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Old 01-12-2011, 03:10 PM   #1
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Mysterious Ways - Chapter 20

Holy smokes! 20 chapters. Wow. Part of this is a bit risque, so I can email it or PM it. This is fiction for none of the brothers own a beach house - sadly.

Hope you enjoy and thank you snow day!!!

The warm wind filled Bono's rental car as he drove towards Andrew's beach house. He called the office to see if she was there. They told him that she was not due in today. He hoped that she was home. He didn't want to have wait in his car all day like a stalker. His stomach churned in anticipation. He wasn't even sure what he was going there to do. He only knew that it had been 2 and a half weeks since he'd seen her. If she came here to run away from him, how would she react to his crashing her fortress of solitude? He knew he should feel bad about coming across the country under false pretenses. This was something bigger than him. He needed to unravel the mystery in order to move on.

His heart leapt for joy when he spotted her Jeep in the driveway. At least she home, and seemingly alone. Andrew’s beach bunglaow was nestled in a fairly private stretch of the Pacific Coast highway. He’d been here several times. A few times, he had stayed as Andrew’s guest. He twisted his rearview mirror to muss with his hair. He frowned. It was windswept and bushy. Probably should have used the air conditioner. Closing his eyes, he told himself to follow his heart. His palms were clammy as he walked to her door. Sucking air into his lungs, he rang the doorbell. Nothing. He waited a minute, then rang it again. She could be on the beach, he thought.

Gloria bounded down the stairs from the master bedroom. She wasn’t expecting anyone. Maybe another script was being delivered. She hoped not. She barely survived the last one she had to read. It could be Billy. He had a habit for turning up unannounced. She peered through the peephole and took a step back from the door. No, it wasn’t. She looked again. With hands stuffed in the front of his jeans pockets staring towards the cars was Bono.

She opened the door but couldn’t find her voice. He whirled around and caught his first sight of her in weeks. She was barefoot in a faded cargo mini-skirt with a garish Hawaiian shirt that was a few sizes too big. Her skin was sunkissed and her hair in a messy ponytail.

“What?” she managed to say.

He stepped inside. “Are you alone? Is anyone here?” he asked in a voice that didn’t sound like his own. It was gruff and shaky.

“Yes, but -” was all she could get out before he kissed her. Hard.

He pushed her against the foyer wall and pressed his full weight against her. He was desperate to touch her, taste, be with her. With his foot, he slammed the front door. An alarm went off in her head. She should push him away. Yet she found her arms winding around his neck. Her lips hurt from the intensity of their kiss, but she didn’t want to stop. His anticipation was growing by the minute she pressed her hips against his.

“Do you want to come in?” she asked breathlessly.

He smiled wickedly. “Yes, I do.” He parted her legs and lifted her against the wall. He didn’t want to wait to go to another room.

“I love you,” she whispered in his ear. She hadn’t said those words to him since 1993. She felt it but was terrified to admit to herself. Now it was out there hanging between them.

He pulled away to took into her eyes. “I love you.” His mouth capture her again. “I love you so much.”

Freshly showered, Gloria bustled around the kitchen preparing some chicken. Bono sat on the counter with his feet dangling as he snacked on some cheese cubes and grapes.

“So, why are you here again?” she asked.

“Marty Kronenberg called me for a meeting about making Spiderman a movie,” he answered.

“Aren’t they filming one right now?” she looked up from the stove.

“That’s what I said. He wanted me to hear them out,” he shrugged.

“Do you think it’s something to consider?” she couldn’t imagine them jumping into a movie deal in the middle of the shitstorm that was the musical was getting. And if asked her advice on it, she would tell them so.

He laughed shaking his head. “I have no intention of entertaining it. I came because it was an excuse to see you. I went to your office and you were gone.” His voice was quiet. “Did you leave because of me?”

She took a deep breath. “Yes and no. I did have tons of work to do here. Maybe it could have waited. Steven was away, and that made it important for someone to be here. But, I wasn’t sure I was ready to see you like that.”

He tilted his head. “Like what?”

“Our families are close. We have been for years, I knew that we’d all be together, with kids and everything. I didn’t know if I could handle that,” she said.

He scratched his chin. He searched for the words to put her mind at ease, but he didn’t have any right now. The answers were eluding him.

“I’m glad you are here now,” she rested her palms on his legs.

“Can I stay here, then?” he asked coyly.

“Sure, I have a guest room,” she teased.

“Guest room?” he hopped off the counter. He tickled her side. “You stay in the guest room and I’ll get the big bed.”

“Stop, I’ll burn the chicken,” she laughed. She felt his kiss all the way to the bottoms of her feet. It wasn’t passionate, but emotional. She knew part of his heart belonged to her.

The following morning was languid as they curled up in bed. It was nice to not have to sneak out of her room. They made love leisurely. They sat on the back deck and ate a breakfast of bagels together as they watched the waves roll in. It was heaven. As Bono sipped his coffee, he gazed at Gloria as she flipped through the society pages of the morning paper. The sun danced in her hair. He knew he shouldn’t be this happy to be here. For the next day, he didn’t have to think about that.

They kissed each other goodbye as they climbed into their cars. She squeezed an extra key into his palm and told his this was his home too while he was here. She was off to the office and business lunch. He was off to meet with Marty and his friends. He knew he had no interest in what Marty was selling. He walked into the board room filled with sycophants. He could tell they weren’t too interested either. They were more interested in talking with Bono about his music or charity work. They just wanted to touch him and be near him. Usually, he would have ben annoyed by such a waste of his time, but this got him to LA and to Gloria. Marty was his man. They went to lunch where Marty still attempted to hype up his vision of a Spider-Man Musical Movie. To Bono, it stunk like like the Batman. He smiled and nodded. He promised to discuss it with Edge and Julie. They parted ways after lunch.

Bono slipped into his rental. He flipped his phone open to call Edge before heading back to Gloria.

“So? How was it?” Edge asked.

“Eh, sort of a waste of time. Even his so-called investors didn’t seem too sold on the idea. I left him with a very weak maybe,” he said.

“When do you come home?” Edge asked.

“Tomorrow afternoon,” He didn’t want to leave this nirvana he found.

“Listen, I got a call from Adam today. He wanted to surprise Larry for his birthday,” Edge said.

“Really?” Bono couldn’t figure out why. It was like turning, say, 50.

“What do you think? It could be fun - just the four us,” Edge said.

“Yeah, when was he talking?” Bono asked.

“He was saying either Friday or Saturday. I was thinking more Friday so I could be back on Monday. Morleigh’s home tomorrow but leaving Tuesday,” he said.

It was Wednesday now. “It’d be tight getting home and getting on another plane. I could see if I could fly from here.”

“It’d be nice to not get together just to record,” Edge said.

“Let me call Ali and mention it to her. I’ll call you back,” Bono hung up. It’d be nice to have a night or two with just his mates. Sure, it had only been 2 weeks since they’d been together. But the tension from recording and writing still hung in the air. He was very aware of Larry’s resentment toward the musical. Perhaps this would make amends for that.

Bono called Ali next. He needed her permission to be away for a few more days. It took few rings but she finally answered.

“Yes?” she sounded out of breath and impatient.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“I just got off the treadmill and have to ready for a dinner. How was your meeting?” she asked panting.

“Sort of a waste of time. I had low expectations, but you never know. He could have dazzled me,” Bono said.

“It doesn’t take much to do that,” she said. “So his presentation must have been exceptionally poor.”

He wasn’t sure if he should be insulted by that remark. “His investors didn’t seem convinced either. Anyway, I talked with Edge. Adam rang him up about going to Dublin to surprise Larry for this birthday. Edge seems keen to do it.”

“Everyone?” she asked.

“Well, just the lads, actually,” he said.

“Thank heavens, I have a lunch this weekend. Hopefully a good event for Chernobyl,” she said. “So, it would be the four of you?”

“That was Adam’s plan. He was talking bout us getting there for Friday,” he said. “It’d be easier to leave from here.”

“When would you be back?” she asked.

“Monday or Tuesday, the latest,” he answered.

“That’s fine. It sounds grand. I need to go out of town the week after. A fundraiser in Dublin, actually,” she said.

It was clear to Bono that she did not miss him. She went about her life like he didn’t exist. It dawned on Bono that he had no idea what his wife’s schedule was.

“So ,it is okay for me to head from here? Or do you need me home?” he asked. This was her test. Otherwise, they would be 2 ships passing in their lives.

“It sounds easier to do that. We’ll see you next week,” Ali said. “Listen, I’ve got to shower or I’ll be late. Have a great time. Tell Lar, a wonderful birthday. Love you loads!” And she was gone.

Bono stared at his phone. He was given a free pass for another day in California. He would look for the latest flight to be able to spend more time with Gloria. It seemed clear that Ali had no use for him lately. He turned the key and the car rumbled under him. He would change his flight when he got home. Home. Was that a slip in his mind? It was Andrew’s beach house. Was it home because Gloria was there? Because he’d stay there before? Because his only thought through most of the day was seeing her? Didn’t matter what it was, he wanted to be with her as soon as possible.

Bono woke sometime in the middle of the night. The full moon poured into the bedroom and across Gloria’s sleeping body. It illuminated her hair in ghostly white. He wanted to give her everything. His life, his love and his body. Unable to restrain himself, his lips brushed the back of her neck and traced down her spine to the small of her back. She stirred.

“Hmmm, what are you doing?” he could hear her sleepy smile.

“Come here,” he slid off the bed. He held his hand to her.

She rubbed her eyes. “What?”

“Come with me. I want to show you something,” he held out his hand to her.
She blinked a few times. He pulled the sheet off with her as he wrapped them both in the cool linen. Wrapping his arms around her, he walked her to bedroom deck. He motioned to the enormous yellow moon hovering over the water.

“Look at that,” he whispered. “Isn’t it beautiful?”

“It is,” she nodded and snuggled into his arms.

“I want to give this to you, Glory. All this,” he motioned towards the sky, moon and water.

SHe looked up confused.

“I want to give you everything,” he kissed her. “I don’t know how but I will.”

She wanted to believe his words. He was motivated by the moment and his heart. In the light of day, reality made things far more complicated. He looked young and hopeful in this silvery light. She wrapped her body around his.

“Make me yours tonight,” her husky voice hot in his ear.

He led her to the bed to make her his again.

He had one more full day in paradise. He woke before Gloria and watched her stir. Deep down, he knew things couldn’t continue as they have. It wasn’t fair to Gloria or his family. His nerves couldn’t take much more of it. He was split in two and a choice needed to be made to make him whole again. Was Gloria brought back to him for a reason? She was never far from his heart even when she was clearly over him. For years, he watched on the fringe satisfied to be a close friend. He pushed those feelings deep down.

When Gloria joined the Elevation tour, Bono felt nervous. In fact, everyone held their collective breath. Eight years had passed since she toured with them last. Bono lobbied hard for her to join POP. She declined siting schedule issues. He could see the pain in her eyes. If she toured with them, maybe they could recapture that magic. Instead, she placed more years of distance between them. He and Ali had 2 more children, 2 beautiful boys that filled his heart with so much joy. He felt complete until the day he walked into the hotel in Florida. She was the first thing he saw. His legs cemented where he stood. Her hair was now a reddish blonde and past her shoulders. She looked grown up and beautiful. Head was thrown back in laughter as she talked with Edge and Paul.

“You all right , mate?” Larry raised an eyebrow. His disapproval was clear. He thought bringing her back into fold would be a huge mistake.

Bono cleared his throat. “Yeah, I’m fine.” His hands were moist and cold.

As he walked towards, he nonchalantly dried his hands on his pants.

“THere he is,” Edge said.

Gloria turned to look at Bono. A sweet smile spread across her face. He searched for any flicker of their past love and desire. He found love, but not the type he was feeling.

She hugged him. “How are you? How is John? I saw him a few minutes ago. So beautiful.”

He was ashamed of himself. He had a new baby and entertaining these thoughts. “Thank you. He’s grand.”

It would take a few weeks for Bono to get his bearings around her. He felt flushed and conflicted. He wanted desperately for her to look at him with those adoring eyes, filled fire and lust. He missed her skin and mouth. When Ali and the kids joined the tour, he was able to lock those desires away. It was easier to leave them there in a dark place in his soul.

Now here they were agin. Did he have the strength to leave the life he’d known most of his life? How could his family survive that? Would the band survive if he and Gloria came together as a couple? He had no way to know how anyone would react. Was he ready for that? As he traced the freckles on her shoulders and back with his fingertips, he felt ready.

When Gloria woke, she was alone in the bed. She squinted into the bright room for him. There was no noise in the bathroom. He wasn’t on the deck. From the kitchen downstairs, she heard a familiar soulful voice singing along to the clatter of pots and pans. Oh dear, he was cooking.

After a shower, she was greeted by some delicious smells as she climbed down the stairs. Not only had he made pancakes, but he cleaned the kitchen too. Was there anything he couldn;t do?

“I was getting ready to wake you, lazybones,” he said.

“How long have you been up?” she asked.

“A while. I took a walk on the beach and made breakfast. I’ve had a productive day,” he smiled.
“Yes you have,” she kissed his rough cheek. “Let’s eat outside.”

What was amazing that they fell into easy company. It was like before all this started. They teased each other. They talked about the press for Spider-Man and Australia. He discussed his thoughts on recording. It wasn’t all sighs of love and syrupy talk. The difference was that he could hold her hand while he had a very practical discussion about proper pancake flipping.

Gloria did have to pull herself away to go into the office for a few hours. Bono patted around the beach house waiting for her return. He went for a swim. He wrote some lyrics. He did anything to keep himself from wondering what to do next. He remembered his heartfelt promise to her in the moonlight. He did mean it. How to make that happen, was another matter. He watched the clock until she came home.

“Honey, I’m home,” she called as she opened the door. Something delicious greeted her . She eyed the wall in foyer, tingling slightly thinking of their encounter.

He greeted her with a soul shaking kiss. “I missed you.”

“What did you do today?” she asked taking his hand to walk into the kitchen. “Other than cook.”

“I waited for you, pretty much,” he pulled her into his arms. Resting his chin on her shoulder, “I leave tomorrow.”

A sharp pang stabbed her chest. “I know. I don’t want to talk about it. Let’s not think about that tonight.”

He nodded. “Okay.”

He had a plenty of thinking time on his long flight tomorrow.

They sat on the deck with a bottle of wine between them watching the sun and waves play together.

"I have to ask you this," he said with his eyes on the sinking sun. "How exactly did you and Larry happen?"

"I was wondering when you'd ask that," she said.

He turned to face her. "It was the last thing I'd ever expect. I mean, he wasn't the nicest to you during the Zoo tour. And even during Elevation. I mean, what changed?"

She tried to think back to the moment it did change. It was more gradual than a switch. "I think I noticed he stopped glaring at me after your father's death and 911. I think I sort of chalked it up to him suddenly realizing life was too short to be a jerk." Bono laughed. The whole thing still made him feel...odd. "We spent time getting to know each other towards the end of Elevation - like friends. But it wasn't until the Vertigo tour where the attraction was evident."

Bono wondered where the hell he was during all this. How did he not see it watching her from afar? After Elevation, he had given up any real hope of being with her again. Maybe he wasn't watching that closely. Otherwise he would surely have seen it, right?
She wasn't sure how much of this he wanted to hear. And she was not going to share details.

"So, this all went down in Australia?" he prodded.

"Sort of. I think it started in Brazil and just sort of built to Australia," she remembered that first amazing kiss she had with Larry at the Carnival. She recalled the tension during the U2 By U2 book signings. It would all crescendo to the tour when finally years of swelling want exploded. She felt flushed - a mixture of shame and memory. It had been a long time since she really gave her relationship - such as it was - with Larry a thought.

Bono wanted to ask what she saw in him, but he knew. Larry was solid. He could be quite funny and he was strong. Bono knew that with Larry someone always had his back. He could see why someone would be attracted to that. Meanwhile, Bono was the one that needed looking after. Why would she want to choose that? Add to the fact that Larry was chiseled and ridiculously good looking. After Gloria told him, Bono would stare at Larry - trying to find some disfiguration. Compared to Bono, he only had a few 'character' lines compared to the deep life lines etched in Bono's face. Larry wasn't splattered with the annoying freckles that plagued him. Suddenly, he wondered what she saw in him.

He reached over and took her hand. "Come here." He pulled her onto his lap and held her tightly. No matter what happened back then, he told himself. "I don't want to leave this place. It's perfect here."

She nodded, her head leaning on his. "I know. It's a nice little bubble."

"I meant what I said the other night. One day, I want to give you stars and ocean," he kissed her.

She looked into his shining eyes. "I know." What Bono wanted and what could actually happen were two different things. She didn't really want his promises, but it made him feel better saying them. At least this time he hinted to a future. She also knew that she couldn't wait for him to provide it. There were still things she wanted in her life and she wasn't sure he wanted to provide that. But in this nice little bubble of Andrew's beach house, they could dream together.

"When will you be back in New York?" he asked.

"I'm not sure. I won't be in LA until awards season and the tour stops at the beginning of that and smack in the middle of Christmas. I have to have everything ready to go before I go," she said.

"Will I see you before Australia?" he asked.

"Probably. That's still 3 weeks away. I do have to clean up New York as well," she said.
Australia. Neither of them had talked about it and how things would be there. She knew at some point it would all fall apart at the seams, like it always did for her. To continue on as they have would just make it harder when the bottom fell out. But she was in too deep to stop herself. She didn't have the strength to pull back. Her fingers traced the constellation of freckles on his left cheek. It was one of his Bono-isms that she loved. Those freckles, the way his true smile was lopsided, his laugh, the way he could not sit still. He was always moving even it was just his fingers rubbing together. The way when he was nervous, upset or sheepish that he would rub the back of his neck until red. The way he whispered her name so her knees would buckle. All these things made him more than just a rock god.

They didn’t sleep much that last night. They talked, made love, kissed. Neither of them knew the next time they would be in this space again. The bough had to break at some point. Maybe it would be after Australia. The thought of spending the holidays without the man she loved tore into her. When he boarded that plane, she needed to steel herself again. She’d let him again. She didn’t regret these last few days. She was able to be with him in a way she never got to experience before. But now it was time to pull herself in again. It was self-preservation.

They held each other tightly as Bono stood at the door with his bag. He ws having a very difficult time letting her go.

“You’ll be late,” she said.

“Then I can stay another day,” his eyes looked hopeful.

She chuckled softly. “You need to celebrate Larry’s birthday with the boys. You’ll have fun.”

“I’d rather be with you than him,” he said.

She was careful to not respond with words but kissed him instead. She was aware of his jealousy. It was natural.

“I’ll see you soon?” he asked.

She nodded. She had an idea of when she might return to New York, but she wasn’t ready to share that with him.

“I love you,” she said touching his cheek.

His pressed his lips into the palm of her hand. “I love you, Gloria. And I am going to miss you something awful.”

“Me too,” a sad smile crept on her face. She slapped his bottom. “Now getting going, pokey.”

He grunted as he opened the door to wheel his suitcase out. He couldn’t take his eyes off her as he loaded his car and slipped behind the wheel. He tried to burn her image - standing tan and barefoot in a blue sundress with her hair kissing her shoulders - into his mind. It needed to carry him over 5000 miles.

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Old 01-12-2011, 07:02 PM   #2
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Loved their reunion! I would love to read the full version of this chapter, please.

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Old 01-12-2011, 08:23 PM   #3
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I enjoyed that...a lot
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:10 PM   #4
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Wow! what a lovely chapter! very romantic

would love the full version,
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:56 AM   #5
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Such a sweet chapter

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Old 01-13-2011, 03:39 AM   #6
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I would like the full version please -

Another excellent chapter - I can imagine Bono being that impulsive.
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:24 AM   #7
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Wonderful chapter...............and there`s a `better` version?

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Old 01-13-2011, 09:54 PM   #8
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I really want to be Gloria now...
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:24 PM   #9
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This story just keeps getting better with each chapter.
Could you send the unedited version, PLEASE?!?!
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:58 AM   #10
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Would love the unedited part of this chapter too when you have the time to find it. I really loved this part.
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:45 PM   #11
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Great chapter- I'd like the unedited version of the chapter when you have the time


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