Chapter 106 Quashing The Rumors
The moment I got to the parking lot, Nicholas called me. “Hey, my fans won’t let me go, so I can’t come over. Can you wait for me at my car?”
I went to his car and waited for ten minutes before Nicholas came over in a hurry, then he unlocked the car. “Get in, on the double.”
I noticed a bunch of people looking around when we were getting out of the place. “Fans of yours?”
“Yeah. Almost couldn’t get away from them.”
Nicholas drove toward South Hill from the hospital. “How’s he looking?”
I kept quiet for a moment. “Great. Someone’s attending to him 24/7. He’s like a king now.”
“What about you then?”
I smiled. “I’m doing great. Just wondering how much gift money I should prepare for the wedding. Can’t give them too little, or it’d be too embarrassing, but can’t give them too much either or I’d be broke.”
“Wedding? Wait, Dominic’s?”
“Yeah. I’d probably be getting an RSVP soon.”
Nicholas didn’t bring Dominic up for the rest of the trip. When we came back to the villa, only Jake was still up. He came up to us the moment we came in, shoving me away at the same time.
Jake checked up on Nicholas, mumbling incessantly at the same time. Since I had overstayed my welcome, I bade Nicholas good night before going back to my room.
I had nothing to do, and I didn’t want to scroll through Twitter either, in case I got annoyed. In the end, I started binging crime shows on Netflix, since I needed a ton of gore to cure my depression.
Just when it was getting to the good part, my dad called me. He didn’t beat about the bush and started asking me about the thing on Twitter. My dad was a traditional, egotistical man, so I was worried he might fly into a rage over the matter.
Look, I didn’t mind the scolding, but it would be bad if he fell sick from this. Not to mention my mother would be worried for him as well. After some consideration, I told him it was just rumors and exaggerations. “They’re just jokes, so don’t take it seriously.”
My dad kept quiet for a long while after that. “Lili, your mother and I have been thinking, and well, it seems that we’ve been neglecting you all this time.
“I’m not going to berate you or anything, but just remember, if life is getting too hard for you, you can come home anytime. We’ll back you up this time. Not gonna let another Julius happen again.”
I never expected my father to actually say that, so I started bawling. My father started laughing. “You’re like a child.” Yeah, so what? I mean, these guys were my parents. I could be a kid in front of them.
I talked to my mom for a while before hanging up, then I felt a lot more cheerful. Now that I was happier, the shows looked better in my eyes. All the corpses and gore were pure art to me, and I enjoyed every second of it.
I stayed at Nicholas’ place for three days. The topic was still raising a storm on Twitter, but it was getting smaller. Then, someone made a tweet about my friendship with Scarlett that night, as well as the trip we went on together.
It was planned. Scarlett took me around for a stroll that afternoon, and she ran into the reporters on purpose. After that, the news of Nicholas and his manager’s visit to the hospital made it trending, and this time, there were pictures to back it up.
One of the pictures was taken during the time he beat someone up for me, so after the tweet was made public, the news of his aggression was less believable now.
On top of that, Scarlett said I was with her all the time, which meant the news was nothing but a rumor. Nicholas wasn’t Naruto, after all, so he couldn’t show up at two places at the same time.
Melodramatic, yes, but effective. The public bought the story, and the comments on Nicholas’ tweets got a lot less abusive.
I asked Shannon to pick me up at the villa in case someone were to stir up another storm. She came shortly after and drove me back to the hotel Flash reserved for us.
“The management called me. Liliana, they want you to be more careful with your private life. They can’t control what you do, but whatever you do, don’t jeopardize the movie shoot, and don’t let anything get in the way of your comic.”
So the shoot was affected because of Nicholas’ three-day absence, huh? Flash wouldn’t blame a bigshot like Nicholas, so naturally, I became the scapegoat.
It had been two weeks or so since I joined the film crew to up my drawing game, but it had been nothing but scandals ever since. I couldn’t blame Flash for giving me a warning since I was behind schedule.
Honestly, all I wanted now was a peaceful life. If Dominic could get off my back for the next two weeks, it’d be swell.
Apparently, my prayer worked, since he never did show up again. Or maybe he was just sick. Either way, I managed to finish up my work before the deadline and handed it in to the company.
Just when I thought things were getting better, another unexpected event came smashing into my life. It wasn’t a big one, but it wasn’t minor either.
I was going to get some fresh air now that my manuscript was done, then I realized Nicholas and Scarlett were on set. Shannon was watching from the sidelines as well, so I went up to her.
“Shannon.” She was looking enthralled, so I pinched her.
She swatted my hand away, then she turned around. “Why are you here?” she said impatiently. “Done with your work today?”
“Yeah. Hey, don’t you get bored of this? It’s been almost a month, but you still look excited every time you see them.”
She shot me a disdainful look. “Ah, what do you know? I never get tired of hotties. And the assistant director said this is the first kissing scene of the shoot. It’s gonna be big, so don’t disturb me.”
Well, charmed, I guess? It’s the first kissing scene, but so what? Nicholas is gonna kiss Scarlett, not you, I said quietly. If I said that aloud, Shannon would kill me. She was already mad at me because I got to stay at Nicholas’ place for three days, so if I were to disturb her, she’d probably tear me apart.
Shannon and I weren’t the only audiences. The deuteragonists and a lot of the supporting cast were there to see the kiss. Then, a staff member chased us away. “Hey, stand back. We don’t want to see you in the shoot.”
Remember the unexpected event I said earlier? Yeah, it would come crashing in three, two, one…