Jon looked around the small but sumptuous foyer of the K+K Cayre Hotel that they had decided to stay in. Usually the band went for a more upmarket hotel but there was some kind of convention happening and most of the bigger hotels, The Ritz included, had been fully booked out. Still being in a smaller hotel gave them all a kind of anonymity they hadn’t had for years as no-one expected them to be there.
David and Richie were taking advantage of the free internet access and he could hear them giggling away like schoolgirls over god knew what. Tico was sat opposite him on a two seater sofa. Being France smoking was still allowed in public spaces and he was puffing away on a cigar.
He could see the Boss man was deep in thought and wondered which one of the two women had caught his eye. He smiled to himself. Jon was quite easy to read, if you knew how, he was only ever serious about two things; Music and women. This time it wasn’t music that was on his mind. Knowing Jon as he did he’d bet $10 it was Deborah that was occupying Jon’s mind. Not that Jen wasn’t nice but she was more Richie’s type - loud, outgoing, fun, whereas Deborah was quieter, more reserved, more apt to be found discussing the latest book she was reading than whooping it up and playing tricks like Jen seemed to have a penchant for. No wonder David and Richie had bonded with her. Now there were three he had to look out for. It was going to be a long week.
The elevator pinged and Jon looked round.
Tico noticed the slight relaxation of Jon’s shoulders as Deborah stepped out of the elevator , followed by Jen and smiled. He knew it was her and had just won $20 from David and Richie.
Jon got up and walked over to the two women. Tico wandered over to the internet access point and dragged the other two away from the interesting sites they’d been looking at. He caught the name of one of them before David clicked it off. It looked to be a story of some kind by someone called Soulgirl. The internet didn’t really interest him so he put it out of his mind.
“Hey you look nice.” Jon said to the two women, his eyes mainly on Deborah.
“Well, I could hardly go out in my PJ’s could I?” she smiled.
Jen looked around for her favourite guitarist and jumped out of her skin when he appeared behind her and grabbed her round the waist, with a deep ‘boo!’
Jon rolled his eyes, unintentionally, a small smile on his face. Normally he was fine with the kind of juvenile behaviour exhibited by two members of the band but for some reason he felt agitated by it.
He cleared his throat and everyone looked at him.
“Right, now we’ve stopped messing about. You lot, “ he said, indicating Richie, David, Tico and Jen, “are going shopping or whatever and Debs and I are off to the Louvre. We need to be back here for about 6 as we’ve got a table booked tonight. OK?”
“yes Boss.” intoned Richie in the manner of Lurch from The Addams Family, which caused Jen and David to go off into fits of giggles.
Jon just put his hands in the air, sighed and grabbing Deborah’s hand, headed out of the hotel and into the cab that was waiting for them.
Deborah settled back in the seat and smiled as Jon got into the cab.
“Ou a?” the cab driver asked.
“Erm,” began Jon before Deborah took over.
“Bonjour M’sieur. Ca va?”
“Ca va” he replied
La Louvre S’il Vous Plait.” she said, fluently.
“Etes-vous en vacances?” the cabbie asked
“Anglais?” he asked, obviously a cab driver who wanted to talk
“Je suis anglais, il est americain” she replied
“Vous etes mari?”
“non, nous ne sommes mariés” she smiled
“vous devriez être, vous semblez bons ensemble” he laughed, coughing as he did, causing ash to spill from his cigarette onto his clothes.
She laughed and turned to a very bemused Jon.
“What was that all about?” he asked, having not followed the conversation passed Bonjour.
“Oh he just asked if we were on holiday, then if we were married, which I said no, so he replied that we ought to be as we look good together, at least I think that’s what he said. My French is a little bit rusty.”
“Hey, it’s better than mine, I was lost after you said Bonjour.” he admitted, laughing at himself. It felt good to be the butt of his own joke. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d taken the piss out of himself. It was one of the reasons he was now divorced. He’d started to take himself way too seriously and Dot’d just had enough. The marriage had gone way past the point of being saved and he’d agreed to a divorce.
Deborah looked at him and laughed. It felt good to laugh, especially after the breakdown of her relationship. They’d been together for seven years and she had been certain he was the one but it had seemed that he’d had other plans in mind. One of them involving leaving her for a younger woman.
Jon and Deborah settled back and enjoyed the cab ride. The museum wasn’t far from their hotel but they still had a couple of hairy moments driving along Place de la Concord, with cars appearing out of no-where. Debs had grabbed Jon’s hand and held on for dear life as a bike appeared out of thin air and almost side swiped their car. Surprisingly Jon needed no translation to understand the language that came out of their drivers mouth at the time.
Jon looked down at their entwined hands and smiled to himself. After the bike incident Debs had forgotten to let go and it felt so natural he’d left her hand there.
Debs looked down and saw they were still holding hands. She was surprised that he hadn’t pulled his hand away but it felt so nice to have a human touch that she didn’t want to draw attention to it.
All too soon they were outside the big glass pyramid, made famous by the Da Vinci Code, that was the entrance to the museum. Jon paid the driver and they got out, still holding hands. Debs wondered how they could break apart without it being awkward. She had an idea and, dropping his hand, reached into her bag for a cigarette.
Jon smiled. He had been wondering how to stop holding hands without it being too obvious. Not that he wanted to but he needed a cigarette and also to get some more cash out of his pocket but didn’t want her to feel embarrassed.
Jon lit his cigarette and exhaled noisily. There weren’t too many people around, which was good as the last thing he wanted was to be noticed and photographed. He pulled his cap down to hide his face and burrowed down into the denim jacket he was wearing.
Deborah looked at him, puzzled until she realised what he was doing.
“You know if you continue to do that people will notice you.” she leaned over and whispered to him.
“What?” he said
“By trying to be inconspicuous, you’re actually drawing attention to yourself. If you stand normally and just relax, you’ll just look like any other Joe Bloggs in the queue.”
He looked at her, as her words hit home. He smiled ruefully. Of course, all his fans knew what he looked like incognito and they’d be on the look out for that. They wouldn’t be expecting him to just be standing there like an ordinary guy. He raised one eyebrow and smiled at her.
“You’re really quite clever aren’t you?” he said, in a way that she knew he wasn’t being condescending.
“Yeah, not bad for a woman.” she retorted, as they made their way into the museum.