December 28, 2009

Chapter Forty-Five

No matter how hard she tried to go back to sleep after she hung up the phone from Richie, she couldn’t. The smell of Jon had drifted back into her life, as well as his touch and warm breath that haunted her through the night. Images of a young boy behind bars, his career completely over just as it had began, filled her mind. The associates of her father down in Chicago, were good lawyers, no they were great lawyers but the overwhelming need to see this out her way, was eating at her very core.

She twisted the sheet around her, and tried to bury the guilt in her pillow. It wasn’t possible, she had too much on to make this work. Between her med assignment and her father’s little jobs, it just wasn’t feasible right now to drop everything and go to Chicago, and do what? Try and get Doc off drug trafficking charges? What if Jonny had been involved? I mean, she doubted it but what if she underestimated it and wasted all her time, and risked everything she’d worked for in the last few months.

“Ugh!” She rolled over and sighed, and then got out of bed. She padded to the kitchen and made coffee, which would help her see sense, yes it would. He broke your heart Callie, you don’t owe him anything here. He’s not who you thought he was, and he’s not who you want him to be.

Well that was a load of crap, he followed his dreams and he kicked her in the path of hers. She just didn’t want to listen to him at that point, even though he was completely right. “Dammit,” she felt hot coffee splash her hand, this would not do. She had to forget about him. He had the help he could get, god, what if they didn’t have any money? How would they pay for these lawyers?

“Shit,” she grabbed her rolodex and found the number she’d given Richie. Sherwood Manning was a very prestigious lawyer, but boy did he come with a price. She dialled the office, noting the time would be just on 8am. After getting past the receptionist she held again to speak to Sherwood.

“Sherwood Manning.”

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “Hi, Mr Manning. It’s Callie Richards.”

“Oh hi Callie, I was just thinking about you. I got the Bon Jovi case, I’ve just got back to the office after seeing them first thing. Thank you for referring the case to me. I appreciate it. How’s your father?”

God so much info at once. “He’s fine, listen I was just making sure they were ok with your fee and things.”

He chuckled, “You’re going to pay for it? I didn’t think you were still married to him Callie?”

She rolled her eyes, he could be an arrogant ass sometimes. No wonder him and her father got along so well. “No, no I’m not. I know their financial situation isn’t that great...” She rolled her bottom lip over her teeth.

“No, it isn’t and they can’t afford there is that small issue, but Jon said we’d make an arrangement as soon as they got some money in, so I’m considering it.”

“Considering it?” She blurted it out without thinking. How could he just consider it? This was freaking important.

“Well Callie, you know we don’t work for free, although this is a pretty good Pro-Bono case, if it gets the media attention, so the pay off would be there...hmmm.”
She held her hand over the receiver while she growled. Damn her to hell.

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll do it.” She couldn’t leave Jon in the hands of someone that didn’t realize how more important this was than money.

He laughed, “You will huh? Well and here your father was just telling me you were now studying medicine. I’m sure I can work something out them Callie, if you’re worried.”

Her hands shook, she should say no dammit, she should go back to her already tangled up life and do what she was meant to do. If she thought quickly, she could finish her father’s errands before she flew out later that day, and then take her assignments with her and make sure she studied at night after she’d done the case notes. It’d take a couple of days at the most to get the information and fly back, finish the assignment and then get a date set for trial, if it went that far. She’d know what she was dealing with once she had all the facts.

“No, Mr Manning, as you can appreciate I have some form of affiliation to the group and I would very much like to see this through myself. I didn’t think I had the time on the schedule, but I see now, that I was wrong.” She held her breath, if he refused, she’d have a problem.

“Ok. Fine, have the case. I think it’s pretty cut and dried anyway. They’ll both end up in prison, you’ll just have work to do to reduce the sentence.”

“My ass they will,” she muttered.


“I said, well we’ll see about that. If you don’t mind.”

He chuckled, “ok ok, Well I’ll have the case notes faxed over to you. You can take it from there. They’re being detained until the manager fronts up with some bail money.”

Callie rolled her eyes, “oh god, and how much would that be?”

“Ten thousand.”

She nodded, ok do-able. “Fine, thanks again. Sorry to have mucked you around.”

They hung up and she called her father, if this was going to work, she had to bury her pride right about now. “Dad, it’s me. Listen, I need twenty thousand dollars.”


Jon rested his head back against the cool brick, the lawyer they’d spend the last hour with, he didn’t trust. He was good, as his record suggested. But the minute they said they had no upfront money, things got weird. And Jon didn’t trust weird, when it came to money.

He popped his knuckles and clenched his fists. Anything to stop him pounding Doc into the god-damned wall. As it had transpired, Doc had been selling drugs to make money to pay for some of the band costs, which included the never ending supply of girls on the tour bus. Never in all his life, had Jon felt disgusted and dirty as he did now. Sure, he loved the girls, and he’d bed a few from time to time but he sure as shit didn’t want them to be paid to be there. That was something entirely different in his mind, something that made his belly churn.

Jon knew that money had still been tight rolling into the second half of the year, but Doc had assured him that it was all under control. How could he be so fucking stupid? Not only had they landed in a pile of shit, they were now on the tight rope to career suicide. The call he placed to his parents just minutes ago, hadn’t been a happy one. They were catching the first plane out, and thank fuck. He needed someone familiar and someone he could trust right about now.

“You ok Jonny?”

He closed his eyes and wished he could shut McGhee off. “I’m fine Doc.”

Once again, with feeling.

“I’m a thousand times sorry Jon. I won’t take you down with me, I promise you that.”

He snapped his eyes open and stood. “You think that helps? I’m still tarred with the same brush Doc, the whole fucking band is.” He ranked his hands into his hair. “If you were having issues with our finances, you should have just said. We could have worked something out, anything --- god anything but this.”

His pulse quickened, if he didn’t sit the hell back down, he was going to do some damage.

“I know, it was stupid. I wasn‘t going to do it forever Jonny, you guys just deserved the best. The hotels the girls, everything...”

Jon sank his face into his hands and pulled his knees up to his chest. “And of course we all want those things, but I want them on my own merit Doc. I realize we’ve been lucky this far. Some bands don’t even make it this far, I do get that. But drugs? Fuck, what the hell were you thinking?”

“I wasn’t thinking was I?”

“Well least you’re fucking honest. I swear to god, if my career ends from this... I’ll never forgive you. And I’ll make sure you never work with anyone again in this country, and that’s a promise.”

The silence was welcoming, there was nothing he could say now that would make this better. All Jon regretted, was not having a handle on his business enough to realize they were in trouble. He could have, god damn it, he would have done something, anything but this.

“Do you think that lawyer is going to help us with no money?” Jon asked looking over at him. He felt a little bad, he did look worse for wear being roughed up by the drug guys and his shoulders were slumped down. Good, he deserves it.

Doc shrugged, “honestly I don’t know. He seems to know what he’s doing but I get the feeling he’s no money, no service. A lot of people in this world are like that Jonny.”

Jon held up his hand. “Don’t use it as an excuse to what you did. I’m not fucking accepting that.”

God this was a mess.

“You know, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it would have been pretty handy you still been married to Callie right now. She knew what she was doing, right?”
Jon’s jaw clenched and his knuckles turned white. “She was a hell of a lot more than just a good lawyer, she was the best—“He stopped, the fierce need to defend her didn’t surprise him. He hated what he did to her, and he hated what her father was still, he could only assume doing to her.

“I realize that, I’m just saying...”

“Well don’t, she was right about you. She told me not to trust you, and she was right.”

Doc lifted a brow, “is that so? I still find it hard to believe she is a top class lawyer, her demeanour says otherwise at times.”

“She was the best friend, I ever could have. I was just too blind and pathetic to see it.”

“What was that?”

“Nothing, she was just a good woman. She didn’t deserve what you, what I, threw at her.”

Steel clanged and the doors slid open roughly. “Bail’s been posted.”

Doc sprung to his feet, “the lawyer must have taken the case!”

Jon joined him, “I guess so.” He stuffed his hands in his jeans and followed Doc out, where Richie was waiting.

“Hey bro, good to see you. Stripes never suited you anyway.” His friend wrapped his arms around him in a brotherly hug. Only Richie could get away with joking at a time like this.

“Good to see you Rich. Thanks for sorting the lawyer, how did you find them anyway?”
Richie raised his eyebrows and grinned, “Just a friend of a friend. Come on, we’ll get you back to the hotel and get your dirty ass in the shower, and eat some food. It’s going to be a long few days.”

Jon scuffed his boot against the concrete as they left the building, he wasn’t fucking wrong.

December 26, 2009

Chapter Forty-Four

“That was insane!” Richie slapped Jon’s back as they ducked down the stage stairs. Jon laughed and grabbed a towel and mashed it into his face. His heart raced, and his head was alert, and alive, pumping with stage time. It didn’t get old, it just got better. Jon grabbed the water bottle offered, flipped the top and glugged it down.

“The crowd was so into it, I can’t believe it. They knew all the fucking words!” The buzz of that alone, was enough to throw him off the charts. Standing, commanding an audience was a bigger buzz than sex. He chuckled, ok so that was a little exaggerated. But shit, it was up there.

The echo of the crowd flew around him as he climbed into the bus with his band-mates, Alec had hauled up two pieces of ass at the back and Richie was already leeching onto another. Fucking Doc and his intention to keep the bus like a well stock bar, full of ladies. Not that Jon could say, he never partook. In fact, he partook a lot. But not tonight, he was too ramped up. Kicking back he stretched out and closed his eyes, while his head spun like a carousel.

When the bus hadn’t closed up, or shown signs to move five minutes later he cracked an eye open. “Where is Doc?” No one responded, they were too busy sleeping off the adrenaline or were getting their cocks sucked, he assumed.

He lifted himself out of the chair and nudged himself down the aisle, pulling a beer out of a bucket and walking off the bus. Sure enough, there were a few straggles of girls hanging about. He turned on the smile and pushed his sunglasses up his nose. “Hey ladies, thanks for coming.”

He left the in a trail of squeals and squabbles, as he looked around for his fucking manager. Where the hell is he? They had to get out of here, or more girls would work out they were still on the damn premises, and they’d have a situation like last month. Fifty girls piling into the damn bus!

He walked into the concrete underpass, which tunnelled under the stadium. “Doc?”
He pulled off his glasses and adjusted to the poor lighting. “Doc, we’ve got to get going.” He growled, nothing but silence answered him. The click of his boots followed him down further until he could see a couple of figures . “Doc?”
There was a scuffle, some rustling, and then Doc’s face came out to meet him.

“Jonny? What are you doing here?” The darkness in the depths in his eyes sent warning bells off in Jon’s head.

“What are you doing? We’re meant to be gone, and what are you doing down in here?” He folded his arms and waited for him to talk. Whoever the hell he was with, started to back away. “Well?”

“Jonny, go get on the bus, I’ll be there in a second.”

Jon didn’t move. “What the fuck is going on here Doc.”

“We just want the stuff McGhee, and then we’ll fuck right off.”

“Stuff?” What stuff? Jon was about to grab Doc and get the hell out of dodge when the light blasted from behind him.

“Freeze!” The clatter and clang behind him made him wince. Cops, Fuck.

Doc’s eyes went wide, and Jon turned around. “Look officers, you’ve got the wrong idea. Nothing is happened here.”

“Jonny, shut up.” Doc hissed.

“Nothing.” The cop, who towered above Jon at least two feet, jammed his hat down and busted past Doc. He snatched a parcel from behind Doc’s back and shoved it in Jon’s face.

“NOTHING? Yeah, just as I thought.”

The world blurred, as the blood drained from his face. “Please tell me that is NOT what I think it is.”

The policeman pushed past Doc to the other two men, “quite the little operation going on here then isn’t there?”

“No, it wasn’t anything to do with him,” Doc pleaded and Jon’s adrenaline leaked out of his body drop by drop as fear took over.

“Sure, tell that to the judge before he locks you all away.”

Jon grunted as his arms were pulled behind him and cuff’s snapped over his wrists. He wanted to yell, he wanted to scream and pummel Doc into the ground but he was smarter enough to know anything he did here would just land in further in shit and get the book thrown at him. Fuck.

They were all cuffed, and escorted out and past the girls that cackled and oogled.

Great, now it would be spread like wildfire through the media. He looked up as
Richie crashed off the bus, his belt buckle still flapping out from his jeans.

“Dude, I get some head and now you’re in cuffs? What the fuck’s going on?”

“Get me a lawyer Richie. A damn good one.” That’s all he could muster, his insides were boiling and his anger was rising. If this jeopardized their career, he’d fucking kill the guy.

“A lawyer? What the hell’s going on? I’ll call Callie.”

Jon grabbed his arm. “No, call the band’s lawyer. Don’t call her.” Christ, that’s the last person he needed to see right now. His heart flip flopped at the mere sound of her name. He hadn’t called her all this time, he wasn’t going to call her at the first sign of trouble. He had no right too.

“Ok, Ok. Where are you taking them?” Richie asked.

“Downtown, central on west.”

Jon was pushed into a separate car, thank fucking god. Right this moment he wanted to rip Doc’s face off. What the fuck had he been doing? Drugs? It’s not like that was new, Alec and Richie and a few of the others partook in some recreational usage. He didn’t care for the stuff. But what part did Doc have in all this? He wasn’t stupid, he knew they got it illegally, but he had no idea Doc was in on it. Fuck. They had gigs coming out their asses for the next few months, this was not a good time for this shit. He was sliding down Shit Street that was for fucking sure.


Callie woke with a start, sighed and peeled the paper off her cheek. She’d fallen asleep at her desk, again.

The phone was screaming in the next room, least that’s what it sounded like when her head was so damn fuzzy. She rubbed her eyes and padded through the kitchen. “Hello?” She glanced at her watch, Christ it was two-thirty in the morning. Her neck was stiff as a board, and her back felt like it was bent sixty four different ways.
But all that stopped when she heard the voice on the other end.


“Ah-hi, Richie?”

It was part of her life she’d locked away, part of her life she’d long buried, with the occasional lapse every time he was on TV or the radio. How many times had she wished she could have picked up the phone and called him? But the ache in her heart had still been much too fierce than she cared to admit. She wasn’t used to a broken heart, and no one in her own circle knew, that she had fallen in love with Jon, for real.

“Callie,fuck-I mean hi, it’s so good to hear your voice.”

She twisted the pencil around her fingers, “yeah you too Richie. What can I do for you?” Was something wrong? Or happened to Jon? Why else would Richie be ringing her?

“Something’s happened, I need your help. Jonny’s in trouble, so is Doc but I’m more worried about Jon.”

Her heart dropped, “what’s happened to him? I’m not sure I can help Richie.” She didn’t want to help...or so she kept telling herself.

“They’ve been arrested, Doc had drugs on him and Jon found him with some guys and he’s been busted, and right now they’re on their way down town, we’re in Chicago Callie.”

Her instinct was to drop everything and get down there as soon as possible, she had no doubt without even the rest of the story that this was not Jon’s doing. This had the potential to get very ugly, and very out of control if the lawyer they had didn’t know what they were doing. It would be all too easy to pin it on Jon. “Well I know some excellent contacts there Richie, I’ll get you the details.” She reached across the desk for her rolodex.

“Can’t you come down?”

She froze in motion, and closed her eyes, listening to the sound of her own heart racing in her ears. She couldn’t, she was snowed in with paper work up to the neck as well as an assignment for her course due in days. The extracurricular work her father had her doing, had been slowly and surely building up, she was looking for the right time to have that conversation. Now was not it. Who was she kidding? It was never a right time to talk to her father, she’d got this far and started her study in medicine, but as they year wound on, the work became more intense, as did her father’s favors.

Her knuckles turned white, she couldn’t do this. She couldn’t risk this on top of what she was already juggling; this could take months and would require careful planning for the trial or whatever charges were laid. The media would eat it up like free dessert day at the YMCA.

“Richie. I can’t, I’m really busy and I just can’t get away right now.” It pained her to say it and she rubbed away the tingle at the back of her neck.

“Callie, I know he hurt you. He knows he hurt you, but he loved you Callie.”

She blinked furiously, determined not to let her emotion get to her. She couldn’t do this, she couldn’t go back there. She’d changed, and for the better. She’d changed to slowly become what she wanted to become all this time. “It’s long over Richie. I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to come. Look,” she flipped through her rolodex and found the names she’d been looking for. “I’ve know some top lawyers, best in their field at this. They’d be better, more focused.”

“We miss you Cal, and I’m scared. What if this is the end of the band, we’ve just made the big time. You gotta know Jon will be thinking the same thing right now, alone in a cell somewhere.”

God, he knew how to make her feel bad. He wasn’t awful though, he was just being Richie and he was scared. She knew exactly how much this dream meant to every one of them. “Rich, I know you are but that’s why I think its better that we get guys to do this. I’ve got so much work on, that I won’t concentrate and you deserve better.” That was a lie, and she knew it. She was a cop out, she didn’t want to face Jon and she didn’t want to be bullied into doing anything ever again.

There was long pause and then a sigh. “OK, give me the numbers. I’ll give them a call. Can I tell them you put them onto them?”

“Sure, you can.” She quickly replied, feeling the weight slide off her shoulders.

“Ok, thanks Callie. I do appreciate it and I do understand why you won’t come. I really do.”

She twisted the cord around her wrist, until pain seeped into her arm. “Thank you Richie, it’s not that I don’t want to – I do...I care-“She stopped, took a deep breath and closed the door inside her heart once more.

“I know, thanks Callie. Take care now.”

And then he was gone. She should have felt relief and she should not have felt sad when she clicked the receiver back into place. But instead, the dull ache in her heart that had healed over time, she felt pang. Maybe it was a good thing she wasn’t seeing him again, she clearly wasn’t ready.

December 19, 2009

Chapter Forty-Three

Jon smiled as the crash of bowling ball met pins. He turned around and shot his fists into the air. “I do believe that was a strike gentleman.” He dusted off his hands and skipped back to his chair, snagging his beer for a quick pull.

Richie snorted, “don’t get to cocky now son. You haven’t seen the power of Sambora.” He flashed a grin so broad Jon laughed as he stood up and stretched his tall frame.

“Yeah, I so don’t wanna see any power you have bro.” Jon pulled up his knees to his chest, this is what he had needed. Doc had been right, a day away with the boys just to be boys without the rest of the drama. He glanced over his shoulder and could make out Doc in deep conversation with a couple of people he didn’t recognise. “Who do you suppose they are?"

He nodded towards the corner as he took Tico’s cigarette off him.

Tico shrugged, “I don’t know. Do we care as long as we get paid?”

Jon snorted, and took a deep suck. “Suppose not, but I still don’t trust him.” Doc had been better in the last few months, but there was still something that hung over him that Jon didn’t particularly like. And the fact was, he was too busy being mobbed to be able to do much more than to take what Doc gave them.

He raked his hand through his hair and blew out the smoke, he hadn’t thought about Caliie for awhile now. And fuck if he missed her, he missed throwing her off her little steady manner. He smiled remembering how just a kiss, could do that. He’d fucked up, and he’d not told anyone, not even Richie, that it was the one thing he regretted more than anything.

He’d broken her heart.

The first few months had been easy, he’d slept, drunk and lived a normal joe-blogg life only to get it taken away again. They’d recorded the album up in Vancouver, and then released and burst into International Stardom over night. Well, it seemed that way with how fucking fast it all went by.

He’d thought about calling her, and there was the matter of the divorce that Doc had been keen to make go away, and have his “star” be a free man again. Doc had pulled in a favor with a lawyer friend, and he’d made it go away, with the simplicity of signing a few forms. It was an amicable split no settlements, nothing. Callie had more than he ever did in worldy goods anyway.It wasn’t legal whatever happened to make this happen, Jon knew that but he had to let her go anyway he could. It was the least he could do.

“You know Jonny, you should call her.” Tico stood up and plucked a ball from the rack.

Christ, had he heard him? “Call who Teek?”

Tico laughed, “I’m not stupid Jonny.”

Tico’s ball rocketed down the aisle, smashing through the pins at the end. No, he wasn’t stupid. Tico was the silent one, the sponge that seemed to absorb everything, even when you thought he wasn't listening, he was. He couldn’t call Callie now, she’d have moved on.

What if she hadn’t? What if she was still at the mercy of that damn father of hers?

He rubbed the back of his neck as Tico came back dusting his hands. “You miss her don’t you?” He slid into the chair and popped the lid off another beer.

Jon ignored the pang in his chest and looked away, “it was for the best. For her, and for me.” The more he kept saying it, maybe he’d believe it.

Tico chuckled, “maybe it was. But maybe she needed you, like you need her.”

Jon frowned, “I don’t need her. I’m perfectly fine without her aren’t I? I’m here, I’m not crying in my cereal about her.” He scoffed and sprung himself up off the chair as his turn came up. He didn’t need anyone, now then and not now. He threw the ball down the aisle, and cursed as the ball skidding down into the gutter.

Richie slapped him on the back, “losing that golden touch bro?”

“Fuck.” He sank back into the chair and growled, Tico was still staring at him with a questionable brow. “Shut up.”

“Jonny, nothing wrong with needing someone that’s not in your circle, she’s a steady head and you need that away from all this.”

She was his steady head too, and he damned fucked that right up didn’t he? He missed her, there he said it, even if it was just to himself. He said it. He missed her laugh, he missed the way he could talk his head off and she’d stroke the back of his neck as he did, and just listen. He missed her scent, even now, wild summer nights still reminded him of her scent.

“I can’t go back Teek. I hurt her, way too much. We were just too different.”

That’s what had fit, and he knew it. The fact that they came both from different situations kept them both honest with each other. How could he not have seen that then? How could he not have fought for that, at the time? All he had left of her, was her tear stained face that tugged his heart each time he remembered, instead of those nights where her wild hair tumbled around her breasts, and her blue eyes sparkled like diamonds.

The angry shouts from where Doc was, snapped him back to reality. Two of the guys, had hauled Doc up against the wall.

“Dude, what the fuck?” Jon leapt out, followed closely by Richie and ran across the room.

“What’s going on?”

Doc winced as they held him against up against the wall, by the collar of his Hawaiian shirt.

“Jonny, its ok – go back and keep playin, we’ve got it under control here. Haven’t we boys?”

Jon frowned, “what’s going on. Let go of him!” He shoved at the big guy, built like a fridge.

“Back off, we just need our money and we’ll let your little weasel friend go.”

“Jon – just go, you don’t need to worr—“

The one, holding Doc snarled, “Listen to him pretty boy. Just back away and we’ll get what we want and leave you all alone.”

“Fuck off, how much does he owe you?”

“Jon, please just go back and-“

“How much?”

His neck was on fire, as the rage crept up his skin. What the hell was he doing now?

“Five hundred.” The guy, now blocking his view folded his arms and nodded.

“Fine, take this, it’s worth that much.” He popped off his wrist watch, the one his parents gave him when Shot through the heart hit number one.

“Jonny, you don’t need to do this.”

He thrusted it into the guy’s hands. “Take it and leave us the hell alone.”

Doc slumped to the ground as he was released, and the two guys left without so much of a word. Jon didn’t help him up, instead he just stood there with Richie and waited for Doc himself to.

“What the fuck was that about? Are you gambling, or doing something stupid?”

“Jon, maybe we should talk when we get back to the hotel...” Richie whispered. Fuck that, he needed to know now why the hell his manager was being hauled up for cash, by two guys that looked like they belonged in West Side Story.

Doc straightened himself up. “No, I’m not gambling. I just owed them some money, I had to pay some advances for the band.” He flicked his cuffs up. “So I went to some loan sharks, that required nothing more than your word.”

Jon cringed, “I thought we had enough money to get by now, we’re starting to get money in from the record Doc. And why didn’t you fucking tell me?”

“I didn’t want to worry you. Thank you for bailing me out. It won’t happen again.”

Jon chewed the inside of his cheek, something wasn’t adding up here. They had money, he knew they had more than five hundred dollars available in cash if they needed it.
“I want to see the books.”

Doc’s eyes widened, “of course. I’ll get them together when we get back to the hotel.” He quickly excused himself, which left Richie and himself standing there alone.

“You don’t believe him?”

Jon shook his head, “I dunno Rich. I honestly don’t. I’m damned going to keep an eye on our money though. Last thing I want is the fucking band being affiliated with gang members for money.” God, after everything he’d done to get this band where it was now. He couldn’t afford the reputation.

“But Doc, wouldn’t be so stupid, would he Jonny?”

“I’d hope not Rich. I wish Callie was here, she’d be able to see anything dodgy in the books.”

Richie cocked his brow. “Wow, you said her name.”

He hadn’t even realised he had either, dammit. But it was the truth. She was a lot smarter than he was when it came to this. “Well, she’s smart.” Beautiful, funny, a little uptight and - fuck it.

“So call her.”

“I’m not calling her. I’m the last person she needs right now. I kicked her in the guts Richie.”

He held his hands up, “whoa another revelation. No shit Jonny, so go and fix it.”

No, he couldn’t. It was over, he’d said his piece and it had been ten months since he saw her. She was probably dating a young hot shot doctor, or lawyer by now. All he did was turn her world upside down, and turned his inside out. They were better apart.

It is what it was.

“Alright, but how do you know she isn’t just as fucking miserable as you are?”

Jon snorted, “I’m not crying in my beer Rich. And I’m sure she’s not either.”

“She loved you.”

He swallowed the forming lump in his throat. “Yeah, well. I loved her. Come on, let’s go bowl.” He didn’t let Richie speak anymore reason, he couldn’t take it. He hated when Richie was right, it still didn’t change anything. But he was right.

He pointed to Doc. “I want those books when we get back.” Doc nodded, and didn't meet his eyes.

It was time to take control. No fucking way was he letting whatever the hell his manager was doing, suck the rest of them down with him.

No fucking way in hell.

November 28, 2009

Chapter Forty-Two

October 1986

“Stand up to him. You are worth more than this shit. Probably worth more than me, to tell the truth.”

Those were the words that burned through Callie’s head, on days like today. Towers of papers loomed around her, and text books were splayed open all over what she used to call a dining room table. She glanced at the clock, god knows how as her eyes were about to cross.


She needed coffee and she needed to finish learning about cardiovascular cellular interaction. Her exam was at ten am, sharp. She’d been studying for weeks now, so she knew she was well prepared, but well prepared wasn’t good enough when you’d risked everything to do what she’d done. She had to ace this, without exception.

She glanced over at the smaller pile; she’d have to sort through that tomorrow. She sighed and she straightened the little stack of case notes, her father still having managed to have her locked into a small part of the business. But hell, she needed the money. Practicing law on the side, part time is what paid her bills and let her live while in the background, the student loan she’d taken out to do this was piling up.

She rubbed her eyes and slid out of the chair, padding for a direction that was hopefully her bed. Her father hadn’t taken her decision lightly but she’d stood her ground, and told him this is what she was going to do. And like a thief in the night, she didn’t see it coming when he’d managed to keep law in her life. She knew in the back of his mind or he expected her to drop out, or fail. This was only phase or a silly little fancy of the moment as he’d so elegantly phrased it.

It gave her money, so it wasn’t all bad. But inch by inch, he tried to suck her in a little more, but Callie in her new found determination was juggling. She sank into bed and made sure her alarm was set before tugging the covers up tight around her. It wasn’t a bad life, she just hoped she could survive.


The words thundered through her room at 5.55am, and she couldn’t help but smile. Jon’s band was no stranger to airplay on the radio now, and they’d been burning it up for the last few months. She’d been able to block all of Jon out of her life for a few months, and she was surprised when he didn’t call, and maybe a little disappointed if she had to be honest. She missed him like crazy, even though her heart still tugged each time she thought about what happened.

It was August she first saw them, on some TV special with the release of their album Slippery When wet. He still looked the same, his hair still wild and crazy and his eyes still blue and full of excitement, not like the last time she’d seen him. His pants were tighter than they ever had been, not that she had looked of course, and her cheeks hadn’t burned either.

She was happy for him, she really was. Despite all that had happened, he deserved his dream he’d worked so hard for. And in reality, he’d made her see that she could have her own too, finally.

“And that was the new single for Bon Jovi, you guys can’t get enough of these guys. We’ll play them a little later, got to give the other bands a chance right? I hear they’re in town this week so you never know ladies when you might see them, just follow the swarm.” The DJ laughed and started to plug another band.

Her stomach flipped, he was back in town? Now more than ever, she knew she wouldn’t just cross paths with him by accident, and she didn’t need to think about Jon right now. Christ, now that he was famous, he was probably bedding a woman a night.
Callie sighed and rolled over, flipped herself out of bed and headed to the kitchen for coffee before sliding back into her chair. She had a good few hours before the exam, so she’d cram just a little more. It had been two hours, when the phone shrilled through the apartment. Her heart drummed against her ribs as she rushed over and grabbed it. “Hello?”

“Callie.” Her heart sank as her father’s voice filled her ear. Really, who had she been expecting, He hadn’t called in 10 months, he wasn’t about to call now.

“Hi Dad.”Maybe for once though, her father was going to recognise the fact she was studying medicine and called her to wish her luck for her exam.

“Can you run by this afternoon with the Emerson files? I’d really like to discuss that case with you.”

She closed her eyes, of course he didn’t.“I can’t today Dad, I’ve got an exam this afternoon.”

“Oh, ok then well tomorrow?”

“Yes, I can do tomorrow; I’ve read them already so I’m prepped on the situation.” Bradley Emerson III was up on sexual harassment charges from his service staff. The files all pointed to him guilty, as it wasn’t the first time he’d dipped his wick in the house staff.

“Great, swing by about ten. I’ll have morning tea ready for you.”

She hung up and bit her lip, she’d made the move but it didn’t help that he still didn’t respect or even acknowledge she was serious about this. Callie, unfortunately for her was a damn fine lawyer, and her Dad used her mind, a lot, and obviously still her service.

She closed her eyes and found the words.

“Stand up to him. You are worth more than this shit. Probably worth more than me, to tell the truth.”

One day she would stand up to him, once and for all.

One day.


He smiled and waved to the catcalls, thankful his shades were shielding his eyes from being burned out by the gazillion flashes as he walked through the Plaza downtown, through the sea of fans and press. He bumped his knuckle with Richie’s as they climbed into the waiting car together.

Life was good.

“Holy shit, could there be any more people in there? I thought I was going to get mauled. One girl grabbed my junk.”

Jon raised his eyebrow, “and that is a problem for you since when...”

“I prefer giving out my junk, not having it on a buffet.” Richie grinned, leaned back and stretched out his girls.

“Looked like a buffet last night to me,” Jon smirked remembering at least three girls that disappeared into Richie’s room over the course of the night and no one ever came out.

“What can I say, they love the Sambora.”

Jon rolled his eyes and looked back over his shoulder, “Doc in the other car?”

“I think so.”

“Good, because fuck me—when do we get to damn rest.” He took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. “I so need a quart of coffee about now.”

“He’s been running around like a mad man, I don’t think he sleeps.” Richie passed comment.

“Well Fuck. I appreciate the fact we’re hot in demand right now, believe me but make people work a little for us. Sheesh.” He rolled his head against the back of the seat. He was tired, the string of concerts had been unreal, and they were just starting out with a full blown tour to Europe next month, Europe? He couldn’t really quite believe this was happening some days.

Other days, fuck yea. He’d worked his ass off for this moment and they’d sacrificed a lot to get here.

“So what about you and Penny, was it?” Richie asked with a gleam in his eye.

Jon snorted, “Yeah she was hot. Average in bed, maybe I wasn’t really into it.” He’d got drunk, picked a girl and gone for it. He’d got female attention before, but since they’d released this album, it had been fucking unreal. Females were throwing themselves at him, crying, begging for anything. A kiss, a night in the sheets. At times, it was overwhelming but hey, that was rock and roll right?

The car pulled up at the hotel.

Richie laughed, “We live in Jersey and we’re staying in a hotel. I can get used to this bro.”

Jon snorted, “Yeah well don’t. This was one was free, we’re still watching the dollars but hopefully it won’t be for long.”

Richie stopped, “Should I be worried you know more about that shit than I do?”

“Do you want to know more? Or just want to get paid and have a blast.” In some cases, Jon wished that he could do just simply that, but fuck now was he going to let Doc just run everything without him at least seeing what was going on.
Richie chuckled. “Good point, you were always better at that sort of thing that than I was.”

Jon shrugged, “you were always better at guitar than I ever will be.”

Richie cupped his shoulder, “damn right sunshine, alright I need a shower and then some booze, we’ve got some fancy to do thing tonight right?””

“Yup, we sure do. And I’ve got three phoners to do,” which meant sleep was off the fucking menu this afternoon. Jon found his room and threw down his things before landing on the bed. He closed his eyes, and tried for just a minute to stop his world from turning. It’d been spinning constantly for the last six months, between recording the record then releasing it, it all happened so fast. And now, the record had shot to international success beyond his wildest dreams. It was still the beginning, but the possibilities were they’d struck gold.

He reached for his cigarettes and swiftly lit one before laying back and kicking off his shoes. He only had a moment, and fuck he’d take it. He groaned when there was a knock and Doc walked in.“I know, I know...I’ve got interviews.”
He sat down in one of the chairs, and pulled out his own cigarettes. “I know Jonny, they’re a pain in the ass, but they’re working. Besides. I’ve got good news.”

Jon sat up and flicked his ash into the tray. “Yea?”

“Tomorrow, you’re having a day off. I’ve rented a bowling alley and we’ll have a day just to relax and booze.”

“How did you afford all that so quick? I thought we had no money.”

Doc shrugged, “you let me worry about that. It’s not bands’ money either, let’s just say a sponsor stepped in.”

Christ he wasn’t in the mood for riddles. “A sponsor? What sort and what do we have to do in return?”

Doc waved him away, “Nothing Jon. Seriously you guys deserve a down day. So you’re getting it. Ok?”

A down day? Fuck, he needed a down week at this point. Jon nodded, “yeah the guys would appreciate that. Thanks.” Jon looked out the window that mirrored the city and rubbed his forehead. How things had changed in months, they were still broke but record sales and tour sales had to be stacking up and soon, he hoped to god so they could move somewhere in this industry.

Maybe one day he’d even manage the band himself, he glanced over at Doc.

One Day.

November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Although I am not from the US, I am blessed to have friends that are and understand the importance of this traditional holiday for all my US readers.

I am thankful that I have such great readers from everywhere, and ones that are never afraid to share their opinions on my stories, and the characters. That as a writer is the greatest gift.

I wanted to wish you all a great holiday and if you have extended time off, relax and spend it with the ones you love, and no we all can't turn up in Redbank or NYC tommorrow LOL. ;) And think of me when you eat crap-loads of turkey and pumpkin pie!

And if you're not from the US, let's have a drink anyway ;) *cheers*

I tried to have this one updated for you by tonight but between some family commitments and a brand new project for work, (blah) I couldn't make it. I started it and it should be up by the weekend, so check for it then.

As for me back in Kiwi-land, our Xmas party for work is tommorrow and it's a Wild West Theme so I'm kicking on my cowgirl boots and dusting off my hat, Yee-ha! hehe.

So that's me, and I just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving and just a hey, for everyone else. :)


November 19, 2009

Chapter Forty-One

Callie sat huddled on the park bench tugging her coat tighter around her. She buried her nose into the wool and watched the snow fall slowly, and like her tears they slowly dissolved into the concrete. How had her life gone from being normal to this crazy whirlwind, where her heart was being ripped in every direction?

She wanted to pack a bag and disappear, god who wouldn’t? The logical side her knew that wouldn’t’ solve anything, but just prolong it. In the last few months, she never expected to fall in love and then have her heart broken by two separate people. Her father didn’t know what this was doing to her, she lived in hope that if she truly told him, truly showed him how much this was killing her. He’d take compassion, but she was too scared to be rejected by it.

As she twisted the belt in her fingers, she knew the problem was that she would never have the guts. Jon was right, he was walking all over her and she was letting him. But so was Jon.

She sighed and closed her eyes. Jon.

What the hell did she do now? Somewhere deep inside her, she knew she loved the guy. No one had ever bothered to believe in her, enough to tell her to follow her own dreams. The one thing she loved more than anything was his passion, and it was the one thing that she was jealous of.

Could she forgive him for this? Maybe.

It was a fucked up situation, from the beginning when he made the decision that they’d stay married to piss people off and make a stand. Another decision someone made for her.

She wiped her cheeks, her heart felt so deep and hollow. She wasn’t sure she had much more to give anyone. What did you do when everything around you failed you?

You look out for yourself. That’s what you do Callie.

God, could she? The thought rankled in head as she imagined what it would be like to take some control over her life. Days ended grey and miserable, and then the next they were sunny and bright. Could her own life be just like that?

God how much she wanted it to be.

Jon had least shown her, that if she wasn’t going to take control, no one else would.

Maybe that’s what she finally had to do.

She stood and dusted off the snow and walked slowly back to her apartment, her belly flip flopped when she stood at her door, her heart raced in her chest, if she didn’t do this now, she never would.

Her fingers rolled into her hand, and she walked in. The apartment was eerily silent, had he gone? His bags weren’t where they were by the door when she left. She clicked the door closed behind her and shrugged off her jacket and dropped her keys.


She looked up to see him standing in ripped jeans and an old football sweater, leaning against the doorframe in the kitchen. His hair was loose, and his smile warm, she wanted to forget all this and fold herself into his heat. God, she did.

“Hi.” She swallowed against the large lump in her throat.

Could she really give up the only good thing that had happened to her?

God, she didn’t want to be alone again. Her arms shook as she folded them. His eyes were sad and tired. She knew he felt bad, but right now it wasn’t enough.

“You ok?”

She sat herself down on the couch and let the coffee table blur in front of her. “No, I’m not Jon.” He moved to her but she shrugged away from him. “Don’t, please.” It took everything for her to dig deep inside her and find her gumption. “You hurt me Jon. You broke my heart.” She couldn’t’ look at him. Refused to look at him, if she did she’d never get it out.

Jon clasped his hands to together and rested them on his knees beside her. “I know, I was stupid Callie and if I could change it, I would.”

“You can’t change it Jon. Maybe I was naive thinking you meant something, and I meant something to you.” Her chest stabbed with the hurt still so close to the surface. Had she really been that stupid? She wasn’t built for this life, booze, girls, and the constant insecurity that she never knew she had.

He grabbed her hands in his. “C’mon you do mean something to me. Callie, baby. Fuck, listen to me.” Her heart twisted tighter, his baby blue eyes shone with earnest. “You, do.”

“Why, because you are now off tour? Need something to play with back home?” She almost took the words back but didn’t.

“I deserve that and a whole lot more.”

“Damn right you do.” She stood and walked over to the window that looked over the street. She gnawed on her bottom lip. “I was there when no else was. I took you away, with money that was given to me for our marr-” she blew out her breath. “Fake marriage and I can’t do it anymore,” she whispered. “I can’t do any of it.” The weight of hurt just wanted her to bury herself under the covers in bed, and forget about the world. She felt her behind him, the snowy postcard outside blurred when she felt a pair of arms wrap around her from behind.

“I don’t want to lose you Callie.” She felt his breath puff against her neck. She blinked away the tears as he nosed her shoulder and kissed the side of her neck. “You’re the only one that gets me.”

She shook her head and tried to undo his clasp around her belly. “No, I can’t be Jon. I can’t be it for anyone anymore.” He didn’t budge, his grip only constricted tighter the more she tried to pry open his fingers. “Jon, please don’t make this hard as it always is. I was never meant to fit into your life. I can’t -- I can’t bear it. Knowing that you’ll always have girls all over you, and wonder if you’ll take what they so desperately offer you.” Her voice cracked, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath, “I can’t, and you shouldn’t ask me to.”

The sob jolted her out of the silence that hung between them. “Callie. Don’t do this. You need me.”

She twisted around, still caged in by his arms. “No, you need me Jon.” Tears rolled down her eyes. “You always have.” She swallowed her emotion and placed her palms flat on his chest. “I’m sorry Jon. It's over. I have to do this, for me. I have to.”

The strength inside her was fading, if she didn’t end this with him now. She knew she never would. It was cruel, as he was the only one that finally understood and believed in her, and maybe he did love her. But that didn’t make this right.


Before him was the girl he’d met just months ago, so fragile and willing to go along with his stupid idea of his marriage and what kind of stand it would take.

And now here she stood, broken because of her fucking father.

When he’d met Callie she was so shy, and over time with him she’d come out of her shell. But now, here she was, quiet, her eyes had lost all sparkle and he was to blame.

He was a fucking idiot. All this time he’d been worried far too much about the game, how the game affected his life and his reputation in the game. When he should have been worried about her.

He was used to getting what he wanted, and he’d just lost the only thing he realized he actually needed.


Sweet, innocent Callie who had come into his by a drunken mistake, he was too fucking blind to see what a blessing it had truly been. She’d unconditionally looked out for him, and fallen in love with him. He was no better than fuckin Doc, playing her like a puppet. He popped his knuckles, and cursed under his breath.

She was carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders, and none of it was her own. He didn’t know too much about rejection from parents, so he couldn’t exactly stand on the soap box and tell her to stand up to her father like he’d been so easily doing. Maybe it wasn’t that easy to tell them the truth. God knows, he’d never of had to thank god.

“Dammit, Callie.” He pulled away from her, short of shaking her, he didn’t know what else to do. What else he could say to convince her to stay with him. He raked his hand through his hair and scoffed at the few tears that ran down his cheeks.

Did he fucking fall to his knees and beg her to give him another chance? No, that wasn’t his style and she knew it. Fuck, had he been so blind to not see that she knew him, more than a lot of people did. He needed her? Part of him wanted to tell her, she needed him before her father ran her into the ground.

Maybe it was too late.

That’s not what the songs he wrote said, they talked about hope, love and second chances. So why the fuck wasn’t this working now? Was life really that different than music?

It was killing him how destroyed she looked. “Is this what you want? Is this what you truly want Callie?” He turned her into his arms, and tilted her chin to meet his gaze. Her eyes were flat, and void of any affection for him. How could he have been so fucking blind to not to seen this earlier? Every time she looked at him, it’d made his heart trip. He’d give anything for her to look at him like that now. “I don’t believe you.”

She rubbed her chest and shook her head, before the tears fell from those beautiful eyes. “Don’t Jon. I can’t take much more.”

Jon wanted to push, he probably could have. But then how was that going to help her? She was doing the one thing he’d accused her for not being able to do. But he never expected her to do it to him. He couldn’t force her, that’s how this fucked up situation started in the first place. “Ok, I’ll go, on one condition.”

He found his bags, god he didn’t want to walk out the door without another night of holding her. Another night of hearing her laugh, and having her close to him. He could keep digging at her, and she’d give him for one night. He was sure of it. But he had to do something for her, for once.

“What?” she asked, her pretty blue eyes shinning with tears.

He cupped her chin and rolled his lip back under his teeth. “Stand up to him. You are worth more than this shit. Probably worth more than me, to tell the truth.” He kissed her forehead and pressed his own against it.

“Don’t let him destroy you. You stood up to me.” His eyes fell to hers. “Now stand up to him.”

He shouldn’t have but he leaned in for one more kiss, salty and sweet and everything that was his Callie mingled in his mouth. “Bye baby.”

And he didn’t look back.

November 16, 2009

Chapter Forty

She pressed her nose into his shirt, the heat of his chest soothed her more than it should. He smelled like she remembered, spicy and fresh with a little kick she could only associate with Jon. Why couldn't things be different? Why? Her tears blended with the soft cotton of his shirt, as she finally lost the battle to hold it all in.

Her heart was breaking inside her, piece by piece. Through Jon, and through her father, her will to fight anymore had all but melted away. She'd been preparing herself for this moment over the last few days, forcing the tears into submission every time she'd thought about him walking right through that door.

But she'd lost.

The sight of him, in his ripped jeans, red leather boots and loose blue button down shirt had made her heart leap before she could catch it again. Mixed in with the misery, the hurt and the betrayal of what he'd done, she'd let go.

She hated for him to see her so weak, when he was the one person she'd been able to show her weakness to and lean on him as a pillar of strength, and a pillar of hope.

But not now.

He was so beautiful when he'd walked in the door, and her belly churned when all she could do was picture those girls all over him, touching him and him responding.

“Callie, talk to me.” He buried his nose into her hair, she had to pull back and break the connection or she never would.

“No, Jon...” she folded her arms and backed away, breaking the heat and the comfort she'd submitted to.

“Baby, please...I can explain everything.” He took her hand, and she tugged them away.

“No Jon, it's over. I can't do this anymore.” Her eyes stayed on his boots, she was too afraid she’d lose her nerve if she met his.

“Callie, I've been a jerk... Can we at least talk?”

She turned away, searching for her keys, searching for a reason to leave.

“No Jon, I have to go. Dad's been in hospital. He needs me.”

He'll always need me.

He grabbed her arm and twirled her around. “Hospital? What the hell happened?”

His eyes were wide and red rimmed. Her heart twisted at his emotion as she swallowed down the ever forming lump in her throat. “Heart attack, he's been there for awhile now. He's getting better.”

“Christ, Callie, you should have told me! Should have,” he raked his hand through his hair and stopped looking back over at the stacks of paperwork that her life, smeared all over them. “Are you doing work for him?”

She looked away and finally found her keys, “sort of.” She wasn't in the mood to hear how disappointed he was in her for not following through with her plan, she'd finally brought herself to carry out.

He gave her space, but blocked the doorway. “Sort of? What's going on baby?” His tone dropped, and she wanted to crumble. Into his arms and into his strength. She didn't know how much longer she could do this, pretend she was ok with this.

When she clearly wasn't.

“Jon, please. I have to go. He'll be waiting.” She wiped her cheeks and took a deep breath to even out her own emotions.

“You're not telling me something.”

“Like you can talk,” the venom snapped off her tongue fast.

He held his hand up, “I deserved that. But putting that aside for the minute. Did you tell him about medical school?”

“I asked you to leave Jon.”


“I mean it, I don't want you here anymore...” The room blurred as she fought again, dammit. She wiped her cheeks, and tried to get shove past him but his body weight held true.

“Callie, I'm not going anywhere.”

His grip locked her legs, and she crumbled. Her knees buckled and she slid to the floor. Her chest tightened and the sobs came, and so did Jon. Wrapped around her, he sank to the floor holding her tight against him.

He stroked her back gently, as she hiccuped through the hurt that she'd held onto for so long. The grief of losing her dream, was so her reality. Could she also handle losing him?

“Oh sweetheart, shhh... it's ok. I'm here. Just let it go baby. Let it all go.”

It shook her body like a freight train, as she sobbed so hard it stabbed her in the gut. “I can't,” she wished for a moment that this was all a dream, a very horrible wrong dream that she would wake from any minute.

She wanted to pull herself up from the floor and walk away from him, but she was done, she had neither the strength to fight him or her father at this given moment.

“Callie, please...tell me.” She squeezed her eyes shut and tried to block out the concern in his voice. His hands cupped her back, and stroked her as she settled against him. “You're worrying me baby... tell me.”

She pressed her cheek against his shirt, now damp from her tears and didn't look up. She had to tell someone, and probably the only person that understood. Her mother was disappointed she even felt this way, as she'd been offered a gift, a chance to make the big time. And her sisters and brother, well they only saw envy that she was chosen for this. She was a brilliant lawyer, and people knew she had the mind of one but she lacked the heart of one.

“Dad asked me to run the firm, he's making me partner.”

She felt her lungs collapse, as if the words had been choking her were finally set free.

Jon's hands stopped. “He did? And did you tell him that you were already going to medical school?”

The heavy silence that hung around them, answered for her.

“Callie, you can't do this. You're throwing your life away to be strapped to some miserable existence you know you'll end up hating.”

Her fingers bunched in his sleeve. “You don't know what it was like,” she whispered. “What it was like to have him lying in the bed, telling me this is what he wanted because he believes in me. The man that gave me life, telling me he believes in me and my ability to do the one thing he actually respects in life, you can't tell me you'd of walked away from that.”

“You should have, Callie.”

She pulled back and met his eyes, the hurt and misery bubbling inside her to anger. “Do you even know what it's like having the whole damn world against you, to do what you want to do? No. Your parents support you Jon, they support you in every way no matter how crazy you wanted it.”

His eyes clouded over, “can't you see your father had you right where he wanted you? The one person he is afraid that will say no to him, he asks for your life on his sick bed. That's cruel Callie, just plain fuckin cruel.”

“Like you can talk. You do it every day your up on stage Jon, you have the girls right where you want them. How can they not buy your album if you throw your cock at them?”

It was the anger, it the aching inside of her that caused the words to fly.

“That's not what I do and you know it.”

Callie laughed, “Sorry I forgot you actually bury your cock inside of them.”

His hands stilled around her, locked into fists. “No one said this was going to be easy, I fucked up Callie. I'm sorry, I'll say it a thousand times, but I am sorry.”

“Saying it won't make it go away, you told that girl what our arrangement was Jon, how could you even do that?”

Jon pushed up from the floor dragging her with her, he pulled he close to her chest so their lips were inches apart. “I'm sorry, I was an idiot. I didn't know Callie, I didn't know I was in love with you.”

Her heart leapt into her throat, it didn't make it right but she wanted to believe him.
Wanted to believe that this, thing between them could really work. She had nothing else, nothing but him now.

He didn't give her a minute more to think, crushing his lips against hers. She melted into the kiss, letting her hands slide up around his neck. His warmth and heat curled around her like a fist, as she let his tongue cut through her lips. He backed her against the wall, but kept the kiss slow and deliberate.

The hardness in his jeans pressed up against her belly, “Callie,” he murmured as his lips left a hot trail of destruction down her neck.

“Oh god,” she moaned as she arched back letting him lap at her skin. Bringing her leg up she wrapped it around his hip to steady herself, closing the gap between their bodies to less than inches.

She groaned when his hungry mouth found her breast, teasing relentlessly through the cotton. “Jon,” she clutched her fingers into his hair as she held him there, her nipples instantly hard as he sucked through the fabric.

For one moment she wanted to let go, let him have her, let her feel like she felt in Florida under him, around him, lost inside of him.

But she couldn't.

She pushed him away, “no Jon. I can't.” She couldn't go back to that. Or she'd never come back.

“You should go...”

“No, I'm not going anywhere, I know I'm responsible for this but while you're like this, I can’t just leave you alone. You've been left alone enough. I'm not going, so get used to it.”

“Fine, suit yourself.” She snatched her purse and walked towards the door.

“I want you gone when I get home Jon, I mean it.” She closed the door behind her and leaned back against it. She hugged her arms around herself and closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

She had to leave, had to get out, he was so overwhelming that she couldn't think, let alone breathe. It was best he was gone, but a tiny part of her hoped to god, he was still there when she got home.

November 4, 2009

Chapter Thirty-Nine

January 1986

Jon rolled his head back against the headrest in the bus. Thank fuck they were nearly home. It was just after New Years, and it was over. The tour was finally fucking over. He closed his eyes, would his head ever stop spinning from the last few months? It’d been hell and awesome wrapped up in the same package.
He felt like they were as a band well on the way to be noticed. Meetings were already underway for their next album that would be recorded in the early part of next year.
Strike while the iron is hot.
He just needed a minute. To stand still and stop the world spinning so he could sleep. Christ, he needed to sleep. He folded his arms and dug his fingers into his bicep, were they home yet? This was taking forever. It was bad enough he had to be away from his family for Christmas and New Years, he was away from Callie as well.
He frowned thinking how hard it had been to get hold of her in the last few days. He’d left her countless messages and one even with a return number and she still hadn’t returned any of his calls. He popped his knuckle against his arm, maybe she didn’t feel the way he did?
Had Doc been right? Had he been cruel to tie her up in his world after all? She was a welcome relief at times for Jon, he just hadn’t realized it until now. The freeway turn off finally came into view. Thank god, he wanted to talk to her, hell he wanted to show her exactly how much he’d missed her. No amount of stupid head he’d received from any pretty blond was a substitute for her. He wanted more, he needed more from a woman.
It was a different concept for him. He wasn’t used to that need, but when he thought of Callie, his belly twisted.
“You alright Jonny?” he opened his eyes to Richie’s worried brown ones looking back at him.
“Yeah, just tired bro. It’s been a long few months, but we’ve kicked some major ass out there on the road.”
Richie reached around and bumped his knuckle against his. “Fuck, we did!”
“I’m looking forward to being home though.”
“With Callie?”
Jon chuckled and his lips kicked up. “Yeah, have to admit I am.”
“Thank god for that. You two need to get your shit sorted out.”
Jon ran his finger across the worn our window framing. “Who falls in love with their wife after they get married anyway?”
Richie snorted, “least you admit it now.”
“Fuck off,” Jon laughed and closed his eyes again. He didn’t want to think about anything, not Doc, not how much money they now owed people from this tour. Not the band, not Richie, no one. He’d be quite happy to shut himself in a room for a week.
Twenty minutes later he hauled his bag out of the bus and waved goodbye. He tugged his coat tighter around him as the chilly night air whipped right through him.  He made his way up the stairs to Callie’s apartment. He tapped his knuckles against the door and waited, he had no idea where his key was.
After no one answered he knocked again, “Callie?”
But nothing.
He was surprised when he tried the handle, the door pushed open. He let himself in and closed it behind him. “Callie?” He dumped his bags and walked through to the kitchen. He cast his eye over the stacks of files and papers that littered the small dining room table. Christ, she must have a big case on. He stopped dead in his tracks when he got to the kitchen. She was busy scrubbing something in the sink, with her back to him.

He smirked, as he appreciated the rear view of her curvy figure and took a few steps forward. He'd never really noticed how well she could fill a pair of jeans until now.

“Don't even touch me.”

Jon's head jerked up as he stood, glued to the floor. What the fuck?

“Callie. It's me.” He took another step forward but blinked when she barked at him to stop again, never turning around once.

“I know who it is. You can stay here tonight, on the couch and then I want you gone tommorow.”

Jon swallowed the lump that was forming in his throat. Was it because he didn't talk to her around Christmas? What the hell had happened? “Callie, turn around and talk to me.”

His belly bottomed out when her shoulders slumped, and he heard a small hiccup from her. Fuck this.

He reached for her shoulders and spun her around, “Callie-.” His heart tripped, as her normal beautiful big blue eyes, were rimmed red and her face was drained of all color. “What happened baby?” He was quick to tug her in, but she shrugged out of his grasp.

“Just leave me, dinner is in the oven. It'll be ready in twenty minutes. I'm going out for a bit.”

The heat bubbled in his throat and straight to his head. He gripped her shoulder, “Callie for god's sake what's happened?”

She looked up with sad eyes, and he knew in that moment he would never forget them as long as he lived. “You happened, Jon.”

Why the hell were woman determined to be mastermind puzzles when it came to emotions? For the love of fuck.

“Callie. Listen to me. Tell me what's going on?”

Fear crept in, for a moment he thought about the possibilty of losing her but pushed it aside. Wasn't going to happen.

She bunched her hands into fists on his chest when he pulled her in tightly, and he pressed his lips against her forehead. She may have well as been ice in his arms, she was so damn stiff. “Tell me... please Callie.” His voice dropped to a whisper, “I've missed you so much.”

God, what the hell had happened?

Her fingers twisted the collar of his shirt. “You haven't missed me.”

He pushed her back an inch, and tipped her chin to meet his gaze. His belly swam with nerves, and the sweat dripped down his temple. “I have Callie...more than you know. I should of told you in Florida... I should of told you that I--”

“Don't even say it. Don't you fucking even say that to me.”

Tears squeezed out from the corners of her eyes, and down that pretty face. God he wanted to take that away. Wanted to make it better. “I mean it Callie, I'm in love with you.”

His eyes widened when she laughed, more tears spilled freely down her face. “Is that why you still slept with girls and told them about our marriage and the arrangement we had?”

Jon felt his face drain, and his stomach hit the floor. He had been drunk, one night – stupidly drunk to tell that stupid girl to sleep with him. Aw, fuck. How did Callie know all this?

“How do--” he cut off realizing it didnt matter. It didnt matter how she knew, she knew and it hurt her. He closed his eyes, remembering Richie's voice. She loves you man. It's so obvious. He'd fucked up. Big time.

“Callie, I was drunk and I made a stupid mistake...I don't want-”

“Let go of me Jon, you know what damn well you want. You want an unlimited supply of pussy but a wife to still come home to and smile for the cameras when it suits you.”

He dropped his arms, “that's not what I want. I've been an idiot Callie but this hasn't exactly been a normal situation.”

“So it's my fault now? You're the one that decided on your own, we'd stay married without even consulting me. You announced it over the radio, without a god damn thought on how I felt.” She paced down the kitchen, the anger was melting out from her. It was a side of Callie he didn't know existed.

He rubbed his forehead, he couldn't even defend himself. He had been the one that decided that they would stay married, like she said. Without consulting her. In a fucked up way, he did it for her, to show her she could make her own decisions without her god damned father.

“I'm sorry.” What else could he possibly say at this moment? “Callie, I took advantage of you and then I realized I love you... and I do. Honest.” He bit the back of his thumb as he watched her, arms folded. Shut off completely from him.

“It's over Jon. I can't do this, I can't do any of this.” His heart ached when more tears slid down her cheeks. He couldn't bare the thought of being without her. In a strange way, over the tour they'd become close friends, he could tell her anything. Anything that he couldn't tell Doc or his bandmates. And he couldn't stand to lose that.

“Callie, please...” Panic rose in his throat. All the way home he wanted to be alone, he wanted nothing more than to close of the world. But now, because that reality was crashing down hard on him. He feared it the most. “Callie, I need you.” He winced how lame it came out, how insincere and insenstive could he possibly get?

“No you don't. I'm not being used anymore by you Jon. It's over.”

She wiped her cheeks with the back of her hand, “I have to go.”

“No,” he held her this time and didn't let go. He buried his nose into her silky hair, the smell of apples and home comforted him for only a moment. He couldn't let her go. He had to tell her what she'd become, it was more than needing her. He loved her.

“I love you Callie, I was too stupid to see it when you came out to Florida and saved me. Too stupid to see how much you cared for me. And I was too stupid to see, how much I cared for you. I'll make this up to you. I promise, just please don't make me leave.” His voice cracked, and he didn't care how desperate he sounded. He had to get it across to her, she mattered.

Like no one else had ever mattered before.

His arms sucked her in tight, and she began to tremble with sobs against him. He hated himself, that he was the reason she was so destroyed. He'd played the game, and fucked her up. It wasn't too late, it couldn't be too late.

“You matter so much Callie, I wish I could show you. And how much I believe in you and want to support you as much as you supported me.” Her body shook more, he was the biggest asshole on the planet right now. And he knew it.

His own tears didn't surprise him, he was exhausted, and he was scared.

He couldn't do this alone.

Not anymore.

October 28, 2009

Chapter Thirty-Eight

The next few days for Callie were filled with endless hospital visits, and family talks. It seemed the family was interested in Daddy’s newest mentor, Callie. She was set to take over his law firm for him, while he adjusted to life post-coronary.

She sat on her window seat and stared out to the world, Christmas Eve snow flanked the pavement as more flakes fell from the sky. She’d missed two calls from Jon over the last couple of days, and she wished he would have left a message as to where he was. She watched the snow fall helplessly and wondered if she was falling helplessly into something that she didn’t want. It felt right for her father, and family loyalty had to always come first. But like snow, eventually it would melt and all that would be left was cold grey hard concrete. Just like how her heart felt.

She sighed, her own law firm was holding a Christmas Eve party, her bosses were sad at her resignation but they understood and saw it, like everyone else as a chance of a lifetime for her career. She should have gone, to say thanks for everything that they’d done for her. But she was too content being alone, watching the snow and listening to Frank Sinatra croon White Christmas and having a glass of wine.

Things were racing out of control, long forgotten was her dream to do what she wanted to, what she came home to do. Long forgotten was feeling of how she felt around Jon, it seemed like weeks they’d been apart, not days.

How was she even going to tell him this? That she’d sacrificed her dream yet again, because of her father’s wishes. Hot tears splashed against her hand as she fought back the bubbling in her throat, to lose it into nothing but pure misery.

The shrill of the phone snapped her head up, she wiped her cheeks with the back of her hand and snagged the receiver off the hook.


The first thing she heard was a clutter of noise and then a distinct laugh that made her knees buckle. She leaned back against the wall and her sweater bunched up as she slid to the ground.

“Hey,” god, it was good to hear his voice.

“God, finally Callie! Merry Christmas baby!” His voice was full of life and full of the hope she had been so desperate not to lose over the last few days.

“Merry Christmas to you too Jon,” her heart tripped as his whiskey soaked voice filled her with heat.

“It’s crazy here, and the snow is incredible Callie. What’s Jersey like?”

She laughed and looked over out the window. “Oh, it’s coming down here too.”

“I wish I was home, Callie. God I do.”

And I wish you were here too. She curled into herself, her apartment was so quiet and so still, no sounds of bells, jingling from Christmas Carols that should be played on the record player. No noisy chatter, along with the hustle and bustle in a kitchen that should be present on Christmas Eve. Nope, none of that. Just the pain.

“I do too,” she rolled her lip under her teeth, biting back the blur threatening her eyes.

“It’s quiet there Cal, why aren’t you out? No office parties, family get togethers?”

She should be at the hospital, by her father’s side. She’d been there most of the week, but today she knew she just couldn’t stand one more plan for the new firm, or how well he’d mapped out her career for the next five years. And here she was again, listening to him so full of life and dreams.

“No, just me tonight. What about you? What’s going on there?” The boisterous voices of Richie and David could be heard, and for the first time she wished she was there. There partying it up, having no cares in the world. Instead of sitting here, shouldered with the responsibility of a lifetime.

“Oh you know, the guys are fucking drunk...of course I’m not.” The smile was in his voice, the one that melted thousands of girls, and her own heart.

“Of course you’re not...” she twisted the phone cord around her finger and sighed. Well there was no time like the present. “Jon,” it came out barely more than a whisper.

There was a crackle and shouting on the line, before a new voice spoke.

“Hey little lady, Merry Christmas!” Her lips curled as Richie’s slurred voice came over the line.

“Hey Rich, having quite the party there huh?” She tried to stamp out the disconcertion that niggled her belly, was there any girls there, all over Jon?

“Of course, but it’s not party without the tequila queen!”

Her cheeks flushed, and she laughed. God, how could she miss something so much that wasn’t her? Ever since she came home she’d missed the craziness, the hustle and the bustle of the tour she got just a slice of. She missed it, hell she missed him. More than she wanted to say. “That was just the one time, I don’t usually...” she cut off by the line being scuffled again.

“Give it back asshole.”

“No, piss off, I wanna talk to Callie. I wanna tell her...”

“No Rich, don’t you dare. It’s gotta come from me.”

Callie’s hear raced in her ears, tell her what? There was a grunt and a slam of the door and the line fell silent.


“Hey, what’s going on there, do I need to come back and sort you both out?”

Jon snorted, “Yeah come and sort Captain Annoying out. Please, fuck.”

She curled into herself as he started to talk about the shows, his voice had fallen low and quiet as he spoke to her. She closed her eyes, god she could fall asleep listening to him. It was as soothing as listening to rain drum down on a tin roof, when you tucked safely in bed at night.

For a second, she lost herself in his voice and his laugh, forgetting the weight heavily resting on her shoulders.

“You ok?” she opened her eyes again, the chill of the wintery air settling against the windows, goosing up her skin.

“No, I’m not ok Jon.” She bit her lip as she heard down the line the door squeak open.

“Gotta go Jonny, the bus is leaving.” The unmistakable sound of Doc came across.

“Yeah, give me a second.” He sighed into the phone. “Callie, I have to go, can I try and ring you later when I get back to the hotel? I really need to talk to you.”

She nodded, and forced the disappointment away. “Sure, I’ve got to go to the store, but I’ll be here.”

“Sorry babe, Doc’s in one of his fuckin moods. I’ll call tonight. I promise.”


And he was gone. Just like that. He’ll call back, he said he would. She pulled herself up and hung up the phone. She wrapped her woollen coat around her and grabbed her purse, she needed a couple of things so she might as well head down to the store now. God knows why when she knew how ridiculous shops were on Christmas Eve, she must be insane.

Thirty minutes later she breezed into the store, grabbing some last minute food items she’d need over the holidays. They were having Christmas within the hospital and then a family dinner at night that her mother and older sister, Chelsea were preparing.

She was picking up some milk when a voice behind her stopped her dead in her tracks.

“Not with Jonny on the holidays?”

She turned around to see a petite blond girl standing popping some gum in a tight yellow spandex top, black leggings and matching bumblebee yellow heels. She had curves and boobs for miles.

“Ah, no sorry he’s on tour.” Had to be a fan, just a fan.

The girl turned and flipped through a glossy magazine. “Aw, such a shame. Wouldn’t want him to be alone again.”

Callie went to walk away, she should of but she stopped. “I’m sorry and you are?”

She grinned, “I’m Krissy. I was with Jonny last week.”

Callie felt her belly clench. “Oh, you went to the concerts? They’re great right?”

“Uh huh, got the full backstage tour, which included the bedroom.”

Callie closed her eyes, and pretended it didn’t matter. “Oh lucky you.”

Oh god, now what? She was his wife, was she expected to scream and carry on. This had to be before she came to Florida. Things had changed, Callie was sure of it, she felt it. She’d felt things she’d never felt before, they just hadn’t had a chance to talk about it.

“What, you’re not going to ask more? You’re his wife aren’t you?” Her knowing grin said way too much, and her fingers curled around the milk bottle tighter.

“Of course I am.”

“Relax darling,” she filed the magazine back on the shelf and leaned into Callie. “He told me all about how it’s just a lie. You’re not really married, married.”

He told someone, a girl he slept with—it had to be Doc, surely. Jon wouldn’t be so stupid.

Would he?

Callie swallowed the thick lump in her throat. “Right,” her voice changed to her courtroom tone without her even realizing it. “And tell me Krissy, when did you see my husband?”

She had to know. She prayed like hell she was wrong, that the few days she spent with him, meant something to him. Like he meant something to her.

“Couple of days ago, downstate.”

The words shattered her heart like ice. A couple of days ago? The isles, of neatly stacked cans blurred, as she fought for her dignity.

“Well, glad he’s still in top form.” She dropped her basket right in the isle and walked ahead, not looking back. She knew if she caught sight of the smug look on the bitches face, it would all be over.

How could he do this? No, he didn’t do anything. He always told her this was how it would be. She fumbled with her keys in the ignition, suddenly unable to simply find it.

“Dammit!” The tears tracked down her cheeks as she finally slid the key in. She had to get out of her, had to get the fuck out of sight.

The drive home was a blur, and all the while her head was screaming.

He told her the marriage was a fake? He told a random girl... just so he could probably get her into bed... the bed, they shared--

Oh god. She pulled off the road and slammed on the breaks. The sobs shook her chest as she gripped her steering wheel. She couldn’t stop it, couldn’t control the urge to cry or scream.

How could she have been so STUPID.

How could she have thought he loved her? Seriously.

She didn’t know how, but she got home. Dumping the keys on the counter she tugged the blinds shut, blocking out the Christmas postcard that was settling outside. She pulled the blanket from off the couch and wrapped herself around it. She stopped in the middle of the room as the phone shrilled through the room. Her eyes brimmed with tears as her machine clicked on, and that voice. That one voice that had the power she never knew it had, filled the room.

“Hey it’s me, where are you babe? I’m back at the hotel... I’ll try again in a bit.”


She closed the door to her bedroom and sank down low into the mattress, how was it that her life within the space of a week, was heading straight to hell?

October 13, 2009

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Jon rolled over and scratched his chest before stretching his arms out into the bed. When the blinding headache crept up into his eyes he swore.

“Fuck me.”

The light of day was intrusive and bloody bright. He sat up and yawned, looking over at the woman shaped curve that was left in the sheets. The aftertaste of tequila was still fresh on his lips. God, he couldn’t even remember who was in his bed last night? Betty? Or was it Bridget? Christ.

He stood and shucked on his jeans before padding through to the living area of the suite that the band was sharing, his head screamed for coffee. Now.

David was the only one sitting at the table reading the newspaper, the aroma of fresh coffee had his belly stirring.

“Morning sleepyhead.” He flipped his page and didn't look up.

Jon found a mug and poured himself a coffee, he took a long sip and sighed.

“Hey, where is everyone?” The sun was already high in the sky, it had to be past lunchtime and it was a no-show day.

“Went out for breakfast, Doc felt generous.”

Jon rubbed his temples, “fuck, is there an aspirin around here?” He tugged open the drawer and fished through the cutlery.

“You need more than aspirin Jonny.” And still David didn’t look up.

Jon raised his brow and shook his head, what the fuck was he on about now? He ignored him, he really wasn’t in the mood for pissy band mate moods this morning.

It had been two days since they’d moved on and Callie had left them. It was just five days out until Christmas, and then new years would be upon then and the end of the tour. Thank fuck, he was bone dead tired.

He picked up the phone without a second thought and dialled her number, he had no idea the day of the week, he just thought she might be home. When the call clicked onto her machine he sighed. “Hi Callie, it’s Jon. Thought I’d say hi, see what’s up. We’re moving out of here today so I’ll try again later. See ya.”

“Real smooth Johnny.” David flicked the page over and continued reading.

Jon slammed the receiver down, “ok man, what the hell is wrong? Did I commit a crime or something?”

“Depends what state you’re in.”

God, at times he was sick of living with the guys, he did his best to make this damn band work, and they didn’t have a lot yet but he wasn’t in the mood to hear them complain about more shit.

He opened a cupboard and found a box of aspirin but tossed it across the room when it was empty. “Fuck this. All I want is some fucking aspirin.”

“Guilt is a dangerous thing Jonny.” David folded the paper over and tucked it into quarters.

Jon slammed his palm down on the counter. “Ok. What the hell are you on about Bryan?”

“Did Miss Tits satisfy you last night?”

Jon goggled, “What’s that supposed to mean? You were with that pretty brunette when I left that party.”

David shook his head and chuckled. “Yea, I’m not married Jon.”

Jon’s eyes cast down to the plain band on his finger. Well shit, he wasn’t really married either—well technically he was, but they decided it was just for the show purposes. Right? They’d evidently become friends in the process, he liked her.

“You know that’s not how it really is,” Jon muttered curling his fingers into fists.

“That’s debatable, but that’s not the point. We know that but the general public doesn’t, all they see is a man-whore. A guy that sleeps around from his wife.”

Jon bit back the curse he wanted to let fly. “Why is it debatable.”

David stood, grabbed his mug and headed for the coffee perc. “Please, who are you kidding? That girl cares about you.”

“And I care about her,” he was quick to defend. Christ, he did, what the fuck was his point here.

“You really are stupid Jon, she came all the way down here to take you to a nice hotel and rest and god knows what else.”

Jon cocked his eyebrow, “so what we had sex? Big deal. She knows what the situation is.”

“Does she?”

David’s stare burned through him, right down to his gut. “Of course she did, I convinced her to stay married to me. She doesn’t care what I do, only that its not public.”

“That was when you were married Jon, things have changed a bit from then. And quite frankly you’ve been an asshole since she left.”

He scratched his throat, “I have not. I’m just fucking tired.” He paused as the other half of his sentence sank in, true things had changed since he was married. They’d grown somewhat closer, understood each other a little more, that was it. Wasn’t it?

“Yes you have Jonny, snappy and it’s like you’ve had your period or something.”

“Fuck off Bryan, what the hell is your problem?”

David cupped his mug and stared out the window. “So you are telling me if Callie was going out and sleeping with a bunch of guys, you’d have no problem?”

The growl in his throat surprised him as a flash of Callie in bed with another man, cut through to his knees. Some bastard’s hands all over her, touching making her groan the way he made her groan, sucking on her nipples and plunging into her heat…the way he had.

David chuckled after the long pause that echoed through the room. “Thought so.”

“She’s not with anyone else,” he offered, knowing that it didn’t mean shit.

“You know that’s not the point Jonny, and you damn well know it. Just because Doc’s throwing girls at you, doesn’t mean you have to take them Jon. I thought you had more class than that.”

He raked his hands through his hair, and snagged the packet of the cigarettes. “You know nothing about what we’re doing.” He flicked the lighter into life. Fucked if he knew, he thought he did.

“She’s a good kid Jonny, I don’t want her to get hurt so if you don’t feel the same way she feels about you. Tell her.”

He whirled around nearly sending his coffee into the wall. “The way she feels about me? A friend, she came out here as a friend.”

David raised his hand and slapped the back of his head. “You are so fucking stupid. How many friends come out and take their "friends" away for nights of sex and Christ, when you two were together, there’s a certain way a girl looks at a guy… and you just know.” He took Jon’s cigarette and took a drag. “You just know man.”

“Are you still drunk man? She wouldn't fall for a guy like me, she's not into all this.” Was he asking, or convincing himself? Shit.

“Why would it be an issue, considering you feel the same about her.”

David slapped his back and walked out leaving Jon staring into space, his heart pounding in his ears.

What in the fuck, he didn’t – god he couldn’t, he-

The door clicked open and Richie strode in. “Hey Jonny boy, you missed out on a good slap up breakfast, whoa who died?”

Jon felt the bile in his throat bubble, who the fuck did David think he was? He had no idea what he felt.

“David seems to think Callie and I are in love.” Richie didn't flinch, he laughed and sat down in the chair.

“Oh right, yea – well tell me something I don’t know.”

Jon’s eyes shot to his friend’s relaxed brown ones. “What?”

Richie snorted, “You heard. You love her. She loves you, its not rocket science.”

Jon sank down into the couch slowly. “I do?” His mind was racing, or was it his heart? What the hell was Richie on, still last night's shots?

“If she died tomorrow, how would you feel bro?”

Jon’s belly flip flopped, and the instinct to throw up he smashed down. “I’d be sad, no one deserves to die.” All this time? God, he was a stupid ass. He felt like he could tell her anything and that she understood him, better than some people that he’d known for years. He understood her, well not with her damn father’s manipulative ways, but he damned well cared about her.

He dug his fingers into his eyes as he tried to make sense of this whole shit. They were married. They agreed to stand each other and they grew close together because of circumstance? Could they possibly have fallen in love by circumstance as well?

Well fuck.

“You’ve been a jerk Jonny. Plain and simple. You know me, I love the ladies as much as anyone. But I draw the line when I’m supposed to be in love with someone else.”

“Yeah, I know. Rich – I just… fuck.”

Richie laughed. “Didn’t see that coming huh?”

“Why didn’t you fucking tell me this?”

“You wouldn’t have listened. You’ve been a grumpy bastard the last few days. That should tell you enough.”

“I’m always grumpy these days.”

“Would you be if Callie was here?”

Jon closed his eyes again, “Jesus.” He couldn’t be. He didn’t have time for love, his career was just getting started. Hell, who said Callie wanted to actually live in his life. What happened if he actually made something of himself through his music? How would he sustain a decent relationship?

The hangover competed with the nerves swimming in his belly. Now that it was in his head, he couldn’t shake it. Did he really love her? Weren’t you supposed to just know these things? This was just too much to even consider at this point.

“You really think she loves me?” He finally asked after his head went around and around with the possibilities. How could she, god he’d been an asshole. He hadn’t let up on the girls, and it wasn’t even always Doc pushing them down his throat, or – pants as this case was.

Damn it, he hated when David was right.

Richie grinned, “Dude. She does, trust me.”

He buried his head into the cushion, he was pretty good knowing when females were showing interest, so why the hell hadn't he seen this? God, the nights they spent together had been unreal, even he had to admit that. But wasn't it all just good sex? He jumped off the couch and paced around the room. There was no way, god he'd have to talk to her, not on the phone but face to face when he got home.

"Remember when you used to call her on the road?"

Jon spun around and faced his friend, who was looking ever so non chalent. "Yeah, so?"

"Your moods spin 360 when you' ve talked to her."

"Oh bullshit, this is just ridiculous. It's nice to talk to someone away from all this shit, that's all." Jon chewed on the tip of his thumb nail as it all sank in, and he still needed an aspirin. Fuck, make that two.

"I don't want to talk about this, I need a fucking shower." He stalked off towards the shower only to stop dead in his tracks as Richie had the last word.

"Truth hurts sometimes bro."

He slammed the bathroom door so hard, he was sure that it would fly off its hinges.

Fuck that shit. He was not in love with her.

He couldn't be.