A/N: This book is part of the Awkward Love Series. The other ones two stories in the series are Gym Love, Office Love, & Fleeting Love and all four of these make up the AL Series. While you don't have to read the other installments to read this story, you should consider it anyways because it greatly enhances the experience!
The flashes were an overwhelming sight, their boldness only serving to present a frantic, unavoidable sense of discomfort. A few feet away from me, Curtis cleared his throat, taking a deep breath and frowning in my direction before quickly moving his attention back to the front. I nodded, tilting my head forward and signaling for him to say something even if he couldn't see me anymore, the commotion occurring before him drawing his entire attention.
I stood a few feet back from the crowd while unsure whether going out was a good idea. The pictures had me in them, and it was only a matter of time before their heads turned to me. Still, I stood beside a few other security guards, hidden behind the comfort of enclosing walls, something he lacked.
The headlines would definitely be the most perceptive today of all days, taking in every single detail of him and manipulating every flicker of light that caught his eye, molding the fragment until it fit their idea of whom he was. It didn't matter just how much manipulation was needed; they would present them to the public as they wished, perhaps disregarding the truth entirety.
Because that was the only way to explain the savagery behind their words. It was the simplest explanation to the fact that they were making him out to be a cold hearted, pretentious bastard.
It made so little sense and yet it was. Of course, it would be, until we fed them more contained and controlled information, somehow hoping it was in their best interest to head in a direction that would shed a lighter, more optimistic light on one of the most successful artists in the world.
Yet, why would that be in their interest?
The pictures were plentiful, presenting an incredibly incriminating case. Perhaps it would've been best if it has been a single picture, maybe two-it would been easier to blame it all on photo-shop then. We hadn't expected the large string of pictures to surface.
How could we?
How were we supposed to know they were tracking our cruise ship, not to mention the fact that there were tips for photographers to appear new the beach where we'd spent a single night? Because really, all that we'd needed for hell on earth had been a single bad decision on a random vacation night, away from the public but apparently not away from the public eyes.
Finally, he spoke...
"Hello," Curtis greeted, holding his breath when the voices halted. All at once, the attention in the room moved towards him. He couldn't deny something so boldly approached and with such strong evidence. Curtis could only do as I'd told him and deny. Because, truly, as unbelievable as denying was in this situation, the reality was that accepting anything as true would only prevent it from fading away.
He was talented. Yet, even if he weren't, people would still forget.
Deny despite the evidence.
That was key. He was to deny despite how viciously they would persecute him for this, hoping that perhaps someone would do something even worse tomorrow and the focus would shift.
His hands were shaky as he hold on to the microphone, his body sending dead giveaways that he was about ready to bolt. Yet, the biggest give-away was the fact that he kept instinctively turning his head in my direction only to quickly turn back to the front, asking me what to say when I was as clueless as him.
"I'm sure you're all wondering about some recent news that surfaced," Curtis started, taking a deep breath. "I-I'm just as surprised as all of you here today, but I would like to touch on more pressing matters."
I held my breath.
"They're real aren't they?" one of the reporters screamed out. Curtis turned his attention, blinking down at him before opening his mouth. Nothing came out. "Who is he?"
"The-there's some new information on my new album that-" Curtis attempted, stumbling over his words.
"Who's the mystery man?" another disembodied voice screamed. I couldn't catch a glance of who was yelling, but part of me wanted to storm out there and show them just how much anger they were invoking within me.
"Or my single that-"
"He cheated on Alexis," one gasped as if he'd barely realized. As far as they knew, he was dating the pop singer. Really, how could anyone piece that together now, barely? What kind of stupid did it take?
Curtis bit his bottom lip, turning to glance at me. He was panicking, making a move towards me before turning to glance back towards the crowd of screaming faces and flashing lights.
"I'm sorry," he mouthed, closing his eyes and I knew it was over.
Just from that single second, I knew he was going to do something bizarre. And of course, I tried to step forward, realizing that I wasn't moving when I felt a guard pulling me back; I was under strict orders to stay out of view, already involved too deeply with the blooming scandal.
Hell, the only reason I was here was that I'd asserted that Curtis needed me here. That was it. Otherwise, I would've been relieved of my duties as his manager already, probably fired altogether.
"I-" Curtis spat out. "I'm sorry."
"Did you do it?" a disembodied voice yelled.
"Are they real?" another yelled. "Of course they're real, aren't they?"
"They have to be real!"
He took a step back and I dug my fingertips into the security guard's arm, considering shoving him back in order to get to my Curtis.
"Yes," Curtis yelled bitterly before actually bursting to me, shaken up beyond belief. I stepped back to make space in the vast darkness, reaching for him and yanking him by the arm before he could say anything more damaging.
I held him tightly against me because I knew I shouldn't have allowed him to go out there.
I held him tightly because I hadn't had a choice.
A/N: Thank you for starting the Awkward Love Series! Thanks for reading. Please consider voting and commenting if you enjoyed the prologue; I appreciate it tremendously! I attached a visual of one of the news articles and the pictures that "leaked". Welcome to the Awkward Love Series.
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RECORD LOVEGeneral Fiction
Adam lowered his hand to rest it on the side of my neck, rubbing his thumb across my jaw. I shivered as he covered my body with his, pinning me there despite the fact that we had to leave. "You've been working on this album for a year now," he chast...