A week or so later, Christmas vacation was over. Gerard’s overflowing Christmas spirit had luckily disappeared before the extremely pregnancy hormonal Lindsey got fed up with him and his caroling. And speaking of Lindsey, she was eight months pregnant, and already more than ready to have the kid pulled out of her.
Gia and Lucas had agreed that the best thing they could do was hide the fact that their relationship had… well, changed. Especially from Gerard. He can never find out.
School started, and Lucas had no trouble adapting to the new school. On his very first day he was chatting to new people, making excuses as to why he couldn’t do the math exercises in class and mainly just goofing off.
“He seems to be settling here just fine,” Hazel pointed out when she and Gia were walking on the halls on the way to their lockers and they spotted Lucas far ahead, standing in front of his new locker, apparently decorating it with pictures and that yellow and black warning tape that the police use.
Gia couldn’t help but agree with her. A group of three other boys and one girl, none of whom Gia was previously familiar with were chatting with Lucas. Gia knew that he was extremely social, but this was just ridiculous.
“How’s it going with you two, anyway?” Hazel asked when they stopped at their lockers, which were conveniently placed next to each other and out of hearing distance from Lucas’.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, you and Lucas are like… together now, right?”
Gia felt her cheeks get warm, a sure sign that her face was beat red. She couldn’t stop herself from smiling. “Yeah I guess. I have a boyfriend.”
“Watch out, Gerard might hear you,” Hazel laughed.
“Oh don’t even say that. I think it’s like Beetlejuice, you say his name too many times and he’s gonna appear.”
“Anyway…” Hazel said with a grin. ”Have you and Lucas… you know, done anything yet?”
“Oh god no,” Gia gasped. “You kidding me? I’m nowhere near being ready for that.”
“I didn’t mean like sex.” Hazel rolled her eyes. “Like, even making out or something.”
“No, not yet. I think that if we did do anything like that, I’d freak out so bad that I’d smack him,” Gia said. Since they got together at Christmas, Gia’s attitude towards hanging out with Lucas had changed a tad. Now that he wasn’t only her friend, she was a bit nervous about being alone in a room with him. Most of the stuff her dad says goes in from one ear and out from the other without stopping, but at times she did listen to him.
The two girls finished their business at the lockers, and then proceeded to where Lucas was standing. The crowd around him vanished when Gia and Hazel approached and he didn’t pay attention to them anymore.
“Well if it isn’t the girlfriend,” Lucas greeted with a cheery grin. He slammed his locker shut, wrapped an arm around Gia’s shoulders and gave her a quick kiss before nodding to Hazel. “And the girlfriend’s friend, hello.”
“I’m really feeling the love,” Hazel said jokingly. “So Lucas, how do you like Belleville High?”
“Well some of the people here are okay, teachers are crap though. And don’t even get me started on the classes. I can’t wait for lunch.”
“It’s your first day and you’re already tired of this school?” Gia asked in disbelief. She may not exactly be a fan of school, but she somewhat tolerated it.
“I don’t really care for it. In fact, I don’t think I need to go to school.”
“You’re gonna need an education later,” Gia said.
“Not if I move to Africa and become a dictator or something.”
“What? I wouldn’t wanna be a dictator.”
“Why not? You could be my right hand and help me rule our country.”
“No way! I know what you do with your right hand!”
“What? This hand?”
Hazel laughed as Lucas tightened the grip he had on Gia with his left arm, and then ruffled her hair and poked her face with the right hand. “You guys are so cute,” she announced when Gia tried to struggle her way free.
“Okay, Hazel, I correct myself. I don’t have a boyfriend,” Gia said when she managed to get away from Lucas.
“Damn. Lasted a week,” Lucas sighed, shaking his head.
“At least now you two won’t get killed by Gerard,” Hazel pointed out. “Speaking of which, are you ever going to tell him?”
Gia and Lucas glanced at each other, and then shook their heads. “No way,” they said in unison.
“And by the way,” Lucas continued. “I don’t do it with my right hand. I mean, sometimes I do, but mainly with my left. It’s just, I like to practice the right hand too, if I ever get into an accident and lose the left one.”
“Wow, that’s thinking ahead,” Hazel said. “He’s a real keeper.”
Gia, however, looked more disgusted than impressed. “I’m going to class,” she announced, and walked away only to have Lucas scream and jump on her back from behind, nearly knocking her to the floor.
How that boy managed to make even one friend, Gia couldn’t understand.
When Gia got home after school, accompanied by Lucas of course, she found the whole My Chemical Romance in the living room. Ray was on his knees and hands in front of the fireplace and Gerard was standing next to him with a hammer.
“My, Santa, you’ve changed,” Gia said to Ray who had so much ash on him that he looked like he’d just crawled down the chimney.
Ray stood up, and everyone else looked at her. They hadn’t heard her come in.
“Come on Gia! Come sit with me!” Frank shouted from the beanbag chair that Gia had dragged in front of the TV.
Instead of stuffing herself next to the guitarist on the crammed beanbag chair, she sat down on the vacant couch and then proceeded to wonder what they all were doing there. Lucas sat down next to her, but made sure to keep a certain distance so no one would suspect anything. Jersey immediately came to greet the both of them.
“We’re baby proofing the house,” Gerard explained.
“Already? Isn’t it a bit early,” Gia asked. She hadn’t quite prepared for the baby yet. Emotionally, that is. Gerard and Lindsey had been working on the nursery since they moved there, and it was pretty much done. But Gia had to admit, the house was a safety hazard. Sharp edges, staircases… Dirty fireplaces.
“The due date is in less than three weeks. We’re late.”
“Okay, I kind of understand why Ray is here, and even Mikey, but… Frank?”
While Frank just fake-cried, Ray said: “He’s actually surprisingly good with this stuff.”
“Yeah yeah, I’d just feel a lot better if you didn’t give him any power-tools,” Gia answered, making Frank fake-cry harder.
“Your words… they’re like knives!” the guitarist cried, and doubled over as if he really was hurting.
“You know, we’re gonna have to go to the hardware store again,” Ray said, turning back to the fireplace, ignoring the whole dramatic scene. “You need a new fire blocker if you don’t want the baby to get burned.”
“Don’t talk about my baby being burned!” Gerard complained, looking offended.
Frank started to sing ‘Burn, baby, burn’ by Disco Inferno, while the others decided to all go to the hardware store.
“I’ll drive,” Mikey said, and they all got up.
But before Gerard left the room, he stopped and looked at the two teens who remained sitting on the couch.
“And Gia, stay away from the tools. They’re dangerous. That includes Lucas.”
“We’re just gonna do homework,” Gia rolled her eyes.
“Yeah, you better.”
After he was gone, Lucas asked: “Did he call me a tool?”
“I think so,” she laughed, when his arm went around her shoulders. He seemed to do that a lot. As soon as they were alone, he got closer. Gia knew that he’d do it around others, too, but for not, they couldn’t tell her or his families that they were together, mainly because if they did, some way or another, the word would get to Gerard. And Gerard could not handle the truth.
“Well, we should get to that homework. If all you did was slack off at California, then we have a lot of catching up to do,” Gia said, grabbing her book bag.
“I did not slack off,” Lucas protested.
“Did you do any homework, ever?”
“No. But I listened at class.” When Gia looked doubtful, he continued: “Well I did once!”
“Right, exactly my point. Let’s get to work then.”
“Gia…” Lucas started, and gently pried the math book out of her hands. “I realize that you’ve lived under a rock for most of your life so you didn’t probably get the memo about these basic social situations, but… When I asked if I could come over to ‘do homework’, I didn’t actually mean ‘homework’.”
“Oh, what did you mean then?”
Carelessly he threw the book somewhere, not caring about Gia’s protests (“Hey! That is school property, you can’t break it!”), and before she could react, he’d pulled her to a kiss.
As usual, when they kissed, Gia felt her heart pounding somewhere in her throat, and she leaned back slightly from surprise. Or was he pushing her back? She wasn’t sure, but before she could figure it out, she was half sitting, half on her back, leaning on the armrest of the couch, with Lucas partly on top of her.
Gia found herself lost in the moment, and her arms went around his neck to deepen the kiss, and the feeling of his hands on her hips, slowly moving up to her waist, and up to –
Gia gasped, her eyes opening abruptly, and she pulled away from him. While she was comfortable with some things that Lucas did, things that before they happened, she had thought she’d rather kill him with a shovel than do that stuff, such as let him get so close ad they had been a few moments ago. But as soon as his hand had come in contact with the edge of the strap on her bra, she panicked.
Lucas pulled back, looking apologetic. “Sorry, too far?”
Gia could only nod, and say: “Yeah.”
“Sorry,” he repeated, although Gia could tell that he was a bit disappointed.
“It’s okay, don’t worry about it,” Gia said and sat up. “Don’t look so sad,” she added with a laugh and gave him a quick peck on the cheek, which only resulted to Lucas aiming another kiss on her lips again. But before this one could get any deeper, there was a loud noise of someone clearing their throat.
Immediately assuming that it was Gerard, the two teens pulled apart with similar looks of horror. At least this time Lucas didn’t dash straight to the door, but that was only because it wasn’t Gerard who was standing there.
“I knew it,” Lindsey said with a wide smile. At least she didn’t look angry.
Gia wasn’t quite sure if she should be defending herself, accusing Lucas, or just deny the whole thing. Luckily Lucas had a better grasp on the situation. The first thing he did was stand up from the couch, which probably was a good thing considering how close they were sitting.
“Okay, it’s not what it looks like,” Lucas tried, and Gia supported the denying strategy wholeheartedly by nodding.
“Yeah we were just… doing homework,” Gia said, backing him up.
“Would you two relax,” Lindsey laughed, and plopped down on one of the armchairs with her huge stomach. “I’m not mad at you. I’m happy for you! So you two are together now? That’s great, I knew it would happen sooner or later. How long as it been?”
Surprised by her reaction, Gia and Lucas glanced at each other before he replied: “About a week.”
“A week? So it happened at the Christmas party then? Yeah, I knew you looked somehow different,” Lindsey said to Gia. “But how come I’m finding out just now?”
“We don’t want to tell my dad, so we figured we’d keep it a secret for now,” Gia explained. Lucas sat back down to where he had been sitting before, and almost instinctively put an arm around Gia’s shoulders.
“I’m cool with you two being together, but don’t do that in front of me, okay?” Lindsey immediately said. “So, scoot.”
Lucas rolled his eyes, but did as she asked him to.
“Anyway, I think it’s probably better that Gerard doesn’t find out just yet. I’d rather have my child’s big sister there to greet him or her, alive, when he or she is born.”
“So you won’t tell him?” Gia asked, smiling hopefully.
“No. You will. Just not yet. But you do realize that the longer you wait, the angrier he will be once he does find out?”
“Yeah, we thought about that,” she answered. “I’ll tell him when the time is right. And preferably when Lucas is out of country.”
“Well, whenever you decide to tell him, I promise to support you. But hey, even though Gerard isn’t watching you, I am. So no funny business,” Lindsey said, pointing a finger at Lucas. “If she ends up in the same state as I am in now before you two are married, I will so tell on you to Gerard.”
“You don’t have to worry about that,” Gia said, and out of the corner of her eye she saw Lucas rolling his eyes again. “We’ll be good.”
“Great. I’ll leave you kids to it then. Homework, I mean. School things. No touching. Well, maybe a bit. But not too much, alright?”
After Lindsey had managed to pry herself up from the chair and wobbled off back to where ever it is that she came from, Gia and Lucas looked at each other from opposite ends of the couch.
“So… You think she’ll tell him?”
Gia shook her head. “No way. I may not know Lindsey very well, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned about her, then it’s that she doesn’t lie.”
They weren’t too worried about Lindsey. She could keep a secret. What worried them was that if they kept being this careless, someone else would find out. And if it was one of the guys, eventually it would lead to Gerard finding out. And they weren’t ready for that just yet.