Zander was not showing me any mercy. Heaving me around like a child on top the Cornucopia. I tried not to physically show it, to not break character, but I was seeing stars, moons, planets and whatever the fuck else is in space. He charged at me, eyes clouded with hate and grabbed me. He held me in front of him muscular arms posed and at the ready to snap my neck just as scripted. Jen readied her arrow and Zander launched into his monologue.
“I’m dead anyway! I always was, right? I couldn’t tell that til now.”
I was daydreaming trying to ignore the pain Zander had done to my body. He was holding me abnormally close to him. I could feel his breath like little hands creeping down my neck as he recited his lines.
“I can still do this! One more kill.” I could feel the sharp outlines of his abs through my jacket. He smelled faintly of beer and sweat. Something about his smell made me slightly turned on. I really hope the cameras didn’t catch me getting hard.
“It’s the only thing I know how to do.” His voice cracks. My heart breaks.
“Go on, shoot!” My mind is nowhere to be found this scene as I mental worship every little thing about Zander. Those arms. One of his biceps is probably as big as my head. The veins on them…I wanted to lick them. The slight stubble on his neck was pricking me and it took everything in me not to let out a moan.
I’m hurtled back onto Planet Earth when I realize Zander’s let me go and has fallen off the Cornucopia. Jennifer raises her bow and shoots it at him. Gary calls “Cut!” I’m left staring off into space on the Cornucopia as Jennifer climbs off. I feel like I’m a ghost as everyone around me is congratulating each other on a good scene or talking about what and where they’re about to go eat. I feel like along with Cato I’ve died. He never had anyone but Clove, and even she died unfairly. I’ve never had anyone like Cato had Clove.
Time seems to cease existing as I realize that scene on Cornucopia was the moment I finally accepted my feelings for him. I felt sorry for Cato dying alone. I felt sorry for what a shell of a human being Cato had become, never knowing how to live, only how to kill, only how to die. I promised myself I’d never let Zander become that alone.
No matter how many clownish smiles I wore during an interview, no matter how nice I was to asshole paparazzi and to fans asking for a photo while I was out just trying to enjoy being a normal human being…
I didn’t want to be a puppet anymore.
And I didn’t want to be alone anymore.
Zander and I had been having hanging ever since filming began. We made it a habit of blowing off Jen and Liam every few days just to sit on my bed at the hotel and play video games. That escalated to us spending 90% of our time together. Which escalated to us getting shit faced in each other’s hotel rooms and pretty much just sleeping our hang overs off together. The fact that such a manly man like Zander chose to sleep off a hang over in another man’s room should have tipped me off that maybe I was seeing a side of him no one else had seen.
People are apt to write off Zander as a complete idiot (and given his Twitter page they have good reason), but the guy could get deep. Like “Tell me what you think of life after death and I won’t judge you” deep. And despite the demeanor of the character he was playing in this movie, he was actually rather…likeable.
“Hey, Josh?” Zander is half passed out on my hotel room floor. I am sprawled across my messy bed, nursing a wicked hangover as well.
“Yeah?” I hiccup.
“Do you like anyone?” He belches.
I roll over to the edge of my bed to look at him. “Zander, are we fucking five years old?”
“Fine. Is there anyone you wanna fuck? Is that better for you, loverboy?” He gives me a shit-eating grin. That grin gives me chills.
“Why do you care?” I try to glare at him, but it’s hard to tell which Zander to glare at with this hang over.
“I just…wanna know?” He sounds genuinely curious. “You should go after them, I’m sure they’ll love you. I mean…You have like, one of the most wanted dicks in Hollywood.”
I give him a confused and slightly disgusted look. “And we’re talking about my dick because…?”
“And you’re an awesome person as well, don’t get me wrong!” He spits out in a suspicious rush.
There’s a silence as large as his ego for a few minutes.
“Well, why don’t you go after them?” Just when I thought he’d shut the fuck up.
“You just won’t let this be, will you?” I’m half laughing, half wanting to deck him. This conversation is quickly becoming unsettling for me. “Fine…there is someone.”
“Then why wait? Dude! Life is short and fickle. You deserve someone.” Zander only gets this emotional and thoughtful around me. “You deserve some action. In both senses of the word.” He looks me dead in the eyes. He’s a black hole and he’s sucking me in with his words.
I clench my jaw and strengthen my resolve. There is no turning back after what I am about to do and I’m praying to every god out there that the odds are in my favor and the stars are aligned. The way he looks me when asking, a hint of desperation in his voice, if we were hanging out; the early morning phone calls were we all but cried about paparazzi encounters; that special smile he effortlessly puts on when an interviewer asked if he had any good friends on set…they were all things that stood out to me.
I take a deep breath. “Because…he came here with me.”
His jaw drops and he furrows his brow for a second. “He? That’s funny.” He giggles.
My eyes widen and I can feel tears pricking my eyes. I can’t believe he’s doing this. “Are you poking fun at me…?” My voice is cracking. I wish I had just went back to sleep and ignored his questions. I wish—
“No, no, no!” He interrupts my thoughts and clumsily lumbers on the bed next to me. He lays his blond messy head on my shoulder. “The person I adore? He came here with me too.”
An awkward silence to end all awkward silences walks into my hotel room, stares, and takes a seat for a few minutes.
I try not to stutter. “Do you really mean all of this Zander?’Cause we’re both drunk as fuck, ya know.”
He turns to look at me, gently taking my face in his enormous hands “Yes, Josh. I have and will always love you. ”
He stares at me, blue eyes twinkling. “Don’t let me fucking wait for an answer, loverboy.”