time-"

"Shut up," Jon said quickly. "Not right now. I know what I'm doing, and it would really help me out if you'd stand behind me for once."

"I just don't want to see you make the same mistakes you've made before, that's all," Richie said, his voice considerably angrier. "You're my friend and my brother, but you're also the leader of our band here, and you have too important of a position to compromise it for some woman."

Erin heard the slam of heavy glass on the marble counter. "God DAMN it, Richie," Jon hissed. "She is not 'some woman'! When are you going to see that?"

"You say that about every woman, Jon! You can't blame me for being a little hesitant about this one - every one is special, every one is irreplaceable to you...until they decide they can't deal with your baggage, and they walk out. Then you're left depressed and bitter and angry for the next month, bringing everyone around you down."

"Then that's my problem, isn't it?" Jon snapped. "Erin and I have already had quite a test, and we worked it out. I have full faith we can handle what's dished out for us. I just have a feeling, Rich, a feeling I never had with the others. Not since Dot, anyway," he added quietly. "And why the fuck are you bringing this up now? Erin's in the bathroom..."

Erin heard the jingle of keys. "Just don't screw this up, all right?" Richie said. "I don't have the patience for your post-breakup moods anymore. Call me tomorrow so we can actually work on what I came over here for in the first place."

The front door slammed, and Erin heard Jon sigh. Then the pop of a cork, and the swish of liquid pouring into glass. Erin absent-mindedly fixed her lipstick, feeling like she should give him a minute before she came out.

When she thought it was safe to emerge, she opened the door quietly and tried to keep her face casual, as if she'd heard nothing. Jon, of course, knew better. "I'm sorry," he said when he saw her. "I don't know why he felt he had to bring all that up right now."

Erin managed a smile. "It's all right," she took his hand. "I just hope you're okay."

Jon nodded. "Richie just doesn't understand a lot about love, as sad as that is. He hasn't had the best experience with women," he handed her a glass of wine and led her to the sprawling living room. "He was the classic 80's rockstar, caught up in the whole alcohol, drugs, sex scene. I don't think he ever learned how to truly appreciate a woman, and when he finally found someone...." his voice trailed off.

Erin sipped from her glass, the wine a welcome taste after the night's events. She didn't say anything, but she suddenly understood why Jon had introduced her like he had. It wasn't appropriate to gush over her and introduce her as the new love of his life to someone who clearly thought love was overrated.

"Let's just say she broke his heart, but he won't admit it," Jon sat down on the large sofa. "Goes on pretending he's fine without anyone, like he doesn't need love. Jaded, really. It's no way to live, and it's made him bitter."

Erin nodded. "I can see how that lifestyle would make someone bitter."

"Yeah, and he's always been mad at me for all the women I've had..." he faltered, looking at her sheepishly. "I mean...I'm sorry, I didn't mean it that way. It's just-"

Erin smiled and traced her fingers along his jawline. "I know you've had many women," she said reassuringly. "You're Jon Bon Jovi. I'm not stupid. As long as you don't treat them or think of them as objects, and as long as you never make the same mistake I did..."

Jon's eyes bored into her now, their blue as striking as sapphires. "I never have, and I never will. I promise you that."

Erin winced with guilt, but smiled softly. "Good," she whispered, and leaned in to kiss him. Their lips barely touched before he pulled away. "And I want you to know that I meant what I said to him. I've got a different feeling with you. I don't know what it is, but you're not like the others. I can feel that in my heart. He just can't see it, so he doesn't understand."

Erin nodded. "I know." She leaned in to kiss him again. "Damn it, I have to call Elmo's," he growled. "Give me a minute," he jumped up from the sofa and pulled out his cell.

Erin sat quietly on the overstuffed sofa while Jon smoothed out the situation with the manager on the phone.

“I truly apologize,” he said again. “I'll be happy to compensate for any of the inconvenience my behavior may have caused business tonight...”

He ran a hand through his blonde hair, which was tousled and messy by now. Erin smiled slightly; he was such a professional.

She thought back to what Richie had said about "last time," and she frowned slightly. What did that mean, and why did Jon shut him up so quickly? And she wasn't sure what she thought about Jon feeling so strongly about "every woman." Perhaps this was just another thing she had to get used to, part of the deal when you dated someone like Jon Bon Jovi.

Regardless, she was happy they had decided to stay here instead of her place tonight. She felt safer here: the mansion was set away from the city and the streets, secluded on private property and armed with enough security to bring the cops running within seconds. Though still unnerved about Max's appearance at the bar, she didn't feel in any immediate danger just now.

Jon tossed his Blackberry on the sofa next to her, finished with the conversation. “Well, that's as good as it's gonna get,” he sighed. “They can't stop the press from getting word of the fight, especially since so many people saw it, but they agreed not to comment. That's really all I can ask for, they don't have control over anything else.”

He sank down next to Erin and rubbed his eyes agitatedly. “Stupid,” he muttered, berating himself again. Erin sidled over and gently swept a lock of hair from his face. “It's okay,” she said softly. “You were doing it to protect me, that's all that matters. You've done all the damage control you can – short of calling every press agent in town and blackmailing them so they won't publish the story, you can't do anything else.”

Jon nodded, his eyes hard. “I know, but I hate it.”

Erin smiled at his stubborn look. “Come on,” she said, taking his hand. “Let's go upstairs and forget this whole evening. I could do with some distraction from Max, anyway.”

Jon glanced at her swiftly, as if suddenly remembering the whole reason why he'd been in a fight in the first place. His jaw clicked tightly. “I'd have knocked that guy out if I could,” he snarled. “What a total dick.”

Erin nodded. “I know, let's go upstairs...”

"Seriously," Jon clenched his fist and tossed back a generous swallow of wine. "If he crosses my path again, I will knock him out."

"Yes," Erin said impatiently. "Let's just go upstairs.."

Finally Jon relaxed and chuckled. “Eager, are you?”

Erin smirked at him. “Who says I want anything from you? I just want a pillow. I'm beat.” She stretched out and pretended to yawn.

“Liar,” Jon growled softly, leaning in to her ear. Seconds later, his lips were sucking the skin on her neck and she was half gasping, half giggling. She pushed him away and stood up, pretending to be un-phased. “Come on,” she kept her tone neutral. “Bedtime.”

“Damn right it is,” Jon said in a low voice, his eyes flashing with passion. He looked up at her from the sofa, his legs spread wide and a confident smirk on his lips. Erin pretended not to notice, and forced herself to walk toward the staircase.

She heard Jon get up and follow her quietly, and before she could stop herself she let out a squeal, taking the stairs two at a time. Jon was right at her heels, and she dashed past every open room before she finally found the double doors that had to lead to his bedroom. She flung them open and barely had time to gasp at the size of the bed, before he pinned her on top of it.

She scrambled up and he trapped her, crawling on all fours toward her. She backed herself into the headboard, watching him warily with an expression that clearly dared him to come closer. Her chest swelled slightly from the exertion, and Jon eyed the curve of her breasts, the slope of her chest as it plunged beneath the silky black fabric of her dress.

The blood rushed in Erin's ears as she watched Jon advance toward her; she was filled with a sudden passion so strong that she felt dizzy. Raw, carnal desire overcame her, but it was strangely tinged with the longing for intimacy, too. Slow, tender love...protective and sheltering, forgiving and comforting all at the same time – her heart and body alike ached with want.

And Jon's eyes clearly said that he felt the exact same way.

Friday, January 15, 2010

5 Comments:

rutpop said...

Yay got notice of the update in my Google alerts been hoping this story would pick back up. Sure hope Jon did enough damage control. Also wonder what Richie was talking about the last time. I can't wait until Jon finally puts Max where he belongs - in jail or better yet something more permanant.
Welcome Back!!

Cindy aka Miss Moose said...

Glad to have you back Becky!!! Richie needs to chill out over here with me and let Jon have his own life. He is a grown man. I wonder too what Richie meant about the last time. Thanks for coming back to this.

Anonymous said...

Glad you are back. Now if Erin and Jon can just get Max to disappear and let their relationship progress!!!

Anonymous said...

Hm...did you forget she already spent a night at Jon's place? Lobster dinner and so on...?

Does Jon know Max sabotaged his car? And has he forgotten about the "prank" phonecalls?

I wish they had told Richie about the whole thing. He might be the only one thinking straight...

If anything they managed to make Max more angry and crazy than ever, I'm sure. Don't like that...
Whatever happens please keep Jon safe, will you? I can't take it if anything happens to him:-(

signkat said...

Please continue this story!!!!!!!!

 
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