Lady in Red: Book 2
Paula proudly surveyed the young women sitting at her table. Charlotte and Jordan, as well as her three daughters, had joined Paula and Beatrice Patterson for a leisurely lunch at Marsh's landing. The girls had matured into beautiful, accomplished women. Charlotte, as it turned out, was a late bloomer. Skinny and angular in high school, she was now a woman with all the right curves.
Steve's grandmother was enjoying her first visit to Sparta and appeared very impressed with the restaurant. She had obviously been pleasantly surprised at all of the photos and posters on the walls of the restaurant.
"This place looks like a shrine to Jordan Quick and the Anderson family!" marveled Beatrice as she gazed at the pictures and posters that adorned the walls of the establishment.
"Yeah, the joke around here is that Billy insisted his father add this section to the restaurant so they'd have more wall space for photos. Billy's in business with his dad, now that he's out of college," revealed Charlotte. "He says that with the new hospital and Lady in Red Performing Arts Center in town, it was a no-brainer. Look how crowded the place is at lunch time."
"Actually, Grandmother Patterson, these photos are more of a tribute to your grandson. He's the common denominator in every photo. Everyone in these pictures is connected to Steve in some way. It just happens that Jordan and we Anderson girls are a bit more connected than most," stated Gwen with a big smile.
"Would you mind giving me a brief tour of the photos?" asked Steve's grandmother. "My eyes aren't what they once were, but I can see some amazing pictures, even from here."
"It would be our pleasure!" responded Gwen. "We'll all go with you, as most of the pictures involve one or more of us. Let's start in the original dining room. That's where Billy's father posted the first pictures."
The group headed out to the older part of the restaurant. They quickly began explaining the stories behind the photos. Beatrice was shown the pictures of the first 'Lady in Red' dance, the 'Emerson River Rescue', the posters Lisa and Gwen made with Steve to promote 'The Lady in Red' line of clothes, the 'pass', both terrorist attacks on the Spartan Nation, along with the sexy posters the school board had been shown the night they voted to award Jordan, Gwen, and Steve special plaques for their outstanding citizenship.
Diners stopped eating to watch and listen to the famous ladies of the Spartan Nation explain the history behind the many photos on the walls. Quite a few of the patrons used their phones and cameras to video the story telling, while others simply took pictures of Jordan Quick and the Anderson sisters.
"Are we bothering the other diners?" worried Beatrice. "We seem to be creating a bit of a stir."
"Not even close," laughed Kate. "Billy and his dad made a deal with Steve, and it includes all of us. It's hard to believe, but every week hundreds of people come to this restaurant to see these pictures, and to hopefully get the chance to meet Steve and/or the rest of us.
"Billy offered to serve all of us free of charge every time we stopped in, thinking it would have the effect of coaxing us to come here more often. In theory, that would increase patronage here from fans of Steve, Gwen, and Jordan, which would have a positive effect on their bottom line.
"Steve told Billy that it would do the opposite; that we would not be comfortable eating here if we didn't pay for our meals. The two guys finally worked out a deal. We all stop in here as often as we can, and we pay for our meals. In return, the restaurant supplies free breakfasts every morning to every child, or adult in need, that comes through the door. These free meals are offered between 5 AM and 9 AM. Lady in Red Productions splits the expense with the Marsh family," stated Kate. "That way, we're glad to stop in and help a restaurant that is giving back to the community, big time. They put on a big buffet in this room every morning and allow those that have fallen on hard times to eat for free. They often have over a hundred people, mostly children, stop in on any given morning."
"What this is all leading up to is that we're helping Marsh's business by being seen here, being courteous, and approachable to the folks that dine here. Notice how they're watching us, taking pictures, and videos. People drive out of their way to come here, and for the chance to interact with Steve and Gwen, or some of the rest of us," indicated Jordan. "This helps the Marsh family and allows them to afford the free meals for those in need. We're all super proud to be a part of this. I don't know how Billy and Steve dreamed it up, but it's sure working well."
"The boys have created a win/win situation. That's quite clever," admitted Beatrice. "I see that the incredible photo of Gwen in Russia with that newborn baby has a prominent place. I was actually there when that happened! What an amazing trip. I notice that there are pictures of Gwen and Steve with world leaders and performing in Sochi at the grand opening of the stadium."
"It wasn't until we returned to the States and Steve entered the Academy that I began to realize how incredible that trip to Russia was," revealed Gwen. "Our song, 'The Glory of Love' was on top of the charts when we got back home. Our faces were all over the papers and cable news stations. My issue of 'Maxim' actually sold out. Morning shows, talk shows, and even news programs were constantly after Jordan and me to appear.
"We couldn't go anywhere without causing all sorts of problems with traffic and security. Jordan and I, sometimes together, and sometimes separately, appeared on a lot of TV programs the first month after we returned from Russia. I told Steve he was lucky that he was at the Academy and isolated from it all. He was able to concentrate on his schooling, training, and playing football.
"Then 'Can't Live' was released as a single in mid-July. It was another huge hit; the second hit from a movie that wasn't even in theaters yet. Just as that song began to cool off, Mom had them release 'Midnight Lights' and that was even bigger! It was on top of several charts when Labor Day rolled around.
"It was probably a bit too much, too fast for me. I was sought after wherever I went. Steve wasn't around to keep me grounded. Charlotte and I left for Stanford ten days before Labor Day and the opening of our film," recalled Gwen with some embarrassment. "We had hardly settled into our dorm when Jack Timberline contacted me and asked if I would perform with him at a concert he was doing at Stanford Thursday night, the first week of classes. I agreed, and that's where that photo came from," indicated Gwen as she pointed to a picture of herself and Jack Timberline.
Gwen remembered those early days at Stanford like they were yesterday. The photo of her with Jack Timberline wasn't her finest moment, but she insisted that the Marshes hang the picture on the wall in the appropriate timeline. It helped keep her perspective and remind her just how close she came to ruining a great thing.
Charlotte and Gwen reported to Stanford ten days before the big Labor Day weekend. They had freshman orientation, as well as a week of classes before the Labor Day world premiere of 'Midnight Lights'. The two girls had agreed to room together in a woman's dormitory. They wisely decided that a coed dorm would likely create more distractions and drama. Both of them were in a committed relationship, so they had zero interest in meeting boys, or constantly dealing with them socially.
The two friends had barely gotten their suitcases into their room when girls started dropping by. Most of the visitors were obviously curious about their new neighbor. Most introductions began with, "You're Gwen Anderson. I'm Debbie. I love your videos, songs, and TV shows and can't wait to see your new movie. Is Steve Hammer as gorgeous in real life as he is on TV? Will he be visiting you very often?"
Gwen would always smile at the girl and shake her hand. "Yes, I'm Gwen Anderson. Please call me Gwen. Steve's enrolled at the Naval Academy, so he won't be able to visit as often as I'd like. In fact, I'll be gone quite a few weekends to visit him. It's nice to meet you."
That first evening, the girls from the room across the hall showed up at their door with several Pizzas, followed by just about every girl on the floor. "We've got some pizza and soda. Could we join you guys for a little social dinner? All of us want to meet and get to know you better. You can imagine how excited we are to share the same floor with a celebrity. We've got a million questions to ask, if you're okay with it."
Soon the girls were seated on the two beds, the two chairs and the floor, sharing pizza and listening to Gwen's responses to their questions. Gwen was half way through her recollection of the bombing in Sochi when her cell phone rang. The ringtone was 'The Glory of Love'. It only took a second for a petite, dark haired girl named Cindy to make a correct assumption.
"I bet that's Steve Hammer's ringtones! This is so cool!"
"Hello, Steve. Yeah, we arrived and got settled in okay. Charlotte and I are having some pizza and soda with most of the other girls on the floor. Would you mind if I put you on speaker? For some reason, they're quite curious about you, and they'd love to hear what you have to say. Okay, here it goes," grinned Gwen as she switched her phone to speaker.
Steve managed a couple of sentences before he was barraged with questions. He did his best to respond politely to as many as he could. Then the girl named Cindy asked the one question everyone wanted answered. "So, Steve, I didn't quite catch your phone number. Would you mind repeating it?"
"I must have forgotten to mention it. Ask Gwen for it after we disconnect. She's the only one with the authority to give out my cell number to pretty girls. It keeps me from making bad decisions," laughed Steve.
Gwen noticed her battery was dying, so she gave her apologies to the girls as she switched the phone so she could have a private conversation. Then she stepped into the bathroom and closed the door. She returned in a minute, gave the girls a big smile and plugged her phone in to charge.
"You've made some friends here today!" laughed a tall blonde girl named Dakota. "Visiting with the famous Gwen Anderson was great, but having a conversation with Steve Hammer was incredible. We'll be falling over ourselves trying to stay in your good graces. Do you think Steve will be visiting anytime soon?"
"We've been toying with the idea of riding Harleys up from L.A. over the Labor Day weekend," revealed Gwen. "Charlotte, Jordan, and I have boyfriends that love those big bikes. We'll probably stay over in L.A. Saturday night and hit the road early Sunday. The drive up the Pacific coast is supposed to be incredible."
"You mean that Steve Hammer AND Jordan Quick might be stopping here on Labor Day?" quizzed a mousey redhead whose name Gwen had forgotten. "I'm going to be sure I'm around when they show up. Going to college is really amazing. It must have been crazy to have all three of you in the same class in high school."
"I could tell you stories about that," revealed Charlotte. "By the time they graduated, Gwen and Jordan were named the two sexiest women in the world by a couple of magazines. I would be very surprised if Steve isn't named the sexiest man alive by 'People Magazine' in a month or so. He should be able to hold that title for the next twenty years."
That statement by Charlotte sparked interest as well as numerous questions. The girls asked Charlotte how well she knew Steve Hammer and what she could reveal about him. Then Gwen's phone rang again. Gwen casually picked it up, knowing it wasn't Steve's ringtone. The other girls listened to her end of the conversation.
"Hello? Hi! It's great to hear from you, Jack! Yes, I'm just settling in here at Stanford. I saw the posters today and I was going to try to get tickets tomorrow. Of course I'd pay to hear you sing. You're very good. All those hits you've had indicate that you've got a lot of talent, and you're very popular with the female fans.
"Really? Me? I'll have to check with my agency, but if they say it's okay, I'd be glad to sing with you. Want to do the same two songs we did last time? "Glory of Love'? I guess we could. Thursday night will work because I'm leaving early Friday morning for our movie premiere in New York on Friday night."
"Tell me that was Jack Timberline!" squealed the mousey redhead after Gwen disconnected. "He wants you to perform with him next week at his concert, doesn't he? That sure beats being invited to the junior prom!"
"How will Steve feel about you being with Jack Timberline?" asked Cindy. "I know my boyfriend would have a fit if I hung around with a known ladies' man like him, not that I'd ever have the chance."
"Steve knows I'll just be singing with him. He isn't the jealous type, and I never give him reason to worry. You can all guess how much I don't want to ever lose Steve. I'll do anything for that guy!" admitted Gwen to the other girls.
It was almost midnight by the time Charlotte and Gwen managed to usher their guests out the door. "They seemed nice enough," allowed Charlotte as they picked up the empty pizza boxes and placed them in the trash. "I just hope the novelty wears off before too long. I'm really glad we're in a girls' dorm. If there were guys in the building, they'd all be sniffing around the beautiful Gwen Anderson and we'd never get any peace.
"If you sing at Timberline's concert Thursday, you'll miss Steve's first football game, and they're playing Ohio State on ESPN. You know that, right?"
"I thought of it after I'd agreed to sing. I'm thinking that if the concert starts at six because it's a school night, it'll be over by nine. The game starts at eight, so it should last well after the concert is over," allowed Gwen.
"That sounds good, except that the game starts at eight Eastern Time. That means five o'clock here. The game will be over long before you get back from the concert," pointed out Charlotte to her friend.
"Oh, dear! I promised Jack that I'd sing with him. I guess you could record the game, if you would, and I'll watch it after the concert. Steve said he's starting the season as the third string quarterback. He's the back-up punter, too, and I didn't even know he could kick that well. It doesn't surprise me, though. I'm more surprised that they have two guys better at quarterback than Steve. One's a senior and the other's a junior. Steve should start in a couple years, if not sooner.
"It seems to me that appearing in concert with Jack Timberline will help get us some media exposure and help create interest in our movie. Being seen on stage with Jack Timberline will certainly help get me noticed."
"What planet are you on?" demanded Charlotte. "There's only two other people in the world that are as popular as you. Timberline sure isn't one of them! He needs you to help him. You passed that guy out months ago. You don't seem to get exactly what you, Jordan, and Steve have going right now. You guys are on top of the heap; kings of the hill! My best friend just might be the most sought after performer in the world, and when she's with Jordan Quick and Steve Hammer there's no doubt. You'll be helping Timberline, not the other way around."
"Wow! You seem so certain. It's hard to believe that I could be that popular. Still, Jack helped me when I was starting out, so I feel like I owe him. This should make us square," decided Gwen.
"I should say so. I know you're a big girl, but Paula mentioned how he tried to get you into his bed right in front of her. She doesn't like him very much and your mom is a pretty good judge of character. You know his reputation. Be careful around him," warned Charlotte.
"Don't worry. He's good looking, but nothing like Steve. I won't even be tempted. I guess Steve's spoiled me for other men," chuckled Gwen.
Steve seemed to understand when Gwen explained that she'd be singing in a concert with Jack Timberline during his first game. He told her not to worry about it since he appeared destined to polish the bench for the foreseeable future.
Gwen had been uncomfortable with Jack Timberline's stated intention of singing 'Glory of Love' with Gwen, but couldn't bring herself to voice her concerns to Jack. She spent an hour rehearsing the song with him Thursday afternoon. It was obvious to Gwen that Timberline lacked Steve's vocal skills, as well as his rugged good looks and charisma.
Later that evening, as Gwen waited backstage for her duet, she observed how the show lacked the intensity of the concerts she did with Steve, Jordan, Charlie and his band. The concert was sold out, and Jack gave a good performance, but Jack, as well as his band, seemed to be going through the paces with very little emotion or feeling. She decided that her performance would put some life back into the evening!
When her time came to sing, Gwen gave it her very best. Jack seemed to pick up his game, not wanting to be too embarrassed when compared to Gwen. Earlier, Jack had asked Gwen to hang around after the concert. Since her duet was one of the last songs performed, she acquiesced. Then she found herself agreeing to go out to dinner with Jack. She even had a little wine with dinner.
"There are some great clubs in the area," began Jack as he escorted Gwen to his limo after their meal. "Let's try a couple out before we end the evening. We might not cross paths for months or years. Tell me you'll come with me. I'll take you home whenever you ask."
Gwen hadn't been out since dropping Steve off at Annapolis, so the suggestion by Jack caught her interest. "Just for a little while. I don't want to be up too late, but I would like to go dancing."
An hour later, Gwen was handed a second drink by Jack as they made their way back to their table. Jack encouraged her to drink it quickly so they could return to the dance floor. Two songs later, she and Jack Timberlline were holding each other closely as they danced to a slow song. Jack began nibbling at Gwen's ear and neck as they danced. Gwen felt goose bumps go down her back. Then Jack tilted her chin up and kissed her softly. When Gwen didn't pull back, Jack inserted his tongue between her lips.
"Let's go back to my hotel room," whispered Jack into her ear after he ended the kiss. "We'll have another drink and see what develops. Would you like that?"
Gwen realized she felt a little queasy and not overly happy about tasting Jack's tongue. In her entire life, Steve had been the only man she had ever kissed like that. But with Steve, it was much better; more romantic and loving. Thinking about Steve's kisses brought her mind back to her current situation. She was in a club, and in the arms of Jack Timberline!
"Please give me some time to repair my makeup," requested Gwen as she struggled to appear calm and relaxed. "We'll talk when I get back."
Jack smiled broadly and moved to take a seat at his table as Gwen hurried toward the ladies' bathroom. When she reached the entrance to the bathrooms, Gwen continued toward the door. Once outside, she hailed a taxi that was parked nearby. Twenty minutes later, she walked into her dorm room, only to encounter about a dozen very quiet girls looking at her curiously.
Gwen was on the verge of tears as she looked around the room at all the staring faces. Then Charlotte rushed up to her. "We watched the football game, and then we watched the highlights along with Steve's interview. He was incredible! I thought you'd be back a couple hours ago. Is something wrong?"
"H ... How did Steve do? Did he play?" asked Gwen as she forced herself to slow her breathing and concentrate. "Why was he interviewed?"
"Wow! You really haven't heard? He brought Navy back from a 24 to zip flogging! They beat Ohio State on the last play of the game! I think he'll be starting from now on. Are you okay, Gwen?"
"You mean except for being a total ass, embarrassing myself, missing Steve's game, and possibly ruining my life? Other than that, I'm fine," groaned Gwen as she took a chair one of the girls offered her.
"What happened that was so terrible? Do you want these girls to leave so we can talk?" asked Charlotte as she realized how upset Gwen really was.
"No, they can all stay. Somehow, it makes me feel better admitting what an ass I was to a bunch of people. Jack Timberline invited me to dinner after the concert. After dinner, he invited me to go clubbing. Then, after he got me to have a couple drinks, he asked me to go to his hotel room with him."
"Oh, Gwen! You didn't do it with him, did you?" asked a worried Charlotte. "I warned you that he was a jerk. What are you going to tell Steve?"
"I'm going to tell him the truth; that I played the fool, and I even kissed that damn Timberline, but I did not go to his hotel room, and I most certainly did not have sex with him!" stated Gwen firmly.
"I know there'll be pictures of me with Timberline and probably some rumors about us sleeping together, but I swear I only kissed him once. That kiss reminded me that Steve was so much better. I walked out, called a taxi, and came home."
"You're probably the only woman in the free world that would be upset about people thinking that you slept with Jack Timberline. But after watching that football game and the interview with Steve Hammer, I can see why you'd never want him to think you had anything going with someone else," admitted Dakota. "He's a dream boat!"
"If even half of what we've heard about the romance of Steve Hammer and Gwen Anderson is true, he won't be upset with you," added Cindy. "He loves you and doesn't want to lose you. Just tell him the truth. I can't even imagine being in a position where I'd be worried that my boyfriend, Steve Hammer, would be upset because Jack Timberline is trying to get into my pants!"
"Uh-oh!" exclaimed Dakota as she waved her I-Pad in the air. There's pictures of Gwen with Jack Timberline on the web already! Look at this one. It looks like they're sharing a very hot kiss on the dance floor. Do you think Steve'll see it?"
"My God! I Knew I was being stupid, but now it's confirmed. It looks like I'm going to swallow his tongue! Of course Steve will see it. Every woman on the planet knows that they have to get me out of the picture if they want a crack at Steve. This is their chance. I handed it to them on a silver platter. How will I ever face Steve tomorrow?"
Just then Gwen's phone rang. Looking at the caller ID, Gwen answered quickly. "Naomi! How are things back at the academy? You saw that? Your mom woke you up to tell you about it? She was angry? You're angry? Nothing happened! I know it looks bad, and it really was bad enough, but I didn't do anything with him, except that one kiss. Yeah, I know. It was enough, wasn't it? Are you going to tell Steve? Thanks for that. Oh, you just don't want to be the one to deliver the bad news? Okay! I screwed up. Will you be able to forgive me? Do you think Steve will? That's what I'm hoping, too. I'll see you at the premiere, if Steve doesn't kill me first.
"That was a friend. She goes to Annapolis with Steve. She said there was a lot of celebrating going on at the academy since Navy finally beat Ohio State. She had been asleep for an hour when her mother called to tell her to look at the pictures on the internet of me and Jack Timberline. Her mother was very upset, as was Naomi once she looked at the pictures. She said she wouldn't tell Steve about them because he'd probably punch out the messenger!
"She said that most men would never forgive me for humiliating them like I did Steve. Then she said that Steve was not like most men, and that was my only hope. She thinks I might be able to convince him to forgive me, but if I can't, there'll be a line of women at his door, and she'll be first."
"Give her credit for being up front, anyway," observed Dakota. "I hope this so-called friend is an ugly, fat bitch with warts all over her face?"
"Actually, she's quite beautiful," responded Charlotte. "Steve had his first crush on her about four years ago when his Dad was stationed in Cuba."
"Thanks, Charlotte. I needed to be reminded of that. Don't get me wrong, Naomi is a very good friend. She just told me what I already knew. All my friends, except Charlotte, will be after Steve if we break up. That even includes my younger sister. I can't really blame them. It's my own fault."
"Ah, Gwen? If Steve's available, I'll drop Billy like a rock if I can get Steve to look at me twice," stated Charlotte with a straight face.
"What? You, too? You're kidding me, right? You love Billy. You wouldn't do that to him, or to me," insisted Gwen.
"No, you're right. I wouldn't do that. You know why? Because Naomi, Nadiya, Becky, Kate, Stephanie, Ashley, that red headed Russian woman, and a million other super model types would be after him, so I'd have no chance."
"They would be!" agreed Gwen. "We learned early on that half truths, and lies by omission can damage a relationship. Now I'll find out if kissing another guy in public will damage our relationship."
"We came home right after the concert to have some pizza and see if anything happened in the Navy/Ohio State game, and to see if Steve got to play," revealed Charlotte. "I taped it while we were at the concert. You were very good tonight, by the way, Gwen. I just wasn't too thrilled that you chose to sing that song with that masher.
"Let's watch the game again. I'll fast forward through the first quarter. It's enough for you to know that Ohio State was ahead 24 to nothing at the end of the quarter. They had Navy pinned down on the three yard line on fourth down. Steve went in to punt for Navy. The starting Navy quarterback was hurt in the first series and his replacement played pretty bad. He had a fumble and an interception that led to scores. The punter was hurt on his second punt, so Steve was sent in for him. His first kick was pretty good. The second punt was at the start of the second quarter. Let's watch it from there."
Gwen and Charlotte managed just a few hours sleep as their flight to New York was scheduled for an 8 AM departure. That barely allowed them time after landing to get to their hotel and prepare for the premiere. Gwen was feeling very depressed as she wheeled her bag through the airport in San Jose.
While Gwen and Charlotte were at their gate waiting to board, Gwen received a call from her mother. "Do you care to explain your actions, Young Lady? If your goal was to humiliate and embarrass your family and boyfriend, you couldn't have done a better job. Do you think Steve's going to stand for that sort of behavior? Or have you moved on to greener pastures?"
"Mom! You know better than that! I made a mistake, okay? I'm sorry. I'm very sorry. Have you talked to Steve? Does he hate me now? Is this going to be really awkward? If he wants to break up with me, I won't blame him. What did he say to you?"
"He hasn't commented on it to me, or Ted. Nadiya is here, because you invited her, and she's hanging pretty close to Steve. She's absolutely beautiful. Naomi is staying nearby, too. I'm not sure if she's trying to keep Naydia from getting too friendly, or if she's staking a claim. Kate is trying to stay loyal to you, but it's pretty obvious that she's trying to keep Steve from getting too interested in Nadiya or Naomi. Ashley is totally flummoxed, while Becky and Stephanie are intimidated by Naomi and Nadiya, so they're on the sidelines, watching and maybe waiting for their chance. Thank God that Lisa and Jordan are in committed relationships or this would be an even bigger mess."
"What about Steve? Is he acting interested in them? Do you think he's written me off? What should I do?" moaned Gwen.
"It's a little too late to do the right thing now," responded Paula. "You knew that Jack Timberline was a regular tomcat. Did you happen to see him on TV this morning? That jackass was asked about his night with you and he told the reporter that he was a gentleman and would not discuss personal relationships! He might as well have told the reporter that you guys did the deed all night long."
"Mom! I didn't sleep with the guy! If you think I'd do that, then there isn't much sense talking about this anymore. Does everyone share your low opinion of me?"
"Oh, Sweetheart! I don't have a bad opinion of you. I'm just worried about how this will affect you, Steve, our family, and our company. If Steve leaves our group, we'll have a lot less clout, to put it mildly. We'll work something out over the weekend. A lot depends on how badly Steve takes this ... turn of events," responded Paula with emotion.
"Jordan and Lisa were pretty upset when they saw the pictures of you and Timberline. Your father wasn't too pleased either, but we're family and we'll pull through this disappointment. This is supposed to be a wonderful evening with your movie premiere. One good piece of news is that the movie is great! I had the chance to watch it last night and it's really good. You and Jordan show a lot of skin, but you both look fantastic doing it and Steve is amazing, but you already know that."
"We'll be in New York in a few hours. I have a lot of fences to mend and I'll do my best. But if Steve doesn't love me anymore, I don't know what I'll do. I can't imagine my life without him," admitted Gwen to her mother. "I guess I should have realized that a little sooner."
By the time Charlotte and Gwen deplaned and claimed their luggage, they were pressed for time. They had an hour to get to their hotel, get dressed, and make their way to the premiere. As they were riding in a cab, Charlotte gasped as she looked at her phone.
"What is it?" demanded Gwen. "Did you get a text, or an email? What's wrong?"
"I really hate to be the one to show you this picture, but it's all over the internet. It looks like Nadiya didn't waste any time after finding out about you and Timberline. I'm so sorry, Gwen," finished Charlotte as she turned her phone around so Gwen could see the picture on the screen.
"What is ... oh, no! I thought she was my friend! I know he must be pissed at me, but did he have to kiss her in public? It looks like Times Square! I don't think I can go to the premiere now. I'll just stay in the cab and go back to the airport," sobbed Gwen as she felt the pain and humiliation of seeing Steve holding the gorgeous Nadiya Misko tightly as he kissed her lips.
The couple was on a sidewalk with all kinds of paparazzi clicking away. Steve was in uniform and looked extremely dashing, while Nadiya was in a blue sundress that revealed a great deal of cleavage as her arms were raised up and wrapped around Steve's neck. Gwen realized that she really shouldn't be surprised, nor could she blame Nadiya. Steve was everything a woman looked for in a man, and Gwen had betrayed him. She had forfeited any rights she ever had to Steve, as well as to her own happiness.