Mikey and Alicia's party is great but Bert arrives and once more trouble is on the horizon.
"Calm down" Gerard told his future sister-in-law. "How hard can it be to catch three cats?" Alicia turned to him "Not a cat person are you Gee? You have no idea how crafty the little shits can be."
Just then Mikey came down the hall from the bedrooms "Ok two down one to go" he reported. "It's Bunny that is hiding. Kara looked under all the beds and I checked the closets but no sign of her."
Jamia spoke up "Is there anything I can do while you're looking for Bunny?" She took her coat off and waited for Frank to hand her his. Gerard took Monica's coat and slipped off his own.
Alicia nodded "Yea, if you could fill up all the snack bowls that would be great. The stuff is all in the kitchen along with the bowls. Just fill them and set them around the apartment."
"And the coats go where?" Gerard asked.
"First bedroom" she answered. "Just throw them on the bed." He took the coats from Jamia and added them to the two he was already holding. She and Frank went into the kitchen.
"What can I do?" Monica asked.
Alicia looked around to make sure no one was listening "Hey, Monica I have a question. When we were cleaning up today for the party we went into the room you and Gerard uh, used that night you guys had your dinner here." She paused "Why was there a can of whipped cream on the floor under the bed?"
Monica actually blushed. Alicia started giggling "Oh shit. Sorry I asked. Forget I asked."
Gerard walked back in and looked at them. "What did I miss?"
Alicia couldn't stop laughing "Oh Gee, nothing, nothing at all" Mikey called her name and she took off to see what he wanted still giggling.
"OK what the fuck was that all about?" he asked Monica.
"We forgot the can of whipped cream and they found it today when they were cleaning." Monica told him.
"Well, shit. I'll never hear the end of that from Mikey." As he spoke a cat streaked by heading for the kitchen. Mikey was in pursuit.
He spoke without stopping "Hey Monica."
A moment later he walked back out with a fat tabby in his arms. "Bunny has been captured"
It was just in time. The doorbell rang announcing the first of many guests. Soon the apartment was full of people. Gerard introduced Monica to so many people she began to feel overwhelmed. He was talking to an old friend of his when she slipped away to get a breath of fresh air on the balcony. The view was breathtaking and even tho it was bitter cold she enjoyed the fresh air. The noise of the party was still loud even outside. She didn't hear the sliding door open and close behind her.
A pair of arms circled her waist. "Look I'm touching you and you're not hitting me" the voice said with a sigh.
"Bert, when did you get here?" she asked turning to face him.
He took a cigarette out of the pack he was holding." Not to long ago" When the flame from his lighter ignited the cigarette she saw the look on his face.
"What's wrong, Bert?" she asked.
He tried to fool her with a smile "Nothing at all. So where is the Gee-Man?"
Monica touched his arm "I can see looking at you that something is wrong. Tell Me." she urged.
He blew out a stream of smoke. "Shit, it's cold out here. Let me finish this and I'll be in to talk to you." He promised.
"OK I'll be waiting," she told him. "Oh and Bert thanks for helping me last night. I found Gee right as the New Year started."
"You and Gee have something most people never find. Don't ever let anything tear you two part." It sounded ominous.
Monica went inside welcomed by the warmth of the apartment. Gerard was standing right inside the door. "I was wondering where you went. Sorry I was talking to Jeff so long. I just haven't seen him in so fucking long. He and I went all through school together."
She smiled "I didn't mind. Actually I just wanted to get some fresh air. Bert is out there now smoking but I think something is wrong. He said he would come in and talk to me in a minute."
Gerard looked surprised "I didn't even see him come in. I'll go talk to him" he slid open the door and walked outside.
Monica spotted Kara and Bob. She crossed the room to where they stood, arms around each other. "You guys having a good time?" she asked.
Kara smiled "This is great. I'm having such a good time." She smiled up at Bob. "He is going to drive me back to Donna's tonight, it that's OK with you."
Monica nodded, "That's fine. Just be careful." She wondered why Gee and Bert hasn't come inside yet. Making her way back to the balcony door she slid it open.
Gerard looked up, "We'll be in in a minute" he told her. She could tell by his voice that something was wrong. She nodded and returned to the party.
Mikey walked by her and smiled "Monica having a good time?"
"I am." She answered. He handed her a cup filled with an unidentified liquid. "It's just ginger ale." He said watching her look into the cup. "Didn't' think you would want any liquor in it."
She nodded. "Thanks Mikey." It wasn't that she didn't occasionally drink but because Gerard didn't she wouldn't either.
"So where is my big brother?" he asked taking a drink from his own glass. "I didn't think he could be pried away from your side." He teased.
She pointed to the balcony, "He is outside talking to Bert."
"I didn't know he was here." Mikey glanced at the balcony doors. "Everything OK?"
Monica shrugged, "I think Bert needed to talk to him."
The balcony doors opened and both Gerard and Bert walked inside. Monica noticed Gerard had an odd look on his face. She went to him and put her arms around his waist. "You are freezing."
He hugged her tightly; "You will have to warm me up, I guess." There was something in his tone that wasn't right. She glanced at Bert but as soon as he saw her look his way he turned and walked into the living room
Monica nuzzled Gerard's neck. He didn't respond. "Ok, Gee what's wrong? Is something wrong with Bert?" she asked.
He shook his head. "No, nothing is wrong with him. He is in love I think. At least he thinks he is"
"So what is it then?"
He took a deep breath, "We need to talk. Something has happened and you need to know about it."
Monica felt a shiver travel down her spine. Gee looked so upset it had to be very bad. "OK do you want to find a quiet spot?"
He nodded, "Yea lets go"
They ended up in one of the spare bedrooms. Gerard took her hands and led her to the bed. She sat down and he lowered himself down next to her. "Monica please remember that I love you so much."
"Gee you are scaring me. What's wrong?"
"Bert told me that Liv came to see him today. He said she is back hitting the drugs pretty hard. She told him something about me that I needed to know" He tightened his grip on her hands.
She waited for him to continue. He looked down at the carpet. After a few minutes he looked back at her. Taking a deep breath he said, "Liv told him that she has a child who is 2 1/2 years old."
Monica knew the words that he was going to speak.
Gerard let go of her hands and stood, "Liv told Bert that I had raped her when I was wasted. That I am the father of her child."
Author Note - Words can't express my thanks to all of you for your kind words. Franks quote helped me see the light. All of you who have been so devoted to this story have given me the courage to write. I thank you.