Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Chapter 2


Jon stood on the porch looking at Frannie through the crack in the door. There was a wariness in her amber eyes, as if she didn’t trust him. His instinct to protect had him pulling off his sunglasses so she could see he meant her no harm. Her dark hair was as he remembered, long and curling over her shoulders. He could see that her faded jeans had a rip at the knee and the hem of a man’s shirt skimmed her thighs.

As he looked at her she was doing her own perusal of him. God he was gorgeous. His hair that was once blonde was now a warm shade of brown and made the blue of his eyes stand out that much more. He had removed his sunglasses and she could see that his eyes were bright and smiling, not at all like him. His jeans were as faded as hers and his t-shirt was the same blue as his eyes. “Jon?” He hadn’t answered her question and she wanted to know what he was doing there.

He looked at her face, “I have been thinking about you and wanted to see how you were doing. How is Sophie?” She smiled shyly, he remembered her name. He’s been thinking about me? “She is doing fine, growing bigger every day. Would you like to come in?” He nodded and she shut the door and unlatched the chain. Taking a deep breath she opened the door and let him in. When she shut the door behind him she engaged the locks and slid the chain in place once more. “Do you always keep yourself locked in like that?” He didn’t know her background and found it slightly odd that she locked all the locks, including the chain. She turned around as she nodded, “can’t be too careful.”

Standing there in the foyer Frannie felt herself starting to panic. Breathe. He’s not going to hurt you she told herself. She hadn’t been this close to a man since that night. She took a breath and picked up the monitor off the table before moving past Jon. “I was just heading back to my studio when you rang the bell.” His interest was piqued. “Studio?” He looked her up and down again, only then realizing that her clothes had what looked like paint stains on them. “Do you paint?” She nodded, “I draw, well sketch with charcoals and chalks too.” He followed her down the hall and out to what he had thought was the garage when he pulled up, but in actuality it was her studio. He glanced around the room when she turned on the lights there paintings and drawings propped up against all four walls. An easel was standing in the middle of the room with a blank canvas just waiting for her next creation.

Frannie stood inside the door and watched as Jon took in his surroundings. He had moved away from her and was standing near the window looking down at one of her watercolors. She grabbed her sketch pad and started to draw. The light coming in the window provided sort of a soft glow around him. She was so engrossed she didn’t noticed when he moved away from the window and came up behind her. She was just putting a few finishing strokes down when he touched her shoulder. She jumped and the chalk flew from her hand as the sketch pad landed at her feet. Frannie turned around, eyes wide in fear. When it registered that it was Jon she tried to make light of the situation “dammit, don’t do that!” She was trembling as she retrieved her chalk and sketch pad.

“Jesus Frannie, I’m sorry I didn’t mean to scare you.” He should have known better than to come up behind her like that. How many times had it happened to him when he was writing? He should have just stayed in front of her until her eyes cleared and she registered he was still in the room. He laid his hands on her shoulders, he could feel her trembling still. She looked at him, “it’s okay Jon, sometimes I get so engrossed in what I am doing I totally go somewhere else. Do you want to see it?” He kept his hands on her shoulders and scanned her face. He could still see the fear in her eyes, but it was obvious she didn’t want to acknowledge it. “Sure, let’s see what you did to me.” He slid his hands slowly down her arms and dropped them from her so she could show him the sketch. She had captured him by the window, a slight reflection appearing in the glass. He gaze was downcast, and the lines of his face soft and relaxed. “This is wonderful.” She added her initials to the lower right corner before ripping it from her book and handing it to him with a small smile, “here, I am sure your kids or your wife will like it.”

He took the sketch from her, “well my kids maybe or I might just keep it for myself.” He didn’t say anything about his pending divorce. She looked at him, “I have something else for you.” He looked surprised, “something else?” She led him over to a large frame that was facing the wall. “I did this right after I had Sophie, when the memory was still fresh.” She turned the frame around, it was him and guys standing in the room where she delivered Sophie. She had sketched them from memory and had done a damn fine job of it too. He had a thought then, “this is amazing Frannie. You know, I know someone who would love to see all this. Do you think I could bring him by sometime?” She shook her head, “I don’t think so Jon.” Before he could question her Sophie’s crying came through the monitor. Frannie grabbed a rag and wiped her hands. “I have to go get her.” He followed her out of the studio and she told him to wait in the living room while she went to get her baby girl.

Jon glanced around the living room. There were pictures of Sophie on the mantle, some with Frannie, but none with a man in them. Wonder where the father is? He turned then and saw the framed drawing over the couch, it was Sophie laying in her crib asleep. Her little butt was up in the air and her fist was tucked under her chin. He smiled, he could just barely remember Romeo like that.

He heard the floor creak behind him and turned to find Frannie and a very content Sophie watching him. He walked over to the pair, “well, isn’t she a beauty.” He ran a finger lightly across the baby’s forehead. Sophie was the image of her mother and Frannie thanked the heavens everyday for that. Jon looked down at the baby, and then back up at Frannie, “could I hold her?” He saw the wariness in her eyes again. He wondered who made her so afraid. “I’m not going to drop her or anything I promise. I have done this before you know.” At the sound of Jon’s voice Sophie smiled. As Frannie passed Sophie to him, he reached for her, his arm coming in contact with the soft curve of her breast. She stiffened at the innocent contact and it didn’t go unnoticed by Jon. Who hurt her? “I know you’ve done this before. I just get a little overprotective sometimes.” Frannie looked at the two of them, “it seems as though she likes you.”

Jon sat on the couch with the baby in the crook of his arm. Sophie was content just to look at him and every time he talked she smiled. Frannie watched her baby girl develop her first crush. Jon looked over at Frannie, “can I ask you something?” She shrugged her shoulders, “sure.” “Where’s Sophie’s father?” Sophie started fussing right then and Frannie gave a silent prayer of thanks for her daughter’s impeccable timing. “Let me take her, she probably needs to eat.” With a sigh Jon relinquished Sophie and stood. He wasn’t going to get an answer to his question now. “I should probably go anyway.” Frannie led Jon to the door, Sophie squalling the whole time. He leaned in and kissed the baby’s head and she settled for a minute. “It was nice to see you Frannie.” He dug in his pocket and handed her a slip of paper, “here is my number. Call me if you need anything.” He looked at her, her eyes giving her away again, “I mean it Frannie, if you need anything at all, call me.” He moved to kiss Frannie’s cheek but she moved away. “Thanks Jon. It was nice to see you again.” She let him out and after she had locked the door again she sat down in an overstuffed chair and fed the now screaming Sophie.

**********************

Frannie woke in the middle of the night, soaked in sweat and shaking from head to foot. Another nightmare. Glancing at the clock she decided she might as well just get up, it was four in the morning but her daughter would be ready for breakfast soon. She showered the nightmare off of her but the underlying fear was still there. It never seemed to leave her alone. Dressed in jeans and an old flannel shirt she padded to the kitchen for some juice and then headed out to her studio. The blank canvas was on the easel, taunting her, daring her to put a brush to it. She picked up a paint brush and dipped it into the red paint. She was experimenting with acrylics now and it was the closest to her at the moment. She painted with bold strokes, her anger and fear seeming to flow out of her and onto the canvas through her brush. She stopped only to changes brushes and then continued until Sophie’s cries brought her back. She ran from the room without even looking at what she had done.

Once she got Sophie settled down and fed she returned to her studio. She avoided the canvas in the middle of the room for as long as possible. She grabbed the framed sketch that Jon was supposed to have taken with him the day before and set it by the door. When she could ignore it no longer she stood in front of the easel and studied her painting. It struck her as being angry, almost violently so; all red, orange and yellow in bold strokes and streaks. As she studied it she felt a sense of peace wash over her, something she hadn’t felt in a long time. She left the painting there to dry and, on the way back into the house she grabbed the frame and went to make a phone call.

Standing on Jon’s front step waiting for him to answer the door she wondered if maybe she should have just asked him to come and pick the sketch up at her place. She shook that idea from her head. No, if you are going to make any headway, you need to do this. You can be in the same room with a man, this one won’t hurt you. She kept telling herself that while she waited. Sophie was in the sling on her mother’s front and the picture was leaned up against the house. Just as she started fussing the door opened. “Hi Frannie, come on in.” Jon stepped back so she could enter the house. She reached to grab the picture and he stopped her, “just get in here. I’ll get that.”

He closed the door and turned to Frannie, “let me take your coat.” She shrugged out of her light jacket, spring was in the air today. He hung it on the hook by the door “come on let’s go sit down.” They moved into the living room and Frannie took Sophie out of the sling before sitting down. She started fussing as Frannie tried to get comfortable on the couch. “Here, let me take her” Jon told her. At the sound of his voice Sophie stopped her fussing and smiled. Frannie looked at him, “oh you are so coming home with me to be there when she’s screaming at 3 in the morning.” He laughed and cradled Sophie against his chest. “What can I say, I have a way with the ladies.” As Jon was walking the room with Sophie Frannie reached into her bag, “you forgot this yesterday too Jon.” He turned and saw the sketch she had done of him yesterday laying on the table. “Thanks. I was halfway home before I realized I had forgotten it.”

Frannie watched Jon move around the room with Sophie in his arms. He was murmuring to her and she was quite content to be with him. Frannie felt her pulse quicken as she watched him. He had been so nice to her yesterday. Maybe she owed him an answer to his question.

“Jon?” He skimmed his lips across the baby’s head and looked at Frannie, “what?” “Could you sit down a minute? I want to talk to you.” He sat down in the chair closest to the end of the couch where she was sitting. “Now,” he started as he settled himself, a now sleeping Sophie resting against his chest. “What did you want to talk about?” She took a deep breath to steady herself. “I want to answer your question from yesterday. I’d like to tell you about Sophie’s father.”

11 comments:

Hathor said...

“What can I say, I have a way with the ladies.” Understatement of the century, that!

Glad to see that Frannie is going to tell him. Maybe that will help her get over some of the fear -- the sharing bit.

Great chapter, can't wait for more!!

PhoebeSmellyCat said...

Sophie's "father" can GHT.

Jon was there at her birth. He is more of a father to her than anyone else.

Keep the chapters coming!

jonsguttergirl said...

Steph...another great chapter I am totally hooked already!!! can't wait for the next one...you know how us greedy horny beyotches are lol.

Anonymous said...

Another great story and I'm hooked!

Glad Frannie is going to tell Jon about Sophie's father -- that will help him to understand the fear he is seeing/sensing.

Jan

Starr said...

Frannie I feel needs therapy to better cope with her horrible rage and get over the feelings of fear she still has due to the rape and yet what she did with the painting well that can be therapeutic as well and it was evident she painted some of her fear and pain onto the canvas.

Maybe with someone like Jon who will nurture her she will come back to a normal state of being.
I like the way you have portrayed Jon, Stephanie. He would be a great Father to little Sophia since her real father is nothing but a sick, violent rapist, I mean father material? Hardly!

A fine chapter and I look forward to your next!

Anonymous said...

Ok I'm here and hooked on this one too - cant wait for more....
Chris

Jovifun said...

wow, great start! i'm hooked already and can't wait for more! very intense!

TrishSambora said...

OMG another story to get hooked on!!! It's great so far.

Hi my name is Trish and I'm addicted to Bon Jovi fanfiction.

LOL

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, I love this story!
When will the next chapter come? I can't wait for more!

Sheena

Anonymous said...

Soon as he started playing with the baby I went to mush!

Loving it.

Gail xx

Opester said...

I'm not a fan of babies myself, but this is so well written, believable and infinitely touching that i am totally absorbed! Your writing is superb! And the story is so realistic-I work with trauma survivors and her reactions are spot on!