The morning after the lake before
I got up and threw on some jeans and a thick fluffy hoody. Screw my hair. Can’t be any worse than helmet hair anyways. As I walked downstairs I found Patrick, Bob, Ray and Frankie sat around the table drinking coffee and Mikey was in the kitchen.
I ignored them all and sat as close to the roaring log fire as I could without singeing my eyebrows.
“Hey sleeping beauty.” Frank said with a wink as he walked over and sat down Indian style next to me. He was still in his pajamas which had the Simpson’s on them. I was too groggy to think of a witty comeback so settled for a grunt.
“You look like shit, what happened yesterday? We came back here whilst the search party found you and we didn’t see you all night.” Before I could answer Mikey walked up and sat in front of me holding two mugs.
“Coffee or hot chocolate?” Mikey offered.
I snatched the hot chocolate and downed half of as the mug warmed my frozen hands. The burning liquid made me have a bit of a coughing session. Once I caught my breath I looked up and saw Frank and Mikey looking expectantly at me.
“So?” Mikey asked taking a sip of his coffee. So? Oh yeah yesterday. I cleared my throat before I answered, which was a big mistake. I don’t remember swallowing razor wire.
“Can’t swim and the raft broke. Didn’t Gerard tell you what happened?”
“No, he just said the raft fell apart. Least he’s out his mood now.”
“Figures” I spat. This is his entire fault. If he’s out of his mood maybe it’s what Mikey said and not watching me suffer. “Mike, are you and Gerard ok? I saw you arguing and I can’t help but assume it’s because of me. God that makes me sound so egotistical!”
“Nothing for you to worry about. Just brother stuff. Were cool. How are you though, you look terrible”
“Just a cold.”
“Hmmm, ok.” They both eyed me suspiciously but left it at that. We all sat in relaxed silence for a few minutes until Ray walked over to us.
“Well you’re going to be pleased to know that everyone’s going home today as the weathers gone crazy and it isn’t safe enough for what we had originally planned. SO, we are free to go!”
“Sweet. No offence, I’m all for team bonding, just not with a bunch of sweaty guys” Frankie gave me a wink whilst Mikey playfully punched his arm.
“I am not sweaty, my wetsuit had a leak.”
“Right, its ten now so soon as your all packed, best to hit the road.” Ray sat down on the sofa behind next to me, resting his mug on the floor.
Shit I got back from the lake at like two. “Wow, I must have slept for like 18 hours.”
“Pretty much. Are you ok? You look really pale and you were, like, blue when you got out the lake yesterday.” Ray asked.
“Just a cold” I shrugged.
“Ok, well there’s toast on the table. You should have something to eat before you go pack.”
“Ok, thanks Ray”
As I went to stand up I went dizzy and reached out for something to steady myself. Before I could figure out what happened Frank was holding my upright and leading me over to the sofa. I sat down next to Ray and he immediately had his hand on my forehead.
“Shit, your burning up. Are you sure your ok?.”
“I fine. Seriously. I’ve just not been up very long and I’ve been sat by the fire for like ten minutes is all.”
Mikey appeared out of no-where with a glass of water and toast on a plate. “Here have these. It might help. You really don’t look so hot. Are you sure about driving all the way home? Cant you get someone to pick you up?”
“No. Mindy can’t drive. I’ll be fine. I just need…achoo.” Frank and Mikey recoiled as I sneezed. “Some food and I’ll be fine. Seriously.” I took a bite of toast but swallowing it was like eating glass. I’ll stick to water.
“Where do you live?” Mikey asked.
“Warwick. Its only 200 miles.” I shrugged, coughing slightly.
“That’s hardly a trip to the store. What if I drive you? I’m giving Frankie a lift to Leamington Spa.”
“What about Buckby?”
“Buckby?” Oh shit. Dam head’s so fussy I forgot they don’t know.
“My Aston. I, urr, name my cars….” I could feel my face burning up, an it’s not from the cold or the fire.
“Ok then…. What about if I drive you home in your car? I can easily get a train from Warwick and it would save Mikey going out of his way. He’s only at Chipping Norton.” Frankie offered. I don’t let anyone near my cars usually. They are my family. But I have to admit I relay don’t feel like driving home, especially if the weathers so crappy.
“Are you sure?”
“Are you kidding, I’ve always wanted an Aston! I’d love to drive you home!” Frankie had the biggest grin on his face ever. Which made me feel even more miserable as I felt so shitty.
We decided to set off as soon as possible before the fog returned. I walked upstairs with Frank, who watched me take the final staircase to my room from his doorway encase I fell and broke my neck because I am obviously incapable of walking.
Gerard was still asleep. Typical. I started to gather all my crap and throw it in my suitcase, glad I was too lazy to unpack and most of my stuff was still in there. Once packed, I sat down on the now made bed and fished my phone out. Two missed calls and a bunch of texts from Mindy. I didn’t bother to read them and just called the flat. After a few rings the answer machine kicked in. Go figure. Like Mindy would be up at eleven during the week.
“Hi Min, it’s me. Sorry I was m.i.a. Ended up in a lake yesterday and now I got a cold. The weather is bad down here so we are cutting the week short and Frank is going to drive me home. I’m leaving in a few so should be home by four at the latest. See you later. Tell Sebastian I miss him.”
I got up off the bed and went to grab my case which sent another wave of dizziness through me. As I stumbled back I felt hands around my waist. Once I gather myself I turned round and found myself face to face with him. I didn’t even hear him get up. He was in nothing but his boxers, his hair all over the place from sleep. I swear he’s the only person to look hot with bed hair. Wait, hot? God I relay am sick! Gerard finally spoke snapping me out of my trance and making me very aware he still had his hands around me.
“Are you ok?” For a minute I could have sworn he looked genuinely concerned (and hot). Then I remembered he’s the bastard who threw me in the lake.
“Fuck off.” I pulled away from him and made another attempt at grabbing my case and headed for the door.
“Hey wait, you relay don’t look so good.” I turned around and saw Gerard stood in the middle of the room in his (very snug) boxers, what little light coming through the cloud and window highlighting his incredibly well toned body. I shook all the bad thoughts being conjured from my head and glared at him.
“Maybe that’s because someone threw me in a fucking lake! What the hell did I do that was worthy of drowning?!” He crossed his arms and lowered his gaze to the floor like a naughty schoolboy and mumbled a reply.
“You had a life jacket.”
“That’s not the point!” I stomped my foot which didn’t relay have as much impact due to the soft cream carpet. “We’re leaving because the weather’s shit. Get packed and fuck off. Hopefully I won’t see you till Melbourne.” And with that I turned and walked downstairs.
Frank fell in love with Buckby instantly. I am never going to get him out of here. I set the sat nav to home and Frankie’s constant ramble at how Aston Martin should have a F1 team, combined with the heated leather seats sent me off to sleep.
I was back at the eerie lake but this time I didn’t have a life jacket. I was panicking and trying to tread water but I was in my fire suit and helmet which was dragging me under. I was screaming down the radio for help and trying not to drown but no one was answering. All I could hear was the Baywatch theme tune. Then out of the mist Gerard came running towards me across the water in slow motion wearing red trunks.
I jumped awake which started off yet another coughing fit which set off Frankie giggling. I grunted and uncurled myself from my seat.
“Nightmare?” Defiantly. Though which bit of my dream I don’t know.
“Yeah. Where are we?” I looked out of the window and saw a few buildings, but I couldn’t tell what they were. The fog had returned and you could barley see the break lights of the car in front.
Frank glanced at the sat nav then back to the road, concentrating hard to not rear end the guy in front. “Five miles away according to the sat nav.”
“K. There’s a gate sensor under the bonnet so you should be able to drive straight in. Space twenty.” Glancing at the clock it was half four. Guess the fog must have slowed us down on the motorway. I was stiff as fuck and the painkillers I took earlier had worn off and my headache was back with a vengeance, accompanied by a lovely suffocating feeling. I pulled my hood up and leaned against the cool glass of the window.
We pulled into the car park in silence. Frank grabbed my bags as I got the key and walked to the elevator. Walking into my apartment I was immediately crushed by Mindy’s bear hug. “Oh my god, are you ok?”
“I’m fine. Just a cold. Can you put me down please?”
“She’s not fine. I had to drive as she nearly black out twice this morning.” Frank said stepping out from behind me. I couldn’t help but notice him checking out Mindy. Or her stealing a glance at his arse as he bent to put my case down.
“Tattle tail. That’s the last time I let you drive Buckby.” I sniffed and went to grab my case but Mindy kicked it out of my reach.
“Ces, for god sake stop acting tough and get some rest. Do you remember the last time you had ‘just a cold’?”
“GO! I will unpack your stuff and entertain our guest here who you so rudely haven’t introduced.” She turned to Frank with a coy smile. I have seen that look before. Poor Frank.
“Frank Iero. A pleasure to meet you.” He took her hand and kissed the back of it giving Mindy a quick wink. “However my job here is done and I have a train to catch.”. Ha, Mindy’s blushing! Aw.
“Amanda. And you aren’t going anywhere. You’ve been driving for hours, how about a drink before you go?” I think its time I went to bed.
“Night guys.” But I got no reply. Mindy was leading Frank by the hand towards the living room. It’s nice to be appreciated.