Tristan wasn't expecting it.
One minute he was talking to Ren and one of the producers. Everything perfectly calm as they got ready. Then out of nowhere, he was whacked over the head with a picture frame, a prop from the set. Stars burst in front of his eyes as he clutched the back of his head, struggling to cope with the pain. Spinning around, he came face to face with an outraged Angela.
"How could you?" She screamed at such a high pitch, it brought everyone in the room to full attention. Despite being an actor, Tristan wasn't one for dramatic, public displays of any kind. Not PDA or fights, and especially not ones involving hysterical women.
"What the hell is your problem?" he hissed, yanking the prop out of Angela's hands.
"You slept with that woman! That worthless tramp. When you had ME. No man in his right mind would choose her over ME!" Angela said before looking for another object to throw. Tristan grabbed her hands, forcing her to stop her assault.
"This is neither the time or the place to have this conversation," Tristan said, wishing their co-workers weren't listening in.
"I don't care! How could you do this? After all, I've done for you!"
Tristan bit back the retort that Angela had done very little other than act like a possessive stalker. He didn't need her to do anything, because he'd never asked her for a damn thing. He couldn't hold back the frustrated sigh that was bottled up within him.
"I can't deal with you when you're being irrational."
Angela gasped—and slapped Tristan so hard, it gave him whiplash. That's when Tristan learned you should never, EVER, tell a woman she's being irrational.
Several crew members pulled Angela away, dragging her out of hitting range. That didn't stop her from throwing out threats.
"Ren, I refuse to work with him. You fire him or I'll quit! I'll walk. I swear!" Angela said, kicking and screaming the whole way. Tristan didn't know—or care—where they took her as long as it saved him from her onslaught. However, he was about to face another battle when he turned around and saw Ren's face.
"What the hell did you do?" Ren growled at his leading star. Their friendship and positive working relationship weren't going to save him from the director's wrath.
"I may have...hooked up with someone recently."
Ren's eyes narrowed. "How recently?"
"Like an hour ago." At his response, Ren was ready to pick up where Angela left off.
"You can't be serious. Because I know you're not stupid enough to risk your professional reputation on a one-off. People might say whatever they want about your sex life in the gossip magazines, but you shouldn't give them ammo to disgrace your actual work."
Ren was undeniably right. It killed Tristan to know he's screwed up this bad. But he realized he wasn't the only one to blame here. He started to walk away, but Ren stopped him.
"Where do you think you're going? I'm not done with you."
"You can yell at me as much as you want in a few minutes. But first I have something I need to do," Tristan said. He shrugged Ren off and went to hunt down Jada. He found her alone, hiding away in the dressing room. She started to speak, probably to make excuses, but Tristan wasn't going to let her.
"What the hell, Jada? You promised you wouldn't say anything."
"I didn't," she said, stepping back and placing some distance between them.
"Oh, but you did. I have a gaping cut in the back of my head to prove it." Tristan touched the spot to double check, and yep, he was bleeding.
"I'm sorry!" Jada said.
She sounded sincere, but it wasn't enough for Tristan. He went on, needing to share the blame with someone else.
"Why couldn't you keep your mouth shut? Why did you tell her? It must be a pact between the women here, a vindictive YaYa Sisterhood, where you have to stick together and gossip behind my back."
"That's not how it happened." Jada's face set in stone. She wasn't going to let Tristan keep yelling at her without defending herself.
Bring it on, Tristan thought.
"Maybe not," he said. "But however it went down, you've caused me a shitload of trouble. You're going to regret it."
Before things could get any more heated, Ren stepped into the room.
"Now what's going on?" he asked, exasperated.
"What's going on is Jada's the one who blabbed to Angela."
"Jada, is that true?" Ren asked. From his incredulous tone, it was clear he'd thought she was too classy to spread rumors or create drama. So had Tristan.
"It didn't happen the way he's making it out to be. I—"
Ren held up his hands as Tristan and Jada started to angrily talk over each other.
"That's enough. I've had my fair share of breaking up fights and hearing everyone argue. Angela refuses to film scenes with Tristan, so today is basically a wash until we can get her to cooperate, and adhere to her contract."
Ren's disappointed stare at his actors hit Tristan right in the gut.
"I hope you guys can go home and think about what you've caused. If this is how you want your careers to go."
"I don't, Ren. I'm sorry," Jada said. "The only thing I want is to do my job."
"Then you better straighten up, because you've come this close to losing it." Ren walked out, leaving Jada and Tristan stunned.
Ren wouldn't make the same threat to Tristan since he had more star power, but in that moment, he probably did want to get rid of them both. Seeing Jada's shock almost made Tristan feel guilty—but he was too upset about his own part in things to comfort her.
Yes, the day hadn't gone how he had anticipated. Instead, it had hit disaster-level proportions. And Tristan had a feeling things were going to get worse before they got better.
*** Here's to another epic break up and thanks for reading! Let me know how you guys think things will go in the comments! ***
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Off Script (Book #1 of Lights, Camera, Romance! Series)Romance
When two rival actors are forced to charade as an "It Couple", will their make-believe romance turn into reality? ***** Co-stars Jada and Tristan's lives collide when Tristan's ca...