A few days pass and I don’t see or hear from Drew or my mother. According to Ethan, he’s been keeping my mother occupied with lavish dates and such so I haven’t had time to talk to her. I’m honestly not surprised though. The look in his eyes when I told him that I visited my mother’s place while he was there seemed to shock him a bit. He doesn’t know whether I heard what he said about being Ethan’s father, so I have him on his toes. I still don’t know if I’m going to spill the beans or not, but the longer he takes to tell Ethan, the more eager I will be to tell him myself. Ethan can’t keep walking through life not knowing who his real father is. I know with Drew in the picture, it’s reopening the chapters about why his parents felt so strongly about disowning Drew. It really does imply that the man who raised Ethan knew all along. And I thought my upbringing was difficult.
Pushing that aside, I still haven’t been to work yet since the list came out. Ethan hasn’t told me anything yet, but he says that he has a board meeting about the reputation of the company and him seeing as we’re engaged. I expect Ethan to have to do some hefty damage control for me.
Another thing that has come up is the constant phone calls he’s been getting about people wanting to do an interview with me. Apparently, people want to know what it was like in the club and if I really am the whore the news is portraying everyone on the list as. I supposed that since they can’t get the richer people to do the interviews, they must come for the smaller people who were thrown under the bus with almost nothing to lose.
Little do they know, I’m losing my sanity.
I’ve asked Ethan about it and he says that I shouldn’t even entertain the idea. The moment I sit down they will throw all kinds of personal questions at me that may have little to do with the club and more to do with my dignity and sexuality. Ethan says that they will try to twist my words to make it seem like prostitution was happening. I don’t know why it’s so hard for people to believe that everyone likes sex and some people like it more than others. The club was simply a safe place for people to explore their sexual sides and the world is thinking that it’s some whore house. Part of me wants to do the interview just to get that point across, but my name isn’t big enough to change anyone’s views. They will simply disregard anything positive that I have to say.
When Ethan comes home from work, he has a stack of files for me to work on so I don’t go stir crazy.
“This should keep you busy for a few hours. I just need you to arrange some meetings and type up some contracts to be notarized.”
“Wow, thanks. So kind of you.” I roll my eyes as Ethan kicks his shoes off.
“Attitude? What attitude? Why would I have an attitude about not being able to go to work? Oh, right, it’s because my name ended up on the whore list and not yours so I’m the one who has to suffer.”
Ethan rolls his eyes.
“Please, Thea, not this again.”
“If not now, then when? What if your name had been on the list too? Would you be barricading in here with me? It’s not fair, Ethan. You’re the owner of the company and you have no say over what happens so why can’t I come back?”
“Because, babe, there are board members and investors who spend a lot of money to also have a say in what happens at my company. If they think having someone associated with this scandal could lose them money, they will be against it.”
“It’s nice to know that you care more about them than your own fiancé.” I get up and start marching to the bedroom.
“Thea, don’t be like this. I’m only protecting you.”
“No, Ethan, you’re protecting yourself. I’m going to have to face the world sooner or late, but you’re rather me not face it at all.”
“I want this to blow over a little first. I don’t want the press eating you alive.”
“Well, thank you so much for hiding…I mean protecting me. I’m sure your days are easier knowing I’m not ruining your life.” I slam the bedroom door and go to the bathroom to take the stress off my shoulders.
Running a bubble bath, I wipe little tears of frustration away before stripping from my clothes. When I sink down into the water, the bubbles rise to my chin and I blow them away, wishing I could do my problems the same. Everyone’s life is just moving on while mine is on pause until further notice. Ethan doesn’t understand how hurtful it is that he just wants me to sit in this apartment until he says so. So, what if the press dishes out more than I can take. At least I’ll be able to speak my peace and move on. I shouldn’t even be a crucial factor in the scandal. I’m basically nobody. Well, actually, this nobody is the fiancé of a major magazine company.
About twenty minutes into my bath, I hear a knock on the door. Ethan appears with a glass of wine.
“I thought you could use this.” He passes me the glass and I drink some.
“Trying to drown my sorrows for me.”
“Yes, I am, but I’m also here to apologize. You’re right. It isn’t fair that you’ve had to bear the punishment for something I got you into. My name should have been on that list, not yours and I’m sorry about that. You don’t deserve any of this. I didn’t mean to make you think U was ashamed of you or anything. I was just trying to figure out the best way to handle this. I don’t want the world to see the woman I love as anything less than wonderful.”
I nod, softly.
“Thank you. I know this is your way of protecting me, but this can’t go on forever.”
“I’m aware. That’s why I made a quick call to a reporter and promised him the exclusive interview with you to talk about the list and club. Right now, you’re the only person who will be doing an interview, so this is going to be huge.”
I sit up quickly, spilling some of the wine into the bath.
“Seriously? When?” My eyes widen.
“Thursday at noon, and I made it very clear that this is the only interview anyone will get out of you. Once this is done, it’s done. After that, you can return to work. The board will be assured that once this interview is done, profits will rise for them.”
“Wait, how will they make money from my interview?”
“Because your interview will be published in my magazine. And there is also one little catch that I think will work in our favor.” He smirks.
“What?” My voice dips to a tone of caution.
“You’ll be doing a full spread photoshoot. Enjoy your bath, baby.” And with a smile and a wink, he walks out, leaving me with my mouth wide open.
What the fuck did I just get myself into?