Nikolas narrowed his eyes, taking her arm and pulling her to him. He thought he saw fear in her eyes. He knew something was off. "Why do you care so much about Helena's feelings all of a sudden? What are you trying to pull?"
"Pull? What are you talking about?" Gia asked, panic welling up. Did he know? She yanked her arm away, trying to laugh. "Why are you acting so strangely?"
"You're the one who's acting strangely. After your first meeting with Helena, you damned her to hell. Now, you're her champion?"
"I am not her champion. I just thought you should go to the party. Parties, in case you hadn't noticed, are fun. You remember fun, don't you. The opposite of the sad, boring, moping you do all the time."
"I hadn't realized," Nikolas said tensing, "that I was such a drag to be around."
"I didn't mean it like that. I know you're grieving, but it is not a crime to be un-sad for like five minutes."
"Who do you think?" she said, moving to place her hand on his shoulder. "So, are you going to go? Did I mention that I love a party?"
"Yes, you did."
"Did I also mention that I have always wanted to go to some big swank gala like the one Helena's throwing?" Gia asked, quickly shifting the conversation towards victory.
"No, that's a new one. Is that why you're pushing this idea so much? You want to go?"
"Duh, genius! I'm pulling out every stupid reason I can think of. All of that family matters crap and the Helena and her feelings drivel. I was just hoping you would want to take me...to show me off to all of your high society friends. But," she said, her voice changing, taking on an insecure edge, "that idea never crossed your mind. I wonder why...oh wait, I already know. You don't want me there..."
Nikolas was shocked. How could she think he was ashamed of her? "Gia, no-"
"It's all right, Nikolas. I understand. I probably wouldn't fit in...some girl from Brooklyn hob-nobbing with your Grandma's crusty friends." Gia felt horrible for manipulating him. She knew that Nikolas loved her and was not ashamed of her. It killed her to watch the guilt in his eyes as she rambled on.
"It's not like that! I would be the envy of every man there if I had you on my arm." He pulled her close to him. "If you want to go, then we'll go."
"I don't want to force you to do something you don't want to do." I'm going to hell, Gia thought to herself.
"If it's what you want, then I want it, too."
Gia leaned forward to hug him. "Let's stay in, Nikolas. Liz and Lucky won't miss us if we don't show up."
"We're going!" he laughed, steering her towards the door. He picked up her purse and keys on their way out.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Gia stood in front of the floor length mirror in the bathroom at the Port Charles Grille. She knew that Nikolas' brother must have arrived by now, but she was not anxious to go out there and have to face them.
She left the bathroom, entering the dining hall. As she moved through the tables, a hand reached out to grab her arm. She looked down to see Helena sitting at a table.
"Gia! How wonderful to run into you."
"Let me go, Helena. Nikolas will see us."
"He won't. He's very preoccupied with his brother. I just wanted to applaud you on your manipulations. It was very entertaining the way you persuaded my grandson to attend my party."
Gia yanked her arm back. "This is you cementing the fact that you are listening to my every word, watching my every move, right? Okay, I get it. You're in control."
"So wise of you to accept that so soon. It will make this much easier on all of us."
"I promised you that I would come through. He'll be at the-" Gia stopped abruptly. When she spoke again, her voice was angry and indignant, "I don't care what you think! You will not keep Nikolas and me apart!"
Helena was confused by the shift in the conversation until she heard Elizabeth Webber's voice behind her.
"Leave her alone, Helena. Or I will be forced to throw you out of here."
Helena stood to face both girls. "Elizabeth, my aren't you forceful. I'm sure Lucky absolutely loves this new side of you. Puffed up and delusional."
Elizabeth went to stand by Gia's side. "You're the one who is delusional if you think you can keep dictating Nikolas' life. He loves Gia. That's his decision. Why don't you stay out of it?"
"Yes, this definitely is a new side of you. I'm shaking in my designer boots," she replied dryly. "We'll finish this conversation later, Gia." Helena took her purse and left the restaurant.
"I hate that woman! Was she sticking her nose in where it doesn't belong?" Elizabeth asked.
"Something like that," Gia grumbled, wondering how she was going to be able to smile when her world was dissolving around her. "You defended me to her just now. Why?"
Elizabeth averted her eyes. "I guess," she started slowly, "I...don't hate you enough to let Helena walk all over you. I know what's like to be cornered by her. Not fun.."
"Since when did you decided that you didn't want me tortured and beheaded?"
"Since a year and two months after Nikolas decided he loved you."
Gia smirked, "Elizabeth Webber! Are you saying that I am not the an evil leach stuck on Nik's back?"
"No!..okay, yeah, I guess I am. But don't you dare tell anyone! I'd never live it down."
"What are you going to do if I tell? Give me some of what you were promising to Helena?"
"Count on it!"
"I'm shaking in my designer boots," Gia replied, mocking Helena's earlier
words. Both girls started giggling as they made their way through the tables to
their respective boyfriends.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
End of chapter Eight, Please e-mail any feedback by clicking on the mailbox below :)