Saturday, October 25, 2008


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.


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’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


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


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.


“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


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


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.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Jon struggled to open his eyes in what seemed like hours later. His head was thick with fog and his mind was drugged lulled into a false sense of security. The illusion of that he really wasn't in some old abandoned warehouse helplessly strewn, still bound on the floor. The bone crushing pressure on his lungs forcing him to heave and work harder, fight for breath.

The light slowly focused, his cheek pressing hard against the cold concrete. "Jess?" he managed. All he wanted was her, to feel her arms around him, her warmth, her scent…that delicious vanilla she always smelt of. The way her hands always stroked his chest after they'd made love, so gentle and loving. His lips curled into a small contented smile just to be overshadowed by the sharp jabbing sensation creeping up his chest into his neck.

His head was shifted by hard leather, focusing again when a boot in front of him came into view. His heart sinking at the reality of where he was.

"Jesse is not here Jersey" Jon felt his whole body move upwards as Jason settled the chair back onto all four legs. He leaned down and faced him at eye level, he tried but the focus was fading drifting in and out of consciousness.

"You're a popular boy Jersey, you know that? Your damn phone's been ringing while you've been out." His brown eyes had shifted to a more sadistic, haunting grey.

"Jason what do you want?" he croaked, his head drooped… so tired…

"You know what I want, but right now I need to you call Jesse and tell her you've been held up and you'll be late back. I don't want her calling the police or anything" Jason said holding out the phone.

"Am I fucking dialling with my teeth?" Jon spat. A warm rich honeyed taste was spilling into his mouth, which he had to only assume was his own blood.

"I'll let you go, but I swear to fuck Jersey if you make any move, it'll be over. You know I'll do it" his eyes narrowed and went dark.

Jon nodded, fuck anything to get out of these binds for a start, his wrists were raw and burning. Jason reached over him and untied the knots, Jon’s hands falling loosely to his sides.

“Here” Jason held out the phone in Jon’s reach “Call her and if you so much as tell her anything different I’ll cut your throat and you won’t ever see her or your children again, do I make myself clear?” he asked.

Jon took the phone and nodded. Flipping it open he hit speed dial and closed his eyes praying that somehow she would know something was wrong. She always did for everything else, knowing when he needed a hug, or to be left alone. She always did.

“Jon, thank god!” her voice exclaimed “I’ve been worried sick” Jon’s heart twisted at the sound of her voice breaking.

He managed a fake little chuckle, “I know baby, I’m so sorry I didn’t call earlier I just got held up” he said simply. Jon never just gave her a one liner, he’d always be honest and tell her where and why he’d been held up.

“What happened? David called from the studio, you never showed there... is everything ok?” she asked lowering her voice.

“I’m fine Jesse, I just ran into someone and left my cell phone in the car” another lie. Anyone who knew Jon knew that he never made that mistake. His phone was his livelihood.

“Are you coming home now, the boys want pizza...” she laughed lightly.

Jon smiled hearing the giggles in the background of his sons chanting pizza, and suddenly craved that he was right there with them. “I’m not sure probably a few more hours, I’m really sorry but you know how it is” he said. Please god let her get it. I’d never blow her off like that.

“Just a minute boys” he heard Jesse call and then what sounded like the thud of a door closing “Jon, what the hell’s going on?” she whispered “This is not you at all...I’m worried”

There it was. Jon closed his eyes, forcing the tears that were pricking beneath his lids away “I’m fine Jesse...its business you know I’ll be back soon... right? I’ve had to meet with Sting...” it was his only shot if she’d get what he meant.

“Sting? Why? I mean I know you know each other” there was silence until she spoke again “you mean Sting from the Police?” he heard her breath suck in and the line fell dead silent. She’d got it. Thank god.

“Jon, where has he got you? Are you ok....oh my god...” this time her voice did break “I’ll call the police but how will we know where you are? Jon... God I’m so sorry” a sob broke the line. Jon’s eyes closed. Damn Jason to hell and back for this, what it was doing to him but mostly to her.

“Jess, so keep strong for those kids you know how much work they are...and I won’t be too far away I promise” he had to keep his voice even or Jason would figure it out and he couldn’t risk it.

“I will, I’ll do anything...just stay safe Jon... And don’t do anything stupid with him please...” she begged. The creases at the side of Jason’s face were tightening. He had to let her go before he caught on.

“See you soon baby, Love you” and he hung up. It was the hardest thing he had to do to leave her like that but she’d understand. If only he could dial 911 on his phone they’d be able to track where they were. Jon brought his hand up to his nose, staining his skin with the bold red he was now oozing.

“Was she suspicious?” he asked Jon. shoving him back roughly into the chair.

“No, she knows how my life is” Jon lied keeping all emotion from his voice.

“You better not be lying Jersey because if you are I’ll finish you off and then find her and your children. We always wanted kids of our hey here are four of them, instant family huh?” he grinned.

Jon’s fingers curled tight into a fist, how fucking dare he? The anger boiled inside him threatened to blow. With one swift motion Jon launched himself out of the chair at Jason, it was too late now he had to do this to save himself and his family. Jason toppled over backwards, surprised by the move which gave Jon the upper hand. When fist connected to jaw Jason’s hoarse voice bellowed, but Jon didn’t stop. Pound after pound he let him have it.

The adrenaline raced through his body blinded by the pain he was throbbing with. His head still heavy and unfocused. “Fucking take that asshole...” he grabbed his phone crawling for what he could only assume was the door and punched in 911. Before he had a chance to speak to the operator strong hands gripped at his ankles dragging him backwards.

“You fucking just made the biggest mistake of your life Jersey” Jason growled drawing him back towards him.

The skittle of his cell phone echoed across the concrete floor, if it could just hold on long enough so they could trace where they were.

“Help me!” Jon yelled “I’m being held by Jason Adams” There was no dignity, no grace left here. Jon needed to fight to save his life, and his family.

“Fuck you” Jason’s heel stamped down on his lower back, with a snap and a scream Jon kept desperately trying to claw his way across the ground, his nails scraping across the steel cold floor.

Jason momentarily let Jon go and scooped up the cell phone now on the other side of the room and ended the call. The line between torture and death and been crossed. Jason wanted nothing more now than to make this bastard pay. I don’t fucking care anymore, he’s going to die. He’s crossed the line, and once he’s gone I’ll have my Jesse. I’ve done my duty, ridding the American People of scum like him.

At the doorway Jon scrambled up to his feet, wincing as his whole body was aching and screaming internally. Fighting the haze and the fog that once again threatened to engulf him, his legs were turning to jelly. He wouldn’t give into to it, he just couldn’t. He had to get out. For them.

Jon tried to shift his body weight against the door to open it. The sound of plastic crushing followed by his thick boots heavy on the ground was heading towards him. The last thing Jon remembered was the firm grip of hands closing around his neck, constricting his breathing before he let the darkness creep in slowly once more.


Jesse stood shaking as the call disconnected. Jason had him, she just knew it. There was nothing normal about that phone call, the way he spoke to her all warmth from his voice was absent and just giving her one liners. When Jon was late he’d profusely apologise to her and tell her ways he’d make it up to her later that night. But not this time. And the Sting comment, the police thank god she’d guessed right. She punched in 911 and waited explaining to the operator the situation, and in moments a police car had been dispatched to the apartment. They were also going to see if they could trace Jon’s cell phone signal by his number encase he’d tried to call them.

What the hell was she going to do? The kids were next door, the police on their way. She didn’t want to alarm them but they were going to know something was up. Taking a deep breath she went back in. “Steph can I see you for a minute?” she asked directing her towards the kitchen.

She followed Jesse into the kitchen her brow was already creased, god just like when her father did it. “Steph, I need you to take the boys into the other living room where Jesse is, I’ve got the police coming over. “ She ran her hands through her hair, how did she say this without scaring the living daylights out of his daughter? “My ex husband is causing your father and me a bit of grief so I need to talk to them about it, and I don’t want to worry Jakey and Romeo” she said. Honestly that was the truth no need to scare her any further until they knew more.

She silently nodded “Is he ok? Are you ok?” she asked. Jesse forced a smile and put her hand on her shoulder.

“I’m fine, he’ll be ok...we just need to make sure Jason has charges pressed against him... something I should of... nevermind. If you could do that and when they leave I’ll come and get you. You father is hopefully going to be home in a few, we can have dinner then ok?” she asked cheerfully.

“Ok, I’ll take them there but I want to know if anything happens” she said her blue eyes widening.

“I promise Steph, promise” she waited till Steph left the kitchen before slumping over the counter biting back the tears that threatened. She’d never forgive herself if something happened to Jon. Never.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Chapter Eighty-Nine

Jesse looked down at the shiny dial of her watch, Jon had been gone for nearly four hours. She knew in his business things could always be so unpredictable but he usually always sent her a text message or called to say he was being held up. It was past dinner time and she’d held off for as long as could with four kids in the house, two of which were teenagers.

“Hungry!” Romeo chanted banging the plastic animal he had securely in his hand against the coffee table.

Jesse bent down and ruffled his hair, which was that baby soft beneath her hand “I know sweetie, I’m going to get us all a snack right now, I thought your Daddy might be home by now” she said hiding the worry in her voice.

“Daddy’s getting pizza?” Jakey asked her with large blue hopeful eyes.

“PIZZAAA!” Romeo chimed in.

She chuckled “I have no idea, how about I call him and we find out what he’s doing?” she said picking up the phone from its cradle. She dialled his cell phone number which went rang with no answer till his voicemail clicked in.

“Hey baby, just calling to see how things are and what you wanted to do for dinner, I think the boys are set on Pizza for dinner but your call. Call me” she said disconnecting the call. “Ok boys how about I make us some PBJ sandwiches until Daddy calls us back?” she asked.

They nodded eagerly so Jesse found the kitchen and started the snack “You want one Steph?” she called back into the living area.

Stephanie joined her in the kitchen leaning against the doorframe. “I’m alright thanks, you do know he used to do this all the time and would always come home eventually” she said.

Jesse looked up and smiled “Thanks Steph I know he’s probably just held up and if it's anything to do with music we know it can drag on right?” she asked.

“All the time” Stephanie rolled her eyes dramatically.

Jesse slathered a thick layer of peanut butter across the bread. The sharp shrill of the phone sent the knife clattering to the floor. “Damn” she picked up the phone “Jon?” she asked not caring whether it was going to be or not.

“Uh, no m’am I was kind of hoping that he’d be there. It’s David Rivers from Mercury Studios. Mr Bongiovi was dropping in some demos for polishing today and he hasn’t shown up”.

Jesse’s heart skipped a beat as she turned around and faced the other way hiding her face from Steph. “Oh right, he left here a few hours ago on his way to you, and he hasn’t come in at all?” Jesse asked twisting the phone cord in her fingers.

“No ma’m” David replied professionally. “We tried his cell phone but that went to voicemail”.

“Ok, well look when I track him down, and Jon’s a busy man but I’ll tell him to call you when I see him” she said.

“Thanks, I appreciate that... you must be Jesse? I don’t think we’ve had a chance to meet but I’m sure we will” he said politely.

“I look forward to it David” She said before hanging up. Now what? She couldn’t go look for him with the kids here.

“What’s wrong?” Stephanie asked.

Jesse popped her knuckle and faced her “That was the studio, your dad didn’t show up. Any ideas what else he might of been doing?” she asked causally. If she could call a few of his business associates maybe someone would know something. Jon was always running into people he knew and would always stop and chat if he could.

Stephanie rattled off some other people she knew of that her father did keep in touch with on a regular basis in the city so finding his address book, she set to work.

Twenty minutes later she concluded that no one had seen Jon all day. She fingered the hem of her top. God, I hope nothing’s happened to you. The tight knot in her stomach twisted tighter. She had a very bad feeling about this.

She quickly scooped up the sandwiches and juice she’d prepared and propped them down near the two young boys before taking something into Jesse who was watching a movie in the other living area.

“Thanks” he said when she placed the plate and glass down on the coffee table. He looked up “Are you ok?” he asked. Jesse had been the one that she’d had most trouble trying to connect with. He was polite with her but he’d just been reserved with her, more cautious than anything. Jon had already told her he was just like that and not to take it personally.

She forced a smile “I’m fine, your Dad seems to be running later than expected and no one has heard from him, but you know how he gets” she said cheerfully desperately trying to keep the mood buoyed.

Reaching out for a sandwich he took a big bite before replying. “Welcome to Mom’s world. He’ll be back he always is”

She laughed, they didn’t know about Jason so why would they assume anything different? “That’s what Steph told me too” she smoothed her hands down her sides. “Well if you need anything we’re just out there” she said before turning to leave.

“Jess?” he asked quietly.

She turned and saw the concern in his eyes “He’ll be ok, you’ll see” he smiled.

“I know, thanks Jesse.” She left and walked back to see Romeo and Jake demolishing their sandwiches.

“These good!” Romeo exclaimed chewing on his sandwich, his little blue eyes gleaming.
She patted him on his sunny blond head “I’m glad you think so little guy” she sat down with them and soon Stephanie joined them. Her heart was racing in her chest, along with her mind. Where the hell was he? She clutched her hands together trying to stop her arms from shaking. When did she call the police? Twenty four hours? God, what if it went for twenty four hours? She’d go insane.

She turned up the TV and the three of them sat there for half an hour or so watching and eating, her cell phone still clutched in her hand. When it vibrated against her palm she jumped and quickly flipped it open. “Hello?”

“Hey girl, sitting on that phone are we?” the bubbly voice teased.

She slammed her eyes shut in disappointment. “Kia, hi honey...sorry I just thought it was going to be Jon” she said rubbing her temple with her first two fingers.

“Ohh, I’m not good enough now” she scoffed.

Jesse wasn’t in the mood for light and fun, which was Kia’s speciality. “Sorry hun, all I meant is Jon has been missing for a few hours and he never turned up to where he was meant to be going. I can’t find him anywhere” she said standing and leaving the kids out of earshot.

“Oh Jess, you know how he is though. Richie would be the first to tell you that...” her voice fell soft and sympathetic.

Jesse cringed, she’d again had no time to tell Kia what had been happening with Jason. “Well, normally I wouldn’t worry. We’ve got the kids here and that’s going great but we’ve had some problems with Jason” she explained. She snuck into the kitchen and spilled the story out to her best friend.

“He did WHAT!” Jesse held the phone out from her ear as Kia’s voice shrieked through it.

“I know I that’s why I just might be a little concerned, Jason wouldn’t go after Jon would he?” she asked.

“Jesse Adams, I can’t believe you didn’t tell me all this and you never pressed charges? I’m sorry babe, I ‘m with Jon on this one. That is one of the most stupid things you’ve ever done” She closed her eyes. God Kia was right. What the hell had she’d been thinking?

“I’m sorry, things just got busy and we had it under control...well I thought I did” she said sadly. If Jon came home tonight, she’d press the charges. God she would. She’d been so blind and she owed it to herself, Jon and the four kids saftey in his place right now.

“Jesse, I don’t know if Jason would go after Jon...But it sounds like its a possibility. Look, I’ll get Rich to see if he can locate him ok? I’ll give him a call, he’s out with one of his muso buddies right now, maybe Jon is with them” she brightened her voice with small hope.

“That would be great Kia, thanks. And I’m sorry... I should have told you. Then you would have knocked some sense into me. Right then and there” she sighed leaning back against the cupboards gasping when the steel handle jabbed into her back.

“Yes, you’re damn right I would of woman. Ok. I’ll ring Rich. See you soon” the call disconnected.

She took a deep breath and walked back into the living room where the kids were. “Ok kids, Your Uncle Richie are going to see if he can find Daddy, so we can get some dinner. Meanwhile why don’t we watch a movie” she suggested flopping down in the couch with the remote. She laughed when Jake and Romeo crawled and pushed in each other’s way to climb on the couch next to her. She sat up easing Romeo into her lap. “Easy there, little guy”, while Jake leaned in beside them.

Stephanie smiled and curled herself into her father’s leather armchair and they all began to watch the movie. Jesse wasn’t really paying attention, she was praying and hoping that Jon would either walk through that door or call any minute.