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, October 28, 2008

Chapter 20

When he became a little uncomfortable, Jon changed position and manoeuvred himself so that he was still in close contact with Alex. He lay down on his side propped up by his left arm, leaving his right arm free to stroke and caress her. He pulled her back into him, not wanting to lose physical contact. She sat leaning back, facing him slightly, using his lower torso for support, her legs outstretched before her.

Alex also craved the contact, it had been so long. She revelled in his delicate touches, as he lightly rubbed her back and massaged her shoulders. Alex fed herself some fruit and feeling his eyes on the sweet flesh entering her mouth began to feed him. She was unaware that feeding someone could be such an erotic experience. On placing food his mouth, Jon's tongue would often dart out, lapping at the tips of her fingers, his lips sometimes surrounding them suckling enticingly.

Jon savoured the taste of her and couldn't get enough, he wanted so much more. He raised himself up, his hand moving to the back of her head where he released her pony tail enabling her silky mane to fall around her shoulders. He entwined his fingers in it and gently steered her towards him as he moved in to kiss her, chastely at first, before gently urging her lips open with the tip of his tongue. He had barely grazed her tongue with his, when she pulled away.

"I'm sorry Jon, I can't do this." Alex stood. "I want to, oh god how I want to. I understand what you said to me and I believe you, I really do, but at the end of the day you're still married man and I can't be the other woman"

"But don't you see Alex, that's just it, in my heart she's the other woman. What we share, her and I, in comparison to what I feel for you, means little more to me than the piece of paper we signed." Jon declared passionately.

"But you did sign it Jon, she is your wife, and she doesn't deserve this. She adores you, that was obvious that the concert, it would devastate her if she were to find out about this. How can you ask me to do this?"

"Ali, can't you see no matter what someone's going to end up hurt in this, I don't want it to be me, and I sure as hell don't want it to be you. I've lived the last two years without you, wondering where you were and who you were with, I can't spend the rest of my life like that, wondering what could have been." Jon pleaded. "I need to find a way to make this work; we need to find a way. I'll do whatever it takes, and believe me, I know it won't be easy, but I won't lose you again, you mean too much to me."

Standing there staring out at the ocean, Alex considered his words. "Jon there's nothing between us yet. She has years invested in you, it's better if we just walk away now, besides you told me yourself that you would never leave her, what kind of future is that for me. I'd like a family one day Jon, how can you give me that. It's not like you are a travelling salesman that can travel coast to coast, with a family on each side of the country, neither knowing about the other. You're a fucking rock star for god's sake, this, whatever it would be, is not something we could hide. Think of your reputation, and if you don't wanna think of that, think of mine."

Jon had no answers for the questions she was posing. He didn't know how it could work; he just knew it had to.

The light was fading fast, and Alex needed to finish the shoot. She led Jon to a string hammock strung between some nearby palms and asked him to lie down. She moved behind the lens of the camera to assess the layout, but something just wasn't right. She pondered it for a moment before realising what was amiss, Jon had replaced his shirt before lunch and it was compromising the continuity of the shoot. Hesitant but unable to resist the temptation before her, Alex moved over to where Jon was stretched out in a relaxed pose and asked him to stand; she placed her hands on his waist, holding eye contact, and slowly slid them up his ribcage effectively pulling the shirt up with them, moving closer to him and standing on tippee toes to take it up over his arms, now stretched high above his head, and off. She had no idea what had compelled her to do it, perhaps the thought of taunting him as he had done to her from her bedroom walls for so long, perhaps just the need to feel close to him for that brief moment.

Jon's physical reaction to her was swift and complete, as was apparent to Alex by the prominent bulge contained by his jeans that now pressed into her pubic bone. He wound his arms around her, pulling her to him, moulding into her, delighting in her soft flesh and the smell of her mixed intoxicatingly with the fragrance of green apples, her perfume. He nuzzled into the junction of her neck and shoulder and inhaled deeply as he raised his head to whisper in her ear.

"You want this just as bad I as do don't you baby" His agile fingers all the while tracing lazy patterns up and down her spine. "I can see it in your eyes" he nipped gently in her ear. "I can feel it in your touch" he exhaled breathily before taking her earlobe briefly into his warm mouth to tease it with a skilful tongue before continuing "in the way you're trembling for me now" Her breath was coming in shallow pants now "Give in to it Ali, give in to me."

As Jon lay a trail of feather light kisses across her jaw to her lips, Alex's control faltered, and when he finally reached her mouth and his tongue slid inside to caress hers, her surrender was complete. She was his, to do with what he wished. She had been in other relationships, and though she had not yet gone all the way, there had been some heavy petting, but nothing, or no-one had ever had her come even close to feeling this way.

Jon knew the exact moment that Alex had relented control. He also knew what it meant. For her, giving in to him was as good as a commitment, she was no one night stand but he was ready, anxious even, to take that step with her. But he recognised the need to take this slow. He was adamant her first time be exceptional; a consummation of not only their lustful attraction but their love.

If it was possible, the thoughts of what he would do to her, with her, had him harder than before, and when Alex's soft hands travelled down his back to rest on his ass, drawing him closer to her, he was ready to explode. Her consent urging him further than he had intended to go there on the public beach, he moved one hand, mirroring hers, down, down until it cupped her ass. The other came around front, seeking and finding under her loose shirt, a pert naked nipple, wanting, needing, his attention. He gladly obliged, stroking the taught little bud with a calloused thumb, honed from years of plucking guitar strings, and she responded by grinding herself into him to feel his arousal more fully. The pair let out a simultaneous groan of pleasure as their kiss deepened, each exploring the other, reflecting the mounting urgency they both felt.

Jon steered Alex towards the nearest tree, never for a second removing his mouth from hers or ceasing ministrations on her breasts, other than to move from one to the other, giving them equal attention. He wanted to take her back to the privacy of the villa but was quite sure he would not make it that far, his desperate need for her, the result of two drawn out years of longing, shocking even him.

"Oh Fuck Ali, I need you so bad" he breathed. He momentarily removed his hand from her ass, and taking one of her hands, he guided it towards the now throbbing bulge between his legs. She resisted at first, trying to pull her hand back "Touch me baby, please, I need to feel your hands on me, all over me, I need" she gave in and was rewarded with a guttural groan "... ughmm" The touch of her delicate hand was almost too much for him to bear. He fought to retain control as she tenderly caressed him through the stiff fabric of his cut offs.

The couple were lost to the passion consuming them. Jon lifted Alex's shirt and took her soft perky breast into his mouth causing her to arch her back and throw her head back in a primal reflex. And when Alex moved her hand to the waist band of his very tight shorts, Jon contracted his stomach muscles causing his shorts to loosen, allowing her access to what lay within. The feel of her silky skin on the tip of his straining cock was both the ultimate pleasure and excruciating pain as he ached for release.

This was the scene that was revealed to Obie as he rounded the corner with a message for Jon. He did not wish to embarrass Alex, so he made a point of treading on a large piece of driftwood that had washed ashore. In the peaceful silence of the island, the crack of the wood was almost deafening. Jon and Alex jumped apart, suddenly becoming aware of their surroundings.

"Ahh... sorry to interrupt boss. There's a phone call for you back at the villa, she said she'd wait on. Rich thought you'd be done by now, sent me out to fetch you. You wanna take the call or should I take a message."

"Just take a message man, thanks. We're not quite done here" he said and winked at Alex.

Alex however, was done. Though it had not been said, she knew the phone call was from Dot, and it had bought her screaming back to reality like a slap in the face. She moved over to her cameras and began to pack them up.

"Actually Jon, we are done. The light is just about gone now; I can't do anything with this." She motioned around her with a hand. "We'll have to pick it up tomorrow. Go take your call. I'm calling it a day. I'll see you both tomorrow."

The statement had dual meanings, for after the phone call and threat of exposure, albeit harmless, she fully intended to keep their relationship professional. Jon studied her quizzically, trying to determine the shift in her demeanour as she collected the last of her camera gear and wandered off down the beach towards their Villa alone.

Chapter 19

Jon was pleased that Alex had accepted his invitation for it was an indication that she was ready to move forward, now he just had to convince her that she wished to move forward with him. He reached for the picnic basket that Tico had delivered earlier and removed the red and white chequered cloth from the top and spread it between them. He then went about removing the food and placing it on the cloth along with the plates, glasses and cutlery that had been provided. Alex looked on as he continued to spread out the lunch fare, carefully opening containers of salads; potato, coleslaw and bean, and unwrapping trays of fresh seafood; lobster, prawns, mussels and crab. There was also fried chicken and fresh bread rolls, a selection of domestic and tropical fruits and to drink, a bottle of chilled champagne, coca cola and beer. She had to admit that she was impressed with his domesticity and wondered if it had come with his brief marriage or if it was something his mother had taught years before. By all accounts his mother was a tough, self sufficient, independent woman and Alex imagined that she would have raised her children to be the same.

On completion of setting up the picnic, Jon looked up to find Alex watching him with interest.

"Why are you staring at me?" he asked.

"Oh I don't know, I just hadn't imagined you to be the domestic type I guess" came her reply.

"Setting up a picnic hardly qualifies. You should see me with a vacuum cleaner" he joked.

Alex smiled at him then, and his heart skipped a beat. It was the first true smile she had given him since he had been back. He picked up the seafood and offered it to her first. She took a small piece of lobster but refused the rest; she selected a drumstick off the plate of chicken before handing the rest to Jon and then offered to serve him some of each of the salads which he gratefully accepted. They ate in companionable silence, neither realising just how hungry they were until they began to eat.

"Am I allowed to offer you some champagne?" Jon was unsure of the local age of consent; at home in the States one had to be twenty-one years of age to drink alcohol.

"I'm eighteen now Jon, my birthday was a few months ago, I'm legal." Alex explained "And yes, thank you, I would love some."

He popped open the bottle of Moet and poured her a tall glass, then watched as she sipped at glass of pale liquid, the bubbles tickling her nose causing it to scrunch up, he found it endearing. Her second taste was not a delicate sip but a long draw.

Alex held the wine in her mouth savouring the flavour before swallowing. "Aahh" she sighed. "I really needed that!"

"Be careful or you'll be needing a bed soon" Jon warned.

"Let's not go there again OK"

"Ali, that's not what I meant. I mean that if you keep guzzling like that you'll pass out. Don't forget that you haven't eaten yet. And I don't know about you but that stuff goes straight to my head."

Jon continued a mischievous grin enhancing his fine features "But then again you know if you do decide to take it there" he said emphasising the last word "I would be more than happy to join you...." He waited a second for her reaction, then seeing the look on her face finished "... OK teasing... just teasing... I know you're involved, and that's ok. And I'm sorry about last night. I know I have no right to be mad; my mind understands that, it's just that my heart is having a hard time catching up."

"Jon, I think I need to clear some things up" She felt for him as he sat there with a sorrowful look on his face "What makes you think I'm ahhh..." Alex couldn't bring herself to use the word 'fuck' as Jon had "dating Rick?"

"You mean you're not?" He was full of hope.

"Answer the question Jon"

"The way he spoke about you for one; he refers to you as 'my Alex' and I guess the occasion when I was comforting you that you moaned his name" that admission actually causing him physical discomfort, as his stomach turned at the thought. "Oh and lets not forget the fact that the two of you are living together and there was always that kiss on the balcony and that private dance"

"OK, so now I will answer your question. No" she emphasised "I am not seeing Rick. I never have and to be honest the thought has never even crossed my mind. I have been teased mercilessly at work by friends who believe that Rick has an interest in me, and I only found out that night on the balcony that it was true when he attempted to kiss me and I stopped him. I told him then and there that there was someone else so what you must have seen was a platonic kiss on the cheek. As for a private dance...I have no idea..." She paused mid sentence "Ohh hang on, yes I do. It was Lanie, she just got a part in a musical and she was showing him what she'd learnt in rehearsal that day. I take it you didn't see her there that night." Jon shook his head no "Listen, Rick is a good friend, and has been a great support that has seen me through some pretty horrific times, especially lately." She considered for a second how it was he came to be there to see everything in the first place.

"Were you stalking me Jon?" She asked a little perturbed but more than slightly amused.

"NO" he started indignantly "Well maybe....ok yeah" he answered before quickly changing the subject. "I know about Abbie, that must have been really tough on you."

"Yeah it was. It still is!" Alex wanted to explain better about Rick. "What I need you to understand Jon, and I can honestly say that I don't know why I need you too after what you've put me through, is that when Abbie was found, it was Rick by my side, it was Rick that held me close, and it Rick that comforted me and talked me through it. So in my nightmares, it's only natural that it's Rick I call for, and I am truly sorry if that upset you, but it isn't something I can control. Jon, the bond that I feel with him is undeniable, but it has never been what I felt for you."

"What you felt or what you feel?"

"Now that, I know we have been over. It doesn't matter anymore what I feel for you Jon. You're married now. The only woman you should have feelings for now is your wife."

"Well that's a problem, because what I do feel in no way resembles what I should feel. I've already told you my heart belongs to you and I think you feel the same. If you had answered just one of my letters, given me the slightest indication that you were interested, I wouldn't be married to Dot now" Jon declared.

"See now that's where I get confused" Alex took another sip of her champagne before continuing "There were no letters Jon. I went to the box every day for six months. I thought that if my parents got them they might hide them from me. I can tell you they weren't so impressed that Mr Rock Star had kept me out all night." She smiled as she recalled that night. "Especially since I was underage and you were so much older. I never got one letter Jon, seriously the hottest man in the world sends me a letter, you think I wouldn't answer it."

"Ya think I'm hot huh?" He interrupted, a huge grin plastered to his face.

"Don't play Mr Modesty with me. You know you're hot" she continued "Hell if you had of sent me a plane ticket I would have been there the next day. Surely you remember Jon that I had no way to contact you. I never got an address or phone number. I didn't even get a photo or an autograph. I had nothing of that night except this." Alex pulled from her pocket the pendant he had given her that night.

"I'm never without it Jon. I haven't worn it these last couple of weeks because I didn't need the extra reminder of our past, but even though I took it off, I couldn't leave it behind. When the tour was announced earlier this year I was ecstatic. It was my opportunity to see you again. I had everything planned. I had front section tickets arranged through work and I still had the sign from the first concert. I was going to hold it up for you and hope that you noticed and called me back so I could see you again. I thought last couple of years had been torture; seeing you, hearing you every day until the announcement was made that you had married and then my world really fell apart. I cried for days, I was a total mess." Alex paused to collect her emotions before she continued. She was on the verge of tears and did not want to show him that vulnerability.

She continued "But I managed to pick myself up and carry on. Now here you come, with your declarations and promises, and throw me right back in time to when I was in your arms on that yacht. Jon I just can't do it anymore, it hurts too much. You asked if it was feel or felt. Well what do you think? We had chemistry then, we still have it now but that won't excuse your marriage vows" As Alex finished hot tears stung the back of her eyes. You promised yourself you wouldn't cry, damn it.

"Alex, listen to me" he reached over and wound her fingers through his "I did write, I swear, but that we will sort out with Doc a bit later, because I gave them to him to send. If I had any idea that you felt that way the plane ticket would've been in your hand. I was so unsure of your feelings Ali, especially when you didn't write back." He paused and took a sip of coke from the can he had just opened. He wanted to retain a clear head for this conversation so he was sticking with the soft stuff.

"You know, back then you were the only girl who ever stopped me from bedding them, and while on that subject, I have to say, your parents, they had every reason to be concerned because, I can tell you this right now, the only thing that was stopping me from making love to you by the end of that night, was your wishes, your age wasn't even a factor anymore." Jon felt his dick stiffen at the memory "If you hadn't stopped me, have no doubt, I would have taken you on the deck of that boat, and I wouldn't have given a fuck who was there to watch. But you see, that's what had me so confused, no one had turned me down till then, and come to think of it, there has been no one since."

"Oh Jon" it came out as a breathy sigh "Please, don't do this to me again. While you went off and had your, what was it again 'hundreds of women and the wife you can't get it up for', I was alone waiting for you." She paused when she saw the confused look on his face and debated whether to continue. An old saying came to mind 'In for a penny, in for a pound', she had come this far there was no reason to hold back now. Maybe if he knew the whole truth he would understand why this had devastated her so.

"There has been no one since you Jon" She finished simply, tears now flowing freely, laying a trail of watery mascara down her cheeks.

Jon stopped to consider her words and contemplated their meaning, carefully constructing his thoughts before speaking. "Ali, are you telling me you're still a virgin? That on this tour you wanted me to be your first."

Alex nodded, unable to speak, the lump that had formed in her throat so large that it strangled the words.

"Awe fuck baby! I've been such an ass" Jon got up and moved over behind her, cradling her between his legs and wrapping her in his arms.

Alex nodded again "Yeah..." was all she managed to squeak out as the smallest hint of a grin touched her lips.

Message from Venus

I just wanted to take this time to thank you all for your support. I am glad you are all enjoying this trip down memory lane with Jon and Alex and look forward to sharing alot more with you ...they have a long way to go yet and I hope you all stick around to see where the future takes them, especially now things are starting to steam up. And just to show that I do read and appreciate your feedback I am posting these next two chapters early. Enjoy!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chapter 18

Despite the discord Alex felt from within the band, the photo shoot went well. They were very professional and obviously very comfortable with publicity and photography sessions. She concentrated on the group photos first; having the band members arrange them selves differently every so often giving her a variety of layouts for the magazine.

Alex started with the boys seated side by side on a low stone wall. She took several shots here then moved them down onto the beach in time to catch the sunrise. As the sun slowly inched up from the ocean a myriad of colours were created as it kissed the sky. Deep oranges and reds came first easing into striking pinks and purples before finally giving way to early morning blue as the fiery orb crept higher. The heavens were marred by a spattering of storm clouds in the distance, creating a wonderful contrast to the vibrant blue of the ocean and the golden glow of the sand.

Before the dawn light had extinguished Alex took photos of the band members in pairs, ensuring that all combinations had been met, and then progressed to individual portraits before instructing them to change into more casual beach clothes for the final session of day shots. While the band was gone Alex took the opportunity to prepare her equipment for the next stage, stowing lighting, unpacking reflective screens and stands, and changing cameras and lenses. It appeared to her that the storm on the horizon may find its way to them and she wanted to ensure the safety of her equipment if that eventuality came to pass so she lugged the equipment she no longer needed back to her room. That thought served her well for as she made her way back to the villa along the path Jon was making his way back to the location along the beach, hoping to get her alone. By the time Alex arrived back, the rest of the band had joined Jon and were ready to continue, all dressed as she had asked in beach attire.

Both Richie and Jon were now topless, Richie's chest bronzed and smooth but for a light spattering of dark hair around his nipples, Jon on the other hand had a dark expanse of fur that covered the top of his chest and thinned as is it descended downwards over his toned torso and disappeared into his shorts, making Alex slightly uncomfortable as she followed its trail and began to contemplate what lie beneath. The other three wore various styles of short swim shirts and tank tops. All five sported sunglasses and were grateful for them as the sun was now getting higher in the sky and generating a blinding glare of the ocean.

The atmosphere that morning was very bizarre; while the tension was evident so to was their desire to put it behind them and overcome it. David and Richie tried to keep the group amused with a constant stream of humorous banter, Alec and Tico joining in occasionally. Jon however now appeared sullen and despondent, until that is Alex called him on it.

"Mr Bon Jovi, is there a problem? I am quite positive that your fans would like to see an expression from you other than just that famous pout of yours. These are supposed to be fun carefree beach snaps, and at the moment they are far from it." She said.

"O Oh" Richie teased "She's reverted to formalities now. Mom only uses my full name if I'm in the shit. You in the shit Jon?"

"Fuck off man!" Jon said lightly, trying to smile. If only he knew, he thought.

Jon knew that Alex was right. He never allowed personal issues to affect the band, whether his issues or those of the other members. This was work; it was time to switch on and play rock star. And just like that, out came the megawatt smile, disguising the pain and torment he was feeling beneath.

Alex recommenced the shoot, moving the group around the beach in a variety of arrangements and combinations. Once again she started with the group photos then moved on to trios and pairs leaving Jon and Richie till last, since there would be extra required of the two of them together.

Being a fan meant that she had seen the result of many similar shoots and had found, whether by coincidence or design, that other than whole group photos or individual portraits, the only images of band members together seemed to be of the ever present duo, Jon and Richie. Undoubtedly they were the most popular members of the band, hence the extra photos, but she hoped to better display the others as well.

It was now close to midday and a couple of the guys had started to grumble and feign starvation. Alex had only Jon and Richie, and then the single portraits to do, and hoped to get them finished before breaking for lunch so that she could have the afternoon to herself to gather her scattered thoughts.

"C'mon on guys, your all big boys, I'm sure you can hang a bit longer before eating." Alex teased.

"Well, I'm not speaking for the others but I know I'm a big boy and I do hang pretty long." Richie said cheekily, adjusting his pants. "But I don't know what that has to do with eating."

Alex blushed and they all shared a laugh, and then Jon spoke for only the second time that day, other than to utter an instruction, the first being telling Richie to 'Fuck off'. "OK, give the lady a break" he smiled at her "Alex if you can get these turkeys done first" he indicated Tico, Alec and David "Richie and I will stay back with you, then you can be done and your time will be your own"

Not even waiting for her to respond he turned to the band "When you guys are done, if you could see your way clear to having some food sent down here for us, I'm sure we'd all appreciate it" He said rubbing his stomach , realising for the first time that he had forgotten to eat breakfast.

"I can take care of that boss" Said Tico in a deep gravely voice Alex was sure she could listen to all day.

It wasn't really what Alex had planned, but it seemed the decision had been made for her. She couldn't however dispute Jon's reasoning; it seemed inane to keep Alec, Tico and David waiting around for what could turn into hours, just so she could avoid spending any time alone with Jon. As far as the band went, she saw Jon and Richie as the biggest threat to her composure and sanity so had hoped that overall she could finish them first, but it was not to be.

Alex diligently went to work photographing the second round of portraits; first Alec who seemed uncomfortable and most anxious to get away, then Tico who was to go and organise the food for the rest, and finally David the joker, who had kept them amused throughout the morning with his comedic talents. With the change in plan Alex decided to shoot Richie last. He had a relaxed temperament, not dissimilar to David's though less intense. And while his startling good looks some what flustered Alex, his easy going personality put her at ease.

Even that plan would soon be shattered, for after she finished the shots of the two together and was busily preparing to photograph Jon a message came to the beach by way of the concierge.

"Mr Sambora, I have a telephone message for you. A lady called, she said you would know who but declined to leave a name. She asked if you could call her back within the hour, she wished to discuss business and more, and asked that the call be made privately."

Richie looked towards Alex pleadingly "Will we be finished before then?"

"Just go and come back when you're done, we'll be here a little while yet, besides here comes Tico with lunch"

"Ah ... I think this particular call may need a bit longer than that" Richie gave Jon a knowing look.

"OK bro, you go first, and then your girl can have you to herself for the afternoon" Jon smiled, if only he were so lucky he thought. But then again, being her final subject and having Alex to himself for the afternoon, maybe he could be that lucky, if he played his cards right.

"Well then Richie lets get you off to talk to that girl of yours huh!" Alex said. "Over here please, we'll run you through some shots similar to the others but I also want some of you in the water and maybe some on the yacht." She regretted that the second it came out of her mouth for she knew that Jon would join them and that memories, happy memories would be revived for both of them.

Alex worked with Richie for the best part of an hour. She had managed to avoid the yacht, instead moving away from the beach in front of the resort to a more secluded area past their villas at the far end of the sandy strip. Jon had carried her equipment along with the food, while Alex snapped off pictures as they walked. He then settled himself nearby under a shady palm watching her work. He revelled in her obvious enjoyment in her work; the little smiles and looks of satisfaction when she knew she had nailed a shot, the confidence with which she steered her subject into position to get that shot in the first place. It bought to his mind a time when he enjoyed his job that much, a time that he now mourned for, for he now believed it was gone forever. He was staring at her lost in his thoughts when she spoke, startling him slightly. They were alone. Richie could be seen in the distance disappearing around the bend in the beach, obviously heading in the direction of his room.

"Your turn" she said simply, as she raised her hands high over her head to stretch exposing a portion of her torso and ribs under the short tank she was wearing over her khaki shorts. While her camera dangled freely from the thick strap around her neck.

"I don't know about you but I'm half starved. I didn't quite get around to having breakfast this morning. How about we break for lunch and continue this after."

"You're the boss" She answered and began to pack up her equipment.

"Will you stay and eat with me?" Jon asked tentatively.

Alex hesitated, she knew they needed to talk; she wanted to apologise for the night before and explain what had happened. Despite their current situation she knew Jon did not deserve that kind of pain, and besides she knew that to have the closure she would require to move on from this she needed to be honest with him about Rick. She did not want something that started so beautifully to end so horribly.

"Alright" she nodded as she moved over to where he lay still sprawled beneath the palm and took a seat beside him on the soft warm sand.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Chapter 17

Alex stopped in the doorway, taking in the sight of him, her emotions conflicted. It was obviously him that had bought her here and she was infuriated that he had manipulated her but, FUCK, was he spectacular. He sat on the edge of the daybed one leg curled under him, the other hanging loose over the edge, his foot barely scrapping the deck as it swung back and forth. He wore a loose black Godfather tank, and a pair of torn faded and very short denim cut offs that threatened to expose his manhood had his guitar not been seated in his lap. His long blond tipped hair hung naturally framing his face, not teased as it was in concerts or pictures; his ears were free from the adornments that usually hung there but a simple silver pendant fell from his sinewy neck and rested in the thick hair of his chest that escaped the top of the tank. Gone was the rock star, before her sat Jon, the normal guy born and raised in Jersey that loved music, loved to play, and was it possible...loved her.

"Why am I here Jon?"

"We need to talk Ali" Oh how she melted when he called her that.

"No Jon, we don't" Alex said as she turned and started leave.

Jon jumped up from the daybed throwing his guitar aside. "Ali, please, we need to sort this shit out, I need a resolution" he said as he reached for her, grabbing her at the elbow, turning her towards him.

"I gave you that when I walked away from you at the concert Jon"

"Look baby, I know I hurt you, and I'm sorry. When you didn't answer my letters, I tried to forget you, I assumed you had forgotten me and moved on. I mean we had pretty much decided that it couldn't work, but awe...Fuck" he sighed and went on.

"I just couldn't get you out of my head. I still can't! You know, when I didn't hear from you after the Slippery Tour I did everything I could to forget you. But you were always there in the back of my mind. I'd be fine for couple of weeks then something would bring you back to my mind. Ali it's been two fucking years, and for me, dozens of counties and hundreds of girls. I got married to the girl I loved half my fucking life just so I could forget you, and you can see how that worked out. I couldn't wait to get her on a plane home so I could be with you. While she was here I couldn't even get it up for her, yet the mere thought of you has me so fucking hard I feel like I'm gonna explode." Ali looked away uncomfortably.

"Can't you see it's you Ali, it has been since the second I saw you up in that stand, before I knew anything about you, before I had even had the chance to hold you or taste those gorgeous delicious lips. You made me believe in fairy tales Ali, in love at first sight." There he'd said it. Love in reference to her, he had never thought it was possible, but with her here before him the feeling was overwhelming.

Alex tried to pull away but he held firm. "Jon, all I am to you is an itch that needs to be scratched. Once the itch is satisfied you'll be on to the next conquest."

"No Ali, that's not it. True, it's undeniable that at the moment I want you so bad I can't think straight, I think that's pretty obvious" he said glancing down and adjusting his shorts with his free right hand "I just want you in my life, however your willing to be there" Then he grinned cheekily trying to lighten the sombre mood. "But you know, if you lay your hands on me, satisfaction is guaranteed" he said playing on his own song lyrics.

Alex tried unsuccessfully to suppress the grin that crossed her lips but she quickly regained her composure. She was focused on what she had to say "Jon, none of what you've just expressed changes the fact that you are now a married man. I doesn't matter that you love me, which I doubt, or even that...if, I mean if, I love you..."

He picked up her slip of the tongue and ran with it. "So... you do love me. Then how could you fuck that reporter?" He knew it was a mistake the second it was out of his mouth.

"Who... Oh... Rick... He and I...."

"Yeah... Rick" Jon said with just a little more venom than he'd intended.

"Jon, I don't think I like your tone" Alex had been about to correct him but changed her mind "You have no right to judge me. YOU LEFT, Jon. You left me alone. Not a single word, not a phone call, and despite what you say now, I never received a letter and believe me I checked that box everyday for a year. Hell, I even checked it on weekends." He opened his mouth to interrupt but she silenced him with a finger to his lips, the feel of her skin enough of a distraction to him that she could continue.

"You had your turn, this is mine. Now, I know you had no choice in going, and that we agreed that it couldn't work between us, but that didn't prevent me from crying myself to sleep every night for months. Do you know how hard this has been for me? I hear you every time I turn on the radio, I see you in magazines and on TV. You're everywhere Jon, but I can't have you, especially not now, I will not be some sleazy one night stand you had because you 'couldn't get it up for you wife' as you would say. You moved on and tried to forget me, well Jon, so did I, it was that or go crazy. And yes, I do love you" his heart soared "correction, did love you, I did long before I met you. At least, I loved the perception of you, but I can tell you, the real man at this point has been a big disappointment." She lied, trying to convince herself.

After a pause she continued again "So this is how I see it, the second you turned your back on me, who I see and who I fuck stopped being your business. Go to your wife Jon, from the brief interaction I had with her she seems like a lovely person, and she sure as shit doesn't deserve this from you. You made your choice, now let me make mine." She spat angrily.

Pulling her arm from Jon's hand, Alex turned on her heal and stalked out of the room. Jon made to follow her but just as he reached the doorway, her door slammed shut in his face. His fisted hands met the door and were shortly followed by his forehead as he rested it against the cool timber almost in resignation. No, I can't give up, it can't end like this, he thought.

"Ali, baby, please" he knocked on the door, no answer.

"C'mon Alex, we're not done here" still no response.

"Alex" He pounded on the door repetitively and much harder this time.

Alex sat slumped at the base of the door, her head leaning back against it, feeling the vibration of the hammering blows course through her, as once again, he had bought tears to her eyes. She heard him slide down the door on the other side, and pictured him on the floor just like herself. Her minds image of him could have been a photograph; Jon was sitting on the floor with his back to the door, his knees were up, his elbows resting on them, his hands were threaded through his hair and met entwined at the back of his head.

He spoke softly then, unsure whether she could hear "Ali... I'm sorry. I don't know what else I can say to make this better?"

"That the marriage was a joke and you're free to be with me" she whispered almost inaudibly.

Jon had heard a muted voice from the other side of the door but couldn't make out what it had said. The small sign that she was listening urged him to continue "Ali, I know my actions don't say this but I DO love you. I sent letters every week for six months. I gave them to Doc to post for me personally. You probably don't want to hear this but the night I married Dot I was on top of the world. We had a hit album and a hit song and we were out celebrating. I had Dot join us on the tour a couple of weeks earlier because I wanted someone to share everything with. After getting no response from you I assumed you that you didn't want anything to do with me and I was missing YOU, I wanted YOU with me. I guess she was just the substitute, I was drunk that night, did you know that, I was on a high because of the success and I thought I could make it better"

Jon took a deep breath and paused "That was the biggest mistake of my life, but I can't just walk out on her Ali, there's no prenup, she'll take me for everything besides, Doc fucken' freaked when I married her, said that it would destroy the band, that is if we don't self destruct first, he'd kill me if I left her now. FUCK! There is just so much going on right that I want to share with you, need to share with you Ali. I need you baby, please, I can't loose you again, it fucking near killed me last time."

But you didn't loose me, you let me go. Only silence came back to Jon from the other side of the door. He had no indication as to whether or not she had heard him. He sat there on the cold hard floor for what seemed an eternity waiting for a response that never came. Alex had heard every word but it changed nothing. Barely having the strength to stand, when darkness fell she stumbled over to her bed and climbed up, falling asleep fully clothed on top of the covers.

Long before dawn Jon had been awoken by a sudden noise. He was disoriented, stiff and sore from having fallen asleep on the floor. He heard the noise again and realised that it was a scream from Alex's room. Panicking he ran back into his room and grabbed the set of keys from the bench, luckily he had been given both sets. He managed in his haste to get the key in the lock and rushed through the door. Alex was on the bed in the throws of nightmare, just as Rick had said. She was tossing and turning and calling the little girls name. Jon, not wanting to startle her, tried to slowly coax her awake. He sat on the side of the bed and leaned over her, smoothing her hair, kissing her face and lips ever so gently while quietly speaking her name. Still lost in her nightmare as she began to gain consciousness, Alex latched onto the warm body comforting her, and in her dazed state called for the man who had comforted her that horrible day and in her dream.

"Ohhh Rick" she said, as she rubbed her hands across Jon's chest and around his torso to pull him into her. But the body she was now grasping was no longer comforting but rigid with hurt. Jon grasped her wrists and removed her hands from him then, and without saying a word, strode out of the room, leaving her to her to deal with her demons alone, while he dealt with his.

After that both Alex and Jon spent the balance of a restless night alone, each of them thinking of the other. By 4.30 a.m. Alex was down on the beach, as planned, setting her lighting and cameras for the impending shoot, unable to get out of her mind, the wounded torment she had seen in Jon's eyes before he had walked away. She had not meant to hurt him and now knowing he was her client, she was not looking forward to the day ahead; for the first time she actually doubted her ability to get through it. She just hoped that the shoot was for the band and not just Jon. It was then that he appeared.

Mr Richie Sambora wandered her way, she had never really been attracted to tall dark and handsome, but he sure was one fine specimen. He was obviously dressed for the shoot, in black leather pants that looked as though they had been sprayed on to his strong muscular thighs, the fit was so tight, and a loose black tank. Alex observed that as fair as Jon was, Richie was dark. Dark olive skin enhanced a flawless complexion, his brown eyes looked like pools of chocolate, he had a strong square jaw and full lips, all of this framed by a long mane of dark brown hair. As he approached her, his face broke into a wide smile, creating two gorgeous dimples.

"Hey Darlin', I believe you'll be taking our pictures this mornin'." He came to her side and wrapped his arms around her lifting her in a hug and planting a kiss firmly on her lips. Alex knew then why women swooned over him, and was glad she was still wrapped in his arms, since she doubted her ability to stand. "Glad you could join our little holiday darlin'" He looked her up and down as he released her raising his eyebrows "Real glad"


The sun hadn't yet risen as Jon pounded a track through the rainforest trying to work his frustration before seeing her again. But it wasn't just frustration, there was another unfamiliar sensation he was feeling. His emotions were so conflicted, he knew she had every right to move on and yet when the name Rick had slipped from her lips he felt as if someone, as if she, had plunged a hand into his chest and strangled his heart. He had heard Alex leave her suite that morning, and had risen to go to her, but stopped himself. He wasn't going to do it anymore, he thought, as he charged up a steep incline breaking through the pain barrier, torturing his body as she had tortured his heart, he wouldn't chase her anymore.

Not an hour later as Jon stood on the rise overlooking the beach, freshly showered and ready for work, for that's what a photo shoot was to him, the worst kind of work, his resolve changed yet again. As he saw Alex wrapped in Richie's arms he was determined to make her his. While Richie's behaviour was innocent enough, well innocent for Richie, Jon finally acknowledged that he couldn't bear to see her in another mans arms and that the feelings he had experienced earlier were jealousy, and that was new and foreign to him.

From the corner of her eye, Alex caught sight of Jon on the rise and tears threatened to sting her eyes. No, you can do this, she silently told herself and as she did a diversion appeared in the form of David and Tico approaching from the same direction as her room. Just as Richie was, they too were ready for the shoot; Tico was dressed in dark denim jeans and a white long sleeve top, David in white pants and a white colourfully printed shirt opened to mid torso. They greeted Alex with a friendly handshake and a peck on the check and waited for her instruction.

Minutes later Alec could be seen stumbling from a near by room where a scantily clad young woman stood at the door looking on. He was dressed for a day at the beach in short black shorts and a red mesh tank. It was not an image that fitted with the band, but he insisted that he would not change.

While positioning the group for the first set of photo's the tension emanating from them was obvious. Jon finally approached, just as Alex was ready to start, and she wondered if it were possible for him to look bad. Even after the night they had had, he looked stunning in black spandex pants topped by a black tank with pale pink and white print, his hair was relaxed and he wore dark sunglasses despite an obvious lack of sun. Jon glared at Alec as he approached to take his position amongst his band mates, his unspoken disapproval glaringly obvious; catching this exchange Alex considered a comment Jon had made the evening before "If we don't self destruct first". It was an asset in Alex's chosen field to be able to read people, and what she was reading here, from a fans viewpoint, disturbed her greatly. For while each of them seemed happy enough on the surface, the underlying discontent was becoming more and more obvious. She now understood some of Jon's desperation; it seemed to her that the bands days may be numbered.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Chapter 16

Two weeks had passed since Alex had seen Jon. He had finally left the country for New Zealand just a few days before and she was glad for it. For, while he hadn't tried to see her again after that morning at her apartment, as long as he was in the country she had been tempted to pursue him. She often wondered what he made of the situation at her apartment that morning with Rick, her leaving so early with another man. But then the anger would take over, what did it matter what he thought; he was the one who went off and got married.

Alex was busily packing for her holiday, well working holiday. Her boss had told her just the evening before of an assignment in Far North Queensland that would be tantamount to a week off work. There were one to two days of photography required and the rest of the time would be her own. Alex didn't even ask about the subject, she had jumped at the chance. She was still having difficulty sleeping; her nights interspersed with nightmares of Abbie, and thought that the break could only do her good. Who knows, she thought, I might even met the man of my dreams.

The trip was a mystery to Alex, she had not asked for any details nor had Bob volunteered them. All she knew was that she would be flown via private jet to Queensland, that her transfers and accommodation had been taken care of and that she required all of her equipment and a costume. Well, the costume wasn't a job requirement, but she sure as shit wasn't swimming naked and she wasn't going all the way to Queensland to sit idly by in a hotel room and watch every one else swim.

Days hot and humid anywhere up north at this time of the year so she packed lots of light clothing; shorts, tank tops and T's were prevalent, nights could get cool so she also threw in a couple of light weight jackets. She threw in her new halter neck sun dress and a long jade green fitted formal gown just in case, thinking to herself that she really should have asked Bob some more questions about the exact location. She knew that some of the resorts in Queensland were very casual, while others were luxurious exclusive affairs, and wondered which her destination would be. Her usual work attire was packed last, thrown in on top of the two new bikini sets she had purchased a couple of week's prior ready for the summer. As an afterthought, unsure of the islands sleeping arrangements, she threw in her old BJ Tour T Shirt in lieu of nightwear, Alex slept naked and as such had no need for pyjamas, but the T, oversized as it was, reached just below her buttocks and was modest enough if she had to share a room. The bulk of her equipment was still packed from assignment the day before, so all she needed was some extra film, some reflecting screens and her light kit which was packed in its own case. When she was satisfied she moved all of the bags to the foyer ready to go.

With her packing complete, Alex made her way into the shower, thanking the heavens that she had been to the beauty parlour only the week prior for her waxing, hopeful that she would get some time to relax on the beach. Soap tended to dry Alex's skin, so she used a delicate moisturising body wash in her signature fragrance of green apple. She washed her hair with a similarly fragranced shampoo and conditioner then stood under the steaming hot water, letting it wash away the frustrations of the last couple of weeks, it was time to unwind.

Less than an hour later, Alex was getting out of a limousine on the tarmac of the airport and being ushered down a red carpet to a Gulfstream jet. Her bags were stowed in the luggage hold and she was shown to a comfortable leather lounge and served the beverage of her choice, Coke. Not Diet but real honest to goodness Coke. The jet was upholstered in tones of black and grey. It seemed to Alex to be an awful extravagance to use for just one person but who was she to argue, she sat back and enjoyed the ride. The flight was a pleasant one, how could it not be in a private jet, right? It was early afternoon when the plane was landed at Cairns Airport and she was being shuffled once again into a waiting limousine.

Alex settled in for the drive to the resort, enjoying the crisp ocean air that was such a contrast to the smoggy city she had left behind. The driver had offered to drive take her on the scenic drive to the resort and she had accepted eagerly; after the month she had had she was grateful for the opportunity to rediscover beauty in nature. On arrival at the resort an hour or so later a porter came to collect Alex, and show her directly to her villa. She was informed that she was already checked in as part of the VIP party and her bags would precede her to her room while she was taken on a quick tour of the resorts facilities in the managers gold golf cart.

The resort, a prestigious new development, was set in a lovely tropical paradise, it was unobtrusive in its surroundings; constructed of three large buildings, one housing reception and the restaurant another standard hotel rooms. Many smaller out buildings completed the resort, being various forms of accommodation, all surrounded by lush gardens, shady palm trees and many overlooking the magnificent Pacific Ocean. The resort pools were large man made lagoons, crystal clear and inviting.

Alex was finally driven to her villa by the porter, passing several attractive female patrons lounging about the pool and in the gardens, giving credence to her earlier assumption that it would be a model she would be photographing the next morning. She was driven to a set of four somewhat isolated buildings. Each was a freestanding deluxe villa containing four bedrooms, or so it had been explained to her, and she wondered why she had been granted such luxurious accommodation. She was escorted to the largest in the cluster, it also being the most isolated.

The villa was lavishly furnished. She entered into a sprawling living area scattered with assorted groupings of plush lounge chairs. A hostess kitchen was revealed as she moved further into the luxurious space. On the opposite side of the room Alex followed a marble tiled staircase to the upper floor containing the bedrooms. Each were similarly decorated, an inviting king size bed sat in the middle of the room, a tropical print coverlet setting the mood. It was flanked by two cane and rattan bedside tables that matched an upholstered cane bed head. A large mirrored robe stood on one wall, an equally large glass door leading to a balcony was opposite. The door to a marble lined ensuite, containing a shower, spa bath, toilet and basin, was off to one side of the wardrobe.

The furnishings in only one room differed from the others. This was quite obviously the Master Suite. It contained a large king size four poster bed and matching side tables in plantation timber. The room was also slightly larger than the others accommodating a lounge area complete with a plush leather couch and a single reclining arm chair. Otherwise the amenities were the same. Alex moved from room to room and found that her bags had been placed in the room adjacent to the Master Suite. A smile spread across her lips as she stepped out onto the balcony. This will do quite nicely!    

There was an information pack on the table containing Alex's itinerary for the week. She was expected on the beach at dawn the next day for a photo shoot and there was another later in the week but other than that her time seemed to be her own. She made note of the shoot the next morning that would require an early start. That meant an early night. Alex decided that she would leave her unpacking for later and take a quick walk on the beach before dinner.

The long strip of beach on which the resort sat was pristine and largely untouched. She walked the length of it paddling her feet in the cool water as she went, before turning and heading back to the villa. Guests had arrived in her absence. Scantily clad females were in abundance and were now scattered across the beach, some alone, some in pairs, others huddled in small groups. Alex made the presumption that these women, at least the majority of them, would be her subjects the following morning, all were attractive...most were gorgeous.

On arrival at her villa Alex found the door to the master suite now closed. The other rooms from what she could see were still unoccupied. She was sure she would meet her neighbour soon enough. She supposed that it was one of the bevy of beauties scattered across the beach. She let herself into her room slid open the balcony door and began the tedious chore of unpacking her bags.

Jon had finally arrived at the resort where he was escorted to the serenity of his villa. When alone he kicked off his shoes, took his guitar out of its case and placed it on the bed and its case in the wardrobe before opening the balcony doors, breathing deep the salty air and collapsing on the day bed just outside the sliding doors.

While laying there he pondered all that he had discovered in the last couple of weeks, and what, if anything, he could or would do about it. Alex now had a man in her life. Why hadn't she mentioned it? That discovery had explained a lot; her cool behaviour towards him, her lack of response to the flowers he had sent. Not to brag, but women, all women; young or old, married or committed, gay or straight, usually fell at his feet. It had been like that since he hit puberty; fuck almost before he hit puberty and certainly long before he was a rock star.

He had lived the rock star life. After leaving Alex behind two years before, he had gone through a period where he drank to excess and fucked a different girl every night, sometimes more than one. Of course he was always careful, AIDS was raging, so there was no such thing as a free fuck anymore, one way or another you paid. So he was always sure to use condoms and had regular blood tests. When promiscuity hadn't managed to purge Alex from his mind he had tried monogamy. He married his high school sweetheart Dorothea and managed to remain faithful to her for a whole six months, having finally given into the temptation of a voluptuous leggy brunette, who bore a striking resemblance to Alex, while on tour a couple of months before. Once again he had been careful and had even had the blood test done as well. Nothing, NO ONE satisfied him.

After seeing Alex again at the first show, Jon's relationship with Dorothea had been further strained. During her visit to the tour she could not understand why he had not wanted to make love to her. He excused his lack of interest, telling her that the tour was taking its toll; that he was exhausted and incapable despite his interest and her allure, and tried regardless to show her some affection. Most of what he said was true; the tour had taken its toll, as it always did by this stage; he was exhausted, beyond exhausted; and he was incapable, but that was where the lie began, for it was not caused by exhaustion as he had led his wife to believe.

It was clear to him that he was no longer sexually attracted to his wife, because even the mere thought of Alex had his dick reacting violently, almost painfully as it was now, straining against the zipper of his cut offs. Yet his wife, the beautiful creature though she was, could stand before him naked and wind her body enticingly around him and not illicit the slightest reaction at all. Dorothea had left for home, to his great relief, after only a few days, leaving him with the option to sort himself out this tour or she would leave him. For all intents and purposes they should have been on their honeymoon, but for Jon that time had long passed.

Jon heard the balcony door open in the next room and knew that she had returned. Now was his chance to fix things. He knew, that if he fucked it up this time, that she would be lost to him for ever. He had to tread very carefully, he considered his next move, then padded quietly back into his room and picked up his acoustic guitar, returning quietly to the balcony and his position on the daybed and began to play.

Next door Alex heard the first strains of a guitar play a familiar tune, then a soft muffled voice made its way to her ears.

Wise men say only fools rush in
but I can't help falling in love with you
Shall I stay
would it be a sin
If I can't help falling in love with you

She moved out onto to the balcony to listen better, a screen divider lay between her and the source of the music but Alex would have known that voice anywhere. Great she thought, the neighbour had to be a Bon Jovi fan, but damn did they have great taste in music. She wondered when they had recorded Can't Help Falling In Love. It wasn't on any of her records and she thought she had them all. Alex was a diligent collector when it came to Bon Jovi. The guitar started again, the same
familiar tune. Oh God she thought, they are obsessed...

Wise men say only fools rush in
but I can't help falling in love with you
Shall I stay
would it be a sin
If I can't help falling in love with you

Once again the tune played, still the same verse. Alex decided she would introduce herself to her neighbour and see if she could get a copy of the recording. Despite everything that had happened and what she had expressed to him to the contrary, her feelings for Jon had not changed and neither had her interest in his music. She made her way to the door of the Master Suite and knocked lightly. The door swung open of its own volition. She knocked again but there was no response.

"Hello" she called from the door. The music paused momentarily but then resumed. Still that same song, only this time it continued past the first verse.

Like a river flows surely to the sea
Darling so it goes
some things are meant to be
take my hand, take my whole life too
for I can't help falling in love with you

Like a river flows surely to the sea
Darling so it goes
some things are meant to be
take my hand, take my whole life too
for I can't help falling in love with you
for I can't help falling in love with you

She could still here the strains of guitar coming from the balcony. Alex took in the scene bags were now piled near the door, but otherwise the room was undisturbed. Obviously this guest hated unpacking as much as she did. Curiosity got the better of her as she made her way through the stranger's room to the source of the music. She got to the door of the balcony and looked out to find Jon sitting on a day bed, his back leaning on the wall behind. He looked up at her with a huge grin on his face.

"What took you so long baby?"

Monday, October 13, 2008

Chapter 15

Jon didn't attempt to see Alex again. He was afraid that if he saw her with that same guy again he could not be held responsible for his actions. An old showbiz saying was "Any publicity is good publicity", Jon was sure that assault didn't count, so he stayed away.

He was in Melbourne now. A week had passed, each day being harder than one before to resist the temptation to see her. The evening prior he had performed the final Australian show. In just three hours time he would be boarding a plane to New Zealand for the two Auckland shows that would complete the Australasian leg of the tour. And now, now he sat in a hotel room waiting for the reporter from Alex's paper to arrive so he could complete his part of the deal that would deliver her to him. His band mates were scattered around the room, each of them in their own silent world. The tour sure had taken a toll this time around.

The mood in the room shifted when there was a knock at the door. An outsider would never have guessed at the tension that had been overwhelming only moments before.

"Come in" Richie called out.

The door opened and Jon imagined that someone was playing a colossal joke on him. "Hi, I'm Rick" Alex's boyfriend proffered a hand. "I'm here representing News Corp. I was told you'd be expecting me"

"Ah yeah....Let's do this. We have a plane to catch." Jon couldn't be sure but he assumed Alex hadn't told her new beau about him. There wasn't the slightest glimmer of recognition in his eyes and he was grateful for it. The last thing he felt like doing was explaining himself.

"Mind if I record this?" Rick asked as he removed a small recorder from his coat pocket and flicked it on, not really waiting for a response. Jon almost felt like saying no just to see how uncomfortable he could make him.

"Course not" Richie answered.

Rick began the interview. His questions were intelligent and insightful, begrudgingly earning Jon's respect. Not one hair question had been asked making this interview a refreshing change from the norm. But while they spoke Jon wondered how he could sway the topic to Alex. Then he had an idea.

"Hey man, wasn't someone from your paper supposed to interview us in Sydney?" Jon asked casually.

"Umm yeah...me. Me and my partner Alex were called out to a pretty horrific job the day before, maybe you saw article...little Abbie"

"That little baby that was abused and murdered?" Asked Tico

"Yeah, that's the one" Rick turned sullen at the thought. "Alex turned up for the photo shoot though right? She said it went well"

"Did she?" Came a snicker from Alec

Jon didn't wait for a reply "So what about the Abbie thing? Why didn't you make it to the show?"

"Um... well... Alex and I had just about finished our shift when we got a final call out...head office heard something on the police scanner and wanted us to investigate. We arrived on the scene only minutes after the first squad cars. No barricades had been set yet and the scene was still open to view." He started. "Anyway it was a child, a two year old little girl that had been raped and murdered, her name, we found out later was Abbie. She had been abducted from her home the afternoon before. As we approached the crowd unaware of what they concealed one of the officers moved away, to start constructing the modesty screens I believe, and Alex and I were confronted with the most gruesome scene. She was in a bad way man, that little girl, she had been tortured, her poor little body mutilated, her head was hanging by the merest of threads, limbs hung from her body at awkward angles." Jon shivered as he felt his blood run cold. Rick continued.

"Anyway, the next day I was a mess. I just couldn't get my head around, ya know, I have a niece about the same age. I kept picturing her face on that poor little body. Alex went to work, that was the day of your last show and we were short staffed but I just couldn't do it. I think Alex might be a fan actually; she went to your first Sydney show as well, it was probably a good thing for her to help take her mind off what happened... if only for a while. Anyway, the boss sent her off for counselling in the morning and she did your show that night. I'm sure the counselling helped some, but damn a scene like that just haunts you. I know for a fact that she's still having nightmares, hell so am I and I don't expect that they'll end anytime soon for either of us." Jon nodded his affirmation. "I've been on the job ten years, and man, I've seen some really fucked up shit, I've been overseas where I've seen famine and war, I've seen riots and humanity gone mad but I tell you," he said shaking his head, "what was done to that poor little kid, it's enough to rip your heart right outta ya chest."

"And I tell ya man, that's one hell of a woman, I tried to get her away from the scene, but you know what she went and did" Rick asked then proceeded to answer his own question. "She shrugged me off and went over to the poor bastard that had found the kid, to console him. She told me later that his pain was worse than hers and that he needed the comfort of others. We've become really close over the past few months working together and yet every day she does something that amazes me."

Jon paid close attention to the emotion in Rick's voice and the admiration in his eyes. It seemed that he had quite strong feelings for Alex, but that didn't mean they were reciprocated. Then again, he doubted she was the type to engage in a casual affair, hadn't she told him as much. Besides why wouldn't she fall for him, he seemed to be kind hearted, had the looks and physique of a Hollywood actor, he was intelligent and witty and most importantly he was free to be with her.

As Rick had spoken a hush fell over the room, finally Jon broke the silence "Thanks for sharing that man. I know that must have been hard for you. Amazing girl! I never would have guessed. She was so professional at the concert but..."

Alec, forever the smart ass, interrupted "Yeah till she reamed out your ass" he laughed.

"She did what?" Rick asked with amused surprise.

"I uh...I must have made a comment she didn't like, so she put me in my place so to speak. It's cool, I've always said I like a strong woman, and considering what you've just told us I'd say strong was an understatement" Jon said concealing the truth while covertly shooting Alec a warning glare, he didn't know much but he did know that Jon had previous knowledge of Alex and that alone would be enough to get a reporter like Rick asking all the right... or wrong questions. "Damn by the time she was finished with me, I felt like I'd gone five rounds with Ali, and she hadn't even laid a finger on me, that tongue of hers sure has some bite." They all chuckled, and at that, the sombre mood of earlier was broken.

"Yep, that's my Alex alright!" Rick replied, not giving any mind to the connotation of the word "my". But Jon sure did. He was now sure she had moved on. As if what he had seen at her apartment was not proof enough. She was involved with Rick. A pang of jealousy gripped him, one he recognised he had no right to feel.

Rick interrupted Jon's thoughts "So back to work, next question, you recently got married, how do you perceive that will affect your fan base?" And with that simple question, Jon realised he had no right to expect anything of her at all.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Chapter 14

Moments after Lanie let herself into Alex's apartment the black BMW pulled up across the street. Sheltered from view inside the car Jon sat and watched waiting for Alex to come home when he would finally be able to get her alone.

He saw the man's car pull up and the two of them get out. OK man, time for you to head home. The pair gathered up all the equipment and made their way inside. He waited for Alex's ride to leave but it didn't happen. Twenty or so minutes had past when movement on her balcony caught his attention. Alex was there again, this time alone. Maybe he just lives in the same block, Jon thought hopefully. She moved to the railing and he a long expanse of exquisite leg beneath her short hot pink baby doll dress. Something within the apartment distracted her and he was rewarded with her rear view when she turned and leant on the door frame. Oh fuck, what a body! He had never seen her so exposed and his dick sure was enjoying the view. She moved away then into the privacy of the apartment.

When she returned to the balcony he was with her, both held a glass of wine. Jon watched their interaction with interest. It was a little like cat and mouse he moved forward, she moved back, he inched forward again. When he placed a hand on her shoulder Jon became annoyed, she belonged to him, and the man leant in to kiss her a searing anger boiled within him. He made to get out of the car, emotion getting the better of him but remembered himself in time. He had no right to be angry, this rationale not altering the emotion. He watched as she leant to kiss her lover on the cheek, oh how he hated that word, and the two of them retreated inside.

He knew he should leave, he really didn't need to see anymore but he couldn't tear himself away. When the blinds closed a little later he placed the key in the ignition and readied himself to leave. The car window was open and the sound of music drifted on the evening breeze to his ears. Looking up he saw the silhouette of the pair dancing together. He watched transfixed when he saw them part and her sit him in a chair before the window. She started to move seductively around him. Jon could see only the shape of her through the blind and even that was enough to send blood racing to his cock. He couldn't bear to think of the lucky bastard that would be taking advantage of her attentions that night. As the music faded and the lights in the apartment went out, the lyrics of an old song of his came to mind.

I'm on the outside, looking inside
You're with him, who's on the wrong side now
Do you still think of me
I try to call but no one answers
Two silhouettes, a private dancer
Lights go dim, as the music starts to fade away
(Turn and walk away)

I'm the one who needs you now, you can believe it
I'll be there to catch you when you fall
Ooo you better believe I'm the man (On the edge of a broken heart)
Here I am (On the edge of a broken heart)
And we stand (On the edge of a broken heart)
So run if you can 'cause you know I'm a man on the edge
(On the edge of a broken heart)
I'm on the edge (On the edge of a broken heart)

Those words seemed prophetic now.

He pulled away from the kerb and made his way back to the hotel, but instead of heading to his own room he made for Richie's. At best he needed an ear at worst a friend with which he could drown his sorrows.

Jon pounded on the door until Richie swung it open unashamedly wearing nothing but frown and a hard on "What the fuck man, I'm busy here"

Jon pushed past him and into the suite "I hope that ain't for me" he said looking down smiling "I mean, ya know I love ya man but I so don't bat for that side" he was trying to cheer himself up with a little humour. It failed miserably.

"Give me a break man, I haven't even gotten through the entree yet...if you get my drift" Richie said licking his lips

"Unfortunately yeah, I ah... I think I do. Ok man when you're done, drop past my room will ya. I really need to talk, don't worry how late" Jon turned and left the room, leaving his friend to his main course.

He made his way back to his own suite and once inside headed to the shower to cool off. He couldn't believe that he had allowed her to get so far under his skin, regardless of how spectacular she was. His cock twitched at the thought, so he bumped up the cold water punishing it into submission. No point lusting after what I can't have. He thought about going out to find some random chick to fuck senseless and get it out of his system, but he knew deep down that wasn't the answer. When he heard a loud knock on the door he switched of the shower and went to answer it, wrapping the towel around him as he went.

He looked through the peep hole to see who was there before swinging it open to his best friend. "Jack and I" Richie said indicating the bottle in his hand "have come to console you." He said.

"What happened to the main course?"

"Let's just say after your little interruption it went a little cold"

"Sorry bro"

Richie grinned and shrugged "Yeah well ..... bro's before ho's." Jon laughed at the strange turn of phrase.

He retrieved two glassed from the bar, set them on the coffee table and settled into the couch as Richie poured the drinks.

"Tell Uncle Richie all about it..."

"Fuck... I don't even know where to start. I went past her house today..."

"And?" OH yeah your gone, Richie thought.

"And I'm getting there...she has a boyfriend man"

"What, some pimply, premature ejaculating little prick? Man I wouldn't worry about that she'll...."

Jon interrupted "Man he's about our age from what I could see of him. I think she might work with him too."

"That can't be good. So what did she say anyway?"

"Nothing man, didn't even look at me this morning when I said hello so I went back tonight. That's when I saw them together, he was kissing her on the balcony. At first it looked as though she was backing away from him..." Jon quietened as he remembered, his friend giving him the time he needed to continue. "but then she led him inside. The last thing I saw before the lights went out was her dancing for him...you know dancing"

"Awe man I'm sorry...but hey maybe it's for the best. You do have Dot to consider after all"

"She gave me a free pass man, told me to get it out of my system" he held out his glass for a refill and Richie obliged.


"Noooo.... " Jon said shaking his head "She doesn't know the details, just that something was bothering me."

"I organised for her to come to Queensland with us" he blurted out knowing his friend would not be pleased.

"Dot? What the fuck were you thinking?" Richie's reaction proving Jon correct.

"No, Alex"

"Better, but still...what the fuck were you thinking?" Richie drained his glass and poured another. "You know what that week is about... pussy, pussy and more pussy. Have you seen the talent that's been coming backstage here? Fuck man, you so do not want to miss that shit."

"I don't fucking know what I was thinking. Maybe that if I fucked her I could get her out of my system. This chick just keeps dragging me in deeper and deeper."

"Dude you've got it bad"

"Now tell me something I don't know asshole" Jon replied draining another glass. Over the course of their brief conversation more than half the bottle had disappeared. "So...What do I do?"


"Queensland...try and follow will ya"

"What does she think about it?"

"She doesn't know. I organised it through her boss, she's coming for a photo shoot but won't know till she gets there that we are the subject. I was hoping by the time we left here she'd be mine and be happy to come along but if she won't even say hello maybe I'm better off dropping the whole thing." He said now uncertain.

"Will you be able to do that though? I mean really Jonny, when you put your mind to something you find it almost impossible to back away. Just let it ride man, leave the plans as they are...at worst we get a damn good photo shoot, she tells you to fuck off and can be on her way. At best the two of you can resolve this thing, whatever it is, between you and it can play itself out before you head home to your wife. Either way it will be resolved."

Jon and Richie finished the bottle and passed out where they sat. A lonely blonde finally fell asleep in Richie's room, forgotten in the concern over his friend's turmoil. Her patience would be rewarded when, early the next morning on returning to his room to find her splayed naked across his bed, Richie, his magical mouth and his legendary length would work some of their 'magic' on her. She had passed muster and would most definitely be coming to Queensland. Unfortunately for the rest of the guys, a night with Richie usually meant that a girl was ruined for the rest of them. This one would be his alone.

Chapter 13

The day passed for Rick and Alex in much the same fashion as the day before. On returning home both of them failed to notice the black BMW from earlier that day parked just up the block. They grabbed Alex's gear out of the trunk and Rick held out an arm for Alex to take, gallantly leading her into the apartment block. On entering, the pair found the table set for three and a very content Lanie asleep on the couch. She had sat for a minute to "rest her eyes" she had told them when they roused her from her slumber. Dinner was cooking in the oven and Alex and Rick had just enough time for a quick shower each. Alex didn't need to be told twice and went running to the bathroom to rinse the work grime from her, summer was only weeks away and it had been a hot and humid day.

Twenty minutes later, and dressed in leg lengthening baby doll mini, she passed Rick in the hallway on her way back to the lounge "Tag...come on get a move on will you, I'm hungry!"

"Hey. It was your friend that distracted me, she was giving me a run down on how she's gonna entertain us later" he explained. Lanie was a professional dancer and had just that day landed a new gig in a stage production of Chicago. Alex didn't know as yet so she intended to surprise her with a little private performance

"What's this I hear about entertainment, Lains?" Alex asked as she nestled up behind her dearest friend at the kitchen bench to peer into the baking dish over her shoulder.

"You'll see!" came the quizzical reply.

"I guess I will won't I. I'm just gonna step outside for a minute." Alex made her way to the adjacent balcony and stood hands on the rail, looking out over the harbour. Night had fallen, high above stars twinkled while below the reflection of the city lights shimmered on the harbour. She really had to believe it to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Lanie, busy finishing dinner yelled out "Want to talk about it hon?"

Alex appeared at the balcony door and leant against the frame "How do you do that? Know me so well?"

"It works both ways you know"

"Yeah, I guess it does." After a pause "He was here this morning" Alex was sure to keep her voice low.

"Who?" Alex gave Lanie a pointed look.

"Oh....OOOHHHHH" she replied her eyes widening in surprise.


"Shit Al, how did he find you?"

"Well Lains, I didn't exactly stop to ask. In fact, I didn't even say hello, just ignored him completely"

"Ahh... umm can you explain to me exactly how you ignore that"

"Well I can assure you it wasn't easy, but Rick was with me, he doesn't know about Jon and I don't want him too."

"Did he recognise him?"

"You know, I don't think he did really. He said he looked familiar, but he was incognito so I don't think he could see enough to make him out"

"So that means Jon saw the two of you leave together then?" She asked with a tone that indicated her line of questioning was going somewhere.

"Yeah....and?" Alex moved inside and removed a bottle of wine from the rack and placed it on the counter. She wasn't sure she was going to like where this was heading.

"Well it was pretty early when you left wasn't it...?"

"Spit it out will you"

"I bet he thinks your sleeping with Rick!" Rick, returning from his shower and on hearing the line the conversation was taking stopped just short of eyesight in the hallway.

"Oh Lanie... I would never"

"Why the fuck not? Have you looked at the man? He's fucking HOT Al" Lanie opened the bottle of wine with ease and poured three glasses.

"He's a friend Lanie... that's it. I work with the man. "

"But you have to admit he's hot"

Alex lowered her tone and Rick could barely hear her response, "Ok, ok... the guy's scorching.... there, happy now? But I swear, if you ever tell him I will never speak to you again. Do you understand me?"

Lanie stood by with a devious grin plastered on her face. "Lanie... I mean it, swear"

Lanie crossed her fingers behind her back "K then... I swear"

So scorching huh? Rick yelled out from the hallway causing the girls to startle "Dinner ready yet?"

He was topless as he rounded the corner, his hair still damp from the shower, a few drops of water scattered across his smooth hair-free chest. He looked delicious and after their conversation both girls had trouble looking at him without feeling a measure of discomfort.

"Why don't you take these" Lanie said handing them a glass of wine each "out on to the balcony for a few minutes and get out of my way while I just finish up here. I'll call you in as soon as it's ready"

The pair obediently made their way outside. Rick, now armed with new information, decided to test the waters. He moved to stand close to Alex, so close he could feel the heat her body radiated. God she's beautiful he thought as he moved to tuck a stray curl behind her ear.

Alex blushed at the touch, once again recalling her confession to Lanie, and stepped to the side trying to put some distance between them but when she looked up into his eyes she saw a fiery passion there she hadn't known existed. Oh My God, the rumours at work were true. Rick stepped forward and Alex placed a hand on his chest to stop him progressing further.

His skin burned at her touch, he wanted to drag her into him but something held him back...it was the look in her eyes. Unlike his, her eyes held no passion, only confusion and sorrow. He waited for her to speak.

"Rick... I don't think this is a good idea."


"For so many reasons, we work together..." she started.

"We can swap partners" he suggested.

"If it were only that it would be fine, but its not. I can't say I don't find you attractive Rick. I'd think I'd have to be blind" especially at the moment, her thought continued. Alex was having trouble staying focused. The tension that had built in her the long years waiting for Jon was aching for release but she knew this was not the time or the man for it. His proximity and heady masculine scent however, were doing her no favours in the control department. "Look Rick to be honest there's someone else"

"You've never mentioned a boyfriend before" he said altering his stance and closing the distance between them a little

"Because he's not...my boyfriend that is. Just a guy that I've been infatuated with for far too long to think about."

"And what's his take on the situation?" Another tiny movement, another bit closer.

"He claims to feel the same..."

"Claims to?" he questioned as a placed a strong, gentle masculine hand on her shoulder.

"He's married" Alex was feeling conflicted. Here before her she had this kind, gorgeous, available man who quite obviously wanted her and yet her heart still belonged to Jon...kind – maybe, jury was still out on that, gorgeous – definitely, available – never, not to her anyway.

Rick slid his hand up over Alex's shoulder and set it to rest on her neck, his thumb tracing a lazy line along her jaw, he made the last small move to close the gap between them and leant in to kiss her. He looked deep into her eyes, looking for the rejection he was sure would come but it didn't. Alex was lost in him, it was so long since she had even kissed a man and she longed for that touch, that connection. Her eyes fluttered closed and she imagined Jon before her, she could feel Jon's hands on her, she could taste his toothpaste fresh minty breath. So close were Rick's lips when Lanie called.

"Dinner's up"

Alex jumped away from Rick the realisation of what almost happened hitting her. "Ahh...I think we better head in" she said as she headed for the door.

Rick grabbed her hand and held her back a question in his eyes. "Don't go"

"I'm sorry Rick...I can't. I was lost in the moment, that's all. I just can't do this at the moment; there is just way too much going on. And we're both still hurting after Abbie, maybe what's going on here is a result of that, of the bond we shared."

"That might be it for you Alex, but I've been interested in you since you first walked into the office. If you're not ready for this just yet, that's fine, I won't push...but don't think that I'll give up either."

"Thanks for the understanding Rick" she reached up and kissed him gently on the cheek. "But honestly, I don't know what it will take for me to get over this, you'd be better off moving on. Guys like you have women falling over themselves for attention" she turned and made her way inside.

Yeah, but there is only one that I want to fall. Rick thought as he watched her retreat into the apartment.

Dinner was a humorous affair. Lanie had always been the life of the party and lightened the tense mood immensely with jokes and funny anecdotes. When dinner was cleared away and the dishes done Alex collapsed on the couch while Lanie prepared for her performance. She closed the blinds, not wanting to perform for all of Sydney, she wasn't quite confident enough for that yet. She found the soundtrack for Chicago, put on one of the slow numbers and made good use of Rick, pulling him up to dance as a warm up. Her body moulded into his as they danced to a slow number, making him more than a little uncomfortable, well making his pants more than a little uncomfortable. Lanie placed him on a chair near the shaded window before her as she started her routine.

Lanie danced a little and flirted a lot. She had observed the scene on the balcony between Rick and Alex earlier and had decided that to distract him would be a good idea. She knew that her friend wasn't yet ready to move on from Jon and her emotional state at the moment was far too fragile for the type of prompting that Rick was attempting. She knew that of anything happened between them Alex would only regret it the next morning. It was with this in mind that she began a very distracting, almost innocent private dance.

The show didn't last long. Alex excused her self and went to bed tired and still a little confused. Lanie's winks to her throughout her "performance" let her know what she was up to and really didn't bother her any way; she really was only caught in the moment with Rick. Regretfully she didn't share his feelings, but how much easier would things be for her if she did.

Lanie and Rick followed soon after. Rick knew that Lanie's performance was innocent. She was an outrageous flirt but was very much in love with her high school sweetheart who was presently serving in the army and stationed in New Guinea. In fact he was the main focus of her conversation over dinner. She took his hand and helped him up off the chair, dropping it just as she leant over to the switch to turn out the lights. They made their way to their beds and promptly fell asleep.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Chapter 12

After hanging up from Jon's call Alex got out of bed and headed for the bathroom. She turned the small sound system in the bathroom on and stepped into the large glass encased shower recess. She washed herself quickly but then stood there hands braced on the wall for long minutes letting the steaming hot stream of water and the hard rock sounds of Aerosmith's latest offering "Pump" wash away the tension of the evening before. Thoughts of Jon swam in her mind as she stood there. She still couldn't believe he had abandoned the show to come and talk to her like that, approaching her while she was obviously working, while he was working. She was somewhat concerned as to what the band and fans made of their little exchange, surely they had noticed.

Alex was just grateful that Rick hadn't been able to make the show. She had no interest in sharing the details of her and Jon's "relationship", if indeed it could be called that, with Rick. It was too sordid a tale to be sharing with a work colleague, even one she was feeling closer to with each passing day. The horrific sights that they witnessed together, little Abbie of course being the worst, was creating a unique bond. The thought of the small child once again brought a tear to Alex's eye, and with the exception of the past few days, Alex was not one to cry easily.

On getting out of the shower Alex covered her body in moisturiser and stepped into her usual work clothes, a pair of well worn faded jeans, a T-shirt, Jag being the brand of the day, and a baseball cap. She checked her watch, shit I'm running late. A loud knock startled her, she called out "Coming" and slowly made her way to the door while hopping on one foot, struggling to place a shoe on the other.

"Where were you, I've been out here for 5 minutes" Rick said leaning against the door frame as it swung open.

"Sorry Rick, I was in the shower and the stereo was on. I think I got a bit carried away with the volume."

Rick dumped a large duffle in Alex's foyer then reached down and grabbed the bulk of Alex's equipment. They would be travelling to Palm Beach for the next few days to cover the filming of a relatively new TV soap called "Home and Away" and so had decided to travel together. Rick was also going to stay over at Alex's given that he lived in Sydney's outer suburbs and the commute would've been horrendous.

"Are you OK Alex?" He asked getting a closer look at her now. "Cause frankly, you look like shit"

"Oh gee thanks.... I had a rough night, OK. No need for the insults" she knew no offence was intended so ribbed him back.

He smiles softly, his eyes showing concern. "What do you mean a rough night? Bob said that you were doing a photo shot for Bon Jovi last night, isn't that your favourite band?" Rick questioned.

"Umm, yeah they are. The shoot was ok, good actually. I won't know for sure till I see the photos though. It's the nightmare's that are the problem." Well, it wasn't a total lie.

"You too huh?" They were at the car now and Rick was opening her door for her. "How about we try to get it out of our heads for the day? Who do you think will be there today?" Rick asked avoiding the subject that obviously was still plaguing him too.

"No, idea" Alex answered "I would assume most of the cast. Do you have an interview schedule?"

"Nope, Bob said we would be given one along with the filming schedule on arrival"

The rest of the ride passed companionably, they joked and laughed together, discussing their expectations of the day's assignment and those that would feature in it. Palm Beach is located to the north of Sydney. It's a narrow strip of land in an area of many tributaries and National Parks, and as such is bordered by a bay on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. A solitary road leads in and out and is lined on one side by sheer cliffs, to the face of which cling exotic structures of steel and concrete that the rich and famous call home.

Alex and Rick drove through the small wealthy township and arrived on location to find a sprawling set. Much of the beach and several buildings had been procured for the days filming and a flurry of activity surrounded them all as crew and cast alike prepared themselves for the day ahead. They showed the press passes they had been given and made their way to a makeshift marshalling area where the days extras were being briefed on filming requirements. They were given a brief rundown of the set and given the press kits that would detail their schedules over the coming days.

The filming of a TV soap Alex was to learn was a face paced affair. Producing two and a half hours of TV a week, forty-eight plus weeks of the year took stamina and skill, she stood back and watched the production in awe. As the job required, Alex and Rick had gone their separate ways, following the schedules allocated to them. Alex went out on location to photograph the cast and filming, while Rick went to the trailers to interview the talent as they sat in makeup in preparation for filming. Not all cast were present on any given day, hence the three day assignment.

At the end of the first day both Alex and Rick collapsed into the car exhausted. She had shot more than ten rolls of film; he had conducted half as many interviews. They drove home in darkness, only the radio breaking the silence, stopping briefly to grab a bite to eat from local Chinese restaurant. Rick pulled into a parking spot in front of Alex's building and gathered up her equipment from the trunk which was far too valuable to leave in the parked car. They made their way inside where Rick dumped the equipment in the foyer before they shared a quick hug goodnight, each of them heading to their own rooms, falling into bed unconscious within minutes.

Alex woke bright and early the next morning, for the first time in a fortnight she had slept through the night and felt refreshed and renewed. Having slept naked as usual, she donned her trusty Slippery When Wet Tour T-Shirt and pulled on a pair of panties before she padded lightly into the kitchen to get breakfast started. She found the coffee pot busy brewing on the stove, bread in the toaster and an assortment of spreads lay out on the table. Now this I could get used to!

A light breeze told Alex that the balcony doors were open. She followed the scent of the crisp ocean air to find Rick standing on the balcony observing the yachts tacking across the sparkling blue harbour, dodging the ferries already hard at work transporting commuters to work or other destination of choice. He cut a striking figure there in nothing but a pair of boxer shorts, leaning on the railing his hands cupped around a large mug of coffee. Had it not been for Jon she was sure that Rick would have sparked more than a passing interest for her, but as things stood she was just glad to have him as a friend. She couldn't deny though that he was a fine specimen of the male gender, broad shoulders tapered down to a slim waist and a tight ass, not as good as Jon's, but then what was. As he turned to greet her she was confronted with a well defined six pack and pecs. His blond hair fell in one length and just touched the top of his shoulders. It was the first time she had seen him topless and was finding it difficult to drag her attention from his chest to his face. When she managed however she was rewarded with a huge grin.

"Good Morning. Sleep well?"

"Morning Rick. I did thanks. How about you? Was the guest room comfortable enough for you?"

"Yeah, It was great thanks. I put some coffee on and started on breakfast, I hope you don't mind"

"Of course not. What's mine is yours. Make yourself at home"

Rick doubted that what he wanted from her was part of that deal. As she stepped out onto the balcony he admired her long tanned legs. The T-shirt she wore was short, very short, exposing the bottom of her ass and a flash of hot pink panties as she leant up against the balcony rail. Full perky breasts with proud nipples teased him through the age worn fabric of the shirt, and while her curves could not be seen with the cut of the garment, he knew from experience they were there. He felt a stirring in his boxers and willed himself under control. It was neither the time nor place to start something with her. After their experience with Abbie both were emotionally drained and vulnerable and that was not a solid foundation for a relationship, something he had been considering for some time now.

"In that case let me fix you breakfast" He said looping an arm casually around her shoulders and leading her inside. A natural response had Alex's arm fall around his waist her hand coming to rest lightly on his hip. To her it was a casual friendly gesture but it would ignite a flame in Rick that would take a lifetime to extinguish, and spur him to action much sooner than he expected. This was the view of the balcony that confronted Jon from the street when he arrived at her apartment very early that morning. Scantily dressed and entwined in each others arms, Alex and Rick sought the privacy of her apartment.

Alex's apartment block was positioned at the end of a street terminated by a small harbour side park. From his parking spot adjacent to the park Jon had a perfect view of her balcony which spanned the front of her apartment and wrapped around one side. He stood on the pavement opposite her building, in stunned disbelief. She never said there was someone else! Who was he? How long had they been together? He made his way back to the hired BMW and slumped in behind the wheel, trying to make sense of his scattered thoughts. He had still felt a connection to her at the show. It was real, and he was sure that she had felt it too; positive in fact, for there was no justification for her reaction afterwards if she didn't. So what was the deal with this guy? A quick fuck? No! He wouldn't believe that. She wasn't like that. Or was she? A lot had changed for him in the last two years and it looked like the same could be said for her judging from the new accommodation. Jon began to doubt all he thought he knew about her, realising he didn't really know her at all. Sure he had gotten to know her two years before but those two years in the life of a teen could bring dramatic change. Did he want to get to know her again? Yes!

Jon sat in the car for what seemed like an age, but was in reality less than an hour, while waiting for the man to leave. When he finally emerged from the door Jon was dismayed to see Alex with him, he had hoped to talk to her alone. Jon was wearing his usual cap and glasses and hoped that he wouldn't be too recognisable with two days worth of stubble disguising his chiselled jaw. He jumped from the car and leaned back on the door after slamming it shut, his arms crossed over his chest in a defensive stance.

"Hello" he said as she rounded her friend's car to place some of her gear in the trunk.

Alex didn't even acknowledge his presence. The was not so much a glimmer of recognition in her face as she made her way around to the passenger side of the car and slipped in through the door the man held open for her. He even handed her the seatbelt before closing the door and moving around to the drivers. He stole a curious glance in Jon's direction and nodded in greeting ahead of getting behind the wheel of the tiny sports car and driving off.

Jon couldn't believe she hadn't so much as looked at him. Surely he hadn't hurt her that much. He couldn't have so soon in their.....relationship. They had, after all, still only met a few times but then again the wrenching he felt in his gut at the thought of her with another man was almost unbearable, it was a small insight for him into the pain she must have felt on hearing the announcement of his wedding. He was now well aware he had a lot to make up for if he hoped to win her back, not that she was ever his in the first place. He would return that evening but for now he got back in the BMW and gunned the engine, taking his frustration out on the car and the streets of Sydney, lucky to escape being pulled over.

Meanwhile in Rick's car the silence had become deafening as the unasked question hung in the air. Finally it became too much for Rick.

"Alex... who was he and what was that about? He looked a little familiar but I can't put my finger on it."

"No one of any consequence, just an old acquaintance." She responded coolly. Please don't push Rick, pleease.

Rick knew there was much more to the story from the way she had shut the guy down without so much as a backward glance but he also knew that with Alex you didn't push...when she was ready she came to you. "Well alrighty then."