Ryder's eyes on mine were burning me up. "I just had the best idea ever," he said, all arrogance and playfulness, smile tugging at his lips.
I gave a smirk of my own. "And that is?"
"We could totally compete in that." His gaze flickered back and forth between Lexi and I. "We all play, don't we?" His enthusiasm was so contagious, infecting me like nothing ever had before. Lexi's expression mirrored mine, a mixture of joy and excitement. Suddenly the city seemed so liberating.
"We could," Lexi replied. "We'd need to find a drummer." She turned to Elijah then, whose gaze I was carefully avoiding. I'd run into the Stabbing Angel himself a time or two, and I was doing all I could to swallow back any harsh words. Pricks weren't really my thing.
As if on cue, my phone rang. Cursing under my breath, I yanked it from my pocket. Anthony, of course. I gave a signal for the others to be quiet. "Hey." Forced. Fake. There was no love left for him within me, if there had ever been any to begin with. I was still searching for the answer that one.
"Dinah. Where the fuck have you been?" There was an edge to his voice that admittedly made me nervous. It wasn't enough to stop me from snapping back. Maybe it should have been.
"What's it to you, Anthony?" I scowled. "You could have stopped by."
There was a long, drawn out pause. "I want to meet you. Please, Dinah." Great. He was begging now. I tried to stay cold, but after six months with someone, you sort of develop a weakness.
"Fine," I said grudging. "I'll be to your house in ten."
I'd never been out of this town, I realized on the taxi ride. Manhattan was bustling with life around me, but I was feeling perfectly still. I'd always had all these crazy dreams. Suddenly I was focusing on the reality of it all.
Anthony lived on the Upper West Side in a townhouse much too ornate for him. I didn't bother to knock, knowing that he was the only one home. Steps took me to his bedroom, where the door was closed. I'd barely raised my hand to knock when he pulled it open. Standing there before me, I wondered what I had ever loved about him. Everything seemed to me now like a fantasy I had convinced myself to believe in. And Ryder was the answer.
"You could be everything I want," he told me softly. No hello or kiss or hug. Just a broken sentence held together with all his pathetic pain. I knew how easily I could play along. Sing him my songs and make this whole ordeal as dramatic as possible.
I didn't want that. What I wanted was to get out of his house, away from the memories and the ghosts, back to the place where Ryder was waiting. Anthony never would have trusted me like this.
"I don't have time to be breaking your heart," I said with a sigh. The look upon his face told me I already had. I didn't know if it was me he regretted losing, or just the idea. The heart of the Queen of Lower Chelsea. "It meant something, though. It really did."
To that, Anthony only shrugged. I took that as my cue to leave. I wasn't sure if I was hurting or only numb. The city was cold. It had never seemed so fitting.
[Breaking Your Heart, Cheyenne Kimball]