Gerard had been strangely quiet the past few hours, waiting for his daughter to return home, and Lindsey did not take is silence as a good sign. She had expected him to complain until Gia comes home from where ever she was, and then she figured Gerard would forget about complaining and just start raging. While Lindsey was glad that Lucas was back, because it obviously made Gia happy, she still wished that he wasn’t. The boy’s presence made Gerard’s anger-meter jump to max.
“Honey? What are you doing?” Lindsey asked, already regretting it. Gerard was sitting on the couch with his laptop, and he was looking rather peaceful. Calm before a storm.
“Oh, I’m online shopping. I just have a tiny problem, I can’t figure out what kind of a gun would be best…”
“Well I can’t just kill Lucas with my bare hands! What kind of an example would that set to the baby? I’m not a savage, Linds.”
At that point Lindsey decided it best to just let it go and let him deal with this his own way. She left the living room, and went back to her second after-dinner-snack to the kitchen. When she sat down on one of the chairs by the island, she sighed and placed a hand on her stomach.
“I really hope you won’t get your daddy’s temper,” she said to the unborn child. “Because you know what? Daddy’s crazy.”
“I’m not too sure about this,” Gia said, hesitating.
“Come on, you can’t back out now! You agreed to this already!” Lucas insisted. “And you know you want it anyway.”
“My dad will kill me if I do this,” Gia whispered, looking around the hair salon like Gerard could jump up at any time, point at her and announce that she’s a dead girl.
“Don’t be such a wuss, Gia. And besides, he dyes his hair like four times a week, he’ll live with it.”
“Okay, but! Assuming that I agree to this –“
“Which you already did and you can’t take it back.”
“Assuming that I actually do this! What if the chemicals absorb into my skin, through my skull and into my brain? I’d get all retarded and stupid and my grade point average would so drop! How can you live with doing that to me? How can you ruin my future?”
Lucas rolled his eyes. “I think I’ll manage.”
“I seriously doubt that.”
“Pick a color,” Lucas said, giving her the book with the hair dye samples.
Gia sighed. The worst part of this was that she really had agreed to this. Stupid deal that she will do two ‘fun’ things. Why did she agree to it? Well, because she actually, somewhere deep, deep down, wanted to do it.
Gia had dyed her hair once before, coincidentally persuaded by Lucas that time, too, but this time she wasn’t about to make the mistake of dying her whole head black. That had been a horrible experience.
And her dad wouldn’t mind. He had dyed his hair, so she could dye hers. Only, Gia was pretty sure that that logic wouldn’t apply when Gerard sees what she’s done.
“Gerard, you have got to stop worrying about this!” Lindsey groaned, crashing down on the couch next to her husband.
“I can’t! They’re out there right now, doing god knows what god knows where, I mean, I have to do something about it!”
“Gerard,” Lindsey started. “You have to understand that Gia is 15. 15!”
“Exactly! She’s 15, Lindsey! 15!”
“Well I guess we’ve established that she’s 15,” Lindsey sighed. “Look, she’s a smart girl. And despite what you might think, Lucas isn’t a bad person. He’s really a nice boy, and you should learn to trust both of them. They’re only 15.”
“There’s something you’re forgetting,” Gerard said with a serious expression. “Gia’s mom was 15 when she got pregnant. And look what happened to her.”
Lindsey couldn’t argue with that. What Gerard was afraid of wasn’t Gia getting pregnant, at least not exactly. He was afraid that she’d end up being so depressed that she’ll kill herself, like her mother did.
“Let’s go out, okay,” Lindsey suddenly suggested. “We haven’t been out in a long time.”
Gerard hesitated for a moment, but then gave up soon. “Where do you wanna go?”
“Let’s go have fancy dinner in a restaurant. I mean let’s face it, soon the baby will be born, and we will never get to go out then. Enjoy while we can. And it might take your mind off of things.”
Half because he wanted to please his hormonal time bomb of a wife, half because he knew she was right, he gave in to her suggestion pretty soon. “Fine, let’s go then.”
“Oh my god…” Gia sighed, staring at her reflection from the window.
“I think it looks hot,” Lucas shrugged.
“Oh it’s easy for you to say. You look fabulous! I look like an Easter bunny crapped on my head…”
“At least it’s professionally done this time. Professional crap. Come on, let’s go get food, I’m starving.”
“You’re always hungry,” Gia said, rolling her eyes.
“I’m a growing man with a healthy appetite. It’s not easy to be this muscular, you know.”
Before Lucas could continue his egoistic rant, Gia’s phone started ringing in her bag. She fished it out and saw that she had a text.
“Oh, cool,” Gia said after reading the text message. “Dad and Lindsey are going out to dinner, and they’ll be gone for hours.”
“Awesome! So we can go to your place then. I want to see the new house.”
“I guess we can. But you can NOT eat all the food there. There’s no way I’d be able to explain that to dad.”
They waited about an hour for Gerard and Lindsey to leave the house before they headed back to the house. As soon as they got there, Gia gave him a tour. When they got to her room, Lucas frowned.
“Where are all the windows?” he asked.
“There are none. What do you care anyway, you always keep the curtains closed in your room.”
“Yeah but how the hell am I gonna sneak in here in the middle of the night if there are no windows?!”
Gia raised an eyebrow and asked: “You were planning on sneaking in here?”
Lucas’ cheeks got a lovely shade of pink on them, and he quickly said: “So, let’s go downstairs okay?”
Gia shook her head, but followed him out of her room and down the stairs anyway. They made themselves fancy drinks out of whatever juice and soda they found in the fridge, and then settled down in the living room.
“Your house is too awesome,” Lucas informed from the floor with dozens of Xbox games scattered around him. “I could so live here.”
“I actually think it’s kind of too big… And the pool and pool house are completely unnecessary.”
“Don’t insult the pool! She’ll hear you! Pools have feelings too,” he lectured, and then completely changed the topic upon finding a game he liked from Gerard’s collection of video games. “Hey, let’s play this one,” Lucas said, shoving the game disk into the Xbox.
Gia had hesitantly agreed to play video games with him, and she was regretting it already. But, she was pretty much just happy to be able to hang out with him again, so she didn’t care that much exactly what they were doing. For all she cared, they could’ve just sat around doing nothing. Which, these past few days that he had been back, was exactly what they had been doing.
“What’s this game called?” Gia asked him. It was single-play, so he was going to play for a moment and teach her how to play, and then she’d have to try it on her own.
“Assassin’s Creed. Don’t worry, you’ll love it.”
“Doesn’t sound very promising…”
“You’ll do okay. I’m gonna order a pizza, okay?” Lucas said and grabbed her cell phone from the couch table. “Hey you’ve got a text.”
“Who’s it from?”
“Hazel. She wants to know if you can hang out tomorrow.”
“Give me the phone,” Gia said, pausing the game.
“No way, I can answer to her for you. Just keep playing. You’re doing good.”
“Fine, tell her I’ll call her later.”
“Yeah, sure,” Lucas said, but obviously he hadn’t listened to her at all.
“What the hell are you writing?” Gia asked after a while, when Lucas was still writing the text message.
“Nothing that concerns you. Eyes on the game, honey,” Lucas answered.
Gia sighed, sensing an impending doom (nothing good could come of this), and continued the game.
“Okay, I’m done,” Lucas said, finally putting the phone down. “By the way, you and I are meeting Hazel tomorrow. We’re gonna go eat pizza.”
“Pizza? I thought we were having pizza now?”
“So? We can have pizza tomorrow too. I like pizza. Go hiding.”
“What?” Gia asked, confused by his demand that she hides.
“The game,” Lucas answered. “The guards are after you. Run and find a haystack or a well to… Or, you can just randomly hit them with your blade, whatever,” he finished when Gia just started to furiously beat the x-button, hitting the guards that had chased after her.
“This game is awesome,” she announced after the guards were dead.
“Okay, now go find your next mission.”
“How do I find it?”
“Look at the map.”
“I can’t see a map.”
“The bottom right corner!”
Just as Gia was about to cuss him off for being a jerk, the argument was cut short by a sound that was worse than the bark of a thousand hellhounds. The two teenagers’ eyes met in horror, and slowly they turned to look at the source of the sound of an angry father clearing his throat.
There he was, fists clenched and, what Gia had learned to be a sure sign of anger, flared nostrils like he was about to shoot flames out of them. And the daggers Gerard was shooting from his eyes were all directed towards the mortified looking Lucas.
“Gotta go bye,” Lucas said, and faster than a lightning bolt, the boy had jumped over the back of the couch, ran to the glass doors that led to outside, and before they knew it, he had disappeared over the stone fence that was protecting the backyard.
Speechless, Gia stared at where Lucas had disappeared, her mouth gaping open. When she remembered the reason he had ran off to safety, she glanced at the clock on the wall. Strange, they weren’t supposed to be home yet.
“Umm… You’re home early,” Gia said with a small voice, still living in the foolish hope that he’d take this all as some sort of a joke and just laugh it off.
“Not a moment too soon, apparently,” Gerard answered, glancing at the glass door which was still open from when Lucas had dashed through it. “Anything you’d like to share?”
“Oh, right, can’t believe that slipped my mind. Guess what. Lucas is back,” Gia said, laughing nervously.
“Yeah, obviously,” he snapped, making Gia wince.
“Okay, you can’t blame me for him moving back here. That was not my decision,” Gia said, defending herself.
“Yeah well I still don’t like it! And how could you keep a secret like that from me for weeks and then go out to see him behind my back, expecting that I wouldn’t find out?”
“Wait, you knew? How?”
“Tina came here to see me,” Gerard growled, obviously displeased that he was forced to think of the woman again. “Which, I’m holding you responsible for!”
Gia sighed. “Dad, he’s my best friend. And I don’t care what you think. I know you hate him, but you shouldn’t. You don’t even know him!”
“I know him well enough to want to keep him away from you!”
“He’s not that bad! He’s a nice boy, and if you just got to know him you’d –“
“Don’t you get it?!” Gerard interrupted. “The only reason he’s friends with you is because he wants to have sex with you!”
“That is not true!” Gia argued. Lucas was nothing like that. Ryan had been, and the two were nothing alike. “Look, I’m going to continue being friends with Lucas and there is nothing you can do about it.” Before he could yell at her, Gia continued. “But you don’t have to worry. Honestly. I promise you that Lucas and I are only friends.”
“You say that now but a few months later, you’ll be pregnant, alone and you’ll want to kill yourself. Then you’ll wish you had listened to me.”
“Dad, I’m fifteen!” Gia pointed out. “I’m not going to get pregnant!”
“That’s no excuse! Your mom was fifteen when she got pregnant! And look what happened to her,” Gerard said. The angry expression never left his face, but at least he stopped yelling. His voice was now calm. “Your mom is dead. God knows what drove her over the edge, but she wasn’t happy. She never was. And I don’t want you to end up like she did. And… I know you like Lucas, and that’s… I can’t deal with that because I know what happens when two fifteen year olds think they’re in love.”
For a moment, Gia was speechless. Love? The feelings Gia had for Lucas were all (well, mostly) positive, but love? She had never even considered it. She shook her head and looked at her father with sad eyes.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen, but you can trust me when I tell you that I’m not going to do the same mistakes you and mom did. I’m not going to get pregnant until I’m sure I’m ready, and that won’t be for many, many years. You just have to trust me with this. I’m not going to ruin my life, I’m not that stupid.”
Gerard considered her words for a moment. Then, the angry look faded from his face and Gia could see the slightest smile forming on his features. “Did you just call me stupid?”
Gia laughed. “Maybe. So, will you give Lucas a chance? It would really mean a lot to me.”
“Fine. He can have one chance. Okay, two,” he added when his daughter opened her mouth to speak.
“Good. Thank you. I promise you won’t be disappointed.”
“Okay, now that we got that all cleared up, what’s up with the hair?”
Gia groaned. She had hoped he would’ve forgotten about the new hair color she had. “Please don’t be mad.”
“I liked your hair blonde. What on earth possessed you to do that to your hair?”
“I don’t wanna say,” Gia said, pouting.
“Lucas made you do it, didn’t he?” Gerard asked, and when he didn’t get any other answer than a shrug, he sighed. “Right, of course he’s the culprit. The whole thing reeks of Lucas. But the way, next time you dye your hair, inform me about it first. I hate heart attacks. And you could’ve chosen a better color. I don’t really care for pink.”
“Oh, shut up,” Gia said, sitting down on the couch again, picking up the Xbox controller, and unpausing the game.
“You’re playing a video game? You?” Gerard asked, sitting down next to her.
“Don’t sound so surprised! I’m fun!”
“Yeah, whatever. There’s a codex page there,” Gerard said, pointing at a spot on the screen.
“There, don’t you see it? Get the courtesans to distract the guards,” Gerard advised, and grinned when Gia did the exact opposite and ran straight towards the guard, killing them. “Or you can just kill them, whatever.”
“Hey, where’s Lindsey? I thought you were having dinner?”
“We were, but she got a little hormonal on the waiter who dared to tell her that they were out of cheesecake. So we had to come home. She’s laying down upstairs.”
“Right. By the way, I’m going out tomorrow with Lucas and Hazel.”
“No you’re not.”
“I said I’m going out, not ‘I’m having a wild orgy’.”
“Please never say the word orgy again.”
Gia smiled and agreed to never mention the word again. The rest of the evening was spent playing videogames, eating the pizza Lucas had ordered, and arguing about whose turn it is to play.