Present September 2012
It had been three days since Frank had last spoken to Lyn. He avoided all her calls choosing to pretend he had never seen her instead of facing the reality of the situation. He spent most hours of those days in bed choosing to get up only to relieve himself and get food.
‘Planning on getting out of bed today?’ Jamia asked she walked into the room carrying a basket of washing she dropped it onto the bed crushing Frank’s feet which were up until the point comfortable.
‘Ouch! Mia what the hell?’ He cried knocking the basket off the bed and clutching his feet ‘what did you do that for?’
‘I want you to get your arse out of bed and do something today you haven’t left this bed in days, what’s wrong with you?’
‘Nothing I just feel like taking a few days out away from the world to relax and do nothing, I work hard you know.’ He told her frowning
‘What and I don’t?’
‘I never said that’ he huffed falling back onto his pillows ‘I just need...I just need a rest.’
‘Is this about us not getting pregnant yet’ Jamia asked sitting on the end of the bed ‘are you depressed?’
‘No Mia’ Frank said softly ‘this is not about us not getting pregnant and no I’m not depressed’ he lied ‘I’m just...I don’t know I want to be left alone’
‘Why won’t you talk to me?’ Jamia asked quietly ‘we used to be so close.’
‘And we still are’ he told her sincerely ‘we are close Mia you’re still my favourite person.’
Jamia smiled and accept the kiss he placed on her cheek. She wouldn’t force him to tell her what’s wrong, he’d come to her in his own time he always did.
‘Well you’ll get your wish’ she said bending to retrieve the fallen basket ‘My mother called, my grandmother is ill again and she needs taking care if my mum wants me to help. I’ll be leaving this afternoon.’
‘Ok’ Frank said ‘I’ll try not to burn the house down while you’re gone, no guarantees though.’
‘There never is.’ She smirked ‘I love you.’
‘You too’ He said not meeting her eyes.
Past September 2007
‘Aww she’s beautiful’ Donna cooed proudly ‘Just beautiful.’
‘Thank you’ Cheyenne said hoarsely she was exhausted the events of last night had really taken its toll, so much so that she decided to stay another night in the hospital.
‘I came by last night’ Donna said tearing her eyes from the small bundle in her arms to look at the young mother in front of her ‘I have to admit I came in to have a peak I couldn’t leave without seeing her.’
‘Oh’ Cheyenne replied she knew at that instant that Donna would have seen her and Frank asleep together. ‘Donna, Frank and I...’
‘You don’t have to explain to me’ Donna said stroking the tiny clenched hand of her grandchild ‘Bob told me what happened and it’s only natural you would seek comfort I’m glad Frank was there for you.’
‘Me too, I don’t know what I would have done without him.’ Cheyenne said a feeling happiness spreading through her at the thought of Frank and all he had done for her since she fell pregnant.
‘Cheyenne’ Donna said as she placed Jasmine in her crib ‘What are you going to do about my son?’
‘I don’t know’ Cheyenne whispered ‘I honestly don’t know.’
‘You can’t keep him from Jasmine’ Donna said her eyes pleading, begging even for understanding ‘I know he’s hurt you and I know he’s done wrong but he needs you, he needs Jasmine.’
‘I needed him Donna’ Cheyenne snapped ‘I’ve needed him for the last nine months and every time I’ve needed him he hasn’t been there. I mean for God sake Donna he missed the birth of his daughter because he was too drunk to board the plane, I don’t need somebody like that and neither does Jasmine.’
‘Please don’t be hasty’ Donna begged ‘I know how much you’re hurting I know he’s let you down but let him prove to you that he can do better. I know with the arrival of Jasmine he’ll try his hardest he won’t let her down.’
‘But I know he will’ Cheyenne said her eyes tearing up at the thought of Gerard hurting her again
‘Please have some faith’ Donna said reaching out and taking Cheyenne in her arms ‘He loves you so much and you are the best thing to have ever happened to him, please don’t turn him away for the things he’s done in the past let him be a part of your future not just for your sake but for Jasmine’s she needs a father....’
‘Good morning ladies’ Franks said striding into the room, a new bunch of flowers in his hands ‘Oh shoot am I interrupting something’ he asked stopping short and taking his shades off.
‘No its okay’ Donna said opening her arms out to him, he walked into them and gave her a squeeze.
‘If I knew you’d be here I would’ve bought another bunch’ He said taking a tulip from the flowers he was carrying and handing it to Donna.
‘You are such a charmer Frank Iero’ Donna said with a giggle
‘I have to do something to make up for my lack of height’ he said kissing Cheyenne on the cheek and handing her the bouquet ‘how you doing mama?’
‘I’m ok’ Cheyenne said smelling the flowers and placing them on the nightstand ‘Just tired.’
‘No doubt’ Frank said rolling up his sleeves, he bent over the cot and gently lifted Jasmine into his arms ‘hello beautiful’ he smiled kissing the baby’s face ‘how you doing?’
Donna and Cheyenne both watched him cooing over the baby. He held her like he’d been holding babies instead of guitars for years he cradled and stroked her, his eyes alight as he cuddled her.
‘What time do you want me to take you home?’ Frank asked as he took his phone from his pocket balancing Jasmine on one arm her small head in his hand and her body resting along his tattooed arm
‘Hold her properly for goodness sake Frank’ Donna chastised ‘I’ve only got the one.’
‘Relax I’m a pro’ Frank replied but out of respect he manoeuvred the sleeping child so she was safely held in his two capable hands.
‘I’m decided to stay one more night’ Cheyenne told him ‘I’m beat I need one more day of rest.’
‘No problem’ Frank said ‘I’ll take you home whenever you want.’
‘Shouldn’t Gerard be taking you and Jasmine home?’ Donna asked trying to make it sound as casual as she could.
‘He said he’d be here today so I’ll discuss it with him’ Cheyenne replied catching Frank’s eye and seeing the sudden upset in them.
‘Right I better be off’ Donna said walking over to Frank and taking Jasmine from his arms ‘I have a few presents to buy for a certain someone.’
‘Oh Donna really’ Cheyenne said ‘don’t go overboard.’
‘Quiet you’ Donna laughed ‘this is my first grandchild and believe me I’m going to spoil her rotten’ Donna kissed the baby handed her back to Frank, kissed him and Cheyenne and left, intent on finding Gerard and getting him to the hospital as soon as she could, she thought that Frank and Cheyenne were getting a little too comfortable with one another.
Present September 2012
‘Mommy where is Uncle Frank’ Jasmine asked. Cheyenne sighed deeply it had been a few days since they last saw Frank and she, apparently wasn’t the only one who noticed.
‘I don’t know sweetheart’ Cheyenne answered honestly picking up the red coloured pencil on the table and helping her daughter colour in the picture of a house that Gerard had drawn for Jasmine. It was something Gerard had always done, he always drew her pictures and she coloured them and when they were finished they took pride of place on the fridge. ‘I think Uncle Frank is busy at the moment you know him and Auntie Mia are trying for a baby?’
‘He’s never too busy to come over’ Jasmine replied ‘He always comes to play.’
‘Well it can’t always be like that honey, you know that’ Cheyenne said offering her only daughter a smile ‘maybe he’ll come tomorrow.’
‘Can you call him today?’ Jasmine asked her eyes lighting up
‘I don’t know Mini...’
‘Please please mommy, oh please’ Jasmine begged smile getting bigger as she watched her mother caving.
‘Fine’ Cheyenne said eyeing her daughter ‘but if he’s busy you can’t get upset.’
‘I promise I won’t’ Jasmine said crossing her heart ‘I’ll be good.’
Cheyenne located her mobile and took a deep breath before dialling Frank’s number. She wasn’t sure what to expect she had hurt him badly that day but what was she supposed to do? He had no right to come into her bedroom that day and do the things he did and she had every right to say no to him, she had a family and she had to do what was best for him. Yes, she hurt him and she regretted every second since it happened but she had made the right choice, she was where she was meant to be with who she was meant to be with. As the phone rang her heart pounded, she wasn’t sure if she wanted him to answer or not she missed the sound of his voice but she would hate to hear the hurt in them. She sighed with relief as it connected to his voicemail.
‘Frank it’s me Cheyenne erm I’m calling becaue Jasmine’s been asking for you...’
‘HI UNCLE FRANK’ Jasmine shouted and then giggled behind her small hands.
Cheyenne laughed and continued ‘we were wondering when you were going to come over, we miss you. Please call me when you get this. Thanks Bye.’
She hung up and placed the phone on the counter. Why didn’t he answer? Was he screening her calls? Or was he simply unavailable?
‘He’ll call us back’ Jasmine said confidently turning back to the picture. Cheyenne watched her daughter and wished she could be so confident because at that moment in time she was pretty sure they wouldn’t hear from him.
Past September 2007
‘What are you doing down here?’ Mikey asked as he descended the steps into the basement.
‘What does it look like Mikes?’ Gerard replied ‘I’m wasting away’
‘Why aren’t you at the hospital?’
‘Because no one wants me there’
‘That’s not true’ Mikey replied ‘you should be there you’re supposed to take Jasmine home.’
Gerard shrugged his shoulders in reply and took a drag of his cigarette. Mikey sighed and sat down on the second to last step.
'Listen to me Gerard I can't even begin to image how you feel missing the Jasmine's birth and I can’t imagine how you feel about Cheyenne turning you away but you need to show them both that you're going to be there for them. Don't let yesterday be the cause of why you miss taking your daughter home. Cheyenne is upset and she has every right to be you haven't been the man she's needed these past months but show her that you can be that man now, she's going to need somebody Gerard and that somebody should be you. Don't mess this up now, get your arse to the hospital and do what a father is supposed to do. Don't let them down.'
Gerard said nothing as he listened to his brother’s wise words he just continued to stare into space smoking on his cigarette.
‘Well fuck you then’ Mikey said after failing to get a response ‘but this isn’t how it’s supposed to be. This isn’t how this should go you should step up to the plate Gerard. You’re supposed to be a man, a father, a partner. But right now I’m looking at you and you’re nothing.’
Gerard groaned inwardly as he heard his brother descended the steps and slam the basement door closed. He knew his only sibling was right but it wasn’t enough to stop the negative thoughts in his head weighing him down. He could already see himself withdrawing into a world of negativity and depression.
Present September 2012
Frank listened to the voicemail over and over listening to Cheyenne’s voice and Jasmine’s outburst which made him laugh, his heart felt heavy every time he heard the words ‘we miss you’. He missed them too but he couldn’t face going there again and knowing that he couldn’t have Cheyenne as his, it was too hard. He deleted the message but dialled Cheyenne’s number back just because he was suffering it didn’t mean that Jasmine had to.
‘Frank?’ Cheyenne spoke as soon as she answered
‘Yeah its me’ he said trying to void his voice of all emotion ‘I got your message.’
‘Thank you for calling me back, Jasmine’s really missing you’
‘I miss her too’ he said ‘that’s why I’m calling I was thinking, if it was ok I’d come over tomorrow…’
‘And we can talk over lunch I’ll make something delicious’ Cheyenne said excitedly ‘and we can talk about things.’
‘You didn’t let me finish’ Frank said ‘I was going to say I’d come over and pick her up, take her out for a couple of hours. Just the two of us’
‘Oh’ Cheyenne said her disappointment ripe in her voice. Frank said nothing just letting the words hang in the air. ‘I understand’ Cheyenne said eventually.
‘Do you?’ Frank asked
‘No I don’t. Frank we’re supposed to be friends’ Cheyenne replied ‘forever’
‘Nothing lasts forever’ he reminded her
‘But we have a history’ she told him ‘a good one, we’ve been through so much, you’re my best friend’
‘And I wanted us to have a future Cheyenne’ he said bitterly as his heart reminded him of the pain he felt ‘but it hasn’t worked out that way.’
‘We can still have one as friends can’t we?’ She said holding the phone hard against her ear.
‘No we can’t. I-I don’t want to be your friend Chey I want to be your boyfriend, your fiancé, your husband I can’t settle for just your friend.’
‘But I can’t be those things for you Frank’ she cried ‘you know that’
‘Why not?’ he growled angrily wishing he hadn’t called in the first place.
‘I told you why?’
‘And I’m telling you why we can’t be friends.’
‘I do love you, you know’ Cheyenne said letting out a sob that she had been desperately trying to hold in.
‘I love you too’ he sighed trying to hold back the tears of sadness that he knew Cheyenne was already crying ‘but I can’t be around you Chey it too hard for me to see you with him when I want you so badly.’
‘Oh please don’t do this I don’t want us to be on bad terms Frank.’ She sniffed
‘I have to do what’s best for me Cheyenne just like you’re doing for yourself and your family. I just think it’s better if I spend some time away from you.’
‘No’ Cheyenne cried ‘please see me Frank, come over now no one is here and we can talk about this, about everything just like we used to. Please don’t stay away.’
‘You’ll see me sometimes’ he offered his heart breaking at the sound of her sobs ‘I’ll pick up Jasmine tomorrow and then there’s birthdays and special occasion that I’ll have to attend’
‘But you won’t come over outside of that. You won’t even stay tomorrow for a coffee’ Cheyenne said ‘we’ll make it a quick one.’
‘No I won’t. I’m sorry’ he said sincerely ‘Jesus, Chey I’m not trying to hurt you on purpose but this is the way it has to be for a while until I can get over this, until I can get over you.’
‘And there’s nothing I can say to change your mind’ Cheyenne asked her voice breaking mid sentence a sob escaping at the end.
‘You know what you can say’ Frank said softly ‘you know what I want.’
‘Anything but that’ Cheyenne begged ‘I’ll say anything’
‘There’s only that’ he said ‘Nothing else will do.’
‘But Frankie...’ Cheyenne trailed off not knowing what else to say unable to think of anything to save their friendship.
‘‘I’ll collect Jasmine tomorrow at midday, please make sure she’s ready to go.’ He said quietly
‘’kay’ Cheyenne whispered her voice unable to sound any louder ‘bye Frank.’
Past September 2007
‘He hasn’t been here all day’ Cheyenne said sadly to Jamia
‘Well not to be funny but you sent him away,’ Jamia reminded her ‘I wouldn’t be sure whether to return or not.’
‘Wouldn’t you?’ Cheyenne asked ‘It would take wild horses to stop me getting back to the hospital to see my one day old daughter.’
‘What do you want him to do?’ Jamia questioned as she walked around the bed picking up Cheyenne’s hospital bag.
‘I want him to be here, I want him to want to be here, I want him to come in here tell me he’s sorry and that he’s going to try.’ Cheyenne moaned.
‘But that’s what he did yesterday’ Jamia pointed out
‘Yesterday was different’ Cheyenne argued ‘I was angry but I’m not angry now.’
‘How does he know that?’ Jamia laughed trying to lighten the mood as took the baby from her mother’s arms ‘he isn’t psychic is he Jasmine? No he’s not, no he isn’t daddy’s not a mind reader.’
‘He’d know if he had the guts to come here and defy me to see his daughter, he just doesn’t care enough.’
‘Or maybe he’s respecting your wishes thinking that he’ll let you cool down before he tries again, He’s not stupid he wouldn’t want to give you any more stress then what you’re under right now. Cut him some slack.’
‘That’s rich coming from you, he nearly split you and Frank up, why are you giving him such an easy time about this?’
‘Because this isn’t my business, yes he nearly split Frank and I up and for that I hate him at times and I have little to no respect for him but we’re not talking about what happened at New Years Eve we’re talking about you and Jasmine.’
Cheyenne sighed heavily but wasn’t sure which of them was right, yes she had sent him away but wouldn’t he want to come back and see his daughter, she knew she would and she knew Frank would too.
Present September 2012
‘Hey you’ Gerard said as he entered the living room where Cheyenne was watching a film.
‘Where’s Mini?’ She asked looking up at him
‘She wanted to stay with Ray and Christa for a little while I’ve got to pick her up in a few hours.’
‘That’s nice’ Cheyenne said as he fell unto the seat beside her and she immediately curled herself into his arms.
‘Something wrong?’ he asked as he held her placing soft kisses on her face.
‘No’ she said quietly ‘everything is fine.’
‘You sure?’ he asked
‘Yeah, just sit with me a while.’ She said entwining her fingers with his
‘As long as you want’ he said kissing her forehead. As they sat together watching the tv Cheyenne’s thoughts remained on the conversation with Frank. Was it really possible that she wouldn’t see him anymore? Every time she thought about it her stomach gave an uncomfortable lurch. She couldn’t imagine what it would be like to see Frank less and less he had always been with her, ever since she first came to visit Bob all those years ago.
‘What are you thinking about’ she asked Gerard she was trying to distract herself from her own thoughts.
‘I was thinking about Frankie’ Gerard said ‘He hasn’t been here in a few days that’s not like him.’
‘You noticed too huh.’ Cheyenne said feeling her stomach drop again ‘so did Jasmine.’
‘Its not like him, he usually here every day’ Gerard said with a laugh.
‘But you know he and Mia are trying for a baby so maybe that’s why he’s not here as much I told Jasmine the same thing today.’
‘Maybe you’re right.’
‘Plus he’ll be here tomorrow he’s picking up Jasmine and taking her out.’
‘He spoils her’ Gerard stated
‘Everybody does’ Cheyenne laughed ‘that kids got us all wrapped around her little finger. I wonder what she’ll do when she get a brother or sister.’
‘Is that something you’re thinking about’ Gerard asked hopefully he was more than ready to have another baby.
‘Maybe’ she said teasingly lifting her leg and placing it across his lap ‘but I’m more into thinking about the making of the baby then the actual baby.’
‘Oh I see’ Gerard said the man in him already stirring ‘and I’d love to practice baby making with you but I need to pick up our first baby.’
‘You want me to go’ Cheyenne asked ‘I wouldn’t mind’
‘No I got it’ he said kissing her lips ‘why don’t you go take a bath, relax and get ready for my homecoming.’
‘Hmm sounds like a plan’ she said ‘hurry back.’
‘I thought I’d drop by since you refused to answer my calls’ Lyn said as Frank opened the door, he groaned upon seeing her wishing he had ignored the ring of the bell. ‘What’s going on?’
‘Nothing’ Frank said closing the door behind her. The last thing he wanted was company, he just wanted to crawl back into bed and stay there. He had managed to put off helping Lyn for a few days. Realising the situation was delicate Lyn had informed Marcus she’d be staying in Jersey a little while longer, much to her husband’s dismay.
‘You look like shit’ Lyn said noting his dishevelled appearance and the stubble on his face.
‘Thanks’ he croaked ‘what do you want?’
‘You promised to help to help me talk to Gerard about Paige.’ She reminded him
‘Well I can’t.’ he said simply shrugging his shoulders ‘I’m busy’
‘Doing what turning into a recluse? Where’s Jamia and what the fuck is that smell?’
‘Jamia’s at her mother’s, her grandmother is ill so she’s there helping and that smell is me.’
‘Will she be back tonight?’ Lyn asked
‘Nope’ Frank said ‘tomorrow.’
‘Oh good then we have all night.’ Lyn said taking her coat off and draping it over the arm of the chair. ‘let’s start at the beginning shall we?’
‘The beginning of what?’ Frank asked his annoyance growing at her presence
‘Of whatever it is that’s bothering you’ Lyn said
‘The only things that’s bothering me is you’ Frank growled ‘now please leave.’
‘No’ Lyn said in a sing song voice further angering Frank ‘have you got anything to eat around here I’m famished?’
‘I’m going back to bed, when I wake up you better be gone.’ He told her as he stormed off to his room.
‘Don’t count on it’ She called after him a smile playing on her lips. He didn’t know it yet but she was wearing him down.
Past September 2007
The next day Cheyenne woke up more than ready to leave the hospital and head home. She called he didn’t answer she left a message and the called the one person next to Bob that she could rely on.
‘Home sweet home’ Frank said as he pulled up outside her rented home an hour after he picked Cheyenne up.
‘You see that Mini’ Cheyenne said excitedly to her sleeping daughter in the back of the car ‘this is your home.’
Frank got out raced over to the passenger’s side and helped Cheyenne out and while she walked to the front door he carefully lifted the car seat holding the baby out of the car.
‘I’ll take that’ a voice said from behind him, Frank jumped slightly banging his head on the roof of the car.
‘Fuck!’ he cried turning to face the person who startled him he slammed the door with his left, gripping the car seat with his right ‘Gerard what the hell?
‘Sorry’ Gerard apologised taking the handle of the car seat ‘didn’t mean to scare you.’
‘You’re forgiven’ Frank said not releasing his grip on the car seat. ‘Now if you excuse me I have to get Jasmine inside its cold out here.’
‘I got it’ Gerard said ‘I can take her she’s my daughter.’
‘And you were where yesterday?’ Frank retorted
‘that’s none of your business’ Gerard snapped
‘It is when it comes to Jasmine.’ Frank said tugging the car seat closer to him.
‘Frank let go’ Gerard warned ‘she’s my kid and this is my job.’
‘And what about all your other jobs Gerard’ Frank hissed ‘where were you for those?’
‘That’s in the past’ Gerard said pulling the baby towards him ‘I’m making amends starting from today. Now let go’
‘What is taking so long?’ Cheyenne called out. She had been in the house waiting for Frank to bring Jasmine in, she couldn’t wait to get settled ‘Oh Gerard. What are you doing here?’
‘i got your message. I’m sorry I’m late’ he apologised ‘but I didn’t want to miss Jasmine’s homecoming I hope you don’t mind me being here’
‘Of course not’ Cheyenne smiled ‘come on bring here in’
Frank let go of the car seat and walked around to the boot, he tried not to scowl as he watched Gerard marched up to Cheyenne with Jasmine in his arms. He knew he had no right to take a claim over Jasmine but he felt he earned it after everything he’d done for Cheyenne. He sighed heavily as he pulled several bags of gifts and clothes from the boot and slammed it shut. As he walked towards Cheyenne’s home he reminded himself of his position and vowed to behave himself and help Gerard be a better father even if he could do the job with his eyes closed.
A/N since I’ve let you guys so unfulfilled for so many weeks and this is a fairly uneventful chapter I’ll be posting another chapter tomorrow night. Hopefully that’ll make up for my weeks of absence. Reign xx