"Someone call an attractive young actor?" called Damian from the street. Arriane rolled her eyes.
"Hey, so you finally show," she laughed. "Out chasing cute girls with British accents?" she teased. In reality, it hurt her to do this, but for some reason she couldn't let him know how much she really cared. Besides, why would he want such a damaged, problematic and stubborn girl?
"Company's kept me too busy, Ari," he replied, easing off the charm and using her high-school pet name. "Been treating me well though."
Riley eyed the sports car parked on the curb.
"By the looks of that company car, I'd say so. Come on, let's go inside. It's cold out here."
Damian and Henry (who so far had said nothing, but had been eyeing Riley curiously) followed the girls into the house.
Arriane felt their scruntizing gazes as Henry and Damian looked around the livingroom. "It's not much, it's small, but it's ours," she said quickly. "As long as we pay rent. We're going to get something a bit bigger soon."
Henry raised an eyebrow at Arriane's awkward ramble. She reddened- Henry at least suspected her affections for the actor.
"Better then what they've got me holed up in," he pointed out. "It's like I never left home- even came with the leaky taps." Riley snickered, catching his attention.
Damian looked around and smiled. "I like it. It's not fancy or anything, but it's homey. Unlike the apartment the Company's set me up with," he said quietly.
Twenty minutes went by while the four ate pizza and sat around the livingroom. No sign of Priscilla. Ari noted this and caught Riley's gaze, smirking. But her redheaded friend shook her head and then she remembered- Priscilla was always notoriously, grandly, pompously- late.
Sure enough, that moment the weather-worn blue door opened and Priscilla walked in, wearing a fake smile to match her eyebrows, lashes, and nails.
"Riley," she purred. "You called?"
"Yeah, forty minutes ago," she remarked. "And as far as I know your Ritz of an apartment is only twenty minutes away from here."
"Oh, well, traffic," she lied through her lipstick. She turned. "Nice house," she said coolly.
Ari sniffed. Talk about being right back in high school again.
"Oh, and Damian! I didn't know you were coming all the way across the ocean, too!" She exclaimed patronizingly.
As Damian explained his story and Priscilla paid just a bit too much attention, Arriane seethed. Sure, Priss was married, but she was young and a flirt and her husband naive. Priss had said nothing to Arriane so far. Finally, she cleared her throat.
"Oh, Arriane. How.. nice.. to see you," She finally said. "Four years it's been, hasn't it?"
Ari nodded stiffly.
"My, how you've changed," she said delicately. Since high school, Ari had traded the all black Cash clothes for something that more suited her. Today it was blue jeans, a dark green shirt, and boots. Her hair was plain, with only one streak to match her shirt. Riley, though, had stuck to it more, wearing band shirts and streaking her ginger hair shocking blue.
"Yep," was all she said. She turned away from her as quickly as possible.
After a half hour more of watching torturous conversation between Damian, who was becoming increasingly charming, and Priscilla, who was milking it for all it was worth Arriane couuldn't take it anymore.
Priscilla pecked Damian on the cheek.
Horrorstruck, she didn't wait around to see his reaction.
"I'll be back," she said levelly, fighting to keep her voice calm. Riley stared at her worriedly as she walked out of the room into the adjoining bathroom.
There, Arriane sat on the closed lid of the toilet and did something she had not done for two years and had never meant to do again.
She took out a small blade and opened a long, thin cut on her wrist.
As it bled, she cried.