Willow spends the day with her new friends.
Willow halted half way to the care where Mikey and Alicia were waiting at turned to face him. “Man, that’s amazing.”
Gerard smiled and pretended not to understand. “What?”
Willow knew he understood damn good and well what she was talking about. In his mind Gerard was singing a song constantly. For the most part it blocked out any thoughts she could hear. Not that she was trying to hear them but instead of murmuring like she usually heard when she was with someone she was hearing a song. Willow just laughed, “I don’t recognize the song.”
He smiled and started towards the car. “It’s new. Something I’ve been working on. You like?”
Willow rushed to catch up with him. “I haven’t listened closely to the lyrics. I told you I don’t just go around getting into other people’s heads.”
“But you know I’m singing.” He said softly.
“Yeah, I can get that.” She waited for him to open the car door and she slid inside. Gerard walked around and got into the back seat with her.
“So you ready for an adventure?” Alicia asked Willow looking back at her.
Willow nodded, “Sure. Where are we going?”
“There’s this great shopping area.” Alicia said excitedly. “We thought we’d hit that place first then grab some lunch.”
“And they have a fuckin’ amazing comic book store too.” Mikey added sounding very happy about that fact.
“Cool.” Willow answered. “I love comics.”
Gerard looked over at her. “Really? What do you read?”
Willow could tell by his tone he was testing her. “Oh man, lots of titles. When I was young I started with “House of Mystery”. I loved those horror comics. My mom would throw a fit every time I brought one into the house. Now I read just about any comic I can get my hands on. Luckily our local library carries them so I don’t have to spend money I don’t really have to read them.”
“Ever read “Preacher”? Gerard asked.
Willow nodded, “Yeah, sure. I also love “Sandman”. There is this incredible boxed set I saw not long ago. I’d love to own it but the price? Oh, and how about “Mr. Hero”? I love that series. Hell, I love anything Gaiman does.”
“Holy shit. You sound like these guys.” Alicia laughed. “Here I thought you and I would slip away while they were at the comic store but now I’m thinking that you’ll want to stay with them.”
Willow smiled, “Oh, I’ll go with you. I like window shopping too.”
The others in the car noticed how she said ‘window shopping’. It was obvious Willow had no money to spend on non-essential things.
After thirty minutes in the comic store it was obvious Alicia was bored. Willow carefully placed the latest issue of Justice League back on the rack and walked over to her. “So should he take off now? Pretty sure the guys are gonna be here a long time.” Truth be told Willow would have preferred to stay put but she wanted to please Alicia.
“Are you sure you don’t want to stay here with them?” Alicia nodded to her husband and his brother who both had their noses buried in comic books.
“No, let’s go.” Willow smiled.
Alicia nodded and walked over to the guys. Willow followed her.
“Hey, we’re gonna take off and do some shopping.” Alicia said causing both of the men to look up.
“Tired of comics already?” Gerard said glancing at Willow.
She tried to answer honestly, “I want to go with Alicia.” That wasn’t a lie. It felt so nice to spend time with someone she now considered a friend.
Alicia told them that she and Willow would meet them at the restaurant in an hour and a half.
Mikey watched them leave the store then turned to Gerard. “So what do you think of Willow?”
Gerard had a feeling he knew what Mikey was getting at so he glared at him. “What do you mean?”
Mikey ignored his brother’s look. “You know what I mean. What do you think of her?”
“What does it matter?” Gerard said closing the comic he’d been reading. “She’s with us to help you get your head straight. After that she’ll go home and we’ll never see her again.”
“Man, you need to get over the bitterness.” Mikey said shaking his head slowly.
“Bitterness? No man, I ain’t full of bitterness. I’m just being realistic. If you think I’ll ever let any woman get close enough to screw me over again you are crazy.” Once the word crazy left his mouth he wished he could take it back. Trying to soften his comment he continued, “Look, she’s a nice woman. I’m glad she’s here to help you but don’t try to bring me into this. It ain’t gonna happen.”
“Alicia told me last night that Willow explained to her that she doesn’t have friends. That she’s always been afraid to because of her gift.”
Gerard pondered his words. “I can see how it might be hard for her.”
Mikey rolled his eyes, “Come on Bro. Try to imagine how you would feel not having family or friends. The woman is pretty much alone in the world. Alicia and I want to be her friends long after she returns home.”
Gerard refused to soften. “Well more power to you guys. I think it’s nice you want to befriend her. Just leave me out of it.”
Sadly Mikey shook his head as Gerard walked across the store. His brother’s heart was so wounded he couldn’t feel any more.
Alicia and Willow walked out of the clothing store still laughing at one of the dressed Alicia had tried on and modeled. “God, that thing was hideous.” Alicia giggled.
Willow had to agree. “Wonder if anyone will buy it?”
“Oh, I’m sure someone will.” Alicia said clutching the bag, which contained the items she had purchased. “It’s a designer dress and fuckin’ over priced. Some women really go in for that shit.”
Willow shrugged, “I guess so.” She had truly been shocked when she’d heard the amount of the dress. That kind of money would pay a large chunk of her mortgage.
“So we better head towards the restaurant now.” Alicia said looking over at Willow.
They began slowly walking down the sidewalk. Alicia decided now was a good time to bring up the question she’d wanted to ask Willow before. “So can I ask you a personal question?”
Willow nodded, “Sure.”
“What’s it like having sex and being able to hear the guys thoughts?”
The question caused Willow to stop walking. Alicia immediately began to apologize.
“Hey, I’m sorry. That’s too personal.”
Willow smiled slightly. “No, it’s okay. I told you that you could ask a personal question. It’s just that…well I can’t answer that one. I don’t know.”
Alicia stared at her a moment. “You don’t know?”
Willow shook her head, “Nope.”
“You mean your…oh shit. Sorry.” Alicia actually blushed.
“It’s okay.” Willow said wanting to put her at ease. “Yeah, that’s right. I’m a twenty-five year old virgin.”
“Holy shit.” Alicia whispered. “I mean, oh shit.” She struggled to find the words. “I mean there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Willow laughed, “Yeah, but it’s a bit strange. I’ve only allowed myself to have one serious relationship in my life and it turned out badly. I found out he forgot to mention he was married.”
“Fuck.” Alicia muttered as they began walking again. “That’s just fucked up.”
“Yeah, it was.” Willow said trying not to let the familiar pain she felt each time she remembered him take over.
“So, you never listened to his thoughts?”
Willow shook her head, “Nope, I was in love and I just wanted to be a normal woman in love with a guy. I never listened in to his thoughts, they were forced on me.” She explained about how she heard him thinking about his wife.
“The bastard.” Alicia said after hearing the story.
“You haven’t let him make you turn bitter about love, have you?”
“I will never let myself fall in love again.” Willow answered without hesitation. “Someone like me just can’t.”
Alicia stopped walking and turned to her. “Okay, that’s just wrong. One guy who was a prick shouldn’t make you give up on love.”
Willow tried to explain her feelings. “That’s not it, It’s just the idea of being intimate with someone scares me. I don’t know what it would be like in the moment of passion to hear someone else’s thoughts. I mean I could try to block them out but what if I couldn’t? What if the guy was thinking about someone else when he was making love to me? What if he was thinking how bad I was at sex?” She shook her head, “I just don’t want to risk that.”
They had arrived at the restaurant and saw the guys were already seated at a table off to the left. Quickly the joined them and after a few minutes of deliberation they placed their orders.
“So, I see you found some treasures.” Mikey said looking down at the bag Alicia had placed by her feet.
Alicia nodded, “Yeah, a few things. I see you and Gee bought some stuff too.” She wanted to make sure he wasn’t implying that she spent all the money in the family.
Willow glanced over at Gerard and wondered why he was upset. The song in his head was very loud and he looked angry.
The waitress returned to their table with the drink orders. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to see she was flirting outright with Gerard.
“Here you go.” She set his soda down smiling and batting her eyes. “Hope you like it.”
Willow tried not to roll her eyes at the obvious flirting.
Gerard gave the waitress a sexy smile, “I’m sure I’ll love it. Thanks Hope.”
Glancing over at her Willow saw that indeed the waitress’s nametag read Hope.
“I’ve placed your order. Is there ANYTHING else I can do for you?” Hope leaned over the table to give Gerard a nice clear view of her cleavage. Willow saw that he was enjoying the view.
The lunch was strained after that incident. Several more times Hope returned to the table to flirt with Gerard. Willow couldn’t help but hear Alicia’s thoughts on the matter. It was hard not to laugh out loud when Alicia thought how nice it would be if Hope accidentally dropped Gerard’s hot plate in his lap. Willow was a bit surprised when she heard why Alicia was thinking this way. She believed that Willow was attracted to Gerard and was being hurt by his actions. For several long moments Willow gave that some thought of her own. Was she attracted to Gerard? In the end she chose not to explore that avenue. It didn’t matter if she was or wasn’t because nothing would ever happen between them.
They had just finished up the meal when Hope returned to the table to set the check in front of Gerard. It was easy to see she’d also included a private note. Willow couldn’t stop herself from tying to listen to his thoughts when he read it. Oh, man, what a note. Hope told him she was getting off work now and had a place not far from here. She offered to service him in private. It took all of Willow’s willpower not to roll her eyes.
It wasn’t until Gerard glanced over at her and smirked that she realized how easily she’d been able to hear his thoughts. He’d deliberately made it so she could. He was sending her a message loud and clear. He was going to fuck his woman and that she meant nothing to him. He wanted Willow to know that’s what he felt about all women.
“Hey, I’ll catch up with you guys later.” Gerard said as they stood up from the table.
“You’re not going with us?” Mikey asked clearly confused.
“No, Bro. I’ve got some shit to do.” Gerard answered as he looked across the restaurant towards Hope.
Mikey shrugged and took Alicia’s arm. Willow started to follow them but turned and leaned over to Gerard. “Make sure you wear a condom. She’s been thinking about how lucrative it would be if you got her pregnant.” With that Willow smiled and followed Mikey and Alicia. She completely missed the look of pain on Gerard’s face as he sat at the table watching them leave.