It was about time I visited Aaron, really. I headed through the hospital corridors until I reached his room. Peeking inside, I saw him staring longingly at the chocolate at the side of his bed.
"Well, you're not looking as bad as I thought you would." I announced as I entered. He glanced up in surprise, and then seemed to grin a little.
"I think there's a compliment in there somewhere."
"Maybe." I shrugged, setting down my bag on the window, and sitting in the seat next to him. "How do you feel?"
"Better, I think. I don't feel so thirsty any more."
"Well, that's progress."
"How's the show fairing?"
"We've had to halt filming. Back this evening."
"I don't think you should be apologising. It's hardly your fault. Unless this is where you tell me you set the fire yourself?" I chuckled. He smiled and shook his head.
"HELLO AARON!" Aaliyah appeared through the door and then paused when she saw me. "Oh. You're here."
"Yes, I thought I'd better check in on Aaron."
"Why? It's not like you're his friend." She snapped. I took a breath, remembering Alex's advice.
"That's true. But I am his producer and I do care. But I'll leave you with him now. See you soon Aaron." I smiled and stood up. "You look nice today by the way, Aaliyah."
She blinked at me, lost for words, and I silently thanked Alex for the advice. It was the first time I'd seen her properly speechless. I left the room quickly, before she could regain her speech.
Half way down the corridor, I realised I'd forgotten my bag. Damn. I'd have to go back now.
I paused at the door, preparing myself to face Aaliyah's 'dulcet' tones. And then, they caught my ear.
"I probably shouldn't tell you, but I know you won't say anything and I really do need to share it with someone, or else I might burst!"
"Erm-" Aaron started, but she quickly shushed him.
"It's about Alex." I frowned, and leaned closer to the door. Alex? "She and Kamala, that's Jack's assistant and my dear friend... they slept together last night!" She sounded almost gleeful. But she had to be wrong. Alex wouldn't sleep with Kamala. She had enough with her husband, and the rumours with Jack...
"Are... are you sure?"
"Kamala told me so herself! She told me how soft her lips were."
"But... she's married."
"Yes yes, well that didn't stop her having an affair with Jack did it? Don't tell me you didn't hear about that?"
"I heard the rumours but-"
"Well there you go you see! I knew I didn't like her. And that poor handsome husband of hers! What he must have to put up with!" I gritted my teeth and squared my shoulders. I didn't want to hear any more of this. "I wonder if that's why he's always going off-"
"-I'm back!" I interrupted, pretending I hadn't heard anything. "Sorry, I forgot my bag."
"Were you listening in?" Aaliyah narrowed her eyes.
"No, why? Something I ought to know?" I pretended to be concerned. "Are you alright?"
"Fine. Nothing. Never mind." She snapped, waving her hand at me dismissively. I glared at her back, grabbed my bag and turned on my heel to march out of the room.
"Thank you for coming!" Aaron called after me.
"Helena, I need to talk to you!" Alex called across the set, just after I had arrived. Kate was just handing me a coffee.
"Schedule an appointment through Kate. I'm busy." I shot in her direction.
"It'll only take a second."
"A second I don't have." I replied.
"I can make an appointment!" Kate stepped in front of Alex, who had been striding over with a determined expression on her face.
"It's about the scene Helena, I need to know before I start shooting." I glared at her, and saw Kate flinch the way she does when she knows someone is about to either get fired, or close. "Woah, when did the Ice Queen make a return?"
"Ms Kensington. I do not have time for you or your humour at the moment. Please demonstrate that sometimes, you can use good judgement, and do the scene by yourself. I know it might be difficult given your track record."
"What in the hell is that supposed to mean?" She glared at me, inches from my face. I could feel the hush that had settled over everyone on set, all of them watching us.
"What's going on?" A small whisper, but it carried in the heavy silence. I turned my head to see Kamala, clinging on to Kate's arm and glancing between us with worried eyes.
"Why don't you discuss it with Kamala?" I hissed quietly at Alex, so that no one else would hear, narrowed my eyes at her, before turn on my heel and marching towards my trailer.
I'd barely shut the door when it crashed open again.
"How dare you!"
"This discussion is over Ms Kensington."
"No it damn well isn't." She slammed the door so hard the trailer rocked a little. "What the hell was that about? ASK KAMALA?"
"As if I don't have enough to deal with, now I have rumours about you and Kamala? As if the other rumours about you weren't bad enough. I don't expect my director to be the one causing most of the media trouble!"
"Excuse me? I haven't seen any media about me at all, except a few online gossip columns. And NOTHING about Kamala and I."
"So you admit it then?"
"Admit what?" I glared at her. "What have you heard?"
"Well, apparently you have very soft lips. Or so Kamala says." Her cheeks blushed, and she bit her lip. "Well at least you've stopped denying it."
"It won't get out."
"It already has."
"I told her, I told her specifically NOT to tell anyone."
"You can't just go around fucking anyone you like!" I hissed, aware that the walls sometimes have ears.
"I don't! I don't usually do this sort of thing."
"I'm willing to bet Jack would disagree."
"And since when are you perfect?"
"What about your husband?"
"He won't know. He left again yesterday afternoon. He won't be back for months."
"So that's it? As soon as he stops hovering over you, you have to let loose with an assistant? Your ex lover's assistant no less? What makes you think Jack won't find out and have something to say?"
"He has no right.... and neither do you!"
"I am your producer!" I suddenly realised how close we were, and took a step back. She blinked, and I saw her eyes flick to my lips for a split second. Oh god. I turned away, putting her behind me. "I am the producer and I deserve for you to tell me if something is going on. I need to know, in case I need to be prepared for any media fallout."
"It's all about the media with you!"
"It is not! I just..." I sighed and leant on the side. "Alex-"
"Oh so we're back to Alex now are we?"
"Don't..." I took a deep breath and stopped snapping. "Alex, I have a hard time... and this is completely confidential... I have a hard time watching relationships form, or break, around me."
"Why? It's a little hard to go through life without seeing relationships."
"I just do. My parents had a... volatile relationship, and my mother is a serial dater, always trying to push me in to dating men when I'm... I don't want to date."
"But you must have fallen for someone? Or had a crush?"
"Sure. Not in a long time. Not one I've acted on anyway."
"I just... In this business it's hard to keep your private life, private. Which is exactly my point." I turned to face her again. "You need to be careful."
"I always am. I have to be."
"That doesn't exactly fill me with confidence." She shrugged.
"For what it's worth, I am sorry if it's really causing you trouble. I'll talk to Kam."
"Thank you." She turned to leave, and paused at the door.
"You know that's the first time that you've got to me with your Ice Queen act."
"Good to know it still works."
"Is it?" She frowned, and then left.