Eddy respected Maya’s wishes to refrain from woo hoo, for about a week. After that, he started subtly laying on advances, just to remind Maya of her very sexual nature. Compliments flowed easily from his lips, coupled with soft caresses and cuddles, whenever the opportunity presented itself. Wooing a woman was a greater challenge then he knew and was a skill he never had to master before. All he ever needed to do, was bat his eyelashes and give a woman “the look”, before winning his prize. But Maya knew him too well and seemed immune to all his flirtations. He still had not been able to seduce her back into his arms. He thought he had won the battle one night, when he was able to get her cuddling in bed. He began whispering his usually bed play phrases and kissing her arm. She laughed at first but underneath, he could tell she was wavering.
Suddenly she stood up, declared things were getting a little too cozy and suggested that they should get off the bed. He continued to try and seduce her that evening, but nothing worked. Eddy had to admit, that he never thought she would actually hold out this long. Yet, she held fast and true to her conviction. So he tried a different tactic, and asked if he could spend the night sleeping next to her. She looked at him through narrowed eyes, trying to determine, he was sure, what his game was. He promised with complete sincerity, that all they would do was sleep. She agreed, but very clearly reminded him to please respect her wishes. He patiently waited until she had fallen into a deep sleep, then he rolled over and cuddled her, loving the feel of her buttocks against his very hard groin. If this kept up, he would be forced to make a trip to the spa in Sunset Valley. A man had needs, and if Maya wasn’t going to take care of those needs, then he had someone in mind who would. Eddy knew what was at risk here, and he had to be careful with Maya. Time was running out, and if he didn’t take his time and make all the right moves, he was going to lose it all. Considering all his choices, Maya was the best road to take and that, he greatly understood.
Eddy had noticed, that Maya had been receiving a lot of text messages lately.
When he asked, she told him it was Chloe, but he wasn’t entirely sure he believed her. If it had been just the texts, he might never have thought anything more of it. However, Maya was showing other signs of deception. For example, she had become incredibly possessive of her phone lately. She kept her phone tucked away in her pocket, and was always making sure the phone was there. Normally she was always losing her phone, because she had laid it down and forgotten where it was. When a text came in, she read it right away and then deleted it. It all led him to wonder, what or who she was hiding from him. So one night after she had fallen asleep, he carefully slipped the phone out from under her pillow. He took it into the bathroom, quietly closing the door.
There were a lot of texts from Chloe and a few from her professors, but nothing else. He checked the log and found exactly what he was looking for. Entering the mysterious phone number into his phone, he went back to bed and carefully slipped the phone back under her pillow. She stirred in her sleep and he covered, by hugging her to him in a cuddling embrace. Smiling to himself, he thought how amusing it was, that in her sleep Maya couldn’t stop herself from needing him. Satisfied, he fell asleep knowing that tomorrow, he was going to get to the bottom of this once and for all.
Monday morning, Maya immersed herself into her new job, while Eddy left in the afternoon to do a bit of publicity touring for his new movie: Love After Death. The movie was set to be released in a weeks time, on the night the tour would finish in Bridgeport. He met up with Paola in Moonlight Falls, where they began their tour by doing a radio show, hosted by Bryan Seacrest. It was an interesting interview, as Bryan had quite the sense of humour, and seemed to have the knack for making even the saddest moments, seemed less tragic. He enjoyed it and was looking forward to the rest of the very gruelling tour. In front of the cameras or a microphone, Paola was full of praise for Eddy, smiling and casually touching him to portray a great friendship. Yet after the cameras turned off, she walked away from him, without saying a word. Her people would whisk her away to do other things, while he was pulled another. He found it all a little interesting, as it seemed clear to him, they were purposely being kept apart. He figured that meant Paola had found out about Eddy sleeping with her daughter. However he didn’t understand why that would be an issue. What her daughter Ileana, did in her own private time was her business. Perhaps Paola was a bit of a prude? Maybe it was the supposed cheating on Maya, that she had a problem with. Either way, he took the separation in stride and decided now was not the time to make it an issue.
They had done promotional events in four cities and were finishing with a movie premier in Bridgeport, where the movie was originally filmed. Instead of staying with Paola, Eddy was put up in a five star hotel and he wished that Maya was there with him. Perhaps this beautiful hotel room would have put her in the right mood for woo hoo. He should give that some thought for the near future. He didn’t have much time in Bridgeport; after the movie premier he needed to head directly to the airport and catch his flight home. He was disappointed in the lack of time he had to catch up with his band mates, since he hadn’t seen them in six weeks. They hung out and practiced some songs, but Eddy was under strict instructions to stay in and retire early.
The next morning, Eddy and his band mates arrived to the premier at the Bridgeport theatre, in a stretch limo. Eddy wasn’t a sentimental guy, but he had to admit that he really appreciated the support he was getting from the three of them. Fans were already lined up around the block, waiting for the arrival of the stars and for the theatre to open. When he stepped from the limo, the crowd went wild with screams and cheers. The four members of the band met the crowd with hand shakes and posed for group photos.
Eddy was lapping up the affection of the crowd, when he was pulled away to take promotional pictures inside of the theatre.
Eddy was loving all the attention he was getting, and began to wonder why he hadn’t thought to go into film before this. It was something he was going to seriously consider now! The group filed into the theatre and took their seats, while the patrons pushed their way in after them, trying to get a seat close to the celebrities. Two hours later, everyone came out a little more melancholy, than when they had first gone in.
“Now that this charade is over with, I never want to see you again. Never do I want you to enter my home or have anything to do with any member of my family. Have I made myself clear?”
“Paola, what is going on? I don’t understand why you are so mad.”
“You don’t need to understand Mr. Mullins. All you need to do is follow orders.”
With that she walked away, leaving Eddy standing there stunned. Black Hawk grabbed Eddy by the arm and began pulling him towards the limo.
“Eddy, let’s go. We are taking you to the airport.”
In the back of the limo, the band members had a very serious chat, and when they were done, Eddy was left speechless.
Eddy’s departure for his movie tour, afforded Maya the ability to focus all her energy on the few classes she needed to attend, and her new teaching opportunity. The students were attentive to her lessons, and were very eager to learn techniques, that seemed to come naturally to Maya. She was so intent on doing the assignment well, she found Eddy had barely come to mind. To be more accurate, she hadn’t missed him at all. He also hadn’t called, which she wasn’t at all surprised about. She knew the tour had a very busy schedule, and that he was greatly looking forward to meeting up with his band mates at the end. She was sure he wasn’t missing her at all either.
Eddy’s return, however, was a totally different matter. His focus seemed to be directed entirely upon her. He never wanted them to be apart and almost virtually moved into Sorority House. He even took the time to attend her classes, sitting on the sidelines watching her every move. She was starting to find it disconcerting, and wondered what the reasoning was behind this new behaviour. She had asked him several times if there was anything bothering him, but he had charmingly responded that he had missed her tremendously while he was gone. She knew something was amiss, but she chose to focus her energy on her own responsibilities, with the hope that everything would work itself out in time.
The week after Eddy’s return, newspapers and magazines began reporting that Eddy and Paola’s movie was a “huge flop.” The headlines read such things as:
“Eddy Mullins-The New Name In Crappy Sappy Love Stories”
“Love After Death Died With the Addition of Eddy Mullins”
Suddenly, Eddy’s recent behaviour began to make sense, and she tried to talk to him about the reports. Eddy responded that the success of the movie had no bearing on his future, and therefore he didn’t care about the reviews. It was a fun experience, he said, one he had learned a lot from. Maya didn’t believe a word and felt incredibly sad for Eddy. She knew how she would feel if she had taken on such a task, only to be told that she wasn’t in touch with her feelings. She didn’t know what the reviewers were talking about. She believed that it was more the case of inexperience and perhaps, uncertainty in the way things worked in the movie world. Either way, if it had been her, she would have been devastated. She hadn’t yet seen the movie, as it wasn’t due to be released in University Town for another two weeks. She was looking forward to watching it, and voicing her opinions on the matter after ward.
Her teaching assignment complete, she put aside all other responsibilities and gave her attentions to Eddy. Under her affections he came more alive, more attentive, showering her with gifts and extravagant dates. The hot air balloon ride was the most surprising date.
He said he wanted to make up for not being in town for Valentines Day. Yet, he spent the ride trying to get her to take off her clothes, telling her how thrilling it would be to woo hoo in the air. She was grateful she declined, for soon after they lifted off, another balloon toting members of the press, arrived in the air beside them.
Since her current view of reporters was not a friendly one, she glared at them for ruining what could have been, a very romantic date. After that they settled in for a more quiet life. Maya, who was fed up with the paparazzi, chose to stay in as much as possible, focus on her painting and ponder life while doing so. She still had no idea what she was going to say to Ian when he returned. The date was circled in red on her calendar, a visual omen to her future.
Monday morning, Maya and Eddy attended their early morning class together. Their teacher chose to host the class outdoors, asking the students to sketch some statues on the university grounds. She did have to admit that drawing and painting people were the weakness in her skill, so any teachings on the subject were greatly appreciated. In the middle of the class, Maya’s phone began to ring, and after checking the caller I.D. she answered the phone.
“Chloe! I’m so happy to hear from you! I’ve been calling you for days.”
“Maya, I’m so sorry. The shop has been so incredibly busy, and I’m trying to spend as much of my spare time with my father as I possibly can.”
“How is your father?” Maya asked.
“He is well actually. He has completely surprised his doctors in his recovery. If things continue on as they are, I will be able to return to college for the fall semester!”
“Chloe, that’s wonderful! I only wish I was going to be here with you when you did.”
“Listen Maya, being where we are, we are privy to information sooner than you and I know you avoid all the celebrity magazines as much as possible. So I was wondering, have you seen any of the celebrity magazines in the past few days?”
“No, why?’ she responded, feeling immediately frustrated. “What lies are they printing now?”
Then Chloe had the unfortunate task of letting Maya know the latest news. Turning her back from the class, she listened intently and when Chloe finished, she closed her phone and walked away. She walked around the block to the nearest shop, purchased a few magazines, and took them back to her dorm room to read them in private. When she was finished, she was devastated. Paris quietly knocked on her door, and poked in her head after hearing Maya’s distress from the hall way.
“I can’t believe it. I just can’t believe it!”
“You have to know. You need to find out, otherwise, you will always wonder.”
Maya nodded her head. “You’re right. I know you’re right.” Maya picked up the phone and made the dreaded call.
Under the moonlight, Maya stood on the hill at the park behind the Sorority House. It wasn’t long before Eddy arrived. He leaned in to give her a brief kiss on the lips, rubbing his hands in response to the cold night air.
“So what are we doing all the way up here?” he asked wiggling his eyebrows at her, as he always did when he was trying to woo her.
“I thought that a little privacy was needed.”
“Oh? Privacy for what?”
“I wanted to talk about this,” and she handed him the magazine.
The article went on to report, that during Eddy’s stay in Bridgeport over the Christmas holidays, Eddy had gotten Illeana Montegrande pregnant. He was now the father to a healthy baby boy named James Edward Montegrande. According to the birth date on the certificate, Illeana Montegrande would have been a few weeks shy of her 18th birthday, when the dirty deed occurred.
Eddy looked up from the magazine, red faced from either embarrassment or anger; which one she couldn’t be sure.
“Is it true?”
“It is! It’s true! You cheating, low life jerk!”
“Oh no! No! You left Maya, and refused to answer the phone or let me know where you were. I had no idea if we were broken up or still together!”
“You can’t possibly think that is an excuse. Not knowing gave you permission to hop into bed with whomever you chose to?”
“I came for you Maya! I swallowed my pride and stepped foot onto a property, I vowed I would never go to again. You sent me away! As far as I was concerned that was you breaking up with me. It didn’t happen till after that.”
“So you jump into bed with a teenage girl of all people. You’re disgusting!”
“I didn’t know she was a teen! She never told me how old she was. If she had, I never would have allowed it to happen.”
“Teen or not Eddy, until the words were spoken; until I said I didn’t want to date you anymore, you should have assumed we were still together. But you, you who are always looking for an excuse to whip out that appendage between your legs! I mean seriously, is that all you think about? I was gone for seventeen days Eddy! How many others did you sleep with in that time?
“Oh, c’mon Maya! This, is as much your fault as it is mine!”
“My fault? My fault? Did I get that girl pregnant? You know come to think about it, you don’t seem all that surprised by this news. How long have you known?”
“I found out while I was in Bridgeport.”
Maya threw back her head and sarcastically laughed out loud. “It finally makes sense. Can you believe I actually felt sorry for you! You come home dragging your tail between your legs, and I figure it has to do with the movie failing. While all along, you knew this was coming. You knew I was going to find out! That is what all this has been about for the past few weeks! Damage control!” Eddy started to speak and Maya cut him off with a wave of her hand.
“You know what? I can’t even look at you right now. Just go! I don’t want to talk to you anymore.”
“Maya. I’m sorry, please listen!”
Maya turned her back on Eddy and he walked away. She stood there seething in anger and staring at the stars. She couldn’t believe how stupid and naive she had been. What kind of man was he anyway? One who completely fooled her apparently. Maya felt sick inside, like she needed a good shower inside and out. She felt complete revulsion thinking of the person she had been sleeping with for four months. She was thankful that her instincts had been telling her to refuse him in the bedroom for the past seven weeks. She started to feel sorry for the Montegrande daughter, but then realised, that no woman fell into Eddy’s arms, that didn’t want to be there. Little bitch! How many others had there been since she started dating Eddy? The more she thought about it, the more her skin crawled. She didn’t think she would ever feel clean again.
Taking a few cleansing breaths and feeling a little more steady, Maya began to walk through the park back towards the house. Fireflies stirred from the grass and began to fly in circles above her head and she decided she wanted to try and sketch them.
Sitting down in the grass, she began to sketch the scenery, attempting to add the light from the fireflies to the dark. Memories of the night at the lake with Ian can flooding back, and she smiled. Maya watched the fireflies till the cold began to seep into her bones.
Then she headed back to the dorm, showered and crawled into bed. Tomorrow she was going to the local hospital to be tested for any diseases they could think of! It was the only way she was going to feel comfortable in her own skin again. She was almost asleep, when she suddenly realised that she hadn’t cried. He’s not worth tears, she thought. I will not cry for him, and she didn’t.
Once the story was released in her part of the world, reporters went insane with their ambition to get as many photos of Eddy and Maya as they could snap. Maya couldn’t go anywhere without cameras being shoved in her face, however she refused to hide. She didn’t want to give the press the satisfaction of reporting she was devastated. They did anyway. Before she knew it, articles began popping up citing she was so devastated by Eddy’s cheating she was losing weight, becoming anorexic; becoming unstable. Photos of Maya in places around the university plastered the front pages of magazines and newspapers alike.
The pictures had to be photo shopped, she thought to herself. I don’t really look like that; that thin! Maya stood in front of her full length mirror in her dorm room one night trying to compare her body to the pics in the mags. She had lost a little weight over the past two months, but certainly not that much-had she? From that moment on, Maya began dressing in layers and loser fit clothing to hide her thin body.
The press wasn’t the only issue Maya was facing. People she had once thought to be friends, began whispering behind her back.
A few of her dorm mates stood by her, including Paris, who had been a good friend. Not wanting to drag anyone else into this mess, Maya continued to go out alone to make appearances, and show the world that Eddy Mullins had not brought her down.
Eddy had been calling her non stop, trying to get Maya to reconcile but she made it very clear to him that she was not interested.
Two weeks after the big blow up fight, Eddy showed up at Sorority House. The expression on his face was like nothing she had ever seen and at the moment, she was truly fearful for her life. She tried to slam the door in his face, but he pushed his way through. The altercation brought the other members of the household to the scene, giving Eddy an audience.
“You lying, little slut! Walk around like miss high and mighty because I made one little mistake. You! You-what a fucking hypocrite you are! Were you ever going to tell me?”
At such intense anger, Maya began to slowly back up. Eddy matched every step with one of his own towards her.
“Listen up everyone. Little Miss Perfect here…is married! Married! But what’s worse, she has a child-a son. A son she abandoned along with her husband!”
From behind Maya, she heard many gasps. Maya was shocked and stood there stunned for a few seconds before she could speak.
“How? How did you find out?”
“It wasn’t really that difficult. All I had to do was search your phone. Found that number that has been texting you so much. Your husband, I presume,” he said ending his speech with a sneer.
“My past personal life is none of your business Eddy. What has happened between him and I has nothing to do with you!”
“Really! So you can sleep with another man for four months while married, whereas I make one little mistake and I am public enemy number one! Perhaps we should see what the public thinks about your past-personal life-huh?”
“No please Eddy! This isn’t just about you and I anymore. Just leave them out of it. They don’t deserve this.”
“Out of my hands Maya.” Then Eddy sauntered out the door.
Pacing the foyer floor, hysteria began to build insider her chest. He wouldn’t do that to me would he? What was she going to do? How could everything have fallen apart so badly in such a short time? What was she going to do? How could she have judged someones character so wrongly? This is going to ruin everything. What was she going to do? My whole life is over. Ian may never speak to me again
Somewhere inside her deep thoughts, she felt the pressure of gentle hands leading her away from the front door. Sitting her down on the soft sofa, she could hear voices speaking around her from a far away echo.
“I think she is in shock. Maya? Maya can you hear me?”
“Should we call the doctor?”
“Let’s just give her a minute.”
“Maya?” Someone was shaking her shoulder. She looked up to see friends staring at her with concerned looks on their faces.
“What am I going to do?” she asked quietly.
Paris rubbed Maya’s arms and very calmly said “I think maybe you should call your husband.”
“Right,” still in a daze she began to rise off the couch and was gently forced back to her seat.
“Perhaps you should wait until you are a little more with us,” said Paris, then a glass of juice was placed into her hand.
“Drink this,” said Margaret.
“So Maya,” said Hanna, “got any pictures of this husband of yours? What’s his name?” Paris turned and slapped Hanna’s arm.
“Ian.” Maya jumped up off the couch. “I need to call Ian, excuse me.”
Maya raced up to her room still feeling a sense of panic but more focused than before. She was dreading making this call, and wasn’t sure how she was going to tell him.
Dialing the number, she counted the rings, waiting for him to pick up. When she got his voice mail, she paused for a second trying to decide if leaving a message was the right thing to do. Getting this information to him as quickly as possible was most important, so she began to speak.
“Ian. Its Maya. Everything is falling apart. It’s Eddy-he found out about you and Jin. I, I think he plans to take it to the media. I’m so sorry! I’m sorry for this whole mess! I-” Then his phone beeped, indicating the end of the message space. Maya sat down on the bed, thoughts still racing through her mind. She worried how angry Ian was going to be, and if he would ever want to see her again. At this point she was regretting a lot of decisions she had made and wished she had never come to university. If she hadn’t come, she would never have met Eddy Mullins.
A few minutes later, her phone beeped indicating a message.
“Thank you for letting me know. It was going to come out sooner or later. Boat is well stocked with supplies. We will head out to open water. I will return the end of April.”
Maya breathed a sigh of relief and sent a text back “Please be safe!” She wanted to add “Love you”, but even though she knew it to be true, she didn’t think it was fair to Ian to say it.
The next few weeks were really difficult for Maya. The night Eddy had stormed into the dorm, he apparently went to a party up by the lake and was photographed with a woman in a hay pile.
She didn’t know who the woman was and she simply didn’t care.
She struggled with thoughts that this was all her fault. She should have seen through Eddy’s projected persona, to the real person he was. She was so determined to find that “better life”, that she literally jumped in, without looking. Was she really surprised this had happened to her? Not really, for in the male department, she was doomed to always be treated like she was nothing. First her father, who only saw dollar signs when he looked at her, to Shen, whose abuse of her she had felt she deserved. Just like she tried to get Ian to understand; she wasn’t worth fighting for, and she had just proven it with Eddy. What kind of woman walks away from a wonderful man like Ian, to jump right back into a degrading relationship? Obviously one who wasn’t worth fighting for.
These thoughts plagued her for about two weeks. She stopped going to all of her classes during that time and virtually hid, wallowing in her own unworthiness.
She had yet to see what the papers were reporting, and she tried not to care. Her dorm mates were sympathetic keeping all forms of media out of the house, and didn’t talk about it around Maya.
With nothing left to hide, she brought out a few of the photos of Ian and Jin, to place around the room. Even though they were only pictures, she felt comforted by them. Hannah had come in one day to fawn over how handsome Maya’s husband was. Then she proceeded to tell her the articles over the scandal of Maya being married, had been quite small. The reporters couldn’t find Ian to colaberate the story, and with Maya missing as well, all the reporters could do was speculate. Speculate they did, saying this was a dirty move on Eddy’s part. A revenge rumour, to take the heat off himself over cheating on Maya, and getting a teenage girl pregnant. Hannah suggested that Maya come out of hiding and resume her life, to prove to the reporters she had done nothing wrong. So she did, attending a few classes, while reporters stood outside and snapped pictures through the windows.
Eddy continued to make the papers, the biggest news being he had been kicked out of his band. The article reported that while the band members respected Eddy for his talented, they themselves did not want to be associated with the scandal. Jonny J, had taken over as lead singer for the band, and the group put out a whole new album with all new songs. Album sales had gone through the roof, and you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing his face on the front of a celebrity magazine.
Eddy continued to call and beg her to take him back. He took to stalking her in the public approaching her on the sidewalk.
Maya didn’t know how many different ways to explain to him, that they were never, ever getting back together!
Like ever!-thank you Taylor Swift.
CC Used In This Chapter