Episode Five: Watch the birdie
Updated: May 28
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Tuesday 9th June
‘Well, if they sent them to me,’ thought Candy Kane, ‘I’m going to make sure I pack them … and get filmed wearing them.’
She placed the two swimsuits in her suitcase, on top of all the other clothes, her make-up, self-help books, camera tripod and LED ring light – most of which she had been given as ‘promotional consideration’. It was an extra-large case (again, a freebie – this time from a luxury luggage company), but she could probably have done with two as it was proving impossible to close.
Candy had been excited about this trip since Kyle had suggested it a few days ago. A chance to spend a couple of weeks with her television star boyfriend at a five-star, exclusive resort in the south of France. Okay, so there might be a bit of golf involved at some point, but her followers would love to see her flaunting her unique fashion sense on the green. And anyway, if she got bored of hitting little balls with big sticks, she could always indulge in some relaxation time in the spa.
Her camera had been filming the entire packing experience, each item displayed, described, and promoted before going into the case. Candy thought it only right that her fans were treated to every detail; the more she could share with them, the more followers she gained – the more followers she gained, the higher her profile rose, and more gifts came her way. She couldn’t remember the last time she had actually bought something. ‘Time to talk to my fans,’ she thought before posing in front of the camera.
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Thursday 11th June
Michael Tremblay had already made this journey twice today; once to drop off one of Les Liens’ regular clients, and once with a rather inquisitive lady who was staying for a few days ‘to do some research’, she had told him. However, this journey was something quite different – he had even taken the time to clean and polish his taxi before picking his passenger up from the airport’s secret celebrity door.
Truth be told, he didn’t really know who they were; the young woman had been wittering on about being a social media star, and the man with her looked vaguely familiar from TV. Whoever they were, they certainly seemed to have caught the attention of the press who were thronged around the entrance gates to the club.
“What are they doing here? This is supposed to be the most discreet resort in France!” seethed Kyle Rockfort.
“No idea, babe. Someone must have told them I suppose. Well, at least smile … there are cameras pointing at us.”
Kyle forced a smile on his face as Candy pouted and waved through the window. Michael entered the code on the keypad, the gates swung open and the car made its way up the familiar long driveway to the chateau.
In the mirror, the taxi driver could see Kyle sitting in stony silence whilst Candy Kane continued posing through the rear window, hoping that one of the paparazzi - now being held back by the closing gates and an under-pressure Sid - would get a magazine worthy shot.
“Why can’t they just leave me alone? I just want a bit of privacy!” exclaimed Kyle. He threw himself down onto the bed like a petulant toddler.
“Come on, babe … everyone loves you. They just want to know what you’re up to, and which beauty you’re hanging with.”
“It’s none of their business.”
“Well, it sort of is. If you put yourself in the public eye, you can’t complain when they want to know what you’re doing. You encouraged it … it’s part of the business!”
“Don’t tell me about the business, Candy. I’ve been in it much longer than you! You’ve only been around a few months!”
“Maybe, but I know how it works now, which is very different from when you started.”
The pillows bounced as he pummelled them with his fists. Candy decided it would be best to retreat to the bathroom and continue unpacking her make-up. “Let me know when you’ve finished, and we can work on a plan,” she called.
Kyle re-plumped the pillows and put them back in place; he couldn’t stand things to be untidy. He sat on the edge of the bed, breathed in for five seconds and out for ten before quietly calling, “I’m okay, you can come out now.” Candy sat herself down next to him on the bed and he placed his head on her shoulder.
“You should just give them a bit of what they want.”
“A video to your fans. Tell them you are taking a private break. Double whammy – they get you talking to them, but at the same time, you’re telling them to back off for a bit.”
“And the press?”
“Sorry babe, they’ve probably already gone. Moved on to the next story.”
“Will you help me?”
“Of course, babe … but first …”
She pushed him back down on to the bed.
‘Thank God, I thought she’d never leave me alone … nosy cow.’ Candy breathed a sigh of relief.
The social media star had been trying to relax in the steam room, but Shirley would just not let her. Now, Candy was all for a bit of promotion, but this lady was just not the demographic of her usual followers. Candy had been desperate to move away - partly because of the drip of water that kept falling on her head, running down her brow, then her nose before continuing its descent - but mainly because of this woman’s questions. The woman obviously recognised her, and she knew all about Kyle and the news of his dramatic departure from High Octane … hardly surprising as that news had been all over the front pages.
Candy was sure she had seen this woman somewhere before, but maybe it was just when they had arrived at Les Liens. Kyle had been preoccupied with the receptionist who could barely keep her hands off him, but she had spotted Shirley in the corner, scribbling away in a scruffy old notebook.
Friday 12th June
“So, how was your round? Did you win?” asked Candy.
“It’s not about winning … its more about focus, practice, and relaxation.”
“But did you get more holes, babe? If you did, you won.”
“We both got the same number of holes.”
As much as Kyle enjoyed being with Candy, sometimes her level of ignorance in some matters was shocking.
“I was talking to a woman for a while about a book she’s writing. Think it could be a go-er for my next project … turn it onto a tv series.”
After the debacle of his unexpected departure from High Octane, Kyle was desperate to find a new project that would put him back on the nations screen’s and into their hearts. The idea of a series about a cool private investigator in Provence, driving around in fast cars with a glamorous sidekick had obvious appeal and could be just the star vehicle he needed.
“I thought I might head to gym later; got to stay in shape for whatever might come along.”
“Of course. I suppose you have to work harder at it at your age. I’m just going to chill here, I think. Maybe open a bottle. And some fancy popcorn”
As much as he hated to admit it, staying in shape was not as easy as it once was. His physical stunts had been reduced and mainly handed over to younger cast members during the last few years on the show, and his dismissal had come as something of a relief on that account.
For such a small chair, it was certainly making her head dizzy.
Candy was surprised that she needed to stand on a chair as he had always thought herself to be quite tall but reaching the top of the wardrobe had proven impossible without one. She gingerly stepped back down and lay on the bed, surrounded by the remnants of her bag of artisanal popcorn, checking whether she could see her handiwork.
Saturday 13th June
Candy pushed the snails around her plate; Kyle had said she should give them a go, but she really wished she’d ordered the Chicken Kiev instead.
They had eaten in the main restaurant in the chateau last night, whilst the food was exquisite, the experience had left room for improvement. The couple had felt the eyes of everyone on them all through the meal and the discomfort was completed by the full-on argument between Amelia, the club’s manager and Sylvia, the Maître d’hôtel; Kyle had ordered a bottle of wine at the recommendation of Sylvia but Amelia suggested a different bottle. Sylvia had been quite vocal in her disapproval of Amelia’s interference, and refused to lower her voice when requested. If all the guests in the restaurant hadn’t already have been staring at them, eyes would definitely have swivelled towards the smashing sound and shower of glass tinkling over the polished tiles as the disputed bottle fell to the floor.
“Shall I order you something else? Room service is pretty quick,” asked Kyle.
“No, it’s fine. I’ve eaten too much anyway. The pastries in the spa are lush. I need to get a few swimsuit shots tomorrow … you can join me if you like.”
Kyle seemed distracted.
“Babe? Are you okay?”
He pushed his chair backwards, left the table and headed over to the wardrobe. He tried to reach the top of the wardrobe but quickly realised that he would need something to stand on. “Pass me the chair, Candy,” he instructed. “Okay, babe,” replied Candy, trying to hide her nervousness.
It had taken a good hour, but Kyle had recovered enough to speak again.
They sat on the edge of the bed, holding hands; Kyle slowing breathing in and out as his therapist had demonstrated to him, Candy making sounds that she meant to be soothing, but actually were more like an annoying pigeon.
“Maybe the last guest left it there,” Candy suggested.
“I don’t think so. Batteries would have gone by now, and it was transmitting to somewhere.”
“Does that mean they saw us …. you know … last night?”
“And this morning, probably.”
“That’s disgusting. Perverts! Who would do that?”
Kyle could feel his temper rising again; ‘must stay calm,’ he told himself. He picked up the phone and dialled the number Amelia had given him the night before.
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Now move on to: 'The Interviews: Kyle and Candy'.
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