Welcome to Edge of a Broken Heart, my first foray into the world of Bon Jovi Fan Fiction.

The start of the story can be found here and it can be navigated by using the menu to the left or by selecting newer post or older post at the bottom of each chapter.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Chapter 11

Alex had been tossing and turning since finally making it to bed a few hours before. She was still troubled by nightmares and as a result was reluctant to fall asleep. Tonight's events had not helped matters. She couldn't believe she could be so callous towards the man she loved; of course she denied it to him, she hadn't meant to say it at all, luckily, she thought, I managed to recover quickly from that slip. It wouldn't be right for Jon to believe she had feelings for him. Despite his declaration to her in the car, he had still married Dorothea. Besides, how was it possible to fall in love in just one night? Such scenarios were for movies and fairy tales, certainly not for real life. She tried to convince herself that she was, as she had declared to him, only in love with the persona, not the person.

At 6.42 a.m. Alex's bedside phone rang, snapping her out of her thoughts. She reached over to the night stand and picked up the receiver, wondering who in their right mind would be calling her so early in the morning after a late assignment. Jon was sitting propped up in bed the phone to his ear. Dot had opted to stay back at the hotel the evening before with a migraine, so rather than disturb her arriving at the room in the early hours of the morning Jon had taken up residence in a spare room for the night. He had managed to get a contact number for Alex and was putting it to good use.

"Mm 'lo" she answered a little groggily.

"Ali it's me.... please don't hang up" he continued quickly.

"I have nothing to say to you Jon" Alex said now wide awake.

Jon heard the rustle of bed linen "Sorry if I woke you"

"Nope, I'm awake mostly, in bed, but awake" she answered "What do you want? Like I said I have nothing to say to you, and there is nothing you have to say that I want to hear. It's done Jon... just let it go."

"I'm sorry Ali, I can't accept that, I won't accept it."

"You don't have a choice" Alex replied hanging up the phone then leaving it off the hook.

Jon tried to call her back but the phone was engaged, she'd left it off the hook. Damn stubborn woman. He jumped out of bed and called Reg, it was time for another run. Even running didn't work this time, on returning to the hotel he and Reg hit the gym and donned boxing gloves, where they sparred until both were exhausted before Jon resigned himself to heading back to his room.

Dot had noticed the first day that Jon wasn't himself. She had put it down to exhaustion and the stress of the tour but the longer she was with him the more withdrawn he became. They had made love just once, but he seemed only to be going through the motions, he was not the passionate attentive lover she usually enjoyed. Most nights so far, he would stumble into bed sometime near dawn, the night before he had not joined her at all. She was disappointed after planning a special evening for their last night together before she flew home. She had used the excuse of a migraine so that she could prepare for the rendezvous she had planned, setting out candles and organising a late supper for the two of them. Earlier in the day she had taken advantage of Sydney's upmarket boutiques and bought some risqué lingerie, hoping to tempt "her" Jon back but by the time he let himself into their suite at 11 the next morning freshly showered after his workout, it was packed in her suitcase with the rest of her belongings.

The couple shared a tense lunch in their suite in preparation for their goodbyes; her plane would be leaving in a couple of hours. Dot was resentful that Jon hadn't returned to their room before yet he seemed insensitive to her mood, his mind on other things. Dot studied him as he pushed the food around his plate.

"I waited for you last night" She uttered quietly.

"Hmm... sorry what?" he answered distracted.

"Last night... I waited for you to come home. What happened?"

"You said you weren't feeling well so I slept in the spare room we keep for press. I got in pretty late. I didn't want to wake you"

"Since when Jon, since when has that bothered you. Hell, you'd roll me over and fuck me sleeping if you wanted it. So don't give me bullshit excuses. A few months ago you couldn't get enough of me and now..."she trailed off.

And now there's Alex. "I already told you Dot, I'm tired, fuck" he exclaimed exasperated "I feel like the walking dead. The guys are bickering constantly; Reg has broken up fist fights on more than one occasion. There are times now where I can't even stand to be in a room with 'em, hell right now, I don't want to be in a room with myself."

Jon had already explained all this to her after that first night of lacklustre lovemaking, but she sensed something else underlying his discontent. "Jon, do you regret our marriage?" the question as much a surprise to her, as it was to him, escaping her lips.

He looked in to her eyes and realised that he couldn't lie to her "I don't know Dot. Maybe Doc was right, maybe it wasn't the right time." he couldn't lie to her but he wouldn't tell her the whole truth either. He couldn't bear to hurt her that much. "The fan backlash was huge, and I know we discussed it at the time, but you know me Dot, if something is in my head.... Besides, what kind of life is this for a newly married couple, you home alone, me on the road dozens of women throwing themselves at me every night. I would be lying if I said I wasn't tempted Dot. It's been a normal part of my life for so long." It was half true, though there was only one that truly tempted him.

Dot was very quiet for a moment before speaking barely above a whisper, unable to look into his eyes for fear of the truth she would find there. "Have you acted on temptation Jon?"

"Dot, no questions, no lies remember. That has always been the agreement... do you really want to change that now?"

"It doesn't matter if I do or don't, you just answered the question anyway" she said softly, her face turned away from him, hiding the single tear that fell from her light brown eyes.

"I'm sorry baby, I'm no saint, you know that... and I wish I could promise you it won't happen again, but I can't. I won't lie to you Dot. If you want to end it I'll understand. I don't expect you to have to deal with this." There it was..his way out.

"The tour is almost over. This is no place to be making rash decisions. You're burnt out, I'm emotional. We'll wait til your home and give it a few months. Things will be different off tour, you'll see. I'm sure we can work it out." She said. "Go out now; get the fucking out of your system Jon, because once your home that's the end of the cheating. This is the last chance next time we're through."

Dot rose and kissed Jon goodbye before making her way down to the car alone. He had attempted to rise to follow her but she pushed him back down in his seat and shook her head. Her emotions were barely in check and she did not want Jon to see how much she was hurting. As she slid into the back of the limo her tears flowed freely.

Meanwhile, back in the hotel room Jon sat stunned, staring at the closed door. He still couldn't comprehend her response, it was so far removed from what he expected. He had thought there would be yelling, screaming... he thought he would have a bowl thrown at him. But there was none of it, nothing he expected at all. Just a kiss goodbye and a final ultimatum: no more fucking around after this tour or she was gone. The realisation then dawned, his wife had just given him a guilt free pass to fuck around this tour. And more importantly, a guilt free pass to be with Alex, but if he was honest with himself he knew that that would never have mattered to him anyway. Alex had come to mean more to him that that.

The band had a week "off" til the next gig in Adelaide. The crew would already be half way through tearing down the stage, while that same evening the advance crew would be on the way to the next venue to set up. The extent of stage equipment was mind boggling, even to Jon who had seen it erected and dismantled hundreds of times. Once the stage was set the crew would enjoy some down time. The bands week "off" would consist of sightseeing and press commitments. They needed the break, not only from work but from each other. They would see each other only as necessary for interviews. The rest of the week they would go their separate ways.

Jon, whose work commitments numbered more that the other band members, had less time to himself, but what he did have he intended to spend pursuing Alex. Just minutes after Dot had left, in fact most likely before the elevator had even reached the ground floor, Jon could be found alone in his suite punching in numbers on the hotel phone that he read from a scrap of paper pulled from his jeans pocket. Casually dressed in only those jeans, worn faded and torn, he looked like a poster boy for relaxation, lounging back in the reclining office chair his legs outstretched and crossed at the ankle, and his bare feet propped on the desk before him. He had one hand behind his head the other holding the receiver to his ear. One of the perks of being a rock star was that almost any one was available at any hour if you called upon them.

"Listen Bob this is what I need..." Jon was on the phone to Alex's boss, tempting him with a proposition he could not refuse. He explained that he would grant an interview in Melbourne and photo shoot at an exclusive location on the condition that the photographer had to be Alex, he had seen her work and was in awe of her talent, and that she was available for a dawn shoot on the beach, he also made it clear that the choice of photographer was to appear to be Bob's idea, not that he liked being manipulative but at this point in time he could see no other way to get her to agree. The interview could be conducted at any time during the Melbourne leg the following week, while the photographer would have to fly to the location, for which Jon would organise a private charter, the same day as his arrival after the New Zealand shows about two weeks hence.

Jon also suggested to Bob that he not advise his staff who their subject would be in the interests of confidentiality, and informed him that the location or nature of the photo shoot would not even be disclosed to him. Bob had been somewhat offended by this insisting that his staff were very discrete and could be trusted with the details but Jon was insistent, especially he pointed out, because this was being done during band down time. His conditions were not negotiable. At this stage he didn't want Alex to know who she would be photographing. Over the next week or so he would try to win her over but if that failed Queensland would be his last chance, he wouldn't risk that by disclosing it now.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Chapter 10

“What do you mean you can’t do it? Not even a month ago you were begging me for this assignment” Alex’s boss was in shock. She had never turned down an assignment, no matter how difficult, and as assignments went this was a piece of cake, half of the staff would have killed for it. Besides she lived for Bon Jovi. Hell she'd attended a concert just days ago....surely it wasn't so bad that she didn't want to go again.

“Yeah well... things change. I’m sorry Bob. I just can’t do it. You’ll have to find someone else” she was adamant.

“Alex, I don’t want to pull rank here but I have no choice. There is no-one else. You know damn well they are all still out with food poisoning from that dinner you missed when you went to the concert. Damn I don’t even have a reporter to go with you. Rick is off and the rest are barely making it through a day shift let alone pulling an all nighter. I do still have two passes though so maybe you could take a friend and make a night of it. I’m sorry Alex, but that’s my final word” Alex went to open her mouth to disagree, but the stern stare she received from her boss stopped her dead in her tracks.

“Fine I’ll go, I’ll do the photos, I’ll even do a review but there is no way on Gods green earth that I will be doing an interview.”

“OK, now that I can live with. As long as I have something to fill the space.”

As Alex left the building she wondered how her boss could expect this of her. The last couple of days had been nothing less than torturous, she had been thinking of little Abbie at every waking moment, and the few hours sleep she was managing to snatch of a night were plagued by nightmares. She was tired and emotional, but in the short time she had worked for News Corp Alex had gained a reputation for being not only professional but tenacious, so it had come to be expected of her that she carry on. Well, she thought, guess I’m going to that damn concert after all. Bob had handed her two backstage passes and sent her on her merry way to photograph Jon Fucking Bon Jovi. The last man on earth she wanted to see was now her assignment.

Alex left work early and went home to dress for the concert. She had called Lanie before leaving the office and informed her of her predicament and asked if she could possibly change her plans and accompany her backstage after all. Lanie had agreed, luckily for Alex she had been unable to find anyone to attend the concert on such short notice. But even if she had Lanie knew she would not have turned Alex down, understanding that what her friend was actually asking for was moral support; she didn’t want to face him alone.

Lanie turned up at Alex’s door with an hour to spare, it was her turn to drive tonight, Alex had been unable to arrange for Dennis and she wasn’t confident that she would be capable of driving when the night was through; she was already an emotional wreck at the thought of even seeing him on stage. The girls had spent hours on the phone since Alex's terrible ordeal, but work commitments had prevented Lanie from physically being there to support her friend. The second the door opened she wrapped Alex in a warm, supportive embrace . Alex took a little of her friend’s strength, and was grateful for it, as last thing she was feeling herself was strong.
Lanie parked her Beetle in the parking lot adjacent to the venue, and the pair made their way down to the staff entrance of the arena. A burly security guard stopped them at a wire boundary gate and checked their press passes before waving them through. They made it to the stage door, where a second guard was stationed. This one checked their credentials before speaking into a two way radio.

On getting a response he addressed them “Mr McGhee will be with you momentarily” and before Alex could even respond he was there.

“Hello Mr McGhee” She said her hand out stretched “I’m Alex Belle thi is mt assistant Lanie.”
“Oh, I was expecting...”

“... Someone older?” Alex finished for him.

“I was going to say a man actually, wth a name like Alex I hardly expected a stunning young woman” Doc responded “Could I see some ID please, besides the fact that you’re not male as you pointed out yourself you do appear to be a little young for the job”

Alex already frustrated by the whole situation, pulled her licence and press card from her purse for him to inspect. “I believe you will find, that upon seeing me, Mr O’Brien will also vouch for my identity, and so too could Juno for that fact, I photographed him just the other day for another of our publications.”

Doc started to walk and motioned the girls to join him. “Well let’s get in there. Just some ground rules to follow, no questions to the band prior to the performance, you may photograph as you see fit, but nothing indecent. DO NOT get in the way, if someone’s moving in your direction, move out of the way fast, time is precious here. Those passes give you access to all areas with the exception of the private dressing rooms. That means back stage, in the pits up front or even the mixing desk or arena floor. There is a crew here filming a documentary for us, try not to get in their way either. Any questions?” Doc asked already walking away from them. Alex shook her head and he was gone.

Roxus were on stage already wrapping for the night so the girls made their way around the darkened backstage area carefully avoiding cables and obstacles alike until a considerate crew member handed them a small torch. Alex took out her camera, handed Lanie the bags and began snapping off shots. She saw Richie’s guitar tech making final adjustments and snapped him doing so. She wandered into a small room beneath the stage where she found bottles of water, a hair dryer and one of Jon’s stage outfits she recognised from the first concert. The room smelled of Jon, bringing memories flooding back.

Trying to keep her mind off him, she continued to move about taking photos of the crew and of the prep areas backstage but soon came to the realisation that the pits would be the least likely place to run into the star of the show. It would be the perfect place for her to snap off a few close shots of him in action before moving out to the arena floor for the rest of the show. As she headed out there, Lanie following, carrying the gear, she hoped that she would be able to get those first pictures without him realising it was her. Alex managed to snag a Bon Jovi cap from a crew member and bunched her hair under the cap. Doc had expected a male, and since she was dressed for work in jeans and a T shirt, she hoped that she would pass for one in the darkness.

The show began as it had a few days prior, so in the hype and the confusion of the fireworks Alex was able to get the close shots she required before being discovered. By the time the band were ending the second song Alex and Lanie had made their way to the mixing desk where they were hidden from sight. It wasn’t conducive to good photography but it was to her sanity. The anonymity it gave Alex allowed her the space from Jon she needed to successfully complete her assignment. If he wasn’t aware of her presence he couldn’t focus on her, or do anything stupid.
Shortly after setting up her telephoto at the desk Alex was approached by Obie. Had Doc told him she was there? Did that mean Jon knew too? They shared a brief conversation over the blaring music.

“Alex, Jon will be really glad you came.”

“I’m not here to see Jon, Obie” Alex explained “Well, I am, but not personally. I’m here to work” She indicated the camera “No one else was available or I wouldn’t be here at all”

“So does that mean you don’t want to see him?”

“That’s what it means.” Obie appeared a little confused but Alex continued “He doesn’t know I’m here does he”

“Darlin’ believe me if he did, it would be him standing here with you now instead of me. He’s been going crazy trying to contact you since that first concert on Wednesday. I assume you got the flowers?” Obie questioned.

Alex uttered a silent thanks “Yes I did get them and they were beautiful thank you”
“No need to thank me, Jon did it all! Even went to the florist and picked the arrangement himself. He was devastated when he found you had left the show. The only thing I can take credit for is the transportation. I saw the name of the limo comapant whenyou pulled away that night. You know that Jon must have rang that poor bastard of a driver a hundred or more times on Thursday trying to get your details. It seemed he was on the phone to him every time I saw him. He even offered him an obscene amount of money, but he wouldn’t budge. You chose your staff well. In fact Jonny was so impressed with his work ethic and discretion that he hired him for the remainder of the tour.” So that’s why he was unavailable, Alex couldn’t help a small grin.

The remainder of the concert went without a hitch. Alex was satisfied that with what she had she would be able to compile the review as promised and was packing up her gear in preparation to leave when she was approached by Doc again.

“I just thought you might like to know that the boys are putting on an impromptu car park performance. We’d love it if you could stay and get a few shots off. It’s a pretty rare occurrence. I'd be happy to pay you for the shots, we don't have a photograper this leg, only the video.”

Alex nodded, handed Doc one of her cards so he scould contact her for the photos later and strapped her camera around her neck. How bad could it be? It was the car park and with hundreds of fans. No way would she be anywhere near him. Besides being a fan she knew that it was indeed a rare occurrence and if her boss found out she had missed it her career could be over before it truly began. Doc led them through to the rear of the Arena where they could hear faint chords as the band warmed up. Alex was adjusting the settings on her camera, Lanie by her side, as Doc pushed open a door for her to pass through. She lifted the camera to her eye adjust the final settings and there staring down the lens not six foot away was Jon.

Taking in the scene Lanie was amazed. The door they had emerged from was the stage door they had entered at the start of the evening. The employee carpark had been converted to an impromptu stage and the adjacent multi level carpark where her car was situated provided a grandstand of sorts, fans crowding the rails on every level. The wire fence and gates Alex and she had entered through earlier were also swarming with fans, some wedged so firmly against the metal mesh she was sure they would wear its imprint for days to come. Alex, meanwhile, was oblivious to all but the man that stood before her.

Jon didn’t recognise her immediately. The camera obscured most of her face and her hair was still hidden beneath the cap she had procured earlier. He smiled for the camera, his media smile she had come to call it, stunning but not quite real, there was a brilliant light as the flash went off, blinding him temporarily. Damn he hated getting his picture taken he thought, as he turned his attention to the mic and began to sing. It would only be a short set. They just wanted to let off a bit of steam and get back to basics, a bar gig without the bar, he grinned at the thought. Jon observed the photographer as he made his way around the band taking photos of them all in turn. No wait, her way around, it was a woman, her curves betraying her gender. She moved back snapping shots of the five of them together, she moved in closer to capture the chemistry between himself and Richie as they played off each other, all the time the flash bulb blinding him to her identity.

Alex wondered why Jon had not acknowledged her presence there yet. It was only when she saw him squinting that she understood. Her flash was her disguise, it was providing her anonymity. He had no idea who was behind the lens and she had no intention of showing him. But when the film ran out she moved over to Lanie to change cameras, and that was her undoing. It had been a couple of minutes since the last flash, and his eyes were adjusting to the small spot lights that had been brought out. He took the mic off the stand, continuing to sing as he moved closer to her, there was something familiar in the way she moved, and he wanted a closer look. The photographer had her back to him while adjusting the other camera, but turned as he walked up behind her. There he stood face to face with Alex.

Jon temporarily lost it, his train of thought disintegrated. Richie covered when he saw Jon stumble over his words and took to the mic giving Jon a brief opportunity to talk. He flicked the off switch on his mic.


“This is my job Jon. I work for News Corp as a staff photographer. Now, I’m sorry but if you don’t mind I really should get back to work and so should you for that fact” she said her head gesturing towards the band. Jon looked over but Richie was coping fine, better than fine, the fans always ate it up when he sang.

“Fuck work Alex. I want to talk to you. I need to talk to you. Damn it I just need you” he hissed under his breath.

“Bit late now, don’t you think? I’m sure YOUR WIFE would!”

Lanie stood idly by, not knowing where to look, she finally settled on the band, Richie in particular.

“You didn’t get my card?”

“That...yeah I got it. But what does it change Jon when your married to someone else!”
“I...I was hoping...”

“Hoping what Jon, what were you hoping?” she interrupted mid sentence, every ounce of control she possessed keeping her voice steady and even.

“I...I don’t know exactly, that we could talk this through, work it out. I have so many questions Ali. Why you never wrote back? What made you leave the concert on Wednesday?” Thank God for Richie he thought, his friend was still at the mic, now singing his second song.

“There is nothing to talk through Jon. You married some one else, that’s all there is to it. I didn’t write because you never gave me an address. As for the concert, well I didn’t appreciate being serenaded in front of your wife, who was lovely by the way. I resented being put in the position of having to explain myself to her, so I left before she had an opportunity question me.”

“Obie said you were in a bad way”

“I’ll admit Jon I was upset, but not for the reason you think. I had just met your wife and I liked her, you were up on stage telling me to “Lay Your Hands On Me”, I felt tainted Jon, dirty, your wife was right there next to me and your basically telling me you want to fuck me. And not only with the lyrics, it was in your eyes and your touch and....”Alex broke off unable to continue, the memories flooded back and she dampened at the thought. She hated that she had such a strong physical reaction to him.

“You know, for a while there I actually thought I might love you. Oh, but don’t worry, I’m over that now. I had to be the day you put that ring on your finger” She said as she picked up his hand to indicate his wedding band, only to find it wasn’t there, but that much to her dismay, the electricity between them very obviously was. She turned and began to walk away from him, barely able to control her emotions. “Now I see it for what it was. It was just the persona I fell for, not the person. Better get back to work Mr Rock Star” she spat over her shoulder “Your fans await.”

As Alex made for the arena doors, she did not see the incredulous look on Jon’s face. Her demeanour was so distant. She showed no anger or sadness, in fact she gave no indication of feeling at all, and that was so much worse than any temper tantrum. He ached to follow her but she was right about one thing, his fans were waiting and he had made a commitment to them that he just couldn’t shun. He moved back to the microphone stand in time to start the next song and watched Alex walk out of his life yet again. This time though, he would not walk away from her. This time News Corp was etched firmly in his brain. On returning to the hotel that night Jon had headed straight to his old friend Obie’s room. He was sure he would be able to access the information he required, given that he had managed to arrange the flower delivery just days earlier, her bosses phone number should be child's play.

Chapter 9

When Alex finally had control of her emotions she moved to the bathroom and showered in preparation for the workday ahead, she had to keep busy, it was that or fall apart, and that was something she just wasn’t willing to do. She managed to make it into work only twenty minutes late and used the old excuse of traffic, it was always feasible considering her office was in the city and delays were a frequent occurrence. A couple of work mates had been at the show the evening before and had seen her on the large screen, before her bag had been placed on her desk they were there to question her. She shrugged the incident off, explaining that was just what he did, he was a showman and knew how to work the crowd, but they insisted that the emotion he expressed was much more than that. They, too, were hard core fans; they had been to many concerts on the last tour and had even travelled to the States to see them earlier this tour and were adamant that he had never reacted to a fan like that before.

“Hell Alex” Chrissy had exclaimed “His wife was at one of those shows in the States and he didn’t even look at her with that kind of passion!”

At that comment, Alex’s body had two simultaneous reactions. Her stomach lurched at the mention of his wife and her heart skipped at the mention of passion as relating to herself. She was still lost in thoughts of Jon when her boss approached her with the day’s assignments. It was going to be a tough day. She was assigned to what she called the ambulance chasing crew. It was usually morbid work relating to horrendous crimes and tragic accidents, and today would prove to be no different.

Alex was paired with Rick, a seasoned journo. At twenty nine he had been the job for more than ten years. He was tall and ruggedly handsome; at least six four with chiselled features. He very obviously enjoyed the great outdoors, and it showed in his athletic physique and bronzed skin. His brown shoulder length hair was tipped with blond in the summer and his eyes were pools of jade. Several workmates had hinted to Alex that Rick may have more than a professional interest in her but she was reluctant to believe them. He had shown her nothing but kindness since they had been paired earlier that year at work, but he had not indicated that he wanted to pursue anything but a professional relationship, for which Alex was grateful, given that her feelings for a certain rock star had never resolved themselves.

Their first call out was to the fatal hit and run of a toddler in the Eastern Suburbs. Alex snapped shots of grieving relatives as Rick took down any details they were able to share in their state of debilitating anguish. The next call was no better; it was a suicide by train, far more common than the general public were aware, though not highly publicised. Alex went about her job with professionalism, but after the shots of the graphic scene had been captured she made her way behind the nearest bush and retched til her stomach was empty. Surely the day couldn’t get worse, she thought to herself, as she slumped in the front seat of the crew car. But true to Murphy’s Law of “If it can go wrong it will” the last call of the day was by far the worst.

They heard it over the police scanner on the way back to the office. Since they were the closest crew her and Rick took the assignment. They would regret that decision, not only that day but for the rest of their lives. The pair arrived at the scene shortly after the police. As a result no security measures or modesty screens had yet been constructed and the crime scene lay exposed before them. As they moved over to the centre of the commotion Alex caught a glimpse of a doll’s foot. It was tiny and pale in colour, almost grey. As an officer moved away to attend to a witness the true horror of the scene was revealed. What Alex had thought to be a doll was actually the victim, a little girl.

Her poor diminutive body lay there bruised and broken and covered in her own blood. There wasn’t a stitch of clothing on her, her limbs obviously broken jutted from her body at unnatural angles, and her head was all but severed. While Alex was becoming accustomed to the gore of crime scenes, it was very rare that she actually viewed the victim. Generally, by the time a news crew made it to a scene the screens were usually up or the body was covered or bagged. It was the first time she had been confronted with such an evil sight; it was the only word that could describe it, to commit a crime such as this was an act of pure evil. When the gruesome scene had revealed itself to them, Alex had turned to Rick and buried her face in his shoulder four words escaping her lips, “Oh God Rick why?”. He had tried his best to comfort Alex, but what could you say to someone after witnessing something so terrible. He had wrapped his arms around her and led her away while the officers moved in to investigate, but she had soon shrugged him off and gone over to console the witness, a surveyor who had come across the grisly discovery when he arrived on site that afternoon, and who was now in a state of near catatonia, shock was obviously setting in. Alex had masked her emotions well from the witness and the gathering crowds yet Rick could see the distress shadowing her beautiful eyes.

Never in his career had he met a woman so strong and determined to make her mark on the world, particularly one so young. Her talent was undeniable; he had worked all over the world, from interviewing celebrities in Hollywood to investigating the conflicts in Iraq and Ireland or the famines in Africa. He had worked with some of the worlds best photographers and in his opinion her work ethic and product matched or exceeded anything he had seen from any of them.

Rick and Alex found, through their investigation that evening, the defenceless child had not stood a chance. Her name was Abbie and had turned two only a couple of days prior and had been abducted while playing with her new toys in her front yard the afternoon before. She had then been raped repeatedly, either before or during several vicious beatings over a period of many hours, her throat had then been slashed before her corpse was moved and dumped in an abandoned construction site on the outskirts of the city. Rick had tried his best to offer Alex some words of comfort, but what could you say when you were at a loss yourself to understand such a horrific act.

As bad as Alex’s life seemed that morning when she woke, her pain was now clearly in perspective with the help of a poor little child, who had lost her life all too soon, and the devastated family she left behind. Alex realised then that she had not thought of Jon all day, and was glad for it, but now as she sat at home in the dark tears flowing freely, her thoughts turned to him, all be it briefly, for in her mind one image played constantly, that of a precious little life taken much too soon.

Alex had gone into work the next morning only to be sent straight off to the staff counsellor. She had spoken to both Lanie and her parents, and while well intentioned, they were of little comfort. How could they help? They had never experienced anything remotely like it. Alex had sat with the kindly older woman for the best part of three hours. She hadn’t realised that she had so much to work through; it all just flowed from her like a dam had burst. She spoke not only of Abbie but of the events leading up to it; the evening with Jon two years before and the instant connection she had felt with him, only changing his name and describing him as a wealthy business man, not the rock star that he was. Although she wanted to trust this woman, her lack of experience when dealing with Jon’s fame, had her cautious and hesitating.

Alex spoke of their most recent meeting and the subsequent run in with his new wife, and of the flowers. She had even pulled out the small card, which she carried with her since that morning, for the woman to view. Still unbelieving, Alex took it out and read it several times a day, a habit the counsellor thought it best to break. And then came the hard part, as if what she had just discussed hadn’t hurt enough.

Susan, the counsellor, had coaxed the details out of Alex a little at a time, analysing each piece of information as it was told to her. Alex had a very tough twenty four hours and Susan was amazed that the girl wasn’t sitting in a corner somewhere blowing spit bubbles. She was even more amazed that young woman had reported for work that day at all and hadn’t resigned or at the very least called in sick as Rick had done. Susan methodically worked through the issues with Alex and suggested some coping mechanisms she might use to get through the next few days, which would undoubtedly be the worst. One suggestion that was made related to a decision that Alex had already come to her self. That was she could no longer see Jon, in any capacity; she therefore would not be attending the last concert. She had told Lanie that very morning to find some else to go with because it was just too painful to see him again. Little did Alex know that, once again, fate would intervene!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Chapter 8

While Dot stood staring adoringly up at her husband believing the song to be for her, Alex stood a seat away understanding the truth of the dedication, looking up into Jon’s eyes, so filled with pain, tears streaming down her face. She managed to stick it out until the end of the song, until she saw Jon so overcome with emotion that he had to leave the stage.

Alex fled the arena floor as fast as she could Lanie trailing behind her. Dot didn’t even see them leave, she was too caught up in, what in her opinion was, her husbands best rendition of that song to date. As she hit the foyer Alex ran right into Obie, who was returning from the bathroom, almost knocking him to the floor. As he stepped back he recognised her immediately as the photographer from the hotel the day before. Then he caught sight of the pendant, at first believing like Dot, that it was a reproduction. But something familiar about her and her present emotional state had him recalling a confidence bestowed upon him a couple of years prior. He reached out and gently lifted the superman symbol from her décolletage flipping it over, confirming his suspicions, and her reason for leaving in such haste both that night, and the day before.

“Please Miss don’t leave, not like this. Jon would never forgive me if he found out I’d let you leave in this state, I know he’ll want to see you.” Obie was very concerned, she was obviously very distressed.

By this time Lanie had come upon the scene, and was, as she spoke wrapping her arms around her friend “She’ll be fine Obie, thanks” Lanie recognised him from the after party on the last tour, the one Alex had attended for only mere seconds “I’ve got it from here. I think it’s just been a bit overwhelming for her, especially being seated so close to his wife!” She explained.

Now Obie felt like a first class ass, it was him that had put her there. “Oh,” he let out a long sigh “sorry about that, that was my doing, I ah...I didn’t realise, if I had Dot would have been backstage. She’s actually not even supposed to be here. She flew in this morning but thank god she’s flying out of here Saturday morning.” He paused as he realised how that sounded and went on to explain himself “We have some male bonding planned this leg of the tour and the women folk are certainly not figured into the equation.”

“That’s OK. No need to explain to us. We only just met the woman” Alex answered quietly, then turned to her friend “Lanie, I really need to get out of here. I’ll leave you the car and catch a cab home. I don’t want to ruin your evening, at least no more than I already have. Besides you have that backstage offer and you can’t pass that up.”

“Been there, done that” Lanie said. “No way am I leaving you alone, let’s go!”

The girls thanked Obie for his kindness and made their way to the waiting car. The driver had prepared a witty comment when he saw them approach, something like “So they were so bad you couldn’t even stick it out til the end, huh”, but thought better of it when he saw the obvious distress of his employer. He opened the door allowing the two women to climb in, then slid behind the wheel and drove them home in silence. It had obviously been a tough night for Alex. She was a regular client and one that he was fond of, so he had no intention of making things worse by putting his foot in his mouth, as he was often prone to do. Yep, he thought, silence – definitely the best option.

Finally at home, Alex was glad for the comfort of her own bed, into which she climbed totally drained and fully clothed, only taking the time to remove her boots. Lanie climbed in behind her friend and held her close as the sobs came again and again, until, at last, she fell into a restless slumber. Lanie was not far behind her; too tired to make her way to the guest room she often called her own, she fell asleep with Alex cradled in her arms.

At seven the next morning the door buzzer sounded bringing both girls out of their slumber. Alex groaned and made her way to the door, as Lanie headed to the bathroom. She felt terrible at having ruined Lanie’s night, and was thinking of a way to make it up to her as she unlatched and opened the door to find Dennis, the driver from the previous evening standing holding an extravagant arrangement of more than five dozen long stem red roses.

“Dennis, what are you doing here? What’s with the flowers? You really shouldn’t have!”

“Ahh... I didn’t Miss Alex” Dennis answered awkwardly “A gentleman contacted me very early this morning. He was very anxious, asked for your contact details. I would never disclose that though Miss Alex, NEVER!”

“I know that Dennis” Alex said a little impatiently waiting for the rest of the explanation, she had never been a morning person.

“So anyway, when I wouldn’t give him your details he asked if I could deliver something for him and gave me five hundred dollars to do so, and here I am”

“Who was it Dennis, what was his name?” Alex could barely contain her emotions at this point.

“Ummm...it was a ahh...a Mr... um” Dennis’s answer was so drawn out Alex thought she would strangle him. “O’Brien, yeah that’s it ... Obie O’Brien, strange name huh. He said he was really sorry for your evening and hoped he could make it up to you and gave me his card for you to call him.” Dennis continued “I’m supposed to call him to advise that the package has been delivered, is that ok?”

“Of course Dennis, and tell him thank you but there is nothing to be sorry for, so there will be no need for me to call him, but I do appreciate the gesture, can you remember all that.” Alex spoke quietly.

“Of course Miss. Not a problem” Dennis handed over the arrangement and was on his way.

Alex did not realise just how much she hoped those flowers to be from Jon, until she heard they were from Obie. She placed the beautiful arrangement on the hall stand and sat despondently on the couch. Lanie came out from the bedroom and walked straight over to the arrangement.

“WOW!” she exclaimed “Jon?” Admiring it’s beauty and inhaling the intoxicating perfume she pulled a card from the vase.

“No,” Alex sighed “just Obie”.

“Hey Al, you do know there’s a card here don’t you?”

“Nope, didn’t see that.” Alex didn’t really care what Obie had to say. She had already heard his apology. “Already know what’s in it anyway.”

“OK if I open it then”


Lanie opened the card, and then moved to sit by Alex. “Al, I think you should read this”

Alex took the small card that Lanie held before her, and as she read the very brief message the tears began to flow yet again.


She read that small card over and over but, for all its simplicity, she could not comprehend it. If he couldn’t get her out of his mind how could he have married someone else? Lanie pulled Alex into her arms as silently the tears began to fall, and held her close, as she had done the evening before, until this new stream tears were exhausted.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Chapter 7

The next twenty-four hours flew by for both Alex and Jon in a haze of professional appointments and social commitments. For him it was interviews and sound check then a light dinner with the boys before the show. For her it was photographic assignments and then a girly afternoon at the spa with Lanie in preparation for the concert that evening.

As with the last tour, the excitement that had been building for Alex since Lanie handed her the tickets two days before, had began its final ascent that morning and would no doubt peak when Jon stepped into the spot light that night. Since Lanie had gotten the tickets Alex had wanted to do something special for her so she had arranged an afternoon of pampering for them both. The girls chatted and giggled endlessly while the therapists worked their magic on them. They were waxed and fake tanned, had manicures and pedicures, a facial, a full body massage and seaweed wrap and finally had their makeup done. When they were finished at the spa they made their way to Sydney’s premier hair salon and had their hair cut, coloured and styled. It was a stark contrast to their preparation for the last tour where all they had managed was lip gloss and nail polish at home in the bedroom.

The girls both looked stunning, turning heads as they made their way to the chauffeured car Alex had hired for the afternoon and evening. It was almost time to head to the concert so the girls rushed back to Alex’s apartment where they had laid out their clothes on the bed before they left. They had decided on matching outfits of jeans and tight black tanks, covered with matching fitted waist length denim jackets and black knee high stiletto boots, not very practical but beauty was pain. They accessorised with large silver hoops in their ears and silver bangles on each wrist, little would people know they were solid platinum, and a black akubra hat.

At seven thirty the girls made their way down to the waiting car and were on their way. The Mercedes, so similar to the one Jon had hired two years earlier, pulled up in front of the venue, its black windows attracting the curious glances of people congregating outside hoping to get a glimpse of a celebrity. Alex stepped out first and felt the eyes of more than a hundred people fall upon her; the same occurred as Lanie got out, but attentions rapidly faded when no-one famous joined them. From a window high above a solitary figure watched a stunning young woman cut her way confidently through the crowds with her friend in tow. He wanted more than anything to be by her side, but unfortunately his wife had just made her way to his and wrapped her arms around his waist dragging his thoughts back to the present.

Watching her husbands gaze Dorothea commented “Wow, that first girl is really stunning; I mean they are both attractive, but she is drop dead gorgeous, I wonder if she’s a model.”

“Yeah she really is,” then added under his breath absentmindedly “in every way.”

“What was that babe?” she questioned

“Huh? Oh nothing, it’s time we get going down. You staying backstage or going up front?”

“I think I’ll go up front tonight. Obie has found me a seat somewhere up close, third row I think he said. That way I can keep an eye on you in case that goddess of a woman is up there.” Dot teased. “You sure do attract the hotties honey!”

Jon glared at her and opened his mouth to speak but Dot stopped him “Just teasing babe, geez things must be worse than you led me to believe for you to bite that easy. You know I don’t care about that shit, it’s just your job. Besides I know that you always come home to me.”

“Yeah that’s right” he rested an arm around her shoulders and placed a brief kiss on her forehead, as he escorted her down to Obie. If only she knew the only reason for their marriage was that same woman she had just admired and her rejection of him.

Dorothea had flown that morning to join the tour in Australia and get in some sightseeing while she was there. She had been missing her husband terribly, and when he had sounded so down on the phone she had decided to surprise him; she had certainly accomplished that when she arrived unannounced at sound check. Jon had been less that happy to see her, but had disguised his feelings well. It was an inopportune time for any of the wives or girlfriends to be on tour.

Bon Jovi had been on the road for over a year on this tour, backing up directly after the Slippery When Wet Tour and recording of the new album. Both band and crew were all exhausted and emotional. Tempers were frayed and bickering, once unheard of, was becoming frequent. They needed a break and one had been scheduled for the end of the Australasian leg, a week long escape to an exclusive Queensland resort, no one but the band and crew were aware of it as it had been planned for a week allotted to press commitments and extra shows that were no longer necessary. As he stood there with his wife in his arms the road crew were in the auditorium, scouting the it for “talent” to accompany the band on their “holiday”, those that made the grade at the after party would be given a ticket to fly, this process would be repeated at all the shows. Luckily due to commitments at home Dot would only be with the tour for a few days and would fly home the day after the last Sydney show.

Jon left Dot in Obie’s capable hands and made his way to the arena floor where he met with the others behind the stage. Roxus were still belting out their set and the crowds were responding with enthusiasm. Jon liked to give up and coming bands exposure when he could and standing backstage listening to them believed this one showed great promise. Roxus began their final song and as the words of their ballad “Where are you now?” found their way to Jon’s ears and permeated his brain, his thoughts turned to Alex. Was she missing him? Was there now a man in her life? Had someone replaced him in her heart? Was he ever in her heart in the first place?

City streets, Walkin' after midnight
Lost in the crowd, out on my own
Without you here, the nights are never endin'
I still see your face, wherever I go
I close my eyes across a million miles of broken dreams
And pray your restless soul will lead you back again to me

Where are you now? Are you missing me tonight?
Or does someone else hold you tight?
Take a look around, are you just too blind to see?
No-one could love you more than me

And when your world comes tumblin' down
Someday I'll hear you say, Where are you now?

All alone in a town full of strangers
Talkin' to myself, over a drink or two
Lookin' through tears for a runway angel
Dancin' 'til dawn, with memories of you
I listen to my lonely heart in rhythm with the rain (rhythm with the rain)
And pray I'll find a way to make your stormy seasons change, baby

Where are you now? Are you missin' me tonight?
Or does someone else hold you tight?
Take a look around, are you just too blind to see?
No-one could love you more than me
And when your world comes tumblin' down
Someday I'll hear you say, Where are you now?

I wonder if you ever wonder what became of me
Baby I need you so desperately tonight
Baby won't you tell me, Where are you now?

And when your world comes tumblin' down
Someday I'll hear you say
You know I'll hear you say

Where are you now?Are you missin' me tonight?
Or does someone else hold you tight?
Take a look around, are you just too blind to see?
No-one could love you more than me

Where are you now? Are you missin' me tonight?

The song ended so Richie gave Jon a gentle nudge to bring him out of his reverie, knowing full well what was bothering his friend but unaware that only minutes before she had taken her seat in the front row between Lanie and Dorothea.

Alex and Lanie had found their seats easily enough and were surprised to find that although the tickets were numbered row C, they were actually front row as the first rows had been removed to accommodate the barricades. The woman seated next to Alex was rather attractive and somewhat familiar.

She seemed to be alone so Alex, never one to see a person left out, introduced herself. “Hi I’m Alex. Are you here alone?”

“Not exactly” the woman answered in an American accent as a warm smile spread across her face “I’m with the band. It’s nice to meet you Alex, I’m Dee. My husband and I were admiring you as you entered the arena earlier; you are a very stunning young lady!” Dot had taken to abbreviating her name to her first initial. To most she was not easily recognisable. Jon’s insistence with the press that she not be photographed had, for the most part, saved her image from being widely circulated. Of course some had been leaked by old acquaintances looking for a quick dollar but that was the price of fame. And though it was not hers to pay she tolerated it because it came with the man she loved. Usually the abbreviation of her name to something other than the usual Dot was enough to elude peoples interest.

“Thankyou, your not too shabby yourself” Alex responded, something about the woman playing on her mind. Then as the woman raised her hand to sweep her hair from her face and Alex saw the flash of a thick gold wedding band, similar to one she had seen on another hand in a recent photograph, awareness dawned. It wasn’t Dee it was D-orothea, Jon’s new wife. Alex quickly excused herself and rushed out towards the bathroom, Lanie right behind her.

“Al...Al wait up” she was setting one hell of a pace “Al, where are you going? Al, slow down the shows about to start” Lanie finally managed to grab her friends arm and swung her around to see tears flowing down her cheeks. “Babe, what’s going on? One minute we’re all happy and chatting away and now tears. He can’t have gotten to you yet. He’s not even on stage.”

“That woman, you know the one sitting next to me” Alex managed through a sob “She was just telling me how beautiful I am and that her and her husband were admiring me as I entered the arena”

“So that’s a huge compliment, where’s the problem in that?”

“Her name is Dot!”


“Dot, Dorothea...she’s Jon’s wife!” Alex responded impatiently.

“So that means her husband was...... Oh shit!”

“I think ‘FUCK!’ would be more appropriate”

Lanie finally managed to talk Alex into re-entering the arena on the condition that they swap seats placing Alex away from Dot. As the girls took to their seats for the second time that night ‘Dee’ turned and spoke to Lanie “Oh, you swapped seats. I hope it wasn’t anything I said. By the way I’m...”

“Dorothea” Lanie finished in hushed tones “And no it wasn’t anything you said, as such. I think it just dawned on Al who you were, and it made your comment a little overwhelming, that’s all.”

“What comm...” Dot started then remembered she had included Jon in her compliment. “Oh that! Sorry, it wasn’t intended to upset your friend. Quite the contrary, it was a huge compliment. My husband socialises with some of the most beautiful women in the world, and I dare say by the look he was giving Alex over there, he would consider her very much at home among them.” She continued “And I’m sorry about the name thing... some fans can get a bit overzealous if they know who I am. So far I’ve managed to stay anonymous for the most part, and I’d like it to stay way so you have no idea how much I appreciate your discretion.”

“Don’t mention it, and don’t mind Al, she’ll be fine just as soon as she wraps her head around everything” Lanie answered with a smile. She liked Dot immediately and thought Alex probably did too. She was correct and, for Alex, that was half the problem, because how could you like the woman married to the man you loved. And though she had never fully admitted it, not even to herself, she had fallen in love with him on that first and only night they had spent together.

Dot leaned around Lanie to lay a gentle hand on Alex’s forearm “I’m really sorry if I freaked you out Alex. I can be a bit abrupt at times and I’m still getting used to this whole ‘rock star’ thing. I mean to me he’ll always be that shy kid I went to school with and fell in love with, but I meant it as a compliment and I’m sure Jon will tell you the same, if you’d like to come back and meet him after the show. Both of you. Oh and please call me Dot.” She said.

Before Alex had an opportunity to refuse her the house lights dimmed and a scream reverberated through the crowd. Tico laid down the first beat on the drums which would become Lay Your Hands On Me, then Jon’s voice echoed clearly “They say that to really free your body, you gotta free your mind, so come on, check this out” there was a curtain shot of fireworks across the front of the stage and when the sparks cleared Jon could be seen dead centre. The show had begun.

Jon found Alex the second he stepped onto the stage. She was in the middle of the front row right in front of his mic stand; he didn’t however see Dot just one seat over. Jon worked the stage as he always did playing to the crowd on both sides of the arena with boundless energy but then stopped right before Alex and pointed as he sang...

Everything you want is what I need
Your Satisfaction is guaranteed
But the ride don't never ever come for free
So If you want me to lay my hands on you

His eyes bore into her very soul, then he was gone dancing across the stage but as Richie’s solo ended he was again back before her, this time reaching out to take her hand while singing, as the music slowed he leaned forward further and further over the front of the stage until he was able to pull her hand to him and place it over his pounding heart...

Don't you know I only aim to please
If you want me to lay my hands on you

Lay your hands on me

The camera panned across the scene and the crowd went wild as they saw it on the massive screens overhead, every woman in the place wished they were that girl. Jon bought her hand from his heart to his lips and kissed it tenderly before reluctantly letting it go to return to his adoring fans. Only a handful of people knew the truth of what was happening. The crowd ate it up believing it to be great showmanship, Dot looking on thought the same, but as the camera panned away a familiar hint of silver could be seen hanging from the girls neck, it caught Dots attention immediately for she had seen it on her husbands neck since the day it was made. It must be a replica she thought, they were becoming common now. Luckily she could not see the back which clearly indicated it wasn’t with the initials J.B. and the tiny phrase “Blood on Blood” engraved into it.

As Richie played the opening chords to I’d Die For You he made his way across to Jon and shouted into his ear “Man have you got guts playing up to that chick with your old lady in the front row one seat over no less.”

Jon began to answer the first part of the statement before the second had registered “That’s not just any chick man, that’s Alex” Then his brain caught up to his mouth “What did you say about Dot?”

Richie said nothing but nodded in her general direction. Jon turned to look and damn if Richie wasn’t right. There just a seat apart was the woman he loved and his only obsession. As Dot stood there gazing up at him oblivious to the truth, Alex, unable to meet his gaze was very obviously caught in the pain of it and it broke his heart. He knew his feelings weren’t rational, this girl, this beautiful young woman was more than just an obsession. He knew now that he did have feelings for her. He wondered how was it that in that one short night she had sparked a desire in him stronger than that he had for his wife. Jon was the consummate professional and his experience on stage was the only thing that enabled him to continue the show, but he needed Alex to know that he too felt the pain she was feeling. He had penned a song after their night together, speaking to of the pain of separation, so he decided to mix up the set list and play it early. He informed Richie and then made a very risky announcement gambling that Dot would believe it to be about her.

“I wrote this for and about a very special lady here tonight. I hope she knows who she is and what she means to me! It’s off the new album.” As he spoke his hand went to the chain around his neck caressing it lightly under the guise of adjusting it. It was a sign just for Alex, one that he hoped she would recognize. He knew that his subtle message had been received when watched her hand move of its own volition to the pendant’s twin hanging from her neck.

I tried to make you happy
You know I tried so hard to be
What you hoped that I would be
I gave you what wanted
God couldn't give you what you need
You wanted more from me
Than I could ever be
You wanted heart and soul
But you didn't know, baby

Wild, wild is the wind
That takes me away from you
Cold is the night without your love
To see me through
Wild, wild is the wind
That blows through my heart

Wild is the wind,
Wild is the wind
You got to understand, baby
Wild is the wind

You need someone to hold you
Somebody to be there night and day
Someone to kiss your fears away
I just went on pretending
Too weak, too proud, too tough to say
I couldn't be the one
To make your dreams come true
That's why I had to run
Though I needed you, baby

Wild, wild is the wind
That takes me away from you
Cold is the night without your love
To see me through, baby
Wild, wild is the wind
That blows through my heart tonight
That tears us apart

Wild is the wind,Wild is the wind
You got to understand, baby
Wild is the wind


Maybe a better man
Would live and die for you
Baby, a better man would
Never say goodbye to you

Wild, wild is the wind
That takes me away from you
Cold is the night without your love
To see me through, baby
Wild, wild is the wind
That blows through my heart tonight
That tears us apart

Wild is the wind,Wild is the wind
You got to understand, baby
Wild is the wind

That song poured out of him with more emotion than ever before. By the end of it the entire arena was silent. Jon was drained and very uncharacteristically left the stage, announcing Richie would sing the next song, much to Richie’s surprise. He made his way to his quick change with tears welling in his eyes and asked to be left alone, telling his guard to “Fuck off” when he tentatively opened the curtain to see if he was ok. The pain he had seen in her was raw, almost tangible, it reflected his own. Yet he still couldn’t begin to imagine her thoughts, sitting there just one seat away from his wife. As he had poured his heart out to her in song, he had observed her sneaking glances at Dot, who was lost in the moment thankfully oblivious to Alex and all else around her.

He needed time to get his shit together. He changed his shirt; air boxed around the small space, actually punched one of the equipment cases and damaged his hand, but was ready to hit the stage by the end of Richie’s impromptu performance. He was lucky he could rely on the axeman, he thought, as he made his way back to the stage. He moved out onto the side of the stage and kept moving in a conscious effort to avoid seeing Alex until his feelings were under better control, so it wasn’t until halfway though the second song back that he realised she was gone and so was her friend. The pain of her absence hit him hard but he carried on...he couldn’t disappoint the fans, the show had to go on, but later in the privacy of the showers he would break down and weep in frustration for the pain he had caused and situation he now found himself in, married to one woman yet obsessed with another.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chapter 6

It had been two years since Jon had seen an Australian sunrise. Two years since he had seen her.

The band was flying into Sydney from Brisbane after performing there the evening before. If possible they liked to fly to their next destination straight after the show. It gave them an opportunity to come down from the adrenaline rush they got whilst performing and also meant, that in most cases, they would get a whole day off between shows. Richie looked over at his friend as their private jet began its descent and could almost see the thoughts being played out in his mind. Dave, Tico and Alec had never known what had happened here last tour, just that for the remainder Jon had been despondent. They had all put it down to exhaustion; Richie knew better and was concerned about the coming week. Jon had sent a few letters but never received a response and so had given up hope of seeing Alex again. He had known it wasn’t a good idea anyway and if too many obstacles stood in their way back then, it was even truer now.

Life had been a hectic merry-go-round of touring, recording and press since Jon had seen Alex last. He had rarely been home and missed the comforts it provided. He had his high school sweetheart Dorothea join the tour for a leg to help ease the loneliness, and on an impulse had asked her to be his wife. Professionally he was on top of the world with a number one song and album. The band had been out celebrating their success, their show that evening was one of the best that tour and Jon should have been ecstatic; all his dreams were coming true. Yet he wasn’t, he felt that something was missing from his life, so impulsively he had asked Dot to marry him and to his astonishment she had said yes. Jon and Dorothea were married a week later in a Las Vegas Chapel and he had spent every day since trying to reconcile his feelings about the union. Did he love her? Yes, he had since he first laid eyes on her. Was he still IN love with her? Maybe, there was chemistry there but he had felt a stronger chemistry with another. Did he want to spend the rest of his life with her? Now that was the million dollar question, for when he pictured his future, he could see only one woman beside him and it wasn’t Dot. He told himself that Alex was just an infatuation. That she was his one and only failed conquest and that was why after two years she was still on his mind.

Alex had haunted his dreams since that one amazing night. He often thought of her and what his life would have been had the circumstances of their meeting been different. His life philosophy was to never be a woulda, coulda, shoulda person and he had no intention of starting now. But as the plane flew over familiar sights approaching Sydney Airport at dawn, so similar to that morning two years before, he could not help but feel sorrow and regret for what he had left behind. He wondered where Alex was now, what she was doing and whether he still entered her thoughts. Richie leaned over from across the aisle and gave his shoulder a supportive squeeze. Damn, that man knew him better than he knew himself. He had to pull himself together, he thought. Alex was in the past and now it was time to look to the future, but even as he thought that, an image of the two of them together and happy sprang to mind.

At about the same time that the Bon Jovi jet approached Sydney Airport, Alex was waking with the same thing on her mind that had been every morning for the last couple of years, Jon Bon Jovi! She had tried hard to forget him, and to come to terms with the impossible reality of their situation, but still he was the first thing on her upon waking, the last in her thoughts at night, and the sole focus of her dreams. Alex tried to move on. She was stunningly beautiful, so she was constantly told, and had a long line of potential suitors. She had dated a few but none compared, who could compare to perfection? Now eighteen, she was still “saving herself” for “Mr Right” but feared he had walked out of her life two years before never to return. She had not seen, nor heard from him since that one beautiful unforgettable night they had spent together, and that was ok, he had made no promises and neither had she, yet she was sure his sentiments had been sincere. None of it made any difference now though; he was still much older, still a rock star, still unattainable and now very, very married.

That press release months before had devastated her. Even though they had agreed it could never work, and her head knew that beyond a doubt, one small part of her heart had always held the hope that one day they would be reunited. That hope had evaporated the day he had married. Until the evening before Alex didn’t even have tickets for a show this tour, but Lanie had surprised her with tickets for the first and last Sydney shows. Alex was unsure as to whether or not she even wanted to attend the concerts. While she was still very much a fan of the band, and their music, she was hesitant to see Jon again or to be in a room with him, even if that room held twelve thousand plus other people, such was the magnetism of this man.

Ultimately, Alex knew she would attend both concerts and would embrace the hype and the joy and even the pain that they, that he, would evoke. She had been waiting at the record store the day their new album New Jersey had been released and had listened to it thousands of times since. There were songs on that album that, believing they were about Jon’s new wife, cut her to the core, so she was not looking forward to hearing the emotion he would infuse into those lyrics when they were performed live. Yet even as she lay in bed the feelings of excitement began to well in her, she was all jittery and felt like a kaleidoscope of butterflies had taken residence in her stomach.

Much had happened to Alex in the last two years. She had finally finished her schooling and had taken a position as a cadet at an inner city newspaper. After spending six months commuting to the city she had decided, along with her parents, that she would be best off living closer to work and so had moved to the city.

Luckily for Alex, the same year she had finished school she had received a much unexpected windfall. An old maiden Aunt had passed and bequeathed her entire estate to the young woman. She had never had a family of her own, so Alex had taken pity on her in her final years and tried to visit her weekly if only to pop in with a small treat on her way home from school. The woman had a lived a frugal life and it was assumed by all that she had very few assets, an assumption that couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Alex’s Aunt Celia was scrupulous investor with uncanny foresight, a talent inherited from her father, and had over the year’s accumulated stock holdings in large conglomerates such as Apple, Microsoft and Coca-Cola, most of which had been acquired at entry level if not by her, then by her father before her. At the time of her death the woman held several million dollars worth of shares, real estate holdings exceeding five million dollars in value and an account holding an estimated two and a half million. Alex inherited it all. A stipulation in the will ensured Alex did not rest on her laurels, to retain control of the estate she had to remain in gainful employment or work for charity... she did both. It also provided for a yearly allowance until Alex turned eighteen so that the estate wouldn’t be squandered in the hands of a teenager, one wiser than her years, but a teen none the less.

In that first year Alex’s allowance was one hundred thousand dollars. She moved into a lovely four bedroom penthouse overlooking the harbour her Aunt had owned in Kirribilli. To anyone other than her family and her friend Lanie, she explained that the apartment belonged to a friend of her fathers, and she was house-sitting while he was on an extended overseas tenure. She had also acquired in the will, a lovely estate in a leafy suburb near by and moved her parents in there. Alex had a housekeeper come in twice a week but took care of the smaller daily house chores her self, taking a great deal of pride in her home. She enjoyed the domesticity and down time as it was an escape from the rigours of her chosen career.

Alex rose from the bed and padded softly into the adjoining bathroom. She examined herself in the mirror and was content with what she found. As a teen she had not suffered with acne, so her skin was clear and smooth and required no make up, so she splashed some water over it and followed up with a light moisturiser. Her hair still hung to her waist but was feathered into soft layers around her face; she ran a brush through it and deftly contained it in a ponytail high on her head. Alex had never liked the constrictions of pyjamas and so slept as nature intended. The only object that adorned her body was a simple platinum pendant that hung from her long slender neck, and fell just short of her full perky breasts. She moved into her walk in closet and selected her usual work attire a pair of jeans, a T Shirt and a cap, and pulled them on over a matching pale pink lingerie set. She never knew where the day would take her, but it was sure to be exciting.

The paper at which Alex worked was a prominent one in the city, where she had progressed quickly through the ranks. Her talent with a lens was undeniable, so despite her position as a cadet, she was often allocated assignments equivalent in importance to those of the senior photographers. Regardless of popular opinion, a career in media was not a glamorous one. Alex had seen, in her very short career, many scenes considered troubling to hardened experienced eyes, let alone a teenage rookie. But she had also had the opportunity to photograph some extraordinary events and people, and that’s what made her job worthwhile. As she headed out the door she wondered what the new day would bring.

Jon and the band had finally arrived at their hotel, after passing through customs and then battling the hoards of fans that waited for them on the other side; he was hardly emotionally prepared for the onslaught of memories that would bombard him on entering that same hotel, the one where he said his final goodbye to his Alex. But she wasn’t his and never would be. Jon got himself settled in his room but was too amped to relax. He needed to get out of there, so he donned his favourite sweats and disguise of sunnies and a well worn NY Giants cap and sneaking out an employees entrance he hit the pavement leaving his bodyguard behind.

Jon ran for a long time, it was his release; he ran through the infamous Kings Cross then crossed the city and set a course for the harbour. It didn’t help; everything in this city reminded him of her, now he was even seeing her everywhere. He had already mistakenly stopped one woman thinking it was Alex, then not five minutes later, while stopped at a pedestrian crossing, he would have sworn it was her behind the wheel of a classic silver mustang convertible, the hair was a little different but .... “Impossible” he muttered to himself. Her situation, as she had explained back then, did not allow for fancy homes and cars, it barely afforded her basic needs. And she “neither wanted nor needed his charity”. She sure was adamant on that so he didn’t even attempt to offer, he understood the importance of pride and the need to accomplish goals on your own terms, and admired her even more for it. Besides, the woman had looked straight at him without the barest flicker of recognition, when her hand lifted above the top of the door he had thought she was making to wave but she merely adjusted her sunnies and drove off.

While running, Jon had not attracted much attention, certainly nothing to be concerned about, but now standing on the foreshore he was garnering some curious glances and furtive whispers, and without his security guard present, he decided that a cab back to the hotel would be wise. He walked to the nearest road and hailed a cab. The cab driver, thankfully oblivious to his celebrity, was pleasant but not chatty, which was ok with Jon for he was in no mood for small talk. The cab weaved its way through the city streets and finally pulled up in front of the hotel. Jon gave the driver a hundred dollar bill and waved him away in thanks. As he walked towards the front door, some movement off to his left caught his attention; he paused and watched as Alex swiftly crossed the road, placed the gear she was carrying into the rear seat of a silver mustang then climbed in and moved off up the street, driving right past him. Damn, he thought as he looked towards the heavens, is someone trying to tell me something.

Alex had noticed Jon at the lights immediately; she had lifted her hand with the intent to wave but thought better of it and instead just adjusted her sunnies. No doubt over the years there had been countless groupies who were more than willing to satisfy him in ways she had been unwilling to, she was certain that all she was now was a faceless, nameless, distant memory. He had moved on with his life and she had too.

The next couple of hours of Alex’s day were mostly uneventful. She had made it into the office earlier that morning where her boss had detailed her next assignment. Fate had intervened; it was at the Sebel Townhouse, she was nearly there when she spotted Jon. Alex had been there several times since starting at the paper. It was a favoured haunt of the rich and famous, so it was no surprise to her that it was the location for her photo shoot of Juno Roxus, an exciting new talent on the Australian music scene whose band had managed to secure the opening for the Bon Jovi Tour.

Alex arrived at the hotel and set up for the photo shoot. She waited while the journalist the paper had sent, not her usual partner, completed his interview and then went through the motions to acquire the few shots the paper would need to accompany the resulting article; it was a short shoot and was soon over. She fended off Juno’s romantic advances tactfully citing professional ethics. He was cute and really very sweet, but at the moment her focus was her career and she would not jeopardise that for a rock star, she had already gone that route and only found heart ache. True, she was stronger and wiser for it, but she had never quite gotten over the fact that he hadn’t even penned a final goodbye or thankyou, and was glad that she had not given herself to him. As Alex was packing up her gear she heard a gentleman enter the room and move towards Juno.

“Hey Obie” Juno said in greeting. Why was that name familiar, Alex thought as she continued with her packing, then her question was answered as the stranger spoke.

“Jon has asked if you could make it to an early sound check in the morning.” He was the man Jon had been speaking to when she had gone backstage last tour.

“Fuck” Alex exclaimed, softly under her breath, or so she had thought. Obie turned his attention towards her curiously as Juno replied.

“Of course man, what time does he want us there?”

“Ahh... Ten O’clock” Obie answered absently as he examined this somewhat familiar young woman “Is everything ok over there?”

Alex bent to pick up her packed bags and stood to find Obie’s eyes on her “Oh, yeah, fine thanks just ahhh...” Alex struggled to find an excuse “...the zipper was stuck” she answered lamely. “But thanks again” She shot off over her shoulder as she made for the door.

The Mustang was parked out front, and all Alex could think of as she made her way to it, was getting out of there before she ran into him. As she exited the hotel she saw the cab pull up with a familiar figure in the back seat, so she rapidly made her way down the street, to put some distance between them before he disembarked the cab. By the time Jon was on the sidewalk she was making her way across the road, in her distracted state she had almost stepped into the path of an oncoming car but realised just in time and crossed safely after it passed. She didn’t even bother opening the boot of the car to stow her equipment, instead throwing it onto the back seat in her haste to escape. She could feel his gaze settle upon her as she slide in behind the wheel, gunned the engine and speed off up the street, passing him as he stood staring after her in awe.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Chapter 5

Alex woke lazily from a deep slumber, remembering the greatest dream. With her eyes still closed to the bright light of the morning she arched her back and raised her arms over her head in a long luxurious feline like stretch. She felt a pair of eyes on her and slowly opened her own to see Lanie sitting on the edge of the bed, her face resting in her hands, her elbows on her knees.

“Mmmm...” Alex gave a long yawn and stretched again “What time is it? Why are you up so early?”

“Early? Al it’s three in the afternoon!” Lanie was the only one that got away with calling her Al

“Now dish girl...I’m waiting”

While Lanie was talking, Alex’s hand had moved to touch the cause of the unfamiliar weight at her throat and found there a pendant. She looked down to see a diamond studded platinum superman symbol, only this one contained the Bon Jovi SS rather than the single S of Superman. Realisation slowly dawned. Fuck! It was real.

Lanie grilled Alex for the next two hours. She told her friend about the boat and the dance and the kiss, of how Jon had been so sweet and considerate. She told her that he wasn’t happy to send her home in the car alone, that he had travelled with her cradled in his arms for the half hour drive and how upon leaving her he had removed the pendant from his own neck and placed it on hers making sure that she understood the significance of the gesture.

“Alex, baby, I want you to understand something here” he had said “That isn’t a trinket I give to every girl I meet. I need you to believe that. In fact there a very few in existence, they are given only to the members of the inner circle, only the band, our families, Doc our manager, Obie our engineer and few other very loyal crew members have these. I want you to have it. It’s the only piece of me I can give you right now and I need to know that you won’t forget me because I will never forget you or this night.”

Of course Alex had accepted the chain and all that it implied. She could safely say that her heart belonged to this man from the moment he smiled at her from the stage. She assured him that it would not be possible to forget him. That his image, his smell, his touch had been emblazoned on her brain. Jon assured her that he would write. That while he knew a relationship would be impossible, on so many levels, he still needed to know that she was going to be ok. Time had run out. They shared one last kiss and said their goodbyes. Alex had run into the house, unable to look back for fear that she would run to him and never let him go. And as Alex disappeared behind the closing door, Jon resignedly slumped down into the back seat of the limousine that still held her warmth, and wondered how she had captured is heart in just a few short hours.

As she spoke, the realisation of the situation had finally dawned on Alex. He was Jon Fucking Bon Jovi for Christ sake. She struggled to reconcile her feelings. Of course she was pleased, well, that was hardly the right word, ecstatic, that she had met him. But she almost wished she hadn’t, because with the joy of having gotten to know him came the knowledge that she would never see him again, unless he was on a stage, and she was one of the thousands of faces below.

Alex had tried desperately to get tickets for another Sydney show. Unfortunately the only tickets available were being sold by scalpers at ten times their face value. As a student that was an expense she could not afford and she wouldn’t ask her parents, they worked too hard for the little money they had, to be asked to pay for a concert ticket. She was sure if she had of asked Jon, he would have been more than happy to provide them for her but she didn’t want or need his charity. Besides they had agreed that their ‘relationship’, for want of a better word, could go no further. It had already progressed further than it should.

Jon arrived back at the hotel a short time later to find Richie waiting for him in his suite. The two had been nearly inseparable since the formation of the band, four years before. They were closer than brothers and always there to offer support and an opinion regardless of whether or not it was a popular one. From the disapproving scowl beginning to form on his friends face, Jon could see that this was going to be one of those times they may have to agree to disagree.

“Where the fuck you been man. The press went berserk!” He started “Doc had to do some serious shit spinning to cover for ya” annoyance in his voice. It was unlike Jon to be so irresponsible.

Jon dropped onto the couch and proceeded to give Richie a run down of the night’s events. They had no secrets. What happened on the road, stayed on the road! No one, not even wives or girlfriends, were privy to the secrets of the brotherhood. He spoke of the connection he felt with this amazing young woman and of their common interests. Jon told Richie about their cruise around the harbour, the dancing, and the kiss and of giving her his pendant.

At that point Richie had stopped him, an incredulous look on his face “You did what? Bro, what were you thinking. The chick’s just sixteen. You’ve known her all of ten hours and you gave her your pendant?” he continued “We’ll probably see her on the news later today. My date with Jon Bon Jovi! Fuck what a mess! What will Dot think about this? Remember her? You were totally fucked when she left you and you’ve just started to get it together again.” Richie stopped and shook his head.

“Rich, it ain’t like that! She ain’t like that! I know how old she is AND I know that there is no future but I needed her to know she wasn’t some one night stand. She won’t take advantage Man, I know she won’t. Fuck! SHE turned ME down! Not to brag man, but do you how long it’s been since that’s happened? I have ‘em all chasing me, from the cradle to the grave. But not her Rich! I’m tellin’ ya man she’s different.” He went on. “She didn’t ask for anything, not a photo, nothing, she didn’t even get an autograph.”

Jon fell silent. “She really got under your skin, didn’t she man?” It was a statement more than a question. Richie knew the answer before the words left Jon’s lips.
“You have no idea bro, no idea!” He sighed.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Chapter 4

The car jolted to a sudden halt bringing Alex out of her reverie.

“Sorry Ma’am” the driver said over his shoulder “That dog just ran out from nowhere.”

“Not a problem.” Alex looked across the landscape then turned and leaned forward slightly “How much further please?”

“I would say at least another hour and half, perhaps two, depends on how much traffic we hit at the other end.” He replied then asked “Is everything ok? Can I get you anything or do anything for you?”

“No, thank you. I’m fine.”

“Ok then, if you require anything at all, please, just ask?” Charles had been driving for more than twenty years now. He had driven for dignitaries, politicians, movie stars and musicians and even royalty. Some were very casual and liked to chat, while others preferred a strictly professional relationship. As a result he had become accomplished at reading people, and every thing about this client told him that she was preoccupied and wanted to be left alone with her thoughts, so he had kept conversation to a minimum only answering her enquiries.

Alex nodded her assent then once again turned her attention to the scenery. They were on a bridge travelling over an unfamiliar harbour. Nothing compares to home, she thought browsing the variety of boats on the water, and for the second time that day was propelled into the memories of her past.

Jon had finally finished making his furtive calls. She had waited patiently while he did, unwilling to give him a reason to dismiss her. Little did she know, that was the farthest thing from his mind!

Jon stood from his perch on the desk, and turned to Alex with a self satisfied grin. “Right, let’s blow this joint.”

He grabbed Alex by the hand and led her towards the parking valet in front of the hotel. “Where are we going?” she questioned.

“You’ll see!” was his only reply.

They emerged into the balmy spring evening to find the car already waiting for them. Thankfully the majority of fans had given up on their evening stakeout and gone home. Only a few of the more zealous variety remained but their attentions were focused on the rooms far above. Jon moved quickly and handed Alex down into the car, ever the gentleman, and slid in beside her as she moved across the seat to allow him access. It was a short drive to their destination and they travelled in companionable silence. Jon was soon helping Alex out of the car and she found herself at the marina at Rushcutters Bay.

He led her to the end of one of the docks and stopped before a sleek motor yacht where gently lifted her into his arms and placed her on deck. Jon climbed up himself and before he could say a word the captain appeared discretely from the lower deck to release the thick ropes that tethered it to the dock. He then climbed the stairs to the upper deck and the control room, the yachts engines roared to life as he manoeuvred the luxurious boat out into Sydney Harbour.
“Oh my God Jon” Alex exclaimed with alarm “What about Lanie and Mel? I totally forgot that they were going to the party too.”

Jon placed his arm around Alex’s waist and led her over to the plush leather lounge that dominated the lower timber lined deck and they both sat down. “Don’t worry Alex one of the phone calls I made earlier was to Reg. I had him hand the phone to your friend, umm...Mel, is it? She was fine with it once I made my intentions clear. She and her sister were being entertained by Dave and Rich and were just about ready to leave for home. I let her know that I would have you delivered safely to her house later.”

Alex was very quiet for a moment, she sat looking down as she fiddled with one of her rings, then, feeling a blush rise to her cheeks, she spoke almost inaudibly “And what are your intentions exactly?”

It was a question he was unprepared for and one he hadn’t been asked since he was a teen by concerned parents. “Alex, I won’t lie to you. I had all kinds of intentions for you tonight, and I have to say nearly all of them involved you naked and in my bed.” Jesus, did he just say that to a sixteen year old. The sudden blush and stunned expression she tried to conceal confirmed he did.

Alex didn’t know what to say. She turned away from him and focused on the harbour in an attempt to disguise the heat she felt radiating up her face. She was forcefully attracted to him and what teenager didn’t dream of bedding a rock star, but she wasn’t ready to take that step yet. Not even for Jon Bon Jovi.

“Alex, please look at me” God how she loved it when he said her name but she just couldn’t bring herself to meet his eyes.

Jon moved off the lounge and kneeled before her. He placed a hand on each of her knees and spread her legs wide enough so that he could move between them, she didn’t resist. At his touch a searing heat raced up her thighs, through her core and settled as a knot in her stomach.
Her breath hitched and he knew he was affecting her as much as she affected him. The connection he had felt that first moment he held her on stage was real, not imagined, and he couldn’t do a fucking thing about it. It was sweet torture. Here sat this beautiful young woman, with what many considered a body built for sin, mature both physically and mentally beyond her years, yet she was off limits not only now but for quite some time into the future.

Alex shifted uncomfortably in her seat but Jon stayed put. Again he said “Alex, baby, please look at me.” He reached up and took her face between his hands and turned it till he was looking directly into her eyes. What he saw there initially delighted him, he saw passion and longing and fire, but on looking a little deeper he also saw trepidation and..... oh fuck, fear! He let go of her face and knelt back on his haunches.

“I would never do anything to hurt you Alex” Looking up at her Jon said softly “You do know that don’t you? There’s an attraction here, and its something I’d like to explore further but I don’t want to do anything that will make you feel uncomfortable. ”

“I...I’m” She hesitated, trying to find the right words.

“Ali...” he interrupted, but she shook her head to silence him and turned away before continuing, unable to look at him any longer. “I’m just not ready to take this where you want it to go Jon. I’m sure NO is not a word that you hear very often and believe me I can’t say I haven’t dreamed of this a million times but I just can’t do it.”

She continued “It’s not even that I don’t want to, because lets face it, who wouldn’t. Hell, I even know guys who say they’d turn gay for you. But I just can’t do it Jon. That’s not how I was raised. I don’t want my first time to be a one night stand. It has to be special with someone I love, and while I do love you, it’s your stage persona that I love, not you as a person, not that I couldn’t.........” She was rambling now so she bit her bottom lip to quiet herself as a single tear slid silently down her check.

Alex felt like the biggest fool alive. She was sitting here with the most desirable man in the world telling him NO. And if that wasn’t bad enough, now she was going to sit here and cry like a baby. Jon sat knelt silently on the floor, his heart aching for her. He could only imagine how hard that had been for her. Most of the people surrounding him never denied him, they were in essence yes men, and it showed a great strength of character for her to do so.

He couldn’t help himself; he rose up between her knees once more, threaded his hand into the silky hair at the nape of her neck, and then, while gazing deep into her amber eyes, leaned forward and traced the trail of her tear gently with the tip of his tongue. She did not pull away at his touch, so encouraged by this, he continued with feather light kisses all over her face. Jon and Alex surrendered to the moment. Both knowing it was wrong, but powerless stop it.

Alex was lost in a myriad of sensations as Jon laid a trail of kisses across her face to her mouth, first softly grazing her luscious lips then deepening the kiss to feel and taste her more intimately. His tongue skimmed across her teeth then plunged deeper to wrestle with hers. His hand remained settled at her nape, tenderly cradling her head, while the other came to rest on her lower back. Alex responded moving one hand up and down his spine while the other found itself entwined in his gorgeous long hair. She felt familiar, like home, after too long on the road, he was finally home, but then he remembered.

Jon drew back from the kiss first. He stood to put some distance between them. “Alex I’m so sorry. That shouldn’t have happened. It was wrong of me to take advantage of you. Can you forgive me?”

“There’s nothing to forgive Jon. I wanted it as much as you but I think perhaps you should take me home.”

“Ali, I can’t, please not like this, not yet” Jon could not, would not lose her so soon “I have other plans for us this evening, well morning. Please say you’ll stay with me just a little longer. When I said I wanted to spend time with you and get to know you better I didn’t mean like that. I want to know everything about you Alex, about your life, your family, your friends...anything you want to tell me. This chemistry we have is real. I know you feel it too. I can’t give up on this that easily”

“What do you want to know?” She conceded.

“Really...anything you want to tell me.” A contented grin settled on Jon’s perfect face.
The couple talked as the yacht sailed the harbour. They spoke about anything and everything, their conversation punctuated with brief caresses and intimate gestures. They talked about their families and friends, about her school and his work, of fame, fortune and public life. She discussed her ambitions to be a photographer and he recognised in her the driving passion that had led to his own success. He knew if that didn’t change, she would one day be very successful. They explored relationships and their idea of the perfect partner. Jon even disclosed his loss of innocence at the age of twelve, his regret of the circumstances around it and his understanding of her need for it to be meaningful. They discussed music and film, art and literature and found some common ground there.

The couple were oblivious when the yacht docked at Luna Park and had to be informed they had arrived at their destination. Jon had arranged for the amusement park to open exclusively for them, but on arrival they decided that they much preferred each others company and conversation to the thrill of carnival rides. They, instead, continued to cruise the harbour passing stunning landscapes and historical sites but paying no attention to either, they were so enthralled in each others company.

Soft music played in the background setting a perfect scene. Jon rose from his position on the lounge beside Alex and held out a hand to her, inviting her to dance. Alex stood and moved silently into his arms to share their second dance that night. They held each other close and swayed in time with the feint strains of Move Closer by Phyliss Nelson.

[spoken]Hey, baby.
You go your way, and I'll go mine.
But in the meantime...
[sung]When we're together,
Touching each other,
And our bodies,Do what we feel.
When we're dancing,
Smooching and swaying,
Tender love songs,
Softly playing,
Move closer.
Move your body real close until we,
Feel like we're really making love.
Ooh, move closer.
Move your body real close until we,
Feel like we're really making love.

So when I say, "Sugar,"
And I whisper, "I love you."
Well, I know you're gonna answer,
In the sweetest words, saying,
"My pretty lady, I love you too.
"Well, there's much room for passion,
Ooh, no no, there's no room for fear.
When the love flows smoothly between us, baby,
My dear, move...Move closer.

Move your body real close until we,
Feel like we're really making love.
Oh, oh, move closer.
Move your body real close until we,
Feel like we're really making love

Alex buried her face in his neck and hair, breathing deeply of his scent occasionally laying a soft kiss on his collarbone. She could feel the strength of his passion against her thigh, though he did not pursue it, an act that took more control than he believed he possessed. Jon pulled her in even closer; he couldn’t get enough, her softness, that silky skin and the smell of green apples coming from her hair. He pulled apart from her slightly and lowered his face to place a gentle kiss on her forehead. She responded in kind but her aim was true and she found his mouth ready to accommodate her. It was their last goodbye, and even as the darkness ebbed and the sun rose slowly over the horizon, casting a golden glow on all it touched, the yacht pulled into its moorings, and they embraced passionately both willing time to stand still and the night be eternal.

The pair reluctantly drew apart. Jon helped Alex disembark the yacht, then turned and thanked the captain for his discretion with an outrageously generous tip before disembarking himself. The night was over, a new day had dawned, but for the couple it held little promise, for they both knew that for them, there could be no future.