COLD SHOULDER

Riot was bored. He sat at his desk at Stinger Sound and irritably tapped his pen against the glass of ice water that was situated to his nearest left. It was a subconscious habit that came about when was particularly restless. A day like today. You would think that owing half of a music company would make for an endless list of things to do but of couse being Riot there were more then a few assistants who were only too glad to handle any mundane tasks he set aside for them.

He was in the office alone. Minx and Rapture were of having some "girl fun" as they put it. He smiled to himself as he could picture just exactly what kind of fun they were having. He could almost see it now. An image of Rapture telling Minx her latest scheme came to his mind. With Minx involved the victim was certain to be of the male persuasion. Her stunning good looks were more then enough to be the bait. Rapture would tell him some false hood that was sure to appeal to his greed or envy or breaking heart. People always felt as if they were lacking something and Rapture was as keen as a dog at sniffing out whatever that something was. In turn she offered them a solution tailored to fit each case perfectly. Usually it was some sort of fake magical talisman or a scripted chant to be spoken at midnight under the first full moon of the month. The more ridiculous and involved the plan was the more someone would eat it up.

Riot wished he could say that he pitied those foolish enough to believe Rapture's nonsense. But of course he did not.
If they were lacking enough in common sense to be taken in by Rapture's games then it was certainly fitting punishment.

Riot , Rapture and Minx were the Trio that made up this musical group. Appropriately named for their outrageous attitude they called themselves" The Stingers".
All Blond, all rude and each one more pretentious then the next.

Riot , the undisputed leader believed himself to be the embodiment of true perfection. With a voice like velvet , a body of an Adonis and a face that was too handsome for words, he had millions of fans who agreed with him. Charm and charisma emanated from his very being. He could have whomever or what ever he wanted with a mere smile. He considered most people beneath him and would treat them with cool disdain. His arrogance knew no bounds and it was astonishing how practically anyone would fell under his spell despite his cocky and proud demeanour.
He knew how to play others as well as the strings of his electric guitar and although he had a fondness for using people, he was so good at it they never seemed to mind... that is ,of course, until it was too late.

Rapture played base guitar and was back up vocals for the group. The more sinister of her two counterparts, she delighted in playing people for the fools they were. They say a sucker is born every minute and no one knew that better then Rapture. She lived to tell tall tales. She had probably schemed hundreds of folks out of thousands of dollars. But it wasn't the money that thrilled her she got her kicks out of seeing how far she could go with her malarkey. Alot of times just having people follow her silly advice was enough for her. Real life was boring. So she just amused herself by making stuff up. She didn't care if others got hurt or not.

Minx was the German synth player of the band. With blond hair down to her waist and an absolutely mesmerizing body there was no denying that she was devestatingly beautiful. Minx however knew just how gorgeous she was and was confident in the fact she could have any man she chose. It pained her little to go about seducing men simply for her amusement only to toss them aside when she grew tired of them. Which was usually pretty quickly. Rio was the only man she been unable to entrap. A fact which only made her want him more. The long haired beauty had a quick temper and a sharp tongue and was not afraid to use it. Along with her band mates she was arrogant , vain and scornful of most.

However horrible and manipulative The Stingers were to others they had a deep love and admiration for one another. The group dynamic was that of a close knit family. Their personalities perfectly complimented each other. Riot was very protective over the two girls and they in turn showered him with devotion. The trio thrived on each of their strengths as musicians and, the passion and talent they played with was overwhelmingly powerful. They were like the heart , soul and spirit of one body.

Riot's boredom continued. Everything he thought of to do either was on hold for some reason or another . The paperwork that needed to be finalized required signatures from parties that were out of town. The song he wanted to work on was put on the back burner because he promised he would wait until the three members next practise session to write the missing bridge.

He decided to leave the office and grab an early lunch. Riot put on his jacket and was almost out the door when the phone rang.

Riot decided to go out and get an early lunch. He put on his jacket and was almost out the door when the phone rang .He sighed inwardly and headed back toward his desk. "Yes?" He snapped into the receiver. The man on the other end introduced himself as Craig Farber and immediately Riot remembered him as the editor in chief at Rolling Rock Magazine. He was in touch with him briefly last year when they covered a story on the band. Riot made a point not to forget people who were influential in the industry. Riot's tone changed considerably, all traces of annoyance dissipating as he politely enquired as to the nature of the call. Craig went on to deliver the good news that the magazine was interested in having The Stingers grace their cover for the January issue. Riot was only too pleased to accept the offer. He got off the phone smiling.

Later that afternoon when Riot told Minx and Rapture the news Minx seemed unimpressed.
"So what?" She scoffed. " Didn't we already do Rolling Rock last year?"
"Yes, Minx. We did." The Singer paused for effect. " But don't you want to be on the cover?!"
"The cover?!!" Rapture echoed. "Why didn't you say that in the first place??" She swatted his arm playfully.
"Not only that, but they want to do a six page photo spread where we would each get our own solo shots."
Minx immediately perked up. Being in The Stingers was a dream, there was no doubt about that. But sometimes she felt as if her individuality was lost in the group. The three of them were almost always mentioned as a whole, In rare times when one of them was singled out it was specifically Riot. Minx didn't mind because she knew that without Riot she would not be where she was today and she worshipped him for it. This magazine layout though ,represented a chance to shine in her own right and this in turn appealed to Minx's sense of vanity. Like that of a cat, her ego needed to stoked. And often. The girls grew more excited when they leaned that David A Capella was doing the photography. He was famous for shooting celebrities in colourful and outrageous back rounds. His work was very flamboyant and had a distinctive artistic flair.
The photo shoot was to be stylized according to each of The Stingers personalities.
Riot was to be depicted as the ring master in a circus setting. Rapture would be portrayed as a witch being burned at the stake. There were even talks of flying her to Salem where the actual witch trials were held for authenticity. Lastly Minx was going to made up as an evil siren luring men to their deaths. The plan was to give her a custom made prosthetic mermaid tail.

As it turned out Minx was the first to be session was scheduled for later that week. The call time of 6 am did not agree with the German girl in the slightest. Once she became a famous celebrity she had decided that getting up before noon was strictly against her personal policy. She arrived on set late and scowling. Clearly she was not a morning person. She complained about the breakfast buffet, hurled insults at the wardrobe assistant and was blatantly rude to the make up person by completely ignoring her. The poor cosmetician tried to make polite conversation but Minx simply put her finger to her lips and harshly whispered "shhhhhh!!!!!". She grabbed her Walkman, put on her headphones and closed her eyes. For the duration of the time spent in the make up chair, Minx was lost in a world of music as she arrogantly listened to her own band. The hair stylist would have welcomed such indifference compared to the treatment he received. The first moment he even touched her head Minx shrieked. She whirled around and glared at him. "You call yourself a hair dresser?? HA! Maybe if you worked in an S&M parlour!!! How dare you handle me in such a careless manner. Get away! I will do it myself."
She pushed him out of the way and stalked over to another mirror across the room. As she gazed at herself she could see the two beauticians reflected behind her in the were talking amongst themselves in hushed tones. She gave them both a dirty look and continued preening.

By the time it was actually time for the photo shoot itself , word had gotten around the set about the singers atrocious behaviour . There were a dozen German jokes being told amongst the crew and with all of them the punch line was always " Minx from The Stingers". The only one who remained oblivious to the cruel mockery being said about the girl was David A Capella himself. In fact he would have fired any of them if heard a word of it. The fact was, the photographer adored The Stingers. It was his idea to photograph the rock sensations in the first place.

Soon it was time to begin. The final preparations were made and Minx was fitted into her prosthetic tail. Being that her legs were encompassed in the rubber piece she could obviously not walk and had to be carried to the set. The background for the shoot was actually just a blue screen. On some risers there were a cluster of rocks. The image of high angry waves crashing around the formation was to be added in later. Still holding Minx, the assistant stepped onto a lift that hoisted them both up to where the rocks were situated. He stepped off and gently placed Minx down on the small boulders. He went down on the same device and then David took his place and rose up to a level where he felt he could best capture his subject. Minx was already posing seductively upon the uneven grey surface. Aside from the scaly apparatus attached to her she was naked. Her long blond hair covered her high firm breasts. He immediately began snapping away not want to lose even one second of this fantastic beauty's essence.

Minx was definitely a natural when it came to making love to the camera. She knew exactly the right angle to hold her body and how to gaze at the camera in such a way that it looked as if she was seeing right into your soul. To make the shots even more realistic Minx was dosed in water to make it seem as if she was just coming out of the sea. To give the illusion of wind a high powered fan was used. The effect of the water glistening on Minx's wet skin combined with the artificial wind blowing through her hair was overwhelmingly erotic. Minx had her hands cupping her bosoms so they remained concealed while fan tousled her hair.

Everything was going great when David announced he needed to get more film. He stepped onto the make shift elevator and was lowered to the ground. While he was rummaging in his bag of equipment he suddenly clutched at his chest and toppled to the floor. Everyone rushed to the mans side and an ambulance was called. People were rushing around trying to get him water or blankets to keep him comfortable while they waited for the vehicle to arrive. They stepped back to allow for more air. The placed turned into a mad house and in all the commotion Minx was left all alone at the top of the pedestal completely forgotten. She tried to call out but of course everyone was so busy they didn't hear. Everyone that is,accept the hair stylist whom she had been rude to. He looked up at her and smiled letting her know that he planned on doing nothing. Minx was fuming . She hating being ignored. She lay there unable to move her lower half at all as she was still shut up tight in her mermaid suit. As she stretched out among the hard surface she began to get a cramp. And if that weren't bad enough she was starting to get very very cold. As it happened the man with the water had just given Minx quite a generous dose of her water "treatment" right before David's emergency. And it was ice water too!!! She was sopping wet as the fan continued to bombard her with gusts of frigid air, she began to shiver. She rubbed her arms with her hands as the goosebumps collected on her damp flesh. The chattering of her teeth was so loud in her head that it sounded as if she were in a helicopter. She hugged herself for warmth but it was of little use. It felt as if she were inside a freezer. Her body felt numb and soon she simply could not stop herself from shaking. She sniffed wetly as her nose took it upon itself to start running. It might as well have been a marathon ,for Minx had no tissues to wipe her nose with. She sniffled and sniffed but could do nothing above that. She prayed someone would come for her soon.

Minx was left alone for about 2 hours. Everyone had deserted the set and gone to the hospital. By this time she had completely dried off and probably wold have warmed up too if it were not for the constantly blowing fan. Due to this cold air circulation Minx remained in an agonizing wintry state. When at last someone finally returned to the set her lips were a deep purple and she met her rescuers eyes with a glare icy enough to match the rest of her. "It's about time!" She yelled with as much strength as she had left. "I'll be lucky of I don't contract hypothermia because of this!" Of course Minx did not care to enquire after the health of the famed photographer who was probably in much worse condition then she. As the man picked her up , much as she tired to resist she couldn't help nuzzling up to him, trying to soak up as much of his body warmth as possible. Still shacking Minx pressed her bear chest against his body as they both descended toward ground level. "Ohhh you're so warm." She murmured into his neck. As volatile and horrid as Minx had treated him just moments before, all negatives thoughts were forgotten as he felt his heart pound and legs turn to jelly. And with Men, that's how it was for Minx: One moment she could be a ferocious tiger scratching and mauling you to bits and in the next instant she became the tiniest, cutest kitten purring in your lap. What most people forget is that Kittens have claws! As soon as they hit the floor Minx unwrapped herself from around him. "Get your hands off me, you creep!" She snapped. " I demand you put me down this instant!!"
"whatever you say lady." The man said and immediately dropped her. Minx fell and fell hard. After the initial stun of his uncouth behaviour Minx found her tongue.
"This is an outrage!!! You'll never work in this town again! I'll have you so fired you wont even be allowed to go anywhere near a forest! You talentless American hack!" Minx was left on the floor barking insults at the back of his head as he walked away. 'Now what?' She thought to herself. Fortunately for her sake the person who had fitted and applied her mermaid tail had made it back to the set. even if they didn't like Minx personally they knew how to put their feelings aside for the sake of their job at least. She approached Minx after she had just been literally dumped.

After getting out of the hot and uncomfortable tail Minx got dressed. She had a lunch date with Riot and Rapture. From there they would head to the Lindsey pierce show where they had a live T.V. interview scheduled. Of course live meant it was only filmed live in front of an audience but the interview would be edited and broadcasted at a later time.
Both Rapture and Riot were already there when she arrived at the restaurant. She found their table and took her seat. Rapture looked at her eagerly " So...??" She prompted.
" Soooo? What?"
" How did the shoot go?"
" I don't want to talk about it" Minx said with a pout."Let's just order out food."
"I've taken the liberty of ordering for you, my dear" Riot replied. "Rapture and I were here before you after all, and we grew tired of waiting"
"We got you seafood pasta. Your favourite!" Rapture chimed in
Now that Minx thought of it she was not very hungry at all. If she had the chance she would have just ordered a light salad and lemon tea. For some reason her throat was feeling a tad irritated.
"You could have waited. I wasn't that late" Minx complained
Riot was sensible." If you don't like it you can just send it back"
"No. It's fine" Minx complied sighing to herself.
When the food arrived Minx just stared at it. As she surmised she wasn't a bit hungry and the pasta just sat there uneaten. Minx crossed her arms and sulked while her two friends talked amongst themselves. Minx became quieter and quieter, eventually not saying anything at all. She was not feeling at all like herself. It was Riot that noticed her unusual silence. He studied her long face and enquired what the cause of it was. Minx just sighed again. "it's nothing."
"If you in a bad mood sometimes it helps to talk about it" Rapture soothed putting her arm lightly around her friend's shoulders.
"who said I was in a bad mood?!!" Minx shoot back. Rapture shrunk back feeling stung.
"Let her be Rapture." Riot said softly." If she wants to tell us she will"
"There is nothing to tell." Minx insisted.
"Very well then". He replied and calmly turned back to Rapture. They were discussing specific things to say in their upcoming interview. It was then that Minx felt a peculiar itch in the back of her left nostril. She tried to ignore it. She sniffled and hoped it would go away soon. She disliked sneezing in public. It was embarrassing and thankfully something she usually could avoid. Finally the irritation passed. Or so she thought. A few minutes later it came back stronger and before. Her eyes began watering from the effort of holding it back. She bit her lip and tried every trick she knew to try and keep the sneeze at bay. Eventually she knew she could not stop the inevitable from happening. She grabbed her napkin of the table in preparation. "HHHHiiiiishhSHooOO!!!!" The vicious sneeze exploded from her. It came out sounding much louder then intended. Suddenly both Rapture and Riot looked up from their conversation. "Blesses" "Gesundheit" They both said together.
"I hope your not getting sick" Rapture voiced looking worried.
"Believe me. I'm fine." Minx said firmly. Wanting to change the subject she added "Now finish eating we don't want to be late for the interview."

They arrived at Studio B just in time. They were outfitted in personal mics and then were led over to the studio set where a group of couches were gathered in a circular arrangement. The Stingers took their seats and waited as patiently as was entirely possible for the irritable bunch. After a short while they were greeted by the host of the show with a warm smile. " Sorry if I've kept you guys waiting. I didn't mean to take so long" Although Riot thought it very rude to be made to wait, he flashed Lindsey a charming smile of his own. It was never wise to inform people of their shortcomings minutes before being interviewed by them. He wanted his band portrayed favourably in the interview. So it was in his best interests when he took her hand, kissed it and made some passing comment on how he hardly noticed the wait due to the comfort of the chairs. Lindsey explained that the reason they were running a bit behind was that they needed to make a few adjustments to the set for the next band they had scheduled to come by that day. This time Riot could barley conceal his disgust. "Another band?" He said almost scowling. " But why on earth would you need another band when you already have us?" Riot was truly baffled. "Well Riot" Lindsey started "The show is having a special segment promoting help for runways. Since Jem and the Holograms are closely connected to the cause , you know with running starlight house and such, naturally we thought of them first." At the mere mention of Jem's name the handsome singer softest. Riot had decided long ago that Jem was the only women truly worthy of him and would stop at nothing to attain her affections. It mattered not that she was already involved with Rio. Who acted as her band's manager.
"So she will be here later then?" Riot asked Lindsey with a glint in his eye.
"She's coming in right after your interview"
"Perfect" He smiled mysteriously.
"I'll just be a few more minutes." Lindsey reassured sounding a bit hurried. "I'm just waiting to get the word from my crew"
"Take your time" Riot said pleasantly. Lindsey thanked him and walked away.
As soon as the show's host walked away Rapture turned to Minx. "I can't believe that Jem is doing Lindsey's show today too. It not fair! She'll probably get an interview as well as a live performance spot!"" She hissed. Generally Minx and Rapture despised Jem and the holograms and couldn't figure out what Riot saw in the band's lead singer. It was one of the only things they disagreed with him about. Minx wasn't listening though. She was feeling a little bit drowsy and was nodding off just a tad.
"Minx?" Rapture waved her hand back in forth in front of Minx's face." Hello earth to Minx!"
"Hmm ..oh!" Minx snapped to attention.
"Didn't you just hear what happened?" Rapture probed.
"Sorry. I think I just dozed off for a minute. What did you say?" She asked wearily.
"I said,,,,,"
" Never mind Rapture" Riot Rapture could say anything disparaging about his beloved. Of course Riot found the other member's of her group loathsome but when it came to Jem he couldn't stand when the girls put her down. Riot's attention was now focused on Minx. She was sitting on the couch with her elbows resting on her knees. Her hands were by her eyes and she was massaging her temples as though she had a great headache. Minx felt Riot's eyes upon her and looked up to see him peering down. He didn't even have to ask. " I'm fine." She said stubbornly.
"I was merely going to offer you an aspirin. However I am pleased to hear your in no need of one." Riot's voice was tinged with amusement and he smiled in spite of himself at her wilful nature. In many ways Minx reminded him so much of himself. This, among many others was a great example of why they got along so famously. It is the truly vain that will often gravitate towards others who share the same likeness in character or even aesthetics. Such is the case with classic narcissists. "I'm fine." She repeated firmly through gritted teeth.
"So you've stated" Riot said smugly and before he could tease her any further Lindsey came back. "Ok folks! Lets get this show on the road! She said enthusiastically.

To Minx's credit she held her own throughout the interview. It was only if you knew Minx amazingly well, that you would have found her answeres to certain questions alarming. For instance when asked about her American music influences she rattled off a few popular bands. Minx was notorious for her hatred of all things American and in past interviews when asked the same question she would have no qualms about telling the host and viewers exactly just what she thought about their country. More often then not it would be censored.

After the interview Minx quickly escaped to a private part of the studio. Her nose was driving her crazy. It felt as if it were running but when she rubbed her hand underneath it she found no residue. Still she could pretend that her nose wasn't filled with an unmistakable feeling of having sniffed a pound of dust. She found the darkest corner she could find and made sure she was alone Then she stood and waited for the inevitable. She had thought that the sneezes would come about her all at once but no. She had kept them hidden too long and it seemed they were to shy to come out. She could feel them and silently begged for the release. Her eyes were closed now and her mouth open a tiny bit as the tickling sensation grew and grew. Her breath hitching to the point where it seemed as if she was panting. The sneezes were right on the verge of coming . Soon. So. Soon. And then it began. "Hiiiiiieeeettchuuu!!!!......HEH.!!!!...*heh* HEEEyyyetssshOOO!!!!! . HaAHHHcshooo!!!!!!" She gasped and immediately cupped her hands to her face in utter mortification. She did not mean to make so much noise. She tried to be quieter. "Hiiitshoo.....heh...hixtshhooo. Hixt!! Heixt. Hiieexiest! Shoo!! Hichoo!" She tried stifling them her head just bobbing up and down furiously with each sneeze.

Humiliated beyond belief Minx tried everything in her power to stop but it seemed she just had to ride it out. Eventually the fit ended and she breathed a sigh of relief for it was not a moment to soon. Through watery eyes she saw Rapture coming towards her. Minx turned around quickly and gave her runny nose a swift wipe and sniffled harshly.
"There you are!" Rapture cried " Me and Riot wondered where you disappeared to."
"Well now you found me." Minx said and Rapture couldn't understand the bitter tone in her voice. She decided not to question Minx and suggested they look for Riot and leave.
They found their leader tucked away in a dimly lit portion of the studio with none other then the cotton candied haired singer herself, Jem! They were sitting very close to each other and although Jem's eyes were demurely downcast you could tell she was blushing from a mile away. Riot on the other had looked smug and very pleased with himself.

The two Stinger girls looked at one another and made a face. It actually made Rapture nauseous seeing how how Riot fawned over her. And Lil Miss Prissy Jem was even worse with her fake as a wedding cake good girl act. Neither Rapture nor Minx bought her whole innocent act for a second. Not since Riot boosted of his triumph with Jem after the two had been stranded together on a deserted island. I wonder what the media would say if they found out? She thought to herself. Forming an evil plan in her head she looked at Minx to see if she was thinking the same thing. The girls were such kindred spirits they often shared the exact same thoughts. It was something akin to telepathy. At least that's what rapture liked to tell others. When Rapture glanced over she realized that Minx wasn't even starting at Jem or Riot. She was looking in the complete opposite direction" Minx !" Rapture whispered " What are you starting at?"
" Oh nothing" She replied sounding bored. Minx was starting to feel a little bit achy and she could tell she was getting a headache. She wanted to go home to bed but her pride would not let her admit it. "I've just had the most perfect idea" Rapture said with a wicked gleam in her eye. When Minx didn't respond she pretended to be hurt. " Don't you want to hear it?" she pouted. Minx was fighting the urge to sneeze again and did not trust herself to speak. She knew if she opened her mouth she wouldn't be able to help it. God this was irritating Minx fumed to herself. She knew it was rude but she just had to get away! She turned on her heel and walked quickly toward the refreshment table. She sneezed as subtly as she could into her elbow on her way there and silently prayed no one had seen it. Luckily Rapture hadn't but she followed close behind. " Minx! What is with you? That was really rude totally ignoring me and just walking away like that. What's going on?"
" I just wanted to get some water. I didn't know I needed your permission!" She countered.
Rapture didn't know what to say. Minx was acting so wired for no apparent reason. She wasn't sure if she had done something to offend her. If she did she had no idea what is could be. "Of course you don't need my permission." Rapture answered softly. " I just wanted to know why you're acting so strangely. It's not me is it?"
" I just don't feel like talking right now. Okay? It's nothing to do with you."
"Well just let me know when you get out of this funk and then we can behave like uncivilized people" She joked "I'm telling you the plan I have will expose Jem for the little trollop she is"

Rapture walked back to where Jem and Riot were sitting. He had her eating out of the palm of his hand. Rapture couldn't stand anymore of the disgusting scene and decided to amuse herself with the unfortunate looking temp that she had been introduced to earlier. She was sure she had some "beauty" stones left in her bag. It was so easy to pray on the ugly she thought with a satisfied smirk.

Rapture wasn't the only one who was sicked by the sight of Jem and Riot together. From across the room Rio, Jem's boyfriend stared intently at them both. He hated Riot and was never fooled by the charms he presented to others. He found him horribly snobbish and manipulative. He hated the very sight of him and to see him so belatedly flirting with Jem made his blood boil. He stalked over and stood there menacingly before speaking. "Jem if you don't mind would you care to explain this little scene you have going on over here" Rio asked angrily.
"Don't be mad Rio me and Riot were just discussing the possibility of recording a duet together" Riot smiled at Rio and then looked at Jem seductively " There is no reason you should think we are talking about anything but business" He said in a tone to imply the exact opposite. Rio was about to go off on Jem about how she always found some excuse to spend time with Riot. He stopped and thought better off it. Jem would accuse him of being jealous and it would end up in a fight. Instead he muttered something under his breath and walked away. He headed over to the refreshment stand where Minx still happened to be. Usually Rio tried to avoid Minx at all costs. She was always so obvious and overwhelming with her flirtation. It got very annoying. Only this time when he saw her she looked withdrawn and fragile somehow. Not at all like the Minx he was used to. She was rubbing her arms as if she was trying to warm herself. Rio glanced back over at Jem and Riot they looked entirely too cozy for his liking. When he looked back at Minx he suddenly thought of something. It was always Jem that was accusing him of being jealous, never the other way around. She was the one always playing coy and flirting with men. It was time for a taste of her own medicine. Before Minx caught site of him he went to the table with various beverages displayed. He grabbed a Styrofoam cup and poured hot water into it. He took a tea bag and placed it inside the steaming liquid. No that he looked at her Minx definitely seemd a bit peaked. He walked over to her. She turned around.
"Hi Minx" He said. " I brought you some tea. You looked like you needed it"

Minx was momentarily stunned. What was this? Was Rio actually being nice to her? Oh why did it have to be now when she felt as she did. Minx was flattered but at the same time ashamed. She didn't want to appear weak in front of him. She did the best thing she could think of given her present circumstance. She retaliated with venom.
"Whats that supposed to mean?!!" She asked argumentatively her hands on her hips.
"I just thought you looked a little under the weather, that's all." Rio said
"Who asked you?! " She retorted. " I'm fine if you must know" She held her head high. And then abruptly she sneezed. "Heh-kushoo!!!"
Rio looked at her and smiled " Fine huh?" He teased.
Minx narrowed her eyes and looked at him. " Yes Rio!! I'm FINE!!!. I don't need your pity."
"Look Minx I was only trying to help"
"Here's what I think of your help" Minx took the cup Rio was holding and poured the contents out on the ground. With that she stalked off leaving Rio speechless.

" I cant believe that just happened" Rapture said to Riot after they had both witnessed Minx and Rio's little tiff. " If I didn't see it with my own eyes I wouldn't believe it myself" Riot agreed. Yes there were times when Minx's temper was unloaded onto Rio but it was usually after he had rebutted her advances. This time though, he was being nice! He had approached *her*. Something was up and Riot was about to find out what it was. He marched over to Minx as she was walking away from Rio. It seemed she was heading for the exit. " Minx I would like a word with you" He gently grabbed her hand to lead her to the nearest set of chairs , and flinched slightly. Minx's hands were like ice. "You're hands are freezing!" Riot stated
"Well you know what they say: 'cold hands warm heart' "
"Do they now?"
" Yes"
" I certainly didn't see any evidence of a warm heart in your treatment of Rio"
"Since when are you on his side" Minx questioned shocked. It seemed as if everyone was ganging up on her.
" I'm not on his side. I'm on yours. You have been acting quite peculiar as of late and I think it's about time you confessed what is going on in that little head of yours"
She wanted to tell him. She wanted to say "I think I'm coming down with something and I feel terrible" She wanted to be coddled and fussed over but she was filled with self disgust.
She was worried that Riot would think she was pethetic . As a Stinger she was supposed to be Strong at all times. They had gone through so much. Like the time they were living on the streets of Germany in the middle of winter. Homeless with nothing to eat. Playing on the street for pennies It seemed ridiculous now to complain about a simple cold. She didnt know what to say but she didnt want to lie. Not to Riot.
"I'm upset becuase the photo shoot this morning was a complete disastar." There. That wasnt a complete lie ,now was it?
"If it upset you so ,why didnt you say that in the first place" Riot enquired
" I just didnt want to spoil our lunch togeher"
"Minx nothing could possibly ruin a meal when each of us three are in the presence of each other. You know that. Dont think on it for another minute. When you wish you may tell me the whole story and we will have the appripiate parties terminated. Feel better?"
Minx looked up at Riot. How did he always know the prefect thing to say.
"As a matter of fact I am" And she meant it. Her headache seemed to clear and she suddenly wasnt feeling so tired anymore. Maybe that was really all she needed.