Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ch. 25

-Hershey Stadium, Hershey Pa.

The band performed this show as if they were on auto pilot.

Although the crowd didn’t seem to notice, the band had covered all of Jon’s high notes.

Everyone watched nervously backstage, praying that no one would catch on to what was happening and praying that Jon’s voice didn’t go in the middle of the show.

Richie, after leaving Jon’s room earlier in the afternoon, had let Paul in on what was happening.

Despite, being angry at first, Paul understood that this break was the best thing the band needed.

He agreed to not let Doc know. At least for now. Doc was in the midst of some problems with Motley Crue and didn’t need this added onto his already full plate.

Trina was nervous. She hung onto every word, every song as if she were the one singing.
‘He was the doing the impossible for him. He was a taking a risk that he shouldn’t be taking. For everyone.’ She thought.

She continued to watch the performance backstage. Thoughts ran through her head.

‘Singing without a net. Any wrong sound or screech and that could be the end career wise. My god it’s both admirable and hopefully not the wrong decision…And I’m told I’m ballsy?!’

Despite her being nervous, she couldn’t help but to be angry at him for the way he had been treating her all day. She tried to make herself understand that it wasn’t her that he was mad at, but was having a hard time with all of this.

She thought they had found some common ground. Even becoming good friends. But the untrust he was feeling with her was becoming too much for her to handle.

Ally, who after setting up more meetings with her agent for most of the day, gingerly stood at the side of the stage watching Richie. As she passed by Richie, she snickered at Trina.

“Problems Ally? “ Trina innocently asked.

“Not with people like you.” Ally replied.

Trina’s blue eyes sharpened. “What’s that suppose to mean?” She asked.

“Congrats on making it to the inner circle. Not a pretty sight is it?” Ally snapped.

“Ally, do you always have PMS or is there actually a nicer person in there somewhere?” Trina asked.

Ally walked over to her. “What I’m about to say is nice. Stay the hell away from all of us. Leave now, before your na├»ve ass attempts to deposit a check it can’t cash.”

Trina retorted. “The last I knew Ally that this wasn’t Hollywood. Hell the brat packers don’t even run the show anymore in California. Your last hit was? When? My boss is Jon. If he wants me to leave then I go, if you don’t like that, well then go back to Hollyweird and be the queen of your damn universe!”

Ally laughed. “Tough one aren’t you? You and Miss Kendall better remember that pride comes before a fall.”

“And I’m so looking forward to your descent!” Trina fumed as Jon and Richie came off the stage. Despite their performance, the two of them could hear the women arguing from the side of the stage. Jon and Richie walked over to both of them.

“What’s going on?” Jon asked the two of them.

“Trina’s grown a set.” Ally snickered.

Trina was furious. She was done with her. She was beginning to think all of this was a bad idea. This isn’t what she thought it’d be.

“You’re such a bitch Ally! I’m going on the fucking bus!” Trina said storming out.

“What the hell? Ally, what’s going on?” Jon asked.

“You tell me and everyone else.” Ally said walking up to Jon. “She comes in with her friends, bats her blue eyes and wins you over in weeks. When other people get near you, you want no part of them. But yet you seduce and flirt with her. Manipulating everyone as you go. You do this so much that when something happens to you, she and everyone do and everything and anything in their power to cover your ass.” She scolded.

“Oh shut up Ally!” Jon yelled as he attempted to go onto the bus.

“What’s wrong Jonny? Truth hurt? I say let your voice go because Richie is ten times a better singer than you!” She told him.

Jon stormed towards Ally as if he was going to hit her and Paul stepped in the middle of them.

“Ally, I think after this break, you shouldn’t rejoin us. Jon, go see if Trina’s all right…Now.” Paul told him pointedly.

Ally turned to Richie. “And you! You’re helping out someone who didn’t even say thank you for covering up the abuse he’s done to his voice. Some friend he is. Priceless!”

“Get out of here.” Richie told her.

Ally snickered. “With pleasure. All you’ll do anyways is go calling Kendall to tell her what a bitch I am.”


“Out!” Richie said.

Ally walked out of the opposite end of the building.

Richie was speechless. He didn’t know what to say to Jon or Paul. Jon was livid.

“I’m sorry Jonny. I don’t know what-” Richie said.

Jon interrupted. “So do you think you’re better than me?”

Richie looked at him. “No. Jon stop!”

“Then why did she say that? Someone put it in her head.” Jon told him.

“Jon, Ally does and says what she wants. Just like Dot. Just like Trina. I can’t control her.” Richie said.

“You better. Because if you don’t, I’ll cancel the dates until you can.” Jon flared.

Richie glare went through Jon like daggers. “Excuse me? Don’t you ever give me an ultimatum Jonny. After all I’ve done for you. Believe it or not, I’m on your side. So is Trina. We just spent ½ of the afternoon proving it and I get this shit from you?”

Jon looked at him blankly. He knew that he had overstepped with Richie. Better for him to take it now rather than later.

Richie continued. “You know some of what Ally was saying was true. We bend over backwards for you. All of us do night after night and we don’t even get as much as a thank you from you. Before I say something I’m going to regret, I’m going on the bus!” Richie said storming out.

‘Oh God. What did I just do?’ Jon thought as he covered his throat. His throat was throbbing. 'What am I doing? They’re all trying to help but I just can’t accept it. This is my voice and my problem.'

His throat was really hurting him now. His time was limited. He needed to try to make this right before his voice went again.

‘God, my throat is killing me. It’s never hurt this bad…Oh my god!…Don’t clear your voice Jon. Don’t do it remember what the doctor said. Just let it hold so that I can apologize to Trina and everyone…Oh please…please.'

Jon was the last person on the bus. There was complete silence.

He looked over at Trina who was crying her eyes out while staring at the windows. He sat next to her in an attempt to apologize.

She looked at Trina arching her eyebrow. “What!” She yelled.

Jon sighed. He deserved the punishment she was about to dole out on him.

“Sorry about Ally. She had no right talking to you like that.” He told her.

“And you have no right treating me the way you have. Such a fucking hypocrite.” She told him pointedly.

“Go on.” Jon said.

“I felt bad for you. I knew something was wrong, but I said to myself. Okay, when he’s ready to open up. He will. I thought we were friends and had a lot in common. Obie, Juanita and the band all care about you, but you’re acting like a spoiled ass rock star that seemed to forget that there are others you that would be hurt if someone happened to you. Remember that? Guess I was wrong about you!” Trina yelled.

“Good for you Trina!” Obie chimed in as he sat across from the two of them. Jon quickly snapped his around to look at him.

“Truth hurting a bit? I hope to hell all of this is sinking in. You gave none of us a fucking thank you. Next time, I’m going to let Doc deal with you and let you suffer with the consequences. Tired of the temper tantrums. This day has been bullshit!” Obie said.

“Thanks Obie.” Jon said softly to him.

Obie gave him the finger. “Now I’m giving you the universal symbol. Whatever Jon. I’m tired. Wake me up when the stick is finally out of your ass!” He told his friend as he turned his back towards Jon’s face.

Jon’s look was empty. He knew he had messed up, but didn’t know how to fix it.
‘Shit! Great job asshole!’ He thought as he looked over at Trina who now had her back turned from him.

He then looked across to Obie who had also turned his back on him. At a loss, he tried to touch Trina’s shoulder, but she shrugged him off.

Suddenly his throat began to throb heavily as he tried to clear it, but the more he instinctively tried to clear it, the more it hurt.

‘Oh no. Not now. I have to make things right. No!’ Jon thought.

He began to cough as he felt fluid running down the back of his throat. He was petrified. He now felt that he was losing control of the whole situation.

What’s happening to me? This didn’t happen to me earlier this morning. Someone help!’ He panicked.

He was coughing uncontrollably now. Jon touched Trina’s shoulder once more in an attempt for help.

“Trin!” He muffled as the coughing continued.

Curiously, she turned around and saw him clutching his throat w/one hand and covering his mouth with the other.

She looked concerned as he began to gasp for air.

“What’s wrong?” She said.

Jon shook his head. He looked pale and scared. He took his hand from over his mouth and there was blood covering the palm of his hand and over his lips.

“Oh my god!” Trina yelled.

“Obie…Richie….Help!” She cried as she put her arm around him.









Thursday, August 28, 2008

Oops!!!

Sorry everyone!

I know I promised more...and it's coming.....But blame it on staying up and watching the end of the Olympics and the DNC....

Sorry!!!!

I'll post ch. 25 and because you've been sooo patient.....more!! I swear...


TTYS Shell

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Quick Note!!!

Hello!!!!

Before I post Ch. 25/Part III within the next few days, I wanted to let you know that I'm toying with a lot of dates that the band did in fact play during this time period.

Giants was only the one show, and the date was June 11, 1989 (according to wikipedia-but sometimes that isn't always accurate. But to be honest, I remember it being some time in the summer of '89 just not sure if the date is correct. So if any of you beloved readers were there, let me know)

As I add more dates and venues to reflect the range of the story, I wanted all of you to know that they'll be of more changes like this as the story progresses.

And finally thank you!!

Thank you for reading. I have never had so much fun writing a story as this one. You all have made it a great ride and hope that in my future chapters that I can return the favor.

I'll be posting in a few days....Love you all...

Shell

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ch. 24


Trina went back to Jon’s room. It was only he and Juanita as she walked in.

Juanita smiled warmly at Trina. Jon lie on the bed writing feverishly in a spiral notebook.

Trina looked at him with a inquisitive look on her face.

He looked at her for a moment with a empty look on his face, followed by more writing in the notebook.

“What’s going on with him?” Trina asked as she pointed at him writing.

Juanita shook her head.

“Dear god. The doctor gave him a pen and a notebook.” Juanita quipped.

Jon flashed Juanita a arrogant look. Juanita laughed.

“Now, we got to deal with your crap handwriting too. The doctor should have temporarily banned you from doing anything.” She replied.
Jon tore out the sheet of paper and gave it to Juanita.

The note read: “You’d love that wouldn’t you?”

Juanita looked up at him. “Yes, I would. Just when I thought things were going to get quiet, that doctor gave you that notebook. That’s all we need!” She told him.

Jon smiled and gave her the finger.

“Aaah. The universal symbol. Careful, you might not be able to play guitar if I cut that finger off providing that you do that to me again.” Juanita told him. She then turned around to Trina and gave her a wink.

Trina was laughing at the whole thing. She admired their closeness and had come to respect and love Juanita just as much as Jon did.

Jon shook his head. He wrote something in the notebook and gave it to Juanita. She looked at him mockingly and shook her head.

“What are you asking me for? Why didn’t you give this to her? I’m not your messenger.” Juanita told him.

Jon pointed to Trina to get the note from Juanita.

“What is it?” Trina asked. She began to read the note.

It read: “What is she doing here?”

Trina looked at him. She gave him the notebook back.

“I’m here to see how you were doing. Richie will be here in a little bit.” Trina said.

Jon still was upset that Trina knew about this. But there was nothing he could do about it.

She walked over and sat on the foot of the bed.

“Richie and I are going to do the promos for the Giants shows. To replace you, I pitched a last minute slant to Heather that she and the others approve of. It’s me pretty much formally introducing myself to your fans. I’m sure that some of them are wondering who I am and why I’m around lately. I can explain why and draw new readers in while Richie promotes the hell out of the shows.” She told him.

Jon looked at her.

‘The idea isn’t bad. But how are they going to explain why I’m not there?’ He thought.

He took out his pen and wrote in the notebook. He gave it to her.

It read: “Where do I fall in?”

“We took you out of it. We’re going to use the Obie angle. The logistical problem with the catwalk. We’re going to tell everyone that you were too busy trying to fix that problem so unfortunately you couldn’t attend the interviews. We’ll also announce that the shows are postponed for a couple of weeks as soon as Obie gives us the go-ahead.” Trina said giving him back the notebook.

Jon nodded. He arched his eyebrows. He looked at her with a surprised look on his face. He wrote something else down and passed it to her.

It read: “Does Doc know?”

Trina gave him back the notebook. She nodded her head. “No.” Heather doesn’t know either, she thinks you had an emergency appointment in New Jersey but I assured her you’d be back and on time for the show.”

Shit they did think of everything didn’t they?’ Jon thought. ‘This ship can sail without me just fine.’ He thought, as he was thrilled that they did this. However, he also disappointed because he had set up the organization so well that they really didn’t need him if something were to go wrong.

Just as Jon was going to write something else, Richie walked in. He gave Juanita a peck on the cheek and gave Trina a friendly tap on the shoulder. Richie stood at the bottom of the bed. Jon smiled at him.

“Jesus, they gave you fuckin pen and a notebook? God help us all!” Richie teased. Juanita tapped Richie.

“I told Trina the same thing.” She quipped.

“How are you feeling?” Richie asked.

Jon wrote for a minute in the notebook and gave it to Richie.

Richie frowned and gave him a devilish grin.

The note read: “Helpless. I feel helpless. What am I going to do?”

Richie gave it back to him.

“You’re going to rest your pipes before something worse happens. I ran into Obie in the hallway. He filled me in along with Trina. After this show you are to do nothing bro. No singing, talking…nothing.” Richie told him.

Jon scribbled in his notebook and gave it to Richie.

“Easier said than done.” The note read. Richie gave him back the notebook.

“Well Jon, you don’t have a choice. All of us in this room have got your back. No one’s going to know outside of this room what’s going on.” Richie reassured him.

“I told him that.” Juanita chimed in.

Trina touched Jon’s leg.


“Richie’s right. No one’s going to know about this.” She said.

Jon took a deep breath. He scribbled a sentence down on the notebook only this time passing it to Trina.

The note read: “Prove it.”

Trina was so mad that she threw the notebook at him.

“What do I have to do? I’m proving it now! Did you see anything written about your voice from me? No! I can’t prove it to you anymore that I have been with everything I’ve done! So sick of this. ” Trina yelled.

“Jon stop! She’s right. She could have written about your problems at soundcheck and didn’t. You’ve got to relax, stop doubting and let us help you.” Richie said looking at his watch.

“Almost time to go?” Trina asked Richie.

“Yeah, we better head out.” Richie began towards the door. Trina got up and followed him out. Richie turned to him.

“Don’t worry Jonny. We got this covered. Just keep resting your voice till the show.” Richie told him.

Jon threw up his hands as the two of them left. He looked at Juanita.

“What?” She asked. He was baffled. “Lay back and relax. There’s nothing you can do. Wanna watch some TV?” She continued.

Jon shook his head. He mouthed the word. “No.” Juanita sighed. “I don’t know Jonny. I have a feeling that this is going to be a long two weeks.” She said getting up from her chair next to his bed.

She started to leave when she heard a whisper.

“Aunt Juanita?” Jon said. She turned around to look at him. He held up the notebook. In big letters were the words. “Thank you.” Juanita smiled and walked out the door.

~
Richie and Trina were on their way to the local news station where the promos and interviews were going to be held.
The feed after taping, would go national and start off the Giants publicity machine.
Richie and Trina got the go-ahead from Obie to announce the postponement of the Giants shows.
It was official. The shows were going to be delayed until the catwalk could be deemed safe for Jon to walk on and perform.

If the catwalk was unsafe after 10 days, the band would have to find another method for Jon to get around the stadium for those two nights.

As the two read the ‘official paperwork’ that Obie put through with some help from some old friends at the safety inspectors office in New Jersey, Richie and Trina couldn’t help but laugh.

“Oh shit, Jon’s going to be pissed! This is brilliant. Hat’s off to Obie. He’s got a job here for life.” Richie said.

Trina’s smiled widened.

“Wow! I knew he was going to make this in writing but he can stall this if he wanted to for a month.” Trina said.

Richie shook his head. “Damn straight. Jon’s going to go stir crazy.”

Trina looked at Richie strangely “Yeah?” She asked.

Richie nodded. “Yeah. He doesn’t know anything else Trina. Imagine someone taking away your ability to write. Same thing.”

“He needs us more now than ever.” She said to him.

“More than you know. This is going to be interesting for the next couple of weeks.” Richie lamented.

“You’re not kidding.” Trina said.

When entering the news station, the two initially received a mixed reaction from news staff who were hoping to meet Jon.

Richie apologized for the short notice and announced Jon had a last-minute meeting to attend and was unable to do the interview.

Trina chimed in and introduced herself. Within minutes the news staff felt a camaraderie and comfort with her that they weren’t expecting to have.

She was charming, intelligent and sweet.

‘She knew how to wow a crowd if she had to.’
Richie thought as he continued to watch her win over the journalists. ‘She was definitely the right person to help pull this off.’

“Didn’t Heather call and brief you about the last-decisions today?” Trina asked the entertainment editors.

As she asked, an intern came running into the room with a stack of papers.
“Oh no, they’re here!” The intern yelled giving the stack of paper to the entertainment editors.

“I’m so sorry everyone. Heather from Polygram said that a lot of stuff had come up at the last minute and I was jotting everything down so that you had them before they got here. I went as far as to even get the safety report that the safety inspectors filed because the catwalk Jon Bon Jovi uses is apparently unsafe. So they’re delaying the shows.” The intern nervously rambled.

Everyone looked at the intern blankly. The small group went into the interview room. Trina’s editorial assistant instincts kicked into high gear.
“What is this?” One of the entertainment editors asked Trina.

Trina explained to the editors what the intern was talking about. Richie continued to be impressed with how Trina was handling the situation. It was seamless. Never once did she say anything about Jon’s voice and recent problems. She gently persuaded the editors that it was due to the safety reports, the Giants shows were being delayed and that Jon went into a last-minute meeting to straighten things out.

The editors bought it. Hook, line and stinker. The intern apologized once more for not getting the info to them sooner, but the editors understood.

After they had sifted through all the paperwork and had the routine fact-check team go over everything with a fine tooth comb, they proceeded with the promos and interviews.

The interviews went off without a hitch. As planned, Trina introduced herself to a national audience and hoped that her experiences would bring more attention to the band her and stories. She encouraged fans to come up to her and share their experiences with her so that she could put them in her upcoming journal entry for the Post and Rolling Stone.

Richie was jovial and charming. He not only promoted the shows, but apologized on behalf of the band for Jon’s last-minute absence.

He also broke the news about the delay of the Giants shows but told the audience.

“The journey getting there is a little harder than we thought, but the ride will I guarantee you will be sweet. Got some great stuff planned for the shows and as soon as the city of New Jersey gives us the go-ahead, we’ll announce the new dates and promptly kick your asses for two nights.”

Trina smile widened.

‘He’ll never let Jon down.’ She thought as she watched him talk to the editors. Richie truly adored Jon. It was evident as she watched him finish up with cover up. ‘Does Jon even realize how many people care about him?.’

The two went back to the hotel with a raw tape for Jon and Heather to review of the promos and interview. Heather approved and moved on with her duties to publicize the upcoming Giants shows.

As they walked into Jon’s room. Juanita was waiting for them at the door. She stopped them before they went any further.

“How did it go?” She whispered.

“It went fine Juanita. What’s going on?” Richie asked.

“His voice…albeit it temporary is back. I guess that cortisone shot worked. The minute he knew his voice was back, he began cussing like a champ.” She told them.

“What the hell for? He’s on borrowed time with that. He better not keep on talking.” Richie said.

Juanita rolled her eyes. “Richie, he’s out of control. Now, he’s in the bathroom puking his guts out. I’ve never seen him like this before.” She told him appearing concerned.

“Huh?” Trina asked.

“Side effects of the injections. He’ll bloat up a little too.” Richie explained to her. “Juanita, let me go in there and talk to him.”

“Knock yourself out. Better yet, Pray that he doesn’t knock you out.” Juanita quipped as she let them both pass.

Richie walked into the bathroom. Jon was sitting next to the toilet gasping for air. Jon looked at him and waved.

“Hear you can talk now.” Richie said.

“Sorry to burst your bubble Richie. But I can indeed talk.” Jon told him.

“Not for long. But I’m not going to talk to you about that right now.” Richie said putting the tape on Jon’s lap.

Jon picked it up. “What’s this?”

“I thought you’d want to see for yourself how we covered your ass. And to see you cop a fucking attitude? Man, did we waste our time.” Richie said.

“Excuse me? Everything was in place. Obie didn’t have to delay it for this long?” Jon retorted.

“What the fuck? Jon, the doctor said after tonight, no more talking. You keep yelling, swearing and raising your voice, your temporary situation will end up being a permanent one. So, if I were you, I’d finish throwing up, watch this tape and thank all of us. Then after that you’ll apologize to everyone. Especially Trina. And I’m telling you I better not even hear a word out of you and until we got out there and perform tonight. Not a word!” Richie yelled storming out the bathroom.

Juanita went in as Richie came out.
“Done throwing up? We’ve got to go to the venue soon.” Juanita said.
Jon rolled his eyes. Juanita sighed. “I’m sorry baby. God knows I am, but you’re not making this easy on anyone.”

Jon continued to sit next to the toilet. The tears began to well up in his eyes again as he looked at Juanita.

Trina stood by the door simply watching. She was helpless to do anything else. She couldn’t help but to put herself in his shoes. As she did, the tears flowed down her face.

“I messed up so bad. All I ever wanted to do is be a rock star.” He told Juanita.

“You are baby, but you’re also John Francis Bongiovi. Time to remember that too.” Juanita told him.

He got up and hugged her. He didn’t realize that Trina was there watching everything until he walked out the door.

He passed by her without saying a word.







Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ch. 23

The Doctor was in Jon’s hotel room.

Jon sat on the side of the bed. He watched helplessly as the doctor shone a light pen down his throat.

The doctor’s positive attitude turned into concern as he continued to examine him.

Jon could tell by the look on the doctor’s face that something was very wrong.

Obie and Juanita watched nervously from the side of the room.

“Say ahhh. Mr. Bon Jovi? “ The Doctor asked him.

This time, Jon managed a squeak.

The doctor put the light pen away. He shook his head.

“You’ve got an edema on your vocal cords. Swelling looks like it’s starting to go down because you’re not speaking but if you sing you can potentially hemorrhage one of your vocal cords or both.” The doctor told him.

“Jesus! “ Obie said.

“How did this happen?” Juanita asked the doctor.

“Overuse. Jon’s been doing a lot of dates back to back for months. He and I had this conversation last tour. This schedule is too much for him.” The doctor said.

Jon glared at the doctor angrily.

“Look at me like that all you want. But if you keep this up, there’s no more singing in your future.” The doctor told him pointedly.

Trina opened the door and stormed through it.

“Okay Obie, I did it! Heather agreed to me doing the promos with Richie.” She said looking relieved. She looked at Jon who appeared furious. She looked concerned at Jon’s face, but then realized that she needed to focus on him getting better and not him having a temper tantrum. She turned towards Obie and Juanita.

“How’s the patient?” she asked.

“Well, he’s damaged his cords a little.” The doctor said.

“If he keeps it up he can damage his cords permanently.” Obie said.

Trina took a deep breath. She was shocked at the news.

“So, this has been going for a bit?” she asked.

“Apparently so.” Obie said glancing at Jon. Jon gave him the finger.

“Jonny, the least of your problems is telling me to fuck off. If Doc knew you couldn’t talk, that’d be it!” Obie said.

Jon closed his eyes. He put his hair behind his eyes and covered his face.

He knew Obie and the Doctor were right. He was angry with not only himself, but also Doc and Dorothea for pushing him so hard.

This was all he knew. He loved to sing and write. It was his outlet. He always thought he’d have this outlet. It never crossed his mind the one thing that made him who he was.

‘Oh my God, what I am going to do?’ He thought.

Trina kneeled down in front of him. She took his hands down and looked him straight in the eye.

“Listen to me. I’m here to help you. I’m not going to write about this. I promised you that I wouldn’t and I haven’t. You’ve done more for me that I could ever dream of.” She told him.

Jon rolled his eyes. He was in disbelief. As much as he wanted to trust her, he also knew she was a member of the press and could potentially turn on him at any moment.

“I get it.” Trina said. “You don’t trust me. I don’t know why you don’t by now, but to be honest you don’t have a choice.”

Jon snickered. He couldn’t believe she was giving him orders. To make matters worse, he couldn’t fight back.

Trina got up and began to walk to the door.
The doctor stood up from the side of the bed and walked in front of him. He took a deep breath and glanced at Obie, Juanita and Trina.

“I can get you through the show tonight with a cortisone shot and you absolutely not saying a word until you walk on that stage, however, you are not to talk, clear your throat or cough after this for 2 weeks. “ The doctor ordered.

Jon nodded his head. He whispered the words.
“No. We have the shows at Giants in three days!”

Juanita threw up her hands. “No! You don’t Jonny!” She said to him. She turned to Obie. “I see he managed to whisper that!” she told him.

“There are logistical problems with the stage set-up. Namely the catwalk, which could hold up these shows. Could take a week…maybe two to work this out.” Obie said as he looked proudly over at Jon.

Jon was furious. “ What?”

“It’s either your voice or 30,000 kids will see you fall to your death on the catwalk. Your choice.” Obie smiled smugly at him.

Jon leaned against the bed and folded his arms in protest.

‘I’m being held hostage by my own staff. What a crock of shit!’ He thought.

Trina looked at Obie smugly. “Okay, now that that’s settled, let me get Richie up so that we can get going.” She said.

She looked over at Jon. He shook his head at her in bewilderment.

“You’re welcome Jon. I’m more than happy to help with anything you need.” Trina said sarcastically walking out of the room.

~

Richie’s room was only a couple of doors down. When she knocked on the door, Ally fresh from her workout was there to greet her.

“Good afternoon Miss Trina.” Ally said still dressed in her workout clothes.

“Hey Ally. Is Richie awake? I need him to do all of us a huge favor.” Trina said.
Ally looked back behind the door. She hesitated for a couple of minutes. Richie looked as if he was struggling to get out of the bed.

“Ally? Is everything all right?” Trina asked as she continued to stand in front of the door.

Ally looked at Richie once more. He appeared to be very groggy, but he was at least sitting on the side of the bed. Finally, she opened the door.

“Sorry, I was just trying to figure out if he was going to get up or not. Come in.” Ally said.

Trina glanced at her strangely as she walked into the room.

When she saw Richie on the side of the bed yawning and rubbing his eyes. She understood partially why Ally was acting the way she was.

Ally went into the bathroom as Trina sat on the side of the bed next to Richie.

“Richie, you okay?” Trina asked.

“Better.” He replied. He was so tired that he given sounded groggy. He continued. “God, I’ve been so tired today. Feeling better though. What’s up?” he asked her.

“Jon’s lost his voice. The Giants shows are going to be postponed for a couple of weeks.” She told him.

“Obie told me earlier about Jon’s voice. What did the doctor say?” Richie asked.

“Well the good news is that the swelling is going down and the doctor is going to give him something so that he can sing tonight. “ Trina said.

Richie smiled weakly. He looked grateful. He put his hands through his long hair.

“Thank god.” He said.

Trina interjected. “The bad news is that Jon may have done some damage to his vocal cords. The doctors said that in order for his throat to heal properly that after tonight, no talking. He can’t even clear his throat or cough.”

Richie immediately sobered up from the sleeping pills Ally gave him after that announcement. He was in shock as he looked at Trina.

“What? For how long?” he said. He now appeared to be very serious and concerned about his friend.

“At least two weeks.” Trina said.

“Giants is definitely postponed then?” Richie asked.

“Yes, Obie wants us to say it’s due to logistical problems. Namely the catwalk.” Trina said.

Richie snickered. “That catwalk is as solid as a rock. Jon must be seething.” Richie laughed.

“He can seethe all he wants but he can’t say a word…for now, maybe that’s a good thing.” Trina said beginning to laugh. Richie joined in.

“Dear God. You’re not kidding. I can just see him trying to yell at someone over this and can’t. To be honest, we all after tonight can use a break. Doc is dealing with Motley Crue stuff overseas now anyways.” Richie looked down at his feet in satisfaction over the break. “Praise God, he isn’t here.” He continued.

“I agree. The less people who know, the better. Paul is dealing with tonight’s show. I didn’t want to bother him.” Trina said.

Richie took a deep breath. “He’ll know something’s up because there won’t be a soundcheck. He’s very cool when it comes to this kind of stuff. You can trust him. Besides, he knows we’ve all been burning the candle at both ends. If it were up to him, we would have postponed the start of this leg of the tour until Jon was better, but Dot convinced Doc otherwise.” He told her.

“What?” Trina said looking surprised. Richie stood up. He began to stretch his legs and arms.

“As you could probably tell Jon has been struggling with his voice a lot lately. To be honest, his problems have been going on since the last tour.” Richie told her.

“Are you serious?” Trina said with a frown on her face.

“Dead serious. He needs this break. I see what kind of spin Obie’s doing and it’s very cool. If you say it’s the catwalk not being cleared by safety inspectors then this will pacify Doc for a couple of weeks until we hear otherwise. That also takes care of anyone not knowing about Jon’s voice for now.”

“I see.” Trina said.

“Plus, the roadies can still get paid. All is well. No one has to know. That was smart.”

Trina nodded. “Okay.”

“So, what else needs to be done?” Richie asked.

“Promos for Giants.” She told him. “That’s why I’m here. Because Jon can’t talk, I proposed a little slant in the promos to Heather.” She said.

Richie smiled. He was bemused at how Trina was just stepping in to help when she didn’t have to.

“Okay…Go ahead.” He said.

Trina looked up at him.

“I told Heather that with your help, I’d do a formal introduction to the fans. I figured that some of them who have been backstage have to be wondering who I am and why I’m here. It not only gives publicity to the stories, but also puts a spin on the upcoming shows and a face to the byline name.”

Richie’s smiled widened. “I love it. Takes the attention away from Jon again. Love it!” He told her. “What would you like me to do?” he continued.

“Promote the hell out of the shows like I know you’ll do. If people see you, they won’t question why Jon isn’t there after we tell them. From the feedback I get, people love you just as much as they love him.”

“Aww. I love our fans too. This is great. Very nice Miss Trina. Very nice.” Richie said.

Trina took a deep breath.

“Jon was pissed.” She said looking sadly.

Richie rolled his eyes. “And?” he said sarcastically.

“No Rich. He was mad.” She said.

Richie sat back down on the bed.

“Oh darlin, he’s not mad at you. It’s the situation. He likes to be a part of every little thing that involves the band, but unfortunately he can’t control this. Honestly, I’ve never knew of him being this helpless.” He said to her.

Trina continued to look upset. Richie continued. “He’s gotta learn to trust people. Even just for a little while. But it’s going to be tough because of the pressure Doc and Dorothea put on him for these extra dates. But it seems like he doesn’t have a choice right now.”

“So what do I do?” Trina asked.

“Be there for him like you are now. The band and I will have his back. I’ll tell them everything and I guarantee you they’ll help out.” Richie said.

Trina was relieved.

“Oh thank god. Richie, thank you.” Trina said hugging him. He smiled warmly at her.

“Trina, we love him. He’s a brother to us. There shouldn’t ever be a question of any of us helping him or each other out.” Richie said.

She separated herself from him. She nodded her head.

“I never saw that expression on his face before.” She told him.

“His bark is worse than his bite.” Richie quipped. “This will work out fine.” He continued.

Trina got up from the bed. She headed towards the door. The two of them had no idea that Ally was done taking a shower. She had been standing in front of the bathroom door watching and listening to most of their conversation. She wore a white bathrobe and had her arms folded. She appeared to be both shocked and disturbed at what she witnessed.

“Give me ten minutes and we’ll both go and talk to Jon.” Richie told her.

Trina nodded and walked out of the room. Ally clapped her hands sarcastically at Richie’s behavior.

“Well that was an Academy-award winning performance.” She told him.

Richie looked up at her and rolled his eyes.

‘Not again!’ He thought.
“How long have you been standing there?” He asked her.

Ally shrugged. “Long enough to know that if Doc ever finds out. Trina’s history. So is Obie.” Ally quipped. She walked over to the bed. “You know maybe that’d be good thing because then I wouldn’t have to deal with Kendall calling you every five minutes whining over this and that.” Ally said.

Richie’s eyes flared. “No one’s getting fired. Trina’s trying to help out.” He said firmly.

“Who? Richie seriously? Herself? This is her big break. Breaking this kind of story by pretending to be in the inner circle would make her an instant star.” Ally said sarcastically.

“Oh Ally shut up! Trina’s not like that!” Richie said.
He got up and walked towards the bathroom. Ally snickered.

“You know it can happen Richie!” Ally yelled.

He turned around.

“You know instead of always jumping to conclusions, why don’t you try helping out? I thought you considered Jon a friend?” Richie asked her
Ally glared at him. Her brown eyes shot through his body like a dagger.

“Maybe as a friend I’m looking out for him. Perhaps all of you. Richie, we don’t know her that well. I just think everyone should use some caution that’s all.” She insisted.

“Maybe we should use some caution…from you.” Richie added. “I’m taking a shower. I’ve got to work in a little bit.” He said slamming the door behind him.

Ally snickered. She knew how bad the press could be. She wasn’t trying to start anything with Richie, but lately, their differences were far outweighing their similarities.

‘Now I can’t even give him advice. What the hell was that shit?’ She thought

They were drifting further and further apart. She had no idea of what to do to make things work between the two of them.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ch. 22

Trina answered the door. She was surprised to see Obie.

She had just finished showering and was drying her hair when she heard the door. She wore her now normal garb of a plain white t-shirt and blue jeans.

“Hey Obie, what’s up?” She asked as she continued to towel dry her hair. Obie stormed in her room.

“Shut the door hon.” He demanded.

Trina gave him a peculiar glance. Like he asked, she promptly shut the door. He appeared to be in a panic. He paced back and forth for several minutes before he uttered a word to her. Every so often he’d look at her trying to read her expression. It was a futile attempt for what her reaction would be after he had told her. He couldn’t figure it out.

‘Maybe this wasn’t a good idea after all.’ He thought.

“Obie, what’s wrong?” She asked him. She now looked concerned.

Her blue eyes were genuine. He thought. Still, he couldn’t get a read on what her reaction would be

‘If Jon knew I was here, he’d kill me.’ Obie thought. ‘Oh well, he’ll have to kill me and deal with the consequences later.” Obie mumbled to himself.

Trina continued to look worried.

“Jon has no voice Trina. He woke up a little while ago and it was gone.” Obie told her pointedly.

Trina looked shocked, but she wasn’t really surprised.

“His laryngitis came back?” she asked.

Obie sat on the bed. Trina sat down next to him.

“It may be more than that. He can’t even speak. Not even whisper.” Obie told her.

Suddenly, the color went from Trina’s face.

“He was fine last night. Aside from having a bad headache.” She told Obie.

“Headache?” Obie asked her.
“Yeah, he seemed stressed about something. It was a tension headache. I have tried massaging his shoulders because he kept rubbing his temples, but it only made things worse.” She told him.

“Worse? How?” Obie asked.

“I don’t know.” She shrugged. “He just couldn’t seem to relax.” She continued.

Obie nodded. “I don’t know what we’re going to do. The guys have a show tonight. Richie was going to do some promo stuff that Heather and Doc planned for the Giants shows, but he’s exhausted. He’s out cold right now on the bed. “

“Did you call the doctor?” Trina asked.

Obie nodded. “Not yet.”

Trina looked down at the floor. She watched her red toenails wiggle with activity.

‘I knew something was wrong. I could feel it. Jon has been nothing but a friend. Time to return the favor.’ She thought as she went into the bathroom. Obie quickly followed her.

Trina put her towel down. She took out her comb that was next to the sink and began to comb her hair. She looked at Obie and smiled at him warmly.

“I’ve got an idea. I’m going to talk to Heather and do the promos with Richie today.”

“Huh?” Obie asked. Trina put her comb down. She took the hair dryer that was on the side of the sink into her hand.

“Yeah. Don’t worry. I’m not going to tell her anything. But I’ve gotta wonder if some people who don’t know who I am are probably all of a sudden wondering why am I suddenly with the band. Time for an official introduction. It’ll be good to promote the stories, Rolling Stone, the Philly Post and Jovi. ” She said to Obie. “I’ll have Heather clear it with Rolling Stone and my bosses at the Post.” She continued.

Obie still didn’t get it. He looked confused. Trina realized that she was jumping ahead of herself and snickered.

“In keeping a spin on the upcoming Giants shows, I can do a joint interview to not only introduce myself and why I’m with the band documenting the tour, but to also explain that unfortunately Jon couldn’t be here to do the interviews due to other commitments pertaining to the Giants show. If I get asked why, I’ll say he just wants to ensure that the Giants shows are the best shows done by the band. Richie could be there on behalf of the band telling everyone what to expect from the concerts.” Trina said.

Obie grinned. “I like it.” However, his grin faded as his thoughts went quickly to this evening’s show.

“What about tonight?” he asked her. “The interviews will take care of the day stuff for awhile, but what about the show?”

Trina looked down in a panic. ‘All of them couldn’t cover Jon’s parts completely for a night. What would they do?’ She thought.

She took a deep breath.

“Pray. Pray that by tonight he can speak. The quicker we can get the doctor, the quicker the doctor can maybe do or give him something that could get him through the show.” She said.

Obie thought about the steroid injections. It angered him to think of Jon repeatedly taking them, but at this point, he may not have a choice.

“Okay, let me go and get the Doctor.” He told her as he gave her a peck on the cheek. Trina smiled.

“What’s that for?” she asked.

“Being a friend.” He said.

She touched his arm. “It’s the least I can do for him. He’s been so great to me in every way. Jon’s more than just my boss; he’s become my friend. This is what friends do.” She told him picking up the dryer. “Now if I don’t dry my hair, throw on some makeup and wake Richie up, we’re all screwed!” she said.
“I’m on it now.” Obie said walking out of the bathroom.
As she dried her hair, she had no idea on how she was not only going to convince Heather about this last minute twist, but to prove to all of them, especially Jon that they could trust her.













Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ch. 21

It was early afternoon as Jon lay in his hotel room staring at the ceiling.

His worse fears were realized. He had no voice. Not even a whisper.

He realized it earlier in the afternoon when he decided to call Obie’s room to let him know that he was awake. He held the receiver to his ears and lips, and nothing came out.

He had a show to do tonight and before that a couple of interviews to promote the upcoming Giants Stadium shows.

He had no idea as to what he was going to do. Tears welled up in his eyes.

‘I can’t believe nothing will come out!’ He thought as the panic steadily crept through his body.

All of those people tonight. The band, the crew. Everyone’s dependent on me. I’m supposed to sing in seven hours and I can’t even say a freakin’ word. What the hell am I going to do?’

He continued to run through the events Heather and Doc had planned for him this afternoon. Giants was a dream. It was a real milestone for the band. He never thought for a minute that he’d actually fill every seat, not for one night, but for two. It was a great accomplishment for him and everyone in the organization.

I can’t let them down. Not now…No!’ He thought.

His mind went to the band and to Richie. The panic was turning into sheer horror.

There’s no way the band can cover up something like this. I can’t believe that this is happening now!’

He continued to look up at the ceiling for a few seconds. The more his mind raced, the more it seemed like the ceiling was slowly coming down on him. He looked to his left and then his right. He watched as the walls closed in on either side of him.
He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Everything in the room, was getting smaller and smaller.

Jon’s eyes got huge. His heart began to race. This was all he needed. What would he do? He couldn’t call for help. He couldn’t yell or scream. He felt his breathing become quicker and quicker.

There was a knock at the door. Jon leapt up and opened it. He continued to look around watching the walls and ceiling, close in on him. It was Obie at the door, with coffee in hand.

“Oh good, you’re up.” Obie said. “Good morning. Hey someone tried to call me a little while ago. Was that you?” He asked.

Jon looked blankly at him. He wiped his eyes in disbelief over what he was seeing with the ceiling and walls. Obie had never seen that look in Jon’s eyes before. It was as almost as if he were in a near panic.

“What’s wrong?” Obie asked

The color was out of Jon’s face. Jon was hyperventilating out of sheer horror and frustration. Tears continued to well up as he pointed to his throat.

“Oh no.” Obie said looking shocked. He put the coffee down on the dresser. He put his arm around him and the two of them sat on the bed.
“Can you speak at all?” Obie asked.

Jon nodded his head. He mouthed the words. “No.”

Even mouthing words for him was painful at this point.

Obie took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He began to scan his brain for anything he could to make sure Jon would be able to not only rest his voice, but to also sing. At least tonight.

“Don’t worry. We’ll have someone take a look at you. Richie and the others will do the promo stuff.” Obie said.

Jon covered his mouth as the tears now flowed freely. He continued to look around the room, as the ceiling and walls began to gradually go back to their origins.

Seeing that Obie and Jon were sitting on the side of the bed as she was passing the door, Juanita took a step back and went through it.

“Morning Jonny. I just checked on Trina and-“
She noticed that he was crying. Instinctively, she went to him and gingerly kneeled in front of him.
“Ooh. Getting too old. Kneeling…” she mumbled.

Jon gently touched her shoulder with one hand and pointed to his throat with the other.

“Baby, what’s wrong?” she asked.

Frustrated that he couldn’t tell her what was happening to him, he threw up his hands. By then Juanita had figured it out. She couldn’t help but to be concerned. She had known Jon since he was a child and had never seen him like this before. He appeared tired and hurt. She couldn’t help but to feel helpless. She grabbed his hands in an attempt to reassure him.

Jon loved Juanita. Out of everyone, she was the only one who reminded him of home because of the longtime friendship she shared with his mother Carol. He was gradually feeling at ease as she held his hands.

Juanita grimaced. “It’s all right baby. We’ll get the doctor. Don’t you worry.” She reassured.

She stood up slowly and placed her hand on his forehead. His forehead was very warm to the touch.

“You’re warm darlin. I really think your flu is back.” She told him.

Juanita was angry. She threw up her hands in anger.

“Dammit, I told Dot that you needed more time off! Dammit!” She yelled.

Jon shook his head in disbelief.

'This soooo is not happening! I need to go back to bed and then wake the hell up. This is some fuckin’ nightmare' he thought.

Obie got up from the bed. He walked towards the door.

“I’m going to call the doctor.” He said.

He pointed at Jon.

“You just lie back and relax. Everything will be okay.” He reassured him as he walked out.

Jon sighed. Juanita took Obie’s seat on the bed. Jon put his head on her shoulder.

'He looks exhausted. He can’t keep on going like this.' She thought.
'If Carol knew…Dear God.' he thought thinking of her best friend and her reaction to all of this.

Juanita smoothed his hair back, dampened from his fever.

“Obie’s right Jonny. Everything’s going to be all right. Aunt Juanita will make sure of it. Okay?”

Jon closed his eyes as Juanita’s words drummed into his head with a purpose and defiance he had never heard before.

For the first time in months, he began to relax.

~

Before Obie told Doc about Jon’s voice, Obie went to Richie’s room in hopes of getting him down to the local television stations to do the interviews promoting the Giants shows. Ally had gone to the hotel’s gym to work out. Richie, groggy from the sleeping pills he had taken the night before, sat on the side of the bed, trying to take in Obie’s words as much as possible.

“So, Jon’s is going to need a doctor man…” Obie told him.

Richie tried to focus on him, but he quickly forgot what Obie had been telling him.

“What does Jon need a doctor for?” Richie asked yawning.

Obie looked strangely at him. He just spent at least ten minutes telling Richie about Jon’s voice and Richie didn’t comprehend a word of it. Wasn’t like him.

“You okay Rich?” Obie asked.

“Yeah. Just need some coffee.” Richie told him looking so sleepy that he could barely keep his eyes open.

Obie rolled his eyes. Now he was the one frustrated.

'Dammit, if Richie couldn’t do this. I have no idea as to what I’m going to do.' Obie thought.

“Jon’s voice is gone Richie. He can’t even whisper. Juanita thinks he may have a fever again. I need your help.” Obie pleaded.

Richie began to slowly get out of the fog that had been plaguing him for the last several minutes. Richie snickered at Obie in aggravation as if he knew of all of the things that had been going on during the tour for the last year.

“It’s those freakin steroids man.” Richie said.

Obie looked at him. He appeared confused.

“What steroids?” He asked him.

“As if you didn’t know. You’re kidding me right? The steroids for Jon’s voice. It stops the swelling, but if you take too much. It can make you sick.” Richie said to him.

Obie was surprised. He didn’t know about this. Not at all. He didn’t know whether to be worried or angry. And at whom? Regardless, Jon was his friend and he needed Richie’s help until Jon was better. He knew that once Richie was fully awake, he would help him.

“How long has he been taking them?” Obie asked.

Richie shrugged. “I don’t know. I only found out after the end of the Slippery tour.” He told him.

Obie’s eyes flared.

“What? It’s been that long?” Obie asked Richie.

Richie leaned back against the bed. He began to yawn again.

“Man, I’m so tired. Listen, I’ll be there if you all need me for anything. No worries. In the meantime, I could use some…more…sleep.” Richie said closing his eyes and quickly drifting off to sleep.

Obie tried to wake him. “Richie… Richie!” Obie said shaking him.

Richie continued to sleep peacefully.

Obie was dumbfounded. He had never seen Richie and Jon like this before. He knew once Richie woke up he’d be able to help Jon. But he needed him now.

Obie had no idea of how to tell Doc that Jon was very sick and that Richie was seemingly on something.

Maybe at least he wouldn’t have to. Not just yet. Obie’s head began to spin. He took one last look at Richie sleeping on the bed and spun of the room.

There was one more person he thought of that could help him. It was Trina.

As he got to the door, he stood there for a moment. His mind quickly went down the list as to why and why wouldn’t she help him. However, the pros outweighed the cons. She has shown loyalty in her stories. Especially in regards to Jon’s voice at the sound checks she went to. Obie thought there were genuine feelings of understanding between Trina and Jon. Not to mention a mutual attraction between them. Because she hadn’t said anything, she had become more than just an employee. She had now become a friend and a member of the inner circle whether she wanted to believe it or not.

He knocked on her door. Praying that he was doing the right thing…

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ch 20

The boys played a great set for the Pittsburgh fans.

Jon’s voice was bothering him again. He had been overdoing it, but realized that he had one more show to do in Hershey before he could take a rest. His voice bothered him so much that he couldn’t reach a single high note. Richie, Dave and Alec took over for him effortlessly. Jon seemed grateful that thankfully no one seemed to have noticed that he was having a problem tonight. He’d leave it at that.

Because it went so well the night before and the arrangement was better for his voice, they ended the show again with acoustic versions of “Prayer” and “Never Say Goodbye.”

The crowd went nuts as Jon and Richie took their bows and exited off the stage.

Trina briefly noticed that she hadn’t seen Ally since the in-store appearance earlier in the afternoon. She had heard about the argument she’d had with Richie earlier in the day and assumed she needed some space.

Jon and Richie came from the stage. The usual well wishes and congratulatory hugs were given to each member. As Jon got to Trina, she threw her arms around him. He laughed as he returned the embrace. Richie and Obie looked at him and simply shook their heads, they appeared to be amused by Jon’s continuous flirtations with Trina. Jon ignored them both. He was having fun.

She could feel his heart beating furiously under his vest.

Since she only came up to his chest, she couldn’t help but bury herself into his soft fur.

For a minute, the two of them had forgotten that there were other people backstage. Jon was happy to see that Trina was warming up to him. He kissed the top of her head and began to separate slowly from her.

Trina felt as if she were in a daze. She looked over at Jon. He winked as he and moved onto the next person. He began to laugh with delight. Richie looked at Jon and shook his head.

Richie looked over at Trina; who just lifted her eyebrows and shrugged. She seemingly began to know now the game Jon was playing with her.

No one said a word as the bus took them to Hershey. Ally, fresh from reading scripts and setting up meetings via a conference call with her agent for most of the day, looked out the window. She appeared to be sill aggravated over what happened with Richie earlier. Tina wrote a quick review of the show so that it’d be ready to file before they reached the hotel.

Richie looked over song lyrics he was working on in his notebook. During their brief break before performing at Giants Stadium, he would try for his own record deal at Polygram.

He had spoken to Jon about it and Jon couldn’t be more supportive of his friend and his solo efforts. Jon basically watched Trina write in her journal. He was exhausted but sleep wasn’t coming as fast as he wanted it to.

His throat was hurting as well and it worried him greatly that Hershey would be the 3rd night in a row where he would not able to rest his body and voice. .

Trina walked over to Jon and sat next to him.

He yawned as put his arm over his eyes. His eyes burned from exhaustion.

Trina tenderly put down his arm. His eyes were red. “Can’t sleep?” she whispered.

Jon nodded “No. Overtired I guess.”

He rubbed his temples in a futile attempt to remove the stresses of the day. However, the usual tension headache he got almost every night, had begun its journey creeping from his shoulder blades to the back of his neck.

She took down his hands. She closed his eyes gently with her index finger and thumb.

“Relax.” She whispered as she began to massage his shoulders with her hands.

He winced his pain.

She continued to rub his shoulders. His muscles were hard as a rock. Her fingers tried to move from his shoulders to his neck muscles.

Kneading gently, his neck muscles slowly loosened as the tension began to lift. As he relaxed, his head exploded in pain. He suddenly pulled away from her, rubbing his temples again.

“I’m sorry.” She told him. “I was just trying to-” Jon interrupted her.

“I know. It’s ok.” He told her as he lay back down in the seat closing his eyes.

“I’m sorry Jon. I only wanted to help. Do you need aspirin or something?”

He shook his head. “No. Just stay with me. Please?” He said softly. Trina sat next to him until they both drifted off to sleep.

~

Meanwhile, as Richie finished up editing his lyrics for his demo, Ally plopped down next to him.

She was smiling and surprisingly very alert after being up since the crack of dawn.

“Almost done?” She asked.

Richie looked surprised that she was acting as if nothing happened and put away his notebook. He leaned back against his seat, figuring he’d get some sleep before they hit Hershey.

“Yeah I am. I’m tired Al. Been up since early this morning.” He groaned.

Ally put her head against Richie’s chest. “I just wanted to tell you that I’m sorry for the way I acted earlier.”

“Ally, I love you. I don’t understand why you can’t believe in that.” Richie told her.

“I do. I know you love me, but for how long today? An hour? Two hours? Eight? You were more into your phone conversation today than I’ve ever seen you into anything we’ve done.”

Richie rolled his eyes. Ally touched his shoulder.

“I don’t want to fight about this anymore. All I want is that kind of attention put on me.” She said.

Richie had nothing to say. He knew she was right, but he was tired of the same argument. The more she fought with him over his friendships with other women, the more he thought that maybe things should end.

He meant what he said. He did love her. Everything about her. But he was too tired to deal with this now.

He lowered his head and brushed his lips softly against hers.

She smiled warmly at him.

“Thank you.” She whispered.

Ally got her purse that had been sitting on the side of her lap. She took out a prescription bottle and opened it. She took out four small pills. She put two in her hand and passed the other two to Richie. Richie had never seen the pills before. He looked at her curiously.

“They’ll help you sleep.” She said.

Richie looked at them for a second. He took them from her and popped them in his mouth.

Ally popped the other two in her mouth. She closed the cap on the bottle and placed it in her bag.

She laid her head against Richie’s waiting for sleep to eagerly arrive.

~

The next day in Hershey was a light day for both the band and Trina.

As soon as they arrived at the hotel, she filed her review and checked into her room.

She slept for what felt like days. Again, Jon flooded her thoughts. She had been very concerned about his voice and his head. His muscles were so tight that they barely moved, and when they did, it made the problem worse.

Trina looked at her clock; it was only 9 am. She turned around and closed her eyes. She didn’t have to be anywhere until after 3 pm.

The two of them were seated on the bus next to one another. The others had gone to get something to eat. She was initially going to go with them, however, he had asked her to stay. After being on the road with all of them for a bit, she was so worried about how all of this was affecting him that she needed to tell him how she felt once and for all. .

“I’m worried about you.” She told him.

“I’m fine Trin, I’ll be okay.” He told her.

Tears welled up in her eyes.

“No you’re not. Jonny. Please tell me what’s wrong.” She pleaded.

He took his hand and wiped away her tears.

She held his hand against her face. She continued to cry.

“Babe, don’t…Don’t.” He told her.

“You take such good care of everyone else, who takes care of you?” She asked.

She took his hand and brought it to her lips.

“Now, who’s teasing whom?” Jon joked.

She began to cry.

“Jon, it’s not funny. I think I’m falling in love with you.” She told him.

“Oh you are?” He teased.

He looked at her. He tried to be sympathetic towards her, but he was elated.

She put his hand down. She began to cry even harder. She looked at him angrily. He tried to muffle his laughter.

“Oh no. Don’t cry.” He told her.

She pulled away from him and began to turn towards the window.

“Jackass!” She yelled.

Jon continued to laugh. He tried to turn her around.

“No, you don’t understand. I’m sorry Trina, please. Baby, please.”

She turned around and slugged him.

“I love you too.” Jon told her.

“Such an ass! How could I be so stupid? I shouldn’t have come.” Trina said.

She looked strangely at him. He was no longer laughing.

“I love you. I love you so much. You’re so cute when you’re mad that I can’t stop laughing.” He said pointedly.

She wiped the tears from her face.

“Oh.” She said. Jon snickered.

“See, even looking all bloodshot and crazy. You’re beautiful.” He told her.

He bent down gently and kissed her. His lips were warm and soft; he parted her lips gently, tasting the fullness of her mouth.

She wrapped her arm around his waist, holding on to him for as long as he wanted her to.

He began to kiss the nape of her neck, loving her smell, taking in every part of her.

She was drunk with happiness, letting her senses take her where they needed to go.

She felt his hand moved up her sides and over her chest. He took out her breast from her bra and cupped it in his hands.

She gasped. He moved from his seat, to gently straddling himself on her lap.

He continued his descent, moving down her neck and down her chest.

One by one, the buttons on her blouse opened. Without thinking her fingers began to unbutton his jeans.

His eyes were glazed over as he moaned her name…

~

“Trina, Trina? Darlin’ Wakeup!” The voice said.

Trina turned around and there sat Juanita on her bed with coffee in hand.

She briefly was never more ticked off at anyone for waking her up like that in her life.