Chapter 27

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A knock sounded at the door to my trailer, breaking me out of my sullen mood only enough to raise my head to glance in the direction of the sound. I didn't bother standing from my place on the couch, sprawled across the cushions with no purpose or motivation.

It was lunch break on set, and rather than sitting with the rest of the crew as I usually did, I was hiding away in my trailer licking my wounds. I didn't feel like interacting with people, or even being noticed after the shit show that became my morning.

After being hauled off to Steven's trailer by the ear, I was forced to sit across from Hunter and listen to Steven berate us on our behavior and professionalism on set. Of course, he asked what brought on our discord, both of us remaining tight lipped, while shooting daggers across the table at each other. Steven continued to ramble, going on a tangent of how in all his years he had never had two stars come to blows, no matter the issues that took place behind the scenes. Unfortunately for him, I sound the dramatics that had been occurring behind the scenes of this particular set were a little different than the average. His lectures did nothing to ease the tension between Hunter and myself, and after what felt like hours of being lectured from within the prinicpal's office, we were forced to shake hands and make up, before being turned loose back on the grounds.

I expected Hunter to say something to me the moment the door closed behind us. My fists were balled tightly, ready to disregard everything Steven had said, for the sheer joy of hearing the crack of my fist against his face of he dared to say one more thing about Kate. Lucky for him, he kept his mouth shut, turning in the opposite direction the moment his feet hit the gravel, and disappearing around the corner.

The tension on set was palpable as we struggled to make it through each scene. I was forced to match off against Madison, trying to convince viewers that I was secretly, madly in love with a girl who I honestly couldn't stand the sight of. How had done everything in her power to manipulate me and those around us for no other reason than her grappling to fame using my name. I had little doubt that my performance was less than stellar, but if so, Steven didn't say anything. Despite my better judgment, my eyes continued to flicker just off set to the space where Kate would usually stand, watching the scenes unfold. She wasn't there, of course. I hadn't seen any sign of her since she stormed off that morning. Finally, we were released from performance purgatory, and I was able to escape to the solitude of my trailer.

I had barely been in here more than ten minutes before the knock at my door interrupted my sulking. I seriously considered ignoring it, pretending I wasn't there. But a tiny, pathetic, hopeful part of me wondered if it would be Kate, and that part took control of my voice for a fleeting moment.

"Come in,"

The door opened, and Ashley appeared at the stairs. Immediately, the little glimmer that had formed in my chest faded, disappointment flooding through me. I didn't greet her. I didn't say anything as she climbed the stairs, closing the door behind her.

Once alone, I met her gaze, not surprised to find her scowling at me. Of course she would be just as angry with me as Kate, thanks to the well spun tales of Madison. It was clear she was here to rip me a new one, and I sighed deeply before crossing my arms over my chest.

"You here to tell me what a selfish prick I am too?" I asked dully, boredom scrawled across my face.

"Yes," she replied simply. "And a few other things."

Snorting, I rolled my eyes before getting more comfortable in my seat. "Go for it."

"I will save most of what I have to say to you, since Kate got most of it out last night on her own," she began, her voice surprisingly controlled. "The fact that you actually made a bet with a friend to get in Kate's pants is fucking disgusting, and even though you have a bit of a reputation for being a playboy, I still didn't think you were capable of something like that."

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