Flames of Love

Disclaimer: Don't own Shake it Up.


Chapter 23 (It's Getting Complicated)

"Deuce, shut that door!" Cece shouted angrily. Deuce nodded and started to shut the door, but Frankie put his hand to the edge of it and pushed forward. She growled as he started walking into the room. Her stomach churned like a mad hurricane, and bile started burning her throat and nostrils. The memories shot back into her head as she met his glaring eyes.

She was sure he wanted another trophy girl that would follow him around like some pathetic little lapdog, but she didn't know. She never knew what he had in store. The whole relationship was just one big façade, he never even showed an ounce of care and concern about her. Frankie stepped in, tugging on his jacket and shifting his dangerous eyes about the room. "Where's your friend, Rocky? Or as I like to call her…Buzz Kill." Cece moved her eyes towards the hallway and grimaced, she couldn't go back to her room right now. Flynn and Gunther were in there and she did not want Flynn being subjected to this angry and violent man. "Cece, I've been doing some research on you lately-"

"Research?" She raised her eyebrow and he lifted his shoulders. "God tell me you're not stalking me too…"

"Hell no, I have no reason for that. However, I found something interesting, we need to discuss it." There was no way she was talking to him about anything. She felt a chill down her spine and started figuring how long it had been since they dated. Not quite a whole year, but very close. He pretty much vanished off the radar for a while, so what was he doing back in town? "You're the only candidate I can find for this job, so…"

"What's that? Pushing me around and getting me to wait on your every whelm? I think not!" He smirked and folded his arms as her anger flared up. She knew how he was, that her getting angry would only set him off. If he only wanted to talk and she refused, she might trigger his own anger, but it was already too late. She didn't know how to talk to him, nor did she want to talk to him. "You're only here for more abuse, and I'm not having it this time!" She had to protect Flynn, no matter what. "You don't even know what it takes to keep a woman, always abusing her."

"That…is not true." He narrowed his eyes and growled, a dangerous glint shot past his eyes. He shot his arm through the air, moving his jacket slightly to reveal a gold chain around his neck.

"So let me get this straight. You're not an controlling, manipulative dick? I'm sorry, I thought that's what Rocky beat the shit out of you for." Cece wasn't backing down, not at all. Frankie crossed his arms and rolled his eyes, ignoring the blantant insult. "The whole reason she attacked you was for me, you know. Of course, she's been having family issues for a long time, so I think there might have been some pent up anger in her." She felt the sweat running down her neck and immediately began thinking of scenarios that would get her out of this mess. Her first priority was to make sure Flynn would be safe, free from this monster. She couldn't provoke him, as that would end very badly. She lifted a finger and pointed at Deuce. "Now as for him…his girlfriend's father is in the Cuban mafia. Ever heard of Don Rio Garcia?"

"Ever heard of, I don't give a shit? You think the Cuban Mafia scares me? I'd probably make them all shit their pants."

"Right…" She wasn't one to run, and she wasn't going to, but there was only one way she could think to protect Flynn and get this monster out of her house. Now the only question was, how would she do it? Surprisingly, Deuce charged forward and tackled Frankie to the ground. Her jaw dropped and she quickly pulled herself together. It was now or never!

She immediately ran for her bedroom as Frankie cried out in anguish. She slammed the door shut and quickly looked around for a blockade. "Cece? What's wrong?" Gunther asked. Flynn stood from the bed and she quickly looked down at him. She pressed her lips tight, then ran for the dresser.

"No time, help me push this to the door." He nodded as she started pushing her dresser forward. He got up behind her and pushed the heavy dresser with her. Once blocked, she ran for the window and pointed. "Hurry up and take Flynn with you. Okay? Don't ask questions, just go! Take him to your place, that's a safe place, and the closest I can think of right now."

"Cece?" She heard a loud thumping sound and looked over to the door, panic and adrenaline coursed her veins. Flynn looked terrified, he didn't know what was going on, and didn't want something bad to happen to his sister. She looked at him and knelt beside him.

"Cece what's going on?" He asked. "Who's out there?"

"It'll be fine Flynn, just go with Gunther and stay safe." She had to hurry, she knew Deuce wouldn't hold Frankie forever. The guy was strong, but he had the heart of the cowardly lion. Just the fact that he tackled Frankie was enough of a surprise.

"You're going to be okay, though, right?"

"I'll be fine. Now go!" She shot Gunther a serious look and pointed at the window. Gunther swallowed hard and started rushing out with Flynn. Almost immediately after they were out, Frankie was pounding on her door. She huffed and started eyeing her room.

"Come on Cece! Open the damn door! You're pissing me off and all I want to do is talk." She still was not listening, she didn't care to hear what his terms were, or what silly plans he might have made up. God, it was like all he knew was violence, maybe she needed to respond accordingly.

"God, are all you men alike?" No, Gunther was sweet. He was gentle, caring, loving, and nothing like Travis or Frankie. "Where the hell is my cell phone?" It wasn't like there was anyone she could call that would be here fast enough. Even Georgia wasn't around. There was Rocky, who could be there within minutes, but she was already dealing with her family. "Though if I could get to Rocky…Frankie wouldn't go in there…" She turned her eyes to the window and smirked thoughtfully, she could slip out there and charge up the fire escape, and get into Rocky's apartment.

Then she remembered, Deuce was still out there! She cursed mentally and looked back at the door, she couldn't just leave Deuce with a maniac in the house. Hell, she couldn't leave the maniac in the house. "Cece! Open the goddamn door!"

"Screw off!"

"Excuse me?"

"You heard me! What did you do to Deuce?"

"He's in the living room, on the floor, bleeding." Her eyes widened and her heart began pounding. "Don't worry, he's not that hurt, it's just a tiny amount of blood." The dresser in front of the door started shaking and the drawers were beginning to open. She quickly looked around her room one last time, then growled as she remembered her phone was on the kitchen counter.

"You're not going to do anything to me…" She knelt beside her bed and looked under it, hoping to find something she might be able to use. "You know why? Because I can fight you if I have to. If it means protecting my little brother and my friends, then nothing's going to get in my way."

"What are you going on about in there?"

"I don't understand how you can be so attached to a girl you only dated for about three weeks, Frankie. Considering I didn't feel anything for you back then, and I never will."

"Attached?" Frankie scoffed and slammed a fist into the door. "You're not that girl, Cece, don't get a big head." Big head? Who was he talking to here? He was the one that came barging in here!

"Again, I say, screw off Frankie!" She knew she was only pissing him off more, but she didn't know how else to respond to him.

"You must think you're so slick, saying whatever you like while I can't get in there!" That was kind of the point. She looked over at the door and dresser breathlessly as the top drawer finally popped out of its socket. At this point, it was a bad idea to just stay cornered in this room. "I'll give you another chance to open this door. I'm not going to do anything to you." As if she hadn't heard that one before.

"Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me…" She ran for her closet and grabbed a baseball bat from the top shelf. It was a heavy aluminum bat with black tape around the handle. This was what she kept in her room for protection, in case anyone ever broke into her house. If she could own a gun, she would. Until then, this worked just fine. "I'm going to tell you right now to get out of my house."

"You don't tell me what to do. It doesn't work like that."

"Oh yes it does." She gripped the handle of her bat firmly and moved beside the door, watching with frustration as the dresser fell forward. She pressed her back to the wall as Frankie managed to push the door open, with the door blocking her from him. He stepped in over the dresser, growling as he eyed the room.

Her chest was throbbing at a greater rate, and her breathing had become very still and very shallow. She watched almost fearfully as he stepped in front of her, his back to her. "Are you hiding under the bed? Hiding in your closet?" He looked to the open window and ran for it. "Shit!" He slammed his fist on the windowsill and Cece quickly charged from the room. "What? Hey!"

She found Deuce lying next to the couch, groaning painfully. She knelt beside him and started shaking his back. "Deuce? Deuce come on, get up." She quickly felt of his head, there was a small split on his right temple, but nothing major. He might have a concussion, though.

"Clever trick." She gasped and looked over her shoulder, Frankie was standing in the doorway, huffing wildly. "Making me think you ran out the window. That might have been smart of you to run." She narrowed her eyes and slowly stood, stepping one foot over Deuce, protectively.

"I don't run, Frankie. Not when someone's threatening my home, my kid brother, or my friends. Those are the things most important to me…I'm standing my ground."

"Quit quoting self defense laws already." The 'stand your ground' law was the biggest self-defense protection law there was, or one of them. It stated that if someone was on your property and did not leave, and you had a right fear that they were a threat. If you told them to leave and they still didn't, you were justified in killing them. Although, she didn't have the guts to take a life, she'd never kill anyone, but she was damned sure she'd do it if it meant protecting Flynn. He was already safe, so right now, she just wanted to hopefully knock Frankie out or somehow get him out of her home. "Now put the bat down and come here…"

"No! You leave my house. Now."

"I said put it down!"

"I said leave. I'm not warning you again!" He roared in anger and charged her, clenching his fist and raising it. She dodged to the side and swung her bat down, slamming into his abdomen. He let out a pained shout and doubled over onto the ground. With that, she ran for the kitchen counter, where her phone was. Frankie huffed and held his stomach.

"Bad idea…"

"Buys me time…" She grabbed her phone up and started fidgeting over the numbers, trying to hit the right speed dial for Georgia. She looked up in time to see Frankie leaping over the couch, turning it over onto it's back. He put his hands onto the counter and she pointed the bat at him, glaring at him.

"Look, all I want to do is talk to you."

"Well first off you're never going to get me back. I have a boyfriend, anyway." He laughed in disbelief and put his hand to his chest.

"Not like I need you that long, and besides, I'm sure any guy you'd find wouldn't be half the man that I am, anyway."

"Oh no…" She narrowed her eyes and clenched her fist. "He's twice the man you are. Ten times that."

"What?" Frankie turned his eyes to Deuce and chuckled, slowly walking over to him. Her eyes widened and once more panic was rising in her. "Is this that guy?" Deuce wasn't even conscious, so if Frankie did anything to him, he was done for.

"No, it isn't. Although, even he's more a man than you'll ever be. And if I ever saw him treating his girlfriend the way you treat the girls that date you, you can bet I'd go all 'Rocky' on him." Frankie growled as she pushed the number for Georgia. She moved the phone to the back of her neck, as though she were scratching an itch, and listened as a voicemail came on. She cursed and closed her eyes, of course the social worker wasn't going to be any help here, why would she be?

She clicked off the phone and shoved it into her pocket. Her eyes drifted to Deuce, she couldn't leave the house and make a run for Rocky's place, not with Deuce still unconscious on her floor. God only knew what Frankie might do to him! Frankie put his foot onto Deuce's back and looked over at her with a sly grin. "Look, if you don't put the bat down and talk to me in a civilized manner, I'm going to stomp all over your little friend. So be a smart girl, and care about your friend enough to put the bat down."

Her breathing grew heavier and she slowly turned her eyes towards her bat. She wasn't sure she should set it down, but she didn't want Deuce getting hurt. Although, his pride was most likely injured. The tension in the air was like a dense fog, choking her and blinding her.

The silence was interrupted by a firm knock at the door. The two quickly looked over and Frankie growled. Cece watched him closely, still pointing the bat at him, and sidestepping towards the door. "Don't move, Frankie." The knock came again, hurried and frantic. Frankie lifted his hands and crossed his arms, glaring at her as she started backing up to the door. He made a play forward, causing her to flinch and shout. "Don't move! Back away from Deuce…"

"Oh come-"

"Get off him. He doesn't even know what's going on, he's not conscious!" Frankie rolled his eyes and, to her astonishment, complied by stepping off Deuce. She gripped the doorknob and opened the door, looking over and seeing Kashlack. She lifted her eyebrows in surprise and felt her jaw drop. "W-What are you doing here?"

"Gunther came home with Flynn, who kept saying someone was in the house. So I came to see if you were okay, as your brother said you were still here…" Cece swallowed and nodded her head, feeling the tears coming to her eyes. Kashlack stepped into the room and stared at Frankie. "The police have been called." Frankie huffed at Kashlack and began backing away.

"Of all the people..." He muttered.

"I'm a father to one of the Jones's friends. My son was apparently hanging out with Deuce, came over to visit with Flynn, said someone broke in and Cece ordered him to bring Flynn over." Cece lifted her eyebrows and chuckled, what a clever way of explaining the situation to his father, she was wondering how Gunther would actually explain the whole thing. "I've called the police and came over to check on the occupants, told my son to stay put."

"So the cops are…"

"On their way." Sirens broke the air and Cece's heart began lifting. She was safe! Frankie cursed and made a break for the window. Of course, the second he got out, the police spotted him. Cece put her hand to her chest, her heart was finally slowing down, and her body was relaxing. She felt like she was about to collapse from the strain.

"Thank you, Mr. H…"

"Gunther was concerned, I could see it in his eyes. I think he wanted to come back, so I did for him. Couldn't have him putting himself back in a possibly dangerous situation."

"Yeah…I wouldn't want that…" She was so relieved that she hugged the man. She could tell he was a bit taken aback, stunned, but she wasn't thinking too clearly. He pat her on the back and she quickly turned to Deuce. "I need to check on him." She hurried over and knelt down just as Deuce started to open his eyes. "Deuce? Are you all right?"

"I…I'm not sure what happened. Where am I?"

"You're safe, Frankie's gone." Deuce shook his head and put his hand to his temple, recoiling in pain when he touched the sensitive spot.

"Ow!" Police officers rushed into the room and Cece slowly looked up to one of the officers. The man looked like a much older version of Deuce, Cuban and with a comb mustache. He had deep brown eyes and a soft, comforting face that relaxed her.

"Miss, what happened here? Where are your parents?" She frowned as two officers started to lead Deuce away to the kitchen table where a medic inspected his injuries.

"I'm emancipated. Cece Jones, my mother died a year ago. I have custody of my brother."

"And where is your brother right now?"

"Safe, he's my first priority. He's with…" She looked up to Kashlack and exhaled. She didn't want to reveal her relationship with Gunther, but it was getting harder not to. "He's with a friend."

"We got a call that there were two men with you at the time?"

"Yes. Martin 'Deuce' Martinez and Gunther Hessenheffer. My ex boyfriend came into the house and started threatening me, Deuce tackled him, and I sent my younger brother with Gunther."

"I'm the one that made the call," Kashlack interrupted. The officer looked over at him and nodded as he began writing in the notebook. "My son came home with Flynn, who was terrified for his sister's safety. They're still at the house, I came down here to see if Cece was safe." The officer nodded and proceeded to collect all the statements he could.

Frankie is a very...complicated antagonist, and no that's not meant to be a play off of his nickname or catchphrase. I just couldn't think of a better way to describe him XD.