I scowled at Frank’s insensitivity, but what was I expecting? This was Frank Iero.
“Cold?” Frank’s deep voice found my ear.
I instantly felt his warmth. “I’m fine, Frank,” I smiled pulling back for some distance between us.
He just laughed and kissed my temple, daring me to pull away again. “Oh, I almost forgot,” I babbled as we finally came upon my car. “You know my friend, Emily? Well I invited her tonight to the Ways. Do you think that’s a problem?”
“Not unless she’s easily scared,” Frank answered.
“What do you mean?” I asked quickly. “What movie are we watching?” I didn’t do well with scary movies. I had watched Scream with my mom once and ended up leaving within the first 20 minutes. I just couldn’t take the suspense anymore.
“Don’t worry about it,” Frank just responded with his mischievous grin.
“I’ll see you tonight,” he said racing over to catch up to Gerard who was tossing snow in the air.
Emily and I arrived at the Way’s later that night. The snow lay fresh on the ground already melting from its warmth. Emily seemed excited and unnaturally talkative on the ride over. I, on the other hand, felt anxious and restless. My worries of how Emily was going to fit in with everyone couldn’t be shaken. I was a constant worrier about the simplest things. At the moment my brain was racked with math problems, and computer science functions. Also, I hadn’t liked the way Frank has said ‘Don’t worry about it’ earlier today. I had done nothing but worry about it.
“Vee,” Mikey exclaimed pulling open the door before Emily and I.
“Hey Mikey,” I said forcing a smile and moving to walk in. “This is Emily,” I added as the house opened up before me.
I heard Mikey acknowledge Emily, but my thoughts instead looked around the house. It was darker than I expected with the little light coming through the windows. Drawings lined the walls and I assumed most of them were from Gerard because they bore the signs of his dark shapes and obsessions with vampires.
“Everyone’s downstairs,” Mikey continued showing us to a door. We ascended the stairs into what I can only describe as a cave. Action figures and more drawings covered the dark sanctuary, but it was cozy. A large TV was showing the animal planet as the four boys and girl looked at it with little interest.
“Finally!” Gerard exclaimed seeing us emerge.
Heads turned to acknowledge us and from the couch Frank gave an illuminating smile. “Hey guys,” I started. “This is Emily.” I made quick introduction as Gerard started to bounce with anticipation. I found a spot by Frank and Gerard gladly popped in the movie. “Um, what are we watching?” I asked Frank quickly.
Frank gave a now familiar grin and answered. “The Ring.”
“Is it a romance?” I asked feeling better.
A round a laughter answered my question. “Just watch Vee,” Ray smiled as Gerard turned up the volume.
It turned out The Ring was nowhere near a romance. It was a horror film, of course, about some murdered little girl who had it out for everyone. I’ll admit it was hard to watch. My heart was beating so fast I felt like it was going to pump out of my chest. I was about to suggest we take a break when Gerard announced he was hungry and was going to make some popcorn.
“I’ll come with you,” Emily said startling me.
“Alright,” Gerard responded and the two ran up the stairs.
I was left in the dark grasping Frank’s hand. “I don’t wanna watch anymore,” I whispered burying my head in the couch and Franks shoulder.
Frank laughed, “Oh stop! It’s not that bad.”
I scowled at Frank’s insensitivity, but what was I expecting? This was Frank Iero. I didn’t expect him to turn into this caring guy overnight. I knew what I was getting myself into when I made this deal with him, but somehow my logical thinking got lost in his dark eyes and twisted smirk. I had grown feelings for him and forgotten why I disliked him in the first place. I wouldn’t allow myself to be disappointed about it. Instead, I whispered a ‘I’ll be back’ to him and moved to check on Emily and Gerard.
I heard Emily’s laughter before making my way into the kitchen. “No,” she squealed as I rounding the corner to take in the sight. Popcorn covered the counters and floor. Gerard was just seizing another handful from a bowl when he spotted me.
“Vee!” He exclaimed choosing to shove the handful of popcorn in his mouth. “Wamp sum?”
I laughed replying “No, I’m good.”
“You sure Vee?” Emily laughed picking up popcorn. “It’s good.” She smiled connecting her eyes with Gerard across the counter.
I didn’t even see the attack coming. Next thing I knew popcorn and kernels were flying my way. One connected directly with my forehead leaving a sting of pain. “Oh c’mon,” I said grasping my forehead. I launched for the bowl and poured the contents on Gerard’s head. Somehow water got involved and the mess escalated. Our popcorn fight had turned into a slip n’ slide by the time Ray, Mikey, and Bob appeared from the basement.
“What are you guys doing?” Ray laughed hurtling himself down the floor with ease. Mikey and Bob joined in without a word. I was laughing so hard my sides hurt and I stopped to control myself when I finally realized Frank and Maria were missing.
“Where’s Frank?” I asked brushing back my wet hair. I didn’t receive a reply from the group as they continued their fun. I pulled down my wet shirt and moved back towards the basement. The movie had to be finished by now. I was just about to make my way down the stairs when Frank and Maria appeared.
“Woah,” Frank said turning his face into a smile. “What have you guys been doing?”
“Looks like fun,” he said grabbing my waist and moving me from the stairs. I briefly saw Maria rush past us.
“What were you guys…” I began but my sentence was cut off by Frank’s aggressive kiss.
“Mmm,” he smiled pulling back. “I like this wet look.”
I laughed and removed his hands from my waist. “Oh really?”
“Yes,” he said refusing to be pushed away. “Let’s go get wet together.” He slid his warm hand over my shoulder and down my side giving me the chills.
I looked at his tempting smirk. “You’re funny,” I smiled moving away.
“Aw c’mon Vee,” I heard Frank give a final plead before I rejoined the fun.