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

Taking Care of Business

Monday, May 10, 2010
The next several weeks went by in a whirlwind of activity. Jennifer gave her notice at work in early November, citing her last day as December first. She worked with her boss to find a suitable replacement, and had Margot trained on everything she could think of within a couple of weeks. Margot had been in the business for more than a decade, and was a quick study. She made Jennifer feel much more relaxed about her decision to leave.

Evenings and weekends, her family and friends helped her pack up the house. She had decided not to sell her house. She loved it too much, and she and Richie would have a second home – not a condo – on the East coast for when they came to visit her family. Her cadre of packers worked from room to room, closing up vents, pulling blinds and shades, and draping furniture with sheets.

Richie called every day, asking if she was sure if she didn’t want him to fly out to help her.

“Rich,” she had told him each time, “I need this time to say good bye. I need to be around my family and friends, and they need to help me with this. It’s not that I don’t want you here, it’s that I need to do this my way, to say my goodbyes and close the door on this chapter of my life.”

“I know, I just miss you.”

“I miss you too. Make a list of all the ways you can show me just how much, and we’ll get started on it as soon as I land.”

“Oh really?” Richie laughed.

“Yes, really,” Jen answered.

The last week before her flight to LA, she was done with work, and spent time with her parents. They told her that as long as she was happy, they were happy for her, it didn’t matter where she lived.

“You’ll just have to come back to visit,” Ma said, “because you know your father and airplanes.”

“Flying is unnatural for people,” John groused.

Jennifer laughed. “I know, Daddy,” she said, kissing his cheek. “We’ll come back and visit often. I’m not selling the house, so we’ll always have someplace to come.” She hugged her mom. “And Ma, you can always come out without Daddy, you know. We’ll have a room for you, no problem.”

“Far away from yours I hope,” Ma answered with a twinkle in her eye. “There are some things a mother does not want to know about her daughter.”

“Ma!” Jennifer complained. “ I can’t believe you just said that!” She was blushing furiously.

“What, I’m old, not dead. I remember a thing or two about being young and in love. So, when are you getting married?”

Jennifer laughed. “I don’t know. Richie’s been hinting about it, asking me what kinds of flowers I like, and even Ava’s asked me what my dream wedding would be like. I think he’s got something planned, but I’m just taking one day at a time. If it happens, it happens.”

“It’ll happen,” Ma said. “Mark my words. You sure you don’t need a ride to the airport?”

“I’m sure,” Jen answered. “Cheryl, Steph, and Gail are coming in to help with the final few boxes for the van, and they’ll take me. It’s hard enough saying goodbye here, I don’t want to be wreck at the airport.”

“If you change your mind,” John said, “you know you can always call us.” His gaze told her volumes more than the words he spoke.

“I know, Daddy,” Jennifer said softly. “But I think that this is for keeps. Rich and I really love each other and want this to work.”

“Just know that I will get on a plane with your mother to come and collect you if you need us to. I love you, my girl.”

“Love you too, Daddy.”

The three Petruzzos shared a hug, then Jennifer had to go and collect her friends from the airport.

The last two days before her flight, Jennifer had packed nearly everything she wanted to take, and her and her girlfriends had the van packed full. Her brother had come to take the Caddy, and the Harley was going with her to LA.

“I think that’s it,” Jennifer said, dusting off her palms. “I still can’t believe I’m moving to LA.”

“I think it’s wonderful, honey,” Gail said, hugging her friend. “You and Richie are going to be deliriously happy.”

“I hope so,” Jen answered.

Cheryl cuffed her on the back of her head. “Not ‘hope so’, ‘know so’. Come on, Jen, be honest.”

“Okay,” Jen said, smiling, “yeah, we’ll be happy. I can’t imagine what I’m going to do with myself out there though.”

“Gee,” Steph said, “a leggy blonde with big boobs in LA. You could always become an actress.”

That had the girls laughing hysterically. “Yeah, like I’d be good for anything other than porn. No thanks. I’m a lousy actress, and other than writing it, porn has no appeal to me.”

“Not when you have your own Hairy Longfellow at home,” Gail snorted.

Cheryl, “I’m sure you’ll find something to do. If I were in your shoes, I’d spend all my time with Richie.”

“Yeah, but what about when they go back out on the road? I can’t follow them all over the world.” Jen worried her bottom lip with her teeth.

“Why not?” Steph asked. “You have money; why not use some of it on yourself?”

“Yeah,” Gail said. “Spend a little coin on your own happiness. Unless you think that it would be boring.”

“Touring the world with Rich? Boring? Never,” Jen said with a wink. “I’ll figure it out.”

“Remind me: what time is your flight on Saturday?” Steph said.

“5:45 AM. Don’t give me grief, I wanted to get out there as early as possible, and this was the earliest flight. Besides, the early morning flights to the West coast are the safest, and the least crowded.”

In deference to the early flight, the girls elected to go out and celebrate Jen’s new life on Thursday night, gathering for ribs-n-ritas a day later than usual. Over pitchers of margaritas, racks of ribs, and over the sound of the local blues band in the background, the girls all toasted Jen’s new life, and demanded to be invited to the wedding.

“Of course you’re all invited,” Jennifer promised. “Hell, you’ll all be bridesmaids if I have my way.”

Krissy snorted. “When have you ever not gotten your way?”

Jen laughed. “Well, you do have a point.”

Friday night, Jennifer sent the van off on its cross-country journey. Once it had cleared the gates, she went back inside and spied the stack of suitcases by the front door. “This is really happening,” she said to herself.

Her house phone rang, and Jennifer snatched the receiver off the hall table before one of the girls could get it. “Hello?”

“Darlin’, you aren’t answering your cell,” Richie said. “How come?”

Jen laughed. “Baby, it’s up on the nightstand, charging. I wanted to make sure it had full battery for the flight tomorrow. I can’t believe that at this time tomorrow, I’ll be with you.”

“Sooner than that, love. By this time tomorrow, I hope to have you naked in my bed.”

“Well, I do believe that can be arranged, sir,” Jennifer said, strolling into the living room and settling on the couch. She and the girls had laid a fire earlier, and Jen blushed, remembering the last time a fire was lit in the fireplace. “So, I’m sitting in the living room, in front of the fire.”

“In front of, or inside of?”

“No,” Jennifer laughed, “it isn’t quite that cold yet, that I have to take refuge inside the fireplace.”

“Here in LA, it never gets that cold.”

“Baby, you don’t have to sell me on coming out there; the truck just left with all my stuff. It should be there sometime Saturday night. Like we arranged, they’ll leave the truck, and come back when you call after we get it emptied out.”

“Excellent,” Richie said. “I can’t wait to have your things mingled in with my things.” He chuckled dirtily.

“Rich, you have a knack of making the most innocent of statements sound raunchy.”

Richie sighed dramatically. “It is both a blessing and a curse.” He laughed. “So what are you girls doing tonight?”

“Well, we got all our carousing out of our systems last night; I think we’re just going to hang out and watch movies. I know I’m not going to sleep, I’m too damned excited. I can’t wait to see you.”

“I can’t wait to see you either. I’ll be at the airport waiting.”

“I love you, Rich.”

“Love you too.”

They spoke for a while longer, long enough for the fire to dwindle to embers, then Jennifer and the girls retired to the movie room. After long hours laughing at brat-pack80’s flicks, they went to bed to catch a few hours’ sleep.

Saturday would be a long day.


(c) 2008 by TheGoddessHathor

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