Eddy was true to his word. About a week after the unfortunate leaked naked photos, Maya received several phone calls offering her modelling deals. Modelling wasn’t something that she had ever considered and she wasn’t sure that she was the right type of person to pull that off. Doubts starting setting in about her appearance. She had after all, not that long ago had a baby and she was still carrying around a bit of baby weight. Just the thought of little Jin, brought tears to her eyes and Eddy had asked her several times in the past couple of weeks what was wrong. Not wanting to tell him the truth, she just dismissed it as nervous energy and that it would probably go away, once the photo shoots were done.
Eddy, not knowing how to make it all better, did what guys do best. He bought her a car. It was a powdery light blue, however he planned on having it painted her favourite shade of purple, as soon as he could get it into the shop.
Then to help with all that nervous energy, he decided to take her to the gym with him. He told her that he thought it would be a way for them to spend more time together. Not that anything was wrong with the way she looked. He thought she looked fantastic just the way she was. Those round hips were sexy as hell and they made him think all kinds of interesting thoughts every time he saw her walking away from him or bend over to pick something up.
Maya actually really enjoyed going to the gym with Eddy. Paparazzi and all. She was in a lot better shape than she thought and only fell on the treadmill once.
She figured that had to do with all the walking she did in China. Living in the country way up in the mountain was easy walking to town, but not so easy on the way back up and usually carrying several very heavy bags of supplies. Working out with Eddy gave her a real boost of confidence and she found she was smiling more and feeling at ease about the coming photo deals. It didn’t hurt either that she had lost ten pounds in about two and a half weeks! Which meant about two dress sizes. Still not where she wanted to be in size but a great start. She dropped all breads and sugars from her diet and tried to eat healthier like she had in China. She was definitely feeling sexier and it showed in her walk. She thought that Eddy must be appreciating it too because for their second month anniversary he took her to Sunset Valley for a weekend get away. He left his entourage behind which meant that apart from the paparazzi, they were all alone. Their time together felt almost magical, and Maya was so happy she felt she could burst with rays of sunshine. It gave them a chance to really get to know one another. Two whole days of alone time, and it was heaven.
Never having been to Sunset Valley before Maya found it to be a beautiful town that mixed the old fashion style of town with more modern buildings. Eddy knew Sunset Valley well, as he had vacationed there every summer with his aunt and uncle, the Landgraab family. It was then, Maya learned a very important piece of information. Eddy came from a very prominent rich family. But his father was disowned by the family when he married Eddy’s mother. He chose love over money and lived a very modest life with his wife and son. When Eddy turned ten his mother left his father for a rich man in another town. She left and never looked back. Eddy held a real resentment towards his mother for leaving him and his father behind. ‘Like I did to Ian and Jin’ she said to herself and that thought sat less well with her, than it ever had before.
“I will never forgive her,” he said to Maya “and I hope I never see her again.”
Sunday after noon, Eddy told Maya he was taking her to a special place. She was extremely curious where that could be. He drove her to the edge of town up into the hillside to a secluded area just below the waterfall that emptied into a small lake. It was extremely private but wondrous standing so close to the thundering water crashing down onto the rocks.
“I used to come here with the local boys in the summer to drink and do some fishing. We got into some really interesting trouble up here in this secluded area. No one ever knew where we were and as long as we were relatively quiet, we could pretty well do whatever we wanted up here. In fact I had my first woo hoo over there behind those rocks” he said to her wiggling his eyebrow at her in a suggestive way.
“Its absolutely beautiful! I love it” she told him eyes wide with wonder and she took it all in.
“I thought it could be a special place for us as well.” Eddy stated.
Maya instantly froze. A little mini panic attack hit her as Maya’s mind started racing with thoughts about what he could mean. Please please she thought to herself.
“Oh?” she asked nervously.
“Yeah, I mean… I just thought it would be nice if we had someplace nice just for ourselves. Someplace to make fond memories to remember” he replied.
Maya looked at him quizzically and Eddy laughed. “I’m not explaining this well am I?”
She shook her head no and laughed with him.
“I have a question to ask you.” he said.
Alarm bells went off in Maya’s head. No no no, please. This can’t be happening! What am I going to do? Panic bubbled up into her chest and she found herself breathing rapidly to control the fear.
“Are you all right?” Eddy asked looking concerned.
“I’m, I’m fine” she replied trying to take a big breath to calm her nerves. A few more and she was feeling a little more stable. I’m going to have to tell him and I’ll lose him.
“Well good. Because this is a very important decision and I want to make it here and now. While we are all alone with no interruptions.”
“OK. Well what is it then?” Please please don’t ask me, she prayed.
“See I always thought that this would make a perfect place for a vacation home and I was wondering what you thought about that.”
“A vacation home?”
“Yeah. See I thought I could put some gates up here with a tall fence and that way it would be completely private. With all the thick trees up there and rocks it would be really difficult for paparazzi to get through and the waterfall completes the square and makes it the perfect place to relax.”
Maya looked around. He was right, it was the perfect place. It was a well thought out plan.
“Sounds perfect. It will definitely give you some place to relax. I think its a good plan.”
“No, see. I’m not doing this for me,” he said to her. “I know you are struggling with a lack of privacy and dealing with the paparazzi. I thought this would be a good place for you. And me too, I mean. But mostly for you.”
Maya was so surprised by his words that she ran over to him and jumped into his arms. She was so incredibly happy at that moment. She didn’t know what she had done to deserve him!
“You know. I’m wondering if you could show me those rocks over there?”she said suggestively. But before she could lean in to kiss him, out of now where a photographer jumped into view and started snapping pictures.
“Great. Just great. Ruin a perfect moment like always” she said.
They tried asking the photographer politely to leave but he just wouldn’t take the hint. Eddy got really annoyed and just glared at him.
“Lets go to the pool” and they left their future paradise disappointed and unsatisfied.
They spent part of the afternoon in the pool and particularly enjoyed the hot tub. They carried their frustrated sexual energy into the hot bubbly water.
More pics to hit the mags tomorrow she thought.
Oh well, I’m feeling so happy right now, let them snap their pictures! But when they realized they were creating quite the spectacle, they decided maybe it was time to see a movie and get out of the public eye for a while. And sure enough all the pics made every newspaper and magazine by Monday morning.
Eddy had left that day to go on tour with his band and Maya had been without him for six days now. The extra publicity he had been receiving lately due to his relationship with Maya, had led to even more gigs popping up. He made the decision to quit school and give his focus back to his band mates. The weekend trip had been Eddy’s way of letting her know that even though he would be away more often now, he also wanted to make Maya a priority in his life as well.
Maya heard from him every night but because of his schedule, his phone calls usually came in around two in the morning and woke her up. In her half awake state, all she could seem to get out was I miss you and how was the show. He of course was still pumped up from playing his show and was all talk talk talk. She fell back to sleep each night to the sound of his voice.
Life had gotten incredibly busy since Eddy had left. She had done several photography shoots including a wedding photo shoot. She was all jittery nerves during the set, dodging questions about marriage and her life. She couldn’t wait till the photographer was done, to get out of those wedding dresses and out of the studio. It made her sentimental and somewhat sad to know that she had never had a real wedding with Ian, nor any photos to remember him by. She wondered how Jin was doing and how big he had grown. I bet he is talking up a storm and toddling all over the place. He is going to be a handsome young man some day. Just like his father.
Maya had asked Eddy not to call this evening. Tomorrow she was doing something that now she was really dreading. She was going to be walking the runway for Collette Cohen and her fashion show. The invitations had gone out and although it was by special invite only, she had heard the guest list was huge. Some big name celebrities were going to be there as well as the Leader of the Free World and her husband. She was a bunch of jumbled nerves and wanted to make sure she got enough beauty sleep so she didn’t look like a raccoon for the event. Now she wished she had asked Eddy to call. If only to help calm her nerves. What could she possibly have been thinking? With her luck, she would trip on the runway and fall flat on her face. Then again perhaps she deserved it. She turned to stand in front of the mirror and gave herself a pep talk.
“Shake it off Maya! Don’t let nerves get the best of you! This is what you want remember. You have been dreaming of this since you were a little girl with Sun. Be happy that you have finally gotten here! You will be fine.” She took a big breath to try and calm her nerves. She pulled out her phone and checked her messages hoping there would be something from Eddy. There wasn’t so she flopped onto the bed and stared at the ceiling. She tried to envision tomorrow afternoons show and pictured herself walking the runway to and then fro. See you can do it, she said to herself. Easy peasy. Just like that. She had no idea how Eddy did this night after night. She asked him once if he ever got nervous before a show. Only in the beginning, he had told her. Now it’s just old hat. You will get used to it to, he told her. She was trying and she was waiting.
It wasn’t like she hadn’t spent enough time in the spot light for the past two months. She and Eddy had been dubbed Favourite Celebrity Couple. Which meant the paparazzi presence had doubled since that unfortunate leaked photos incident. She had learned never to step out of her room unless she was completely put together and to always keep the blinds closed. She was constantly hounded by designers to wear their latest designs, which actually meant free clothes so she couldn’t really complain about that. She had accumulated quite the closet of nice clothes and accessories and the designers got all the publicity they needed every time she walked out the door. She guessed that meant she had become a walking billboard advertisement. Classy, she thought sarcastically.
The next thing Maya knew, it was daylight and she was being woken by her phone. She grabbed for it and saw that it was Eddy calling.
“Hey” he said to her.
“Hi! What are you doing up so early?” she asked.
“Actually, I haven’t been to bed yet. I stayed up so I could call and wish you good luck!”
“Oh Eddy, I miss you. I really wish you were here. I don’t know how I am going to get through this today.”
“You will be fine! Think of it as fun and just imagine who you might meet after the show.”
“Yeah, I guess. But I am never doing this again.”
“Comes with the territory babe, sorry. In this life people will always want a piece of you. You’re life will never be yours again. I’m sorry Maya, but I am beat. I really need to get some sleep. I will try to call you later and find out how the show went.”
“Okay. Sleep well.”
The phone went silent and Maya hung up. That was Eddy. He never said goodbye. He never said I love you either, but she was pretty sure he did in his own way.
Before long it was time to leave for the show. Maya literally felt sick to her stomach. Collette had sent a car for her so she didn’t need to drive, which gave her time to stretch out in the back seat and try to take some calming breaths. Her stomach settled just in time when she arrived at the back entrance to the resort, to be led to the hair and makeup rooms. She sat in the chair in front of the stylist and closed her eyes hoping it would discourage the woman from talking to her and asking her questions. Another thing she had learned. Everyone is a source. A harmless conversation easily made the next celebrity magazine as some trumped up story. The right-wrong answer easily became the next scandal.
Once Maya was full dressed in Collette’s most expensive design for the season in Maya’s signature colour, the nausea returned.
“Don’t you dare throw up on my dress!”
Maya turned to see Collette standing there wiggling her finger at her. Maya burst out laughing and amazingly she felt much better.
“See, ” Collette said. “Works every time. You just need to release some of that pent up energy which has turned to nerves. You will be fine.” She turned to walk away but turned back and said to Maya in a stern voice, “But if your ruin that dress, you’re paying for it!” Then she turned and walked away giving a sadistic laugh. Maya shook her head and went to find a mirror. She looked absolutely stunning!
“You’re on in five Maya.” said the stage manager.
“Okay you can do this. Think of it as fun.” She stood taller, pulled back her shoulders and gave her reflection a nod. “Off we go.”
Maya made it through the show without tripping up once. She modeled two dresses, the dark purple evening gown which she had on for the start, and the mauve afternoon cocktail dress. She couldn’t wait to wear the dresses out while on the town with Eddy. All the models and Collette were back in the dressing room drinking juicepayne, but she decided not to participate. She said her goodbyes to everyone and stepped out the back door.
Maya spun around to find Eddy leaning against his car. She ran to him and threw her arms around him.
“What are you doing here?” she asked him, being too happy to really care why.
“Do you really think I would miss this show? I drove most of the night to get here.”
“I’m just so happy you’re here.” She kissed him fully on the mouth. He picked her up and bringing her legs around his waist leaned her up against the side of the building kissing her thoroughly.
“Eddy stop. Please put me down. Paparazzi could be anywhere.”
“I don’t care! I have missed you so much.”
“No Eddy, really. Please!”
Reluctantly, he lowered her to the ground.
“I’ve got about three hours to spend with you before I have to drive back. Lets go to the lake.”
“Yes, let’s do that.”
“Its time Maya. If I don’t leave now I wont make it back in time for the show.”
“I know. Just one more minute.”
He pulled her from the ground and gave her a quick hug.
“Are you okay to get back to the Sorority House on your own?”
Maya shook her head yes. She was desperately trying not to cry. “Have a safe drive.”
Eddy gave her a nod and pulled away. Maya had this sudden feeling of loss that she couldn’t quite explain. Not the ‘I’m going to miss him’ kind of loss, but the ‘nothing is going to be the same from this point on’ and she couldn’t understand why. Something just felt different and a small sense of uneasiness settled into her that she just couldn’t shake off.