Thursday, July 3, 2008

Chapter Thirty One

Richie took Frankie’s hand clasping it tightly as they scrambled through the people on the beach to get further down to where it was more secluded. "Come on princess follow me" he whispered as he quickly scissored through the holiday makers.

She held tight to his hand and followed, a wicked smile painted on her lips. Tell them not to go public would he? tell them to keep it on the downlow? "I'm going as fast as my legs will go. Not all of us were born with acres of legs ya know!" She giggled and nearly ran to keep up. "Where you going any hows?"

Richie chuckled "Sorry princess" he said as he slowed down as they came to a clearing. "I just wanted to get away from the people... and him" he muttered to himself. He pulled her close and wrapped his arm around her. "I won't let him dictate how we will be Frankie, I won't."

Her hand lifted and brushed over his cheek lightly. "Like I'd let him either." She moved to stand in front of him and leaned back, as she watched the sun light dance on the deep azure of the ocean. "God, I hate for this to end.

Richie pulled her chin lightly so her gaze met hers "It won't, I will find a way, I don't know how but I can't let you go again, I'll crumble," sincerity shining in his deep brown eyes.

She tilted her cheek so that it rested in his palm. "Mom has to get back, I have a job to get back to. Hate it as much as I do that job is paying the bills, paying for her medication..." her voice trailed off, she wasn't gonna burden him with her financial dealings, she'd handle it, she always did. "We still have a couple days, we'll just have to make the most of it."

Richie sighed, the one thing he hated to see was money troubles before health and well being, luckily for him this didn't burden him so much anymore. He took her hands in hers and his serious tone once again prevailed. "Frankie, these last few weeks with your mom can't be about you worrying about how you're going to eat, or pay the bills, that's just cheating you of your last moments with her. Let me take care of everything, as my gift to you, please" he said quietly trying to read her eyes.

A slight frown flickered in her eyes as she shook her head. "I can't do that, its not your problem. Prince I'm not here with you to have you opening that wallet of yours, I've had to take care of us for years, I'm capable of doing it. I've had to do it," She knew it wouldn't make sense to him, hell it barely made sense to her.

"Frankie, firstly I never ever thought you were here for the money, lets get that straight." He saw her and what she was trying to do. This was all she had in life and he just wanted to take it away, but only in a way that made her live again. No woman her age should be dealing with the burdens that she having to carry. He ran his fingers lightly down her arm. "I'm not taking it away from you, I just want to make it easier on you, so you can sleep at night, and see your mom smile every so often while you can. Plus this way I can be there for you, when," he didn’t say it but he knew more than ever he had to be there for her when CC died. Frankie was going to crumble when that happened, he could read it so clearly even though she thought he couldn’t.

She managed a snort, her anger that simmered and bubbled so deep within threatening. "She's smiling for someone else at the moment, we both know that." And damn if she wasn't angry about that too. How dare he traipse back into their lives and make it easier when she herself couldn’t. He could find the doctors, get them arranged, make it better. She hated him, hated the situation, hated the death sentence, and in some weird way hated her mom for daring to die and leave her alone. "It's just not fair," she whispered softly.

Richie sighed he pulled her in tight to his chest "I know it's not and believe me if I could change ANY of this for you I would darlin, I really would" he said rubbing her back. "Is this why you hate Jon so much maybe hun?" he asked softly. "You hate that he can walk in and just take away everything you have been trying to for years?" Richie finally got it.

Tears threatened as he asked all the right questions. "She doesn't even look in pain around him. He waltzes in with his doctors and smile and its like she's not sick. But she is, and she’s gonna die dammit and I can't do shit about it." Her heart squeezed like a fist was closing round it. "Only thing that's mine, that isn’t about cancer or death or bills is you, and he don't get that either, he just wants to play father of the year, grand hope, and Im so mad at him for being able to do what I can't do."

Richie rubbed her back "You got to know your mother was deeply in love with Jon once upon a time, those feelings are all still very real, and Princess, she is probably doing what you are doing, she's using him to be just that little bit normal that isn’t cancer or bills, she's just losing herself in him and he's letting her and that’s not a bad thing love. Have you not noticed that his wife is no longer here with us? They are separated as he chose your mother's welfare over that, he wanted to stand by her" he explained hoping she would get it as much as he didn’t feel like defending Jon right now he knew that he had to be praised for the way that he had stood by CC at risk of his marriage.

"Maybe you should tell Jon that, I think you would find he would understand" Richie said softly.

"He wouldn't get it, he'd think me childish for being so fucking mad at him, mad cuz he can do what I can't. He just say well I have the experience you don't. Typical fucking ...." She sighed softly, "He'd hate me, hell he probably really does, look at what me existing has done to his pretty little world. All because of me ... "

Richie shook his head 'That's not how he thinks of you darlin, and you would be surprised, he would understand, I know the guy. He wouldnt want you to feel angry with him darlin, he really wouldn't. Maybe its time to let that anger go Princess it's not good for the soul. I am here for you, and I told you I will never leave you, I promise, I will never leave you, but you don't have to be strong all the time Frankie, you got to let it go, or you'll explode" he said as he cupped her chin and watched her sad eyes take in everything he said.

She wrapped her arms around him and allowed tears to fall. "I can't let go, I have to be strong. No one else has ever been there or strong enough. Have to make it through the lies and teasing. Kids.. were so mean, look at the bastard, no daddy girl, but I showed them, I didn't let them see the hurt. And when Mom got sick, and they gave us those pity looks we just held our heads up and laughed it off. Being angry keeps me going. I gotta stay angry I gotta stay strong no matter how tired I get, she deserves that."

She fought the tears beginning to track along her cheeks. "I'd hate me, for being me if I was him. He lost too much, chose to do .. Dammit I'd hate me for those choices he had to make."

He had started searching for them teh moment he left CC's side, and amazingly had managed to find them out near the beach. As he walked closer, ready to let go with both barrells he heard her talking. He stopped and continued to listen, pain filtering into his blue eyes from the words she was finally letting go.

Richie held her cheeks as the tears ran over them "Baby, this is not your fault, NONE of this is your fault ok, never ever think this, you have to stop blaming yourself for what Jon's been through, what your mother has been through, this is NOT your fault" he said again as he felt his heart breaking inside of him. "You can't be angry anymore baby, you just can't, do you think your mom would want to know you feel this way, how much it would hurt her, she wants you to be happy Frankie, and I intend to make sure that happens" Richie said as he kissed her forehead.

She shivered as the tears continued to fall. "Mom will never know, I don’t plan on telling her. You think I wanna be angry?? She's all I ever had, she's the best, and she’s dying. Every day he helps I lose more and more of her before she’s even gone. I don't wanna be angry, but I can’t STOP it, I don't even know how."

Richie looked up and could see a figure approaching them from behind Frankie and he recognized it was Jon, he soothed Frankie "Frankie, the way how is to let go, let it out here with me, scream yell, cry anything, and then let us, Jon and myself help and be there for you, to keep you strong, that’s how you keep strong through the strength of others, not through harboring your anger Cess, just trust me and let go" he said as she kissed her forehead.

Her fists tightened as his gentle words lanced the wound hiding deep within her soul. Tears tripped over words as she poured her anger into the night, anger over loss of control, loss of love, unfamiliar new things that felt as if they were wresting away her individuality. Her heart crumbled into pieces as her tears fell faster, her words keeping time to the vicing of her heart.

She poured out her anger and the healthy lacing of fear, fear of loss, fear of not be accepted, fear of being not good enough; all this she laid at his feet and into Richie's gentle calming hands, until she was too weary to let anymore of it go.

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