Gerard's actions push Holly to make a decision.
“She’s cooling down.” He said softly looking over at Holly. It worried him to see she still looked very upset and he wanted to put her mind at ease.
Holly nodded. “Thank God.”
Molly sighed then fell asleep.
“Lay down and try to get some sleep.” Gerard whispered.
Holly nodded then slowly stretched out on the sofa. Her plan was to rest her eyes however she was mentally and physically exhausted. Because she knew Gerard was caring for Molly she soon fell into a deep sleep.
Gerard watched her from across the room and was pleased when he heard her soft steady breathing. He looked down at the little girl in his arms. This sweet child had captured his heart.
It was several hours later he decided he would place Molly in her bed. Standing slowly still holding her tightly he walked to the bedroom. When he laid her down she murmured once in her sleep but didn’t awaken.
Pulling a light blanket over her body he then returned to the living room. For a minute he simply stared down at Holly. In sleep he looked so peaceful so serene. He hated to wake her yet he knew she’d want to be close to Molly.
“Gee?” Her eyes opened slightly as he lifted her body into his arm.
Gerard was startled by how weightless she felt. Once again he was filled with concern for her. She was too thin. “Shh." He whispered.
Holly tired to force her eyes open. “What’s going on?” Her brain cleared and she realized he was carrying her.
“Just putting you to bed.” He answered. “Molly’s already there.”
“I can walk.”
“Didn’t say you couldn’t. But I was hoping you wouldn’t wake up.” By this time they’d reached the bedroom. He took several steps inside the darkened room then slowly set Holly down on her feet. “Okay, put your PJ’s on.” He whispered.
Holly grabbed them from the chair.
“Well.” Gerard whispered.
“Well what?’ Holly whispered back.
“Put them on.”
Through the shadows she saw he was smiling. He turned his back to her.
Holly realized the man had no plans to leave the room. Quickly she shed her clothes then pulled on her PJ's.
“Can I turn around now?”
Holly sighed, “Yes.”
He was still smiling when he turned back to face her. “Bed." He tilted his head.
If she weren’t still so tired she would have told him he was being very bossy.
He waited until she’d carefully climbed in next to Molly then moved towards her. Holly smiled as he pulled the blanket over her body then leaned down to whisper in her ear. “I’m just gonna leave the door open. Holler if you need me. Goodnight.” With that he placed a kiss on her forehead then exited the room.
Now Holly was awake. The kiss he’d placed on her forehead had awakened her mind and her senses. She forced her eyes closed but it was no use. For the next twenty minutes she tried to sleep. She closed her eyes but sleep refused to come. Training her ears she listened and heard he was still in the living room. The sound of his lighter told her he was smoking. Glancing over at the clock she saw it was now almost 3 am. Why wasn’t he sleeping?
She gently placed her hand on Molly’s head and was relieved to find the it cool to the touch.
For several minutes she tried to keep her eyes closed hoping she’d fall asleep. It didn’t happen. Pushing back the cover slowly she slid from the bed. She was going to insist Gerard go into the other guest bedroom and get some sleep. Today he would be flying to NY to record and he’d be exhausted.
When she reached the living room the table lamp was still on but he’d stretched out on the sofa. Smiling she turned when his voice startled her.
“I wanted to make sure you weren’t still up.” Holly said softly. “I didn’t know you were gonna sleep on the sofa.”
“I’m not sleeping.” His voice sounded so tried.
Holly walked towards him. “You need to.”
He sat up. “Yeah, I know but I just can’t. Molly’s fever still down?”
“Yes.” Holly nodded taking a seat on the sofa next to him. “I was really worried earlier. It had spiked to 102.”
Gerard frowned, “Why the hell didn’t you call me?”
“Gee I know you’re upset about what happened today. I didn’t call you because I didn’t want to add any more stress. Besides I’d expected her fever to come back up. I knew I could handle it alone.”
“I didn’t want you to handle it alone, damn it.”
Holly was startled by the anger she heard in his voice. “Gee it’s okay.’ She started to say more but he cut her off.
“Damn it Holly this is important to me. I want to be there for you and Molly.”
She nodded, “I know and you have been. Having you here has meant a lot to me. But everyone will be getting home today.”
His eyes narrowed. “They all know I’ve been here.”
“Mikey and Alicia do, yeah I know that.” She wasn’t sure why he was still angry.
“And Lindsey ain’t gonna give a shit that I spent the night here.” He grabbed his cigarettes and lit another one.
At this point Holly really was confused by his words and anger. “Gee what’s going on?”
He stared at her a moment then looked away. “Nothing. I’m sorry.”
“I just don’t understand." Holly said watching his face closely. “Who are you mad at?"
“Myself mostly.” He answered looking over at her.
Gerard sighed, “It’s not important. I’ve just got a lot going on in my head. Trying to figure out what to do next.”
He inhaled deeply. “Look I know a lot in my life is gonna be changing. I’m just trying to figure out a plan.”
“Yeah the band and my personal life. My marriage is over I know that now.”
Holly took in his words before speaking. “You can’t be sure of that until you two really talk about it.”
“What’s there to talk about?" He ground out. “It’s over. She’s made that clear. I just gotta figure out where I go from here.”
Holly looked away. “Please tell me that’s not why you’re here.” She whispered.
He sat foreword and touched her arm. “Would that be bad?”
Tears pricked the back of her eyes but she refused to let them fall. “Yeah, that would be bad.”
His confusion and anger took over. “Why? Can you honestly say you don’t still feel something between us?”
Holly pulled her arm from his hand. “No, Gee. Don’t do this. Molly and I can’t be your backup plan. I can’t be the one who will keep you from your fear of being alone." She started to stand, “I won’t be.”
Before she could move her grabbed her arm roughly to stop her. “Is that what you think I’m doing?”
“Of course I do. What else can I think? I really believed you were here because of your concern for Molly. Now I’m hearing this? Gee you are a married man. I would never allow myself to feel anything but friendship for you.”
“But what if I wasn’t married anymore, Holly?” He tightened his hold on her. “What then?”
“No.” Holly tried to get him to release his grip. “I told you I’m not going to do this.”
“This?” He snuffed out his cigarette still holding Holly’s arm tightly. When he turned to face her he ground out. “You mean this?” He pulled her to him. His lips crashed down on hers.
Holly tried to pull away but he wrapped his arms around her holding her in place. It wasn’t until he felt her tears touch his cheek that his mind suddenly cleared. When he released her guilt tore at his soul.
“Fuck, I’m sorry.”
Holly sat staring at him. Her tears continued to fall.
“Please forgive me.” He begged.
She found her voice. “I’m sorry. It’s my fault. I should never have come here. If I’d known this would happen I wouldn’t have.”
He ran a shaky hand over his face. “Damn it don’t say that. This is my fault not yours. I’m so fucked up in the head right now I can’t think straight.”
Holly stood on shaky legs.
He lowered his head unable to look at her. “I’ll be gone in the morning before you and Molly wake up.”
Tears were still rolling down her cheeks.
“Go.” He said. “Give Molly a kiss for me.”
Holly turned moving towards the bedroom in a daze.
Gerard watched her go hating himself with each step she took. “I’m so sorry.” He whispered. “So sorry.”
Holly crawled back into bed trying to stop her tears from falling. If she’d just stayed in bed what just happened wouldn’t have happened. It shouldn’t have happened and she hated herself but Lord help her his kiss had ignited all the feelings she’d tried to keep buried. Swiping at her tears she reminded herself those feeling had to stay buried. Gerard was a married man with a family. There was no way she’d allow him to simply run away from his marriage into her arms. If that happened she couldn’t live with always believing he’d simply chosen her because he fearing being alone.
Rolling onto her side in the darkness she looked over at Molly. In her heart she knew she had to do what was best for her child. Her heart hurt realizing now that she must leave here soon. She couldn’t let her presence affect the outcome of Gerard’s marriage.
Holly closed her eyes fighting not to let her memories return. But her lips still tingled from the kiss. For one brief moment as he’d held her close she’d wanted so desperately to give into her true feelings.
July 5th 2007
“Hey, Sugar.” Gerard whispered in her ear as soon as she walked through the door.
Holly was surprised to see him and even more surprised to smell the wonderful aroma wafting from the kitchen.
“How was work?” He asked.
“What are you doing here?” She asked ignoring his question.
Gerard smiled, “Well that’s a nice way to greet your boyfriend.” He teased.
Holly looked around nervously. “Where’s Sonja?”
It hurt when he’d seen her reaction to him calling himself her boyfriend but he tried to ignore the feeling. “Uh she was here but she left about ten minutes ago.”
Holly threw her keys on the table then slipped off her shoes. “Left?”
He knew she was upset. “When I got here I told her I was gonna make dinner for you guys.” He paused a minute. “Uh, she doesn’t know about us, does she?”
Holly’s eyes grew wide. “No.”
He nodded, “Just wondered. I mean she kinda grinned funny when I said I was making dinner. I think she might have an idea about us.”
Sighing Holly rubbed her forehead trying to ease her growing headache.
“Sugar, your head hurt?” He asked in concern.
Gerard smiled and reached out for her hand. “Come on we’ll get you an aspirin and you can sit and talk to me while I finish up dinner.” He led her into the kitchen and once she was seated at the table he returned a moment later with two pills. Holly washed them down with a glass of water he handed her.
“Okay.” Holly said, “Now explain about Sonja. Where did she go?”
He spoke as he went back to cutting up the tomatoes for the salad. “Well she told me that you said it was okay for her to go with her friends to the movie tonight.”
“Not exactly.” Holly muttered.
He laughed, “Yeah I know. The deal was she could go if she got a good grade on that algebra test but she did.” He turned and saw Holly looking skeptical. “No, really. She showed me the paper. She got 93%. Pretty damn good, I’d say.”
“She still should have called me.” Holly said.
“Well I kinda think she thought that if I told you about her good grade it would be okay.”
Holly was secretly pleased that Sonja and Gerard really did get along well. “I suppose that’s true.” Holly relented.
He finished the salad. “So when you gonna tell her about us?’ He asked without turning. He held his breath waiting for her to answer.
“I’m not sure.” Holly whispered.
Her answer bothered him but he decided he wasn’t going to push the issue right now. He sat the salad in the middle of the table.
"That looks good.” Holly said eyeing the large salad and seeing all the different ingredients he’d added. “I love garbanzo beans.”
Gerard smiled, “Yep me too. Figured we’d eat our salad first.”
Soon he noticed she was picking at the food. “What’s wrong?” He asked softly.
“Bad day at work.” Holly admitted. “Almost got fired. A customer was rude and instead of keeping my mouth shut I was snotty.”
Gerard couldn’t help but laugh. “Snotty?"
“Yeah. He’d complained about everything from the taste of the water to there not being enough ice in his glass. When his meatloaf came he took a bite and loudly told me that it tasted like shit. I really tried to be nice.” Holly sighed. “I offered to bring him something else but no, he was just hell bent on whining. I’d had enough. When he told me that the meatloaf didn’t taste like his mom’s I shook my head and suggested maybe he should go home to mommy and have her make him something.”
Gerard burst out laughing. “Oh fuck.”
Holly sighed heavily. “That didn’t go over so well. He demanded to talk to the manager. She apologized for my rudeness and sent me to the back.”
“Well didn’t you tell her he was a dick?”
“I tried but she didn’t care. The customer is always right, you know.” Holly said sarcastically.
Gerard took a bite of his salad. “Well who cares?”
“I care.” Holly said. “Gee, I need that job.”
“Not really.” He said. “It’s not like I don’t have money to help you out.”
Holly’s eyes narrowed. “No thank you. I’m not gonna take money from you.”
He knew he’d upset her again. “I was just sayin…” He looked down.
Suddenly Holly realized she’d hurt his feelings without meaning to do so. She pushed back from the table then walked around to stand beside him. “Gee, I’m sorry. But you have to understand where I’m coming from. At my age I need to stand on my own two feet.”
He pushed his chair back. “I know Sugar. You do and I get that. But those feet are tired and I just want to help.”
She smiled, “They are indeed tired.”
He pulled into his lap, cradling her against him. He rubbed her back, his hands moving slowly over her spine.
“That feels heavenly.” Holly whispered. Not only her feet but her back was aching. She sought his warmth, her hands unbuttoning his shirt then sliding inside to touch his skin. She burrowed her face against his neck like a cat. “I’m so tried of trying to be strong.”
Struck by her words, he rocked her gently, wondering why he he’d known her for so long without truly realizing how hard life was for her at times. She worked so hard at a job that required her to stand on her feet all day. She was raising a teenager alone.
She was usually so upbeat it was a little startling to feel her cuddle against him, seeking the safety of his arms, but he liked it. He felt it showed she had placed her trust in him.
Holly sighed and moved her hands up the strong muscles of his back, and he quivered in delight, wanting something more. He inhaled her scent and smiled. Even though the smell of food permeated her uniform the smell of her hair, fresh strawberries delighted his nose.
Desire, heavy and urgent, began tightening his body. He brushed back the short hair from her neck and bent his head to trail his mouth down the column, taking his time, almost forgetting all about dinner.
“I promised to make dinner.” He whispered.
Holly closed her eyes, “Not hungry….for food.”
Her words made his heart race. She was responding to him, he could feel it. With shaky fingers he gently pushed her back so he could unbutton her uniform. The front clasp of her bra was next. Once her breasts were exposed his mouth greedily latched on to her right nipple as his hands pulled the top of the uniform down to her waist.
Holly moaned softly.
“You like this, Sugar? Is this what you want?” He forced himself to ask. “Is this what you are hungry for?"
“Oh yes.” Holly whispered brokenly.
His hands filled with the velvet mounds and firm jutting nipples. He sat back to gaze at their beauty. He could see the wanting in her eyes. Once more his mouth moved to capture a nipple, this tongue swirled, his teeth nipped.
Slowly he kissed his way back up to finally claim her mouth with deep thrusts of his tongue. Dinner was completely forgotten in the heated clash of their bodies. Holly couldn’t touch him enough, couldn’t satisfy her need to press fully against him so she twisted on his lap, seeking to nestle her breast, so naked and sensitive, against his chest. He aided her, lifting her and settling her astride his lap after she’d reached under the skirt to slide her panties down her legs.
He moaned, ‘Wait.”
Holly stood on unsteady legs as he got up and quickly shed his jeans. Part of her mind was questing this, was she truly going to make love with Gerard at her kitchen table? However her body was in control and the answer to that question was a definite yes.
Once he’d kicked his jeans and boxers away he sat back down. He smiled as he held out his hand to guide Holly back down to straddle his lap. Her hot, moist center when it touched his skin rocked him to the core.
“You make me crazy with desire.” He growled.
Holly moved her mouth back to his, holding the kiss as he eased inside her, his entry taking her breath.
She moaned his name, moving against him, her skin so hot it felt like a wildfire. She was wildfire, her body dancing, searing, taking him until the only sounds he could make were incoherent words of passion and need, of rising sexual desperation that held him taunt in the chair.
Holly lifted her hands to his shoulders, clinging to him. He held back, killing himself with the effort but he wanted to feel her delicate inner shivering, feel her ripple against him in satisfaction. When she tired he took over the motion for her, his hands on her hips. Tiny moans came from her throat, sounds that he caught with his mouth urging her onward. Waves of pure physical ecstasy began to crash upon her as his thrusting became wilder.
“Gee." She cried out his name. The sound pushed him over the edge as he let go, filling her with his love.
For several minutes they simply held each other tightly as the rest of the world was forgotten.
Holly pressed her eyes closely tightly. Guilt filled her soul. She knew how very wrong it was to be reliving these memories again. The man she’d loved in these memories belonged to another yet she couldn’t stop herself and her heart knew why.