Socialite Ann-Marie Arbuckle was seen on the arm of actor Zeke Armstrong; not once, but twice this past week. Tuesday evening they showed up to the opening of Violet separately, but a source caught them leaving together in Ann-Marie’s limo. Then on Friday they arrived together at Susan Christine’s benefit for survivors of child abuse. Is romance in the air for these two notorious singletons?
Ann-Marie frowned and crumpled up Page Six. Unsatisfied, she balled up the whole of the newspaper and tossed it into the fireplace. She stood and pushed a button on the wall. She watched as the fire came to life and the newspaper ignited, turning to ash quickly.
Behind her, the double doors slammed open and she felt every muscle in her body tense as the heavy footsteps approached her. She continued to watch the flames as she felt Xavier’s hands rest on her shoulders.
“I assume, then, that you’ve seen the paper?” She turned to look into his dark eyes. His gaze was so intense, she had to focus on a spot between his knotted eyebrows.
“Everyone has, Ann-Marie. It showed up in my news feed when I checked my e-mail this morning.” Holding her shoulders, he sighed. “You haven’t been careful, Ann-Marie.”
“Xavier, you’ve got the wrong idea. And, like always, so does the paparazzi. Zeke and I hardly know each other. I gave him a ride home from Violet because he was trashed, and he didn’t want his fans to see him like that.”
“And Susan Christine’s?”
“We didn’t arrive together. We arrived at the same time. He approached me to thank me for helping him out. Ask anyone who was actually at the benefit, and you’ll see we spent perhaps a grand total of 10 minutes in each other’s company.”
His hands gripped her shoulders; she winced at his strength. She glared at his feet. She was indignant; she had nothing to apologize for! She looked up, but his eyes were not on her. He was looking at the fireplace, the flames reflected in his angry eyes.
“Xavier,” her voice was merely a whisper, “you have to believe me.”
“I’m not sure I can.”
He released her shoulders, turned on the heels of his perfectly polished shoes, and left the room.
Red Writing Hood is a weekly writing meme from the Write on Edge community. Constructive criticism is appreciated.
This week’s Red Writing Hood prompt: This week, write a 300 word fiction or creative non-fiction piece focusing on tension arising from a misinterpreted written note or eavesdropped conversation.