The last night at the Paramour and so many things still need to be settled.
Willow felt Gerard’s gaze, turned to him, and smiled. She wondered if it was just her imagination or if his mood had turned sour since leaving the mansion. He smiled in return but something about it didn’t look true.
Gerard picked up his water glass and took a long drink while mentally battling the voices in his head. Why if he trusted her was he singing that damn song over and over? Because he didn’t fully trust her, that’s why. Another voice reminded him that he could simply reach across and take her hand in his but he didn’t. And why, he asked himself. Why don’t you touch her? He almost set the glass back down but decided to take another drink.
“I have to admit I’m glad we’re going home tomorrow.” Bob said once the conversation had begun to die down. He saw a look of sadness pass over Willow and quickly added, “I miss Dixie.”
Willow could see the looks around the table that were directed her way. She could also hear the thoughts without trying. She didn’t have to really concentrate to hear that most of those seated at the table were wondering if she and Gerard were going to go their separate ways.
“I’m sure Dixie misses you too.” She said smiling across the table at Bob. She wanted the conversation to change. She didn’t want to deal with any of this right now.
Bob laughed happy that she didn’t seem angry with him. “Dixie usually doesn’t warm to strangers but man, that dog loved you.”
Willow looked directly at him remembering the comment he’d made in Chicago. “Most animals love me.”
Bob caught the meaning. He blushed remembering his remark comparing Gerard to animal. What was she saying? By using the word “most” was she saying that Gerard didn’t love her? Was that really what she believed?
Willow gave Bob a slight nod.
He realized immediately that she was listening to his thoughts. His gaze, filled with sadness, dropped to his half eaten dinner.
The incident didn’t go unnoticed by Gerard. Anger coursed through him as he realized Willow and Bob were having some sort of conversation understood only by them. Willow was listening to Bryar’s thoughts and it pissed him off.
He was about to say something when a very excited looking Brian arrived at their table.
“Dude, we didn’t think you were coming.” Frank said. “Shit, we would have waited.”
Brian waved away his comment as he pulled over a chair and sat down. “I got a call just after you all left. You are not gonna fuckin’ believe this. Muse has asked you guys to share the bill with them on their European tour.”
There was a shocked silence around the table then everyone started speaking at once.
“That’s fuckin’ fantastic.” Mikey said glancing around the table, “We gotta do it.”
Gerard was trying to focus his thoughts on the announcement. “When?” he asked.
Brian cleared his throat. “Well the thing is they we’re just going out on their own but at the last minute decided they wanted My Chem with them.” He didn’t add that he’d been working on this deal for quite sometime. Better to leave that out for the moment.
“So when?” Frank asked.
“Tour kicks off in three days.” Brian said adding hurriedly, “I know this will push back our plans for the new album but it’s only for three months and you can still work on the new music on the road.”
“Just like you used to do.” Mikey said caught up in the idea. He missed the early days of the band.
Brian nodded, “Right. So when we leave here tomorrow you all need to get your shit together so you can leave Monday afternoon. First concert is set for Wednesday night.”
The band members volleyed ideas around for several minutes. Willow sat quietly watching the excitement. Alicia seemed the most excited out of the wives. She planned on going with Mikey. Christa and Jamia seemed resigned to the idea but would not be accompanying their husbands.
“Hey, this is great.” Frank laughed, “This will be a kick ass tour.”
“Yeah.” Ray said nodding, “I think it’s a great opportunity.”
Mikey noticed his brother wasn’t saying anything. Gerard was simply looking down at his plate. “Gee, you think it’s great, don’t you?”
Gerard wasn’t sure what he thought. While he loved the idea of touring with Muse the timing was bothering him. “I just wish it wasn’t so soon.” He finally answered.
Brian glanced over at Willow then looked away quickly. He was sure the woman had something to do with Gerard’s lack of enthusiasm. “Like I said.” He reiterated, “It’s only for three months.”
For the remainder of the meal plans were made for the tour. There had so much to do before leaving Monday afternoon.
“Maybe we could get a flight back home tonight.” Ray said. “That would give us more time to get shit done.”
“No.” Gerard said quickly causing everyone to look over at him. Until now he’d been quietly eating his dinner while everyone else made plans. “Uh, I mean we’ve got to get back and lay down that track. Besides we already have out plant tickets for tomorrow.”
Frank noticed Willow looking down at her plate. “He’s right. We should get that done tonight.” He believed he understood Gerard’s reluctance to leave early had to do with Willow.
Willow tried very hard to block out the thoughts around her but it wasn’t easy. She took another bite of her steak pretending it didn’t matter but it did. She wanted her last night with Gerard.
“Okay, well I’ve got to get back and start making some calls, lining shit up.” Brian said standing. He happened to glace across the restaurant and saw Heidi. “Oh, shit. I didn’t know she was here.”
Gerard followed his gaze. “Yeah, I talked to her last night.” He admitted.” She wanted to know why we were at the Paramour again.”
Brian sat back down, “What did you tell her?” He really hoped Gerard had come up with a good story that didn’t involve ghosts.
Mikey looked at his brother, “Yeah, what did you say?”
“Just that we realized we’d recorded some great stuff last time we were here and we wanted to try to recapture that again.”
“Thank God.” Brian sighed.
Mikey turned to him, “Don’t worry. Did you really think he’d tell her that his crazy brother was there to help a ghost?” He tried to hide his hurt and anger but it was impossible.
Brian realized his mistake, “Dude, no one thinks your crazy. I didn’t say that.”
But you think that, don’t you?’ Mikey challenged. Beside him Alicia put her hand on his arm in a calming gesture.
Brian looked nervously around the table. When his eyes met Willow’s he glanced away quickly. “No, I don’t think that. But you have to admit it would be best not to broadcast your new ability.”
“That’s Mikey’s decision.” Gerard said in a steely tone. “We all stand behind him.”
“Yeah, we do.” Ray nodded. The others also voiced their agreement.
Brian nodded, “I understand.” He stood again, “I’ll see you all back at the mansion.”
After he was gone they finished dinner then stood to leave. Gerard noticed that Heidi was watching them closely. Shit, he just wanted to get back to the Paramour and get the track laid down. He hoped the journalist wouldn’t try to engage them in conversation.
As they began walking out Willow felt an incredible feeling of sadness. Gerard moved away from the table quickly and started for the door. The other couples were holding hands and laughing. She felt so out of place.
“That was a good dinner.” Bob had come around the table and was standing next to her. As she started towards the door Bob took her arm. Willow understood he was trying to make it seem she was part of the group. She smiled at him in thanks.
Gerard was standing on the sidewalk when he glanced back inside the restaurant. Seeing Bob holding Willow’s arm shocked him. He glared at Bob as soon as they walked through the door but Bob ignored him as he walked with Willow to the van.
The ride back to the Paramour was a loud and boisterous one as plans for the tour were being discussed. Willow leaned her head back against the seat and closed her eyes.
“I fucked up.” Gerard said in her ear. Willow opened her eyes and looked at him.
He didn’t answer just shook his head then turned away. He knew he’d fucked up. He’d been so worried about Heidi coming over to talk to them that he’d left Willow at the table to walk out alone. However there was a certain amount of anger still coursing through him. Bryar could have just walked alongside Willow. He didn’t have to take her arm and escort her like she was his. He glanced over and saw that Willow had closed her eyes again. He wondered if she was angry. He hoped not because they had things they needed to discuss and they were running out of time.
Willow decided as soon as she got out of the van that she was going to go for a walk. The early evening air was still sweet and she definitely needed to clear her head. She told Gerard as they started towards the front entrance.
“I though you would want to listen to us record.” He said stopping suddenly.
“I need some fresh air.” Willow admitted.
Gerard took her arm and led her a short distance away so they could speak privately, “Look, I know you’re pissed.”
“I’m not pissed, Gerard.” Willow said shaking her head, “I understand you didn’t want it to appear we were together. Remember last night? I get it.”
“Come on, Gee.” Frank yelled from the doorway, “Lets get this done.”
He nodded to him then turned back to Willow, “That’s not it.”
She stared him in the eye, “Yeah, it is and you know it.”
He didn’t want to argue this with her, not now. “As soon as we’re done you and I are gonna talk.”
Willow shrugged, “Whatever.”
Her tone left no question she was pissed but trying to hide it. “I mean it.”
Willow stared but remained silent.
“Gee.” This time it was Mikey calling to him.
Gerard uttered a curse under his breath, “I gotta go.”
Gerard lit another cigarette and cursed under his breath. This was taking hours and he really wanted it to be done. As the band members listened to the playback he watched their faces closely. He held his breath as the last notes died away waiting for their opinions.
“I like it, it’s good.” Ray was the first to speak.
Gerard exhaled, “Yeah, I think that’s it.”
Frank nodded, “I say he nailed it.” He glanced at his watch, “And it only took four hours.” He said with a short laugh.
“Well that’s a wrap.” Gerard said standing, “See you all in the morning.”
Everyone gave him a shocked look, “Dude, we got shit to deal with before we can turn in.” Frank reminded him.
With a sinking feeling Gerard knew they were right. He sighed and stood when Bob’s voice surprised him.
“Hey Gee, if you’re not feeling good we can handle it.”
Gerard started at him. Bob gave him a quick smile then turned away. The others all voice their agreement.
“Man, are you okay?” Mikey asked his brother with concern.
“Just got a headache.” Gerard lied. He was still trying to figure out why Bob of all people was helping him escape. Did he realize Gerard was in a hurry to speak to Willow? And if so, he was okay with that?
“See you in the morning then.” Ray said as he started to break down their personal equipment.
Gerard nodded and left the room quickly. As he took the steps two at a time he went over in his head again what he was going to say to Willow. He just hoped she was still awake. He’d learned from Alicia that Willow had gone up to their room after her walk and he had to admit he’d been hurt. He really had believed she’d want to listen to them record but obviously she hadn’t. Had she been that angry with him?
Reaching the bedroom door he took a deep breath then turned the knob. His eyes spotted Willow lying in bed reading a book. He was surprised when she looked up and smiled.
“How did it go?” She asked.
Gerard walked in closing the door behind him. “We finally got the sound we where reaching for. How come you didn’t come and listen to us?”
She shrugged, “I just thought it would be best if I came here.”
He walked over to the dresser and leaned on it while he kicked off his shoes. His eyes caught sight of the plane ticket immediately. Picking it up he saw it was Willows ticket for her trip home. “When did you get this?”
She looked up from the book. “Brian brought it by for me a while ago.”
His anger erupted, “Fuck, he wasn’t supposed to do that.”
Willow’s voice was very quite and unsure, “Why?”
“Because.” Gerard walked towards her, “I wanted to talk to you first.”
Her heart sank. He’d said ‘first’. Obviously the plan had not changed. He wanted her to go home.
AUTHORS NOTE: Okay I can just imagine you all going “Damn it when are they gonna talk?” LOL. I promise it will be the next chapter but this one is important to the story and you’ll see why. Thanks for all the reviews. You guys keep me going. Love ya all. Oh and RIP Dixie I do realize she is gone but when I started writing the story she was still alive.