On cam, people say I'm the dashing girlfriend of Zachary Frost. Every girl envies me, and every guy wants me. Off cam is an entirely different story. I'm the girl at the side lines, secretly wishing that the one I love will at least look at me.
A/N: I decided more scenes won't hurt. For convenience, the supposedly chapter 3: "Lights, Camera, Action" will be moved for later chapters. For those who are expectant for it, my apologies.
I hope you enjoy this chapter still. ^^
Normal – Normal narration
'…' – Character's thought/s
Chapter Three: Matters of the Heart
"She's in the hospital." Sandra said looking at Zack. She would have rejoiced seeing Zachary Frost paling with the news of Selena's state but seeing the blonde beside him prevented her action.
"Zack." She called, louder this time. It was a good thing Selena didn't ask about Samantha. Being her agent for four years, she knew she would be disappointed to hear they're together, despite Selena probably going to deny it for the nth time.
Zack was in daze, so Douglas had to ask instead. "Did she tell you which hospital?"
"No, the line went dead. I suspect she's low bat." Sandra explained, eyes never leaving Zack.
Despite the worry she felt, she couldn't help but smirk. While it was true that the jerk who stood her talent up suddenly came to them to announce his new relationship with the blonde sculptor, it was obvious he's so affected by the news about Selena.
Samantha stared at her boyfriend worriedly. Rubbing his arm, she said in a soft voice, "Go to her Zack. She needs you."
Zack returned the gesture with an appreciative smile of his own.
He kissed her on the forehead, to which Sandra rolled her eyes in disapproval. Fortunately or not, the couple was too occupied to notice.
"Thanks babe. I'll see you tomorrow." He said, before he signaled their agents to follow him as he ran his way out to the parking lot, leaving a smiling Sam.
One benefit of being an agent is that you can't be one, at least not a good one, without having connections. You need it to market your talent. Plus, it allows you to keep track of your talent easier than without connections. It was also thanks to it that they were able to locate Selena after only a few calls.
It didn't take long before the three found themselves in Faith's Hospital, four streets away from the studio.
"I'll go ask the nurse what happened." Douglas offered, earning a grateful smile from Sandra. On the other hand, Zack didn't wait and hurried himself to room 307.
It was a good thing there were only few patients roaming around, and since he was wearing his cap, no one was able to recognize him.
He was surprised when he saw Jake Fresco sitting in front of Selena's room.
"Jake?" He called and the co-actor looked up, meeting his gaze.
"Why are you-" He wanted to ask but was cut off.
"Just go inside. She wants to see you." Jake said and Zack nodded in understanding.
"Thanks man." He was about to knock when he felt a hand on his shoulder. Turning, he heard his co-actor speak.
"Be more mindful of her, will you please?" Jake whispered, walking pass him.
He wasn't able to reply because he heard a gentle feminine voice from inside.
"Jake, is that you?" it said.
Zachary Frost gently opened the door and his eyes immediately found her.
"Selena." He called, finally letting out the breath he knew he's been holding, thus the relief from the weight that was in his chest ever since they lost contact.
Selena looked pale, but beautiful as always even in a hospital gown. Her hair was tied in a long braid hanging freely on her shoulder. Zack couldn't help but feel grateful that at least she looked better than the last time he saw her burning up with fever.
She was half sat in her bed, white blanket covering the lower part of her body. He frowned when he realized her left hand was connected to dextrose, but seeing her smile, he did too.
"You okay?" He asked, sitting on the chair beside her bed, the one formerly occupied by Jake.
"It's just fatigue, nothing deadly." She explained, putting up her right hand.
"Seriously you should take good care of yourself." He said, allowing his right hand to caress her right cheek. If she blushed, neither said a word.
Unknown to him, Selena was having an internal battle with herself. She didn't even know what to say to him. She knew if he learned she's hospitalized, he would come. He always does when she wants him to. But sadly, this time it was different. She could no longer be as bold and honest to him. She could no longer be as playful and sweet, not when he was committed to someone else. She was able to think that much in the short time she was alone. And yet she doesn't have the intent to make him regret his actions.
Her amber eyes stares at him longingly. She didn't say a word but to him it felt like she was trying to converse to him just with her eyes.
It wasn't the first time she did that. He remembered the way she looked at him before, the eyes that penetrated his heart with the plea to keep her weakness from others, the look that made him more protective of her. He can feel her stare has a different meaning, just that this time he couldn't pin point what it was. Nevertheless, he was willing to wait for her to open up.
Selena kept her silence. She knew she must be looking weak in front of him. But she decided she wanted him to see her and prepared herself. He was after all, the only person she would allow to see her weak side. That much, she can allow herself to do.
"I'm sorry I didn't call you first." She said, breaking the silence. She then smiled weakly, her head bowed, bangs covering her eyes till she couldn't see his face.
Zack's eyes widened in surprise but melted in understanding as soon as it came. It was Selena alright, only she will worry about something unimportant at a time like this. He smiled, gently taking her right hand between his own. "What happened?"
His voice was gentle and caring. It made her feel like he was her knight in shining armor, that he will protect her from any harm. Indeed, Zachary Frost had always been protective of her.
'Seriously, don't stare at me like that, not with the eyes that say you want to give me the world. I should know better, you have someone else to give it to.'
Turning her head just so she won't be obliged to meet his eyes, she began to narrate.
"I was supposed to meet Jake Fresco to talk about the script, but I fainted before he came. I was fortunate he saw me and brought me here." She said, intentionally omitting the location where they met. She couldn't tell him she was also in Delizioso at the same time he was. She couldn't tell him she saw him kissing Sam. She just can't. It would be like adding salt to a newly open wound if she did.
"I'm sorry. I should have waited for you but I was too selfish." Now it was Zack's turn to avoid her gaze in guilt.
Selena smiled. 'Typical Zack.'
"We both know it's not your fault." It was also her turn to cup his face just so he would look at her again. He did, and she instantly let go.
His face showed confusion. He was starting to feel something odd about the way she's acting towards him but knowing her, it's no use if he'll be direct in asking.
He was about to change their topic when they heard a knock. The door opened, revealing a composed Jake Fresco carrying a tray with a glass of water and medicine bottle.
Zack, his attention on Selena, didn't fail to notice her discomfort.
"Sorry to interrupt. I just came to bring her medicine. She needs to take it every four hours." He explained. Disappointment was evident on his face when she wouldn't even look at him. But he can't blame her, can he? All this time, he's been keeping his feelings all to himself. He knew it would indeed cause her discomfort, but seeing her hurt because of Zachary Frost, he just couldn't help himself but let her know he's always willing to catch her when she needed catching.
"Thanks. I'll take it from here." Zack said, with a firmer tone than usual, taking the tray from him. He hesitated for a while but spoke his thoughts anyway. "I'm grateful of what you did for my girlfriend." He said, emphasizing on the word. He didn't know what happened, but he didn't like it when Selena feels uncomfortable, much less because of some guy. "I owe you one. But seeing as I'm here now, it's okay for you to leave. I know you're a busy person."
Jake didn't seem to mind his intent. His eyes never left the girl. Sighing, he said "Is that so?" For a moment, she looked up in time and he felt grateful she would at least acknowledge him leaving. He gave her a warm smile that was rarely seen on cam. "I'll be taking my leave then, Selena."
He was about to turn but was stopped by her melodic voice.
"Jake!" She called weakly. "Thanks. You're a good friend." She said, laying herself to rest. Zack watched the awkward interaction silently.
"Anytime." The other said, understanding the meaning behind her words as he made his way out the room.
It was just the two of them again. Zack was starting to be intrigued more and more but decided it's better to let her rest. He can ask her later, but knew he'll probably just wait for her to open up no matter how long it takes. That's how it always goes for the two of them. He will try his best to be patient even if it's killing him to know what's bothering her so he can help her somehow. But Selena, being the independent girl she was, will take her time. And just when he thought he couldn't hold it anymore and was planning to ask her straightforwardly, she would knock on his door or send him a message about needing to talk.
"Is there anything you like to eat?" He asked, hoping she'll tell him more.
She shook her head.
"Do you want me to call Sandra?"
Selena smiled gratefully but shook her head. "No, I just want to sleep for a while. I'm tired."
"I see." He nodded understandingly. He opened his mouth but nothing came. In the second try, he asked, "Then would you like me to stay?"
Selena thought for a moment. She bit her lip. Does she like him to? Will it make her selfish if she ask him to?
"I mean-" she heard him clear his throat. "Is it okay if I stay with you?" She could've have sworn she saw him blush. Zack may always be teasing her, but he's always one to respect her privacy, and be a perfect gentleman.
She was about to agree when another knock interrupted them. Both turned to see who it was and was surprised to see a smiling Samantha Hermopolis come in with a bouquet of roses and picnic basket in hand.
"I thought I'll bring you some home cooked meal." She said, raising the basket which Zack took from her.
"Ahm Selena, I was with her when you called Sandra. I actually didn't know she was planning to come." Zack said apologetically. Selena can sense he too didn't know what to do. Unable to prolong his discomfort, she managed to give her new visitor a weak smile.
"I understand." was Selena's polite reply. "Thank you for coming Sam, even if you didn't need to. I'm sorry to cause you trouble."
"Oh, no-no! You're too kind Selena." Samantha smiled at her.
The patient found herself clinging to the blanket that was covering her. It's true she was hurting, but she couldn't bring herself to hate Sam, can she? She's never really done her anything wrong. It's not her fault Zack likes her.
"Thank you Sam. Thanks Zack. Look, I'm really grateful you both came for me. It's just that I feel so tired and I really wish I can get some sleep. Would you guys mind if I ask to be alone?"
"Oh. Of course! We'll be leaving then. Rest well Selena." Sam said, leaving the bouquet beside the picnic basket on the table where Zack put it.
"I'll tell Sandra to drop by tomorrow." Zack added. "Sleep well."
And thus, the lights went off as the two left, leaving Selena Dimples to contemplate on the events of today.
"Normally she'll call Zack. Selena called me first for a reason." Sandra explained to Douglas. Both of them were walking towards the elevator and were about to head to Selena's room. Douglas just finished talking to Jake Fresco, offering to return the payment for the hospital fee but was refused to. Sandra on the other hand just came back from the car to get Selena's clothes.
"What do you think that is?" Douglas asked thoughtfully.
Sandra sighed. The day has been tiresome for all of them. No one expected Selena to be hospitalized. She was fine when they parted. Something must have happened that triggered her weakening. This, Sandra believed.
Imagine their surprise when the elevator door opened and Samantha Hermopolis stepped out, clinging in the arms of Zachary Frost.
"What in the world are you-" She was about to burst but Douglas, knowing how loud she can be, decided to stop her before she does something that would cause more trouble.
"It's such a surprise to see you Sam." He greeted politely.
"I just thought it's appropriate to drop by to check on Selena. She's Zack's partner after all and was very good to me. I tried looking for you but the nurse said you left so I just headed to see Selena. I hope you guys don't mind."
Sandra was trying her best to stay calm and was succeeding, despite her hands tightening their hold on the handle of the bag she was carrying.
Feeling the tension though he didn't know where it was coming from, Zack decided to intervene.
"She brought her soup. But Selena was too tired to eat it. She must be sleeping by now." He said.
"Is that so?" Sandra said, sounding normal but the way her brows were twitching in obvious dismay was enough to cause Zachary Frost, as well as the blonde to feel discomfort. "Look, I'll be honest. I appreciate your hospitality, but next time, I'll appreciate it more if you'll come to me first before you meet with Selena. My talent is Selena Dimples for crying out loud! She's no one ordinary. What kind of agent am I if I just let anyone come see her?"
"I'm sorry I didn't mean-" Sam sounded faint with guilt and Zack didn't like it one bit.
"She's my girlfriend. It's my fault too. She doesn't know the rules. It's just a friendly gesture on her part and I hope you don't take it the wrong way Sandra." Zack defended, holding Samantha's hand for comfort.
"Alright, but next time, your girlfriend or not, I hope everyone none-business related will go by the rules. Forgive my aggressiveness." Sandra explained, entering the elevator. Douglas looked at Sam, his head bowing apologetically as he too stepped in beside Sandra.
As soon as they were out of sight, Zack wrapped his girlfriend in an embrace.
"Look, I'm sorry about that. It's my fault. I should have told you how it works." He whispered in her ear.
"She looks so mad. I didn't know, I just thought-" she cried, and Zack just let her wet his shirt.
"It's alright, just don't do it again. We don't want to see Sandra turn into a monster for a second time, do we?" He tried to joke, hoping to lighten her mood. And he succeeded. She was finally smiling again.
"I like it more when you're smiling." He said, his forehead meeting with hers.
Samantha blushed until she was red as tomato, causing Zack to chuckle. "It's not fair! I'm still not used with you being so intimate!"
But Zack only laughed harder.
"Stop laughing!" She complained, but he didn't stop. She was about to protest again but was caught off guard when he cupped her face. Before she can fully comprehend what he's about to do, she found herself mesmerized by a pool of azure before melting in their second kiss.
A/N: I'm sorry for the late update. So, how was it? :)
PS: I'll appreciate it if you'll also check my other story, "My Fiancee, My Boss." And please don't forget to leave a review for that too! God bless you all :)