@SiennaandEthanforever has commented on the pic: Rebound Fuck. I smile, pleased on some level that an outsider can identify us for what we are. Yet the smile is brittle, and I find that not all of me is pleased by the description, even though it’s accurate.
Like watching a train wreck happening before my eyes, I click back into the comments. There are one thousand and twenty-three.
He’ll never stay with her. He’s always loved Sienna.
Dude, Sienna’s engaged to @TheRealTomBanks didn’t you see?
Engaged...whatever. This is just to promote her album.
Sienna and Ethan are made for each other. Always have been, always will be.
I can’t look away. I click out of Twitter and load up a browser, and before I know what I’m doing my fingers corrupt my intent to remain uninvolved.
Ethan Ash + Sienna Di Giorgio.
I only have to type the ‘S’ of Sienna’s name before I’m prompted with the full name. I click and wait.
In seconds my screen is populated with articles, blogs and pictures. I click hungrily into the first blog. It’s by a popular blogger who runs a mostly benign site with occasionally mean-spirited posts about celebrities he’s taken it into his head to hate.
Apparently he hates Sienna. And loves Ethan. Which makes me smile again—more naturally this time. The photo on my screen was taken in broad daylight. They’re obviously fighting. She’s crying, but still looking like a beautiful porcelain doll, and Ethan is looking pissed off.
For a moment I let myself wonder what they were saying, what their fight was about. I can see that Ethan is tired and angry and frustrated and annoyed. I can imagine the roll of his voice as he implores her to be reasonable. I can hear him as though he were standing in front of me.
He looks exhausted, and I want to reach into the photo and smooth away his worries. It’s a silly fantasy—one that is out of place in our arrangement.
A shudder runs down my spine, reminding me of the way he dragged his lips down my back, nipping me at the base of my spine before rolling his tongue over the bite mark.
There are new photos of just Ethan, too. From today? Ethan stepping out of the hotel, baseball cap tugged low, covering his eyes. Head bent. Even in the still images I can see the swagger in his step.
Desire throbs in my gut.
I scroll to a concert video and tap to watch it without realising.
It goes full-screen and I press the volume higher, then lean back in my chair to watch. It’s from the start of a concert. He’s walking on stage and the crowd is going wild. The noise is deafening. He raises his hands in the air in greeting and whoever is filming lifts the camera to the big screen, so that I can see his smile as he lifts his guitar.
He slips the strap over his head, turns to face someone just off stage and nods, then strums the guitar. Once. Loudly.
The crowd erupts.
‘How you doing, New York?’ he calls, and the crowd’s screaming is louder. ‘We’re gonna have some fun tonight.’
He launches into a song—one of his earlier hits. I am mesmerised. I watch the whole thing twice, my heart throbbing, my body craving, and then my eyes lift to the tulips.
Tonight can’t come soon enough.
* * *
‘I’m impressed your attention span’s lasted this long. She must be really in good in bed.’
I stare at the screen in frustration.
‘Is there a reason you’re Face Timing me, Sienna? Other than to show more than a natural interest in my sex life?’
She swishes her hair over one shoulder—a gesture that used to drive me crazy. I can imagine the way it will smell, like flowers and vanilla. You know that weird way smells have of binding themselves to your core memories and triggering them whenever prompted?
‘We were together a lifetime, Ash. Am I not allowed to care about who you’re with now?’
I laugh. An instant dismissal. ‘Not really.’
I unbutton my shirt, my eyes on hers mockingly. There is a part of me that knows how fucked up this is—that acknowledges I’m playing with fire and that someone’s going to get badly burned.
But it won’t be me. And I won’t let it be Ally.
‘So?’ Sienna slowly runs her eyes down my body, her admiration something she doesn’t bother to hide. ‘Is it serious?’