Step Into The Light

Chapter 13

"Does it hurt?"

Kong and I were sitting at my dining table after Bright had chewed me out all morning for being the biggest idiot on the face of this planet. Barely letting me get one word in before he started off into another long tirade. Every cell in my body ready to die of embarrassment as Kong looked my way sheepishly every once in a while as I got berated like a naughty schoolboy. A comically loud sigh escaping my mouth when Bright finally needed to take a bathroom break from yelling at me non-stop. Burying my face in my hands to hide the deep blush stamped on my face I almost jumped in shock when I felt soft fingers tenderly brush against the swollen skin on my knuckles that had given a deservedly black eye to Neil. Turning towards an extremely concerned-looking Kong exponentially improving my dour mood.

"Uh...no...no. Not really."

Fully expecting Kong to snatch his hand back it actually surprised me a little when he continued trailing his fingers around the back of my hand. My heartbeat instantly rising with his simple touch seeing how Kong hasn't been exactly...what's the word...normal with me lately. He was still very much his open, friendly, charming self of course. Case in point the 24 movies/modeling offers he managed to bag on his very first night. It was somehow just around me that he has been acting all shy and withdrawn.

So seeing how he is voluntarily touching me makes even this entire debacle worth it. Well, almost.

"So...what happened? Why did you punch the guy?"

My entire body instantly freezing up. I knew Kong would eventually ask me questions I was nowhere near ready to answer just yet.

"I...ummm....he...actually...uh..."

I was still stuttering like an idiot when he gave me a brief nod as he began slowly retracting his hand away from me. Probably knowing he was going to receive nothing but evasive responses, didn't even attempt to pry any further. And yet everything in me wanting to grab his hand back and clutch it within mine.

If it was anyone else the lie would have instantly left my lips. Even now, my mind was screaming for me to come up with an excuse. Say something, anything to not let Kong near this ever-growing pile of crap. But instead of following all my instincts I once again find my brain has gone on an extended vacation. A large tight twist forming in the center of my chest as Kong turned his gaze away once again. My lips immediately parting to probably say something stupid when the awkward moment was cut short by the one and only.


"Ok, so new plan. This is what we are going to do."


Still very much in the moment where I was actually considering pouring out my entire life story, Bright banged open the living room door before he came barging up to us. His eyes glistening with newfound excitement which could only spell trouble for me.

"We are going to go to Japan. Tonight. Actually, right now. Just get out of the city completely. Leave behind these ridiculous tabloid stories. Change up the news cycle ourselves. Yup, perfect idea. Kong, get ready. You are going to accept your first modeling job and..."

"I am going to do what?!?"

"He is going to do what?"

"Ouch! Can we please remember to never shriek in that frequency again? And I am sure I was quite clear about the words I just said. Kong is going to accept his first modeling job. That to in Japan. How does it feel to be an international star right off the bat Kong?"

"No, no, no, no... we never agreed for Kong to have to do any of that. Just cause I messed up and we have a few stupid magazine articles doesn't mean we need to do something so extreme."

"Messed up? That is the understatement of the century. People are spreading rumors that you are beating the daylights out of Kong behind closed doors. Getting him in the limelight will not only show the world that you want to help his career it will also change the focus of all the news stories. Plus if you keep up this annoying habit of acting before you think, I might actually need Kong's career to take off just so that I can jump ship."

"This is not funny Bright. We have already involved him more than enough. This was a dumb idea to begin with and we can just end it now before it gets out of hand. We can just release a statement that Kong and I had a fight and we broke up. We don't even need an excuse. They already made one up for us. Let's just finish this off and we can think of a better plan that doesn't involve Kong taking up stupid jobs."

"Or, hear me out now big shot, you shut your trap and stop spouting garbage as we follow my plan and actually try and fix things for once."

"Bright I'm not going to let Kong do any ridiculous modeling job."

"Let him? My, my, your abusive side is showing Arthit."

"Bright, I am telling you, I will..."

"I want to do it. I want to take up the modeling job."







~~~~~







Click.

"Nice."

Click.

"Good. Good."

Click. Click. Click.

"Beautiful."

Click. Click. Click.

"Good, now move slightly left."

Click. Click. Click.

"Ok, let's do a few without the shirt now."

What new dimension of hell is this? I could neither continue watching as Kong shed his shirt in front of an entire studio full of people boring their eyes into his naked chest, and yet it wasn't physically possible for me to look away. My own gaze stuck on him incapable of any conscious thought as he moved from pose after pose. The bright lights flashing straight onto him accentuating every one of his perfect contours, while the photographer showered him with non-stop compliments.

I have absolutely no doubt that the camera must completely love Kong. Even from my seat at the far end of the studio, I could tell he was a natural. His expressions never looking as vibrant as this very moment where he had confidently stepped into the limelight, every single person in the room looking at him with rapt attention. My own body having a reaction so visceral that I really don't think I should be standing up and displaying my very embarrassing arousal anytime soon.

And throughout the entire never ending torture, every time Kong looked away from the camera to search for me, giving me a tentative smile, his palpable nervousness making it increasingly difficult for me to not run by his side and engulf him in a tight hug, and tell him just how great he was doing.

Which brings me right back to the very real, very annoying dilemma I have yet to sort out in my brain. As much as I appreciate Bright whisking us off to Japan, away from the horrendous stories about me that Kong got to read day after day, especially thousands of miles away from the remote possibility of running into Neil again, what I wasn't at all thrilled about was Kong making his debut in modeling.

To be totally honest though at least part of my hesitation was purely selfish. Kong had just barely entered my life. I wasn't even entirely sure what our relationship was going to be, and my potentially Earth shattering scandal looming constantly over my head was confusing enough for me to figure us out. And there was little doubt in my mind that now that the world had a tiny little taste of what Kong could be transformed into, he would be snatched away from me in the blink of an eye.

And then there was this very legitimate fear of Kong getting sucked head first into this whirlpool before he was ready to deal with any of it on his own. And no matter how much I vowed to protect him, I am not sure if he would even want me in his life once he finds out about everything.

Confusion reigning supreme in my befuddled mind as I watched the torturous shoot finally wrap up. Bright doing a brilliant job at navigating him away from the hordes of people suddenly vying for the attention from the kid they hadn't even heard about a few weeks ago. Practically shoving Kong into my arms before Bright scuttled away to book even more shoots for him.

"Both of you head straight back to the hotel. You guys are all checked in. I need to go work my magic. By the way, great job today Kong. You were brilliant."

That he was. Which once again is probably the crux of all my problems right now.

It wasn't for another half an hour as we were racing down the streets of Tokyo with Kong excitedly staring out the window at the things passing by of the country he was visiting for the very first time that it finally struck me that I should have been focussed a little less on what might happen in the future and a little more on the impending situation we were about to have on our hands.

Why do I get this eerie feeling that in the entire whirlwind of flying to Japan, heading to the photoshoot straight from the airport, getting doused in gallons of makeup and hairspray while modeling in front of absolute strangers, Bright may have somehow missed the opportunity to enlighten Kong of the fact that we were to share a bedroom.

You have to believe me when I say, it was absolutely, totally not his idea. In fact Bright tried his hardest to make sure we would have rooms as physically far away from each other as possible, but seeing how the hotel would be loaded with members of the cast and crew along with one too many press folks, we knew it would be just a tad bit too suspicious if we regularly emerged from different rooms.

But I would also be lying if I said I wasn't secretly at least a little excited about this unexpected turn of events. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that I had obviously not made the best impression on Kong. What with practically blackmailing him into dating me, shoving him face first into the world where every tiny move gets scrutinized to the nth degree, being beyond evasive about why all of this was happening, and then punching that asshole Neil in public so that the world was happily gossipping about us non-stop.

Having some alone time with Kong without Bright constantly interrupting us might be just what I need to finally figure out what was going through Kong's pretty little head. To be honest I am still not entirely sure why he is even playing along with this farce.

What was even more surprising was how calmly Kong took the news that we would essentially be sharing a bed for the next three months. Barely giving me half a nod in acknowledgment as we were ushered into our stupidly large room. Kong gaping around the extravaganza just like he had when he first stepped foot into my apartment. Somehow it never got old to see his reaction marveling at the banalest of things.

"Umm, can I go take a shower? I am still feeling all icky from the make up and hair spray. And the oil. So much oil. I didn't realize just how much they use. No wonder you always looked so shiny in all your pictures."

I couldn't help but laugh at his cute antics as I softly pushed him towards the bathroom.

"Trust me you will soon learn a lot more gruesome secrets that will forever burst the big star bubble. And of course you can go take a shower whenever you want. You don't need to ask me. This is your room too."

"Uh...ye...yeah...thanks."

I leaned against the bathroom door as soon as he slowly closed it shut. My heart racing at a mile a minute just at the thought of Kong one thin wall away, completely naked, standing under steaming water.

Shaking my head to desperately get rid of images that were definitely not helping in reducing my already stimulated brain I took a deep breath. Trying to think exactly how I was going to navigate being so close to Kong for the next couple of months when I heard the extra loud banging on the door of our room.

And I might have to accept that a few too many curses crossed my mind when I saw the grinning face of Bright, fully clad in pajamas as he shamelessly climbed into our bed. Thoroughly prepared to spend the night.

I swear one of these days I am going to forget he is my best friend if he doesn't stop being such a gigantic cockblocker.



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