"F - Frank..." I whispered, my voice cracking. I didnt want to collapse and wait to be found, I wanted to see him now. I stumbled up the kerb and fell forward, landing against the pub door with a small thud. I laughed weakly to myself, I was here, I was really here and I could feel the wood of the door and the coolness of the handle as I gripped it, but horror filled me as I realised the door was locked. It took a long moment for me to realise that of course it was locked - why the hell wouldnt it be? But that just made everything more complicated for me. I began pounding on the door, my knuckles bloody from the fall down the stairs, it hurt my entire arm and shoulder to simply knock the door but I kept going, hitting and hitting, trying to get enough volume to my voice to shout.
"Frank...Frankie...Open the door..." I groaned, my knocking getting softer as my body felt like it was shutting down. Sleep seemed like a pretty good idea right now. Frank probably couldnt hear the door, I leant against it and closed my eyes, the curtain over the door was pulled back and Franks face appeared just as my eyelids fell, but I probably dreamt it. And the sounds of his excited yell and the locks being opened was probably just a dream too...
"GERARD! OH MY GOD!" Something fell on me and I whined in protest as I was pulled into a hug so tight I was sure it would kill me. "Gerard, oh god Gee, your back - BOB HE'S BACK!" Franks voice was so beautiful. Did I ever mention that before? Even so, I wished he would stop squeezing me.
"Oooow..." I whined.
"Hm? - OH! God Gee I'm sorry, oh my god, your hurt, BOB HE'S HURT HURRY UP!" I was dragged into the warmth of the pub but I was already almost asleep, everything was hazy. Frank had his arms round my waist as he dragged me inside, my legs unable to move quick enough to help him. The door was kicked shut and I heard Bobs footsteps approaching.
"Shit... what have they done to him?" His voice was low, horrified. I wasnt that bad surely? I was only sleeping.
"I d - dont know. Oh Gerard, please open your eyes. Baby please, you have to stay awake." Franks soft voice was wavering, like he was crying, and I wanted to open my eyes and I wanted to tell him he was fine but he was so warm and I was so tired.
"F - Fra...umm..." I couldnt form the words right, and I whimpered as I was scooped into arms too muscly to be Franks, Bobs I guessed. It hurt when he shifted me so that he could carry me quickly up the stairs and I wanted to tell him to put me down. I got my wish soon enough when I was dropped onto a bed, by this point I was hardly aware of anything. I knew what was going on but it wasnt quite registering in my head.
"Oh Gerard... Look at you..." Whispered the voice of an angel, a hand taking mine. I tried to smile but I dont know whether I managed or not before everything shut down.
I could hear voices talking around me, how many it was hard to tell. I wished they'd shut up so I could get back to sleep, I'd been having a great dream. I dreamt that Gary had got hurt and I had managed to get home to Frank and I had fallen asleep holding his hand. It had been the best dream I'd had in a while, stupid Gary talking and waking me up. It took me a moment to realise I couldnt hear Garys voice and that I recognised one of them, no two of them, three even, was that four?
"Uhh... shuddup..." I groaned, grabbing a pillow and pressing it to my face, the pillow smelt good, like Frank. Was Frank here? Yes, I could hear his voice. Why was he here? How had he found me? Reluctantly I forced my heavy eyelids to open and I was instantly disorientated, my head felt like it was spinning. This was the pub, not the abandoned house, I went to sit up but my whole body throbbed with pain and I hissed in protest. I would like to say it was because I was so tired that it took me what felt like forever to realise I hadnt been dreaming and that I had indeed managed to come home last night. As soon as I realised this I smiled widely and saw that there were four people stood with their back to me, talking to eachother. I knew who they were immediately, Bob, Ray, Mikey and of course Frank.
"Fr - ankie..." My throat hurt, my tongue was dry and I had to cough half way through saying his name but they all heard and I was suddenly swamped by everyone trying to hug me at once. There was a lot of tears and happy cries, but I gave up trying to make sense of it all, I just knew I was happy and I was aching and I had never felt so loved in my entire life.
"Gerard! Oh thank god your okay!"
"Gee - you scared us all so much!"
"OI! STOP CROWDING HIM!"
"Yeah - move back I should get first hug I'm his little brother!"
"No way, I'm his boyfriend!"
"I'm his best friend!"
"YOUR GONNA CHOKE HIM!" And Bobs words of wisdom were completely correct, I was currently being strangled and smothered as they fought over who should get to hug me first when they were all already hugging me.
"Oh crap! Gee, I'm so sorry!" Cried Ray, the same being said by Frank and Mikey as they retreated back a few steps. I coughed and rubbed my throat, inhaling deeply before attempting a smile, even my face hurt.
"Uh, no harm done." I wheezed. Frank gingerly stepped forward and took my hand, he had tears in his eyes and he kissed my palm as he smiled at me. "Frank... why you crying?" I asked quietly, horrified that I could see his tears. This was meant to be a happy moment.
"I was scared Gee... and now I'm just so relieved to see your okay, I thought I was never going to see you again." He whispered, I smiled gently and pulled him into me, my body ached in protest but I couldnt care less, I needed to hold him. He shifted so that he could lye beside me and we spent a moment holding eachother and then Mikey spoke up.
"Frank and Bob got me and Ray as soon as they lost sight of you. We've been searching all over the place for you, we were thinking about getting the police when we heard a knock at the door - which was you." Mikey took my outstretched hand and pulled me into a gentle hug. "We've all been worried sick, I cant say how happy I am to have you back." He whispered to me. The same sort of things were said by Bob and Ray and I couldnt help but feel like I didnt deserve all this love, Frank hadnt recieved this after what had happened to him, why was I any different? I knew deep down it was because this was a different situation compared to Acacia but I didnt care, getting so much love off everyone made me feel bad. When I voiced this concern everyone began protesting and I didnt bother saying it again. We spent the morning in the room together, I had to rest, as much as I wanted to get up and walk around and no one was prepared to leave me. But during the afternoon they all went to make some lunch and leave me and Frank alone for a moment, knowing we would want to talk.
"Gee..." Frank lifted his head off my chest and cupped my cheek with his hand. "What happened to you? What did they do?" He asked tentaviley, I could tell by his voice he was wary, unsure of whether I would want to tell him, but I loved him and I had to tell him. I tried to smile but it failed and the tears spilled from my eyes before I could stop them, Frank ready to wipe them away.
"If you dont want to tell me -" He began but I shook my head.
"N - no. I need to." I said, shaking a little as I forced myself to regain control of my emotions. Frank waited patiently for me to speak and eventually I took a deep breath and started.
"Well... the two guys with Gary didnt do anything except help him kidnap me, then they were paid and left. I was in some abandoned house by the river and Gary took me into the basement and he was so violent to me through the two days I was there... But the first hour of being there he..." I sighed and begged with my eyes for Frank to guess, I didnt want to say it - I didnt want to think it.
"He -" I tried again but once more I couldnt finish. Frank gently touched my hand as he said.
"Did the same as he did to me..." I nodded and Franks eyes filled with tears but he kept them back well, softly pulling me into a hug and I felt the hesitation and knew he was scared that I wouldnt want him to touch me. I proved him wrong by clutching him as I cried silently, neither of us said a thing. No words had to be said, the past couldnt be changed and I didnt want to talk about it.
"Was it only once?" Frank eventually asked, his voice filled with hatred.
"Yes." I whispered, my voice hoarse.
"I'll kill him..." Frank said it so quietly I almost didnt hear him and I knew he was feeling the same horror as I had felt when I knew it had happened to him.
"I think he already is dead..." I mumbled and Frank pulled back looking shocked.
"What?" He asked, his eyes searching mine. I told him about the fight we had had when he saw me trying to escape and then about how the stairs had given way under him and the only reason the same thing hadnt happened to me was because I hadnt walked down the stairs - I had been thrown over them. My stomach twinged as I realised Gary throwing me down them had been a blessing in disguise, if I had walked down then would I be here now? Frank seemed unsure of what to say, I could tell he was angry that I had been thrown down stairs, and happy that Gary had been hurt.
"Well... oh... well... are you sure he's dead? If he's not... Oh god, Gee if he's not will he come after us again? He'll be even angrier than before! He was still knocking on the door you said - Gerard he might come back!" Franks voice filled with sudden panic and I hushed him, brushing his hair out of his face but I suddenly was scared also, Frank was completely right.
"What do we do?" I wondered aloud, Frank bit his lip and looked away, thinking for a moment before taking both my hands in his and looking back at me.
"We have to go to that house and check."