Celeb Rehab, Part 2
From best-selling chick-lit novelist Wendy Holden, part 2 of an exclusive short story for BettyConfidential.
The story so far: Because of her addiction to gossip, our heroine has lost her boyfriend (he didn’t want to hear about Simon Cowell) and her job (her boss caught her looking at a celebrity site once too often). She decides to go cold turkey on gossip by traveling to England to spend some time with her Aunt Jane, a Shakespeare scholar. Aunt Jane introduces her assistant, Jasper, and our heroine is speechless: “I stared back, open-mouthed. I hadn’t been expecting an assistant, let alone one this hot.”
Jasper was very English. He had a Hugh Grant accent and the same pretty-boy looks, although younger by about 20 years. He explained to me that he and Jane were working on a book about Shakespeare; Dad had been right. “I love Shakespeare,” I couldn’t help exclaiming.
“You do?” Jasper looked interested. “Which play?”
I pulled a face. “Um, I guess I mean Joseph Fiennes,” I muttered sheepishly.
Fortunately, Jasper seemed to think this was funny. For all his spectacular looks, he was a nice guy. So nice, and so interested in me, that I soon felt I could tell him the truth about why I had come here. My celebrity rehab.
“And I think it’s working,” I told him. “You can’t imagine what a joy it is not to spend the whole day wondering about Catherine Zeta-Jones’ diet.”
Jasper laughed – harder than I thought the remark merited. “I can see there’s a certain liberation in that,” he agreed, wiping his eyes.
Jane, Jasper and I had a wonderful week together. We talked about all sorts of things over the supper table, often far into the night. If I had worried that, after all those years of obsessing over the A-list, I would be unable to talk about anything else, it turned out I had plenty of opinions.
During the day Jane and Jasper worked and I explored the village and the surrounding countryside on – of all things – Jane’s old bicycle. My skin improved faster than it ever had with any star-endorsed face-cream and my figure faster than with any celeb diet. I was looking pretty good, I knew – as was Jasper. I had never seen anyone like him, and he was a great guy, too. Clever, witty, kind. I was in love, and he seemed fairly keen on me.
One night, as we sat chatting alone together, Jasper leaned over. “I think I’ve fallen in love with you,” he muttered. He made as if to kiss me, but, in spite of every nerve in my body urging otherwise, I backed away.
“What’s the matter?” he asked.
“Jane, obviously,” I replied. She was old enough to be Jasper’s mother, but as I knew from my extensive studies of Hollywood, that never stopped anyone.
Jasper laughed. “Didn’t you know?”
“Jane has a girlfriend. Lives in LA. Works in film development for..”
I shot out a hand. “Don’t tell me. I don’t want to hear about films. It will only start me off again and I was doing so well.”
Jasper shot me a strange look, but kissed me nonetheless. A swooningly sensual and deliciously lengthy experience which took my mind off my aunt’s unexpected film connections and even more unexpected sexual direction in order to concentrate most rewardingly on my own.