Arthur had prepared for this rescue mission as if he did it as often as his Point Man duty. His car had the air blasting as he placed her in the passenger seat. Her forehead was coated in hot sweat when he felt it.
"Here..." he had ice cold water prepared in a huge bottle. Ariadne sucked water out of it like a bloodthirsty vampire.
"Hang in there, I'll get you to the hospital in no time."
Arthur was baffled by the sight before him. How could someone do such a cruel deed to an innocent woman? He wanted to run back in and kill Jean but since Ariadne needed help immediately, he decided to do the act later.
He drove several miles over the speed limit. Usually, he would play classical music but his radio was mute. The only thing that concerned him was getting Ariadne some aid, and fast.
She was on the ridge of passing out as Arthur picked her up again and ran like the Roadrunner to the hospital's emergency doors.
Right as they stepped in, nurses were swarming all over them. Ariadne felt like a child with separation anxiety as Arthur put her down on a gurney.
She thought she would never see him again as they changed her clothes and prepped her for surgery. Ariadne stopped crying after they gave her some pain relievers but her arm still stung like a hundred bees pricked it.
"You'll be put under soon for surgery, Sweetie." said the older curvier nurse. "Would you like to see your friend first?"
"Yes please." Ariadne nodded weakly. Right then, all she wanted to do was get some answers from him. She waited for a few moments before Arthur walked in. He remained calm but she could see in his eyes how worried he was.
"I'm glad you called." he started. "I got so scared."
"You? Scared?" Ariadne's eyebrows rose. "I'm the one who was scared. I'm still scared!"
"Look at me," he ordered. "You don't have to be afraid anymore."
"I got nightmares of my worst fears coming to life!" she snapped. "One of them almost happened in real life Arthur!"
"It's normal to have nightmares after your first assignment." he told her.
"So did you ever dream of a sadistic girlfriend trying to destroy you?" she had no courage to say rape. "And you left that lunatic laying there!"
"I'll take care of him. He's not coming near you."
"He still can though through my dreams."
"Those are dreams," he said. "You'll always wake up and see that you're fine."
"They just feel so real," she said. "And I feel like I'm still asleep. And what if I get another one during the surgery?" Ariadne asked.
"Let me tell you about the nightmares after I had after my first assignment." Arthur said. "I had nightmares that Nash, the architect you replaced, was a drag queen at the Moulin Rouge."
"I don't even know what the guy looks like and I have a bad picture in my head."
"Well he wasn't a favorite of the ladies."
"What happened to him?"
"He made a mistake during a task and Cobol took him. I don't know what they did to him though."
"What was he like?"
"He was an asshole." said Arthur. "I couldn't trust him."
"When they give you the anesthesia, I want you to think of something you love. Don't think about that guy because he's not even worth thinking of... Think about elephants if you have to."
"Elephants?" Ariadne chuckled. "Where did that come from?"
"It's a long story." he said. "But can you do that for me?"
Ariadne looked around the room and replied by nodding. "I'll definitely try."
Before the surgery, Ariadne thought of the Eiffel Tower. To her, the building was made in anticipation of her birth. That's why it was shaped like an A.
She was sitting at a table for two, looking out the window of the tower itself. Her hair was up in a bun and a black dress covered her body. A plate of caviar was in front of her. Everything looked nice except for one thing.
"Are you having a good time Cherie?"
Ariadne growled to herself in frustration.
"How did I get here?" she asked leaning her elbow on the table.
"I brought you here." he chuckled. "You love this place!"
"Why am I with you?"
"Because I asked you to be here." he said sipping his champagne.
Ariadne looked around the room to see people chatting casually. She wished the projections would attack him for her.
"Are you finished Mademoiselle?" the waiter asked.
"Yes I am." she said as she turned to face him. Her eyes stayed locked on him as he took the plate. It was those brown eyes and that slicked back hair that made her stare.
"Mmh hmm!" Jean coughed. "So you want to know why your here?"
"Please tell me." she said unenthusiastically.
"Well you met my family and they love you." Jean started. "Even Belle's taken a liking to you. Anyway, I have some gifts for you if you say yes to my question."
"What kind of things?"
"Look around." he waved his arm out. "This whole tower and all the scarves in the world will be yours if you say you'll marry me." Jean was so overly confident that he would get some serious bruises.
Ariadne's eyes tore up as he showed her the ring. With bravery, she shook her head and stood up.
"I can't." she sniffled. Mascara was coming down her cheeks as she backed away.
"Wait, what's wrong Cherie?"
"What's wrong?" she caved. "Everything is wrong!" All eyes were on her now including those of the waiter. "You say you love me, then you hit me, beat me, I end up moving out of my apartment to get away from you but you kidnap me and almost rape me! What the fuck makes you think I'd say yes? I hate you!" With that she pitched her fist into his eye and bolted it again beside his nose.
Her eyes looked to see the expression on the waiters face. It remained the same as he called in security. Ariadne turned around and headed toward the elevator. Going all the way down, she was in tears mixed with humiliation and glory.
He was gone, out of her life like a school day. As she left the tower, Ariadne ignored the valet men and walked to nowhere. She didn't care where she was going now.
Walking on the road, her heels stopped clunking when she heard a weak voice asking for her attention. It wasn't exactly a golden voice.
It was a homeless man, a grey beard coating his lips. His teeth were so rotted out that they looked like wood. The stench of rotten flesh hit her nose.
"Do you have a coin to spare, Beautiful?" he breathed. Ariadne immediately grew sympathy for him. He reminded her of the time when she ran away and lived on the streets for a week.
"I'm sure I have something…" she said, feeling around her hips for pockets. Her dress didn't have any and Ariadne realized she forgot her purse. "I don't think I have any money..." She took the pearl necklace she had on and handed it to him. "But you can sell that."
"I didn't ask for pearls!" he barked.
"Keep them." she insisted. "They're worth at least five hundred Euros."
As she stepped away, his bony arm clutched her ankle. Ariadne felt like a zombie was pulling her into it's grave.
"Since you have no money, you must pay me in a different way." a rotted smile grew upon his face.
"Just keep the pearls!" she said trying to pull out. "Let go!"
"Of a pretty piece of ass like you?" he spat.
A car stopped beside them. The driver left the vehicle and stood in front of her.
"You really shouldn't mess with women, especially when they're trying to help." he said. Ariadne hit him, the same way she did to Jean. The homeless man released her ankle to tend to his bloody nose.
"Get in." he ordered. "I'll take you home." She obeyed immediately as the stilettos were blistering her feet.
"I'm proud of you." he said. "That was very brave."
"Thanks." she said wiping a tear and looking at the black water. "I don't even wear mascara."
"You can stay single for a long time before trying again." he advised.
"Do you have a girlfriend?" she blushed at the realization of the question being asked so suddenly. "It's not like that, I just want to know if you're dating anyone."
Arthur shook his head. "I don't have time to date."
"Might as well marry that briefcase then."
Arthur ignored her remark and sped up.
"And why are you a waiter?"
"Because that's my job." he said.
"I can't see you as a waiter." she told him. "You look more like a performer."
"I get told that often." he said. "And I did perform in many musicals since I was four but I gave it up."
"Really?" she laughed. "Then I was right."
"It's my turn to ask you a question. Why doi you stop to talk to that guy?"
"Because I was homeless once." she explained. "In the winter and I lived in Canada."
"How did you end up homeless?"
"I left my dad because he was hurting me. I had nowhere to run."
The car started to rattle dangerously. Ariadne found herself clinging Arthur's hand.
"It's ok." he said. The earthquake grew stronger and surrounding objects began to tumble.
A burst of light shot through her eyes. They opened to a ceiling.
Ariadne looked over at her arm. Her elbow was back in place along with her shoulder and knee. They were armored in white casts. Her arm was in a sling, her fingers the only skin visible.
Looking around the room, she found an array of Get Well cards. In a crystal vase were two dozen pink roses fully bloomed like a swans wingspan.
Where was Arthur? Did he just drop her off, say a few words, buy flowers then leave? Ariadne sighed and looked out the window. The Eiffel Tower lit to life as the sun departed.
Despite how nice the room was compared to other hospital rooms, she felt lonely. It was as if the doctors just fixed her and then left he behind. She couldn't get up with her leg plastered and the thought of two months in a wheelchair had no appeal to her.
She reached for the remote and flipped on the TV. Gone With The Wind was on the channel she landed on, right at the kissing part. Ariadne sighed and changed the channel. Titanic was next in line.
"I'll never let you go Jack."
That movie always made her cry. It was easy for her to change the network. It seemed like every channel was playing romance movies.
The door to the room opened and a familiar figure came in. Along with his three-piece suit a fedora sat on his head. Ariadne turned the TV off.
"I thought you left."
"How could I leave you?" he asked sitting beside her.
"I forgot for a second that it's part of your job." Arthur hid a sigh from her as he took off his hat. "How do I know that you're even real?"
"This should be plenty of proof for you." he said, showing her a red die.
"Sorry... You've just been showing up in a lot of dreams and they're not exactly unrealistic."
"That happens." he said. "Are you in any pain?"
"Just a little." she said. "Are those from you?" Ariadne looked at the roses.
"I thought pink would cheer you up and maybe light up the room a little." he said.
"I love that." she complemented. To her, they looked like candies made of pure sugar or decorative icing art on a wedding cake. "Thank you."
"I meant for saving me." she pointed out. The flowers were just a touch of joy.
Arthur nodded. "I'm just happy you called."
The door opened again quickly and a stressful Jules ran in. When she saw Ariadne, tears came to her eyes. Even her false eye cried.
"Oh my God, Sweetie..." her hands were over her mouth.
"Your eye..." Ariadne pointed out.
"That doesn't matter right now." Jules wiped the tears from her face. "Who's this?"
Ariadne paused as Arthur stood up.
"I'm Rodger Kinsley." he fibbed reaching out his arm.
"Jules Girard." she said calmly though she sounded like she was about to burst. "How do you know Ariadne?" she asked shaking his hand.
"We've been friends for a while." he said. "I came to visit."
Ariadne reached her normal arm out for her.
"You don't have to cry." she said. "I'll be ok in a few months."
"Thank God." she sighed with relief. "I was worried sick." Jules hadn't said sentences like that until Ariadne's mother died. After that, she knew Ariadne would still need guidance so she's acted like a motherly figure to her.
"You don't have to worry anymore." said Arthur. "The doctor said everything should heal and she'll walk again."
"The Press doesn't know about this, right?"
"The police won't say a thing." he told her. "The last thing Ariadne needs is to be put on the front page."
"God that would be awful." Jules gulped. "Could we have some time?"
"Certainly." Arthur stepped aside and walked out.
"Don't ask me about what happened." Ariadne interrupted Jules's thoughts after Arthur disappeared. "I don't want to talk about it."
"I understand." Jules put her hand up. "But I left class early the moment I heard. I might have left the cupcakes in the oven."
Ariadne giggled. "You would do that." For the first time that day, she was smiling.
"And I know how upsetting this all is. But you don't have to worry, because I have good news. Remember when I told you I was going to call in to that radio show to win cruise tickets?"
"You won?" Ariadne's eyes widened.
"Uh huh." Jules reached into her purse and took out two ship tickets. "First class Greek cruise."
"That's wonderful." Ariadne looked at the tickets. "Your so lucky, you know that right?"
"What makes you think I'm not taking you?"
Ariadne felt like she just fell from a plane. "Me?"
"If you want too." said Jules. "It's in three months so you'll be recovered by the time."
"And you want me to come?"
"Yes!" Jules exclaimed excitingly. "And get this; we get to spend a day with Jayne Alvers!"
Ariadne knew how much Jules loved Jayne Alvers. She had all her movies and songs on her iPod. To her, Jayne Alvers was the Bon Jovi of female rock stars and the Chuck Norris of women.
Ariadne herself didn't care much.
"That should be fun."
"And this time, I'm not letting any guy near you."
"I still have to take the final." Ariadne remembered. "I don't think I'll have much time to study."
"I'm sure Miles will give you an extension." Jules assured.
"I mean he seems nice and all- wait, did you meet him? I never introduced you."
"Well after class I snuck in and told him I was worried about you and to keep an eye on you."
"You did that?"
"And I told that son of a bitch that you wouldn't be his girlfriend for long."
"And what did he do?"
"Nothing." Jules laughed. "He was pawned."
"I wish that I hit him." Ariadne confessed. "That would have been nice."
"Ok, lets not think about it anymore." said Jules. "He's a thing of the past and the thing is, he made you stronger by screwing up so hard."
Ariadne didn't think of it like that. But the Ginger was right. She experienced some frightening events and after conquering them, she felt like Wonder Woman.
"I do feel different..." said Ariadne. "Now that you think of it like that, it's as if nothing can bring me down."
"You have to be like Jayne and never let anything stand in your way."
Ariadne nodded. "Then I can't wait to start over then."
She was released from the hospital a few days later. For weeks, she was ridden to a wheelchair. When people asked what happened, Ariadne told them she went skating without pads and fell on her side. After the casts came off, Ariadne spent her free time at a gym or jogging around campus.
With hard work and determination, Ariadne wheeled in the day of the test with confidence and aced it. The casts came off earlier than expected and just in time for the graduation ceremony.
As she walked down the aisle with her degree, she saw Jules in the audience applauding. A distance away, Arthur stood and she swore she saw him smile. Ariadne assumed she couldn't talk to him, so she just smiled back and walked off. To him, her eyes were saying "Thank you."