212 Chapter 212: NYC Party!

[Edward POV]

Large windows framed the mesmerising city skyline, showcasing iconic buildings and a sprawling display of lights that extended into the distance. 

The loft featured a captivating blend of rugged beauty and modern touches, with exposed brick walls lending a touch of raw elegance to the space. However, the overall ambiance was dramatically altered by the activation of neon blue and pink lighting, courtesy of the house owner.

The neon lights cast an enchanting glow throughout the loft, transforming the atmosphere into a vibrant kaleidoscope of colours. The once subdued and sophisticated setting now pulsated with an electric energy, as the neon hues danced off the walls and illuminated the room. 

The girls were dancing intoxicated to the throbbing music while the guys tried to hit on them. The party had elements of a rave, but luckily for me it was just a normal party with booze and cocaine. 

"Ed! Over here!"

My arrival caught the attention of Selena, who called out to me with a pleasantly surprised expression. She was accompanied by her friend Jessica, and to my astonishment, standing beside them were the familiar faces of the actresses from iCarly - Miranda Cosgrove, Jennette McCurdy, and Emily Ratajkowski. 

Adding to the star-studded atmosphere, a few teen actors, Avan Jogia and Leon Thomas, stood side by side, their arms draped over each other's shoulders as they held their red plastic cups, singing drunkenly to the song Toxic by Britney Spears.

Avan Jogia's eyes lit up when he saw I was approaching them. "HEY! It's Edward Newgate! The three times winner of the MTV Awards tonight." He was being friendly and shook my hand in excitement. 

Leon also greeted me, "Although this is our first time meeting, I had to be thick skinned to ask you to solve a problem for us. You're a genius right?"

"I guess I need to do this." I smirked as I looked at Leon with anticipation while the girls laughed.

Leon smiled and said mischievously, "Ooo great one. Solve this question for us. We are plagued with this particular problem in our gentlemanly discussion of the game, "Would you rather."

Avan said, "Would you rather…do Martha Steward, or… Oprah?"

I held my chin as I fake contemplated, "Hmm…this question is tough. No wonder you guys are struggling with it, and need some help from a genius."

Selena scoffed and badmouthed me playfully to the girls, "See? I told you, He's not a cool guy at all."

In response, Miranda shrugged, her eyes fixed on me, and whispered, "No... he's very, very cool."

Finally, I answered the question, "No doubt. My answer is Martha."

"Why?" Avan asked.

"Because after we've done it, we can cook together. Putting that aside for a second, hi everyone."

I greeted and shook hands with the girls there before grabbing a plastic cup from the waitress. After having my 5th drink, I finally loosen up and started to enjoy the party.

"Alright, we're picking out straws. The loser had to go downstairs to the furry party and mingle…in your human face, for 10 minutes." I said as I held out the straws to the crowd.

The teenagers there actively participated, and the loser, Jeanette, was exclaiming miserably, "Why did I pick it? Why me?!"

"Are you doing it or not?" Avan interjected and said jokingly, "Because I really think it'll be funny if I did it."

Jeanette's eyes lit up and she grabbed Avan's hand, "Then, we should go together!" She then dragged Avan forcedly and went to the furry party. 10 minutes later, both of them returned with some fur on their clothes.

I asked, "What happened?"

Jeannette hugged her shoulder and shuddered, "It was a nightmare."

"Did they do something to you?" Miranda asked with concern.

"No." Avan replied with a face full of horror. "They didn't do anything except ask us to pet them, and rub their suit on us like an… actual animal…"

All of us shuddered when we heard that. Leon quickly shouted, "We're going to need more drinks over here."

While taking some breaks at the side, Miranda came to where I was standing. She stood extremely close to me and said, "Your art tonight was really great. Yeah, I'm calling it ART! It was a masterpiece, and it shouldn't be called anything else!"

I laughed a bit and said, "I seem to remember you adding the word 'Handsome prince' into my introduction. That almost made me fall off my game."

She giggled and asked with a seductive voice while poking my chest, "Did you see me calling out for you?"

However, she was soon disappointed when I shook my head and said, "Unfortunately I could only hear you. I couldn't see you at all. The curtain was drawn during the introduction, and when I was performing…"

As I trailed off, she finished my sentence knowingly, "They turned off the lights during mine." She turned her head for a bit and grunted, "Damn."

We talked for a bit, and then Selena suddenly moved towards us. "Hey, what are you guys talking about?"

"Why? So you can report to Tay about what I did here today?" I asked jokingly, but Selena froze for a second and replied defensively, "I-I'm not..."

"Are you sure?" I asked while narrowing my eyes at her. Feeling under pressure, Selena's face froze. Then I shrugged and said, "Cause if you did, I'd be fine with it."

She was taken aback for a second before she stressed, "I'm not telling her anything!"

"I believe you." I said casually.

"Stop believing me and being nice about this! GOD!" Selena grunted and left. I was confused and I turned to Miranda, "Can you believe this? I'm still the bad guy even if I didn't do anything."

But I was asking the wrong person for this. 

"I believe you. You're a bad…BAD boy." She said breathlessly as she leaned in closer.

"Keep it in your pants woman!" I said as I pushed her face away.

A few minutes later, Leon, Avan, and I were looking out of the balcony while drinking beer.

"I bet you can't do it." I said to Leon.

"Dude– I TOTALLY CAN!" Leon replied with excitement.

"Then go do it, right now." Avan egged Leon on.

5 minutes later, climbing on the pole near the building, Leon shouted from afar, "I WAS WRONG! THIS POLE DOES NOT LOOK CLIMBABLE!"

Both Avan and I high fived as we laughed at Leon who's struggling to get down from the pole. A security guard had to step in to help him, which further added on to his embarrassment.

"Twerk it baby!" Avan shouted from afar. Leon heard it, and started pole dancing even with the security guard yelling at him to come down.

The party peaked around 2 am where even more celebrities came to the loft. I was inside the bedroom with Selena and Miranda, lying on the bed, smoking a blunt together when I saw a gorgeous girl walk into the room.

She saw Selena and automatically asked, "Pass the blunt. Oh–" Vanessa Hudgen, the star of the High School musical, was surprised when she saw me, a stranger inside the room.

"Are you guys- Oh god, was I interfering with your–"

"We're not doing anything!" Selena said immediately.

"And if we really were in a threesome, we wouldn't really mind adding one more person into the tr-"

Selena quickly cupped my mouth before I could finish my sentence. Vanessa was taken aback before she giggled at the joke.

"We're doing it?" Miranda asked with slight confusion, mainly from being drunk and getting high at the same time.

"Later. You should go to sleep now." I said while holding her face. She smiled and said, "Okay~" Then, she flopped her head on the pillow and fell into dreamland.

Selena and I wiggled out of the bed and went to the chairs nearby where Vanessa was sitting. "Wow. I really can't believe I'm getting high with Gabriella Montez. I am starstruck." I said as I sat in front of the girl.

Selena rolled her eyes at me and retorted, "But you're not at all!"

"Hey you don't know what I'm feeling on the inside." I defended myself. I got to know Vanessa for a while until the long blunt became short.  "By the way, I have to show you something."

I took out my phone and scrolled for a picture. However, Vanessa was looking extremely uncomfortable when I did so. I was confused, but it didn't stop me from showing my picture from early in the year.

She was instantly relieved and said, "Oh my god! Zac's hairstyle. Did you really?!"

"Yeah. But in my defense, I'd not watched High School Musical yet, so I had no idea I was copying him. In fact, he might have actually been the one copying me."

Vanessa and Selena giggled while Selena took the phone from my hand. "I've never seen this." Selena said with an enthusiastic expression.

I shrugged and said, "Why would I show it to you?"

As the conversation shifted, Selena's irritation grew apparent while Vanessa found the situation amusing. With a curious expression, Vanessa asked, "Then why are you showing it to me? Unless that hairstyle is really from the movie."

I let out a defeated sigh, acknowledging that I had been caught. "Alright, you got me. I was copying Zac. Are you happy now?"

Vanessa chuckled and replied, "Not as happy as I would be if I knew why you did that."

I smirked at her boldness and responded daringly, "Because, at the time, I thought that having a hairstyle like Troy would help me get a girlfriend like Gabriella. I don't know if you've watched the movie, but she's really hot."

Vanessa and Selena exchanged confused glances before Selena finally reacted, realizing the situation. "Of course, she'd know... It's her... Damn it, we fell into the trap."

I burst into laughter at the girls' reactions, thoroughly enjoying their surprise and realization. They took a moment to process what had just happened.

Vanessa giggled and remarked, "You guys are really close. I thought you were dating Taylor? I guess you guys are like me."

Confusion etched on my face, I asked, "Huh? What do you mean?"

Selena clarified, "It's not what you think. We're just friends. And there IS something going on between them."

"Ahh," Vanessa exclaimed, understanding the dynamic.

Feigning confusion, I added, "What is happening here?" Although I had a good idea of what was going on.

Vanessa and her celeb-boyfriend Zac Efron had gradually stepped out of the limelight after the High School Musical series ended. Zac's fame still helped Vanessa, but truthfully, it had been a while since their relationship fizzled out.

As time passed, Zac Efron's career skyrocketed, propelling him to the status of a prominent movie star, while Vanessa found herself navigating a different path in mid-level movies.

Unfortunately, Vanessa encountered numerous challenges and controversies that had a significant impact on her career trajectory. One particular incident that caused her immense distress was the unauthorized release of a private and intimate photo she had sent to her boyfriend. This event garnered widespread attention and she became the target of relentless attacks from various sources.

The violation of her privacy was made even more distressing by the fact that some assholes took it upon themselves to taunt her by sharing the photo or showing it to her face! This situation shed light on why she appeared uncomfortable when I was scrolling through my phone earlier.

The leaked picture became the catalyst for Vanessa's downfall, as it clashed with the carefully cultivated image Disney had established for its young stars during that era. The company had heavily marketed the Disney kids as "good kids," emphasizing their adherence to a conservative lifestyle and positioning them as positive role models for aspiring young talents.

In the aftermath of the incident, Vanessa was compelled to issue an apology, despite being the victim in that situation, due to the expectations placed upon her to set a good example for her young fans.

Reflecting on the situation, I couldn't help but think about the irony of how Kim Kardashian's sex tape had launched her career, while Vanessa's leaked photo had nearly ended hers. 

The controversy surrounding Vanessa had almost derailed the production of High School Musical 3, and she constantly faced condemnation and finger-pointing wherever she went. Now that she had surpassed the age of 18 and was no longer bound by the Disney machine, her career had essentially stalled.

"Alright, you need this more than I do." I said as I took out a freshly rolled blunt from my inner pocket. 'No wonder she looks so natural; smoking one in the 'Spring Breakers' movie.

Vanessa was hesitant to answer my question and then was surprised when I took out the new roll. She smiled and said, "It's a long story. One blunt might not be enough."

"Then I guess we need to set another date for me to hear the rest of the story. Because this is the last one I have." I said casually.

It was 4 am when the party started to fizzle out. Selena was already asleep but I was still talking with Vanessa in the room. Leon was sleeping on the floor inside the room too, with his face planted to the ground. 

"Ah, I need to go to the toilet." I groaned as I stood up from the chair. Vanessa laughed and urged, "Come back quickly! I still need to hear more about how I'm the 'girl of your dreams'!"

"I never said that." I clarified. "All I'm saying is, if you don't mind a little nudity, I guess I can give you the audition for it."

She rolled her eyes for the first time in front of me. I laughed out loud and went outside because there was no toilet in the small room. 

After finishing my restroom visit and washing my hands, I glanced at the sparse party crowd that continued to dance, only to be startled by a familiar figure.

A brunette girl with twin-tails, dressed in a black and white outfit, caught my attention. My heart skipped a beat, and my breath quickened with anticipation. I walked towards the crowd, and I grabbed the girls' shoulders. 

However, my disappointment was palpable when the girl turned around, revealing a different face from the one I was hoping for.

She was confused when she saw me, "W-what?"

"Sorry. I got the wrong person." I said and left while the girl was still confused. 

"Hmm. What's that all about? Did you see your ex here?" Vanessa saw the whole thing as she leaned on the door to the room.

"Why are you outside?" I ignored the question and asked mine.

She replied, "I'm leaving right now."

"Oh, and here I was thinking that I could end the day making out with Gabriella."

Furrowing her eyebrows, Vanessa responded, "Maybe another time. My manager is waiting for me in the car. He doesn't like to wait—"

"That's his problem," I interjected, dismissing the manager's impatience. "You're heading back to California, right? If you want, I can give you a ride. Just tell him you'll be making your own way back."

Vanessa hesitated, but eventually texted her manager, requesting to travel independently. His response was cold and dismissive, treating her as a burden rather than a star, which deeply affected her.

Tears welled up in Vanessa's eyes, startled by the callousness of the response.

I, however, smiled and said, "Good, I can spend a bit more time with you. And, if you want to change your agency, and I really think that you should, come to Entertain. We're in desperate need of talents, and we will surely treat you better."

Vanessa was taken aback, and then she burst into laughter, "Really? You want to take me in? Should I offer you my everything to get your savings?"

"I prefer you pay me back with your talents, but if you want to offer anything else, I won't say no to that."

"You're a bit sick, you know that?" Vanessa asked me with a face full of contemplation. "I-I'll think about it." She blushed a little as she replied.

I smiled and then said, "Good. Now, for my first order as your CEO, can you wake Selena up? I need to go back to the hotel, and she's riding with me– wait… with us."

Vanessa laughed and replied, "I'm not your employee yet, but I'll do this as a favor. But you're going to OWE ME ONE!"

Back at the hotel, as soon as I entered my suite with Selena and Vanessa, Max rushed towards me and started sniffing me like an airport dog.

"I KNEW IT! YOU STOLE MY BLUNT!!" Max shouted.

"YOU DID WHAT?!" Pepper who was sleeping on the couch heard it, was awake immediately, and shouted.

"Max!" I looked at Max with disbelief.

"I'm sorry. I really thought he was sleeping." Max said apologetically as she turned to Pepper and shouted, "he stole my….Uh….Punt!"

"Punt?" Selena, Vanessa and I tilted our heads together in confusion.

"Why is he stealing your punt?" Pepper said in disbelief.

"Why would your dream ever make sense?" Max said before adding some mysterious sounds.

"I'm still dreaming?" Pepper said in confusion.

I caught on to what Max was doing, walked towards Pepper and said, "Of course you're dreaming Pepper. See, you're the ones holding the awards." 

Max snuck from Pepper's back and placed all of my awards near him. Pepper turned and saw the awards, and was confused again.

"You should go back to sleep if you want to see Montgomery Clift. He said he's meeting you for coffee in the morning. You don't want to see Montgomery Cliff while feeling exhausted do you?"

"Hmm…I don't. Alright, I'll go back to sleep." Pepper said as he laid back down on the pillow obediently.

Max and I breathed in relief, and as we were tiptoeing away, Pepper muttered, "I'll see Montgomery Cliff in my dreams now. When I wake up again, we need to talk about you and your weed habits Ed. And say Hi to Gabriella for me." 

"Damn it." Max and I cursed underneath our breath at the same time.

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