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Pen Your Pride

Chapter 4

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"What do you want Ariel?"  I asked, a little miffed that she was calling me.

"I just needed to hear your voice."  Her voice was almost purring.

"Really?  How does your husband feel about that?"  Ariel scoffed at me, and I could tell she was beginning to feel irritated.

"He doesn't know.  Besides, it's not like our marriage is real."

"For him it is."

"Marcus, stop." I rolled my eyes.  Sometimes Ariel really does act like a princess.  "You're making me feel like all of this is for nothing. You know that I love you."

"I know."  I sighed.  I wasn't really sure if she really loved me or if she just couldn't choose between us.  Most of the time I felt like I was just the fling and not James.

"You're mad at me because of what happened at the wedding, right?"

"A trashy fling?"  She knew that it was a sore topic, and hearing how she causally threw it around with Roxanne made me sick.

"Baby, you know I didn't mean it.  Roxanne was asking too many questions and I had to make her think I hated you.  Otherwise, she'd never let up, and If James found out about you, he would definitely divorce me and everything would fall apart."

"You shouldn't have invited me in the first place."

"I know, but I couldn't do it without you.  Having you there reminded me of why we are doing this.  For our future." 

"Marrying James for his money?  That's bullshit!  Ariel, you know I can provide for you.  You don't need to crawl into bed with him for us."  I must be insane.  What man allows his girlfriend to openly cheat on him?  No reason in the world can justify that.

"I know you can.  I want to be able to provide for you.  Marcus, you have had to work so hard all your life for everything you have.  I just-"  Ariel's voice caught in her throat and she started sniffling.  "I just want to help you."  Her voice finally cracked and I felt my heart breaking.

"Ari, I-"

"Ariel?  What's wrong hun?"  James' voice cut through my phone.

"Nothing."  She said snifling.  "Just Roxanne and I having some girl talk."

"Are you su-"

"I'm fine."  The authority was back in her voice.  "We're just talking about arrangements for the future.  Will you give me a few more minutes?"  There was a long pause before she spoke again.  "I'm sorry.  We've come this far, I won't give up until it is over."

"Okay."  It was the only thing I could say.  Although I normally don't give into her demands, the determination in her voice was final.  Ariel wasn't going to change her mind.

"I know you're skeptical about this, but James is going to leave me."

"How do you know?"

"I'm not blind.  I've already told you that Roxanne is in love with him, and he is no different.  He was practically drooling over her at the rehearsal dinner.  I know he wants her, but he's too afraid to make a move."

"So then how do you plan to make this work?"  I peeped into the room and saw Roxanne was still fast asleep. 

"James is very affectionate when drunk.  Leave those two in a room together and it's finished."  I wasn't about to question how she knew what kind of drunk he was, and I definitely was not going to tell her how effective her plan would actually be.  "I have to go."

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