Aria's life felt different without Mila in it. It had been a while since she had fought with her stepsister. They were best friends. They went through hell together, and then some. Except, nothing quite like this had ever happened before. Mila had performed a massive betrayal. Aria might not have been with Levi anymore, but there were some lines you just DIDN'T cross.
Aria rolled over, the rain falling outside the window. It was raining a lot lately. Bluejay was asleep. He had spent the night. Again. Something was just so off lately. Aria thought she knew what it was, but didn't want to put it into words. It wasn't that she didn't KNOW, it was that she wasn't ready for the end.
He looked so peaceful when he was sleeping. She kissed his cheek softly and got up, grabbing her phone on the way. Mila had tried calling her non-stop. To the point where she was honestly considering blocking her number. Carter had called several times the first couple of days after the party. Then his calls stopped. Which honestly just added to the anxious feeling in her chest that told her the two of them were together.
Carter and Mila. What a fucked up notion.
She brushed it off, scrolling through the endless list of text messages until she found one that caught her eye. Well that was a number she didn't see often.
I need to see you. It's important.
She jotted a quick reply and placed her phone on the sink, starting the shower.
Deep inside, she wondered if meeting up with him was such a good idea. He could only want one thing.. Aria sat on the edge of the sink as the room filled with steam. It wasn't like she and Bluejay were dating. She didn't think he would care if she met up with a friend.
Guy or not.
She ran her fingers through her bangs. There was no reason to worry about what Bluejay thought. She was sure he was still hanging out with other girls. What they had was just fun..
"Justin, what do you even want? Does Carter know that you're here?" She slammed the door of her car shut and walked over to where he sat on the park bench. He smirked. "Carter is /not/ my babysitter."
Aria's eyebrow rose and she crossed her arms, unamused. "No, but he is your best friend. What do you want from me?"
He laughed a little, patting the seat next to him. "Why don't you take a seat and see?"
She sighed, straightening the shirt she was wearing and glancing around the park. No one was in sight. That made her even more un-diverted at the situation she was putting herself in.
Against her better judgment, she sat.
Just as Aria thought, Justin pulled something out of his pocket. Something small and white and when he lit it, it smelled like a skunk. He held it out to her. She wrinkled her nose and batted his hand away. "I don't want that shit J. Put it out before someone catches you." He shrugged and continued smoking it.
"So.." Aria began, crossing her legs. "You brought me here to smoke weed? Do you really think I would want to? I am not a teenager anymore." He scoffed, leaning in towards her. She scowled, pulling away. "You used to smoke all the time. Especially with me."
She groaned. "Dude, we smoked, like twice. What are you even talking about?" He put a hand on her leg, and she froze. Of course. "I remember when we did other things too." She moved her leg away quickly and glared at him, pressing her fingernails into her palms.
"Not gonna happen, Justin. You're Carter's best friend. He would kill me." Justin moved closer on the bench, his body less then an inch from hers. He placed his hand back on her leg and leaned in, his lips almost on hers. She ducked the kiss and stood.
"What the hell is wrong with you?!" She fumed. An elderly couple had been walking the path behind them and her shout caught their gaze and they were now staring in obvious curiosity. "Oh, Aria," He got up next to her, once again in her face. "I thought you liked having a little fun?"
Goosebumps traced up her arms and she shuddered. "Not like this. And not with you. You never grew up. Did you?" She shoved him back down on to the bench and made her way back to the car. She should have known better.
The engine turned over and she shut her door, quickly turning the car and heading back towards her house.
Bluejay sighed. "I mean, why would you go anyway? You could have just stayed here with me.." He trailed off, looking at the ground.
Aria's nerves clawed at her stomach. "I didn't think it would bother you.. You never said we were together or anything, I mean.. I thought we were just.." She didn't finish her sentence, letting the implications float in the air. He frowned, still looking at the floor.
"I mean, I never said we were anything more then that, I just thought it should be.." He looked back at her, expressionless. "Obvious."
The ending to his sentence seemed to spark a flame in Aria's chest and her temper flared. "Are you saying that I should have just known that someone I was sleeping with all the time actually wanted a relationship?? Because, if you ask me, that someone should have been made vocal."
Bluejay said nothing, which irritated Aria even more. "You know what, I can't handle this. I'll see you later."
She wasn't even sure why she snapped. Why this entire situation bothered her so much. She turned and exited, the dust from the slamming door settling to the ground.
"I don't even understand what I fucking did. I guess it doesn't matter." Aria tipped the shot she was holding back and the sting was practically non existant because of how much she had already drank.
She looked at the guy she was standing next to. He /seemed/ to be hanging on every word, but the way he was staring at her told her it was something else that he wanted entirely. As soon as she got there, he had started talking to her.
And his eyes were this perfect teal color that was almost exactly like Bluejay's...
"Sorry, I can stop talking." She set the shot glass down on the bar and turned to face him
He put a hand on her hip and pulled her against him.
"Hey, I don't even know your name."
He raised an eyebrow. "Do you need to?"
He pressed his lips to hers and she instantly became pliant. He tasted like whiskey and the excitement burned through her.
She pulled away for a second, her pulse ricocheting in her throat. "I just want to forget for a night."
"Let's go then."
Pregnant. Of course she was. Her timing couldn't have been worse. Which completely figured. Aria's luck ringing true to how it always was.
Not to mention as she was leaving this guys place, she asked him about those teal eyes that reminded her so much of Bluejay. Turned out they were brothers. Not just brothers.
Yeah, her luck was phenomenal.
Aria heard a knock from the front door, but ignored it, pulling her knees to her chest and continuing to cry. She needed to talk to Bluejay. And SOON. But she couldn't bring herself to call him. She didn't know what to say. How would he even take this. And why, after 6 months, had he never even mentioned having a twin brother?
Could he possibly hate him that much?
And didnt that make this entire thing even /worse/?
"Again?" Carter sighed, walking over to Aria, where she sat on the floor. She jumped when she heard his voice, but relaxed when she realized it was him. "What happened? Why are you always crying lately?" Aria shook her head, looking away. He knelt next to her, eye level. "You don't have to talk to me, but can I at least sit next to you?"
She hesitated, but nodded.
"I'm sorry for whatever it was." Carter's voice broke the silence that had settled in the room. "I actually came over here to see if you had talked to Mila and I find you like this." He touched her hand lightly with his and she glanced at it, looking up at him. She was sure her face was covered in mascara and more then likely she looked like a mess.
Aria couldn't seem to find words. The hole in her chest seemed to ache even more when Carter was around.
"I don't know why I keep doing everything wrong." Barely more then a whisper, her words hung in the air, heavy. "I feel like I made my sister hate me somehow. Like I added her to the long list of people who are now against me."
"She doesn't hate you." She tried to look away but he caught her face with his hand, maintaining eye contact. "And I'm not against you Aria. I never have been." The space between the two of them seemed vast somehow. Even though it was nothing.
Aria's breath seemed to be stuck in her throat. A few seconds ticked by on the face of the clock. The difference in the way he was treating her, as opposed to just a few months before, was astounding.
He sighed, looking away. The tension that had seemed to fill the room dissipated in an instant and Carter cleared his throat.
His eyes were averted, aimed towards the wall opposite them. "I really feel like you need to hear Mila out. You weren't there, Aria. You left befo-" Aria held a hand up, groaning in disgust. "Don't you think I /saw/ enough? What are her pitiful excuses going to change??"
"Aria, you don't-" Carter tried again, but Aria cut him off with another noise. "I don't want to hear whatever bullshit lie she fed you, Carter."
He clenched his fists, "Do you really think I would believe her if I knew better?" He stood quickly, exasperated. "I don't even know why I tried. You're so fucking stubborn." Aria got to her feet, grabbing his arm.
He was pissed and it was projected through his eyes when they met hers. She was so surprised that she let go. "I just.. don't want you to go. I need you right now." He softened, shaking his head. "What am I going to do with you.." His tone as he said this was thick.
He took her hand and pulled her close to him into a hug, catching her completely off guard. "I'm sorry. I am trying to keep my temper under control, but sometimes you make that very, VERY hard." His smirk was so evident, Aria didn't even have to look.
She leaned back a little, looking up at him with a small smile. "You're always there when I need you. I don't know how I can ever make up for that."
He chuckled. "Well, that IS what best friends are for." He brushed her hair out of her eyes. He smiled and leaned towards her, sending her pulse racing erratically though her body. Instead of doing what she anticipated, he pressed a kiss to her forehead and released her.
Why would she think Carter was going to kiss her anyway? She cleared her mind of the ridiculous thought. Something lingered though. It was in the way he looked at her as he leaned towards her. She knew she wasn't crazy. She had to be though, never in a million years would he see her that way.
"I gotta go, I'll come back later. We need to talk about Mila, Aria." Carter turned to leave.
She almost stopped him. Asked him to stay with her, asked him to just hold her, just be there like he used to be. But her cell phone vibrated from the table next to the bed,pulling her out of her thoughts and reminding her that she was being crazy. It would never be like that between the two of them.
She grabbed it, Bluejay's name was glowing on the screen. Better late then never.
"My brother? As in Heron?" He looked dumbfounded. Aria wavered. She really didn't want to talk about this. She felt like a complete fucking idiot for doing it in the first place.
"We weren't together and I was upset, and I didn't know it was your fucking brother! I didn't even know you had a brother. Which, thanks for telling me by the way." Her words flew out of her mouth and she fumbled as she watched his face remain blank. Why wasn't he at least getting angry?
"Why aren't you saying anything?" She finally asked.
He shrugged. "I don't know what to say to you. I don't even know how to react."
He sighed. "I'm just.. I'm gonna leave. I'll call you." His eyes fell to her stomach and he didn't say a word, just walked out the door.
Aria's apology was on the tip of her tongue. It stayed there as he crossed her lawn, got on his skateboard and disappeared.
There was a feeling deep in her chest that told her she hadn't really lost anything. Not really. But the tears still fell. It still hurt. She shut the door with a soft click and dropped to the ground with her back against the wall.
Another mistake to add to her long list of accomplishments.
Babies 61 and 62
Avocet and Albatross Rapture.