Read the chapter.
Silence Must Be Maintained At All Costs
Author’s Note: This is a continuation of last chapter’s conversation.
“I never lose.”
“There’s a first time for just about everything.”
“If you insist.” Gerard knew he was aggravating Egan. He was doing that thing she didn’t like: First he’d argue a little, never heatedly, a spirited debate at most, then he’d answer all her questions and challenges in a genteel and mannerly fashion. Drove her nuts. It was excellent entertainment, though.
“Okay, you know what? Let’s just completely lose our minds here. Let’s say I marry you. Now you’re saying that despite what I think, a baby is still possible for me. And if I’m marrying you, then it’s your baby too. You really wanna be a dad?”
“I think I could handle it.”
“What if I decided I wanna get married today and pregnant tomorrow? What would you say to that?”
“I think I could handle that too.”
“So you’re just okay with that? You’re okay with deciding your whole future here and now? You’re signing your life away! Are you prepared to do that?” she asked incredulously. He nodded. He was purposely keeping an irritatingly calm demeanor, and he knew it was driving her crazy.
“Well I’m not.” She huffed finally.
She walked out through the window-mirrors in her room (Who knew they were sliding glass doors? Not she!) and stood in the shade of the building. She flexed up onto her tip toes and stretched as hard as she could. Man this felt good. She bent over, seeing if she could place her palms flat on the ground. She could. “Oh yesss” she crowed quietly to herself. Standing up and leaning back against the wall, she surveyed the backyard. That same genetically freaky green grass everywhere. Looking directly above her, she spotted a balcony a good way up and hanging over the edge of the balcony was a head of shaggy black hair that was grinning at her.
“Why, my stars. Whatever are you doin’ up there?”
“You are quite the voyeur. See anything good?”
“A nice little show, yeah. I didn’t know you were that flexible.”
“I trust that your mind remained clean and pure the entire time you were watching me?”
“Hey, what’s that?” Gerard shrugged innocently, looking at the objects he held in both hands. “Hey! You’re smoking! You’ve been holding out on me, dammit!”
“You said you didn’t want any from me.”
“What I said, what I said…I’ve said a lot of things, many of which I regret. Now throw ‘em down.” Thump. “I was hoping you’d treat them with a little more care. What the hell kind of future father are you?”
“Speaking of, if we have a baby, we can’t smoke. Neither of us. Especially you.” He looked hard at the horizon, seemingly thinking deeply. “We may have to rethink having a child.”
“We never settled on having one in the first place. Can’t rethink a plan until we have one, and we don’t have one because I don’t think we should have one. A baby, I mean. And you can’t do it without me.”
“I could adopt. Bring home a baby one day. I wouldn’t need you for that.”
“I would leave this house if you do that.”
“Aw sugar, I think I’m gonna call your bluff. You already said you wouldn’t leave without me.”
“You got a lighter or what? Lotta good an unlit cigarette does me.” She said, trying to change the subject. Another thump. “That’s it,” she muttered,” No way we’re having children. He’ll pull a Michael Jackson and hold them out to me over the balcony.”
“I wouldn’t!” he protested.
“How did you even hear that?” she called back up to him.
“As well as being half Italian, I am also half bat. Half Scottish too. Erin go bragh.”
“That's the Irish smart ass. I’m keeping your lighter, now come down here and talk with me while I ruin my lungs.”
“You come up to me.”
“Whatever happened to chivalry?”
“It died. Tragic, really.”
“Well be Jesus and bring it back.” He disappeared from view until he popped into her peripheral a moment or two later.
“I don’t know why I love you. You’re too stubborn.”
“I think it’s all that gosh-darn flexibility.”
“Mm, I’m sure that has something to do with it.” He murmured, giving Egan an appreciative glance.
“Now that, good sir, was most certainly not a chivalrous look.” She chirped, leaning back against him. It was just so pleasant to feel his voice rumble through his chest and up her spine. What a golden sensation.
“Hush.” He sighed, resting his chin on the top of her head. He had to lean over a little ways to do it, but that just meant she fit all the more snugly into the bow of his body, which was tiddly-wink with her.
“Talk to me.” She demanded.
“I think we should have a baby. I even have a—“
“What did I just say? Hm? Now hush!” He wrapped an arm around her chest, keeping her warm against the New Jersey twilight chill. “Now, where was I? Oh. I was saying I even have a name picked out. Because I do. I like Cromwell.”
“You’re such a girl.” Egan snickered.
“How’s that?” Gerard asked, feigning offense.
“You have a name picked out.”
“Well, yeah, but I am a girl.”
“So? Guys can like names.”
“I guess. Still a little girly though.”
“What happened to ‘Hush’? You can’t seem to follow directions.”
“I’m sorry, I’ll be quiet. Keep going.”
“So Cromwell. I like it as a name. I was thinking he could have a room on the second floor, near my bedroom. When he’s a teenager he’ll probably want to relocate, but that’s a long way off—“
“Who said he’d be a ‘he’?”
“We should stop assuming. It’s not wise.” He twisted her around halfway, holding her chin gently in one of his hands.
“If you can’t be quiet on your own, I will have to help you.” And with that, he leaned down and kissed her softly. Egan froze up under his touch, becoming stiff as a board before melting into it like a pro. When she did this, Gerard smiled against her lips and pulled back. He tilted his head back a bit, studying her expression to see her reaction. Her eyes lit up and, black as they were, they shone brightly as torches. Then she hopped once and pecked him on the cheek.
“We should do this more often.”
“There you go again.” Rolling his eyes, he leant over and kissed her once more.
“So, when are we gonna have this baby? Before or after we get married?” He asked as they wandered through the maze of bookshelves in the library.
“We aren’t. We aren’t getting married either.”
“Pretend you have agreed to both and answer the question.”
“Mmm…” she stopped to examine a book,” After we get married.”
“Why? Religious reasons?”
“Oh heavens, no! I don’t believe in doing things for religious reasons. It would be after we’re married because I want a guarantee that this baby will have someone besides me to grow up having around. And also because we would have sex for the first time after we’re married.”
“Because I don’t wanna just lose it to some random guy that vanishes when things get rocky. I want a quantifiable, tangible guarantee, and not much is more tangible than a set of rings and a legally binding marriage.”
“So you’re saving yourself for marriage?”
“You are a dirty, rotten deplorable liar.”
“You say you’re never getting married. Then you say you’re waiting until marriage to have sex. One or the other is a lie. Question is, which?”
“Two opposing principles cannot exist together. Something’s gotta give.”
“I’m not talking about this anymore. Leave me alone.”
“Answer the question!”
“No! Get away now, I’m reading.” And she sank down into an elderly looking armchair, flicking on the lamp that stood next to it and openeing a book with a black cover she had grabbed off the shelves somewhere along their winding path. When he didn’t move, she looked up from the first page to which she had just turned and eyed him balefully. When he still didn’t move she began to contemplate violence to get him to comply. Just as she was tensing to stand up and try to bully him, he turned on his heel and disappeared into the maze somewhere. She sat cautiously back into the chair, wary lest he pop out and catch her off guard. There was nothing worse than letting someone see you scared or surprised.
Fifteen minutes later he returned carrying two more books that looked identical to the first until you examined the titles. “You’ll be wanting these soon enough.” Was all he said.
“Thank you.” she replied curtly, still miffed at having been caught at the one snag in her otherwise flawless—or very nearly—ideology. She stretched out her hands to take them and Gerard grabbed them, pulling her swiftly to her feet and forcing her to softly collide with his body. He held both of her hands captive behind his back as he leaned down and kissed her, immediately evaporating any anger she might have been carrying. She felt a pleasant warm in her chest, a kind of deep, humming, vibrating warmth. She extended her calf muscles as far as they would go, rising up to meet him and push her lips harder against his. She felt his lips curl into a tiny smirk against hers. She smirked back when she felt him flinch at a sharp pinch she directed at the forearm holding her right hand. He pulled back a little too look her in the eyes dubiously. She leaned back slightly too, biting her lip and winking once, then immediately breaking down into blushing giggles at doing such a cheesy thing.
“Little flirt.” Gerard said, and leant back in. This time, their mouths didn’t stay quite as tame as the first few times they had kissed. Involuntarily, Egan made a small humming noise in the back of her throat and Gerard pressed closer to her, releasing her hands so he could wrap his arms around her waist and pull her tiny body to his. She couldn’t reach his shoulders, so she settled for his waist too. Things heated up slowly over the next half hour or so as they stood in the middle of the library. The fact that they were actually doing it in a library was turning Egan on. Both were caught off guard at how much they wanted this, how fiercely things were escalating. Eventually they broke apart to catch their collective breaths and Egan excused herself, saying she had something to take care of. Sure, I can’t have sex with him, she thought as she walked down the stairs, but that doesn’t mean I can’t take care of it myself.
Unbeknownst to Egan, Gerard was finding himself in a similar position. Holding to abstinence was going to be hard.
Author’s Note: Okay y’all, tell me your lovely opinions please. I have never in my life written anything with any kind of physicality in it, so I’m trying my best, but please let me know what I can improve on. And I’m pretty sure it’s time for some family visits soon. Yes? Maybe introduce the rest of the band to Egan? I think they’ll like her.