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.


Anonymous said...

breathing a sigh of if she just gets home safely...

don't make us wait too long!!


Jovi's Willow said...

wonderful! i love the conversation between jesse and dot - it was really perfect.

It's time for the magic #100!!!

Lynda Claire said...

Oh I'm so glad Jesse can talk to Dorothea!