Chapter 06

DANIEL

"Ehhh Daniel!....." Said the cheerful voice of the man most probably in his late forties as he welcomed his partner to join him on his coffee table with a wide grin.

"Comment allez-vous?" He asked once Daniel had resigned to the seat opposite his.

Daniel lifted an eyebrow before letting out a light sigh.

"I think I'm doing great Charles,thank you." He answered.

It's been basically two months now that he's arrived Paris. He's first week was a tough one for him,he missed New York, it's people,his African friends at the quarter and most especially,Idris. Talk about the mode of dressing,their language which he found hard to understand yet intriguing, or the wonderful delicacies his taste buds struggled to adapt to. The rest of the weeks he spent them meeting with Charles Louis,his co-worker whom Mr. Clinton had promised, in preparation for this magazine they were going to shoot in the coming months. At first he thought making friends with this man would be quite a problem but surprisingly,they easily clicked. Louis usually took him out during the weekdays for a tour across the streets of Paris,were they would come across various intriguing facts and it's people. He could also refer to Louis as his mentor since the man had specifically requested to help teaching him French and their culture. And on weekends they would fill their stomachs to their hearts content with splendid delicacies.  In a space of two weeks,Daniel had visited places,places he never thought he would have enjoyed so much. In all,with Louis by his side he was certain he wouldn't disappoint his boss.

"I see you're already understanding. Good boy!" Louis chuckled with great enthusiasm plastered all over his face.

Daniel watched carefully how the waitress served their Coffee with delight.

"Merci...." Louis mentioned almost in a low tone to the lady before she parted away with a smile.

"So why are we here Louis?. Are you going to educate me on Coffees now." Daniel teased as he gently picked his café au lait to his mouth.

He watched his partner grin.

"Non...." Louis carried his cup too. He took a brief gulp before dropping his cup gently. He furrowed his eye gaze on Daniel with his fingers intertwined together on the table.

"Two months is not enough for newcomers to experience the beautiful things Paris holds but our work can't be delayed any further." Daniel dropped his cup slowly as he paid full attention to his partner's words.

"The production managers as well as other department heads are meeting tomorrow for the blueprint of the magazine."

"So I guess we're beginning work finally." Daniel muttered enthusiastically.

Louis smirked in return. "I'm sure by tomorrow's end your optimism would be totally shattered." Daniel grimaced while Louis giggled. "This work will be tedious than any you've ever handled before." But Daniel smirked. He's been dying to start his work and now the chance finally came,how could he possibly be tired?.

###########

ZOEY

"Winter is here already,you definitely put on a coat!." Jane scolded at Zoey who in turn reluctantly moved away from the mirror after checking her outfit properly. It's her first day for her shoot,she wouldn't dare to ruin her appearance.

She gazed tiredly at the coat her friend dropped on the king-size bed.

"Don't even think about it,Zoey. Put that coat on!" Jane pitched again. 

Zoey let out an audible sigh shooting her innocent look at her friend who was apparently busy combing her black hair.

"Fine..." She mumbled before slipping the black coat on.

"C'mon Jane. We gotta go!" She walked out of the exquisite room on her ankle boots while Jane followed suit.

The duo walked side by side in the hotel reception when a couple in their mid forties reached out to them enthusiastically.

"Zoey Johansson!....oh it's such a pleasure meeting you." The man voiced out with evident excitement gushing throughout his body.

She simply smiled.

"My name is Thomas and this is my wife, Scarlett." He extended his hand while she collected his light shake.

"My apologies..." Said Scarlett with a beautiful smile plastered on her face. "Thomas is so obsessed with you. He totally falls head over heels whenever he sees you onscreen."

Her mouth formed into an O before muttering words of appreciation to the couple.

"If you don't mind,could we take a photo with you." Thomas interjected already fizzling with his pocket in search for his phone.

"Oh sure..." She answered simply while Jane signalled her at the hotel entrance.

##############

Jane did the driving while Zoey sat by her side choosing to breathe in quietness.

"I know this might be too late to ask but are you really sure about this step you're taking?" Jane asked as she focused on the steering.

"What step?" She answered once she directed her gaze on Jane.

"You know..." Jane gazed at her briefly. "This work you're taking up,Gray....." Her voice trailed off.

It's been three months now she broke up with Gray,three months she's been living in Paris with her friend Jane in preparation for the magazine she's featuring in. In these months,she thought staying in a new place,new people would help. That's why she chose to live with Jane,her childhood friend back in New York before they moved to France. The slender framed lady was much more welcoming about her predicament than her best friend,Lizzy. Yet Zoey still felt emptiness,so far away from everyone. Even her parents she hoped to find comfort in weren't any help either;always busy with several businesses to attend. Businesses much more important than their only daughter's life.

"I have to do it...." She responded in a whispery tone,fiddling with her fingers in a lowered countenance.

"You and I very well know that you're not in good shape to act in this movie."

"I've made my decision,Jane." She pursed her lips. "Even if I have no reason,I have to show Gray I'm not weak.  Everyone already knows Gray and I are no longer together and if I drop this shoot or any other movie I've signed up for,if I go out to see some counselor about my emotional problems,then everyone,Gray,will call me weak. I'm the lady in movies were people know me as a bad ass,strong,independent but in real life...I'm just a weak,broken woman who needs support. Which is why I must stay strong or at the very least get strong."

"Love makes one crazy,If you ask me." Jane responded. "Someone like Gray doesn't deserve you." Jane responded infuriatingly. Zoey rolled her eyes. Typical of Jane,who has been in several broken relationship and now chooses to live her life alone. Free from emotional attachments.

"He used to be a perfect man until he just changed suddenly." Zoey smiled sadly.

"Zoey, everybody changes at one point or the other." Jane responded with a tone implying concrete seriousness. "Just know you have friends who love and supports you." Jane gave a comforting smile.

They talked some more before they finally arrived at the shoot location. The Louvre Pyramid,were they would do some introduction to the director and the rest of the crew before they begin shooting.

As she phased through the crowd in order to meet the crew she felt someone pull her hand sharply.

"Louis!" She pitched with evident excitement as a smile played on her face.

"Follow me..." He stated while she simply followed suit. They arrived at a more peaceful place where crews gathered,busy with their work while some of the other dignitaries were busy exchanging pleasantries.

She thought of meeting with them but found it tiring. They would mostly speak and gawk about how lucky they are to work with a star like her!.

Thankfully Louis was present to indulge her into a conversation. She's known the director for years now. In fact, he was the first director she ever worked with and they soon clicked to be friends over time.

"Comme d'habitude, magnifique comme toujours" Louis started as they took a gentle pace around the Louvre Pyramid.

"Et toi, tu ne manques jamais de me taquiner" She smirked.

"Ahh Zoey, vous savez très bien comment je tiens une beauté comme vous en haute estime" He chuckled. "J'espère que vous appréciez Paris."

"Avec délice!" She tried hiding the sadness on her face.

"Hmmm....okay enough talking. I'd like you to meet my assistant. He would be helping me handle this work of ours." They both stopped in front a young ebony man just with his back faced towards them while he fizzled with his camera.

"Daniel!..." He called. "Meet Zoey Johansson,The face of our magazine!." 

Her smile faded with a wave of shock storming through her body as they both exchanged gazes at each other.

"Zoey?"

"Daniel?"

TRANSLATIONS

"Comme d'habitude, magnifique comme toujours" - As usual, beautiful as always

"Et toi, tu ne manques jamais de me taquiner" - And you, you never fail in teasing me

"Ahh Zoey, vous savez très bien comment je tiens une beauté comme vous en haute estime" - Ahh ZOEY,you know very much how I hold a beauty like you in high regard.

"J'espère que vous appréciez Paris." - I do hope you're enjoying Paris

"Avec délice!" - With delight

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