Gerard tells Cheyenne about Paige.
Present: September 2012
‘Uncle Frank what are Daddy and Kimmie talking about?’ Jasmine asked as she stepped onto the roundabout.
‘Adult things’ Frank said he was already seated on the ride his feet planted firmly on the floor. ‘Nothing for you to worry about sweetie’
‘Hmm’ she pondered. She wasn’t used to being kept in the dark. Of course they didn’t tell her everything especially if it was adult but they always gave her something. ‘I’m hungry’ she said finally I want some lunch please.’
‘Sure’ Frank said standing up and dusting off whatever could be on his backside. He looked over to where Lyn and Gerard were perched on the swings. Gerard’s head was bowed and Lyn was talking rapidly she seemed frantic. Frank walked over to them reluctantly hating to interrupt something so important but needing to.
‘…She really wants to meet you’ Lyn said and stopped as Frank was standing a few feet away.
‘Erm I’m sorry to interrupt but Jasmine’s hungry’ Frank informed them ‘I’m going to take her to get a burger or something.’
‘We’ll come too’ Gerard said softly ‘I need a coffee. Here’ he said handing the picture of Paige back to Lyn.
‘What about our talk?’ Lyn asked unsurely ‘You haven’t said a word.’
‘We’ll talk in the car’ Gerard said with a shrug ‘Frankie can take Jasmine in his car and you can ride with me.’
‘Cool’ Frank said squeezing his friend’s shoulder a silent act of support ‘Race you there.’
‘You’re on’ Gerard smirked as they headed toward Jasmine and to the street where they parked.
Past: June 2007
‘There you are, you’re late’ Cheyenne said as Gerard stepped through the door.
‘Never mind’ he shrugged ‘I’m here now so give me my daughter so we can go.’
‘You don’t have to be so rude’ Cheyenne said as she walked into the living room where a nine month old Jasmine was playing on the floor.
‘Yeah I do’ he said bending down and smiling at his daughter who smiled back as she recognised the man before her. ‘Ready to come and spend some time with daddy?’ he said scooping her up and kissing her face.
‘You can bring her back whenever you want tomorrow’ Cheyenne said handing him Jasmine’s baby bag filled with all her essentials ‘I’ll be home all day.’
‘I wouldn’t have to bring her back if I lived here’ he said harshly. He went to Cheyenne’s promising himself to behave and not get angry. For the last few months their relationship had been running hot and cold, with them making love and acting like a couple one day, and the next they were arguing and fighting. He had no idea what it was she wanted she changed her mind as often as she changed her clothes. However they hadn’t been intimate for a while and Cheyenne kept telling him they had no hope of getting back together but it was hard to believe her when only two weeks ago they had slept together.
‘Oh don’t start’ Cheyenne moaned ‘we’ve been over this a hundred times Gerard we’re are not getting back together, this is just how it is ok and I’ve told you, you’re welcome to have her here and stay over on the nights you visit her, you’re the one who insists on taking her to your mother’s.’
‘I don’t want to be here if I’m not wanted’ he said hoisting the bag over his shoulder.
‘I’m sorry this isn’t what you want but that’s just life.’ Cheyenne said simply
‘I’m sorry Gerard’ Cheyenne said ‘I don’t want to be in a relationship with you or with anyone I just want to focus on Jasmine and what’s best for her.’
‘Us all living under one roof is what’s good for her’ Gerard said ‘us in a relationship is what’s good for her.’
‘No Gerard that’s good for you.’ Cheyenne said ‘don’t forget what got us in this mess in the first place.’
‘When are you going to stop throwing that in my god damn face’ he snapped marching to the door ‘don’t you think I’ve paid for that enough?’
‘I don’t know’ Cheyenne said following him ‘have you?’
‘I thought I had’ he said shaking his head ‘obviously you think differently. I’ll bring her home tomorrow evening.’
Cheyenne kissed her daughter and opened the door for them, she sighed as she watched Gerard carry her daughter away wondering what the future held for the three of them.
Present: September 2012
‘When are you going back?’ Gerard asked Lyn, she was strapping herself in the passenger seat he already had the engine running.
‘Tomorrow I have a night flight home’ she said ‘I’m really sorry about all of this’
‘Are you?’ he said as he pulled out he could see Frank’s car ahead directly in front of his ‘tell me, if Paige hadn’t found out that Marcus wasn’t her father would we even be having this conversation?’
‘Probably not, no’ Lyn said honestly ‘I probably would never have told you.’
‘And you think that’s fair?’ he said his hands tightening on the steering wheel.
‘Of course not’ Lyn said ‘But what did you want me to do? Look at out lives Gerard, you have Cheyenne and a beautiful daughter and I have Marcus and a beautiful child of my own. Would you really want to risk all of that? I know I wouldn’t if I had the choice. I hate how this is upsetting Marcus and what do you think this is going to do Cheyenne huh? And Jasmine for that matter I’m sure she’s used to being the only little one in the group how do you think she’s going to have to feel sharing you with another little girl?’
‘Cheyenne and I are strong we can handle this as for Jasmine she’ll adapt’ he said ‘Mikey and Ray will both become fathers next year her space was going to be invaded anyway.’ He replied ‘I just can’t believe you would’ve kept this from me. I had a right to know.’
‘I know that but there was also the fact that you may not have been in this situation with Cheyenne I didn’t know what I’d expect to find when I came here. After what happened that night all those years ago I wasn’t sure what state I’d find you in and…’
‘And if I wasn’t let’s say a functioning citizen you would have flown back home and still not have told her.’ He finished for her.
‘Yeah’ Lyn said frankly ‘I wouldn’t want my child to find out her dad was an alcoholic. I would never want her to be disappointed.’
‘Well it’s a good thing I got my act together then’ he said bitterly.
‘Look I know I haven’t played fair in keeping our daughter to myself, I guess I was doing what I thought was best for her, I’ve never done this before’ she said softly ‘I’m trying my best.’
Gerard sighed but said nothing else as they pulled into the car park of the diner and joined Frank and Jasmine inside.
‘Can I have a cheeseburger please daddy and fries please daddy and a drink…please daddy’ Jasmine said looking at the menu as though she could read. Sure, for her age some small words would be recognisable to her but most of it would be unreadable.
‘Sure thing’ He said. They were seated in a corner booth and Lyn had excused herself to go to the bathroom
‘So…’ Frank said ‘what happened? Are you ok?’
Gerard shook his head unable to find the words to express what he was thinking.
‘That bad huh?’ Frank said sitting back and taking the menu from Jasmine’s hands ‘what are you going to do?’
‘I have to tell Cheyenne’ Gerard said ‘I just don’t know how she’s going to react. I’m afraid I guess.’
‘But you gotta tell her’ Frank said ‘as soon as.’
‘I know I’m going to do it tonight.’ Gerard said ‘as soon as we get home.’
‘Are you serious?’ Frank replied as he scanned the menu and then handed it back to Jasmine who was playing with the salt and pepper shaker singing a song to herself.
‘Yeah and I was wondering…’
‘No’ Frank said shaking his head ‘absolutely not. Not happening’
‘Oh please Frank’ Gerard said leaning forward and looking into his friends eyes ‘I know Cheyenne thinks the world of you, if you were there you’d keep her calm. Please I’m begging you.’
Frank groaned inwardly he didn’t want to see Cheyenne and yet he kept getting pushed back towards her. ‘Fine’ he mumbled reluctantly ‘but you owe me.’
‘Thanks’ Gerard sighed feeling relived that he’s have the support of his best friend ‘Hear that Mini, Uncle Frank’s coming over to play at our house later.’
‘Yay’ Jasmine said hugging Frank; he put his arms around her and squeezed her little body against his ‘I can’t get enough of uncle frank.’
‘Aww thanks Mins’ Franks smiled
‘I love you man’ Gerard said
‘Love you too’ Frank replied half heartedly
‘I knew you two were gay’ Lyn huffed as she threw herself into the booth next to Gerard.
‘What’s Gay?’ Jasmine said staring at her father across the table a quizzical look on her face.
‘Whoops’ Lyn said picking up the menu and hiding behind it.
‘Thanks’ Gerard hissed to Lyn. How many more things was she going to have him explain to the women in his life?
Past: Late July 2007
‘….Oh I’m sorry the cheque was late’ Gerard exploded throwing the envelope at her ‘Ever considered getting a job?’
‘How dare you?’ Cheyenne screeched ‘I’m a full time mother.’
‘So that would make me your bank account’ he retorted
‘You’re her father’ Cheyenne screamed ‘it’s your job to make sure she’s provided for.’
‘That’s your job too’ he reminded her ‘my money isn’t supposed to pay for everything and if I’m not mistaken that’s a new shirt your wearing.’
‘I paid for this myself you asshole’ Cheyenne snapped
‘Yeah, with my money’ he smirked ‘Never knew you’d be satisfied being a kept woman, so much for independence.’
‘Get out’ Cheyenne shouted picking up Jasmine’s bag and hurling it at him, it hit his shoulder and fell to the floor with a dull thump.
‘No problem’ he said snatching up the bag and then walking over to the sofa gently lifting his sleeping daughter into his arms.
‘I hate you’ Cheyenne sobbed, her back was to him and he could see she was shaking.
‘Now you know how I feel about you’ he said quietly and left closing the front door gently behind him.
Gerard gently placed Jasmine in her car seat and covered her over with her blanket. He could see Cheyenne through the living room window with her head in her hands and he immediately felt like running back into the house and comforting her but he wouldn’t, fair enough he was the one who started their life out on this bumpy road but she continued to steer them down it with her inability to not necessary forgive but forget. He closed the car door and walked round to his side and slid into the driver seat. ‘Come on Mini’ he said to his sleeping child ‘lets go get Daddy a drink.’
Present: September 2012
‘Are you out of your mind?’ Lyn whispered as the four of them stuffed from lunch headed back to their cars
‘No’ Gerard said simply
‘I think you are man’ Frank said seriously ‘you want Lyn to come back to the house and be there while you tell Cheyenne that you have another daughter. Are you insane?’
‘No I’m not’ Gerard said his patients with the conversation wearing thin ‘I made the mistake once before of not telling Cheyenne everything and I won’t make that mistake again, Lyn you will be present when I tell Cheyenne and you will explain everything to her like you did to me, it’s the least we can do. The news of Paige will affect her life as much as mine and she is my life as is Jasmine.’
Lyn sighed she could see what he was saying but with the events for past still in her and everyone else’s mind she could see that this reunion of sorts wouldn’t go smoothly at all.
‘Maybe you ought to drop Jasmine off somewhere’ Frank said ‘I don’t want her to be there if there’s going to be shouting.’
‘Who shouting?’ Jasmine asked
‘Never you mind’ Gerard said snatching her up into his arms ‘how do you feel about going to see Uncle Mikey and Auntie Alicia?
‘Yeah!’ Jasmine squealed ‘I want to I want to.’
‘Cool’ Gerard said ‘you know Auntie Alicia is having a baby’
‘I know it’s in her tummy’ Jasmine said ‘like I was in mummy’s tummy.’
‘That’s right’ Gerard said and then turned to speak to Lyn and Frank ‘You two ride together I want to speak with Jasmine.’
They both nodded silently and all of them got into the cars they were assigned to. As they drove to Mikey’s Gerard explained to Jasmine in a round about who Lyn was and why she had come to see daddy and mommy, he also explained that eventually a new little girl would be coming to see them and it was important that Jasmine be nice to her and be on her best behaviour. He never told her the name of the little girl and he never told her that she was her sister it was much too soon for that kind of information.
Cheyenne took a very deep breath and looked at the three people that sat with her at her dining table. She knew they were waiting for her to say something, waiting for her to react. She knew this as they all cringed back in their seats their faces contorted in anxiety and worry, their bodies rigid and tense. She took another deep breath this one calming the rage that was bubbling to the surface as she replayed their explanation in her mind, their pleas for her to listen and to try and understand what they were telling her. She glanced at Frank his eyes did not meet hers but a familiar feeling of butterflies erupted in her stomach and she was glad he was there with her, she needed a friend, however the butterflies disappeared as quickly as they came as she remembered that he no longer viewed her as a friend and she felt alone.
‘Say something please’ Gerard groaned the silence was killing him, he needed a reaction any reaction he needed something other then nothing.
‘What do you want me to say?’ Cheyenne asked
‘Anything’ he said ‘What are you thinking?’
Cheyenne took yet another deep breath ‘I’m thinking that I would love nothing more then to bottle Lyn in the face.’ She started ‘I’m thinking that every time this woman enters my life she leaves a path of destruction in her wake. I’m thinking that deep down I knew we would never fully be rid of her and I was right as she has managed to find a way to be permanently tied to you, to us. I’m thinking that I have absolutely no interest in this other child at all and I’m thinking that I really need to put the load of washing on that I left in the utility room. Excuse me’ and with that she got and walked away from the table willing her legs to not buckle underneath her and reveal to them how badly she was shaking.
‘That went well’ Frank said finally able to breath, he hadn’t realised he was holding his breath waiting for Cheyenne to explode.
‘Shut up’ Gerard said his head falling into his hands.
‘What do we do?’ Lyn asked wringing her hands together ‘should I leave?’
‘No’ Gerard said ‘we have to resolve this’
‘How?’ Frank asked ‘she clearly doesn’t want to talk about it, she’s angry.’
‘Gerard go and talk to her’ Lyn urged ‘I’m need to leave I’m clearly not welcome and I don’t see how me being here is going to help matters.’
‘She won’t listen to me’ Gerard said speaking to Lyn ‘I’m her enemy too right now I’m in the same category as you.’
‘This is silly’ Frank stated ‘you’re all adults and this is an adult situation so you should all be able to sit down and discuss this as…you know adults.’
‘You’re right’ Gerard said ‘you go talk to her.’
‘What!’ Frank exclaimed ‘why me?’
‘She loves you Frank and you’re the only person who hasn’t done anything wrong here, you’re neutral you’re the best shot of getting her to listen.’
Frank rolled his eyes and mumbled to himself. He pushed his chair back and went in search of Cheyenne. He went straight to the utility room and found her shoving clothes angrily into the washer.
‘What do you want?’ she hissed
‘To see if you’re okay’ he said jumping up to sit on the dryer.
‘I thought you wanted nothing to do with me’ she snapped slamming the lid down.
‘Fate keeps throwing us together for some reason, I think the God’s think it’s amusing.’
‘I just can’t believe this?’ she shouted angrily ‘her and him all those years ago and now they have a child, we’ll never be rid of her ever, she’ll always be around like a bad fucking smell, her and her little brat. Just when I thought everything was going well she comes along to ruin it all over again. Why won’t she just die!’
‘That’s a bit harsh’ Frank piped up.
‘Evil never dies though does it?’ Cheyenne said turning the knob and pushing the start button on the washer, it sprung to life and started filling with water and Cheyenne just stared at it wishing Lyn’s head was inside.
‘Why is this happening?’ she asked looking over at Frank, he didn’t answer but saw him shrug. ‘Haven’t I cried enough today?’
‘You been crying’ Frank said still not looking at her
‘Yeah a little’ she said picking up the basket that previously held the clothes and stacked it with another one in the corner ‘I cried when you left, I was sad and embarrassed.’
‘I came back though’ he said
‘Not by choice only because Gerard needed you, you know Frank you’re the only man in my life that I’ve been close to that hasn’t hit me, or died, or disowned me or cheated on me.’ She told him.
‘I did die this one time’ he joked trying to make her smile and it worked her lips curled and she let out a small laugh.
‘And you are leaving me I guess’ she said her smile fading and a small grimace replaced the happiness on her face.
‘For my own reasons’ he said getting off the dryer
‘Because I’m a bitch’ she stated sadly her eyes pricking with tears ‘do you think that is why all these bad things happen to me?’
‘No’ Frank said quickly ‘bad things happen to everyone Chey, you’re not a bitch and I’ve never known you to do anything to hurt or upset someone else.’
‘I’ve hurt you’ she cried softly ‘oh my God I am a bitch.’
‘No no’ Frank said rushing to her, he wrapped his arms around her and held her close ‘listen to me, I am hurt’ he said and she cried harder ‘but it’s not your fault, you’re doing what you think is right for your family and you have that right Cheyenne. It’s selfish of me to ask you to give up your life with them for me and yes it hurts inside because God knows I love you woman but most of all I want you to be happy. So be happy.’
‘Ok’ was all she managed to say.
She wanted to say more. She wanted to say that she realised this afternoon that she wasn’t as happy as she thought she was and that now with the news that she’d just gotten she wasn’t sure if she ever would be again.
‘Now listen to me’ he told her ‘you’re going to splash some water on your face and we’re going to go back in that kitchen and discuss what to do about Paige. Gerard loves you Cheyenne and Jasmine very much but Paige is his daughter too, he has a right to know her and see her and as his partner you should support him because I know if this was you and me and Paige was my daughter I would want your support more than anyone else’s ok.’
‘Yeah’ Cheyenne mumbles against his chest.
‘Good girl’ he said kissing her face lightly, his arms still holding her close to him. He didn’t want to let her go, he wanted to spend the rest of the night cradling her in his arms but she was not his to comfort. ‘Time to be the brave, strong Cheyenne I know you can be.’
‘I’m weak’ she said standing up straight, no longer leaning on him but still securely in his arms
‘No you’re not’ he told her ‘I’ve seen you be strong lots of times.’
‘Every time I’ve needed to be strong, you’ve been right there with me Frank, think back to a time where I’ve needed to be strong and you haven’t been by my side.’ She said her eyes connecting with his ‘There is no such time.’
‘Isn’t there?’ he whispered lost in her gaze.
‘No’ she said ‘you are my strength Frank Iero, didn’t you know?’
‘No’ he said ‘I didn’t know’
‘Well now you do and I can’t live without you, not in this life and all it throws at me. I need you Frank, I need my strength I always have and I always will.’
‘I understand’ he said and in that moment he truly did.
She did love him and he loved her and he knew that he would do anything for her and be anything for her. If all that she could give him now friendship then he’d accept, even though it wasn’t enough for him he’d take it because deep down he knew that they should be together one way or another, whether it be this life or the next. She needed him and he would be there for her not because he loved her but because he needed her too. She made him feel like no other woman in the world made him feel, just making her laugh and smile made him feel like he’d achieved something great like climbing a mountain or winning the Olympics. She gave him something that he couldn’t explain and no matter how hard he tried to stay away from her he knew that fate would somehow bring them back together in the end. He smiled to himself at his realisation but what he really wanted to do was throw his head back and laugh. They would be together in the end, he knew that now, he could feel it, it was only a matter or time and then she’d feel it too. The more time they spent together the closer Cheyenne would come to realising that he was the only man for her. He held her close and smiled to himself all he needed was some patience and he knew, when she was ready and the time was right she would come to him be it two days time or two decades time. He would wait for her because she would come to him. She had said it herself she couldn’t live without him.
‘We better go’ he murmured into her hair ‘they’re waiting for us.’
‘Ugh I know’ she said ‘and may I be so bold as to say that I don’t want to leave your arms, I feel safe here. Its like…Its like home’ she laughed
‘Nah its not bold’ he replied with a smile ‘I know the feeling.’
He dropped his arms from her body but lifted her chin so he could look into her eyes ‘I’ve got your back.’
‘Promise’ she said
‘For sure’ he said letting his hand fall from her face, the lack of contact made him feel slightly empty inside.
‘What would I do without you?’ she said smiling at the man who had yet to let her down
‘I have no idea and there’s never going to be a chance for us to find out.’ He stated
‘Promise’ she asked again
‘Forever’ he said ‘now let’s go do this thing…Stepmom’
Cheyenne gasped ‘oh no, you did not just say that’ she laughed hitting him in the chest as he held the door to the utility room open for her.
‘What it’s your new title?’ he shrugged ‘learn to love it.’
‘I’ll do no such thing’ she said. They walked back to the kitchen with Frank’s arm firmly around her shoulders, holding her close to him and out of the two Cheyenne was the only one who didn’t yet realise how perfectly they fit together.
A/N - What did you think? Frank and Chey? Will they, won't they? Will Chey realise that Frank's the one or will Frank tire of waiting? And what about Jamia and Gerard? And how will the others react to Gerard having another daughter? What will Donna think? Oh so many questions and I have the answers so stay tuned my lovlies I'll get them to you as fast as I can. Thanks for reading, rating and reviewing you have know idea how much they mean to me. Peace and love xx