Monday, November 24, 2008

Chapter 154

They entered the bar and found a table near the stage, but off to the side. The place was about three quarters full, but no one seemed to notice them. Tico and Hugh went to get drinks while the rest settled in to listen to the band. They were pretty good. They sang in both English and German, and in a mixture of rock and blues, some contemporary, but mostly more ‘classic’ rock. The female lead singer had a slight raspy edge to her voice that was unexpected and intriguing.

Conversation was kept to a minimum as they all just listened to the band. Jon looked over at his sister and best friend and had to smile. Both heads were nodding to the music while their hands kept the beat – Richie’s on her shoulder, Tori’s on his leg.

When the band took a break discussion resumed – mostly centred on what they’d just heard.

“Nice tone to her voice.” Jon commented. “She reminds me of someone, but I can’t put my finger on it.”

“Guitarist isn’t bad. Sounds like a real blues background.” Was Richie’s opinion.

“Anne Wilson.” Tori said to Jon. At the blank looks, she explained. “Of Heart. You know, Barracuda?”

They nodded. “That’s it!” Jon agreed.

“How’d we end up in a bar where they don’t serve the tables?” David grumbled staring into his empy glass.

“Come on Shirley, quit whining and I’ll help you carry the next round.” Tori stood up, waited for David to join her, then headed for the bar.

Jon watched Richie watch her walk away. “How are things going?”

Richie glanced at him. He knew what he meant. “Good. Really good. She’s going to the classes with me. She wants to know how to help me.” The amazement was evident in his voice.”

Jon smiled. “She loves you. And Ava.”

Richie grinned. “I know. Wait until you see them together. She’s an excellent mother.” He frowned. “Except that they tend to gang up against me.”

Jon snorted. “Don’t act like you don’t deserve it.” He paused. “So…things on the home front are moving forward?”

Richie raked a hand through his hair. “She needs to be sure that I’m firmly on the road to sobriety. I don’t know how long or what that’s going to take. I don’t want to push.” He shrugged. “I’m hoping she’ll give me a sign when she’s ready.”

At the bar, Tori gave the bartender the order then leaned against the polished wood to wait while he filled it, David beside her.

“So how’s life with Chuck?”

She grinned. “It’s good. Really good. Where did you find that picture anyway?”

“The internet is a wonderful place full of everything you could ever want. It’s just a matter of finding it.”

“You must spend hours surfing.”

“Yeah. And Colton gives me the heads up on interesting sites.”

“Like father, like son, eh?”

He just grinned.

“Excuse me. Are you Tori Adams?” A voice asked from beside her.

She turned to see the lead singer and a couple other members of the band. “Yes I am.”

“Wow!” She noticed David standing beside Tori, nodded to him, then quickly scanned the room.

“They’re on the other side up near the stage.” Tori admitted.

The singer turned to her bandmates. “Bon Jovi’s in the house.” There were excited murmurs among the group. She turned back to Tori. “Would you join us and sing a couple songs with us?”

Tori was stunned. “Oh, I don’t know, I’m not really a singer.”

David choked. “Really? Then what’s that you’ve been doing on stage? Gargling?” Tori ignored him.

“Are you kidding? You’re fantastic! We would consider it an honour if you would join us. Please say yes!” The others added their voices until Tori gave in and agreed.

When they returned to the table with the drinks, Tori gulped down about half of her beer. Richie’s brows rose. David just smirked. Before Richie could say anything, the band retook the stage. The singer looked over at their table and nodded. Richie smiled and nodded back.

After a few songs, the singer looked over again. “We have some special guests here tonight, and I’d like to invite one of them up to join us.”

Jon sighed. “Unbelievable. Everywhere we go.”

Richie shrugged and grinned and sat up in his chair. David looked at Tori and winked.

The singer waved at them. “Come on up. Ladies and gentlemen, Tori Adams.”

Tori leaned over and closed Richie’s mouth with a finger under his chin….which had dropped to his chest. “Maybe next time Rockstar.” Taking a deep breath she stood, and with a wave at the crowd, headed towards the stage leaving behind four surprised men, and one grinning one.

After conferring briefly with band she stepped up to the mic. “Guten abend. I know that most rockers are men…hell I hang out with five of them.” She grinned. “But tonight I thought I’d show them that women can rock too.”

Cold late night so long ago
When I was not so strong you know
A pretty man came to me
Never seen eyes so blue
I could not run away
It seemed we’d seen each other in a dream
It seemed like he knew me
He looked right through me
Come on home, girl he said with a smile
You don’t have to love me yet
Lets get high awhile
But try to understand
Try to understand
Try try try to understand
I’m a magic man.

She looked over at Richie and winked. He grinned back.

Winter nights we sang in tune
Played inside the months of moon
Never think of never
Let this spell last forever
Summer over passed to fall
Tried to realize it all
Mama says she’s worried
Growing up in a hurry
Come on home, girl mama cried on the phone
Too soon to lose my baby yet my girl should be at home!
But try to understand, try to understand
Try try try to understand
He’s a magic man, mama
He’s a magic man

Come on home, girl he said with a smile
I cast my spell of love on you a woman from a child!
But try to understand, try to understand
I’m a magic man!*

From the first note, Richie leaned forward, totally absorbed by her performance. Her voice was full and strong. She worked the stage like a pro – but then she’d been working with one of the best for months.

David, Tico and Hugh exchanged thoughtful glances. Jon watched her with pride, chuckling when he recognized a few of her moves.

As the crowd gave its approval, Tico voiced what the rest were thinking. “Wow. She’s really good. I mean, sure we’ve all seen her in action before, but always with us, with our songs, not like this. She’s really good.”

Tori sang a couple more then paused. She spoke to the band then approached the mic again. “This next one is by another of my countrywomen. I love all of her stuff, but this one has an especially important message. One that all of us need to hear at some point in our lives.” She caught Richie’s eye.

Somewhere there's a river, looking for a stream
Somewhere there's a dreamer, looking for a dream
Somewhere there's a drifter, trying to find its way
Somewhere someone's waiting to hear somebody say
I believe in you, and I can't even count the ways that
I believe in you, and all I want to do is help you to believe in you

Somewhere someone's reaching trying to grab that ring
Somewhere there's a silent voice learning how to sing
Some of us can't move ahead we're paralized with fear
And everybody's waiting, to hear somebody say
I believe in you, and I can't even count the ways that
I believe in you, and all I want to do is help you to believe in you

I believe in you, and I can't even count the ways that
I believe in you, and all I want to do is help you to believe in you

I will hold you up
I will help you stand
I will comfort you when you need a friend
I will be the voice that's calling I (hold till fade)
I believe in you and I can't even count the ways that
I believe in you and there are just so many ways that
I believe in you and all I want to do is help you to believe in you**

Richie reached for his coke with a shaking hand, blinking away the wetness in his eyes and breathing rapidly with the emotion coursing through him.

Jon reached over to squeeze his shoulder. “I think you just got your sign.”

(*Magic Man by Heart, ** I Believe In You by Amanda Marshall)

Chapter 155

When she sat back down beside him, Richie pulled her close with an arm around her shoulders and pressed a kiss to her temple – he didn’t dare do anything more or the leash on his emotions would snap and he wouldn’t be able to stop. “Amanda would be proud…and so am I.”

Tori looked surprised for a moment, then remembered. “That’s right, you played on one of her albums didn’t you?”

“Just one song. She’s a feisty little thing. You’d like her.”

“Nice job Sis.” Jon commented. There were murmurs of agreement around the table.


When the band left the stage they came over to say goodnight.

“Thank you so much Tori. That was fantastic!” The lead singer gushed.

“No, thank you Bridgette. I’m still amazed that anyone wants to hear me sing.”

Bridgette’s brows rose and she looked at Richie in amazement. “Is she for real?”

He laughed. “Yeah. We keep trying to tell her how good she is, but it’s not sinking in.”

Tori wrinkled her nose at him. He wrinkled his back. The two bands chatted for a few minutes longer, the Bridgette and her group headed for the bar.

Tori leaned her head on Richie’s shoulder. “Can we go back to the hotel soon?”


She smiled slightly and slid the hand that had been resting on his leg upwards. “Something like that.”

He grabbed her hand before she got too close to dangerous territory. “Easy babe. I’ve gotta walk out of here.”

She crooked a brow. “Hair trigger tonight?”

The look he gave her was heated. “I know what those magic fingers can do. Between them and that song…..let’s just say the pump’s primed.”

She laughed at his wording and glanced around the table. “Are we ready to go?”

Since the hotel wasn’t far and it was a nice night, they decided to walk. Flanked by Jon and Richie, Tori didn’t notice the three behind them deep in conversation.”

Richie’s phone rang as they entered their room. “Hello. Hi baby girl. How are….Ava calm down. What happened? No, that’s not true. Of course I want you to come join us with the other kids! Let me talk to Mommy.” When Tori caught his eye and raised a brow he just shook his head. “What’s going on Heather?” His frown deepened. “Oh no. Don’t you dare make me out to be the bad guy. If you’re having issues with her listening to you, deal with it, but don’t tell her that I don’t want her with me!”

Assured that Ava was okay, Tori headed for the bedroom. When she exited the bathroom, she found the room empty. She could hear Richie still on the phone in the sitting room. She turned down the bed, climbed in, picked up her book and settled in to wait. A few minutes later he appeared in the doorway, raking his hand through his hair. She set aside the book.

“Everything okay?”

He grimaced. “Just Heather being her usual bitchy self.”

She threw back the covers, crawled to the edge of the bed and rose up on her knees. “Well, come here and let’s see if I can make you feel better.”

He grinned when he saw her night clothes – a SWW t-shirt and lace panties. “I’d say that’s a good start.” He walked towards her.

“I thought you might like it.” When he stopped beside the bed, she reached out to undo his shirt. Pushing it off his shoulders she watched it slide down his arms and drop to the floor. With a contented sigh she began caressing his chest, stroking the sculpted muscles, then raking with her nails lightly, smiling when she heard his breath hiss through his teeth. She circled his nipples with her fingertips, then plucked at the hard kernels at their centres.

Gripping his waist for balance, she replaced hands and fingers with lips and tongue. As she slid her mouth over the hard pads of his pecs, she fought the urge to sink her teeth in, knowing that if she marked him where it was so highly visible it would only come back to bite her. Instead she settled for worrying the stiffened nipples with her teeth before laving them with her tongue and suckling hard.

He groaned. Sliding his hand into her hair to cradle her head, he pressed her closer for a minute, then pulled her away. Tipping her face up, he bent and captured her mouth with his, tasting her thoroughly.

By the time she was able to break away, they were both breathing heavily. Settling back onto her ankles she resumed exploring his torso with her mouth. When the waistband of his pants got in her way, she sat up and reached for the button. Carefully lowering the zipper, she pushed both pants and briefs over his hips and down his legs. He kicked out of them, having already removed his shoes and socks in the other room.

He moaned and let his head drop back as she took him in hand and stroked. She watched, smiling in satisfaction and anticipation as he swelled and hardened even more with her ministrations. Circling the tip she squeezed until he shuddered and tugged at her hand.

“Baby, your magic fingers are killing me. Stop before I spill.” His voice was a low growl. When she gazed up at him, debating, he continued. “Don’t I get a turn?”

She reluctantly released him and waited to see what he would do. He raised one hand and gently circled her breasts, his eyes gleaming as they swelled. Turning his hand over, he brushed the back over the hardening tips. He cupped the firm mounds with both hands and kneaded just the way she liked. Bending he licked her nipples, wetting the shirt completely, then sucked them into his mouth, and biting down gently.

She gasped and moaned, her back arching. His hands slid under the hem and slowly slid upwards, caressing her soft skin as they raised the shirt. Releasing her breasts he removed her shirt completely. One hand lowered to trace the lacy edge of her panties.

“If you want those to stay in one piece, you’d better remove them yourself.”

She grinned and did as he suggested. He climbed on the bed and settled on his knees, positioning her in front of him, their knees touching, hers outside of his. Placing his hands on her knees he slid them up to her hips, then back down again. He shifted them over a bit and repeated the process over and over, moving more towards her inner thighs with each sweep. They both watched his hands. As her body heated and began to throb, she came close to grabbing his hand and putting it where she was now almost desperate to feel it, but her curiosity over what he was planning was stronger. Luckily, he was in no mood to delay either. He’d been on a slow burn since the bar, and his patience was about at an end. On the next pass, one hand reached further to stroke her cleft. Feeling her moistness, he slid first one, then two fingers inside her slick channel and stroked. Her hips moved against him, driving his fingers deeper.

“Rich, please!” She gasped. He ignored her. Beyond urgent, she reached out to grasp his hard shaft and stroke it, squeezing rhythmically.

With a growl, he pulled her hand away, slid his from her body, gripped her hips and lifted her so that she was straddling his legs. She guided him home with one hand, then slid both over his shoulders as she sank down. They both groaned at the feel of his erection stretching her delicate flesh.

“God you feel good.” His grip tightened and he pulled her even closer .

She shivered at the sensations coursing through her, but she wanted more. She tried to rise up, but his hands held her down. Changing tactics, she rocked her hips against his. She framed his face with her hands and lifted it to hers needing the taste of his kiss. Their tongues dueled as their bodies rubbed together, the friction heating them even more, until their skin was slick with sweat. Unable to take any more, she broke the kiss.

“Baby, help me, please!”

He nodded curtly, speech beyond him at this point. Urging her to lean back he held her hips down and, flexing his hips and thighs, thrust upward, hard and fast. Her screamed echoed around the room as she was pushed over the edge. With a gasp he thrust once more and held himself tight against her while he pulsed out his release.

With a final shudder he lifted her off, collapsed on the bed and pulled her down to lie against him. They didn’t speak – they didn’t need to. Their contentment filled the air. When their bodies cooled she reached to pull up the covers, then burrowed back into his arms.

“Thank you.” He murmured.

She lifted her head to look at him. “What for?”

“For the song. For believing in me. For being the mother Ava deserves. For loving me.”

The emotion she could see in his eyes and sense in his words filled her soul, and brought tears to her eyes. “It’s entirely my pleasure.”

Chapter 156

The next day at the stadium Tori wandered out onto the stage to look around. They were just waiting on the guys for sound check – both Jon and Richie were on the phone. Seeing Jon’s tech, she stopped him and asked for one of Jon’s acoustics. Spotting a stool, she set it on the stage. She’d just sat down, settled the guitar in her lap and strummed a few chords, when suddenly her left hand was gripped at the wrist and pulled away from the guitar. She glanced up to see her brother frowning at her fingers.

“What? I was just testing them.”

He shook his head. “Not yet. You’ll just aggravate them again. Shirley! Go take her to play on the keys.”

Sighing heavily she stood, handed Jon the guitar and stomped off towards the keyboard riser. “Bully!”


“I told you!” Richie reminded Jon as he walked onto the stage. “What’d she do?”

“I found her about to play my guitar.”

Richie frowned. “It’s too soon. She needs to rest her fingers a few more days.”

“I know. I sent her to the keys.”

Tori blew a raspberry at both of them. The men exchanged a look and hid their grins.

“Ignore them Bela, we know which instrument takes more skill and dexterity.” David advised.

“Yeah, the drums.” Tico retorted. This time the raspberries came from all directions.

“Can we get started please?” Obie called.

As they progressed through the songs, Tori and David quickly fell into a rhythm, even swapping keyboards every once in awhile. Eyeing them, Jon called for Bad Medicine. After the first chorus Richie kicked off into a raucus extended solo. As he wound down David nudged Tori. She met his eye, read the message there and smirked. Richie’s last note was just fading when she started a solo of her own mimicking what he had played, and adding her own flair.

Surprised, Richie spun around to watch her. So did Jon. The rest kept playing, but all eyes were on the keyboards. As she came to the end she stuck her tongue out at Richie. He crooked a brow and started again. She followed. They went back and forth for quite awhile, each riff more difficult than the last, their fingers flying faster and faster, until Jon finally brought it to an end. Applause broke out all around the stadium. Even the techs, and the staff from the command centre had come out to watch the show.

“Would you be able to do that again?” Jon asked her. She could almost hear the wheels turning in his brain.

She shrugged. “Sure.”

“Sure, she says, like he asked her to play Chopsticks.” Hugh chuckled and shook his head.

David grinned and high-fived her. “Looks like I get to take it easy tonight.”

As they left the stage Tori raised a questioning brow at Richie, nodding slightly towards David. He grinned and winked. They had just entered their dressing tent, when the nasal voice reached them.

It's not easy bein' green.
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things.
And people tend to pass you over 'cause you're not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water- or stars in the sky.


“Told you he would know it was you.” Richie gloated.

She was laughing too hard to answer. When she was able to pull herself together, they joined the others standing outside David’s tent. “What’s going on?”

They could hear Jon laughing inside. The flap opened and he came out carrying Kermit. He pushed the button to make him sing. The entire group cracked up.

“Where did you get that?” Jon asked Tori, wiping his eyes.

“What makes you think it was me?”

“Because Chuck hasn’t been out of my sight long enough since we got here to get it.” David growled from the doorway. “And he couldn’t come up with anything this good!”

“Awww, he’s so cute!” Lorenza took the stuffed animal from Jon to take a closer look at it.

“She means the frog, not you Shirley.” Richie assured him.

David flipped him off and pointed a finger at Tori. “You know of course, this means war.”

“Hey, this was just payback.” She protested. David just grunted.

“Before battle commences, can we sit down for a few minutes?” Jon interjected. “I’d like to go over the set list.”

An hour later he was finally satisfied. The result was a very keyboard heavy list. Tori and David would put on a bit of a show, and Richie and Tori would duel it out.

Glancing at her watch Tori looked at Jon. “Are we done?” Jon nodded. “Okay. I’m off to work.”

Jon frowned and sighed. “Take Mike with you…and a radio just in case.”

“Aye aye, Captain.” She saluted him. He flipped her off. She leaned over to kiss Richie.

“Be careful.” He murmured. She nodded.

She found the control centre, picked up a radio – and Mike - and headed for the merchandise booths. She made it to the first one, with no more than a few curious glances. It took about half an hour for the people around the booth to realize who she was. She was so engrossed in watching the crowd that she didn’t notice them watching her. It was Mike that brought it to her attention.

He nudged her. “Time to move on?” He asked hopefully with a slight nod to the crowd. It was then that she noticed the looks and murmurs going around the group nearest the booth. She nodded.

And so it went. She managed to spend about half an hour in each of the booths before being recognized. Deciding she’d seen enough she signaled to Mike that she was ready to go. As she was about to leave, a girl in the front of the line got brave.

“Tori could I have your autograph?”

“Sure.” She moved to the counter and reached for the paper and pen.

“Are you going to join the guys tonight?”

“Yes. We’ve got a special treat planned tonight. I hope you like it.”

“Oh, I’m sure we will.”

Another girl pushed her way forward. “How’s Richie doing?”

Tori’s head snapped up, but she could only read sincere concern in the girl’s face. She smiled. “He’s doing great thanks.”

“Tori, they want you backstage.” Mike said in an effort to get her away from the fans gracefully.

She nodded. “Thanks folks. Enjoy the show.” As she exited the booth she found Steve, Tom and another security guard waiting. They formed a circle around her and quickly got her out of the crowd and back to where the guys were hanging out.

“Any problems?” Jon asked Mike.

Mike knew that Jon was hoping that there would be so that he would have a reason to put a stop to her “research”, but he didn’t want to be the one to tighten her restrictions unless he absolutely had to. While she kept a tighter lid on it than Jon, the Bongiovi temper was there and he didn’t want to see it erupt. And he especially didn’t want to cause a fight between the siblings. He had a feeling he was really going to earn his pay this leg. “No. Just a couple autographs, and a few looks. Nothing serious.”

The show was a huge success. The boys were on fire and Tori proved she could keep up. At the end of her “duel” with Richie the roar of the crowd was deafening, even in the open stadium. Jon nodded approvingly at her. Richie winked.

The local paper the next day was equally impressed.

After almost twenty-five years, the boys from New Jersey proved that they still have what it takes – and then some. Bon Jovi’s voice was strong, the guitar riffs clean and raw, and the percussion was crisp and precise. But the highlight of the night, for sure, was the piano lesson put on by keyboardist David Bryan and Bon Jovi’s sister, Tori Adams that would make the strictest music teacher proud. She even took on her boyfriend, guitarist Richie Sambora, in a battle of strings versus keys, and showed that whatever he could dish out she could give back. The result was a display of incredible musical talent. Must be in the genes.

No comments:

This is my nice little story turned epic with Richie in the starring role - although Jon plays a large part.