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

Meeting Denise and Lucia

Monday, April 26, 2010
Saturday morning, Jennifer and Richie were woken by Ava storming into their room. “Daddy! Jennifer! It’s Saturday!”

Richie rolled over and groaned. “Baby girl, it is way too early to be up.” He covered his head with a pillow. Jennifer laughed and poked his ribs.

“C’mere, Sundrop,” Jennifer said, raising the covers to let Ava come in. The little girl climbed in and crawled across Jennifer to lie between the two adults. She started chattering to Jennifer about the things she wanted to do this weekend, knowing that Jennifer was flying home on Friday.

A few minutes into her recitation, she started to giggle. “Daddy’s snoring,” she whispered loudly, making Jennifer chuckle.

Putting a finger to her lips, Jennifer slid out of bed. Ava followed. The two girls grabbed pillows and circled around to Richie’s side of the bed. Jennifer held up three fingers and started a countdown. When she got to one, they attacked, Ava going for the face, Jennifer for the stomach.

“OOF!” Richie grunted, then counter-attacked. He grabbed his daughter and flung her onto the bed, shrieking and giggling the whole way. Jennifer took a step backwards.

“Don’t you DARE,” she said, holding up her hands in front of her.

“Don’t make me chase you, woman,” Richie growled.

“No! Don’t chase me,” Jennifer said, gasping with laughter. “I can’t run.”

“Not my problem,” Richie said, and leapt from the bed. Jennifer did the best she could, but her hobbling was no match for Richie’s stride. He scooped her up and dropped her on the bed next to Ava. He grabbed the covers and brought them up over the girls’ heads.

“DADDY! NO!” Ava yelled. “Block your nose,” she said to Jennifer.

Richie burst out laughing. “Young lady, I am not going to fart on you,” he said.

Jennifer laughed so hard, tears streamed down her face. “Oh God, you don’t do that to your own daughter, do you?” She turned to Ava. “Does he?”

She nodded solemnly. “Yep, he does when he thinks he’s being funny.” She wrinkled her nose. “It really stinks.”

“ENOUGH!” Richie bellowed, sending Ava and Jen into a fit of giggles. “Why are you up so early, young lady?”

Jennifer answered. “Because your daughter woke me up.”

“Not you,” Richie said, exasperated.

“Are you calling me old?” Jennifer said, putting on a pout.

Richie rolled his eyes. “Cut the crap, you’re younger than me.”

Ava was laughing and wiping tears from her eyes. “You’re funny, Jen; you make daddy crazy.”

“Of course I do,” Jennifer agreed. “It’s fun.”

Richie looked at Jen with eyes that darkened briefly with lust. “You sure do drive me crazy,” he said with a rumble that went straight to Jennifer’s core. He slapped Jennifer’s butt and she squeaked. “C’mon, girls,” he said. “As long as we’re up, we may as well have breakfast.”


Around noon, they plugged Denise’s address into the GPS, and saw she was only about twenty minutes away. The route the GPS selected brought them by Universal Studios. “Can we go to Universal tonight?” Ava asked as they passed the theme park.

Richie groaned. “Really? Tonight?”

Ava nodded enthusiastically. “They have this horror thing where the backlot is set up like a haunted house kind of thing. There’s this burned looking guy with knives on his hands, and a guy with a leather mask, and some hockey mask guy…”

Jennifer laughed. “Freddy, Michael, and Jason,” she said. “The three bad boys of horror. Really, though, you like that kind of thing?”

Ava nodded. “I love horror movies and scary books and stuff like that.” She turned her eyes on her father. “Pleeeease, Daddy?”

Richie looked at Jennifer, who just shrugged. “We’ll see if we can get tickets,” Richie said shaking his head. “Her mother is gonna kill me,” he muttered under his breath.

They pulled up in front of a typical San Fernando Valley one-story home in Studio City. As they were parking, the front door opened, and a woman came out, smiling hugely. “Hath, darlin’, you made it!” she called as she came down the steps.

“Who’s ‘Hath’?” Ava asked as they walked up to the house.

“I am,” Jennifer said. “It’s the fake name I use when I go online. Denise!” she called as they approached. The two women embraced. “Denise, this is Richie and Ava Sambora. Rich, Ava, my friend, Denise.”

Richie took Denise’s hand and leaned in to kiss her cheek. With a sidelong glance to make sure Ava wasn’t paying attention, he nuzzled her neck. “Nice to finally meet you,” he said, his eyes crinkling when he smiled.

“Likewise,” Denise said. “Come on in. Steve’s out back, and Lucia and Jeff should be here any minute.”

Denise led them through the house and out back. They had a large yard with a lush grassy area on one side and a sparkling pool on the other. The clear water looked very inviting, and the grass felt soft enough to run barefoot in.

“Hey there!” a masculine voice called from a lounge chair. Denise’s husband unfolded himself from the chair and approached, a warm smile splitting his face.

“You must be Steve,” Jennifer said, as he came to stand next to his wife. “Thanks for having us,” Jennifer said as he shook hands with her and Richie.

“Any friend of Denise’s is welcome.” He looked at Ava. “Well hello,” he said. “I’m Steve.” He held out his hand for Ava to take. “I have students about your age,” he said. “Are you crazy into sports like they are?”

Ava smiled. “Only if they’re highly competitive.”

The five of them settled down with plates of fruit and cheese and cold lemonade and got to know each other. After a short while, a voice called out across the yard. “Hell-o-o-o-o-o…”

“LUCIA!” Denise called. “BACK HERE!”

“Well of course you’re back here. Is that their car?” she asked, then stopped dead at the sight of Richie sitting there. Jeff crashed into her.

“Keep moving, babe,” he said, “and for God’s sake, pick up your tongue.” He rolled his eyes at her and shouldered past her.

Jennifer did a double-take. Lucia’s friend Jeff was almost a dead-ringer for Jon. Jeff was a bit taller, and more barrel-chested, but he had the These Days hair and the same piercing blue eyes and chiseled jaw. Jennifer looked at Denise and winked. “Wow,” she mouthed, making Denise laugh and Richie scowl. More introductions were made, more lemonade poured, and soon, Ava got bored with the adult conversation and began casting longing glances at the pool.

“Honey,” Denise said. “As long as you can swim, you’re welcome to the pool.”

Ava looked pleadingly at her father, who laughed. “Go,” he said.

“Daddy, come swim with me,” she said.

Richie looked apologetically at the others. “Go on,” Jennifer said. “We’ll be fine.” Richie dropped a slightly lingering kiss on Jen’s lips before running off after his daughter.

“Go away,” Denise said to her husband after Richie had left, leaving Jennifer touching her lips and watching him go. “We girls need to dish.”

Steve sighed and clapped a hand on Jeff’s back. “Come on, man, let’s grab a couple of beers.”

When they were gone, Denise took Jennifer’s hand. “Well how’d the meeting go yesterday?”

“Much better than I expected,” Jennifer said, knowing exactly what Denise was talking about. “Heather really was quite nice. I like her.”

A loud splash followed by joyous laughter drew the women’s attention to the pool. “Hey,” Ava called. “Jennifer, are you gonna swim with us?”

Denise smiled. “Go ahead, Jennifer. Go swim with your family.” Jen shot a surprised look at Denise, who just nodded knowingly, then went to join Richie and Ava.

After an afternoon of sun, swimming, and laughter, the men gathered around the barbecue to get dinner going. The women and Ava shucked countless ears of corn and wrapped potatoes with pats of butter in little foil pouches. Ava was the runner, bringing things to the men when they called for them, and helped Denise make a huge salad while Jennifer and Lucia mixed a giant pitcher of Sangria with a good, local red wine and slices of oranges, lemons, and peaches floating in it.

After dinner and cleanup, Steve lit a fire in the outdoor fireplace, and they sat around in comfortable patio furniture sipping their respective drinks and talking comfortably with each other. All too soon, Ava, who was laying on a thickly padded wicker sofa, started to drift off. Jennifer crossed the patio and scooped the little girl into her arms then settled with her on her lap. “Sundrop, you wanna go?” Jennifer whispered in her ear.

Ava nodded. “I wanna go to Universal before you go home though,” she said. “I wanna show you a lot of things before you have to go.” Her voice was getting fainter. “Maybe if there are enough things you like here, you’ll stay…”

Jennifer’s heart caught in her throat, and a sheen of tears sprang to her eyes. “Baby, there are plenty of things here I love,” she said, kissing Ava’s forehead. Richie saw the motion and the tears, and came to sit next to them. He wrapped an arm around Jennifer’s shoulder and kissed her forehead.

“You alright?” he whispered.

“More than,” Jennifer answered. “I think we should get her home though; she’s exhausted.”

“She’ll be really disappointed she couldn’t go to the horror show with you this weekend.”

Jennifer shrugged. “So, I’ll stay another week,” she said. “As long as I can clear it with my boss.” Her boss was going to kill her. It was only a matter of time before he stopped being so flexible with her working arrangements and she had to give up so much of her time with Richie. Either that, or she’d have to give up her job. Shocked at how palatable it was to think about giving up her job, she missed most of the rest of what Richie was saying. She caught the end though, the most important part.

Richie tightened his arm around her. “I love you,” he said.

“I love you too,” Jennifer answered, her mind whirring already with the phone calls she’d have to make. And deciding what she wanted to say.

Settling In

Monday, April 19, 2010
Richie led her through the downstairs, showing off his chef’s kitchen and butler’s pantry that made her mouth water. Next came the formal dining room with acres of mahogany in the table, chairs, sideboard, dry sink, and hutch. She chuckled at the chandelier that hung over the table. “A bit opulent, no?” she said, indicating the light fixture.

“Baby, it isn’t a formal dining room without a little bling.”

She saw the formal sitting room, complete with grand piano, and the family room, the media room, library, two bathrooms, and a guest suite. “Ready for the upstairs?” Richie asked her.

She nodded, and he led her to and up the grand staircase in the entry hall. “There are four guest bedroom suites along this hallway,” he said, indicating a hall that led over the living and family rooms. “My and Ava’s suites are down this way,” he said, leading her toward the back of the house. The first door he stopped at was shocking pink.

Jen laughed, “This has got to be your daughter’s room.”

Richie chuckled. “What gave it away?” He pushed open the door and Jen choked back a gasp. It looked like a queen’s rooms. The windows were treated with heavy fabrics in cream and rose, with swags and valances and heavy tie-backs. The queen-sized bed was lost under a veritable mountain of pillows in the same colors, and the rug was thick and luxurious. Ornate mirrors, an antique dressing table, and elaborate scrollwork on the dressers completed the regal look.

“Wow, not at all what I expected.”

“No?” Richie’s eyes were twinkling.

“Nope, I was expecting it to look like a Pepto factory exploded in here. Did she choose all this?” Jen ventured over to the mirror and ran a finger down the side of the frame.

“She did. My little girl’s got an old soul.”

“You can say that again,” Jen said. “This is absolutely gorgeous!”

“Her bathroom and dressing rooms are through there,” he said, indicating a door at the back of the room. “I’m sure she will want to show you everything this weekend. Are you ready to see your rooms now?” Richie asked, anxious to have this woman in his bedroom finally.

“Lead the way,” Jen answered, anxious to see if Richie’s bedroom reflected the gypsy in his soul, or the practical side of his masculinity. He led the way down the hall a bit, and opened a wide door set with brass fittings. “Oh, Rich! It’s absolutely gorgeous! And the view!”

Richie’s bedroom was in the back of the house. The entire rear wall of the room was glass, offering a panoramic vista that literally took Jen’s breath away. She noticed that most of the glass was sliding doors, and they would let in the sounds and scents of the ocean view beyond. To one side of the room’s door, against the wall, was an oversized four-poster king bed. The headboard and footboard were heavy, dark cherry wood, and the spread and pillows dressed the bed in royal blue and deep purple. The same colors were captured in the swirls of the area rugs that were scattered across the polished hardwood floors.

Against the other side of the door was a sitting area; a few over-stuffed chairs around a low cherry table. Several doors led off the main bedroom, all of them slightly ajar. Jen wandered around, touching everything. She gently pushed open the doors as she came to them, revealing a huge bathroom, study, a music room filled with guitars and a second piano, and two closets.

“It’s amazing,” Jen said.

“Glad you like it.” Richie checked his watch. “We have a little under an hour until Ava comes home. Not nearly enough time to do anything naked.” He laughed at Jen’s expression. “I know. Listen, are you hungry?”

Jen gazed longingly at the bed, then back at Richie. “I guess I could eat,” she said. The pair made their way downstairs and into the kitchen, where Richie made them a light pasta dish. They had just cleaned up the dishes when Richie heard his daughter’s footsteps running toward them.

“Is she here?” Ava shouted before skidding to a stop in the kitchen. “You came!” She flung herself into Jen’s arms.

“Yes, I came to visit,” Jen said, hugging Ava close. “Your daddy took me on a tour of the house; your bedroom is absolutely beautiful! Are you sure you don’t want to be a designer when you grow up?”

“Maybe; I haven’t decided yet.”

“Well, you have wonderful taste.” She hugged the little girl again. “Oh, it’s so good to see you again!”

“You too, Jen! How long are you staying?”

“I’m flying home next Saturday; I can stay the whole week. Listen, your dad and I are going to visit a friend of mine this Saturday, do you want to come? I think they have a pool.”

“That sounds like fun,” a voice said from the doorway.

“Mom!” Ava said, scrambling over to her mother. “This is daddy’s girlfriend, Jennifer.”

Jen crossed the room and extended a hand to Heather. “It’s nice to meet you,” she said.

“Hmmm,” Heather answered, noncommittally; looking Jen up and down with a critical eye.

“Ava honey, why don’t you go get started on your homework,” Richie said. “Give Jen and your mom a chance to talk. Mom’ll come get you when it’s time to go.”

“Okay,” Ava answered happily, and after kissing all the adults in the room, skipped off to do her homework.

“She’s a wonderful little girl,” Jen said to Heather. “You must be so proud.”

“Yes, I am,” she said, not smiling. She cast a glance at her ex-husband, raising an eyebrow at him. Turning her gaze back to Jen, she said, “We should get more acquainted. I would stay and chat now, but I am running late for an appointment. Perhaps we can meet over lunch tomorrow?”

“Sure, whatever you think is best,” Jennifer answered, feeling quite intimidated by the other woman.

Heather looked at Richie. “Why don’t you two meet Jack and I at that restaurant we used to go to all the time.”

“Sure,” Richie said, distracted by Jen’s discomfort. “It’ll be good to see Jack again.”

“See you tomorrow,” Heather said to the room in general, then turned to collect her daughter.

“Damn,” Jen said, sinking back into her chair. “Does she do the intimidating ex-wife thing to everyone? Or am I special?”

Richie chuckled. “She does have the diva thing down pat, doesn’t she? Don’t worry about her,” he said. “I’m sure lunch will be just fine tomorrow, and we’ll have Ava for the whole evening. Are you sure you’re ready for that?”

“The Ava thing, sure why not? Though will she sleep with us or in her own room?”

“Her own room, thank God. What about the other?”

“I’ll let you know after lunch.”

On Friday, Jennifer was more nervous that she’d ever been in her whole life. Flying nonstop to Australia would have been more preferable. Even if the woman wasn’t Richie’s ex-wife, Jennifer would have been nervous meeting the celebrity. She was a huge fan of Melrose Place, and she had loved the evil, scheming Amanda, and was saddened when she turned nice in the end. But she was absolutely terrified to sit down for a heart-to-heart with the gorgeous woman who was Ava’s mother and Richie’s ex.

Richie and Jennifer had arrived at the restaurant to find that Heather and Jack were already there. “You ready for this?” Richie asked, squeezing Jen’s hand.

“If I’m not,” she answered, “it’s way too late now.”

After awkward handshakes and cheek-kisses, the four sat down for lunch. Actually, they sat down with food, but only the men ate. “Ava has told me a lot about you,” Heather said softly. “She really likes you.”

“I’m glad; I really like her, too,” Jennifer answered. “She’s a wonderfully smart, delightful little girl with exquisite taste and a wicked sense of humor.”

Heather smiled. “She does have her father’s sense of humor.”

Richie laughed. “And her mother’s sense of style.”

After that exchange the conversation flowed a little freer, with Heather asking Jennifer questions that any mother would ask of the woman in her child’s father’s life. Jen answered everything honestly and was relieved when Heather seemed to relax. “You know,” Heather said. “I was prepared to hate you.”

“Heather...” Richie started, but Jen put her hand on his arm.

“She’s allowed, Rich,” she said, and he covered her hand with his and backed down.

“But I can see,” Heather continued, “that you genuinely love Rich and I can tell from what Ava has told me that you really care about her. The little care packages and emails you’ve been sending her – she really enjoys getting them, and they don’t smack of someone trying to get on her good side. They feel honest.” She toyed with her water glass and considered the woman across from her. “You seem like a very nice, normal woman. Rich is lucky to have found you.”

Jennifer smiled. “I’m the lucky one, but thank you.”

That night, Richie and his girls ordered in Chinese and sprawled in the sitting area of his bedroom, watching ESPN and talking. He and Jen were curled up on the couch, with Ava sitting on the floor in front of them, leaning against the sofa. It felt so right, having Jennifer there with him and his daughter. He watched as Jen idly combed her fingers through Ava’s hair, twisting it around her fingers, and his daughter relaxed into her touch. He turned his gaze to Jen’s and stared at her for a moment, then leaned over to kiss her.

“What was that for?” Jen asked, smiling.

“I’m just so damned happy right now,” Richie answered. “I’ve got my girls with me, we’re watching sports on TV and neither of you care, and we just had the best damned chow mein in the state.” He let out a robust belch. “Yep, happy as a pig in shit.”

“Pig is right,” Jen said, frowning comically at him.

“Get used it it,” Ava piped up. “Daddy makes all sorts of gross noises.”

“Ah, it’s alright,” Jen said. “I guess I can put up with the gross noises from your dad. He’s pretty special.”

Ava tilted her head back to smile at Jen. “Yeah, he’s one of a kind alright.”

Getting to LA

Monday, April 12, 2010
After several days of utterly slothful relaxation, Jon and Tiff were on their way back to Texas. They had gotten word that they were letting people back into their homes, and Tiffany wanted to go back and assess the damage. When they were gone, Richie was reluctantly packing his belongings. “I wish I didn’t have to go, but...”

“I know,” Jennifer said, hugging him. “You have Ava to think about. I completely understand.”

“This has just been so perfect, these last days. Things have been so good between us. I guess I hate to break the spell, ya know?” He looked like he was going to ask something else, but just turned back to his bag.

“What, Rich? You looked like you were going to say something there. What is it?”

“Nothing, I was just going to ask if you wanted to come back with me, but I know you’ve taken an insane amount of time off from work and...”

“Let me worry about that,” Jen said. “I would love to come home with you.”

“Really?” He put his arms around Jen’s waist.

“Absolutely. Let me make a few calls.”

After making the necessary arrangements, which took longer than she had hoped, Jen packed a bag. “How long should I pack for?”

“How long can you stay?”

She didn’t want to get into the work arrangement with Richie; she basically had to take a leave of absence to make this trip, and didn’t want him to feel guilty. “I can stay for a week, maybe a little longer. I’ll pack for that.”

While Jen did that, Richie was on the phone to the airlines, adding Jen to his reservation. There wasn’t an adjacent first-class seat on his flight, so he changed his flight to a later time, and arranged for the car he had hired to come a few hours later as well. They spent the afternoon cuddled together, watching old movies on TV, until it was time to leave for the airport.

“Did you take your Xanax?” Richie asked, as he and the driver packed the bags into his rental.

“I’m going without today,” Jen answered as she opened her door.

“Really?” Richie asked. They got settled in the car Richie tucked Jennifer under his arm.

“Yeah; I figure if we’re going to make this work, I’m going to have to spend a lot of time on planes.” Jen smiled warily. “I’d rather not have that mean that I spend a lot of time doped up. I don’t like feeling all loopy.”

“I like you loopy,” Richie said, leaning over to give her a smacking kiss. “You let me take care of you when you’re loopy. You’re too damned independent sober.”

Jen laughed and patted Richie’s knee. “Poor baby.”

They made it to the airport in record time, and were dropped off right in front of the terminal. They were checked in and ensconced in the first-class lounge in less than half an hour.

“There is something to be said for traveling first class,” she said, raising her glass of Diet Coke in salute.

Richie clinked his bottle of water against her glass. “You’re telling me.”

When their flight was finally called, they handed their boarding passes to the flight attendant and made their way down the jetway. The closer to the plane’s door they got, the tighter Jennifer’s grip got on Richie’s hand.

As the plane’s door came into view, Richie gently disengaged her hand from his and tucked it under his arm, so she was squeezing his bicep instead. “Just a few more minutes and we’ll be sitting down. Do you want aisle or window?”

“Aisle. Definitely aisle.”

Richie took Jen’s duffel from her and put it in the overhead compartment. Then he settled into his seat and leaned forward so he was blocking the window. When Jennifer sat, Richie raised the arm rest between their seats and cuddled Jen close to him, and she buried her face in his chest.

“I’m sorry for being such a big baby,” she said. “I know this fear is irrational, but I can’t seem to get over it.”

“Don’t even worry about it,” Richie answered. “Maybe in time this won’t be too bad. If it is, we’ll figure something else out.”

The flight attendants made their final sweep of the cabin, instructed everyone to fasten their seatbelts, and went through their takeoff spiel. The plane taxied to the runway, and Jen took a deep breath. As it started down the runway, gathering speed as it went, she held her breath and closed her eyes.

“Breathe, baby,” Richie crooned in her ear. He took her hand in his, and stroked the back of it with his thumb.

When the plane took off soaring over the airport buildings, a curse slipped out from between Jen’s clenched teeth. “Damn, I hate this part.” By the time they leveled off, Richie had lost most of the feeling in his left hand.

“Baby, as much as I want to comfort you right now, I really need my hand for work,” Richie said softly. “Please don’t break it.”

“God, I’m sorry,” Jen answered. “Guess I should have taken a pill. I’m such a wimp when it comes to flying.”

“Lots of people hate to fly,” Richie countered. He leaned in close to whisper in her ear. “I know something you can do that would take your mind off of the fact that you’re in a plane.”

Jen met his eyes and saw the twinkle of mischief in them. She frowned for a moment before the light bulb flipped on. “Rich!” she hissed. “I am NOT joining the mile-high club with you!”

“Who said anything about that? I just meant the hostess cart will be along soon, and you can have a drink. Glad to know where your mind is, though, you dirty girl.”

Blushing furiously, Jennifer buried her head in her hands. “Oh God,” she moaned.

“Are you sure you don’t want to rethink your aversion to sex on a plane?” Richie asked, chuckling at the horrified expression on Jen’s face.

“Quite sure, thank you,” she said. “I don’t even want to think about getting out of this chair and trying to navigate the aisle while the plane is in the air, never mind the acrobatics needed to – no. You’ll just have to wait.” She stuck her tongue out at Richie who quickly captured it in his mouth. He pulled her closer to him, turning the playful nip into a full-fledged kiss.

Long minutes later, Jen broke the kiss with a smile. “Mmmmm,” she said. “Can we do that for the rest of the flight?” she asked.

“Sure thing, darlin’,” Richie answered. “Whatever you want.”

The flight passed blessedly fast and uneventful. When the announcement came over the PA system for everyone to put their seatbacks and tray tables in the upright and locked position, Jennifer heaved a sigh of relief. “That wasn’t too bad. Now all we have to do is not crash.”

Richie chuckled softly. “Darlin’ you’re perfectly safe. I promise.”

When the captain turned off the seatbelt sign, Jennifer needed a minute to get herself together before opening her belt. “Damn,” she said. “I sure am glad that’s over. How long until we get to your place?”

“Not long; there should be a car waiting outside the terminal.”

Indeed, a black Expedition was waiting for them when they emerged. Their bags were stowed in the cargo area, and they climbed into the back seat. Richie handed Jen a bottle of water from a cooler stowed on the floor between their seats, and she drank it greedily, needing only a few swallows. Sighing happily, she snuggled into his side, and watched as California passed by her window. She texted Denise to let her know that she had accompanied Richie home and her friend invited the two of them to her place over the weekend. “Rather than just having lunch with your guy, I’d love to meet you, too,” she had said. “Richie’s daughter is more than welcome, too, if it’s his weekend.”

When they arrived at Richie’s house, Jennifer whistled. “Wow, this is some place. You do alright, Rock Star.” The estate was sandstone and glass, and absolutely perfect for the bluff on which it stood. The massive oak double front doors opened into a huge entry way. A full-sized mummy lurked in one corner of the hall, and faux cobwebs were stretched across the antique mirror over an ancient mahogany table. “Ready for Halloween, are you?” Jen asked, touching the mummy’s arm.

“Nearly,” Richie said, “though I don’t get too many trick-or-treaters.”

“Gee, I can’t imagine why, what with the imposing gates and everything.”

“Look who’s talking! At least my gates won’t shear your car in half if you’re too slow getting through.”

Across the other side of the entryway, giant floor-to-ceiling windows overlooked a beautiful verandah. Beyond that rolled acres of green lawns. In the distance, Jen could see the ocean.

“What a beautiful view,” Jen said, crossing to the windows. She opened one of the sliders and ventured out onto the verandah. The grass looked satiny soft, and she was tempted to take off her shoes and see if it felt as good as it looked. “Does anyone actually use the lawn? It looks too good to be true.”

“I’ll have you know, that is the finest Bermuda grass money can buy, and it is used all the time. My landscapers just do a good job at keeping it up.” He closed and locked the front door behind him and came to stand behind Jennifer. “Want the tour?”


Casa de Hath

Monday, April 5, 2010
Richie and Jennifer were at the airport Wednesday morning, as promised. Jennifer held a sign that said “Bill” and tried hard to keep a straight face when she saw Jon and Tiffany come through their gate. Tiff ran across the open space and wrapped her arms around Jennifer.

“I’m so glad to see you again!” she said. “Thanks so much for having us. I don’t mind telling you that the photographers were just about gettin’ on my very last nerve.”

“You are very welcome. Now, gimme that hand,” Jennifer said, grabbing for Tiffany’s left hand. “Oh, T, it’s gorgeous,” she said. “Jon done good.”

“Yeah, he did alright,” Tiff said, positively beaming.

“Seriously, how has the press been?”

Tiff rolled her eyes. “I swear to God, Jen, any time we stepped out of the damned apartment, someone was there to take our picture. And you,” she gave a stern look to Jennifer that was ruined by the mirth in her eyes. “You had to go on the board and post about the pictures those damned photographers published yesterday.”

“Hey, I stood up for you!” Jennifer said indignantly. Then she ruined it by laughing. “If you read it all, I said that you guys looked good together and Jon looked happy.” She snuck a look at the man in question. “He does, you know.”

Tiffany looked over at Jon, who was deep in conversation with Richie. “Richie does too. I’m glad you guys worked it out.”

“Me too, girlfriend.” Jennifer was thoughtful for a minute. “So spill, what WAS Jon laughing at in those pictures?”

Tiffany chuckled. “This cab was driving real slow down the street, which was odd because, well, this WAS New York City, and there wasn’t much traffic. Anyway, the cabbie toots his horn, and we look over, and a big hairy ass is pressed against the window.

Jennifer laughed. “No way!”

Tiffany nodded. “Yes way. Jon said if he didn’t know for a fact that Richie was here in Boston, he woulda sworn it was him.”

Jennifer groaned. “I don’t even want to know how he knows what Rich’s ass looks like pressed against a window.”

The women linked arms and went with the men to baggage claim. Richie was horrified at the amount of luggage that came down the chute. “How the hell long are you staying?” he asked.

Jennifer elbowed him roughly. “Shut up, Rich, it’s my house, they can stay as long as they want.”

“Thank you, doll,” Jon said, kissing Jennifer’s cheek. Tiffany had stretched up on tip-toe to kiss Richie’s. “We’re not sure about our departure,” Jon said warily. “We saw on the news that they’re letting people back into Galveston, but it’s a long drive to get in; the airports are still closed.”

“And I told you,” Tiffany said, “that I don’t care how long it takes, I wanna get back and assess the damage.”

“I know, baby,” Jon said, wrapping an arm around Tiffany’s shoulders and kissing her temple.

“Well, whatever you wanna do,” Jennifer said, “is fine with me.”

The foursome went out to the short-term lot and piled suitcases, a guitar case, and themselves into the Tahoe. Jennifer climbed up behind the wheel, her awkward ascent to the running board and stiff-legged entry to the vehicle looking resignedly natural if not comical.

“Hobbling around pretty good I see,” Jon said, laughing.

“I know you aren’t laughing at me, Midge,” Jennifer said, purposefully using the nickname Richie used when he wanted to push Jon’s buttons.

“Oh, I know you just didn’t call me ‘Midge’, Hath,” Jon said, emphasizing her pen name.

She blushed and started the car, and Richie immediately turned on the XM radio. Prayer was on, and the guys groaned. Tiffany and Jennifer laughed, and started singing at the top of their lungs – very much off key. The boys begged them to stop, but the girls sang every last note, including the talk box wah-wahs, until they were all laughing so hard they nearly pissed themselves.

“Dayum, Jennifer,” Tiffany said, “your voice is terrible!” She was laughing hysterically.

“Yeah, yeah, I know, but I’ve gotta tell you, Rich doesn’t mind it,” Jennifer answered. She cleared her throat and did her very best impression of a phone sex operator. “Ain’t that right, lover?”

“Jen,” Richie warned. “Stop it.”

“Aw baby,” Jennifer crooned, making Tiffany chuckle. “You weren’t saying that a couple hours ago. In fact I believe your exact words were ‘fuck ‘em, let them take a cab’.”

Jon punched Richie’s shoulder. “You bastard!” he said, laughing. “You’d make us take a cab just so you could get laid?”

“Hell yeah,” Richie agreed. “Wouldn’t you?”

Tiffany turned around and raised an eyebrow at Jon. “Uh, I’d try, but T wouldn’t let me.”

“You’re damned right I wouldn’t,” she said. “You are an excellent lay, fantastic in fact, but manners are manners.”

“Yes ma’am,” Jon drawled, and leaned forward to tug on Tiffany’s braid.

The joking and banter made the hour-long drive back to Jennifer’s house seem to fly by. As they passed through the gates, Tiffany whistled. “Damn, girl, you do alright.”

“Thank God for pre-nups,” Jennifer quipped, then noticed Jon’s frown in the back seat. “Uh-oh, did I light up a touchy subject there?”

Jon shook his head. “Naw,” he said. “She thinks we should have one, I don’t happen to agree.”

“Jon, that’s our business,” Tiffany admonished, as they poured out of the car.

“Sorry, honey,” Jon said.

“So!” Richie said. “T, you gonna try out Jen’s stripper pole? Damned thing’s been lonely with her all laid up like that.” He wagged his eyebrows at her.

Tiffany rolled her eyes. “If I do, Sambora, it won’t be in front of you.”

“Oh, c’mon,” Richie wheedled. “I have a whole fistful of dollar bills.”

Tiffany punched him in the stomach, hard enough to make him say OOOF! “Richie,” she said, “you don’t have enough money for me to dance for you.”

He pouted, which made Jennifer laugh. “Oh, you big baby,” she scolded.

And so it continued all through lunch. After they cleaned up, Jennifer hopped online to answer a few emails and PMs from the girls, and laughed at Denise’s.

“Rich, baby, you’re outed,” she said. “Denise and Lucia want to meet you now, next time you’re home.”

“Sure thing,” Richie said. “Are they gonna wear their hair up for me?”

Jon laughed. “T wrote ME as the vampire, asshole,” he said, smiling at Tiffany, who blushed.

“Watch it, baby,” Tiffany warned. “I haven’t completely written off writing slash.”

Jennifer laughed. “I can collaborate with you! I know Rich’s lines and moves, and could accurately describe his technique...”

Tiffany burst out laughing at the looks on their men’s faces. “Would he be throwing or catching?”

“Stop!” the men said together. “Shut up!” Jon protested.

The girls ignored them. “Oh I think they should wrestle for throwing rights.”

“Oh, but Richie’s bigger,” Tiff said.

“How do you know?” Jennifer asked, then blushed. One of the guys said ‘fuck’. “Oh, that’s not what you meant. Uh, well, yeah he is bigger, but Jon’s more ripped, I think they’d battle honorably for dominance.”

Jon and Richie looked at each other. They knew a sure-fire way to get their girls to shut up. They stalked across the room and each took his woman into his arms. Richie cradled the back of Jennifer’s head with a big hand. Jon framed Tiffany’s delicate face with his hands. The two men leaned in and kissed the ever-loving shit out of their women. They kissed their girls long and hard and after a few minutes, felt the girls go limp in their arms. When they broke apart, the girls looked at each other.

“What were we talking about?” Jennifer asked her friend.

“I have no earthly idea,” Tiffany answered, fanning her face.

The two men exchanged a high-five.

Jennifer suggested her friend’s barbecue place for dinner, but warned them about ribs and ‘ritas night. Tiffany was looking forward to trying Georgia barbecue. She was a little leery about it, because after all, you want barbecue, there’s not a better place then Texas to get it, but she was game. Jon thought it would be fun.

When they arrived at the restaurant, Jennifer went in by herself. Krissy looked up from the table. “Damn, Jen, I thought Richie was with you this week.”

“He is,” Jennifer answered. “I had friends fly in today, they’re here too.”

“Well where are they?” Krissy asked.

Jennifer looked out the window. “Here they come. Be nice.”

When Richie came in, Tiffany was next to him. Jon was behind Richie and not visible right away. When Richie leaned down to kiss Krissy’s cheek, and the other ladies saw who was behind him, the whole table, all eight of the women, said, “Fuck me” at the same time.

Jon chuckled. “Ladies, as tempting as that is,” he said, smiling that smile, “I think my fiancĂ©e would have something to say about that.”

“Nah,” Tiffany said, flipping her wrist. “They’d just get you warmed up. ‘Salright.” The women all laughed. “Hey, I’m T,” she said. After the introductions, and a few minutes of gushing and general star-struck fan behavior, they settled in to eat. Matt brought out big piles of ribs and cole slaw, dirty rice, corn on the cob and garlic smashed potatoes. Cornbread and sweet tea rounded out the meal, and they laughed and talked and stuffed their faces until they couldn’t swallow another bite.

Toward the end of the meal, Matt approached them. “I’m sorry to bother you,” he said, after kissing Jennifer’s cheek. “But would you guys mind if I took a photo for the brag wall?”

Richie looked affronted. “How come you didn’t want my picture last time I was here?”

Matt looked sheepish and glanced at his wife. “My wife’s a fan, but uh…” he trailed off.

Jon saved him. “But she’s got the hots for me, not the wingman.” He nodded. “I understand. Happens all the time” Krissy buried her face in Veronica’s shoulder.

“Fuck you,” Richie said.

“No thanks,” Jon replied.

They posed for pictures at the bar and back in the kitchen, and took one with Matt for the brag wall, then posed with each of the ladies.

“Thanks,” Matt said. “Thanks a lot.”

Krissy pulled Jennifer aside, into the vestibule where the bathrooms were.

“OH MY GOD!” she said, trying for sotto voce, but failing miserably. “I can’t believe JON FUCKING BON JOVI is in my restaurant!”

“Krissy, calm down!” Jennifer said, giggling.

Richie stalked over. “How come you didn’t go all ape shit when I first came into your restaurant?”

“PUSSY!” Jon yelled at Richie, making Krissy laugh.

“DICKWAD!” Richie yelled back. He looped his arms around Jennifer and Krissy, and led them back to the table. They all declined dessert, but hung around for a little while to listen to the local blues band that was playing. Eventually, Jon, Richie, and their girls made their way back to Jennifer’s house.

(c) 2008 by TheGoddessHathor

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