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“Sit,” I tell Cooper once we reach the kitchen. I wanted to be far away from the door. “You know I hate being bossy with you but I needed you to walk away from a mess in the making. I know how my husband gets when he’s protecting me,” I start. He nods. “What made you mad about Lindsey’s words?” I ask. He first denies being upset simply saying he thought she was disrespectful talking about the sex scene in front of me over and over again. Through questions, I lead him to open up about his feelings and he finally reveals he has been insecure knowing Ryan kissed Lindsey, even for work. His past relationship ended badly, he caught his ex-fiancée in bed with one of his good friends. Cooper who’s usually confident had bad flashbacks seeing my husband interacting with the girl he started seeing. He felt she was also too enthusiastic about filming a sex scene with Ryan making him doubt her motives.

“I’m sorry, Ella! I know it’s dumb. I like her but it’s not like we have a bright future together, both of us have hectic schedules. But I guess it’s flattering knowing someone likes me. I missed fucking as well. Sorry that was “TMI” but then again it’s not like you and Ryan hide that side of your relationship,” he snickers. “Sex is important indeed,” I laugh with him before getting serious asking more questions about his feelings. “Didn’t that bother you? Hearing someone talk about Ryan in that way?” He asks me. “I wouldn’t say I loved it but I’ve been working hard in therapy to conquer my insecurities. She’s obviously young and impressionable but I trust Ryan,” I answer truthfully. We both then conclude he should maybe talk to someone about his past relationship to free himself and eventually find love again.

“Thank you, you probably saved my job. Ryan would have fired me,” he shakes his head. “Let’s keep pretending he’s the boss,” I wink. I’ve always felt closer to Max for obvious reasons but after having Cooper opening up to me, I feel like we’ve built a real bond just in the few minutes we’ve shared.

Leading him back outside, I stand by the chair Ryan is laying on. “Baby, I think it’s time for apolo…” he cuts me off. “I’m going to apologize? Coop started it!” he huffs glaring at Cooper. I reach for his hand pulling him to follow me inside the house with Cooper then I turn to face them both. “Ryan, as I was going to say, you’re BOTH going to apologize,” I state, firmly. “I’m sorry, Ry. I was just being a dick,” Cooper tells him. Ryan turns to him, still pouting. I place a hand on his lower stomach. “Come on, it was a misunderstanding,” I whisper. Ryan looks at Cooper and tells him he’s sorry, their hug turns into a wrestling match on their way outside the patio door, Max jumps in and the three of them end up in the pool. It’s a good thing they were only wearing their shorts since we got home. Poor Lindsey is sitting with a frown on her face. I move closer asking her random questions to distract her and put her at ease again. She’s a nice girl, she better not hurt Cooper. He knows it’s fling but he has open wounds meaning he could easily get attached. I’ve been able to let go of most of my insecurities especially when it comes to Ryan being around other girls but Cooper is still stuck on the image of his ex cheating. Lindsey is still getting used to the industry she’s in. She needs to pay attention to people’s feelings when she speaks, something I’m hoping she’ll learn soon.

Lindsey had her bathing suit in her bag and we both decided to jump in after a while. She’s swimming next to Cooper while I wrap my arms around Ryan’s shoulder from behind. He brings my legs around his torso holding onto them. I feel bad for Max being alone in the other corner.
“Ella, what are you studying?” Lindsey asks.
“She’s going to be a therapist. Can you tell she’ll be amazing at it?” My bodyguard giggles.
“Oh wow, yeah. I’d say you’re already very good at it.” I know she’s trying to be nice but somehow her compliments don’t sound genuine.

Our fun night got interrupted by Ryan’s phone ringing. A barely audible Alex talked about being in a chase after spotting the dealer’s car. Ryan yelled at him to call the cops but he refused, admitting he had drugs in the car. “Fuck! Alex, you’re supposed to be clean!” He’s yelling into the phone adding more profanity as he keeps on begging him to go to the cops. Alex finally takes a picture of the car he’s chasing promising to send it to Ryan as soon as he can.

Lindsey goes home, the girl is probably traumatized now. We sit on the couch waiting for Alex to send the picture or at least call back. An hour later, we’re still in the dark, Ryan is growing impatient stating Alex is no longer a friend. Part of me knows he’s worried and suspects anger is what is making him say those things. “It’s late, you should try to sleep,” he tells me. “No! You should sleep, you’re expected to be at the studios at 6 AM,” I remind him. Whatever is going on with Alex is stressful but Ryan can’t risk his work. “She’s right, let’s get some sleep. We'll try to get in touch with Alex while you’re at work tomorrow,” Max says.

Fifteen minutes later, Ryan is asleep, spooning me. Both of our phones are on my nightstand and a notification comes on his. I pick up the phone and my heart stops when I see the picture on the screen. He stirs, tightening his hold on my body and I put his phone back on the stand trying to find sleep. I want him to be rested for work, we’ll deal with the issue tomorrow.
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