Wednesday, December 17, 2008

One-Hundred



Just a quick note - One hundred? Yikes... never thought I'd see it this far. So thank you so much for YOU the readers making it possible and keeping me motivated, you truly have no idea how much it means to me :) so Enjoy!



Jesse cranked the handbrake on and killed the ignition. She leaned back pressing into the headrest and sighed. She was back. Time to go and face him. She'd been in completely a different world driving home and that was obvious when she'd nearly rear ended a Volvo. As much as she wanted to be angry, yell and scream at him she knew she'd just have to hear him out.

Locking the car and adjusting her coat she found her way back to the double doors of the apartment, she jammed her key in the door and opened it walking through to the living area. Jon was lying asleep on the couch, alone. Carol must have gone as there was no sign of anyone.

She stood for a few seconds, just watching him, his hand was strewn across his belly and his head turned to face her. His eyes still closed, with the stray tuffs of cinnamon framing his face. He looked so peaceful, and harmless. Not like the rough mob man she was painting in her head.

She placed her keys and purse down on the table quietly and thought about making some coffee and organizing some dinner when a small groan came from the couch.
His eyes were cracking open as he saw her he went to sit up.

"Jess?"

"Hey, just stay there Hun... I'm just going to get some coffee and I'll be right back." She walked to the couch and pressed her hand against his shoulder when he ignored her. "Just stay. I'm not going anywhere k?" she said softly.

He nodded, his eyes still full of sleep "Ok"

He watched her walk to the kitchen, thank god she was home. That was a good sign right? He'd get time to explain why he did it and what an idiot he was. And pray like hell she'd forgive him.

Jesse made two cups of coffee took a deep breath walking slowly back into the living area. She placed them both down carefully on the table. Jon was still lying with his feet up on the arm of the couch.

"I'm glad your back Jess" he said running his fingers down her arm as she perched herself on the side of the couch. "You are back aren't you?" he asked his eyes fixing on hers and the creases in his forehead deepening.

She nodded "Of course I'm back". The bruising around his face was still a shadow of what had been. She dragged her finger down his cheek slowly. "This could of all been avoided Jon" she said quietly.

Her brown sad eyes hit him hard. Of course it could have been avoided but he was ok right? A few bruises, a cracked rib. It would all heal. "I'm sorry Jess, I made a terrible mistake not telling you" he wrapped his fingers around hers and brought her hand to his lips.

She blinked away the tears that pricked at the corners of her eyes and nodded. "I don't know if I'm angrier that you did it, or more angry you know how to do it? The mob Jon? I mean hell?" the crack in her voice escaped.

He pulled himself up slowly with no protest from her. "Come here" he said patting the space beside him on the couch.

She nodded sliding into it beside him. His arm pulled her close pushing her cheek into his shoulder. She closed her eyes and enjoyed the heavy smell of soap mixed in with male wishing that it was just this without all the complications. It could be.

If she let it.


His fingers ran down her arm as she curled into him and came to rest at the small of her back. He kissed the top of her head and buried his nose into her hair. Always silky and smelled like the jasmine shampoo she used. He felt her settle against him with a soft moan.

He brushed away her hair as his lips connected with her ear "Jesse, I did it to protect you… I can't lose you…ever…the very thought of it has me twisting on the inside" his teeth nibbled on the lobe tugging on in gently. "You're mine to protect"

Tilting back her head, her neck exposed to him he trailed kisses down the arch of her. "Mine" he breathed again.

How did he do this to her? His warm touch that took almost everything away. Every time. No, she couldn't let it happen again. She snapped her head up and pushed him away slowly.

"Not till we've talked" her eyes fell to his lips. Maybe just one kiss….. She leaned forward and let him press his against hers. His tongue lifted under her upper lip before plunging right in. Her hands slid up his neck and into his hair grabbing and wanting.

The moan that left her mouth vibrated into his as his hand hooked under her shirt and up across her skin. If she didn't stop it shortly she knew it wouldn't at all. She'd missed him, missed his heat so much.

Her lips left his and kissed along his jaw, disappearing down his neck scraping her teeth across his Adam's apple. The growl in his throat vibrated against her mouth as she fingered the opening of his shirt desperate to feel the warmth against his skin.

"Jess….." it came out more like a hiss as he pulled her top right off over her head.

His lips found hers again, hungrier this time he lost his hands in her hair as the taste of her consumed him.

Her heart raced against her chest, she had to stop him. "Jon" she managed between a kisses "we need to talk….." her skin was aching for his touch, it had been too long.

"I need you Jess…. "He slid his lips down across her shoulder nosing the strap of her bra off. "Talk…." The kisses burned her skin lower over the soft curve of her breast. "Later…."

Her hands knotted through his hair tugging as the tip of his tongue circled the tip of her breast. "Shit" she muttered as the pleasure began to wash away anything else.
His mouth scooped her nipple right in and sucked gently as she fell back against the cushions.

The smell and taste of her skin was driving him wild. It had been too long, god he'd missed this. This is what kept the hope and determination alive when he was held by Jason.

This moment right here.

He tugged the other half of the bra down to pop her breasts free of the lace. One hand clutched the small of her back as he drank from her. His movements were slow and deliberate and kept the pain at bay as he changed to her other breast, nipping and teasing his way to her orgasm.

"I need you" was all she could manage. His hot mouth was destroying her piece by piece. He laid her right down before shrugging out of his shirt and reaching for her jeans tugging them down her legs.

He devoured her belly up his mouth searching, biting its way up over her ribs. He wanted every part of her.

The room was blurring in front of her eyes as he licked, bit and sucked his way over her torso and back up over her breasts. Teeth scraped up her neck before he swallowed her breath.

Her arms wound around smoothing over the blades in his back before she gripped his skin. He'd found the center of her. Her breathing hitched as his fingers slid under the scrap of lace and teased down her slit before sliding in.

"Oh god" she cried arching her body off the couch into his. Her world became focused on just one thing. Him. The way his chin dragged across her skin and the way his hands brushed against her knowing how to kill her. Oh god had she missed this.

He bit down on her bottom lip and smiled into the kiss as his fingers pumped her spiraling any thoughts of being gentle and slow far from his mind. His cock was thrumming and desperate to be inside her.

She reached down and found the heavy buckle of his jeans un-threading his belt between the hot kisses he was still lathing on her. The belt hit the floor with a clunk as she found his zip springing his cock right into her hands.

Massaging him slowly she circled her thumb around the tip and stroked along the shaft with her fingers.

"Fuck" he mumbled onto her lips thrusting downwards giving her more access to her hands. Her touch was something he'd missed. People often argued sex was sex. But with Jesse, god was it different. She knew exactly what buttons to push. His eyes crossed as the pad of thumb pressed against his sac gently.

"Fuck I've missed you" he growled knowing he wouldn't take the torture much longer.

"Me too" she kissed his nose as he shook out of his jeans.

"Are you ok?" she asked still wary he was very much bruised.

He didn't even answer her as he lifted his leg up over his shoulder as he pushed forward sliding right into her. He braced himself over her with his hands sinking into the couch on either side of her as he continued to drill.

She closed her eyes as he took her to their place. The one where no one could touch them. There were no ex-husbands and no stupid arguments there. Just them.

Her hands splayed across his back as she reached up nipping at his chin, urging for more. She searched and he gave. Rolling her hips into her deeper he groaned. The tightness he felt right there nearly had him. This woman did things to him without even trying.

"Jon" she moaned, feeling her body start to tremble and her arms shake as she held onto him.

The overwhelming desire to plunge into her and complete them both was there but he held back just easing in and taking his time. His head dipped and his lips slid down her neck reaching her breast as he nipped and took while his movements continued.

Her mouth desperate to find his again as her tongue plunged in. “More, I need more” she pleaded as her hips pressed back in time with his.

He shifted her scooping his hands under her shoulders pulling her in closer “Jess, I’ve missed you so much” his mouth scraped across her jaw till he pressed a kiss at her forehead. His movements quickened, the sweat sliding between both of their bodies as he was reaching his point.

“Please...now” her breath caught in her throat as she tightened around him, the lust and passion towards him almost becoming too much to handle. The air around them was growing thick with their moisture and the sounds of skin to skin slapping echoed through the room.

He looked down at her, sweat beading down her temples and her cheeks flushed with their sex. Her dark hair strewn across the cushions as he pressed his body closer into hers. He groaned feeling her hard nipples against his chest. “Christ”.

“Oh god Jon.... Jon....” her body began to shake under him as she gave it to it all.

The explosion of light blinded her eyes as she cried out, her toes curling into the upholstery of the couch.

His balls clenched and he followed suit spilling deep into her, the throaty shout leaving his mouth. “Yes...” Her eyes locked with his as they both rode through it.

It had been too long. Far too long.

He swept back the hair from her face, plastered there by sweat and pressed his lips on hers. “God, I love you”

She fluttered her eyes and ran her hands down his arms as she kissed him back. “Ditto” she was exhausted. Thoughts of talking had long passed. All she wanted to do was curl up and sleep.

“Bed?” he asked “We’ll have a late dinner...I haven’t finished with you yet” his lopsided boyish grin made her laugh.

“Bed” she agreed.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chapter Ninety-Nine





Jesse drove downtown through the bustle of afternoon traffic. Her eyes were focused on the whizzing cars in front of her but her mind was somewhere else. Gripping the steering wheel harder she wondered, was this the right thing? Running off to your fianc├ęs ex-wife? She of all people would know him the way Jesse was trying to still wrap her head around.

“Dammit” she swore slamming on her breaks as the flash of a red range rover cut in front of her. She rested her head on the wheel for a second, why did you have to go and do this Jon? Why?

A blast of a car horn snapped her attention back and made her press down on the gas again as traffic started to move. She curled her fingers around the wheel tighter as she pulled into the street where Raphael’s’ was.

Was she really being unreasonable here? He did it to protect her and his family. What more could she possibly ask for? But to have someone actually beat him up? She shook the small shiver that crept down her back away.

Her cell phone shrilled back into life, five seconds away from turning it off she saw her best friend’s name flash on the digital display so she flipped it open and tucked it quickly under her ear.

“Hi Kia”

“Hey Jess, where are you? Jon just called to see if I’d heard from you and when I asked why he just said that you’d left in a hurry. What’s happened?”

She let a deep sigh out “We’ve had a fight, kind of big one” she said simply.

“Jess, where are you? He’s really worried. Did you want to meet?”

The skyline blurred again as she desperately bit back tears “I’m just going for a drive. I needed space. He shouldn’t be worried” She couldn’t tell Kia where she was going. She’d think Jess was crazy.

“Jess you’re killing me here, what’s going on? He wouldn’t tell me. He didn’t hurt you did he?” the panic rising in her friends voice.

“No Kia, he didn’t hurt me…physically anyway” she murmured. God, she couldn’t even bring herself to say it.

“JESSE ADAMS, tell me what the hell is going on” Kia blasted.

She pulled into a parking space and jammed on the handbrake. “He called goons on Jason Kia. That’s what caused Jason to take him and do what he did to Jon” she grabbed her purse and coat and opened the door to the car.

“What? Why did he do that? Goons? Like Mob goons?”

“Yes Kia, mob goons” she snapped.

“Holy shit! You can’t be serious…. Well did he say why?” she asked.

“Because I didn’t press charges, so he took it upon himself to make sure that Jason didn’t come after me or his family. Protection” she bit her lip. That part still got her. He went that far to protect the ones he loved. She should be overjoyed he loved her so much. But right now, she couldn’t.

“Oh god, Jess I’m so sorry. Does he have a whole history with the mob or something? He doesn’t do dodgy dealings with them?”

Jesse’s eyes widened, she hadn’t thought of that. How did he even come to know this sort of company? God knows what sort of company he was keeping away from her? Her mind spiralled into a thousand thoughts when a figure waved her down. Dorothea.

“Kia, I’ve got to go I’m just driving for a bit and need to clear my head. I’m fine, I’ll call you back” he snapped the phone shut and turned it off slipping it into her purse.

She walked up to Dot who opened the door for her “Hi Dorothea, thanks for coming” she said as both of the woman entered the bar. They took a corner booth, Dot shrugged out of her fur collared coat.

“Jesse, I’ve got to say I was surprised to get your call” she pulled out her cigarettes “You mind?” she asked as the waiter came to take their orders.

“No it’s fine, I’ve got half of mind to take one myself but I won’t. I’ll have a Jack Daniels and cola” she told the waiter.

Dot chuckled and ordered a glass of white wine “The hard stuff at this hour of the day? Ok what’s happened” she asked flicking her lighter into life.

Jesse waited till the waiter had left and pressed her hands flat on the table. Her arms still shook a little as she tried to regain composure. “I just don’t know what to do or think…” she stuttered blowing out a deep breath.

“Honey, what’s he done to get you all shook up like this?” she asked concerned.

The waiter soon returned placing the drinks down in front of them. Jesse took a deep swig letting the coppery liquid burn to her belly. She ran her finger around the rim of the glass “You remember my ex-husband, the one that beat Jon up…well it turns out he might have been provoked…by Jon” she finished.

Dot flicked her ash and took a deep drag “Provoked? How so?”

“He called on some friends, I never knew he had… to pay Jason a visit if you get what I mean” she said not making eye contact with her.

Dot leaned back and held her cigarette up lace in her fingers “Ahhhh he’s still got those contacts huh?” she asked sympathetically.

Jesse’s gaze shot up meeting hers “You know about all that? He told you?” she asked feeling the anger boil in her gut. Why hadn’t he trusted her enough?

Dot shook her head “No, he never told me. I found some papers and things once in his study. Did some investigation and realized what he was doing” she picked up her wine and brought it to her lips. “It was when he had a problem with a crazy fan a few years ago now, he needed help to get them off his case and the police weren’t really all that interested so Jon took it in his own hands”

“He had a fan beat up?” Jesse asked feeling the thud of her heart against her chest.

“No, god no just had them check it out and apply a warning… you know slashed tires that sort of thing” Dot said gently. “I let it go, I figured he had to do it to feel safe. So I couldn’t blame him you know?” she asked.

Jesse’s fingers curled around the glass, “I see, well you’re stronger than I would have been. I just feel….” hurt, sad that he’s like this? Betrayed?

“You feel like now you don’t know him?” she asked.

Jesse nodded rubbing her hand across her tummy. “Yeah, I guess that’s it. I mean I never thought he was capable of it”

“Jess, I went through the same thoughts at the time I found all this out and believe me I was angry at first… especially since it’s not just me I had to think of. I have the kids to worry about as well. But then it dawned on me. He was doing all this for us and for the kids.” She swirled her wine around in her glass. “One thing about Jon is that if he doesn’t get what he wants … he will go and try and get it himself. At almost any cost”

“I can see that now. He always wants to fix things and he was so angry when I wouldn’t press charges against Jason and I wanted to… I just…” she closed her eyes and sighed “God this is such a mess”

Dot chuckled “So in this case Jon didn’t push you to do it. He respected your decision because he loves you. Doesn’t mean he had to accept the outcome. He obviously wanted to make sure of your safety and the kids. Jon will do anything for those closest to him… anything Jess so in a way you should feel glad he loves you that much to risk his creditably dealing with guys like that” Dot said.

Jesse leaned back against the cool leather “God, you’re right and I know that’s why he did it. And the kids. He’d do anything for them but its just so hard coming to terms with it”

“Take this advice, if you truly love him and I know you do. Accept that part of him. I know it doesn’t make it right but one thing about Jon is he doesn’t change all that often. It’s just who he is.”

She was right. Jesse knew that even before she came here that it didn’t change how she felt about Jon at all. She covered her eyes with her hands “God I’ve made such a mess of all this haven’t I?”

Dot chuckled “No you haven’t. You’ve reacted the way I would of, well should of”

Jesse smiled “He is something else that’s for sure, do you ever miss him?”

Dot nodded “Of course I do, it’s hard not having him around all the time for the kids but even when he toured he wasn’t around a lot. You’ll learn that when they tour next. Just a word of advice don’t let it go too long without seeing him. I doubt he’ll let you far after the mess of what happened when he toured last with us. As independent as Jon is, he needs to be needed and I just didn’t in the end”

Jesse nodded. She was surprised how honest Dot was being with her. But she needed to hear it, and Dot must have known it. “I’m kind of like that too in a way... maybe that’s why we connected so well”

Dot relit another cigarette and signalled to the waiter for two more drinks. “It must be, he loves you Jess. He made a point of telling us all when it came to you there was no negotiation you were in his life to stay” she added.

“I know, he has been pretty great through everything even at the beginning when he knew how nervous I was to date again and he waited” she said recalling the earlier days.

“Do you still love your husband?” Dot asked.

Jesse caught the breath in her throat. She was caught a little off guard at that one. But shook her head “No, not like I love Jon” she admitted it finally to herself. “Of course there is always going to be that history, I guess like you and Jon… but that part of my life is over. It was over when they told me he died”

“God yes, that must have been awful and awful still to realise he was actually alive this whole time. I can’t imagine what that was even like” she said.

Jesse managed a small chuckle “God, no it was terrible. But you know Jon was so good and patient through the whole thing. I guess I need to try and understand now, it’s just hard”

“You’ll make it through, I know I can tell. Jon’s different with you. He won’t make the mistakes that we both did when we were together”

“You think so?” she asked hopefully. This was crazy; she was seeking advice from his ex-wife of all people. But somewhere inside her it just felt right.

Dot finished the rest of her glass before setting it down “Go home and talk to him, he’ll be going crazy. Especially since he’s immobile right now it will be driving him insane he can’t just run after you”

Jesse cringed “Yeah he tried that and didn’t get too far. He’s a hopeless patient”

“Honey you’re preaching to the converted here, he’s a nightmare. Now go Jess, talk to him. Just tell him how you feel and he’ll tell you why he did it…”

She laughed “God, yes I’m sure you’ve been through it all”

As they stood Dot collected her coat “He’s worse than Romeo and Jakey when they’re sick combined”

“God thanks, I’m in for a whole lot more fun” if we can work things out that is.

“Thank you Dot, I know it was a weird thing for me to do but you really helped. I guess I just needed someone that had been there in the situation to ground me a little” she shrugged back into her coat and picked her purse and fished for her keys. She needed to go home and see him. Do exactly what Dot had told her and talk to him. Honestly.

Dot smiled and gave her a quick hug “Your welcome, let us know if there’s anything we can do for you guys in the coming days. I know the boys are itching to see him again soon, take care Jesse” she went to walk out and stopped mid step.

“And Jesse if you ever need to talk, you know just in general about anything or have a drink. Give me a call k?”

Jesse smiled feeling tears prick at the corner of her eyes “Thanks I will Dorothea”

She watched her leave and Jesse made her way back to the car. She strapped herself in and turned on her phone, and as expected it was flooded with missed calls and texts from Jon.

It was time to go home.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ninety-Eight




She'd walked in just in time to hear not only Carol suggest that she should be the one to blame for Jon's run in with Jason, but also that he’d taken things into his own hands and hired goons to “deal” with him? Who was this man?

The ceramic mug thunked on the carpet and hot coffee spilled across the cream fibres. Her heart thumped in her throat, and her hands shook. She couldn't fucking believe it. He'd really been that stupid and never told her? And worse, was he ever going to?

"Jess, shit" Jon went to lurch on instinct out of the chair but winced as the pain ripped through his chest "Fuck it" he swore sinking back down. "Jess" he said again beckoning her over to him.

But she remained glued to the spot "You did what?" she asked calmly. Still aware of Carol in the room she wanted nothing less to lose it in front of her and have anymore displeased with her and Jon’s relationship.

Carol raised a brow at Jon."Yes Jon you better tell us what you mean you did, set some guys? What guys?"

He looked straight into the brown startled eyes, to find anger that he'd never seen before. His eyes fell to her hands which curled into tight balls. "Ma. Can I talk to Jesse alone?" he asked her. He had major explaining to do and the fire in her brown eyes told him it’d better be good.

Carol looked surprised but nodded "Ok sure I'll just—"

"Don't bother Carol, I just remembered somewhere I need to be" Jesse said not even picking up the mug that had fallen at her feet, she snatched her pursed and keys off the table.

"Jesse please, don't go let me explain" Jon said, damn it why was he so stupid to let that one slip? Fuck. She was angry and her everlasting small shred of loyalty to that fucker was evident in her eyes. "I had to do something" he said.

She threw her hands in the air and laughed "Why because I didn't lay charges against him? You went behind my back and got your "boys" to pay him a little visit? What are you Marlon Brando?" she asked.

"Jess it was a stupid thing to do, obviously... I see that now. Fuck I paid for the mistake did I not?" he growled angrily his own fingers digging into the leather arm of the couch. He understood her anger, he did. He should have never done something so stupid and if he could make the decision again he wouldn’t.

She blew her breath out and shook her head "I'm not sure if I'm angrier that you called the mob on him, or that you actually KNOW the mob. Maybe you're not the man that I thought you were" she spat. It just came out. Who was he? She spent years thinking she knew who Jason was, her husband but turned out she never knew him at all. And now, she was engaged to a man she again thought she knew. The diamond on her finger blurred in her vision as she fought to hide the emotion.

Damn him being restricted he wanted to grab her and hold her against him to show her that he wasn't like the man she was making him sound like.

"Jesse please don't say that, I had to protect you and the kids. What else could I do? What if he hadn't come after me? What if he'd gone after them or you? I would have never forgiven myself if anything happened to either of you" he said.

"It still doesn't excuse what you did Jon…" she said quietly. She hated that Carol was here, she didn't want to discuss this in front of her.

She grabbed her coat and tugged it on roughly. "I'm going out, I'm sure your mother can look after you" she said hurrying towards the door.

Jon lurched himself out of the couch and grunted as the pain ripped through him. He clutched his middle as his mother cursed him.

"Sit down Jon, for god's sake" she said settling him back on the couch.

"Jesse" he growled before taking a deep breath "Please stay, talk to me"

She turned back turning the door knob "I can't even look at you right now" she said before she exited and clicked the door behind her. She had no idea where she was going. Her hands soaked with the warm splashes falling from her eyes.

How could he do this? What sort of man did this? Not her Jon, so she thought. God damn him. She wrapped her arms around her body as the lift doors closed. Somewhere deep inside her she knew he'd done only what he thought was the best thing to do in the situation. He had to take control. That was Jon.

As the lift pinged on the ground floor, she had no idea where she was going. She just kept walking. Disappearing into the downtown Soho bustle, she jumped feeling her cell phone vibrate through her purse. She didn't even look. She knew it would be Jon. So she kept walking not knowing where she was headed. Just that she had to put some distance between her and Jon.

~

"Dammit" he raked his hand through his hair and slammed down his phone hearing her voicemail. It was never meant to be this way. She was never of meant to know.

Carol shook her head and sat back down next to him. "Oh Jon, what were you thinking trying to take things into your own hands. I know that you thought you were only doing what you needed to baby…but the mob? I thought you were past all that" she said.

His hands found his face "Mom, I just didn't know what else to do.I'm sorry I did but I still stand behind why I did it. I don't care what he did to me. Better me than her, or my children I’ll stand by that forever."

"Why didn't you get her to press the charges? This all could have been avoided..."

"Don't. I'm sick of hearing it. I respected her decision on that. I'm not blaming her for doing it. I do understand in a funny way why she didn’t. But now she has to understand where I am coming from. No one is wrong. Each person just did what they thought that was right" he leaned back and closed his eyes.

"And yes this was wrong" he admitted gently. Yes Jason lashed out at him because of what he did. He realized that now.

"Well she'll calm down Jonny, just give her time"

"God I hope so, I love her Ma. I’m used to having her around and I didn’t want to fuck it up” he popped his knuckles.

Carol furrowed her brow and nodded “I can see that. I didn’t want to admit it but she’s a good woman. You know I still have reservations on you and Dorothea splitting but it’s not my business. But Jesse’s ok, and the kids do like her a lot”

Jon smiled “Yeah they do, she’s been great with them through all this and I want to marry her as soon as the divorce is final. I didn’t see myself marrying so soon after all this but I want to as soon as everything is final”

Carol nodded “That’s fair, and I am assuming under the circumstances her marriage would or could be annulled”

He sighed “I have no idea but if she ever forgives me for what I’ve done. We’ll find out. I just want to move on from all this”

Carol sat down next to her youngest son and took his hand “She loves you too much Jonny. A woman can see a woman in love too easily, and she loves you… a lot” she said.

“Thanks Ma. I appreciate it”

~

Jesse had been walking for an hour or so and when she looped back to the apartment she stood at the entrance on the street and looked up at the looming building. She was still far too angry to go in. All the scenarios had gone into her head on her walk but still came with the final result which was that he’d paid someone in the mob to beat up her ex-husband. Crazy or not, it was still wrong.

She kneaded her fingers into her arms, god what do I do? Maybe the one person that knew Jon would be able to help her see sense though this. His ex-wife.

She walked into the underground parking lot and flipped open her phone dialling Dorothea. The number still there from where Jon was in hospital.

“Jesse?” she asked surprised.

“Hi Dorothea, sorry to ring you. I just don’t know who else to talk to. You’re probably the last person that wants to hear about this but I need your advice. On something that’s happened” she nervously explained finding her keys and jamming open her door.

“What’s he done?” she asked seriously.

“Can I meet you somewhere?”

“I’m still in the city. How about I meet you a Raphael’s in thirty minutes, we’ll get a drink and talk”

“I know where it is, I’ll see you soon” she closed her phone, This was nuts. His ex? But just on her brief encounters with Dorothea she knew if anyone understood the way his mind worked it was her. And Jesse needed to understand him. She didn’t want to lose him over this.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ninety-Seven




Jesse stepped out of the shower and tucked the towel around her before piling her hair on the top of her head and slapping some moisturizer on her face. They'd been home a few hours. Jon had taken up residence on the couch, watched a movie, read a book and checked his emails. So far so good for the patient.

She fastened her watched to her wrist, it was just about dinner time and she needed to get on with it. Dot was bringing the kids around for a short visit after dinner. The phone shrilled through the apartment it had gone nearly nonstop since Jon had been home. Jon must have picked it up as it stopped ringing by the time she'd flown through to the bedroom to answer it. She pulled on her jeans and a tight v-neck before padding out to the living area. She raised an eyebrow at the empty couch and looked around.

"Jon?" she asked. The only reply she got was a curse and a thud from the kitchen.

She rolled her eyes and made her way to the kitchen and stood with her arms crossed at the sight.

"What are you doing?"

Jon looked up with half of the coffee pot the lid on the ground beside him which he couldn't bend down and collect from the tenderness still in his ribs.

"Making coffee?" he asked with a sheepish grin.

Jesse scooped the lid up off the ground "You shouldn't be, go and sit back down" she said sternly struggling to keep the small grin sliding on her lips. She wanted to be mad but hell, it was him.

"It's just coffee, not rocket science Jess" he said, here it comes. Those damn big blue puppy dog eyes that she had to ignore for the next few weeks.

"Sit down and I'll make you a coffee, who was on the phone?" she asked seeing the cordless lying on the bench beside where he was the standing.

"The police, they just wanted to let us know, Jason's prelim hearing in on Friday, I'll call my lawyer tomorrow to arrange our case" he nodded as he scuffed slowly from the kitchen.

She nodded "Ok sounds good, are they still holding him downtown?" she asked.

Jon reached behind his head and scratched his neck "He's out on bail. Seems his parents have paid it, he's staying with them." He hoped she wouldn't freak out too much. Jon wasn't exactly thrilled about the prospect that he was out but he had security at the apartment and would arrange if Jesse went out she would have someone with her at all times.

"Ok" she said quietly. She grabbed the canister of coffee and scooped some into the filter.

"Hey, he won't get near us ok" Jon said coming up behind her and wrapping his arms around her carefully. "You're not leaving my sight and you're my personal nurse remember?" his nose nuzzled into the line of her neck. The familiar scent of Vanilla and honey was fresh off her.

"I know. I wish I had a chance to ask him why he did this Jon" she said clicking the machine into place and slotting the pot on the element. She just wanted to know why he did this, what the hell had gone so wrong? Had the real Jason lost out completely?

"Because he's fuckin crazy. That's why Jess. You don't need to worry about him anymore. I know deep down you still do. I get that. But seriously did he worry about you? He wanted to hurt me to get to you? That's not love Jess, that's mad delusional behaviour you understand that right?" he asked kissing her neck gently.

"Of course I do Jon, it doesn't make it any easier to accept but you're right" she conceded. She grasped his hands around her middle and squeezed them.

"Good, now bring me my coffee woman" he teased before releasing her and going back to the couch.

Jesse chuckled and reached for two mugs. Jon was right. But why did this little thing inside her niggle away? Did she need closure? Did she need to tell him that he was dead to her and she'd never forgive him for what he did and almost did? Maybe she did need to just let it go.

She carried them back through carefully placing them down on the table in front of him before sitting on the couch next to him and pulling her knees up to her chest. She rested the cup on her knees and watched him.

"What?" he asked curiously. Sometimes he couldn't believe that he had been lucky enough to meet Jess so soon after Dot. The way they were so comfortable with each other now, he knew that he was meant to be with her for the rest of his life. It surprised him but really one thing that the incident with Jason had made him realize is he didn't want to be without her. Ever.

"Nothing, just looking" she teased sipping her coffee "and deciding what I want for dinner. What do you feel like?"

He leaned back, wincing a little as he stretched "I don't mind baby, make just order take out, that way you don't have to leave the couch and can stay here right with me" he said with a sloppy grin.

"Yeah you'd like that wouldn't you? Does sound tempting though. Maybe I'll order Chinese" she said reaching over for the other phone. "Then we'll be done before the kids get here"

He reached over and trailed a finger up her jeans to her knee "Maybe even time for something else" he grinned.

She snorted "Like we'd even be able to do that… you'll be in too much pain darling" she said hitting the speed dial for the takeout place. She ordered the usual what Jon and her had and then hung up.

"Aw now come on we can at least try" he said tugging her by the end over to him. She moved and slid in beside him reaching up to kiss him on the lips.

"I've missed you Jess" he said letting her rest against his body, his hands rode down her v-neck and his fingers inched up the hem.

"You know I've missed you too but Jon, come on you'll injure yourself" her breath warm on his mouth.

"What do you think I am? Acrobatic?" he laughed, his palms were heavy against her skin. Just being with her, close to her was driving him all kinds of freakin crazy again. His cock twitched in his pants. Thank fuck that's not broken.

She fell into him, moaning when his hands brushed against the lace on the underside of her breast. His thumb scraped out and over her nipple.

"Say no to me Jess, I'll pull away if you can say no" his eyes danced with a delicious darkness that she knew well. He had her. Damn it.

She wrapped her hand around his neck, teasing the loose locks at his nape with her fingers drawing him closer, she needed more. She wanted more. He was back. Her Jon just as he was. He still smelled like deep spice and tasted like rich coffee. "Jon" she breathed, trying not to give in but it was a lost cause.

"See what you do to me?" he asked pulling her hand down to his tight denim. She cupped him lightly forcing the moan from his mouth to vibrate in her own. She wasn't really sure what to do next, she couldn't push him down on his back… and he couldn't push forward.

She pulled away "Jon, we can't do this, you're going to get hurt" he didn't release his grip under her breast.

"Do I look like I'm in pain Jess?" he asked letting his mouth slide down her neck. She inhaled sharply and clutched his head with her hand, letting her fingers splay through his cinnamon hair.

"No" she managed as the warm breath on her neck made he tingle right down to her toes.

"Do I look like I want to stop?" he whispered shifting his attention back up her neck, across her chin resting finally at her lips. He tugged her full bottom lip into his mouth dragging his teeth across it.

She was one second away from reaching for his fly when the buzz of the door brought them back to life. She glanced at her watch; it was too early for Dot.

"Dammit" he swore.

"Who would have got past security?" she asked slipping off the couch. Only Jon's family had been given clearance, or Richie and Kia.

"I don't know but they deserve to be maimed" he grumbled.

"What?" Jesse laughed raising her brow back at him swinging open the door. Men.

Carol Bongiovi was standing there clutching her handbag under her arm dressed in her white Versace pant-suit. She managed a crinkled smile "Hi Jesse, how's the patient doing?"

"As expected, a little restless after only six hours of being home" she said motioning for her to come in.

"Mom? What are you doing here?" Jon asked. Sometimes he wondered how it was his family had impeccable timing.

"What? Can't a Mom come and see her son unannounced?" she teased giving him a kiss and sitting down next to him.

"Tea?" Jesse called already half way to the kitchen.

"That would be wonderful, thank you" she said crossing her legs "So how are you? Jesse taking good care of you?" she asked.

Jon smiled "What sort of question is that?"

“I’m pleased to hear it, you’re looking much better than yesterday, Matt and Tony send their love. They’ll try to ring tonight”

“Thanks Ma, god what a nightmare. Let’s just hope the nutcase is locked away for a long time” Jon said leaning back closing his eyes.

Carol looked towards the kitchen “You know that this could have been all avoided if she’d laid charges in the first place”

Jon rolled his eyes, trust his mother. “Yes Mom, and Jesse is well aware of that. This is not her fault. Jason was obviously highly strung” and I didn’t make it any better by setting Big Tony onto him.

“Well I’m sorry Jon it’s true. This all could have been avoided and you wouldn’t be sitting here looking like an advertising campaign for violent crime” she said.

“Mom” Jon warned, Christ this was the last thing Jesse needed to hear right now. But it was his mother never one to hold back her opinion. “Jesse isn’t the one to blame here. If anything it’s me, I’m to blame”

Carol raised an eyebrow at him “How the hell so? I know you like fixing things Jon but that is a ridiculous thing to even suggest” she said.

He was never going to get any peace this way, and damn if he’d have her think that Jesse was to blame here. “I set some guys onto Jason a week or so back. I tried to make this all go away the wrong way, that’s how I tried to fix it Mom, so you can stop blaming her”

Carol was about to answer when a clunk came from the other side of the room and Jesse stood with her jaw wide open and her eyes wide “What?” she asked dumbfounded.

Oh shit.

Sorrrrrry



Thanks so much for the comments/emails for the new chapters, November has been one of those months work-wise etc and working on the Novel November Project that is taking alot out of me :) But be rest assured that Jesse & Jon are still firmly in my mind and will be back shortly, I'm hoping a chapter will be done TONIGHT so thanks so much for your patience and continued support, it always means the most. So just to let you know I haven't forgotten or neglecting my girl, lol ;)

Ohh and I finally started my own HOME page A Little Bit of Soul

Check it out, I will post updates and other assorted ramblings there if you are ever interested. :)


*muah*
T

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ninety-Six




Two days later Jesse was locking up the apartment to go and pick Jon up from hospital. He was coming home today earlier, on strict instructions to take it easy for a couple of weeks. She knew for the man that could never keep still, this was going to be a task and a half for her. Dot and Carol had arrived and surprisingly been supportive to her and grateful that she was there for the kids when it had happened. She’d left them to take the kids to see Jon and now the kids were back living at home.

She’s scooped her keys and cell into her purse when the rap at the door stirred her from her thoughts. She shrugged into her woollen coat and unlinked the door. To her surprise Dot was standing there clutching her handbag under her shoulder.

“Hi Jesse” she smiled.

“Hi Dot, I wasn’t expecting you. I was just on my way to collect Jon” she said checking her watch. She still had plenty of time.

“I know, I’ve just dropped the kids off at school and was in the area and thought I’d pop in. “I won’t stay, you’ll be wanting to get to see Jon there was just something I wanted to say. That has to be said”

Jesse stood back on her heels “Sure, what is it?” she asked cautiously not being able to read the serious look that was so often on the woman’s face.

“I just wanted to say, thank you for what you did for the kids, when this all happened. They haven’t stopped talking about you and both and Carol are so grateful someone like you was around when this happened. Especially for my younger boys, they’ve never had to deal with this sort of thing happening to their father before” she explained rubbing her thumb over her leather arm strap.

Jesse relaxed her shoulders “God, don’t be silly. I was glad whatever I could do got them through it. I was in so much shock myself I had to put them first, I realized that”.

Dot nodded and then smiled. “I know, it can’t have been easy for you. I’m not going to pry but is that whole business with your ex, taken care of?”

The question wasn’t callous, more like the question a concerned mother would ask to be aware of all the risks to her children. Jesse quickly nodded “He’s in custody and Jon’s laid charges against him and so have I. He won’t be getting out anytime soon I can’t imagine. He’s a sick man” she added.

“That’s good to hear, and for what it’s worth I’m sorry you had to go through it all. And if you and Jon need anything in the next few weeks, just let me know. The kids will be busting to see him every moment they can, but I’ll keep visits restricted so he can rest.”

She laughed imagining already Romeo and Jake all over poor Jon. “It’s ok Dot, he’ll want to see his kids. I know he will and I won’t stop that. Hopefully if anything, things like that will keep his mind off anything work related, as he has to rest” She knew it was a tall order for him. But she’d try and help anyway that she could.

Dot snorted “Good luck to you honey. I’ve known the man for years and never once succeeded without coming into nearly blows with him”

Jesse motioned for her to walk with her out, closing the door behind them she pressed the lift button. “God I know, he’s going to drive me insane. Men are bad enough at being patients but Jon? Well he’s a special breed all by himself right?” she turned to ask her.

“Uh huh, you can say that again. Just don’t give in. He’ll push you and he’ll probably want to make you pull your hair out. But just remember, he’s just no good doing nothing. Never has been. Not even as a young man” they both walked into the lift and waited for the doors to close.

“I’ll remember that” she was looking forward to having him home though. Somewhere she knew he was safe. It still hadn’t been determined what would happen to Jason. She’d not seen him. She’d given some thought to going and see him, call it stupid but she needed some form of closure on the subject. She no longer loved him and after what he did to Jon she couldn’t care all that much for him. But there was something still tugging on those heart strings inside of her for him.

Once out in the lobby she turned to Dot “Thanks for coming Dot, I’m glad you did. And get the kids to call tonight. He’d love to hear from them. If you want to bring them over that’s ok too, Anytime. I mean that” she said reaching out and touching her arm.

Dot smiled “You know, when we first met something deep inside me wanted me to hate you. Not because of that fact you’d moved on with Jon. It was the way he looks at you. He never in the whole time we were together, looked at me like he looks at you Jesse.”

Jesse was taken a back; did she really just say that? “Well thank you Dot. I’m sure it’s just different though. People could say the same thing about Jason. I think that when its love second time around it’s different because you appreciate it more. Knowing how much it hurt to lose it the first time.”

Dot nodded “I think you’re right. He loves you Jess, and I still care about him so do me a favour and look after him”

Jesse grinned “I know that, and I love him. More than he probably knows”

“Take care Jess, we’ll talk later. Give my love to Jon” and with that she was gone.

Jesse couldn’t help but let the smile break over her face. She knew it took a lot for a woman like Dot to openly admit that. Everything was going to be ok. She rubbed her finger around her ring and sighed. She would do anything to make sure Jon recovered and got the rest he needed. Anything. She’d already arranged for the two weeks off work. She’d be working from home keeping in the habit of emails and phone calls, working on pieces in between. But she was confident George could take care of things for her at the office sufficiently.

The drive uptown to the hospital was quick and soon she was clicking her heels along the bland corridors happy to know she wouldn’t be coming back here for what would hopefully be a long time.

She tapped her knuckles against the door before striding in. Jon was sitting up, dressed with his legs hanging over the bed. “Hey gorgeous” she gave him a gentle kiss on the forehead. Rubbing her thumb lightly down his cheek she whispered. “You’re looking a lot better” some of the bruising had already started to go down. He still looked like Jake and Romeo had attacked him with a red and purple marker set but it was am improvement.

“Hey Jess, I’m feeling so much better and can I tell you I’m so fuckin’ glad I’m going home” he leaned forward and stroked her lips with his tongue before kissing her. He pulled her by the waist in close to him in-between his legs as the kiss deepened.

“I know you are baby, hospitals are the pits and I’m so glad you’re coming home too. Time for me to dust off that nurse’s outfit” she said with a gleam in her eye. His eyebrow quirked and the smirk set against his lips.

“You have one on those?” he asked gliding his hands down to cup her ass through the denim of her jeans before he slipped his hands in her back pockets.

“I’m not telling. You’ll just have to wait and see” she winked “And be a good boy”

He rolled his eyes and laughed “I’m always good”

“Sure you are” she hooked her thumbs inside the collar of his v-neck feeling the soft cashmere on her skin. One last kiss and she pulled away “So are you all ready to go?” she asked.

“Yep – I’ve been given the all clear. Have to come back in a week for a check up but I’m more than read to go” he attempted to shift off the bed but she stopped him.

“Let’s get you a wheelchair”

“Hell no, I can manage” he tried to push against her hands on his shoulders but winced when he tried as a small tinge of pain shot up his sternum.

“See? This is what I mean Jon, I’m getting an orderly to get us a chair, now don’t move” she said, her eyes growing flat and serious.

He gritted his teeth and mumbled something that was inaudible.

“What?” she asked him crossing her arms.

He sighed “Nothing just get the orderly” he snapped.

She bit back a chuckle. Good god, it was going to be a long two weeks. She found an orderly and soon they had Jon in a chair and she was on her way to the car with him. He’d pulled on a cap and slipped on some sunglasses to ensure that he’d go unnoticed as media had already been tipped off that he was leaving the hospital today.

Once she had he strapped in the car she clicked in her own seat belt and plugged her key in. He looked so miserable, his eyes were dull and his whole body just sagged. He was a little broken so it was expected but she longed to see her Jon, in the way she loved and the way she knew he loved. Full of life and full of confidence.

She reached out and grabbed his hand “It’s going to be ok” she gave it a small squeeze.

He looked across at her and lifted her hand to his lips pressing a kiss against it. “I know Jess, it’s just going to take me a bit to get used to it. I’m going to be an asshole some days. You know that don’t you?” his lips curled into a small smile.

She managed a small chuckle “Oh I know, believe me. I’m prepared” she said remembering the conversation with Dot earlier. She’d do whatever it took to get him back to his normal self. Anything.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ninety-Five




The bed shaking and her hand being lifted caused Jesse to stir the following morning, her eyes opening to big bright blue eyes of a boy’s face that was just inches from hers. “Morning Romeo” she chuckled stretching out her arms and poking him playfully in the side of his ribs. He squealed and erupted into giggles rolling on the bed.

She glanced over at Jake who was stirring and to the clock that sat behind him on the oak bedside table, it was after eight in the morning! Shit, she sat up and felt around for her cell phone which had slipped under the pillow in the night. Flipping it open she saw she had one missed call, a text and a voicemail. She’d missed them contacting her? Shit. She sat up clutching her stomach which had taken a dive-bomb.

HE IS AWAKE. HIS USUAL SMARTASS SELF. RING ME IN MORNING. RICH.

She sighed clutching her phone against her chest, thank god. “Daddy’s awake” she said to the boys happily as she hit Richie’s number to connect.

“Hey Jesse, I’m just on my way home to you. Thought I’d come and relieve you so you could go and see the boy” his deep rich voice chuckled in her ear.

“So he’s ok really? God I must have missed the call, I fell asleep last night. I have no idea how” she said scratching her head surprised she slept so well at all from the worry that had been eating her alive.

“Yep, sure is a little sore but that is to be expected right. But he’s himself and worried about you”

Jesse smiled feeling tears prick at the corners of her eyes “He’s worried about me? Only Jon” she sighed. Here he was lying in a hospital bed, battered and bruised and he was worried about her? God bless his soul.

She hung up from Richie and organised the two youngest some breakfast. While they sat happily in front of the TV with their cereal she walked down to see Steph and Jesse to tell them the good news.

“I want to come” Steph said seriously folding her arms.

“Me too” Jesse chimed in standing right beside his sister.

Jess held her hands up “Ok, I’ll go first though and Jon’s Mom will be here later this morning so you can come and relieve me so I can get back to the boys ok?” she asked. She needed to check with Jon first, not quite comfortable enough on making that decision without consultation and Carol had already suggested that’s what they do.

“OK” Steph grumbled.

Jess patted their shoulders “I know it’s hard but you guys need to get some food and cleaned up its going to be a big day with your mom and Grandma coming back”. Truth is she desperately wanted to see Jon by herself to find out what the hell happened to him, as she knew for a fact he wouldn’t talk so blatantly in front of the kids about it.

Fifteen minutes later Richie was home and she’d had a quick shower, slipped on some jeans and one of his soul football t-shirts leaving her hair hanging loosely around her shoulders. Squirting on some perfume she grabbed her things and was given a list of things by the kids to tell their dad that she squeezed in her pocket before making her way to the hospital. Her thoughts were frenzied as she drove trying to keep her mind on the road. She had no idea what had happened to Jason, assuming that he was in police custody by now.

She parked and quickly raced through the hospital, the click of her heels echoing loudly on the lino floors. Finally she was there, signing in at ICU she rushed to his door. He’d been moved to the far end of the corridor in a more private room. She stood at the doorway, him unaware of her. He was lying with his eyes closed, she breathed a sigh of relief to see the ventilator gone and the heart monitor was off. She still couldn’t bear how battered and bruised his body looked, but realized she’d have to suck it up as healing would be a slow process.

“What are you doing just standing there, I don’t bite?” a voice knocked her out of her thoughts and two familiar blue eyes pierced her gaze.

She smiled and walked in “Hey” she said standing at the edge of the bed, wiping his brow gently with her forefinger. “It’s so good to see you” she whispered leaning down and kissing him lightly against the lips.

“You too baby, you have no idea” he lifted his hand and scraped his thumb across her cheek. “Or I figure that I must be dead if there’s an angel standing right here in my room” he whispered.

She laughed shaking her head “Good to see you can still roll out those lines”
He frowned when she went to pull the chair behind her up, and patted the side of his bed “Sit here Jess”

She nodded and slid onto the side of the bed dangling her legs over the side, clasping his hand in-between hers taking a deep breath. “I’m so unbelievably sorry” she said tightening her grasp on his hand.

Jon’s heart fell at the guilt that clouded her eyes “Hey now. None of that Jess ok? This was no one’s fault except his” his eyes searched her brown ones to give him the agreement he needed from her.

“But if I’d-“

Jon brought his finger to her lips “No Jess, I won’t hear of it. Don’t go there. I won’t allow you to” God she was riddled in guilt, the way her shoulders slumped forward he’d never seen it before. If anything this was his fault, he SET Big Tony onto Jason and probably angered the bastard further.

“I’m ok, just a few broken ribs and bruises...I’ve been worried about you and it seems rightly so. I knew you’d beat yourself up over this Jess. I won’t have any more of it, ok?” he asked. He dragged his finger down her cheek before bringing her hand to his lips.

She nodded “I’m just so glad to see you awake, the kids and I have been so worried”
“How are they?” he asked wincing as he tried to shift up the bed.

She smiled shifting his pillows for him “Unbelievable, in some ways what kept my sanity over the last few hours, the boys have been adorable. And Steph and Jesse have been very brave. They wanted to come but your mother said she’d bring them in, and I didn’t know if you would want them in here” she explained.

“Steph and Jesse would have been ok, but Mom can bring them in. She wanted to come up immediately huh?” he asked cringing knowing what fussing he was in for.

Jesse laughed “Yes, couldn’t have her boy all injured on his own you know, and Dot is coming back early as well”

He pinched the bridge of his nose “Yeah Rich told me that and she’s not going to be happy as she’d been looking forward to that vacation for a long time”

“Come on Jon like you could help it, and we didn’t know ...” Jesse paused meeting his gaze “If you would wake up ok” she finished. “What happened?” she had to ask it had been bugging her from the beginning.

He let a low whistle out when he exhaled “Well he knocked me out on my way into the studio and I woke up tied to the chair, he’d thrown me around a bit...... and you can guess the rest” Jon said absently looking straight ahead.

“Tell me” she said holding his hand tighter.

“Jess, there is nothing to tell he bet the living shit out of me, and wanted me to stay away from you. I said no, fuck you and it went in that cycle” he snapped unintentionally. He cursed himself when he watched her stiffen.

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to snap Jess. I just would rather forget about it until I have to relive the whole story to the police”

She nodded, she understood. He was still angry with Jason that was easy to see. “I know, I just wish this hadn’t happened....you’ve got the album and everything coming up” she said worried how this would affect his schedule.

“Eh, it can wait. It will just be a couple of day’s bed rest” he said confidently. She rolled her eyes.

“It’ll be more than a couple of days Jon, it will be weeks” it was going to kill him. The man that never sat still would have to be bed ridden for a couple of weeks while his body healed.

His eyes grew wide “Uh, no I won’t need that long”

She grinned “It’ll be ok; I’ll be there for you.... every step of the way I’ll take time off to look after you”

“Jess, you’re meant to be going to Milan you’ve got your career to worry about here, I won’t allow it” he said for the second time in minutes.

“You’ve got no say in that one, for better or worse right? That’s what I agreed to when I accepted your proposal” she stated. He wasn’t the only one that could play hardball here. “I’ll forgive myself if YOU let me look after you, do we have a deal?” she asked holding out her hand, her lips poised.

Jon closed his eyes, god she was just like him in the worst way. “You drive a hard bargain woman” he shook her hand. “Doesn’t mean I have to like it” Fuck this was going to be hell. Weeks of doing nothing? If he thought about this logically he could work out how to run the album launch preparations from home somehow... yeah... that would do it.

Jesse already could see his eyes calculating ways to work from home. She knew him too well, and she’d sure as shit be the one to make sure he kept to his end of the deal.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ninety-Four




After Kia left Jess, Stephanie and Jesse watched a movie for a little while. She couldn't even tell you what the movie was if you asked. Her mind kept drifting in and out of best and worst case scenarios and all the things she wanted to tell Jon. That she should of told Jon. Why was it we always waited for these moments in our lives to really tell people how much they meant to us? How much seeing them everyday was worth going to bed that night just so we could get up and see them all over again. He had become that and more to her in just months. It took her years to really fall deeply in love with Jason, and Jesse knew she was already there with Jon. Deeper if that was at all possible.

"Can you ring Uncle Richie?" a voice snapped her back to reality. Stephanie was looking up at her from where the three of them had nestled into the couch. The credits were rolling on the TV.

"Sure sweetie, I'll ring and then we all better get some rest ok?" she asked leaning forward to collect her cell phone where only until recently had it been cradled against her chest. She stood and stretched her legs, her head was heavy and she knew she needed sleep but god knows how that was even going to happen tonight.

The line rang a couple of times until a sleepy voice spoke "Hey Jess" Richie croaked.

"Hi Rich, Just thought I'd ring before we all go to bed for the night. How's he doing?" she asked twisting her fingers at the hem of her sweater.

"He's ok, we had a little moment before, his breathing became a little complicated but they've drained his lung and he's doing fine now" the words stung her like a bee-sting. I should have been there.

"Thank goodness for that and no other changes? Has he come around at all?" she asked. Even though Richie said he'd call she still had to ask.

"No, no change there but he is sedated Jess, so it's not really expected till the morning, how are the kids doing?" he asked.

"Good as can be expected, Carol and Dot will be here tomorrow" she said.

"Great, well as much as that seems daunting it will be good for you to have more of us around and for the kids" Richie said. Jesse knew it was true she'd only met Carol and Dot just the once but at least this time they had all the same vested interest here. Jon's wellbeing and support to the kids.

"I know, ok Rich I better get these two off to bed and myself but ring me if anything changes, anything" she reiterated.

"Promise try and get some sleep Darlin, Jon needs you too ok?" he asked.

"I will" the hung up and again she turned around and smiled at the kids "Right, he's fine they had to clear some of his lung out so he could breathe easier but he's doing ok" she said still gripping her phone tightly. Just get them to bed and them yourself alone in the bedroom. She could feel it coming, the pressure starting to crack and the tears threatening to burst. "Now how about we all try and get some sleep ok?" she asked gently.

Thirty minutes she had the kids all in bed and the apartment was heavy in silence. She had a long hot shower trying to make herself relax, but every time she closed her eyes all she saw was Jon's battered body covered in bruises and plastic. Wrapping herself in a towel she dried herself off and reached for one of his Patriots t-shirts slipping it over her head. Still alive with the scent of him, she curled herself on the bed, too scared to even venture over to the side where he should be right now. It seemed bigger, emptier the space where he'd lay.

White cotton blurred as the tears finally fell and the sobs wracked her body. Her fingers gripped the pillow covering her face so that the noise would be muffled. Bringing her knees into her chest she tried to keep it under control but looked up when she felt the bed move. To her surprise Jake and Romeo were climbing up there bed.

She quickly wiped her tears away and sat up "What's wrong boys?" she asked watching Jake pull his brother up onto the bed with a little effort.

"We heard you cry…..why are you sad?" Romeo asked crawling closer to her.

"Just tired boys, it's been a long day and sometimes when grownups are tired they cry" she said straightening herself, trying to force the tears back. Romeo curled into her.

"When I cry Daddy gives me a hug" his ting hands wrapped barely around her waist but she held his head against her chest while Jake rolled into them both.

"Don't worry Jesse, Daddy's strong. He's superman" he said quietly.

"I know he is. I just miss him that's all" she said quietly taking in the scent of sweet children's shampoo. She wrapped her arms around further to envelope Jakey into the hug that she extended out to him. The comfort of the kids was enough to make her relax, these are the ones she had to be strong for.

"Everything ok?" Steph was standing in the doorway in her striped night shirt.
Jesse smiled "We're ok now, the boys just heard me crying and came to see me, we're good now" she smiled.

"Did you want a drink or anything?" she asked bunching her hand into the material around her hip.

"I'm fine Steph, it's just been a long day. We do need to get some sleep or we'll be no good to your father right?" she managed a small laugh.

"Right, ok night Jess. Behave Jake and Romeo" she wagged her finger at them with a grin.

She eventually fell asleep with the two boys, focused on the happy memories of what the future had to bring for them both. It just had to.
~

The bright light hit him hard, his eyes creeping open then promptly slamming shut at the rude intrusion of daylight. God, the pain. His whole body fell like it'd been dropped from a great height. Then it all came rushing back to him. Popping his eyes open he soon adjusted to the bland white of the room.

"Jess?" he croaked, the one person he needed to know if they were ok. He couldn't smell that vanilla blend that always went with her. Instead the room just smelled like that fresh sterile clean smell everyone associated with hospitals.

“Jon, it’s me Rich you’re in hospital” the head of his best friend finally came into view.

Jon winced before opening his eyes again “Really? I had no idea” Richie laughed and patted his arm.

“Shit so good to hear you again. We were worried for a minute you were brain damaged or something” he grinned.

“Well I feel like I’ve been hit by a fucking train and ...” he reached to his chest “a little hard to breath” each time he exhaled it felt so tight.

Richie leaned over and hit the nurse call button “I’ll get the nurse to come and check you over”

Jan sank back into the pillows closing his eyes “Where’s Jess, please to god tell me she’s safe from that maniac” he managed. The images floated through his mind, the deranged madman still in his face.

“She’s fine, worried sick but she’s got the kids tonight in the apartment. Your Mom and Dot are coming up tomorrow” he explained.

Oh god, just what he needed. “Oh god, they didn’t need to. Dot will be pissed about cutting her vacation short” he muttered.

“Don’t be stupid Jon, you are injured and she needs to be here for the kids. Jesse can’t take care of them and you all at the same time.” He frowned.

“I don’t need taken care of, I’ll be fine” he panted, reaching up and tried to shift his body upright but cried out in pain. “Jesus Christ” he swore, his whole body was burning but with a different sort of fire.

The door clicked open and a heavy set nurse can scuffling in “Now there Mr Bongiovi, we don’t need you doing that, you’ve got some cracked ribs there that will be a little tender still” she explained fussing over him to lye back down. “Take some deep breaths”

“Dammit” he swore as she moved the mask back over his mouth, he did as he was told and his breathing evened out again.

“Good, now if you promise not to move again like that I’ll change you over to the lighter tube” she said uncoiling the clear plastic green tubing and adjusting it across his face just under his nose so the little points directed into his nostrils.
“Do we have a deal?” she asked him.

He nodded god, this was going to be a nightmare he was the type of person that never kept still and this? Fuck it was going to kill him. “Deal” he managed.

Richie looked at his watch, “I need to call Jesse and tell her you’re awake, its three am do you think I should still call?” he asked Jon.

“Just text her, then it’s there if she’s asleep she can stay that way. I can imagine how worried she is” he said. She’d have to be beside herself knowing that her ex-husband was with him, surely now she would see what exactly he was capable of. And finally Jon would be able to press the damn charges against him himself.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ninety-Three




Jesse clicked the ignition off and pressed her head against the steering wheel. She had no idea how she made it home, the roads had been a blur through the tears she couldn’t keep in. But right now it was time to pull it together for those four kids in there waiting for her. Unlatching her belt she leant across to the glove compartment and found her spare makeup bag honing out the compact to tidy her face up. God look you, you’re a mess. They need you, you have to do this. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes to centre herself. Clutching her bag she slammed the door shut and took the lift up to Jon’s floor. Here we go.

The lift doors pinged open into the foyer where she was met by Stephanie who launched herself into her arms “How is he?” she asked. Jesse cupped her hand around her head and held her close. The comfort of his children was paramount to her in this moment.

“He’s ok Steph...he’s unconscious from the head injuries but the doctor is quietly confident he’ll be ok” she whispered. How the hell did she tell them there was a chance of brain damage? Maybe she didn’t just at the moment, it was a small chance. Small, just have to remember that.

“Come on inside honey and we’ll talk” she said leading them both into the apartment. Kia was sitting surrounded by the kids in the living room.

“She heard the bell” Kia explained as Stephanie sat down on the couch. Every time somebody hit Jon’s floor in the lift and turned the key, the bell would ring the apartment to notify someone coming up to the floor.

“It’s ok, hey guys how you doing? Kia keeping you entertained?” she asked plopping herself down on the couch next to Romeo.

“We watched Blue’s Clues” he said nodding proudly crawling across her knees.

“Lucky!, thanks Kia for watching them” Jesse said gratefully.

“You’re welcome Jess, they were fine”

“How’s Dad?” Jesse sat up eagerly propping his elbows on his knee.

She smiled, rubbing her chest at the picture still embedded in her mind of Jon’s still body lying on the hospital bed. “Well, doctor said that he’s going to be ok. He’s unconscious at the moment because he had a blow to his head. He’s got some bruising and cracked ribs but they think he’ll make a full recovery” she shimmied Romeo across her lap and tucked him beside her on the couch.

“So he will wake up?” Jesse asked her worried.

“Yes he will, they...” she trailed off. God, she wasn’t built for this. How did she tell them? Tears that pricked at the corners of her eyes she forced back into submission. Swallowing the huge lump that had began to form in her throat she continued. “With any head injuries there is risk of damage right? In your dad’s case it’s minimal but yes there is a tiny risk something could be damaged” she let her breath whistled out from her throat.

“Can we see him?” Steph asked her immediately. What did she do? Say yes? Say no? She wasn’t prepared for any of this as Jon and her had never discussed this sort of thing in detail. You just didn’t.

“I don’t know Steph if it’s a good idea, but I’m going to ring your Grandma shortly so I’ll check with her ok? Maybe we should wait until tomorrow to see how he is” she said. Steph nodded, her eyes falling to the floor.

“Hey...” Jesse reached out and grabbed her hand “It’s going to be ok, I promise. You all above anyone know your father. He’s strong, determined and doesn’t give up anything easily. We’ll get through this ok...I promise” she squeezed her hand until she looked back up at her. Jon’s blue eyes shone back at her with an uncertainty but she still managing a small smile.

“Ok”

“Is Daddy sick?” Romeo’s tiny voice asked from beside her. His tiny hand grasping at her sleeve.

“He is buddy, but he’s in the right place to get fixed up. The doctors are taking good care of him and Uncle Richie is there right with him. I think Mommy is coming home soon too but I’m ringing Grandma first to find out” she explained. She checked her watch it was way past the younger boy’s bedtime so she needed to get them into bed.

“How about you and Jake come with me and get changed for bed and I’ll read you both a story ok?” she asked getting up and holding her hand out.

“Storyyy!” Romeo and Jake both eagerly got up and clasped her hands.

“Can I ring Grandma while you do that?” Stephanie asked.

Jesse nodded “Of course Steph, tell her I’ll explain everything when I get there but you can tell her what I told you” she said disappearing with the boys. Twenty minutes later they were asleep after teeth were brushed, Jake had found his favourite red pyjamas and the story was read. She stopped by at the kitchen smelling the rich aroma of coffee.

As soon as Jesse walked in she was handed a cup “You have no idea how much I need this, probably something stronger” she said taking a long sip and closing her eyes at the warm nutty comfort it offered.

“How are you holding up?” she asked gently rubbing her arm.

“I’m doing ok, I have to right? For them and partially I feel so responsible for this” she said sadly feeling her eyes start to mist again.

“Hey, no you won’t” Kia scowled “I won’t allow you to go there Jesse Adams. This is in no way your fault ok?” she asked. Jesse nodded still concentrating on the broken tile in the corner of the floor.

“Jess, come on don’t play that game. Jon wouldn’t blame you and did you hurt him? Was it you that did this to him? No.” Kia took Jesse’s cup from her and placed it on the kitchen counter and wrapped her arms around her. Jesse squinted her eyes shut desperate to fight the tears and held on tight.

“You’re only doing this because you love him so damn much woman. It’s a hell of a shock ok?” she said vigorously rubbing her back.

“I know but if I’d just pressed the charges when he wanted me to...” she whispered.

“He still would of probably done it Jess, Jason’s mind is not all there right now. We know that. You can’t do this to yourself ok. It won’t help Jon or those kids now so what’s the point?” She pulled back and brushed back Jesse’s hair “Huh?”

Kia was right. But it didn’t make it any easier right now. “I know, I’m just so worried about him... if anything happens to him...” she wiped her cheeks with the heel of her hand “I love him damn too much to see it happen”

“Honey, of course you are worried. You’re allowed to be but we’re talking about your Jon here right? The man that that would do anything for those kids and anything for you. He’s going to be fine Jess I know it” she said.

“Thank you” she said managing a small smile before Steph interrupted them.

“She wants to talk to you” she held out the silver cordless handset to her.

“Thanks honey, Hi Carol” she said pressing it to her ear.

“Jesse hi, how is he doing? More importantly how are you doing?” Jesse smiled at the genuine concern in her voice. It was nice to know when it counted family did as well.

“He’s ok Carol, Stephanie told you everything right?” she asked.

“Yes, she did. So how much chance does he have of being brain damaged?” she asked seriously.

“Its minor, twenty percent like with all head injuries. The scans the doctors have done of his back and head are all clear. Just his ribs are a little cracked and he’s quite badly bruised” she explained turning to face the window.

“Good god, well Jesse I’m on the first flight out tomorrow morning and I rang Dot, and she’s coming back tomorrow as well for the kids.” She rattled off times and places but Jesse’s mind was already overloaded to take it all in. She knew Carol would just come as soon as she was there.

“Thanks Carol I appreciate it and so will Jon. Did Steph talk to you about seeing him?” she asked quietly.

“Yes she did, and that’s what I wanted to ask. How bad does he look?”

Jesse paused feeling her throat grow tight. “Awful” she managed to squeak out. “Carol he looks awful. The Doctor said it looks worse than it is, but he’s all bruised... “She closed her eyes “Plastic... So much plastic” she whispered.

“Ok” Carol said trying to keep it together “We’ll wait to see how he’s doing tomorrow but if she has to go, Jesse and Steph can come with me tomorrow how does that sound?” she asked.

“Thanks that would be great. Unless anything changes but I can call if it does” she said. She finally clicked the off button a few minutes later receiving a much needed pep talk from Carol who sang her strong son’s praises also.

“Tomorrow Steph, it’s late now and we all need to get some sleep or we really will be no good to him right?” she asked stroking her blond hair out of her face.

“Yeah I guess so. I don’t know if I can sleep yet though” she said honestly.

Jesse sighed “I know the feeling, what do you say I make some hot chocolate and we have those and some cookies and watch some mindless trash for half an hour or so, the three of us” she suggested.

“I’d like that” Steph replied heading back to the living area.

“Ok well I’m going to go and see Rich, he’ll need some food and coffee” Kia said grabbing her coat and purse.

“Yes do, tell him he’s a saint and tell him Dot and Carol will be here tomorrow. And tell him...”

“To ring you if anything changes?” Kia cut her off and grinned.

“Yes, god. Thank you both again. This reminds me of Jason all over again” she said as they met in a hug.

Kia pulled away and buttoned up her coat “Number one, Jon isn’t dead. Number two, he’s ten times the man Jason was. So this is different” she said tugging on her woollen cap.

“You’re right...again” she rolled her eyes laughing as they said goodbye. He was going to be alright. He just had to be, she wouldn’t stand for anything else.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ninety-Two







Jesse couldn’t even remember the drive to the hospital, sitting silently with her hands clasping her knees. Still living in hope she’d wake up and this would all be just a dream. The crank of the handbrake pulled her back to earth with the plain white building they’d parked in front towering over her. Clutching her chest, she felt her heart sink.

“Hey, it’s going to be ok…now come on, let’s go see the boy” Richie said squeezing her knee gently.

Closing her eyes she took a deep breath, letting her hands relax and pinged open the door. The walk down the long white corridor was a blur despite nurses bustling past and doctor’s muttering scrutinizing clipboards as they went about their business. All oblivious to the woman walking the lonely walk of heartbreak.

She waited holding her hands on her arms as Richie asked at the desk where they could find him. After a few disagreements and heated words with the reception clerk he came back over.

“Can’t say that the security is bad in here, Jesus Christ” rubbing his forehead he held out his hand.

“He’s in ICU, come on Darlin” he took her hand and led her slowly towards the lift. Once inside she sank against the wall gripping the bar behind to stop her legs from giving way completely. He was in ICU, oh god it was bad. And it was all her fault.

Mazes of corridors and people blended in to one until she was standing in the doorway of the room. Two hands on her shoulders gave her the support she would need to open the door and walk right in there but her hand stilled on the knob. Her heart hammered wildly in her chest as she snicked the door and slowly pushed it open like it weighed a hundred pounds.

And there he was.

Tubes coming from his mouth and arms, the shrill beeping of a heart monitor and the low hiss of the ventilator was all she could hear.

Her hand flew to her mouth as she gasped “Oh Jon” was all she could manage. The man that could move mountains and fight through storms was motionless. She blinked away the room as it became blurry.

His upper body a kaleidoscope of purple and blues, and the soft lines of his face curved around the cuts and gapes littered across his skin. She pulled away from Richie’s grasp steadying herself on the cold steel bar at the edge of his bed. What has he done to you? Jesus Chris. Oh Jon, my beautiful Jon.

His chest rose and fell steadily through the help of the plastic tubes, god so much plastic. Picking up his hand she slid slowly down into the chair Richie had pulled across for her. She brought it to her cheek and closed her eyes, desperate to feel any sign of life inside of him. “I’m so sorry baby” she whispered letting the tears free fall, biting back the sobs that threatened to avalanche from her throat.

The warmth of his hand offered her little comfort. What was wrong with him? God, please wake up baby. Please.

“Jess” Richie’s low voice whispered “The doctor’s here” she opened her eyes and laid down his hand carefully, patting it down delicately as if it would break.

She turned to look up to a middle aged man standing next to Richie, who only reached his shoulder standing with a clipboard.

“Jesse? I’m Dr. Ross. And before we start, it looks worse than it actually is. Most of this is a precaution until Jon comes around…” he began adjusting the thick black rimmed glasses on his nose.

“What’s the damage Doc?” Richie asked. Thank God for Richie, Jesse doubted she was capable of stringing a sentence together right now.

“He was brought in unconscious and scans have shown he’s had a few blows to the head, but no permanent damage as far as we can see”

As far as we can see? What the hell did that mean?

“So he’ll be ok?” Richie prompted twisting his hand into a fist while the other one stayed firm on Jesse’s shoulder.

“He should be, we’ll know for certain when he wakes up” the Doctor confirmed.

“So he still could have damage?” Jesse blurted out bring her hand to her neck, the vice around her heart tightening. Oh god, anything but this. Anything.

“There is a very small possibility but his reflexes and vitals are all excellent, so we’re very hopeful. One of his lungs has had a bit of impact so we’ve put him on the respirator to assist his breathing so he doesn’t have to work as hard to breathe while his body heals”

She nodded biting down on her lip, hoping if she bit hard enough she’d wake up. Brain damaged? How would she ever live with herself if that happened, god... how would she tell the kids?

She looked back at Jon clear surgical tape spanned across his nose “What about this?” she asked pointing.

The doctor relaxed his stance folding his arms creasing his white doctor’s coat. “It was out of place, we thought it was broken at first but we’ve just shifted it back into place” he paused “that’s what’s causing the black rings under his eyes that will become darker as the bruising comes up, all normal body responses” he assured them both.

“He should be fine, but the next twenty four hours are crucial to just make sure all his vitals stay stable and so his head can given the all clear… we’re confident though” he handed Richie his card “I understand the confidentiality of this, so if there is anything you need or want to ask just give me a call anytime”

“Thanks doc, we appreciate that” Richie said before the doctor exited.

Stroking Jon’s hand with the tip of her finger she fell quiet again, the numbness radiating through her body, It sounded hopeful but the what ifs kept niggling at the back of her mind.

“Jess, did you want me to ring Carol?” Richie asked “Or the kids?”

She shook her head “I said I’d do it. I should go back and see them, and explain it to them they deserve nothing less” she said firmly. Especially since it’s my fault their daddy is like this.

“Jesse, this is not your fault” Richie said breaking her thoughts.

“No, I didn’t actually hurt him but if I’d pressed charges this wouldn’t have happened” she wiped away the tears with the back her hand “Chirst Richie, what if he’d died? What if”- she was pulled up by a pair of strong arms and turned to face him.

“Jesse listen to me, don’t play that game. Its over, he’s going to be ok…its Jon he always pulls through you’ll see” he held her shoulders and then shook her gently.

“Its not your fault, and he wouldn’t blame you. He’d kick my ass for letting you even think it Darlin, ok?” he asked seriously. She nodded into his soft brown eyes before he pulled her in tight for a hug. “We’ll get through this, I promise you we will”

She sighed into his arms before pulling away “Thanks Richie.” The overwhelming urge in her feet was to run, the longer she sat here staring at him she had to go.

“Just stay with him, I’ll go and see the kids” she quickly said rubbing her chest. She had to get out. She had to leave. Now.

“Jesse wait-“but the door clicked behind her. She ran down the corridor to the exit, the clicks of her heels belting furiously against the lino until she found the safety stairwell. Leaning back, she pressed herself against the cold brick wall. God, how could this be happening? How could she do this to the man she supposedly loved? Sliding to the floor in a heap her hands found her face, and the tears flowed out.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ninety-One




Jesse folded herself into Jon's oversized arm chair bringing her knees up to her chest. Closing her eyes she wished somehow she could open them again and this had all been a bad dream. When the light slowly crept back into view, her heart sank in disappointment. This wasn't a dream this was her reality. It was the not knowing that was killing her. Where was he? What was Jason doing with Jon? Just a friendly talk? She wasn't even sure she knew what Jason was capable of anymore. He was a far cry from the man she once was married to.

Leaning forward clasping her hands together over her knees she'd never forgive herself if he was hurt, or worse if…no surely Jason wouldn't be that bad. No, she had to stay strong for him. This was Jon, her Jon so brave, strong willed and her man. No one had ever made her feel like Jon did. After Jason had died Jesse had no idea that she would even feel more for someone than the way she did for Jon now.

The buzz of the intercom came, with security guard announcing that the police were here. She quickly moved from the chair and scooped up the scatter of toys on the ground before answering the door.

Two policemen, dressed in full uniform stood there. The tight look and blank expressions of their faces reminded Jesse of when they came to tell her Jason was dead. Clutching her stomach trying to sooth the flip flops, the memory was all to real once more.

"Ms Adams?" the taller one asked.

She nodded "Please come in" she motioned for them to come in, but he remained standing there.

"We've received word of where Mr Bongiovi was, after you reported his call he dialled 911, and we tracked the signal to a warehouse by the docks." He began.

Jesse's feet didn't want to move, her whole body froze at the words, praying to god that the next one's out of his mouth weren't the one's she dreaded.

"We're sorry to tell you but Mr Bongiovi was found passed out, with what paramedics assessed on site as extensive head injuries. He's on his way to hospital now" he explained.

Her breath sucked in and her hands went to her mouth, along with the imaginary kick to her gut. "He's ok though?" she dared to ask. Oh god, anything but this.

"I wish we had more news for you, we've detained Mr Adams and he's down at the station and will be until we've collected your statements and verified Mr Bongiovi's condition to what charges we'll press him with. But for now we have kidnapping to hold him with" he confirmed. "You'll be wanting to get to the hospital I'm sure, but we'll need your statement as soon as possible".

The policeman talked a little more but Jesse didn't hear a word she was off in her own world imagining all the awful things that had happened to him. Blinking away the tears she lost herself in the numbness that was slowly taking over her.

"M'am?" the officer asked again.

She snapped her head up and nodded "I'm sorry..."

"It's ok, here is my card, once you see Mr Bongiovi and advise his family are you able to call me tonight, I'd like to get this down as soon as possible. I understand this is difficult for you..." he trailed off.

She took the card and slipped it into her pocket "I'll call"

"And be advised that also we are using our utmost discretion on this case with Mr Bongiovi's high profile status and all"

She again just managed a nod in thanks. What now? Who did she call? What about the kids? Jesus Christ. The officers soon left her in the apartment standing alone. The sudden emptiness she felt was absurd. She knew she needed to call Jon's family so picking up the phone and hitting the speed dial where it read "Mom" she closed her eyes and held her breath. Her dealings with Carol had been limited and somewhat icy.

"Hi Jon" she answered. She must have caller id, great.

"Uh hi Mrs Bongiovi it's Jesse Adam's here" she stammered. What was it about your boyfriends mother that always induced this sort of nervousness?

"Jesse? Who...oh Jesse" she said again. Jesse could just picture the way her face changed too. "What can I do for you?" she asked coolly.

"It's Jon he's been rushed to hospital..." Jesse bit her lip letting the tears splash like raindrops on the polished surface of the coffee table.

"What? What's wrong?" Carol's voice changed to a softer tone. "Jesse what happened?"

Keep it together, you've got to. She swallowed the huge lump in her throat that was beginning to form.

"He was taken by my ex husband ...and he's, I don't know how bad he is... but I have the kids... and I don't know what to do" she stammered, she rubbed her chin. Did she tell them? How did she even begin to tell them their Daddy was in hospital because of her ex-husband, and worst of all it was because of her.

"Honey, Jesse listen to me. I'll be on the next flight there, but I might not get in till tomorrow morning. I'll ring Dot and let her know she'll come if he's bad....ring Richie and he can come and watch the kids, and Jesse....I don't know how much you know but Jon's always had a honesty policy with his kids, so tell them but play it down until we know exactly what's wrong with him ok?" she asked furiously.

"Ok, I can do that" she said confidently, she had to for them.
"Yes you can, Jesse if you know one thing about my son he's a fighter. And ring me as soon as you get to the hospital, can you do that for me hun?" she asked.

Relief swept over her body just a little buoyed Carol was being so helpful "I promise, I'll give you my cell phone number too" she said reading it off to Carol and collecting hers.

Once she disconnected the call she dialled Richie and took a deep breath "Richie it's Jess" she explained and in less than ten seconds both Kia and Richie were on their way to her. She dropped the phone back in its cradle before smoothing her hands down her thighs drying the sweat off her palms.

You can do this. You've got to be strong for those kids. You owe this to them, to Jon.

Once she was inside the living room where the pile of Bongiovi children were all on the couch watching the movie. She smiled and picked up the remote and muted the TV before sitting on the edge of the coffee table opposite them. Cupping her knees she leaned forward.

"Kids, there's been an accident and Daddy's had to go to hospital to get fixed up" she tried to explain, twisting with the ends of her sleeves. Stephanie's eyes grew wide along with Jesse's.

"Is he ok?" Stephanie asked holding on to Romeo tighter.
Jesse nodded "As far as I know, Uncle Richie is coming to look after you while I go and see him" she explained. The two younger boys just remained silent.

"Can we come?" Jesse asked her. She closed her eyes and bit her lip "I need to see what's happened first but then maybe Uncle Richie can bring you down..." she suggested.

"Daddy needs a band aid?" Jakey asked.

"Something like that darling, but the doctors are going to take good care of him right?" she asked cheerfully. When the door went again the two younger boys scrambled for the door knowing it was their Uncle Richie. Jesse and Stephanie stood before her.

"It's bad isn't it?" Stephanie asked her, her eyes filled with worry.

"I don't know sweetheart honestly" Jesse again found herself biting back a sob "I'm sorry" her voice barely a whisper. She was surprised when Stephanie reached her hand out and squeezed it.

"Dad's a fighter" Stephanie said. Just like Carol had said. God I hope he is. I can't lose him, I just can't.

"I know honey I really do, I think he is too" she said trying to convince herself of that statement.

"He'll be ok, you'll see" Jon's son stood before her just every bit as confident as he was.

She stood and before she knew she was being engulfed in a running hug from Kia "God Jesse, we got here as soon as possible, Rich is going out of his mind. He won't admit it but he is" she said, Jesse held on tight to her somehow drawing strength of her being here. The crisp floral scent Kia wore wrapped around her "Thank you" Jesse whispered in her ear.

"Jess, I'm here, and we're not going anywhere, why don't you get to that hospital and go and see that Jon's just got a few bruises right?" she asked holding Jesse at arms length "Right?" she asked.

A strong pair of arms wrapped around her from behind along with the deep dark scent of spice and citrus. Rich.

“Have you heard anything more?” Richie asked pressing a kiss to the top of her head.

With the room blinded by tears again she shook her head “I need to go there, I need to see him” she whispered. Part of her ached to be there now, but the other dreaded it not wanting to face the reality that he was really hurt.

“Why don’t you both go? I can watch the kids” Kia suggested quietly “You need someone there, Rich you need to go baby” she said rubbing his arm.

The blur crept in again she couldn’t even face the kids. Seeing four faces that reminded her of the man she loved, worried and scared for their Daddy.

“I want to come too” Stephanie spoke up tugging at Richie’s sleeve.

Richie smiled and tucked her under her arm “I know you do sweets, but let Jesse and I go first so we can see him and then we’ll come and get you, I promise” he explained.

Thank god he understood that, the both needed to make sure that Jon was ok before letting the kids seeing him. Jesse bent down to her knees and pulled Romeo and Jake into her “Don’t you worry boys I’ll be back as soon as possible, you can be strong for Daddy right?” she asked ruffling their hair.

Romeo’s little blue eyes went wide and he puffed out his chest “Me strong!” not to be outdone by his older brother Jake did the same and pounded his chest.

Smiling through the tears she laughed, how proud Jon would be right now. “Now that’s what I’m talking about. You’ll be good for Auntie Kia? She’s lots of fun” Jesse straightened Romeo’s Bob the builder t-shirt.

She stood up and Steph rushed into her arms “Tell him we love him ok?” she asked. Jesse closed her eyes and held onto Jon’s daughter.

“I promise, I’ll call as soon as I get there and find out what’s going on ok?” she whispered kissing the top of her head.

“Right, let’s head off shall we?” Richie asked.

Time to go and face reality.