Yes, terrible things happen, but sometimes those terrible things-- They save you.

-- Chuck Palahniuk

Thursday, December 20, 2012

22- The Party

Aria nervously pulled her dress down a few inches. Not that it helped. She looked amazing, although she was having trouble seeing it. 

She took a deep breath and placed her hand on the doorknob, feeling the pulsating music  from inside the house. The front lawn was littered with the cars of the occupants. She wondered quietly how the cops hadn't busted them. And then she remembered there was already a cop there. 


Nice job man.

The door swung open before Aria even turned the knob, three young girls came pouring out. They glanced at Aria, exploding with laughter. 

Aria rolled her eyes. 

Stupid drunk girls. 

The smell of alcohol and sweat drifted outside, choking her. 

Stepping inside, she scanned the crowd of people, looking for someone she recognized. To her dismay, her eyes landed on a thick head of green streaked dark hair. 

"What the fluff is Danielle Smores doing here?" 

She wondered aloud, making a quick right turn and bumping into a cute guy with bleach blonde hair.

 "I'm so sorry!" 

Aria shouted over the song that was blaring through the house. 

The guy smiled and replied, "It's fine! I'm used to it! You're like the 76th person to run into me. I smell like vodka and I'm not even drinking." 

Aria laughed, watching the guy make his way over to Danielle. He seemed oddly familiar.

"Aria over here!" Mila's voice shouted from by the stairs.

 Aria looked down and saw that she was sitting on a couch with Ariana, Willow, Kimari, Eli and a few people Aria didn't know were scattered throughout the room. Charmain and Koby's faces the only ones she recognized. She wondered vaguely why Ariana wasn't upstairs with Danielle..

 "Is the whole freaking town here?" 

She thought, aggravatingly pushing people aside to get down the stairs.

 As she neared the couch she saw a flash to the right and noticed Jayberri and Kora making out in a corner. And some freak taking pictures of them. 

She scowled, pushing Ariana to the side and squeezing onto the couch.

The music was quieter down here, at least to the point where Aria didn't feel like she had to scream to be heard. 

"Danielle is here." Aria said grumpily. 

She scanned the room they were in once again, looking for Carter. But he wasn't there. She looked at the closed doors around them, wondering why people would WANT to be in these creepy bedrooms, and also wondering if Carter was in them. 

Ariana crinkled her brows. "I asked her if she wanted to come tonight and she said no because you were going to be here. I wonder why she changed her mind? And also why she didn't tell me!" 

Kimari shrugged, drinking some of the wine in her glass.

 "Maybe she came for a challenge father?"  

Aria sighed, taking a shot that Eli handed her of a clear liquid that was fire going down.

Aria frowned. That was weird. Why WOULD she come anyway? 

Whatever Eli had given her was super strong, because she already felt kind of fuzzy. She glanced at the bottle she held, Everclear written on the label. 

No wonder.

 She and Kimari were looking at each other with googly eyes. She snatched the bottle and poured herself another shot, eyes stinging as she took it. 

A door to her right opened, a boy she faintly recognized stumbling out, arms wrapped around a random chick with pink hair. 

"Justin?" Aria sputtered, surprised. 

He pulled his lips off of the girl, looking at Aria.

"Holy shit, Aria Rapture? What are you doing here?" 

The girl he had been attached to waved at some girls across the room and sauntered over to them, basically acting as if Justin Marquee never existed. 

Aria raised an eyebrow, shaking her head. 

"Carter invited me, which i am assuming he invited you too." 

She smiled and stood, walking over to  him. 

Justin glanced nervously into the room he had just exited. 

"Yeah, Carter invited me. He, uh, he's in there." 

He pointed into the room. Aria smiled, pushing the door the rest of the way open and stopping in her tracks.

Carter was on some random bed with a girl with beautiful reddish brown hair sitting next to him. They were deep in conversation, and Aria almost turned and walked out. Then she realized who it was.

 Rebecca Simpson. Carter's old girlfriend. 

They looked like they were about to kiss, and to Aria's surprise it hit her in the stomach with tremendous force. 

She stepped out of the room and leaned against the wall. Justin looked apologetic.

 "Hey, I'm sorry. I should have told you she was here too." 

Aria shook her head. "Don't worry about it Justin. Carter is just my friend."

She took a drink out of the bottle that she had set back down by Kimari. 

She and Eli were now making out and Ariana and Mila were nowhere to be found. Willow was across the room deep in conversation with Charmain. 

Aria sighed, drinking straight from the bottle again. 

She noticed her vision was slightly blurry. She took the stairs two at a time, heading upstairs to find the girls. 

She was about to push her way through the throng of people into the kitchen when she heard a voice behind her that ripped her heart into shreds.

"Aria?" She spun around to face him, completely surprised he would even be here.

 "Levi what are you doing here?" 

Her voice cracked on his name.

 He stepped towards her and then stopped, hesitant. 

"Actually, a friend of mine invited me. I didn't think you would be here. I knew it was in Riverview, but I thought you would be home with your babies." 

Aria crossed her arms over her chest. 

"I can't believe you would even try to talk to me." 

Levi's face was colored with sadness at her words.

"Aria, I never meant to hurt you." Aria put her hands over her ears, shaking her head to clear the thoughts. 

"Save it. I have heard it all before. Just leave me alone."

She pushed passed him, not even bothering to look back. Maybe she should have. She heard him say her name, but she pretended she didn't. She could NOT handle this. She was just starting to move on. 

"Well, that wasn't very nice."

 Danielle's voice startled her, shaking her out of her thoughts. Apparently people were just going to keep popping out of nowhere tonight. 

Aria scoffed at her. 

"Yeah, and he totally deserves for me to be nice."

 Danielle rolled her eyes. "Aria, you are so stubborn. Levi loves you. Sparrow was behind all of it, and I know you know that deep down inside." 

Aria shook her head. 

"I don't love HIM." 

Danielle smiled. 

"You have never been a very good liar Ar."

Aria put her hand on her hip. 

"I thought we weren't talking ever again?" 

Bypassing this conversation seemed to be the best option. Danielle looked down the hall to where her son had stood moments before.

 "I guess you could say that I understand what you were going through. And..." She looked at the floor, hesitant. 

"I kind of miss your crazy ass." 

Aria paused, not knowing how to reply.

 "I miss you too Danielle. But I can't undo what I have done. And I can't forgive him. I'm sorry." 

She looked away. 

Danielle sighed. "Aria, you don't have to forgive him. I don't expect you to. What I do expect, however, is for you to forgive me. Because I forgive you." 

Aria looked up at her from under her lashes. She felt like she could cry at any moment. She also felt like she was an idiot. Like she didn't deserve Danielle's forgiveness.

 "How can you? How can you just move on from this like nothing ever happened?" 

Danielle put a hand on her shoulder, her voice sincere. 

"Because you're my best friend. And I love you. There is no one like you." 

Aria sighed. "There is no one like you either, Danielle. I felt so lost without you around. I miss you so much." 

Danielle grinned. "Well yeah, how can you even function without me?" 

Aria rolled her eyes, pulling her into a hug, something she had needed for a long, long time. Over her shoulder, Aria saw Levi looking at her like his heart was breaking. She closed her eyes, pulling apart from Danielle and smiling at her, tears in her eyes. 

"Promise me we will never fight again? I can't imagine losing you. There is no me without you."

 Danielle nodded, a huge smile on her face. 

"There is no me without you either, Ar. Best friends forever."

 Aria saw Levi hit the wall, running down the stairs, out of sight. 

Danielle headed back over to the blonde boy, who Aria finally remembered was a fellow challenge parent, Logan Fey. He had even agreed to be a father in her challenge the next day. 

She had seen Mila and Ariana heading into the back yard when she was talking to Danielle, so she headed that way. 

She saw them next to a bubble blowing machine, whose seats were all occupied by random drunk people. Aria would be getting her lips no where near that. She awkwardly stepped around a couple making out on the grass and giggling, joined the girls. 

"Guys, Danielle and I made up!" 

She grinned, and the girls all embraced, happy. 

"Bout time!" Ariana said, smirking.

 "Did you ever find Carter?" Mila asked, raising an eyebrow. 

A girl who had been playing with the bubble machine fell off the stool, laughing uproariously. Aria's expression clouded. "Yeah, I did. He was with Rebecca.." 

Mila's eyes flashed with recognition.

 "Why do you care if he was with a girl?" Ariana asked, confused.
"I don't!" Aria snapped, snatching the drink that was in her hand. She drained the rest of what was left, which was some girly drink that you couldn't even taste the alcohol in. 

"Hey!" Ariana whined, taking her cup back. 

"Now I have to go get a refill and there was a creepy guy who wouldn't stop staring at me by the bar."

 She pouted. Mila laughed, taking her hand.

 "I'll go with you." She hesitated, looking at Aria. 

"You okay by yourself?" 

Aria smiled. "Yeah, I think I am going to go and look for Kimari and Eli. I'll meet up with you later." 

Mila nodded at her and headed off to the kitchen. 

 The music was a lot quieter for some reason, maybe Carter didn't want his buddies showing up and stopping everything. Hmm.

 Back inside, Aria couldn't seem to locate her blue headed friend and her obvious crush. She wondered quietly if they were in one of the bedrooms. 

Coming back down the stairs, she overheard Carter's voice. She hid on the other side of the wall, listening closely.

"She doesn't even know." 

Justin scoffed. 

"Yeah, but she could. And I really don't want her to. Can you imagine if she found out?" 

Carter's voice was thick. 

"I don't think she would ever forgive me." 

Justin's voice was growing closer and Aria realized they were coming around the corner at the last moment, turning into the bathroom. She pretended to exit just as they were heading back up the stairs. 

Carter caught her eye, his face uncertain. She looked away quickly. What had they been talking about?

Rebecca appeared at the top of the stairs, her voice reaching Aria's ears with Carter's name. She reached out and he took her hand, a smile on his face. Justin reunited with pink girl and her group of friends, and Aria decided maybe she should follow. 

Why not?

"Carter!" She called, cresting the stairs and walking over to them. 

He turned around, surprise on his face. He quickly withdrew his hand from Rebecca's, making her scowl.

 He walked over to Aria, a small smile on his lips.  Aria leaned against the wall. 

"So, what, are you and Rebecca back together?" 

Carter looked confused. "What? No. She has been all over me all night, but I am not interested in that. We've been over since we were 16. Why would you think we were together?" 

Aria shrugged, deciding not to tell him she saw them on the bed. 

"It's not like you would be making a mistake or anything. She's absolutely stunning." 

Carter smiled a little. "I've seen better." 

Aria looked over at Rebecca who was watching them with narrowed eyes. She shot her a huge smile, leaning closer to Carter. 

"I don't think she feels the same way you do." 

Carter grimaced, hiding his head in his hands. "Yeah, well, she's kind of obsessive." 

Aria grinned.
"I am so glad you decided to come Ar. I haven't hung out with you since I moved here. I still want to be your friend even if I think your choices are dumb." 

Aria scowled. "Shut up Carter. Like you haven't made stupid choices." 

Carter grinned. "Key word, Made. Not 'continuing to make'." 

Aria stuck her tongue out at him.

"So, how many babies do you even have now? You almost done? Or maybe ready to give it up?" 
Carter asked with a snort.

 Aria was about to reply when she noticed that across the room Levi was in a corner with some blonde girl. And she was gorgeous. 

The smile on his face was beautiful. 

AND they started kissing. 

Her stomach dropped. Carter followed her gaze, confused. He looked back at Aria, sympathy coloring his features. 

"Oh god, Aria. I'm sorry." He tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. 

Aria pushed his hand away, turning away and leaving as fast as she could. 

She choked back her tears, not wanting to show that she was actually as upset as she was.

 Almost to the door, she bumped into Danielle again. 

"Aria, what's wrong? Where are you going??" 

She grabbed her arm, trying to stop her from leaving.

 "Danielle, I need to go. I'm sorry, I'll call you." 

She turned and exited, tears sliding down her cheeks. She heard someone call out her name behind her but she just kept walking.

"Aria, wait!! Please!!" 

She ignored Carter, opening the door to her car. She was searching in her pocket for her keys when the car door slammed shut. 

"Do you really think I am going to let you drive after how much you've been drinking tonight?" 

Aria snorted despite her tears. "Yeah, thanks Mr. Officer. But I can drive." 

She opened the door again, keys in hand.

 He shut it, taking the keys. 

"No way, Aria. Please, just talk to me. I thought you and Levi were over?" 

Aria winced at his name.

"We are." 

She answered trying to take her keys out of his hand. He held them out of her reach. 

"Then why are you like this? Shouldn't you be over this? It happened months ago." 

Aria felt a stabbing pain in her chest. 

"It's not that easy. I love him, Carter." 

Carter dropped the keys on the ground in surprise. 


It wasn't a question. More like a statement. 

He quickly stooped and picked the keys up before Aria could go for them. 

"I love him. I can't let it go because I'm in love with him." She slid to the ground, crying and pulling her knees to her chest.

Carter knelt next to her. 

"You love this guy?" His voice was quiet, disbelief thick in his tone.

 Aria nodded. 

"I do. I wish I didn't, but I do."

 Carter sat next to her, leaning against her car too. 

"I had no idea. I thought.." He didn't finish, staring off into the distance.

 "Aria, I'm sorry." 

She looked at him. "Sorry for what?" She sniffled. "You didn't do anything." 

Carter shook his head. "I should have been there for you. I should have been around. I just.. I hated what you were doing. All those guys.. All this crap. But I should have been there so you knew I cared."

Aria looked up at the stars, taking in his words. She truly had thought he didn't care anymore. But apparently he did. 

Or so he at least said.

"We've been friends since we were 2. I shouldn't have just left like i did. I should have said goodbye. And I should have supported you even though you're being.. Uhm, .. difficult." 

Aria snorted. She knew he wanted to say something more vulgar, but silently thanked him for holding back. 

"It's okay Carter. I wasn't your girlfriend. You didn't technically owe me anything. After your mom died i think it was understandable that you wanted to get away." 

Carter sighed. 

"I honestly wouldn't have even known what to say to you after graduation. You ran from the ceremony so fast. People make mistakes and I wouldn't condemn you for them. I'm sure you could've used a friend.. I would've been one." 

Aria groaned.

Graduation. Such AWESOME memories.

 "Yeah, well, Kora kind of humiliated me in front of everyone. I wasn't in the talking mood. You and I both left Hidden Springs for  damn good reasons." 

"Carter?" Rebecca's voice was close, making Aria jump. 

He stood, turning around to face her. 

"Whose lame ass car is this?" She snorted. 

Carter walked around next to her. 

"It's Aria's." 

Rebecca smirked. "Did you tell that little skank I said hi? Or tell her what happened earlier tonight? I have always thought she liked you. She should know you're off the market." 

She tried to kiss him, but he pushed her off. 

"Rebecca, we are NOT together. What happened earlier means nothing." 

Rebecca scooted up to him, hand on his chest. 

"That's not how it felt when it was happening." 

Carter removed her hands, disgusted.

 "I don't care how it felt. I don't want you." 

Rebecca's mouth dropped open.

 "Maybe you should have thought of that before you had sex with me at this fucking party after not seeing me for 5 years. Don't you think that maybe that is sending the wrong idea??"

 Her voice rose, angry. 

Aria stood, facing them. 

"I'm out of here." She said dizzily, getting in her car and getting the extra key out of the glove box. 

Drunk or not, there was no way she was staying here any longer. 

"Aria!" Carter shouted at her, pushing Rebecca to the side. 

It was too late though, Aria's foot punched the gas and she was gone. 

She didn't make it a mile before police lights flashed behind her.

 "Figures." She pulled over, getting out of the car angrily. 

"I wasn't even speeding! I was driving straight. I'm fine! Just go back to the party. Rebecca misses you."

 She put her hand on the car door handle , but Carter pushed it off.

 "Aria Eden Rapture would you knock this self destructive bullshit off?" 

Her mouth dropped open. 

"I can't believe you used my middle name." 

Is all she could manage to say. 

Carter rolled his eyes. "Yeah, well. You're lucky I don't give you a ticket. or put you in my car." 

Aria held her wrists out, together. "Arrest me then." 

Carter grabbed her wrists, pulling her close to him. 

"I'm serious, Aria. Stop it." 

She looked up at him, his green eyes burned straight through her. 

"Why do you care so much?" She said quietly, her throat tight. 

He released her, stepping back and running a hand through his hair. 

"Because, I'm your friend."

Aria stepped closer to him. 

"That's not good enough. There's something else." 
Carter shook his head.

 "No. There's not." 

Aria crossed her arms.

"Just like there was nothing else with Rebecca right?" 

Carter's eyes softened. "Yeah, well, sex is just sex. You should know that." 

Aria frowned. "It didn't used to be. I think Jay ruined that for me.."

 She took another step closer to him. 

He looked at her, sighing. "What, Aria?" 

She leaned close to him. "What is it about this that bothers you so much? Why are you always such a jerk to me? Is it because you want to be a challenge father? IS that it?" 

Carter looked outraged. "Are you fucking kidding me?" 

He pushed her away, walking back to his car. 

"That is the LAST thing I want from you Aria. Sit down, I'm calling you a cab. I'd give you a ride, but you would probably try to sleep with me." 

Carter's words hit her hard. 

"Yeah, apparently it wouldn't be very hard to get you into bed."  

She sat on the curb, arms around her knees. 

What a night.

Tripp Rapture

Rory Rapture

Cadence, YA.

Harper, YA

Pace, YA


The next day she met up with Logan at the hospital. They talked for a while and then Aria had her procedure. She headed home, thrilled with the hope for bleach blonde babies.

The Rapture- Fey babies ended up being twin girls. Phoebe, baby number 46, and Echo, baby number 47. Almost halfway there!

Corbin Vampiro, Levi's old roommate had called the week prior to talk to her. He wanted to hang out and talk about maybe even being a father. She planned to go to his house soon. She wondered what else could possibly go wrong..

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