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.