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Old 02-02-2011, 06:35 PM   #1
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Mysterious Ways - Chapter 23

Okay, feast on this. I have to figure out the next steps, so it might be a few days or a week before I get to post a new chapter.

There are some cuss words, but nothing overly sexy. Hope you enjoy it. Lovers angst, oh yeah....really enjoy it.

This is fiction based on some facts.


The following morning, Bono walked through her apartment gathering his clothes from the floor. Gloria emerged from the bedroom dressed for her trip. Her heart caught at the sight of him in only a towel.

“You aren’t making leaving any easier,” she teased. He wiggled his behind in her direction. She laughed. “Okay, that made it a little easier.” She tousled his wet hair. “You do have to get dressed.”

“If I don’t, you can’t leave,” he tilted her face to kiss her.

“No, it just means you walk the mean streets of New York in a towel,” she said. “Wouldn’t papparazzi love that.”

“I could imagine how that would go,” he said. “Okay, I’ll get dressed.”

Gloria couldn’t help but noticing the sadness in his eyes. She wondered what was going on behind those baby blues. He was slow in getting ready. As much as she loved being with him, she was running late. Her overnight bag and briefcase waited for her at the front door. He slipped his coat on with a heavy sigh.

“When are you back?” he pulled her close.

“A few days. I definitely need to get stuff done before we leave,” she squeezed him. “As long as no one gets arrested, that is.”

Before Bono left her, he kissed her so hard that she nearly lost consciousness. “I love you,” he whispered against her lips. “Always.”

A shiver shot down her spine. “I love you too.”

Bono’s feet felt heavy as he trudged down the sidewalk towards home. He stopped into a Starbucks for some coffee. Tea would not help him today. He wished that the barista could put a little whiskey in his coffee. The sun mocked him. It was unseasonably warm. His spirits should be soaring. Yet he could not shake the heaviness in chest and shoulders.


Ali and the boys returned a few days later. Bono was a doting dad and dutiful husband. There were more dinner parties. They took walks in the part before school. He saw photographers in the distance capturing this family moment. He breathed a sigh of relief that he and Gloria were never caught. He tried to push his feelings for her deep down. If he was going to honor Larry’s wishes, he had to get over Gloria. He lied awake at night wondering if he could. This was so different than the last time. He loved her with every fiber of his being. He looked across the table at his wife. Her head was bent over some papers, her dark hair falling in her face. She was still breathtaking. There was stillness about her. Always the quiet in his storm. Sometimes, he felt like a child in her eyes. His ideas big, his life even larger. How could he love two women so much? He knew he didn’t deserve either of them.


John tore down the long hall racing his brother. “I’m going to beat you again!”

“Shhh,” Bono scolded. “They have neighbors.”

John beat Elijah by a few seconds. He knocked hard on the door.

“Geez John, do you have to be so loud?” Jordan rolled her eyes.

Andrew opened the door. “Hey guys! Come on in.”

John and Elijah bolted through the door. Jordan kissed Andrew’s cheek.

Bono smiled weakly. “Sorry the kids were so loud.”

“They got nothing on mine,” Andrew looked beyond Bono to Ali and Eve coming down the hall. “Hello lovelies.”

Ali took the bottles of wine from Bono’s hand. “Where can I put these?”

“Jane is in the kitchen,” Andrew dropped a kiss on Ali’s cheek.

Bono moved through Andrew’s house slowly. He heard the chatter echo from the kitchen. Seeing the most beautiful vision, he stopped short. Gloria stood by the window with Liam nestled into her chest. Rocking gently, she hummed into the sleeping baby’s ear. She looked so content, so beautiful. Her eyes looked out at the setting sun painting the buildings gold. He ached to touch her. Seeing the sleeping infant in her arms, he wanted to give her a family. He longed to see a baby of her own, of theirs, wrapped in her arms. The air was sucked from his lungs.

“He is soo cute,” Jordan pushed past her father towards Liam and Gloria.

Gloria turned from the window to offer Bono a small smile. “Do you want to hold him?”

Jordan’s eyes lit up. “Can I?”

“Of course,” Gloria smiled. Carefully, she transferred the child into Jordan’s arms. “Just be sure his head is supported.”

“Isn’t he adorable, Dad?” she whispered.

“Don’t get any ideas,” Bono said.

“Not ready to be a grandpa?” Gloria teased. She dropped a quick kiss on his cheek. The veil dropped over her eyes.

“I still can’t believe I’m a father some days,” he said. He marveled how she could divide herself from her feelings. He saw love distantly burning inside her. But surrounded by family, she closed down.

“Gloria! Oh my God! I love it, when did you do it?” Ali gasped as she walked in the room.

She absentmindedly touched her hair. “Oh this? Um, a few weeks ago.”

“What made you go so short?” Ali asked.

“Um...a change....wanted to start anew. Needed a fresh outlook,” she refused to look at Bono.

“I think it’s amazing. Isn’t it liberating?” Ali said.

“It’s so much easier,” she pushed down the guilt that was welling up from deep inside. She had not seen Ali since Paris. And since then, she had made love to her husband several times. She told Ali’s husband, Jordan’s father that she loved him. “I was just wearing it in a ponytail. It’s made training so much easier too.”

“That’s right. Are you running the New York Marathon?” Ali sipped a glass of white wine.

“Boston. I just got my confirmation today,” Gloria smiled proudly.

“You got in?” Bono asked.

Gloria nodded. “I was registering first thing this morning.”

Bono hugged her. “That’s great. You worked so hard for this.”

Gloria gave him a small squeeze before stepping away hastily. “Thanks, it’s scary and exciting.”

Liam snorted and yawned. His eyes blinked and his mouth opened to a bloodcurdling wail.

Jordan’s eyes widened. “What did I do?”

“He’s probably wet or hungry,” Gloria lifted him from the young girl arms. “Here, I’ll change him.”

Bono held his breath as they passed by. He hoped that he was as good as masking his emotions.

Gloria made certain that she sat as far from Bono as possible at dinner. However, she did get to see Ali rest her arm around the back of his chair, leaning into him. When she heard that the Hewson’s were coming for dinner, Gloria wanted desperately to find an excuse to leave. She decided to stay. Perhaps seeing the whole Hewson family would be enough to pull herself away from him. Now, as she watched the family dynamic, she pushed her chicken around her plate unable to eat. It was clear that they thought Bono was a bit of a joke. Ali ruled the roost. And when her eyes turned to her husband, the love was there. Was it filled with passion and adoration? Maybe not. More like the unconditional love for an incorrigible child. And still, deep inside, Gloria wanted him to choose her. She silenced that small voice all the time. It was wrong of her to want such pain for a family. And a family she loved. The cross of his rosary brushed against her ribcage reminding her of the gentle touch of his fingers. She pushed her plate away.

“I hate to eat and run, but I have so much work to do before the end of the week,” she slid her chair from the table.

“Do you have to go back to the office?” Jane asked as fed Liam.

“Well, the home office at least. I have some loose ends to tie up before we leve. And I need to put together a schedule for this one for all his meetings,” she pointed to Bono.

“Do you need me?” he asked. He tried to not sound too eager.

“Nah, we’ll have a long flight to go over everything,” she said. She made her way around the dinner table saying goodnight.

Hastily, she grabbed her coat. He wanted to run after her, but forced himself to stay in his seat.

Jane shook her head. “I really wish she’d find a nice guy.”

“Our business doesn’t make that easy,” Andrew opened another bottle of wine.

“Maybe if you let her stay in New York longer. She’s never home for very long to date anyone,” Jane said.

“I didn’t force her into this work,” Andrew shrugged.

“She was dating someone a few years ago,” Ali said.

“An actor,” Andrew rolled his eyes.

“Well, it’s better than when I thought she would get back with Billy,” Jane frowned.

“What?” Andrew looked up. “Did she and Billy hook up last year?”

“Even I knew that,” Bono sipped his wine.

“That asshole,” Andrew muttered.

“You’re a good matchmaker,” Ali slung her arm around his neck. “Do you know anyone?”

His throat tightened. “Not off the top of my head.”

“The plus of her not having a family is that she can do the traveling and he gets to stay home,” Jane admitted.

Bono looked down at his plate. The conversation carried on without him. What could he say? He was having an affair with her and fully believed that HE was her Mister Right. He also knew that Larry felt the same way. He was going to have play matchmaker with his best friend. But no one could know that.



Gloria busied herself in the days leading up to the start of the tour. There was plenty to take care of. Many of her clients wanted audience and counsel before she left for almost a month. She walked red carpets and suffered press junkets. She did lunches and had meetings after meetings. She did see Bono before they left. She sat with him and Andrew going over his meeting schedule. With Andrew in the room, he had no choice but be on his best behavior. A few days later, she attended a dress rehearsal with Bono and Edge for Spider-Man. He sensed her pulling away, or was she just busy? Was she waiting until they were alone in Australia? That thought tightened his chest. He hoped that Larry would have a change of heart. Maybe seeing Ann with another man would awaken some feelings in him. Bono knew that was unlikely. Larry would not have shared if he wasn’t certain about it.


Gloria, Edge and Bono waited in the VIP lounge at JFK for the 360 plane to touch down. Edge sat across from Bono and Gloria in a plush leather chair. Each tapped away on their laptops. From the outside, no one would ever know the intimacy of their relationship. There might be a glance that lingered, or something deeper in a smile.

“What about this?” Bono turned his laptop towards her. He worked on his speech for World Aids Day - a huge presentation in front of prominent leaders of Australia.

She leaned closer to read. He could smell her shampoo - a mixture of mint and cherries. She nodded slowly. “May I change something?”

“Sure,” he shrugged.

Gloria typed a few lines below his speech. “If you add that here,” she pointed. “I think it ties it together nicely.”

Bono nodded. “Yeah, that does sound good.” He smiled at Edge. “She knows me better than I do.”

She nudged with a slight blush. “I just make more sense.”

Bono went back to his speech. He knew Edge watched him carefully. His stomach was clenched tight waiting for Larry to walk through the door. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught a glimpse of the gun metal steel beads stretching from her neck downward. He smiled to himself. She wore his rosary. Though she was cool and controlled on the outside, it spoke volumes to him.

A flight attendant walked over to them. “Your plane is here.”


Adam watched Larry bounce on the balls of his feet like a child Christmas morning. The whole flight over, he had been filled with a nervous energy. Larry waited months for this moment. He thought of her everyday. What he would say. How would he say it. He imagined every possible reaction from her - elation, anger, confusion. Adam was happy to see his friend happy again. It had been a tough summer with Larry. No one would ever describe him as a particularly sunny person, but when he clouded over, it was very dark and stormy for all involved.

Larry bounded down the stairs of the airplane with Adam laughing behind him. The crew would unload and have some lunch before flying to Hong Kong. He burst through the doors of the VIP lounge, his eyes searching for her. He found Bono and Edge snuggled into overstuffed leather chairs. And Gloria? Just beyond Bono, he saw her. She looked amazing. The new haircut made her seem younger than her 39 years. She had one leg curled under her as her eyes focused on the laptop balanced on the arm of the chair.

Bono looked up to see the huge grin on Larry’s face and his biggest fears came true. Larry was still in love with Gloria. He walked through the door ready to reclaim her into his life - and Bono felt powerless to stop him.

Adam stepped in front of Larry’s oggling. “Gloria, you look amazing.”

She looked up and closed her computer. “Adam,” she hugged him tightly. “How are you? You like it?”

“It’s very becoming,” Adam nodded.

Larry nearly pushed him out of the way o get to her. “It looks great. You look amazing.” His hug nearly crushed her. “And I heard you made it into Boston?”

She nodded proudly. “I did.”

“Excellent!” He whirled her around. “We aren’t touring then are we?”

Bono gathered his things for lunch. “No, we aren’t touring.” His voice was eerily quiet. Gloria shot him a quizzical look. She had noticed that he was very reserved today. She thought it was the presence of Edge. As the rest of the band joined them, he seemed more tense than usual.

They sat for an early supper before boarding the plane again. Larry sat beside Gloria and talked to her about writing new music and the kids. He didn’t mention Ann, but that wasn’t unusual. He rarely mentioned her in conversation since their affair. Bono sat on the other side of the table. He forced himself to not watch them. He tried to pay attention to Adam, but he strained to hear them at the other end. His eyes whizzed over at any laughter. Was this how the month would go, he wondered.

Gloria moved to back of the plane to get some sleep. Grabbing a blanket and pillow, she curled up across the leather seats. She needed a few moments alone. Everything was strange and backwards like she boarded a plane for the Bermuda Triangle. Larry had been the talkative one while Bono brooded in a corner. She listened to the laughter and talking from the front of the plane as her eyes felt heavy.

Bono found her sleeping across the seat, her hand curled up under the pillow. She didn’t look very comfortable. He pulled a pillow out from the overhead bin and settled in across the aisle from her. The afternoon was surreal. Larry was an overcharged teenager. It was clear that he was tired of waiting and was a man of action - or soon would be. Bono couldn’t recover and be normal. He just shut down. He saw Edge’s concerned eyes bearing down on him. Even Gloria noticed a definite difference. He honestly didn’t know if he was okay. Tucking his arms around him, he watched her sleep. Every part of him ached like he’d been in an accident. There was a tension knot in his back. A 24 hour flight didn’t help matters. He tried to force his eyes open. He just wanted to watch her sleep. Who knows when he would be able to again?

Gloria woke well before morning. She looked down at her lover. A soft snore escaped from his pillow. His black hair framed his alabaster face. She touched the scar on his chin, the freckles on his cheek. With a snort, he stirred. A smile small rested on his lips before fell back into a deep slumber. She didn’t want to leave. There was still time to change her mind, but Andrew was on his way with the knowledge that she and Bono were lovers. She didn’t tell him, but he guessed it when she asked to leave the tour. Andrew didn’t understand. She had been having a grand time. Everyone, especially Bono, praised her work. Hearing his sister’s quivering voice brought the reality of the situation screaming to him. Gloria didn’t want to be here when Andrew turned up, the protective brother ready to pound his best friend the rock star.

Her last night with him was amazing like all the nights before it. He made her body hum, then fell asleep holding on to her. He declared his love over and over. But he never talked about the future. The tour was ending very soon. He mentioned not being ready to go home, but Gloria was never in the equation. She had visions of being deposited a broken and shamed woman on the doorstep of her brother. Bono had had his fun and now he was done. She had no choice. She needed to leave him before he left her. How could she leave this man? He had shown her the world. He became hers. How could anyone compare to him? She would never love another man like him again. Leaving this bed was like tearing her heart from her chest and laying it beside him. She considered waking him for one more moment. One more chance to be as close as she could be. If she did, she’d never leave. Painfully, she slipped out of the sheets. She washed his scent off her body. Quietly she dressed as the sun climbed in the sky. Bono had not even noticed her packed bags the night before. He had plenty wine before they tumbled into her bed.

She heard him stir as she left the bathroom. Sighing heavily, she looked down as he rolled over and smiled lazily up at her. Her heart told her to shed her clothes and get back in the bed. Hold on to him and fight for him. He said he loves you. Her head told her to cut her losses and run.

“Hey love,” he stretched.

It felt like razor blades as she swallowed. It was time to say goodbye.

Gloria’s eyes fluttered. The back of the airplane was dark. Hushed voices traveled from the front of the plane. Directly across from her, Larry leaned into the window with a blanket draped across him. His mouth was slightly open as he slept. In this light, he looked so young.

A small snore across the aisle caught her attention. Bono slept with his legs hanging over the end of seat. She noticed that his socks didn’t match - one purple and one black. The man could not dress himself. He also looked younger deep in slumber. His hair shot up in every direction and over his forehead. She wished she could crawl onto his seat with him and feel his warmth. Something was different between them. She had been so close to him until the dinner party. She wasn’t sure who was pulling away most. Would that continue? Would she have to relive the pain of Zoo TV? Except now, she was at the beginning of this tour. She’d have to shoulder it until mid December. Her head started to pound. The voices lulled her to sleep again.


“Hey,” his voice was soft. “Are you going to wake up?”

The plane was filled with sunshine. She winced at the light. Slowly, she opened one eye to see Bono peering down at her with that smile - the one that was missing yesterday.

“What time is it?” she asked.

He looked at his watch. “I honestly have no idea. We’ll be landing in about 2 hours.”

“How long did I sleep?” she yawned and stretched. Her back cracked.

“A very long time,” he pushed Larry’s blanket aside and sat across from her.

“I guess I needed it,” she rubbed her eyes. She knew her hair was a mess. “Did you get some sleep?”

He nodded. “I did. This is not great for the back.”

She frowned. “How does it feel?”

“Tight. Ben attempted to work the knots out on the plane, but I need a proper massage when we land,” he said.

Gloria pulled herself to a sitting position. She wanted to ask what was going on behind his eyes. There were volumes he wasn’t saying. He watched her with a small sad smile.

“You’re up,” Larry said walking down the aisle with a cup of coffee. “I was just bringing this for you.”

“Oh, thanks,” Gloria said.

He sat beside Bono. “It’s not very good, but it’s coffee.”

“How was the tea?” Bono asked him.

“Eh, it was okay. I’ll have to wait until we get to the hotel,” he looked at the mop on Gloria’s head. “You have some brilliant bed-head.”

She tried to smooth down her hair with her free hand. “Yeah, that’s the problem with short hair, I’ve learned.”

“It’s all about the product,” Larry nodded. “You have product, don’t you?”

“Hairspray?” she asked.

He feigned disgust. “Just hairspray? You have so much to learn, grasshopper. I’ll let you try some of my stuff.”

Bono rolled his eyes. “Well, I’ll leave you two girls alone to swap make-up tips.”

She was sad to see him leave. However, the heaviness left with him. She was able to chat amiably with Larry without all that heavy emotion. For a moment, she forgot about the sinking feeling that spread throughout her body.

For the remainder of the flight, she met with the entire band and Paul to go over a schedule events - from dinner engagements, to going to the venue. They discussed the World Aids event and Oprah meeting them backstage in Sydney. Bono was scheduled for her show in Sydney. Larry was happy to not have to be paraded out for that. Against Paul’s wishes, Larry arranged to tour some of Australia on bike with his bodyguard. The country was so beautiful that it could not be appreciated in the back of a darkened SUV or from an airplane. He planned to invite Gloria on his trip - if Bono didn’t monopolized all her time as he had on the tour.

As they approached New Zealand with its mountains reaching towards the sky, Gloria’s stomach flipped. She had a strange relationship with Down Under. It was here that she left Bono many years ago. It was here that she fell in love with Larry. She looked across the aisle at the two friends looking out the opposite window. Here she was again with both of them. Why did she sign up for this? That’s right, she didn’t. She was offered up by her brother as the sacrificial lamb. Andrew was probably at the market preparing for a Thanksgiving feast. And at the time, everything was simple. She arranged meetings and handled press. Larry had made it crystal clear those feelings no longer resided in him. And Bono was just a good friend. Now, she knew the intimate details of his body like her own. The freckles and moles she had forgotten were fresh her mind now.

Edge watched it all unfold in front of him, omnipotent of the entire situation. He could see Larry’s eyes full of hope. He knew the torture that stabbed at Bono. And Gloria just looked confused and conflicted. He hoped the band was strong enough to survive whatever was coming. Perhaps another great album could spring from this.

It seemed to take forever to get through customs. They were provided a light breakfast as they waited. A caravan of vans and dark SUV’s awaited them at the airport. Gloria climbed into a car with Dennis and Paul. They were the first to arrive at the hotel to secure U2’s accommodations and safe passage inside. A small group of fans grew larger as word got out. Barricades were erected by local authorities. Bono and Edge signed a few photographs while Adam and Larry were whisked inside with a wave to the fans. Everyone settled in to their room and a short break before they would reconvene for lunch in one of the ballrooms. Bono called home and decided to lie down. He stared at the ceiling before turning the hotel TV on to watch CNN. Eventually, he dozed with the news of the world melding into his dreams. Gloria set up her office away from home and answered emails. She was still tired though she slept most of the flight, but knew that taking a nap would make her feel worse. Larry met with his bodyguard for a swim in the lap pool to loosen up stiff muscles from a long flight. Adam booked a facial at the spa. Airplane air dried his skin. He felt like he had slept for days instead of hours after a eucalyptus scrub. Edge attempted to nap, but his mind never stopped. He sat cross-legged on his bed and strummed his guitar. He stopped to write a chord down every few minutes.

Bono was the last to arrive for lunch. Unfortunately, he woke up late from his nap and didn’t have time for shower. He washed his face and brushed his teeth. His hair was a mess but he couldn’t find his olive cap. Rubbing his eyes, he wandered into the ballroom.

“We were getting ready to have management open your door,” Adam looked up from his salad.

“Guess I needed more sleep,” his voice was raspy. “What time is it?” He blinked at his watch.

“Local time, it is 2:30,” Paul said.

The only seat left was directly across from Gloria and Larry. Life had to be playing a joke on him today. Larry had been glued by her side since he walked into the airport lounge. Bono offered a weak smile as he took his seat.

There was mostly silence through the salad. Only the scraping and clanging of forks could be heard. Wine and beer was poured. Bono motioned for a glass of red wine. Gloria declined and opted for water. She still needed to go on run. After lunch, she would need to find the gym.

Larry sent a look towards Adam who nodded. He laid his fork on his plate. “So, did you meet this Ronan guy?”

Larry nodded. “Yeah, I went to have drinks with them.”

“How did that go?” Edge asked between bites.

Bono closed his eyes. The acting was terrible. Clearly, Larry and Adam had worked out this ‘routine’. It made his stomach turn. Suddenly, his steak wasn’t as appetizing.

“Ehm, it was weird, y’know. He’s a nice enough lad,” Larry explained.

Gloria had no idea what they were talking about. She was starving and the chicken was delicious.

“Has he met the kids?” Adam asked.

“I don’t think we’re ready for that. They know that Ann has a special friend,” he said glancing at Gloria.

She turned her head.

“Have you moved out yet?” Adam asked. He wondered at what point she would catch on.

“I think after Christmas I’ll start looking for a place. No need to shake things up during the holidays,” Larry pushed his plate back.

Gloria looked up at Bono whose face was hard as stone. He had gone pale in the last few minutes. His fingers gripped the wine glass.

“I’m sorry, I’m totally lost here,” she turned to Larry. “What are you talking about?”

He twisted in his chair to face her. “I guess you didn’t know yet. Ann and I have separated.”

The words crashed in her ears. “Since when?”

“Ehm, officially since late September,” he said.

Her eyes turned back to Bono who motioned for more wine. His face told her that he knew. And there must be a reason why he was so morose.

Larry went on to tell her about Ann’s cancer scare and how he honored her request for privacy. Suddenly it explained everything. Why he had grown so cold in the middle of the tour. As he explained their decision to end their partnership, Gloria’s heart raced. The room whirled around her. Bono’s eyes were dark and cold like the North Atlantic ocean. He chewed on the inside of his bottom lip as Larry opened the door wide for Gloria. When their eyes met, he looked away immediately. Gloria had an idea where this was all leading and she was not ready for any of this.

“And how do you feel about her dating?” she asked.

“It was strange for certain, but it means that I have the future to look forward to,” He smiled shyly at her. “Possibilities are endless.”

She cleared her throat feeling the weight of everyone’s eyes on her. “And no one knew about Ann at all?”

“I told the guys on my birthday. Ann was grateful that I kept it a secret, but she knew that I needed my friend’s support.”

Gloria looked back over at Bono. He had known all that time. He tilted his head back and finished the rest of his wine like water.

“Well, I’m sorry you had go through that alone. But I’m very glad she is okay,” she said with a smile.

The room suddenly felt warm. The waiters began to clear the plates. Bono could not look in her eyes. She looked betrayed and confused. He didn’t want her to see the pain he felt.

Gloria stood. “I think I’m going to go for a run.”

“So soon after lunch?” Larry asked.

“By the time I get changed and get my stuff together, I’ll have digested a bit. I need to keep on schedule with training. So, I’ll see you all later,” she couldn’t wait to get on the other side of the ballroom doors. Her hands shook. The tone of Larry’s voice, his eyes all told her what she had wanted to hear months ago. She tried to tell herself that she was being silly. But there was a nagging feeling that lingered.

She flung open her suitcase and hastily rummaged for a pair of shorts and shirt. Her mind still reeled as she laced up her sneakers. Grabbing her iPod, she stormed directly to Bono’s room.

When he heard the knock, he knew it was Gloria. Her eyes had questioned him all through lunch. This was inevitable. Taking in a slow, deep breath, he answered her demanding knocks. Without a word, she pushed past him.

With her hands on her hips, “What the hell is going on, Hewson?”

He ran his hands from his mouth down his chin as he always did when asked a difficult question. He stared at her blankly.

“OKay, let’s try an easy one....” she shifted her weight. “How long have you known?”

“Since his birthday party. We were all having a pint at the studio and he told us all about Ann and their break-up,” he said.

“Why didn’t you tell me last week?” she asked.

“About Ann? That’s not my story to tell,” he walked to the window and peered into garden below. “There is something you should know.”

She didn’t like his grave tone. “What?”

“He wants you,” Bono’s voice cracked. “He told us that night. He has every intention of winning you back.” He looked over at her.

Gloria felt like she had been hit across the face. Her limbs went numb. “What?”

“He still loves you very much,” he said. “He confessed to me about the affair and told us that he wanted to start over with you.”

“What did you say?” she asked.

“What could I say? You can’t have her because I’m in love her? Gloria, he asked for our blessing. He basically asked permission to be with you,” all the hurt poured out of him. Her eyes questioned him. “I had to grit my teeth and give it.”

“Do you really give your blessing for this?”

“I don’t want to, but he’s my best friend,” Bono paced. “Maybe he can give you a life I can’t.”

“I’m sorry, what?” she asked. “You didn’t just say that.”

“Gloria, this was complicated from the beginning. We knew that. But this thing with Larry makes it harder,” he moved towards her. “Is our happiness worth more than the lives of the people we love?”

“I never asked for anything. You were the one that promised the ocean and sky,” she stepped back.

“I know, I still want that,” he pleaded. “Gloria, if this gets out - we move forward - think about it. Larry would be torn apart. What would that do to the band? Our past would be made up for everyone to see. Every picture we ever took together. Our names would be all over the press for my children to read.”

The reality of his words hit her hard. She knew he was right. Gloria loved those children and didn’t want to hurt them.

“Not only would we be outed, Ali’s affairs would be discovered,” he said.

“Ali’s?” she wasn’t sure she heard that correctly.

He nodded seriously. “She has had a few. One as recent as early as last year.”

Gloria tried to process all this information. “Wait, was I retaliation?”

“What?” he asked.

“For her affair. Was I payback for that?” she crossed her arms in front of her chest. It was made perfect sense to her. Why he pursued her.

“Gloria! Never. I have loved you since the Joshua Tree tour,” he said.

It was her turn to pace the large suite. “So, you are ready to just hand me over to Larry.”

“It’s not like that,” he pleaded.

“I’m starting to feel like the band bicycle. Everyone gets a ride,” her anger growing. “When it is Edge’s or Adam’s turn? Do you have schedule? Or as press agent, should I just put one together?”

He had never seen her so angry. “Gloria, please. Do you want me to destroy both our lives? I don’t want you to be with Larry, but right now, I cannot give you what you deserve. My hands are tied.”

Her shoulder slumped. “If you knew you were walking away, why did you come home with me that night? You fucked me knowing Larry was in love me.”

He winced at her words. “For the record, I have never just ‘fucked’ you. When I make love to you,” He empathized those words, “I give you everything. My heart, my soul, my body. Was I wrong to be with you that night knowing what I knew? It makes me a shitty friend. I was desperate to hold on to what we’ve got.”

“We have nothing,” she sighed. “I love you, but clearly love is not enough.”

Before he could respond she did the one thing she was good at, she ran. He placed his palms against the door she slammed. Leaning his head against the door, his lungs burned. He would not cry, he told himself. He had made the right decision. Perhaps not for him and Gloria, but all the people they loved.

Gloria stormed by the gym. Walls could not contain her today. She craved the cool air. Armed with the GPS, she started to run away from the hotel, from Bono, from Larry. She pumped her legs hard. If she ran fast, it would hurt. She didn’t want to cry. Enough tears had been spilled in the name of Paul David Hewson. She felt stupid. What had close to two decades taught her? She knew how this would end. Okay, maybe not exactly. She never counted on Larry. She was pissed at him too. If he had been honest with her from the start, she and Bono would have never happened, right? It’s not like she ever thought about him like that. Sure, there were times when they smiled at each other and it was like a secret being passed between them. They had once shared something precious. Those fingerprints never disappear.

Her eyes turned upward. New Zealand was awfully hilly. Her legs burned. She cursed herself for believing for a moment that she had Bono would have a happy ending. This was not the way she thought Australia would be. She envisioned her and Bono secretly living out their fantasy of long nights together. At the end of the tour, maybe their love would be so strong, so great that there was no way either of them could separate.

Larry. What was she going to do with him? At the beginning of the tour, she knew she still loved him. Was there anything left to that? Bono had crowded her thoughts and heart that there wasn’t room left for Larry. Now what? She did not want to have to deal with any of this. Perhaps it was time to call in Andrew again. She could return to the States and bury herself in press releases and lunches. Or maybe she should stay. If Bono was so sure that Larry could make her happy, maybe she should let it happen. She did deserve to be happy after all. Her watched beeped. It was time to turn around and face the music.


Gloria opened the door to her hotel looking forward to a long hot bath. Bono sat on the edge of her bed with his fingers clasped.

“How did you get in here?” she asked.

“I have my ways,” he said.

She held up her hand. “I don’t think I want to know. What do you want?”

He wrung his hands. “I don’t like the way things left. I’m sorry, Glory. I should have told you straight away. I wanted to tell you, but I.....didn’t want to lose you.”

She shrugged. “You aren’t losing me, you’re walking away.”

He crossed to her. “I don’t know what else to do. I’m not strong enough for this.” He sunk to his knees before her. “I love you, but I can’t destroy Larry or my kids.”

She did note that he didn’t seem concerned about Ali. Her fingers ran through his hair. Seeing him in this state broke her heart. “I know, I know.”

The sun slipped lower in the sky as they stood frozen. She was still angry and hurt. However, she didn’t want to be the Yoko. Her hand reached under his chin and turned his face to look at her. “You should probably go. I need to shower. And we have dinner plans at a small restaurant that wanted the privilege of serving U2.”

“I need to shower too,” he got that look in his eye.

“Don’t even think it, Paul David,” she scolded.

Hearing her call him that made him laugh. “I haven’t heard those names strung together in decades.”

“Probably for being a naughty boy, as you are now,” she motioned her hand from her head down. “This is now off limits to you.”

He wondered how long he’d last. “Understood.”

“Now go before someone catches you leaving and not for a very good reason,” she opened the door.

He wanted to kiss her - just one last time. He paused inches in front of her. She looked down. As much as she wanted to grab his head and pull his mouth on hers, she wouldn’t. Gently, he kissed the tip of her nose then left.

She stripped her sweaty clothes off and stepped into a steaming shower. She wanted to boil the top layer of skin off her. That was where Bono’s fingers had explored her just a week ago. She tried to mentally prepare herself to be wooed by Larry Mullen tonight. Now that she knew about Ann, there was nothing to stop him. She looked down at the rosary resting between her breasts. She couldn’t remove it just yet.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:23 PM   #2
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Excellent! Loved the set-up between Larry and Adam. It's going to be interesting to see how Gloria handles her feelings as she lets go of Bono and tries to move on with Larry.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:27 PM   #3
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Thank you. I had this in my head for awhile so it was good to finally get it out. Plus, does Bono really let go?

But I hear the Larry fans rejoice.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:40 PM   #4
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Seeing the most beautiful vision, he stopped short. Gloria stood by the window with Liam nestled into her chest. Rocking gently, she hummed into the sleeping baby’s ear. She looked so content, so beautiful. Her eyes looked out at the setting sun painting the buildings gold. He ached to touch her. Seeing the sleeping infant in her arms, he wanted to give her a family. He longed to see a baby of her own, of theirs, wrapped in her arms.
I think you just broke my re-taped heart right there, but in happiness. Somehow I feel like Gloria would make an awesome, awesome mom. Although it wouldn't work out with Bono being married...that would be terrible for Ali, too

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He made her body hum, then fell asleep holding on to her.
Awww Bono...so cute.

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“You have some brilliant bed-head.”

She tried to smooth down her hair with her free hand. “Yeah, that’s the problem with short hair, I’ve learned.”
I know the feeling D:

This was a beautiful chapter. Somehow I could envision Gloria really, really well in this. She's such a strong character, it's nice the way you make her interact with everyone. Particularly interesting how she got mad at Bono; I probably just would have collapsed in that situation.

Poor Lar. But really, poor Gloria...
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:00 PM   #5
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Now that I've read this, I'm kind of wondering why I didn't see this coming before.
I want them all to be happy- I don't think Gloria could ever be content with Larry... it was so sad to see her and Bono part. Somehow I think they might come back to each other. (read think as: hope)
Oh, I've also realized that I was completely off on how much time's passed... I definitely didn't know that they hadn't even reached NZ yet! So now that they're there, can you please write some about it, like description... because I love New Zealand. Just sayin'.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:19 PM   #6
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An update—Grace, you have officially inspired me to write some prologue. I love you!
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:44 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone. Yeah, I knew it would go this way for awhile. If Bono and Gloria do come back together, it will be shake the world. And Gloria was very much in love with Larry and still felt something for him at the beginning of the tour. Will he be able reignite that?
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:48 PM   #8
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Gosh, that's enigmatic! Excited for whatever comes next.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:53 PM   #9
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Yeah, I think in the first version in my head, she wasn't mad but I liked it thant she felt a bit passed around like it was so easy for Bono to hand her over like she was a possession. I think she's still pretty ticked that he didn't fight right away which could sort of drive her towards Larry.
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Old 02-03-2011, 04:21 AM   #10
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Another brilliant, beautiful chapter. You capture emotion very well, I find it pulls me in, allows me to get in the various characters' heads. Larry's enthusiasm (and the setup with Adam) is quite cute, but I've gotten pretty attached to the Bono in this story, and he's in so deep... I think even if she ends up with Larry, Bono will always love her. And it was cute the way Bono snuck into her room to see her.

I think Edge should let her know that he knows, so she at least has someone to talk to.

Do I sense some Larry wooing coming up? Should be interesting.

(Good grief, I'm talking about this as if it's real. That's how good your writing is!)
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:02 AM   #11
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Thank you very much everyone. I almost feel guilty for starting a new fic. Don't worry, I'm still thinking of this one. I was working it out in my head in the train to work this morning. I will give a hint at what's to come. Just take a look at some of the set lists from the Australia tour.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:44 PM   #12
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I did but all I could think was SCARLET!!
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:36 AM   #13
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Yes, Jay-Z serenades Gloria. It's a very powerful moment.
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:35 PM   #14
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For awhile, I was beginning to be on Bono's side. Now, however, after this chapter, I want Gloria and Larry to be together. Hate me for it, I don't care. I just...feel them more than I feel Bono and Gloria. Maybe because you started off with them?

On the other hand, I think I'd be happy if this has a happy ending. Whether she ends up with Bono or Larry, I'd be satisfied either way because your writing has a way of doing that. I agree with ACK, Gloria is such a strong character. It's like I'm living through her as I read your chapters.

I really cannot wait to see what happens! I'm so excited!
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:01 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by LoveandLogic View Post
For awhile, I was beginning to be on Bono's side. Now, however, after this chapter, I want Gloria and Larry to be together. Hate me for it, I don't care. I just...feel them more than I feel Bono and Gloria. Maybe because you started off with them?
There's a secret...well, maybe not so secret, but you know me well...part of me that agrees with that statement very well
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:32 PM   #16
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I haven't decided how it ends and who wins. Hopefully everyone wins, but I guess someone has to get hurt.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:35 PM   #17
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It wouldn't be much of a story if someone didn't get hurt. No worries, I think we're all prepared for someone to get the short end of the stick in the end.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:45 PM   #18
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Actually, Bono and Larry decide to chuck Gloria and discover a new side of their relationship. Um, then I'd be banned.

No worries. I have no intention of getting freaky.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:58 PM   #19
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Actually, Bono and Larry decide to chuck Gloria and discover a new side of their relationship. Um, then I'd be banned.

No worries. I have no intention of getting freaky.


Gra-ace! Now I'm imagining this and it is not. good.
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:26 PM   #20
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Actually, Bono and Larry decide to chuck Gloria and discover a new side of their relationship. Um, then I'd be banned.

No worries. I have no intention of getting freaky.
Sounds like a great plan to me!
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