The Game of Love
By Elena Lane
Date: March 31, 2021
Ch. 1010

“My mother is dying, Gigi.” Vincent said with tears in his eyes. “She has cancer and I need this money for her treatment. Our insurance won’t cover it because it’s experimental, but it’s had good results so far and my mother’s all the family I have left. If Rowan loves you, he’ll wait a couple of weeks, but my mother, she can’t wait. If I can’t get this money, there are no options left.”

“Vincent, I didn’t know.” Gigi stammered. Vincent had not made one mention of his dying mother during his introductory monologue. That would have been an emotional goldmine. Gigi couldn’t imagine why Vince hadn’t talked about it. “You should have said something. People love a good sob story.” Gigi gave Vince a small grin, “I would know.”

“Maybe it would have helped if I had told my story, but I wasn’t about to let my personal life get muddled within this crap. My mother isn’t a commodity. She isn’t something that I should be using to get money. I just wanted to keep my mother to myself. I wanted to keep something personal.”

“I know that you need the money, but I’m sick of this charade. Maybe if I break up with you, you can win all on your own. Then, you can have all the money.”

“I already talked to Kevin about this. He says have t stay together or he won’t let us win.”

“Oh, so you were planning to get rid of me behind my back? What a good guy you are. At least I talk these kind of things over with you, Vincent. I want out of this contract as much as you do, but I wouldn’t go to Kevin without talking to you first.”

“No, Gigi. It wasn’t like that. I saw you kissing Rowan and I was mad. I was jealous. So, I did something impulsive and I tried to get out of the contract, but that’s not what I want. I want nothing more than to win this with you, but I just felt betrayed and I’ve never taken betrayal well. I lashed out and I’m sorry, but the point is that I need you. I really, really need you.” Vincent was practically pleading. How could Gigi say no to him? Vincent didn’t want the money for selfish purposes. Sure, he could be a little rough around the edges and too cocky for his own good, but deep down inside Vincent was vulnerable. Just like everyone else in the world, Vincent carried vulnerability.

Vincent was right. Gigi had time to love Rowan. Her love could wait until after the show, couldn’t it? Sure, they lived states apart, but Gigi and Rowan could text and call and facetime. If Vincent didn’t get his half of the money, his mother would definitely die and Gigi didn’t know if she could live with the guilt of stealing away a dying woman’s last chance at life. Gigi had lost her own mother too soon and she didn’t want to be the reason that another kid lost his mother too soon.

Gigi and Rowan were sitting outside. It was nighttime and their feet were dangling over the edge of the pool, just skimming the crystal blue water. Usually, they would stay inside during their late night chats, but that night was different. Everything about it was more special than any other night. They were sitting quietly when Rowan broke the silence. “I hate feeling like your dirty little secret, Gigi. Each night I feel so close to you. You hug me and sometimes even kiss me, but then you tell me that it was all a mistake.”

“What’s gotten into you?”

He shrugged, “I wanted to kiss you. A moment ago I wanted to kiss you, but then, I didn’t because I know that you’d only call it a mistake. That’s what you always do and I don’t want to feel that way anymore.”

“Then, what do you want?”

“I want us to be together.”

“You know we can’t, Rowan. Let’s not fight about this again.”

“Gigi, I don’t want to fight, but here’s how it’s going to be: you can choose me or you can choose him. I’ll accept your choice, but I can’t just stand around watching you falling in love with another man.”

“You don’t understand, Rowan.” Gigi pleaded.

“What do you mean that I don’t understand? I understand perfectly well, Gigi. You’re stuck in a relationship with a jackass and you have no choice in the matter. I get it, but you won’t even tell me where you stand. You’ll kiss me and make me feel like I matter to you, but then, you call it a mistake and run away.

“Rowan, I made a deal with Vince. I can’t just break that deal. He needs this money and I need it too. You don’t understand the stakes, Rowan. I signed legal documents and if I don’t stay with Vincent, then I’ll be in a world of trouble. There’s no way out.”

“I don’t want you to break whatever agreement you have. I don’t care if you keep up this charade with Vincent. That doesn’t bother me, but what does bother me is that you never tell me how you really feel. I just want you to tell me how you feel about me, about us.”

“Okay, fine, Rowan. You want to know how I feel? Well, here it is,” Gigi began. “Rowan, I love--” Then, Rowan abruptly clapped his hand over Gigi’s mouth before she could finish.

“What the hell, Rowan?” Gigi fumed. Just as she was about to give Rowan what he wanted, he had stopped her.

“Not here, Gigi.” Rowan mouthed to her, motioning with his head to a camera mounted on the side of the mansion, pointed in their direction. Rowan pulled Gigi’s arm and gently pulled her to her feet. He led her away from the mansion, down the deserted night sidewalks. Rowan walked speedily, not stopping until they were blocks away from the mansion.

Font size
Font color
Line spacing
Background color