The Game of Love
By Elena Lane
Date: April 7, 2021
Ch. 1111

Gigi looked around. “Don’t you think this is overkill? I mean, I understand that you wanted to get away from the cameras, but don’t you think--” This time, Rowan interrupted Gigi by pulling into a kiss. Without hesitance, Gigi kissed him back. The moonlight shone brightly over them, setting a scene of romance and beauty. Though Gigi was a bit out of breath practically running away from the mansion, she didn’t let that impede the fierceness of their kiss. Passion was in the air and nothing could cool down the heat that was building between their two bodies.

After a while, Rowan pulled away and Gigi raised an eyebrow at him. “What was that for?”

Rowan shrugged, “I guess that I just couldn’t resist.” Then, his face grew dim. “But that’s the least of out worries.”

“What do you mean?”
“We’ve been duped. Majorly.”

“By who?”

“The producers.” Rowan said grimly.

“You’re just figuring out that now? I think it’s fairly obvious that they like to play games.”

“Well, they aren’t just playing a little game anymore. They want major drama. They want a love triangle.”

“Rowan, I know for a fact that that is not what they want. They’ve been pushing me and Vincent together for a long time and they certainly don’t want anything to interfere with ‘Vigi.’”

“You said that they made you sign legal papers?”

“Yeah, a contract. So, what?”

“Well, I’m guessing that you didn’t read the whole thing very thoroughly.”

“Yeah, well, it was like eighty pages and I didn’t have a choice in the matter, anyway. So, no, I didn’t really read it all.” Gigi shrugged, “But I skimmed it.”

“I’m assuming that the contract is about you and Vincent’s relationship.”

“Yeah,” Gigi responded. “It basically binds us to each other. If Vincent and I don’t remain a happy couple, we’ll lost the competition and maybe even face legal action, but don’t tell anyone I told you that. It’s supposed to be confidential.”

Rowan nodded, “I was thinking about this when we were by the pool and I remembered this one day when Kevin dropped by the mansion to talk to me. He was asking me a lot of questions about our relationship and before he left he told me that he thought that I should go for the girl. At the time, I thought that he was just being nice, but now that I think about it, I think that his motives weren’t so pure.”

“So, he wanted you to fall in love with me, but why?”

“Ratings, for one, but I think that it goes beyond even that. In your contract, there was probably some kind of infidelity clause, which states that if you cheat on Vincent that the contract will be voided?” Rowan had said it as a question. Though, Gigi wasn’t sure of the answer.

“I can imagine that that’s something they would do, but at the same time, I think that they want the love story that Vincent and I can provide. They promised us that they would make us win if we signed the contract.”

“But if you break the contract, Vincent can be portrayed as the broken hearted boyfriend whose girlfriend cheated on him. Let’s face it. There are four of us left. Robby will probably be eliminated this week, leaving you, me, and Vincent. From there, it’s only predictable that you and Vincent will win, but if they bring up this love triangle and shake everything up, that will make for a good show. From there, they can push us to the sidelines and Vincent can be the sole winner.”
“Why Vincent? Of all people, why would they want Vincent to win the show? It just doesn’t make sense, Rowan.”

“Vincent has been the frontrunner from the beginning, Gigi. The winner becomes the face for this competition and Vincent has the face that they want.”

“And we’re just red herrings, thrown in the way to distract the viewers along the way and prevent them from predicting the forgone conclusion.”

Rowan nodded grimly, “Basically.”

“I wonder if Vincent knows about this.”

“I doubt it.” Rowan replied. “I think he’s as much of a pawn in this as we are. He can be a jerk and maybe even a little manipulative, but he wouldn’t do this- he’s not cruel.”

“Well, you have more faith in him than I do.”

“You just don’t see the way he looks at you. He really does care about you, maybe even loves you.” Gigi was impressed. Rowan didn’t say it with jealousy or contempt for Vincent. More so, it was said with respect. Rowan wasn’t insecure. So when it came to other men, he didn’t get jealous nor was he possessive with his girlfriends; he didn’t need to be.

Gigi pulled Rowan into a kiss. Then, she looked into his eyes. “But you’re the one that I love.”

Rowan put his arms around Gigi. “I love you too, Gigi.” Then, Rowan sighed. “What do you want to do about the show?” He asked.

“Kiss you in front of the camera.” Gigi said, giving Rowan another peck.

“You know, that could mess everything up.” Rowan said, proceeding to kiss Gigi back.

Gigi thought of the money. She used to think that she needed it to make a future for herself, but the future was already unraveling itself and it turned out that money had nothing to do with it. Gigi thought of Vincent’s mom and her love for Rowan. She shrugged. “Let Vincent win. He needs the money. Besides, I have everything I need right here.” And Gigi was being honest. Of course, she couldn’t guarantee that she and Rowan would be together forever, but she knew that their love would last because though love was always changing, it never died. Even old love remained, a slave to the mind. Gigi loved Rowan and hoped that he would be her future, but whether they would spend days, months, years, or their whole lives together, Gigi would cherish every second she had with Rowan.

There was no value to love. A kiss, an embrace, or an I love you, couldn’t be given a price tag or won on a game show. Love wasn’t all good times, Gigi knew that. There were wins, losses and stalemates. Love wasn’t easy to keep and it certainly wasn’t always glamourous, but special moments like that night when Gigi and Rowan stood under the night moon, kissing and sharing each other’s warmth were the times to be remembered. Those were the times that made love worth all the turmoil and stress. No, falling in love wasn’t easy and it didn’t come without a cost, but that’s just the game of love, a game that is better to have been played and lost than never to have been played at all.

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