He Never Told Me What He Did For A Living
Gerard and the rest of the band had come in one vehicle, which meant there was no room left for me. After much debating, it was decided that Angel could drop me off, if she promised to follow the guys and not let me bail on them. Gerard had invited her to stay as well, but she declined his offer, saying that she had to get back and oversee the clean-up. I offered to help, but as I feared, there was no getting out of this. Angel had only smiled sweetly and shook her head, saying that she had it covered.
So here I was, buckled into the passenger’s seat of Angel’s car, the red glow of Gerard’s taillights leading the way in the darkness. I sat quietly, thinking of nothing in particular. The car in front of us began to slow, and a blinker flicked on, signaling a turn. It meant that my time for quiet thoughts was over. I sighed as Angel pulled into the Way’s driveway. The men poured from the black car, laughing and jostling each other as they walked towards the house. Only Gerard waited outside, making sure that I didn’t bail on him.
“You gonna get out?” Angel asked.
I frowned at her, but then realized Gerard was watching. I didn’t want it to seem that it was him I was avoiding, and truthfully, it wasn’t- it was the horror flicks the guys seemed so fond of. “I don’t like scary movies.”
Angel laughed. “So? It gives you a reason to get closer to Gee,” she said, waggling her eyebrows at me.
"That doesn't make me feel any better about this," I said in warning. "I don't think this is a good idea."
"Josie, just get out of the car and go have some fun," Angel said with an eye roll.
"I've had enough fun for one night, thanks," I shot back sarcastically, opening the door even as my body filled with tension and anticipation.
Gerard relaxed a little, leaning his slender hip on the car and flashing me an encouraging smile. I caught my bottom lip between my teeth, biting down nervously.
"Just get out, Josie. You won't regret it, I promise."
Taking a deep breath, I slid from my seat and shut the door behind me, shutting off the flow of reassurances streaming from Angel. Gerard grinned, flashing his small white teeth, and I frowned in response.
"Don't look so smug."
He held up his hands in surrender. "Alright, alright," he said with a laugh. "I'm glad you decided to come, though."
"Why? And honestly, you didn't give me much of a choice," I said.
Gerard's smile faltered slightly, and I immediately felt bad for my honesty.
"Can't I be happy that one of my best friends is going to watch horror movies with me, even though she's scared shitless of them?" He said, flashing another grin. It wasn't the same- it lacked his usual confidence.
A chill worked its way through my body, and I shivered in the darkness. "Can we go in now?" I asked.
"In a minute," he replied, his gaze locking intently on my face. "Josie, I just...I'm not sure how this is going to go tonight. I mean-"
I interrupted whatever he was going to say. "You mean you're still fighting...this thing between us."
He dropped his gaze then, eyeing his black boots as if they were extremely interesting. "I don't know what to say to that," he confessed.
"How about the truth?"
"I wish I knew what that was," he mumbled, and the pained look on his face was enough to convince me he was just as confused as I was.
"I'm sorry for that," I whispered, brushing his hand softly. Surprisingly, he didn't move away, and I had a feeling that he needed that small, comforting touch as much as I did.
Feeling how cold my hand was, he curled it into his own much larger, warmer hand. "Let's get you inside."
Silently, I followed him into the house, the warm air taking my breath away as we walked through the door. "Josie!" Donna greeted me with a warm hug, and it felt welcoming. "Can I get you anything?"
"No, thank you, Mrs. Way," I said politely, flushing when she gave me a look.
“How many times do I have to ask you to call me Donna?” she asked.
I looked at Gerard, not quite sure what to say, and he jumped in to save me from answering.
“Mom, Josie’s gonna grab a quick shower in the basement,” he said, giving me a grin. “I think all the hairspray is starting to go to her head,” he said in a mock whisper.
I gave his shoulder a smack, and Mrs. Way smiled. “Gerard, honey, stop giving the girl such a hard time. One might think you like her,” she said, then turned to me. “Josie, you’re welcome to anything we have here.”
I gave her a quick smile before Gerard ushered me down through the hallway and down a staircase. I studied his room while he dug through dresser drawers, searching for clothes to fit me.
His walls were painted black, but the various drawings and posters plastered all over the wall made it nearly impossible to tell. It was dimly lit, and a flat screen TV sat on a stand against the wall, assorted cords telling me it was hooked up to a DVD/VCR combo and a gaming system of some kind. A full-size bed with stark white sheets took up most of the room, and I admired the patchwork quilt topping it. I ran a hand over it, feeling the worn softness and the contrast of bumpy stitches.
“Your grandma?” I asked, not taking my hand from the quilt.
Gerard looked at me over his shoulder. “Yes. She made me that quilt a long time ago,” he said softly.
I eyed the uniform sheets. “Your mom must make your bed,” I teased, and when he flushed, I knew it was the truth.
I watched as he pulled out a pair of faded black sweatpants. “I think these will fit you the best,” he said. “They have drawstrings on the inside, so you can tighten them up a bit.”
I took the sweatpants from him, the faint scent of wood and fabric softener wafting up. He thrust a soft white v-neck t-shirt towards me. The cotton was thin and worn, obviously comfortable. “I, uh, don’t have any underwear for you,” Gerard stammered, as if the realization had suddenly hit him.
I grinned at his suddenly uncomfortable demeanor. “I thought you cross-dressed occasionally?” I asked teasingly.
He scowled at me. “No, they, um, don’t have the, uh, coverage I need…”
I blushed furiously at the hint that he had equipment that women’s panties couldn’t hide, even under a skirt. “Okay, that was more info than I needed, Gerard,” I said with an embarrassed laugh.
Turning red, Gerard shook his head. “Sorry,” he muttered. “I’ll, uh, leave you to your…shower.”
I watched him with raised eyebrows as he retreated from the basement, and began unbuttoning the white pirate shirt I was wearing. I was halfway through the buttons when I realized that Gerard was still standing there in the doorway, his mouth gaping open as he fought not to stare at me. With one hand clutching my shirt together, I moved quickly towards the door. “Did you need something, Gerard?” I asked, reaching for the doorknob.
He squeezed his eyes shut tightly, his breath coming fast. “N-no,” he said quickly. Mumbling under his breath, he stepped back so I could shut the door. When it closed between us, I pressed my back against the door, sliding down to sit on the floor with my knees tucked nearly under my chin. With a ragged sigh, I rested my cheek on my knee, shivering as I remembered the heat burning in his eyes as he stared at me. Glancing down at my half-unbuttoned shirt, I realized I hadn’t been revealing much- a bit of cleavage, the black lace of my bra, a small piece of my flat stomach. So what had flustered Gerard so? The simple act of me unbuttoning a shirt in front of him? It was sort of intimate, I supposed, but then again, I didn’t really know. I blushed, realizing my own innocence compared to Gerard, who must be an experienced man. I leaned my head back against the door, eyes closed in the silence, then startled when I heard the muffled sound of the brush of clothing on other side of the door.
God help me, he’s sitting with his back to the door just as I am! I thought, horrified. Heart pounding in my ears, I quickly slipped off my boots and silently tiptoed across the room, hoping he hadn’t realized the same thing I had.
What could possibly go wrong? Echoed in my head, and this time, I didn’t agree with Gerard’s words. “Everything,” I whispered to the empty room. Everything.