“What are you doing here?”
“I had to. Aren’t you going to invite me in?”
I stepped aside and let Angelica in. “I ask again; what are you doing here?”
Angelica sat down on the couch and looked around nervously. “Is there anything to drink?
I went and grabbed two cokes and handed her one. “What’s up?”
Angelica was worrying on her bottom lip and kept glancing around the room.
“Are you expecting to see someone else?”
“How safe is this room?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, is anyone else here?”
“No, and it’s been swept for bugs if you mean that. The police checked the before I was allowed in. Apparently they’re used to this sort of thing here. This is the hotel Johnny Depp likes to use when he’s in town because they’re good about keeping the press out.”
Angelica nodded. “And your boyfriend?”
I raised an eyebrow. “I don’t have a boyfriend.”
Angelica stared at me, skeptical.
“Chase? Chase Evans?”
“That idiot? Hell no, he’s not my boyfriend.”
“Well, he thinks he is.”
I nodded. “Yeah, well, he’s a delusional idiot.”
“But there are pictures of you two together.”
I shrugged. “Chase and I used to be something, but he’s an ass and I really don’t give a damn what he does, one way or the other.”
“I - I have to tell you something.”
“For what I did.”
I shook my head. “Forget it. You thought I was just after your money. I wasn’t what you were expecting.”
“Oh no, not that part. Well, I’m sorry for that too, but that’s not why I’m apologizing.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Okay. So what are you apologizing for?”
“It’s all my fault.”
“What is your fault?”
“I was jealous because I thought you were going after Ethan because of what he said. Then I caught him with my friend and by the time I realized what was really happening it was too late and everything had already happened.” Angelica let out in one breath, almost unintelligibly.
I narrowed my eyes. “Angelica? What did you do exactly?”
I saw her eyes brimming with tears. “I’m how Chase found you!” she bawled and I felt my jaw clench.
“You did what?”
“I just, I wanted you gone so bad! And then he was there and it was so easy and god! I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, and I feel so terrible! And then I caught Ethan with Rosa and oh my god!”
I took a deep breath because at that moment I was fighting the urge to punch something or someone.
“An-and then things st-started to ma-make sense.” Angelica sobbed. “I’m so-sorry. I di-didn’t mean for this to ha-happen.” Angelica sobbed. “Things got out of hand so far.”
As I watched her cry I sincerely wanted to hit her. I hoped she wasn’t expecting comfort from me. I went over to the freezer and poured myself a glass of straight vodka.
“What gave you the right?” I demanded after I downed it, my glare fixed on her.
“I’m sorry! I had no right!” Angelica sobbed, nearly in hysterics now.
“Do you have any idea what that asshole has put be through?”
“No, you don’t. Do you have any clue what I’ve been through period? What kind of bullshit I’ve had to deal with in my life?”
“No, you don’t. Why? Because you’re a spoiled little princess who gets whatever she wants with no regard to anyone else. You don’t care about anyone but yourself. You are spoiled rotten and you don’t really see what you did wrong.”
“I told you I’m sorry!”
“Sorry doesn’t fix this.”
“I didn’t mean to.”
“I can’t even go home because of this!” I shouted. I poured myself another shot and took a deep breath. “God damn it!” I threw the glass across the room and it shattered against the wall. Angelica jumped and looked like a frightened rabbit.
“Wh-what are you going to do?” she whimpered.
“You are going to go into that room and go to bed and I am going to think.” I growled pointing her to the bedroom. “Go now before I lose my temper.”
She scampered into my bedroom and locked the door behind herself.
Loki nuzzled my hand with his head and I rubbed his head without thinking. I sat down on my couch with the bottle in my hand and called Loki up on my lap. I was over all of this bullshit. I wish I’d never gotten that letter. I wish I hadn’t responded. I wish I could go back to my old life where I might have been lonely and alone, but at least I could go home. It didn’t take me long to finish the bottle so I grabbed another, and then another. It didn’t take long before I just didn’t care anymore.
I picked up my cello and just started playing. I played until I couldn’t feel my arms or fingers anymore. I played until I had gotten everything out. I played until everything I was feeling had been put into sound and was finally out of my system. I played and drank all night. I was filled with a quiet numbness and a sense of peace.
I put my cello away, ordered room service, then went to wake Angelica.
She sat in silence and pushed the eggs around on her plate.
“What in the world would possess you to do such a thing?” I prodded for the umpteenth time.
“I said I was sorry.” Angelica grumbled.
“And I’ve said sorry isn’t good enough.”
“I just, I wanted you gone.”
“And I was gone, and yet here you are. Why would you come and find me? How did you find me, anyway?”
“I found Chase.”
“Because? I need a little more than that.”
“I don’t have to explain myself to you.” She snapped and I crossed my arms and raised an eyebrow.
“Actually, yeah, you kind of do.” I shot back. “You’re on my turf, princess. You know how you were a raging bitch to me what I was in England? I could return the favor. I could throw you to the wolves like you tried to do to me, but luckily for you, I’m not like you. Luckily for you, I’m giving you a chance, one chance, to explain yourself. I’m giving you the chance to fix what you fucked up. Go it?”
Angelica gave me a defiant glare, but behind that I saw fear. She was afraid of whatever was bothering her. She was trying to be brave, but this was clearly something that was new to her.
“Angelica, does James know you’re here?” She shook her head quickly and I sighed. “Somehow, I knew that would be the case. How did you get here?”
“I had my driver take me to the airport, flew here, and made Chase come pick me up.”
“Angelica, do not ever get into a car with Chase again. Ever. That kid will fuck up your life. In fact, don’t even talk to him anymore. Ignore calls and texts, he’s my problem now and I don’t want your life as royally fucked as mine. Got it?”
Angelica swallowed hard and nodded. She looked like the kid being chastised for taking the last cookie. It was obvious how young she was, she was just a kid who made a stupid mistake and she didn’t understand the repercussions for her actions.
“Good. Now you need to call James and Millie. They need to know where you are and that you’re safe. I’m sure they’re worried sick about you.”
“No. I can’t do that!” Angelica squeaked.
“That wasn’t a request. You call them or I will.” Angelica started worrying her bottom lip again as she stared at the phone in my hand like it was about to catch fire or turn into a snake. “Fine.” I sighed as I started to pull the phone away, but she grabbed my wrist.
“Then you had better start explaining.”
Angelica let out a defeated sigh. “You, well, you were right; about Ethan that is.” I continued to stare at her waiting for her to elaborate. She looked like she wanted to tell someone but wasn’t sure how. I inclined my head to the couch and she silently took the hint.
“Start at the beginning.”
Angelica shook her head. “No, the beginning isn’t important. The end is what really matters. It’s over, Ethan and I. I - I caught him. Part of me always knew, but I just didn’t want to believe it. All of my friends who tried to warn me, he got me to push them away. I was so stupid. I just wanted to believe him. And then you came along, and then whatever happened between the two of you, and I just, I don’t know. I needed you gone.”
“Well, congratulations, I’m gone.”
“I know I messed up. Daddy was so upset when they realized you were gone. It took them ages to put it together. No one knew where you went. Between, Daddy, Aunt Cassie, Xavier, and Fiore they were able to put the pieces together and then there was a piece about you being back in America. It’s not the same without you there, you know.”
“Isn’t this what you and your mother have wanted from day one?”
“I - I shouldn’t be here.”
“No, but you are, so it’s okay.”
“You shouldn’t have run off like you did, but it’s already done.”
“I came home. You ran away.”
“And you didn’t?”
“Angelica, I’m an adult. I own my house and car. I pay my own bills. You are still a child. Legally, you’re labeled a runaway. So yes, it’s different.”
“I never thought I’d say this, but I missed you when you were gone.”
I shook my head and ran a hand through my hair. “Angelica, why did you come here? What are you trying to prove?”
“I wanted to say I’m sorry.”
“A phone call would have sufficed.”
“Juliet, you aren’t making this any easier.”
“I’m not trying to. Angelica, I hope you didn’t come here expecting sympathy from me.”
“I wanted to fix what I messed up, I guess.”
“You feel pretty guilty about all of this, don’t you?”
“Good. That means you do have a conscience. I have to call James. He needs to know where you are and that you’re safe. I’ll let him know you’re with me.”
“Please don’t tell him where I am.”
“I’ll just let him know you’re safe and you’re with me.”
“Then, well, I guess I’ll show you my home.” I offered with a small smile. “Wait here.”
I locked myself in my bedroom with Loki and placed a call to a number I knew by heart.
“Yeah, it’s me.”
“Where are you? What happened to you?”
“I don’t have time to explain, but can you give me my father’s number?”
“No, not until I know what happened.”
“Then I’m going to hang up.”
“No! Juliet wait!”
“I’m still here.”
“Just tell me why. Why did you leave like that?”
“I just had to. Please, can you give me that number?”
Once I’d written it down I hung up.
I felt so guilty for that. Once again, I hadn’t said goodbye. I couldn’t bring myself to say the words and I’d blocked my number from registering when I called. I stared at the phone half expecting it to ring and I couldn’t deny the disappointment when it didn’t. I knew it wouldn’t. I put my emotions back, nice and neat, into the box I tried to contain them in and tried to lock them away. It took a few moments before I could compose myself to make the next phone call I needed to make.
“Who is this? How did you get this number?”
“It’s Juliet, and magic. Is James around?”
“Juliet? Child, you are going to give me a stroke! I’m assuming this is important.”
“What do you need?”
“I need to speak with James.”
“He’ll want to hear this.”
“Juliet, you’re going to give me an aneurism.”
“Thank you, Carolynn.”
“Juliet? Oh dear God! Where are you? Why on earth did you leave like that? Have you an idea -”
“James stop!” I interrupted. “I have something important to tell you.”
“Angelica is with me and she’s safe.”
“You’ve found her?”
“Something like that, and yes, she’s safe. I will keep her safe. I give you my word on that.”
“I’ll send the plane for her then.”
“James, she needs something. She needs some time. There’s got to be some reason she came to me. Give her a week and I’ll see to it she’s back. Please?”
“Juliet, it’s an awfully big responsibility.”
“I know, James. If you have any faith or trust in me, you’ll give me this. I won’t let any harm come to her. I’ll protect her. I’ll keep her safe.”
“At least tell me where you are.”
“Thank you, James. Bye.” I hung up and set the phone aside.
That was over. I felt shitty.
I went back out and saw Angelica sitting on the couch looking more than a little forlorn.
“Well, go get dressed.”
“We’re going out. Go throw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and I’ll have you blending in in no time.”
“I - I -”
I grabbed her hand and pulled her into my room. “Try these.” I handed her a pair of ripped jeans and a tank top. She actually looked pretty good and nothing like herself.
“I feel weird in this.”
“Trust me, you look good. I don’t want you too recognizable. I’ve been really good at keeping out of sight and the hype of me being home has died down. Plus it really helps I’ve been really boring and haven’t screwed up enough to make a good story. I think I’ve become a low blip on the radar now. Oh, and what I’ve been doing if I get caught is just smiling politely and not saying a damn thing.”
“I know how to deal with the media.” Angelica shot back, her tone flat.
“Great, good for you. I’m just giving you the run down I would have appreciated when I first stepped into this world. Come on, I’ll show you my home.”
Angelica followed me and we snuck out the kitchen entrance and got into my car. I showed her the schools I went to when I was a kid, I drove out to the university I had just graduated from and bought her lunch. That’s one of the beautiful things about a college campus, no one questions and you can blend in. I gave her the nickel and dime tour and I was surprised as I got to know a side of Angelica that I didn’t even know existed. I took her to the mall and let her pick out clothes that would keep her hidden and suited her style more than mine. No one recognized us and I actually had a lot of fun with her.
We ended up back at the suite with pizza and did one of my favorite pastimes. We had an old scary movie marathon starting with the original The Mummy and ending with Brom Stroker’s Dracula.
“That movie was stop ridiculous.” Angelica laughed.
“Isn’t it great?” I grinned. I loved old movies.
“Have you ever seen Godzilla?”
“Oh my god, we are so watching it!”
Halfway through watching Godzilla vs King Kong Angelica fell asleep and I fell asleep not long after that.
There was more to Angelica than the brat she’d shown me thus far. She could be sweet when she wanted to be. When she wasn’t being a bitch, she was actually a lovely person. I introduced her to my music, she loved The Doors but hated Led Zeppelin, I something I couldn’t understand but she did love Journey so I felt there was still hope.
The next morning I took her to my favorite restaurant at the port. You could watch the cruise ships come and go and the smaller boats too. I loved it because of the mellow atmosphere, the great food, and the great view. After that I took her surfing; or rather I tried to teach her who to surf and she, well, she tried.
“Juliet?” Angelica started, her voice unsure.
“Yeah?” I asked as I cracked open a beer.
“I never would have thought you would like this.”
I shrugged. “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, chickie. There’s so much more inside.”
“I really with I’d gotten to know you before I decided I hated you.”
“Don’t fret the past, it’s done. We can’t change it.”
“I do have one questions for you.”
“What actually happened between you and Ethan?”
I sighed. “Sure, you have a right to know. I was dancing with Chad when Ethan cut in. He tried to sweet talk me, then suggested we go out to the gardens. He seemed genuinely surprised that I told him no. I got really pissed off when he insulted you and thought that would get him in my good graces. I told him to shut his mouth and ended up slapping him. He warned me I’d regret that but I had no idea my crazy ex would be brought back into the picture.” I saw Angelica’s shoulders hunch and she looked sheepish and guilty. “That wasn’t a jab at you.”
“I still feel bad.”
“You should, don’t do it again. Blackmail is bad news bears. It’s shitty and leads you down a road full of bullshit, backstabbing, and bad karma. And it will invite the worst kind of people into your life. Does that answer your question?”
Angelica nodded. “I feel so stupid.”
“Not stupid.” I shook my head. “Innocent, naive perhaps, but not stupid. You wanted to believe the pretty lies. You wanted to believe he meant all the pretty words he told you. There’s nothing wrong with that. Angelica, you are trusting and want to see the best in people, especially people you love. There’s nothing wrong with that. When you get so jaded that you assume everyone has double meanings and is out to get you, that’s when you know things are bad. Don’t beat yourself up too much.”
We sat in a comfortable silence for a few minutes before my phone started ringing. I glared at the name on my caller id.
“What do you want?”
“I have a show tonight?”
I groaned. “I have plans.”
“I have a tape.”
“God damn it, you piece of shit, monkey fucker.” I growled.
“Go fuck yourself you jizz gurgling gutter slut and crawl back into that hole you climbed out of.”
“So you’ll be here at eight?”
“Good, dress nice.”
“I’ll wear whatever I want to wear.” And on that note, I hung up.
Angelica was staring at me in shock. “Tell him how you really feel.”
“Yeah, well, if I’m nice, he starts getting ideas. That delusional fuck starts to think we’re actually back together again.”
“Yeah, it’s kind of a clusterfuck, so I don’t give him any reason to doubt me.”
“I really messed up a lot for you, didn’t I?”
I shrugged. “Angelica -”
“My - my friends call me Angie.”
“Are we friends then?”
“Something like that.” Angelica blushed.
“Duly noted. By the way, we have to go to a show tonight.”
“What do you mean?”
“Chase has a stupid show for his crappy band. Chase is a fucking sell out, but he’s going to tip off the press and they’re going to get “candid” photos of us together. After that he’ll leave me alone, at least for a few days.”
Angelica and I spent the day lounging on the beach with Loki before we headed back to the hotel for some food and to get showered and ready for the shit show Chase’s band would play tonight.
I put on a pair of fitted jeans, a black, band thank top, and my usual converse. People would recognize me, that was the point, but it was Angelica I was worried about.
“I don’t feel right dressed like this.” Angelica whined.
“You can’t be recognized. If you are it’ll be a scandal. Let me do your make up and trust me.”
“What if Mum and Dad find out?”
“Angelica, you ran away to the states without them knowing and you’re worried what they’ll think about your outfit tonight?” I laughed.
“It’s not funny.” Angelica huffed. “They can explain me being here at me being on holiday, but if I’m dressed poorly that’s well, look, I don’t want to be in any more trouble than I already am!”
I couldn’t help it, I burst out laughing.
“It’s not funny!”
“But it really is.” I managed between laughs. “Because you’re such a good kid.”
“I - I am not!”
“It’s okay, it’s not a bad thing. I was a good kid for the most part. I mean I drank and smoked a few illegal things now and then, but I was an angel compared to most of my friends. I’m a bit of a rebel at heart, and you just want to make your parents happy. It’s really cool, actually.”
Angelica sighed. “Fine, I’ll wear something you pick out.”
“Okay, I’m going to suggest jeans to you and whatever pair of shoes you want. I’ll find a top for you based off of that.”
Angelica ended up looking hot with her long hair tousled, dark makeup, a crimson babydoll top, with tight jeans and a pair of black strappy gladiator sandals. I pulled on my signature fedora that the press always could find and we were out.
I met up with Chase’s crappy band and the part I hated most, the girls. These douche bags play this girls of the week game. I think it’s a stupid game. Everyone picks the hottest girl they can pick up and whoever has the hottest girl or the sluttiest girl wins. Yeah, good luck with that gonorrhea. Seriously, who plays this game? Oh right, Chase and his idiot friends do.
“I have a question.” One with curly brown hair asked. She had a shirt that was smaller than some bras and practically painted on pants.
“What’s that?” I asked, as I tried not to intentionally be a bitch to her. It wasn’t her fault I was forced to be here.
“How did you get to be a permanent?”
“You’ve been here over three weeks now. That makes you a permanent. How did you manage that?”
“Yeah, and with Chase of all people.” Another one, this one blonde, sighed, her tone dreamy.
“What in the world are you talking about?”
“You’ve showed up and been invited for more than three weeks. What did you do to get to be Chase’s favorite?”
“Seriously? You want Chase?”
“Of course!” The blonde nodded, way too eagerly in my opinion.
“Then you’re fucking stupid.”
“I said that you’re fucking stupid. Chase is a piss poor excuse of a human being.”
“But you like him.”
I shook my head. “Actually I don’t.”
“Oh, you love him?”
“Not even close.”
“That doesn’t seem like a new feeling for you.”
“Hey!” she shot back.
“Then why are you dating him?” The other piped up.
“That is a long and annoying story that I will not be explaining to you.” I dismissed.
“You don’t have to be so mean to her!” The ginger one snapped.
“Fun fact, this isn’t me being mean.”
“Fine. Who’s your little friend?” Ginger asked as she indicated Angelica.
“None of your god damn business, but you don’t have to worry. She has no intention of sleeping with anyone in the band. Relax, and know that if you fuck with her, you fuck with me. Do I make myself clear?”
“I don’t even get why Chase likes you.” Blondie huffed.
“That’s fine by me because I don’t give a flying fuck what you think.”
I’m sure given other circumstance, I could have liked these girls. However, given the fact that I was somewhere I didn’t want to be, surrounded by catty bitches just queuing up to sleep with band members, and the fact that they hadn’t uttered anything close to intelligent all night, I was running low on patience. It didn’t help when I felt arms wrap around my waist.
“Let go of me, Chase.” I growled.
“I’m not Chase.” I heard the oily voice in my ear as a stubbly chin brushed against me. I immediately elbowed him in the guy and shoved him away.
“Don’t you ever fucking touch me again!” I growled as I spun
“Oh, getting all riled up? I like that.” It was Felix, the band’s bassist. I hated this kid with a passion.
“Touch me again and I’ll cut off our genitals with construction paper.”
“So you do want my dick.” Felix winked. He had icy blue eyes and slicked back black hair.
“Felix, you are vile and disgusting.”
“Who’s your friend.”
“Touch her and I’ll kick your ass into next Thursday.”
“I think she has a voice of her own.” Felix purred as he tried to reach across Angelica’s shoulders. I grabbed his wrist and twisted it painfully behind his back.
“Touch her again and I will press charges. She’s fifteen, dickwad.” I hissed into his ear before I shoved and he fell.
“What the fuck? Why is there a minor here?”
“Why are you such a little bitch?”
“I like this side of you.” Felix smirked. “I’d like to see a whole lot more of you.”
“In your dreams.”
Felix shrugged. “I’ve already seen a whole hell of a lot already. I just want to see it in real time this time.”
It took me a second before I fully understood. “What did you just say?”
“Chase is a good friend.”
I felt the heat creep up my neck. Embarrassment and blatant rage were boiling up. “You better forget what you saw. You will never see it in real life. Do you understand me?” I spun on my heel and turned to find Chase. I caught him lining up white power. I smack him in the back of the head as he was doing a line and his face smashed into the table.
“What the fuck?”
I looked into his bloodshot, dilated eyes. “Really? Really dumbass?”
“What the fuck is your problem?” Chase asked as he leaned back. “Why are you yelling?”
“You’re on the powder? Really? Pot was one thing, but this? Are you fucking shooting up too? Never mind, Chase you better give me that fucking tape.”
“Jules, I’m the one in control here. I make the rules, not you.”
“You broke our agreement! Why has Felix seen the tape?”
A wide smile spread across his face. “That was an interesting night.”
“I have some news for you, Chase. Do you want to know why your band isn’t taking off? It isn’t because you just aren’t famous enough. It’s because you guys suck, you’re hooked on drugs, and you have no goddamn talent!”
“Who the fuck do you think you are?” Chase roared as he stood and got in my face.
“I know who I am. Why are you?”
“You bitch!” Chase then did the stupidest thing he’s ever done. He raised his hand up and backhanded me across the face.
He hit me so hard I was knocked off balance and my eyes welled up. God dammit that hurt.
“Bad move. You aren’t playing a show tonight.” I pulled out my phone.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Chase demanded.
I didn’t answer him; instead I called the police and told the operator that I needed and officer immediately and that I’d just been assaulted.
“You fucking bitch!” Chase screamed as he lunged at me and hung up my phone. I didn’t know what was happening all, that I knew was that Chase was on top of me and hitting me. That was the last thing I remember before I blacked out.