Author's Note: I know I've been gone for a long time...In all honesty, I have no excuse. I've gotten caught up in other projects; I lost the inspiration to continue writing Tumult. I honestly think Captivated is better as a stand alone fan fic. As for One Word: Revenge, I'm working on easing myself back into writing fan fics, then I'll pick up writing it again. I'm sincerely sorry and I hope this won't happen again in the future. As for this fic, please just enjoy the randomness!
Also, despite the content of this fan fic, I'm an avid AlejandroXHeather supporter. Those of you reading this thinking 'WTH?', I just wanted to try something very different and spontaneous. Otherwise, enjoy!
~At an Art Show in New York City
Gwen looked at the capacious, white walled room. Her heart soared at the sight of her artwork lining both of the walls and she loved that so many people were here, looking at her artwork! Some of them even looked like they might be potential buyers...
Clasping her hands, Gwen was having trouble staying rooted to her spot; she was sitting at a large wooden desk near the very front of the room. There was a pile of fliers in front of her, featuring information all about her and her artwork. It was a bit unnerving seeing her face smiling back at her in black and white on the front of the flier because, in a way, it felt kind of narcissistic. The last thing Gwen wanted to get was a swelled head, but right now she couldn't help the huge swell of pride in her chest.
Her heart roaring in her ears, Gwen could feel her smile growing. Though, despite being really happy and excited, Gwen also felt kind of anxious and impatient. She really wished someone would come over to the desk to purchase a painting, grab a flier, ask questions...just anything! Even somebody asking where the bathroom was would be a welcome reprieve from how stifling and dull it was being cooped up behind the desk.
For the next fifteen minutes, Gwen tapped the desk top, chewed her lip, watched potential buyers mill around and stare at her art. Then, as if some otherworldly deity knew how wound up Gwen was, somebody strolled up next to the desk...
Curious and smiling, Gwen looked up to see who it was and her jaw dropped when she instantly recognized the person standing next to her desk.
Alejandro... she thought to herself, the echoes of the Lady Gaga song bearing the same name prickling at the back of her mind.
Alejandro had grown a few inches and stood at an imposing six feet two; his brown hair was much shorter than it ever had been, stopping just above his ears. Also, he'd traded in his soul patch for a goatee and he was wearing a dark black suit which really gave him the air of a CEO or a vice president.
"Hello Gwen," Alejandro said, a warm smile on his face. "How are you?"
"Hey Alejandro. I'm fine," she replied, frowning slightly.
It'd been at least two years since season 5 of Total Drama had ended and she'd left the Total Drama reality television series completely. That was the last time she'd seen Alejandro or any of the other contestants; she'd been so determined to leave all of that behind her. But now here was Alejandro, a blast from the past, looking as shark-like and obnoxious as he always had.
"It looks like your art show's going well," he said admiringly, raising an eyebrow. "Congratulations. You really are quite the talented artist. I never knew you were so adept with a paint brush..."
"Thank you," Gwen said, gnawing on her lower lip. She had a really strong sense of unease now. Even if he wasn't competing against her for a million dollars now, she still felt extremely wary and cautious of him knowing what he was capable of and what he did.
"I heard that you and Duncan broke up," Alejandro went on with a sympathetic face; Gwen wasn't sure if he was just feigning sympathy or being sincere. "If it's not too personal a question to ask...have you been with anyone else since?"
Actually, Gwen had met somebody, but as soon as they were halfway into a relationship, she found out he'd been cheating on his girlfriend. Not wanting to relive the drama she'd experienced getting together with Duncan for the first time, she left him and never looked back. For the most part since then, Gwen had pretty much been single for the past two years; she'd been on a few dates here and there, but she wasn't really focused on her dating life at the moment. Her main focus was graduating from art school and furthering her career as a self-employed artist.
Mulling over Alejandro's inquiry for a few more seconds, Gwen looked at him and raised her eyebrows. This was just a chance encounter and he was just making small talk. He had nothing to gain from learning about her dating life...did he?
"I've pretty much been single," she admitted, shrugging. "How have you and Heather been doing?"
This question made Alejandro's eyes widen and he looked extremely uneasy for a second. Gwen was surprised as she watched him run a hand through his hair and fidget nervously for several seconds as he tried to regain his originally calm demeanor. After several more seconds, he just exhaled and looked at Gwen with a slightly manic facial expression.
"I'm...currently in the middle of getting a divorce," he groaned. "Heather always has been such a-you know!" He gestured emphatically with his hands, his face scrunched up in frustration. "She wants to take half of everything. If she had her way-"
Stopping mid-sentence he stared at Gwen and then hung his head. Taking a deep breath, he looked up at her and smiled again, desperately trying to keep his cool. What surprised Gwen was that he'd revealed as much as he had. But then again, he'd surprised everyone in season 5 when he'd begged for help to take down his brother Jose and even proposed to Heather at the end of it all...
Just thinking about it brought unbidden memories of Total Drama. Gritting her teeth, Gwen forced herself to think about something else.
"I'm sorry," Alejandro sighed. "You probably have your own agenda and problems. The last thing I want to do is bother you with my own personal issues, but considering that my divorce is being plastered all over the front page of every kind of gossip magazine lately, it's anything but personal."
"Bummer..." Gwen commented. She could really relate with him on that; her break-ups on Total Drama with both Trent and Duncan had been heavily circulated in magazines, too when they'd been big hot topic issues.
"Actually, I may as well be completely honest with you about why I'm here," Alejandro confessed, furrowing his brows. "I really didn't come in here for your art show...I came here specifically to see you."
This news absolutely surprised Gwen. What could he possibly want from her?
"Why...?" she asked, scrutinizing him.
"I'm not going to beat around the bush," he said, looking directly into her eyes. "I was going to ask you out on a date."
His words hit her like a meteor. For the next few seconds, her gaze was locked with his. Distractedly, Gwen noticed that his eyes were a pretty goose egg shade of green; she should use that color in one of her art pieces in the future. It'd be a nice change from her typically monochromatic or black and white color palettes that she favored in her artwork.
"It wouldn't be anything big," Alejandro continued, breaking the silence. "We could just go out for coffee or dinner at a tiny, obscure bistro or something..."
Before he could suggest anything else, Gwen shook her head. "Would it really be the smartest idea right now for you to go on any kind of date with me or anyone else for that matter?"
"Does that mean you're considering it?" he countered, his eyes sparkling.
The way his mouth quirked up at the side rattled Gwen. There was his condescending attitude, shining through.
"No," Gwen spat, glaring daggers at him. The last thing he needed was a misguided delusion that she'd actually go out with him; she'd had her share of cheating, obnoxious losers.
"Alright," he said, undeterred. "Though, if you ever change your mind, I'm available..."
Winking, he pulled a memo pad and a pen of a pocket in his suit jacket. He scribbled his phone number, then ripped out the paper and placed it on Gwen's desktop. Gasping in disbelief, Gwen looked down at the paper then up at him. She shook her head and frowned, but he just smiled.
"I should have mentioned this sooner, but you've really blossomed since I've last seen you," he said flirtatiously. "You were very pretty before, but now? Oh, mamacita, you are gorgeous."
With that, he turned and sauntered away, not even looking over his shoulder as he exited the building. Watching him, Gwen felt her cheeks flare up; she was blushing furiously with utter embarrassment and anger.
Is this how Heather feels on a daily basis? Gwen thought to herself, clenching her fists.
As soon as he was gone, Gwen turned away and slammed her hands on the desk top, wanting to scream. She took the piece of paper and ripped it to bits, dumping all of those into the short metal trash bin next to her desk when she was done.
"Um...excuse me?" somebody inquired.
Blowing out a breath, Gwen looked up; she knew her face was probably redder than a tomato.
"I'd like to purchase this," said an elderly woman, holding a long stretch canvas. Gwen could feel her heart sink into her stomach when she saw exactly which painting it was: there was a male and female demon dancing with a huge fountain of lava arcing behind them. Neither of the figures in the painting were similar to whom they'd been based off of, but the fact that they'd been inspired by Alejandro and Heather still made Gwen feel slightly nauseous.
"That'll be two hundred dollars," Gwen replied, her stomach lurching and leaping.
"But the price tag said three-"
"Since you're my first customer today you get a major discount on that," Gwen cut in.
The elderly woman looked like she'd received the Nobel Peace Prize as she handed Gwen the money.
"This is absolutely perfect for my grandson's internet video about the celebrity break up of...who are those two?...Alexander and Hilda," she gushed.
"I'm glad you like it," Gwen agreed, feeling even more sick to her stomach.
As soon as the elderly woman started heading for the exit, Gwen felt a major surge of relief. She was glad to see that picture go, but she couldn't help eying the trash bin...
~At Strand Book Store
It'd been almost two weeks since Gwen's first encounter with Alejandro in New York City.
Since then he'd been popping up everywhere like a weed. Last Monday, Gwen hadn't had enough for subway fare to get to her art school. Apparently, Alejandro had been going to a location somewhere near hers; he'd seen her standing at the ticket booth being glared down by the uniformed guy behind it. Then, with the mindset of a white knight, he'd swooped in and paid the rest of her fare. Gwen didn't even get a chance to say anything. Next thing she knew, she had her subway ticket in her hand and was headed for her location.
On Wednesday, she'd decided to make a detour at Central Park in an attempt to get decent photos of the scenery for a project in her photography class. Of course she ended up running into Alejandro there, too; he'd been on his "daily jog." Apparently he'd had some sort of experience with photography; he'd given Gwen some advice and she'd actually tested it out. As a result, she'd taken some very high quality photos and gotten a really high grade on her work in her photography class.
Thursday and Friday, she'd just happened to spot Alejandro in a few crowded places. There, he'd waved at her and made the "call me" motion with his hands. Both times Gwen had stuck out her tongue and shook her head at the notion when he wasn't looking.
Over the entire week after that, Alejandro had found her online and had been sending her e-mails and other private messages. The first few he'd sent Gwen just ignored, but by Wednesday she'd found herself staying up until really late at night chatting with him. Somehow, they had more in common than she'd ever expected: he had very similar taste to what she did in artwork and poetry. He even admitted that he'd probably be working to become a photographer or veterinarian if Heather hadn't convinced him to pursue business instead.
For some reason he'd really been the subject of Gwen's thoughts lately.
Today was Sunday and Gwen found herself aimlessly wandering past row after row of books in the massive Strand Book Store. Coming out of her reverie of how strange it was that she'd been encountering Alejandro so much lately, Gwen was surprised to find herself in the romance section of Strand. Looking at all of the books Gwen realized that she'd never really even tried to read a romance book in her lifetime. She'd always dismissed it as utter garbage, deciding to read one of Edgar Allen Poe's poems for the millionth time or pick up a biography about a serial killer or a murder mystery novel instead.
Suddenly, a particular book just leaped out at her. It looked like just another generic, run-of-the-mill romance novel but after a few seconds of just staring Gwen realized why it stood out amongst all of the other books here. She remembered that Alejandro had said this was his favorite book of all time.
Tentatively, Gwen reached out and touched the book's spine, letting her finger slide down its glossy surface. Sweat started breaking out on the back of her neck. Quickly, she looked over her shoulder. Nobody was there.
Impulsively, Gwen grabbed the book and held it to her chest, marching towards the front of the book store at a rapid pace. The entire time she was walking, she felt exposed and weird. Every time she saw another person, she felt stupid for carrying this book around. By the time she reached a cash register, she was ready to just throw the book at the nearest wall and run out in utter shame.
Hands shaking, she placed the book on the counter. She wasn't the least bit surprised when the cashier looked down at the book, then back up at her. It wasn't everyday that a self-declared Goth wearing all black bought a frou-frou romance novel. Though the longer the cashier stared at her, the more Gwen started wondering why she was feeling self-conscious or out of place; she'd never cared what people thought of her before, so why start now?
As soon as Gwen had paid for the book and walked out into the bright sunshine, she blew out a breath and looked around. It was extremely nice outside; pigeons were flying around pooping on things, people were walking everywhere at a harried pace, and people were rolling down windows and screaming profanity at each other in traffic.
This was the perfect day for Gwen to stay cooped up in her apartment room and read!
~At Gwen's Apartment
As soon as she'd collapsed into a plush blue arm chair and opened the romance novel, Gwen had found herself hooked. From the afternoon and into the evening, Gwen read and read until the entire book was finished. As soon as she was done reading, she looked at the alarm clock she had sitting on top of her TV: it was midnight.
Sighing, Gwen hugged the book to her chest. Even though she'd never outright admit it, she could now see why Alejandro was so enamored of this book. She faintly wondered how things were going between him and Heather...
Behind his snarky and obnoxious appearance, he really was a pretty sensitive and emotional guy. When he'd fallen in love with Heather, he'd fallen for her. Hard. Being with her probably pulled at his heart strings all the time and stressed him out. Maybe he was regretting proposing to her at age 18. Now he was caught in the messy, tangled lines of a divorce...and he'd only been married for one year.
Pursing her lips, Gwen closed her eyes and started to drift off to sleep. She felt sorry for Alejandro, but there wasn't anything she could do about his issues and problems. Besides, she had her hands full with art school, searching for work, bills...
Gwen wasn't sure when she stopped thinking about daily life and bills and started sleeping, but it came soon enough...
The sky was a strange mixture of pink and mauve. Diamond stars hung in the air like Christmas lights and there was a full light blue moon, but it wasn't sphere shaped like it should have been, it was heart shaped. And this was just the view outside of the window.
When Gwen rolled over, she realized that she was lying in a bed with golden colored satin sheets. And laying next to her...was the big, hulking form of Alejandro. For a few seconds it seemed like he was asleep, then he opened his eyes and Gwen couldn't help shivering with pleasure when he smiled at her. Gently he reached out and crooked a finger under her chin, tilting her head towards his and leaning in until their faces were only mere millimeters apart. Then he kissed her lightly on the lips.
After that, Gwen wrapped her arms around his neck and nudged closer to him until she was sitting in his lap. Lovingly, he started stroking her cheek with the back of his hand and running his fingers through her hair.
"I'm glad I left Heather for you..." he whispered in a sultry, smooth voice.
"You deserve better," Gwen replied. "And I'm better."
"I think so, too," Alejandro mused. "But now that you're up again, are we really going to spend all night talking?"
"Would that bother you?" Gwen asked, enjoying his presence and attention. She could feel her heart fluttering in her chest like a butterfly; she couldn't remember the last time she'd felt so happy and loved.
"No, mi amor," Alejandro purred. "Anything you want is just fine with me."
Sighing, Gwen could feel her heart flying out of her chest and into his hands; she absolutely loved it when he called her "my love" in Spanish. Using her arms to lever herself up to his face, Gwen pressed her nose against his.
"I'd rather kiss, too," she murmured, leaning in and kissing him. This time, the kiss was long and juicy. Though instead of pulling away, Gwen tackled Alejandro to the covers-
Suddenly, Gwen's eyes shot open and she felt her heart tapping a Congo drum rhythm in her chest. Vividly, the dream she'd just had started rattling through her brain like beads in a jar. All of the images made her blush intensely and she hugged herself as she mused where the dream would have gone if she hadn't forced herself awake.
As she got up out of the arm chair, Gwen noticed that it was almost 2 in the morning. She had class tomorrow and even if she was really flustered and turned on, she had to try to get back to sleep. Making herself think about other things, Gwen walked down the hallway and into her bedroom. Though as soon as Gwen laid down on her bed, she found herself thinking obsessively about sheets; images of kissing and making out with Alejandro rolled through her head and she just couldn't stop it. She felt tormented and heckled when she finally just made herself sit up in bed. It was still dark outside and as far as Gwen knew only an hour or so had passed.
While she'd been trying to fight the unbidden images entering her brain, apparently Gwen had tossed and turned so much in bed her sheets and blankets were messed up. Absentmindedly running a hand through her hair, Gwen found that it was messed up, too.
For several minutes she just sat there in the darkness, feeling like she was being crushed by a heavy lead block. In the end, Gwen lay back down and pulled her messed up sheets and blankets back over herself again. She closed her eyes and took several deep breaths. Her sudden desire and attraction towards Alejandro was probably just her subconscious playing cruel tricks on her. It had been a long time since she'd last had a boyfriend of any kind and it'd make sense that she was longing for some sort of romantic interlude.
Comforting herself with this thought, Gwen went back to sleep and just let her mind conjure up crazy fantasies and dreams about Alejandro. By the time morning came around, she'd be able to forget about it and move on.
Four hours later, Gwen woke up again, threw on a bland T-shirt and a pair of jeans, then rushed out of her apartment carrying a piece of toast. Last night had been terrible, but as she rushed towards the subway station, Gwen bit into the toast and realized something:
Her dreams last night hadn't meant nothing as she'd been hoping...She had a crush on Alejandro...
~At the Subway
Getting off of her subway train, Gwen looked around at the giant station. People were milling around, ordering tickets, staring at their cell phones. Some part of her was hoping that she'd spot Alejandro somewhere in the crowds. She could feel herself blushing as she looked around. And every time she didn't see him anywhere, she felt a slight prickle of disappointment.
Slightly dejected and confused, Gwen made her away across the station towards the stairs and out into the pungent smells and bustle of New York City. Just as she was starting on her way back to her apartment, she felt someone lightly tap her on the shoulder. That sent a jolt rocketing down her spine and she could feel her heart chug into overdrive when she turned around and found Alejandro standing there.
"I was hoping I'd run into you today," he said with a small chuckle. "How did your classes go?"
"It was busy," Gwen replied, smiling brightly. "Really busy."
"Story of my life anymore!" he said jovially, smiling back.
On the outside, Alejandro seemed to be pretty happy and content. He'd always been good at masking his emotions when he wanted to, which left Gwen to wonder if it was all just an act. If she said just the right thing she could crack that mask...
"You mentioned the other night that your trial separation from Heather starts today," Gwen mused, frowning. "So...is there going to be a divorce or not?"
His happy face was just an act; she saw his eye slightly twitch. Then he frowned and looked at her with a sheepish smile. "I honestly don't know and I don't want to bother you with that."
"I just wanted to know if you were okay..." Gwen said, reaching out and gently touching his arm.
"I'm not going to be okay," he admitted, shaking his head. "I-Could we go somewhere more private? I'd rather not discuss such a heavy topic in public."
Gwen nodded and was surprised when he reached out and grabbed her hand, lacing his fingers through his. As they crossed the street and headed uptown Gwen felt like a balloon. Right now she was a teenager getting to hold her crush's hand for the first time. He ended up leading her to his light blue Hybrid; he even opened the door as he waited patiently for Gwen to climb in.
When he let go of her hand for a few brief seconds, Gwen felt like a dispirited fish out of water. As soon as he climbed back into the car though, he grabbed her hand and held it on top of the plastic gray glove box in-between them. Alejandro started driving and when Gwen looked out of the car window at the passing buildings and skyscrapers, she could swear that she was flying.
"Why did you come to my art show?" Gwen asked as he started driving. "Really?"
"I don't know..." Alejandro said, looking at her briefly and smiling warmly. "I just happened to see the advertisements and I just decided to drop by. I didn't really have anything in mind, but as soon as I saw you, I felt compelled to ask you out. And since then, I realized that I never really got to know you on the show and...I'd like to get to know you better."
"I feel the same way," Gwen admitted, smiling.
"I'm glad I stopped by," he continued. "Have you given any more consideration to the thought of...a date?"
"We're on a date right now," Gwen replied coyly.
She was surprised when she saw a faint red shade appear in Alejandro's cheeks. He turned and smiled at her, a legitimate smile, not a shark-like smirk. When he turned his attention back to the road, Gwen turned and stared out of her car window again, touching her cheek and loving the feel of his hand on hers. As surreal as this seemed, it also seemed interesting and refreshing at the same time.
A long while passed and Gwen just swam in her own thoughts, sometimes casting a glance at Alejandro and wondering what was on his mind. They were completely silent until Alejandro pulled into the parking lot of a fancy upscale apartment building. The two of them exited and as soon as she walked through the front doors, Gwen was astonished by how swanky just the lobby was. The floor was covered with rich red carpeting; there were statue busts of cherubs and there was even a stone fountain at the center of the room.
While Alejandro just walked through it all as if it was nothing, Gwen stared at everything wide-eyed and impressed.
"I thought you were kidding when you said you'd already made a small fortune!" Gwen marveled. "If you're living in a pent house now, what did you ever need Total Drama for?"
"I didn't think I'd get the opportunities that I did," Alejandro said casually, not trying to be humble in any way. "But, I shouldn't have been so naive. Of course a million dollars is chump change to me now..."
"Can I have a check for a million dollars, then?" Gwen joked, smirking.
"Earn it yourself," Alejandro joked back.
As soon as they entered the elevator, Alejandro really went into full-on flirt mode, complimenting Gwen from her head to her feet. It was way too easy for him to capture her full attention and hold it all the way to his apartment. Next thing she knew, Gwen was sitting on his couch and he was kissing her hand and up her arm, really in full Casanova mode.
Enjoying the attention, Gwen just flirted back and laughed. She couldn't help remembering her dream from the previous night; her heart was jumping on a trampoline and every other time she looked at Alejandro now, she was blushing uncharacteristically.
"I read your favorite book last night," she admitted out of nowhere.
"You've been thinking about me," he said with a smirk.
"Yeah..." Gwen laughed. "So...?"
"I've been thinking about you, too," Alejandro replied, suddenly turning serious. "I think I've fallen out of love with Heather, Gwen. I just can't rekindle that spark I had with her. I don't know if I could get myself to-"
Gwen reached up and put an index finger to his lips, looking him right in the eyes. She felt her nerves tingling. Having been in a situation like this twice before, Gwen felt her own guilt beginning to surface. The uncertainty in Alejandro's eyes was obvious. Seeing her own reflection in those eyes sent shivers down Gwen's spine.
Right now, everything was rushing so quickly and impulsively. She hadn't even stopped to think about Heather or that Alejandro could still have feelings for Heather; she wasn't even sure she had the feelings for Alejandro that she thought she did.
"Do you know how much you've been talking to me about Heather the entire time you thought you were chasing me?" Gwen asked, pulling her finger away.
Thinking about it, he'd mentioned Heather and his impending divorce or whatever state of his relationship with her was in every chat they'd had online or otherwise. Even now, when Alejandro was showing the full extent of his emotions, Gwen knew she was close to figuring out what was on his mind.
"I'm sorry," Alejandro said, reaching up and taking her hands. "I knew it was a bad idea to bring up the div-"
"I don't think pursuing a relationship with me is the way to go," Gwen replied, pulling her hands away. "I even told you that from the beginning."
"You came over here of your own volition to be with me now, though," Alejandro protested. "I thought you had feelings for-"
Grunting, Gwen held up a hand and looked away from him. He lived in such a nice apartment flat. There were expensive things everywhere from the coffee table to the flat screen TV and the various sculptures and paintings. Though, everywhere Gwen looked there was some sort of picture of Alejandro with Heather; each and every one of the pictures featured them smiling, happy, or in love in some way. All of it just made Gwen sick to her stomach; she couldn't stand the guilt eating away at her. A huge lump formed in her throat and she could just imagine Heather whacking her with a giant mallet or wanting to kill her in some way for "stealing her man."
Confused and upset, Gwen forced herself to look back at Alejandro. She looked directly into his face and steeled herself.
"Kiss me," she demanded. "I know that's what both of us want to do right now. So, let's just kiss already and see what happens. After that, I think we'll both know what needs to happen next. No beating around the bush. No second guessing. We'll just decide here and now."
Not letting Alejandro say anything, Gwen reached up and placed her hands on either side of his face, then kissed him. Everything else seemed to melt away, melting away until it felt like the just the two of them were the only people in the world...