Willow helps Mikey at the venue.
Mikey tugged at her hand urgently, “Who is he and what does he want?” He lowered his voice. “And why does he look like that?”
Everyone in the room except for Mikey and Willow looked around nervously. Willow looked at the young man in the corner of the room and cleared her mind. In a flash she was seeing pictures, snapshots of the young mans life. As she watched the images she was filled with an overwhelming sadness. It had ended so tragic. She didn’t even realize she had tears in her eyes until Gerard sat down next to her and handed her a tissue. Having him suddenly so close broke her concentration but she’d seen enough, she understood.
Willow wiped her eyes and looked at Mikey. “Years ago he worked here back when it was an opera house. He was in love with one of the young ladies in the chorus. One night after the show he stayed behind to tell her how he felt but there was a fire. He died trying to reach her.”
“Oh” Alicia said softly. “That’s so sad.”
Willow nodded. “Yes, tragic.”
The room was silent until Mikey spoke in a whisper. “Why is he here?” The fact that he was still very scared made Willow squeeze his hand for strength.
“He has been with you since you arrived here. He could sense you can see him and that brought him some comfort. He’s lonely.”
Mikey glanced back over towards the specter. “So the fire is why he looks like that?”
Willow nodded, “He may not even realize he can change the way he looks. Sometimes the departed don’t know. He’s just appearing as he looked when he passed.”
Mikey was still scared and Willow understood. She spoke softly. “Mikey he means you no harm. He was just drawn to you because of your abilities. He’s been here for many years and he just wanted to be seen.” She added sadly, “No one wants to be invisible.”
Alicia moved closer and whispered. “Can’t we do something for him? You know like in the movies, help him move on?”
“He doesn’t want to move on. His love was here. She didn’t die in the fire. She lived a long life with someone else at her side. He knows that. So he chooses to stay here where his memories of the time they spent together still linger.”
“Oh” Alicia said blinking back tears “I feel for him.”
Gerard was fascinated but more than that he was very proud of Willow and her gift. The compassion she showed touched his heart.
“Can you tell him I’m sorry I was freaked out?” Mikey asked softly.
“He can hear you, Mikey.” Willow said with a smile.
Mikey looked shocked. “Oh, well damn.” He regretted his earlier comment about the man’s appearance but the fast he’d been so badly burned had frightened him.
Gerard watched as Willow’s eyes once again zeroed in on the corner. It was incredible to him that she was truly seeing a ghost. The expression on her face was so sweet he wanted to memorize the look.
Willow nodded slightly still staring at the corner. A moment later she closed her eyes and sighed.
“Where did he go?” Mikey had blinked and when he looked again the man was gone.
“He’s left.” Willow said tearing up again. “But he wanted us to know he’s thankful that we acknowledged him.”
No one in the room knew what to say.
Gerard couldn’t stop himself. He reached over and took Willow’s hand in his immediately feeling the current between them but this time it was much stronger.
Willow felt it too. She looked into his eyes and tried to answer his unspoken question she knew he must be thinking. “I think it’s because my psychic abilities are heightened right now.”
Gerard considered her words but realized it didn’t matter. He had needed to touch her. He squeezed her hand and whispered “Thank you.”
While the band practiced Alicia and Willow searched the net on Alicia’s laptop.
“Oh look.” Alicia said excitedly pointing at the article they’d found on the history of the venue. “Here is the part about the fire.”
Willow nodded as her eyes read the story that was accompanied by a photo of the building as it had looked in the early 1900’s.
“Damn they don’t mention the victims by name.” Alicia said sadly.
Willow too was disappointed. She had wanted to be able to put a name to the young man who’d lost his life in the fire.
“Let’s look for another article.” Alicia was on a mission. She was fascinated at what had taken place earlier.
“You want to find a picture of him don’t you?” Willow asked.
Alicia gave her a surprised look.
“No, I’m not reading your thoughts. I just think you want to do it for Mikey.”
“Yeah.” Alicia said softly. “I thought that if we could find a photo of the man, you know the way he looked before the fire it would be a better memory for Mikey.”
Willow nodded. “Yeah, it would be. I understand how disturbing the man’s fire ravaged face was for him to see.”
“So would you recognize the man if you saw a photo of him?”
Willow considered the question. “I think I would and according to this article only four people died in the fire and one was a woman. So out of three possible I’m sure I would know which one he was.”
Alicia sat back a moment and looked at Willow. “Can I ask you something?”
“Of course.” Willow glanced away from the computer screen and towards Alicia.
“I was watching you and Gee. Something happened when he took your hand. I could see it in his eyes.”
Willow wasn’t sure how to answer. She nodded slowly.
Alicia tried to choose her words carefully. “I mentioned it to Mikey and he said something really strange.”
“What?” Willow asked.
“Well, remember Mikey was still holding your other hand.”
Willow was confused, “Yes.”
“Mikey said that he felt something. He didn’t know how to describe it. He said that he didn’t feel it until Gerard touched you. He said it felt like a jolt .”
Willow was shocked that Mikey had obviously felt the unexplained sensation that passed between her and Gerard. “Oh” She was at a loss for words.
Alicia was watching her closely. “What is going on between you and Gee, really?”
Willow answered honestly. “ I can’t answer that question because I really, truly don’t know.”
“I was shocked at how he tender he was acting towards you. I thought you and he uh, weren’t getting along.”
Willow got up from the table and walked across the room. “I told him I was going home tomorrow.”
Alicia was shocked, “What? Going home? But why? We’re going to the Paramour tomorrow. You promised Mikey.” She added that last part for her husband. She believed he truly needed Willow to help him face what was coming.
Willow looked out the small window at the gathering rain clouds. “Gerard asked me to stay.’ She said in a near whisper.
“And are you?”
Could she really leave at this time? Willow closed her eyes and immediately saw Elena in her minds eye. “Yes.” She said turning. She was shocked to see Ray standing in the doorway. His vampire quiet mind had prevented her from knowing he was there.
Ray smiled, “Then could you please go tell Gerard?”
“What?” Willow asked.
“Our lead singer is so distracted he’s forgetting the lyrics to the songs. I was wondering what was wrong and I guess I know now. Willow please tell him that you’ve changed your mind and are going to the Paramour with us.”
Willow stared at Ray. “Well you could tell him.” She was still trying to get her thoughts concerning Gerard straight and so she was trying to keep some distance between them.
“It would mean more if you told him.” Ray said with a small smile.
Willow shook her head. “Okay Vamp Man. I’ll tell him.”
Ray laughed out loud. “So now I’m Vamp Man?”
“Yeah, that’s how you snuck up on me.”
“Where’s Gee now?’ Alicia asked breaking in. “So Willow can tell him.” She wanted to make sure Willow didn’t change her mind.
“He just stepped out back for a smoke.” Ray answered.
Willow nodded, “Okay, I’ll go tell him.” She looked over at Alicia who was still seated in front of the laptop. “Keep looking.”
Alicia nodded, “Will do.”
“What are you guys looking for?” Ray asked walking over and peer over Alicia’s shoulder at the laptop.
Willow left the room while Alicia was explaining they were looking for a photo of the man Mikey and Willow had seen.
“Hey, Baby.” Jessica moved behind Gerard and snaked her arms around his waist. “I came early, hope that’s okay.”
Gerard tried to hide his shock. How has she gotten backstage? He hadn’t even put her name on the VIP list but knowing Jessica she’s gotten one of the security guys to let her through. She was good at sweet talking.
“So, here is your phone.” She pulled his cell out of her pocket and moved to put it into his. Her fingers lingered in his jacket pocket allowing her to hug him a bit tighter.
Gerard tried to take a step away but she kept her body molded to his. “So what’s the plan for after the concert? We could have an intimate dinner at my place.”
Before Gerard answered he turned in Jessica’s arms to face her. That was when he saw Willow standing in the doorway.
Jessica saw the look on his face and turned to follow his gaze. “Oh, hello.” She said trying to sound friendly.
Gerard tried to speak but his brain wouldn’t engage. Why the hell did this have to happen now? He had just begun to hope that Willow wouldn’t leave and now she’d walked in on him and Jessica together.
Jessica tried to hide her smile but it was hard. Judging by the look on the visiting chicks face she was hurt to see Gerard with her. Well good, Jessica thought. He’s mine. I’ve put up with him a long time to get where I am and I’m not letting her come between us.
Willow blinked as Jessica’s thoughts filled her mind. The woman was vile. The hurt she had felt when she first saw them together was now replaced with anger. “Gerard, I just came out to talk to you about California.”
Gerard’s heart sank. Here it comes he thought, she’s going to tell me to fuck off.
Jessica’s brow rose and Willow smiled. Obviously Jessica was curious about the California trip.
“Uh, Jessica I need to talk to Willow.” Gerard said hoping Jessica would take the hint and go inside.
“No, that’s okay.” Willow said with a bright smile, “We can talk about it tonight.”
Jessica glared at her.
Gerard saw Willow’s smile and his heart lifted. “Are you sure?’
“I’m sure.” Willow nodded, “We can talk while you’re making me dinner.” She started to go inside but turned and added, “Oh and don’t forget we have to pick up the fresh strawberries and whip cream on the way home. You promised me a special desert.”
Gerard’s face lit up. “I sure did, Sugar.”
Jessica turned to glare at him as Willow walked back into the building smiling to herself. She was not over the pain of what had happened between Jessica and Gerard earlier but having heard him admit that he was truly sorry he’d hurt her gave her a small amount of hope that things between them were changing for the better.
AUTHORS NOTE: Tomorrow I’m leaving on vacation. I want to thank all of you once again for the comments you’ve been leaving; they mean so much to me. The next chapter will be on Sunday. Take care everyone and see you then.