Thursday, June 30, 2011

Chapter 19

Richie entered the guest house as quietly as he could and looked in on his sleeping children – well the youngest two anyway - before continuing on to the bedroom. Setting his bags down in a corner, he stripped off his clothes and slid into the bed beside his wife with a satisfied sigh. It wasn’t his house, but his family was here, so as far as he was concerned it was home. Snuggling up against Tori’s back, he debated waking her. She needed her sleep, but she’d made it pretty clear how she felt about him not waking her up when he returned home from being on the road. Torn between doing what he thought was best for her and doing what she wanted, he smoothed his hand lightly over her shoulder and down her side.
Sighing softly, Tori pressed back against the wall at her back, his size and heat familiar and comforting. With her movement his hand slid over her waist and onto her stomach. A small smile curved his lips at the evidence of his growing child filling his hand. Reaching down further he felt for the bottom of the t-shirt she wore, sliding his hand underneath and back up to cup and caress the warm skin covering her expanding womb.

After a few minutes, his hand drifted higher, eager to explore what other changes had occurred in her body since he’d last seen her. He carefully weighed each already increasing breast, caressing the smooth skin and rubbing the tender nipples, smiling when they hardened at his touch. Tori sighed and shifted her hips against his, but didn’t wake up.

Releasing her breast, Richie let his hand drift back down her torso, to tangle in the neatly trimmed soft curls at the apex of her thighs. His middle finger stroked along her cleft, the lubrication her body quickly provided easing his way. Tori’s hips began to gyrate in a languid motion, her mouth opening to exhale a soft moan, but the depth and speed of her breathing told him she was still asleep.

Richie trailed his fingertips over her hip and down the curve of one cheek to lightly probe her humid opening from behind. Tori shifted her hips back even closer to him and moved her top leg forward, giving him greater access to her sensitive flesh. Feeling her readiness, he positioned himself and slowly filled her with a gentle thrust.

Tori’s eyes flew open. “Oh! Hi. You’re home.”

Richie pressed deeper. “I am now.”

She gasped as he reached her very depths. “Mmmmm.”

Sliding an arm under her, he stroked and toyed with the hard tip of her breast. The other hand reversed its path over her hip until he could rest one fingertip on her already pulsing clit. And held still.

Tori rested her hands on his forearms and waited for him to start moving. When he remained motionless for several minutes she got frustrated and rocked back against him. “Oh!”

Richie closed his eyes and clenched his teeth, desperately trying to ignore the effect of his wife’s movements on his own arousal. It was all he could do to hold still.

Caught between her husband’s hands in front and his body behind her, she rocked. Each movement was a double stimulation of his erection shifting inside her and her clit rubbing against his calloused fingertip. She started slowly, experimenting until she found the rhythm that created the most intense sensation. As her arousal grew, the speed of her movements increased.

“Oh! Oh! Mmmmm.” She gyrated against him....faster and faster.

“That’s it baby. Take what you need.” The words came out in a growl.

Faster and faster yet. “Mmmm...oh God. Yes. Oh! Richie!!” Her back arched and her fingers dug into his forearms as she flew over the peak.

Richie only gave her a few moments to catch her breath, then started to move, both his hips and his hands. That teasing fingertip now actively stroked her nub and his other hand played with a breast, tweaking and tugging on the taut tip.

“Oh! Yes. Yes. Mmmm. Richie.” His name was a sigh.

Hands and hips moved in concert, bombarding her with sensations, driving her passions higher and higher.

“Jesus!” One slender hand rose to cup the back of his head and clench in his hair. “Mmmm.”

Richie buried his mouth in her neck and thrust harder....deeper.

“Oh God....Oh God....Oh God.” She panted. “Yes! Oh...Oh....OH!”

He felt her body clench around him, but couldn’t stop. He kept thrusting faster and faster and his hands kept pace.

The sound of his raspy growl in her ear sent her nerves into overdrive. She felt him reach deeper than ever at the same time his fingers squeezed both nipple and clit. The sensations were almost overwhelming.

Richie raced towards the finish, torn between wanting that rush of pleasure and wanting to make it last as long as possible. His body made the decision for him.

The feel of Richie’s teeth biting down on the tendon in her neck as he burst, flooding her with his hot juices, lit her fuse and the pleasure receptors throughout her body exploded. “RICHIE!”

As they came back to earth, Richie started to withdraw and ease back from her, but Tori grabbed his arms.

“No. Stay. Please. I want to feel you close for a little while longer.”

Not about to argue, he settled back against her, holding her tight.

Tori took a deep breath and blew her bangs off her forehead. “Where did that one come from?  You been holding out on me?”

His deep chuckle skipped along her nerve endings, raising goosebumps on her arms, which his hands smoothed away. “I’ve had over five weeks of lonely nights to dream of things I’d like to do to you.”

“What else do you have in mind?” He never ceased to amaze and thrill her with the carnal workings of his mind.

“You’ll have to wait and see.” He kissed her neck. “Where’s Ava?”

“At the main house with Steph. They were watching videos.”

“Mmm. How was the flight?”


“No problems with the kids or....anything?”

“When we had a bodyguard with us?” She questioned dryly. “Nope.”

Richie knew how she felt, but neither he nor Jon – nor Tony for that matter – would ever apologize for doing what they felt they needed to do to keep their family members safe. “I hope you didn’t give Tony too hard of a time.”

“Naw. Just made him carry the luggage.....and take Peanut to the potty.” They both chuckled. “How was your trip home?”

“Fine. Pretty quiet. We slept a lot of it.”

They lay quietly for a few minutes.

“We should go see your mother tomorrow.” Tori suggested. When she didn’t get a response she turned her head to look at him. His deep, even breaths told her he was sound asleep. She smirked. Well he lasted longer than usual tonight.

The next morning, Jon, Dot, Carol, John Sr., Matt, Desiree and Richie were sitting around the dining room table enjoying a post breakfast cup of coffee, the kids having all run off the to play, when Tori entered, sat down and laid her head on the table with a groan.

At the first look at her face, Dot and Carol stood up and headed for the kitchen. Richie reached out to rub her back.

“Bad this morning, honey?” John Sr. winced.

Tori nodded, but didn’t lift her head. “Apparently, somebody doesn’t like changing time zones.”

“I guess that’s kind of a double dose of jet lag.” Matt commented, trying to lighten the mood a little, but his sister just ignored him.

Dot and Carol returned with a cup of tea and a plate of dry toast, which they set near Tori. She sat up. “Thanks.”

After a few sips and a couple careful bites, still a little green around the gills, she glanced around the table and had to smile at the men’s expressions. “I’ll be alright......eventually.” Looking from Jon to Richie, her expression turned thoughtful. “Since you guys are going to be in the area for the next little while, why don’t you see if Jon’s urologist can squeeze you in?”

At the word ‘squeeze’ all the men winced. After several moments of silence, Matt leaned over towards Richie. “I don’t think she’s kidding.”

Richie eyed his wife warily. “Neither do I.”

“The number’s in my office.” Jon offered.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Chapter 18

Tori stepped off the stool and took the phone Rosa held out to her. “What?”
Silence, then... “Hello to you too angel.”

She blew out a breath and reigned in her temper. “Sorry. Hi honey. How are you?”

“Better than you apparently. What’s going on?”

“I’m trying to get everything organized for Peanut’s birthday party tomorrow.” She glanced up at the shelf with the Thomas the Train decorations she’d bought a few weeks earlier. “Why do I put everything I need on the top fricken shelf?”

“Because we have an inquisitive toddler who gets into everything within reach.”

“But I can’t reach it either, so what good is that? And my six foot tall reaching tool isn’t here to help me.”

“Did you just call me a tool?”

“Well you are very handy to have around.”

“Mmmhmm. You better not be standing on a chair, angel.” He knew his wife.

Tori eyed the stool. “No, I’m not standing on a chair.” A stool was not a chair.

At that moment, Cathy stuck her head into the room, took in the situation in a single glance and approached. Shaking a warning finger at Tori, she stepped onto the stool and handed down the decorations.

“Cathy got them for me.”

“Good.” He paused. “Angel, don’t wear yourself out over this. He’s three. He’ll be happy with a new toy, some cake and ice cream.” And maybe if he kept telling himself that, he’d stop feeling guilty for not being there.

“I want him to have a really special day.”

“I know you do. Just remember that you need to look after yourself right now too. You are a fantastic mother, but you’re not Superwoman – no matter what your brother tries to convince everyone is in your bloodlines.”

“Ha. Ha.” Tori couldn’t stifle a yawn.

“Didn’t you sleep well?”

“Not really. Your youngest daughter decided that she didn’t want to sleep.”

“What’s the matter with her?”

“Nothing. She didn’t cry, she just wouldn’t go to sleep. She wanted to play. Mom says I used to do the same thing.”

“Ah, so it’s a Bongiovi trait. Can’t blame me for that one.”

She blew him a raspberry. “Well Peanut’s non-stop talking for an hour last night – and singing some song he made up – must be a Sambora trait.”

“Yeah, that one’s on me.” Richie chuckled. “But seriously angel, promise me you’ll take care of yourself.”

“I am. I promise.”

He knew her too well to swallow that easily, but he had other ways of ensuring her health.  “Do you want me to bring you anything from Europe?”

“Yes! When you get to Amsterdam will you pick me up some double salted black licorice please?”

“Double salted? Seriously?”

“Yes. Look for the words double zoute. It’s really good.” She licked her lips.

“Oookaaaay. If you say so.” He shuddered at the thought. “I’ll call tomorrow to say happy birthday to Peanut.”

“Good. About the same time as now would be great if you could.”

“That should work. We’ve got some interviews to do, but they should be done by then.”

“Okay. Have a good show and I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Love you.”

“Love you too angel.” Richie hung up and stared at his phone for several minutes, deep in thought. Glancing at his watch, he dialled another number. “Hi Gail it’s Richie.”

“Hi Richie! Aren’t you in Europe? What’s up?”

“Yeah, I’m in Vienna at the moment. I need a favour if you wouldn’t mind.”

“Sure, what do you need?”

“You’re going to Stevie’s birthday party tomorrow right?”


“Can you keep an eye on my wife and let me know how she’s really doing?”

Gail didn’t need to ask why he felt he couldn’t trust Tori to tell him the truth. “No problem. I knoow hard early pregnancy is on her, and with Stevie and Lauren this one’s probably worse....and I know how stubborn she is. I’ll make sure she doesn’t over do it.”

“Thanks. What about taking her on a girls’ day to the spa? My treat. Tell her it’s part of my birthday present to her.”

“If I put it that way, it might work. That sounds like a great idea. I’ll set it up and surprise her.”

“Perfect. Thanks Gail. I owe you one.”

“I’ll remember that when I need some music for my next project.”

“You got it.”

The day before Tori’s birthday, Gail arrived at the door early in the morning. “Grab your bathing suit and flip flops and let’s go.”

“What are you talking about?  Go where?”

“Spa day for your birthday.”

“Oh, Gail, that sounds great, but I can’t do it today. The kids....”

“It’s all arranged. Rosa and Cathy are going to look after the kids.”


“No buts. This is part of your birthday present from your husband. Since he can’t be here to make sure you relax and take care of yourself, he’s found another way to help.”

Tori sighed, but knew she couldn’t get out of it...and deep down she really didn’t want to. The thought of being pampered and massaged and buffed sounded like just what she needed. The idea that her husband was concerned and trying to look out for her brought tears to her eyes. “Okay. Give me a minute.”

Lying on lounges beside each other between treatments, Gail turned to her friend. “That was some birthday party. Where’d you get that train piñata?”

“Rosa’s son made it. Wasn’t that great?”

“It was fantastic!” She paused. “Can I ask you something?”

“Of course.”

“I’m not criticizing you – you’re a fantastic mother, but.....why do you feel the need to go all out like that? Especially when I know you’re tired and dealing with morning sickness and hormones. Why put yourself through that?”

“Because I wanted him to have a really nice day.”

“I get that, but he’s three. He wouldn’t have noticed if there weren’t any streamers or balloons or piñatas. There’s got to be more to it than that.”

Tori hesitated, then told her what she hadn’t told anyone – even Richie. Karin understood without being told. “  

“I have to have a purpose in feel useful and needed. What else do I have to do? I have a cook and a gardener and help with the cleaning. Since my cousin Joseph’s company took over the merchandizing for Jovi, and they’ve hired a company to look after the fan club, all I have to do there is a few token requests for my opinion. And Richie doesn’t have much going on outside the band these days, so there’s not much for me to do on the personal assistant front either.” She shrugged. “I guess you could say that being a mother is my job now.”

“And you have to do your job to the best of your ability, going above and beyond on special occasions.” Gail had heard worse ways of avoiding boredom.

“Something like that.” She smiled and rubbed her rounded stomach. “But I’d want to do it anyway. I want to ensure my children are as happy as possible.”

“Like I said, you’re a fantastic mother.”

“Thank you.”

“I can’t believe you’re having another one so soon though.”

“Neither can I.” Tori responded wryly.

They sat and sipped their water and enjoyed the sun for a few minutes.

“So what are your plans for the Fourth?”

“I’m flying with the kids to New Jersey. They guys will be returning from Europe and my family is coming down from Canada.”

“Wow. That’ll be quite the crowd.”

“Yeah. That’s why Jon and Dot are hosting it. They’re the only ones with enough room! The kids and I are going to stay with Dot for a few weeks and visit with the family while the guys finish the tour.”

“You’re flying by yourself with the kids?” That would be a handful.

“That was the original plan. Ava will be there to help, so it wouldn’t be too bad. But my brother Tony called a few weeks ago. He’s changed his plans and is coming with us.”

“Changed his plans or had them changed for him?” Gail had heard enough stories about the Bongiovi clan to get an idea how they worked.

“He’s saying that his work schedule changed and he figured he might as well travel with me. But it’s strange that the change came right after my pregnancy was announced to the family.” Tori rolled her eyes. “They all think I’m too stupid to figure out what they’re doing.”

“They’re just looking out for you.”

“They’re treating me like a child that can’t be trusted to take care of herself or her children!”

“No, well maybe a little, but mostly they’re treating you like a precious, cherished part of their family.” Gail raised her glass and sipped. “You might as well quit letting it upset you. They’re Italian and they’re men...they can’t help it. And it’s not going to stop.” She smirked. “Make Tony carry the luggage.”

 “Hmpf! If he wants to play protector, I’ll make him carry me!”

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chapter 17

Entering the house, Richie and Tori took their two sleeping children upstairs and put them in their beds. Returning downstairs, they found Ava and the guys munching down on food that Rosa had left for them. Richie poured Diet Coke’s for both of them while Tori made up plates and they sat together on the couch.
“Great job as always tonight Bela.” Tico toasted her with his glass. The others quickly followed suit.

“Thanks. That was fun. Well, except for Jon announcing my condition to the entire arena.” She slanted a look at him. “Since when do you give out personal information?

Jon just shrugged. “They were going to find out eventually. Now maybe we’ve headed off the speculation.”

“We can only hope.” Richie grimaced.

“I’m surprised you didn’t throw a fit about the delay.” Tori smirked at Jon.

Another shrug. “What would have been the point?  It’s happened to me too – not just before walking on stage, I’m not stupid enough to bounce a full baby that close to showtime, but it’s happened.” He shot a dark look at Richie, who just shrugged. “Plus you would have gotten pissed at me if I had.”

Leaning forward to set her empty plate on the table, Tori settled herself into the corner of the couch and stared at him. “Are you mellowing in your old-er age?”

“No, getting smarter. It’s not worth the crap I get from the other women in my life if I upset you.”

Richie chuckled as he set aside his own plate and shifted to sprawl on the couch, reclining against his wife. “And yet another reason why I was so smart marrying her. It gets you off my back!”

Tori grinned and wrapped her arms around his shoulders, delicate fingers sliding inside his open button down shirt to stroke his skin and toy with his chest hair.

Ava yawned, stood and rolled her eyes. “You guys are nuts. I’m going to bed.”

“Night Bean.” Echoed around the room.

The rest of them sat around for another hour, rehashing the show and just chatting. Tico started dozing off and David kept shifting in his chair.

“What’s the matter with you Shirley?  You’re as restless a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.” Tori asked.

“More like a dirty old man at a peep show.” Jon commented dryly.

“What? Why do you say that?”

“The way you’re playing with Chuck I keep expecting his leg to start twitching and to hear him howl like a dog in heat.” And memories of Karin doing similar things to him made him miss his wife even more.

Tori gave him a disgusted look. “You need to get laid.” She turned to Jon. “And you’re not supposed to notice stuff like that when it concerns your sister!”

“It’s not you, it’s Chuck.  I’ve seen that half-lidded, smug look on his face too many times not to know what it means.”

She shifted to try and see her husband’s face. He tilted his head back and winked at her.

“You like this?” She murmured in his ear, her fingers curling until her nails bit lightly into his skin. The glint in his hot, dark eyes gave her her answer. “Want to go upstairs”

Richie sat up so fast his head almost clipped her jaw. “Well, guys, it’s been fun, but Tori needs her rest. We’re going to bed. Last one up turn the lights off please.”

“Rest.” Sarcasm dripped from the word. “Try to keep the noise down, will you? I don’t need to hear my sister getting it on. And I’m just across the hall.” Jon grimaced.

“Better put in your earplugs then, because my man makes me lose all control.” Tori shot back.


Richie just grinned and escorted his wife from the room.

Upstairs,  Richie pushed the covers off the foot of the bed, stripped off his clothes and was lying on the mattress, waiting, by the time Tori came out of the bathroom. He frowned at her nightshirt as she climbed on the bed.

He plucked at the cotton. “How am I supposed to play if you keep my toys hidden?”

With a low chuckle, she lifted the shirt over her head and tossed it onto the floor. Lying on her back she crooked a brow at him and waited.

She didn’t have to wait long. As soon as she stopped moving, Richie rolled over her, settling his hips between her thighs. Large hands molded over her breasts, kneading and fondling, noting their slightly increased size and weight. “Hurt?”

“Mmmm. No. Feels good.”

Reassured, he settled in to play. Calloused finger tips caressed the creamy curves, lightly, reverently. When her nipples hardened and stood up for him, he rubbed the pink kernals, pinched them lightly and flicked them with his fingernails.

“Mmmmmm.” Tori closed her eyes and arched her back at the first touch of his mouth on her sensitive peaks. The feel of his tongue laving the throbbing tips was soothing and inciting at the same time.

Richie lifted his head slightly and blew across her flesh, watching her nipples tighten even more. He could feel the shiver run down her body. Grinning, he closed his lips around one nub. For long minutes he licked and nibbled, alternating back and forth from one breast to the other, even occasionally raking his teeth along the swollen lengths.


“Like that huh?”

“Stop teasing!”

“But you like it.”

“Richie!!” Threading her fingers through his hair – and making a mental note to give him another conditioning treatment – Tori clenched her hands and tugged his head closer.

His low chuckle vibrated along her torso, but he gave in to her wishes. Taking her into his mouth again, he suckled with such variations in pressure, such...finesse...that it pushed her over the edge.

“Oh...oh....oh my...GOD...RICHIE!” Her eyes flew open and she stared at him, her expression one of pure shock. She’d never climaxed from breast stimulation alone before. “Holy....shit!”

Richie grinned, pride oozing from every pore. He could feel the trembling of the body beneath him and the liquid warmth of her release. “Hmmmm....very sensitive I see – or maybe they just missed me as much as I missed them.” Tori chuckled breathlessly and swatted his shoulder.  “Let’s try that again.”

Tori moaned as his head dipped and he resumed his play. The tug of his lips on her still throbbing nipples sent electricity shooting through her body. Unable to help resist, her hips lifted towards him, stroking his erection along her moist cleft.

His dark gaze lifted to watch her face as he continued his ministrations to her breasts and rocked his hips in sync with hers, driving her higher and higher. Mesmerized by the pleasure infusing her expression, Richie fought to ignore the effect of her movements on his own body and control. Sweat covered his torso and dripped from his face by the time passion consumed her.                               


Unable to resist a moment longer, Richie shifted and entered her carefully, closing his eyes against the clenching of her sheath around him.

“Jesus!” Tori groaned and clutched his shoulders, not sure she could cope with his invasion when her body was racked with spasms.

Fully buried, Richie held still, his hot breath gusting over her ear. “You feel so fucking good! You’re so wet and tight! I could stay here for hours with your hot flesh twitching and pulsing around me, luring me deeper and squeezing me.” He paused to swallow heavily and lick his lips. “Even after all this time, making love with you never gets old and never gets boring. You’re so responsive and you fit me so perfectly.....I can’t get enough.” Rising up to brace himself on his elbows, he fixed his gaze on her face once again. His lips twitched as he slipped into one of their favourite roles. “Ah me beauty. I’ve missed ye.”

Lowering his head, he nuzzled behind her ear and slid his mouth down the line of her throat. “Me favourite piece of booty.” He started to move his hips, withdrawing and returning slowly.

Tori moaned softly and raked her nails lightly down his back. “Mmmmm. Plunder me, my Pirate King.”

“Will ye share yer treasure with me?”

“It’s buried pretty deep. Do you think you can reach it?”

“Are ye challenging me, Beauty?” Tori merely raised a brow. He thrust deeper. “There?”

She gasped, but shook her head. “Deeper.”

Chocolate eyes glinting, he reached for her legs and lifted them onto his shoulders and thrust again. “There?”

Blue eyes twinkled and challenged. “Deeper.”

Taking a deep breath, Richie gripped her hips, lifted them towards him and thrust yet again. Hard. “There?”

Tori couldn’t answer....except to cry out his name as she felt him reach her very core and her body convulsed in ecstasy.

Feeling her clench and melt around him, Richie grinned. “Found it.”

Unable to hold back any longer, he let go and pounded into her in search of his own slice of heaven.

“Je...sus!” Tori couldn’t speak. Her breath was pushed from her lungs with the force of his thrusts.

“Once more.” He panted in her ear. “Come on angel. Come with me.”  He moved faster and faster. “Give it to me!!”


With a flurry of thrusts, Richie joined her at the finish. “Fuck!”

Panting, shuddering, Tori waited to return to earth. Finally, she took a deep breath despite the weight of her husband and blew it out. “That damn pirate’s going to be the death of me yet!”

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chapter 16

The crowd waited impatiently for the band to take the stage. As the house lights went out anticipation ran high. Those in the first dozen rows squinted to see movement in the shadows of the stage.
Cheers filled the air as Tico could be seen climbing onto his drum kit, then David stepped up onto his riser. They waited and strained to see, but the area around Richie’s mic remained empty. Then the spotlight came on and all – or almost all – eyes were drawn to the centre of the stage and Jon walked out.

Jon smiled at the audience and waited for the screams to subside, finally having to wave them to silence. “Hi. We’re going to be delayed a few minutes. Richie had to go clean up and change his shirt. Lauren just threw up on him.” As the crowd laughed he turned to look back down the tunnel behind him. “Nice going Tori.”

“What the....?” Tori handed Lauren to Ava and stormed up the stairs to join her brother at the white mic stand. She had to wait for the roar of the crowd to die down before she could speak. “Don’t blame me, I warned him she’d just eaten and not to bounce her around. It’s not my fault he didn’t listen.”

“Mama!” Stevie climbed the stairs to follow his mother.

“Stevie no!” Ava made a grab for him, but with Lauren fidgeting in her arms she couldn’t get a grip on him.

The murmurs of the crowd warned Tori just before she felt small hands clutch her leg. Looking down, she smiled and bent to pick her son up. “Hey Peanut. What are you doing out here?”

“Wanna see.”

“Okay.” Like father like son I guess. She glanced at Jon and nodded at his raised brow.

“In case you haven’t figured it out, this is Steven Sambora.” Jon explained to the audience. “Stevie can you say hi to everyone?” He held out the microphone.

“Hi.” Stevie waved shyly and laid his head on his mother’s shoulder.

Tori smiled as the crowd waved back.

“I think you have a birthday coming up soon don’t you?”  Stevie nodded. “And how old will you be?”

Tori whispered in her son’s ear, prompting him to hold up three fingers. “Free!”

Jon grinned. “And who’s your favourite uncle?”


David stepped to the front of his riser, hands raised in victory. “Yes!”  Approaching them he high fived Stevie before returning to his position.

“Hey!” Jon frowned. “Where’s my love?”  He turned to the tunnel behind him once again. “Bean come out here and bring your sister with you.”

When Ava appeared with Lauren, the crowd murmured again. Ava leaned up to kiss Jon’s cheek. “Don’t worry Uncle Jon. We still love you.”

Lauren held her arms out to her uncle, and squealed when he didn’t take her immediately. Loudly.

Jon blinked. “Okay, okay Sweetpea. Don’t scream. Jeez.” Lifting her from Ava’s arms he eyed her warily. “You’re not going to throw up on me too are you?”

Lauren just giggled and patted his face.

“You all know Ava. This is Lauren, the cause of our delay tonight.” He kissed her head. “Wave at the people.”

Tori smiled as she looked into the crowd. A woman in the front mouthed ‘they’re beautiful’. Her smile widened and she mouthed back. ‘Thank you.’

“So Tori, you’ve got Bean, Peanut and Sweetpea.” He motioned to each one in turn. “What are you going to call this next one?”

The crowd went silent, all eyes on Tori.

Tori shot her brother an exasperated glance. “Surprise.” Seeing the looks of confusion and disbelief, she confirmed Jon’s blurted announcement. “Richie and I are expecting again around Christmas.”

The roar of the crowd around her went unheard. Her mind and heart had frozen at Tori’s words. No no no no no no! This wasn’t supposed to happen! He was supposed to leave her, not keep fucking her! That bitch! He’s mine! I was supposed to be the mother of his children! That’s supposed to be my family! Just because she’s Jon’s sister she thinks she’s something special. I’ll show her. I’ll show them all! I will have what I deserve!

Richie stepped onto the stage almost unnoticed. Taking his guitar from Takumi he approached his family at centre stage.

Once again Jon had to wait until the cheers from the audience quieted before he could speak. “Nice of you to join us Sambora.”

“Sorry.” He hugged Ava and Stevie and caught Lauren’s hands as she reached for him. “Sorry sweetpea, Daddy doesn’t have time to change again if you throw up on me.” He kissed her cheek. Straightening, he looked around. “So what’s been going on out here?”

“Just introducing your family to everyone, killing time, waiting for you.” Jon answered.

The absurdity of the situation hit Tori and she chuckled, motioning for Ava to take Lauren. “Come on guys, let’s get off the stage so Daddy and the uncles can get to work.” She raised a brow at the Duo. “Or were you guys just going to stand here and chat?”

“Brat.” Jon scowled at her as the crowd laughed. “I love you all, now get the f.....get off my stage.” A few boos reached the stage. “Don’t worry, Tori’ll be back later.”

When Tori rejoined them on the stage awhile later, she was surprised at how comfortable it felt and how quickly she fell back into the give and take chemistry of a show. It felt like coming home. She even surprised herself by remembering how to play Prayer as they’d worked out four years earlier.

She practically bounced off the stage, adrenaline lighting up her nerve endings. Catching the towel Takumi tossed her way she wiped the sweat off her face. “Thanks.”

“T-Mom that was great!” Ava gushed. “They should have you at all the shows.”

Tori laughed. “No, my place is at home with you guys. It’s fun to do this every now and then though.”

“And are you happy with that?” Paul spoke from behind her.

Looking at her children, she smiled. “For the most part, yes. I have a very full life – especially with another one on the way. And Richie – and Jon for that matter – have made it clear that anytime I feel the need to perform, they’ll find a way for me to do that. I have no complaints and no regrets.”

Paul shook his head in wonder. “That’s amazing. There are hundreds if not thousands of kids out there who would kill for a talent like yours and the opportunity to be on stage and show it off. But you are genuinely content to sit on the sidelines. Amazing.”

Tori shrugged. “Don’t get me wrong. There was a time when I would have fought tooth and nail to be in that spotlight. But I’m older now and my priorities and goals in my life have changed. I have everything I could ever want or need. I know how rare that is and I feel truly blessed and wouldn’t change a thing.”

“Hey sis!” Tony called as he approached and gave her a hug. “Great job! You know I hate you right?”

She snorted. “Right. You wouldn’t give up what you do behind the camera to be in front of it for all the money in the world, and you know it.”

“That doesn’t mean I’m not envious of Jon’s and your talent and the way you can relax and have fun out there. I’d be shitting bricks.”

“And I wish I had your eye with a camera lens, so there ya go.” Tori smiled. “We all have our jobs in life. Mine apparently is to raise rock stars, yours is to film them. Speaking of which, would you bring your camera to Stevie’s birthday party please?  I’d like a video for Richie since he’ll be in Europe.”

“Of course. I was planning to anyway. I bring it everywhere. You never know when I might see something I can blackmail Jon with.”

“What is it with my siblings wanting to blackmail me all of a sudden?” Jon growled as he passed them on his way to change for the encore.

“It’s the only way to get your attention sometimes!” Tori called after him.

“And it’s fun!” Tony added.

“Kids are sleeping in your dressing room!” Tori warned Richie as he flew by. He waved in acknowledgment.

“Brat!” Jon threw at Tori on his way back to the stage. He glared at Tony. “I’ll deal with you later.”

“Yeah, yeah...shaking in my boots here!” Tony flipped him off.

As the band stood together at the front of the stage to take their bows, her gaze locked on Richie. He’s mine! I had him before and I’ll have him again. We’ll be a family if it’s the last thing I do!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chapter 15

Tori walked into the dining room with Stevie at lunchtime the next day. Looking around the room she noted that all the guys were there, except Jon. Before she could ask where he was the sound of her daughter’s shrieks of laughter coming towards them answered her question. As much as he tried to pretend he was a tough guy, her brother really was a sucker for little girls.
Jon ignored his sister’s smirk as he entered the room and settled Lauren into her high chair. “We’ll need to head out in about an hour or so.” He tweaked Stevie’s nose and winked at Ava before taking his seat. Looking closer at Tori’s face, he frowned in concern. “Are you sure you’re going to be up to this?”

Tori smiled and nodded. “Yes, I’ll be fine. I’m done throwing up.” I hope. She usually only threw up when she first got up, but she’d been sick three times that morning. She was chalking it up to nerves. It had been quite awhile since she’d performed.....and her body wasn’t exactly stage fit. She’d spent an hour in her closet with Ava trying to find something to wear. One longing look at the leather outfit she’d worn when she’d toured with the band assured her there was no way it was going to fit – at least not and look decent anyway.  She finally had to settle for jeans and a violet, single shoulder strap tank top. Ava assured her it looked great, but she wasn’t convinced.

“You might be, but I may start after watching you eat that.” Hugh grimaced.

Tori looked down at her plate and shrugged. “It’s not as bad as it looks.”

“Uh huh. If you say so, but ketchup and mustard on a tuna sandwich?  Just looking at it is turning my stomach.”

“She mixed the tuna with sour cream as well as mayonnaise.” Richie shuddered.


“I’m glad Rosa cooked dinner.” David swallowed heavily.

At the arena Tori set her clothes – and diaper bag and extra clothes for the kids – in Richie’s dressing room and went out for sound check.

Standing on the stage, she looked out into the empty seats and felt that first little flutter of excitement. Familiar hands cupped her shoulders.


Leaning back against her husband, she shook her head. “No, excited.” She tilted her head back so that she could see his face. “Did you put Jon up to this after our discussion?”

“Nope. This was all his idea.”

Giggles had them looking down into the seats in front of the stage where Ava was trying to keep Stevie and Lauren corralled and amused. Suddenly Stevie took off running towards the side of the stage.

“Tunca Tony!”

“Hey buddy!” Tony bent to scoop his nephew into his arms. “How ya doing?” Moving to where Ava and Lauren were sitting, he waved at his sister and brother-in-law on the stage.

“Mama having baby.” Stevie informed him.

Confused, Tony looked at Ava. “What’s he mean?”

“Tori’s pregnant...again.”

Tony turned to his family members on the stage. “For real? Another little rug rat?”

Richie grinned over his wife’s head. “Yep.”

Jon had arrived in time to hear his brother’s question and see the frown darken his face. “What’s the matter?”

“I’m trying to decide whether to thank them or be at them. I don’t know if another grandchild will get me off the hook with Mom or whether she’s just going to harp at me more because you two and Matt have so many and I have none.”

“If Mom hasn’t called you yet to give you the news, I’m betting she’s trying to figure that out too.” Jon warned him.

“Great.” Tony sighed and reached over to hug Ava and Lauren before turning back towards the stage. “Thanks a lot Sambora!”

“It was my pleasure.” Richie grinned and ducked his wife’s swat.

After sound check they headed to a nearby restaurant for dinner where the guys fought to keep their food down while watching Tori spoon ranch salad dressing on her spaghetti and then dip her meatballs in it.

“Why can’t you just do the pickles and ice cream thing?” Tony stared at his sister.

“But then I wouldn’t get this reaction.” Tori replied, leaning over to adjust Stevie’s bib.

“You’re evil.” Tony shook his head and looked at his brother-in-law. “Bet you’re glad you’re on the road.”

“Believe it or not you get used to it.” Richie shrugged. “Actually, I find it fascinating. She never ceases to surprise me.”

“Surprises like that can make you lose your lunch.”

“So don’t look at it.” Tori scowled at her brother.

“Watch it Tony. She’s the favourite one now remember.” Jon reminded him. “ her off and you’ll have Mom all over your a...uh...butt.”

“Wah,wah,wah.” Tori rolled her eyes. “I’m crying over here.”

Tony, Jon, Richie, David and Tico all froze and exchanged glances.

“Did you hear that?”

“Yeah. Where’d she get that from?”

“I don’t know. You been teaching her Chuck?”

“Nope. Never heard her do that before.”

“Maybe it’s in the DNA.”

What are you guys talking about?” Tori asked, exasperated.

“You went Jersey on us for a minute.” Tony explained.

Tori stared at him, laughed and shrugged. “Guess I’ve been hanging around you guys too long....or I’ve watched too many movies.”

“We’re rubbing off on you. It was bound to happen.”  

Tori sighed. “Guess that means next I’ll stop pumping my own gas.”

Back at the arena, Jon sat Tori down to discuss the new song she’d supplied some lyrics for. He really loved what she’d come up with and wanted her opinion on how he and Richie had finished it. 

“So, what do you think?”

“I love it, it’s great!”

“Thanks for your help by the way.”

“I didn’t do much.”

“You got us started and that’s often the hardest part.”

After that, they all sat and visited until it was time to get ready. Jon called Tori into his dressing room to go over the set list and warm up their voices.

“Angel, where are the kids?” Richie stuck his head into the room.

“Ava and Rew took the little ones to catering for some dessert.”

“You let Rew look after our kids?”

“Ava’s in charge. She’ll call if there’s a problem.”

A noise down the hall announced their return.

“What have you guys been up to?” Richie swung Stevie up into the air.

“Wew gotted us some cake!”

“I bet it was chocolate too.” Richie laughed.

Stevie nodded. “How you know?”

“’Cause you’ve got it all over your face.”

“There’s wipes in the diaper bag.” Tori called and turned back to Jon. “Are we done?”

“Yes. Go.” He glanced at his watch and jumped up to do some stretches.

Tori walked into Richie’s dressing room to see Ava rummaging in the diaper bag. “What are you looking for Bean?”

“Sweetpea needs her pants changed and a clean shirt.” Ava replied, pulling out the required items. “By the way, she really likes chocolate ice cream.”

One glance at Lauren verified her big sister’s opinion. “Did she get any in her mouth?”

Ava laughed. “Yeah. A lot. Then I gave her some water. I hope it wasn’t too much.”

“She’ll probably be okay.”

They got the baby cleaned up just in time for her parents to head for the stage. Walking down the hallway, Richie lifted her high in the air and made airplane noises as he ‘flew’ her. As they reached the stage and stopped and waited for the cue to climb up the stairs, he tossed her lightly, grinning at her squeals.

“Rich, I wouldn’t bounce her around too much.” Tori warned. “She just ate and is really full. She might throw up.”

“Naw, she wouldn’t do that to her Daddy, would you Sweetpea?” Holding the baby over his head he smiled up at her.

Lauren opened her mouth and her laugh was cut off by a spew of ice cream and water.