I was sitting at home working in the studio when all of a sudden, I heard someone upstairs. Dimitri had left yesterday afternoon and I wasn't really expecting anyone so I went on alert. I figured it was probably Vika or Mason just coming to visit but normally they texted first. I gently set my guitar down and stood up heading towards the stairs.
"Honey, I'm home!" Called out a voice.
"Adrian?" I hollered back laughing.
"Did you miss me?" he asked coming to the top of the stairs.
"You gave me a heart attack. What are you doing here?" I asked as he came down the stairs.
"Well you're parole officer decided that you needed to work again so he set it up for me to come down here and film a music video with you," he winked.
"What?" I exclaimed excitedly.
"Yep. Normally after releasing a song that was as big of a hit as ours, we would have released a music video shortly after but because of your accident we delayed with pretty much full intent to scrap it altogether but it seems like the demand is still up there for it so, Dimitri went out last week scouting locations and had a few conference calls with Abe and Alberta and voila! We start filming tomorrow as long as you're ok with the concept and everything."
"That's amazing!" I said enthusiastically. "No wonder he wanted me to stay so bad."
"Yea he was annoyed you fought so hard. though I don't think it was the music video that was so annoying. I think he just really didn't want you in LA yet. That just means, you and I get to spend the week together," he laughed. Because I didn't want to go up two flights of stairs, I directed him to the spare room he could use. As soon as he went up there to put his stuff up and call Sydney, I called Dimitri.
"Hey babe," he answered almost immediately. "Get my gift?"
"You're a jerk!" I laughed. "All of that arguing and all you had to do was tell me you had something planned."
"I couldn't tell you. That's what made it a surprise!" he laughed. "Man, you're hard to please. I set this whole thing up for you, even made sure you had someone with you all week so you weren't alone and bored and I get called a jerk."
"Thank you," I told him. "Thought you didn't want me working yet?"
"I have it set up so it shouldn't be too tiring for you or exhausting for your knee plus you wanted to work so I figured this would be a nice surprise. I compromised."
"Well thank you, I love it. You're amazing!"
"I try," he joked. "Hey babe, I'm kind of in the middle of a meeting though so can I call you back later?"
"Sure. Who are you meeting with?" I asked.
"Abe. We're discussing the duet album and your solo album."
"What? You're meeting with Abe and answered the phone? You could have just called me back!" I laughed.
"You're more important. But I really do need to go."
"Ok. Thank you again. I love you. Call me later!"
Pretty soon, Adrian came back down.
"So, tell me about this music video?" I asked excitedly. He proceeded to tell me the concept. I loved most of it but had a few suggestions. We talked it out for a little while then called Alberta to get her approval for the changes. She approved them with a little tweaking here and there and said she'd call the director.
"So, I think we've worked enough for today, what if we gather Viktoria and head to Lissa's house and tell them the news?" I asked Adrian.
"I think that sounds great, plus I'm starving," he said rubbing his stomach right as it growled. I laughed.
"Come on then, maybe we'll just tell them to meet us at the diner," I laughed heading towards the stairs.
"That sounds like a plan. They had great burgers!" he replied automatically wrapping my arm around his shoulder helping me take weight off of my leg.
"I was fine!" I protested.
"I know," he shrugged. "But I'm hungry and it would have taken you an hour."
"Gee thanks," I laughed.
"What can I say, Selfish motives win," he teased.
Twenty minutes later we were pulling into the diner. I had called Lissa, Vika, and Mason to meet us here. Viktoria was already here but the other two were close.
"Adrian!" Viktoria said excitedly when she saw him giving him a hug. with him visiting after my accident she'd gotten more comfortable around him and he'd become a friend to her instead of Adrian the world-famous pop singer. They actually got along really well.
"Little Sister!" he teased knowing she hated when he called her that.
"Shut up or I'll rescind my hug," she laughed.
"Too late it's already been given," he shrugged. We made our way into the Diner and sat in a corner booth.
"So, why are you here?" she asked suspiciously.
"Can't a guy come visit his friends?" he asked pretending to be hurt. About then Lissa, Mason and AJ came in. We all said our hello's and hugs then sat down as a waitress brought a high chair for AJ. She then took our drink orders and left.
"Ok now spill, what's up?" Vika demanded as I laughed.
"Again, can't a guy just come to visit without having ulterior motives?" he questioned.
"You can but you also wouldn't have asked us all to meet you here as soon as you got in," she replied.
"I've been in town for a couple of hours thank you," he defended. She gave him a look and he looked at me knowing I wanted to tell them.
"Adrian and I are recording a music video tomorrow," I told them. Vika and Lissa squealed as Mason said congratulations. "Thank you but I haven't gotten to the best part…"
"We're waiting," Lissa demanded when I didn't finish. I laughed surprised she was the impatient one.
"Well first, I would like a Lissa Dragomir original outfit. Before you say anything, it doesn't have to be fancy and I know you already have a few outfits made. Second, if you're all willing, I want you all to be in a few scenes of it," I told them excitedly. Lissa and Vika both squealed again and I laughed. "I've also called Mia and she's flying out to be in it also."
"Aw yay!" Vika said excited. Mia had flown out after my accident and met everyone. She quickly was accepted into our group. "Tell us everything!"
About then the waitress came over and brought our drinks then took our orders. By the time she left I thought Viktoria was going to explode.
"The whole thing is mostly going to be solos of me and Adrian in the woods and in this Victorian house but there are going to be a few scenes where we're supposed to be surrounded by people. So, I thought, I would never be here without you so what better way to thank y'all than having you be the people I'm surrounded by? I take it that's a yes?"
"Definitely!" Vika said as Lissa and Mason both said "Yes!"
"Perfect!" I said happily. "Now, how's your final project coming Liss?"
"Good, I'm almost done with it, I find out about the internship next week," she smiled excitedly. I knew she was ready to move out to LA. It didn't hurt that her and Christian had continued their relationship despite everything with Tasha. I had to give him props, he really seemed to care about Lissa but I was still wary of the relationship giving his relationship with Tasha.
"Awesome I'm so excited for you!" I told her honestly. Then I turned to AJ. "How was school today?"
"I colored a cool dinosaur! Rawr!" he said excitedly as he colored on his kids' menu.
"What color did you color it?" I asked.
"Owange," he said in his toddler accent. I laughed.
"That's so awesome!" I told him. By then our food came so we all dug in.
After everyone was done eating Vika decided to come out to the house with us, Mason and Lissa said they'd meet us there in the morning. We all said our goodbyes and headed home. When we got there, we forced Adrian to watch Practical Magic again and annoyed him by quoting the entire thing which ended in a popcorn war. Once everyone went to bed, I sat on the bed and called Dimitri.
"Hey babe," he answered on the second ring. "How was your day?"
"It was good. Adrian and I talked about the video for a while and made some changes, nothing major, I just decided instead of actors, why not use my actual friends? It's my way of thanking them for putting up with me the last couple of months. Then, we all met up at the diner and had dinner before Adrian, Vika, and I came back to the house and watched a movie. It was good hanging out with them all but I missed you. How was your day?" I admitted. After being together all the time for a few weeks, its been different without him here.
"I miss you too. I think that's a great idea about having them in the video. Though you know you don't need to thank them. They're your friends. That's what they do," he laughed. "My day was boring. A bunch of meetings. We nailed down a schedule and set a release date for the album, it's in a couple of weeks. Which means the next few weeks are going to be busy. The paparazzi found out I was in LA so they were hanging out at the studio all day. There's no telling what they'll post tomorrow cause every question was about you not being there and Tasha's articles."
"I'm sorry Comrade. I told you I should have came out there with you," I told him playfully.
"Don't even," he said. I could hear the smile in his voice.
"I'm just saying, they wouldn't be asking about me if I was there."
"No, then they'd be asking you about Tasha's articles," he grumbled.
"True, but now it's going to be 'Trouble in paradise?' " I quoted.
"It's fine, we know better," he sighed.
"I know, I just have to get used to it," I told him.
"Good luck," he laughed. I knew the tabloids still got on his nerves after all of these years.
"Ok new subject, when did you go scout locations last week?" I asked curiously.
"I'll never tell," he teased.
"Well thank you, I'm really excited and nervous about it. My first music video," I said excited.
"You deserve it. It's a great song. I'm glad we were still able to put it together," he said and I could hear the happiness in his voice.
"Have I told you how much I love you lately?" I asked with a smile as I laid down.
"Not during this conversation," he said and I could picture the smirk he had.
"Oh, too bad," I teased.
"Wow, that's how you're going to play it?" he said pretending to be hurt.
"Yep," I smiled. I loved giving him a hard time.
"God, I miss you," he laughed.
"Well who wouldn't. I'm pretty awesome," I joked.
"Eh, you're ok," he teased back.
"Comrade?" I asked softly.
"I love you," I remarked as I laid down on the bed. "I miss you too."
"I know Roza," he said softly. "I love you too. Even though I fought you on rushing back to work, I'll admit I'm excited you'll be with me next week."
"Me too comrade," I said getting tired. It's strange how quickly I've become attached to him again after 5 years. A part of me hated myself for it but I just hoped I wasn't making another mistake jumping in so quick.
"Get some sleep Roza, rest up for your video tomorrow. If you need to call me tonight you can," he said worriedly. I knew he was referring to my nightmares. He hated leaving me alone but I insisted I would be fine.
"I'll be fine," I told him. "It's not like they're new."
"I know," he said sadly. "I just hate that you'll wake up alone."
"I'll be ok I promise," I reassured him. "I love you for worrying but you need sleep too so don't stress about it. You've got a busy day of meetings and boring producer stuff tomorrow so get some sleep and don't worry about me," I teased him.
"Boring producer stuff?" he chuckled. "I love you, I can't help from worrying but I'll try not to too much. can't fall asleep while doing all the boring stuff I do."
"That's the spirit," I laughed.
"Goodnight Roza," he said softly.
"Goodnight comrade." I hung up and put the phone on the night stand. Then I grabbed his pillow and curled into it.
The next morning, I was in the kitchen starting the coffee while waiting for Adrian and Vika to make their way downstairs when I heard a knock at the door. I excitedly made my way over and opened it to find Mia and Eddie on my doorstep.
"I thought you were flying in later?" I asked hugging her then I turned to Eddie. "And I didn't know you were coming?"
"Eh I thought I'd surprise you," he shrugged. I led them inside and to the kitchen.
"We decide to get on an earlier flight, I was too excited to wait," Mia said. "Look at you getting around with no brace or cast. Do you feel free again?"
"Yes and no, I still have to wear it if I'm going to be doing a lot of walking or anything strenuous. Stairs are a bitch so I try to avoid them," I told her as I poured a cup of coffee. "Want some?"
"Yes please," she said as Eddie nodded. I pulled two more cups out and poured some in both as I continued talking.
"It is nice to be rid of the cast and mostly rid of the brace though. Starting to feel normal again," I smirked.
"Keep lying to yourself but you'll never be normal," she laughed.
"Bitch," I laughed.
"Takes one to know one," she taunted back with a laugh.
"I see the party's arrived," Adrian said coming in the kitchen followed by Vika. I guess we weren't as quiet as I thought. About then there was a knock on the door as Lissa and Mason entered. Everyone got excited and said their hello's while I noticed Lissa was carrying two donut boxes. I grabbed them from her and put it on the counter smiling my thank you as she said hello to Mia.
We spent the next thirty minutes eating and laughing, catching up before we went and got ready for the day. Liss had brought over a couple of outfits and I couldn't wait to wear them. Once we had everything we needed, we loaded up two cars and made our way over to a lake house Dimitri had found and contacted the owner about using. Most of the video was going to be filmed here but he had also talked to Charlie and we were going to do one or two scenes at his bar but not until later. When we got there, I met the Video director James. He had his crew there already along with Makeup people. He directed me over to the make up area and told me they were almost ready to start.
"Girl you have some circles!" Laughed the makeup artist. "Luckily for you, I'm the best at making you look your best. I'm Jackie."
"Rose. That's good, cause I'm horrible with make-up," I laughed.
"Don't worry girl, I've got you covered. Just sit back and relax," she said as I got comfortable on the chair. She turned and grabbed something then started on my face. "You excited?"
"Yea, a little nervous too," I admitted.
"Don't worry. Everybody's nervous their first video. Give it some time and you'll be out here practically directing them yourself."
"That sounds fun but stressful," I laughed. About then my phone vibrated so I pulled it out. It was a text from Dimitri.
Dimitri: Have fun today, you're going to do amazing. I love you.
I quickly replied back.
Rose: I love you too!
"Your man?" Jackie asked with a knowing smile.
"How'd you guess?" I laughed.
"You're face lit up," she smirked as she started on my eyes.
"Of course, it did," I muttered.
"Hey who can blame you, I'd light up too if I had a man like that," she admitted. At my look she continued. "Aw girl, everyone knows you and Dimitri are together now. Don't worry though, I'm not one of those vultures out for information to go sell. I believe all conversations that happen while you're in this chair are private and sacred. Just like gossiping with your hair dresser."
"Thanks," I smiled. "I'm just not used to everyone knowing my life. It's going to take some adjusting."
"I understand," she admitted. "If you ever need help, I have all the inside information. You learn a lot about this industry being the make-up girl."
"I'm sure you do. Its therapy, right?" I joked.
"Sure is. What do you think?" she asked moving so I could see in the mirror. She had gotten rid of my dark circles perfectly. She did a more natural look except for the top eyeliner and a burgundy matte lipstick that matched my hair. Once the red had started fading, I replaced it with a darker burgundy but kept the brown the same. She had managed to get the highlighter perfect, something I hadn't figured out yet. I looked great. It was perfect for the close ups we'd be doing.
"It looks great!" I told her honestly. "Thank you."
"No problem. Now go kill it out there," she laughed. "I'll be on the sidelines cheering you on and waiting in case you need any touch ups during filming."
"Thanks," I said again before searching for James.
"Perfect just in time!" he said as I walked up. "We're ready to start."
We spent the morning filming inside the house and outside by the lake. Adrian and I weren't in the scenes together for those so we took turns filming them. It turns out I was pretty good at the acting it out and had even made a few suggestions for a few changes. It was a lot of fun. We were just breaking for lunch when I heard Vika's gasp and saw her and Lissa looking at her phone looking shocked.
"What's up?" I asked coming over. They both jumped and Vika tried to hide her phone.
"Nothing," she said quickly. I held my hand out.
"Let me see it," I demanded. She handed her phone over and I saw a gossip article pulled up. "Trouble in Paradise for Dimitri & Rose? Tasha vows revenge" I read on and it talked about him being in LA without me suspecting we may be having issues. I figured that was coming after our conversation last night what surprised me was, they had interviewed Tasha yesterday where she suggested he was probably cheating on me too and that I was going to get my payback for being a homewrecker. She covered it by saying she's a believer in karma so she believes it will catch up to him and I.
"She's such a bitch," I muttered. I rolled my eyes as I handed Vika her phone back. "Just ignore it. She's looking for a reaction."
"She's so horrible!" Vika said frustrated.
"I know, believe me. I'm not going to let her bring me down today though," I said determined.
"It's ok babe, we got your back," Lissa said.
"Thanks," I smiled. I sent Dimitri a quick text asking if he'd seen it. When he didn't reply immediately, I put my phone back in my pocket. "How about some lunch?"
They had sandwiches delivered along with a small buffet for the crew and everyone. We went and grabbed plates before sitting behind James. He had a computer set up and was going over the film we had so far. We chatted while watching him work. Eventually I felt my phone vibrate, I pulled it out and checked it. it was a message from Dimitri telling me he just saw it and to ignore it. I told him I was trying to. Not going to lie I was annoyed by it but, I was trying to not let it bring me down. Honestly it made me feel like she was up to something and I didn't like that feeling.
"Alright folks, back to work," James said clapping his hands. "I want to start on the party scenes so we're going to be upstairs in the bedroom."
The rest of the afternoon we spent filming different scenes, getting all of the house scenes out of the way. Adrian and I are going to come back tomorrow to do the beach and outdoor scenes. Mason and the girls had a blast filming their scenes which made me happy to watch. It was a great distraction from the Tasha article. After we wrapped filming we decided to go to Olena's to celebrate. As everyone went inside, I called Dimitri.
"Hey babe," he answered after a few rings. "How'd it go today?"
"Great! We finished all of the inside shots, now Adrian and I have to come back tomorrow to do all of the outside shots. It was a lot of fun and the gang enjoyed it a lot which made me happy. It was nice to be able to do something for them."
"Babe you do stuff for them all of the time," he laughed.
"Yea but not stuff like this," I smiled.
"I'm glad they enjoyed and that you did too. How do you feel now that you're halfway done filming your first music video?"
"Is this my life? Am I dreaming?" I teased.
"I don't know, pinch yourself and see," he laughed.
"Nope because if I am dreaming, I don't want to wake up," I smiled. At my words the guilt started to bleed back in but luckily working with the therapist and talking to Dimitri had lessened the guilt about being happy. I still feel like it will take a while to completely go away if it ever will but I've reached a point where I do know and understand that it's ok to be happy again. The process will just take a while. As if sensing my mood shift Dimitri changed subjects.
"Speaking of dreams, how was last night?" he questioned.
"It was fine. Nothing too bad. I woke up around 4 but I eventually was able to fall back asleep," I told him honestly but, not telling him that I turned on the album he made me to get back to sleep. I wasn't ready to admit how dependent on him I had gotten already.
"That's good, I'm glad they didn't keep you up all night," he spoke softly.
"You know me, not much keeps me away from sleep," I joked. "Enough about me. How was your day of boring producer stuff?"
"Extremely boring," he laughed playing along with my teasing. "More meetings though I did get to get in the studio with Sydney for half the day and actually work on music. I forgot how much I hate the paparazzi after being secluded with you for so long."
"They were back again? I'm sure it was no thanks to Tasha," I said sarcastically rolling my eyes. "I'm sorry comrade, I know you cared for her and I've been trying to not completely bash her around you but this is getting ridiculous."
"No need to be sorry, you're right. She needs to stop," he said sounding aggravated. "Don't worry, I'll take care of it."
"How?" I asked.
"Fight fire with fire. The press wants to believe we're on the outs, show them we're not," he said mysteriously. About then Vika hollered at me from the porch that dinner was ready.
"What does that mean?" I asked confused.
"You'll see," he replied giving nothing away. "Go eat, Mama will come chase you down if you don't go inside."
"Fine but this isn't over," I warned not liking not knowing.
"Of course not, Bye Roza. I love you. Enjoy time with your friends," he said and I heard the smile in his voice. He was enjoying my aggravation.
"Bye, I love you too," I told him begrudgingly. "I'll talk to you later."
I hung up and made my way inside.
After Dinner, I ended up on the back porch with Olena.
"Mama Belikov, be honest with me. Do you think we're moving too fast?"
"What's bothering you?" she inquired.
"I don't know, I'm happy. We're happy. I just can't help feeling like the other shoe is about to drop. I know part of it is because I feel like I'm not supposed to be happy but, that's not the only thing. I also hate how dependent I've been on him since the accident. Him not being here this week is hard. it makes me feel weak that I feel like that after what two months? It makes me wonder if we're moving too fast. I mean we went from not even talking to moving in together. Who does that?" I asked voicing my fears.
"Roza I know what you mean and if you feel like you need to take a step back talk to Dimitri about it. What I will say is this has been almost 20 years in the making. It's not like it's a brand-new relationship with new people. If it was someone new, I would tell you that I thought it was too fast but only you can truly know that. Are you really concerned you're moving too fast or are you scared you're going to end up hurt again?"
"I'm not going to lie and say that's not a concern. He left once, what's to say he won't again? I know right now he's here for the long haul and I know he means it but, what if he changes his mind? What if he realizes he really does want his own kids? I know he told me that he's ok with it but that's right now. What about in 5 years? It just worries me that I'm so dependent on him already, if he leaves again I don't know if I can survive it."
"oh kukalka (Sweetheart), that's the beauty of love. It's scary and you're putting yourself out there knowing you may end up burned but that it's worth the risk. I will say you are stronger than you believe and if something happens between you, you will survive it. You just have to decide if it's worth the risk. Talk to Dimitri about your fears. He'll understand."
"I want to but I hate bringing it up because I know he hasn't forgiven himself for leaving so telling him I'm scared he might one day leave just lays on the guilt."
"Unfortunately, that's the bed he made and you have to be honest with him. If you can't be honest with him then it will cause more issues. He'll forgive himself one day," she spoke sadly.
"Thank you for talking with me mama Belikova. I know its difficult for you sometimes," I told her leaning my head against her shoulder. She moved her arm around to wrap around my shoulder.
"I'll always be here for you to talk to," she said hugging me to her.
Hours later I was back home getting ready for bed when I heard my phone ding. I checked it and saw that I had been tagged in an Instagram photo by Dimitri. Curious I clicked on it. He'd posted a picture of me from set today with the caption "I'm so proud of this beautiful woman. Can't wait to see you again Friday." He even put a heart emoji. My jaw dropped. I knew he only had an Instagram account because the label and PR people told him to but he really never used it. Throw in the heart emoji and I was shocked. Then I thought back to what he'd said earlier. This was his way of showing the paparazzi and public we weren't fighting or broken up. Though I loved the post, I hated that he was forced to post it because of the paparazzi. I quickly texted him as I climbed into bed.
R: Thanks for the post :)
D: I meant it. I'm proud of you.
R: I know you are and I appreciate it, I just hate that you had to post it to play the paparazzi game.
D: I was going to no matter what, shutting the paps up is just an added bonus. I mean it, I'm proud of you and I want the world to see how amazing you are just like I do.
R: I love you
D: I love you too Roza. Goodnight.
As we were texting, I thought back to Mine and Olena's conversation and the fears I'd confessed to her. My mood started slipping as I thought about it all. I know I needed to talk to Dimitri like she said, I just didn't want him to take it the wrong way. I just can't help the fear that something is going to go wrong and I'm going to end up hurt beyond repair.