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Watching, Waiting

Open Season

Almost three hours after Gerard made the call, Frank was still in the interview room. Exhausted by all the questions he slumped across the desk resting his head on his folded arms. Alone and tired, he had been harangued for over an hour and was beginning to feel more like a criminal than a victim; he just wanted to leave. What only made matters worse was that the others hadn’t been allowed into the room with him and although he knew he was safe, he was feeling increasingly anxious by the isolation. Stirred from his thoughts, he jerked his head up sharply as the door opened without warning and a Styrofoam cup filled with what might have been coffee, on a good day, was placed in front of him.

“So you know this guy?” Detective Silburn asked again standing opposite with a similar cup in his hand.

Frank’s shoulders sagged; hadn’t he been through this already?

“No,” he replied tiredly, “he says I know him, but I’ve never seen his face, only heard him.”
“And you didn’t recognise the voice?”
Frank shook his head. “No, it wasn’t familiar at all.”

The detective took a mouthful of the coffee and frowned with distaste. Noting his reaction, Frank pushed his cup away a few inches with his fingertips; if the smell was anything to go by, the detective’s scowl was more then justified.

“To be honest with you,” the detective shrugged, “there’s not much we can do.”
“Until I’m actually dead?” Frank replied dryly.
“Until he does something illegal…”
“He held a gun to me in my car!” Frank cried in frustration. “How much more illegal would you like?”
“Did you see it?”
“See what?” Frank asked.
“The gun, did you actually see it?”
“No, but I felt it!”
“Okay,” Silburn nodded as he rounded the desk.

Frank gasped as he felt something cold and hard pushed into his back.

“Did it feel like that?”
“What the hell are you doing!” Frank shouted, at once furious and panicked by the cruel reminder of his ordeal.
“I’ll take that as a yes,” Silburn returned to face Frank once more and placed a small metal stapler in front of him. “So I guess we can say it might not have been a gun?”
“Have I been here this long just so you can ridicule me?” Frank asked, still trembling.
“Look, Mister Iero, you don’t know what he looks like, you can’t give us a description, there’s no apparent motive. The most we’re certain he’s done so far is break into your car.”
“And threaten my life!”
“Okay,” Silburn conceded, “we’ll watch your house for a couple of days, until you go on tour. We’ll be discreet, if we see anything unusual, we’ll check it out.”
“What about Saturday?”
“We’ll review the case on what turns up in the meantime.”
“Thanks,” Frank replied without sincerity.

They didn’t seem to be interested, apparently believing it to be a gross over-reaction on Frank’s part. He knew he was lucky enough to be able to afford his own security, and he knew that Brian was already arranging it. The tour security was in place and had been for months, but Brian was insistent that he should have an additional guard for the last few days before they left. In fact, they would be surprised to find that they all did.

Frank wanted to leave now more than ever. Little had been achieved, but it had to be done.

“Can I go?” Frank muttered as he pushed the cup absently.
“Yeah,” Silburn replied grabbing his jacket off the chair and opening the door. “Give your details to the sergeant over there first.”


Having completed all the repetitive and apparently pointless forms, Frank headed out to the reception area where he knew the rest of the band were waiting.

“Frank!” Ray spotted him first. “How did it go?”
“Let’s go,” Frank shook his head.
“W..wait!” Gerard took his arm. “What happened, what are they going to do?”
“They…” Frank shrugged. “They’re gonna watch the house for a couple of days.”
“That’s all!” Gerard turned and started back down the corridor determined to get answers.
“No!” Frank called after him then ran to stop him when he didn’t even look back. “Gee,” Frank pleaded with his eyes, “I just want to go home, please, let’s go.”
Gerard nodded sympathetically. “Okay, but you can’t go home.”
“Gee…” Frank’s brow furrowed as he felt control of his own life slipping from his grasp.
“Listen to me! Brian’s set something up, we’re gonna go there, we’re all gonna go there, you won’t be on your own, you’ll be safe. Okay?”

Frank took a deep breath, and smiled faintly as he looked at each of his friends in turn. There seemed little option but to give in; even though, deep down he knew it was for the best, he hated to hand over control like that.

“Thanks, guys.”

In the furthest corner of the police precinct parking lot, a dark haired man smirked as the band emerged to claim their cars. Lighting a cigarette, he nodded and spoke quietly to himself; his voice dripped with venom.

“Very well, Frankie, we’ll play it your way. This was just between you and me, but if you want all your friends involved, I can accommodate that. Perhaps this is more fitting as a payback for what you did. Them first, Frankie, while you watch! Then you. I’ll see you Saturday!”


It could have been a cold, dark cellar. It could have been a dungeon or a cell. It wasn’t any of those things, but to Frank, who loved the daylight and fresh air and his freedom to do what he pleased when he pleased, it was all of those things.

In reality, the band found themselves ensconced in a plush and well appointed hotel. Brian had made every effort to ensure that they were comfortable and that they had sufficient distractions to keep them occupied and happy. Above all, he hoped that despite the guards on the doors and the permanently closed heavy drapes at the windows, they would not feel like the prisoners they had become.

In his room, Frank sat with his chin resting in his hand, his elbow propped up on the table; his free hand doodling aimlessly on a pad of hotel writing paper. Glancing up briefly as he heard a knock at the adjoining door, Frank returned to his doodling.

“Frank!” Mikey shouted from the next room.
“I’m out!” he yelled back with a hint of bitter frustration.
“Frank!” Mikey’s voice became more of a whine as he angled for sympathy. “Let me in!”

Frank remained silent, unmoved by Mikey’s pained pleading.

“I’ve got cookies!” Mikey shouted, his excitement showering the statement.

Frank smiled into his hand. He couldn’t help it. He could resist all he wanted, but there was something about Mikey’s enthusiasm and spirit that he found infectious. Besides, he had cookies! Rising to his feet, he was half way to the door before he heard another call, added by way of further enticement.

“Chocolate chip!”
“Alright, alright!” Frank shouted back as he unlocked the door.

Mikey stood on the other side of the door displaying a large plate of cookies at a slight angle, grinning and waving his hand above as if Frank needed further explanation.

“I’m letting you in,” Frank spoke firmly as he helped himself to a cookie, “on the strict understanding that you’re fully aware that I’m cooped up in this room and you’re giving me sugar!”

Mikey beamed; it was good to see that Frank was regaining some of his humour. All five would be stuck in the hotel, under guard, for the rest of the night and the whole of the next day. It would have been easy for Frank to sink even lower after his recent ordeals, but he was a fighter and, as difficult as the situation was, Mikey was determined to help him fight.

“I’ll make some coffee,” the young bassist announced, passing the entire plate to Frank.
“Great!” Frank mumbled with his mouth full. “Sugar and caffeine! The perfect combination!”
Mikey grinned back. “Have you eaten?”
Frank shrugged. “I’ve had two cookies.”
“That’s not enough!” Mikey frowned as he set the coffee machine running.
Frank looked at the plate. “Ask me again in five minutes.”
“I meant proper food!”

Frank held up a cookie and waved it at Mikey.

“Look!” he said sternly. “We’re already working with two of the main basic food groups: chocolate and coffee! Why ruin it?”

Mikey offered a lopsided smile as he reached for the cups. Frank grinned back, he couldn’t help it; Mikey’s company always lifted his spirits. Somehow, Mikey always seemed to know exactly what to do or say to cheer him and now was no exception.

“What’s everyone else up to?” Frank asked accepting the cup of steaming hot coffee from Mikey.
“I think Bob and Ray are playing video games and Gee’s drawing.”
“Nothing much changes! No matter what.”
“Of course not,” Mikey smiled. “In fact, I doubt it’ll be long before we hear a massive argument about who’s best and Gerard yelling at them to keep it down.”

Frank smiled broadly; the scene had been played out so many times on their tour bus it was almost becoming clichéd.

Frank felt himself relaxing for the first time since the previous Saturday.


Gerard frowned as a black smudge appeared on the corner of his sketchpad. Looking at his hands, he wrinkled his nose at the realisation that one of his pens was leaking. Getting to his feet, trying hard not to touch anything, he held his hands aloft as he headed for the bathroom, throwing the offending article in the trash on the way.

In the bathroom, Gerard thought for a moment before turning on the taps, gripping with his wrists. Reaching for the soap, he scrubbed vigorously at the rapidly drying ink and sighed with relief as the black mess started to disappear. Eventually satisfied that his hands were clean he held them under the running water and rinsed.

Looking up as he shut off the water, Gerard gasped as he saw a figure behind him in the mirror. He didn’t even have time to turn before the intruder pushed a hand held taser between his shoulder blades. Eyes shut tight, Gerard arched his back in agony as the electricity jolted every muscle in his body, each one constricting and tightening a little more with every passing second. It was as if he was held rigid like steel, yet he trembled slightly as the current coursed through him. Unable even to scream, Gerard remained standing, silent and shaking, for the briefest of seconds as the device was pulled away before crumpling heavily but almost soundlessly to the floor, unconscious.

The intruder looked down unsympathetically at the pale young man on the floor in front of him. Nudging him with his foot, gauging the reaction, the man sneered when Gerard didn’t even flinch. Dropping to one knee at the singer’s side, the man pulled the cell phone from Gerard’s pocket and sending a brief message before dropping the phone and slipping from the room, unseen.


Frank was still laughing; Mikey was on form tonight. With more funny stories than Frank could handle, Mikey had become the evening’s entertainment.

“Stop! Stop!” Frank begged, laughing so hard he was actually having difficulty finding the time to pull much needed air into his lungs.
“But I want to tell you about…” Mikey began excitedly.
“Let me breathe, Mikey!” Frank begged. “How come I haven’t heard any of these stories before? Are they true?”
“Of course they are!” Mikey grinned. “Just don’t tell Gerard I told you any of them! He’d kill me!”

Frank’s laughter died to a still hearty chuckle as his cell phone message alert sounded.

“Ooh! Speak of the Devil!” he grinned as he pulled the phone from his pocket and saw the sender’s name displayed on the screen. “He’s so lazy!”
Mikey’s eyes widened. “He didn’t hear me tell you did he?”
Frank grinned. “Of course not!” he chided. “And even if he did, I’d say I forced it out of you!”
“I can’t believe he sent you a message! You’re three doors away!” Mikey shook his head in disbelief.
Flipping the phone open, Frank stared at the new message.

“You got everyone involved, Frankie, well now it’s my turn.”

Frank wrinkled his brow as he read the message.
“What’s wrong?” asked Mikey, concerned by both Frank’s expression and his silence.

Frank didn’t know where to begin.

“I just got this really weird message from Gee. I don’t know what he’s talking about.”

Frank replied as he held the phone up for Mikey to read. But even as he held the phone at arms length, Frank realised the significance of the message and the horrible reality dawned on him.

“Gee didn’t write it!” he cried scrambling to his feet and running to the door with Mikey hard on his heels.

Throwing open the door, the pair almost collided with the security guard stationed outside Frank’s room.

“Hey!” he cried grabbing Frank’s arms and restraining him easily. “You can’t go running around, my orders are to keep you here. You know that!”
“I’m not going any where!” Frank shouted, still without the guard budging an inch. “Gee’s in trouble!” he yelled urgently.
“Even more reason, then!” the guard pushed Frank back into his room and closed and locked the door.
“Let me out!” Frank yelled, pulling in vain on the door handle, deeply frustrated. “Mikey!”
Peering through the peep-hole, Frank could see that the corridor appeared to be empty, which could only mean the guard and Mikey were on their way to Gerard’s room.
Turning his back to the door, Frank’s eyes scanned the room. Finally they fell on the adjoining door to Mikey’s room; it was his way out. Racing through the open door, through the room and out into the corridor, Frank turned on his heels and ran for Gerard’s room. As he arrived, he saw immediately that Bob and Ray had been alerted en route and were huddled together near Gerard’s bathroom door. Frank could see the guard on the phone and casting his eyes to the floor, he glimpsed Mikey, cradling Gerard in his arms. Instantly his heart sank to the floor then bounced high into his throat, so much so that it became painful to speak, but the question, even though he could make the sounds, partially eluded him.

“I… Is he…?” Frank gasped.

Bob turned on hearing his friend’s voice.

“He’s okay,” he nodded. “Well,” he corrected himself with a sigh, “he’s alive at any rate.”
“We’ve called the doctor,” Ray confirmed. “Toby,” he nodded to the guard, “he’s calling Brian.”

Frank could only stare, his eyes fixed on the pale form lying unconscious on the floor.

“This is all my fault.”

Something in Frank’s tone made Mikey look up from tending to his brother. Something told him Frank was going to run.

“Stop him!” he yelled as, simultaneously, Frank bolted for the door.

Frank made it only as far as the emergency stairs before the longer legs of Ray and Bob caught up with him. Gripping his arms, Ray and Bob felt foolish as Frank struggled in their grip.

“Frank!” Bob’s voice cut through. “This was not your fault!”
“I wish I could believe that!” Frank had little choice and relaxed his muscles, as fit as he was, he was no match to their double strength. His shoulders drooped and he shook his head in exasperation. “No, I wish I’d just kept my mouth shut!”


Less than an hour later, Frank was seated on the sofa, his elbow resting on the cushion and leaning on his hand refusing to look up.

“Stop sulking, Frank!” Bob finally snapped.
“I’m not!” came the muffled reply as he talked through his hand.
“Yeah, Frank,” Ray corrected, “you are.”

Frank glanced up; his eyes dark and brooding.

“I’m not!” he snapped.
“Well, what are you doing then?” Ray’s voice turned uncharacteristically harsh.
“You tell me how you’d feel! One of my best friends is attacked because of something I’ve done! And I’m locked in here guarded by a ten-foot giant outside and you two in here. You won’t even let me see how Gerard’s doing!”
“That’s because you’re a flight risk,” Ray explained.
“I’m not!” he snapped again. “I panicked, okay? Gerard got hurt because of me and I wanted to get away. I wanted to protect him, all of you, from whoever’s got it in for me by getting the hell away from you! Is that so hard to understand?”
“Not at all,” Ray shook his head.
“Then why…”
“But, the real turning point,” Bob interrupted, “will come when you realise that we’re trying to protect you.”
“But you’re all in danger now! He must have followed when we reported it. I knew going to the police was definitely not the smartest move.”
“You just don’t get it do you?” Ray yelled at him.

Ray never yelled; it was enough to shock Frank into really listening.

“What kind of people do you think we are if you think we’d just abandon you to this psycho?”
“Ray…” Frank was lost for words; he had not viewed it from their perspective. “I…” he shook his head. “I never meant it like that! I just don’t want you risking your lives.”
“We talked about it, Iero,” Bob teased. “Don’t get me wrong, it ended up on the toss of a coin. Heads we give you gift-wrapped to the psycho, tails, we keep you. Came up tails.”

Frank couldn’t help but smile as Bob continued.

“And I’ll tell you something else, I’m not running after you again, I’ve never felt like such a complete idiot in my life! Dragging you back kicking and squirming like a five year old. You will promise to stay put or so help me, I’m going back to my room, fetching a roll of duct tape from my drum bag and I’m taping you to that wall!”
“I think he means it,” Ray added with a bright smile.

The connecting door opened and Mikey popped his head round.

“He’s awake.”

All three got to their feet and headed to the door. As Ray reached it he turned to Frank and cast him a questioning look as he saw Frank’s pleading expression. Nodding towards the door, Frank followed, relieved to be trusted not to run.

Entering the room in silence, Gerard greeted them surprisingly cheerfully.

“Hey guys,” he smiled but it was clear he was in pain.
“How do you feel?” asked Bob.
“Like toast.”
“The guy…” Gerard began, “he electrocuted me. He had a taser.”
“How did it feel?” Frank asked.
Gerard frowned. “Like sticking your tongue on a fifty-foot battery. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t even scream, how did you find me so fast?”
“He used your phone to send me a message,” Frank explained, his words speeding up as each one nearly tripped over the last. “We knew you were in trouble and then they found you on the bathroom floor.”

Gerard smiled as Frank sighed at his choice of words.

“Frank!” Mikey groaned recognising the lyrics.
“But you did!” Frank shrugged.
“But I’m okay now,” Gerard confirmed, “sore as Hell, but okay.”
“Did you see him?” Frank asked quietly.
“Briefly,” Gerard sighed deeply and nodded, “in the mirror.”
“Did you recognise him?”

Gerard looked down at his hands and frowned.

“Not really,” he replied cryptically as he looked up.
“What does that mean?” asked Mikey.
“It means that I got the feeling I should recognise him, but I didn’t. So, what now?” Gerard asked pointedly.

Each band member remained silent as they glanced at each other trying to guess one another’s thoughts.

“When Frank thought it was just him, he said he wanted to go ahead with the tour and we tried to get him to rethink,” Gerard summarised. “Now it looks like it’s open season on us and it’s not one person’s decision any more.”
“We can’t hide forever,” Bob commented.
“We could actually be safer in public,” Ray shrugged.
“You know what I think,” Mikey added.
“Frank?” Gerard asked.

Frank turned one corner of his mouth up; he wished he knew what Mikey had decided. He straightened up and his expression hardened.

“Us against the world, including the psychos.”
Gerard smiled again. “That settles it then, the tour goes ahead. Now will someone get me some Tylenol?” he added as he sagged slightly in the bed.


The whole of the next day was spent on preparation. Complete with protection, with the exception of Gerard, each band member was escorted home to collect what he needed for the tour. Gerard needed to remain in bed to recover from the attack but it was a simple enough matter for Mikey to collect his belongings. The day went surprisingly quickly and was filled with seemingly endless phone calls from Brian, sometimes asking if they were sure and at others trying to change their minds, but they were determined.

“Just send the damn bus, Brian!” Bob eventually answered a call.


Far across town, someone else was making his own plans for the tour. He knew it was going ahead and he knew about the additional security that had been procured for them. Of course he knew, having served as one of their guards on a previous tour, he was now one of the additional men drafted in to protect them. He chuckled to himself. How could they possibly know that their determination to continue, whilst admirable and brave, would lead them directly into his hands?



@The Resurrectionist
So glad you're enjoying it, I'm never certain so it's good to know. I've added another chapter - hope you like it :) Thanks so much for reading and commenting! I really appreciate it! Sas xo

SaskiaK SaskiaK

Ahhhh still lovin this!!!

@The Resurrectionist
Another chapter is up - hope you like it :) Thanks, Sas xo

SaskiaK SaskiaK

@The Resurrectionist
Really? Oh, I'm so glad you like it! It's a pre-written one so i can pretty much add chapters on demand! I'll put up another now. Hope you like it!! Thanks!! Sas xx

SaskiaK SaskiaK

holy hell this is so good pls keep the updates coming I already love this