Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chapter Thirteen

Taking the passenger seat, Halle watched Richie climb behind the wheel and buckle his belt. "So what's the plan guitar boy?" she asked in good humour.

Richie snorted a short laugh then turned to Halle shrugging his shoulders. "Well...I did have plans but was kinda relying on your local knowlegde he smirked and Halle could do nothing but melt.

"Well how can I help?"

"I have a great picnic lunch packed, a thermos of coffee, a blanket and a car. I thought maybe you could help me out with a location."

Halle thought for a moment then got out of the car and cornering around the front she opened Richie's door "ok cowboy, I'm driving".

Richie laughed but realised she wasn't joking and begrudgingly left the driver's seat, deliberately sliding softly against Halle's breasts as he passed. Hearing her breath hitch he smiled sweetly and let his hand linger over her stomach a few seconds longer than he needed, then whistled softly as he rounded the front of the car and jumped in the passengers seat.

'Oh hell' Halle breathed evenly for a moment longer before taking the drivers seat and turning the ignition. "How long do we have?" she asked as she watched him buckle his belt.

"Well...if it's a kidnap you're planning, I will probably be missed at around four this afternoon at sound check" cocking his head to the side he smiled and continued "why? what do you have in mind?"

Halle snorted "If I wanted to kidnap you, I would have done it the other night". Backing out of her driveway Halle continued "well...if you don't mind the drive, I know the perfect spot."

Richie shook his head with indifference "great! let's go!"

"You sure you don't mind a drive? where I have in mind takes around an hour."

"Not at all,I'm in your capable hands" a sly grin spread accross his face and he slipped his eyebrows up and down at the double meaning

"That's dangerous" Halle smirked and navigated through the morning traffic heading north.

About forty five minutes later, Richie was watching the scenery pass by and as nice as it was he had no clue as to where they were or where they were heading. "Ahh Hal?"

Halle grinned at Richie's expression it was crossed between pained and lost "what's wrong?"

"Nothing, just wondering where we are" he continued looking around.

"About five minutes and we will be there" Halle turned the car down a dirt road that was lined with massive eucalyptus trees.

Richie looked through the window with interest and noticed there were no longer any buildings or houses around, it was just trees and vacant land. Coming over a small crest he took in the gorgeous view before him. "This is amazing" he whispered as the ocean came into full view.

Halle stopped the car "ready?" she smiled, happy with his reaction.

Nodding, he stepped out of the car, his eyes never leaving the sprawling view ahead. "How did you find this place? It's just amazing."

Halle looked out over the view, crossing her arms over her chest she softly rubbed the tops of her arms "it's mine".

"Yours?" Richie repeated. "Wow, the possibilities for land like this" he continued, mentally picturing a beautiful home spread accross the top, stairs leading down to the beach and a perfect studio where the tranquil setting would be perfect for his creativity.

"Yes...well, I'm hoping it will still be mine" sadness evident in her voice.

"What do you mean?" Richie came closer, leaning up against the bonnet of the car beside her, his eyes carefully watching hers, it was unnerving how much her evident pain was affecting him.

"Well, Rich, I'm in the middle of a divorce at the moment. This property was left to me by my grandparents, but now it's just another part of the settlement. I was hoping that Mark was going to let me keep it, but apparently there is no sign of the man i married."

Reaching accross, Richie stroked her cheek gently and smiled. "It would certainly be a shame to lose this" his other arm stretched out "how long 'til it's finalised?"

"About two months" brightening back up Halle turned toward the car and opened the boot "let's see what we have here. Any coffee?" Halle hoped Richie would keep the subject change. She certainly didn't want to air her dirty laundry, she knew Richie had enough of his own to deal with, he didn't need to be burdened with hers.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chapter Twelve

The following morning Halle woke to loud banging on her front door. Groaning with displeasure after checking the time, she hauled herself from bed and stormed down the stairs like a child in a tantrum. “It’s eight AM” she yelled as she opened the door.

“Woah, sorry ‘bout that, do you want me to leave?” Richie laughed, hoping she wasn’t as pissed as she sounded, because the way she looked in her little pink cotton boxer shorts and red singlet had Richie wanting to alter the plans he had for the day.

Halle’s face burned from embarrassment, not only had she yelled at him, but she was standing there in her pj’s. Suddenly feeling exposed she began to stumble her words. “Um…no, no, oh shit. C’mon in” she stammered.

As he slid past her, his body briefly connected with hers, she could smell his cologne and that, matched with his baggy fit jeans, black tshirt and boots and she was done for.

“Richie just grinned at her reaction. ‘Damn if she wasn’t gorgeous, even with bed hair and sleep crinkles embedded on her cheeks. This is gonna kill me.’

“What are you doing here? And so early in the morning too?”

Grinning widely, Richie said “takin’ you out. You didn’t have plans did you?”

“Um…well” Halle was too confused to answer. ‘Is this a date? What the hell? Is he serious?’

“Good” Richie said, not waiting for her answer. He sat on the couch, pulled his left ankle up on his right knee and said “go on, go get dressed”.

Halle walked slowly from the living room then almost took the stairs in one leap. She turned the shower on and stripped off, then jumped in and had what she would have classed as the fastest shower of her life. Toweling herself off she decided to leave her hair to dry naturally and pulled on a pair of blue jeans and a white singlet top.

Richie looked around the small living room, it felt homey, lived in, comfortable and he smiled imagining himself spending time here. He stood and walked accross the room to the tv cabinet that had alot of picture frames accross the top of it. Some pictures had Halle and a young guy, Richie grimaced at that, not sure why he felt territorial over her. He moved along to a couple more frames and chuckled at Megan and Halle in a purely 80's shot where their hair was wildly teased and both wore bright makeup. Another frame showed an older couple that Richie presumed were Halle's parents as the resemblance was clear. The final frames housed pictures of a baby boy, an infant and then a couple of school portraits of a boy who looked like Halle, shrugging Richie presumed it was a nephew or cousin.

Richie perused her cd collection, nodding his approval of her tastes. She had music that spanned a decades. There was quite a lot of Beatles and Elvis, which he was impressed with, but what caught his eye was the cd case that lay open on the top of the stereo. He hit the start button and out blasted ‘Born To Be My Baby’. He chuckled softly but left it on. Sitting back on the couch he picked up a magazine and started flipping through it.

Halle was applying some makeup when she heard her stereo start; she was mortified and dropped her face in her hands. ‘Oh fantastic, so I’m a fan, can’t hide that. Why isn’t he turning it off?' Going back downstairs Halle crossed the room quickly to turn off the stereo. She turned to Richie who was reading one of the buyers catalogues she had. “See anything you like?”

“Hell yeah!” his eyes were wide looking through each page carefully.

Halle just laughed and took the magazine from him. “You’re a smartass aren’t you?”

“Well you got me pegged already.” Richie said “what’s with all the lingerie catalogues?” he held up another magazine, he pointed at a beautiful white lacy camisole and shorts, and smiled widely “you got this?”

Shaking her head and rolling her eyes she snatched the catalogue and clipped him on the back of the head with it.

“Hey, I was just curious” he said innocently, rubbing his head.

Sitting on the couch next to Richie, Halle pulled on her boots. “I actually have most of these things” she said.

Richie’s throat went dry just imagining her in some of those sexy little numbers.

Laughing at the look on Richie’s face Halle continued “I actually own a lingerie shop”.

“Oh really?” He was intrigued. “I thought you worked in the bar.”

“No, not for a while now. I did when I first moved here, but since I opened the store I just help Sal out whenever he needs me. Well I’m all dressed, where are we off to?”

“Well that’s a surprise” he said getting up from the couch. He put his hand out to help Halle up. Her small hand once again fitted perfectly inside his. She stood inches away from him, gazing softly into his eyes. He had so many scenarios running through his head, most of them ended with them naked on the couch behind them. ‘Fuck, this is gonna kill me.’

Halle stood frozen on the spot. ‘Oh my God, I can’t breathe.’ His scent once again made her insides turn flip flops. Ripping her gaze from his, Halle picked up her bag and keys and pointing toward the door said “after you”.

Chapter Eleven

Richie was muttering softly below his breath which made Halle chuckle nervously. She glared at Megan sending her an unspoken dismissal.

Megan stopped ranting when she read Halle's glare, her cheeks coloured slightly realising what she must have interrupted. "Ahh...well... I'm gonna just go and...um...yeah" with that said, Megan spun on her heel and took off back toward David and Tico.

Turning back to Richie, Halle looked up setting her gaze on his face. He was smiling back, his eyes twinkling and his smile widening as Halle became visibly nervous again. She looked down at her hands that were playing with a button on Richie's shirt, her mind racing. What the hell did she think she was doing? She was so far out of her element. He didn't even know her, she didnt know him. Mentally shaking her head, she knew she couldn't be some Rockstar's latest conquest, even if that certain Rockstar had beautiful, eyes that spoke from his soul, and a smile that could easily reduce her to a puddle. Even if that Rockstar's body called out to hers, setting every nerve ending alight with a desire she thought she would never know.

Richie watched the emotions dancing accross Halle's face. He noted the uncertainty, which he would have expected from someone as down to earth as Hal. This was a little too fast. His head was not in the right place at the moment to give Halle what she deserved. He lifted his hand to her chin and pulled her meet his gaze, slowly lowering he left a chaste kiss on her lips. Her taste was powerful, he wanted more. Forgetting his concerns, Richie dipped his head once more, his lips met hers again, this time they both tilted their heads, deepening the kiss. Richie ran his tongue softly along Halle's lips, looking for entry. She obliged with a sigh.

Halle had seen Richie descending for another kiss and was powerless to stop it. Truth be told she didn't want to stop it. She was amazed at how perfectly their lips fit together. Her hands slid up his chest and over his shoulders and linked together at the nape of his neck, as the kiss deepened.

Richie swept his hands down her cheeks and rested them at the base of her neck. He could feel her pulse beating fast beneath his fingers. As they slowly parted their breathing fast and erratic, Richie lay his forehead to Halle's as they regained their composure.

Halle was suddenly aware of how many people were actually in the room. Her cheeks coloured and she hid her face from anyone who may have been watching.

Richie smiled at her panic stricken face. "Hal, I'm sure no one was paying attention" looking over his shoulder, Richie gave the room a quick glance over and found only Megan and Jon staring in their direction. Jon was grinning like he had won a carnival prize and Megan was eyeing them suspiciously. Turning back to Halle he smirked "see, we didn't grab anyone's attention.

Megan looked for herself and found Megan still looking their way, giving her a cautious friend look, Halle just smiled and nodded in her direction. At that Megan returned to her conversation with Dave. Feeling her courage Megan took a deep breath and began "Richie" she faultered, not sure exactly how to say what she needed to say.

"Just say it darlin'"

Halle began again "Richie, i have to say without a doubt this has been one of the most amazing days of my life. I had breakfast with a great bunch of guys, got to see a kickass concert, and had an amazing experience here with you tonight"

"Why can i feel a BUT coming on?" Richie grinned.

"Because there is one. Rich, I'm not a casual type of girl. I..." she couldn't continue.

Richie knew where she was heading with this so he comforted her with an arm around her waist and pulled her close for a hug. "I know you aren't casual Halle, I would never treat you like that either, after what you did for me last night, hell, you could have made it alot more difficult, caused me a huge scandal, but you didn't and for that i am eternally grateful. I respect you too much darlin' to ever treat you anyway but the way you deserve to be treated." Halle felt tears burning her eyes. Richie wiped one away and continued "I haven't had such a great twelve months and i'm not sure where my head is with anything at the moment but i would truly like to keep in touch with you" he looked hopefully at her, his eyebrows winged awaiting her response.

Halle smiled gently "that would be great Rich" was all she said before they hugged again. Pulling apart Richie grabbed her hand.

"Let's see what's happening over here" he tugged her along 'til they reached Megan and the rest of the band.

Later that night, Halle lay in her bed smiling. It had been a great party, everyone was nice and Megan had taken a liking to Dave, which was quite an odd combination, with Dave being such a fun spirited person and Megan…well …not. She could have fun, but was very much business orientated. Halle hoped that a little fun with a funky keyboardist might bring out a little more of the fun Megan that Halle hadn’t seen since they were teenagers.

Her mind returned to the handsome wingman. He could easily have been the typical sleazy rock star, but he was down to earth and so much fun to be with. He had barely left her side all night and she could still smell his sweet musky scent. Their conversation started dancing around her mind. Was he serious? Could she have a friendship with Richie? She had enjoyed spending time with him so maybe it was possible. Their kiss was playing on her mind also, friends don't kiss like that, just remembering him being so close and so turned on was becoming dangerous and she laughed loudly at the delusions she created and buried her face in her pillow, eventually giving in to sleep.

Richie still had Halle on his mind, and after they all returned to the hotel he stopped in at Jon’s room.

“Hey man” Jon said opening the door further for him to enter. “What’s on your mind? Or should I be asking who’s on your mind?”

“Need I remind you asshole that we aren’t in high school anymore” Richie said plonking himself on the couch.

“Hey, I know we aren’t in school man, ‘cause if we were, I wouldn’t have had to do all the work, you would still have your balls and backbone and have done it yourself” Jon said smugly, and then shooting a concerned look at Richie, he continued “So what’s the problem? I know you were into her”.

Richie rolled his head on the back of the couch, shaking it slowly from side to side and running his hands over his face. “I don’t know man, she’s great, and gorgeous, but geographically speaking, she’s all wrong”.

“I wasn’t thinking anything long term Rich; I just thought you could have some fun while you were here, you know what I mean.”

“Fuck that! She’s better than that man.”

Jon watched Richie closely, thoughts ticking over in his head. He wanted to see his brother happy again, even if he had to give him a little push, he was going to make it happen.

Slapping his hands on his thighs Richie said “Shit! I just gotta keep it simple, no use makin’ situations worse than they already are”.

“Fuck that, go see her tomorrow, you already know you enjoy her company, maybe that’s all you need.”

Richie went to bed contemplating Jon’s advice. ‘Maybe he was right, but could he be just friends with Halle?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Chapter Ten

“Huh? Where?” Megan was confused.

Halle pulled the lanyards from her bag. Grinning wildly she held them up “backstage”.

Megan began laughing at the ridiculous notion of them going to a backstage party, but on closer inspection the passes looked legitimate.

“C’mon, let’s go before you catch any flies in that open mouth of yours.” Putting the lanyards around their necks, she led Megan to the side of the stage and found Rob waiting for her.

He led them through a small maze of corridors until he opened a door that led to the party. There seemed to be a lot of crew and security, there was also a handful of photographers clicking pictures. There amongst the excitement Halle’s gaze landed on Richie.

“Oh my God! There’s Jon” Megan said pointing madly to a point in the middle of the room. “Let’s go introduce ourselves.”

Halle allowed Megan to pull her through the crowd, inching closer and closer to Richie who was talking animatedly with Jon and laughing. The women stopped and waited while they were talking, Halle was trying to her hardest not to laugh at Megan who was clearly star struck. The ridiculous smile and the constant jittering were making it hard to keep her composure.

Jon noticed them standing there and patted Richie’s shoulder for him to turn and look.

“Great show guys” Halle said smiling through her nerves. It was a very different Richie tonight than who had woken up in her house that morning.

“Hi Hal, glad you could make it” Jon said leaning in and giving her cheek a small kiss. “We had a blast, crowd was awesome.”

“Hey Halle” Richie said sliding his arm around her waist and giving her a quick hug. He didn’t know what was coming over him, as far away from women that he wanted to stay he still found himself automatically drawn to Halle.

Halle laughed a full bellied laugh at the look on Megan’s face as she had been watching the exchange between Halle and these God’s of Rock.

Feeling sorry for her friend, Halle put her arm around her friends shoulder “Megan, meet Jon and Richie.”

“Hey darlin’” they both said together, then one at a time bent down to kiss her cheek, chuckling too at her reaction.

Megan all of a sudden looked quite flushed, but recovered well enough to start the questions. “Ok, what gives?” eyeing them all off suspiciously.

After a brief explanation of the previous nights events and then this mornings breakfast guests, Megan was quite put out that Halle hadn’t shared the story with her.

“Hey, you’re lucky that I even invited you to come tonight sweetheart, after that horrible date you sent me on last night” Halle teased.

Richie’s ears pricked at the mention of the word ‘date’. Why did it bother him to know that she was on a date? Hell, he didn’t even know her then.

“Aww c’mon Hal, he’s not that bad.”

“You date him then.”

Jon made the less than subtle move of taking Megan to meet the rest of the band. Placing his hand at the small of her back he steered her away from Halle and Richie. Looking back over Megan’s shoulder, he sent Richie a wink.

What the fuck! Someone needs to tell that asshole that we aren’t in high school anymore.

Halle put her hands up to tease at the ends of his hair. “Well, you certainly seemed to be over your hangover tonight.”

Richie watched her mouth as she spoke, wanting desperately to crush his lips over them.

“Yeah, all gone. It was a great show, we definitely need to get down here more often, and the fans are always great here. Hey can I get you a drink darlin’?”

“Sure, thanks.” Halle said “Just a coke.”

“Coming right up.” He slipped out of view for a split second then returned with a bottle for her. He opened a beer and took a long sip. He watched her tip her head, exposing her neck, her lips wrapped around the top ‘hell, it’s been way too long’ Richie thought, trying to fight off the horny devil sitting on his shoulder. In a slightly strained voice Richie suggested they go see what everyone else is up to.

Nodding in acceptance, Halle put her arm around Richie whose own arm had done the same to Halle, although it had been a totally innocent move, it had felt as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

The two manouvered around the room comfortably, Richie stopped to talk to a few people along the way, but never took his arms from Halle's waist. At one point while Richie was talking with a crew member, his hand was slowly moving up and down in a comforting motion on Halle's hip her shirt slowly inching up with each pass. She held her breath in anticipation of skin on skin, but Richie unconciously stopped when he finished the converstion. Halle let out a strangled breath, her heart was beating furiously in her chest. 'yep, definately a panty change needed'.

Richie backed Halle up against the wall in a secluded corner of the room, partially concealed by a huge potplant. She held her breath as Richie leaned in close to her ear, his body molding to hers. "Having fun yet?" his voice was raspy in her ear sending a coursing trail of lust straight through her body.

"Ah...huh" Halle's voice faultered, not one concious thought came to mind. 'blithering IDIOT' she mentally admonished herself. The look of satisfaction gleamed in his eyes as he realised how unhinged he had made her. She inwardly shook herself clear and came up with an answer. "Well, so far so good." Peering over his shoulder she continued "although it's not quite what i expected from a backstage party for a rock band".

Richie kept his body close to hers but threw his head back laughing loudly. "Darlin' this is as wild as we get these days" looking around the room quickly he sighed remembering the good 'ol days when there were no responsibilites, nothing but great music, great women and great booze.

Halle noted the nostalgia in his eyes and tried to lighten the mood. "Well i just expected to come back here and see naked women everywhere."

Richie leaned back in toward her ear again "well baby, if you want to start the ball rolling, you'd hear no complaints from me" he ended the sentence with a small nip to her ear.

Halle held her eyes closed, breathing heavily, her lips parted slightly at her arousal. She bit down on her bottom lip to prevent it from quivering then slowly opened her eyes.

Richie knew he was stepping over some lines he had drawn for himself, but the way she looked when she tried to compose herself, had brought on some pretty vivid mental pictures. Breathing in deeply, he inhaled her scent of vanilla and strawberry, and groaned softly wondering whether she tasted the same. He was keenly aware of her heavy breathing , pushing her breasts against his chest, his cock was straining for attention sending an ache through his body that made him feel alive for the first time in months.

Halle opened her eyes to see him smirking, his eyes piercing her. She found herself holding her breath again when Richie leaned in closer, his tongue slithered out, wetting his lips in preparation. As he got closer, Halle's lips parted.

"Halle" Megan called out as she approached.

Richie snapped his head up and brought his fist to his forehead and clenched his teeth.

'I'm gonna kill her...yep, it was nice while it lasted...but she had to go!' "What!" Halle growled. Richie chuckled slightly at her frustration, but he was dealing with his own disappointment at the moment and he knew it would be a couple of minutes before he composed himself enough to turn back and face the room. He grasped Halle lightly on the arm, sending her a pleading look.

Richie's gaze screamed out to her, had she really had that much affect on him? Glancing down briefly she blushed at the obvious reason for his pained expression and without uttering a word she knew to stay put as Megan came to stand by them.

"Oh my gosh Hal, Dave asked for my phone number. DAVE BRYAN wanted MY phone number" she shrieked, punctuating her words wth extra high screeches.

"That's great Megan" 'now go away!' Halle mumbled in annoyance.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chapter Nine

At sound check, Richie was in a better frame of mind. He had spoken with Ava and they had remade their plans, his headache had subsided and there were no serious problems with the gear set up.

Jon wasn’t usually wrong when it came to his best friend. He knew Richie had been keeping his distance from the ladies this tour. On stage he was the flirt he had always been, the perfect performer, but that was all. He would retreat to his hotel room as soon as he was able to get away. Watching as Richie tuned his guitar, Jon just nodded to himself ‘yep, no doubt about it bro, you need to have some fun’ suddenly Jon no longer worried about sending Halle the tickets.

Halle had forgiven Megan for the date from hell and brought her along to the concert. She had so far left out the fact that they had back stage passes and still wouldn’t reveal the source of her connections on getting the tickets or about her breakfast guests that morning.

They made their way to their seats. “Holy hell Halle, you have some great connections there babe” Megan said looking back at the sea of people behind them. “I have never been front row at a concert before.”

“Me either. It’s so exciting” Halle replied.

Just then, the arena dimmed and the stage fell under spotlights. Dave and Tico took their positions followed by Hugh and Lorenza. When Richie took the stage, Halle held her breath and the crowd cheered louder. He looked amazing, the epitome of a rock star, black leather pants, scuffed boots, a purple shirt that was unbuttoned enough to see his chest, crosses dangling from his neck and of course a hat. Not the Stetson but it still looked good.

The crowd seemed to explode when Jon ran onstage. Halle was quite shocked at the crowd’s reaction, but once he came to the front of the stage she could see why. The man was hot; hell hot didn’t even begin to describe him. Tight black jeans, brown open shirt and a stage presence that seemed unequal to anything she had seen before. It was certainly where he belonged. He kicked straight into the first song and didn’t slow down for the rest of the night.

During Keep The Faith Jon came across in front of Halle and pointed to her smiling, Megan just about shot up on stage with him, she was beside herself.

“Did you see that Hal? He sang to you, oh my god I want that man.”

Halle laughed at her friend. “I think there’s probably thousands of women here that want him too.”

“Yeah, yeah I know, but let me have my little fantasies.”

Megan and Halle were dancing along to the music, having a great time. Jon came over their way a few times shooting them his famous panty dropping smile. Halle knew he was making a point about her previous ego remark, but laughed it off anyway. Richie hadn’t even acknowledged her and she wondered if he had even noticed she was there.

When Richie took the mic for the next song, Halle could tell he noticed her. She smiled and winked at him, but he simply smiled and moved on like she was any other fan in the audience.

Richie had scanned the front row, typical mutton done up as lamb, wearing shit their daughters couldn’t get away with. Then his eyes fell on her. Halle. ‘Fuck,’ Richie thought, ‘Jon had to be behind this, those seats were his to give out, son of a bitch, I’m gonna kill him’. Richie smiled his recognition and began his song.

I was walkin’ around
Just a face in the crowd
Tryin’ to keep myself outta the rain
Saw a vagabond king
Wearin’ a styrofoam crown
Wonderin’ if I might end up the same

Halle was mesmerized. She had tears in her eyes, but she didn’t even notice. His voice was smoky and so sexy. ‘I am so going to need a panty change when I’m done here’ she thought to herself.

Richie found himself turning his gaze back to Halle. The way she was staring at him, taking in everything he was singing, left him feeling warmth he had been without for so long. He kept his gaze on her as he sang; she looked fantastic, her long hair hung loose around her shoulders. Her black halter top had a deep enough V that Richie greatly appreciated from his vantage point. Her denim mini skirt was barely there it was so short and her long legs ended in a pair of black western style boots. ‘Now that’s an outfit.’ She was swaying along to his words, head to head with her friend who was cute enough with her strawberry blonde hair and slim figure. ‘Fuck, I’m screwed’ he thought. She was down to earth and hadn’t swooned over them at all that morning; she seemed intelligent and smokin’ hot to boot. Sounded like a package deal to him. He finished his song, took his bow and sent her a wink and his pick.

Halle caught the pick easily and mouthed ‘thank you’ to him. Giving her another wink he left the stage.

“What the hell was that all about?” Megan asked.

“What do you mean?” Halle replied as innocently as possible.

“Well, that almost looked like you knew each other.”

Halle was saved from having to explain herself by Jon’s voice, this time coming from a small stage at the side of the arena.

After the last encore was done, Halle sat back in her seat as everyone started filing out.

“C’mon girl, get up, the train leaves in ten minutes, move it” Megan said pulling Halle to her feet.

Looking mischievously at Megan, Halle said “well…what if I said we have a party to go to.”

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Chapter Eight

It had been such a sweet short kiss, but it had lingered on Halle’s lips long after Richie had left. Floating through her household chores, she couldn’t remember a time when housework hadn’t sucked the life outta her. She had even pulled out her one and only Bon Jovi cd, New Jersey, and bopped around, dancing with the vacuum cleaner.


Richie had woken from a restless nap. Not quite sure why he kept having visions of Halle. He shook his head, hoping they would leave. The last thing he needed was another woman plaguing his thoughts. Sure she was great, and ordinarily, she would have been an ideal pick up, but there was something about her that made him smile. Maybe it was the way she looked at him, without judgment, without the rock star hype. Maybe because she carried a similar pain in her eyes, as he did. Ordering coffee, he went to shower. The warm water cascaded over him, enveloping him like a warm hug, making him feel more awake. He emerged from the bathroom, towel around his waist, and searched for his phone to call Ava. “Dammit, where have I put it?” Pulling on a pair of jeans and a navy shirt he went to see Jon.

“Well, you look more alive now. We got sound check at three, you ok for that? And another thing” Jon leant forward and swiped the back of Richie’s head.

“Owww what the fuck?” Richie complained and rubbed the back of his head. He knew he deserved it and more for the stunt he pulled. “Look man, I’m sorry, I wasn’t thinking.”

“You got that right” Jon snapped “I know you’re going through some shit at the moment but fuck, this could have been a serious problem that not only affects you, it affects all of us”.

“Look, you can dish out whatever you want but trust me; I’m beating myself up enough without you adding to it” Richie’s temper was rising, more from guilt than what Jon was saying.

“All I ask is that you come to me if it gets too bad man, and if you want my opinion, which you’re gonna get whether you do or not, I think you’re making this way too easy for Heather.”

Richie’s brow rose “how do you figure that?”

Jon turned and looked Richie in the eyes. “Look in the mirror man, that’s not you there. You’re letting the bitch beat you down. Think about the satisfaction she’s getting from you fucking up all the time, drinking and pulling shit like last night, which, by the way I’ll rip you a new one if you pull shit like that again. So how about finding that spine of yours and stop letting her walk all over you.”

“Fuck…you think I like what she’s doing to me? You think I like feeling so fucked up all the time that swallowing a bottle of booze is the only comforting thing I can do? Fuck Jon, my balls are in a vice while we’re touring, there’s no room to change plans and the fuckin’ bitch knows that, she’s using my biggest weakness against me…Ava” he lowered his voice and swallowed hard before continuing. “I think I’m gonna have to have another serious chat with my lawyer when we get home, probably when we’re back in march, you’re right I do let her get away with too much.”

he gave his brother a quick hug, slapping him on the back he said "you’re ready for sound check?”

“Yeah, yeah sound check three o’clock, have you seen my phone?”

“Nah, you leave it in your clothes?”

“Checked them” Richie said sitting on the couch and plonking his feet on the side table.

“Shit…when I called you earlier, Halle answered it, that’s how we found you. She must still have it.” Jon began laughing.

“I don’t see how any of this is funny” Richie frowned and folded his arms across his chest.

“Oh yes it is” Jon laughed, “She got to you. I can see it on your face.”

“Trouble I don’t need at the moment.”

“Look” Jon sympathized. “I’ll call her and organize Rob to go get it from her, ok?”

“Thanks” Richie grumbled as he left.

Halle was folding the last of her washing when she heard the guitar solo ring tone of Richie’s phone.

“Shit, shit, shit” she yelled searching for it. Finding it half hidden under a couch cushion, she flipped it open and seeing it was Jon she said “sorry, sorry, sorry”.

Jon just laughed. “So I take it that this wasn’t part of some evil plan to have us come back and visit?”

“No egomaniac, it isn’t. I dropped the phone on my couch after your call and I guess I just forgot about it. How do I get it back to you?”

Jon snorted out a short laugh at being put in his place for the third time that day by the beauty. “It’s ok darlin’ I will send someone over to pick it up. Is that ok?”

“Of course, that’s fine. I really am sorry. It hasn’t rang though, so he hasn’t missed any calls.”

“Thanks Hal” Jon said, a small plan building in his head. “Bye for now” he said and hung up, then flipping the phone open again he began dialing.

A short time later, Halle answered the door to a huge, mountain of a man standing on her steps.

“Hi ma’am, my name’s Rob from the Bon Jovi security team. Mr. Bon Jovi sent me to pick up Mr. Sambora’s phone and deliver this envelope.

Taking the envelope and handing over the phone Halle thanked him and then went to the couch to open it. Her eyes nearly popped out of her head. Two front row tickets to tonight’s show as well as two backstage passes.

“Holy crap!” she said looking at the passes. It had been years since she had gone to a concert, and never backstage. A note was the last item in the envelope. It had a simple ‘thanks’ and signed ‘J’.

Chapter Seven

Chapter Seven

Standing on her doorstep was Jon, David and Tico. Jon was wearing a cap and all three were sporting sunglasses and smiles.

Halle’s jaw dropped. They certainly weren’t who she was expecting.

“Halle?” Jon asked as he removed his sunglasses and shot her a smile that weakened her knees.

‘For fuck’s sake speak woman.’ “Ahh yes, yes I’m Halle c’mon on in” she said stepping to the side to allow their entry. Each one of them introduced themselves and then followed her through to the kitchen. Halle was trying to breathe normally and think of them as if they weren’t international rock stars. She was a fan of their music but nothing rabid, in fact she only owned one cd, but she was no fool, she knew their status in the industry.

“Shit, here comes the cavalry” Richie groaned pouring himself another coffee.

“Well don’t you look like shit” Dave snorted through laughter at Richie’s obvious hangover.

“Fuck you” Richie fired back, returning to his seat at the table.
Richie eyed Jon cautiously, wincing slightly at the glare he got in return. 'Well that's something to look forward to.'

Passing around coffees Halle then stood back watching their interaction, she watched Jon as he watched Dave and Richie’s bantering with concerned eyes. The fact that they all turned up was enough to know that they were far more than just band mates. She stepped forward with a plate of muffins and fruit, which they all thanked her for and started eating appreciatively. ‘Someone seriously needs to wake me up before I start believing Bon Jovi is actually sitting in my kitchen.’

“So Halle, I appreciate what you did for Richie” Jon said popping some muffin into his mouth.

“No worries, really, I just thought it was best to get him out of the public eye after…”

Cutting her off Richie said “now darlin’, we can have our little secrets. These assholes don’t need all the details” the mischievous sparkle returning to his eyes and he gave her a wink.

Halle could feel herself blush. ‘Seriously woman, get a grip.’ Unfortunately, the visions she concocted, made her blush deepen.

“After what?” Dave’s eyes lit up taking the bait. Looking between the two he whined “aww c’mon, enquiring minds wanna know.”

“Hell no” Richie said. A woman knocking him on his ass would be enough ammunition for at least a month.

He looked at Halle, she had the same mischievous glint to her eyes that he himself had. ‘Don’t do it darlin’, don’t do it.’ Richie willed her with his eyes not to out him.

“Well I did all but carry your sorry ass from the car to the house, so I do deserve some satisfaction at your expense, don’t you think?”

Richie could think of at least a dozen other ways to satisfy her and none of which would result in the guys ribbing him for the next month. Looking Halle straight in the eyes, his mouth slid into a sexy grin that had Halle a little unnerved.

“Well maybe, it’s a story for another time hey cowboy.” She caved, that smile was her undoing. Right then and there she would probably have stopped breathing if that had been his wish. Halle got up from her chair and began clearing the table.

Jon had been watching the interaction between, Halle and Richie and as innocent as it was, he knew Richie and he knew that she had gotten to him, what he didn't understand was the way he was handling the situation. She could definitely be his type. Sure she was no Hollywood blonde bimbo but she was real. Unfortunately she was real, just on the wrong continent. “We had better get outta your way Hal” Jon said before standing. “We have sound check at 3pm and Dean here looks like he could do with a nap. He’s not as young as he used to be you know” Jon teased and then laughed at Richie’s finger gesture.

Halle laughed but felt the need to come to Richie’s defense. “Well…actually none of you are really are you?”

Richie, Tico and Dave all laughed at her response and Jon’s look of shock. “You tell him Hal” Richie encouraged.

Halle continued “And besides…” Halle paused and took a long, slow deliberate look at Richie from top to bottom “he aint lookin’ too bad from where I’m standing.”

Richie almost groaned at the way she looked him up and down. He began laughing, more to cover up his reaction than at Jon being put in his place. “Well I guess you’ve been told huh Kidd?”

“Oh Halle, you are my new hero” Dave said pulling her for a hug.

“Well I do aim to please” Halle responded returning Dave’s hug.

Richie returned from the bedroom, pulling his boots on and holding his jacket. The rest of the guys were talking with Halle about the tour and were a little surprised that she was a fan considering she didn’t act like one.

They all stood and Jon, Dave and Tico all gave Halle a hug and went through to the front door, leaving just Richie and Halle alone. Richie crossed the kitchen to where Halle was standing and took one of her hands in his. “Thank you Hal…for everything. I apologize for my behaviour last night, you did right putting me on my ass, it was a stupid thing to try and drive and I appreciate the fact that you cared enough to stop me.” He slid his arm around her waist, responding himself to the way her breath hitched as he pulled her in for a hug.

‘Breathe Halle, you fool, breathe!' Halle’s breathing started coming fast and she hugged him back “It was no problems at all Richie, it was great meeting you regardless of the circumstances. Sometimes we all fall victim to our own circumstances”. She lowered her head “just so that you know, I didn’t exactly knock you on your ass, well, not deliberately. I kind of fell on top of you” she said blushing.

Richie pulled back slightly from the hug. Lifting her chin up so their eyes met, Halle could see a glint of laughter in them, but it wasn’t enough to hide the pain. “Well that would have been something I wouldn’t have minded remembering.” With that said he leant in brushed his lips ever so lightly along hers.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chapter Six

Chapter Six

Halle heard the unfamiliar ringtone as she turned the shower off. Grabbing her towel, she flicked it around herself and ran to answer it before it stopped. Noticing the caller I.D she took a deep breath .


Jon was relieved that he had contact but was still wary. This could turn into a media circus if he wasn't careful. They could really do with out any scandals during the tour.

"Hi and who is this?" Jon asked.

Dave and Tico exchanged looks. Dave held back a snicker while Tico just smiled. The King was back in the swing and they both hoped he would be in a better mood for a change.

On the other end of the line Halle was panicking. She didn't even give a thought to how misconstrued the whole situation could look. 'Well that and the sexy fricken voice on the other end of the line.' "My name's Halle...Halle Anderson."

"Hi Halle, I'm Jon, I was looking for..."

"Richie?" she cut in.

"Yeah Richie" Jon smiled at her enthusiasm "Is he around?"

"He's still passed out in the guest room."

"Passed out? Guest room?" Jon repeated.

Dave and Tico started chuckling, maybe the King hadn't returned after all.

Halle immediately got her defences up. "Yes, my guest room, I'm not a conquest if that's what you were thinking."

Jon's brow rose quickly "woah darlin' I didn't mean to imply anything".

"I'll have you know, he was at the bar i was working in last night and well...let's just say he was extremely under the weather. I had to try and stop him from driving" Halle lowered her voice and let her anger subside.

"Well, thanks for looking after him. We appreciate it. Are you able to wake him?" Jon asked still quite shocked at the way she tore into him.

Halle walked downstairs to where Richie was still sleeping. Shaking his shoulder she started in a low even tone "Richie...wake up". Having gotten no response at all she dialled up the voice "Richieeeee...wakey wakey! Get up!" still nothing. She pulled the phone back to her ear "Jon he's not even stirring".

Jon could hear her beginning to panic "it's ok darlin' he sleeps like the dead even when he's not...under the weather. Do you mind if i send someone to get him?".

"Sure, but he has a car here so send someone to drive it."

After writing down the address, Jon hung up then looked up at Dave and Tico who were looking expectantly at him.

"Well?" Dave stood, tapping his foot "Is the King back?"

"Aah, I don't think so, actually she nearly tore me a new one when i assumed something i shouldn't have" Jon chuckled, she certainly had spunk. As for his friend, Jon thought he might just tear him a new one. "He got himself hammered last night and this woman...Halle, thought she would get him outta the public eye. I tell ya what, I'm gonna kill him" Jon ranted to the amusement of Dave and Tico who sat back watching Jon pace around the room.

After giving Jon her address, she dropped the phone on the couch and ran upstairs to get dressed. Pulling on white shorts and a blue t-shirt, she pulled her long hair into a lose ponytail and left the room.

Downstairs, Richie was beginning to stir. Opening his eyes he tried to focus 'fuck me,what train hit me last night?and where the hell am I?' Lifting his head while trying to ignore the pounding, he slowly looked around the room. There was no one in bed beside him and he was still dressed, so he obviously didn't pick up. The room was dark but as his eyes adjusted he focused on a huge picture on the wall. A portrait of John Lennon. Nodding his approval, he continued surveying the room. He found the aspirin and water on the nightstand, silently blessing whoever had left them, he downed three aspirin and swallowed half a bottle of water. He sat on the edge of the bed, elbows on his knees, his head cradled in his hands. He wasn't sure what he was gonna find outside the room but hauled himself off the bed anyway and went to explore.

Halle was in the kitchen when Richie emerged, turning to him, she smiled widely. 'Jeez, this guy even makes a hangover look good'. "Good morning sunshine" Halle said brightly. Richie was pleasantly surprised at who he found. Walking further into the kitchen and looking around wary of who else could be in the room. "Good morning, aren't we chirpy?" a sheepish grin on his face. He felt a little uncomfortable that he had no recollection of the previous night.

Noticing his awkwardness Halle wiped her hands on a towel then held one out toward Richie "I'm Halle".

Richie stepped forward and took her hand "Richie". Her hand was small and felt soft inside his and her warmth quickly spread through his body.

Halle was taken by surprise at the sensation his innocent handshake was generating. She let out a small gasp and pulled her hand quickly from his. Composing herself she smiled again "feel like coffee and breakfast cowboy?"

Richie smirked at her reaction but dismissed it 'probably just a fan' he thought. "Well as long as you're offering." He sat at the table in the middle of the kitchen and while Halle busied herself with the task at hand, Richie took the opportunity of taking in her features. Her hair was long, even tied back it still hung more than half way down her back. His gaze travelled down, her petite figure was accentuated by the tight t-shirt that happened to be the same colour as her eyes and her cute ass was making his crotch stir as she moved around the kitchen. She obviously worked out, her legs looked firm and strong and her stomach was perfectly flat. As she reached for something in a top cupboard Richie caught sight of some ink at the base of her spine but didn't get a chance to make out what it was.

"So..." Richie stalled, not quite sure what to say.

"So?" Halle repeated and turned to look his way. "How did you end up here?"

Running his hand through his hair and looking down at the table, Richie felt rather sheepish "well, yeah, I don't remember too much about last night". He remembered well enough the phone call that sent him off into the streets to calm down, and then the small bar that had been welcoming with the lack of crowd, but after that things got a little hazy.

"Well let's just say that you were in no condition to drive and after I knocked you on your ass, you passed out. We had no idea where you were staying, your phone was locked and i didn't think it would be wise to leave you to attract attention. So i figured, knowing who you were, I should be safe enough to let you crash here."

Richie was staring blankly at her "You knocked me on my ass?"

"Well I wasn't about to let you loose on the roads, and besides, you were being a smug bastard and I needed to put you in your place." She thought that she would keep to herself the little fact that she actually fell on him, what he don't know won't hurt him.

"Well thanks...I guess" Richie replied rather embarassed.

Helle began laughing as she served up his breakfast.

"So now you're laughing at me?" Richie asked, a pained look on his face, but his eyes were sparkling with amusement.

Halle laughed louder "I'm sorry" was all she could say before she lost it, tears streaming down her face.

Shaking his head at her, Richie popped a piece of bacon in his mouth and turned when he heard the doorbell.

Halle was still laughing as she went through to open the door. She guessed that it would be someone to pick Richie up, but her laughter came to a sputtering stop when she opened the door and she immediately found herself without breath.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chapter Five

Chapter Five

Halle had a restless nights sleep. Everytime she glanced at her clock, minutes were all that had passed. Finally at six am she gave in and got out of bed. She pulled on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, pulled her hair back in a pony tail and sat on the bed to pull on her joggers. She needed a run, it was an invigorating way to start the dayand she knew she needed all she could get considering her house guest. Going downstairs she flicked the switch for the coffee machine and snuck a peek at Richie before she left.

Halle was confident Richie wouldn't wake up anytime soon, so she took advantage of her longer route, passing other joggers as she headed towards the beach. Sunrise was in Halles opinion the best time of the day, breathing deeply the air was refreshing from the inside out. Rounding the bend she picked up her pace, pushing herself 'til her calves burned. Her thoughts consumed by the man in her house. Halle had different variations of conversations spooling around her mind. 'What do you say to such a man?'

Entering the house she took the stairs two at a time then jumped into a relaxing shower.

Jon returned to his room from the hotel gym. A workout was the perfect way to begin a show day. After ordering breakfast and showering he thought he should probably check how Richie was doing. He worried about his brother and the downward spiral could easily fall into again. After a tough couple of years he could surely do with some light in his life.

Freshly showered with just his jeans pulled on, upper body and hair still wet, Jon sat on the couch coffee in one hand, his phone in the other. Richie's phone rang out and went to messages. Hanging up he redialled "wake up man" he said as Richie's phone once again went to messages. "Fuck." Getting up, he slipped on a shirt and went to find his brother.

After pounding on Richie's door for the better part of five minutes, Jon went to Dave's door.

"Where's the fire?" Dave chuckled as Jon stormed through the door.

"Is Rich here?" Jon asked as he looked around the room.

"Nah man, I havn't seen him" Dave put a hand to Jon's chest to slow him down. "What's wrong?"

"It's my fault, I should've gone with him" he stepped around Dave and continued "I'll check with Teek".

"Woah, what's going on?" Dave asked, following Jon out the door.

"Fucking Heather has stuffed him around again. He took off last night to cool down and now I can't get a hold of him.

Tico hadn't seen him either."Fuck" Jon spat, pacing the room, running his hands through his hair in frustration.

"Look, try his phone again. He may have just gotten lucky and is in some woman's bed somewhere" reasoned Tico.

Pulling his phone out he dialed Richie again.

"Um...hello" came the soft uneasy voice of a woman.

Jon snapped his head up and gave Tico and Dave a nod.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Chapter Four

Chapter Four

Halle fell right on top of Richie. Inwardly smiling 'well there are worse places a girl could land'.

Richie let out a loud "oof" and passed out. Jumping up quickly, Halle made sure he hadn't hit his head.

Salvatore came rushing over. His aged features showing full concern. "Hal, are you ok? What's this guys deal?" he motioned toward Richie with a flick of his hand.

"It's ok Sal, I knocked him over, but he seems to be sleeping it off now. Can you help me get him to the car?"

Sal and Halle together with the last remaining patron struggled to the car with the huge frame of a man. "Where are you going to take him?" Sal puffed as they propped him up in the backseat.

"Could you check his pocket for a hotel keycard or a business card, something that may tell us where he's staying" Halle asked as she started checking his other pocket.

Finding his wallet, Salvatore opened it and tried hard to be as unobtrusive as possible. After a quick search he came up with nothing.

Halle wondered how crazy she would sound if she called all the hotels in the area asking if Richie Sambora was staying there. She laughed it off, not only would they not tell her, she would sound certifiable.

Sal pulled his hands from Richie's jean pocket with a phone and handed it over to Halle.

"Great, I should be able to see who he called last and see if they can help." Flipping the phone open Halle sighed in defeat. "Damn it! It's locked." 'What the hell am i gonna do now?' Halle asked herself.

"Well Hal, I'll just have to call the cops, let them deal with him" Hal grumbled as he turned back toward the bar.

"No Sal, please." Halle looked down at Richie, sprawled accross the backseatand couldn't help but smile. He certainly was a magnificent specimen, even in his current condition. "Well Sal, I will just take him back to my place, let him sleep it off there."

"The hell you will" Sal replied in his gruff fatherly tone.

Clearly Sal had no idea who he was, and Halle felt confident that she would be safe. "It's ok Sal" she replied giving him a kiss on the cheek and a quick hug. "I know who he is and i will be fine. Don't worry."

"I'm an old man Hal, I always worry, just be careful."

Blowing him a kiss, she jumped in the drivers seat and drove off toward home.

It had been a bit of a task getting Richie from the car to the house. He had woken but was not coherent in the least. Mumbled sounds grumbled from him as he leaned heavily on Halle. Stumbling around he passed out cold again when Halle dropped him on the bed in her guest room.

She struggled pulling off his boots and fell on her ass for her efforts "crap! there has gotta be a better way to get a rockstar undressed" she laughed.

She stood back, looking down at the unconcious man in her house and wondered what had brought such pain to those gorgeous chocolate eyes. It was obviously bad enough to drive him to the bar that night on a mission to drown something in whiskey. "Well not exactly how I thought the night would end" she murmered quietly to herself "but i guess it could have been worse".

Leaving a packet of aspirin and two bottles of water on the bedside table, Halle closed the door and went upstairs to her room taking his phone with her in case it rang. She was sure it wouldn't be long before he is missed.

Chapter Three

Chapter Three

Halle went behind the bar and started loading glasses into trays to be washed. Behind her she heard a rough and very slurred voice.

"Hey there pretty lady, can i buy you a drink?"

Rolling her eyes she turned quickly on her heel and said "well...that's not one i havn't....." she stopped dead in her trackswhen she noticed exactly who it was. 'Fuck me, holy hell' she had noticed him when he walked in but he had kept his hat low so she hadn't recognised him. She quickly recovered then finished "heard before".

"Well in that case darlin' I'll just have another Jack on the rocks" he drawled taking his cap off and dropping in on the bar beside him then running his fingers through his glorious hair.

Halle was a little weary about serving him but decided one more then she would cut him off.

She pored his drink then watchedin stunned silenceas he downed it in one mouthful. 'Well i wonder whats beating him down so much that it's pushed him to drink like this?' Halle thought, keeping a protective eye on him as he swayed slightly.

"Hit me again darlin'" his slurring worse than before.

"Sorry cowboy, we're closing up now, would you like me to call a cab?"

Richie scowled, trying to focus on her through glassy eyes "aaawwww c'mon babe, give a guy a break, I've had a bad night" 'and an even worse couple of years' he thought.

Halle could barely makeout his incoherent speech and watched as his eyes became heavy.

"C'mon cowboy, time to go. Where are you stayin'? I'll call you a cab."

Richie forced his eyes wide open, "sss ok I got a car" he mumbled fishing around in his pocket and triumphantly pulled out a set of keys. He turned, swayed slightly and headed toward the door, tripping on a chair leg along the way.

Salvatore came over "hey Hal, he's not driving is he?"

Halle was already making a move to head him off. "Not if i have anything to do with it. It's ok Sal, I can handle him" then shifted into Richie's path.

Holding her hand out in front of her and in a commanding tone she said "Ok, hand over the keys cowboy".

Thinking he would try being cute he smiled crookedly and slurred "whatcha gonna do if i don't?" Leaning slighly forward he hoped he could unnerve her. Even in his inebriated state he could see her beauty and if he wasn't in such a funk when it came to women, he would have made a move on her in a heartbeat.

Halle was up to the challenge. "Well honey, that's not going to be an issue because you are going to give me those keys".

Richie held them up, just out of her reach, his chocolate eyes twinkling with mischief.

With her hands on her hips she laughed "ok, so we're gonna play that game huh?".

He just nodded, slowly blinking and still swaying slightly.

Quicker than he was prepared for Halle jumped and grabbed his keys, but lost her balance, and both of them tumbled to the floor.


Chapter Two

Chapter Two

Halle stood in front of her wardrobe, scaning for the perfect outfit. Her best friend set her up on a date with one of her work colleagues, Ron. Halle hadn't been really keen on the idea, since her divorce a year earlier she had kept herself 'out of the game'. Megan had other ideas and decided it was time for Halle to get up off the bench and rejoin the game, and after Magans relentless nagging she gave in and accepted the date. Halle had met Ron at a christmas party Megan had last year and although he wasn't her type she thought anything would be better than planting herself in front of the TV yet again.

Finally opting for comfort, she slipped on a knee length purple halter dress that accentuated Halle's long dark locks. Adding the finishing touches to her makeup, she slipped on her flat black sandals, grabbed her purse and headed downstairs where she picked up her keys and headed out of the house.

She chose to walk the two blocks to Salvatore's where she was meeting Ron. By keeping the date to her own neighbourhood, she felt more at ease and Salvatore's had been her favourite little hole in the wall since she arrived in the city. The bar had a quality about it that was comforting and welcoming, and Salvatore himself had treated her like a daughter, giving her a job when she first arrived, until she had her small business up and running.

Walking into the bar, Halle looked around for Ron, she was a bit early herself and didn't expect to see him there yet, but there he was, perched on a stool at the end of the bar. Taking a minute, Halle gave him the once over. He was wearing a pair of black dress pants and a grey pinstripe button down shirt. 'he took the safe option' she thought, knowing he wasn't altogether unnatractive but certainly nothing to swoon over. 'Hell, don't be so shallow Halle' she mentally scolded herself. He was clean shaven and well groomed, a bit too well groomed for Halle's liking. She loved casual, jeans, t-shirts, pyjamas, she could laze around all weekend in her pj's and had been caught out many times doing just that.

Taking a deep breath she walked confidently over to Ron. "Good evening Ron. How are you?" Halle asked, pulling up a stool beside him.

He looked up to her and quickly stood, assisting her with her stool. "Good evening Halle, I'm great, thanks and might i say how gorgeous you look tonight" his voice betraying his confidence by the slight trembling Halle could detect. "That colour is amazing on you" he finally added.

Halle had to stop herself from rolling her eyes, way too many pleasantries, now may be the perfect time to take up drinking.

They moved to a table at the back of the bar and sat in awkward silence. Sal brought Hal her standard coke and left them to sip their drinks, the silence screaming loudly in Halle's ears. Looking around the room Halle noticed a tall dark haired guy walk through the door. He was wearing a ballcap pulled low over his eyes, oh so snug jeans and a black t-shirt. 'See...comfort' Halle sighed.

Halle decided if this night was ever going to end she had better make conversation. Turning to Ron who was carefully studying the wine sloshing around in his glass as he twisted it by the stem she asked "so, Ron, what is it you do at McKenzies?"

Ron took a big sip of wine and smiled, almost as if he needed the courage to speak "I work on the same floor as Megan, but in the accounts department".

'She sent me a freaking accountant! I'm gonna kill her!' Halle gathered her thoughts and tried to act interested. "Well that sounds interesting; it must keep you busy."

"That it does, and what about you? What do you do?"

'A great disappearing act if you could just head to the bathroom for me' shaking off her negative thoughts she answered "I have a small boutique that sells lingerie and sleepwear called HEAVEN".

They chatted quietly for another hour when they had decided to call it a night.

"Would you like me to walk you home?" Ron asked politely.

Halle couldn't bear anymore of the inane chit chat he came up with and spotting Sal bringing trays of glasses from out the back she told him that she was fine and was going to help out her friend for a while.

They parted ways with Ron promising to call her. Halle made a mental note to make Megan help him lose her number. She had been married to a lawyer for the better part of a decade and she couldn't bear spending anymore of her time with uptight, number crunching workaholics, she had nothing in common with them and frankly she just wanted someone who was willing to let their hair down and have some fun.


Chapter One

Chapter One

"Son of a bitch! Richie muttered to himself as he slammed down the phone. Yet another arguement with Heather over when he could see Ava next. "Who the hell does she think she is?" he spat. Leaning forward he ran his hands through his hair in frustration. They were smack bang in the middle of a world tour and she kept changing the damn plans. Richie knew for certain that she did it just to spite him; knowing his schedule was rock solid. Letting out a long breath he picked up his phone again and called Jon.

Stepping out of the shower, Jon slung his towel on his hips and padded through the plush motel room in search of his ringing phone. Noticing the ID he answered "hey man".

Hey bro, listen, i gotta get outta here" Richie's frustration evident in his tone.

"Talk to me man, what's going on?" Jon knew his friend had been copping alot of crap from Heather lately. She basically had is balls in a vice and she knew it. Jon had thought it a pretty low blow from even her when she started using their daughter to her own advantage. He desperately worried for Richie and the trouble he could get himself into if he continued on his path of self destruction.

"Same 'ol same 'ol, she's changed the date on her trip again making it impossible for me to catch up with Ava after New Zealand. I'm just about ready to throttle the fucking bitch. Look I'm goin' for a drive to cool down a bit."

"Want company? Give me ten miutes to get dressed."

"Nah, it's ok, get to bed, you need your beauty sleep" Richie chuckled "I'll be fine".

"Behave man!" Jon warned in his best parental tone.

"Right Dad" Richie laughed before flipping his phone shut.

Checking the time, 9:15pm, still early he thought as he pulled on his jeans and boots and grabbed his phone, wallet and keys to his rental car and left the room.

Stepping out of the hotel the summer heat slammed into him. 'Damn, the humidity here is a killer' he thought as he jumped into the black BMW, blasted the air con and headed out into the streets of Sydney.