"The Completely Dull and Uneventful Life Of…" copyright hollybaggins; January 2008
This is a derivate piece of fiction featuring real people. The author is not affiliated, nor knows any of the following people - including their friends and family - on a personal level - Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu, Kenny Ortega, nor any other celebrity mentioned throughout this piece of work. This work is solely intended for posting on Fanfiction, for the benefit and enjoyment of its intended audience. No commercial or financial benefit accrues or is intended to accrue to the author as a result of said posting. Any unauthorised copying or redistribution of this work might subject the party responsible for such unauthorized copying or redistribution to legal action by the owners of the aforementioned copyrights and trademarks.
Fame isn't all its cracked up to be.
No, I mean it; really.
Sure, the self-pride and that warm fuzzy feeling you get when it dawns on you that you've finally reached your goal is amazing.
The knowledge that all that hard work you've put in for most of your life has finally paid off fills you with contentment.
The look of pure joy and admiration that radiates from those ever-loyal fans when they see you face-to-face is indescribable. One look into their sparkling eyes and you feel elated that you have made a large impact in their lives; that you are the reason they're screaming and leaping up and down as though they've got springs attached to their feet. It's you they've been waiting for hours and hours to get a glimpse of. And the feeling when you suddenly realise that is breathtaking.
And I'm not going to tip-toe around the issue, and I'm not going to lie. The money isn't half bad.
And the fact that all these worldwide famous designers are literally piling you with free clothes to wear is fucking fantastic!
I love doing what I do – it's why I've spent the last ten years of my life going from audition to audition; learning all about the devastating effects of rejection and acknowledging that the only way I'd make it is to take the criticism as a good thing, and learn from it for my next shot. My childhood was always centred around the stage; around the applause and audience. After starring in my first school play aged eight, I knew that the stage was where I wanted to be – it was where I belonged. The adrenaline; the bursts of energy that take over you from the second the audience begin to cheer and applaud… it's a feeling I'll never tire of. I always sense the happiness radiating out of me when I sing, when I dance – when I'm up on that stage.
I always thought I'd made it big when I got a part in a film. And it was semi-popular, so to me, that alone was a good thing. But throw in some television movie made by Disney and that takes the phrase "making it big" into a whole new perspective.
Female lead. Singing. Dancing. Acting. I was in my element; I'd never been so excited about a project before – the butterflies in my stomach were literally driving me insane at that first audition. I never expected to land the role. And I never expected to fall in love at the same time either…
I cannot even begin to describe how my life has altered in these last three years. If I started, I'm sure I wouldn't be able to stop. I've reached celebrity-status; I'm living the dream. My goal I've been aiming for since I was eight years old has been reached.
But I've said it before and I'll say it again. Fame isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Sure, all jobs have downsides. But I'm sure that not all jobs have annoying downsides that are constantly in your face twenty-four-seven.
"Hey, Vanessa; how are you today?" Flash. Flash. Flash.
"Good, thank you." My walking pace quickens instantly. The suspicious feeling I'd had only five minutes before that there was a guy with a camera hiding in a nearby bush now confirmed.
I mean… I only wanted a smoothie. Just a smoothie. I know these guys have jobs to do and I know they, like me and you, need to earn money to put food on the table and pay the bills… but honestly, all this for pictures of me buying a smoothie?
Flash. Flash. Flash.
Darn, here comes three more. Do they some sort of secret beam that transports them automatically to celebrity hotspots? Or in this case… Tiki Squeeze. Because me buying a smoothie sounds awfully exciting…
"Did you have a good New Year, Vanessa?" Flash. Flash. Flash.
I just smile with gritted teeth, my eyes fixating on the pavement as I quickened my pace a little more. I'm sure they don't use that tone of voice in everyday life – you know the creepy tone of voice that makes your skin shiver.
It's a well-known fact that anybody in the public eye has a very distinctive love-hate relationship with the paparazzi. They can have their uses, believe it or not. Ask Victoria Beckham. I personally don't know how she's able to tolerate them; to freely give up any part of her private life just so she can get on the cover of every major magazine. I love my privacy, and I cherish it more now than ever. I don't believe in all this 'publicity whoring' that many celebrities seem to have succumbed to – it's pointless. I love my job, I love what I do – I love my fan base and the recognition; I love meeting the people I've spent years looking up to. I love being referred to as a role model for young teenagers and I love the opportunities that continue to come my way.
But I would never sacrifice my private life just to make more money.
And for some strange, odd and unknown reason, the paparazzi just don't seem to get that.
Flash. Flash. "What did you and Zac get up to over the New Year?"
This is where I ignore them completely. This is where they just don't get that my private life is none of their business. No matter how much they think it is.
"Is it true you and Zac are engaged?"
That's a new one… No doubt racing around the internet at an ungodly speed as we speak.
"Is it true that you're leaving Zac because he steals your make-up?"
I have to hold back a laugh. One second I'm engaged, the next I'm breaking up with him. Why can't they ever make their minds up? And what the hell is all this about my make-up?
"Absolutely false." Okay, so I have to answer some of the 'rumours' no matter how ridiculous they sound. Zac stealing my make-up? A humourous image, I'll give them that. I can just picture him raking through my eye-shadows and lip gloss… No doubt as soon as I update him on the latest 'gossip' he'll be joking around with my mascara and eye-liner.
Where the hell did those five guys suddenly come from? And those camera flashes are seriously doing bad things to my retinas.
All I wanted was a fucking smoothie!
I have to give myself a pat on the back for this. I've had a lot of stupid ideas in the past, but this one seriously wins the Oscar for Stupidest Idea Known to Mankind. I was sat at home all morning and afternoon; tucked up warm in a blanket, nice and safe with my mother and sister and suddenly I have to get that ridiculous urge to have a fucking smoothie. And then I have the extra stupid idea to walk to Tiki Squeeze at 5pm.
And now I've had another stupid idea to walk in the direction of Zac's apartment building.
Which the paparazzi will just love.
Vanessa Hudgens, you idiot. There're now at least fifteen annoying guys with flashing cameras and creepy voices surrounding you so you can't exactly turn around now.
I should never ever have ideas again. Ever. Period.
Just until the next time Zac has a seriously stupid and idiotic one – in which case I'll have to jump in with a better one to save ourselves from certain humiliation and possibly (one day) death. My ideas are never as bad as Zac's.
Like the time he thought it would be "a laugh" to tease my beloved dog Shadow with a ham sandwich. And then he wondered why a very annoyed Shadow aggressively attached himself to his trouser leg.
Or the time when he thought it would be "absolutely fucking hilarious" to mix coca-cola with lemonade, orange fanta, iced-tea, ginger ale and apple juice and then drink it in one gulp. And then he acted so confused as to why I was pissed at him for vomiting all over my mom's bathroom.
Or the other time on the 'High School Musical 2' set when he thought it would be "side-splittingly amusing" to shave half of one of Corbin's eyebrows off…
Actually that was side-splittingly amusing – until Kenny found out and reprimanded us for our "silly, careless and yet humourous" crime.
Flash. Flash. Flash.
"Vanessa, are you going over to Zac's now? What are you guys up to today?"
To be honest, I am being a little harsh to him. He doesn't always have pointless and stupid ideas.
Like the time he suggested we go away to Hawaii for a week's vacation last year…
Or the time when he suggested he teach me how to surf and I found a new way to challenge my adrenaline…
And then there was the extra-special idea he'd come up with… when he presented me with a promise ring with a personal and heartfelt message engraved into the gold band. Extra special because he'd thought of it all by himself – meaning, no hints had been required from me or his Mom.
And then there was the unforgettable moment when my now-infamous 'scandal' reached the headlines. And he'd had the idea to fly home to me from Australia. And when he finally reached me, he had the idea to just give me a long cuddle…
Speaking of which…
"Vanessa, how did you manage to deal with the scandal surrounding those pictures of you on the internet? That's really cool how you coped with it. When are you filming 'High School Musical 3'?"
I just shrug my shoulders with a small smile; never lifting my eyes to look at them. I refuse to. I refuse to give them any ammunition to pound at me with the next time I make a mistake. I'm human, right? Mistakes shall be made. Unfortunately my ultimate mistake just happened to be very personal photographs which somehow managed to get on that teeny weeny evil invention called the internet.
What do they expect me to do? Hop, skip and jump around throwing flower petals whilst humming 'Come By Ah'? Come on, no-one is that innocent.
"Vanessa, is it true you're writing a song about Zac on your next album?" Flash. Flash. Flash. Flash. Flash.
I smile. There, that's all you're getting. I refuse to even let you get a glimpse into my personal life. My relationship consists of two people – not the entire tabloid-fuelled world. When you start allowing complete and utter strangers into your relationship – complete and utter strangers who, to be honest, only care if you're arguing or breaking up just so they can sell more magazines – that's when things start to go wrong. And I'm not risking jeopardising what we've got. It's too important; it's too special. And it's just us.
When 'High School Musical' started to get huge, Zac and I instantly knew what would befall us. Disney's producers got us together almost immediately and discussed how we should handle the press about our relationship.
How we should handle it?
We'll handle it how we choose. It's our relationship. We may be under Disney's contract; but our relationship certainly is not.
Again, it may not have been one of our best joint-ideas… Pretending we were 'just good friends' proved to be extremely hard – especially when all we wanted to do was do normal things together holding hands and kissing every now and again. Like normal teenage couples do. We did pretty well to keep up the act for almost eighteen months – and then Zac's idea to go to Hawaii thwarted our act (making-out in the ocean pretty much gave the paparazzi – and the world – a clear hint that maybe we were more than just good friends).
But it wasn't just that – for the first time in my relationship, I felt like I was failing in some way. Not long after our now-infamous (and I think rather good) pictures were released, Zac opened up. He told me he hated us being a secret – that he hated the fact that he would have to go into interviews and say the phrase, "no, I don't have a girlfriend" or "yes, I'm single and looking for love". He admitted that saying those things made him feel as though he was betraying me in some way.
And in truth, I hated it too. I hated standing next to him wile the interviewer would cunningly ask if we were real-life sweethearts; to which we'd look at each other awkwardly before unconvincingly muttering, "er…no we're just really, really good friends."
It sucked. I admit it sucked. It was an idea we'd formed before we really hit it big; when we were at that age when we thought we could get away with it if we just lied about it. So, we came clean; in a sense. We've never stood on top of a really tall building screaming "YES, WE'RE TOGETHER!" and we've never jumped in a plane with the words, "Vanessa Loves Zac Forever and Always" trailing behind the aircraft for the world to see. We just started holding hands in public – started sharing the odd kiss when we felt like it.
And it felt fucking wonderful.
Sure, they can still try and be cunning and get something out of me. But I'll never give them an inch. It's confirmed we're together; we're not disputing that fact anymore. And that's all we're giving them. A relationship consists of two people – and when you include more, that's when it all starts to go wrong.
Just ask Dr. Phil. He'll agree with me.
Flash. Flash. Flash. Flash.
"Are you seeing your friend Ashley at some point today?"
Ah, my friend Ashley. Of course, these sly and scheming paps are not asking because they genuinely care. They're not asking because they are curious about my strong friendship with a co-star. Believe it or not they're not even asking in the hope that I'll give them some sort of clue about where me and Ash may be at some point today.
They're asking because they're extremely clever.
And extremely evil.
And because they know exactly how to make you react to things you promised yourself you wouldn't.
"How do you feel about the reports that Zac and Ashley are secretly seeing each other?" Flash. Flash. Flash. Flash. Flash. The camera flashes become endless.
You want to smile. You want to laugh it off and roll your eyes at them – act like its all some sort of joke. But you can't. All you can manage is a weak smile that you know they can see straight through. Your stomach starts spinning; your throat tightened and you have to bite your bottom lip in order to keep control of it.
Not because you don't trust your best friend. Not because you don't trust your boyfriend.
But because you feel like a target. Like a joke. Like some sort of bet that these people have started – who can be the first to crack Zac and Vanessa? Who can be the first to break them up? Whoever wins with the best version of the story gets a huge promotion and pay-rise…
You don't feel like a person anymore. You feel like an object. It's unfathomable that these people actually see you as something that can be used to make a profit. And the word 'used' is not used lightly. They think couples breaking up in the celebrity world are a fantastic thing – more of an opportunity – for promotions, for money, for recognition. Never mind the fact that maybe that couple were madly in love; never mind the fact that they're now spending every night crying into their pillows; negotiating with managers and agents about the best way to "handle the press" because that's the most important thing, of course…
It truly is sickening. Especially when your best friend is crying, holding up the latest tabloid headline with the words 'Zac Efron Swapping Vanessa Hudgens for Ashley Tisdale? Find out the whole story inside…" It's sickening to the core when your best friend then proceeds in trying to convince you that nothing is going on because she actually is worried that you're thinking the stories are true. She's adamant that you're going to listen to her and take in her words when she says it's not true, because she's truly frightened that you're going to break off your relationship and then break off your friendship with her on top of that. And she doesn't want to lose you. She doesn't want to be the reason should you break up…
And then you feel as though she's not taking your words in when you then try to convince her that you don't believe it; that you never have and you never will. Because you trust her. And no matter what any headline says… you'll never think it's true.
But you never get totally convinced you've gotten through to her. Because sure enough, another story will appear and the whole process will start all over again.
Zac and I have always said from the start that we trust each other; that we know we won't cheat and that any story that comes our way and affects us, we'll be honest from the start and open up to each other about it.
Because when something like jealousy gets into your head and you start to ignore it; it's just a recipe for disaster.
When those stories surfaced about me cheating on Zac with our friend, Drake Bell, we sat down and we talked about it. Assured each other of the trust and love we have for each other – my one aim was to certainly squish that small bout of jealousy that had so obviously started to appear in those blue eyes.
The tabloids and paparazzi will never have the satisfaction of thinking that they're getting to us. They can call us the biggest publicity stunt since Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes… We know what we have if real. And that's all that matters. They can use the "Zashley" term until the end of time – we know the truth. They can speculate about any "mysterious" females that Zac knows or talks to – I trust him. They can make a huge drama out of nothing the next time they see me with a "mysterious" male – Zac trusts me.
And that's all that matters.
I let out a loud and very obvious sigh of relief as I approached Zac's building – now about thirty creepy, camera-flashing paparazzi now trailing closely behind me. I honestly never imagined that getting a smoothie and then walking a few blocks could be so exciting? Maybe I'm not very easily pleased…
Maybe I should get my humour box checked?
Would the only way to stop them following me be to act as boring as possible?
But then, I thought that a person walking out to buy a smoothie was a pretty boring act…
I do laugh when the paparazzi panic because they know they'll be losing me any second… they start chanting and flashing more erratically then usual…
"Vanessa!" Flash. Flash. Flash. Flash. Flash.
"Vanessa!" Flash. Flash. Flash. Flash.
"Vanessa; over here!" Flash. Flash. Flash.
"Vanessa! Vanessa!" Flash. Flash. Flash.
I do give them a chuckle as I use my key – yes, I have my own key, and crap; now they know… - to unlock the main door and I shut it a little harshly behind me; almost certain that I've hit one of them in the face. I'm not feeling too relieved; I know they'll literally sit out there for months just waiting for my reappearance.
Well, I'm choosing to forget that right now. Because after I get this door open I know I'll have to concentrate on walking through it without tripping on various articles of clothing. It's a life or death situation here.
I slowly open the door to the apartment and squint my eyes. All the lights are off; the curtains are closed… and there's a box of pizza sitting on the counter that is so obviously out of date. Clothes, as previously predicted are lying about here there and everywhere and I'm grateful Starla Efron isn't here to see this. She'd surely die of a heart attack.
Me? I just let out a light chuckle, because it's so typically Zac and if the place was insanely clean then I'd worry that some kind of alien life-form had taken over his body to use in some sort of alien experiment. And obviously it would be an alien that had health and cleanliness issues…
I close the door slowly, immediately realising that Zac was fast asleep in the bedroom. The past few weeks he'd been working constantly on his latest project; the contract stating early morning starts as mandatory for all main stars meaning that Zac's alarm was going off at around 3:30am everyday. And I do have to give him credit; he's made it on time to the set every day he's had to film – which is some sort of ultra miracle seeing as how Zac is completely not a morning person at all.
I successfully weave my way through the mass of junk that's been thoughtlessly dumped on the floor and grin to myself victoriously – I know him too well. As I open the bedroom door, there is he, sure enough, lying diagonally across the bed on his stomach; still fully clothed and battered and torn film script dangling from his left hand.
I want to laugh, just knowing that he'd walked in after filming was wrapped for day and collapsed straight on the bed; not thinking to change his clothes or actually make the bed before he got in it. He hadn't even bothered to take his shoes off.
The words and annoying actions of the paparazzi suddenly faded from my mind, and suddenly I felt like I was just a normal person. A normal boring person who loved her life and lived it comfortably; ensuring happiness was the only destination in any of her journeys. I crawl along the bed on all fours, a huge and cheesy grin on my face as I lean over him, blowing into his ear to try and rouse him.
No such luck. The guy's a heavy sleeper. He could sleep through an earthquake that hit ten on the Richter Scale.
Blowing my fringe frustratingly from my eyes, I gently lean over to pry the film script from his hand before placing it on the bedside table beside his cellphone. I suddenly start to wonder whether the worst criminal in American history could enter this apartment and steal every single item in the place without Zac even stirring. The chances were very high.
"Ugh!" My patience wears thin very easily. I've been annoyed to high-heaven by evil and creepy camera-loving paparazzi and technically – and this is in the rules of love, I'm sure – my boyfriend should awaken and instantly know about the horrors I've just endured and kiss me continually to make my deflated mood better.
"Zac…" I coo, nudging his side with my knee.
"Your favourite girlfriend is here…" I can't help but smile, running my fingers through his hair before running my index finger down his nose.
Some strange and crazy axe murderer could enter any moment and take me hostage and he'd still lie there snoring. I start to debate the wonderful uses a bucket of ice cold water could have in situations such as this.
I huff loudly. "Zac, I'm getting bored now. Wake up."
His nose twitches. A good thing or a bad? A bad thing in this case, since his eyes are still annoyingly shut.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
"I'm taking my top off…"
"You're a liar, Hudgens."
Aha! I grin childishly, feeling pride in my mission accomplishment. His eyes were still closed but there was a definite smile on his face and I snuggle up to his side, curling up comfortably as his arm drapes over my stomach and pulls me in closer to he can rest his cheek against my shoulder.
"What's up with your hair?" He murmurs into my neck. "You look like you've walked through a bush backwards."
I feel him smiling against my skin and it only widens when I lightly slap his bicep. "Yeah, well, you look worse than I do." Briefly paranoid, I run my hand over my hair to smooth out whatever is out of place. Then I realise he's teasing and I slap him again for falling for it.
He laughs and holds onto me that little bit tighter – his own little way of lightly apologising. "And who said that you were my favourite girlfriend? You come at a close second, if anything."
My mouth opening in mock offence, I slap him harder and put on my best pout. "You were awake, you asshole!"
"Would you quit hitting me? I've had a very long and tiring day."
"Yeah, I can tell." I scoff, scrunching up my nose. "When did you last have a shower?"
I raise an eyebrow, turning my head slightly to get a glimpse of him. But his face is still buried in my neck making it impossible for me to see anything but the side of his head. "As in… at 3am this morning?"
"Zac, you're gross." My nose scrunches more and I attempt to shove him away from me with limited success. "I'm officially phoning up Ok! magazine and Us Weekly to tell them you're not this heartthrob they're making you out to be. You're just a smelly…dirty… incredibly stinky… thing." He tightens his arm around me and I can feel his laughter starting to erupt. "And I'll tell them that it is true that you steal my make-up because you're just a big girl inside."
At that comment, Zac raises his head to look at me with the most adorable confused features known to man. He props himself up on his elbow, his face hovering close above mine. "Say what?"
I bite my lip and let out a suppressed giggle. "You. Steal. My. Make-up."
"Since some incredibly creative human being posted that you do on some tabloid-based website and because of that, it so obviously is true."
"I steal make-up?"
I nod again, my attempts to keep a straight and composed face failing by the second. "And I could publicly state that it's not true – at least, I hope it's not true…" I grin as he shoots me an evil glare. "Or I could go around telling everybody that yes it is true, and yes I have to wait half an hour to get to my make-up bag because you are too busy applying mascara."
"Well, it does accent my eyes…"
I pull a disgusted face and he laughs at me. "Oh, you're a strange creature, Efron. Good job I love you, ain't it?"
He smiled and kissed my nose, his head falling comfortably back against my neck as my arms envelope him.
I feel him yawn again and my hand curls around the back of his neck as he snuggles deeper into my side. "Don't you dare fall asleep again. I haven't bought my bulldozer with me to get you up again."
Zac yawns again. "But… Me… Tired…"
"But me awake. And me wanting to spend time with you before you have to go back to bed again." I don't feel him move. "Zac, you're being a complete pain in the ass today, more than usual!" I can't help but laugh as I pat his cheek gently to keep him awake. "You've had a couple of hours sleep. Let's go out and do something fun."
Another yawn. "Like what?"
"Oh!" My face suddenly lights up. "Skating down Santa Monica pier."
"I can't skate."
"I know. That's what makes it so funny!"
"Mean. You're being exceptionally cruel to me today, Nessa."
"And how'd you work that one out?"
"Well, first you wake me up by lying – you said you were taking your top off and here we are now; I'm awake and your top is still on. Then you start threatening to tell the world that I not only wear make-up, but I steal yours too…"
"It is one of the best rumours we've heard in a while; you have to admit…"
"For you, maybe. You're supposed to wear make-up."
I roll my eyes dramatically and lightly slap his bicep again. He doesn't even wince. "Will you stop falling asleep – and most likely drooling – on my shoulder, please? And can we please go out and have some fun for a bit?"
Zac groans against my shoulder and attempts to heave himself up. I laugh out loud when his body raises and then abruptly falls back on top of me, nearly knocking all the air out of my lungs. "No. Sorry. No can do. Can't move."
"You will move!"
The laughter in his voice motivates me to push as hard as I possibly can against his shoulders. Unfortunately the smug doofus had been spending a lot of time at the gym over the past few years and as much as I appreciated that fact 99.9% of the time, at this precise moment in time, I hated him for it.
"Babe, seriously; have you no muscles at all?"
"You suck, Efron."
"You love me."
"I'm serious!" How the fuck does this guy make me so unbelievably happy by annoying the crap out of me? "I don't want to spend the rest of the day lying in your messy apartment on your messy bed in your smelly arms."
"Sure you do."
"No, I don't!" Somehow I'm able wriggle out of his 'smelly' arms and jump of the bed. Amused, Zac rolls over so he's lying on his back, staring up at me with the bright pools of blue, knowing that that was all he had to do to get his own way. But stubborn as I am, I'm determined he won triumph. "Look, I know there's only a few weeks left of filming for you to do but I miss you, okay? Very easily which is so annoying and I don't know how you do it, but you do, okay?" Zac nodded with a grin. Asshole. "And as much fun as Ash is to hang with, I have needs that only a boyfriend – even one who's evil as you're being now – can remedy. Now, get your ass up, get your ass in the shower, get you ass dressed and let's go out and do something already!"
He continued to just lie there, grinning at me stupidly. And the thing that sucks the most? I love him so much…
So I just smile, humouring him to the max. I crawl over his body slowly, knowing that I can get him back just as much. His eyes and smile both widen simultaneously and I know I've got him right where I want him. I straddle his hips, my hands braced against the mattress on other side of his neck; my nose gently grazing over his. "Baby, come on…"
He tilts his head slightly to try and capture my lips but I just smirk and move just out of his reach. He lets out a frustrated groan as I press my chest to his, my mouth ghosting over his in a gentle whisper.
"You're a mean, mean woman, Hudgens."
His fingertips start to graze over my bare arms and I can't help but shiver at the touch. "If you get up and get showered now, I promise I'll stay the night and then we'll see if sleeping is something you so desperately want to do."
I should have really seen it coming. I can only tease him for so long until I unleash this fiery and passionate being that's inside of him. In one quick swoop, his hands grip under my upper thighs just below my backside and his upper body rises so he's sat up straight with me straddling his lap. I don't have time to think and I don't have time to admit defeat. And to be honest, I don't even care. He kisses me feverishly and in a split second my arms are around his neck, my lips are responding matching his fire and I'm falling in love all over again.
"Okay, I'll admit defeat." He breathes over my lips as I press them back onto his. I smile against his mouth, feeling that I should do some sort of victory lap around the apartment to prove a point.
"And you'll go shower?" I press my face to his, threading my fingers through his hair.
"And I'll go shower."
"And we'll go skating at Santa Monica pier?"
He smirks. "You can skate. I'll follow and check you out. Deal?"
I roll my eyes. "Fine." I let my arms slip from around his neck and down his chest. "Go shower. Go get clean. And I'll attempt to sort out this monstrosity that's supposed to be your home." I go to move from his lap but his hands hold my waist in place.
"Love you." He pecks my lips; adoration briefly replacing the humour in his eyes.
"Love you too, smelly person." I laugh when he acts offended and this time I manage to wriggle out of his lap and stand up. "Come on." I reach for his hand. "The sooner you get your butt in the shower, the sooner we can grab some frozen yoghurt."
Zac finally stand up, the amusement back in his eyes. "You know, Nessa, you've been mentioning my butt a lot since you got here. I'm thinking you have some unhealthy obsession…"
I wink as seductively as I can muster. "Of course I do, Efron. It's a very cute butt and it's for my eyes only. Get used to it."
He jokingly holds his hands up offence; kissing me quickly on the forehead before staggering into the adjoining bathroom. When I hear that the shower has switched on, I smile in triumph and work my way through the mess to clean up what I can in the main room. I sigh with a shake of my head… various Xbox and Playstation 2 games are sprawled out in front of the television – wires for about three different game consoles all tangled up in tight knots – just another result of another evening with Corbin Bleu and Jesse McCartney no doubt.
When my cellphone suddenly decided to ring uncontrollably, I groan and try to free it from my jeans pocket. When I see Ashley's face lighting up the screen, I smile and place the phone to my ear.
"Zac steals your make-up?"
I laugh. "Like you wouldn't believe."
"Ha! Thought so!" She chuckles back. "Tell him I have a lovely shade of cherry lip gloss he can try out if he likes."
I sit myself down on the arm of the couch, moving away two dirty t-shirts as I make myself comfortable. "I'm sure he'll appreciate the gesture, Ash. Or kill you for joking about it."
"Ah, he loves it. Anyway, just calling to see if you guys are available Friday night? Lucas is having a little get together and apparently it's the 'party of the century'. You guys up for it?"
I stand up again and wander around the room, slowly making my way back towards Zac's room as the shower switches off in the background. "Yeah. Should be." I answer. "But I don't know if Zac's needed on set on Saturday morning. But if he is you can count on me being there." I hear the bathroom door open. "I'll just ask him, Ash. I'm sure he's…" I drift off, mouth agape as I watch him stroll casually out of the bathroom; hair and body dripping wet, a small white towel wrapped around his hips. "Um." I swallow as I walk into the room, staring as he grabs another towel to run over his head. "I'll… have to get back to you on that, Ash…"
"It's a simple yes or no, V."
I don't hear her. I just press the 'call end' button.
Zac looks up at my gaping figure in the doorway and looks at me curiously. "What?"
I'm female, right? I have the gift of sight, right? So, naturally, I literally run across the room and wrap my arms tightly around his neck and press my lips hard against his; muffling his words and causing him to swallow them as he tries to regain his balance.
"Mmph…" He laughs against my lips, but I won't let him break away. "Ness…"
"Oh, shut up, Efron; you annoying cretin!" I grin and push my lips back to his, giggling as I feel him pushing me back towards the bed. We land on it with a thump, but I hardly notice and from the way he's passionately kissing me back, I don't think he does either.
The towel slowly loosens… by accident, I swear… I want to go skating on Santa Monica pier with frozen yoghurt, remember?
Okay, I'll admit defeat and I'm in total denial.
He whispers loving words against my lips and our fingers lace, resting comfortably above my head. My fingers brush against his promise ring and his against mine. And it's just us.
Because we know what's real.
And that's all that matters.
And as he sweetly worships my neck, I suddenly realise that we're not going to make it to Santa Monica. We're just going to be staying here; in his messy apartment, on his messy bed… in each other's smelly arms…
And I'm so insanely happy right now.
And that's one thing the paparazzi and press can never take away from us.