Nina asked Coby to meet her for a lunch date at a local bar by the beach. For her 'lunch' seems to be more about drinking than food. She engages him in idle chat about her job, and Coby begins to think this is going nowhere.
"So, I have about 20 minutes until I have to be back at the office," Nina says, putting down her empty glass as she gets up, "Shall we get to it?"
"Get to what?" Coby asks. She had plenty of opportunities to order food if she actually meant for this to be lunch...
"Sex," she says simply, as though it's the most obvious thing in the world.
Not that Coby has anything against meaningless sex, but this comes as a surprise, like life has suddenly turned into one of those pornos where a guy is just delivering pizza, only to be jumped on by the hot babe who ordered it. "You want...now?"
She takes his had and leads him under the pier. "Hurry up," she says, "I have to be back at work." She claws at him desperately, wanting something, Coby is not sure what. He just knows he might as well be a cock on a stick; this isn't about him, it could be any guy. When she heads back to her car without another word or a backward glance, he can only wonder if she got what she was after.
"I'm bored. I want to go out somewhere," Stina says, pulling Rainier's attention away from his computer.
"I can't go out now, I have to work," he answers.
Stina sighs dramatically, "You're always working. You work at work, you work at home. Or maybe you work at home so much because when you're at work you're really fucking your secretary."
"No, I'm not fucking Nina," Rainier laughs, "There's too many legal issues involved when you start fucking your employees. Seriously, Stina, I have a lot of work to do. This game will make our company. But we have to get it made, first."
Stina is not about to give up so easily, and gets between Rainier and his work by sitting on his lap. "What's that? It looks like one of those crappy beach bars Coby likes."
Rainier smiles, "That's exactly what I'm going for here," he says.
"What kind of game is this?" she asks, trying to be more involved with what's important to him. Rainier swivels his chair around and lifts her off his lap.
"I need to get back to work now," he says, not answering her question, "Come back later tonight."
Rejected by Rainier, Stina turns to Coby. But he's not home when she shows up at his apartment. Having nothing else to do, she decides to wait for him.
"You don't live here," the blonde girl says, coming out of building.
"I'm waiting for Coby," Stina explains, "He lives here."
So now they're ganging up on me, Coby thinks with a resigned sigh as he comes home to find the door barred by Hayley and Ti.
"Coby! Hi!" Hayley greets him brightly, "I was just going to the beach," she says, her voice suggesting he invite himself along. Since she kicked him out, he thought that was final, but she's been hanging around him whenever she sees him, probably expecting him to try to make it up with her. Coby has always been a bit careless about whose bed he falls into, but he doesn't set out to hurt anyone. And he knows getting back into this one's bed will just end badly, so he does his best to avoid her.
"Coby, I was just..." Stina starts to cut in.
"I'm sorry I'm late, Ti," he says, using a faked date with her to get away from Hayley, "Let's go upstairs. See you later Hayley," he waves at the blonde and gives her a friendly smile as he grabs Ti's arm and pulls her inside.
"Were you fucking that girl?" Ti giggles as the reach the second floor landing.
"I'm not talking about that," Coby says firmly as he unlocks his door.
"You got new furniture," Ti remarks, sitting beside him as he fires up a game. Coby figures she'll get around to telling him why she's here when she's ready.
"Yeah, with the money from your French guy's company, I was finally able to upgrade my shit. Real couches."
"What are you talking about?" Stina asks, "Why are you getting money from Rainier's company?"
Coby puts down the controller, "You don't know? They're doing a surfing simulation. I'm a licensed character in the game. They're even naming the game after me."
Just an hour ago she was looking at the game in development, asking Rainier questions about it, but he never told her Coby was involved. "Rainier never tells me anything," she says, and her eyes start to tear up, "He never has time for me. Sometimes it's like I don't exist."
"You deserve better than that," Coby says, wrapping a comforting arm around her shoulders, "Why do you even stay with him?"
"I don't know," she sighs, "He's just so...when he actually is paying attention to me, it's like I'm the center of the universe. He makes me feel special."
"And didn't I do that for you?" Coby asks.
"Yeah, you did," she sighs, "You still do."
"I want you," she moans, clambering up onto his lap, locking her lips against his. And it feels so good, so right to be with her. But at the same time, it's just wrong, and he pushes her away.
"I can't play this game with you anymore, Ti," he says, his voice hoarse as he keeps himself from crying. He's not going to cry in front of her. "This has to stop."
Stina slumps to the floor, ever dramatic, "Coby, please," she gasps, "I don't want to lose you."
"You broke up with me! What did you think would happen?"
"I don't know, I just..." Stina trails off, not sure what to say.
"You are just too fucked up, you know that? And being around you just fucks with my head. You have to go."
"We can't even be friends?" she asks as he leads her to his door.
"Not the way it's been between us, Ti. I'm still too tangled up in you, and I need to break it off. Unless you want to leave your other guy and come back to me?"
"I...I can't do that," she says.
"Then it's over. Go," he says, allowing himself one last caress before he shuts the door behind her.
Stina leaves Coby place to go cry on Eleanor's shoulder. Except, of course, Eleanor's shoulder is already occupied. It's impossible to get her at moment where she's not with Justin. So instead of crying, she joins them for dinner and bitches about Rainier's inattention and being kicked out of Coby's apartment.
"I don't understand," Eleanor interposes, "Which one of them do you actually want to be with?"
"Well, both of them, I guess," Stina says.
Justin shoots Eleanor a look, expressing his deep contempt for her friend. Luckily for them, Gavin comes in at that moment, happy to see Stina and tell her his big news.
She follows her ex-boyfriend up to his room.
"I've been cast as Dream in Carey Burden's upcoming Sandman movie," Gavin tells her, remembering how fond she was of Gaiman's Sandman comic series. As he expected, Stina squeals with delight at his news. "I was thinking you could help me practice my lines, since you know the material so well."
"I would be thrilled," Stina enthuses, "I'm so excited. It's like I'm getting to meet Dream in person."
Gavin laughs, "You already know me, Stina. You knew me before I was cast as Dream."
"Don''t spoil it!" she says, laughing with him, "Let me have my fangirl moment."
"Gavin, I just want to say, I'm sorry. About the way I broke up with you," she says softly when their laughter dies down, "I don't know why I did it either. Sometimes, I just get so..."
"I never understood it, either," he says, "I thought I was good to you."
"You were so good," Stina says, moving in close to him, caressing his arm. They sit together on the floor, wrapped in an embrace. Stina caresses his cheek, leans forward to kiss him.
"Stop," he says, pulling away, "I'm with Tori now. I can't do this."
Stina collapses, laying her head on his lap, exhausted from the rejection rodeo she's been riding in all day.
"I just want be loved. Why is that so hard?" she says, crying softly.
"You're the one who makes it hard, Stina," Gavin says, stroking her shoulder.
"I shouldn't have left you," she whispers.
"I'm not the one you want, and I think you know that," he says.