"The guys went to go get him right now Ivy," Frank said. "We don't know yet if he's okay or not..."
Ivy shot up from the couch in tears. "Frank, this is all my fault!! I let him drive me! Who knows how bad this could be?! Oh god..." She covered her mouth as her voice broke.
"Shit, I can't do this," Frank said. "Hey assholes, she's crying! Joke's up!"
Ivy shot him a look of horror as Gerard and the guys came running out of the basement, laughing. "That's not fucking funny! Do you know how fucked up that is?? I thought you could have fucking died!" She was crying, really crying now. After her incident with Fuck Face at work, this was just too much.
Gerard laughed and pulled her into a hug. "Ivy, it was a joke, calm down, we didn't mean to make you cry!" His smile faltered as her tears kept going. Her head was buried in his chest and her body was trembling as she sobbed. "Hey, what's the matter huh?" He took her face in his hands in an attempt to make eye contact with her. "Everything's alright, we didn't mean to upset any- Holy shit, what happened to your face?!"
"What the fuck Ivy, you have a black eye!" Ray exclaimed.
"Who the hell did this to you??" Bob asked.
Ivy pried herself away from Gerard's grip and wiped her eyes. "It's nothing guys, don't try to change the subject on me, I'm still fucking pissed at you!"
"What the hell kind of job do you need all this makeup and lingerie for?" Mikey asked. He was holding her bag from work.
"Looks like someone just wanted to sneak off to see their boy toy," Frank spat.
"Did he hit you??" Ray asked in shock.
"Ivy, if there's someone else you could have just told me..." Gerard mumbled. He looked hurt. She could see it in his eyes.
"Gerard, no, it's not like that..." Ivy started, but she was cut off.
"Save it." Gerard turned and disappeared into the basement.
Ivy turned and looked at the guys. "I suppose you're all pissed at me too huh?"
Frank shrugged. "Hey, your business with Gerard is your business."
"Guys you have to help me," she pleaded. "I got myself into some shit that I should not have gotten myself into, and Gerard is taking it completely the wrong way."
"We're listening," said Mikey.
"I don't work at a liquor store. I mean, I do work around liquor, but see the thing is..." Ivy sighed. This wasn't exactly the type of thing that you just tell someone. "I work at a bar. A club. Well, it's kind of more than that. There's other, well, services..."
"Shit Ivy," Ray said. "You're sixteen. What the hell are you doing in a place like that?"
"You're a stripper, aren't you?" Bob asked.
Ivy sighed. It was half the truth, but strippers don't have sex with their clients. She decided they didn't have to know that, though. She probably looked like a big enough whore as is. "It's only supposed to be temporary," she said.
"Look, there's no judgement here," said Frank. "But you need to get the fuck out of there. Look at what happened to your face. There's no end to that unless you get out. We can call the police. They can keep you safe."
"No, absolutely not," said Ivy. "We call the police, and I get my ass sent back to foster care. No."
"Guys, we can't tell Gerard this," Bob said, changing the subject. "He would not take this well."
"What do we do then?" Ivy asked.
"We'll handle it, don't worry," Ray said. "Just go get some rest. I think the festivities are over for tonight."
"Alright," Ivy sighed. "I'm sorry about all this guys, I know we just met and we don't even know each other really, this all probably seems fucking crazy..."
Frank laughed. "There's something fucked up about all of us here, Ivy. Don't worry about it. Gerard cares about you so we do too. We've got your back.
"Thank you," Ivy said with a smile. "Goodnight."
"Look dude, Ivy's got some baggage, but that doesn't change anything. From what you've told me, I think whatever you guys have is legit. She seemed upset when we walked out earlier." Frank handed Gerard a beer and opened one of his own. He was always the middle man in these types of situations. He just had this sort of calming, go with the flow attitude about everything. Gerard hated it.
"Forget it man," he said. "Doesn't change the fact that she was out with another guy earlier. And I'm the one who fucking took her there. I should have seen right through that 'drop me off here and I'll walk the rest' bullshit."
Frank exchanged a nervous glance with the rest of the guys. With a temper like Gerard's, they couldn't risk telling him what was really going on.
"It's not like that Gee," Mikey said. "We talked to her. She's in a shitty situation right now, but she's gunna get out of it. She's working on it. It's not what you think at all, we swear."
"Then I completely made an ass of myself and she won't want anything to do with me, I lose either way," Gerard muttered, downing the rest of his beer and reaching for another one.
"You didn't make an ass of yourself," Ray said. "Not completely, anyways."
"Just talk to her in the morning," said Bob.
"It is morning, dipshit."
Bob reached over and took Gerard's beer. "Then it's time to stop drinking man, let's just sleep and figure this shit out later." The guys nodded in agreement.
"Fine," said Gerard. "I'll talk to her later."
That is, if she doesn't completely hate me yet. He though to himself.