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.


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.


Anonymous said...

Whew-that was sizzlin!


Anonymous said...

Wow - he's a sneaky s.o.b., lol. I sure hope he gets his chance to talk to her. I don't think her boss will be willing to let her stay anonomous when JBJ calls asking about her.

Great chapter!!

Anonymous said...

need more!

Anonymous said...

The chapter was really good. I wish I had a job like Alex does in your story. Just wondering, what year is it in the chapter?


VENUS said...

Hi Sheena,

This section of the story is set during the Australian leg of the New Jersey tour in 1989. I am glad you are enjoying the story, thankyou for your comments. As for the job, work hard and believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything.Goodluck in the job hunt sweetie.;-)