Veronica stalked into the “office”, threw her briefcase on her desk, dropped into her chair and debated about whether to scream in frustration or cry. How could I be so stupid and gullible to even consider believing that he’d changed?! She rubbed her temples for a few seconds, then blew out a breath and picked up the phone to call the office.
“Hi Brent, it’s Veronica. Who’s looking after Bon Jovi’s Dubai show?”
“Uhh...I thought you were since you’re out on the road with them.”
“Yeah, you’d think so wouldn’t you? But seeing as how I just found out about the show five minutes ago, no I’m not working on it. If none of us are on it, they must be doing it in house. If that’s what Jon wants, I’ll let them.”
“Sorry no one told you Veronica, we just assumed Jon would. Is everything okay?”
“Yeah, it’s fine. You know rockstars.”
“Yeah. Looking forward to getting back to the country side?” Brent chuckled.
“You have no idea! It’ll be so nice to work with someone who doesn’t fight me on everything and trusts my judgement.”
“I hear ya. Well, good luck Veronica. I’ll let you know if I hear anything about Dubai.”
“Okay. Thanks Brent. I’ll talk to you later. Bye.”
Veronica’s radio squawked in her ear. “Matt for Ronnie.”
“Ronnie here, go ahead Matt.”
“The contest winners are here.”
“10-4. I’ll be right out. I’ll meet you in front of the stage.”
“10-4. Oh, if you see Jon, Obie’s ready for sound check.”
“10-4. Ronnie out.” She stood and rummaged through her briefcase for a notebook and pen.
“Ronnie, can we talk for a minute?” Jon asked from just inside the door.
She pasted on an obviously insincere smile. “Sorry sir, the contest winners are waiting for me.”
He frowned. “They can wait a few minutes.”
“Certainly, if you insist sir, but it’s been my experience that if you push the fans to the side like you don’t think they’re important it tends to come back to bite you in the form of decreased record and ticket sales. Of course though, it’s whatever you think is best.....sir.” She waited expectantly.
Jon sighed and waved her towards the door. “Go.”
“Thank you sir. Oh, I was asked to let you know that Obie’s ready for sound check....at your convenience of course, sir.” Once she gained the hallway Veronica let a satisfied smirk curve her lips at the disgruntled look on his face.
“Hey Ronnie, have you seen Jon?” Obie called to her as she appeared around the end of the stage.
She glanced up at Richie, David, Tico and Hugh who were already on the stage. “Yes. I told him you were ready for sound check. I’m sure he’ll do what’s best.”
Richie and David exchanged a look.
Veronica walked over to greet the contest winners, her back to the stage. She knew the instant that Jon appeared by the reaction of the fans, but she didn’t turn around. After several minutes of silence the fan closest to her leaned over. “I think he wants you to look at him.”
“Oh? What makes you think so?”
“Because he’s just staring at you.”
Veronica bit her lip and caught Matt’s eye. “Then I guess I should see what he wants.” Matt rolled his eyes.
Veronica turned to see Jon’s narrowed gaze was indeed pinned on her. She raised a brow.
He pointed a finger at her. “You and I will talk later.”
She smiled brightly – and fraudulently. “Of course sir. Whatever you think is best.”
Four men exchanged glances, eyebrows raised. Jon just grunted. “Cut it out Ronnie.”
“Yes sir.” She turned back to the fans who were watching the exchange wide eyed and winked. “Okay folks. Steve here is going to explain what Obie and the band are doing and answer any questions that you have.”
After sound check finished Veronica left the stage area before Jon could stop her and returned to the office. Booting up her laptop, she pulled up the schedule for Chicago and sent it to Jon before heading down to catering to grab some dinner.
She’d just sat down with her plate when her radio crackled. “Matt for Ronnie. Where are you?”
She had to finish chewing and swallow before she could answer. “In catering having dinner.”
“What’s going on?” Paul’s voice came from behind her.
Veronica looked up at him and smiled. “Nothing. I’m just showing Jon that I understand now my place when it comes to my job and this organization.”
“Oh fuck.” He started patting his pockets. “Where did I put those Tums? And things had been going so smoothly too.”
The sound of stomping boots in the hallway had everyone in the room except Veronica bracing themselves and looking for a place to hide. She kept eating even when Jon came around the table to stand in front of her, arms folded across his chest. The rest of the band had come to watch the show.
“What are you doing?” Jon managed to keep his voice calm.
“Having dinner with the other staff and crew.” She answered as though it was something that she did every day. It wasn’t like she’d never eaten there, but she usually ate in her office or with the guys. “Is that a problem sir?”
“Knock it off.” He sighed. “Look...I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about Dubai sooner.”
Veronica shrugged. “It’s your show. Oh, I sent you the schedule for Chicago. Maybe if you have some time tomorrow you could look it over and make sure that I’ve got the right people booked in, or have one of your PR people look at it.” She pushed her chair back and stood up. “You know....some one that you trust to do the job.” With that she turned on her heel and walked out of the room.
The only sounds in the room were the ticking of the clock and the echo of her heels on the hallway floor. Suddenly Jon picked up her half eaten tray and threw it against the wall. “FUCK!!” It was his turn to storm out of the room.
Paul looked at Richie and David. “What the hell is going on?”
Richie sighed. “He didn’t tell her about Dubai. She just found out this afternoon.”
Paul frowned. “Does he not want her to do the prep and promotion then?”
“I think that’s exactly what she thinks.”
“But there’s still over three months before the show.” David reminded them.
Paul shook his head. “This isn’t North America or Europe or even Africa. We’re talking about a part of the world that is largely unknown...a big question mark. It’s going to take a lot of research to figure out who to talk to over there, their customs and traditions, and laws and how to promote an American band. It should have been started as soon as we started talks with them.”
Tico winced. “Then why didn’t you say anything to Ronnie?”
“Because I thought Jon would have. He knows the situation as well as I do. I don’t understand why he didn’t, unless he doesn’t want her to do it. If that’s the case then we need to get somebody on it yesterday.”
“I think you should hold off on that at least until tomorrow.” Richie advised. “I don’t think that’s what he has in mind at all. You know how...distracted... he’s been lately. I really don’t think it occurred to him.”
“Fine time for him to lose focus.” Paul sighed. “I just hope it’s Ronnie that he wants to do it. She’s about the only one who could pull it off in the time frame we’ve got.”
“I’d be more concerned about whether she’ll agree to do it at this point.” Was Richie’s comment. “He’s dug himself a pretty deep hole with her. I’m not sure how he’s going to get himself out of it.”
The others nodded their agreement.