A/N: Have you seen the first page? Fake Fiancée was on FEATURED WRITING! I was so shocked and happy at the same time! I started jumping up and down in my seat like a maniac, because I never would have thought that I would EVER make it there. Seriously, this is only my first novel! Anyway, I would like to thank every one of you who has supported this novel and me :) If it wasn't for you guys, I don't think I would have continued this novel. You've inspired me to keep writing and to start a spin-off story for FF. I know which character I'm writing about and what it's going to be about but I'm not too sure about the ending and everything. Ehh, I'll get there sometime. I hope you enjoy this chapter, lovelies!Once again, thank you so much for reading! I love you all!!! :) XOXO
My heart dropped the second Steve uttered those two words. They know? Who knows? Who knows what? I wished I could speak but I found that I was slightly dumfounded.
“Here.” My uncle tossed the paper to us and Henry slowly unfolded it with shaky hands. I leaned in closer to get a better view and was horrified with what I saw.
GINA’S GOSSIP COLUMN: FAKE ENGAGEMENT!
The sudden engagement of handsome Henry Parker and Lainie Watson has baffled me since day one. Of course, I was awfully happy for the Hollywood actor to find ‘the one,’ but there were loopholes. Why hadn’t we seen or heard of Lainie Watson earlier? Surely someone would have met her, but no one has.
The reason for this is because their lovely engagement is in fact, fake! I know, I was truly shocked when I found out but on the other hand, I wasn’t that surprised. We all know Henry Parker is not capable of settling down with just a girl.
Check out these texts leaked out straight from Lainie Watson’s cell phone to see the proof!
Henry: It’s nearly midnight. Come home. – Where was Lainie exactly and what was she doing at MIDNIGHT?!
Lainie: I think I stay here however long I want. – Ooh, there’s a bit of tension there, don’t you think?
Henry: COME HOME. I don’t trust Hudson. – Who is Hudson? Could he possibly be THE Hudson Miller, who is Henry’s crime partner in his new movie which is still filming?
Lainie: This whole thing is fake anyway. Why are you so worried? – See that? Their engagement is a LIE.
Henry: I don’t care. I don’t want you near Hudson cos it’s bad publicity, so COME HOME.
There you go! In my opinion, Henry had hired Lainie Watson to be his fiancée so he could get his reputation back. It’s quite obvious, since he was always Hollywood’s ‘party boy’ before. I remember those days when the headlines were about Henry getting so drunk he couldn’t see at the biggest parties and hanging around a billion girls! I’ve also talked a bit with my good friend, the lovely Veronica Pierce (Henry’s co-star in his new movie) and she’s said, “I’m not surprised. I’ve seen Hudson and Lainie together all the time. They’ve gone out and had fun and it’s so obvious they have feelings for each other.” When asked about if Henry had any interests in other girls, she confessed bashfully, “Well actually, Henry and I have been getting along so well! We’re quite intimate with each other.”
That was when I stopped myself from reading more. This was obviously the work of Veronica. She had said her opinion of my relationship with Henry in the gossip column herself! That snitch!
“They know it’s fake,” Henry stated slowly.
Steve nodded grimly and turned to me. I was suddenly starting to sweat bullets. “Lainie, where is your cell phone?”
I bit my lip as I tried to remember desperately where I had placed my phone, but I couldn’t remember. I hadn’t used the thing in days! “I … I don’t know,” I stuttered.
I gripped Henry’s free hand in panic and questions swirled in my head. How had my cell been stolen? Or had I just simply misplaced it? My head hurt just from thinking about it.
“Look on the next page,” Steve added suddenly.
Henry flipped over to the next page and a large photograph of Keith and I hugging with smiles on our faces appeared along with a caption – Lainie Watson’s REAL fiancé?
I groaned and so badly wanted to slap Veronica. That picture had been from the day after Henry and I had confessed our feelings. Keith had told me he was ‘happy for me.’ See how an innocent, friendly hug could be manipulated into something more?
As I stared blankly at the photograph, it suddenly dawned on me.
I had ruined Henry’s reputation.
Everyone thought badly of him and it was my entire fault. If only I had been more careful! I felt like sinking into the ground.
“We’re going to have to come up with an excuse and fast,” Steve told us. “The texts don’t exactly say the engagement is fake. Lainie only wrote ‘the whole thing’ is fake, so maybe we could use something else for ‘the whole thing.’ Maybe we could say you two had a bet going on …”
“No, we’re telling everyone the truth,” Henry cut in determinedly. “We’ll tell the public the engagement was a sham, but now we’re together and apologise. I’m sure the public will forgive me sometime.”
Steve shook his head. “The public don’t hate you Henry …”
My stomach twisted in knots and I had the feeling that I wouldn’t like what my uncle would say next. “What do you mean?” I asked.
“I’ve read other articles and watched some TV gossip shows and they think … they think that it’s your fault, Lainie.”
Confusion filled me and I uttered the only word I could think of. “Huh?”
“I don’t think this is good,” I heard Henry mutter.
Steve ignored Henry’s comment and started to explain slowly, “Fan websites of Henry’s think that you … played whore so Henry could propose to you.”
What the hell? Seriously? “But that’s so stupid!”
“And what Rafferty said about you before doesn’t help,” Steve added.
Ah man, I had forgotten about that poor excuse of a father and his insult about me being a gold digger.
“I’m telling the press the truth,” Henry calmly stated to Steve, whose eyes bugged out of his head. “Whether you like it or not.”
* * *
Steve hadn’t been happy with Henry’s decision to tell the truth but he couldn’t stop the guy could he now? All he could do was stand next to him at the press conference and pretend to be supporting him. I wasn’t going because I didn’t feel like it and Steve had suggested I should stay at home if I didn’t want to get attacked by any girl fans of Henry Parker. Although we were in Curacao, they could have travelled here just for their celebrity crush.
“You’ll be ok?” I rolled my eyes as Henry asked me the same question for the hundredth time.
“I’ll be fine.” I stressed the ‘fine’. “Now go, you’re going to be late!”
Henry nodded and ran a hair through his gelled hair. “Do I look good?” I raised my eyebrow at him as if to say ‘you really have to ask?’ Even though it boosted his ego heaps, I’d rather him be confident than insecure. It was heartbreaking to watch Henry in a vulnerable state. He kissed my cheek and gave me wink before leaving.
Once he left, I took a quick shower; blow dried my messy hair and changed out of my pyjamas, because I was meeting up with Natasha and Clara so we could have some needed girl talk.
Once I slipped on my sandals, I walked out the door and made my way down the hotel. It was three in the afternoon, so they should be waiting for me in the lobby. And they were. They both rushed up to me the instant they saw me and gave me a hug.
“So it’s true? The whole thing is fake?!” Natasha asked, looking disappointed in that Henry and I weren’t really a couple.
Clara’s eyes widened. “Natasha! Stop being so nosy,” she hissed, and then turning to me, she gave me a sympathetic look. “Lainie, are you ok? How are you holding up?”
I shrugged. “I’m actually fine to be honest, but I don’t like how everyone’s viewing me as some sort of desperate woman.”
“That does suck,” Natasha agreed while nodding her head. “So … your engagement to him wasn’t real?!”
I decided to just tell the truth, since Henry was announcing it at the press conference anyway. “It was … but we’ve fallen for each other.”
Clara’s dewy eyes sparkled. “Wow … that sounds like a fairytale romance story, don’t you think?”
I laughed. She was right. After that, we got into Natasha’s rented car and she drove us to the beach. There was hardly anyone there, which was a good thing, because I didn’t want anyone to witness anything.
The three of us hopped out of the car and Clara asked us if we wanted ice-cream. We agreed to get some ice-cream and headed over to the small stall. Cookies and cream was definitely for me and I ordered it with some chocolate sauce to be drizzled on top. Meanwhile, Clara ordered a lemon sorbet and Natasha wanted a strawberry cheesecake flavour. We all started to lick our ice-creams quickly because the heat of the day was making them melt.
“So, are you going to tell us the real story?” Natasha raised a perfectly shaped brow as we sat down on the white sand.
Clara whacked her on the arm. “Don’t push her,” she murmured.
I gave them a reassuring smile. “It’s fine,” I said. “Henry wanted me to be engaged to him because his reputation was stained.”
Natasha snorted. “I’m not surprised. He was a real party boy.”
“But Henry’s changed because of Lainie! Can’t you see it? He’s a man in loooove.”
I blushed. Usually Clara was shy but now she was more confident, which baffled me slightly. Maybe she was just a hopeless romantic. “He’s not in love with me,” was my immediate response.
“Are you kidding? Have you seen the way he looks at you?” Clara asked, disbelieving.
“She’s got a point there,” Natasha muttered. I was going to disagree, but out of nowhere, I heard a voice.
The sudden outburst startled the three of us and we whipped our heads around to see who had spoken. A skimpy blonde was huffing a few feet away with her little posse standing behind her, smirking at me. With the lead girl’s short pink skirt, straight-as-pin blonde hair and puckered lips, she reminded me of a Barbie doll, or better yet, Regina George, but smaller and more pathetic-looking. She looked strangely familiar as well, but I just couldn’t place it.
“Do you know these girls?” Clara asked.
I shook my head, making mini Regina’s eyes narrow into red slits. “You can’t forget me!” she screeched. Her voice honestly sounded as bad as nails running down a chalkboard. “I’m Gabby Thornton!”
I have never in my life heard that name. “Who?” I stared blankly at her, making my amusement grow as she became even more frustrated.
“I’m from LA. We met at Venice Beach!” She clucked her tongue as it suddenly clicked. I remembered now. We had met Gabby when Henry and I had our first public appearance at the beach.
“Oh you!” Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Clara still looking confused, while Natasha had resorted to texting on her iPhone.
“Yes, me!” Gabby growled with a hand on her bony hip. “I can’t believe you got Henry to propose to you. How did you do it?”
I gave her a sickly sweet smile just to piss her off even more. “With my awesomeness, of course.”
“You liar! You obviously attended to his … needs.”
I gritted my teeth and was ready to throw an insult at her, when Natasha suddenly defended me. “Hey! Just because you can’t have Henry, it doesn’t mean you can go around insulting his girlfriend.”
I gave her a grateful smile. “Yeah. You need to get your delusions sorted, plastic,” I chided. “A girl like you with Henry? You have a bigger chance with Scooby-Doo.”
“That’s it! Egg her!”
Before I could say anything, her little friends had taken out eggs from a plastic bag and begun chucking eggs at me, except it was pretty amateur because they mostly splattered on the sand or Natasha, who shrieked.
“Let’s get out of here!” Clara exclaimed. I silently agreed as she pulled me up from the sand and ignored the egg yolk which was currently sliding down her top.
“The paparazzi are here!” Natasha pointed them from the street and I mentally groaned. Could this get any worse? First, I’m accused of sleeping with Henry to get him to propose, then the Mean Girls attack me with eggs and now, the paparazzi are here to get the live proof, which would surely air on TV worldwide.
The three of us ran for our lives, but I was feeling so uncomfortable because I could feel sticky egg whites and yolk running down my hair and clothes. I was also embarrassed, because the paparazzi were chasing us down the street and getting this all on camera. Now I really understood Henry’s hatred for them.
As we rounded a corner, Clara exclaimed, “Over here!”
She pulled Natasha and me into some bushes, and we panted slightly from all the running. “Nice hiding spot,” Natasha whispered.
We waited for the paparazzi and the girls to pass by our bush before stepping out. I could see people on the streets watching us, bemused, but I brushed it off. I stretched out my tan legs and groaned to see them all icky, along with my clothes and hair. I brushed off some green leaves out of my hair and some which had gotten stuck to my shirt. Natasha looked like she was about to cry when she saw her reflection in the glass window of a nearby surf shop, but Clara wasn’t fazed and I admired her for that.
“Come on,” she said. “Let’s get back so we can get cleaned up.”
We smiled sadly at each other and headed off towards Natasha’s car so we could get back. Even though we were getting the seats dirty, we didn’t really care. Natasha was so pissed off that ‘the little brats’ had dared to egg us.
Once I arrived back at the hotel, the people working there gave me weird looks and I smiled back at them, just to make them baffled or feel ashamed of looking at me. When I reached the elevator, I was relieved, because there was no one in there who would make any comments about my awful attire.
Steve raised an eyebrow at me when I entered my hotel suite. “What has happened to you?”
I sighed as I shut the door behind me. “Long story. But to summarise everything, I was egged by obsessive Henry Parker fans and later chased by the paparazzi down a street.”
My uncle pursed his lips. “That doesn’t surprise me.” He was right, but what he said next shocked me. “Lainie … I think it’s best if you leave.”
Leave? The word echoed in my mind as I stood still, rooted to the spot. I was starting to panic at the thought of leaving Henry. But maybe he just meant that I should leave Curacao and go back to LA. “What do you mean …?”
“I mean leave, as in go back home, back to Hazel,” Steve told me. Oh no. No, not my mother. I looked at him with wide eyes and I realised he was having a hard time saying this. “It’s dangerous for you in the Hollywood world. It’s better if you go back to living in a quiet town.”
“But … why?” I choked out, horrified at what my uncle was asking me to do. How could he think I would be able to walk away from Henry?
“Girl fans of Henry can be very obsessive Lainie, and since they think you’re the bad guy here, there’s no telling what they’ll want to do to you. As long as Henry is a famous actor, you will be despised, and Henry also.”
When he finished saying that, I suddenly remembered my promise which I had made a few days ago – that I would do anything to keep Henry acting with a good reputation. Sure, his girl fans thought he was innocent in all this, but there were many others who still thought Henry had hired me to help his reputation. If I left, everyone would slowly forget about my relationship with Henry and everything would go back to normal.
In that moment, I knew what I had to do.