We lay on our bed, sweaty and basking under the post-coital glow. I looked at Frank and he looked at me, and we giggled like five year old, nuzzling into each other’s body: our laughs muted and harmonized in the same tune.
A moment of fruitful pause passed, as we shyly looked at each other like teenagers in crush, while the other moment we goofily grinned at each other as if we knew each other for years: the lust in his eyes was overlapping with his love and adoration and it made me crazy.
‘How do you do that?‘ I asked, pulling the sheet up on my chest.
‘Do what?‘ he leaned on his side, with his chest exposed, glistening with sweat which only accentuated his chest.
‘pull off that… rugged charm suave!‘ I pouted and he pulled me closer.
‘hey Frank…‘ I ran my hands over his chest and looked up at him, ‘wanna play a game?‘
‘If it’s gonna be who’s laughing first while getting tickled I ain’t gonna be a part o’that shit…‘ He smiled and pinched my nose in an affectionate way.’No… not that! It’s a different kinda game. It’s called ten questions. You get to ask me ten, I get to ask you ten.‘ I said and looked at him.
He paused and froze for a second, his smile vanished, and I could feel his muscle tensing up, for him… this could go anywhere. I was terribly scared, perhaps I was going to the landmine zone, ‘It’s okay, if you don’t wanna play… we can just have round two?’
‘No.. it’s okay, I don’t mind.‘ He shot up straight and sat up on our bed and made me do the same, ‘it would be like the good ol’ Sundays back in the days.‘
I nervously breathed it in and started to giggle madly as I was making him thorough with the rules and played ‘rock-paper-scissors’ to decide the first one to ask the questions, after drawing the same thing for about five times, My paper won over his rock.
‘Okay… since there is no need to tell me your name, tell me about your childhood in a few expressions‘ I asked in a mock business-like manner, to which the big bad Punisher joined me.
‘Ladies and gentlemen o’the jury, I am Francis Castle, I was born and raised in Queens by a housewife mother named and a father who worked in NYPD, I am a high school graduate. My old man died when I was sixteen and therefore, to provide for my family, I joined the USMC.‘ before he could finish, I broke out laughing, to which he didn’t quite settled ‘what’s so funny?’
‘You have a pompous-ass name for a vigilante warlord “Francis”…‘ I pronounced his name with a fake British accents while gathering one of my lock over my lips ‘all you need is a monocle!!!‘
He looked at me with a quizzical expression and said ‘ya know, I could be way classier than I lead you on kid! It’s you now, shoot’, I told him what I was and how I handled this far.
‘Okay, next question: what is the strangest, most unpredictable thing about you that will shock the world?‘ I asked, and boy was I wrong about how the surprised will stop after the ‘Francis‘ bomb.
‘My real name is not Francis Castle–‘
‘Frank, I think you’re missing the point of ten questions, I did not ask to ten ways to troll your girlfriend–‘
‘My real name is Fra-‘
‘Francesca?‘ I snorted and he affectionately slapped my thigh, and answered ‘no… Francis Louis Mario Lorenzo
Castiglione. I am Italian-American and was studying to be a Catholic priest, which didn’t set well with me, and you know why.‘
I was completely silent, and looked at him with gaped mouth while he enjoyed my expressions and smugly winked, ‘guess Francesca just got owned… not sure if I will get the same with yours kid.’
‘Well Frank, I am proud to tell you that…‘ I huffed and looked at him exasperatedly ‘I wish my life was as exciting as yours.‘
‘C’mon kid, there’s gotta be somethin’‘ Frank gave me a mischievous smile, ‘like that one time you was found in the’ and he dived in to tickle the hell out of me to a point where I finally confessed. ‘okay, okay… I was found in the bushes during the field trip, masturbating to my really hot, Shakespeare expert English teacher, by the English teacher in person’ I huffed, laughing, tickled, slightly embarrassed– not because I verbally said it out to Frank, but the fact, he knew about that before I told him. ‘But how the hell you guessed it?’
‘Sweetheart… I know how to know things… next question.‘ Frank was now killing the game, in my opinion, and I was half-hearted to stop the game immediately and smacking myself how wrong I was to think that he was anxious about the game.
‘whom would you identify with the most before you became a Punisher: Fuckboy or Nerdy Virgin?‘ I do think that I got him now. But being Frank, he was all cool, ‘I would say, that I pretended to be a fuckboy so that nobody would guess I was a nerdy virgin who was studying to be a priest… which would be the rudest fucking surprise to all the concerned… what about you?‘
‘Don’t mock me now Francis… ‘ I slumped my shoulder, ‘my status, until few hours ago was Nerdy Virgin.‘
‘Right you are sweetheart… choose the next one carefully.‘ he smirked mischievously, oh I will Francesca, I will.
‘Okay… what is the most embarrassing story of your life?‘ I laughed while asking it, because Frank cannot return that to me because I got it when he answered the fourth question, and I was enjoying the hell out of it when I got Frank gaping and tilting his head in the most ‘Frank-like‘ manner.
‘It’s a long story now kid, I dunno if–‘
‘If you don’t answer you don’t get to kiss me all week.‘ I played along.
‘You’re evil… alright‘ he huffed, ‘it happened in the Marines…in the Military Ball when i was dancing with the Colonel’s daughter and I suddenly stepped on ‘er dress and the shit got ripped from the waist. got ma’self tangled in all o’er it and wors’ o’all… her boobs o’ma face, in front of my seniors and… ‘
‘And?‘ i asked.
‘That’s it… end of the story… I handed ma ass t’ya. Next?‘ he smiled, and I thought I should have mercy on him, I can’t stand him getting all embarrassed: it doesn’t suit him–he should be fearless and bold. This time I hold his hands ‘what is the most favorite moment of you with her?‘
Frank’s embarrassed smile got replaced with a nostalgic silence, his dark eyes glinted with the ghosts of his past and I almost got teary when he spoke, ‘ya’ know that one time, when we were newly married– she was already with the child an’ all round and squishy. There was–there was’ he flayed his tall fingers in a way that he was already afraid that the memories will fade ‘there was a–a myrtle tree under which she sat, because she was all beat with the baby shoppin’ and suddenly she asked me to–to put the flowers on her head, it’s like “Frank, how will they look on me, will they be good” and boy, she looked like a potbelly fairy princess with all the pretty flowers in ‘er head– I kissed her, and by god and I got my heart broke into pieces with the pretty little smile o’her.’ he ended with a sniffle and looked at me, while I was a hot mess, with tears running down my face, before he could say anything, I hugged him and kissed his temple tenderly.
‘I think we are done with the game?’ he tried to smile from what I guessed from his voice, while I rose from his shoulder and cupped his face in my hand ‘I must have saved a country in the past, for being here with you now… and I have no idea why… why of all bad people you-you should have the worst fate in the world–’
His big, calloused finger tapped over my relatively tiny lips and hushed me softly. I was a hot mess of tears and emotions as his big thumb caressed my tears away and looks down at me with affection.
‘Sweetheart, you are sitting on my lap, buck ass naked, oozin’ a world worth of love and sweetness that would give me diabetes. Trust me, I am not the one whose fate is the worst‘ he tucked one of my hair behind my ears and shook my chin ‘I think the worst fate award goes to every person about to be shot by me, and the douchbags who rejected you.‘