When his eyes opened, it took him a minute to figure out where he was, then he turned his head and saw the woman he had just dreamed about lying next to him, and couldn’t help but smile. For so many years, he’s had these dreams, and every morning he’d wake up tortured over what he had fucked up, but now his life felt like it was back on track. He glanced at the clock and saw it was only eight, and knew that he had plenty of time to get some lovin’ in before they had to go pick up the kids, but he wanted to do something special for his baby girl… before he gets that lovin’.
He got up from bed, trying not to make any fast moves, then went into the bathroom, brushing his teeth and throwing on his sweatpants before shutting the bedroom door behind him. He walked out to the kitchen, getting the coffee on, and then going to the fridge to get the eggs, when he thought he heard something going on in the front yard.
The house was dim from everything being shut from last night, but when he walked into the entryway, he knew something was going on in the front yard but didn’t expect what he saw when he opened the front door. The front of Addison’s house was full of reporters, paparazzi, and whoever else could cram their way into the small front yard. Vans and cars were all along the street, crowding up the neighborhood. He stood there in shock, trying to figure out how in the hell they found him when a reporter looked his way and started shouting out his name… and then all hell broke loose.
He shut the door before anyone came to close and wondered what the fuck was going on! He hadn’t got himself into trouble, the tour was over, him and the guys had to be back in California in three weeks for some publicity shit, so what was this all about?! That’s when he walked back into the kitchen and called the one person who could answer that question for him.
“Yeah, what’s up Jim?” Nickels groggy voice answered.
“I’ve got at least thirty reporters in front of Addie’s house right now!” He hissed under his breath.
“You heard me. Fuck, how in the hell did this happen? I thought I was in the clear here… I mean, it’s been two months now, and no one has bothered me.” He stated, running his hand through his hair.
“I’m not sure… I thought we did a pretty good job keeping where you were a secret. And everywhere we go has a strict policy of secrecy.” Nickels admitted.
“Well, that went to hell in a handbag!”
“Damn it, you know you’re not going to be able to just leave the house without them following you. It’s better if you give a quick interview.”
“An interview about what? Shit… I don’t want to get Addie all wrapped up in whatever is going on. Son of a bitch, I was enjoying having a fucking life.” He groaned.
“So, what’s your plan?”
“I don’t know. My plan was making my girl some fucking breakfast before we went and picked up the boys at Jones place.” He sighed, running his hand over his face. “Now, I’m not sure. What do you think?”
“Well, you could go and see what the stupid fuckers want? It might be because you’re in town or something.” Nickels offered.
“If that was the case, why in the hell would they be over at Addie’s?”
“Good point. I’ll start making some calls.” And then he heard Lynn’s voice in the background murmur something. “And Lynn says she’ll see what she can dig up.” Nickels offered.
“Yeah, and text me if you find out anything.” He said, hanging up the phone.
He leaned back against the counter, not sure what in the hell he was going to do. One thing was for sure, someone had a big fucking mouth, but who? His thoughts went to that asshole South, but he didn’t think even that douche would want Addison to have this kind of shit happen to her.… and then his cell went off. He looked down, seeing it was a text from Nickels, and swiped it open. A screenshot popped up, letting him know what was going around the internet. There were photos of him and Addison dancing, kissing, his hand on her ass, one with his hand up her skirt, and then them leaving together…and all from last night. Then there was the title,
Is the Rock God James Richardson back together with estranged wife, Addie Richardson?
“Shit!” He growled, knowing for sure why all those assholes were out in front now… there were going to be people doing whatever they had to do to get the million-dollar photo and sell it to the highest bidder. His hands went over his face trying to figure out how he was going to explain this to Addison, and when he didn’t think things could get worse, he was dead fucking wrong.
The next text came with a screenshot of an entertainment site where his face was posted on the front, along with at least a dozen women he had slept with that year. “Holy, Fucking, hell…” Was all he could get out. Right then he knew someone was trying to destroy him, or at least destroy him getting Addison back.
He was so pissed he could have torn the walls down, and at another time in his life, that’s what he would’ve done. But instead he took a couple of deep breaths and tried to figure out what his next move was.
There was no way in hell he was going to show any of those articles to Addison, he couldn’t. Those women were in the past when he thought he never would see his baby girl again. He didn’t want her to know who the hell he had slept with, and he didn’t think Lynn would say anything, because it was the past, and there was no sense upsetting Addison over it. But still…
With this news, those fucking reporters weren’t going to leave Addison and the boys alone, and there was no way for them to stay at home unprotected. He was going to be leaving in a couple of weeks and going to be gone for at least two to three months. So many things rushed through his mind right then, but first things first. He walked to the backrooms and opened the bedroom door taking a minute to look at the woman in bed before waking her up and possibly having everything he’d been hoping for go fucking sideways.
He knew Addison would put the boys before anything in her life, including him, and that’s the way it should be. He leaned against the door jamb crossing his arms, trying to mentally prepare himself for what she might say, but then the thought of what started all this shit in his life... the affair with Crystal.
Addison had been talking about starting a family right before he cheated on her. Everything he had worked for them to start a family was all in place. He was financially sound, they had their dream home, and even with her schooling, she wanted children. They were going to start trying as soon as he was back from the tour. But then Nickels introduced him to Crystal, and then shit happened.
He was so fucking stupid and so wrapped up in who she was that he was willing to throw everything he’d worked so hard for aside, just for that fuck. He could still remember getting dressed while Crystal slept in her big pink bed, and him being so pissed at himself. After that, he made his way to the closest bar, drinking to where he couldn’t remember his own name, let alone what he’d done. When he woke up the next morning, he didn’t remember how he got back to his house, but the memory of sleeping with Crystal was fresh in his mind.
Addison was sitting next to him, her hand went over his face asking if he was okay, but he wasn’t. His gut turned seeing his baby girl concerned over him. He wanted to kiss her, take in his arms, tell her that he was sorry, and to make love to her to erase any memory of his cheating, but couldn’t, because the stench of Crystal was all over him.
He shot up from the sofa, accidentally pushing her to the floor. He’ll never forget the look on her face till the day he dies. But the only thing that he could think was, If Addison found out, he was sure he might’ve just broken something that meant more to him then his own fucking life!
Once he was clean, he walked out of the bathroom and saw her sitting on the bed waiting for him looking hurt, angry, and so damn confused. He wanted to tell her, just confess what he’d done and try to move past it, but knowing he could lose her over it... that was something he wasn’t willing to face yet.
He looked into those eyes that he loved so fucking much and tried to think of a lie, any lie, but she knew him too well for that to work. So instead, he walked out of the room, feeling her stare as he passed by, and went out and got shit faced again… and woke up the next morning back in Crystal’s bed.
The first time he hit Addison… he knew it was over the affair, but couldn’t remember a fucking thing about it. Only when he came out from his drunken haze, his baby girl had a black eye and bruises all over her body. That’s when things went from bad to worse, and the drinking and drugs became his coping mechanism. The only thing he did remember was coming home one day from recording and finding divorce papers on the kitchen table. He threw the papers down and hauled ass upstairs only to see all of Addison’s things gone from their bedroom and her wedding ring left on the dresser.
It was a long time ago since all that happened, and yet it had haunted him every day since. He couldn’t lose her, he didn’t think he could survive that loss this time, but there was only one thing left for him to do. He swore under his breath, pulling himself from his spot and made his way over to the bed. He sat down, not wanting to do this, but whatever happens, he had to keep her and the boys safe. “Addie, wake up baby girl, I need to talk to you.” He whispered.
Her violet eyes fluttered open, still half asleep and so damn beautiful. “Hey baby, what’s going on? I thought we were staying in bed together until we couldn’t.” She smiled.
“Something’s happened…” He said taking her hand.
“What, what happened… are the boys okay?” She asked, shooting up from the pillow.
He didn’t let go of her hand but stopped her from getting out of bed. “They’re fine baby girl; the boys are fine, I promise. But someone let the secret out of me being here in Nashville, and who I’m staying with.”
“Go take a peek outside.” He told her.
She stumbled out of bed and headed to the window to take a quick peek. A tiny corner of the blind was all she gave herself to see what was happening, and when she took a good look, she whipped back around with her hand flying over her mouth. “Oh shit.”
His eyes absorbed the sight of her naked body like it was a memory he never wanted to forget. “Addie, we can work this out. They’re just here because we’re back together, and they think that’s some kind of big story, that’s all. So please, baby girl, don’t get spooked.”
Her hand dropped and then stared at him like he had lost his mind. “What are you talking about?”
“I don’t want you to leave me over this. We can make this shit all work out, you’ll see; we’ll just have to tell the boys about these bastards.” He explained.
She frowned as she walked over to him. “You think I’m going to kick you out over something like this?”
“Yeah, I do. I get it, the boys come first.”
She took his face in her hands and gave him a small smile. “Yes, my boys come first, but that doesn’t mean you come in second. I told you that I loved you, and I meant it. When I agreed for us to get back together, I knew what came along with the territory. You can’t help who you are, Jimmy, and if this was something I didn’t want, I would have told you… okay?”
His arms pulled her to him and then wrapped around her waist. “Yeah, okay baby girl.” He chuckled.
“But there are some things I need to get off my chest.”
“Like what?” He asked.
“Well, I have a couple rules that I want to put in place. These rules are meant to never be broken, because if they are, then we will be over, really over Jimmy, and for good this time.”
“Addison… I know what you’re going to say.”
“I know you do, but I still have to say it, even if you already know what it is.”
“Okay baby girl, tell me the conditions.”
“Number one, no drugs or drinking. I see that you’ve quit baby, and that’s great, but if we got into a fight or something didn’t go your way… you have to promise me there’s none of it, ever."
"Number two. You will never lay a finger on me again, and that also goes for my boys. I won’t live my life like that ever again, and I’d never forgive you if you ever did that to my children.” She warned.
“And the third?” He asked.
“There’s no more women Jimmy, and I mean none. No kissing, no hugging, no having women all around you, no signing bras or bare tits, nothing. You either want me, and me alone, or the lifestyle that you lead before this… you can’t have both.”
He nodded, kissing her bare middle. “I knew all that, and except it. And I swear to god that I’ll never hurt you ever again, and that includes the boys, I promise. Everything else, the drinking, the drugs, the women… I don’t want any of it, Addie, I only want you.” He assured her then pulled her back down to the bed hovering above her. “So, now that you’ve got your rules in place, are you willing to put up with all this shit again to be with me?”
“Are you willing to be a father, and live here in Nashville with me?”
“Yes baby girl, I am. One hundred percent!”
“Then, I say, bring it on.” She smiled, only to have him lean down and kiss her.
When he was done, he chuckled at the look on his her face. “Before I give you want you want, there is one thing we do need to talk about.”
“You and the boys living here.”
“What about it?”
“You can’t. I don’t want you and the boys in the spotlight, I want to keep you all safe. I’m heading out with the guys in a couple weeks, and as much as I want you to be with me, I know you can’t go because of your work and the boy’s school. Addison, I know this is all kind of fast, but I want you to move in with me. Hell, I say let’s get married, today.”
“Leave my home? I don’t know, Jimmy. My boys were born here.” She whispered.
“You don’t have to sell it baby girl, but I’d like to buy a place where Jones and Howie live, in a gated community where people can’t just walk up to your front door. I don’t think I could live with myself if some crazy-ass fan hurt you, or the boys.” He stated.
“I never thought about it that way…I mean, yes, we are moving kind of fast, but we both have known each other for such a long time. It’ might sound crazy, but I feel like we’re picking up right before everything went so wrong.” She mumbled. “What do you want to do?”
“I was thinking about you staying with Jones until we find a place. This way, I won’t worry about you guys so much when I’m gone.” He offered.
“How about we stay with him until you guys leave, and then I’ll stay with Tia. This way, I can help her out when Howie is gone.” She said, then shook her head. “You know, I didn’t think much of it last night, but a man was watching Lynn and me when we were talking by the bathrooms. I wonder if he was the one who started all this?”
Jimmy closed his eyes, keeping his temper in check because now he knew how those pictures were taken, and had an idea of who it might be wanting to bust up him and his baby girl. “Don’t worry about it, all this shit will pass when we become old news. Besides, I’m going to give you some lovin’, and then I want you to pack your stuff when I drop you off at Jones.”
“You going somewhere?” She asked running her finger through his hair.
“I need to have to go talk to someone over something that’s been bugging me for little while now… but it will be quick, I promise.”