Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chapter 16

Chapter 16

Looking down at the two stunned looking faces, her uncle smiled and went on “You were here with your mom few months ago. Right?”

Still stunned, Richie nodded.

Uncle Stanley smiled at him and offered his hand in a greeting. “Your mom always talks about you at church. She is so proud of you!”

Richie shook the older man’s hand and smiled.

Stanley looked back at Melody “You know his mom too! You helped her with the Christmas Toy Drive last year.”

Shocked, Melody looked from her uncle to Richie and back “Wait a second, you mean Joan from church is Mrs. Sambora?”

Both Richie and her uncle smiled and nodded.

“Wow!” she exhaled, “This IS a Small World!”

“Sometimes its even smaller then you think, Kwiatuszku!” said her uncle and re directed his attention to the plates he just placed on the table. “OK, who gets what?”

Richie eyed both plates suspiciously and sniffed at the one closest to him “Mmmm, this smells good! What is it?”

Melody pointed to the plate next to her “This is Golabki, or stuffed cabbage. The one next to you is Klopsiki z kasha gryczana, or meat loaf with buckwheat on the side.” she explained. “You can pick which ever one you like or we can share both” she offered.

Richie nodded and reached for the plate with meat loaf on it.

“Bon Appetite!” said uncle Stanley as he walked towards the kitchen.

They ate in comfortable silence, till Richie cleared his plate and sighed reclining in his seat “Wow! This was good!”

Melody smiled at him, wiped her mouth with her napkin and pushed her plate aside “Told ya, everything is good here!’’

Richie smiled and nodded “I guess now I know I can trust you. I just wish you would feel the same about me.”

“What do you mean? I trusted you to pick the restaurant!” she smirked at him.

“Yes, you did. But you still did not tell me anything about yourself” He pouted. “Guess I’ll have to see what Ma heard about you…”

Melody sighed “OK, what do you want to know?”

“Well.” He said “For starters, tell me about Nic’s father.”

“Not much to tell” she started, then looked up into his warmly glowing chocolate eyes, nodded and went on “He was a Chief Surgical resident, who unbeknownst to me had an on going bet with his friends that he’ll have any new student nurse that comes to their unit. I was that young and naive student nurse, who was stupid enough to fall for Michael’s lines and lies. He asked me out, wined and dined me, then told me that I just made him believe in ‘love at first site’. We ended up in his apartment, and in his bed.” Melody sighed and looked at Richie again…

He reached across the table and took her small hands into his big ones, gently rubbing his thumbs over her knuckles.

“Please, go on!” he urged her quietly.

“Well, to make the long story short… Michael dropped me off at the hospital the next morning and proceeded to ignore me after that. I thought that I disappointed him in some way… so I did not pursue him. Few weeks later, after I realized that I was pregnant, I approached him again and told him of my condition. He insisted on drawing my blood and sent it to the lab himself to confirm it. When the result came back positive, just as I told him it would be, he gave me $500 and told me to ‘get rid of it’… I couldn’t….” A tear escaped from her eyes and started a slow trek down her cheek.

Richie leaned forward and gently wiped the tear away. “What a prick!” he breathed out. “So what did you do?”

“Well, I did the only thing I could think of doing… I went home and told my parents. Even though they let me know how disappointed they were in me, they supported my decision to keep the baby. They also contacted their lawyer who started a child support petition. Of course Michael demanded a paternity test, even though he knew he was my first…” she sighed as another tear escaped “When Nicole was born, and the test confirmed his paternity, our lawyers worked out a child support agreement. My whole family, my parents, Aunt Anna and Uncle Stanley and my grand parents, all pitched in and helped me in the beginning so I could finish college and get my nursing license. After that, I worked nights to support us and put all of his payments in a trust fund for Nicole.” she smiled “Now she has a nice college fund.”

“Wow!” said Richie “How old were you when you had her?” he asked gently.

“Nineteen.” she whispered.

Richie just shook his head “Jesus! At nineteen, I couldn’t even take care of myself! Let alone take care of a baby and finish my education!”

“Well, like I said, I wasn’t alone. I moved in with my grandparents, and my mom and Aunt Anna took turns helping me and teaching me how to take care of Nic. Aunt Anna is Nic’s God mother, and since she and Uncle Stanley never had kids… Nicole became the center of their Universe.” She smiled “I bet Uncle Stanley already put together a goody bag for her”

“So she has him firmly wrapped around her little finger, just as Ava has me?“ laughed Richie.

“Yep, pretty much!”

“And what about Michael? What kind of relationship does she have with her father?”

“Nicole never met her father. He made it very clear that he was not interested in any custody or even visitation rights. Apparently he was engaged to be married when our encounter occurred. Nicole was born while he was away on his honeymoon.” She sighed and shook her head. “The last time I saw Michael was when he handed me the money for the abortion. All contact after that was through our lawyers.”

Richie was about to ask her something else, but was interrupted by Aunt Anna coming to clear their table “How was the food?“ She asked Richie and smiled.

“O, it was as delicious as my mom’s and nana’s cooking!”

Anna smiled and nodded “I’ll remember to tell that to Joan tomorrow in church! Now how about some coffee?”

He looked at Mel, who nodded in agreement. “Yes please!’’

Anna placed two cups in front of them and went to retrieve a coffee pot. She was immediately replaced at their table by smiling Uncle Stanley who was holding a plate with a slice of cheese cake with one birthday candle. He placed the plate in front stunned Richie and lit the candle.

Richie shifted his gaze from the candle to the beautiful woman seated across from him, whose green eyes were sparkling brighter then the birthday candle, and raised an eyebrow.

“Happy Birthday!” she said and blushed.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chapter 15

After they left the “Casa Bongiovi” Richie took her hand and led her to his black gas guzzler. Opening the passenger door, he helped her climb into the Hummer. Settling himself in the driver’s seat he looked at her.

“So Mel, what were you planning on eating tonight?”

“Actually, I was planning to grab a slice of pizza and a salad. But I’m open to suggestions.” she winked at him.

“Do you trust me darlin?”

“Well, that’s a loaded question…”

“OK!” he laughed “Let me rephrase that! Do you trust me to pick something different? Something a bit more off the ‘beaten path’ sort of speak?”

“OK Richie, I’m gonna trust you and place my stomach in your hands.” smiled Melody.

Richie smiled and started the truck. Classic Rock came through the speakers. Melody smiled approvingly and nodded her head in tune with the Beatles. They drove for about 20 minutes before Richie brought them to a stop in front of a small strip mall and a generic looking place with a sign that simply read “restaurant”. Melody gave Richie a slightly shocked look and snorted.

“I know darlin, it doesn’t look like much. But trust me, the food here is amazing. My mom found this place and insisted I come with her last time I came to visit. It was as good as my Nana’s cooking!” He said helping Mel out of the truck.
Mel just chuckled as they walked through the door.

A large older woman dressed in a gaily embroidered peasant blouse and with a large blonde bun, looked up from the register. Gasping in surprise, she ran out from behind the counter and enveloped Melody in her arms.

“Melly, my Kwiatuszku (little flower)! What an unexpected surprise! Where’s Nicky?” then finally noticing Richie at her side “And who is this?” she raised her eyebrows.

“ Its good to see you Cioteczka (auntie) Anna” said Mel returning the hug. “Nicky is spending the night with friends. And this is Richie.”

“Richie, meet my auntie Anna!” she smiled at stunned looking man at her side.

Anna gave Richie long look and narrowed her eyes “You look familiar. Do I know you?”

Before Richie had a chance to reply, Melody chimed in “No Cioteczka! I only met him last night. His friend was a patient of mine in the ER. And please tell me Pan Stanley is cooking tonight! We are starving!”

The older woman nodded and her face dissolved into a huge smile. “Yes, of course your uncle is in the kitchen, Kwiatuszku! He’ll be happy to come out and greet you later.” she glanced at Richie thoughtfully “ Both of you!”

She led them to the back of the small restaurant, to a nice corner table and set two menus on the table. “I’ll be back in a few minutes. Why don’t you two decide on what you want to eat tonight!’’

After helping Melody with her chair, Richie set down across from her and cleared his throat “Uhm, Mel… I don’t know where to start! Who is Nicky? And do I need to be worried?”

Before Mel had a chance to answer him, her cell phone rang. She pulled it out of her purse, looked at the display, and with an apologetic smile to Richie, answered.

“Hi Nic! How are you baby?” she smiled as she listened to the excited chatter “Well I’m glad you’re enjoying your self! I’ll see you tomorrow baby!” closing the phone, she took a deep breath and looked across the table at Richie.

“I guess I should explain!” seeing Richie nod, she smiled and went on “No, you don’t need to be worried. Nicky is Nicole, my fifteen year old daughter. Anna is my mom’s sister, and her husband Stanley is a fantastic cook, and he will be very happy to see me not eating by myself for a change.”

Richie’s eyes did not leave her face. Seeing the emotions and shadows flicker in her emerald eyes, he reached across the table and took her hands.

“Mel, I’m not worried about your uncle.” he smiled as his thumbs gently rubbed across her knuckles. “But is there something I need to know about Nicole’s father?” he pressed on.

Melody swallowed audibly “The only thing you need to know is that he is not in the picture.” she answered quietly, looking down at the table.

Richie reached out and gently tipped her face up so she was looking at him again. Seeing the sadness reflected in her eyes, he nodded “OK, that’s good enough for now! But only because I am too hungry to dig for more info!” he grinned at her “But I’m not making any promises not to return to this topic after dinner.”

Melody nodded and handed him one of the menus. Richie opened it and spent a few moments looking over the choices. Squinting at some descriptions that were in small font, he gave up and looked at Mel who was watching him with a smile on her face. Noticing that she hasn’t even opened her menu, Richie grinned at her

“OK, why don’t you just tell me what’s good here, before I kill myself trying to pronounce the names of the dishes and trying to remember what they are!”

“I might be just a little bit biased, but as far as I’m concerned, EVERYTHING is good here!” she laughed at him.

Relieved to see her smiling and laughing again, Richie closed his menu. “Fine, smart ass! Since you trusted me with a choice of the restaurant, I’m gonna trust you to order for me!”

“And what if I order you a dainty, girlie salad?”

“Well, I’m just gonna have to trust you! Won’t I?” he pouted.

Jesus! What is he trying to do to me! Just look at that bottom lip! It was made for kissing, licking and biting! Lord Have Mercy on my soul! I’m going to have to spend HOURS in the confession tomorrow….

Her aunt’s return to their table brought Mel’s thoughts back from the gutter and to the task at hand. Smiling at her aunt, she placed their order in rapid Polish, with Richie listening intently, but only catching one or two familiar words. Her aunt nodded and smiled at Richie at one point.

I gotta ask Ma to teach me more Polish. I swear I heard “birthday” in there…some where.

With one more pensive look at Richie, Anna left for the kitchen.

“So, what kind of girlie salad did you order for me?” he smirked at Melody

“Don’t worry big guy, I ordered two of my all time favorite comfort meals. Hopefully you will like at least one of them.”

Before they knew it, Anna was back with two glasses of iced tea, a basket of freshly baked dark rye bread….and two plates of salad.

Richie looked at his small plate with what looked like sour cream and dill covered cucumbers and smirked at Mel. “I thought you said no salad!”

“I don’t know about your home, but at my mom’s table, every dinner started out with salad!” laughed Mel “Try it! You might actually like it!”

Richie gave her a loud theatrical sigh and picked up his fork. To his surprise, the salad was actually good. And the spicy sour cream and dill dressing hit the palate just right!

By the time Melody was mostly done with her salad, Richie’s plate was cleaned and pushed to the side.

He wiped his mouth with his napkin and sipped his iced tea as he smiled at her “So, what’s next?”

Before Melody could answer, an older man wearing a white apron, approached their table with a big smile and two big steaming plates of food. After setting the plates down on their table, he wiped his hands on his apron and hugged Mel. “ O my beautiful Kwiatuszku! Its so good to see you here! And you brought me company to feed!”

Melody laughed as she hugged her uncle. “Uncle Stanley, this is my friend Richie.”

The older man squinted at Richie and smiled “I know you!”

Before either Mel or Richie had a chance to respond, he went on “ Of Course! You are Joan’s boy aren’t you?”

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Chapter 14

Melody sighed and fought to keep herself composed.

Jesus! He looks good enough to eat! Scratch that! He looks sinfully dangerous! Those jeans are hugging him like…like the pants that Jon wears! And that red WTB shirt! O! My! God! Are those his nipples that I see?!?!

Melody swallowed audibly and smiled at Richie, giving herself a mental shake.

Jesus girl! Get a grip and stop drooling! He’s going to think you are some silly groupie or something….

Richie in the mean time was giving Melody his own head to toe perusal.

Wow, she looks hot out of those shapeless scrubs! Nothing like tight jeans to emphasize nice curves! And just look at those eyes! They’re sparkling like two huge emeralds! And that T shirt…what does it say on the front?

He came closer to face Melody and read the front of her shirt. Smirking, he headed for the other sofa, plopped himself down and looked at Mel expectantly.

Melody looked from one rock star to another, both sprawled over their sofas and looking at her expectantly, and turned to Dorothea with a silent plea for help written all over her face.

Dorothea shrugged her shoulders and muttered under her breath “I gotta get me one of those shirts!” then put her hands on her hips and took a step forward to come to Melody’s rescue.

“All right you two! Enough with the theatrics! Richie, stop clowning around and make yourself useful! Since kids are spending the night with their cousins, they’re Matt’s problem. But we need to start thinking about dinner. So go get me some take out menus from the kitchen.”

Richie got up with a sigh and headed for the kitchen as asked.

Dorothea turned to Melody and smiled. “Mel, I can’t thank you enough for taking your time and helping Jon. How much do we owe you for the oils?” When she saw Melody shake her head in protest she went on “Mel, I’m sure those oils are not cheap! Please let me reimburse you for them and your time!”

“It’s OK Dorothea! It actually takes very small amount of Essential Oils to make a therapeutic strength blend! I did not deplete my stock by any means! And as far as my time goes… trust me, this is not a hardship for a fan!”

“OK, OK, I get it!” laughed Dorothea.

“Mel, you did mention that you’re planning to go to the Gillette show? Right?” Jon spoke up from his sofa.

Seeing her nod, he grinned and went on “Where is your seat?”

“Actually its pretty good, 15th row in a lodge next to stage!”

“Stage left or stage right?” asked Dorothea and cocked an eyebrow.

“Stage right.” whispered Mel, blushing.

Jon pouted. Dorothea grinned.

Richie chose this moment to re enter the room.

“What did I miss?” he asked, Melody’s red face not escaping his notice.

“Nothing!” said both Dorothea and Jon and smiled at each other.

“We were just discussing Mel’s plans for the Boston show” gave in Dorothea.

“O yeah, you did say that you had plans to go to Gillette.” smiled Richie.

Melody just nodded.

“Well bro, I was thinking…Since I did lose that bet with Mel about the IV…and she still did not come to collect on it..” Jon smiled “I’m thinking about upgrading her seat to something closer…say…how does a seat in the PIT sound to you Mel?”

“I…I…I don’t know what to say..” was all Mel was able to get out.

“Well I have something to say!” grinned Richie and raised an eyebrow at Jon “Can you make sure its PIT 2, Bro?”

Jon nodded at his wingman and smiled. “Oh, I think I can pull enough rank to make it happen Bro!”

Richie nodded enthusiastically and grinned at Mel.

Melody smiled and shook her head “I don’t know how to thank you Jon! I’ve never had such a great seat.”

“Lets just say we are now settled on the bet! And I’ll think of how to thank you for the oil later!”

Just as Mel opened her mouth to reply, Jon held up his hand “Don’t even think of arguing with me young lady!” he said in his best daddy voice “I am Jon Bon Jovi! Fans who argue with me risk invoking my wrath and the famous Stink Eye!”

“Oh NO!!! Not that!! Not the Stink Eye!” laughed Mel “OK, OK, I won’t argue with you!” she glanced at the clock on the wall “Uhmm, I didn’t realize how late its getting. I think I better go, I still have to stop and pick up dinner myself.”

“Melody, why don’t you stay and have dinner with us?” piped in Dorothea.

“Oh No! I can’t possibly intrude!”

“Nonsense! You won’t be intruding!” laughed Dorothea “You actually might make it more bearable for me with these two clowns!”

“Hey!!!” came from both Richie and Jon.

Richie cleared his throat and winked at Dorothea “You know, I have an even better idea! Why don’t I take Melody out to get something to eat and leave you two to have a nice cozy dinner together?”

“You know Rich, this is probably the best idea you’ve come up with lately” snickered Jon and earned himself a one finger salute.

“Richie, you don’t have to take me to dinner!” protested Mel..

“Nonsense! Of course I do! How else am I gonna get some one to one time with the nurse so she can evaluate my injured arm?” he grinned at her.

“Well, if you put it this way…How can I refuse treatment to a patient?” Mel laughed and picked up her purse. Taking out a business card, she handed it to Jon “Here is another one of my cards, just in case you have any questions about the oil.”

Jon took the card and placed it next to the bottle of oil on the table “Thank you again Mel! Your Gillette ticket will be at the “will call” window on the day of the show! Take care of my guitarist now, and I’ll see you soon …I‘m sure!”

Dorothea came over and gave Melody a hug “Thank you for everything! Enjoy your evening! And I also have a feeling I’ll see you soon!” taking in Mel’s look, she grinned at her “Do you need me to pinch you or something to confirm that this is for real?”

Melody shook her head “Nope… I think its beginning to sink in.” she smiled and waved to the couple “Its been a pleasure meeting both of you! Have a good night!” she turned and followed Richie out of the room and out of the house.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Chapter 13

Laughing with Dorothea, Mel reached into the brown bag and took out the two items she brought. Placing the plastic sniffer on the coffee table, she showed the large cobalt blue glass bottle to Jon and Dorothea.

“This is the oil blend that I made for you. Its base oil is Grape Seed, so it won’t be too greasy and it will not stain your clothes. The active ingredients are the Essential Oils of Helichrysum, Ginger, Clove, Nutmeg, Roman Chamomile and Lavender. According to my literature search, they should promote and expedite muscle healing. Ginger also has warming properties, so you might feel some tingling and warmth. And Lavender should also help in decreasing the swelling.”

Jon and Dorothea were listening intently. Seeing their nods of understanding, Melody went on with her explanation.

“Ok, then. What you will do is gently shake the oil by inverting the closed bottle few times, then pour a small amount of oil into a palm of your hand and gently massage it into the injured area of your calf until all of the oil is absorbed. Then just re wrap your leg and you’re good to go!”

“How often do we need to do this?” asked Dorothea.

“I think twice a day should be enough. Once in the morning and once before you go to sleep.”

“Wanna do the honors and put it on to start me off?” Jon smirked at Mel.

“Sure! Just roll up your pants for me!” Mel accepted the challenge.

She gently agitated the bottle to blend the oils while Dorothea helped Jon roll up the left leg of his sweat pants. Pouring a small amount of oil into her cupped hand, she bend down and gently massaged it into the back of Jon’s lower leg.

Jon closed his eyes and let out a loud moan.

Mel jerked her hands away and looked at her patient’s face in alarm. Seeing his closed eyes and a smirk, she glanced at Dorothea with confusion. Dorothea shrugged in response.

Jon opened one eye, cocked an eyebrow and deepened his smirk.

“Was it as good for you as it was for me?” He grinned at Melody.

Melody’s jaw dropped to the floor as she looked from Jon to Dorothea helplessly.

Dorothea quickly reacted by cuffing her husband lightly on the back of his head.

“Cut it out Jon! She is here to help you! But she is a fan, so please be considerate of her feelings.” Then she turned to Melody.

“I’m sorry Mel! Here you are on your own time, trying to help and he is playing games with you!”

Melody regained her composure and gave Jon and evil smile.

“Maybe now is a good time to mention one of the major side effects of this oil combination.” she said and gave Dorothea a conspiratory wink.

“These particular oils, when absorbed through skin, tend to significantly lower libido and potency in males.”

The look on Jon’s face was priceless.

Melody quickly glanced at Dorothea and was relieved to see her wink back at her and grin at her husband.

“Well thank God! Now I can rest easy and sleep though the night without worrying about him getting into all sorts of troubles with those groupies! Mel, you‘ll have to make me enough of this stuff to last through the rest of the tour!”

Jon wisely chose to remain silent.

Melody gently cleared her throat and slipped back into her “nurse mode”. “Jon, how bad is the pain?”

“Same as last night, after you gave me that “industrial strength Advil”. Not too bad…manageable!” he grinned at Mel.

“So the pain medications are working for you then?”

“Yeah, that once-a-day pill is good.”

“Were you able to sleep?”

“Sure!” he nodded.

“Liar!” snorted Dorothea.

Melody raised an eyebrow at Jon “Didn’t you take the Vicodin?”

“No” he smiled sheepishly.

“And why not?”

“Didn’t want to cloud up my brain I guess.”

“Says the man who admits on film to washing down his sleeping pill with a bottle of wine! And besides, one or even two Vicodins will do less damage to your brain then all those chemicals you’ve consumed in the 80’s! And, come to think of it, why do you need a clear brain in the middle of the night?”

Dorothea dissolved in a fit of laughter and sat on the sofa next to Jon. She elbowed her husband “Do tell dear! I would love to hear answer to that one!”

Jon huffed “Well, I write some of my best stuff during the night!’’

“Really!” snorted Dorothea, “I thought you wrote your “best stuff” in Richie’s bathroom!”

“Ha ha!” came her husband’s response.
“And about the 80’s…” he smirked “You must be confusing me with Sambora or Bryan!”

Melody grinned and shook her head. “Nope, pretty sure I remember seeing a video clip on You Tube where you confirmed to a reporter that you’ve tried EVERYTHING!”

“Alright! Alright! I confess! Damm fans…” Jon rolled his eyes and wiggled the toes of his injured leg “You know, this actually feels better now! Thanks Mel!”

“Well, I’m glad I could help! You need to re wrap your leg now Jon.”

“Awww, can’t you do it for me?” he pouted “I am the injured patient after all!”

“Nope, a return demonstration is actually in order. I need to make sure you understood my discharge teaching!”

“Darling, you need to re read her T shirt!” chimed in Dorothea.

Jon sighed in defeat, sat up and wrapped his leg.

“There!” he gestured to his handy work “Satisfied?”

Both women grinned and nodded.

“Very nicely done!” complimented Melody “You just earned yourself a reward!”

“Oh yeah?” Jon smirked “And what will that be?”

Melody smiled and picked up the white plastic tube from the coffee table and handed it to Jon.

“What’s that?” Jon eyed the offered item suspiciously but took it from Mel.

“Its Lavender oil inhaler. Just sniff it few times when you need some help to relax. Make sure you keep it tightly closed and it will be good for a couple of months.”

“Aha, and what side effects should I expect from this treatment?”

Melody giggled “Jon, I was only kidding about the side effects. I would never use anything on you that might cause ANY side effects without your permission. I take the “do no harm” oath seriously! And then of course there is that issue of informed consent!”

Jon exhaled dramatically and made a show of wiping his brow.

Dorothea shook her head and faced Melody. “Seriously speaking, is there anything that could be used to “damper” someone’s sex drive? Without any side effects of course.”

“Why do you ask dear?” Jon sat up and looked concerned.

“Relax honey! I’m thinking of our two lovely teenagers!”

Melody laughed and shook her head “No, unfortunately, I am not familiar with any safe way of doing that! Though lately I wish there was something I could use!”

Seeing both Jon’s and Dorothea’s intrigued looks, she explained “I have a teen aged daughter myself, and believe me if something like that existed, I would’ve either added it to our high school’s water supply or sprayed it in the halls by now!”

Dorothea nodded and smiled “How old is your daughter Mel?”

“She is 15, going on 30!” grinned Mel “And she will be the death of me, but I love her dearly!”

“Why doesn’t her father lock her up in a high tower or at least threaten away the potential suitors like Jon does!”

Mel bit her lower lip and sighed “Her father is not involved, as a matter of fact, he is not even aware of Nicole’s existence.” she answered quietly.

The look that came over her face tugged at Dorothea’s heart. She got up from her seat and hugged the younger woman.

“Aw man! Am I missing some girl on girl action?” came from the doorway.

Both women turned to see grinning Richie.

Dorothea gave Mel a parting squeeze and sighed “Here comes the Big Bad Sambora to spoil our fun!”

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chapter 12

Back in his room, Richie stared at his reflection in the mirror.

Not too bad for an old man. Shit! When did I get this old? I’m gonna be fifty fucking one tomorrow!!!

Sighing, he headed for the shower, stripping his shirt and scratching his chest. Inside the majestic in suite bathroom, done in grey marble and gold accents, he started the shower and undid his shorts. Removing his garments, climbing into the shower he let multiple massaging jets do their magic. His mind went back to the events of the last night.

The show was great. As great as only the show in your own back yard could get! Up until that damn encore. Jonny just had to show off his non existent dancing skills! Stupid man should just stick to what he does best- shake his ass and flirt with the girls. Speaking of the girls… Jonny’s leg injury did have the unexpected benefit: Melody! What was it about that girl that got to me? Cute little spitfire! Wouldn’t take any crap from us! Didn’t act like a typical fan, even though she did admit that she was a fan! I wonder how old she is… Shit! I hope she is not married or otherwise taken! Wait, I don’t remember seeing an engagement ring or a wedding ring on her finger. Come to think of it, I don’t remember seeing any rings on her fingers… Maybe it’s a ‘nurse’ thing. Maybe they are not allowed to wear any jewelry on their hands. And speaking of those hands… Maaaaann, they were so soft when she touched my wrist and wiped my face when I nearly passed out after seeing Jonny getting stuck with a needle. And what those hands were doing to me in the dream….

Thinking of the dream brought a certain part of his anatomy to a very awake state. With a sigh, he reached for the shower gel and the washcloth. Working up the lather, he soaped up his body paying the extra attention to his aching member. Dropping the wash cloth, he grabbed his cock and slid his soapy hand from root to tip. Moaning, he closed his eyes as his hand glided along his massive member. All he could think of was Melody, her smile, and her sparkling green eyes. Shaking his head, he concentrated on imaging Melody’s small hand wrapped around his rock hard cock, slowly sliding along its length, gently squeezing its generous girth. Keeping his eyes closed he lost himself in memories of his dream. His hands became her hands, slippery from the soap, only sped up his movements, as the waves of pleasure raced through his body culminating in his groin. As the building pressure surged, he threw his head back and grunted as his body released his seed and tension. Totally spent from his erotic daydream he leaned his head on the wall of the shower, reaching to turn the cold water tap on fuller he took several deep breaths as the now cold water cooled his overly warm body

Shit! I am way too old to be jerking off in the shower like a horny teenager…. I NEED to find me a woman!

Richie quickly finished his shower and wrapped a soft towel around his waist. Walking over to the vanity, he reached for his travel case and his shaving essentials.

Melody pulled her CRV to the ornate metal gate guarding the estate. She found the buzzer and pressed it. A small security camera came to life and zoomed in on Melody. Smiling she waved at the camera. The gate slowly opened, allowing Melody to follow the long driveway towards a majestic looking French Colonial estate. She parked her car on the side, grabbed her purse and a brown bag with the bottle of oil for Jon, and took a deep breath and headed towards the door. The door opened before she even reached it and smiling Dorothea stood in the doorway.

“Hi Melody, come on in!” she said, then took one look at Mel’s shirt and broke down in a fit of laughter. “Nice shirt! Lets hope it works!” she grinned at her.

Melody smiled and nodded “Every little bit should help.”

“You’ re right, especially with a stubborn ass like Jon!” the older woman nodded. “Would you like some coffee?” she asked “I just made a fresh pot for Jonny”

“Sure, thank you.”

Dorothea motioned for her to follow, and led her into a large sunny kitchen done up in soft honey maple, granite and stainless steel. She waved for Melody to sit down and sat a mug in front of her.
“How do you take your poison Mel?”

“Oh, just with sugar and milk.”

Dorothea grinned and fixed her coffee.

“Honey!” came a bellow from a distance “Where is my coffee? And who was it at the door?”

Dorothea shook her head and smiled at Melody “Your patient is awake and needy!”

“How is he? Is he in a lot of pain?” she asked slipping effortlessly into a professional mode.

“He claims he is fine. But he is driving us all up the wall, and off the deep end! I just might have to slip that Vicodan into his dinner tonight.”

“He hasn’t taken his meds?”

“He took the other one, but refuses to take the narcotic pain killer….”

Melody shook her head and sipped her coffee.

“Baaaaabbbyyyyyy!!!!! Coffeeeeeeeeee!!!! I’m dying here!” came from the distance.

“See what I’ve been dealing with all day?” sighed Dorothea getting up and grabbing a coffee mug.

Mel also got up “Maybe I should’ve brought a syringe loaded with some tranquilizer!” she grinned at Dorothea.

“That would be great! How strong do they make it? And how many can you get?”

“I don’t know” laughed Melody “We can check on line. I bet they have something in the wild game supplies! Something for the African Safari Hunt!”

“Yeah, I’ll take three rounds of elephant strength tranquilizer and one rifle please!” laughed Dorothea.

“You think one shot won’t be enough?” grinned Mel.

“You’re forgetting about the other two Stooges!” said Dorothea leading Mel into a large family room.

Melody stepped in and looked around. The room was warm and airy, done in soft beige and moss green tones and furnished with what looked to be soft and comfy brown leather sofas and arm chairs. Jon was sitting on one of those sofas. His left leg was elevated onto a coffee table, supported with a pillow, with a pair of crutches was laying on the floor next to him. Melody took a deep breath and approached him.

“Hello Jon! Remember me?”

He nodded in greeting, then took one look at Mel’s shirt, smirked and using his hands, moved his injured leg and lied down on his sofa.

Melody stopped and glanced at Dorothea, puzzled.

Dorothea grinned and pointed to the front of Mel’s shirt. There in large blue font over pink was written: “The person wearing this shirt is a Registered Nurse. Now lie down and do everything the nice nurse tells you to do!”

“Where did you get that shirt? And most importantly, do they make it with ‘wife’ instead of ‘nurse’?”

“I got it from a shop on Boardwalk in Atlantic City. And I’m sure they can make it with anything you want!”

“Good. I need two! One with ‘wife’ and the other one with ‘mom’!”

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Chapter 11

Dorothea was standing at her kitchen counter, fixing what seemed to be Jon’s fifth or even sixth cup of coffee of the day.

Stupid, stubborn man. Why couldn’t he just take his Vicodin and pass out. Did he really think that she did not notice him grinding his trade mark teeth in pain. Nooo, he just has to rough it out and in the process drive the rest of the people around him insane! Men!!!! How could the Almighty create such stubborn, stupid, maladapted creatures that preferred to exist in a state of denial?

The noise of descending footsteps brought her out of her revere.

And speaking of denial….

“Hello Richie. I see you’ve decided to emerge from your hibernation den and grace us with your company!” she grinned and pulled another mug off the shelf, quickly filling it up with the hot, dark liquid salvation and pushing it across the counter to the grumpy looking guitarist.

“I didn’t ‘decide’!” He grumbled. “Your husband made that ‘decision’ for me as always! And speaking of the asshole, where is his ‘Royal Pain In My Ass‘? “

“In bed, where I left him. Or he better be if he wants to be able to use his other leg!” She smirked “But I guess he was still able to reach his cell!”

“Humph” he nodded inhaling the heavenly aroma of the freshly brewed coffee.

“So, what are your plans for tonight?” she asked him.

“Depends on what your husband’s plans for me are.”

“Well, those could be rearranged…”

She was interrupted by the ringing of her cell phone. She frowned at the unfamiliar number, but pushed the button.


“Hello. Is this Dorothea?”

“Yes” came a cautious answer.

“Hi, this is Melody, the nurse who took care of your husband last night. You asked me to look into complementary medicine treatments for his injury.”

“Of course! Hello Melody! How are you?” Out of corner of her eye Dorothea noticed Richie sitting up and paying attention to her phone conversation and smiled to herself.

Deny all you want Richie! But after all of these years, I know when you’re interested in a girl!

“I’m great, thanks! Listen, I followed on my hunches and did some research. Turns out there are some Essential Oils that could help expedite the healing of the injured muscles.”

“Fantastic! I knew you’d come through for us! Now, what’s the next step? Where can we get those oils?”

“Well, actually… I have these oils in my collection. I can make the blend for you and teach you how to use it.”

“Melody, you’re a life saver! Jonny is leaving tomorrow morning for the next tour stop. Would you be able to stop by tonight before your shift or tomorrow morning?”

“Actually, I’m not working tonight. I was planning on getting something to eat later tonight. I can stop by on my way. How does six o’clock sound? I just need your address.”

“Six o’clock sounds perfect. We live in Rumson. On the Riverview Drive…” she proceeded to give Mel the driving directions and hung up. Turning to face Richie, she gave him a head to toe look and smirked.

“What?” he huffed.

“Melody will be here in under two hours… you might want to take a shower and change…” she winked at him, took Jon’s coffee mug and went upstairs, leaving shocked Richie staring in her wake.


After hanging up with Dorothea, Melody busied herself preparing the oil blend for Jon. She lined her kitchen table with a layer of aluminum foil and paper towels to protect it from potential spills, and set her supplies on top of it. Carefully measuring the carrier oil, she counted the drops and blended in the Essential Oils in her glass beaker, transferring the resulting compound into a large cobalt blue glass bottle. Satisfied that the screw on dropper top was tight, she labeled the bottle and put away the oils. Then with a smirk on her face, Mel reached for the Lavender oil and made a sniffer. Putting the remaining supplies away, she cleaned her kitchen counter top and stretched. Glancing at her watch Melody sighed.

Five o’clock, I better start getting dressed. Shit! What should I wear? What does one wear to visit a Rock Star at his house?

Walking into her bedroom and opening the closet she stared at her options. She pulled on a favorite pair of jeans and perused her choices of shirts. Spotting a flash of pink, she grinned and pulled it off its hanger.

Perfect! If anything, this should get a laugh out of the Rock Star! Hmmm, I wonder if Richie will be there….

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chapter 10

The rest of the night shift flew by in a split second. Melody busied herself with mundane tasks of re stocking the unit and working on the next staffing grid. Finally, the morning shift arrived and relieved Mel of her duties. Grabbing her purse out of her locker and her lunch bag out of the fridge, Mel headed to the employee parking lot. Getting in her CRV, she started the car and groaned as “Father Time” blasted from the speakers. Reaching for the car stereo she switched it to the local Jersey shore rock station. She sighed happily as the news report was in progress. Easing her car out of the parking lot, she started her drive home. Short time later she pulled into her garage and walked up the four steps to her front door. Before she could even pull her keys out, the door swung open and she was pulled into a crushing embrace. Dropping her bags on the floor of the wrap-around porch Melody returned the hug.

“Mom! You’re home!!! I missed you!”

Green eyes met hazel and sparkled with unconditional love. Placing a kiss on her daughter’s forehead, Melody struggled to free herself from the eager teen.

“Nic…Nicole! Let me go please pumpkin! You are crushing me!” she laughed.

Nicole released her mom and stepped aside so she could enter. Grabbing her bags, Melody went inside and headed for the kitchen. Dropping her bags on the counter, she surveyed the controlled chaos.

“Mom, you want tea or juice with your breakfast?” she heard.

“Juice please pumpkin, and thank you! And what do I owe for this treat?’ she asked shaking her head in disbelieve.

“Well, you were so upset last night at missing the concert, I thought I’d make you pancakes to cheer you up….and remind you that you did promise that I can go to Sandy’s house for the weekend!”

“Ahhh, and here I thought this was out of pure love for your mother!” she gently teased Nicole.

“Remind me again why I said yes?”

“Because they have the huge new pool, that’s why! And because her mom invited me!”

“OK, OK, just please clean up the kitchen before you go” laughed Mel sitting down in front a of a plate of slightly burnt pancakes.

Soon, the breakfast was finished, kitchen was cleaned, and Nicole was picked up by Sandy’s mom. Sighing at the welcomed peace and quiet, Mel headed for her bedroom. Slipping out of her scrubs and undergarments she pulled on her favorite sleep shirt and passed out in the comfort of cool sheets.

She woke up about 5 hours later. Stretching and yawning, she set up and focused her bleary eyes on the nearest object and groaned. Standing on her bedside stand was the framed 8x10 picture of Bon Jovi with four silver signatures that she won last year in the Hospital’s fund raiser. Memories of last night flooded her mind. Shaking her head Melody climbed out of bed and headed for her bathroom. Half an hour later, shower and all the morning rituals taken care of, she settled in front of her computer with a mug full of steaming hazelnut coffee and a legal pad. For the next hour she surfed through the Birch Tree and Rose Mountain Herbs data bases, reading and writing down the information that might help her patient. Before turning off the computer, she couldn’t resist logging into the Back Stage and checking out the review of last nights concert, wincing at the pictures of Jon in pain and being helped off the stage. After reviewing her notes, Melody reached for her dog-eared copy of Essential Oils Encyclopedia and checked and cross referenced every ingredient. Satisfied that the information was confirmed and that the components were safe, reached for the card that Dorothea gave her and froze.

Jesus, I’m about to call Jon Bon Jovi’s house! Wait a second, I HAVE Jon Bon Jovi’s home phone number. The girls on the boards would kill for those numbers! O my God, which number should I call? What if they’re still sleeping? No, wait, Dorothea is probably up. With four kids how can she not be awake!

Shaking her head she reached for her cell and dialed the number for Dorothea’s cell phone.


He was having a fantastic dream. Melody was in his arms, moaning as he kissed every inch of her skin showing from under the pink scrubs. Moving to her neck, he licked and kissed his way down to the V of her scrub top. Looking into her emerald eyes he saw no objection. Grinning he reached for the bottom hem of the garment and slowly pulled it over her head. Melody raised her arms to aid him and smiled seductively. He growled and kissed the smile off her face. Feeling her lips give in and open for him, he sent his tongue in to explore the cavern of her delicious mouth. Her tongue met his and joined in the timeless dance. She pressed her body into his and looped her arms around his neck. Encouraged by her reaction, he reached down and slowly untied the scrub pants, pushing them gently down over her hips. She stepped out of the pile of pink cotton at her feet and stood in front of him. All that stood between him an her skin was two scraps of pink lace. Melody looked in to his eyes as she unhooked her bra behind her back and let it fall to the floor. He groaned and reached down to capture the pink pearl at the tip of her breast into his mouth. She moaned and cupped him through the denim. He moved over to her other breast and lavished it with the same attention. She was trembling in his arms. He bent down to pick her up and placed her gently in the middle of his bed. Stretching alongside of her body he reached for her lacy bikini and started to pull it off. Suddenly a very loud and annoying sound went off in his left ear.

Richie opened his eyes, looked at his cell phone and cringed.

Four fucking pm! Damn it! What the fuck does he want now?

“What!” he groaned

“Wake up asshole! We have things to do!” he heard Jon’s voice coming through the cell.

“Listen Frank, just because you’re in pain and can’t sleep, doesn’t mean that I have to suffer!” he barked back.

“Sure it does!” came back through the phone before Jon hung up.

Slamming the phone on his bed, Richie stretched and groaned at the aching and cracking that caused. Looking down at his “morning wood”, he grinned remembering the dream that caused it. Then his anger at Jon flared up again.

Damn Frank! He just had to ruin the best dream I had lately! Shit! Just look at me! Reduced to dreaming about it instead of getting it! Pathetic, that’s what I’ve become…

Running his hand through his hair, he got up and pulled his shorts and shirt on before leaving his room and heading downstairs.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chapter 9

Melody carefully attached the scripts to the clipboard before placing it on the counter. Taking a deep breath she put a smile on her face and turned to face the other four people in the room.

“So, Mel, do you have a Voodoo spell to fix my leg?” smirked Jon.

“I wish it was that easy!” she sighed.

“Melody, what do you know about the Alternative Medicine?” asked Dorothea.

“Well, I am certified in Holistic Nursing, Essential Oils applications, and I am a Level One Reiki Practitioner. But I’m not a miracle worker, and I cannot promise you a cure or an instant recovery.”

“But is there something you can think of trying that might help expedite the recovery?” Dorothea gently probed.

“Actually there might be some essential oils that might help. I remember reading about it in my course work. But before I get your hope up, I’d like to do a bit of research on it.”

“Of course!” agreed Dorothea.

“In the mean time” Continued Mel “Let me get your leg wrapped up and set you up with a set of crutches. Fred will measure you up and teach you how to walk with them safely.”

Turning around, Melody looked through the supply bins on the shelves along the wall. She found what she was looking for and returned to her patient.

“OK Jon, I am going to wrap your leg with this Ace bandage. Pay attention to how I do it, so you will be able to do it yourself.”

Jon nodded and set up.
“OK, Fred is going to elevate your leg while I wrap it. This will probably hurt a bit, sorry about that.”

Seeing Jon’s nod of consent, Melody swiftly wrapped his leg up and gently set it back down on the stretcher.

“How does that feel?”

“Tight” said Jon through gritted teeth.

“Good, it supposed to be tight. Can you move your toes for me?” Melody smiled at him as he complied.

“Excellent, but if at any point they get tingly, you will have to remove the bandage and rewrap your leg.”

Both Dorothea and Jon nodded.

“This is part of the R.I.C.E. regimen that you will have to stick to for the next week or so”

“Rice?” laughed David “Mel, he is Italian! He lives on pasta, unless he is stuffing himself with Sushi!”

Melody laughed, shaking her head. “R.I.C.E. stands for Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation! And speaking of Elevation” she handed Jon a plastic package. “These are heel pads. Put them in your shoes when your are walking. It will shorten your calf muscles and minimize stress on them.”

“Dude, you didn’t have to bust your leg to become taller!” snickered Richie “All you had to do was buy the damned lifts!”

He was rewarded with a “Jersey salute”

Melody shook her head and handed Dorothea the prescriptions. “These are for Vicodin and Mobic. Mobic is like an industrial strength Advil. You will take it once a day for two weeks. The Vicodin is for pain. It is a narcotic, so do not drink alcoholic beverages if you are taking it! Not even a glass of wine to wash down a sleeping pill…which you should not be doing anyway!”

She smiled at Jon’s shocked face and went on. “Take one, or two pills at a time, depending on how bad the pain is. You can take Vicodin every 6-8 hours, as needed for pain. Any questions so far?”

Jon shook his head.

“Good, stay off your left leg as much as possible. When you are not moving around, keep your leg elevated and iced. When are you leaving for the Saratoga Springs?”

Rolling her eyes at their questioning expressions, she smiled “Aw come on! You already figured out that I’m a fan!”

“Actually, I’m glad that you’re a fan.” Smirked Dorothea. “That means you will really try to find something that might help Jon” She clarified to answer the puzzled looks directed at her.

Melody laughed and nodded her head “I’ll do my best. After all, it would be in my best interest to get the Humpty Dumpty back up on his wall! I have a ticket for the Gillette show!”

All three men smiled and nodded. A brief thoughtful expression behind Richie’s smile went unnoticed by almost everyone in the room, except for one brown eyed woman…

The next hour went by quickly. Jon entertained his friends with his clumsy attempts to walk with crutches, supervised by Fred. Melody was busy with computer, filing the discharge teaching and summary. Once Fred announced that he is satisfied with Jon’s progress, Mel handed the discharge paperwork to Dorothea along with her business card and a promise to call with the results of her research. Jon was bullied into a wheelchair and taken out by Fred to the rowdy welcome of the entourage in the waiting room.

When she was certain that the waiting room was empty, Mel came out of the trauma room so the cleaning crew could re set it back, and collapsed into an uncomfortable chair in the lounge. She tried to think and process the events of the shift. Everything felt unreal. The only solid proof of the encounter was the small business card in her pocket that had “Dorothea Bongiovi” printed on it in delicate font, followed by three phone numbers with 212, 732, and 609 area codes.

Chapter 8

A knock on the door got everyone’s attention as Dr. Arroyo entered the room with a clipboard in his hands.

“Well, Mr. Bongiovi, it seems that you…” He stopped in mid sentence as he noticed Dorothea.

“O, hi Doc! This is my wife Dorothea.” Jon once again made the introduction.

“Well, then.” said Dr. Arroyo, shaking Dorothea’s hand “Where was I? O yes, here we are. Mr. Bongiovi, I’ve reviewed the MRI with Dr. Alonzo, our radiologist, and I’m certain that you’ve managed to tear most of your left Gastrocnemius muscle.” Noticing a blank stare from his patient, he smiled and went on. “What I’m trying to say is that you tore most of your left calf muscle.”

Jon winced and nodded. “OK, so now what? Do I need surgery or will it just heal by itself?”

“Well, your injury does not need surgery. But you will need to rest your leg for few weeks while it heals. Also, you need ice packs for the next 24 hours to keep the swelling down and a compression dressing. I‘ll give you a script for some pain medications and some anti inflammatory meds that will also help with reducing the inflammation in the tissue and decrease the swelling and pain. Melody will wrap your leg and give you discharge instructions. Also, you might want to follow up with a “sports medicine” specialist. This is the kind of injury that they deal with every day.”

“Uhmmm, doctor!” Dorothea chimed in “I think you will have to define the meaning of “resting the leg” for my husband! He is not familiar with that concept!”

“Well, Mr.Bongiovi, when I say rest that leg, I mean no weight bearing on it for few weeks. You will have to use crutches while walking, or a wheel chair if you prefer.” He smiled at his patient.

“Uhmm, Doc, do you know what I do for a living?” asked Jon.

“You are a singer. Right?”

“Yeah! I am.”

“Well, can’t you sing sitting down?”

Jon threw his head back and laughed at the older man briefly, then got serious. “No!”

Seeing his puzzled look, he smirked “No one is sitting down during our shows!”

“Oh, what about your audience?”

“They are all up on their feet, dancing, jumping, screaming, and singing with us!” Jon said proudly.

“I see. That must be some show!”

“You have no idea!” chuckled Mel. Then looked sheepishly at the three grinning men and shrugged her shoulders.

“Well, in that case, Mr. Bongiovi, you should take off about a month and let your leg heal.”

“Uhmm, Doc, we are in the middle of an 18 month long tour. I can’t just take a break!” Jon ran his right hand through his hair and went on “I got twelve more shows to play before I can take a break! You gotta understand Doc, I can’t just cancel twelve sold out shows! Hundreds of thousands of fans will be disappointed!”

“We are talking your health here! Surely Mr. Bongiovi, your health is more important to you then some disappointed fans! Don’t you have insurance for that sort of thing?”

“Yeah, sure! The insurance will cover most of the lost revenues, but it won’t do anything for the disappointment and fan dissatisfaction!” Pointed out Jon, as Dorothea took his hand, squeezed it, and looked at the doctor.

“Excuse me, Doctor Arroyo, was it?” she addressed the physician.

“Yes Mrs. Bongiovi?”

“Can we compromise somehow?” asked Dorothea.

“What do you mean “compromise”? “ asked the doctor.

“Well, if he stays off his leg between the shows, and only walks for the duration of the couple of hours on each show night, how much damage will he do to his leg?”

“Hey! I can’t stay off my leg between the shows! I have to travel, and I have work to do!” He objected sitting up abruptly and wincing in pain that the move caused.

“Shut up dear! I’m trying to help you here!” she glared at her husband. “If it allows you to prevent canceling the shows, you WILL walk on crutches! Don’t make me knock you out and make Matt wheel you around in a chair!”

He smile sheepishly at his wife an nodded. Then turned to snickering David and Richie and gave them the famous “stink eye”. “What are you laughing at assholes? I’ll just make you two do all the interviews!” he sneered.

“No you won’t!” said Richie “You’re too much of a control freak to do that!”

“No I’m NOT!”

“Yes YOU ARE!” came from both David and Richie.

“Quiet children!” Dorothea raised her voice above their quibbling, and stood up.

“Is there anything that we can do to speed up the recovery? You know, to enhance and promote the muscle healing? Some physical therapy? Exercises of some sorts?” she asked as she gently stretched her back before sitting down again. “Maybe some alternative medicine therapy? We have a chiropractor who travels with the band.”

“There is not that much that your chiropractor can do for you at this point. But if you are interested in alternative medicine, Melody here is your best bet! She is our resident authority on the complimentary therapies. And if you insist on walking during your shows, you most likely will not damage your leg any further…. As long as it’s wrapped. But you do understand that you will be in a considerable amount of pain?”

“I can handle the pain Doc!”

“If you insist Mr. Bongiovi!”

“I DO Doc!”

“Well, I’m not going to waste everyone’s time arguing with you Mr. Bongiovi! I gave you my recommendation and advice, what you decide to do is up to you!” He nodded to Melody and handed her two prescriptions. “Wrap him up and discharge him! And you have my blessing to try your Holistic Therapies if he is interested.”

He turned to leave the room, then stopped and nodded to his patient “Good luck with your tour Mr. Bongiovi! And have a good night!” He handed the clipboard to Mel and walked out of the room.

Chapter 7

With Fred’s help, they were back in the ER in under five minutes. Passing the desk, Mel waved to Jane. Jane rolled her eyes and nodded towards the waiting area. There it seems that the crowd has tripled in size. Shaking her head Mel promptly brought the stretcher back to the Trauma room, immediately noting an extra person there too. Smiling to the familiar looking petite brunette, she parked the stretcher and locked the breaks.

The woman ran up to the stretcher and gave Jon a quick kiss. “Are you OK baby?” she asked.

Jon’s free arm immediately went up to hug her. “Yeah baby, the Humpty Dumpty is broken again.” he laughed. “But Mel and Fred here are doing their best to put me back together again.”

Turning slightly he made the introductions. “Mel, this is my wife Dorothea! Dottie, this is my nurse Melody.”

Mel smiled and shook Dorothea’s offered hand “Nice to meet you Mrs. Bongiovi!”

“Please call me Dottie! And I hope these three overgrown babies haven’t caused you any problems.”

“Hey, we’ve been on our best behavior here!” came Richie’s voice from behind her.

“Aha, and the hell is freezing over Sambora!” snorted Dorothea. “The three of you behaving, then I’m the Queen of England!”

“At your service Your Majesty!” Said Richie with a fake British accent and bowed to Dorothea, earning himself a punch on his bicep in the process.

“OUCH!!!” he screamed.

“Mel, I think you just got yourself another patient!” Richie moaned dramatically holding his injured arm.

Melody glanced his way. “You want me to admit you for overnight observation?”

“Yes please! I think I need very close observation and intensive nursing care!” He moaned again.

Melody snorted and moved over to the computer. She punched a few random keys, then turned to Richie.

“It seems like you’re in luck! We have two beds available! One in pediatric unit and another in the locked psych unit! Your choice!”

“Oh I think he needs the psychiatric bed!” chuckled David “Just make sure that the room is padded!”

“Aha, and the pediatric one is perfect for you!” snorted Dorothea.

“But I won’t fit into a pediatric bed!” whined David and pouted.

Melody could not hold back laughter. Shaking her head she turned to Dorothea “How do you deal with this circus for so many years?”

“I treat them like the spoiled children that they are: lots of spanking!”

“Well, for some of us that might be an incentive.” came a quiet mumble from the stretcher.

“What was that dear?” Dorothea raised an eyebrow at her husband.

“Nothing, my love!” he said, and quickly followed that with a smile.

“Right” snorted his wife.

“So, how is that arm?” asked Melody, turning her attention back to Richie.

“It’s a tiny bit better.” He said with a serious face. “Maybe I’ll be able to recover with just some home care after all”

“Sure thing! Lets see if I can make some arrangements.” Mel said with an evil smile and turned to Fred. “Hey Fred, you wanna pick up some private duty hours?”

“Nah Mel, you know I can’t risk Scott’s wrath. If he finds out I went to a rock star’s home, he’ll leave me! He is such a jealous bitch!” Fred dead panned with a straight face.

The look on Richie’s face was priceless.

Suddenly, a loud snort came from the stretcher “I think we all forgot who the is the REAL patient here!”

“Sure! Go ahead, take care of him! I’ll just suffer in silence…as always…upstaged by the front man…such is my fate as the side kick guitar player…” grumbled Richie.

“Aha, poor you! I’ll have Dean give you an adjustment before the next gig! Well, if he has any time left after adjusting me and David…that is!”

“Thanks, I think I’ll pass.” Came Richie’s reply.

“Suit yourself, asshole!” snorted Jon and shot him a “one finger salute”.

Melody raised an eyebrow at Dorothea, who just rolled her eyes and shook her head.

Smiling at the older woman, Mel said “ How unprofessional of me would it be to say that I keep waiting for cameras to show up and some obnoxious TV host to yell “SMILE! YOU’RE ON CANDID CAMERA!”

Dorothea laughed and came over to give Mel a hug.

“Sorry hun, this is real! And you’re stuck here with these Three Stooges! But I promise I’ll help you to keep them in line!”

“OK, but I’m still gonna go and check the circuit board for any Nitrous Oxide leaks!” whispered Mel

“Well, you do that hun, if it’ll make you feel better.” laughed Dorothea.

Chapter 6

Melody looked at the tense man on the sliding table and sighed.

This is gonna take a miracle. He’s wound up as tight as a coil.

She grabbed a rolling stool and sat down next to the sliding table. Taking Jon’s right hand she gently massaged it.

“Jon, for this to work, I need you to close your eyes, relax and listen to my voice. I promise I’ll stay with you and talk you through this.”

He eyed her wearily and nodded.

“OK, tell me what is one place that makes you feel happy, relaxed, completely at peace and safe?”

He thought for a moment “The beach I guess”


Melody took the gauze square and placed it on Jon’s chest. Jon sniffed it and looked at her.

“This smells like a deodorant!”

“Yes, I told you, this is lavender oil. It will help you to relax. Now, I need you to take a deep breath, close your eyes and exhale slowly.”

Watching him as he followed her instructions, she smiled and went on.

“Good, continue to take slow deep breaths.”

She watched his chest rise and fall.

“Now imagine your self on the beach. The sun is shining and there are small fluffy white clouds floating above you. You are laying on warm golden sand and enjoying the beautiful day. Your wife is next to you, reading a book. Your kids are playing peacefully nearby, building a sand castle. No one is bothering you, and there are no cameras to be seen.”

She watched the man on the table visibly relax, a small gentle smile gracing his lips.

“You may feel the sand shift and move at times, but it does not bother you because you’re enjoying the sun and the gentle breeze that’s keeping you comfortable and relaxed. Just concentrate on your breathing and keep your arms above your head.”

Jon promptly followed her instruction and raised his hands to rest above his head on the pillow. Melody adjusted his IV tubing and continued to hold his right hand.

“Good, just keep on taking those slow deep breaths and enjoy the sun, the breeze and the sound of waves as they gently hit the shore.”

Seeing him completely relaxed, Melody waved to Jim in the control room to re start the scan. As the table slid into the magnet scanner, she slid her stool along and kept a gentle hold on his hand. Jon’s body disappeared completely into the scanner leaving only his head and hands outside. Melody continued to talk to him, gently stroking his hand. A short time later, as the table slid out of the machine, she looked up and saw grinning Jim with two thumbs up.

She leaned closer to her patient. “OK Jon, I’m going to count backwards form five. When I get to one, you will take another deep breath and open your eyes. Five, Four, Three, Two, One. Take a deep breath Jon and open your eyes!”

Jon exhaled slowly and opened his eyes and looked expectantly at Mel.

She smiled at him and gave his hand a final squeeze before moving away.

“You did great Jon! We are all done. Just hang in there for few more moments and I’ll take you back to the ER.”

Jim entered the room and helped Mel roll the sliding table out to the waiting area of the suite where Fred was waiting with the stretcher.

Jon slid over onto the stretcher with a sigh.

Melody couldn’t hold back a chuckle at his futile attempt to keep his flimsy gown from riding up again as she covered him with a sheet.

“See something you like Darlin’?” he gave her a lazy grin.

Just as she opened her mouth to reply, Jim walked out of his control room.

“Mel, forgetting something are ya?” he held up her bra.

Melody felt herself blush from the tips of her pedicured toes to the roots of her hair as she snatched the pink lacy garment from Jim and disappeared behind the door marked “dressing room” followed by a chorus of male laughter and offers to help.

She was still blushing when she reappeared few minutes later. Giving the three men a defiant stare, Melody grabbed the plastic bag with the rest of her stuff from Jim and steered Jon’s stretcher towards the exit.

Chapter 5

Shaking her head at their antics, Melody approached the pair.

“Can I get you anything while you’re waiting for your friend?” she asked them.

Seeing the naughty looks on their faces, she rolled her eyes and clarified

“Do you want something to eat or drink?”

“Sure, I could eat!” said David.

Richie snorted “Sure, you can! You’re breathing!” Seeing Mel’s puzzled look he explained “He eats 24/7!”

“Hey! I’m a growing boy!” complained David.

“Aha, sure! But you’re growing sideways!” snickered Richie

“I am NOT!” said David sucking in his slightly protruding belly.

Melody laughed and stepped out of the room. She went to the unit’s pantry and surveyed the contents of the refrigerator.

Hmmm, slim pickings again. O well.

She grabbed two ham and cheese sandwiches and two bottles of Poland Spring, then thought for a second and replaced one of the sandwiches with a roast beef one and added a couple of packets of mayo and mustard to her pile. Placing her findings on a cardboard tray, she hurried back to the trauma room. Once there, Melody pulled an over the bed table towards the guest chairs and placed the tray on it.

“Help yourselves!” she told the men and turned to leave.

“Thank you darlin!” murmured Richie grabbing the ham and cheese and unwrapping the sandwich. David was busy fixing his sandwich.

“You’re welcome guys. I’ll be back in a few. Bon Appetite!” She winked at them and stepped out.

Back in the room Richie finished his sandwich and grinned at David. “What do you thing Lemma?”

“It’s a bit dry, but will do in a pinch.”

“Not the sandwich, asshole, the girl! Melody!”

“Ahh, she’s sweet!” chuckled David “Nice package, sharp and witty. I like her!”
He was about to say more but his phone vibrated in his pocket. He pulled out his iPhone and glanced at the caller ID.

“Hi honey, yeah we’re still at the hospital with Kidd. Nope, no news yet. Thanks for taking the kids home by the way. Yep, I do remember we have an eleven am appointment with the wedding planner. Aha, love you too darlin.” He side glanced at Richie as he put away his phone.

“Shut up asshole! Not another word!”

Richie grinned and made another motion imitating a whip being snapped.

Mel sat down in the break lounge with a bottle of water. She took a sip and rested her head on wall behind her.

Wow, can this day get any stranger? Only this morning I was moaning and groaning that I couldn’t switch my shift and join the girls for the concert when they offered me that extra ticket. And now what? The fate, or should I say Sal and Vinnie, just dropped my favorite rock group into my lap. Man, they do look great up close. I swear if I look into those chocolate eyes again I’ll melt into a puddle.

“Melody, Diagnostic Imaging on line one” sputtered the intercom.

Mel got up, shook her head, took one last sip from her bottle and reached for the wall phone.

“This is Mel, how can I help you?” she listened intently to the fast chatter on the other end of the line.

“Pull him out! He is having a panic attack. He’s claustrophobic! I’ll be right there!” She hung up and punched in a four digit extension.

“Doctor Arroyo, its Mel. Our patient is having a panic attack in the MRI. I’m pretty sure its due to claustrophobia.”

She listened to the response and jotted down few notes on the scratch pad “OK, valium 10 migs IV push. Got it. Thank you.”

Hanging up the phone she ran out of the lounge. Grabbing a couple of syringes out of med cart, she unlocked the narcotic locker and pulled out a glass vial and checked the label. After locking the locker and checking the door, she put the vial, syringes, plastic needles and few alcohol swabs in her pocket and ran for the elevators. Punching the call button, she tapped her foot impatiently until the doors opened. Jumping in she pushed the basement button and waited for the doors to close and reopen at her destination. She once again ran following the signs directing her towards the MRI suite. Arriving at the entrance, Mel swiped her ID card and entered the door marked “Control Room”.

“OK Jim, I’m here and I got the “Vitamin V” she told the tech.

The scrawny bearded man in dark blue scrubs just waved his hand towards a large glass panel separating them from the rest of the suite. Peering through the glass, Mel saw Jon sitting up on the sliding table, rubbing his left calf and hyperventilating. Shaking her head she turned to Jim and mouthed “microphone”.

“Right here Mel” said Jim and pointed to the white plastic contraption with a switch next to it, currently set to “OFF”. She nodded and leaned closer to the microphone and flipped it on.

“Jon, Its Melody. Can you hear me?”

She heard a faint “Yes” and saw him nod.

“Good. I need you to do me a huge favor. Try to control your breathing, if you continue to hyperventilate, you will pass out! My rule is to keep it to one fainting rock star per shift and Richie already fulfilled that quota!”

He flashed her a faint smile and nodded. Then took a nice deep breath and slowly exhaled.

“That’s it Jon. You can do it!. I’m coming in with something that will help you relax and get through this, but I need few minutes to get cleared.”

She turned to Jim “I need to get in there and give him something.”

“Sure, you know the routine Melody. Take everything metal off your body and empty your pockets.”

She sighed and took off the lanyard with her ID, emptied her pockets and placed everything in the plastic bin offered to her by Jim. Then picked up the supplies and a small glass bottle and placed them in the plastic bag. Turning back to Jim she stood in front of him expectantly. The MRI tech picked up his portable metal detector wand and started sweeping her body. Melody jumped when the whistle sounded and looked at grinning Jim.

“Wearing an under wire are you?” he asked.

“Uhmmm, yeah, I think I am” Melody said blushing.

“Well, it needs to come off if you wanna go inside the magnet room! Need help?” he leered.

“Nope, perfectly capable of doing it myself.” she muttered and turned to face away as she quickly reached under her roomy scrubs, unhooked and removed her undergarment. Placing the pink lace bra into the bin with the rest of her stuff she turned back to Jim and let him finish his sweep. When no further sounds came from the wand, Jim nodded and pressed the buzzer to unlock the heavy door separating the control room from the rest of the suit.

Melody ran into the scan room and cringing at the loud clicking noise approached Jon.

“Hey, how are you hanging in there?”

“A bit better now that you’re here.” he grinned, still rubbing the back of his left calf.

“Leg still hurting pretty bad?”

“Actually it is getting better since you gave me that ‘industrial strength Advil” he grinned.

“Well, I got something else for you. It will help you relax inside the scanner.”

“Ahh, about that scanner… Is there any other way of checking my leg without pulling me into that coffin?”

“I’m afraid not. But the valium I’ll give you will help!”

“Mel, I’d rather not take anything that will make me loopy. Is there anything else?”

Melody thought for a moment then nodded. “Are you willing to let me try some Complementary Medicine Therapy on you?”

“As long as it does not involve drugs, I’m game” he sighed.

“OK, let me try some Essential Oil and Guided Imagery to help you relax.”

“Oil? Mmm sounds kinky!” He smirked.

“You wish!” she grinned and walked to the supply cart in the corner of the room to grab a small square of gauze.

Pulling out the glass bottle out of her bag with supplies she opened it up and placed three drops of the liquid contained inside on the gauze square. Turning back to Jon she smiled.

“OK, I need you to lay back and try to relax.” Seeing him eyeing her wearily she laughed “This is just lavender, would please trust me!”

Jon exhaled loudly and laid back down on the table. “OK, do your Voodoo!”

Chapter 4

Jon sighed with resignation and offered his left arm to Melody.

“Here, do your worst”

“Hmmm, usually patients want me to do my best!”

Mel grinned back at him as she settled on a rolling stool next to the stretcher and placed a protective pad under Jon’s arm. Snapping on a pair of gloves and grabbing all of her supplies she went to work.

“OK Jon this will be very tight, sorry about that” she said as she swiftly placed a tourniquet just bellow his elbow. She then gently ran her fingers over his muscular forearm looking for the best vein.

“Mmmm, someone been working out!” she said as she located her target area. After swabbing the site with an antiseptic, she picked up the angiocath and looked up at Jon.

“You will feel a really big pinch, try not to move please!”

After seeing his nod of consent she quickly inserted the guide needle, got the desired flash back and advanced the catheter into the vein. Putting pressure over the site, she withdrew the needle and attached the vacutainer hub and filled up three test tubes with blood. She placed the test tubes back on her tray, attached the IV tubing and dressed the site with a clear plastic dressing.

“OK, all done!” she said and looked up at Jon and chuckled.

“You can open your eyes now!”

Jon opened his eyes and surveyed his arm. Then seeing the blood filled test tubes he shook his head in disbelieve.

“Wow! You are good! That did not hurt as much as I expected!”

“So, does that mean I win the bet?” chuckled Mel as she was cleaning up the mess and labeling the blood tubes.

“You sure did!”

“Uh, Mel! I think I need your help here!‘’ came a worried voice from the other side of the stretcher.

She glanced and saw David supporting pale and clammy Richie with his shoulder.

“Lord have mercy!” she exclaimed as she swiftly moved around the stretcher and approached the other two men. She grabbed Richie’s wrist and felt for his pulse, reassuring herself that his vitals were strong, she turned to David.

“What the hell happened here?”

“Well, he was fine until he saw the needle and the blood” shrugged David.

Mel grabbed a wash cloth and ran to the sink. On her way back to Richie, she grabbed an ammonia popper and cracked it under his nose. As soon as he started struggling to get away from the offensive smell, she gently helped him to recline in his chair and mopped his forehead with a cold damp cloth.

“Easy big guy!” she said noting the return of his normal color. “Do you want to lay down? I can get Fred to bring another stretcher in here.”

“No,no…I’m fine!” protested Richie as he sat up straight in his chair and managed an almost convincing smile at Melody.

“Suit your self” she shrugged her shoulders at him and turned back to Jon.

Jon has turned on his side in an effort to see his friends and his gown rode up slightly exposing his left hip.

Melody cocked an eyebrow at the site of his exposed flesh, grabbed a sheet and covered her patient, mumbling under her breath.

“Go figure! The rumors were true…he does go commando!”

She was rewarded with laughter from all three men.

As she was shaking her head at them in disbelieve, the wall intercom came to life.

“Melody, the Diagnostic Imaging is ready for your patient” came through Jane’s voice.

“Thanks Janie! Can you please send Fred in!”

Turning to Jon she quickly surveyed him and handed him a plastic baggy “I need you to take off all metal objects and put them in this bag for me please! The MRI is a magnet, so you can’t have any metal objects in the room”

Jon nodded his understanding and removed his watch and jewelry.

“Where should I put this?” he asked holding the plastic bag.

“You can give it to your friends to hold it for you”

Jon nodded and handed the bag to David.

“Do you still want your Advil?” Melody asked him holding up a small glass vial.

“Depends” answered Jon eyeing the vial and the syringe next to it suspiciously.

I’ll put it into you IV” chuckled Mel.

“OK, but what is it?”

“This is called Toradol, and its like an industrial strength Ibuprofen. It will take an edge off your pain without making you drowsy.”

“OK, then drug me up please” he grinned at Mel.

Melody quickly checked the label for the last time, drew up and administered the medication through the IV port.

“It will take about five to ten minutes to kick in” she warned him.

"Thank you sweet…uhm, darling” he smiled at her.

Mel rolled her eyes and shook her head.

Fred chose that moment to enter the room, grabbed the clip board from Mel and wheeled Jon away for his test.

Seeing her patient taken care off, Melody turned her attention to Richie.

“How’re you feeling Big Guy?” she asked approaching him again.

“O… I think I need a sponge bath” he moaned dramatically.

“Sure! No problem! As soon as Fred gets back, I’ll have him give you one!” She smirked back at him.

David almost slid off his chair laughing.

Chapter 3

Melody returned to the room few minutes later accompanied by a distinguished looking older man in a white coat.

“This is Dr. Arroyo” she introduced him to the three men in the room.

Turning her attention to the doctor, she went on with her case work up.

“The patient is a 48 year old healthy male, with no known drug allergies, and no previous health concerns, complains of sudden onset sharp pain in his left calf, during a prolonged physical activity.”

The doctor nodded his thank you to Mel and approached Jon’s stretcher. After brief handshake and introduction to Jon’s friends he went on with a thorough physical examination. Melody provided the needed assistance and answered the inquiries as they went along. Just as Jon was getting to the end of his tolerance of the poking and prodding, the doctor stepped away from the stretcher and turned to Melody

“Ok, Mel, lets start with a CBC, Type and Screen, and a Complete Metabolic Panel, throw in an IV of Normal Saline at 100 per hour and lets get an MRI of that leg. Working diagnosis DVT versus a torn Gastrocnemius muscle. Keep the ice on in the mean time.” Then turning back to glance at his patient’s pained expression he added “And how about Morphine 10 milligrams IM to start with, and you can also give him 30 milligrams of Toradol IV or IM, which ever is easier for you.” Nodding to Melody and the men, he left the room.

Melody punched a few more keys in the computer and turned to look at Jon. Smiling at his puzzled expression, she approached the stretcher.


“Yeah, you could say that. Could you please translate what he just said?”

“Well, I’m going to draw some blood from you and start an IV. Then we will set you up for a diagnostic test called an MRI. Hopefully that will tell us what is wrong with your leg. And in the mean time I can give you some Morphine for pain.”

“Whoa, wait a second! You gonna stick needles in me?”

“Yes, we do that to patients in our hospital!” Mel smirked at him “That is why I love my job!”

“I hate needles!”

“Uhmmm, and that ink has been sprayed on?” She pointed to his fading Superman Tattoo.

“Nope, they actually had to use a Sharpie for that!” Jon grinned.

“What’s the matter Jon? Afraid of a little prick?” laughed David.

“No, the needle pricks I can deal with, but the two of you are beginning to annoy me!”

“OK, how about I give you the Morphine first, then you won’t really care about the blood work and IV?” Mel asked.

“About that Morphine… I don’t want anything that will make my brain fuzzy.”

“Too late for that bro!” snickered Richie, then turning to Melody he said “Ah just give him a stick to bite on or something!”

“Shut up asshole!” mumbled Jon in Richie’s direction, then glancing at Melody he added “Can’t you just give me a couple of Advils or something?”

Melody laughed at their banter as she wheeled an IV cart over to Jon. Swiftly she spiked a bag of Saline and primed the tubing. Seeing Jon eyeing her set up wearily she chuckled.

“How about this, I’ll let you choose which arm you want this in?”

“His!” he grumbled and pointed to Richie.

“Hey!!! Why me? Stick it in David!”

“I think Lexi needs me at home.” said David and made a motion to escape from the room, while being firmly restrained by Richie’s muscular arm

“Didn’t think I signed up for pediatrics tonight.” mumbled Melody under her breath and rolled her eyes.

Facing David and Richie she gave them her version of a ‘stink eye’ “Sit down you two! I don’t need anyone passing out on me! One rock star patient at a time is my limit!”

Then she eyed squirming Jon “ OK, lets make a bet. If you hold still and not move for two minutes, I bet I can get this IV in on a first try, and also get the blood work drawn at the same time and save you a second stick! And if I fail, you can hit those two as hard as you want!” she pointed at David and Richie who were sitting in visitor’s chairs on his right side.

Jon threw his head back and laughed. “Wait, what do I have to give you if you succeed?” he grinned.

Melody shrugged her slim shoulders “I’ll let you know when I come up with something.”

Chapter 2

Jon threw his head back and laughed, briefly forgetting about the pain in his leg.

A fire cracker indeed! And not too hard on the eyes. Young, petite, probably about five feet nothing, looks nice and toned even under those shapeless pink scrubs. Nice shiny chestnut waves for hair, and those sparkling green eyes. Yep, definitely not too hard on the eyes!

“Listen sweetheart, lets start over again! Please call me Jon. And those two goofballs over there are Richie and David, but you probably already know that!”

Melody cringed at the ‘sweetheart’ and nodded. “Yes, I know who you are. Please call me Melody or Mel if you want. Just ease off on the ‘sweet’ jokes and references” Seeing their puzzled expressions, she sighed and pointed to her ID tag that had her picture and name on it. All three men squinted at first as they looked and dissolved in quiet laughter as they read “Melody Sweet RNC” printed on her badge.

Shaking her head at their laughter, Mel booted up the wall mounted computer and pulled out the key board.

“OK, lets do this by the book, shall we?” she said and looked at Jon. “Have you ever been here as a patient before?”


“What name did you use? Your stage name or your legal name?”

“My legal name.”

“All right, lets see if I can find you in the computer.” she proceeded to type and navigate through a couple of screens. “Aha! Here you are! John F. Bongiovi Jr. Date of birth is March 2nd, 1962. Is that correct?”


“And your address is 158 Mercer Street, New York, New York, 10012-3212. Is that still correct?”


“Hey, Mel! Is his pants size in there too?” came the question from David’s side of the stretcher.

“Sure it is! Its 30 waist, 30 length, isn’t it?” She turned and grinned at the three stunned men and pointed to the label of the pants peaking out of the patient belongings bag under Jon’s stretcher, green sparks of laughter dancing in her eyes. Turning back to the screen she went on with her questions.

“Are you allergic to any medications, food, dyes, or latex?”

“He’s really allergic to latex!” came a reply from Richie’s side this time. “What?” he said in reply to Jon’s stare, “You got four kids! You must be allergic to latex!”

“Asshole” mumbled Jon in his direction “Please excuse my soon to be former friend here! The old age must be affecting his brain! Either that or the heat!” he smiled at Mel. “The only allergies I have are seasonal and environmental.”

Mel nodded and grinned and continued with her intake.
“Do you have any medical problems that I need to be aware of in order to take care of you safely?”


“OK, so, once again what happened?”

“Well, I was wrapping up the show and all of a sudden it felt like I was shot in the back of my leg!” He said pointing to his left calf.

Mel nodded and approached the stretcher “I’m going to touch you and gently palpate the injury. Is that OK?” she asked Jon. Seeing his nod she put her hands on both of his legs to assess the temperature of both extremities. Then as gently as she could she palpated the bulge bellow the rear of his left knee. Hearing the hissing of a sharp air intake and noting his involuntary jump, she quickly moved her hands away.

“Sorry about that!” she said turning to Fred.
“Can you get me an ice pack please?”

Grabbing the offered plastic pouch, she put it on the counter and hit it with her fist to activate the chemicals inside. Shaking it she handed the pack to Jon.

“Put it behind your calf, right where it hurts the most!”

He took the ice pack and did as he was told. Closing his eyes and wincing at the initial shock of the cold. As the coolness started to bring on the numbness, he sighed at the welcomed relief.

“Thank you!”

“You’re welcome” she said as she hit the print button. Reaching over to the small printer on the counter, Mel took the two printed pages and placing them on a wooden clip board offered them to Jon with a pen.

“I need your signature in two places please.”

“What? One autograph is not enough?”

“If I wanted an autograph, I would’ve given you a picture or a CD to sign! And for the record, I already have your autographs! I won them in the fundraising raffle last year! What I need is for you to sign these two consents, so we could treat you!”

“Sorry” he mumbled and reached for the clip board and pen. Squinting, he tried to read the paper, then gave up and just smiled at Melody “What am I signing away here? My house? My hot rod? Or my first born?”

“The first one is the HIPPAA notice. Basically it states that if you need us to release any information about this visit, either to your insurance or to your doctor, we will need your written permission. The second one is a blanket consent for medical treatment. It covers anything and everything we need to do to take care of you, basically all medical and nursing care, any diagnostic tests and treatments that you may require during your hospital visit.”

Jon nodded and signed in the indicated spots, then handed the clipboard and pen back to Mel.

“Can I Have Something For The Pain now?” he smirked.

“Aha, Something For the Blues” came from David’s side.

“Yeah, Bad Medicine Is What He Needs” mumbled Richie.

Shaking her head and laughing softly to herself, Melody headed for the door.

“I’m going to get Dr. Arroyo in here. He is our Emergency Medicine Doctor on call. I’ll be back in a few! Behave yourselves if you can please!”

As soon as she left the room, Jon turned to his two friends “What are you doing assholes?” he barked at his friends.

“Nothing.” mumbled David.

“Just having some fun, Bro!” laughed Richie.

“Well, would you PLEASE STOP flirting with MY nurse!!!” came the response and a finger salute.

Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Melody took one more sip of her now cold coffee and cringed.

Yuck! Why was hospital coffee so vile?

She stretched as she got up from her seat in the nurses station. Nodding to Jane, their unit secretary, she walked down the silent hallway.

“Janie, I’m going to restock the trauma room” she yelled as she disappeared into the largest room of the ER.

Pardon Me! The Alton A. Hovnanian Emergency Care Center! Why is it that the Big Wigs had to rename everything? This used to be called ER, my position used to be called Head Nurse, not the Clinical Shift Coordinator. What a joke! Whom and what am I coordinating? Especially today, when the supervision decided to cancel the other two nurses and leave me with a tech and a secretary!
“Its OK Melody” said the 3-11 supervisor before she left for home “it’s a quiet Friday night! You’ll be fine!”

Well, it was a slow night even for Red Bank. Surprisingly, no drunks or screaming dehydrated children tonight. I guess miracle do still happen. Its almost 2 am, only 5 more hours to go. Well, actually if miracles existed, I’d be on my way home from the Bon Jovi concert at the New Meadowlands

She thought as she quickly restocked the supply cabinets.

“Melody to the Front Desk please” came Janie’s voice through the static of their wall intercom, and broke her train of thought.

O well, here we go! I knew this was too good to last!

She thought as she approached the nurses station.

“What’s up Janie?”

“State troopers on line one. They want to speak to the “Nurse In Charge”!” smiled the secretary.

“I guess its time to earn that extra dollar an hour!” joked Melody as she reached for the phone.

“Riverview Emergency Care Center, Miss Sweet, how may I help you?” she answered in the required “pre scripted manner”.

“Hey Melody!” came through a friendly chuckle “Are you guys swamped?”

“Nope Sal, we are actually on the opposite side of the spectrum” she grinned into the receiver, recognizing the voice of one of the troopers that often hung around the ER on slower nights, trying to mooch some coffee, food and company.

“What can I do for you?”

“Well, in that case I have a gift for ya!” he laughed, “Don’t ever say I don’t bring you anything! We are escorting a large entourage that’s bringing you a leg injury. Meet us at the ambulance bay in 10 minutes, and you might want to have a stretcher ready sweetheart!”

“10-4 Sal, see you in 10 with a stretcher” Melody hung up the phone and turned to Jane “we got “in coming”! Can you please buzz the Diagnostic Imaging and Doctor Arroyo and give them ’the heads up’ for me?” She told the secretary. Sticking her head into the waiting area, she yelled to her tech who was lounging in the empty chairs, watching TV “Hey Fred, wake up sleepy head, we have ‘in coming‘!”

Ten minutes later Melody was standing outside of the Emergency Entrance with her big muscular assistant and watched the approaching lights of the State Trooper’s cruisers. Sandwiched in-between the two police cars were 4 large dark Navigators with tinted windows.

She smirked across the stretcher at Fred “So who is the Drama Queen of the night?”

“I guess we’re about to find out Mel” laughed the big man and tossed her a pair of gloves.

As the cars came to a screeching stop in front of them, Sal jumped out of the cruiser closest to them and gave Melody a bone crushing hug “You soooo owe me!” he whispered into her ear as he moved on to high-five Fred “Yo Mon! What’s up?

The passenger door of the first SUV opened and a tall skinny man with wire rimmed glasses jumped out and ran to open the rear door.

Melody was rooted to her spot. She watched with fascination as another tall man, with a full head of straw colored curls, jumped out and leaned back in to assist a smaller man in dark tight jeans and a red muscle shirt out of the vehicle. The second man was in obvious pain and was struggling to hobble on his right leg as his left was bent at the knee. Another large man with dark hair emerged from the Navigator behind the injured guy. As the two larger men offered their shoulders to support their injured brother, Melody’s professional training finally kicked in and she lowered the stretcher to assist them. She watched as the two men gently settled their brother onto the stretcher, nodded to Fred to raise the side rails and rolled the stretcher into the ER.
She turned to look at her patient, noting the piercing blue of his eyes, the brilliant white of his smile that was gracing his face even though it was clouded with pain.

“Hello, my name is Melody, and I will be taking care of you tonight” she started another scripted line “Can you tell me what happened?”

As her patient nodded and started to speak, his voice was overlapped by a dozen or so voices of the people that were crowding into the waiting room and trying to get close to the stretcher. Each one of the voices was trying to give her their version of the story.

“OK folks! We have a strict visitor policy here. Only two people per patient! The rest of you. Please take a seat and wait for us” She turned to her patient and smiled “Guess what? You get to pick who comes in with you!”

The man on the stretcher smiled back and nodded towards the two large men who helped him out of the car earlier “I’ll keep these two ass.. I mean friends… The rest of you..” He rose on his elbows to glance at his entourage and winced at the pain that the move caused him “Would you please chill and NOT cause any trouble here!”

Melody and Fred promptly wheeled the stretcher past the reception desk and down the ER hallway.

“Which room?” she heard Jane’s voice as they passed her.

“Trauma” Mel yelled back at the secretary without even looking back.
Mel and Fred smoothly brought the stretcher to a stop in the middle of a brightly lit room that resembled an OR. Glancing behind her, she noted that there were still two extra persons accompanying her patient. Turning around she faced them and smiled “The two of you need to go back to the waiting room please”

“But I am Mr. B’s chiropractor!” said the man with the short dark hair.

“And I’m his personal assistant!” came from the annoyed red haired woman who was trying to get past Fred to the stretcher.

“Excellent, as soon as Dr Arroyo determines that uhmm Mr. B needs an adjustment, I’ll call you in from the waiting room!” Mel told the man “And you can personally assist us all by going out to the front desk and providing Jane with the information that she will need to get uhmmm Mr. B registered” she told the redhead.

The other two large man were staring at her. The blond guy’s mouth was open and the dark haired guy had a shit eating grin spreading across his face. Melody just shook her head trying to bring herself out of the “Twilight Zone” episode that she seemed to have been transported to, back to reality. She turned her attention back to her patient. He was quietly rubbing the back of his left calf as he observed the scene playing out in front of him.

“OK, lets take a look at the damage” said Melody and reached in her scrub pocket for her scissors. As she leaned towards her patient’s leg with the scissors in her right hand she heard a loud gasp and screech behind her.

Now what? She turned and stared at the skinny redhead, that was still in the room.

“You can’t cut it!!!” shrieked the assistant “Those are $1000 designer originals!”

Lord have mercy! My weekly paycheck for a pair of jeans? No wonder they hug his ass like a latex glove!

Melody calmly put the scissors down, smiled at the redhead and walked out of the room. Looking down the hallway she spotted Sal and his partner Vinnie leaning over the front desk and flirting with Jane. She waved to get their attention and motioned for them to come over.

“What’s up Mel? Can’t handle the heat?” laughed Sal as he approached the petite brunette in the pink scrubs.

“Oh, I can deal with the hotness! I just need your help with the crowd control!” she winked at the troopers and led them back into the trauma room.

“Officers, would you please assist these two fine citizens in finding our waiting room” she said pointing to the personal assistant and the chiropractor “And can you please make sure they get settled there comfortably?”

“Fred” she turned to her tech, “Would you please help uhmm Mr. B remove his ‘designer originals’ and get him into a patient gown!”

As she watched the two reluctant visitors being escorted out of the room and down the hallway, she closed the door and faced the other men in the room. The curly, blond was shaking with silent laughter and the dark haired man was leaning toward his friend on the stretcher, patting his shoulder.

“Well we sure are in for some night Bro! You got your self a fire cracker here!” he chuckled.

Seeing that Fred was about to help her patient to undress, Melody discretely turned away to give him some privacy. Facing his friends she folded her arms across her chest and gave them an icy stare.

“Excuse me uhmmm Mr. S and uhmmm Mr. B, do I need to ask you to wait outside too, or are you gonna let me do my job here?” Satisfied with their shocked expressions, Melody spotted Fred moving away from the stretcher and turned to her patient once again. He was laying on the stretcher, covered with a drab patient gown that was held firmly in place above his knees with his hands. The shocked look on his face was priceless.

“So Mr. Bongiovi, would you like to tell me what brought you to our Emergency Care Center on this fine, albeit hot, Friday night?”