Chapter Thirteen

Natalie was half-watching one of those entertainment tabloid shows one afternoon, when she heard ‘her’ song playing. She turned her full attention to the screen, tuning into the host’s words.

...sources close to the band say the inspiration for this surprise hit was a thank you note they received, quote, from a rather extraordinary young woman, end quote. The young woman in question is this woman, who the band refuses to identify.

Natalie did a double-take as, on screen, she saw the shot of her taken at the concert, with all four guys sitting around her – the same shot that is now over her fireplace. Her phone rang. It was Michael, calling from the office.

“Are you watching Fox?” he asked.

“Yes, and I’m trying to listen. Shush.”

On the TV, the talking head continued.

...she joined Bon Jovi on stage two months ago when they revealed the song for the first time. Her identity, and relationship to the band, is the source of much speculation and debate. One thing nearly every woman can agree on, however, is that they wish they’d been in her spot that night. Reporting from New York...

Natalie flipped off the TV. “Holy Hell, Michael, what is going on?” she asked. “I haven’t listened to the radio for some time – is this song really all over the air?”

Michael laughed. “Come out from under your rock, babe. It’s all over the place. Patti told me that someone leaked the song on the ‘Net, and they’ve been getting calls from radio stations all across the country asking for permission to air it. Apparently, they got the OK, because you can’t go an hour without hearing it on one of the stations.”

Patti had told Michael all about it last week over dinner. She told Michael that the guys asked after Natalie, and wanted Patti to remind him that the offer still stood – to call the number he was given if he or Natalie needed anything.

Michael continued, “Patti told me the guys are putting the music-accompanied version on their next album. I’ll bet that one gets even more airtime. How was your day?”

“Good. Restful. I’m just so damned tired all the time. Julie has just been a godsend.” In the month that Julie had been her private nurse, the two women had become friends. They were the same age, and had many of the same interests, including Bon Jovi. Just wait until she hears this latest bit of gossip, Natalie thought.

“Do you still think you can stay at home? Or should we make arrangements at the hospital?” Michael asked.

“So far, I’m OK. Although, to be honest, when Julie’s not here, I don’t do much of anything. I just sit in bed, and …” she trailed off. Her heart felt like it was in a vice.

“And what?” Michael asked. There was no answer. “Nat? You there? Say something, this isn’t funny.” He was sounding panicked.

“Call for help,” Natalie rasped. “Can’t catch my breath.”

Michael was already on the run. “I’ve got Margaret calling 9-1-1 right now.” He motioned for his assistant to hurry. “I’m on the way, and will call the doctor and will meet you. Jesus, hang on, Natalie.” By this time, Michael had bolted down the five flights of stairs, and burst out of the front doors. He tore down the block, racing to get to the garage where his car was parked. He made his phone calls on the fly, wanting to be able to concentrate on driving once he got to his car. His last call was to Patti.

“It’s me. Nat’s in trouble. I’m on the way to the hospital.”

“Say no more,” Patti replied, “I’ll meet you there. Be careful.” She hung up the phone, and called up to Joanne. “It’s Michael’s sister; she’s being taken to the hospital. I need to be with him right now. I’m sorry; I’ve gotta go.”

“Go, for God’s sake. Don’t worry about it. Give Michael a hug from me, and let him know we’re all praying for his sister.”

‘Will do.” Patti was crying as she left the building.


Stephanie said...

I just caught up on the last two chapters. Poor Natalie. I am glad Michael and Patti got together but I am sad for Natalie. The poor girl.

Waiting patiently to find out what happens.


JillianneK said...

This is a very sweet story, and very well-written. It flows well and I appreciate something different than the typical sexual fantasy or love story thing. (Yes, I appreciate the irony of that statement!)Good job. Thanks for sharing!

Hathor said...

Stephanie, thanks for your continued readership and lovely comments. More is coming soon, I promise!

And Jillianne, thank you so much for your comments, too. I was actually hesitant to write a sexual fantasy/love story thing; I got over it, though -- I'm giving it a try in "The Rental"; my heart got stuck on Richie.

Ladies, thanks for reading, and I'm glad you're enjoying my work!

-- Jennifer

Tara Leigh said...

You certainly wrapped me up in this story. I'm gonna finish the thing before I head to bed, I can feel it. LOL