: Chapter 2 :

Ambria layed the phone between her shoulder and her cheek as she grabbed a tissue. "You wouldn't believe it if I told you."

"It couldn't have been that bad." Justin replied as he sat on his bed in the hotel.

"They hate me."

"No they don't. Why would you say that?"

"Uggh. Just wait til you get the U.S.A Today and you flip to the Life section and read in big black letters on the front page - 'The Cove makes slow start in reality department.' They think the show sucks!"

"You shouldn't say that and you shouldn't care what the critics think." he paused. "If we sank back everytime a bad word came our way, we wouldn't have come near as far as we have. As long as you enjoy what you are doing then it shouldn't matter what anyone else thinks."

She sniffed slightly and grabbed another tissue. "Since when have you become so philosophical?"

"Philo what?" he laughed.

"Nevermind. I need some ice cream."

"Believe me. Everything will be ok. Just keep doin' your thing. It'll be kewl."

"You would say that. But, ok. I'll keep doin' my thing." she responded with the same accent and laughed lightly.

"Well at least I got you to laugh."

"Yeah. But, I still need ice cream, which, I don?t seem to have."

Justin laughed as Chris entered the room. "I'll send some right over."

"What are you sending?" Chris butted in.

"Nothing. Shut up!" Justin exclaimed, throwing a pillow at him.

"Hey I could use one of these. Thanks!" he grinned and walked back out.

"Was that Chris?"

"The one and only." Justin rolled his eyes.

"Don't be so sarcastic, geez." she leaned over to grab her water.

"Well, he got me to win my game of fish today at least."

"Oh really? Fish, huh?"

Justin laughed. "Yeah, me and JC were playin fish and Chris started cheating so JC beat him up. I considered that a forfeit so I took all the cards."

"He beat him up?" she replied, almost shocked.

"Well, not really. He did make him gimpy though."

"Shut up! I am not gimpy!" Chris yelled from the other room. The sounds of the other guys laughing echoed loudly.

"He is gimpy. Ignore him. You should of seem him trying to dance tonight."

"That bad, huh?"

"You couldn't imagine." Justin added as he stood up and looked out the window which faced the city below.

"Well, you guys still wouldn't get a bad review, even if Chris came out on a wheelchair." She said sarcastically as she got up and walked down the hallway of her penthouse suite.

"Since we are on the subject of reviews again, what did the Soap Opera Digest have to say?"

She opened the balcony doors and a warm breeze blew past her. "Not much. They said it needed some time and touch ups but other than that they didnt say anything negative."

"Well then see. The professionals aren't saying anything bad. Ignore the critics who think they know everything. They don't know shit."

"I guess." she sighed as she looked down off the balcony. She was about 20 stories high and it was a long way down.

"Come on. Have you seen Passions lately?" he joked.

She snickered lightly. "Hey, I'm gonna get to bed. It's pretty late." she walked away from the balcony edge and shut the door.

"I'm only six hours away." he whined.

"Yeah, only. Plus your day was more exhausting than mine. Aren't you tired?" she yawned as she walked back to her room.

"Very. But, I try to get in as much talk time with you as possible." he paused as he heard silence out in the other room. "I should go to bed anyway, I think everyone else has."

"Ok. Well, I'll try to give you a call tomorrow. We are taping most of the day and then I think we have another group get together tomorrow night."

"Ok then." he reached up and turned his light off. "Sweet dreams, babe. Love ya."

"Love ya, too, J. Bye." she hung up before she even received a goodbye. It had been a long day and sleep was the only option.


(On the set of Paradise Cove)

"You shouldnt be here." Krista says to Eric as he barges in her home.

"Thats not what you said yesterday. Are you afraid mommy will find you with the street kid?" he replies as he lays on the couch.

"Its not like that..." she walks over to him.

"Yes it is." he sits up. "But, you dont seem to mind when you cant resist me anymore." he runs his hand up Krista's leg. She combes her hand through his spikey blonde hair and sits on his lap.


(Ambria pauses) "Shit! I cant remember the line!" she yelled and jumped off Jordan.

"Cut!" the producer yelled and walked up to Ambria.

"Im sorry."

"This is how many times today, Ambria!" he exclaimed. "Go take a 15!"

Ambria sighed as she walked off the set and into the break room. This would be her last scene of the day and she just had to get through it. After that she could go home. She knew she could get out of the dinner party if she said she was sick.

"Are you okay?" Janet, another member of the cast, concerningly asked as she poked her head through the door.

"Um, Im a little tired. I just want to get this scene done so I can go home."

"You arent going to the party?"

"Id rather not. Im not feeling too good."

"Come on. Lets finish these few lines and I can let them know you arent feeling well." she said, opening the door and motioning for Ambria to come with her.

Ambria was reluctant to stand back up. "Okay." She pretended to agree and walked back out with her.


Ambria slammed the door and flopped down on the couch. The unrelentless blinking of the answering machine made itself known as she scanned the living room of the dark suite. She turned a light on, walked over and pushed the play button.

"Ambria, hey, this is Monica," the voiced screamed out over the silence in the room. "Just wanted to catch up on some work and to ask you about Justin. Have you talked to him lately? Um, I heard he was seen with Britney. I'm sorry, I don't mean to bring you down about what I heard, but I wanted to know what was going on. I'm gonna get going. Please call me when you get this. Bye."

She slammed down the stop button, her eyes on the phone. Tears were welling up in her eyes. She had a long day at work and this latest news wasn't making anything better. She grabbed the phone and dialed Justin's cell. No answer. She didn't know where he was either to try to find him. She was in no mood to call Monica back.

She sat back down on the couch with a thud. The tears were still growing. The silence was sickening. She turned on the TV. Coincidentally, she flipped to Entertainment Tonight and right on the screen was Justin and Britney's faces together in the upper left hand side. It also showed footage of them going into a fancy restaurant together.

The tears finally fell into reality when her name was mentioned. Her face was also shown on the screen plus a scene from the soap. "Is this an Ambria, Britney and Justin love triangle? Was Britney and Justin secretly involved the whole time? The recent footage we discovered easily answers the questions. We will be looking forward to learning more about this story in the future." the woman announced and a commercial cut in.

She dialed Justin's cell. Still no answer. She dug out the list of numbers she had of the other guys' cell's. Only voice mail answered back. She threw the phone at the couch and it bounced off, landing on the floor with a thud.

The warm breeze blew as she opened the balcony doors. She stared intently at the street below. The automobiles looked like matchboxes from far away. The street lights illuminated the nearby buildings.

She walked back into the suite and ran the water in the bathtub. The water was soothing on her hands. "A nice warm bath will make me feel much better." she thought to herself as she walked back out to the living room. She grabbed the paper off the counter only to feel even worse.

"Paradise Cove or Pleasure Cove? Its all about sex, drugs, and rock and roll." The headline boasted across the page. The article attacked directly at Ambria and Jared. Calling them bad role models for teens.

"God!" she exclaimed. "Will this day ever end?!" she threw the paper back down on the counter top and stomped back into the bathroom. The tub was now full and packed with lucious bubbles. She stepped in slowly as her body got used to the water. She sank down and layed her head on the back of the tub.

The day's trials and tribulations had taken a toll on her. Her hair was a mess and strewn everywhere. Her eyeliner and mascara had made black circles and smears over her eyes, almost making her look gothic. Her lipstick made her lips look twice as big. She looked like she was hit by a truck and she felt like it.

She swirled the soap over her body and lathered her hair. She grabbed her razor and slowly glided it across her legs. The hot steam rose, turning the bathroom into a sauna, like the muggy fog on a warm summer night. She stopped shaving and put down the razor. She rested her head, her eyes became droopy because of the steam. She stared intently at the razor and picked it up again. She pulled it apart, holding the blade in her hand.

She stared up at the glaring ceiling light and then sank her head under the mountain of bubbles.

: Chapter 3 :