Chapter 33

Chapter 33

"What was that on set today?" I asked Michael as soon as we made it to our room.


"What do you mean?" He asked me as he took off his clothes for bed.


"You know what I'm talking about, Michael. Don't play dumb."


"It was nothing, babe," he sighed.


"Michael, I know you're a flirt, but I have never seen you flirt that hard with someone. Do you have something to tell me?"


"Babe, no! If I had something to tell you, I would have told you already. And if you know I'm a flirt, then why are you bothered by it?" He shrugged.


"Because I've never seen you flirt this hard before. I know what harmless flirting looks like. You took it up a notch when you decided it was okay to touch her booty."


"I was just being a gentleman. It's not that deep," he looked at me. "If you want to know anything, I'll tell you. We've talked on set many times because she's my co-star. We've had lunch on set because she's my co-star. And yes, we have a good time on set. Do you want me to completely alienate myself from her because you have a problem with her?" It was clear he was getting irritated with me.


"I don't have a problem with her. I'm just saying-"


"The flirting is harmless and as far as I'm concerned, I don't even notice when I'm doing it half the time," he cut me off. "You are my wife. I would never do anything to hurt you. Now, we've had a long day on set. Can I please go to sleep so I can be ready to go on set tomorrow?" He looked at me.


"Fine," I put on my pajamas and got in bed. I'm not threatened by Tatiana at all. She's honestly not even that good looking. But I know when Michael finds someone good looking and while it's up to him to make sure whatever he's doing doesn't go further than it already has, I feel it's my duty as his wife to make sure as well. Michael knows that he should be strong enough to not make me feel threatened at all as his wife, but he's a man. One look at another woman could very easily cause havoc.


VII


I got up carefully not to wake a sleeping Shayla. I don't know where this sudden jealousy has come from, but there honestly is no reason for Shayla to be jealous at all. She knows she has my heart. She knows I love her dearly and would never make her feel like her position in my life is in any way threatened. I've seen what Joseph has done to my mother over and over and over again and I would never do that to Shayla. Never. It's too much on both ends. After getting ready for my day, I met Bill down in the car, "Bill, can we go pick up Tati? I told her I'd be picking her up this morning that way she wouldn't have to drive to set alone."


He looked back at me, "are you sure about that?"


I nodded, "yeah, why?"


"Everyone saw what Shayla said to you on set, Michael. Don't you think this is taking it a bit overboard?"


I rolled my eyes, "Bill. It's nothing. Tati is a friend of mine. What kind of friend would I be to allow a woman of her nature to drive on set alone? It's not happening. Here's her address," I handed him the piece of paper Tati had given me. Bill shook his head in disappointment. "I don't see what the big deal is. Am I not allowed to have friends?"


"All I'm saying Michael is that if my wife found herself correcting me in how I acted around a woman, you wouldn't find me continuing to act that way around said, woman. That's all I'm going to say about it. I'm going to go pick her up because you're the boss, but I just want to leave you with that," he said as he drove toward Tatiana's residence. I know what I'm doing. It's honestly not that serious.


VII


We pulled up to a high-rise apartment in downtown LA. Tati stood outside in casual garb as she waited. Bill started to get out the car, but I stopped him, "I got it." I opened my door and got out. Once Tati saw it was me, she smiled and ran over to hug me. "Good morning! Ready for another long day on set?"


"It's never a long day when I'm on set with you. I swear the day just flies by. It actually makes me sad," she got in the car. Once I got in, Bill drove off. "Hey, Bill!"


"Hey..." he offered a lackluster greeting as he looked me in the eye through the rear-view mirror. I don't get what he's so worried about.


"How'd you sleep?" Tati asked me excitedly.


"Well," I nodded. "Once I got home, I crashed. As much as I like being on set, I've got to admit I hate those long grueling hours. What about you?" I looked her up and down. Whatever perfume she had on filled the entire car. The smell was heavenly.


"I slept well! I couldn't sleep really. I was too excited."


"For what?"


"Can I be honest?" She smiled at me.


"That's all I would ever want you to be with me," I mirrored her smile.


"I was excited because you'd be picking me up this morning," she covered her smile with her purse. She is too sweet and cute. "I'm nervous if I'm being honest."


"Why are you nervous?"


"Well, I mean, you and I have gotten to know each other well on set and all. I've never seen you off the set."


"Anything different?"


"Nope," she shook her head. "You're the same person."


"Well, what did you expect?" I teased, poking her stomach.


"I don't know!" She blushed. "You look the same. Act the same. Smell the same. Which by the way, I really like the scent you're wearing."


"Thank you! I like the scent you're wearing. I swear it's stronger than mine. What are you wearing?"


"It's a cheap perfume. I'm surprised the smell is so potent, to be honest with you," she laughed. We pulled up to the set to find most of everyone there.


I got out to open her door, but before I got to it, Bill stopped me, "You better be real careful with that girl," he warned. "Girls like her don't care if you're married or not. Don't forget you're married."


"The only one who seems to forget I'm married is you," I whispered before I passed him to open the door for Tati. She held her hand out for me to take. I took her hand to help her out and led her over to my trailer. "Do you mind if we hang out in here for a bit before it's time to go on set? We don't have to be on set for another hour or so."


"That's fine," she shrugged. I opened the door and let her go in first. I could feel Bill staring at me, but ignored it. If only he knew Tati means absolutely nothing to me then he'd understand. "So, Michael, how is your wife doing?"


"She's doing...well..." I actually didn't expect her to ask me about Shayla. I don't know if she's being funny or genuine. I went into the fridge to grab us some water bottles.


"She caused quite the scene out there yesterday, don't you think?"


I sighed, "yeah. We got to the bottom of it. Don't worry about it. She's not normally like that. I don't know what it was that made her do that..."


"Jealous much?" She asked.


I turned to look at her, "no."


"Just checking," she laughed. "All I'm saying is that I'm used to girls being jealous. I don't know what is about me, but it always happens."


"Of what exactly would she have to be jealous of?"


"I don't know. Ask her."


"Let's stop talking about my wife, okay? In fact, I feel like this conversation is becoming extremely disrespectful. Did you sign that confidentiality agreement yesterday?" I sat down beside her.


"Regarding your wife, right?" I nodded. "Yes."


"So, you do know you're not supposed to talk about her beyond set?"


"And I haven't," she assured me.


"I'm just checking because you're talking all to freely about her..."


"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you feel that way. I just felt comfortable enough to talk with you about her..."


"Don't. She's not someone I want to talk to you about." She hung her head low in shame. "Anyway, how are you liking the short film so far?"


She nodded, "I like it. I'm excited for it to air."


I smiled, "me too... The last time I've done a video with someone was 'Thriller.' You know I want this album to be as big if not bigger than Thriller."


"What do you call this album?"


I held my finger up to my lips, "it's a secret," I winked.


She smiled that oh so beautiful smile of hers, "well, I'm sure you'll tell me soon, right?"


I shrugged, "when time permits. Are you dating anyone?"


She sighed, "surprisingly, no."


"You're not? I wouldn't expect someone as beautiful as yourself to be single. With all the contenders in LA, you should have people lined up at your door to date you. If I weren't married, you'd certainly find me in that line."


"You'd actually be able to skip to the front of that line," she flirted, scooting closer to me. My heart began to race. Suddenly, I couldn't get anything out. "Your wife is a lucky woman."


"You think so?" I managed to say.


She nodded, "any woman would be lucky to have you really." I looked down at her lips. We're shooting the kissing scene today and now I don't even know if I could do it. Mostly because Shayla is on my back about Tatiana, to begin with. But also, because I'm nervous as hell! Tatiana is one aggressive woman. And I'm scared if I kiss her, she wouldn't like it. Someone banged on the door. I got up quickly to open it to find Joe and Frank standing behind him.


"Is Tatiana in there with you again?" Joe asked me. Tatiana emerged from behind me. "Come on, Tatiana! Quit fooling around. We've got to get you in hair and makeup!"


"See you on set," she smiled and hurried out of my trailer.


Joe watched as Tatiana ran off and finally turned to me once she was out of sight, "why don't you just fuck her and get it over with?" I laughed, not knowing what to say.


"Man," Frank started. "What are you doing? You know Michael is married! It's bad enough I've got to deal with Shayla and now Michael is fooling around with Tatiana? Don't you enforce that, Joe," he warned.


"What?" Joe shrugged. "We all see what's going on between the two of them. Married or not, Michael knows he likes Tatiana. Don't you, Mike?" He asked me.


I blushed, "no comment."


"Exactly," Joe turned to Frank and started to leave.


"Joe, come here," I instructed him. He came into my trailer. "You know how Tati and I are supposed to do the kiss scene today?" He nodded. "I don't think I can do it. I'm nervous."


"Why? You're not nervous around her any other time."


"Yeah, well... I don't know, man... She's beautiful and all, but I just can't."


"So, what? You want me to tell her not to kiss you or something?" I nodded. "Good. I thought it was corny anyway. Hug her or something then," he ran out to find Tatiana to deliver the news.


"You just don't want Shayla to see you kiss Tatiana," Frank laughed.


"No," I shook my head. "It's not that at all... You see how aggressive Tati is, man. She knows what she likes. If I kiss her, next thing you know, I'm all over the news about how bad of a kisser I am. I'm not risking that chance."


"You're really worried about what she has to say?"


"Kinda," I shrugged.


"Don't forget you're married, Michael. Shayla will kill you and I both."


I groaned, "I know."


"Come on. We've got to get you in hair and makeup too..."


VII


After filming the dance sequence, it was time to do the kiss scene. Joe had already told Tati not to kiss me... Or so I assumed. I honestly, wouldn't mind it now. I'm ready. I sprayed endless amounts of breath spray in my mouth and chewed a couple of Mentos.


"Action!" Joe called. Tati walked on set looking around for me. Once she spotted me, all she could do was stare. I walked into frame eyeing her lips. She took hold of my collar and caressed my cheek, pulling me in toward her. As much as I wanted to kiss her, I knew I couldn't because I had instructed her through Joe not to. I didn't realize how hard this scene would be for me. I don't know what it was about her that made me so nervous either. Many have said all over set that she's like my other half. It's almost like she's the female version of me and aside from all the compliments we've received, that was the best one. I pulled her in for the hug that should have been a kiss and held her tightly...

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