The Game of Love
By Elena Lane
Date: March 4, 2021
Ch. 66

In the afternoon, Gigi went to see Kevin. To her surprise, Vincent was there too, smirking at Gigi.

“Hello, Gigi. Please, take a seat.” Gigi swallowed a lump in her throat. Suddenly, Gigi felt like she was back in high school, sitting in the principal’s office, which certainly wasn’t a fun feeling. Gigi calmed herself. After all, she hasn’t done anything wrong. She wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but it couldn’t possibly be that bad. Gigi sat down impatiently, waiting for Kevin to get to the point. Vincent, on the other hand, was as cool as a cucumber, which wasn’t all that surprising to Gigi. Vincent didn’t seem to have a nervous bone in his body.

Kevin cleared his throat, “The viewers have responded well to both of you based on the votes casted last night.” That surprised Gigi. She hadn’t expected half the viewers to even remember her, let alone vote for her!

Vincent shrugged arrogantly. “I am awesome.” Gigi rolled her eyes, but stayed silent. Kevin looked at Vincent sternly and Vincent shrugged again. “Well, it’s true.

Gigi spoke before Vincent could say anything else, “So, why are you telling us about all this? Obviously, you didn’t just call us in here just to have a friendly chat.”

“Smart girl. I like that. It’s no wonder the viewers like you so much.” Kevin nodded with approval. “To get right to the point. We think that you two should be a couple.”

Gigi nearly choked on her own saliva “A what?”

“A couple, darling. You know like dating.” Vincent said smoothly.

“Smartass.” Gigi muttered.

Kevin grinned like the Cheshire cat. “See, this—this is what the audience will love. You have this back and forth bickering thing going on that will absolutely thrill viewers. People love things like this. You know, the love/hate relationships are like gold in the entertainment industry.”

Gigi liked Vincent. She couldn’t deny that she had a little bit of a crush on him, but that didn’t mean she wanted to date him on national television. Gigi wanted to get to know Vincent better before she committed herself to a relationship. That’s just how she did things. Gigi liked to be safe. She didn’t want to take a risk and fall in love with Vincent, especially on television. Relationships were hard enough without the risk of being left heartbroken on national television. “No, I’m sorry, but I don’t think that that will work for me. I’m just not interested in romance right now.”

“Gigi, I think you need to think about this a little bit.” Kevin reasoned. “This could be a really great opportunity for you. If you do this, you could win this competition.”
“No, if I do this, Vincent will probably be the one who wins. I’ll just be the girlfriend who gets shoved to the background.”

“Well, that’s why we’ve decided to add a little twist to the show. You know, to spark some interest. It will make the show more interesting and be beneficial to both of you as well.”

“What is this so-called twist?” Gigi prodded.

“Well, if you two can be the top two of the competition, you will each win $500,000. However, if one person is eliminated, you both are eliminated. I think that you, with my help, can make it to the finale. However, this is a risk that you’re going to have to take.”

“No way,” Vincent yelled, no longer his usual calm self. “There’s no way I’m sharing half my money with the likes of her.”

“And I’m not sharing my money with him.” Gigi added.

“If you don’t do this, I’ll be sure that neither of you win this competition. Me and the other producers have the power here. Piss us off and we’ll make America hate you, but if you behave, you will be rewarded.”

“Are you implying that the competition is rigged?” Gigi questioned.

“No, Miss Costello, I’m only saying that people like me know what America wants. Usually, the contestant that the show likes is the winner. Producers, we’re good at our job. We know how to spin footage and warp it in our favor. We know how to make winners and we know how to make losers. Do as I say, be a couple, and you both will succeed. Trust me, half a million dollars is better than no money at all.” Kevin pushed a contract and pen to Gigi and Vince. “I suggest that you sign these papers. These will bind you two to the scenario we discussed here and also, bind you to confidentiality.” He gave them each a stern look. “That means complete confidentiality, kids. Speak of this and our lawyers will tear you apart. People must never know what we discussed today. Any breach of this contract will result in a world of pain. Trust me, legal expenses alone will drown you. Are we clear?”

Gigi and Vincent both nodded begrudgingly, glanced at each other, and signed the contract. What else were they to do? Gigi wanted that money. She could pretend to be with Vincent for a little while if it meant having all the money she needed. Gigi had a future to think about. What was the harm in having a fake relationship, anyway? It wasn’t like Gigi was already taken. Her love life was practically nonexistent. So, maybe a relationship, even a fake one, would do her a little good. Sure, she would be lying to America, but it would all be worth it. Someday, it would all be worth it. And that’s how Gigi and Vincent became a couple.

The competition for that week was called “Cutest Couple.” Of course, the challenge fit perfectly with the big announcement of the day: Vigi. Simon had excitedly announced how Gigi and Vincent were a couple, giving them the portmanteau of Vigi, much to Gigi’s annoyance. Simon explained to the viewers how Vincent and Gigi were given the opportunity to compete as a couple. Though, he didn’t mention the fact that Gigi had been all but coerced into the little arrangement. Still, Gigi put on a smile and would let Vincent kiss her every now and then. Gigi knew that she had to sell it. She was willing to make the audience fall in love with Vigi even if she wasn’t actually falling in love with Vince.

In the competition, every contestant was given a partner and of course, Gigi was put with Vincent. The two winners would be safe from elimination, but the object of the game was teamwork. If two people couldn’t work together, then they wouldn’t be able to win. Naturally, Gigi was a little nervous. Maybe she and Vincent had great chemistry, but she didn’t know how well they would work together. Though, really, she didn’t need a win. She just needed the producers to win her votes. Though, winning would be nice.

Simon explained the competition to the contestants and Gigi groaned. She would have to complete an obstacle course with Vincent handcuffed to her. Great, their relationship was already getting a little kinky and they hadn’t even had their first kiss yet. Gigi looked over at Kenzie. Kenzie had been paired with Rowan. Gigi couldn’t help but feel a little jealous. Rowan was a nice guy. With Rowan, things wouldn’t be so complicated, but Gigi shook these thoughts from her mind. She had to focus on Vincent. No other school girl crush mattered because no other crush could win Gigi half a million dollars.

Font size
Font color
Line spacing
Background color