“You must be insane.”
“Shhh, Christy! Not so loud.”
Brooke glanced nervously around to see if anyone was listening, keeping her head down. The last thing she needed was anyone spotting her, and she especially didn’t want them to hear the secret she’d just told her sister.
“Well, you are!” Sipping from her coffee, Christina tutted. She knew Brooke was going to mess up her relationship with Casper by doing this.
“I have to do this for my career, C.” She just didn’t understand how big of a break this could be… “Anyway, how’s school?”
“Okay, I guess.” Christy shrugged, not giving much away. Now it was her time to be quiet.
“Mom said you won an award?” Brooke probed her, leaning forward in her seat. She knew how modest her little brainiac of a sister could be. “That’ll look good on your college application.”
The teenager blushed. “It was only for one subject. Zac got two.”
“How is Zac?” Smirked Brooke. She knew Christy had always had a huge crush on her best friend. It was kind of sweet. She could imagine them, all grown up, owning their own vet practice together in the country and having cute little ginger kids.
“He’s good. Smarter than me, as always.” Perking up at the mention of her best friend, she rolled her eyes.
“Don’t be silly! Have you told him you’re into him yet?” Christy glared as Brooke waggled her eyebrows suggestively.
“No!” She almost shouted. Brooke cringed, ducking her head slightly as people turned to look at them.
Oh no, oh no, oh no.
She knew what was coming.
“That’s me.” Brooke smiled, as they began to surround the table. She loved her fans, and things sure had got crazier with them lately, but she just wanted a quiet drink with her sister. For the most part, she couldn’t really complain – she managed to get around most places without being spotted.
“You’re the one who’s dating Gregory Waters, right?” Her friend asked, looking bemused. It seemed like otherwise, she wouldn’t have had much of an interest.
“He is soooo hot.” Another lady added, closing her eyes with a smile. Brooke hated to think what she was imagining. ” I wish I could touch those abs.”
“Er, yeh, we’re together.” It felt strange on her tongue. Bitter.
“Can I please, please have a photo?” The pretty girl who’d first approached her said. “I loved your tour last year. When is your next one?”
Brooke warmed to the girl. She was a real fan of Brooke – not just someone who only associates her with their red-headed sex dream. “Sure.”
“Say cheese!” Brooke grinned, before handing her back her phone. “What’s your name?”
“Matilda. Thankyou soooo much.” She gushed, looking at the photo.
“Is it okay if I rejoin my sister now?” Brooke asked politely.
“Of course! Of course!” Hugging the fan once more, she turned to return to her table. “Oh, and Brooke?”
Brooke turned her head to see Matilda looking slightly saddened. “I was sorry to hear about you and Casper. ”
Me too, honey, me too.
“Greg! Greg! Look here, Brooke!”
“Miss. Asteria! Miss. Asteria!”
The screams of both paparazzi and fans meshed into one as Brooke alternated from pose to pose. Greg did the same, and occasionally brushed against her shoulder, sending goosebumps up her neck. Probably disgust.
“Brooke Asteria!” One reporter asked her as she turned to face him. “Darias Star, Hello! Magazine. Care to comment on rumours that you and gorgeous Greg over here are an item?”
Brooke paused, reaching out to grab his hand. It made her want to retch, but they had to look like they really were a couple. “Well, Darias, we’ve been keeping it quiet, but…We’re totally into each other.” She laughed casually, playfully nudging her co-stars shoulder. He was pleasantly surprised at her ability not to seem like a bitch.
“Sooo cute! Just darling! But Gregory, how do we know you’ve changed your playboy ways?” Darias questioned him. “After all, this young lady is well on her way to becoming America’s sweetheart!”
“She’s totally a sweetheart, buddy.” Greg smiled, dazzling the reporter. He squeezed Brooke’s hand, which was small and dainty in his, looking at her with admiration. She was a beautiful girl. But she wasn’t interested in doing this thing for real, so he wasn’t going to let himself get too invested.
“Hey, hot stuff, d’ya think he bought it?” Pulling her to one side, Greg whispered closely to Brooke with a cheeky grin.
“Let’s get one thing straight.” Brooke hissed from behind a smile. “This is pretend, and pretend only. I don’t like you.” Even though she found herself wanting to, she couldn’t be his friend. This couldn’t be a personal relationship.
“Fine.” Greg replied, masking the hurt he felt after actually trying to be friendly. “Then your acting sucked. Worse than in the movie.”
And with that, he kissed her on the head and smiled for the cameras, walking into the theatre. She could still feel his lips on her forehead, and the guilt, when she made her own way inside.