Well I went and did it again. I got involved in yet another interactive fan fiction story. This time, my character was paired with Richie (much more to my liking). That story wrapped in early November 2008, and I had been asked to assemble the "story posts", that is, the posts that tell Richie and Jen's story, in one place for people to read.

So I'm doing it.

I'm having to add some filler as I go, as there were lengthy pauses between the verbose posts I made, but I'm trying to keep the flow of the story going.

The Richie/Jen story is only half of the fan fic project. The other half was a Jon/T story. That is not explored here at all. In fact, very little mention is made. Just enough so it isn't a surprise when T shows up at various points.

If anything is confusing, please let me know. I've been living this character for the better part of the last eight months, and her memories are mine. I forget, sometimes, that you all can't see into my head.

I hope you enjoy the story. It starts here.

~ Hath


Monday, November 10, 2008
Starting at 11:00 Sunday morning, Jennifer’s phone started buzzing. The first buzz surprised her, because most people who would be calling her knew that Sunday mornings were for church, and more specifically that this Sunday, she was watching her niece’s choral debut. Irritated at the interruption, but knowing it was probably work, she glanced surreptitiously at the display. PRIVATE CALLER flashed before the call switched over to voicemail. Puzzled, Jennifer put the phone back in her purse: her minions come up under their own names on her phone; she had no idea who this was.

A short time later, just after Communion, the phone buzzed again, and again, PRIVATE CALLER came up on the display. Her heart leapt when she figured out who this must be. “Oh my God,” she whispered under her breath, now anxious for the Mass to be over so she could listen to her voicemail.

After Mass, there was a reception for the kids who had sung in the choir. Distracted by her phone, Jennifer wandered around for a few minutes before finding her brother and his family, and she shared hugs with everyone. “I sang, Auntie Jen!” a little voice called before she felt something slam into her legs.

She crouched down. “You sure did, Bean!” Jennifer answered, and wrapped her niece in a hug. She was fully back with her family now. “You sang beautifully.” Her phone buzzed again, but she didn’t reach for it. This was her niece’s time. They enjoyed punch and cookies, and finally, the families of the children in the choir began to head for home.

“You comin’ to help ma and dad with the yahd?” her brother, John, asked her, as they made their way to their cars.

Jennifer rolled her eyes. “Yarrrrd,” she said, emphasizing the ‘R’, “and yah, I am. I got grubby clothes in the carrrr.”

John laughed at her stubborn reluctance to embrace the Claven that the men in her family were blessed with.

Hours later, the trees were trimmed, and the brush hauled down to the wooded area at the end of the street. The pool was uncovered, the barbecue cleaned and ready, the umbrella tables up and cleaned, the lawn mowed, gravel raked, and the 12’ square screen house was assembled and furnished. Collapsing onto a lounge chair, Jennifer sighed. “Damn, that gets harder every year.”

“Why do you think we ask you kids to help?” Jennifer’s mother came up behind her with a glass of lemonade. “Not that we don’t want to see you, but we really are too old for this anymore.”

Jennifer laughed, and accepted the icy glass from her mother. “Well, as long as you have us you don’t have to worry about that.”

“Your phone has been buzzing and jiggling all afternoon. Is something going on at work?”

“Nah,” Jennifer said. “A friend is trying to set me up with his friend,” she said, rolling her eyes, “and I think this is that other guy calling.”

“Another blind setup?” Jennifer’s mother shook her head. “When are you going to learn those things don’t work out. And more importantly, are you being safe?”

Jennifer nodded. “Yes, Mom. I haven’t even talked to this guy yet, but I sure as shit am not going to just go off and meet him alone.” Well, maybe I will, she added silently.

“Language, dear. As long as you’re being safe. You ‘bout ready for dad to start the grill?”

“Absolutely! On both counts,” Jennifer said. Moments later, the skies darkened and the heavens opened. “SHIT!” she yelled as she ran for the relative dryness of the screen house. Meanwhile, tucked into her purse in her mother’s bedroom, her cell phone buzzed. Again.

By the time Jennifer got home Sunday night, it was late. She stayed to play games with her family, and lost track of time. Exhausted, she turned off her cell phone and went to bed.

Richie looked at his phone for the dozenth time. He knew it was the right number, because when it went to voicemail, he heard:

“Thanks for calling, this is Jennifer Petruzzo with Allegiance Investments. Please leave me a message, and I will call you back within one business day. If this is regarding an urgent production problem, please press star, then dial 332372. Alternately, you may hang up and call the 24-hour support line at….”

He had memorized the message by now, and was tempted to page her, just to see what would happen. But that would mean leaving a callback number, and his momma didn’t raise no fool. Jon may have passed him the number, but neither of them really knew this girl. Still, Jon had said that she’d be interested, more than interested he’d grudgingly admitted, to talk to Richie, and he was surprised that she wasn’t answering the phone.

Monday morning, Richie tried again, and the phone went straight to voicemail. That was progress. At least she was on the damned thing this time. He tried one more time around lunch time, and was rewarded with an actual person.

“Hi, this is Jennifer, how can I help you?” she answered. Richie didn’t answer right away, wondering what the hell to say. “Hello? Is there anyone there?”

Richie cleared his throat. “Yeah, sorry, hi, Jennifer?”

“Yes, this is she. Who is this please?” Her heart was hammering in her chest. She’d know that velvety voice anywhere and nearly died when he said her name. She knew she should just say ‘hi Richie’, but she wanted to hear him say his name. She got up from her desk and headed for the nearest empty office.

“It’s a friend of Billy’s,” Richie said, not knowing why he did that.

Jennifer laughed. He was going to be a pain in the ass. Game on. “Well, I happen to know several gentlemen who go by that name,” she said softly. “To which Billy would you belong?” She closed the door and settled in behind the empty desk.

“The Kidd,” Richie answered, smiling at Jon’s should-be-obvious handle on the board he’d was talking about. He knew damned well Jennifer knew who he was. She couldn’t cover up the little gasp that escaped when he first spoke to her. She was being a smart ass to him. He liked her already.

“Aaaah, yes. Bill. Well friend-of-Bill, what can I do for you?” She had to cover the mouthpiece to keep from laughing.

“Well, see,” Richie said, “Billy said that I might want to talk to you.”

“I gathered that from the fact that you called me, what, nine times? in the last twenty four hours,” she giggled, and Richie smiled.

“Well, where the hell were you?” he asked, forgetting for a minute that he didn’t know her.

“Well, I had church, then a muscle-straining afternoon at the parents’ house getting things set up for summer, then I got my ass rained on, and I was so exhausted when I got home, I stripped down, took a 30-second shower, and crawled into bed.” Jennifer slapped her forehead when she finished her little spiel. What the fuck did she tell him that for?


Jennifer choked out a laugh. “Excuse me?”

“Did you crawl into bed naked?”

“Did you?” she countered.

“Yeah, in fact, I did,” Richie smiled smugly at the silence on the other end of the phone.

“Uh, before this gets any more personal, I need to ask, friend-of-Bill, this IS Michael, right?” She covered her phone so Richie wouldn’t hear her gales of laughter.

Richie sputtered indignantly. “No! This is Rich! Richie Sambora!”

A knock on the door startled Jennifer. She said “Hi Richie, hang on,” and motioned the person in. “What’s up, Howard?” she asked.

“Dave is looking at the numbers for the latest reallocation, and noticed that they looked off. We’re supposed to hold eight percent of JP Morgan but we only have seven.”

Richie could hear everything, and listened intently, trying to glean from her conversation what it was she did for a living. He knew she worked for a financial services company, hell, he was even familiar with her particular company, and fleetingly wondered if she managed his account. Wouldn’t THAT be a funny coincidence?

“Howard, we bought eight into the aggressive portfolios but only seven in the blended and growth,” Richie heard her say. “Conservative got six point five. Now, I can have the guys run a report for Dave, so he can see the current allocations and we can run some projections so he can see what the effect of upping to eight across the board would do. I’m no expert,” she said, “but I think the conservative is spot on, though you could go another half a percent on the others.”

“When can I have that report?”

Jennifer looked at her watch. “Gimme ten minutes to finish this call, five to brief the team, say a half hour?”

“You’re the best.”

“So you keep telling me, Howard.” She waited until he had shut the door. “Sorry, you still there, caller?”

“You know damned well who this is,” he said laughing. “What was that all about?”

“Sorry, work beckoned. That was the COO who had some questions from the prez about some numbers he thinks are wrong in my system.”

“Your system?” Richie was confused.

“Yeah, my system. One of them anyway. I run the operations group here, so basically, I am in charge of all our computer systems. I have billions of dollars flowing through my virtual fingertips every year.” She lowered her voice to a growl. “It’s a very heady feeling.”

Richie laughed. “I can imagine. So, you’re management then?”

“Bite your tongue, man,” Jennifer exclaimed. “I am a computer nerd who is in charge of slightly nerdier computer nerds. Minions as it were.”

“Every Goddess needs her minions, right?” Richie said, laughing. There was dead silence on the other end of the phone. “Jennifer?” he asked tentatively.

“Shit,” came the soft response. “You know.” It was a statement, not a question.

“Yep, I do,” Richie said. “I have to ask, have we met?”

Jennifer colored, and was glad they weren’t meeting face to face. Like THAT would ever happen now. Shit. “Yeah we did, close to, Jesus, 16, 17 years ago.”

“And, uh, were we, um…”

“NO!” Jennifer exclaimed. “No, we weren’t.” She didn’t want to say it, but she knew the question was coming.

“Then how do you, uh, what I mean is, oh hell, how do you know so much about my…”

“Technique?” Jennifer supplied. At Richie’s grunt, she said, “I just write what I like, and have a great imagination. Now, not that hasn’t been an enlightening conversation but I have to get back to work before I get in trouble.” She knew she wouldn’t get in trouble, but she need to go compose herself. And she had to get off the damned phone before she embarrassed herself more than she already did.

“Can I call you again, Jennifer? When you have more time to talk?”

Shit, really? She thought for sure this would be a one-time deal. “Uh, sure. I’d really like that. I work until 5 most days, and am home by 6:30.”

“Alright, you will be hearing from me. Count on it. And Jennifer?”

“Yes, Richie?”

“When’s the next chapter of The Photographer going up?” He laughed when Jennifer squeaked and hung up the phone. He’d be calling her again. No question.


(c) 2008 by TheGoddessHathor

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