“I love you… without knowing when it had started,” Ken said. “And I don’t know for how long. But being around you makes me comfortable, and makes me happy… as well as making me feel that my life is complete,”
Rainie smiled lightly.
“I am sorry. I have not dared to confess… because I do not want to lose you as a friend if you had rejected me,”
Her smile faded.
“That is how important you are to me. Because… if you were to reject me, I am worried you will stay away from me… and then I will lose you as a friend. I do not want to see that happen,” Ken said. “Vic has know this all along, he had convinced me to confess… but, I didn’t want to do it because I am afraid that you will reject me,”
“Okay…” she replied.
He stood there quietly. “I…”
“Why didn’t you tell me Scott confronted you?” she asked.
“I think… it is not important… and I do not want to add more stress to you,”
“What kind of stress is that?”
“I understand how much pressure you already had because of Scott. I just do not want to add any unnecessary stress to you. I know if I were to tell you, you will ask what he said, why he do this and that… and… and I cannot tell you about him manage to expose that I have feelings for you,”
“But you didn’t know I was there,” she smiled lightly.
“Pace knew. She told me that you heard about the confrontation when Scott called you out during the drama time,”
“So she knows?” Rainie asked.
“She saw you,” Ken said.
“Well… not surprising. Since I am wearing such a bright… lime green dress. Easily spotted,” she lowered her head down to look at her dress.
“I guess I am the blind one because I didn’t see you there,” Ken said, lowering his head.
“I was standing at a spot where you will not see me,” Rainie said.
“Oh,” Ken said, slowly lifting his head up again.
“How long have you known Scott is only after my fame?” Rainie asked.
“I just speculated. I don’t know,” Ken said.
“I see…” Rainie bites her lower lip after that.
“Actually… I think this is an issue between us… but, we made it public… in not a very good way,” Ken said. “This is something personal between us… that is what I feel,”
“I know. I have no choice,” Rainie said.
“A part of me feels… disappointed with myself,” Ken said.
“Because I dare not to take the risk. If I had confessed, isn’t that going to make the entire situation today different? There will be no chance for Scott to do that to you…”
“Then you are probably wrong,” Rainie said. “You don’t know Scott well,”
“He will still do what he had done earlier. He will still go up to the stage trying to get attention of the media. He knows how much I value my reputation,” she said. “It’s just that he didn’t expect what I will do and say… just like earlier,”
Ken smiled. “I didn’t know you will say that too,”
“I remember what you said, Ken,” Rainie smiled slightly. “I totally believe that… if I valued my reputation more than myself… I would take him back because of the media. But… you are right. I don’t live for anyone. At the end of the day, no one is going to care how I live… so I should only live for myself. The media is using me to earn their money, so why should I be someone I am not… just to please them?”
“I am glad,” Ken smiled.
“It is you, Ken,”
Ken’s smile faded. “Me?”
“I guess… you have showed me what I am capable of from who you are, and how you have coped with a cheating partner,”
Ken looked at her. “Ah?”
“Sometimes it is easier said than done. No matter how much a woman can say… ‘I will not get back to him’, but sometimes, it still happened. Because she wants the companionship, she believed in second chance. She believes in him that he will do as what he had said when he tried to get her back,” Rainie said. “Women are emotionally involved in almost everything, they believe in lies, false promise and every sweet talk a man could give,”
“Ken, I look up to you. I want to learn from you. I am impressed with how you actually coped with a cheating partner. I had been weak… really weak. At times I really didn’t know what to do, and for the fact that you know Scott has been bugging me by calling and messaging me non-stop. But nevertheless with you around, you gave me strength and make me believe that, I need to fight this feeling. I need to stand on my own. I know… without you, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Because you are such a great inspiration and motivation for me to move on beyond Scott… and that I deserve better,”
Ken looked at her. “Wow, I didn’t know I had such a huge impact,”
“I didn’t know too,” she said, as she slowly walked to the couch and takes a seat. “It takes a while to realize,” she said, without looking at him. “I soon noticed, everything around me… revolves around you as well. When you do stuffs for me… when you arranged for the fashion show… I am truly grateful for knowing you,” she lifted up her head to look at Ken, as he slowly sits down next to her, and her eyes followed him. “I listen to almost everything you said, when you asked me to give Scott a chance to speak, I think you are right about settling it once and for all. I listened. Because I think… that is how you see it. Perhaps, I can see and do it the same way. Of course, Scott clearly is different,”
“I’m sorry for that,” Ken said.
She shook gently. “I actually was trying to protect you too,”
“Scott,” she said. “Because… he is going to start harassing you if I didn’t step in,”
“On the fashion show, when he started yelling at you… I knew the direction he is heading to,” she looked straight again. “I had to talk to him, in order to stop him from attacking you. And I hope things will settle once and for all,”
“Rainie, you shouldn’t have done that,” Ken said.
“I had to,” Rainie said. “I don’t find it necessary for him to drag you in between him and me,”
“I seriously don’t mind…”
“I do,” Rainie said. “It is just being ridiculous to blame other people for his wrong doing,”
Ken smiled lightly.
“I thought you are going back to Julia,”
“Huh?” he looked at her.
“Yeah, when I saw you with her. My heart dropped,”
“Rainie… there is no way I will go back to Julia…”
“I know. You have said it before. But who knows… since she had shared a couple of significant years with you… you might go back to her at that time…”
Ken smirked lightly. “I will not go back to her… even more so after I met you,”
She stopped talking, and she looked at him.
He smiled at her. “I feel bad for the accident that I had caused onto you. I took responsibility by taking care of you. And from then onwards, you become such an important person to me. I only want you to be happy, to be cheerful, to be free from sadness. I will do anything to make sure you stay within happiness,” Ken said. “So… telling you about Julia… is going to make you sad,”
“Well… it’s just a coincidence to meet in the coffee house,”
“I have not been there for a long time. It is a coffee house that I enjoyed going in the past, with her. But ever since the relationship ends, I don’t go there anymore,”
“Even Julia can see… that I like you,” Ken said. “I guess I am bad in acting,”
She just smirked.
“And… I think I need to do one more explanation,”
“Going forward to you near the stage, and kiss you,”
She looked at him. “Oh,” she blushed.
“I didn’t mean to do it in front of everyone. I was just… too carried away,” Ken scratched his head. “My apology. I was just ecstatic when I found out that you… love me too,”
She smiled. “Umm…”
“Rainie…” he sits nearer to her, and then gripped her hand.
“Why is your hand so cold?” he asked as he touched the other hand of hers. “Cold?” he asked as he rubbed her hands.
“I’m… just nervous,”
“Errr… this talk?”
“Oh,” he said shortly before he continued rubbing her hands.
“Actually I like this kind of attentions you gave me,” she said, lowering down her head.
He smiled. “Rainie… I am sorry I didn’t asked you earlier… will you… be my girlfriend?” he stopped rubbing her hands and he gripped her hand tightly.
She slowly lifted up her head to look at him.
“I know we got the hierarchy wrong…” he said. “We should have started with this before we kissed, before we announced…”
“Well… life is not perfect, I guess?” she smiled.
“I guess… life is fun… and better that way,” he smiled, playing with her fingers. “So…” he said, waiting for her respond, and he looked at her. “Be my girlfriend?”
He gently pulled her to him and he hugged her tightly. “I finally got you,” he mumbled.
“I heard that,”
She smiled, as she then turned, positioned properly and hugs him. And he hugs her back.
And shortly after, he gently pulled her off from the hug and then he kissed her passionately on her lips.
Mr. Xavier was seen talking most of the time on behalf of Ken and Rainie to the media. He clarifies that he is the one that approached Ken to join the industry, and he clarifies all the doubts that Ken has, and had expressed in the past.
It is all Scott’s fault.
Ken gained fame overnight because of Scott. And now everyone has to clear the mess that Scott had created. What Ken feared for has come true. But he needs to face it no matter what.
Vic and Winnie attended the press conference as guests and they were sitting at the corner of the hall. However, they were bombarded by the media as well about their relationship since Vic blurted out that he will bring her to London with him.
“Mr. Xavier, as we all know about Scott’s unacceptable attitude regardless of personal and professional, what do you have in store for him?” a reporter asked.
“Scott is still tied with us in terms of contract. I have not plan anything for him, but we will see when the time comes,” Mr. Xavier said.
“Ken, mind telling us about how you met Rainie?” another reporter asked.
Ken looked at Rainie and smiled. Rainie nodded.
“I was the guy that put Rainie out of job for few months,” Ken said.
Mr. Xavier looked at Ken.
“I was the guy that hits her when she crosses the road a few months ago,” Ken resumed.
The media went silent for a while.
“Just so you know, I crossed the line before it turned green. So it was my fault,” Rainie said.
“Seriously?” Mr. Xavier asked.
Ken and Rainie smiled, and nodded together.
“And that is how we became friends. And I have no idea who she is,” Ken said.
“So it is for the first time I feel that, someone is around me not because of my fame and what I do for living, but because of me as a person,” Rainie said. She smiled at Ken. “It is good that he didn’t know I am this famous. It makes me feel… normal,”
“So it is Rainie that introduces Ken to this industry?”
“No,” Rainie said. “It started with me bringing him to my workplace. And the male model did not turn up. Ken was asked to help with the shooting, and he did,”
“You mean that is how he was introduced into the industry?”
“Yes,” Mr. Xavier, Ken and Rainie said at the same time.
“So what is your status with Rainie right now, Ken?” a reporter asked. “Scott makes you both confessed last night,”
“We’re good,” Ken smiled. “Well, at least we both know how each other feel,”
“So, are you both a couple now?”
“I’ve kissed her. What do you think?” Ken asked, and turned to look at Rainie who is blushing.
“I will not treat as though I have not confessed or I have not kissed her,” Ken smiled.
“Congratulations,” the reporter said.
“Thank you,” Ken smiled.
“As we all know, Rainie, you won the trip to Phuket last night. Who do you want to bring with you to Phuket? Ken?”
Rainie smiled. “I haven’t plan that yet, we’ll see,”
“Ken, you won the trip to Paris. You must be ecstatic!”
“Yes,” Ken smiled.
“So who do you plan to bring with you to the city of romance? Rainie?” a reporter asked.
Ken smiled as he looked at Rainie, before he looked at the reporter. “I won’t deny this, so yes, I will bring Rainie to Paris with me,”
“Ooohhhhh…” the reporters said.
“Provided Rainie and I have the time to go together, and hopefully there is no expiry date on the trip. Or else I might have to split my couple friends up and bring the guy to go to Paris with me and leave his girlfriend behind,”
“We heard that Vic, the infamous designer of Modeling Academy, is your best friend too, so does that mean your ‘couple friends’ includes Vic?”
Ken looked at Vic, Vic stared at Ken, before Ken turned away.
“Vic is indeed my best friend. We were buddies since kids. But I didn’t plan to bring him to Paris with me, so I don’t have to park him under ‘couple friends’ that I have just said,” Ken laughed.
Rainie and Mr. Xavier laughed.
“You are mean!” Vic said, and everyone laughed.
Ken knew that Vic has his own explanation to do about his relationship with Winnie. He didn’t want to do it for Vic, and it is best to just state that way, and leave the queries settled by Vic and Winnie themselves, since it is Vic and Winnie’s relationship.
“Vic, we heard you said to Winnie that you will bring her to London with you. Are you both in a relationship?” a reporter asked. Now the attention has diverted to Vic and Winnie.
Vic and Winnie looked at each other. Winnie smiled.
Vic reached forward and gripped on Winnie’s palm, clutching it perfectly in his hand. It is their first time holding hands in public. “Yes,” Vic said.
“Wow, we have double revelation today!” a reporter said.
Ken smiled. “So right now, Vic is parked under my term ‘couple friends’,”
Vic gives Ken a thumb down. Ken laughed.
“All of you did a good job,” Mr. Xavier said, sitting down on his chair.
“Thank you, Mr. Xavier,” Ken, Rainie, Vic and Winnie said.
“We manage to feed them the necessary stuffs, and you guys seem to be okay about revelation,” Mr. Xavier said.
“So… can I ask for something?” Winnie asked.
“What is it?” Mr. Xavier asked.
“Paris and London are just next to each other and it is reachable with a few hours’ train ride. I think…” Winnie looked at Rainie. “We can take leave and go together, and explore both places,”
“That sounds like a good idea!” Rainie said.
“Errrr… not really,” Ken said.
“Why?” Vic asked.
“I don’t have money to go to London,” Ken said.
“Well, you don’t have to worry about that just yet. Let’s just say… we’ll plan accordingly. I think we’ll be happier if all of us go to those places together,” Vic said.
“You mean you will give me your London trip?” Ken asked.
Vic glared at him.
Mr. Xavier laughed, and they stopped talking. “You want to take leave, is it?”
“I was wondering if it is okay for all of us to take leave together,” Winnie said.
“Wait, wait, this is just a discussion, right?” Ken asked.
“Yes, so don’t panic just yet,” Vic said.
“It is doable. As long as your holidays don’t fall on those busy fashion weeks or something,” Mr. Xavier said. “Plan first, and when you have fixed the date, let me know,”
“Sure, thanks, Mr. Xavier,” Winnie said.
“No problem. You guys can go back now,” Mr. Xavier said.
“Sure, now let’s go back and plan!” Vic said as they moved to the door.
Ken scratched his head. “But… are you sure we will all go together and visit both places? I seriously have no money to go to London!”
“Look, can we discuss this now?” Vic asked as he opened the door. “DISCUSS??”
“Alright, alright!” Ken said as he walked out from Mr. Xavier’s room. “You better be!”
“Geez, Ken, why are you so… I don’t know, protective? Nervous? I don’t know what word best describes you,” Winnie said, followed behind.
“Petrified,” Vic somehow added.
“RIGHT! Petrified!” Winnie said, pointing at Ken.
“Winnie, I won a trip to Paris. This is my opportunity to go out of the country and land my feet in Paris which I am happy with. But I have no money to go to places other than Paris, I am serious!”
“Nobody is asking you to go now!” Rainie said.
“Didn’t you hear Winnie asking for holiday leave from Mr. Xavier already? It’s going to be soon!” Ken said, closing the door behind him.
“Look, I am just asking. At least he is informed about this. It doesn’t mean we will be going for both London and Paris soon,” Winnie said. “But honestly it is a good idea. I have never really explored these cities other than going there for work. It’s going to be a nice trip no doubt,”
“No… no, no, no,” Ken insisted.
“Okay, what would make you feel better about the trip? Not going to London?” Vic asked.
“But you are only a few hours away from London and we are there,” Winnie said.
“It doesn’t mean you will be there at the same time I am in Paris,” Ken said.
“If given a choice, yes, I would,” Vic said. “That is the reason why I said, we should go together, to both places,”
“Oh my,” Ken said.
“Now tell me, what are your concerns? Money?” Vic asked.
“Yes,” Ken replied without hesitation.
“Alright, then what if we wait for you to save enough money then only we go?” Vic asked, folding his hands on his chest.
“Huh? But how? Your flight is to London, mine is to Paris,” Ken said.
“We can arrange something such as you and Rainie fly to Paris, and we fly to London, and you postponed the date of accommodation in Paris, and then you take your train to come over to London, stay over in London for few days, then only we take a train over to Paris, where your accommodation date starts, I will postpone my flight to go back to Taipei from London, and we explored Paris, and then we go back to London to take the flight,” Vic said.
“Why so difficult? Just ask how much it is to top up to change the flight to go to London instead of going to Paris for Ken, and going back to Taipei from Paris instead of London for Vic,” Rainie said.
Vic and Ken looked at Rainie.
“Sounds like a good idea,” both guys said.
“Well, provided the top up is cheaper than taking the train between London and Paris,” Winnie said.
“That, I’ll leave it to you to go figure. It is not like we are going to London and/or Paris tomorrow,” Rainie said.
“So, are you going to allow me to save enough money first?” Ken asked, pointing at Vic.
“Yes,” Vic said, rolling his eyes. “As stated in the letter, the traveling time is within one year. So you have more than enough time to save,”