Everything about you is so easy to love.
"No,I am not going tonight,Louis."
"Because I fucking said so."
"No,no,it's fine,I'm sorry.I just...I need to stay at home for some time.Just keep close watch on them."
"With all due respect,Louis,you seem to forget that my husband was brutally assaulted and raped so badly he barely speaks to other people.I get to spend an hour a day with him,when he's scared and lonely and helpless and I'm not there.Your wife can manage a few hours without you."
"Of course not.Forgive me,the last few days have been quite hectic.Yes.Goodnight."
Frank felt his stomach churn and twist uncomfortably as he heard the last minutes of the telephone conversation.This entire thing was his fault.If he'd kept his damned mouth shut none of this would be happening.
"Sweetheart?Are you alright?"
"I'm fine,"he said quickly,gazing deeply into the green jewels of light now facing him."You can go out if you want to."
The older shook his head,a gesture Frank saw coming.
"We've gotten word they're going to storm the house again."He cleared his throat and joined the smaller on the bed,then rested his hands lightly on the other's knees."And I need to be around you to prevent what happened...before."
"Shouldn't we just...move?"
"They'd find us,"Gerard replied wearily,squeezing his upper leg."There really is no point,darling."The clock above the bed chimed.It was midnight.
Frank suddenly remembered something,and smiled to himself.He had been allowed go to town with some members of the gang earlier in the week,for which he had been extremely grateful.When James had died "naturally"-according to the medical report,which Gerard had filled out and noted the body had disappeared-Frank had gotten half of his money.Four point eight million dollars,to be exact.
"Can you just-wait here?"Dammit,he couldn't work being mysterious and dignified like his better half.He didn't have the vocabulary or the wit."I want to get something from the closet."
"Sure,"the elder agreed,letting Frank shimmy from out of his arms and stumble over to the wardrobe.
"You have to close your eyes."
"Okay then."The boy could hear the smirk in his voice."You're gonna give me a lap dance,right,sugar?"
"No!"Frank choked,looking over to see his husband giggling to himself,eyes shut."Of course not-"
"Relax,baby,I'm kidding.You nearly done?"
"Are your eyes closed?"
"Are you sure?"
"I'm going to kill you if you open them."
"Oooh!Frank's gonna kill me!I guess you must have a secret notorious gang that you keep hidden from me on a regular basis."
"Maybe I do."
"Oh yeah?How would you kill me?"
"I wouldn't kill you!"He squeaked,nearly dropping it.Than God he didn't."I could never kill you!"
Another laugh."Oh my God,baby,sometimes you are just so cute.It actually is adorable."
Frank blushed and picked up the small bead on the floor.
"You're blushing,aren't you?"
"You so are.There's degrees of intensity when it comes to you.It starts off with a pale pink and ends with a glow bright enough to light up Los Angeles."
"Is that a complement?"
"Definitely.It's one of my favorite things about you.Are you nearly ready?I want my lap dance,Frank."
"I told you-it is not a lap dance!"
"Damn,"he muttered softly as Frank returned to him,slipping into his lap involuntarily."Can I open my eyes?"
"Ah Jesus,sugar,keeping me in suspense."
Frank fixed the stud,and slunk his arms around his husband's neck.
"Happy birthday,Gee,"he said happily,leaning up to kiss him tenderly on the mouth,hoping he would notice the difference."I love you."
"Oh,sweetheart,thank you,"he replied,genuinely pleased,"that's so lovely of you."His eyebrow twitched from the inability to release his vision."Did you get your lip pierced?"
"A few years ago,"was the answer."James didn't like it so he ripped it out-"cue the deep growl-"but I remembered it a few days ago,and got it done again."The meek side of his neurotic mind took over."I'll take it out if you don't like it."
"No,baby,don't,"Gerard purred softly,sucking on the stud gently,tugging the boy's mouth towards his."I love it.Don't get rid of it unless you want to."Their mouths met and worked together for several moments.Then:"Can I open my eyes to see how good it looks?"
"Soon,"Frank promised."I need to give you your present."
"Wasn't that it?"
"Of course not.I just got it done and decided to show you.But I...I don't think my present will beat yours."
"I did propose marriage,bunny rabbit,that's pretty hard to beat.I gave you a ring and my surname,not to mention eternal happiness and all that."
"What if it sucks?"
"I was fully prepared to accept a lap dance as my present,Frank."
"Maybe I should just do that?"He was worried now-the gift might come across as nosy and intrusive.
"Honey,I was just joking,I know you wouldn't want to do that,it's belittling,"he reassured,"I'm sure whatever you got is fine,sweetie,now show me."The grin was back.
"You mightn't like it."
"I'll be the judge of that."
"Gerard,"Frank groaned,"why are you so stubborn?"
"Because I have effortless charm and wit,one of the many reasons you love me.C'mon.Give it to me."
He snickered at his own innuendo.
"You can do it as well later,if you want,but I-"
"Please,baby?"He pushed out his bottom lip in an irresistible pout."Can I please have it?"
Frank whined and sighed.
"But I-how can a murderer and gangster boss manage to look so lovable?"
A satisfied chuckle.
"Learned it from you,the pouting thing.Now you know how hard it is for me to resist you.Now hand it over.This is the longest time I've gone without seeing you when you're in the room.It's killing me."
"Well,"Frank started,lacing his fingers with Gerard's in the stronger's lap."You know ages ago we were talking about art you have in the house?Along the hallways and stuff?"
"Yes.You mentioned The Scream,am I right?"
"Yeah,"Frank agreed,impressed with his lover's brilliant memory.That had been months ago.Frank could barely remember what he had for dinner the day before this."And so one day I was with Ray and he told me there's one area of the house no one's allowed go."
Gerard nodded."The corridor on the very top floor."
"And I'm really sorry,Gee,I am,but I-I went up there.A few weeks ago."He didn't seem that pissed off.No shouting or swearing,that was a fairly good sign."I really am sorry,Gerard,I just wanted to see,"he whimpered docilely.
"It's alright,"Gerard admitted,not without some gruffness,"you live here too."
"You keep the key in your shirt pocket,"he said,feeling truly awful."So I took it.And when I went up there...there was just a long corridor with paintings.But unlike the others...I really liked them.They were just so...amazing,"he breathed."So well done and really emotional and beautiful."
Gerard said nothing.His eyes were still closed and he wore the composed,calm poker face.His steady breathing reassured Frank he was still alive.
"And I didn't know who did them,until I saw the little 'g' in the corner."He paused."You did them."
Gerard barely nodded.
"You wrote the dates on them as well.You haven't painted anything in three years,"Frank whispered,nudging his head underneath Way's chin,"since your husband cheated on you."
Gerard's breathing hitched as the memory flushed back into his mind,and his chest hurt for a few seconds.His fingers knitted together in the small of Frank's back.
"That's very good,sugar,"he said in a soft tone."You're a lot smarter than you give yourself credit for."
"I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings,"Frank apologized,"or if it seems interfering or something.But if you want to see what I got you then you should come with me."
Frank slipped off the bed,taking one of Gerard's hands and guiding him to the door,trusting that he would not open his eyes.He ascended the stairs in the front,reaching the fourth floor,stopping at the lock.Gerard sensed the halt and took the key from his pocket,pressing it firmly into Frank's hand.The door opened and they stepped in,Gerard still following the smaller of the two.
The walls were covered in prints,small and large alike;portraying assorted people and places.They were morose,yes,very;but they had some dark,twisted phenomenon buried within the watercolors,beneath the paint.One particular adjacent to the door on the left stood out;a man covered in blood spatters,his eyes squeezed shut in repose.Another was a man hanging from a yardarm,shadowed in darkness.Frank proceeded to the only room of the hall,clicking the handle.
"You can open your eyes now."
The pair of vibrant green's flew open as he surveyed the room.He had left it,as Frank said,nearly three years ago,when his heart had been torn out and ripped to shreds by the only person who had ever meant something to him,the only person he ever sought opinion from.The person who was now replaced by the most wonderful boy in the world.Evan seemed like a one night stand compared to Frank.
There were great changes-easels hung from walls and more paints were supplied in the corner of the studio.Some of the previous artworks had been framed with gold or with silver-and the walls had been painted a deep,enveloping,romantic maroon,as opposed to the uninterested off-white that had been before.A mahogany desk,fancier and richer than the brother in the study,was at the back of the room with a red backed throne-like chair in front of it.New bookshelves of articles were on either wall-one,he would later be informed by Frank,was about art,the other shelf to do with violence.
The most striking of all was probably at the very back-in large,Gothic letters upon the wall,above the desk,was inscribed a phrase in a language that Gerard had always preferred over both English and Italian.He never quite understood the meaning,mainly because he was under the impression that it had multiple interpretations.Somehow that made it even more applicable to life in general.
merci pour le venin
He mentally noted to ask Frank how he'd known it.
Gerard seemed to be in a trance,gaping at his husband's handiwork.He hadn't visited here in years,since the separation had occurred,but still kept the key for reasons he couldn't really explain.He supposed it gave him control.Control of something that wasn't either his lover or his area of expertise.Locking up a part of him that no one else knew about.
He couldn't think of anything to say.Grammar seemed to have emigrated from his ability.Frank,meanwhile,stood in the doorway,admiring his work,hoping it was to Gerard's taste.He was also praying that he wouldn't be angry with him for unearthing such a private past time.
"This,"Gerard said,fingering the leather bound books-fuck,they must have cost a bomb,"is fucking awesome,Frankie."He rarely used the informal version of Frank's Christian name,but he felt this was a rather rare occasion."How did you even...how are you even...this...amazing?"
Frank couldn't believe it.He had made the most sleek of men stammer and find it hard to speak.
"I want you to start painting again,"Frank said quietly,walking over and leaning against one bookshelf."I mean,if it's okay.I thought this might be a nicer study.There's whiskey and cigars and stuff in the cabinet over there,"he offered,gesturing toward a magnificent wooden escritorie,which Gerard opened up."It wasn't just doing up the room,it was...trying to get you back into art.I just thought it would be kinda...cool."
"It's a lot more than cool,"he muttered,very impressed with the wine from the late eighteenth century,"this is the most thoughtful thing someone has ever done for anyone,let alone me."He pulled the boy into his grasp."Thank you so much,Frank."
"You're welcome,"Frank returned,hugging him tightly and lightly tracing the cool metal along Gerard's collarbone.
"I hope this didn't cost too much,"Gerard nibbled at Frank's ear,"it looks so expensive."
The boy shrugged."We went shopping last week and I bought stuff.I had the idea for a while.Doing up the room."
"What did you buy for yourself?Sex toys and liquor,I imagine."
"No,"Frank giggled shakily,"I got a guitar and stuff."
"Do you play the guitar?"He nodded."Hmm.I will have to hear you."
"I'm really bad,I-"
"Sweetheart,I don't think you're bad at anything.What else?"
"Well,I don't know if you noticed but I've gotten...fatter."Saying it made him feel ashamed."So I got new clothes as well."
"You're not fat,baby,"Gerard purred the words Frank always longed to hear,"you're not fat at all.You had an eating disorder and you were extremely underweight.I think you look absolutely gorgeous.I've never seen someone as stunning as you."
"Oh,"Frank said softly,pulling on his piercing,"thank you."He paused."You promise you're not lying?"
"Of course not.I don't lie."
"Thank you,"he repeated,smiling into Gerard's shoulder."I love you so much,Gerard."
"I love you too,sugar,"he promised,meshing their lips together again,before noticing something on the desk."What's that?"
"I know we wear wedding rings and stuff,"Frank answered into his mouth,before pulling away."But I still wear the ring you gave me."He held up his hand."The one with your initials.So I got one for you.But not a ring."
Gerard picked up the chain from the desk and peered at it.He expected names or letters or symbols-but he saw a small wooden shape on the end.He raised an eyebrow,a silent question to Frank.
"I know it's kinda weird."
"We're generally not the most conventional couple,babe."
"Well..."he shifted."You always call me your bunny rabbit and stuff,so I got a rabbit's foot.They're meant to be lucky and whatever.And it will kinda remind you of me,or maybe it won't,I don't know.And so you won't die.Hopefully.I don't know."
Frank's awkward little explanation made Gerard grin.
"That is just the cutest goddamned thing I have ever heard,"he declared,cracking into a beam,"that is just so precious."
Frank squirmed as Gerard kissed him again.
"Is that lap dance still up for offer?"
wow I am so strange