Jon rolled off the sofa, it was dark with the blackout drapes shut. Flicking on the lamp he was lost at first, he didn’t recognize this hotel? Then it hit him he was home, the new home, and the trio was upstairs. He remembered finally getting everyone fed, bathed and bedded. His parents had headed home and the older kids had homework and were in bed, he hoped. Checking the alarm system and the doors he headed upstairs. Checking on the older kids, he found them sound asleep. He stopped at the trio’s room and smiled. Through the closed door he could here Lexie singing softly to whoever was in her arms. Not wanting to cause a commotion he eased the door open and just watched.
“If you’re going to stand there looking you might want to come grab a bottle and a baby before all three of them are up.” She sang to Jon as she rocked a baby girl, by the looks of it Maddie. Livie could be heard cooing in her bed and their brother was lightly snoring. “Like father like son.” Lexie sang in a sing song style.
Jon came into the room and went to the crib and eased Livie up to his chest. He one handed pulled the rocker over by Lexie. He went to the warmer and plucked a pink bottle out, settled in the crook of his arm, Jon got situated in the rocker and began to feed his daughter. He hummed as he rocked. It’d been nine years since he rocked and fed a baby.
“The rocker in a rocker.” Lexie sang and giggled.
“Like riding a bike, you never forget.” He chuckled at her dig.
“I think we should park that bike.” She lifted Maddy onto her shoulder for her bubble.
“Me or you?” Jon knew this was coming. He and Dorothea had talked about it, but that was all it had amounted to, talk.
“Either, it would be easier for you, for me it would mean more surgery.” She kept rubbing Maddie’s back.
“True, outpatient, all in one day.” Jon told her as he had all the information somewhere in the boxes in his office. “If that’s what you want.”
“Well, you know how I am with pills.” That got a chuckle out of him and her. “Don’t you think seven kids is enough?” She asked him.
“I’ll take care of it.” He said as Cullen woke up and decided he needed to eat too. Just as Lexie was getting out of the rocker the nursery door opened and Stephanie came in.
“I thought I heard someone wake up.” She went over to Cullen’s crib and picked up her baby brother. Taking him to the changer she got a fresh diaper on him, then grabbed his bottle and sat in the third rocker.
“Thanks Steph, we were trying to be quiet.” Lexie explained. She got up and changed Maddy and put her back in the bed.
“Well, I got up to go to the bathroom and heard voices.” Stephanie said as she fed her brother. “Boy it’s been a while since I did this.” She said looking up at her dad.
“It’s like riding a bike.” He and Lexie said at the same time, and then laughed.
Jon’s three days home went fast, and soon he was heading out. The next time they would all be together would be the Philly show and Maddison Square Garden shows. Lexie was getting used to being the mother of seven kids. There was always a school function or a teachers meeting to attend. Lexie was writing when she could. The elder Bongiovi’s helped out with the trio, Stephanie and Jesse were also a big help.
The older kids were in school and Lexie had just gotten the three on a quilt on the floor of the living room while she finally got lunch.
“Okay give your momma a break, huh?” Lexie took a bite of her sandwich and reached for the remote. TMZ was on and the topic of the day was of all people Jon Bon Jovi. They caught him coming out of a restaurant with another woman.
“Jon Bon Jovi was seen coming out of a restaurant with a cute little blonde, not his writer wife who is home raising his seven kids.” The announcer said. Lexie sat up a little straighter on the floor. She reached for her phone.
Jon was doing sound check and had left his phone on vibrate. He ignored the first text, then the second, and by the eighth text he stopped sound check.
“Hang on a guys, take ten. My phone seems to have a case of the runs.” Jon said and he headed to the side of the stage.
“Good, I think it’s contagious, my phone is going crazy.” Richie said, handing the double neck to his tech.
They all took a break while Jon and Richie took the calls in their phones.
Richie pulled up the first text.
“Holy Shit, Hey Kidd you got ta see this.” He headed back across the stage.
Jon noticed two text from his mom, three from Stephanie, two from Jesse and even one from Carlotta. He noticed a missed call from Lexie. His wife was a writer, but would call and leave a message instead of jotting down a text.
“Hey Jon, the trio says hi. Did you have a nice dinner last night?” Lexie’s voice came over the speaker of his phone.
Richie rounded the corner holding out his phone.
“You better look at this.” Richie handed him the phone.
Jon looked at the screen of Richie’s phone.
“Ah hell, that explains all the text and the call. This is gonna take a while.” He told Richie as he headed to his dressing room.
Lexie changed the channel and put it on a kid’s music channel as she sat on the floor with the trio. Her phone started to ring, checking the caller ID she saw it was Jon.
“Hey, how’s Dallas?” She said trying to sound happy.
“Its Dallas,” He leaned on the wall and tried to bring up the subject.
“Well, you’ll be home soon.” She watched Cullen scoot to the edge of the quilt. “Cullen is the daredevil of the trio, think he’s gonna crawl before his sisters.”
“That’s great, ah Lex, Richie showed me the thing on last night.” That’s it Jon, jump in shark infested water with both feet. Pushing off the wall he headed toward his dressing room. He still had the set list to write, sound check was screwed.
“And?” Lexie reached over and caught Cullen before he bumped into the chair.
“I just opened the door for her, I was with Richie and Lemma.” He stumbled over the words, he had a sudden feeling he had been down this route before.
“Okay, thank you for telling me.” Lexie finally put Cullen in his bouncy seat.
“It’s the truth babe, I was laughing at something Richie said to the blonde and I really didn’t think anyone was out there, they must have used telephoto lens.” Jon babbled.
“Jon come up for air, I believe you.” Lexie laughed. She looked at the trio, she had one in a seat the other two to go.
Jon stopped in his tracks.
“You do?” He asked her, not sure if she was teasing or not.
“Of course I do, blondes are more Richie’s thing than yours hon.” She reached for Livia and got her settled.
Jon started to laugh.
“All the text messages from the family, Richie got an alert from Google, and you aren’t busting my balls for being caught with a strange blonde.” Jon got out through his laughter.
“Should I be busting your balls for something?” She stopped with a baby mid seat.
“No, no I haven’t done anything.” Jon stopped laughing. “Anything special you want on the set list tonight?” He changed the subject really fast.
“Nice save there Bongiovi.” She laughed as she put Maddy in her seat. “’I’ll tell you one not to play.” She told him getting and laugh.
“What’s that?” He laughed with her.
“I’ve got the girl.” She got out though her laughter.
“Oh Lex, that is so bad.” Jon laughed. They talked a little longer about what was going on with the kids and Jon had to get the set list and a little more sound check in before the show that night.
“I know you have to go, I love you Jonny.” She said when he had to get off the phone.
“I’ll be home in a few days, we’ll lock the doors and close the world out.” Jon said softly, this tour was harder than the ones in the past, he missed his family.
“That sounds so nice.” She didn’t want to hang up, these little calls made it better, but she really missed him.
“I got to go babe, I love you.” Jon said as he finished the call. There came a knock on the door. “Yeah.” Jon hollered for whoever came to check on him.
The door opened and Richie stuck his head in the door and held his breath.
“Things okay on the home front?” Richie asked Jon as he came and in the usual Richie fashion, flopped down in the chair facing the sofa Jon was on.
“Yeah, surprisingly, great.” Jon picked up the pen on the table by what would be the set list for tonight. “She said blondes were more your thing than mine.” He chuckled. He reached for the paper and jotted down a few songs. “Think this is the longest tour we’ve ever done.” Jon tossed the paper and pen on the table and sighed.
“Oh course it seems that way, between the wedding, the trio, jetting to and from for the birth and them coming back, I don’t know how you are doing it?” Richie sat forward and reached for the set list. “Good list.” He looked up at Jon.
“I don’t know how I am doing it either.” He leaned his head back and looked at the ceiling. “I want to be home, with Lexie and the kids, then I get home and I get the itch to be back on the stage. It’s ruined one marriage I don’t want it to ruin this one.”
“So we take some time off, Ava wants me home more, and I got these songs.” Richie knew Jon was lost in his own mind.
Jon hadn’t tuned Richie totally out, he know Richie had wanted to work on a new solo album, he felt the tension building in him. That usually meant he was falling off the wagon again, but so far this tour his drinking was under control. Maybe they needed a break, he knew Matt was ready to be home as much as Jon was. Tony and his dad were working on the family sauce, like the family coffers needed more money, but it kept them busy.
There was a knock on the door. Matt didn’t wait to be told to come in, taking in the vibe in the room, he knew he was walking into a sticky situation.
“If we are scrapping the rest of sound check, you two have a phone interview in about an hour. I had craft service set up, if you’re hungry.”
He looked from Richie to Jon, Richie gave him the hunched shoulders, meaning he had no idea what was up with Jon.