A surprise guest at the House of Blues
“Could you please take her?” She asked struggling with the sleeping child in her arms. “She fell asleep in the car.”
Gerard took Bandit from her arms then carried the child to her room. Once he had her settled he went back to confront Lindsey but she’d gone back out to the car to retrieve her bags. He waited by the door making no move to help her.
Lindsey walked back in ignoring his glare.
“I didn’t think you’d be gone all day.” He said shutting the door.
“Gee, I told you we were going shopping.” She answered tiredly. “Now, I’m gonna shower and get ready.”
“Mikey said they ain’t gonna be here until six.” He said following her down the hall to their bedroom.
“Then I have plenty of time, don’t I?”
He leaned against the doorjamb watching her. “So did Bandit get to see Santa?’ He asked knowing full well their daughter had seen Santa.
“Yep.” She answered without turning.
“So gonna show me a picture?” He asked.
Lindsey sighed, “Here.” She said grabbing her phone out of her purse. She tossed it to him.
Gerard took the phone and found the pictures. “What the hell?”
Lindsey laughed, “The picture of Holly and M with Santa?” She guessed.
He nodded looking at the picture. “Yeah.”
“Molly insisted her mom take a picture with her and Santa.”
“So how come you didn’t take one with Bandit?” He asked still studying the picture. Holly’s smile melted some of the coldness from his heart.
Lindsey shrugged, “Dunno.” She pulled out the new blouse she planned on wearing to the party tonight.
“It would have been nice.” He said softly.
Lindsey walked over and took the phone from him. “I’m gonna shower now.”
“Linds.” He grabbed her arm. “What’s wrong?”
Her anger erupted, “I’m so tired of you asking that question.”
He was shocked, “Why because you’re tired of lying to me? Or because you’re tired of me in general?”
She stared into his eyes, “Gee, let’s not fight. We have a party to go to and I don’t want us to be angry with each other.”
“So you just wanna pretend to be the happy couple tonight?” He asked.
She nodded, “Yeah, that’s what I want.” She pulled her arm away leaving him staring after her. Leaving him knowing in his heart she hadn’t answered his question because the truth would hurt.
“Oh Holly, you look wonderful.” Alicia said as Holly walked into the living room.
“Wow.” Mikey said looking at his friend. He turned to Alicia, “But isn’t that your dress?”
Alicia nodded, “Yep, I talked Holly into wearing it. I knew it would look great on her.”
Holly sighed, “I’m so not comfortable in this.” She looked down at the short red, satin gown. It was very form fitting, and shorter than anything she’d ever worn. “I think I’m gonna change.”
Alicia was beside her in a flash, “Oh, no you don’t. That dress looks awesome on you.”
“It’s just not me.” Holly tired to explain.
“It’s not the old Holly. This is the new Holly.” Alicia said softly. “The Holly who is ready to take on the world.”
Holly laughed, “Girl, where do you get your ideas? The new Holly?”
“Sure.’ Alicia nodded, “The new Holly. The one who’s not gonna hide in her clothes anymore.” Her smiled faded slightly thinking once again that Holly was too thin.
“What?” Holly asked seeing her friend’s smile fade.
“Nothing.” Alicia smiled realizing now was not the time to think about that. “I’m just realizing your gonna look much hotter than me tonight.”
“Yeah, right.” Holly laughed. “A woman pushing 40 is gonna look hotter than you.”
“Oh, no you don’t.” Alicia said shaking her head, “Don’t start that age thing again. You don’t look anywhere near your true age. I don’t see why you have such a hang up about it.”
“Because my age is my age. Doesn’t matter if I might not look it, it’s still what it is.”
Mikey was watching the two women closely. “Well all I know is I’m gonna be going to a party with two hot women.”
They both smiled at him.
Gerard pulled open the door to allow them to enter. When he saw Holly he was momentarily speechless.
She glared at him as she walked by holding Molly’s hand. “Don’t say anything.” She warned. “It’s Alicia’s dress and I got bullied into wearing it.”
“It looks great.” He said honestly.
Holly was nervous and it was starting to spill over in her words. “Yeah, right. Whatever.”
“Holly you look great.” Lindsey said walking into the room.
Holly sighed, “Thanks.”
Gerard whispered in her ear as they all started towards the living room. “Oh she gets a thanks and I get glared at.”
Holly shot him a look but made no comment.
“You look great too.” She said taking in Lindsey’s short shirt and blouse.
“This is the blouse I bought today.’ Lindsey answered. She introduced Kara who would be watching the girls to Holly.
It was hard for Holly to hide her frown. The girl looked awfully young to be watching two toddlers. “Hello.” She greeted her.
Gerard was watching Holly closely and understood her feelings so he said, “Kara has sat for us several times. She’s great with kids.”
“Well we better be going.” Mikey said glancing at his watch.
Holly knelt down. “Molly you be good and listen to Kara, okay?”
“Otay.” Molly answered frowning.
“We’ll have fun.” Kara said walking over to them. She could see the little girl looked upset.
“This is really the first time she’s stayed with a sitter other than Gerard’s mom or brother.” Holly explained to the girl.
“Oh.” Kara nodded, “Well Molly I promise we’ll have fun, okay?”
Molly nodded but kept her eyes on her mother.
“It will be okay, baby.” Holly hugged her. “And I’m sure you’ll help Kara watch Bandit, right?”
Believing that made her a big girl she smiled, “Mese watch B dood.”
The adults all smiled.
Gerard leaned down and kissed Bandit’s cheek. “Be good Baby B.” He said. Lindsey gave her daughter and kiss and a hug.
Holly kissed Molly again then stood. She saw Bandit looking at her. “A kiss?’ She guessed.
Bandit nodded happily. “Tiss.”
Holly knelt down and planted a kiss on her rosy cheek. “A Bandit kiss.” She smiled.
Gerard was watching and realized it touched his heart that Bandit seemed so drawn to Holly.
As she stood Holly laughed and said softly, “Told you, kids and animals love me.”
“Stop tugging on the dress.” Alicia whispered into Holly’s ear as they walked inside the House of Blues.
Holly glared at her, “Can’t help it this thing is too damn short.” She frowned when she saw Gerard make a beeline for the bar.
“Is it just me or is there definite tension between him and Lindsey?” Alicia asked following Holly’s gaze.
Holly shrugged not wanted to discuss their relationship with Alicia.
Mikey said he be back in a minute and followed Gerard.
Lindsey, who had stopped to greet some friends, joined them. “Where’s the guys?”
“Getting drinks.” Alicia answered.
Lindsey looked over at her husband across the room. It was early so not many people had arrived yet. “Should have guessed.” She muttered.
Alicia looked over at Holly but Holly didn’t return her look.
“Here you go.” Gerard said handing a glass to Lindsey.
“Thanks.” She answered.
Mikey was right behind him. He handed Holly and Alicia each a glass.
“What’s this?” Holly asked.
“Uh, rum and Coke. That was the only thing I can ever remember you drinking.”
“Oh.” Holly hadn’t really wanted a drink but she smiled anyway.
“One drink won’t hurt ya.” Gerard said looking at Holly.
She nodded, “No, one drink is fine.” There was a definite tone to her voice he caught but ignored.
“Hey look who’s here.” Mikey said scanning the room.
Gerard followed his gaze. “I didn’t know he was in town.”
Holly wondered who they were discussing but when she saw her eyes grew wide.
Adam Lazzara had spotted them and was making his way threw the crowd. Holly felt like a deer caught in the headlights.
“Hey.” Adam said joining them. “Good to see you.” His eyes fell on Holly. “Holy shit, I didn’t recognize you.” He moved in and hugged Holly tightly.
“Hey Adam.” She smiled returning his hug.
He stood back looking confused. “What are you doing in LA?”
Holly smiled, “Just visiting Mikey and Alicia.”
Gerard was watching the encounter feeling very confused. Holly and Adam were friends, when had that happened?
“Well you look great.” Adam said to Holly with a smile. “Really great.”
“Thanks.” Holly said softly looking into his eyes.
Adam smiled back. “Hey I’m gonna borrow Holly for a minute, okay?” He wanted to get her alone so he could figure out what was going on. He took her arm and led her away from the group before anyone could answer.
Gerard watched them while trying to concentrate on the conversation going on around him. Something was going on that he didn’t understand and it bothered him. As far as he knew Holly had only met Adam once very briefly before a concert. However watching them talking together he realized they knew each other quite well.
“Gee.” Lindsey said loudly to get his attention.
He tore his gaze away from Adam and Holly back to his wife. “What?”
“I said I’d like another drink.”
“Oh sure.” He downed the rest of his on the way back to the bar. When he returned with the drinks Holly and Adam had rejoined the group.
As soon as he did Holly excused herself. Gerard watched her go then turned to Adam.
“I didn’t realize you knew Holly.” He said.
Adam looked slightly uncomfortable. “Oh yeah. Remember I met her years ago before one of your concerts.”
Gerard nodded deciding to let it go for now.
The party was in full swing several hours later when Gerard found the opportunity to talk to Holly alone. She’s stepped out into the foyer to make a phone call.
“Hey.’ He said walking out. “Problem?” He nodded to the phone call she’d just disconnected.
Holly smiled, “Just called to make sure Molly’s doing okay. Kara said both girls are asleep and that Molly had been an angel.”
“Bet she didn’t say that about B,” He grinned.
Holly wanted to get back inside and away from him. “Well don’t forget Molly was helping Kara so I’m sure it was fine.” She started to walk past him.
“Holly, why do you suddenly have a problem being alone with me?”
She frowned, “I don’t have a problem being alone with you.”
“Yeah,” He nodded, “You do.” He’s already had too much to drink and his mind was getting fuzzy. “I just don’t understand it.”
“Gee, stop.” Holly sighed.
He took a step closer to her. “So what’s the deal with you and Lazzara?”
This was what she’d been afraid would happen. “I don’t know what you mean.” She said evenly.
“When did you and he get to be such close friends?”
“We’re friends.” Holly said, “Just friends so don’t make a big deal out of it.”
“I’m not stupid. I saw how shocked he was to see you with us.”
Holly tried to move towards the doors but he blocked her path.
“You are imagining things.” She said, “Now move.”
He glared at her. “Let me guess he’s known where you were all this time just like Bryar.”
Holly’s eyes grew wide.
“Yeah I know you and Bryar are friends. Molly was watching one of our video’s and pointed out Uncle Bob.” His voice dripped with venom.
“So what?” Holly answered angrily. “I can be friends with anyone I choose.”
“Sure you can.” He spat. “You can stay friends with anyone but me.”
Holly knew by now Alicia would be looking for her. “Gerard I am your friend, always have been.”
“No you ran off.” Gerard said angrily. “Stopped being my friend.”
She needed to get away from him. “Yeah, well that drink in your hand is your friend now. What else could you need?” As soon as she said it she regretted her words.
“Fuck yeah it is.” He downed the last of the alcohol. “It’s all I need.”
Holly sighed, “Gee, please move.” She whispered.
He moved back and Holly rushed past him. A few minutes later she saw him return and go immediately to the bar.
Gerard was drunk and Lindsey tipsy when they arrived home.
“Mikey would you mind going and getting Molly?”
He turned to Holly. “Sure no problem.”
“She could just stay the night.” Lindsey said. “You can pick her up in the morning.”
Mikey understood by the look on Holly’s face she did not want to leave Molly at their house. “It’s okay.” He said sliding out of the car. “I’ll just get her now.”
When he returned a few minutes later carrying the sleeping child Holly had gotten the toddler seat out of the truck so that Mikey could place her in it.
“Thanks.” She whispered.
Mikey gave her a quick hug, “No problem. I knew you didn’t want to leave her here.” He said sadly.
As they drove away Mikey sighed, “They had already started yelling at each other as soon as we got in the house.”
Alicia shook her head, “I was afraid of that. You could tell Gee was pissed.”
Holly sat silently in the backseat very glad the night was over. However she knew from experience Gerard never let anything go. He’d ask her again about Adam and she wasn’t sure what she would say.
Holly had just crawled into bed when there was a light knock on the door. She quickly got up and was surprised to see Mikey standing there looking at her strangely.
“Uh, Gee’s trying to get a hold of you.”
Holly moved out into the hall and gently pulled the door closed behind her. “What?”
“He said he needs to talk to you but you aren’t answering your phone.”
“Oh, it must be dead.” Holly lied. She’d deliberately turned it off.
“I’m sorry, Holly.” Mikey said softly. “I know he’s drunk and you probably don’t want to talk to him.”
Holly sighed, “It’s okay. She took the phone from Mikey’s hand. “Go back to bed.” She smiled.
Mikey kissed her cheek then turned to go back to his room. Holly waited until he’d closed the door then walked into the dark living room not bothering to turn on a light. “What Gee?” She said tiredly.
His speech was slurred, “Wanna know what the fuck is going on.”
“Do you remember I’ve told you before that I don’t want to talk to you when you’re drunk?”
Gerard looked around the silent living room. “Well too fuckin’ bad. We need to talk.”
“Where’s Lindsey?” Holly asked.
He didn’t like the question but answered, “Asleep.”
“As you should be.”
“Can’t sleep.” He said pouring another drink. His hand was so shaky he spilled most of it. “Shit.” He muttered.
“Gee, go to bed.” Holly said softly.
He almost fell into the chair. “Holly what am I gonna do?” He pleaded.
Holly knew from experience when he was drinking his thoughts shifted quickly. “Do about what?”
“My life.” He said, “What the fuck am I gonna do? It’s all fuckin’ falling down around my head.”
“Gee the alcohol isn’t gonna help.”
He took a drink ignoring her comment. “She said we’d talk after the holidays.”
Holly rubbed her forehead trying to lessen the headache she suddenly felt. “What?”
“Linds. Tonight I told her I was fuckin’ sick of fightin’ with her. Told her we need to figure out how to fix things but she said we’ll talk after the holidays.” He closed his eyes, “Fuck, she’s gonna leave me, I just know it.”
Holly’s heart went out to him. “Gee, I don’t know what to say.”
He was grasping at straws but he was terrified, “Maybe you could talk to her. Fuck if I just knew what’s wrong I could fix it.”
“Gee, I can’t do that.” Holly said softly.
“Why the fuck not? You’re my friend you gotta help me.” He said angrily.
“Yeah Gee I am your friend. I feel like I’m Lindsey’s friend too. But whatever is wrong between you two isn’t my business.”
“I don’t fuckin’ know you anymore.” Gerard shouted.
Holly blinked back tears, “Maybe you never did.” She disconnected then turned off Mikey’s phone praying Gerard would not try to call back.
“Fuck.” Gerard roared in anger as he threw his phone across the room striking the Christmas tree. Several ornaments crashed to the ground. He didn’t care. He finished his drink then passed out where he sat.