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.