AUTHOR'S NOTE: In case you're wondering what the band's music sounds like, I imagined that the band would be very versatile in their sound (meaning plenty of different rhythms and such) and that was part of what made them unique. I also imagined Jon's voice very smooth and generally very nice to listen to. Not high-pitched at all, but not a deep voice either. Not gravelly or anything, either. Just… smooth. The music I imagined has heavy guitars and strong bass (both the guitar and drums kind) sounds, but with interesting and catchy rhythms. I'll have music examples on my profile eventually, if you want to see what I think they'd sound like.

Thanks to reviewers Luvtowrite, KelaBelle, sappyromancelvr, and chaichait (to whom I must say, thank you for the compliment, it makes me feel all fuzzy inside).Thanks also to everyone who's subscribed or put me on their story alerts, because that's fun, too! I hope you know I really appreciate your commentary and everything and that it pleases me to no end to open up my email account and see a ton of stuff from fictionpress!!

Ecstatically,

she fuels the fire


Philosophy of a Jilted Lover

Chapter VIII: Nightmares Uncovered

Jon grabbed the tee shirt he'd recently discarded on the floor and pulled it over his head. "Shit."

A whimper of pain, a moan of fear.

They were quiet, muffled.

Jon sat up in bed, rubbing his eyes and shaking his head to clear the fog of sleepiness that threatened to drag him back into blissful ignorance. Another whimper cut through the hazy murkiness left over from his dreams. Running a confused hand through his hair, Jon realized it wasn't him having the nightmare. It was someone else.

Kicking a leg out from under the warmth of the blankets, Jon planted his feet on the floor and exited the bed. A glance at the alarm clock on the bedside table told him that it was 3:30 AM. That meant an hour had passed since the band had returned to the suite after the night's venue. With a heavy sigh, Jon grabbed the tee shirt he'd recently discarded on the floor and pulled it over his head. "Shit."

Stumbling slightly due to his lack of sleep, Jon followed the sounds that had woken him from his slumber. When he realized what room he was heading to, he stopped short. Walking uninvited into a woman's bedroom was not something he did on a regular basis, and given how jumpy Carly was on a regular basis, it was probably a good idea to turn around and go back the way he came.

From behind the door, Carly let out another low moan. Fabric rustled, telling him that she was moving around restlessly in her sleep. Don't interfere.

He had turned to leave when she let out a low, frightened sob. Muttering under his breath that this was not a good idea, Jon quietly pushed her bedroom door open. Carly was in the middle of the queen-sized mattress, the blankets and top sheets tangled around her legs and middle in such a way that she was unable to escape their confines. Moonlight filtered through the window, bathing her in its ethereal glow.

Leaning back on his hips, Jon contemplated what to do about the situation at hand. He couldn't very well leave her alone in the middle of a nightmare with a good conscience, but there was also a good chance she'd see him coming into her bedroom well past midnight and freak out, which would only make the situation worse.

A moan escaped unbidden through her lips and it was then that he realized that he had to try something. What's the worst that could happen? She could file sexual harassment charges and create really bad publicity for the band.

He crawled to the middle of the mattress, stopping next to her a moment later. Extending a hand, he gently shook her shoulder in an attempt to wake her up. A frightened sob emit from her throat as she thrust herself away from his hands, scratching at her legs to free herself of the sheet. Lightly taking hold of her wrists so she wouldn't hurt herself in the process of escape, Jon leaned down and whispered soothingly in her ear. "Carly, wake up. You're having a nightmare. Wake up."

She gasped, struggling wildly for another moment before finally yanking free and sending a well-placed fist into his jaw. Completely taken by surprise, both by the force of her punch and the act itself, Jon released her wrists and stumbled back to the edge of the bed. The loose sheet underneath his knees made him slip, right off the mattress and onto the carpeted floor of the suite. "Oh, shit!"

He hit the floor hard, his head thumping against the floor first, followed by a confusing tangle of his arms and legs. Stunned, Jon lay there silent, thinking about the strength of Carly's punch. And the fact that the tabloid reporter had gotten something right for once; she really did have one hell of a right hook. It started out as a chuckle, and then escalated into a full blown fit of laughter.

Fully awakened by his uninhibited, cheerful laughter, Carly poked her blond head over the edge of the mattress, her eyes wide and horrified. Vague, dreamlike memories of her smacking Jon in the face mixed with the hazy mist of her nightmare. "I am so sorry. You're not hurt too bad, are you?"

Jon shook his head, a small, silly grin still plastered on his face. Drifting his eyes up to meet her gaze, he was treated to a tantalizing glimpse of her cleavage through the overly large collar of her sleep shirt. Betrayed by her own attempt to cover up. "Nah. I'm fine. After all, I did come into your room. It's only fair."

She sat up straight, and Jon felt a slight tug of disappointment toward the now-hidden half-moons of her breasts. "Wait, why are you in my room? Get out. Now."

Aftershocks of the nightmare still ran through her, making her shiver despite her attempt to remain in charge of the situation. Carly shuffled back into the middle of the bed, away from Jon, and pulled her knees to her chest once again. "I said, get out."

"No." Jon sighed, standing up and resting one knee on the mattress. "Look, Carly, you just woke up from what was obviously a nightmare and you're shaking like a leaf. Do you honestly think I could leave you alone like this?"

"Yes. Now get out."

Jon shook his head and shifted onto the bed, at a distance far enough away from her that he knew wouldn't scare her. "My mom once told me that the best way to get rid of a nightmare is to talk about it. You look like you really need to talk about it."

"No, I don't. Now get out." Talking to him was too tempting by half. She'd been keeping her emotions under check for longer than she cared to admit. And with him sitting there, looking so… sincere… it made her wonder how he would look at her, after he knew what she'd put up with, what she'd went through.

"Carly, what would be so bad about letting everything out for once?" He sighed, dropping his hands into his blue-boxer-clad lap. "You've pent up all these emotions and look what they're doing to you. They're making you sick; it's unhealthy to keep everything locked inside."

Yes, it was unhealthy. She knew that. But telling people what had happened… it was almost inconceivable. Yet something inside her told her to trust someone, to trust him. She sighed. "It's just… in my nightmares… it's the same one, over and over. He's hitting me, and I'm trying to tell him to stop and my mouth is moving, but there aren't any words or sounds coming out. There's nothing I can do, because I can't control my body. It's like I'm paralyzed or something."

Jon nodded without comment to show that he was following. She sighed, running a hand through her hair. Her hand wasn't shaking quite as much, he noticed. Maybe talking about her nightmare had worked. "Was that the whole dream?"

She tensed. "No. But I don't want to talk about the rest."

"Do you want me to go?" He asked after a moment, already shifting to stand up.

"No." She repeated, surprising herself. "It's just… It's just… it helps to have someone else in the room with me while I fall asleep. I don't know why… Grace usually does it, but she's…"

She trailed off.

Jon remained silent for a moment. It wasn't an invitation for anything sexual, he knew that. But still, this must have been a big hurdle for her jump, after everything she'd gone through. He didn't know the full details of what had happened with what's-his-name, but that one small admission was a telling detail. And, even more, the request meant that she trusted him. A man. When she obviously didn't trust many others. "I'll stay in here, until you fall asleep, okay?"

Carly swallowed. "Thank you."

"Anything you need."


AUTHOR'S NOTE: Also, I'm starting my senior year in high school tomorrow, so I'm going to be VERY BUSY, but I'll try my best to update regularly. Please continue reading, even if it takes me a while to update between chapters.

Thanks so much,

she fuels the fire