At first, I'm just confused. Emma's yelling at me in an expensive looking dress and when I first came into the living room, I'd seen the wine glass and the bottle next to it that I knew isn't a bottle for regular weekday drinking. Clearly she had planned some sort of surprise for me, and at first her anger of not knowing if I was dead alive seems reasonable - maybe Piper couldn't reach her, left a voicemail that Emma didn't listen to...
But then comes to comment about Piper, and all my understanding of the situation goes out of the window.
"Not this again." I groan, letting my head fall back. A bad choice on my part, because Emma explodes for a second time.
"Yes this again! So you were with her?!"
"Yes, I was." I say, trying to remain calm. This doesn't have to be a whole thing, if I could just... "My phone died. I spilled coffee on it, and the entire thing just crashed." As proof, I dig the thing out of my pocket and hand it to her. She doesn't take it. I roll my eyes and toss it on the couch instead. It feels that, with the discovery of where I've been, this is suddenly less about me disappearing and more about who I was with. "She asked me to come to the opening of this restaurant with her - let me talk." I snap, when I see she's about to interject me with more objections to Piper. Her mouth snaps shut, but her eyes spit fire. "I was hesitant, wanted to come home to you, and she convinced me, so I asked her if I could borrow her phone to call you."
"Didn't do a very good job at it, did you?" Emma snides, and I clench my jaw.
"She offered to do it for me." I continue, forcing myself to be calm. "She had your number, and we had to get going or we'd be late. She promised she would call you in the car. Maybe you missed it, maybe she left a voicemail that you swiped away too quickly - we tried contacting you."
"We?" Emma scoffs. "Is it we now? Because let me tell you, Lucien, I didn't get anything! No missed calls, no voicemails, not even a fucking text!" To prove her point, she shoves her phone into my face that does indeed show no call logs. "Your little friend didn't try to contact me in any way, and I'm guessing that was exactly her plan!"
"Oh, for fuck's sake." I roll my eyes again, half my body moving with it. "Can you stop it with the jealousy thing? Piper is just a friend, like I've told you a thousand times! Not every friendly girl is trying to get into my pants!"
"Not every girl, but she certainly is! You're just too stubborn to see it! Here she is, dragging you off to a restaurant and conveniently she's the only way for you to contact me! 'Oh, don't worry! I'll do it, boo!'" She immitates in a childish voice, then pretends to gag. "That's not just a coincidence, Lucien!"
"Oh, sure! She planned the whole fucking thing, she made me spill my coffee and she orchestrated for my phone to be there! You should hear yourself!" I throw my hands up, then squeeze them to fists and force two deep breaths on myself. "You know what, I'm not doing this. Fuck this. You cannot possibly be mad at me for being late when there was something happening that I didn't know about - because how the fuck would I take something in consideration if I didn't know it was happening?! - but you and I both know that this isn't about that in the slightest!" I turn around on my heels, and grab my coat that I had put over a chair of the dining table to dry out. "You could just be fucking happy for me that I made a friend that isn't out for money or fame, but no -" I turn back to her, and she's glaring at me just like I am at her. "Miss Emmeline Middleton has to play the fucking jealousy-card. For no reason at all, except that I'm spending time with her."
"Where are you going?" Emma demands.
"I'm on my way to elope with Piper Kent, marry her in a tiny church and drive off in the sunset with her." I snap. "I'm going for a bloody smoke. Or will you get jealous of cigarettes, too? Don't worry - I'll take our affair to the guestroom."

Emma doesn't follow me outside. More so, when I turn back to face the glass doors, the entire room has gone dark. She's gone to bed, and left me to myself. All the better. Anger is still seething in my veins. There is, however, regret as well. Of the fight in general, of some of the things I've said. There's a part of me that wants to go and apologise, but maybe tomorrow would be better for that - when we've both cooled down a bit.
Shivering from the cold and covered in snow, I head back inside. Frank is nowhere to be seen, so I'm guessing he's taken my place in the bed. Whatever. I grab my laptop, knowing that I won't be able to sleep if I don't talk to someone about this, and there's something that needs clearing up.
      "Boo, I'm so sorry. If I'd known this would happen..." Piper sounds and looks truly regretful in the video call. I'm on the bed - in the guestroom - with my laptop on my lap and my headphones in. The only light in the room comes from the screen.
"Don't be ridiculous." I wave it away. "This isn't your fault."
"Kinda feels like it, though... I just don't think it's fair that Emma flipped out on you like that. I mean, it's not like you could've known she had a surprise for you..."
"I know, that's what I said. There's something I wonder though... You said you'd call her."
"I did!" She says immediately. "She wouldn't pick up, so I left a voicemail."
When I explain that nothing showed up on Emma's phone, we go over the number together. It's almost entirely the same, except the last number, where Piper accidentally put a 5 instead of a 6. All a misunderstanding. I don't want to face Emma now, in the dead of night, but hopefully we can talk about it like adults tomorrow.
Piper, sensing my frustration still, quickly changes the subject from the fight to more lighthearted things, and for a while, until I've calmed down enough, we just chat.

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