We ask the questions baby, who provides the answers?
I paused at the door, taking an extra minute to read the note my mother had tacked up stating that her and my father would be gone overnight. Evidently they were going to some weird spa in the next town over to give us all ‘privacy’ as if once we left we wouldn’t have plenty of privacy.
Not that anyone needed privacy.
“What’s it say?” Frank asked, from behind me.
He had driven us back, and the entire car ride had been stressful and silent. I could feel the tension rolling off of us in waves.
“My parents took off. Mom found some spa place she really wanted to try out but it’s in the next town over so they will be gone overnight. You know how my dad hates driving at night.”
Frank mumbled something. I couldn’t even be sure what he’d said were words. It might’ve just been noise. Either way I wasn’t asking for clarification. I wasn’t asking for anything.
I opened the door and paused, as did Frank.
Taylor was sitting at the bottom of the staircase, with her head in her hands. It was like everything was happening in slow motion. I knew something bad was happening, or going to happen but I had no idea how bad… or what.
Taylor looked up.
Her eyes were red and puffy, as if she’d been rubbing them. Her entire face was wet from tears, which… you know, was a lot of tears.
Our eyes met and she shook her head, as a type of warning. It was too late. The next thing that happened hurt. You see, Mikey’s fist made contact with the side of my face and I stumbled back.
Frank moved quickly, slamming his fist against Mikey’s nose. I heard a sickening crunch, but everything seemed to be happening so slowly that I wondered if the crunch came from me… Mikey, or Frank.
Taylor yelled something, as she quickly pushed herself in between Mikey and Frank.
Frank’s hands were balled in to fists at his side, but the fight had completely left Mikey the second Taylor touched him.
“/What/ the hell is going on?” I finally asked, once everyone seemed to have relaxed, slightly.
Taylor was still standing in between Mikey and Frank, but I figured that was a good idea. If she wanted to play shield… more power to her. My face fucking throbbed.
“I’m sorry.” Taylor was the first to speak up. She wasn’t directing the apology to me though. Her eyes were glued to Mikey, but he wouldn’t look at her. “I’m so sorry Mikey.”
He glared at me with a hatred I had never before seen. “You paid her… to, to sleep with me?”
No, no, no. Please no.
Frank’s fists relaxed, as a growing look of horror slowly took over as his chosen expression.
My silence was answer enough.
Taylor had gone completely still, and silent. Tears weren’t even falling down her face anymore. She was just… still, like a statue.
“You told him?” I finally asked.
“No.” Mikey shook his head. “She didn’t tell me. She lied, because she was fucking paid to.” Taylor flinched as if Mikey had hit her. “I found the contract in your bedroom drawer.”
I knew that was a bad idea. I meant to put it through the shredder once I’d asked Taylor to marry me.
“You were going to marry a whore for hire?” Mikey sounded disgusted.
Again, Taylor flinched.
“I had a good reason.” I whispered, but suddenly my reasoning didn’t sound good at all.
“What?” Frank finally spoke up, sounding hopeless. “What was your good reason Gerard?”
I felt myself crumble under the pressure of their stares. “I’m gay.” The words sounded foreign, and wrong. I didn’t want it to be this way. I didn’t want it to come out this way. “So I paid Taylor to date me.”
Taylor was gazing at the floor with an unreadable expression plastered to her face. It was the old Taylor. The pre-Mikey Taylor.
“And what, fucking me was just part of the bonus package?” This time Mikey directed his question to Taylor.
She didn’t look up.
“Or do you just get off on fucking brothers?” Mikey cruelly asked.
I closed my eyes. “Leave her alone.”
“I’m not talking to you.” Mikey snapped. “I want Tay… Elena to tell me, in her own words, why she decided climbing in to bed with me was the right choice.”
Frank suddenly looked up. “They have their own problems. I need to talk to you.” My stomach dropped and I nodded.
Frank left the room, but before I trailed after him I faced Mikey. Though he wasn’t looking at me I knew he was listening. “I wanted you to see that Lauren was no good for you. Taylor was just supposed to be a distraction.” The words were like poison, burning my tongue on the way out.
Mikey didn’t respond and so I left to the living room, to face my own problem. The problem I’d created. Well, just one of them. I’d kind of made a mess out of us all.
Frank was standing in the living room, toying with his fingers.
Once I entered the room his eyes flew to mine, quickly falling down to the floor again. “You lied to me.”
“I know.” I lied to everyone.
“I put myself out there this morning and you… you made me feel like some gay freak.” Frank spit out. “You made me feel like what I did was wrong. You played me Gee.” His words were dripping with pain.
“I’m sorry.” I weakly offered, knowing it would never be enough.
Frank finally looked at me again. “Me too.” Those words cut deeper than I thought possible, and then he was leaving towards the stairs.
This time I knew I wasn’t welcome to follow him.
Taylor… Elena wasn’t looking at me. We simply stood in silence. Finally, I could no longer stand it. My fingers brushed against her chin and I shivered, not anticipating how soft her skin would feel underneath my fingers- /I hadn’t been anticipating how deep the lust I felt for her would go/. Even after she’d fucked me over.
I tugged her chin up, forcing her to look at me. She had tears shining behind her eyes but I didn’t know if it was just a giant show, or if she really meant it. I didn’t know what was a lie, and what was the truth- and so to avoid more pain I assumed everything had been a lie.
After all, that’s what liars did… they lied.
“You’re a clever girl.” I informed her, though she already knew that. She was in the game of breaking hearts, and fucking rich men. How could she not be clever? She screwed people over professionally.
“So clever and cold.” I needed to let go of her chin but I couldn’t. Her skin felt so good against mine, and I knew once I let go it was something that I would never get back. “Can you tell me something?”
“Sure.” She forced the word out. She was quite the actress, though I already knew that. Was every moan faked? What about her back story, was that all a lie too? It was all so cleverly constructed. I had no way of seeing it coming.
“Was the money worth it?” I felt my voice break, seconds before the words actually cracked. “Or do you just get a kick out of this?”
She tried to turn her head to the side but I kept it in place. She needed to look at me for this. I deserved that much. “Did you enjoy fucking me? Because I enjoyed fucking you, or rather… being fucked over by you.” She flinched, but I hadn’t hurt her. It was just a show anyway. She didn’t feel any of this. How could she? She was a fucking whore. A true whore.
“I love you.” She whispered the words, and I could hear her pain… but it was all just a giant joke. A professional plot.
I closed my eyes, trying to strengthen myself against her cruel tricks.
“I loved Taylor.” I replied, when I was able to open my eyes again. I let my hand fall to my side, letting go of the feel of her smooth skin, despite my body’s protest. “But you’re not her.” This time she closed her eyes. “You’re just an actress with an exceptionally loose vagina, and a knack for screwing men over.” That was cruel, even for the given situation. I had to stop myself from apologizing.
She gazed at me, and tears even filled her eyes.
Damn, she was good.
Good at breaking hearts, and she had fucking wrecked mine. “You weren’t even that great of a fuck.” I spit out, turning away from her.
She didn’t move.
I couldn’t see her but I knew she was just standing there. I just stood there as well, unable to walk away.
“You were a great fuck.” I breathed out, hating the streak of honesty that ran through me. “And you have the tightest-” I stopped myself. “Just get out please. I’ll pay you extra to just fucking leave. I hate you, and I hate myself for not hating you enough.”
She placed her hand on my back and I stiffened. She got the message and immediately removed her hand. “I’ll get my stuff together and go.”
I didn’t say anything.
She didn’t leave immediately. I couldn’t move. It was like I was frozen in place. It was horrifying to feel the tears build in my eyes, but so much more humiliating when the warm tears began dripping down my cheeks.
And there was nothing I could do because I loved Taylor.
But Taylor wasn’t real.