"Are you going to tell me about it?" Angela asked.
Angela and Bobby had been married for twelve years and together for fifteen, but he had never told her about the Tattoo on his chest. 'Jack' was inked beautifully in cursive above his heart.
He could tell it was killing her that another – a man - had permanently marked him as his. She had seen the same tattoo on Angel's back, and on Jerry's arm, but every time she asked they faces would go stony and they would change the subject and walk away. When she asked Camille, she would just smile and say "It's nothing dearie?"
Sofi would burst into tears, and the girls, Amelia and her sister would just shake their heads and hide their faces, but what truly killed her was having to listen to Bobby getting up from bed at night, several times a week. She would find him on the roof outside one of the guestrooms. He had demanded that they bought a house with a spot like that when they were looking for a one. That was okay, what was not okay was that he was crying. Bobby Mercer never cried. Ever.
When Angel and Sofi lost their daughter, he didn't cry. Not even a twitch of his lips. Angel told her he didn't expect Bobby to cry. He didn't want Bobby to cry, because if Bobby cried, who would keep them together? Bobby mourned for the little girl, but he didn't cry.
Sofi said "They lost so much already. If Bobby is not strong, who will be?"
"When the kids are in bed." He answered her
The were Angela's kids, not Bobby's. She had cried to Camille after she and Bobby had fought. He didn't want any children. He didn't tell her why. Camille held her and soothed her, she understood her pain. "Bobby has his reasons darling. When he's ready to tell, he will, but I warm you, it might be never."
Bobby was leaning against the railing of the terrace when he started to speak.
That was how he started. He spoke for hours, but Angela hung on to his every word. His brother, his lover, his everything. How Jack came to the Mercers and immediately became his shadow, how they fell in love as the years passed, how their mother was murdered…how Jackie was shot five times while he was screaming for Bobby. Not "come help me" just "Bobby." His last dying words.
Every detail told in splendid glory. His smile, his laugh, the quiet harmonies flowing from his fingertips, his sea green eyes and the messy blonde hair. The mischievous grin on his face when he stole a kiss. The terror and fear in his voice when he was ripped apart by bullets.
The cold fury in which Bobby had killed the shooters. How he wished every day that he had made Victor Sweet suffer instead of just beating his head in.
How the loss of his lover and their unborn son nearly killed him, how he nearly killed himself. How he desperately tried to when the hospital made a mistake and cremated his body, so Bobby could never see his love again.
What he didn't tell her was the memories of feeling Jack's silky skin underneath his hands, or his body tightening and rippling around him as he came. How Jack had trouble sleeping without him and would sneak into his bed, even long before they became a couple. How Bobby could not sleep peacefully without him.
Angela was crying freely when Bobby finally ceased to speak. He too had cried when he spoke of Jack's last moments, but they were dry now and she could not see pink streaks down his cheeks.
"I'm so so-"
"Don't you dare say you're sorry. You didn't know him, and I'm not sorry for the pain I feel, because it's all I have left." Besides Jack's guitars and some of his things, but they were just things. His clothes didn't carry his scent anymore.
The doorbell rang and Angela got up from the terrace floor to answer the door. Tearing up the door, drying her eyes furiously what she saw was sea green eyes and messy blonde hair.
"Hi, is this where Bobby Mercer lives?"