Thursday, January 3, 2013

Chapter 31

Unlocking her apartment door she put Snowball down and turned on the living room light.  The musty smell caused her to go throw open the windows and turn on the ceiling fans.

"Home sweet home Snow, it's gonna be hard after being at Jon's."  She talked to the dog who plopped down on the floor and whimpered.  "I know you miss Romey, but he'll come and visit."

She moved around the apartment and aired out the bedroom and moved into the kitchen and raided the fridge.

 Would it have hurt to go out to dinner with them?  Richie was there to be a buffer.  I could have come home after we ate.  If it hadn't been the look in Stephanie's eyes or the way Jesse had looked at me, admit it.

"Admit it, Snowball I was scared.  I was afraid they would hate me."  She sat down with a pint of half freezer burned carton of Chocolate Chunky Monkey ice cream.

She didn't know how long she sat there feeling sorry for herself.  The sun was setting when she finally hit the bottom of the ice cream carton.

"Okay, enough of this.  Get off your ass, you are a published writer, you have a deadline."  She thought back to the cabin, then to the night they christened the sunken den.  Tossing the carton in the trash she moved to her office.

Setting her alarm so she wouldn't forget to take Snow out and feed the dog, but also to remember to eat herself. After eating a whole pint of ice cream, she better skip dinner.

She had been writing for about three hours when she heard the door buzzer.  Thinking it was her editor to check on her new chapters, she walked to the intercom and answered.

"Hey, Okay whose being funny?"  She looked at the screen again and moved the control to pan the area then she panned it down.  "Romey?"

Running to the door she ran down the stairs to buzz him in.

When the door opened there stood Romeo with his little suitcase and tears streaming down his face.

"I come to visit."  He sniffed.

Stepping out onto the sidewalk she looked up the street and then down the street.  No one was out there.

"Romey, how did you get here?"  She picked up his suitcase which was actually heavy.

"I remember, walk past the man in the uniform at the Bloomers and then I got here.  I remember the numbers."  he pulled out the much creased and now tear stained letter she had written to him for Snowball.

"Does your dad or Richie know you're here?"  She followed him up the stairs to her apartment.

"They gone to eat pizza, Daddy got mad because I locked the door. I got in trouble and Daddy said I not get to come and visit for a whole week."  He opened the door and picked up a hyper Snowball who proceeded to wash the tears off his face.

"Okay but he didn't leave you at home while they went to eat,"  She started to ask.

"Oh no, we left to walk down to get pizza and I walked really slow. Daddy and Uncle Mookie was talking about that song and brothers and sissy were playing iPhone game I went back and got my suitcase. I gots to have my jammies, so I can come to visit."  She had told Romeo when they went to get her stuff that if she was going to visit with him while his dad was in Philly, she would need her jammies.  "So here I am." He looked up with a big smile on his face.

 Oh Little man, you are going to be in big trouble.  She thought.  Grabbing her cell she took a picture of Romeo and Snowball sitting on her sofa and sent it to Jon's cell.  Now all they could do was wait.


Jon got the table in the back and handed out money to the kids, while he was talking to Richie.

"Yeah, Once they left I got a text from Graham asking if I knew a good divorce lawyer."  he said as he placed the order with the waitress.

"So this isn't a temporary thing?"  Richie sat down at one end of the table.

"Nope, it's a done deal, or no money and we go back to court and she'll get nothing."  Jon finally sat down.

"Well, I'm glad you got your kids back."  He looked over at the three of them playing in the arcade in the pizzeria.  "Now all you have to do is get them to accept Lexie."  he sipped his soda.

"Yeah, I don't see much of a problem with the boys, but Steph's gonna be a hard sale.  She didn't like the divorce very well and then the wedding and the honeymoon was an eye opener."  He turned to look at his kids, all three of them.  Wait a second her had four kids not three.  Getting up he went to the arcade and looked around.  Steph was on a side table texting her friends, Jake and Jesse were on the Icy Patrol bikes, were was Romeo.

"Steph, you see Romey since we got here?"  He asked his oldest.

"He was behind us when we were walking down."  She went right back to texting.  "Maybe he's in the bathroom."

"Hey Jess, check the men's room for me.  See if Romey had to go."  he asked his oldest son.

Jesse got off the game bike and went to the closest men's room to the arcade.  Coming back out he went over to the table where Richie and Jon stood waiting.

"He's not in there." Jesse told them.

"Did you check all the stalls, you know how he has to go to the last one away from the door."  Jon asked.

"Checked all the stalls, he isn't in there."  Jesse told him.

Jon was just about to get into panic mode when his phone buzzed.

"Now don't panic Jon he has to be around here somewhere.  Maybe Hess's in with Mario making pizza's."  Richie suggested.

"Nope, I know where he is."  He turned the phone around so Richie could see the photo of his youngest son sitting on a sofa holding a white puff of fur.

"He's at Lexie's?"  Richie shook his head.

"I guess that grounding didn't work."  Jon tossed some money on the table.

"I'll feed the other three, you go get your runaway."  Richie chuckled.  "Good name for a song title."  Richie laughed.

Jon tossed up the Jersey salute as he headed out of the restaurant.

Getting an idea he swung by his place an picked up his suitcase and then had a shocking thought  which place is hers?  He headed down Mercer then over to Bloomingdale's where the Valet/ doorman stood.

"Did you happen to see a little boy about this high"  He held out his hand about waist height "With a suitcase?"

"Oh you mean Lexie's little friend Romeo?  Yeah he just went past here a while about crying and looking really sad.  I followed him down to her place and waited until he got in." Looking down at Jon's suitcase he tilted his head in question.  "You running away too?"

"Not really, but I thought it would help Romey."  Jon laughed.  "Ah, you wouldn't happen to know exactly which one is hers do ya?"  Jon tried not to blush in embarrassment.

"Yeah, I'll walk ya down."  he called to the other doorman and started to walk with Jon.  "I have to ask man, you are Jon Bon Jovi aren't ya?"

"Yep, Thanks for your help."  he held out his hand to the doorman.

"Your her main character reference.  Yeah I read her books, she sends me out copies when she walks by.  She's a great lady."  He told Jon.

"Yeah I know."  He walked until they stopped.

"Buzz the button under Mrs Smith.  That's her.  Sort of puts off the fans trying to find her."  he shook Jon's hand again.  "Don't be too hard on Romeo, that little dog is hard to resist.  Her owner ain't half bad either."

I'll try."  he reached up and buzzed the button under the name Mrs Smith and waited.

Chapter 30

Lexie sat watching Richie and Romeo playing around on Guitar Hero.

"Better watch it Richie, he's getting ahead."  Lexie laughed.  "Go Romey Go."

Just them her cell rang twice and stopped, then rang again.  She got up and headed out of the room.

"Hey, Are you close?"  She asked him.

"Yeah, pulling into the parking garage now.  We'll be up in a few minutes."  Jon pulled into his space and turned off the car.  "I see Richie is still here."

"Yeah, He and Romeo are playing Guitar Hero and he's losing, you sure you two aren't related to him."  she laughed,

"Hey I let Romey win."  He laughed.

"See I told you,"  Jesse whispered to his sister.

"She's taking care of Romeo, she's just a sitter."  Stephanie whispered back.

"Hey I forgot to ask, did you get any writing done while you were here?"  He got out of the SUV and helped Jake get his suitcase out of the back.  "You three haven't eaten lunch yet have you?  We can go get pizza,"  Jon looked at his other three to see if they agreed about the pizza.  "Or maybe Chinese?"  Jake looked up and smiled.

"You can ask them when you get in here."  She looked up at Richie standing in the doorway.

"That Jon?"  Richie asked.

Lexie nodded and held out the phone to Richie.

"Hey bro, I've been taking care of your little writer.  Man you were right, very inspiring."  He laughed.

Jon cleared his throat, the image that came to his mind was not what he wanted to think about.

"Yeah, listen, we haven't eaten since breakfast, we're on our way up."  He steered his kids across the street

"Yeah I heard, we had pizza last night, but you know the kid he'll eat it again."  He smiled down at Lexie.

"Gonna lose ya we're getting in the elevator, be there soon."  He closed off the call and made sure they were all in when he put his key into his lock and the doors shut.

"He's on the way up."  Richie handed her back the phone and smiled.

They walked back into the game room to find Snowball and Romeo sitting on the sofa.

"It's almost time for Snowball and I to head home Romey.  Your Dad and your brothers and sister are on the way up.  You want to help me get Snow's stuff in her carry bag?"  Lexie squatted down to eye level with him.

"I don't want you and Snowball to go home.  I like having Snowball and you here, daddy won't like it that you went home."  he popped out his bottom lip.

"We're just down the street Romey, you know you can come and visit us anytime your dad will call and I'll meet you or he can bring you down."  She reached out and tapped his lip.  "Now get a smile on your face, it won't be long now."  She heard the door downstairs open.

"We're here."  Jon called out.

Snowball jumped out of Romeo's arms and ran barking down the the stairs to great Jon.

"Hey Snow girl, where's is everyone?"  He picked up the jumping dog and turned to the kids.

"Daddy, that's a dog, when did you get a dog?"  Stephanie said reaching out to the little dog.

Jakey looked up at the dog and smiled.  Jon took a step back, it was the first time Jake had smiled since they arrived at the hotel.

"Pretty puppy."  he whispered and rubbed Snowballs foot.

Romey came running down the steps.

"Hey slow down partner."  Jon put Snowball down on the floor and caught Romeo before he fell.

"Snowball is my puppy."  Romeo said looking up at Jon.

"No Romey, Snowball is Lexie's puppy."  Jon told him, "She just comes to visit you and me."  he said ruffling Romeo's head.

"But I don't want it to just be a visit."  He sniffed, "I want them to stay."

"I do too, but that's gonna be up to Lexie and Snowball, Romey."  he stood up and looked up at Lexie who was coming down the steps with Richie.

"Uncle Mookie." Stephanie ran over to Richie.

"Hey Princess, Heard you had a terrible time."  Richie rubbed her back.

"Oh it was terrible."  She looked up at Richie.  "Who is this and why is she here." She whispered in his ear.

"She's a great lady and you need to get to know her."  he whispered back.  "She makes your dad happy and that's the important part."

Stephanie stepped back and looked over at Lexie and held out her hand.

"Hi, I'm Stephanie, I'm,"  Stephanie started to say,

Lexie took her hand and gave it a small shake and a squeeze.

"I know who you are, Your dad has told me all about you kids."   Lexie said with a smile.  "Romeo has been looking forward to you all getting here today."

"Listen, let's get the bags upstairs and go grab a bite to eat.  I don't know about anyone else but I am about to starve."  Jon sheppard the kids upstairs.

Richie watched Lexie, going over he put his arm around her shoulders.

"Give'em time, they'll love you as much as Jon does."  He told her giving her a little squeeze.

"I told him they needed time to adjust, they've been through a lot and don't need a new person dropped on them."  She nudged Richie in the ribs.

"Hey Dean, get your hands off my woman."  Jon laughed as he came back down stairs.

"Hey didn't see no tag on her saying she belonged to anyone, Frank."  Richie retorted.

"Hey I ain't property to be fought over."  Lexie joined in.  Looking up she saw the look on the two older Bongiovi children.

"Listen I need to get home and call my editor, I have a deadline looming."  She stepped away from Richie and rubbed her palms on her jeans.  "Come one Snow time for us to head home."

"No, don't want Snowball to go home daddy."  Romeo's lower lip trembled.

"Romey, you can come and visit us anytime you want to.  But I have to work sweetie."  She bent down and picked up Snowball and turned to pick up her bag and headed for the door.

Jon caught up to her at the door.

"Why don't you stay and go eat with us."  He asked putting his hand on her shoulder to stop her.

"Jon, you have two kids that right now don't want to share you with a woman they had no idea existed until you sprung her on them."  She whispered.  "Give them time, bring them to visit when you bring Romeo.  Let them warm up to us being an us."  They walked out to the elevator.

"So we are an us?"  he smiled.

"If you have to ask,"  She let the statement hang in the space between them.

Jon leaned in his lips covering hers.  As they broke apart Lexie smiled.

"Does that answer your question?"  Jon whispered.

"Daddy, Romeo has locked himself in his bedroom and is crying his eyes out."  Stephanie called out.

"Go to him Jon, tell him he can come down anytime."  Lexie sighed.  I knew this was going to happen.

"Be right there Princess."  he gave Lexie one more quick kiss then watched her get on the elevator.  Giving her a little wave as the door closed.

"Dad...dee"  came the call from the house, Jon rolled his eyes and headed into the kayos that was his life.

Chapter 29

Jon saw sitting on the sofa in the suite, he had just gotten the kids down for the night.  He was still worried about Jakey, he was still very quiet.  Maybe getting him back with Romeo would bring the kid back into him.  Picking up the wine glass he had sat on the coffee table earlier he took a drink.  This had been the longest day in his life, ranking up there with the day he found out Dorothea was getting married.

Glancing at the clock, it read eleven, too late to call Lexie.  Well, she did say call. Man you’re so hooked, just hearing her voice will make the day better.

Getting his cell he toyed with it for a second till he hit the numbers needed to hear Lexie’s voice.

Lexie sat curled up in the sofa with her own glass of wine, her laptop open on the coffee table.  Romeo had been in bed for hours, Snowball curled up with him.  Richie had gone to his mom’s for a visit, then went right into the studio.  Soft guitar sounds filtered through the house.

She was reaching for her wineglass when her cell went off.  Glancing at the caller ID she smiled.  Flipping the phone open she smiled.

“Bout time you called, everything all taken care of?”  she sipped her wine waiting to hear about his day.

That was so like Lexie, she never answered with hello, or hey.

“Yeah, kids are in bed, sitting here with a glass of wine.”  he smiled.  Just hearing her voice chased all the doubts away.

“Like minds, sitting her with my laptop open, just finished my chat and waiting on my muse to talk to me.  Richie is in the studio, have no idea what song he’s playing, but it’s very erotic.”  she sighed. 

“Erotic, you can’t say that to me with three kids in the other room and you in another state.”  He laughed.

“Speaking of your three kids and you coming back tomorrow, with Richie here, Snow and I will head home in the morning.  You don’t need the two of us in the mix.  You need this time as family time.”  She had been thinking about this since Romeo had gone to bed.  

Jon almost dropped the phone, she was leaving.  

“No, I want you to be there when I get back.”

“Jon, these kids have been through a huge shock.  They need you one hundred percent, they don’t need me added to the equation just now.  I’m only a block away and Richie will be here.”  she sipped the wine.

“Please, don’t leave till I get there.  Think of Romeo, he’s got you and he trust you and losing snowball will kill him.”  Jon played his ace card.

“Low blow there Jon, using Romeo and Snowball.”  she put the glass down.  Sighing she knew pulling snowball from Romeo would be hard.  But he knew she would be down the block.  

“I know, I know, but Lexie, I just,”  he sighed himself.

“Jon, we’ll be here when you get back tomorrow.  Snowball and I will head home when you get here.  With all the excitement Romeo will not miss us.”  she gave in.  She loved Romeo and had gotten attached to him more since they spent the day yesterday together.  

Hell going back to her empty cracker box of a town home will be a cultural shock after spending two days here in Jon’s.  

“Good, good, I want the kids to meet you too. “  he smiled and finished off the wine.  

“Jon, don’t go seeing all smiley faces and hearts, they just went through a hell, they just might not be ready for Daddy’s new girlfriend.”  She drained her glass.  

 Girlfriend, I like the sound of that.  Wonder if she knew what she said?

Getting up she headed to the kitchen and rinsed her glass out and put it in the sink.  

“I’ll call you and let you know when to expect us.”  he grinned “What are you doing now?”

“Putting the empty glass in the sink and going up to bed.  Romeo kept Richie and I busy today.”  She climbed the stairs to the master suite.

“I’m sure he did.  You sleeping in my bed?”  he shifted on the sofa.

“Yes, is that okay?”  she rolled her eyes.  His voice had dropped to barely a whisper.  

“More than okay, when you went to your town home for supplies for Snowball, you didn't pick us anything for yourself did you?”  

 Damn why didn't I get a two bedroom suite. 

“Toothbrush and change of clothes, why?”  she grinned she knew where this was going, but let him play it out.

“So, does that mean what I think it means?”  he teased.

“Jonny, do you think I’m gonna slip between these satin sheets with nothing on but a smile?”  She giggled.  “I have on those little silky thongs, you know the white ones with the blue bow.”   she whispered into the cell.

“Oh you know I like those, you like those too.”  he whispered back.

Jesse was tossing in the bed with Jake, who kept grumbling for him to get in his own bed.  Sitting up he thought about heading to the sofa.  Slipping out of the bed he looked over at his sister asleep in the other bed.  He’d taken the fall for her, spending that night in the Juvenile Detention Center will give him nightmare’s for a long time.  As he headed toward the living room area he heard his father’s voice.  Stopping at the door he listened to his father flirting with someone on his cell.  

Way to go dad, hope she likes kids. 

Backing out and back into the bedroom he shared with his sister and brother, he crawled back into be smiling at the idea that Daddy has a girlfriend.

Jon and Alex had their little interlude, it was close to two in the morning before they hung up with a promise that she would be there when they got there tomorrow.  

It took some time to get the three kids and assorted luggage into the Escalade.  As he pulled onto the highway he looked back at the kids in the mirror.  Jesse had his earphones in with his iPod and so did Steph, Jakey was playing with his game.  

Turning back around he pulled onto Ninety Five and went toward the turnpike.

Jesse waited until his father was not looking he nudged Stephanie.

“What?”  She pulled out one ear bud.

“Shhhh, Daddy’s got a girlfriend.”  he whispered.

“A what?   When did he have time to find one of those.”  She gave him a funny look.

“Don’t know but he was flirting with her on the phone last night.  He wants us to meet her.”  Jesse looked at the back of his fathers head.  

“Wow, I never expected him to find anyone after mom.” She said quietly.  How did this make her feel, first her mom, sneaking around on her dad while he was out on tour and now her dad having a girlfriend.  

Both kids settled down with their own thoughts.

Well I made a New Years Resolution to get back to Snowball and not only have her on Blogger but also where I moved her to.  So I would say if not this month, but coming in February you will find Snowball will have returned.  I will also be moving my other Bon Jovi Fan Fiction Story to Blogger.  So look for Today, Tomorrow and Always to be here on Blogger in the near future.

Happy 2013

Alice Faye