Interlude: Enjoy

Hope let out a soft sigh of contentment as the cool evening breeze danced across her face. She glanced up at the thousands of twinkling stars above, smiling softly and taking in the view. “It’s such a beautiful night.”

Beside her, Zayne nodded as they continued down the winding road toward the restaurant. “It’s perfect… Good call having us walk instead of drive.” He said with a small laugh.

“Thought it might be nice… A good excuse to spend some extra time together.” She shrugged slightly, smiling. “Hopefully we won’t end up being too late for our reservation though.”

As part of his belated birthday gift, Hope had managed to book them a table at one of the hottest restaurants in Windenburg – the Waterfront Willow. She knew Zayne admired their chef’s cooking more than anyone else in in the city. Eating there would definitely be something special for him – and maybe it would offer a bit of inspiration for his own restaurant? Guess we’ll have to wait and see…

“Oh my God!” An unfamiliar voice called out, calling Hope rather abruptly back to the present.

She and Zayne both looked around in confusion, searching for the source of the cry. At last, their gazes each fell upon a blonde woman with big blue eyes who seemed to be approaching the couple rather uncertainly.

“I’m sorry…” The woman continued nervously. “I just… You’re Hope Forrester, aren’t you?”

Hope raised an eyebrow at the unfamiliar woman. “Um… I am.” She replied uncomfortably. For a moment, she glanced over at her boyfriend, who simply shrugged. “Can I help you?”

The woman’s face stretched into a wide grin. “Could I trouble you for a picture?” She asked, pulling her phone from the pocket of her blazer. “I’m a huge fan… Your work is incredible. That spread in Elle a few months ago was breathtaking!”

Hope’s eyes widened. Was someone really recognizing her? On the street? Holy shit. “Oh, wow. Thanks!” She hesitated for a moment. No one had ever approached her like this before… What was the proper etiquette for this sort of thing? “You… You said you wanted a picture, right?”

The blonde woman nodded enthusiastically. “If it’s not a bother.” She replied almost apologetically.

“I don’t mind.” Hope’s smile was somewhat forced as she drew closer to the stranger.

The woman threw her arm over Hope’s shoulders, pulling her tightly to her side. Jesus, lady. I don’t even know you! It was something of a struggle to keep her smile until the bright flash of the woman’s cellphone finally dissipated.

“Thank you so much, Ms. Forrester.” She gushed as she returned her cellphone to her pocket. “I really appreciate this.” Though she appeared almost giddy with excitement, the woman kept a somewhat formal tone as she continued. “I’ve been following your career for a while now, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what you do next.”

“That’s very sweet of you.” Hope replied kindly. “I’ve got a spread coming out in Vogue next month.” She revealed. “So maybe keep an eye out?”

“I will! Thank you again. It was so nice to meet you.”

Thank God it’s over. Hope still fought to maintain her composure. “You too.”

She watched with a combination of confusion and amusement as the woman walked away down the sidewalk. She’d never realized just how awkward and uncomfortable it would be to meet one of her fans. But it was flattering too. Exciting, almost. Hope knew her career had been going better and better lately… But this seemed to take things to a whole new level.

Still smiling to herself, she turned toward Zayne at last. “Well, that was… interesting.” Hope laughed softly. “Wasn’t it?”

Zayne did not smile. He simply shrugged. “I guess that’s one word for it.”

“Well, what would you call it?”

“Rude.” He replied, his eyes narrowing a bit. “She interrupted you in the middle of our date just to ask for a stupid picture!” Zayne shook his head. “And I don’t think she even looked at me once. It was like I was invisible or something.”

God, he’s in one of his moods, isn’t he? There it was again. The green-eyed monster was rearing its ugly head.

Hope sighed softly to herself before replying. “You’ve had to deal with this sort of thing before with your Opa Tobi, haven’t you? And Florian?”

Zayne nodded.

“Then you know how weird those kinds of people can be.” Hope smiled gently, hoping to lighten the mood a bit. “Don’t take it so personally, okay? Let’s just enjoy tonight.”

She leaned forward, pressing her lips to his cheek for a moment. She could feel the muscles of his face stretching into a small smile at her kiss.

“Okay.” He agreed as she pulled away from him.

Zayne reached down and intertwined his fingers with hers as they continued on toward the restaurant.

“This is nice, isn’t it?” Zayne said softly as he took another sip of his wine. “Being out together like this, I mean… It feels like we haven’t gone on a real date in a long time.”

Hope nodded in agreement. “I know… Guess things have been kind of hectic lately.” She shrugged almost apologetically as she spoke.

On top of her usual business meetings and the occasional fashion show, Hope had been doing multiple photshoots a week all summer long. Luckily most of them were local jobs, but Hope had still been traveling more than she had in years. In fact, she was fairly certain she was spending nearly as much time in San Myshuno these days as she had back when she lived there.

“It’s kind of a nice change to be eating at a restaurant too.” Hope continued. “Not that I don’t love having you cook for me all the time. Actually, I’m pretty sure you’re the reason they had to take out that dress a little bit for my last runway show…” She teased.

Zayne laughed heartily then – a sound that still managed to give Hope butterflies, even after all this time. “Guess I’ll have to start practicing salads for a while.” He smirked at her. “But you’re right – it’s kinda nice eating out.” He admitted. “Especially here… God, it’s amazing, isn’t it?”

Hope smiled warmly at the way her boyfriend admired the beautiful restaurant around them, but she hesitated a moment before replying. Zayne was always so touchy when she brought up his restaurant plans, but now seemed like the perfect time to try broaching the subject again.

It had been nearly three months since Zayne had first met with Dom and talked business with him… And he’d done absolutely nothing but work on his menu ever since. Hope knew the planning would be a daunting task, but if Zayne never took the plunge and started really working for it, how would his dream ever become a reality?

“Feeling inspired?” She asked at last, forcing a smile once more. “Just think… Someday, you’ll have a place like this.”

Hope watched as Zayne’s smile slowly melted away. “Yeah… Someday.” He replied softly as he placed his wine glass back on the table, looking away from her. Hope tried in vain to read his expression.

“Hopefully someday soon.” She pushed on. “Y’know, I was thinking – have you tried calling your old boss and talking with her about this? I bet she’d know some people you could talk to to help you get started… Maybe point you in the right direction?” Hope suggested.

Zayne’s expression darkened instantly, just as she feared. “I don’t need her help. I can figure it out on my own.” He replied, his voice hard.

Hope was unfazed by his sudden change in tone. “I’m just saying, I know it’s hard to figure out where to start. I don’t think it could hurt to –”

“Look, I wish you wouldn’t bring this crap up right now, okay?” He cut her off sharply, his eyes narrowing at her. Zayne paused for a moment then, the angry furrow of his brow finally easing up a bit. “Please? It’s like you said before… Let’s just enjoy tonight.”

God, he’s never gonna listen, is he?  Hope knew Zayne was feeling stressed and overwhelmed trying to figure out his career… Who wouldn’t be? But it hurt so much to see him like this — So much more insecure than usual. So easily upset. And so damn stubborn about everything.

He’s gotta get out of this stupid rut. She thought. Before he drives us both crazy!

For a moment, Hope considered pressing further. But with how on-edge he’d been, was it really worth it to risk setting him off and ruining their evening?

Their food arrived before she could make up her mind.

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71 Responses to Interlude: Enjoy

  1. Senna says:

    Zayne’s snappish-ass attitude is going to lead to his downfall. 😡

    Something tells me by the end of this generation, Hope’s going to be extremely bitter towards him, and regret ever having met him at all, if not worse.

    Liked by 5 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Yeah, he’s definitely letting his temper get the best of him lately… and I think it’s wearing on Hope for sure. She loves him very much and is being so patient. But I definitely think it won’t be long before she tires of his jealousy & attitude… He’s gotta get it together!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Trip says:

      I’m thinking long talk about work ethic instead. Cooking is tough, but you CAN slog through life as a line or prep cook, make an income, and not take any risks. Hope’s modeling was likely an all our nothing thing.

      Liked by 2 people

      • CitizenErased14 says:

        Zayne definitely needs to figure out his work situation for sure. That’s what’s really taking a toll on him right now and it’s manifesting itself in very frustrating ways!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. shamanarza says:

    I… I don’t think I want to see Hope in this relationship anymore. A person you have to walk on eggshells with all the time is not a person you can feel safe with.

    Liked by 3 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Well, I can say with 100% certainty that, in terms of physical safety, Zayne would NEVER ever lift a finger against her. And Hope knows that.

      In terms of emotional “safety” (for lack of a better word) it’s definitely starting to take a toll on her. Zayne has let himself get so worked up that he’s letting his temper and jealousy get the better of him. He really needs to get it together!

      Liked by 2 people

      • shamanarza says:

        I think emotional safety was what I was going for. It. Is. Exhausting. Constantly watching your words, your actions, never knowing what’s going to set them off and go into a moping funk or a screaming fit.

        Hope, love isn’t enough to make a relationship work!

        Liked by 4 people

        • I agree with this, but I think there’s room to allow people to go through hard times. If it’s a temporary funk, which this may still be, you can see it through to the other side. After that happens, then there needs to be a very real conversation about how to handle things in a more healthy way in the future. It certainly can’t become a life pattern. No one deserves to be someone else’s emotional punching bag.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. kaffepigen says:

    When i saw that fan of Hope’s i thought that maybe we would get some drama soon about a crazy stalker fan xD
    She needs to push harder,or he will never get anywhere! Maybe Hope can be hid business partner 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. witchazard says:

    Charmer WitcHazard: Hey who’s the grouch with the scar?

    Anti-Shipper WitcHazard: That’s Zayne, he’s the heir of this generation.

    Charmer: Is he always an ass or am I just lucky?

    Anti-Shipper: It’s not you, he’s been pretty assy lately.

    Charmer: It’s none of my business, but if he doesn’t want any help don’t help him. Let him fall flat on his ass. And this Hope girl should consider her boyfriend options cause it might be time to pull out and I’m not just talking about in the bedroom.(Anti-Shipper hugs Charmer)

    Anti-Shipper: Only been with us for a week and he’s already learning the ways of shipwrecking(tears up) I’m so proud.

    Shipper: Get a room! Nobody wants to see you two get chummy!

    Lover: I do! Anti Shipper move your hand a little lower down his back and really get a nice grip on Charmer’s sexy tush!

    Shipper: Lover go home!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. audreyfld says:

    Advice to Zayne:

    Zayne – sweetie – you know you are out of line. Get your act together. The more successful Hope becomes the more bitter and jealous you become. If you want her in your life, you need to take a long hard look at what is driving this resentment. Take ownership of it.

    I am so ashamed of you. You should have been excited for Hope that she was making a name for herself and was recognized, but instead you acted like a jealous brat saying they were rude. That’s not what made you angry and you know it. Hope has never been anything but sweet and supportive and you just get all sulky.

    Whatever your demons are – it’s time to truly grow up and face them. You aren’t getting any younger…and there might just be a nooboo on the way…whether you are ready or not…our little Hope had to have her dress altered…did you miss that?

    Okay. Carry on….

    Liked by 7 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Haha this is very good advice for Zayne! He really does need to get it together and learn to be more supportive of Hope… he just lets himself feel so threatened by her success. He’s my most insecure Rosebrook since Mari for sure… and stubborn as hell too! Not the best combination, unfortunately… I think he needs some kind of wakeup call. But what? Time will tell!

      Liked by 1 person

      • He does have some of Mari’s same flaws. I wish I connected with him the way I connect with her. Everything Mari did, I was like, “okay that was bad… yeah… but, you know–[insert mitigating response]!”

        But with Zayne, I’m just irritated. As awful as this sounds, I think I wish the big bad in his life had happened at a later age. i struggle to accept all his crappy behavior as a result of him losing his parents at such a young age. The put him in therapy, which supposedly helped. Perhaps he needs to take a page from Mari’s book and go see a therapist. Like tomorrow. Like later today. He still has a lot of demons, and he’s clearly not handling them well.

        Like

        • CitizenErased14 says:

          I don’t think this behavior necessarily has to do with losing his parents at a young age, honestly. He has a lot of issues with insecurity and jealousy but I don’t think those stem from the actual loss of his parents — more the after effects/his upbringing.

          Liked by 1 person

    • kaffepigen says:

      Oh My god, i hadn’t Even thought about the fact that that could Mean she was pregnant!
      And i kinda get why Zayne acted like that when the fan came. He’s had to endure this All his life with Tobias and Florian. It’s gotta get annoying in the end. I’m sure he support Hope very much 😉

      Like

  6. Simslover163 says:

    *Sigh* What’s wrong with a fan girl getting picture with Hope, Zayne? I understood that she didn’t notice you. Someday, you’ll be running your own restaurant (hint, hint) and you and Hope are walking around town. A few minutes later, a fan girl comes and gives you a hug and asks to chat with you and maybe get a picture together. Hope might take that as not rude at all.

    Zayne is so stubborn that I’m beginning to worry about their future! He really needs to get his act together and be more supportive for Hope! I know a fashion model gets paid more than an ordinary chef. Looking into the magic orb, I predict that Hope will become bitter and she’ll regret meeting him.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. CitizenErased14 says:

    Haha sorry it felt like filler! I wanted to show how Hope is feeling about the current situation — which is extremely frustrated but also in love with Zayne and trying to give him the benefit of the doubt (for now).

    I don’t know whether I’d agree she’s being weak right now. She just decided to do as the chapter said — enjoy the moment and not start an argument (as we will see in the next Zayne journal, there’s been plenty of that going on behind her scenes haha)

    Zayne is most definitely being a jerk right now because he’s letting his stress and insecurities get to him and is lashing out in an unhealthy way. I don’t think he is a terrible person though. A very immature one who needs to get his shit together? Yes haha

    Liked by 2 people

    • peaoorko says:

      I wouldn’t say it felt like a “filler”, tbh, but I’m not really all that savvy with the terminology. A2A is drama, not an action series, so relationship development is very important and this chapter gave us interesting insight into Hope’s perspective. I agree it feels like something big is coming up, but build-up is essential, so even if this is technically considered a “filler”, you shouldn’t apologize for it, I think.
      I also don’t see Hope as weak here. She’s being understanding, warm and caring. Her career is blooming, she’s very much her own person, strong enough to fight for the man she loves. Maybe that’s because I agree that Zayne still deserves the benefit of the doubt and isn’t beyond saving.
      If it becomes too much for her and she gets really frustrated, I will understand. Just as I will if she chooses her career, should it come to it.

      I don’t like his attitude, but I would be a hypocrite to get mad at at him for that and to judge him. I mean, I don’t get jealous too often, but it happened a few times and I have lots of other flaws. Actually, I come to think I must be a terrible human, given my preference for characters like Zane or Mari… Time to zip it? I think so.

      Oh. My reaction to taking out the dress was: Hahaha, Citizen acknowledges the hardship of being a model AND a guinea pig to a skilled chef. So much realism.

      Liked by 1 person

      • CitizenErased14 says:

        Thanks for this comment, peaoorko! I feel like you grasp the situation and characters very well. 🙂 And I don’t think it makes you a terrible person — because Mari and Zayne are two of my favorites too! And they aren’t terrible people either. Just very flawed, like you said (but then, aren’t we all?)

        Hope is definitely fighting for Zayne, but it’s certainly getting tiring. I don’t think he’s beyond saving either — but I think he’s really gonna have to work at it to pull himself out of this hole and get his act together!

        And I love your reaction to the dress comment LMAO 😛

        Like

  8. haleyrood says:

    Was there waiter a vampire he looked like Caleb Vatore.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. haleyrood says:

    Once I saw him in the picture I got distracted instead look squirrel it was look vampire

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jes2G says:

    Mmm hmm…
    So…she does recognize his behavior as jealousy. Good for her. And, she’s sorta kinda picking her battles although sometimes she pushes a bit harder than she needs to. Mature. But, then again, she’s almost 30. She should mature about these things unlike our almost 30-year-old Brat Prince, he he. Nice to peek in her head for a bit.

    Liked by 5 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Yeah, she knows him very well by now and she definitely gets that he’s jealous! Definitely picking her battles, like you said, while also knowing when to push. She is very frustrated with him, but she does feel a certain level of compassion for how stressful things are for him now. Hope loves him and knows he has it in him to get out of this oversensitive, jealous rut he’s in… but it’s very tiring to keep pushing.

      She’s definitely the mature one in this relationship haha. I think Zayne is having the equivalent of a quarter-life crisis right now. He’s gotta get it together!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. maladi777 says:

    I’m thinking a bigger fight is imminent. Zayne is like a pressure cooker and Hope’s fan girl only increased the heat under him. It won’t take long. I’m guessing one or two more Hope fans and the cooker explodes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Haha that’s a very good metaphor. There is a LOT of pressure building right now for Zayne… and though he wants to blame it on others, the real pressure is coming from himself. He’s so insecure and oversensitive right now.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. megiare says:

    I smell trouble in river city…Props to Hope for staying so calm.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. sonniejj says:

    Like I said before, I think these two really love each other but relationships are not just about love. They’re about working really hard through things when they aren’t quite so lovely.

    Hope seems willing and up to the task. I definitely think Zayne needs to mature a bit, though, if he wants this relationship to last. Hope has enough sense to know when someone stops making her happy. Perhaps being in such a vulnerable position when he was younger and always being ‘overprotected’ by older relatives makes it a bit harder for Zayne to truly become an adult.

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      This was very insightful! You’re right that they both do love each other so much (despite how jealous Zayne may be of her or how frustrated Hope is at him)… But you’re also right that it takes more than just love to make things work.

      Zayne is an extremely immature person in many ways. I think part of it comes from pure pride/stubbornness. He hates being told what to do or asking for help from others (as we saw back when he was a teen). A lot of that has not left him, and it’s totally affecting him now with the restaurant situation. It’s making him so frustrated with himself and so insecure. Now he’s internalizing it and turning it toward Hope and getting jealous. It’s a really hard cycle for him to break. Something has to change though. I think he knows that, but is too afraid to admit it haha. Typical Zayne *sigh*

      Thanks for reading, sonnie!

      Liked by 2 people

  14. We like the ship, we don’t need any holes in this ship. The last ship has duct tape the holes got so big. Okay, so I know there’s a few holes here and there, but I am working on patching them up. But seriously stop it. No more cannons please.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Brass Buckles says:

    Hey, I recognize that waiter! Isn’t that Caleb Vatore?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Arrowleaf says:

    Hehe, I know it’s been said before, but I love Caleb and he’s so cute as their waiter xD

    Someone said this chapter felt like filler, and I disagree. Filler is when something happens that is not necessary to the plot or character development. This feels like the exact opposite to me. It is building up the tension between the two lovebirds, which needs to happen so that when the fallout happens we know why. I don’t think Hope is in an emotional abusive relationship with Zayne. Zayne might dislike her being famous and going away but he is not giving her an ultimatum nor is he insulting her or forcing her to do anything she does not want to do. Hope is still very much comfortable confronting Zayne about their problems here, she just knows that she has to broach the subject at the right time and place. You have to pick your battles in any long term relationship. 😛

    I do agree that I think Hope might end up resenting Zayne eventually. Especially if she is pregnant and he asks her to stay home to take care of the child. :[

    Liked by 4 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      You’re all caught up, yay!!!! ^_^

      I’m glad you don’t find Zayne to be emotionally abusive toward Hope — I agree! He’s just very immature and jealous. Which is bad, but Hope holds her own (as you pointed out!)

      We’ll have to wait and see what happens to the lovebirds from here on out… thanks SO much for reading! ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Tizy says:

    I’ve said since day one. Hope os just too much for this spoiled insecure and immature little boy.
    She is so smart talented brave. Left her family home to travel and she is already at top of her career and so mature!
    Zayne instead is just so immature.
    He is not the first and not even the last to have lost his parents when young. But when many kids have to adjust and survive to life, he was super spoiled and jocelyn even gave up her life and adjusted her 3 daughters life for him. He really grew up with the best family ever, had always what he wanted, screwed his life in so many ways already and Joce even took him back. Life blessed him once again giving him Hope and when she has a fan in the streets asking for a picture for the first time (gosh this is a very important thing) he says “she didnt even look at me it was like I was invisible” he didnt even congratulate.

    At this point I can only hope for Hope (lol so many hopes) to be next heir mother so at least this noboo will have a decent parent and role model.

    Seriously Zayne you cant imagine how golden you have it.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. crstasse says:

    Okay, so Zayne was being a brat in this chapter! I know last chapter I said he wasn’t, but I think I have to take some of that back 🙂 His resentment is really beginning to show. I was surprised by his reaction when the fan asked Hope for a photo. I was with Hope on this one, she was so excited and flattered and all Zayne could think about was himself! Why should the fan acknowledge him? He must be so insecure to let it get to him like that! And we all know how much he hates being told what to do! I did mention in my review on the last chapter that I think Zayne’s biggest problem is accepting Hope’s rising success. Now I see real evidence of it!! Zayne is going to lose her if he doesn’t get his act together. Love is patient and kind, which Hope has shown in shapes full, but Zayne, presently, is being a bit selfish. Or more like overly insecure.
    I can understand he’s doubts about his own restaurant, and sometimes when you are feeling that way the last thing you want to hear is someone going on about it, even if they are trying to help. In a relationship everything is about timing! But feeling like you have to walk on eggshells all the time will only wear a person down.
    The problem with resentment, is that it’s the biggest killer of a relationship. How is Zayne going to react when more fans begin to approach Hope?
    I think once he gets his restaurant going and is preoccupied with that, it’ll help with his acceptance of Hope’s career. I think Hope knows this too which is way she’s trying to push him into getting started.
    I’m very curious to see where things go next! Can’t wait for the next chapter!

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Haha he was definitely a bit bratty in this one (though I still agree with you that he wasn’t in the last one!) His insecurity is the true root of all this, and it’s really taking its toll. He’s so jealous of Hope, and he totally sucks at hiding that fact 😂

      I think you’re right that once things start going forward with his restaurant, a lot of the problem will go away… now he just has to get off his butt and work on it! 😛

      Like

  19. julyvee94 says:

    Oh man… Drama is back 😮 I think pushing everything unpleasant away like Zayne is doing atm is going to be bad for their relationship in the long run. At some point it’s gonna blow up.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I’m not sure what to think about this one. It sounds like Zayne is going through a tough time, but there really doesn’t seem to be an end to it. I get that Hope is trying to push and encourage him like always, but she has to understand that these current times aren’t like “always.”

    But at the end of the day, I’m really irritated at Zayne for taking his frustration out on Hope. Having a short fuse and using the people closest to you in life to absorb your stress is selfish as hell.

    It was so hard to write my comment before reading everyone else’s!

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Yeah it’s a tough situation all around… he really is struggling and so insecure and feeling down on himself, but it’s manifesting itself in a really jerk-y way and he’s being super unfair to Hope. 😦 He’s gotta get his shit together

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad I wrote my comment before reading the others. Sometimes they say things I agree with, but wouldn’t have phrased that way. Ultimately, I stand by my first comment, though I feel other people made some really good points.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. sourocha1 says:

    Oh, well, Zayne, you really shouldn’t be so ”I can do myself” -ish…I think he is stuck on making the menu, an don’t want to admit he needs help…gosh, I’m having his teen arc flashback..

    Liked by 1 person

  22. lisabeesims says:

    Well that was a quick trip to awww … now I am plummeting into grr … geesh Zayne pull it together dude

    Liked by 1 person

  23. skcaga6 says:

    I think Hope is preggo and Zayne is having her mood swings.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Again where did you get that dress

    Liked by 1 person

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