"Okay, this is an emergency of the highest level," Sydney spoke to Gabi as they let themselves into Cody's room, outfits in hand. His room had the best bathroom attached to it, and also the biggest mirror with the most light sockets for plugging things like curling irons in.
"I know," Gabi's voice was low, all business. "Rosalina is threatening your relationship with Cody."
"And you have to show Jake what he's been missing by having the time of your life at dinner tonight," Sydney winked.
"Which means," started Gabi. "We both have to look totally-"
"One hundred percent-"
"Fabulous," they finished at the same time, and then both broke out into a heap of giggles as they headed towards the bathroom.
"So," Sydney reached under the counter in Cody's bathroom and lifted the crate of beauty supplies which was threatening to spill over with straightening and curling irons, heated curlers, hair donuts, brushes and combs, tons of makeup, clips, nail polishes-basically every beauty essential imaginable. The girls had gone crazy once shopping with one of Cody's credit cars. Not that Cody minded, of course. In his own words, he'd do anything for his "two favorite girls."
"Are you ready for this, girly?"
Gabi sat on the counter and Sydney eyed her carefully. Both girls were obsessed with cosmetology, and they took every opportunity to show it.
Sydney started with Gabi's hair. Patiently, she sectioned it and took each layered golden brown strand and wound it around the tip of the curling iron in turn until Gabi's locks were elaborate curls streaming like ribbons from a piñata down her back. Then she set to work on makeup, starting with foundation and primer and finishing with a flick of mascara. The dewy pink on Gabi's eyelids was sweet, but the lash of eyeliner was sassy and it was amazing how once again Sydney had summed up the girl's elaborate personality using only makeup.
Then, Gabi got to work on Sydney. She clipped a large section of Sydney's blonde locks above her head and started to work the straightening iron through each lock until Sydney's hair was perfectly shoulder length and stock straight. After using a large array of bronzers and powders, she lined Sydney's blue eyes brazenly and then only added a smidgen of smoky eye-shadow, and a lot of mascara. The affect was striking and made Sydney look a little prettier and a lot more intimidating.
They were about to slip into their outfits when a knock came at Cody's bedroom door.
"Girls? Are you in there?" It was Cody.
"Yeah," Sydney called back. "We're getting ready."
"Oh, well could you hurry up? Jake and I need to get in there real quick."
"Sucks for you!" Gabi called back instantly at the mere mention of Jake's name. Sydney shot her a furtive glance at her with a slight shake of her head.
They were both silent, and then Jake spoke up.
"You are aware this is Cody's house, right?"
"Was I talking to you?"
"Excuse me? There's no need to be rude."
"I'm sorry, what was that? I couldn't hear you over the irony of you butting into a conversation and then having the nerve to call me rude," Gabi glared at the door, her fists curled tight.
"Well maybe your ears are clogged from blowing too many raspberries. That was really mature, by the way, I applaud you," Jake said back smoothly, clearly enjoying the battle of wits and temper between him and his ex-girlfriend.
"Maybe," she said snappishly. "Or maybe I just don't listen to what comes out from douchebags' mouths."
"Another point for Gabi's maturity factor," Jake said, clearly getting annoyed now.
"I never claimed to be mature! Because I'm not, Jake, and I don't pretend to be something I'm not so people will like me better."
"Well maybe if you did you'd have more friends."
"I have all the friends I need, and stop talking to me since you're not one of them."
"Thank God for that," Jake mumbled, and a pair of heavy footsteps walked away from the door.
"Mate, wait!" Another pair of footsteps, and Sydney and Gabi were alone again.
"So I was thinking the coral dress-" Gabi began, but Sydney gave her a look and she broke off.
"You can't pick fights like that with him if you want to show him how much you moved on," Sydney said, laying a patient hand on Gabi's shoulder.
"He so started it," she began, but then sighed as she resigned. "You're right, Syd. But he just makes me so…so mad!"
"I know, I know," Sydney shushed her, comforting as always. "But you can't let him see that he does that to you. I want you to go out tonight and paint on your best smile and show him that he means nothing. Show him you can have fun without him, show him he means absolutely nothing to you, okay?"
"Okay," Gabi nodded, but inside she was a mess. She had never been a good liar…
And even worse, now she was lying to herself.
As though fate were laughing at them, the seating for dinner that night at the fancy Italian restaurant in West LA on the beach was almost too uncomfortable to be a coincidence.
On one side of the table were Mr. and Mrs. Simpson, Tom, and Alli and Sydney. Cody was at the turn, with Sydney on his left and Rosalina on his right. Next to Rosalina was Jake, and beside him sat Gabi with a clearly annoyed look on her otherwise pretty face.
"So Cody," Rosalina giggled and scooched closer to him with misty green eyes exactly the same shade as the jaded emerald dress she was wearing, with a lace-up back and pretty geometrical cuts that exposed large amounts of her tan skin. She rested one of her hands on his shoulder, clearly liking the feeling of his firm muscle under her icy fingers. "On a scale of one to ten, how much have you missed me?"
"You know what?" Sydney leaned forward with a clearly forced smiling, taking Cody's other arm. "I have never heard Cody mention you, Rosalina. Not once."
"Well some of the more precious memories are kept personal," Rosalina never tore her eyes away from Cody, her face glowing.
Cody laughed awkwardly and shot a panicked glance at Gabi to get him out of this situation, as she normally had his back for things like that. But she only raised one of her perfectly waxed brows and glanced pointedly at Jake and then back at Cody with the slight shake of her head.
He was on his own.
"So," he said loudly. "Jake's a really successful model now, guys. Did everyone know that?"
Jake looked up a little, stunned.
"I knew that," Alli spoke up, leaning across the table with a little smile on her lips. "Jake Tweets me all the time. We're going to do a shoot together, aren't we Jake?"
"Yes," he nodded with a little smile. He had always been tolerant but flattered at Alli's little school-girl crush on him. "Coco from back home is going to shoot us for one of her movies too."
"Ooh, can I be in it?" Rosalina, her arm winding itself around Cody's now like a thorn to a rose spoke up. "I love Coco, we went to eighth grade together!"
"Me too," Cody smiled. "She's so good at what she does."
"Totally," Jake grinned. "It can be like an Australian thing, we can all do it together. GCF, right?"
"Right," Alli laughed, leaning forward. "Coco and I can be like, the editors or whatever! Oh, you know what? Maybe we could do like a couple's shoot! Coco can be with Cody, we can find someone for Rosie, and I can be with you Jake!"
The younger girl's face was lit up with excitement.
"Actually, I'd rather be with my girlfriend," Jake grinned at Alli, trying hard not to hurt her feelings. "Als, you know Coco and I are a thing now right?"
Gabi caught Sydney's eye fuming, but Sydney was having her own problems. She was clutching Cody's arm so tightly it must have been bruising, but he didn't seem to notice.
"So," Jake turned to Gabi with an amused smile on his face. He knew exactly what he was doing. "Are you seeing anyone, Gab?"
"A little bit of everyone," she said, casting her eyes down. "Committed relationships are for boring people."
"Hey," Cody caught her eye with an astonished look. "Are you calling me boring?"
"Seriously," Rosalina giggled, and she slipped herself under Cody's arm then wrapped it around her waist. "Just because me and Cody are serious doesn't mean we're boring."
"You and Cody?" Sydney repeated blankly. Rosalina glanced at her with a dirty look on her face, as though Sydney were something she had found on the bottom of her shoe.
"Yes," Rosalina said. "Hasn't he told you? We've been dating for years, since before he got famous."
Sydney gritted her teeth.
Note: Sorry I didn't update Thursday, I have a good excuse though! I had to go to the emergency room. Nothing serious, but I was there for a while and it screwed up my writing schedule. Review,143!