Willow tells Gerard about the ghostly visitor in his room.
Once she was undressed Gerard momentarily considered sliding her gown over her head. He knew it would be torture to hold her nude body in his arms and not give into desire yet it was if he welcomed the challenge. She needed to he held, she needed to feel safe. He wanted with every fiber of his being to give her that feeling.
Leading her over to the bed he threw back the covers and she slipped into bed. He stroked her hair gently and whispered he’d be right back. A few minutes later when he returned her eyes were open and she was staring at the ceiling. He slid into bed next to her, snapped off the bedside lamp, then pulled her into his arms. His naked body molded to hers.
“I’m sorry.” Willow whispered through the darkness.
Her words confused him.” Why?”
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Really before I met you I rarely cried. I did enough of that when I was younger.”
Hearing that anger saddened him. He knew he would never understand how her parents could have treated her so badly. The scars they’d left on her soul ran deep. “Hey, this place had been brutal on you. And I know I’ve not helped.”
Willow sighed, “It’s like I don’t know myself anymore. I mean who I am. But you are right. There is so much sadness and unrest here.”
“Do you want to tell me about the woman?” He asked softly not wanting to push the issue but believing she needed to talk.
“Yes. I wanted to tell you earlier when she came to me but then so much happened.”
“I know.” He whispered, “So tell me now. Who is she? Why me?”
Willow let her thoughts travel back to the visit. “She was a novice here when this place was owned by the Franscian order. She came here because it pleased her parents. But she was in love with a man.”
“Not good.” Gerard muttered.
“Right, not good.” Willow agreed. “She was so torn. In the images she showed me I saw him. He had dark hair and was very handsome. He looked vaguely like you.”
Gerard laughed, “I’m not handsome.”
“No, you’re pretty.” Willow smiled softly.
He could hear she was beginning to sound a bit less depressed and took that as a good sign. “Sugar, I’m not pretty.”
Willow snuggled closer to him. “Yep, you are. Anyway, she showed me several images of different times they’d spent together. She was so happy, so in love.”
“So how did she get to the point where she was studying to become a nun?” He asked.
“She showed me how religious her parents were. I think she did it to please them” she paused a moment then added sadly, “She also showed me that her parents found them together and sent him away.”
“Why didn’t she go with him?”
Willow was recalling the images, “I don’t think she was strong enough to go against their wishes. So she came here and tried to fit in.”
“So what happened?” Gerard asked becoming caught up in the story.
“I saw her opening a letter and falling to her knees. The next image she showed me was of a grave. I believe her lover had died.”
“Yes, and I think at the point she gave up on life.”
Gerard suddenly felt wetness on his chest and realized she was crying. “Willow what happened?”
“She committed suicide. Outside somewhere on the grounds. So now she believes that her immortal soul is damned. She believes she can’t leave this place and move on.”
He was beginning to understand, “Because she believes that she will go to hell.”
“Yes” Willow answered brokenly. “Those were the teaching she lived by and those are the teaching that keep her here forever.”
Gerard stoked Willow’s hair. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry for me. Be sorry for her. She will never leave this place. I understand now why she was attracted to you.”
“Because for a brief moment when she was with me she could pretend I was him?”
“Yeah, and when she choked you she wasn’t just helping you punish yourself for the guilt you felt she was punishing herself as well. She was reminding herself that she believes she is evil and damned.”
Gerard truly didn’t know how to respond. Finally he asked, “So why did she show you these things?”
Willow didn’t answer. She knew why but it wasn’t something she wanted to explain.
“Willow?” Gerard wondered if she’d fallen asleep.
“She wanted me to understand, I guess.” Willow answered softly.
He knew that wasn’t the whole truth but he understood he shouldn’t push her. “I feel very sad for her and I know it must hurt you to know you can’t help her.”
“Yes, it does.” Willow admitted, “It hurts a lot.”
“You are an incredible, caring woman, Willow.” He gently pressed his lips against the top of her head. “Now close your eyes.” He believed sleep was the best thing for her. She sounded exhausted.
Willow fought back a fresh onslaught of tears. In her mind the line of the song played – now shut your eyes, kiss me goodbye and sleep. She knew goodbye was coming.
Saturday morning dawned dark and stormy. Willow and Gerard were both awakened by a loud clap of thunder.
“Shit.” Gerard felt his heart racing. He’d been in the middle of a nightmare when the thunder had startled him awake.
“Gee?” Willow who was still curled up next to him looked into his eyes, “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, it just startled me.” He closed his eyes and tried to recall the nightmare. Something about it troubled him. He couldn’t remember the details but he knew that it had something to do with Willow.
She laid her head back down on his chest. “I like storms. I like their power.”
“I don’t.” Gerard admitted, “But they are nice for snuggling.” He decided to let go of the nightmare and concentrate on the here and now. Willow seemed to be in a better frame of mind this morning and he wanted to keep it that way. “So I’d really like you to hang with us today. Stay with me while we work on the song.”
Willow was surprised, “I don’t know if that’s a good idea. I’d probably just get in the way.”
He stroked her arm, “Sugar, you won’t get in the way but you will be a tempting distraction.”
Willow giggled, “Not sure that would be good either. Pretty sure Brian wouldn’t be pleased.”
Gerard frowned, “Brian? Why would you say that?”
“Because he doesn’t like me.” Willow answered quickly.
“What?” Gerard scooted up so he could lean back on the headboard. Willow leaned on her elbow to look at him. “Why would you think that?”
“Gee, I can tell he doesn’t like me. He doesn’t trust me.”
“Did he tell you that?” Gerard asked.
Willow shook her head, “No but it’s obvious and before you even think it, no I didn’t listen to his thoughts to figure that out.”
“It’s probably my fault.” Gerard said closing his eyes a moment.
Willow tilted her head to look up at him. “I don’t understand.”
“I can’t explain right now.” He said softly. In his mind he replayed the conversation he’d had with Brian about Willow. He knew Brian didn’t think he was doing the right thing. “Look, tonight you and I are going to sit down and have a long talk. We need to get things settled.”
Willow felt her heart catch, “Settled?”
He stroked her shoulder. “Yeah, settled. But right now I need to get dressed before they start calling for me. Why don’t you try to get a bit more sleep? It’s still early. When you get up, come on down to the practice room and watch us work.”
Willow nodded, “Okay, I think I will stay in bed a bit longer.” She stretched out her body causing Gerard to moan.
“Shit, woman. I need to get up, now.”
Willow gave a throaty laugh, “Uh, you are ‘up’ now.”
It was true his body was reaction to hers in a major way. Gerard burrowed down into the covers so that they were face to face. “You are a temptress.”
Willow shook her head, “No, I’m really not but it’s nice you think so.”
He laughed, “How the fuck can you think you’re not? You are a beautiful woman, Willow. But you’re beautiful inside too.” He brushed her lips with a sweet, feather touch.
Willow closed her eyes and tried to believe his words were spoken from the heart. She wanted to believe he meant each word but a part of her wouldn’t allow that. A voice kept reminding her that if it weren’t for this strong, unexplained sexual attraction they wouldn’t be together.
Gerard reached out and tapped her forehead with his finger, “What is going on in there?”
Willow opened her eyes and looked directly into his, “Right now it’s quiet. Only my own voices.” She admitted.
He looked puzzled, “Voices?”
Willow smiled, “Yeah, voices. And don’t pretend you don’t understand. You are the kings of multiple voices.” She laughed softly, “And songs.”
He laughed, “Hey, I haven’t been singing in my head for days.”
Willows eyes narrowed, “Only because you make sure to touch me when we’re together.”
He frowned, “Well, is it my fault I can’t keep my hands off you?”
“Is it my fault?” she challenged.
Leaning back slightly he finally nodded, “Yeah, it is. You are irresistible to me.”
“Because of this feeling.” She stroked her fingers across the top of his thigh. She felt the sensation flare.
He suddenly realized this conversation could turn wrong if he let it. “You have to admit what we share ain’t normal. I don’t understand it but Willow, I like it.”
“Yeah, me too.” She whispered. That was a lie, she loved it.
Gerard didn’t want to say anything that would ruin their last full day here. He leaned forward and kissed her lips. It was torture but after a minute he pulled back. His body was on fire and he wanted her but not now. “Okay, I gotta go.”
Willow watched him slide out of bed. “I’ll see you downstairs later.” He said to her as he gathered up his clothing.
A few hours later Willow sat between Alicia and Jamia watching the guys run through the new song again. She loved listening to Gerard’s voice and she loved the new lyrics.
“Stop.” Gerard shook his head, “I’m still not happy with the vocals.”
Ray sighed, “Gee, it’s just a run through ain’t gotta be perfect.”
Mikey slipped the strap over his shoulder and moved back to lean his bass against a speaker, “Hey, I’m starved. Lets take a break.”
“Good idea.” Frank moved towards them. “We almost got this. Let’s break for a few hours, go into town for an early dinner then come back and record.”
There was a murmur of agreement from everyone in the room. Gerard shrugged, “Yeah, okay.” He glanced over and saw that Brian had entered the room. “Lets all meet out at the van in about twenty minutes.”
As the others left the room Willow stood wondering if she should follow. Gerard had moved over to Brian and was speaking to him in a low tone. She started to leave when Gerard’s voice stopped her.
“Willow I’ll meet you at the van.”
So she had been right, he did want to talk to Brian alone. “Okay.” She smiled and left the room. Entering the hall she heard Franks voice coming from the staircase. He and Jamia were heading back up to their rooms.
“So what has he said about her?” Jamia asked in a hushed tone.
Willow heard Frank answer, “Nothing. I got no idea what’s going to happen.”
“Well she said yesterday that she’s going home. You really think that’s what’s gonna happen?”
Willow leaned against the wall as their voices faded. She wished she knew what was going to happen. What did Gerard want to get settled? So far he’d said nothing about their original deal changing. They were supposed to be together only until their time at the Paramour was over. It took every ounce of willpower not to let herself hope his feeling had changed. Suddenly in her mind she heard Elena’s voice. “Have Faith.”
Willow closed her eyes, “Have faith. “ She repeated. “Have faith.”
“I just don’t think it’s a good idea.” Brian crossed his arms and shook his head.
Gerard tried to control his temper, “Because you don’t trust her.”
Brian sighed, “I suppose she told you that, right?”
“Yeah, she told me you don’t trust her.” Gerard admitted.
Brian nodded, “And that’s why. Obviously she’s been listening to my thoughts about her.”
Gerard shook his head as he took out his pack of cigarettes, “No, she told me she hasn’t. She said she could just tell you don’t trust her.”
Brian laughed, “And you believed her?”
Gerard, who had been in the process of getting out his lighter, stopped and stared at his manager. For several moments he didn’t speak. “Yeah, I believe her.”
Brian stood the shrugged, “Whatever. I just worry that you are placing your trust where is might get trashed.” He saw the look on Gerard’s face then added quickly, “Look, maybe I’m wrong and she’s an honest woman. I just worry because I know the hell you’ve been through before because you placed your trust in someone.”
Gerard felt his good mood quickly evaporating. “Don’t worry about me. I got this covered. Thanks for doing what I asked.” With that he left the room.
Willow decided to wait outside for the others. The rain had stopped about an hour ago and the air was sweet. Overhearing Frank and Jamia’s conversation had dampened her mood and she was trying so desperately not to let anything ruin her final day with Gerard. She took a seat on one of the wooden benches just outside the main doors then took a deep breath hoping to calm her churning stomach. The stress of the past few days had pushed her to an emotional edge but she had to keep it together, she refused to give into the fear. She closed her eyes and tried to clear her mind but a moment later all the doubts overwhelmed her. Nothing would turn out as she had prayed it would. She’d been such a fool to believe it ever could.
Suddenly a soft breeze caressed her body and a familiar feeling came over her. Opening her eyes she saw them. There were so many thoughts that filled her mind at once she sat dumbstruck, unable to speak, unable to clear her mind. She wanted with all her heart to hear but it wasn’t possible. But then a vision filled her mind. It filled her with a feeling of contentment she’d never felt before and she knew that no matter what happened tomorrow she had done the right thing. She had opened her heart and given it to him regardless of the cost and she would never regret that decision.
“Willow?” Gerard’s voice startled her. He had walked outside to see her staring into the distance with a strange look on her face, one he’d never seen before.
Willow glanced at him then quickly looked back but they were gone.
“Are you okay?” He sat down next to her.
“Yes.” She answered softly. “I just needed to get some air.”
He looked at her closely, “You kinda looked strange when I first came out here, like you were staring at something.”
Willow wished with all her heart she could explain to him what had just happened but knew it was impossible. “I was just thinking about everything.” She said with a small smile.
“Everything?” He asked.
She struggled to explain, “Just how much my life has changed these last few weeks.”
He looked deeply into her eyes but remained silent.
To Willow that silence spoke volumes. Her life was forever changed and it broke her heart that he didn’t feel the same way.
AUTHORS NOTE: Hey guys I’m sorry I missed posting on Wed but things here have been crazy and some stuff came up I had to deal with. Thanks so much for your continued interest in my story and I will try my hardest to post regularly. Luv ya all.