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Ryan’s POV
Three days later

With my script in hand, I walked on the set ready to deliver my lines only to be told my costar missed his flight. For the past two days, I’ve been training and rehearsing waiting for him to show up. I’m pissed. “Isn’t there anything we can do in the meantime? It delays everything!” I complain to the director who agrees. He’s as irritated as I am and he’s working on a solution.

An hour later, I’m asked to go to another location for a photo shoot. They’ll photoshop the pictures to add my costar later on. Outfits were sent there for me and I put on jeans and a white t-shirt paired with trainers. A makeup artist applies a little bit of foundation to my face while a hairstylist works on my hair. Ella hasn’t replied to my text yet, I’m sure she’s busy with her friends. She sent me many pictures yesterday. Seeing her holding a baby has been melting my heart. I don’t regret her decision to quit the pills and I’m okay with us potentially not having the honor of having our own children; I’m so grateful for William. Ella’s eyes have twinkles in them whenever she’s holding him, I love seeing her happy. The little man is stealing her away from me but he’s adorable so who could blame Ella.

The shoot seems to last forever, they make me change outfits six times having to do touch-ups on my hair and makeup each time. The sun has set when I finally walk outside to meet Cooper.

“Why are you so quiet?” I ask him after we’ve been in the car for fifteen minutes in complete silence. “I saw Lindsey,” he grumbles, his eyes avoiding mine. “Oh… And? What did she say?” I ease into the conversation. “She said she misses me and wants to hang out while I’m here,” he sounds torn as he speaks. “How do I tell her no? She’s a nice girl but… I hope you’re not mad? I know we’ll have to see her again when you’ll go on a press tour for the movie. I just...Fuck… I’m a mess,” he sighs. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll stay professional with her but I’ve got you, man! Just tell her I’m keeping you busy with work she doesn’t need to know the truth,” I finally get a smile out of my friend.

-The girls won’t give me details of where we’re going for my birthday! I want to buy a new outfit, I need to know what to get! :(
Her text makes me laugh, I can hear her whiny voice in my head as I read it. She’s the cutest when her full lips form a pout.
-You’ll need something comfy for daytime and at least one outfit for nighttime. Something sexy, I want to see boobs. Xoxo

I know my text will keep the frown on her face from the lack of information on the destination. I intend on keeping the surprise until we make our way to the airport the day before her birthday. She found a nanny for Emma yesterday who will come with us and babysit William while we’re celebrating. Things have been booked for the girl and sent to Emma so Ella won’t see the details. I can only imagine her begging her friend to tell her where I’m taking them but Emma will keep the secret.

I’m in my hotel room when my mum rings me, she wants to talk about the phone calls that she started getting again. Always the same, someone is on the line but no words are said. They had stopped for a while and now she gets them multiple times a day even after blocking the numbers. “Have you heard from Alex?” she asks with a small voice, I can tell she’s anxious. “No! I don’t want to talk to him again, mum! He was my friend but he put Ella’s life in danger. Maybe even put your life at risk,” I didn’t mean to raise my voice but the thought of my friend backstabbing me is making me see red. “He needs help, son! You did too when you were going through your struggles. Ella was there so was I but Alex doesn’t seem to have anyone,” My mum has a big heart and she’s known Alex for years. He would hang out at my house all the time, having dinner and movie nights with us. I’m sure it’s hard for her as well but I can’t be in his life if he’s going to keep messing with drugs. He only went to rehab out of fear for his life but now he’s back to using again. My mum pleads with me telling me to reach out to the friends we have in common in hopes to get an update on him. Hoping to put her mind at ease, I promise I’ll try. I send a message to our group chat once I’m off the phone with her.

My phone buzzes right away but it’s from our director confirming my costar is here meaning we’ll be able to shoot tomorrow. Finally. Cooper comes to my room helping me with my lines.
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