Mikey woke with a start. He sat up in bed. His heart was racing. Rubbing his eyes he tried to focus on the clock on the bedside table. Finally the illuminated numbers came into focus. It was 3:34 in the morning. He fell back against the pillows waiting for his heartbeat to slow down.
"What the fuck?" He said softly. He couldn't remember the dream; only parts of it and those scared the shit out of him. Should he call Alicia now? Would she be awake? He had told her he wouldn't call until he got to Seattle this afternoon but he needed to hear her voice. He slipped out of bed and dressed in the dark. The last thing he needed was for Frank to wake up and start asking questions. Before he opened the door he grabbed his cell phone.
The hotel corridor was silent and empty. He quickly made his way towards the elevators but stopped himself from pushing the button. No, he didn't want to use the elevator. Instead he walked to the end of the hall to the stairs. Pushing open the door he started to descend, his footsteps echoing. Man, this is fucking creepy, he thought. He was grateful they were staying on the fourth floor cause he was almost to the main level. Once there he entered the lobby and found a place to sit that was secluded.
"Hello" Alicia's very sleepy voice greeted him.
"Oh shit I'm sorry. I thought you might be awake. I know it's early, I'm sorry."
Alicia sat up in bed and looked at her clock. "It's not even four in the morning for you, what's wrong?" She was so groggy. She hadn't fallen asleep until a couple of hours ago herself because she had felt so sick.
"I just wanted to talk. It's nothing. Go back to sleep."
"Mikey, I'm awake now.” She fluffed up her pillows and fell back against them. "Whatta ya wanna talk about?"
Mikey had no idea. He really had just wanted to hear her voice. To make sure she was okay. "I dunno. What are you gonna do today?"
Alicia laughed, "Well I was thinking of flying to London to do some shopping but of course I would have to take Jamia and I'm not sure her big old preg butt would fit in the airplane seat."
Mikey began to relax. Just hearing her was what he had needed. "Oh well so if you can't do that what are you gonna do?"
"Well I think I'll just hang around here. I met this fucking sexy guy and he promised to call me later today. He's a musician and he's gonna be doing a show tonight in Seattle."
"Really? You know you can never trust a musician."
Alicia giggled, "This one is different. He's got the most gorgeous eyes."
Mikey rolled his eyes, "Yeah, sure."
"No really, he's so hot. There are things I wanna do to him that would make you blush."
"Make me blush, make me blush."
"Nope, I'm not gonna tell you."
"You are a tease."
"Baby you have no idea. So are you missing your brother?" She asked trying to get to the real reason for his call.
"Kind of I guess. He hasn't been gone all that long. It's just weird when he's not here, ya know?"
"Yeah, I know. I talked to Monica for a few minutes last night. She said Gee was in the kitchen with Elle making dinner."
Mikey was surprised, "Elle was there? I didn't think Liv was gonna let him see her?"
"I guess she changed her evil mind or something." She paused, "I hate the fact that woman is still part of Gee's life. She's nothing but fucking trouble."
Mikey sighed, "Sometimes I think everyone it too hard on her."
"Are you fucking kidding me? After all the shit she did to your brother? Come on. I've heard all the stories. I saw some of it myself. She's a evil bitch, Mikey." When he didn't answer she continued, "She was the reason your brother drank so much. She was the reason for the drugs they took."
"Alicia, she was a lot of it but Gee wasn't an angel."
Alicia was surprised by his attitude, "What, are you going soft on Liv now?"
"No, I just think that all of us need to remember that she is Elle's mom. Gerard is gonna have to deal with her."
"I suppose. So why did you really call?"
Mikey chose a lie over the truth, "I just couldn't sleep." There was no way he was going to tell her about the dream.
Alicia didn't believe him but decided to let it go. "Well, sorry to say but I'm glad you couldn't sleep. I'm glad you called. I miss the fuck out of you, ya know?"
"Same here. I wish you were with me."
"Me too, Baby. Me too."
Gerard opened his eyes as minutes before the alarm was set to go off. He turned his head and saw his daughter curled up in Monica's arms. The sight caused him to smile. God, he didn't want to leave. Slipping out of the bed he turned off the alarm to allow Monica a bit more sleep. He dressed quickly and made his way to the kitchen. He was surprised to see Kelly sitting at the table, a bowl of cereal in front of her, reading the paper.
"Morning." He said walking over and pouring a cup of coffee. "Thanks." He lifted the mug.
"I figured I'd make it since I was up." She closed the paper and smiled sadly, "I wish you weren't leaving again."
Gerard settled down at the table, "I wish I wasn't leaving." He took a sip of the delicious brew and sighed, "Heavenly."
Kelly laughed, "You and Mom are addicted."
"Yep, for sure."
"Want me to get you some cereal?" Kelly stood up from the table.
"What kind do we have?"
She walked over and opened the cabinet. "Captain Krunch, Total, Raisin Bran, and Shredded Wheat."
Kelly laughed, "Why I'm I not surprised?" She grabbed the box, a bowl and a spoon. Setting them down on the table she sat back down, "So I never got to ask you. Did you have a good time with Elle yesterday?"
"Yeah" He answered from his heart, "I really did."
"So why is Mom upset?" Kelly asked looking him in the eye. "I mean I know she's upset about all of this mess about Mike but there is something else."
Gerard poured his cereal and tried to decide how to answer her question, "I think your Mom is overwhelmed with a lot of things right now. Doubts about the past, the problems with Mike..."
"And dealing with Liv" Kelly added cutting him off.
She understood so much, "Yeah and dealing with Liv."
"Mom's afraid, you know?"
He took a bit of cereal giving himself time to think of an answer, "Why?" was all he could come up with.
"She knows Liv still loves you. She knows how much you loved Liv once. You and Liv have a daughter. Come on, it's not hard to understand."
"I do understand Kell but I also understand there is no reason for her to worry. I love your Mom with all my heart. Liv is a part of my past."
"But the past ain't through with you yet." Kelly said surprising herself.
Gerard set down his spoon. He was about to ask her what she meant when Monica walked into the kitchen. "Morning" She said with a smile.
Gerard and Kelly exchanged a look before he stood to hug Monica. "Morning, Honey,"
"Want some cereal Mom?"
"Nope, just coffee." Monica said as she stepped out of Gerard’s embrace and headed for the coffee pot. "Thanks to whoever made it."
"That would be me," Kelly told her. She picked up her empty bowl and carried it to the sink. "What time are you guys leaving?"
“In about an hour. Are you sure you don't mind staying with Elle? You both could go with us I just think she might get kinda bored at the airport," Monica said as she walked over to the table and sat down.
"She would get bored. I don't mind watching her at all. What time is Liv supposed to pick her up?"
"She said late afternoon so I'm sure we'll be back before then. After she does we'll go to the court house and get that taken care of."
Kelly frowned, "Okay."
"Hey I'm gonna go upstairs and grab my bag." Gerard said starting for the stairs. He reached the top as Bob and Kara were coming out of her room. They smiled as they passed in the hall. When he reached the bedroom he silently snuck in not wanting to wake Elle. He moved over towards the bed and looked down at her. God, she was so beautiful. She was a miniature Liv but with dark hair. As he watched she sighed in her sleep and sucked on her little finger. He couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if Liv had only told him she was pregnant Could he have made her stay? Guilt tore at him. If things had turned out differently then Monica wouldn't be in his life and Monica was his life. He took one last look at Elle and started to turn away.
"Dadgee?" Elle mumbled.
His heart caught, "Yeah it's Dadgee." He bent over and kissed her cheek.” Go back to sleep little Bug it's still early."
Her eyes fluttered open a brief moment then closed, "Luv you."
His heart spoke, "Love you too, Baby."
Liv sat staring at the TV not able to concentrate on the program. Once again she glanced over at the clock. She just wanted it to be time to go for Elle. She missed her. The sound of the canned laugh track drew her eyes back to the television. She got up and switched the set off. The silence of the room was unbearable.
Even though she knew she had told Monica she wouldn't pick up Elle until late in the afternoon she couldn't wait anymore. Slipping into her coat she opened the door.
He was standing with his hand raised preparing to knock. The look of shock on his face was undeniable. For a brief moment he stood unable to speak. Gently he reached out and brushed the hair from her face to further reveal the bruise on her cheek. He finally found his voice, "Who the fuck did this to you?"
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