In mind, body and soul; in part and in whole.
Another long one. The title is from Morrissey and applies to several aspects in the chapter.
First of the Gang to Die
Frank Iero lay outside the Gothic home in his husband’s name, eyes fluttered shut, letting the Indian sun pour its golden bath upon him, splashing his face, his arms, his neck. It was an absolutely beautiful August afternoon, the first sight of good summer Los Angeles had enjoyed in thirteen months.
He sighed contentedly to himself as he relaxed in the garden that Gerard had never mentioned, a huge stretch of several acres filled with flowers and plants, buzzing with life. This was heavenly-he had been out here for nearly two hours, just inhaling the sweet scent of nature and snoozling in the heat. He knew he wasn’t tanning, or even burning; his skin always stayed stubbornly milky white even in the most scorching of summers here in California. Anyway, he wasn’t exactly flaunting himself-he had never been given out to by Gerard about what he was wearing, who had expressed his liking for modesty the first night they had been together, but he had respect for his marriage, and for his integrity and always wore trousers and shirts, never above the ankle or the elbow. He was wearing a white shirt and grey pants-which was a little too tight on him, he noticed; he had had three servings of vegetarian lasagne last night, sweet Jesus it was good-and his black high tops, now scuffed and filthy. He wasn’t wearing any protection for his eyes but it felt glorious, having the sun rays beat down on his naked eyelids.
He had been told the warmth was good for his lungs, and he could see why-it felt so nice to breathe in clean, thick oxygen that gushed through his throat and filled his ribs with freshness. Everyone was feeling good today-about ten minutes ago the huge, towering black tower doors of the Way manor had swung open and about twenty members had emerged, guns in belts and sunglasses in tow. Frank had been worried they were expecting some unwelcome company, but was relieved and amused to see they threw off their jackets and started playing soccer, surprisingly skilled even in the heat, with heavy jewellery and leather shoes and suits. They had split into two groups, one captained by Bob and another lead by Louis-and Bob’s side was winning. Well. It wasn’t that Soprano’s team was bad, but that Bryar was extremely good, charming with his footwork and head butting, screaming “THAT MOTHERFUCKER JUST FOULED ME!” every so often.
But that was in the main garden-Frank was in the lower, more secret one just under it. He could hear the shouting and scuffing as they kicked and wrestled in the dry grass, sometimes in broken Italian, so that Iero was able to understand some of it. He was starting to wonder where Gerard was when Bob informed him.
“Coro! You wanna join in? We’re crushing these fuckers! Eight-nil!”
“No thank you, Robert.” The low chuckle and some louder repercussion of the laughter by his men. “Have you seen Frank recently?”
“Frankie? Yeah, he’s down there, sir. Just relaxin or whatever.”
“Thank you. Enjoy your game.”
He heard clacking on the stone steps to the plain; the jangling of gold bracelets and rings on his arms, the thunk of his cane. Frank didn’t open his eyes but just smiled in the sun, showing his white teeth. The gangster spoke first.
“Hello,” he said in a voice just for the boy, as opposed to yelling at his lower ranks. “How are you?”
“Mmm, really good,” he answered breathily, trying to make the older weak already. “It’s so hot,” he said happily, tilting his hips up a little, and he was sure he heard Gerard’s breath hitch. He still kept his eyes closed, but lifted his hand so that Way could take it. “D’you wanna sit with me?”
He expected him to say no, not because he was mean-spirited or anything, but because he didn’t particularly strike Iero as a nature person, and to his surprise, he heard his shoes sift through dry grass and him settle behind Frank, crossing his legs and dragging him into his lap and wrapping his arms around the boy’s middle, nudging his husband’s ear with his nose, loving to hear his rabbit humming with bliss and giggling in the heat.
When the younger looked down at the hands keeping hold of him, he was taken aback by something very different.
“Gee? Is that you?”
“Of course it’s me, baby,” he laughed into the shell, rubbing his side. “Who else would it be?”
“But you...” he turned around and gasped at the sight. His lover was much darker than normal, a wonderful russet colour that highlighted his eyes and made him look like a different person. “You’re all tanned!” He let his hand rest lightly on the other’s neck. “Your skin is so warm. What happened? You’re as pale as me normally.”
“Half-Italian, babe,” Gerard replied, sliding his nose up the nape of his neck. “We went on a short excursion this morning for about three-quarters of an hour and upon return I looked like this. I tried to put on makeup but it didn’t do anything.”
“Why would you try to cover it up?” Frank asked, still in awe of the gorgeous person hugging him tightly. “You look so amazing. Not that you don’t normally, it’s just...” he looked back at him again, “...wow.”
“Pallid skin is more terrifying than this,” he explained. “Tan may be attractive to you but I doubt the Romano’s will think I look scary.”
“I don’t care,” Frank said softly, caressing his darkened hands and kissing his finger tips. “I think you look so good.”
“Well, thank you,” he nibbled at his ear. “I’m glad you have the opinion.”
They sat in the sun for about thirty minutes together in harmony, Way humming between his teeth and Frank relaxing in his arms, lips parted slightly and purring inaudibly as he rested, chest expanding and retracting. Occasionally he would twitch or murmur something, sometimes in gibberish or a small whimper, sometimes mewling his lover’s name quietly, but the noise was minimal and he remained subdued as he slept, utterly calm and safe in the arms of the Italian-American.
Something made a small thumping noise from the other end of the garden. Frank must have been a very light sleeper because he jolted in Gerard’s arms and his eyes slid open slowly.
“W-what?” He muttered, yawning and rubbing his eyes, and Way was having trouble not beaming from how adorable he looked, sleepy and flushed, his hair stuck up in the back.
“You were asleep,” Gerard whispered, kissing his black and blond tufts. “There are some rabbits at the end of the garden and they moved and you awoke.”
“Ra-abbits?” He yawned again. “Where? I wanna see them.”
“If you stay quiet one might come over here, but you have to be silent or they’ll get scared.” H rested his head on Frank’s shoulder. “See? There’s a white one about six feet away.”
“Where-oh,” he breathed, leaning forward, hazel orbs widening as the rabbit wrinkled its nose and shivered, its ears straight and upright. It was pure, bright, waxen white, with pink insides of the ear and button nose. He actually felt a little honoured and touched that Gerard called him the pet name-the animal was very cute and so entirely wholesome, with huge, brown eyes. It was adorable.
“Do you have any food in your pocket?” He whispered, and thanked his husband silently when a biscuit was pressed into his hand, which he broke into tiny bite-size pieces and held in his open palm, cooing in a calm, quiet voice to the creature. “C’mere, that’s it, c’mon, I won’t hurt you, and you can have some biscuit if you want...”
Slowly and hesitantly at first, the rabbit moved towards the two men, its eyesight caught onto the morsels in the hand of the smaller one, and the food smelled richly of coffee and cocoa. It sniffed once and then moved to nibble at the biscuit, it’s small tongue brushing against Frank’s skin. In return, the tiny being allowed the human to scratch behind the tall, towering ear.
“His skin is so soft,” he whispered, running his finger along the shell of the ear. His complexion was as snowy as the rabbit’s was. “And he’s so cute.” The bunny flinched when Iero’s hand brushed against a cut on its paw. “But he looks so frightened. Someone hurt him.” His eyebrows knitted together. “Why would anyone hurt something so small...and innocent...and perfect?” He asked quietly, not expecting Gerard to answer.
“That’s exactly what I think when I look at you,” he murmured a little sadly, pressing his cheek to Frank’s, holding him closer, but making sure his chest was untouched. “Now you see why I call you that.”
Iero nodded and for some reason, found himself crying. Not sobbing, no, but just tears slipping down his face. He let his hand fall back into his empty lap, and the rabbit squeaked as another noise emitted from far down in the garden. Frank looked up and saw a red fox, gloriously bushy-tailed and glossy, black beady eyes darting to and fro. Other rabbits down the plain were also panicking.
Before he could even point out the sly dog a pistol was raised beyond his shoulder and let out a sharp crack. The fox keeled over on his side and the smaller mammals relaxed again, the white being Frank had fed scampering off to his family again. He looked back to Gerard.
“Why d’you shoot him?” He asked, not angry but a little upset at seeing an innocent animal killed by his lover. “He wasn’t doing anything.”
“Foxes kill rabbits,” he said simply, sticking his gun into the front of Iero’s trousers, earning a surprised “oomph” from the receiver. “He would have ripped them to shreds and dragged them back to his bastard family to violate and eat. Would you have wanted to see that?”
The boy picked up on the grit behind his speech and realized the metaphor. He had always noticed that Way never used the words he did for sexual terms-he had only ever said ‘whore’ once and had been inexplicably angry at James. His word for ‘rape’ was ‘violate’-he was referencing to his marriage, to his own rabbit, to the ‘foxes’-to Frank and his enemies.
“No,” he answered, slipping in to hold Gerard’s hand. “Thank you for doing that.”
“I didn’t know you hate foxes,” he said in a barely audible tone.
“I never liked them. They are sly and ruthless and cocky little shits. But when they mess with what does not belong to them, and is precious to others...” his voice was black, and dripping with malice. “That’s when those fuckers die.”
“You promise?” Frank whispered, no longer in secrecy. “You promise they’ll all die?”
“Yes,” he swore, closing his eyes and kissing him on the neck. “They will all die. I promise you.”
They sat again in some silence, Way stroking his hair as they observed the life around them, and soon enough another fox came along to drag his fallen comrade away, crying softly and nudging his brother with a nimble foot. Frank made a small whining noise, feeling bad for the animal, but then coming to his senses when he remembered Gerard’s metaphor. The dogs sloped off somewhere else; the gangster hugged his husband tighter.
“Are they gone?”
Tactful enough to realize he was unable to see the far left side of the garden, Iero nodded.
“Yeah. They’re gone.” He managed to pad around and revolve himself so that he was facing the other, smiling at him, eyes flicking all over the taller, tanned man. Frank’s soft lips parted as he drank all of Gerard in, hands resting on his chest as he surveyed him, spreading his legs a little more. “You’re so gorgeous.”
Way laughed quietly and linked his hands underneath the others backside, then brushing their noses together.
“Can I kiss you?” Frank asked, causing another chuckle to fall from the gangster’s lips.
“Seven months married, sex every night and still asks my permission if he can kiss me,” he muttered, capturing the younger in a lock, meshing their mouths together and biting down on his lip, Iero sighing shakily from pleasure. “How cute.”
“Can I ask you something?”
“If you want to kiss me you can, babe, you don’t need to ask.” He was smirking, leaning back against a tree and shutting his eyes lazily. The other was unsure whether he was wanted anymore, but was secured when Gerard frowned from lack of contact and held out his hand.
“Why aren’t you straddling me?” He questioned, bending his fingers to beckon Frank back onto his thighs. Then he proceeded to grind their hips together, and Iero moaned quietly as the dominating rubbed him through his trousers, the younger getting agitated and restless, bucking wildly.
“Oh sugar,” he purred as Frank cried out from the agony of what he thought to be lust. “I’m sorry, am I teasing you, little bunny rabbit?”
“Gerard,” he whimpered, pulling on his shirt, “oh Gerard, it hurts, my chest hurts-“
“Oh sweetheart,” he said, instantly letting him relax back into his lap, feeling repulsive. He had hurt him, had made him go through pain, and had antagonized him. “Oh, I’m so sorry, honey, I didn’t mean to hurt you,” he cooed, stroking his hair and brushing his lips to his rabbit’s nose, shaking and pale. “Do you want me to carry you back to the house, baby?”
“No,” he squeaked, and the pain was killing him, making him want to scream, and boiling tears scorched his cheeks as his lungs burned. “Just sit with me here, just-“ his chin quivered as he fought the urge to screech and holler. “Will you just stay here and talk to me?” He asked as he snivelled and coughed weakly, resting against his shoulder.
“Of course, ” he whispered in his ear, rocking him. “I hate seeing you in pain, bunny rabbit, I hate seeing you cry and whimper, I know it hurts so badly, pet, I know, but try to stop crying, sugar, that will damage your lungs even more.” The other nodded sniffed, trying to suck back his tears. “That’s it, baby, are you feeling any better?”
He nodded and nuzzled into his neck, wheezing and shuddering. Blood trickled down from his mouth and ran down his neck, spilling into his collar. Way kissed him quickly and felt more warmth on his lips, before pulling away and tasting more metallic sourness on his tongue.
“I bled on you,” Iero said, a little grossed out by himself. “You drank my blood.”
The vampire act would have been a lot more authentic if Gerard wasn’t nearing Hispanic.
“Yeah,” he replied nonchalantly, wiping his finger and gathering the red drops along his lips and sucking on his index like a Popsicle. “Not that bad, actually.”
He pressed his mouth to the sickened again, even though he knew it was dangerous and ill-advised, and probably hurting him, he couldn’t stop, God, it was just so good...
Frank was having trouble breathing, his oesophagus was scratched, agitated and cut, and his lungs were getting tighter and tighter, he could feel the burning pain rising in his throat, a warm liquid trailing down his mouth, his chin, his neck, into his collar, he was getting light-headed, and the need to breathe, to suck in oxygen was huge, overbearing, a heavy weight pulling him down into darkness, a deep black hole-
And now something was jiggling his arm. There was something cold and refreshing pressed to his forehead. He mewled and tried to grasp weakly at whatever was aiding him, but his eyelids felt heavy, hot, sealed with glue.
“Frankie?” Something ran through his hair. “Baby, can you hear me?”
“Gee,” he mumbled in a hung-over state, thinking of the first name that came to mind, and now feelings were becoming sharper and clearer, like the signal on a television-he could feel weight on his thighs, something resting on his stomach, and the thing on his forehead was getting a little warmer. He tried to crack an eye open-Gerard was on top of him, pressing the cold object to him and his hand was lying on his abdomen, and Iero’s own limb felt strangely lighter. “What am I...oh...”
“You passed out, sweetheart,” he murmured, tucking something plush behind Frank’s head and caressing his face lightly-the younger saw they were still in the meadow, and there was a mixture of love and worry in Gerard’s eyes; he was so concerned about him, stroking his hair and talking in a soft, hushed tone. “You fell back and fainted for about a minute. You were really warm, sugar, and you were whimpering about the pain.” His eye glittered-the dead one stayed focused on a spot on the ground. “Are you feeling okay now?”
“Mmm,” he replied, lifting up his hand to look at why it was lighter. “Where’s my wedding ring?”
“I took it off because the metal heats up your blood stream,” he explained, getting off of him to kneel by his side and push his fringe back. “You’re not hot anymore, are you? I didn’t carry you because I didn’t want to put you into shock.”
“I’m okay,” he replied, tugging on his husband’s hand. “Can I have my ring back?”
“Not for a minute, baby, I don’t want you getting too hot,” he soothed, kissing his hand as the other yawned and mewled, spotting the gold gleam from within Way’s grip, and he stretched weakly toward it, whimpering as he couldn’t reach his ring. “Why do you want it so bad, honey? It’ll only be five minutes, I promise.”
“I’m married to you,” he responded, the tips of his fingers brushing against the gangster’s fist which held the band. “And I’m proud of being married to you,” he said, and his ring finger felt naked and strange without it, “I want it back.”
“No one is going to see you, sweetie, you don’t need to-“
“Please Gee, can I have my ring back?” He pushed his lip out and looked up through his eyelashes, pulling at his lover’s shirt. “I belong to you and the ring shows that, I’m yours and I love you and I want it back.” He didn’t know what he was doing or saying-the words were spilling out of his own accord, and his emotions were spilling out, tears were presenting themselves, why he was getting so fussed over his wedding band. “Don’t you love me?” A look of alarm crossed the others face. “Please, Gerard, please don’t leave me, please, I-“
“BABY!” He nearly shouted, entwining their fingers and leaning over him, placing his finger over his trembling pout. “Bunny rabbit, calm down, you have to calm down, sweetheart, you’re just in shock after fainting, of course I love you, I’ll never leave you, ever, you’re the most perfect thing in the world, so soft and pure and adorable, you’re my husband.” The boy still looked in fear, shaking and pale. “Your emotions are just running havoc with you, honey, don’t ever think that I-“
“Please James,” was the next thing he pleaded, and his eyes were squeezed shut, and the tears seemed to never stop. “Please don’t hurt me, please don’t rape me, it hurts so bad and I don’t wanna do it, please-“
Gerard pulled him into a tight embrace and let him cry into his shoulder, cooing into his ear, hoping that soon enough his memory would snap back and he’d be somewhat alright.
“Frankie,” he whispered as the boy shuddered and winced, “it’s not James, babe, it’s Gerard. I promise I couldn’t hurt you even if I tried, you’re just the absolute world to me and I would never rape you, you’re my rabbit and I look after you, I love you so much and you’re sacred to me.” He slid the golden band back onto his finger, and he kissed his hand. “There’s no need to cry, sweetheart, I’m not going to hurt you, I promise, I would never do anything to put you through pain, or degrade you, or make you act submissive to me.” He talked gently to him, and he was slowly calming down, snuffling quietly into Way’s collar, tugging at his hair. “Are you alright now?”
“Sorry,” he said, a little breathless. “I don’t know what came over me.”
“It’s alright,” the other comforted, and they embraced again. “I got carried away when I kissed you and your reaction was partially my fault.” He sighed and his hands dropped back to his thighs. “Entirely my fault.”
“It’s fine,” Frank said quickly, not wanting to ruin what the afternoon had become, which was so enjoyable until he had fucked it up so badly. “I feel good now, Gerard.”
“Good.” A silence resumed over the couple as they sat in the baking heat, a cricket bleating in the distance, and the rabbits had returned to their usual spot, scratching their ears and rolling in the dirt. Then Frank remembered what he had originally sought to ask Gerard.
“Can I ask you something?”
“It’s kinda nosey.” He shrugged. “You might think I’m being really rude.”
“I’m sure I won’t.” He raised a shaped eyebrow. “Unless it is to do with me controlling and hurting you in the bedroom.”
“Oh, no, it’s not sexual at all.”
“Go ahead, sweetheart.”
“Will you...ah...would you tell me some things about your ex-husband?” The facial expression accompanying the request was better than Frank expected; much better. He didn’t seem remotely bothered or angry. “You don’t have to if you don’t want to.”
“What would you like to know?” He asked, a little surprised, not at the question but at the lack of fuck that he gave, the neutrality that had followed the ask. He didn’t seem to care about the former anymore.
“Well...was he like me?” Gerard smiled a little.
“People say that once you get divorced you look for the similarities in your next partner,” he said quietly. “That you go for the same man or woman twice.” The smile grew into a huge, ear-to-ear grin. “I don’t agree with that.”
“So...he was different?” His brain went wild. “Was he short like me? What colour hair did he have? Was he American?”
Gerard cleared his throat and closed his eyes again, pulling a pair of black sunglasses from his shirt pocket and pushing them up on his nose. Iero looked at the tanned, tall, black haired, utterly amazing Greek god sitting underneath him, his hips between Frank’s knees.
“Evan Hugo Ricci was born on the eighteenth of December, nineteen oh six, in the city of Milan, the region of Lombardy in Italy, to the second richest family in the country at the time.” He sighed and slinked his arms around the others waist. “He moved to Los Angeles when he was sixteen years old because he was sent to study criminal law by his father.” The grin bent a little bit. “There was a case dealing with the Italian Cosa Nostra in which they were investigating the brutal killer that is my father and in that I met him. He was terrified of me and begged me to spare him.”
“When did you get married?”
“We were engaged in the fall of nineteen twenty three, when I was eighteen and him seventeen. We were married four years later, when I became Don of the gang.” Another rueful flash of teeth. “My husband at the time was less than pleased.”
“What do you mean?”
Gerard breathed in deeply as if he were trying to choose his words carefully.
“I mentioned to you that Evan was a lawyer, didn’t I?” A pause. Frank didn’t mind; he liked the way Gerard told him his past. “He was a damn good one.”
“Was he as smart as you?”
“You think I’m smart?”
“Well, thank you. But I don’t mean he was exceedingly intelligent; I mean that that boy was the most opinionated and argumentative person to ever walk the face of the earth.” He rolled his eyes. “Jesus, the fights we had were awful. He’d pick a fight over literally anything-so defensive and irritating.” He grit his teeth. “He was childish as fuck; if I won the petty arguments-which was seldom enough, he was one helluva fighter-we had he’d storm out of the house, slamming doors, screaming at me, attracting all sorts of goddamn attention.” He clapped his palm over his forehead. “He could be such a tool sometimes.”
“You...fought with him?” He was shocked-he thought Gerard never would have fought with someone he loved, tool or not. “With your fists?”
“No, not physically. He was an annoyingly immature arrogant little bitch but I still loved him at the time.” He shrugged, sliding his hand into Frank’s back pockets. “He’d bring up something with me, like-“he glowered. When he spoke next he talked in a breathy, low, sexy growl. “How dare you sigh at me, Gerard, that’s so rude, you’re so disrespectful to me, you never spend time with me, blah blah fuckin blah. And then I’d retort, he’d come back with some smartass remark about how he went to law school and what he learnt at law school and how he could have anyone he wanted at law school, I was some gangster who killed people every goddamn day, did I go to law school, no, I never went to law school.” He poked his finger to the back of his mouth and made a gagging noise. “I once told him that his precious law school could be blown up if I so wished.” He laughed. “He got angry at that one.”
“Was he good-looking?” Frank asked a little eagerly.
“I guess, in a rugged, devil-may-care sort of way. He had fair hair, he was tanned, he had brown eyes, wore suits, five foot nine.”
“You said he was born in Italy. Did he speak Italian?”
“Only Italian, to me anyway. He hated America, I have no idea why the fuck he stayed here, he hated the food and the culture and the people. He hated that I was only half-Italian, that I was a half-blood. If he ever really wanted to insult me he’d call me a sangue traditore,” He growled softly, and Frank could tell it was offensive. “A blood traitor.”
Iero gasped. “James used to call you that!”
“Funny, seeing as James himself was also a half-blood, being born in London and all.”
“Yeah,” the younger agreed, confused. “Why would he call you that if he was one too?”
“Well, James was painfully stupid, darling. That might be one reason.”
“Did you...did you call him...y’know?”
“My bunny rabbit?”
“Yeah.” For some reason he was a little nervous about this question. He hoped the name was specially for him. “And the other stuff like sugar and whatever.”
He laughed loudly. “He would have kicked me in the crotch if I called him that.”
“Evan...wasn’t...like that.” He cleared his throat a little. “We didn’t talk about our feelings a lot, and I don’t think he ever sat in my lap for the nine years we were together. He wasn’t mean...just...tough, independent, I suppose.” He sucked at his cheek. “He didn’t like what job I did and certainly wasn’t afraid to tell me. When my leg got shot up-two days after we got married, by the way-he didn’t sympathize or empathize, he just sat in the corner of the room, reading his fuckin case files about some homicide he was working on, telling me it was my own fault.”
Iero was silent for a little after that, absorbing everything Gerard had said. Then he proposed to ask the question on his mind.
“When did you two...um...break up?”
“Thursday night, May twelfth, nineteen thirty two. Over three years ago, although we only got divorced a year later.” The smile disappeared; all chuckling at his former partner was dead now. “I was twenty seven, he was twenty five, and I was in my study talking to Ray about some drug raid we were planning to bust, I don’t know, something like that.” The boy traced his jaw. “And he came in and asked if we could talk, which was strange-Evan never talked to anyone apart from his friends in the law firm, and of course he could never tell his little district attorney buddies he was married to Gerard Way. I asked him if it could wait, I was busy, but he was freaking out, begging me to talk.” He shrugged. “So I did, went outside the door, and Evan was on his knees, hugging me, pleading for my forgiveness, sobbing. It was so strange, Mister I Plead the Fifth on his knees, crying his eyes out.”
“So I told him to get up and told me what happened, and he told me he’d gotten fired. I knew this was weird-Evan was the best criminologist in LA, his firm was so lucky to have him; he was a hero amongst law professors. I knew they’d been having trouble for a few years since the crash of twenty nine, y’know, Wall Street and all that, they had to let people go, but Evan was their best. I asked him why, and I told him it was okay-but he said he’d been under the influence while on the job and his Captain was not pleased.”
“He was sick?”
“No, pet. Under the influence means he was on drugs or alcohol while he was doing his job.”
“Oh my God,” he whispered. “What was he on?”
“Crack cocaine. He’d been doing it for some time but hadn’t bothered to tell me. And then one day he walked into his firm high as a fucking kite and got fired. Then he’d gone to the oldest institution in the world and benefitted from its services.”
Frank’s pure mind tried to think of the oldest job aspect in existence.
Gerard looked a little pained and shook his head, kissing him on the nose.
“No, bunny rabbit. Tarts.”
Iero cocked his head to the side.
“Isn’t that a bakery?”
Way shook his head again and sighed, drinking in the boy’s helpless eyes, his warm smile.
“Prostitutes, darling. He’d gone to a brothel.”
“Oh,” he said softly, feeling terrible. “I’m sorry.”
“You shouldn’t be, babe, you didn’t do it. I told him it would take me time to get over it, but that I could have forgiven him for that, but then he told me he’d been cheating on me for over a year with some fuck from the office. He told me that he loved both of us, he was so torn, he had nearly OD’d on coke when the feelings got too much. He tried to pin it on me, saying we never spent enough time together, that I could be such a prick when I wanted to be, an ignorant twat who was rude and pretentious and fucked up, that he wasn’t sure I loved him anymore.” His eyes flashed fire. “He tried to blame his infidelity and his promiscuity and his addictions on me.”
Frank hugged him tighter. He had never had any specific feelings toward Evan, but now, after this...he supposed it was like Gerard and James.
“What did you do then?”
“I told him to get the fuck out of my life and that I never wanted to see him again,” he said in a flat tone. “And I never did.”
“But when James shot him...weren’t you upset then?”
“I put it on to make him feel bad, make what I did to you seem excusable. It was actually the only thing James ever did I wasn’t completely and utterly against.”
“But he’s dead now?”
Gerard looked directly into Frank’s eyes, holding the gaze of his pupil with his strong jade, searching his soul for authenticity.
“His body was destroyed and his brain stopped functioning in October nineteen thirty three when James Romano shot him, yes.” The tone darkened. “But the night he told me that Evan Ricci became dead to me.”