Eve was not the best person in the world. Sometimes she didn’t hold the elevator open when she saw people rushing to catch it from the other side of the lobby. Cutting the line at Starbucks was a semi-regular action. But Eve did not deserve this.
As soon as she woke up, she saw that her friend Jenna from work had sent her a link along with a brief text message saying, “Heads up.” After immediately clicking on the link, she saw that it was a new article Buzzfeed had published an hour ago.
Everyone’s Favorite Exy Striker Went on a Twitter Rant, and It Was Amazing
Eve took a deep breath in and out. She hadn’t had her coffee yet. At least, that was her excuse for letting out a high pitched, angry shriek.
No, Eve Harris did not deserve Neil fucking Josten.
Eleven months ago, she’d been told immediately by her boss that Josten wasn’t happy with the arrangement. But the management team for the Falconers had apparently written it in to his contract that the striker had to have a PR manager.
So Eve had been the lucky girl assigned to him as her full time position. At twenty-five it had seemed like an amazing opportunity for her career. But then she’d started working with him.
Josten was a nightmare. Loved by half of the public, and hated by the other half. Reporters detested him, seeing as he occasionally tore them the hell apart, so whenever they could find any scrap of information they did their best to destroy his public image. That’s where Eve was supposed to step in and suggest constructive ways to deal with the press that didn’t cause any waves.
Especially because three months into the job, she learned that there was indeed some material that could be used by asshole journalists to try to ruin his career.
Eve had almost died that day. She had told Josten repeatedly that she would stop by his apartment at two, it wasn’t her fault that he had obviously tuned her out – which was minorly insulting. So when she’d walked in and seen the Falconers’ goalie pressing him against the living room wall and biting down his neck, she had let out what could be described as a girlish squeak.
Andrew Minyard was kind of scary, yeah, but the knife against her throat was scarier than the blond. Josten hadn’t even seem fazed, which, fuck you, Josten. Instead he’d only said in a nonchalant voice, “She’s fine, don’t worry.”
Minyard had stepped back, but not put away the knife. There had been dead silence for a minute as Eve tried to process what she’d seen. There had been threats, the reveal that Neil Josten had way too much information on her personal life, and more death threats.
Finally, Eve had been forced to shout, “I’m gay, oh my god, I don’t care! Come out, don’t come out, come out together, whatever – just let me do my fucking job.”
Things had been slightly more bearable after that.
Eve knew that Neil went running at an ungodly time each morning, so she wasn’t going to be waking him up with her six o’clock call. He picked up after three rings and sounded far too relaxed after the shitstorm he knew he had caused her after the stunt he’d pulled last night.
“Josten. Care to explain why you sent off thirty-three tweets last night that included but were not limited to: the superiority of cats over dogs and the sentiment that people who disagreed were ‘fuckwits’, explicit responses to celebrity tweets, explicit insults about Kevin fucking Day, and thirteen questions about the hair and alleged spray tan of President Trump?”
“I’m a demisexual citizen of the world, Harris. Are you surprised that I don’t like the clementine leader?”
Eve dragged her hand through her hair roughly before taking a long sip of coffee. Neil had just alienated himself from all of the Republican fans of exy, and there was going to be the inevitable fallout of reporters questioning why a professional sports star thought he had any right to weigh in on politics. After the sound of shuffling, Minyard’s usual emotionless voice took over.
“Neil is an idiot, don’t act surprised. And Kevin is a shithead.”
The dial tone rang out, and Eve reached out to the bottle of Xanax she’d been prescribed – coincidentally – eleven months ago. Within the hour, she’d spoken to the top four writers at Buzzfeed, who were liberals, thank the fucking lord.
Within two hours, there is a slightly better article about Neil on the front page.
20 Best GIFS of Neil Josten That Sum Up Mondays
“Scarlett Johansson. Does he make it his mission to confuse the public?”
Andrew didn’t react in any way, he only continued staring at her as he lifted up his disgustingly sugar-filled coffee. The coffee shop was nearly empty, and it was pretty obvious that nobody had noticed who Andrew was. After a few seconds Eve was the one who had to look away from the intimidating fucker. When Andrew finally spoke, it was without any inflection whatsoever.
“He cared enough to pay attention to Reynolds’s feminist speeches. And he saw the Avengers for the first time with Boyd.”
Eve snorted and took a bite out of her bagel. At least it wasn’t as bad as the first time he’d seen Clueless. He hadn’t stopped quoting it during interviews for a solid month.
“We need to get him off Twitter.”
“We don’t need to do anything. That’s your job, even if you’re awful at it.”
Eve knew better at this point than to get offended.
Neil Josten @njostenexy
wondering why I don’t get the same questions in interviews as @Scarlett_Jo about diet/weight/gym
10:07 AM – 3,537 likes - 2,107 retweets
Neil Josten @njostenexy
wait, might be the fucking sexism. really? she’s the fucking Black Widow, wanna piss her off - maybe focus on her talent
10:10 AM – 4,034 likes - 3,466 retweets
Neil Josten @njostenexy
ridiculous. wage gap and sexism in the work place is bad enough, you don’t want to talk about her acting during interviews?
10:12 AM – 10,099 likes - 8,466 retweets
Scarlett Johansson @Scarlett_Jo
Thank you for saying so @njostenexy - always good to see someone call out the injustices that still exist in the industry
11:46 AM – 13,285 likes - 10,732 retweets
Neil Josten @njostenexy
Not a problem @Scarlett_Jo
12:09 AM – 3,973 likes - 2,129 retweets
YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHICH ATHLETE HAS SNAGGED SCARLETT JOHANSSON!
Eve hadn’t moved from her place on the living room chair. Neil and Andrew sat across from her on the couch, the former furiously typing into his new iPhone while the latter sharpened knives. It was sad that Eve was now comforted by this, considering it was Andrew’s ‘normal’ behavior.
Neil glanced up, eyes wide and a little bit excited if she was reading him right, before he said in a tone that promised Eve a future headache, “Did you know anyone can write an article on Buzzfeed? All you have to do is –“
He was silenced by Andrew landing a solid punch to Neil’s solar plexus, and although she should probably be indignant on her client’s behalf, the only emotion she felt was relief.
“No. I will make sure the Falconers’s management knows you haven’t been following your contract if you write your own article.”
Neil glared viciously at her, but Eve by some miracle was able to maintain a straight face. Andrew was scary, but after spending almost a year working with him, she knew that Neil was arguably the more dangerous one. This, however, was something she would stand by. This was her job, and even if Josten made it impossible at times, Eve wasn’t going to let him actually fuck up his career and hers by extension.
Andrew hadn’t even glanced up, so Eve pulled out her laptop from her bag and opened it to a word doc she’d sent Neil the night before.
“Alright, so we’ve already given the reporters who will be at the press conference a list of subjects they can’t bring up after the match. If any of them start edging on anything I’ve written down, you can absolutely stay quiet and refuse to answer. That does not mean going off on them, Josten. Just keep the conversation on exy and the result of the game.”
Neil immediately cut in and said, “When we win.”
Eve let out a sigh but answered, “Sure. After your win, talk about the game. They shouldn’t bring up your personal life, but if they do, you can deny the rumors about you and Scarlett Johansson.”
Eve was standing in the back of the room, watching the train wreck in front of her with something like morbid fascination. The Falconers had won, but Neil had also almost broken someone’s face after Andrew had taken an illegal hit the quarter before. It was evidently the soonest time that Neil had been on the court with the guy – but fucking Christ.
With a shit-eating grin on his face, Neil was technically only talking about what had happened during the game. The reporter who had asked about the fight had probably not anticipated the rant that she had gotten in response to her question.
“- and he lost what? Two teeth? If he’s gonna talk shit, he’s gonna get hit. I got my red card and it's not my fault Johnson was acting like an ass. There’s no reason for him to be crying about it. If I busted his spleen, that I could see, but his reaction is way over the top –“
Eve had a half bottle of tequila at home with her name on it.
Eve was one of the very, very few people who got to see Andrew and Neil act less as if they hated each other, and more like they – well. She wasn’t going to put a name on it. Their recent screaming match during the last game hadn’t helped with the rivalry rumors, and Eve knew that Neil was encouraging Andrew to do it for the sole purpose of stirring shit up.
It wasn’t actually a bad thing, though. It was drawing attention to Neil, and more people were tuning in to the Falconers’ games after ESPN had done a short feature on the “tension” between the teammates. Sure, there was annoyance and exasperation, but every time Andrew viciously threw a ball far enough out of Neil’s reach that the striker had to fucking sprint to catch it, the smug smile on his face didn’t scream hatred.
It was more like he’d won an argument.
“Angry midget” was thrown around a bit. “Useless junkie” was another common phrase. Eve didn’t make them tone it down too much, but she also never fucking let them do press together. The one time it had happened, the fallout had taken a week. That was the first time the hashtag #Andreil-Rivalry had been the number two hashtag trending on Twitter. And Josten retweeting twenty of the insults his fans had thrown out about Andrew did not help the rumors.
Andrew and Neil’s former teammates on the Foxes all knew about their relationship. And they evidently thought the rivalry rumors were hilarious if the way they absurdly spurred it on in their own interviews said anything.
Matt Boyd: “Oh yeah, they’ve always been jumping on each other.”
Dan Wilds (who had way too much sway for her comments to be dismissed): “There was always tension, but it really came to head at the end of our first season.”
And of course:
Andrew Minyard: “I hate him.”
Neil Josten: “He hates me.”
But once again – the attention didn’t paint Neil as a villain, so Eve wasn’t going to curtail it.
Sitting in her tiny apartment, they didn’t really look like a couple, even with Josten’s feet propped up on Minyard’s lap as he laid across the couch. After the first time the both of them had been at her place, Andrew had somehow disabled her fucking fire alarm. Getting him to stop smoking at her place was a lost cause, so Eve resigned herself to occasionally smoking with them when Neil had pulled a particularly stressful move.
The Falconers were playing the Griffins at their next home game and with Kevin Day, Jean Moreau, and Jeremy Knox on the other team, it was going to be a close match. Eve had already gone over the usual with Neil – what his social media presence should be before and after the game, and let him know that he and Andrew weren’t scheduled for the post-game interview panel tomorrow after the match was over.
Since the actual business portion of their interaction was finally over after an hour and a half, the three of them were somewhat relaxed. It was Andrew who broke the silence in a bored tone after taking a long drag from his second cigarette.
“Harmon from your office is into you.”
Eve startled, looking over to him with her eyebrows raised as she prompted in a confused voice, “Have you ever even met Jenna? We’re just friends.”
Neil decided to oh-so-helpfully cut in when he said, “Hacked in to her iCloud account. She thinks you’re ‘hot as hell and hopefully not straight’” – Eve could practically hear his air quotes – “and described you to her brother as ‘a princess Barbie who looks like she could kill a man with her high heels’.”
Eve had no fucking idea how to react. Why the fuck – how the fuck – this was so, so unethical. Which made her feel even more guilty considering the news had made a spark of hope coil in her chest.
“Get off of her fucking account.”
Both of the men shrugged, looking far too nonchalant considering they were probably breaking so many laws, and went back to watching the exy game that was playing on mute.
Kevin Day had to have a death wish. There was really no other explanation for the shit he pulled during half time. The commentators had been able to zoom in and read his lips, but of course without the knowledge that Eve had, everyone had interpreted the exchange incorrectly.
It hadn’t seemed like he even realized what a motherfucker he was being when he pointedly looked from Andrew to Neil before he had leaned towards the striker and very clearly said, “This is bad for your career. You should really stop before it becomes a prob-“
He had been cut off by Minyard, who had walked around behind him and pulled him down into a headlock, pointedly pressing his forearm to Kevin’s throat. Whatever he whispered in Day’s ear hadn’t been able to be deciphered, but some conclusions could be drawn considering the man had gone absolutely pale and began shaking.
His teammates hadn’t stepped in, and to everyone’s surprise Jeremy Knox had looked a little disappointed. When Kevin had been released and stepped back over to his own teammates, Moreau had punched him solidly in the stomach.
Everyone thought that he’d been talking about the rivalry, or maybe Neil’s absurd publicity and the rumors that constantly swirled around him.
Maybe fifteen people who were watching the match in the world knew that Kevin fucking Day was being a homophobic dickbag.
Neil had felt slightly uneasy for the last couple of minutes. Andrew had only shrugged when Neil had asked if what he was doing was alright. The answer had been Andrew’s version of support.
“I don’t give a fuck.”
Neil didn’t really either. It wasn’t like he was going to have hid it his entire career. There had been a few scenarios planned out -
Oh. Oh. That was why he was unsettled. He’d actually come to really like Eve, she was a borderline friend. And she was going to be so, so pissed off.
Eve woke up to 87 text messages on her phone. She was in a group chat with her old sorority sisters that sometimes blew up, but she didn’t think that was it. A family member could be dead or something.
But her ‘Neil-Josten-has-done-something-stupid’ senses were flaring up. So with a look to her alarm clock, Eve simply hit the Snooze button and slept for another ten minutes. Ten minutes in which she could pretend her client wasn’t trying to give her an aneurism.
The first story on Facebook’s sidebar was simple. If someone were to hover over the link, a slightly more detailed description appeared.
Neil Josten’s Big Reveal
Last night, the Falconers’s starting striker shocked the Exy industry by coming out as a ‘queer’ individual on Twitter. Click for more information.
It wasn’t funny. The fallout was the kind of thing that Eve would have laughed at if it wasn’t her job on the line. Her former job, anyway. She ignored Josten’s first call, especially since it had been only ten minutes after her boss had let her go. The second call an hour later, she’d picked up on. At least Josten had remembered to reach out to her, even if it was too little, too late.
To Eve’s humiliation, her voice cracked a little bit. Neil and Andrew were the least outwardly affectionate couple she’d ever seen, and Andrew never showed emotion around her, so it was somewhat surprising how well Neil responded to her.
“How’s everyone taking it? What’s the next step? I know I didn’t follow the plan –“
Eve cut him off, not wanting to draw out the conversation when it really didn’t pertain to her anymore.
“I’m not sure. Someone else will be reaching out to you later this morning.”
There was a pause before Neil responded in a statement that was more of a demand than a question, “What.”
“I’m not your publicist. I’m not a part of the firm anymore.”
Before she could say another sentence, Neil cut her off.
“I’ll be over in half an hour.”
Gesturing Neil and Andrew inside her apartment was strangely soothing – an action she’d been doing at least once a week for more than a year. But right now she couldn’t sum up the energy for a sarcastic smile or even a glare.
She had also had three vodka cranberries before ten AM, but she figured given the circumstances it was allowed. Based on Neil’s expression and robotic body language, he was clearly uncomfortable. So he had figured out – not too difficult – that his announcement on Twitter had been the thing that led to Eve being fired.
The one to break the awkward silence was Andrew.
“Neil’s hiring you as an independent publicist without a firm. Contract didn’t say your old firm was required. Can we drink now?”
Eve couldn’t really come up with a reaction. This was – she had thought there would be maybe a brief ‘bye, it’s been mediocre’. Instead, Neil Josten was sitting in front of her and looking like he wanted to actually murder someone.
“You don’t get to get fucked over. I have blackmail material on your boss and his second. Related to the company and related to his home life. If you want back in, we’ll make it happen. If you don’t, you’re hired. I have a few people in the area who owe me favors, if you want to go an entirely different route.”
And yeah, Eve never thought she’d tear up when someone offered to break the law and maybe kill someone on her behalf.
Eve was the one who spoke to the press, obviously. It wasn’t too long, just a brief statement conveying Neil Josten’s sincerity and his support from the Falconers. There were a few not-so-veiled jabs at certain news stations who had already reported on the reveal in a distasteful – ahem, fucking homophobic – manner. Eve figured that when Neil was ready he could clarify the demisexual thing, if he ever even wanted to. It fell under the ‘queer’ umbrella after all.
The support and enthusiasm following his announcement was the only thing Eve showed Neil and Andrew. They obviously knew a ton of people were being massive assholes –
After all, when a fan had tweeted at Neil asking why he wouldn’t support Trump when the president could ‘get the queers off the court’, Josten had simply responded ‘well seeing as I’m one of those queers, it could affect my playing’
- yeah, Andrew and Neil knew about the negative responses. But Eve would swear on her grave that Andrew hadn’t smiled, exactly, but taken on a non-murder-happy expression when she’d given them the letter from a middle school fan who had thought he couldn’t play because he liked boys.
Eve was flying high, feeling like a younger, hotter Kellyanne Conway –
Until someone burst into Neil and Andrew’s apartment, where Eve had been seated across from them eating pretzels and watching “Chopped”.
“I swear to god, you fuckers made me lose a bet for the first time since my freshman year at Palmetto, I’m going to strangle –“
Eve was so, so in love with the terrifying, beautiful blonde who seemed unfazed by the knife Andrew had thrown into the wall a foot away from her head.
Chapters won't be coming out this fast on a regular basis - I'm home for spring break and have way too much time on my hands. As always, let me know what you think! xx
The woman – goddess, queen of Eve’s heart, apple of her eye – was apparently named Allison. She and Neil were walking around in the kitchen, apparently putting together dinner. Eve barely glanced down when one of the cats Neil and Andrew had adopted a few weeks ago jumped on to her lap. Instead, she was unashamedly looking over the back of the couch with her arms crossed and her chin propped up on them.
When Sir loudly meowed at her, Eve halfheartedly began petting the cat. But Allison and Neil were now bending over as they pulled out ingredients and oh my god those Lulu Lemon leggings were doing fantastic things for Allison’s –
“I am so gay. Just… so, so gay.”
When Eve glanced over to Andrew, she was able to catch half a second of him also looking in the direction of the other two, his line of sight predictably aligning with Neil’s ass.
In a rare moment of attempted solidarity, Eve held up her hand for a fist bump, seeing as her statement clearly applied to Minyard as well. Instead of responding, he only shifted his expression into something murderous and glared at the offered hand. Unbothered by his animosity, Eve shrugged and held up her other hand to bump her own fist. Why would she leave herself hanging?
Allison seemed even taller than Eve, which was sort of surprising since she had always been the tallest girl in class and at the office at 5’11. They were both blonde, and Allison was tan where Eve was pale and freckled, but they would be the most intimidating couple ever when they walked into a room.
“Josten said you’re his publicist? My condolences for the future gray hair.”
Eve was struggling not to send heart eyes at the past teammate that Andrew and Neil had played with at Palmetto. It was probably weird to be turned on and infatuated with someone because they were scary and mean. Didn’t stop her at all though. And Jenna hadn’t so much as talked to her ever since Neil had hired her independently, so she was thirsty as fuck. To her immense satisfaction, she managed to keep her voice to a low, sarcastic tone.
“I’ve got a fantastic salon on speed-dial, as long as I don’t have to resort to Botox I’ll stick around.”
Allison raised an eyebrow at that, and Eve could see that standing behind her Neil had a smarmy little smirk on his face. So he had obviously already figured him out. Allison had turned to open drawers, evidently looking for silverware, so Eve nonchalantly raised her hand to tap just below her own collarbone.
Andrew might have stuck a knife between her fourth and fifth rib if he had seen the action, but he was looking down at his phone. Neil’s eyes widened before a slight blush covered his face. His source of embarrassment was obvious of course, considering Eve was reminding him that earlier his hoodie had slightly slipped off his shoulder and she’d gotten a clear view of a line of hickeys and bite marks on the same location she’d just gestured to.
Without looking up from his phone, Andrew said in a monotonous voice, “How long is the bitch planning on staying?”
Both Eve and Allison responded at the same time.
“Fuck you, monster –“
“I will get rid of all of your ice cream –“
Both of the women stopped, and Neil’s amused snort was loud in the sudden silence. Andrew interrupted it with a disinterested drawl when he said, “Harris is a parasite. I was addressing Reynolds.”
It would be bad to gloat. Very bad if Eve wanted to woo the gorgeousness of Allison Reynolds. So she ducked her head to hide her satisfaction and began paying more attention to Sir, which of course called King over to jump up and rub against her. Christ, getting the cat hair off of cashmere was going to fucking suck.
Allison let out a scoff, but didn’t actually sound very offended by the statement. Andrew, however, for some reason was feeling chatty. So of course he decided to spill Eve’s life story and secrets she didn’t even know he knew without her permission.
“She’s a Fox. Thrown out of the house by the religious stepdad, foster parents, and a druggie dad. Fits right in.”
Eve literally stared, her mouth slightly open. As if sensing that she was about to have a meltdown that could possibly lead to fatal blood loss a la Andrew, Neil left the kitchen and walked over to the couch, tugging on a piece of Eve’s hair and saying in somehow-friendly but mocking voice, “Fits right in.”
Eve was still a little overwhelmed by the last few minutes, so she stood up and grabbed her bag. After a moment of consideration, she vindictively grabbed the rest of the pretzels, too – which she knew were Neil’s favorite. Flicking the side of Neil’s head and exaggeratedly looking down at him, she pulled out her phone and checked her schedule.
“I’m announcing an official question and answer on your Twitter for tomorrow afternoon. I’ll be there and everything has to go by me. Better brainstorm tonight, Josten.”
With what she knew was an obnoxious flick of her hair over her shoulder, she strode towards the door. After opening it, she paused for a second. Considering it for a few seconds, Eve made the decision to yank the knife embedded in the wallpaper out of the wall, and slipped it into her purse. Not bothering to turn around, she called over her shoulder, “Letting you know I’ll use this to cut up kale and spinach, Minyard.”
Andrew hadn’t come to her apartment for the Q and A session Neil was scheduled to do. Eve wasn’t stupid, she knew that Neil and Andrew had probably gone over what they did and didn’t want to discuss. Eve would be approving or vetoing the tweets Neil was making, but she wouldn’t write any of them herself. This was about her client, and considering the topic that was likely going to get the most attention – well, it was really Neil that the fans should be able to converse with, in a sense.
The hashtag #AskJosten was trending at number one, and the thousands and thousands of questions that had been asked had gone through Eve. She’d pulled out about two-hundred and had showed them to Neil, letting him pick and choose what he wanted to answer. But now that it was time to actually begin, Eve saw the tiniest bit of stiffness in Neil’s shoulders. Trying to put him a little bit at ease, she spoke in what she hoped was a casual voice.
“You’re allowed to address some of the negative questions. And you don’t need to censor your clap backs. If anything, everyone will think it’s a riot.”
Neil shrugged and continued scrolling through the options he could start with, finally sending out the official tweet.
Neil Josten @njostenexy
Starting the half hour long Q and A - #AskJosten
4:30 PM – 112 likes - 27 retweets
The questions were pouring in, but going back to the ones Neil had already thought over made it much easier in the beginning.
Emmy Jane @emjallday998
How’s everything been since the reveal??? Is anyone on your team giving you a hard time? #AskJosten
12:14 PM – 5 likes - 6 retweets
Neil Josten @njostenexy
Everyone on the team knew and the Falconers have been good about it - #AskJosten
4:34 PM – 2,759 likes – 2,013 retweets
At this point Eve decided to simply watch what Neil was doing – after all the shit he’d put her through (and she suspected as a subtle apology for talking about her home life last night) – he wasn’t going to give her much trouble. They’d agreed she should go over some of the more scathing responses, but other than that, she was mostly there as support.
If it’s cool for me to ask, where are you in the LGBTQIA community? #LGBTQIAExyFan #AskJosten
2:59 PM – 487 likes - 611 retweets
Neil Josten @njostenexy
Not one of the initials. Closest label is probably demi - #AskJosten
4:37 PM – 12,919 likes – 18,004 retweets
Eve raised an eyebrow when Neil glanced at her, but his nonchalant shrug made it clear that he’d already decided to come out as demisexual. Whatever he wanted to reveal was his decision. Unless there were like, nude pictures involved.
But of course, Neil decided to start strong when it came to verbally eviscerating some of the assholes who no doubt were upset by the fact a ‘queer’ could play Exy better than they could ever hope to.
How many other players are fucking guys – need to know which teams to stop watching #AskJosten
3:19 PM – 17 likes - 11 retweets
Neil Josten @njostenexy
Well I couldn’t count for you, JJ. Many of the capable and incredible female players, I’m sure, and some of the guys. (1/2) #AskJosten
4:42 PM – 33,692 likes – 32,465 retweets
Neil Josten @njostenexy
But I’m only fucking one player who identifies as male. (2/2) #AskJosten
4:43 PM – 48,233 likes – 41,114 retweets
Eve at this point flicked his shoulder, making him meet her eyes before she calmly said, “Since you just confirmed you’re in a relationship, there’s going to be massive speculation. Are you and Andrew coming out as a couple?”
Neil wrinkled his nose, which looked far too adorable for a man who professionally played a contact sport and had probably killed people. But when he said, “He doesn’t care, but I don’t want people in our business yet. And the guessing is going to be hilarious. People are gonna lose their shit.”
Eve nodded sagely. People were indeed going to lose their minds. And it would indeed be hilarious. So she let him get back to it. But when she saw a smirk cover his face, she knew he’d found something. When he began searching twitter and pulling up other names, she realized what he was doing. And then she started hysterically laughing.
Princess Allison @areynoldsontwitter
Hey baby, how’s that boyfriend of yours? <3 #AskJosten
4:20 PM – 3,497 likes – 4,199 retweets
Neil Josten @njostenexy
He’s probably going to murder you if/when he sees that. I think he’s sleeping atm #AskJosten
4:50 PM – 24,230 likes – 23,365 retweets
Allison Reynolds’s twitter immediately began filling up with questions and demands as to how she knew about Neil’s boyfriend, and Eve finally quieted down in time to ponder the actual possibility of the socialite being killed by Andrew. She always heard him and Neil going back and forth with random percentages, so for the sake of joining them she decided it was 32%.
Teresa Michaels @tmichaelsonair
So Mr. Josten, any comments about the media backlash and how or if it will affect your playing? #AskJosten
3:59 PM – 9,204 likes – 6,293 retweets
Neil Josten @njostenexy
I don’t give a fuck about the backlash. And I’m the top scoring striker of this season, so I think I’ll be alright #AskJosten
4:55 PM – 33,121 likes – 29,576 retweets
Before Neil could answer another question or two, a massive fucking bomb was dropped.
Jeremy Knox @jknoxexygriffin
Was it on purpose that you came out six days before @jeanmoreauexy and I were going to announce our relationship? #AskJosten
4:58 PM – 78,232 likes – 75,381 retweets
Jeremy Knox @jknoxexygriffin
We’ve been planning with PR for months, Josten #AskJosten
4:59 PM – 76,001 likes – 75,155 retweets
The attention after Knox’s announcement took a ton of the media’s notice away from Neil and redirected it towards the two Griffins players, who had continued to firmly confirm their status as a couple and shortly respond that their lives were personal.
Of course that didn’t stop reporters from crossing some lines, and although Eve was pissed on their behalf, it wasn’t like she could do anything. Eve was always present during press after Falconers games when Neil was featured on the panel. It wasn’t so much that she didn’t trust him – he was still a little less reckless after she’d been fired by her old firm – but there was always the chance that she’d step in to clarify or reiterate his statements.
She went off script two weeks later.
Neil had forgotten that Eve could be straight up ruthless. He considered her a close friend at this point – maybe the same level as some of the Foxes had been. She was professional the majority of the time, but whenever their serious business and her work was completed she relaxed and they would hang out. It probably wasn’t smart of them, but Eve was good at her job and he wasn’t ever going to throw away friends for the sake of professionalism.
He got to see her softer side, and he hadn’t remembered that she had a very, very different other side.
When the reporter spoke up over the loud group in front of Neil, everything froze.
“Wesninski, any comment on your sexual relationship with another player you mentioned, and any comment on their identity?”
He felt his throat slightly tighten up. Neil hadn’t heard that name in what was now years, and if he’d expected it a little more he would have been fine. But this had come out of nowhere and he was already exhausted and off-kilter by the close loss the Falconers had just experienced. Eve’s voice as she walked up to the microphone startled him out of the path his mind had been winding down.
“Sir, I believe you’re mistaken. My client’s last name is ‘Josten’, something I would have expected someone who had done any research or even watched an exy game to know, unless you couldn’t read the back of his jersey.
Jonathon Barrett, correct? You worked at the New York Post before you were let go for an inflammatory and unprofessional article concerning a homosexual individual you were supposed to be interviewing without added bigotry. And now you’ve moved on to a small gossip rag whose recent poll revealed that nearly 75% of their readers didn’t support gay marriage.
Unfortunately, we can’t afford to allow incompetent and irrelevant individuals in the press room when your seat should be given to someone more professional. I’m not sorry to inform you that you won’t be allowed into the next panel. My client will no longer be taking any questions that aren’t related to the professional national sport that he is handsomely paid to play. Next question.”
Eve was silent as she drove back to her house following the press junket Neil had just had to go through. There were absolutely no regrets. And even without Neil’s heads up, she would have expected Josten and Minyard to already be sitting on her couch, watching TV while a certain goalie ate the last of her ice cream like the utter bastard he was.
Andrew’s raised eyebrows when she walked in gave her heart palpitations, what with it being one of the few times his expression had ever shifted away from bored apathy around her.
“You aren’t useless after all, Harris.”
Eve positively beamed in response, knowing this was the closest Andrew would ever come to approval. And fuck no, she wasn’t useless. To be honest, she didn’t even want to imagine where Josten would be without her. Probably the top trending name on Perez Hilton or something.
“I’m honored to hear that. Your nutritionist wants to murder you, by the way.”
Neil smiled at her and looked entirely amused when he said, “Can you do that more often? There was a bet among the Foxes after I told them about you about when you’d finally snap. Allison won.”
Eve collapsed onto her most comfortable chair, dramatically swooning as she said, “And how is the queen of my heart?”
Andrew looked slightly repulsed, but Neil’s expression changed into a smirk when he said, “She asked about you, actually.”
Eve gaped and of course her voice went high and urgent when she said, “Oh my god, what’d she say? Neil, don’t leave a girl hanging!”
Before Neil said anything, Andrew swallowed a mouthful of ice cream and nonchalantly said, “I’m coming out as Neil’s – something.”
Both Neil and Eve silently gaped at him. Holy. Fucking. Shit.
"I don't fucking care if you pay me, I'm getting in on this."
Eve had almost choked on her own spit when Neil had cheerfully called her to let her know his idea on how he and Andrew would be making their relationship public. After she had discussed it further with Andrew and Neil – well. It had been pretty clear what Andrew’s reason for wanting to do it was.
Andrew fucking Minyard was jealous.
Eve didn’t want to die, so there was no way she would ever call him on it, but his short, harsh comment of “The questions about your boyfriend are irritating” was a clear indicator. Neil had been on the edge of panic for ten minutes, constantly asking Andrew over and over again if he was sure about it and if he had thought Neil was pressuring him. The eye roll he had received from Minyard in response to that had been so full of exasperated annoyance that Eve herself was impressed. She’d practicing her own in the mirror later that night.
But now she was at Neil and Andrew’s place, helping Neil edit the document that would be no doubt breaking the fucking internet in half an hour. Andrew didn’t give a shit about how they’d be announcing his relationship, so Neil and Eve were taking it by storm.
Eve by now knew that Josten was a shit-starter. But this was kind of beyond anything she could have imagined. And she was so, so proud of him. His fascination with the internet and social media was a pain in her ass at times, but this was going to be beautiful.
Eve had always liked a little chaos. And now she didn’t have to worry about ever getting fired, so. Bring it on.
Finally, after they’d gone through it again and again, Eve nudged Neil’s shoulder where he was sitting beside her on the couch.
“I think it’s ready for impact, Josten.”
Neil smiled – a sight that was always disgustingly heartwarming to see – and nodded. Pulling up another few tabs, he pasted what they’d written onto the website.
After pressing “Post” all three of them took shots.
5 Times Neil Josten and Andrew Minyard Basically Came Out, and 1 Time They Officially Did.
Author: Neil Josten
- When the Russian assumed obscenities a few fans who were given exclusive tickets to attend pre-season training saw were reminders to get groceries. (Andrew did not, in fact, get everything on the list.)
- That time that Neil Josten almost broke Mark Johnson’s face after Andrew Minyard had received an illegal check the quarter before.
- Basically every look between the two that screamed tension. (Spoiler alert: it was tension of a different kind.)
- When they matched at the last Falconers charity event. Come on.
- Everything ever said by former teammates from the Palmetto Foxes.
- When they published this announcement on Buzzfeed that they have been in a committed relationship for almost 7 years.
The article was accompanied by a picture from the last Falconers game, in which Neil Josten was smiling widely at Andrew Minyard during half time, and was receiving a glare in return.
The internet exploded. And the attention didn’t seem to ever end. Eve was actually really impressed with the overall reception to the announcement. There were bigots, of course, and speculation from journalists about whether or not the relationship affected their games negatively. But overall, people were supportive.
And really, really excited.
Tumblr Search Results: Neil Josten
Oh my god oh my ggOOOODd these two are fucking riculous and ridiculously ffFUCKING
#rivalry my ass #when your obscure OTP comes true
Your fave is problematic: Neil Josten
The guy is an actual meme – and had to ask Twitter what a meme was
He is literally too attractive like put on a paper bag NEIL
Abuses reporters in a crusade against fuckheads
ANNOUNCES A HOMOSEXUAL RELATIONSHIP AS A PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE ON FUCKING BUZZFEED
#Neil Josten #Exy #Falconers #Andrew Minyard
Tumblr Search Results: Andrew Minyard
This fucking cinnamon roll who would 100x kill you is in a relationship with and LOVING NEIL I_AM_ADORABLE_AND_SCARY JOSTEN! Like oh my fucking god this is literally fic. There were RPFs for them YEARS AGO. I will sell my gay soul to satan to hear more about them
#andreil #I’m crying #Andrew Minyard #My fave goalie #Neil Josten
You: Minyard and Josten are dating
Me, an intellectual: Andrew Joseph Minyard and Neil Josten are in a committed, long term relationship in which they probably kiss each other on the nose every morning in the sunlight and ffucKING KILL ME
#Neil Josten #Andrew Minyard #Exy #Falconers
Your fave is problematic: Andrew Minyard
Plays exy like half the time and spends the other half of games just fucking around
Terrifies and inspires lust at the same time like fuck you
Says he hates Neil Josten
Probably fucking LOVES NEIL JOSTEN
Has been in a relationship since like college oh my god you jock
#Andrew Minyard #Exy #Neil Josten #Falconers #RIP the internet
Getting a call on a Sunday was something Eve really, really tried to avoid. Sunday was her day to melt into the couch and watch shitty 90’s movies. And after seeing it was Andrew? Well. She was prepared for a shitshow.
Instead she was simply given an address that she had to show up to. There was no indication that it was a formal event or anything, so she arrived in sweats and a loose t-shirt emblazed with her high school’s volley ball team.
Neil walked up to her, wearing his best ‘pitiful’ look, so finally Eve voiced in a pissed off voice,
“What the fuck am I doing here? Did one of you get arrested or something? You don’t pay me enough for bail. And if so, we would be at the station, not a goddamn court house.”
What made the situation so much more awkward was that Neil and Andrew looked good. Not in suits or anything, but both were wearing nice jeans and button downs. Yeah, he was a homophobic dickbag, but some of the lessons her stepdad had instilled in her had stuck: like the fact that it was always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
Like she was right the fuck now. And in a public place no less. For Christ sake, she had on no makeup and probably looked like a Dalmatian with all of her freckles on display.
Andrew walked over to them and gave her an unimpressed look – which, rude, considering she had bothered to show up at all. Neil finally handed her a stack of papers in an incredibly casual manner. Eve was expecting to look down and see some sort of sponsorship contract to approve.
Instead, it was a marriage license, the signature for a witness still needing to be filled.
She would not scream. Eve Harris would not screech and jump up and down in a public place where the three of them were already getting weird looks. So she bit down on her lip and kept her reaction to a muffled, high pitched sound.
When she was under control, she said in an embarrassingly emotional voice, “Neil, can I hug you?”
Neil looked at her as if it was a strange request and Andrew rolled his eyes. After receiving a nod in response, she crushed the man to her chest and kissed the top of his hair. Being eight inches taller than Neil kind of made it awkward, but she figured the barely-existing boobs his face was now squished against wouldn’t even register in his Andrew-addled mind.
She released him and turned to Andrew, who glared at her as if daring to see what would happen if she asked him the same question. So with a slightly more composed tone she said, “Can I high five you?”
The glare and harsh “no” she received was his version of a heartfelt statement – at least Eve would like to think so.
Without bothering to stop and read the papers in front of her, she simply pressed the documents against the wall and took the pen from Neil’s hand before she signed all of the places that she was required to.
Looking back at them as she handed the packet back, she switched into a more professional mode when she said, “Is this going to be public? Would you want to make an announcement?”
Andrew snorted and Neil shrugged before the redhead answered, “No, not anytime soon. But not being allowed into hospital rooms was annoying. And our bank was offering a better credit program for joint married accounts.”
Eve stared at him, and after a ten second pause she voiced her thoughts.
“You guys are fucking weird.”
Neil hated doing any sort of live interview. Eve wasn’t stupid – she wasn’t going to pressure her best paying – and okay, only – client into doing something he didn’t want to. After the reveal that Neil and Andrew were together, the press had been nothing short of relentless. They didn’t get anything out of Andrew, obviously.
Even the nosiest of reporters began to feel awkward after a solid two minutes of Andrew’s completely blank stare when he was asked about Neil.
But at this point, it would be incredibly beneficial for Neil to take advantage even a little bit of all of the hype. It would boost his popularity and make his name a little more widespread. By extension, there was the possibility of more sponsorship deals. After the reveal of course Eve had to deal with an absurd number of companies that wanted their campaigns to include a queer sports star. She was careful to figure out which companies genuinely were involved in the LGBTQIA community and those that just wanted to capitalize on the idea that they were inclusive.
The moment any company pressed for a shirtless ad despite the very clear clause in Neil’s contract that he wouldn’t do anything like that, Eve released her inner condescending bitch. Knowing that Neil wouldn’t’ fire her was kind of the best. It was like she had a free pass to do whatever the hell she wanted.
Plus, the grins she got in response to her sharp defensiveness from Neil were worth it. She knew that Neil could literally fucking kill her and probably get away with it, but when he genuinely smiled he was cute enough that she wanted to wrap him in a blanket and make him grilled cheese and a Long Island Iced Tea –
- this was why Eve should never, ever be a mother.
Neil’s notoriety when it came to Twitter was a hit with almost everyone. Even people who didn’t seem to be Exy fans or even really like Neil were entertained by his social media presence. Andrew had created a Twitter account a week after the announcement that they were together, but it wasn’t verified and only had fourteen followers while the only thing he had posted so far was a picture of Sir Fat Cat McCatterson.
Which, you know. Wasn’t even a fraction of the shit he could have pulled.
To be honest, Eve had no idea why it wasn’t written into Andrew’s contract that he needed a PR manager. Probably since he iced out reports, versus Neil who tried to make her life a fucking nightmare all the time, holy fuck, Josten.
But this was an opportunity that Eve was going to push on. She’d forced Neil to watch a few episodes so he would know what he was in for. For the most part he actually found Jimmy Kimmel to be funny, so his resistance was mostly for show. Such a drama queen.
But the “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” trend was taking off, and not seizing the opportunity to accept the offer when Kimmel’s people had made it would be absolutely moronic. Neil had been all pout-y but Eve was used to his bullshit, so she’d done nothing but flicked a blueberry at him when he had tried to pull the ‘I get anxious in the spotlight’ bullshit.
So now Eve was with Neil, coaching him through some of the subjects that might come up. She’d spoken with Kimmel personally – which holy fuck oh my god she spoke to Jimmy Kimmel – and he had been adamant about the fact that there wouldn’t be anything legitimately upsetting like mentions of his past or anything even vaguely homophobic.
Neil liked to think he could hide his emotions, but the guy also went on rants when he was even slightly provoked. Half of it was anger, and the other half was totally his love for starting drama.
The fucker had shaved ten years off of her life already. But he was also one of her closest friends now, so when he did absurd shit Eve tried to slip into ‘friend mode’ so she could be equally amused instead of kneeing him in the balls.
Plus, Andrew might actually stab her if she ever tried that.
Neil had jerked so violently away from the makeup artist behind the scenes that Eve had almost choked from laughing too hard, but when she’d been able to gain her composure again she’d tried to look serious. After all, Neil had given Allison her number last week. So far they’d only talked about Neil and Andrew and griped, but – Andrew had been not-so-subtle and a complete bro when he’d mentioned that she’d dated a girl at Palmetto before an amicable break up.
Neil and Andrew were instigating assholes at times, but Eve would fight anyone that ever said anything bad about them. They were her annoyances.
When Neil finally got behind the camera that would film and later play on the show, he was slightly tense. Not exactly nervous, but more along the lines of uneasy. Eve knew a little bit about his history, so she wasn’t dismissive of it, but she knew if she showed any kind of sympathy Neil would straight up punch her.
When he was finally on camera and filming, however, the entire segment became the sort of thing that Eve could have only fucking dreamed of.
I Don’t Care @livingwithajunkie03
Let’s all agree that Josten is a fucking pain in the ass
1:16 PM – 7 likes – 3 retweets
I Don’t Care @livingwithajunkie03
Neil Josten needs to get a hobby other than being overly dramatic
8:19 PM – 3 likes – 1 retweets
I Don’t Care @livingwithajunkie03
If anyone wanted to describe Josten as an idiot with no self preservation you'd be right
8:24 PM – 10 likes – 8 retweets
Neil read the first two tweets aloud and snorted then scowled, but after reading the third tweet and staring at the card for a second too long, he looked up at the camera with a confused expression that may or may not have made Eve cackle.
“This is my husband’s account.”
Eve honestly didn’t get it. Neil should not have been getting as notorious as he was. Sports stars occasionally made headlines, yeah, but not this often. Especially for Exy – a sport that wasn’t as popular as football or hockey. There was more of a younger crowd who watched, but again – athletes weren’t celebrities.
Neil Josten was proving to be an exception. He was the constant darling of Buzzfeed and his fanbase on tumblr had exploded – the latter was a bit more understandable, seeing as his status as the first LGBTQIA star had made him a topic of constant discussion.
Kimmel had been gracious enough to ask explicit permission about showing the fucking reveal of Neil and Andrew’s marriage that the moron had revealed. Neil had called Andrew, and the other man hadn’t been concerned or really cared about the decision. So of course Neil told Jimmy Kimmel to go ahead and drop an enormous bomb on the internet.
The video had been trending, and what made even more of an impact was that there hadn’t been any indication that the “celebrities Read Mean Tweets” segment featuring nine other people besides Neil was anything special. But once people had watched it, panicked, rejoiced, and shared it on Facebook everyone knew. It had been the number one video on Youtube the day after it was dropped, and Eve had been fielding constant calls and emails from people who wanted Neil for interviews or segments on their shows.
Neil hadn’t really seemed enthusiastic about any of them, so for now Eve had been letting others know that he wouldn’t be making appearances. The only offer that had made him react in any way was when Jimmy Fallon had reached out, to which Neil had written him an email back personally.
The line “I don’t want to be contaminated by the disease, bigotry, and assholishness that you might have acquired when you played with the hair of a dictator and tried to make him look likable” might have been in the midst of said email.
Neil had sent it before she could look it over. But – you know. Eve wasn’t too upset by it. But right now, she was staring down at an email someone had sent to her personal account. To be honest, she had no fucking idea how they had gotten her information. Probably Neil. But the content had made her fucking day.
Subject: Our Sunshine Son
Dear Eve Harris –
Though I’m angry that you didn’t directly contact me regarding a joint custody arrangement regarding your client Neil Josten, Dan has told me via Allison that you’re cool and viciously protective of him. So we’re okay.
More importantly, it has come to my attention that there is a distinct lack of recent material on Neil’s Facebook page – which now has millions of likes. So I thought I could put something together to celebrate the holy matrimony between him and the monster.
Here is the link. And not to guilt trip you, but I worked really hard on it.
When Eve clicked on the link and saw the video on Youtube – which only had 120 views so far – she was pretty sure she pulled a muscle from laughing too hard.
24 hours later, it had 3,485,009 views.
The description simply said, “Congrats”
The video featured twenty short clips of Neil and Andrew tripping each other at practice, yelling at each other during games, and shitting on each other during interviews. Throughout the video, the music playing in the background got louder and louder before finally going silent in time for the clip of Neil’s confused baby deer expression and “this is my husband’s account” played.
“TURN DOWN FOR WHAT.”
It had been a long day. That was Eve’s excuse. She’d been working her ass off since 9 AM to finish up her spreadsheet of investors that would pay for Neil’s sponsorship as well as which magazines wanted to feature him, his team, etc.
So when the latest email came in that featured worrying content, her first response was to almost choke from laughing on the Dorito she had just put in her mouth.
She had to meet with the head of Neil’s finance team? The stupid fuck was raking in what was quite honestly an absurd amount of money for tossing a rubber ball around – and having nice abs. Eve was as straight as a rainbow, but even she could acknowledge that the man was fucking game ovaries. Or game… okay… so she didn’t have a phrase for it, but Neil was hot, so she knew that his sponsorship offers had been drastically increasing.
The guy who sat in front of her and made her feel supremely stupid for turning down offers was a dick. That was a summation of the experience. Eve had argued eloquently enough for some of the heat to be taken off, but it had still felt like she’d been scolded by a parent. The change in Neil’s contract was equally surprising. Neil hadn’t done ads that required clothes to be taken off – it was a given. Eve had considered Neil a friend for almost a year – she’d seen the scarring and knew the basic story behind it. She would never, ever push him to do something revealing for the sake of cash. But apparently Neil’s finance team had convinced him to do just that.
Holy shit, Mr. Moriyama freaked her out.
Subject: Josten, of fucking course
Okay, why is literally everyone around Neil a fucking intimidating human being? I ’ m trying here, I ’ ve practiced my glaring and everything, but fucking hell this boy is a danger magnet
Subject: eighth wonder of the world
Dan just said it was because like finds like. Neil is a disaster that we all love dearly because he is also a fragile and vulnerable hunk of spun silk, but the dude has some ties from the past that are fucking creepy, as I ’ m sure you know.
Subject: weirdos we associate with
Alright well his financial team is creepy as fuck. Mr. Moriyama was a fucking statue. Every time I fidgeted I thought he was going to light me on fire.
You need to talk to Neil now and let him know
Eve practically stumbled into Neil and Andrew’s apartment. They had evidently gotten used to her version of a knock – shrieking “it’s me” and making a thumping sound as she collapsed against the chipped paint of their front door. She was let in nearly immediately by Andrew, who raised his eyebrow a fraction of an inch.
God damn, that made her feel warm and fuzzy feelings than it should. But, like, Andrew reacted to her in any way whatsoever. He could have bitch-slapped her and –
Bad example. She’d probably whip out her stun-gun. But he could vaguely gesture at her and she would still be fucking pumped.
When she was fully inside of the apartment, Andrew went back to ignoring her as he usually did. But she’d been around often enough that he didn’t feel the need to track her movements anymore and even turned away from her when she was in their home.
Aw, it was their home. Eve always got the most disgustingly fond feeling when she thought about the fact that these two men had found each other. Neil and Andrew – she was sort of convinced he had a detailed outline of her murder, but she liked him anyway – deserved to have someone, and they were so bizarrely suited for each other.
When Eve saw Neil he was looking down at his phone with a headphone in one ear. He looked up at her and gave a nod of acknowledgement before fussing with the phone again. In a level voice he said, “I didn’t tell you, Allison says hi.”
Eve unthinkingly responded, “And how is the love of my life? Doing well?”
There was utter silence in response to her somewhat-joking response, and when Eve turned around entirely to see what had bothered Neil she saw him staring at her with wide eyes. He had headphones on. And was talking into the phone from a few feet away.
He was on speaker phone.
Eve needed to plan her funeral right now. Maybe decide on a location. Burial or cremation? She’d heard of some weird hippie shit where someone’s body was planted by a tree or something.
Either way, Eve was going to peace the fuck out and drink herself to death. Allison Fucking Reynolds – a woman she could admit she was pretty infatuated with – had just overheard her. Eve and Allison had been talking over text for a little while, but not nearly enough for Eve to be ‘joking’ about that kind of thing.
Without a pause, Eve strode towards the door to the apartment and shouted over her shoulder, “Alright, cool, bye, sorry, but bye!”
As the door slammed behind her, Eve remembered why she had been there in the first place – to go over some financial stuff with Neil. But it wasn’t urgent or whatever – she’d catch up with Neil soon. When her mortification became less of an ocean and more of a man-made lake.
I have a 'real life' job and have to be an adult, so I'm sorry if updates are slow! Let me know what you like, don't like, etc. Thanks for reading, lovelies! <3
The day after Eve had power walked out of – okay, it was fleeing from Neil and Andrew’s place – Neil had called her to make it clear they needed to talk as soon as soon as possible. Eve was petty, in fact it was probably one of her top five personality traits, but even if Neil was her friend he was ultimately her client. So when she went over to his place she came with her compilation of recent offers that she’d been given. However, the moment she sat down in his apartment it became apparent that he didn’t want to talk specifics about the recent developments she’d been giving him updates on.
“Stay away from the Moriyamas.”
Eve blinked in a manner she was fairly certain resembled a confused cat – she’d seent he expression on King often enough. So with a bit of trepidation in her voice she slowly drawled, “Does this have to do with your flaming distaste for the dude’s dead brother, or –“
Neil seemed more stressed than usual when he cut her off, firmly saying, “He isn’t a good person. Everything about their family is fucked up. You saw the investigation into the Ravens after what happened with Riko. The family is fucked.”
Eve felt as though something was crawling up her throat. It was a mixture of trepidation and worry on behalf of Neil.
“Something is going on, isn’t it? More than finances.”
Neil and Andrew exchanged a heavy glance that was more loaded with meaning than she had ever seen between them. After Andrew lifted an eyebrow and gave a minor shrug, Neil turned back to her and seemed more earnest than he’d been before.
“They are connected to the things from my past. They survey my earnings, which need to be as large as possible.”
Eve had of course heard all about Neil’s past before she had become his publicist. It took her a moment to consider the conversation and all of the ramifications that would ensue from her following actions. With a firm nod, she stood and said, “I’ll figure this out. Give me twenty-four hours.”
When Eve stood and began walking towards the door, Neil spoke up once again.
“Allison says you aren’t responding to her texts.”
Eve cringed and felt herself blush but managed to choke out, “I don’t want to ‘have the talk’ with her, you know. I won’t duck out forever.”
Neil made a faint noise that seemed like agreement, so Eve took it as a convoluted version of permission to stride out the door.
Eve sat across from Nike’s representatives regarding talent acquisition. Mr. Moriyama had told her that Neil had to take off his shirt if necessary for the sake of his funds, but Eve had spoken with Andrew, and she was about to deliver the most vicious fucking beatdown of all time.
“Ms. Harris, we made it fairly clear what we wanted from your client. Our parameters aren’t in any way difficult or overbearing. Plenty of athletes with scars have appeared in our ad campaigns.”
Eve made sure to keep her smile nothing but vicious when she responded, “We both know what your intention is. The knowledge of Neil Josten’s past is well-known, and everyone can assume that his upbringing has resulted in physical remnants of that point in his life. It isn’t necessary for Nike to feature a shirtless man for an advertisement regarding the athletic shorts and shoes that are to be featured. However, Neil Josten’s torso could easily be sensationalized or fetishized.”
The representative in front of her looked extremely offended – probably for being called out – but before he could speak Eve continued talking and revealed her ace in the hole.
“Mr. Josten will not appear in an ad campaign without a shirt. However, he is more than willing to be in a feature alongside Andrew Minyard. Their impact as influencers is incredible right now, and the ROI Nike will receive in a spread featuring the two of them would be astronomical. Whether you decide to go OOH or digital, you can’t deny that the two together will be immensely popular and generate the idea that your company is all-inclusive. The millennial group has been tested and shown to be the most receptive to homosexual relationships, and millennials are the primary focus as consumers for Nike. I believe my proposal is not only reasonable, but one that would be quite frankly absurd for you to turn down.”
Eve left the room with an incredibly smug and self-satisfied smile as well as a contract that was millions more than Neil’s simple shirtless ad would have produced.
When Harris wandered into his and Neil’s apartment with compete nonchalance, Andrew was incredibly angry for a moment.
This was his space. This was a place that had taken years to be comfortable in. He still had nights when he couldn’t sleep in the same bed as Neil, and this random upstart of a woman had decided to force herself into his – Christ, he hated using the word – home.
Harris wasn’t the worst he’d come across. She was discreet and she put Neil at ease – a trait that not many possessed. But her presence no doubt put Andrew on edge. It didn’t matter to him that she did her best to ‘protect’ Neil. That was his job. And the fame Neil had garnered had no impact on his life.
When she had come to him with her proposal of a plan that could eliminate the Moriyamas’ demand that Neil show scars he didn’t want to he couldn’t help but feel a pang of interest stronger than usual. Andrew truly didn’t care about sponsorships or anything having to do with exy, but Harris had figured out a way to make Neil feel more comfortable. So she wouldn’t be the first person he’d pull a knife on.
Regardless, Harris being in his space wasn’t something he would ever look forward to. When she wandered in she was dressed in her usual blazer and appropriate skirt, but as she opened her mouth to probably shout for Neil, she froze as she saw Renee sitting on the couch beside him.
“Hi. I’m Eve.”
Renee smiled serenely and shook the hand that had been extended toward her.
“Oh, you’re Allison’s Eve?”
Had Andrew been someone else, he would have laughed at the expression that covered Harris’s face.
“Do you know how offended I am right now? I had to take a commercial fucking flight to get here.”
Eve’s mouth was still slightly open, and she knew she had to look ridiculous with her utterly baffled expression while she stood in her kitchen, a spoonful of Special K halfway to her mouth. The plopping sound the cereal made when it slid off her spoon and splashed into the almond milk broke Eve out of her dumbfounded trance.
“You are… here?”
Okay. So she was still dumbfounded.
Eve was in pajamas, and Allison fucking Reynolds was somehow standing in her apartment looking dressed to the nines and hot as hell, tapping her foot impatiently with a patterned pink suitcase by her feet.
Allison snorted and rolled her eyes before striding over to the living room couch, throwing herself on it dramatically as she pushed her sunglasses up off of her face.
“Brilliant observation. Seriously though, what a letdown.”
Eve slowly walked over to her, sitting next to Allison on the couch but not touching her. Alright, so Allison had decided to show up in her apartment somehow because she was pissed about Eve being into her. Alright, she had to do some damage control – which was kind of her career. But before Eve could open her mouth, Allison pouted and spoke again.
“You flirted with me for months and I was so patient but you still didn’t make a move, and then you ghosted. I mean really, are you an acne-prone thirteen-year-old boy?”
Eve let out an indignant, somewhat offended squawk before Allison’s words actually hit her. Oh. Putting on her big girl pants, Eve took a deep breath in and out before she responded.
“Alright then. I really, really like you. I want to take you out on a date and – “
Allison cut her off with a snort before throwing one of her legs over Eve, straddling her lap.
“Took you long enough.”
And then Eve found herself kissing Allison Reynolds.
It was just as awesome as she’d thought it would be.
Neil almost didn’t pick up the phone when he saw that it was Allison calling. She’d been hounding him for the last few weeks and only relented when he had given her a key to Eve’s apartment.
In retrospect, he felt a little bit guilty about that. Keys had always held a significance for him, and even knowing that it wasn’t the same for Eve didn’t quell his uneasiness at allowing her personal space to be violated.
However, if he was remembering correctly this would be the day after Allison planned on confronting Eve, so with a sigh he answered the phone, thankful as hell that Andrew was out buying groceries. Which would likely be 50% desserts.
“Aw, Neil, no enthusiasm? I’m so hurt.”
He considered hanging up, something Allison clearly sensed, so she rushed to speak again.
“I wanted to say thanks. Everything worked out.”
Neil let out a relieved sigh, though strangely he didn’t know on whose behalf it was for. Eve was his friend. She was practically family at this point, but Allison had been his family as well. If the two of them hadn’t pulled their heads out of their asses, they both would have gotten hurt.
Or pouted. They were some of the pettiest people he had ever met, and seeing as it was coming from him, that was a hell of a declarative statement. Before he could wander deeper into his own thoughts, Allison interrupted him in a more upbeat tone.
“So you know how my cousin practically salivated to have you in his latest project since he’s a diehard exy fan?”
Neil felt trepidation grow, and in a reluctant voice he said, “Yes?”
“There’s this event, and I want to bring Eve but there’s no fucking way she’ll come if I can’t name drop someone she knows.”
Neil let out a low sigh. He wouldn’t bother asking Andrew to come, but he figured going to whatever kind of party or event Allison’s cousin had arranged wouldn’t be any worse than the reporters who constantly tried to get in his face.
“Aw, what a college throwback.”
When Allison had told her in a sleepy mumble from the other side of the bed that they would have to dress incredibly fancy today to meet her cousin, Eve had figured she’d gotten them reservations or access to some absurdly expensive place. So she’d donned her prettiest floor length dress and matched it with a pair of high heels. With Allison doing the same, the two of them would fucking tower over everyone else. But hey, Eve figured it was a new level of fantastic to be one half of a power couple that included two tall blondes.
However, as the car had gotten closer and closer to the place Allison had said they would be meeting him, Eve felt her nerves spike. This didn’t seem like a restaurant. This was looking eerily like some kind of highly publicized –
Allison had dragged Eve out of the car and into the fancy ballroom that was rife with photographers, and before she could truly compose herself, a man approached them.
Eve was pulled into a tight hug that left her nearly breathless, but when he pulled back he had a delighted expression on his face.
“So you’re Ally-Cat’s new squeeze. She gushed, I was embarrassed for her.”
Eve opened and closed her mouth a few times. Finally, she took a calming breath before whipping around.
“You could have told me he was Ryan FUCKING Reynolds!”
The head canon of Ryan and Allison being cousins originated on this absolutely fantastic thread: http://vvhymack.tumblr.com/post/162678573081/buckywithegoodhair-vvhymack
I only hope I did it justice xx
Following the gala, Eve had woken up to a hangover of epic proportions. A full on first-sorority-gathering level of destroyed. The first sound she was able to make was a strangled, high pitched whine that had not only woken Allison up but prompted the other woman to nearly cry through her laughter. Allison's delighted recounting of some of Eve's prime moments at the gala while multiple champagne flutes deep had not been helpful in the least.
“I… Deadpool was amazing! You looked so much better in the suit than Green Lantern. Not that you looked bad in the su - or attractive in the Deadpool - oh god, objectively, yes. But I'm with Allison. Gay for Allison. Oh god - did I just out -"
"Is Blake here? You're still so cool! But Blake... I mean, Blake."
Ryan Reynolds had at that point taken pity on her pitiful, flummoxed soul and launched into a rant in which he expressed his equal devotion to his wife, immediately pulling out his phone from his pocket - and Christ, why hadn't Eve thought to wear something with pockets, women’s dresses were so goddamn stupid - to show her some less-than-pristine candids of Blake fucking Lively.
Eve was a pile of utterly gay goo. Although that wasn’t exactly a hidden fact when a certain celebrity had pointed out her wistful longing and at times nearly explicit looks directed towards his cousin. Allison had looked stunning, beyond beautiful. And since Eve had always kind of had a thing for strong women, getting to see Allison’s killer biceps and overall lofty attitude to the guys who dared approach her had essentially made her briefly swoon.
Truthfully, she’d been kind of pissed, well, very pissed off that Allison had been less than honest about the night planned. Eve had made that clear when she had pulled the woman to the side and kept her voice even when she explained why it wasn’t okay. Eve had gotten used to Allison’s brash and at times haughty nature, but she was earnestly apologetic and acknowledged her error when Eve’s visible discomfort and upset was made clear.
Things with Allison were… well. Eve hadn’t ever felt this way about someone. She’d had ex-girlfriends, yeah, but it seemed like everything Allison did entranced her. They were weirdly comfortable. In a way that Eve didn’t think she would ever be with a significant other. Whether it was laughing at terrible buddy cop movies or separately lounging on the sofa with each of them reading a book or scrolling through a social media feed while their legs tangled - it was more than sex, and it sort of made up for the sense of strange longing and discomfort Eve had felt the past few years.
Plus, her takeaway from the gala was made one hundred times more positive when Andrew and Neil had given her a rundown of their own experience, with Neil utterly naive to the riot he’d likely caused.
Yes, Eve was aware that her feeling for Josten were now more ‘friendly’ than ‘client’ but the guy had so much fucking moxie and an attitude that rivaled Allison’s, so unfortunately when he caused media disasters, Eve’s initial response was a removed sense of enjoyment on the mayhem before her work-mask took place. At which point she wanted to throttle the little shit for making her life so much worse and causing at least 15 phone calls to individual editors and publishers to make sure his media coverage wouldn’t absolutely spiral.
Tumblr Search Results: Neil Josten
Soooooo… anyone want to verify that Neil and Andrew were casually chatting up David Schwimmer - a public fan of exy - and that Neil apparently called him ’the worst character on the friendship show’
#disasterneiljosten #washeraisedinabarn #omfg #canwegetagif
Individuals: Allison Reynolds and Ryan Reynolds
Jobs: Influencer/Fashion Designer and Actor/Director/Trophy Husband
Similarities: Petty, Obsessed with the Falconers
Differences: EVERYTHING ELSE
Outcome: THEY’RE RELATED?!?!?!?!!?!?!
#Neil Josten #Allison Reynolds #Palmetto Foxes #Ryan Reynolds #Exy #Providence Falconers #Deadpool #Shook
so like… anyone else find it suspicious that it was a full moon last night when neil like (based on TMZ pix so could totally be false) straight up dead eyed some random dude and overturned the champagne flute he was being offered lmao. i stg, werewolf. lunatic. getting edgy since he’s about to sprout a pelt. explains why he’s a quick boi problem starter
#Neil Josten #Celeb Gala #Werewolf #ABO #Fan Theory