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Old 12-11-2010, 01:03 PM   #1
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Mysterious Ways - Chapter 15

Thanks everyone for the great feedback! Special shout out to LandL! I think this is kind of short, but wanted to get it out. Not real or true.

Bono had underestimated how differently he regarded Larry now. Carefully, he watched his interactions with Gloria. Knowing Larry as he did, Bono knew that even if Gloria's feelings had cooled, his probably lingered. Larry never did things half-hearted. And he prided himself in being honest and concise. For him to throw passion to the wind to be with Gloria, his love ran deep and wouldn't just disappear. And even though he had absolutely no right to, Bono felt possessive of Gloria. How could Larry love her, he scoffed. He hated her. Bono remembered the huge fight that erupted when the band confronted him about his illicit love.

They descended on him the moment Gloria left his room. Bono was barely dressed when they barged in. Edge and Adam had been calm and more like disappointed parents. They lectured him on her age, his commitments to his family. He was chagrin, but he was in love. Gloria made him feel alive. He'd been attracted to many women other than his wife. It was bound to happen. Gloria had gotten under his skin during Joshua Tree. He was now convinced that if circumstances had been different - like her age - he might have left Ali back then. As Bono tried to explain the supernatural hold she had on him, Larry seethed against the wall. As far as he was concerned, everyone looked the other way for too long. Adam and Edge felt bad for poor Gloria - but Larry blamed her as well. It's not like she didn't know. She had to make herself scarce when Ali came around.

"Bollocks," Larry sneered.

Bono looked up. "What?"

"All this lovey-dovey shite. You took vows in a church. You have kids. These are not things you do while waiting for something younger and better to come along," he spat.

Bono stood to meet his eye. "Must be easy to say that from the single side of the room."

"OOh," Adam and Edge clucked.

"I'm certainly more committed to my relationship than you are to yours," Larry placed his hands on his narrow hips.

"Then why don't you have a ring? Why haven't you taken the vows? Are they not good enough for you? Are you above such petty rituals?" Anger was building in Bono. How dare he lecture!

"According to you, they mean nothing," he shrugged.

Adam and Edge stood waiting for the first fist to fly.

"You know what, Lar? Come back to me when you become human and fall in love. When you know true passion and conflict, then we'll talk. I'm not asking for approval or permission. I'd appreciate your discretion for everyone involved, but if you can't do that, I need to be prepared for the consequences. I'm an adult. And I love her. Sorry, but it's true," Bono shrugged.

"Love doesn't come from there," he pointed to Bono’s pants. "It comes from here." He thumped on his chest.

Bono felt sorry for Larry. Sure, he was caught between two great loves, but he was alive. He knew passion. Larry only thought with his melon.

"Fuck the both of you," Larry stormed out. It was clear that even though the band did not approve, Bono wasn't going to end things.

How ironic that Larry would step into the gray area with Gloria 13 years later.

The rain fell hard on the second show not doing much for anyone's hungover mood. Gloria opted to watch the show from the hallway on the 360 screens. That only dampened Bono's mood more. He liked seeing her face in the crowd each night. And tonight, it felt even more important to feel their connection on stage. Grumpy, damp and tired, they boarded the plane to bring them back to France. No one was very excited to work on some new songs, but their producer sat waiting. Gloria had successfully avoided being alone with Bono. She curled up on a seat to doze before she got back to her flat. Bono sat across from her on the other side of the aisle - Larry behind him. They both stared her down.

Larry's gut had been eating away at him all day and night. He had lied about the dark haired beauty. Yes, they did talk about nothing important. Yes, she invited him out for a smoke. Once out there, they kissed. Hard. He unleashed months worth of frustrations about Ann and Gloria on this woman. He kissed her because he was still pissed at Ann. He kissed her because he was hurt and confused and Gloria didn't need that right now. He would go to her when he was ready to do it the right way this time. It was liberating to kiss someone he'd never see again. To be rough and hungry just because he was a balled up fist. It didn't make him feel better though. The moment he saw Gloria the following morning, he felt worse. He had been waiting years to have the freedom to kiss her whenever he pleased. And he wasted it on a nameless woman in a bar.

With a collective grumble, the band departed to the recording studio. It wasn't the best session as everyone was frayed. Bono was acerbic with Larry, who of course had no patience for it. They snipped back and forth like brothers. Finally, Edge called order and made the executive decision to have everyone call it a night. They could pick up tomorrow when they had rested and cooler heads could prevail. Bono’s house sat empty by the sea. He chose the road home that passed by Gloria's. With his hands in his pockets, he shuffled by slowly. If the house was dark, he would just go home. He had kept her up late last night. He hoped to find lights burning on the window. As he turned the corner, windows on a three floors of the narrow house were illuminated. His heart rejoiced. Looking around the deserted streets, he knocked on her door. He heard music inside playing lowly. The moment Gloria heard the knock, she knew exactly who it was. There wasn't a doubt in her mind he'd be coming by. She opened the door to his brilliant smile. For the first time all night, he felt at peace.

"Were you expecting me?" he asked.

"Well, it's not why I was up, but I am not surprised you are here," she moved aside to let him in.

"Why are you up?" he saw her laptop on the coffee table with papers scattered around the couch. "Working?"

"I have a lot to catch up on before I go back to New York in a few weeks and then to Australia," she said gathering her stuff. "Plus, in LA it's early. They're just getting started. How did recording go?"

Bono plopped on the couch with exasperated sigh. "Not great. We were all too knackered to really be productive. And Larry was just pissing me off."

Immediately, Gloria felt bad. That was her fault. "I shouldn't have told you."

"No, I'm glad you did. It meant everything to me that you did," he stood and hugged her tightly. "I'll work through my anger. I don't hold grudges, you know that."

"The last thing I want is you two fighting...least of all over me," she said.

He smiled down at her. "It's usual stuff. Nothing to worry about." He wouldn't tell her about his jealousy. And why should he be? He was here with his arms around her. "I missed you today."

Against her better judgement and everything she repeated to herself throughout the day, Gloria took Bono to her bed again. Her resolve evaporated when he touched her or kissed her. His musical Irish voice in her ear was her Kryptonite. Last night was yearning and explosive. Tonight was about rediscovery. All his freckles. All her moles. Their lovemaking was slow and more about connection. Curled around her, he slept more soundly than he had in weeks - maybe months. He woke before her and watched her as the room turned different colors with the sun climbing the sky. Why now, he wondered. He'd often fantasize about her in the past. What was about it this time? Maybe the surgery had effected his thinking. Was it feeling old and wanting to be young? Maybe he didn’t want to waste a day wondering what it would be like. Something about her struck a chord deep inside him. And miraculously, she felt the same! Sure, it was wrong to follow his heart, but to not follow it would be worse.

Gloria sipped coffee in her small kitchen. Her legs were stretched out before her on the next stool at her nook. Her stare was a million miles away. What was supposed to happen once just to get it out of their system, occurred three nights in row. He had left the following morning as the sun rose. The band spent the next afternoon and most of the night in the studio. Sometime after midnight, the knock brought her out her concentration. Without a second thought, she opened the door and herself to him. She thought that after the third night, it would be enough, but the more she was with him, the more she wanted him.

Bono was having a dinner for everyone at his house that night. Gloria wanted to decline. She felt guilty stepping into Ali’s house now. She had no right to be there now. Her betrayal was much deeper this time. Gloria knew it was wrong during Zoo TV. She didn’t kid herself of that. But she didn’t know Ali very well. Gloria had immaturity on her side. What 20 something wouldn’t jump at the chance to be in Bono’s bed back then? Now, there was no excuse for what she was doing. She was a friend to Ali. She knew their children. And when in her bed tangled in each other, it was the elephant in the room. Why couldn’t they control themselves? Bono was always impulsive, but Gloria had become more measured and practical. And impulse would explain maybe once, perhaps twice. She searched her brain for the reason why he kept coming back. From the first kiss, he set his mind to be with her. He made no apologies and signs of stopping. Gloria wasn’t that much different from Ali. Or Ann even. Is that the reason why both Bono and Larry pursued her? All three women were independent, smart and straight forward. Ali and Gloria both dedicated part of their lives to charities. She couldn’t see what Gloria could offer than Ali didn’t? Ali was the mother of his children, tireless champion for many causes, and pretty damn close to sainthood. The only Gloria had was youth. And proximity. It was like a lightning strike to her soul. That was all she had. Ali was New York with the kids. Larry had been in Australia without Ann. But Gloria, a virtual stand-in for both women, was right there - able and willing to give what they needed.

Gloria’s stomach turned at that realization. At the end of the tour, they went home to their lives and family. Gloria had to nurse her wounds and put herself back together. Suddenly, she felt tired and sick. Shaking her head, she told herself there had to be more to it. In any case, that was it. She had to shelve these feelings for Bono somehow. She could not allow herself to be used again. Wasn’t she worth more than that? Maybe this all karma, she considered. Maybe I don’t really deserve anything better.

Sighing, she stretched her legs. Usually a nice long run helped clear her head. She toyed with going on another run to shed all the baggage couldn’t leave behind. Instead, she opted for a shower. There was no she could cancel on dinner tonight. She had to meet with Edge and Bono about the musical, and then with Bono on some appointments and interviews as they headed towards World AIDS day. She would have to dig deep to find all her strength to resist him tonight.

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Old 12-11-2010, 11:29 PM   #2
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wow. I loved this chapter! The past, the present...perhaps the future was all put into one chapter. Brilliant! And poor Larry. He loves her so much. But so does Bono. Ohhhhhh the tension!

Well written!

And thanks for the shout out.

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Old 12-12-2010, 04:54 AM   #3
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I am loving this story - I went back and read the background chapters you posted too. You create tension and write emotion very well - I don't know who to barrack for here

Thanks for sending 14b too - and for posting a PG version. I don't always ask for the emailed chapters, and it annoys me that sometimes I miss part of the stories because of that, so it's nice that you took the time to create an alternate version for everyone!
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Old 12-12-2010, 01:54 PM   #4
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Thanks. I'm glad I posted the PG version too. I didn't want consistency to be lost. I don't think the emailed version was that graphic, cause I just can't do it. But it might be a bit sensitive to some.

I hope to work on a longer chapter 16 tonight.
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Old 12-12-2010, 06:41 PM   #5
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i have to say this is great - ive only just had a chance to read it all!! But i have to say im on TEAM BONO! (sorry L & L!)
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:01 PM   #6
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I loved this one. I keep guessing at where the story's going to go next...

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