Lead Reporter of the Sunset Valley Post. Award winning journalist. Winner of Splash magazine’s Gossip Mongerer of the Year five years in a row. Tanya Johnson had a habit of being in the right place at the right time. She was there when Tom Wordy gave an impromptu performance in the subway of Bridgeport. She was there when Lola Belle’s son Jupiter fell in the deep end of a pool on holiday in Al Simhara. She was there when Matthew Hamming forgot his lines in the first performance of The Simpest. And now, she was the first to spot Ethan Blaine with a mystery woman. She smugly opened her laptop and plugged in her camera, uploading the photographic evidence before writing her article. She took her time, she knew that few journos came through the Valley looking for celebrity news and those who were based here were nowhere near her standard. She was confident that she was first to the scoop. She was already mentally placing her sixth Gossip award on her wall…
Hearts shatter as rock’s most eligible singleton finds new love
Ladies, it’s time to break out the tissues. Ethan Blaine is single no more. That’s right, the lead guitarist of hit band El Tigre has been seen out and about on the arm of a stunning brunette on the streets of the seaside town of Sunset Valley, a far cry from the glitz and glamour of Bridgeport. Blaine, who has been linked to the likes of Emmy Starr and Johanna King in recent years, was seen courting his new love in the newly opened Community Gardens, before reverting to his usual style as he treated her to a slap up meal at a local Bistro and a romantic stroll along the sea front. Arm in arm, the pair seemed to be the picture of happiness as they shared a tender kiss under the starlit sky. Almost enough to make this cynical journalist’s heart melt!
However, it would appear that Blaine is not with his new date purely for her looks. The couple were deep in conversation for most of the evening, barely noticing the surrounding diners who remained mostly oblivious to the superstar who walked among them. So, just who is this mysterious new woman who has captured Ethan Blaine’s heart, breaking ours in the process?! Blaine’s bandmembers were unavailable for comment, busy preparing for a series of concerts the band is giving in the next few months. A legion of fans will be hoping that Blaine’s new belle won’t prove to be too much of a distraction to his music.
Do YOU know who Ethan Blaine’s new girl is? Call 0800-655-7423 with any information.
Quickly proofreading her article, Tanya attached it to an email and sent it through to her editor. She leant back in her chair, pride sweeping through her. Short, sweet and simple; she could practically hear a million teenage hearts breaking from her study.
She supposed she’d better start clearing a space on her wall for her award.
* * *
‘Girls, are you getting your homework done? I know this is a sleepover, but school comes first!’
Mollie rolled her eyes. ‘Yes Dad, it’s all done!’ she called down with an air of sweet innocence. ‘I cannot believe him! We’re having a sleepover, we don’t want to be stuck doing a load of boring work!’
‘Yeah, and we’re not! So? What does it say on Simbook?!’ Lisa squeezed the soft bear she was clutching, impatiently hovering over Mollie’s shoulder.
‘Calm down! I haven’t even got the browser up yet!’
‘Hey, can I go on there when you’ve finished stalking Mark?’ Georgia said absent mindedly, examining her pores in the mirror. ‘I’ve got some pictures to -‘
‘OH MY GOD!’ Mollie screeched; the other two girls leapt out of their skin in fright.
‘What is it?! What’s wrong?’
‘Ethan Blaine! He’s hooked up with some skanky bitch!’
‘How dare she!’
Mollie slammed the laptop shut as Georgia burst into noisy tears and Lisa threw the teddy bear across the floor. ‘I cannot believe this!’
‘She’s clearly a gold digger, why else would she be with him?’
‘She must be! Or she’s just out to get in the papers herself. God, what a cow!’
‘I know! Who the hell does she think she is!?’
‘I can’t believe he’s got a girlfriend!’
‘Oh shut up Gee, like you ever had a chance with him!’
‘I had more of a chance than you ever did!’
* * *
Amateur photographer Frank strolled out into the early morning sun to pick up his newspaper, shielding his eyes from the bright light. It was too early for natural light! Tucking his paper under his arm, he rushed back inside, picked up a mug of milky coffee and headed over to his computer. It was surrounded by his favourite photographs that he had taken; a lovely action shot of Cris Funke jumping into his pool, Ashlee Sandrocke arguing with a fan who’d asked for her autograph, Maricela Lamoureaux relaxing in her revealing swimsuit and, his favourite, a small snap of Roxie Leist coming out of hospital following her obviously botched botox. That one had earnt him a lot of money; Leist had gone into hiding until her lips died down, and Frank was the only person who’d managed to get a shot of the fabled trout pout.
Scanning through the headlines, one caught his eye. So, Ethan Blaine had a new girlfriend? A new, mysterious girlfriend?! Simoleons started popping up in his eyes. The media would be all over this like a rash, determined to be the first to identify the hottest new celeb on the circuit. He had to get in on this.
* * *
Groaning, Maria carried her laptop outside to the patio table and opened it up, wincing as the start-up music knifed through her head. This hangover was insane. Zelda Mae had left her job at the theatre, and the leaving do was the previous night. Despite their rivalry Maria had gone along anyway, more to celebrate than to wish her luck in her next job. Naturally, the celebration had lead to more than a few glasses of champagne; the usually easy task of sending a few emails was now a massive struggle.
In her bleary state, Maria accidentally clicked on the icon to bring up her web browser rather than her email. She buried her head in her hands as she waited for it to fully load before closing it, not wanting to crash her computer. Going to close the window, a headline caught her eye; Maria had a celebrity gossip site set has her homepage, officially to keep an eye on the members of the band she managed but really to easily satiate her love of the scandals and buzz.
No, can’t be… Ethan Blaine, in a relationship?! Clicking on the link, she pulled out her phone to share the news with Ivy before she noticed the woman in the picture… What?!
Steely-eyed, she continued dialling Ivy’s number.
‘Hi, this is Ivy. I’m not available to take your call, but leave a message and I’ll get back to you!’ *BEEP*
‘Ivy? Hi. Maria here. I guess you’re too busy with your new boyfriend to answer the phone. That’s fine. Having said that, it would’ve been nice if you’d, you know, let me know that you were in a frigging relationship! Ethan Blaine?! I just found out on the internet! Thanks a lot Ivy. I guess you’re too caught up in your new celebrity lifestyle to have time for all your old friends!’
* * *
Pausing as she tidied her room, Ivy picked up her phone that had sprung to life on her bedside table. A text.
Hi sweetheart! Just letting you know that I landed safely in Bridgeport. Missing you already!! Will ring you tmrw to arrange something for when I get back. Looking forward to it, can’t wait to see you again!! -Ethan xxxxxx
Unable to suppress the smile that was spreading rapidly over her face, Ivy flopped down on her bed in happiness. Things were finally looking up!