Chapter 11

Friendships and Betrayals

"Wassup?" Safire asked Flow as she walked into her room.

"What are you doing in my room?" asked Flow, her voice spiking with anger.

"Clive told me to come in here. He said that he and Lily needed to have a little chat. I assumed you knew."

"Knew what? About them talking and leaving me to deal with you? No, I had no idea about that."

"Oh, well, I wasn't talking about that..." Safire's voice trailed off. She was like a fisher, and she was baiting the line now. Soon she would be reeling in the fish.

"What were you talking about?" asked Flow.

"I don't know... if they didn't tell you already..."

"Tell me what?" Flow demanded. "What didn't they tell me?"

"About their... relationship."

"You're a liar. Lily and Clive aren't in a relationship. The reason why Lily asked Clive to come in to her room and stuff was because she was test—" Flow broke off her sentence. "I don't have to tell you."

"Tell me that it was all a test? A test to see if Clive was trustworthy?" She laughed. "Well, I can tell you right now, Clive is not to be trusted. While you were doing who knows what, he and Lily were having a private make-out session. Betchya didn't know about that."

"Liar!" Flow shouted. Tears were tracing lines down her face now. "How could you lie like that and feel nothing? You're heartless!"

"Oh ho! But I'm not lying. How do I know, you ask? The vents. You'd be surprised at how far the noise carries through them." She pulled out a little recorder. "I even recorded it, in case you hadn't heard about it and didn't believe me."

"Where did you get that?" Flow demanded.

"Does it matter?" she asked, moments before poking the play button. The distinct sound of kissing filled the room.

"How do you know that that was them?" Flow asked, feeling dizzy.

"Does it matter? I think that it's pretty clear that with you out of the picture while they were looking for you that they... how do you say? Got together."

"N-no. That's n-not t-true." Flow bit her lip. "They couldn't... how could they...?"

"I don't know, Hon. I don't know." Safire slipped a comforting arm around Flow's shoulder, a new plan erupting. "How can you stand to be around them? Are you going to bring it up with them?"

"I-I honestly don't know. I don't know if I can confront them, after they've hurt me so much."

"You know, if you and I were friends, I would never hurt you like this," Safire assured her.

"Really?" Flow asked. Safire couldn't believe how gullible this girl was after going through a traumatic experience. It was almost too easy.

"Yeah, I promise." She turned away, putting the next faze of her plan into action. "You know, I always thought of how awesome it would be to have you as a friend. But with my boss trying to get to you, and the past... well, I just didn't think it would work out.

"I'm sure it's hard, what with Clive cheating on you with your best friend. I'm sure you could use someone to help you past this." She paused, waiting for Flow to take her hint.

"Yeah, I could..." said Flow, the idea finally seeming to sink in. "But who needs them? You and I, we could be a team! Well, as long as you promise to not take me to your boss, or burn me again." The very mention of the burn brought the pain roaring back to her arm. She shivered.

"Deal," Safire said to Flow, sticking out her hand.

Flow gratefully took it. "Friends?" she asked.


"Lily, we need to talk," said Clive. Lily was finally strong enough to get out of bed, and when Clive saw her walking, he had grabbed her and pulled her into a utility closet. "What you did earlier was completely out of line."

"What do you mean?" Lily asked innocently.

"You know exactly what I mean!" Clive snarled. "You shouldn't have kissed me. You're Flow's best friend, and I'm Flow's boyfriend. Don't you realize how much this would hurt her if she found out?"

Lily's lower lip trembled. "Y-your right. I should have known better..." she sat down on a bucket and sobbed. "I-I'm so s-sorry, Clive. I knew as soon as I mentioned the test that it was wrong. I shouldn't have—"

"Wait. What do you mean, 'the test'?"

"You mean Flow hasn't told you yet?"

"Told me what?"

"I'll take that as a no." She sighed. "Flow wasn't sure if she could trust you, you know, because of the whole gas station phone call. So, she was trying to think of a test to assure her that you were trustworthy, when an idea popped into my head. And, that idea actually went in to action when she said okay. You know the outcome..." she paused. "But, what you don't know was how it was supposed to be. I was supposed to get you to kiss me. I would try all kinds of stuff. If you said no, you would be deemed trustworthy. But if you said yes and kissed me, well, I don't know what she would have done. But I used it for my own gain. Oh, Clive, I'm so sorry!" She threw her arms around him, tears racing down her cheeks. "I-I told her that you didn't kiss me. That you had passed."

He rubbed her back soothingly. "You know we have to tell her the truth, right?"

Lily pulled back, her eyes widening. "Are you crazy?! She'll hate us both!"

"I have a feeling she'll forgive us," Clive said. "She may be mad, but wouldn't that be better than trying to hide it?"

"Not really."

He laughed. "Well, I'm going to tell her, so you'd better do it at the same time. It will be easier to do it all at once than to wait." He held out his hand. "Ladies first."

Lily laughed weakly. They strode out, hand in hand, as nothing more than friends.

"You remember the plan?" asked Safire. She and Flow were lying in wait outside the hotel.

"Sure do," Flow assured her. "Do you?" she joked.

Safire laughed. "Yeperdidooda!"

"Go in, get the keys, come back out, and steal Clive's car. Piece of cake."

"You are correct. It will be like taking candy from a baby. Ha-ha!" She pretend-ed to laugh diabolically. Flow joined in moments later. "Now go!" Safire said, gently pushing her towards the door.

Flow sauntered through the front door and to the elevator. Pressing the third floor button, she proceeded to wait for the elevator to slowly come to a halt and the doors to squeak open. She would have to be fast, so as not to run into Clive or Lily. That was just what she needed: to walk in on another kissing session. Ugh, those two make me sick, she thought. She quietly listened on the other side of her and Lily's door. Sounds like the coast is clear.

Quietly slipping her card out of her pocket, she swiped it through the electronic card reader. The door clicked open. She quietly slipped inside, carefully closing the door and latching it. Just in case anyone tries to get in here, she assured herself without words. Picking up her suitcase, a thought struck her. Clive's keys are in his room! She mentally slapped herself in the face. "Wait a minute, Clive came in here earlier with Lily to..." she needn't finish the sentence. Looking around, she spotted Clive's car keys on the nightstand. "Aha!" she cried out triumphantly.

"Did you hear that?" she heard a voice outside the door say. Ducking low, she fell to the floor and flattened herself.

"Yeah," said another voice, unmistakeably Lily's. The other voice must have been Clive's. "Didn't you say that you left Safire in Flow's care? You don't think...?"

There was a bang on the door. "Flow? Flow! Are you in there?!" Clive yelled. He kept pounding on the door, but it didn't budge. Finally, with a sharp blow, the lock broke and the two love birds came barging in.

"Where are you, Flow?" they called.

"S-she's probably just in your room, Clive. Or maybe she went down for lunch and took Safire with her. Come on... let's check. We have to find her and tell her," and with that the door closed.

Flow's expression hardened. "Tell me what? That you two are together? Not a chance I'm sticking around for that," she whispered. She quickly stood up, grabbed her suitcase, and looked toward the door. "It's not safe to go out yet. It would probably be best if I went through the window."

As she advanced toward the window, she couldn't help but shiver at the prospect of climbing out a three story window. Heights had never been her favorite thing, but right now it didn't seem as though she had another option. She sighed. It was now or never.

Remembering that Lily—for whatever reason—had rope in her suitcase, she grabbed it, tied her suitcase to one end of the rope, then dropped it over the window ledge. Now on to the issue of what to tie the other end to. Hm...

At that exact moment, the door to her and Lily's room opened. It wasn't swung open, so she assumed that whoever was coming in hadn't any idea that she was in there. Lily looked up and gasped when she saw Flow.

"There you are!" she exclaimed breathlessly. "Clive and I were looking for you. Where were you?"

"Like you care," Flow muttered.

"What? Anyway, Clive and I wanted to tell you something. When you wanted to test Clive—"

"I know what happened," Flow said bitterly. "You don't have to go into details."

"You know?" Lily asked in shock. "For how long?"

"What do you care?" Flow snapped.

"And where's Safire," asked an alarmed Lily.

As if it wasn't bad enough that Lily was there, Clive walked in, apparently not noticing Flow. "She wasn't in my room or in the cafeteria. I even looked in the pool..." Looking up, he had almost the same reaction that Lily had had. "Flow!" he exclaimed. He glanced at Lily, but frowned when he saw her pale face. "What's going on?"

"Why don't you tell me?" Flow demanded. "When were you planning on telling me about you and Lily? Or were you even planning on telling me at all?"

"What do you mean?" Clive asked, looking genuinely puzzled.

"Oh, don't pretend you don't know."

"She knows about what happened during the test..." Lily explained.

"Oh, Flow," he said, stepping toward her, his arms outstretched.

"Get away from me!" she yelled.

He instantly drew back.

"Where's Safire?!" Lily demanded, her voice on the edge of hysteria.

"What? Safire's gone!?" Clive eyes were wide as he stared at Flow.

"Let's just say that I found a new friend," Flow snarled. "And she's better than either of you ever were."

"Flow, listen to me," began Clive. "You can't trust Safire. You know that."

"And I can't trust you either! It may sound crazy, but I actually loved you, Clive. You were the best thing that ever happened to me."

"What do you mean, 'were'? Flow, what are you saying?"

Flow inched toward the windowsill. She spotted a puddle near the bottom of the building. It would be a long shot, but... "I know about you and Lily, Clive. It's over."

Noticing Flow's decreasing length from the window, Clive abruptly turned invisible. The next thing Flow knew, he had her arms behind her back, keeping her from getting to the window.

"Let me go!" she hollered.

"Don't even think about it, Flow. Jumping out of the window isn't the answer. I won't let you hurt yourself."

"Don't you think you've already hurt me enough?" Spotting a glass of water on the nightstand, she thought of a plan.

Seeing her friends eyes falling on the glass, Lily yelled, "Clive, the water on the stand!" But before she could reach the water, it was flying out of the glass and rushing into Clive's eyes.

"Ag!" Clive release his grip, rubbing his eyes furiously. Flow found her opening. Elbowing him in the ribcage, she ran to the window and jumped.

"Flow!" she heard Lily's fleeting voice say. Free-falling now, Flow frantically tried to wield the water into some kind of a safety net. Glancing up at the window, she saw Lily with her hand over her mouth and Clive reaching a hand down to her, all in vain. The net wasn't working, and if she didn't slow her descent, she would be squashed like a dropped... squash.

"Aah!" she screamed, bracing herself for impact.

Feeling heat envelope her body, Flow looked up in agony at Safire, who had wielded a tornado of flame at the puddle, resulting in hot air that made Flow rise a couple of feet into the air. The hot air subsided, and Flow found herself only falling two feet to the now charred grass. She sighed with relief.

"Come on, hotshot. Free-falling from a window isn't the best idea, just as future reference," she joked.

"Flow, don't do it!" screamed Lily.

"Don't go with her," Clive warned. "She'll just turn around and stab you in the back."

"Like you did?" Flow yelled back.

"What are you talking about?" Clive asked in an exasperated.

"You know exactly what. Now goodbye. And don't come after me because I don't ever want to see you again!" And with that, she stormed away. She was sure that Clive and Lily were rushing down the stairs now, so she said to Safire, "We'd better get to the car quick."

"Okay. Toss me the keys and get your bag. Quickly!" After chucking the keys at Safire, Flow ran and got her smoldering bag. Thankfully, only the bag was burnt. All of her clothes were still in one piece.

Scrambling to the car, she hopped in and it screeched in protest as it flew out the parking lot.

"Goodbye," Flow said below a whisper, "and good riddance."

Where you expecting that? Talk about an interesting chapter! By the way, sorry I took so long to post this. I've been really busy, especially when I have four other stories to update. Thanks for being patient, though!

Also, I have the next chapter planned out, but after that it's kind of just what comes to me. If you have any suggestions for the story, please tell me, and I'll consider them. I promise.

Comments are appreciated! Please R&R! *gives puppy-dog eyes* Please? O-O*