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.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Chapter 39

It was New Year's Eve and once again there was a party at the Springsteen house. The home had been lavishly decorated in black and silver. Thousands of balloons floated along the ceiling, their long ribbon tails dangling low into the crowd. The lighting was dim, and large banks of speakers occupied each corner thumping out a continuous stream of modern music and older hits, and a stage complete with instruments (in case any guests wanted to play) graced one wall making the space look more like a night club than a living room. The furniture had been cleared out of the main living areas on the lower floor, in its place clusters of comfortable seating were scattered around the walls of each room. Strategically placed bars were also a feature, each staffed by a bar tender that would put those in the movie "Cocktail" to shame.

This time Alex had been very careful to determine the guest list. She found that, as expected, Jon and his family had been invited but had, fortunately for her, declined the invitation. So here she stood, calm and relaxed, peering out the window toward the guest house, a glass of her favourite wine in her hand.

Rick was working, as was usual, but was expected home at any moment so when she felt a presence behind her and a warm arm wrap around her waist she did not move or startle at all, at least not until he spoke.

"What's a beautiful girl like you doing alone on New Year's Eve?" His breath was warm on her neck as he spoke and she could smell the feint aroma of alcohol on it. Startled, she turned rapidly to disengage herself and look at him, she saw he was holding a glass of a warm amber liquid and ice - she assumed Jack on the rocks. From the slight haze in his expression it appeared it was not his first.

"What are you doing here?" she asked, more than a little shocked, her tone icy.

He smiled at her wryly, "I'm an invited guest. Aren't you happy to see me baby?"

"Honestly, NO...I was told you had other commitments...or I wouldn't be here." She said suddenly uncomfortable.

Jon looked momentarily stunned but he made a conscious effort to smooth out his features before leaning in closer "What's wrong baby? Surely you're not afraid of how you react to me? There's nothing to be afraid of darlin'"

Alex's fist clenched at her side. How does he manage to be so irritating? "Oh I'm not afraid... I'd just rather not have to disappoint you again."

"As I recall, you weren't disappointing at all, Alex. In fact, you surpassed my wildest expectations." His eyes bored deep into hers, intense, searching, "Admit it baby, we're perfect for each other."

"No...we are not...but we could have been."

"We still can be."

Alex felt her pulse quicken involuntarily at his words...that wasn't what she wanted.... was it?

"No... we can't" She answered resolutely.

"Yes we could." He insisted "Why won't you let me show you?"

"Um...let me think. What was that reason again? Oh that's right... your married! And in a just couple of short months, I will be too!"

Jon staggered back a step at her words and shook his head trying to comprehend what it was she had just said.

His jaw tightened visibly before he spoke "So the rumours are true?" It was one of the reasons he was here...to hear it from her. He had expected the wedding to be years away...not months "You're really going through with it?" He said an edge of anger to his voice. "Even with what we have together!"

The nerve she thought "Why wouldn't I? We don't have anything together Jon. Anything we HAD is past tense. Long past."

"Damn it! Come with me!" Jon grabbed Alex's hand and started to make for the nearest hallway.

She wrenched her hand from his and stayed rooted firmly to the spot. His touch was far too much for her to bear. "What do you think you're doing?"

He moved in so close that once again she felt his breath disturb the fine hairs on her neck as he spoke through gritted teeth "I'm trying to get through to this stubborn brain of yours and I'd rather not do that with a hundred people watching and trying to hear what we're saying."

"I can't leave...Rick will be here any minute"

"Well he was stupid to leave you alone in the first place, his loss is my gain." He said and reached for her hand again.

It was at that precise moment that a waiter handed Alex an envelope. She removed the note from inside, read it and groaned. Jon snatched the small piece of paper from her hand and read it with interest.

So sorry honey! Been held up here!
Trying desperately to get to you before midnight
...but it's not looking good. I promise I will make
it up to you several times over when I get home.

Love you


His trademark smirk crossed his lips as he read and muttered under his breath "Stupid move, Rick, stupid move"

"What was that?"

"Problem solved" He said simply as he grabbed her hand more forcefully this time and dragged her along behind him.

She was sure that's not what he had said. She was being dragged down a hallway now, and was offering little resistance for fear of causing a scene.

"You know I have nothing left to say to you Jon." She said resignedly. "I don't know what you are hoping to accomplish here."

Jon found the door he was looking for, opened it and dragged her inside the library before closing the door again and backing her up against it. He leaned into her; the intensity of his gaze had her looking away uncomfortably.

"You know that's not true Alex." The tenor of his voice was as intense as his stare. "You know what we have together, you may not want to admit it, but it's been there since the first minute we were together. And you can fight it all you like but you know as well as I do, it is not just in the past." Passion burned bright in his eyes. "Or have you forgotten what happened the other morning?"

A bright blush rose to Alex's cheeks and her breathing became shallow, much to her chagrin, "I'm trying to!" She said quietly.

This is it, he thought...careful now and I will have her. "Baby, you know we can't fight this. We're meant to be together" he said in his most seductive voice.

"NO you're meant to be with your wife...remember her...where is she anyway?"

"Not sure. Upstairs I think. Can't we forget about her?"

"Doing?" Alex watched as Jon's fist clenched at his sides as he fought to control his frustration.

He spoke through gritted teeth "I have no fucking idea and to be honest, I don't really give a fuck at the moment."

Alex was taken aback by the raw aggression in his tone. "That's a lovely way to speak about the mother of your child."

Jon let out a deep sigh and paused, there was still a slight edge to his voice when he spoke again. "Look Alex do you think I like feeling like this?"

"So don't feel like it then."

"Don't you see? I like how I feel when I'm with you" He gently picked up her hand and waited for her to recoil from him again but she stood motionless. He continued. "My marriage, it's not what I thought it would be, and part of that - and you may not want to hear this - but it's how I feel about you. I've never been able to put you completely out of my mind. Fuck Alex, you have no idea how hard I've tried to make things work with her but at the end of the day it's you on my mind." He paused to gauge her expression. "But now you're here."

Alex's heart was already pounding in her chest, when he flashed the most dazzling smile, "Can't we please figure out a way to make this work?" He finished.

She was captivated. Damn him. If only I can look away, I can find the strength needed to do what I have too. She lowered her eyes to the floor and considered her words carefully.

When she looked back up her expression was blank, "Not as long as you have a wife. I have moved on Jon... As hard as it was to do... and I won't lie to you...you are not an easy thing to get over...but I did it." She glanced at the floor as she said this, unable to meet his gaze "And now I am ready to start the next phase of my life with a very kind loving available man, who treats me like a princess and has tolerated all the baggage you left me with."

"Hmph" Jon sneered "If he treats you like a princess why isn't he here right now? New Year's Eve and he hopes to be here by midnight? Don't fool yourself Alex. He'll never love you the way I do."

Her hackles rose, "Why haven't you been with your wife and child for the better part of the last year. He's working Jon, just as you have missed countless birthdays, Christmases and celebrations, just as I have. At least he isn't off shacked up with another woman. And you know what, you're right about one thing... he'll never love me the way you do, because he loves me better...he would never, never do to me what you are doing right now!

Her words stung him worse than a slap in the face, "Don't Alex!"

Was that a threat? "Don't what Jon? Speak the truth?"

Alex watched as Jon looked away clearly fighting to control his temper – his jaw was tightly clenched, his hand were balled fists once again at his sides - she had heard about it but had never experienced it yet. Did she dare push further? Yes... he deserved it after all. Didn't he?

"Rick would never try to compromise my integrity the way you are right now. He has never asked me to hang on by a thread while he lives another life with a wife and child." Alex could see the internal struggle.

"Alex I am not..." he gritted his teeth fiercely "I am not the type of man who begs damn it!"

"Don't you understand? I'm not asking you to Jon.....I am asking you to walk away"

"NO!" the vehemence with which he said this startled her "Maybe you can walk away from this but I can't. And I don't think you really can either."

"What choice do you have? What choice do I have?" She asked "You made that decision for me long ago...when you walked away that first night."

"God damn it Alex, you were 16. What the fuck was I supposed to do? Go to your parents and tell them that in the space of a few hours I had fallen passionately in love with you and would they please allow you to drop out of school and go on the road with me, the long haired rock star? Be reasonable, I may be selfish but I'm not that selfish."

She stared at him incredulous. "Are you saying what you are asking of me now isn't that selfish. Have you really thought about what you're asking of me?" She paused for a moment "Hang on maybe it's me, maybe I have misunderstood something. Clear it up for me. What are you asking of me Jon?"

He was contemplative for a moment "That we try to figure out a way to work this out. It can't be impossible."

"Do you intend to stay married to your wife?"

Jon exhaled heavily, she could still smell the traces of alcohol on his breath. "Why does this have to be about her? In my mind this is all about you and me."

"Well as long as you remain married to her, in my mind it's about the three of us. And very soon that number will become four. Now, I know from experience that you don't take your vows very seriously... but I do intend to keep mine" she retorted.

Jon walked away from her momentarily to gather his thoughts. This was not going at all well. Maybe...

When he turned back to her there was a contrived vulnerability in his eyes "Alex, look I'm sorry. I know I have hurt you but can we please just sit and talk for a minute?"

It was her turn to sigh deeply "I thought we already were.....talking that is"

"Please?" It was almost a whimper.

"I don't see how the position will change anything." He raised his eyebrows at her comment.

"Look I need to tell you some things that I'm not sure I've ever shared with you."

Another sigh "I don't know that I want to hear anymore Jon."

"Please Ali. I know in your eyes I'm not the best person but I need to know that you understand where I'm coming from, where I've been coming from. And if you still choose to walk away... well at least I didn't hold anything back."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chapter 38

Alex woke early the next morning despite the late night, to find Rick almost comatose beside her. He had indeed lived up to his promise of a good night, making love to her tenderly for hours before falling asleep just before dawn, exhausted. Alex's confrontation with Jon had invaded her dreams and affected her sleep, so it wasn't long after falling asleep that she was awake again. But Rick was dealing with jetlag on top of the late night, and the nights exhausting activities, so she figured he would sleep for a good few hours yet. She gently rolled out of bed and slipped on her usual early morning attire over her naked form, a now thread bare Bon Jovi T-Shirt. It was one habit she had never been able to break. She padded bare foot to the small kitchen in the guest house only to find she was out of coffee. Damn it, I'll have to get some up at the main house.

Slipping her feet into her UGG boots, Alex was glad to have brought the warm sheepskin slippers from home. She opened the door as delicately as she could, cursing as it creaked. She stepped out into the frigid morning air and a chill tore up and down her spine, her flimsy T shirt doing nothing to protect her from the cold. Will I ever get used to this level of cold? She wondered. A couple of inches of snow had fallen over night, so she carefully navigated her way across the slippery yard to the kitchen door and slipped inside.

Bessy wouldn't be there until lunch time today, she had worked late the day before so Patti had given her the morning off. The house was deathly quiet, neither Bruce nor Patti was an early riser and the children would be exhausted from their late night. She walked into the large pantry that was in fact larger and better equipped than her own kitchen, and explored the shelves until she found what she wanted. The coffee was on a high shelf, she stretched up on tippy toes, her hand reaching high over her head pulling up her T-shirt and exposing the lower curve of her perfectly rounded ass, but still the coffee was just out of reach. "Damn it" she cursed as she tried to extend further.

Jon stood in the doorway admiring the sight before him. Her long tresses hung lose down her back, mussed from sleep and, he would be correct to assume, sex. He recognised the garment she wore, it was the old tour T-shirt she had had when they were together, now threadbare from use so that the thinness of the fabric exposed her naked silhouette beneath. Her form was long and lean as it reached high for the coffee on the top shelf. He glanced at the floor and slowly drew his eyes up the length of her body, drinking in every delicious inch.

He watched the muscles in her calves flex with the strain of stretching. His eyes moved up to her slender tapered thighs, the same thighs that had spent many a glorious hour wrapped around his waist. At the top of her thighs his eyes rested on the lower curve of her buttocks, peachlike in shape, tight and perfect. It had been a long time since he had seen that much of her, and he was semi erect just at the sight. And then she leaned forward slightly and he got a view of those gorgeous amber curls, the ones that had tickled his nose as he drank from her, sending her over the edge time and time again. He wondered if she was satisfied with Rick, if he could make her cum over and over and over again, if he could make her lose control, if he could make her scream...the way she had for him.

Alex was still reaching for the coffee when she felt, a hard male body press against her, reaching over her for the package she sought.

"Was this what you wanted?" His breath was warm against her ear. She spun quickly at the voice, but he did not move. She looked briefly into Jon's eyes, before looking down and averting her own. His were a deep blue, his pupils dilated as if trying to devour the sight of her. She knew that blue, she knew it meant she was in trouble, she knew that she wouldn't be able to resist him a second time. She could feel his arousal pressed against her centre, how she longed to feel that in her again. He had once filled her so completely that no other man could ever fit her so well, know her so well.

His hands gently rested on her hips, he leaned in and his tongue grazed over her lips, urging them to part, she obliged deepening the kiss, exploring the familiar places she had so missed. He wrapped her in his arms and her knees buckled, but he held her firm. He moved a hand to give the taut peaks of her breasts the attention they were longing for, flicking the tight little nubs with his thumb. His other hand moved down to her thigh and began to creep up the hem of her T-shirt until his fingers came in contact with her soft auburn curls. He ran single knuckle up and down the crease between her thigh and her ever wetter pussy and was just getting ready to slip into those silky depths when a familiar voice called.

"Jon...Jon are you in here?" Dot called.

"Fuck...." He cursed softly, before calling. "Yeah I'm here" he said taking the few steps to the door of the pantry taking the coffee with him as he spoke. Alex hid in the pantry unable to control her body's reaction to this other woman's husband. She was so turned on from the brief interaction, that she could feel her own wetness on her thighs. Go! Please just Go, she begged silently. She listened to the exchange from her hiding place.

"Where have you been?"

"Getting this.... I was gonna make a cup but since you're up we may as well just go home" He said as he placed the container of coffee on the bench.

"Don't you think we should say thank you and goodbye first?" Dot asked. "I mean they were kind enough to let us stay after you tied one on last night. What was that all about? Your mood shifted so suddenly, right about the time Rick arrived. Have you had some kind of run in with him?"

"Nope! I guess it was just seeing him and her together...been a long time since things were that good for us...in fact I'm not sure they ever were." Jon was sending Alex a message and she caught it immediately.

"Yeah well you know what Jon, it takes two to make a marriage and you have been absent from this one for far too long. And I don't mean physically either, though that takes its toll, it's not as bad as the emotional absence even when your home." Alex could hear the resentment in Dots voice.

"We've been through this Dot. I don't think now is the time or the place to get into another all out argument, do you? I thanked Bruce last night and told him we'd be gone early. I have to get mom home so she can start getting ready for Christmas day." Alex could hear the exhaustion in his voice.

"Fine...let's go. Let me just get the bags. I'll meet you at the car." She said and Alex heard the click of her heals slowly fade to nothing.

Jon waked back into the pantry, a lopsided grin on his face, "I'm so sorry baby. I didn't mean for that to happen. When can we finish what we started?" He moved in close as he spoke and run his hand up her thigh, stopping on the curve of her ass.

"You are joking right?" Alex said stunned disentangling herself from his grasp. "If not for her yelling out she would have walked in on us, you with your hand in my pussy." She groaned inwardly at the sensation the thought aroused. "And you want me to go there again...your insane Jon"

"Well... if we are more discrete it won't be a problem." He moved to take her in his arms, but she side stepped out of his way.

"Listen Jon.... what just happened here is wrong. I shouldn't have allowed it. Now I know there is a history here that may lead you to believe that I am ok with cheating but that's not the case. The fact that you have so little regard for your wife and the mother of your child astounds me. Now what shared in Queensland is in the past. I know you don't take your vows of celibacy very seriously, but Jon I do. I am with Rick now and I would never do anything to hurt him, the least of all cheat on him. So this ends here! Do you understand me Jon? I will be courteous and polite, one day I may even manage friendly but please don't expect more from me than that." Jon stood silent before her as she spoke, damn but she's a fiery one.

"Believe what you will baby. But know this one thing...I always get what I want. AND... I... WANT... YOU!" He punctuated each of those last four words. He then placed a chaste kiss on her lips and was gone before she could even reconcile his words in her sensory overloaded brain.

Alex scooped the coffee from the bench where he had left it and made a quick escape from the main house running to the warmth and comfort of her own lodgings. Rick was still fast asleep, so instead of joining him at the risk of disturbing his sleep, she curled her feet beneath her on the comfy leather couch in the den. She sat in silence and tried to reconcile her feelings about what had just happened. She was still deeply in shock that it had happened at all. She wondered what kind of person did that, cheated on the one they loved, then she realised....for him it was habitual. She wondered how many women there had been since her.

Alex would have been stunned at the answer...none. Since their week in Australia all those years before, there had been no-one but his wife. Even on tour with a bevy of models, actresses, fans offering themselves to him each night, even then he had no interest. He had only wanted one woman, only Alex. Of course the temptation had been there, and it had come close...on more than one occasion but ultimately all he could see when he closed his eyes was Alex's face and he just couldn't do it.

Her thoughts shifted and Alex wondered exactly how it would be possible to cope with her attraction to him. It was hard enough living on the other side of the world...but now...well now Rick wanted to move here. To New York to be precise. How could she deal with it being so unbearably close to him. His words echoed in her thoughts "I always get what I want". Not this time. NO! Definitely not this time.

To distract her from her thoughts of him, Alex went and retrieved her camera bag from the closet. She still had films that needed to go to the lab for developing, and proofs to check. She couldn't wait until she was in a house of her own where she would be able to set up a darkroom, and once again take full control over the images she produced. She pulled a stack of paperwork from the bag, the proof sheets from the photo shoot the week before and began to sift through the sheets of tiny images with the magnifying glass, marking the ones with potential. She was doing good, it was working, she was sufficiently distracted. And then she got to the last sheet. I was a series of photos taken of Bruce in and around his home town of Red Bank New Jersey a couple of weeks before. In one, just one photo he stood before the Count Bassie Theatre, and there in the background was a sign "Bon Jovi Christmas Concert here 20th December 1993." It was relatively small and unobtrusive and she didn't even remember seeing it on the day, but now it had fresh tears coursing down her cheeks.

Alex felt a gentle hand on her shoulder; she hadn't even heard him wake.

"Hey baby..." Rick said gently "What's all this?"

Jon's familiar term of endearment had her crying harder. She spun and buried her face in Rick's rock hard chest and let the sobs overtake her.

Rick cradled her in his arms until the sobs subsided a little and then tried to push her back but she held on to him fiercely.

"Did you miss me that much?" He asked jokingly. "Well, just give it a month and you'll be chasing me out the door, because there is no where I have to be for at least the next couple of months. I'll be here so much you'll be sick of me"

"Never! You're my best friend, I'll never get sick of you." she whispered croakily "But it's not that." She said unable to meet his eyes. "I guess I'm just tired...tired and homesick."

"Do you want to go home?" He asked.

A glimmer of hope entered her heart...if only she could get away.

"Will they let you do that,...work from home?" She asked encouraged.

Rick shook his head. "No sweetie, they won't. But you are more important than any job. Say the word and we are on the first plane out of here."

Alex sighed "No. It really doesn't make much difference where we are based to me. I travel so much anyway." she said only a hint of the massive disappointment showing in her voice. And now I'll be travelling even more. Just to stay away from here.

"Are you sure sweetie? It's not too late...it will only take one phone call..." he prompted.

"I'm sure" she said resigned. How could she drag him away from the best opportunity of his life? How could she tell him the reason she should? How could she tell this beautiful man that she was in love with someone else?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Chapter 37

She had known there was a possibility of it happening – running into him here - but it hadn't made it any easier. It had however given Alex the one up on Jon, she had not been nearly as affected as he had been. She watched him walk away in the same direction as his wife then split off and head for the yard. She took a deep breath and sat down to continue reading the story to the children, who were now impatiently tugging at her pants leg. She cast the occasional furtive glance towards the door but he was out of sight.

Jon had moved to the deep shadows at the far end of the house and was looking in through one of the many picture windows that opened on to the yard. She was sitting surrounded by small children, her face alive with expression as she read to them from a picture book, often flipping it around to show the children on the floor the illustrations. As he watched she would occasionally glance towards the door he had exited through. Was she looking for him?

To look at her was like going back in time; she had not changed at all. He had followed her career as much as he could but hadn't seen any photos of her; she was always behind the lens. Nothing about her had changed. It was almost as though Father Time had frozen it for her. She rose – having finished the book but leaving the children begging for more - then and headed towards the door. From his position in the shadows he watched her emerge from the house and shiver in the frigid air, she folded her arms against the cold and ran across the yard to the guest house and disappear inside. He glanced back into the house to see if anyone was watching, then followed.

Alex escaped the main house as soon as she could without looking suspicious. She felt bad about leaving the children wanting more, but her grip on control was tenuous. She ran to the sanctuary of the guest house, poured herself a shot from the first bottle she laid her hands on and downed it in one swallow, wincing at the taste. GOD damn him. How can he still affect me like this. One look, one touch and I turn to jelly. She stood at the bar and poured a second shot, resting her hands either side of the glass. Behind her Jon silently slipped through the door. At first he was only going to ask to talk to her, but having her there in the same room with him proved impossible to resist. He crossed the room in three steps and slipped his arms around her waist from behind.

Momentarily Alex melted into him – his warm hard body, that irresistible scent - before coming to her senses and untangling herself from his arms. It had been so natural to be there that she felt bereft when he backed away from her.

"God baby, please...I just need to hold you again. I've missed you so much...I think about you everyday" Jon pleaded, taking a baby step forward.

"Get out Jon. GO!" She stalked towards the door to see him out but he caught her by the hand on the way and swung her around. She hesitated for a fraction of a second and he jumped on the pause and began to pull her towards him.

"Fuck Jon, can't you please just let me be. I've moved on, so have you. In fact I believe congratulations are in order DADDY" she spat.

He flinched at the tone in her voice but didn't let her go.

"Why can't you just leave me to live my life?" She asked exasperated.

"Maybe because I haven't lived mine. I've existed sure, but I haven't lived, not since we were together. I want to live again Ali. But to live I need you, and you need me."

"I don't need you Jon, I may have wanted you but I certainly don't need you." She pulled her hand from his and moved away from him. She needed clarity and for that she needed distance from him.

"Please don't say that Ali" He closed the gap once again, taking a step forward.

"We've been through this Jon, more times than I care to remember. It won't work. We had a beautiful week together...please don't ruin it with this pointless pursuit. Nothing can come of it." Was it getting warmer? It must be getting warmer, she thought.

"I can't believe that Ali. I won't...you belong with me"

"You'll just have to believe it, it's your wife that belongs with you. I belong as far away as I can get." Alex looked him in the eyes "Now listen to me, I gave in last time only because I wanted something from you. I got it, and now it's over"

"And what was that?"

"I got to have my first time with the world's hottest Rock Star, my Idol. How many teenagers can say that? It was a fantasy come true, and believe me you lived up to it, but it's done and finished now. Let it go. Let me go." Her intention now was to hurt him. Her motive....if he was hurt enough by her words he just might stay away for good...but then, did she really want him too?

His expression was pained. "I can't believe you just said that. You know that's not true, that's not what it was about."

"Wasn't it? Are you sure Jon? You don't know me, not really. You never did. Now if you'll excuse me I have to get back to the party before I am missed by our hosts." Alex picked up her camera gear on the way to the door, she needed a plausible reason for her absence and she was sure 'I was arguing with my lover' wouldn't cut it.

She managed to get out of the guest house without further event, leaving a stunned Jon in her wake. She was half way across the yard when she heard the shatter of glass as it crashed against what she assumed was the stone fireplace. She opened the door to find Dot on the other side.

"Oh Alex I was just on my way out. You haven't seen Jon have you?" The party was remarkably smaller now, only a few people were lingering. "He went out for a smoke almost an hour ago and no one has seen him since."

"Umm ....the last time I saw him was in the yard a little earlier. I'm sure he can't be far. Sorry I can't help you more, I've been out in the guest house sorting through some of this gear" Alex indicated the bulky camera bag slung over her shoulder.

"That's fine. Thanks anyway, I'm sure he'll show up...eventually. He's seems to enjoy his own company more than mine these days...humph, listen to me whinge! The joys of marriage honey, don't go there if you can help it....sometimes it's just not worth the grief." Dot sighed.

At that moment two things happened. Alex watched Jon enter and move towards them from across the room, and a pair of strong arms wrapped around her accompanied by familiar voice "Too late, isn't it sweetie," and then to Dot, "she's already spoken for!"

Alex spun around so fast she almost knocked Rick over. "Oh my God, you're here!" She threw her arms around her his neck and kissed him deeply.

Jon who had made it as far as Dot's side looked on in horror as his lover surrendered to another. His body tensed as he watched the kiss deepen, Alex's hands tenderly cradling her lovers head, her fingers entwined in his hair as they had once been in his. He watched her pull away, then deliver another chaste kiss to his lips before stepping back, at which point Jon averted his eyes.

Dot looked on with an amused grin. "Ain't love grand. What I wouldn't give to feel that kind of passion again." It was the second time that Dot had hinted at trouble in her marriage. "I'm telling you sweetie, let him put a ring on that finger and it will be all over. Now who may I ask is this gorgeous hunk of a man."

"Oh my goodness, where are my manners. Dot, Jon this is my boyfriend Rick"

"Fiancé" Rick interjected.

Alex smiled at him apologetically. "This is my fiancé Rick," she. "Sorry sweetie, it's still so new... I just can't get used to it. Rick proposed the night before I left home for the here." Alex explaind as she snuggled into Rick's side.

"Show them the ring baby." Rick picked up Alex's left hand but it was unadorned. A scowl crossed his face. "You're not wearing my ring?"

"Of course I am silly." Alex reached into the neck of her sweater and pulled out the most magnificent two carat, platinum banded square cut solitaire Jon had ever seen. It was secured around Alex's neck by a platinum chain, he recognised it as one that used to hold a different adornment, his. "I haven't had it altered yet so I have been wearing it here... close to my heart." Alex said as she patted just above her left breast smiling, drawing Jon's attention to an area he really didn't want to be thinking about.

"We'll have to fix that quick smart. I want the whole world to know your all mine. Wouldn't you Jon?" Rick flashed a brilliant smile in Jon's direction and Jon wanted to knock his perfect white teeth out of his head.

"Sure would" He answered, his fake media smile plastered to his face, as his gaze bored directly into Alex's soul.

"I think congratulations are in order" Bruce said as he walked up to them. "Why didn't you tell me you were engaged?" he said taking Rick's hand and shaking it firmly.

"I can't thank you enough for your hospitality Mr Springsteen. I've spoken to Al almost daily and she's been entertaining me with stories of life in your wonderful home. Thank you so much for taking care of my girl." The handsome reporter said.

Rick was just as pleasant as Jon remembered. He understood how people would find it hard not to like him, but he was managing to resist the urge. His entire body felt like a highly tensioned spring ready to unravel. His fists were clenched so tightly at his sides that his nails were digging into the flesh of his palm. C'mon Jonny, get it under control. Your wife is standing beside you, you dumb fuck! But the action was harder to realise than the thought behind it.

"Our pleasure, though I'd be hard pressed to say who's been taking care of whom. She is quite the young woman, your Alex." Bruce laid an arm across Alex's shoulder and pulled her to him in a half hug "Well, why are we all standing here by the door? Come in let's sit...can I get anyone a brandy? Anything?" Bruce asked as he led the way to the lounge. "Oh and Rick... please call me Bruce. I consider Alex part of the family, so you are too. And please make yourself at home, we don't stand on formality here."

"Thanks Bruce...would you have a cold beer mate? I'm parched. It was a rough flight." Rick asked.

The Aussie accent that Jon so adored in Alex was suddenly grating on his nerves.

"Sure...." Bruce got the attention of one of the wait staff, who was busy tidying up. "Anyone else...Brandy's all round?" At the chorus of affirmations, Bruce turned to the waitress and ordered a round of Brandy's and one cold beer.

The party watched as Alex drew away from Rick and went and had a quiet word with the waiter then returned.

"What was that about?" Rick asked her.

"Oh, nothing really... I had a little accident in the guest house earlier. I just asked Barry to send a cleanup crew out. It will be all fixed before we head out to bed." Alex smiled at him gently.

Now seated on the couch nearby Jon flushed a bright shade of scarlet. She had obviously heard his temper get the better of him.


The small group settled themselves on the lounges around the fireplace; they were all that was left of the party now that Patti, who had just joined them, had said her goodbyes to the last of the guests. Alex took up residence on Ricks lap and snuggled in. She had missed him more than she anticipated this last month and was enjoying the closeness once more. Jon's disapproval was not however lost on her. She often caught the stolen glances in her direction and the scowling expressions when he thought no one was looking.

Alex stifled a yawn and it was the opening Rick needed. "I think my woman here needs her bed....and I need my woman so if you'll excuse us..."

"Rick...honestly!" Alex swatted Rick on the arm, blushing prettily.

She used to blush like that for me, Jon thought.

"Honey, we are all adults here. I am sure everyone understands...I mean look at our present company...Bruce and Jon spend most of the year away from their wives...believe me they are no strangers to home comings." Rick stood lifting Alex into his arms in one fluid movement.

"It's been a long time since we've had one like that" Dot said barely audibly.

Alex ignored the comment. "I am aware of that, thanks," she said smiling. "I just didn't see the need to spell it out for them. I'm sure everyone was quite aware of our intentions." She turned to the group as a whole, "I guess this is goodnight everyone. Jon, Dot lovely to see you again. Bruce, Patti, we'll see you in the morning. Please excuse my Fiancé's manners...I'm in the process of training him."

"G'night all. I hope your night will be as good as ours," Rick said winking over his shoulder on the way out the door.

Just before the door closed the group heard the sound of a slap and Rick's response, "Ouch..."He said on a chuckle, "what was that for?"

On the lounges, three people sat with an amused grin gracing their features. The other had a deep scowl.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Chapter 36

Alex immediately fell in love with Bruce's Family. Patti, who was heavily pregnant, welcomed her with open arms, and the small gifts Alex had thought to buy for the children won them over immediately. She quickly fell in with the family's routine and was as comfortable as if she'd always lived there. Patti was immensely grateful for the help Alex gave. Her baby was due shortly after New Year and she had become rather unwieldy.

The entire time she was with Bruce and his family, Alex was observing him. He was a great family man and loved his children and wife dearly. Alex felt privileged and was touched to observe the tender moments Bruce and Patti shared, and hoped that one day she would have that same special bond.

A couple of days before Christmas Bruce came out to the guest house to inform Alex that a few family and friends would be there for dinner that evening, and that they hoped she would join them. Of course Alex accepted with pleasure and immediately made her way to the main house to see if she could assist Patti in the preparations. She was assured that everything was under control, so she returned to the guest house to ready herself for the evening.

Alex dressed simply in dark blue denim skinny jeans and a cream turtle neck cashmere sweater that hugged her curves. Her hair cascaded down her back and she applied only the smallest amount of gloss to her lips. She made her way up to the main house just as the first of the guests arrived. She had met a few of them earlier in her stay, members of Bruce's band and a few locals but there were quite a few others she didn't recognise.

Making her way over to the bar Alex was complimented on her work by several of Bruce's friends. She was glad to know that her work was being recognised. She procured a cup of eggnog and curled up next to Bruce's children, Evan and Jessica, on one of the large overstuffed couches before the fireplace to read them a story. Soon a small group of children had found their way to her, all huddled close by, their eyes excited as she read. So engrossed in the story was she, that Alex didn't notice the new arrivals to the party.

Across the room Bruce greeted his most recent guests. "Jon, Dot, great to see you again. How are you both?"

"Just fine thanks Bruce. Thanks for the invite; it's great to be able to catch up. How are you and the family? Patti must be ready to pop" Jon answered smiling as he shook Bruce's hand firmly

"Yes Patti is!" came a voice from behind him and a poke in the ribs. "How are you both? And where is little Stephanie?"

"All good." Dot answered as she and Patti exchanged kisses.

"Mom's here. She wouldn't surrender the baby so we left her at home." Jon explained.

"How old is she now four months?" Patti asked.

"Actually she'll be seven months next week. She's just about sitting by herself now. Won't be long and Daddy here will be chasing the boys off with a stick. She sure is a Daddy's girl." Dot positively glowed at the mention of her new daughter.

"Well I hate to break up this little mother's club you've got going but I'd like to introduce Jon and Dot to our house guest." Bruce interrupted.

"Of course dear, you go do that and I'll check on the kitchen. Can I get you something to drink on the way?"

"White wine would be lovely thank you Patti" Jon replied.

"Mineral water for me thanks. I'm still feeding" Dot said as she hooked her arm through her husband's.

Done, I'll have a waiter bring them right over. Jon...Dot I'll catch you a little later, we can finish that conversation." Patti waddled off in the direction of the kitchen.

"I feel for her" Dot said watching Patti move away. "It's the worst feeling and the best feeling all at once, so uncomfortable but yet the greatest anticipation."

"I don't know, I feel for Bruce here" Jon said patting his friend on the back as they crossed the room. Then added with a huge grin and a wink "He's the one that has to put up with the whining, and the cravings and the mood swings..."

This earned Jon a slap on the arm from his wife and a nod of agreement from Bruce. Now near the couch Jon was admiring the touching scene before him. Bruce's house guest flanked by his two small children and several others seated on the floor before her as she read aloud, her voice animated. She was obviously enjoying the story as much as the children.

"Can I interrupt for a second?" Bruce asked of the woman.

Alex folded the book closed using her finger as a marker, stood and turned around.

"Jon, Dot" Bruce began "I'd like you to meet Alex Belle. Alex is from Australia and is rapidly becoming world renowned in the world of photography. Alex this is Jon and Dorothea Bongiovi"

Alex didn't skip a beat, "Mrs Bongiovi, Jon... so nice to see you again." She appeared as cool as a cucumber the entire time, while internally her stomach was doing somersaults. She shook Dot's hand first, then extended it towards Jon who stood motionless, his manners abandoning him in shock until his wife jabbed an elbow into his ribs. He took her hand and shook it lightly, the feel of his calloused fingers was almost her undoing but she managed to remain steadfast.

Jon stood in stunned silence. His mouth could not even form a coherent sentence as his brain struggled to reconcile what his eyes were seeing. His Alex, HERE, in the same room with him, in the same room as his WIFE.

"Have we met?" Dot asked curiously, not recognizing Alex as the young lady she met long ago, at a concert on the other side of the globe.

"Yes, quite a few years ago actually, and only very briefly. In Australia, you were there with the New Jersey Tour I believe it was." Alex was surprised at the evenness of her voice.

You know damn well what tour it was. Jon thought. What the fuck is she doing here?

"That same tour I did some photography work for the band, got to know them rather well in the end. It was, shall we say educational..."

"Actually, I do remember Jon talking about a young photographer back then. He didn't mention you were so stunning though. I think I'm lucky to still have a husband" Dot joked, causing Jon to choke on the glass of wine the waiter had just handed him. She didn't know how close it had come.

"Oh hon, are you ok?" Dot began to fuss over her husband.

"Yes Dot I'm fine, just went down the wrong way" Jon became uncomfortable with his wife attentions and brushed her off. "Maybe I just need something a little stronger" Jon caught the attention of the waiter. "Jack straight up."

Trying to control his emotions Jon turned towards Alex "So, Ali...hu...hum, excuse me Alex" he corrected not wanting to use the familiar name he had for her, "What have you been up to since I saw you last? I believe Paul tried to contact you in regards to doing the last leg of the tour with us but you were committed elsewhere."

"Um yes, sorry about that. It seems that my work is attracting quite a bit of attention these days. I actually just came off tour with Bryan Adams. I've worked with quite a few artists in the last two years. Although, I have to say, I haven't had that special... magic I found on tour with you." At her words Jon's pants got decidedly tighter causing him to adjust his stance. Alex loved that she could make him so uncomfortable with just a few well chosen words. "I mean the photographs that come out of that tour are still amongst the best I've done, and I was so young then, so inexperienced. I learnt a lot that tour but you'd be surprised at what I've learned since." Alex continued, running her tongue over her upper lip.

"I was almost wounded by that statement" Bruce interjected. "The work we have done here is just amazing; I thought we had a special connection..."

Alex moved to kiss Bruce on the cheek and embrace him in a half hug. "Oh Bruce, we do...of course we do....I've felt like part of the family here. It has been a wonderful couple of weeks. I feel blessed to be here, truly I do." Jon's jaw clenched, as he felt the familiar stirrings of jealousy grip him.

"Well ok then" Bruce said chuckling. He winked at Jon before adding. "Lucky you're young enough to be my daughter, honey....or Patti may have found herself without a husband. I mean look at her Jon, talented, intelligent, compassionate...she has been just wonderful with the kids and helping Patti, and all that wrapped up in this amazingly beautiful package. How did you ever resist her back then? If I was a single man...."

Dot saved Jon from a response. "Ah, but he wasn't Bruce...we had married that April. The band toured Australia in what was it.." She began.

"November!" Alex and Jon answered in unison.

"Too funny." Dot laughed but a niggling thought in the back of her mind began to play on her.

"Well Dot, we better get to mingling. Alex it was very nice to see you again." Jon said stiffly and began to steer his wife away from his former love. This party was a disaster in the making.

"I'm sorry Jonny, I hope I didn't make you uncomfortable. I forgot you two were together back then." Bruce said apologetically.

"No...no problem Bruce. Actually I'm gonna head out for a smoke. Look Dot, there's Janice...maybe you'd better go say hello. Wasn't she trying to get a hold of you earlier today?"

Jon, made a hasty retreat to the yard. He was reeling. What the fuck was she doing here... in New Jersey? His home town God damn it! He had chased her half way across the world and all the time she was in his own back yard. He had to get Dot out of there. Come and speak to her alone. But how?

His mind began to race. It was an impossible situation. How the fuck could she do this to me? And here...NOW? And damn her fucking insinuations all to hell. Jon's anger began to rise. What was she playing at? And of course Bruce hadn't helped any either. Fuck...Fuck....FUCK!! How could he go back into that room with her? Her and that silky mane of chocolate curls, those pink full pouty lips that had kissed him all over, those soft skilful hands that had caressed his body.....Jon let out a long groan at the sensations his thoughts provoked... anger was rapidly morphing into passion. FUCK, I am so screwed.