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The taxi pulls up outside the Upper West Side home of Harper and Sloane, the girls thank the driver, pay his fare and tip him the requisite twenty percent before hoping out of the car.
‘Here we are.’ Bea says at they walk to the door of the house on the corner of 91st street that wraps around two streets. A beautiful prewar building facing the park. Fitz and Sloane’s home occupies half the block with an underground garages and a roof garden.
‘Yep. Here we are.’ The doorman lets them in having recognized them. ‘Bea, do not fly off the handle. Do not jump down her throat because she will not thank you for it.’
‘I simply want to know that Bells is fine and everything is fine with her.’
‘And we couldn’t wait for her to answer the phone because…?’
‘Now is not the time. We’ve flown eight hours across the pond so let’s do this, don’t be a Debbie downer.’
‘Says melodramatic Mellie.’
Bea rolls her eyes, ‘press the bell will you.’
‘I’ll do the talking.’
‘No you won’t I’ll-’
‘No, you most certainly won’t you’ll just piss her off from the start. Just be quiet.’ Serena presses the doorbell. She is nervous, Sloane won’t be happy to see them she is going to bite their head off. She will most likely not let them in. She will-
‘Hello.’ Fitz, not the steward, answers the door.
‘Hi! Hiiiii.’ Serena and Fitz look at Bea who looks like a deer caught in headlights with the greeting.
‘Hi. How are you?’
‘Good. How are you?’
‘Likewise. Come in.’ Fitz stands aside to let them in.
‘How was the flight?’
‘Good. Agitating but good.’
‘Were you expecting us?’
‘Kinda sorta. I knew when you didn’t hear from Sloane you’d take drastic measures. You guys hungry.’ He wouldn’t dare put his brothers-in-law in trouble, there is enough of that floating around.
‘Where is Sloane?’ Bea asks.
‘She’s not here.’
‘Well where is she?’
‘She’s not here Bea.’ Fitz shrugs, he and Beatrix have never gotten into it so she might not like this side to him, but when it comes to sides, he is firmly on his wife’s and she will not take kindly to this visit.
‘Beatrix.’ He dropped the full name in a tone too. ‘Sloane is not here.’
‘Can we wait for her?’ Serena pipes up. She knows where this is headed and sister or not, Beatrix needs to step back.
‘Why won’t you tell us where our sister is?’
‘My wife is not here right now. You are welcome to wait for her and that’s all there is to it.’
‘This is ridiculous you obviously know where she is and what’s going on, so why won’t you just tell us?’
‘Because your dramatics is not what she needs right now.’
‘This concerns our sister.’
‘Sloane will tell you everything when she gets back.’
Bea sucked her teeth and Serena gives her a warning look. She wouldn’t be surprised if Fitz asks them to leave. She expects her brother-in-law won’t do that because he is decent person, but man! Bea doesn’t make being nice to her easy sometimes.
‘You’re welcome to wait for her. The chef will give you something to eat. I’ll be upstairs in my office.’ Fitz won’t tell them to leave, they have enough on their hands without him being the nasty brother-in-law. For all her difficulty Bea is just worried about her sister, so he will give her a pass here.
‘What the hell is wrong with you?’ Serena rounds on her sister when it is just the two of them.
‘Nothing. He knows something and he is not telling us.’
‘Yes, he does. But Sloane will tell us when she returns. You have to get your shit together Bea, this is not your house, I don’t care if Sloane is our sister, you will show some respect in her house, more important to her husband. Don’t push it. Fitz is the one who found Bella, he is not one who put a gun to her head and told her to do what she did. He is simply protecting his wife and you have to respect that.’ Sloane lands back in the city a little after ten pm. Happy to be home, happy to be with her love. All she wants is a quiet night in with Fitz; forget the drama with Bella. Forget her family. Forget everyone. She has had enough for now and all she wants to do is run and hide with her husband. She missed him so much. She didn’t get a chance to speak with him because in typical Sloane fashion she forgot to charge her phone so it died after wheels up. She spoke to him briefly on the flight back but nothing since because the reception was sketchy and she doesn’t like talking on planes, she hates flying enough as it is, much as she has to do it for her work.
‘We’re here Mrs Fitzgerald.’
‘Thank you Marshall. Have a good evening and my love to the family.’
‘Yes ma’am and to you.’ She almost skipped into the house because she cannot wait to see Fitz. She’ll call her sisters in the morning to tell them all about Bella. Because it’s gonna be all about Bella. Tonight however it is going to be all about her and her husband getting back lost time and- ‘what in the hell are you doing here!?’ She walks into the living room ready to collapse on Fitz whom she thought she’d find on the couch waiting up for her.
‘Oh hi sis. Remember us? Your sisters whom you left high and dry, not even a return phone call.’ Bea is all syrupy but everyone knows Bea in this tone means nothing but trouble.
‘What are you doing here? Where’s Fitz?’
‘Hi.’ Fitz appears behind Sloane. From that look in her eyes, she looks about ready to murder someone. Talk about a welcoming committee where you didn’t ask for one.
‘What are they doing here?’ Sloane asks Fitz.
‘We came because you wouldn’t take our calls!’ Bea says, enough of the bullshit. Their sister did a foolish thing that has everyone up in arms. Why is she the only one taking it seriously? ‘You know why we’re here. You go AWOL don’t take-’
‘Are you crazy?’ Sloane’s tone is menacing.
‘Have you lost your fucking mind?’ Oh man. In this mood Sloane is the most terrifying person to cross. Fitz can see the explosion from a mile away.
‘I haven’t, maybe you have going God knows where without telling us-’
‘No, Serena I have had it up to here with Bea and her bullshit. I would expect it from her, not you. Both of you get the fuck out of my house and don’t come back here.’
‘We’re not going anywhere until we have answers.’
‘Fine. I’m calling the police and reporting you idiots for trespassing.’
‘WHAT!?’ Serena has never seen Sloane this angry and it was always going to be at Bea because her sister knows no respect for boundaries.
‘You’re mad. You are stack raving mad. You may be my sisters but none of that gives you the right to come to my house and harass my husband for something he has nothing to do with. You will leave my house or I will have you arrested for trespassing. You think I am kidding, watch me.’
‘Sloane, stop.’ Fitz says gently, he knows she is stressed, and tired and all she wanted to do was come home and relax before dealing with these two.
‘Sloane please don’t call the police.’ Serena pleads. This was such a bad idea.
‘Why would you call the police on your sisters?’
‘Because you are driving me insane that why! Get out of my house! Get the hell out!’
Fitz calmly moves his wife into the side room, away from her sisters and she immediately breaks down in tears. Sloane doesn’t know why she is crying but she felt like she needed a good cry from the mad twenty four hours she’s had.
‘Are you happy now?’ Serena asks on Beatrix, she too now very angry ‘is this what you wanted?’
‘No I didn’t-’
‘That’s your problem Bea you don’t stop to think about other people you have this need to jump off and there you have it. Let’s go.’
‘But… where are we going to go?’ Bea’s regret is dawning on her.
‘I don’t know but there are plenty hotels in this town and we’ll have to find one or better still let’s just go home.’
‘I want to apologise.’
‘It’s too late for that.’
‘Serena… I’m sorry I really fucked up didn’t I?’
‘Yes you did. I tried to tell you but you wouldn’t listen it’s always your way Bea. Head first. Let’s go before she actually calls the police because we don’t have a leg to stand on and I am not ready to stop being an attorney. Come on.’ Serena shoves Bea gently towards the door. She wouldn’t put it past Sloane to follow through on her threat to call the police on them. In that mood anything is possible. The two sisters are about to get in a taxi outside the house when Fitz stops them.
‘Where are you going?’
‘We don’t want to get arrested.’ Serena says, she looks so sorry.
‘You’re not going to get arrested. Come on, you’ll stay here.’
‘She’s not gonna call the police at least not today.’
‘Fitz I’m really sorry. I… don’t know what came over me, but I am so sorry.’ Bea looks even sorrier.
‘I know, Bells has everyone in a tizzy about everything so I understand. Come back in. Your bedrooms are all set’
‘She’s gonna kill us isn’t she?’
‘Yeah… Bea first though.’ Fitz laughed and that makes Serena giggle. Bea is trying to walk her way back from the cliff she put everyone on. Man she needs to stop and think sometimes. Make that all the time.