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Love And Spotlight

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"I can put an end to all your problems." "And what exactly are my problems?" "I can get you back to the top. Make all your scandals disappear. People need to start talking positively about you again. All the lawsuits can be taken care of. And all this can happen with just a snap of my finger." "And what would you take in return?" "In return, you *ss would be mine!" "What?" "Just what you heard!" "You're so weird!" After working tirelessly to break free from his controlling parents and chase his dreams, Edwin Thorne finally ascended to the pinnacle of success. As one of the top actors in the country, he enjoyed money, fame, and a beautiful woman he planned to marry soon. But a dangerous scandal struck, and in a single day, he lost everything, leaving him mired in lawsuits and disgrace. Desperate to reclaim his former glory, Edwin encounters Lance Castellan, a billionaire footballer with the power to erase his scandals and restore his fame. Lance offers Edwin a chance to regain everything he lost, but the price is something Edwin is unsure he can give. Lance Castellan isn't just a wealthy athlete; he's a man obsessed with Edwin and willing to flaunt his immense wealth to get what he desires. In a battle of power, ambition, and desire, Edwin must decide if he's willing to pay the ultimate price to reclaim his life—or if some sacrifices are too great.

The Awakening

Edwin Kasper's eyes fluttered open, immediately assaulted by harsh sunlight streaming through unfamiliar curtains. His head pounded with the unmistakable throb of a hangover, each pulse sending waves of nausea through his body. As he struggled to focus, the plush comfort of high-thread-count sheets registered against his skin, a stark contrast to the chaos in his mind.

Where am I?

Slowly, the opulent surroundings of a luxury hotel suite came into focus. Crystal chandeliers hung from coffered ceilings, while ornate furniture dotted the spacious room. This wasn't his bedroom, nor any set he recognized. The air smelled of stale alcohol and something else—a cloying, metallic scent he couldn't quite place.

Edwin pushed himself up, wincing at the effort. His tailored suit from the previous night was wrinkled beyond salvation, the crisp white shirt now adorned with mysterious stains. As he swung his legs over the edge of the king-sized bed, a glint of red caught his eye.

There, on the plush carpet mere feet from where he sat, lay a woman. She was face-down, her cocktail dress riding up inappropriately. But it wasn't her position that made Edwin's blood run cold – it was the pool of crimson slowly spreading beneath her still form.

"Oh God," Edwin whispered, his voice hoarse and unfamiliar to his own ears. "Oh God, no."

He scrambled off the bed, nearly losing his balance as he rushed to the woman's side. With trembling hands, he reached out to check for a pulse, praying to a deity he'd long since stopped believing in.

A faint flutter against his fingertips sent a wave of relief through him, quickly replaced by rising panic. She was alive, but badly hurt. And he had no idea how or why.

As Edwin fumbled for his phone to call for help, fragmented memories from the night before flashed through his mind. A charity gala. Flowing champagne. His costar, Mike, insisting on just one more toast. After that... nothing. A complete blank.

The woman stirred, a low moan escaping her lips. Slowly, painfully, she turned her head. Edwin found himself staring into eyes wide with terror.

"Get away from me!" she screamed, her voice raw and filled with fear. "Don't touch me!"

Edwin recoiled as if struck. "I'm not... I didn't... What happened?"

But the woman's screams only intensified, piercing through the luxurious suite and surely alerting the entire floor to the unfolding drama.

As the sound of rapidly approaching footsteps echoed from the hallway, Edwin Kasper – Hollywood's golden boy, America's sweetheart – realized his life was about to change forever. And not for the better.

He stumbled backward, his emerald eyes wide with shock and confusion. The room seemed to spin around him, the lavish decor blurring into a dizzying whirl of colors. His gaze landed on a mirror across the room, and for a moment, he didn't recognize the man staring back at him.

His usually meticulously styled dark hair was a disheveled mess, sticking up at odd angles. There were dark circles under his eyes, and a small cut on his lower lip he didn't remember getting. But it was the expression on his face that truly startled him – a combination of fear, confusion, and something else... guilt?

No, he thought fiercely. I didn't do this. I couldn't have.

The door burst open, revealing two burly security guards, their faces smeared with concern and barely contained aggression. Close behind them, a petite woman in a crisp hotel uniform pushed her way into the room, her eyes widening as she took in the scene.

"Sir, step away from the lady," one of the guards commanded, his hand hovering near the taser at his belt.

Edwin raised his hands, stumbling backward. "I didn't... I don't know what happened," he stammered, aware of how guilty he must look – disheveled, confused, standing over an injured woman.

The hotel manager rushed to the woman's side, speaking in soothing tones as she assessed the situation. "It's alright, ma'am. You're safe now. Can you tell us what happened?"

The woman on the floor pushed herself up slightly, wincing in pain. Her mascara-streaked face contorted fused with agony and fury as she pointed a shaking finger at Edwin. "He... he attacked me," she choked out between sobs. "I told him no, but he wouldn't stop."

The accusation hung in the air, heavy and suffocating. Edwin felt the world tilt beneath his feet, disbelief warring with the growing horror in his gut.

"That's not... I would never..." he started, but the words died in his throat as he caught sight of his reflection in the mirror again. Blood – her blood – stained his shirt cuffs. Scratches he hadn't noticed before ran down his forearms.

The security guards moved forward, their expressions hardening. "Sir, you need to come with us," the second guard stated firmly.

As if on cue, two police officers appeared in the doorway, summoned by the hotel's efficient staff. Edwin watched, feeling oddly detached, as they conferred briefly with the manager before approaching him.

"Mr. Kasper?" one officer asked, though it was clear from his tone that he recognized the famous actor. "We're going to need you to answer some questions down at the station."

Edwin nodded numbly, his mind racing. This couldn't be happening. He wasn't that kind of man. He would never... But the evidence was damning, and the gaping hole in his memory offered no defense.

As the officers led him from the room, Edwin caught a glimpse of movement near the elevators. A small crowd had gathered, smartphones raised to capture Hollywood's latest scandal in real time. Among them, he spotted a familiar face – an entertainment reporter he'd once considered friendly.

Their eyes met for a brief moment. In that instant, Edwin knew his carefully constructed world was about to come crashing down around him. Every tabloid, every news channel, every social media platform would soon be plastered with his face and the most damaging headline of his career.

The golden boy had fallen, and the whole world would be watching.

As they walked towards the elevator, Edwin's mind whirled with the potential consequences. His new movie, set to start filming next month – would the studio pull out? The children's charity he'd worked with for years – would they distance themselves from him now? And Laura, oh God, Laura. His fiancée. How would she react to all this?

The elevator dinged, and as they stepped inside, Edwin caught his reflection once more in the mirrored walls. The man staring back at him looked like a stranger – pale, shaken, with eyes that seemed to plead for help.

Just yesterday, he had been on top of the world. Fan-favorite actor, philanthropist, soon-to-be husband to one of Hollywood's most beloved actresses. Now, in the span of a few confusing, terrifying hours, it was all crumbling around him.

As the elevator descended, so did Edwin's hopes. Each floor that passed felt like another nail in the coffin of his career, his reputation, his life as he knew it.

The doors opened to reveal a lobby teeming with even more reporters and curious onlookers. Camera flashes exploded in a dizzying barrage, momentarily blinding him. The screeching of shouted questions assaulted his ears:

"Edwin! Did you assault that woman?"

"Is this the end of your career?"

"What does Laura think about these allegations?"

Edwin lowered his head, allowing the officers to guide him through the crowd. He caught snippets of hushed conversations as they passed:

"I always knew there was something off about him..."

"Such a shame, he seemed like such a nice guy..."

"I bet it's drugs. It's always drugs with these Hollywood types..."

Each word was a dagger, piercing the careful image he'd built over years in the public eye. As they finally reached the police cruiser waiting outside, Edwin felt a sense of surreal detachment. This couldn't be real. Any moment now, he'd wake up from this nightmare.

But as the car door closed behind him and the flashing lights receded, Edwin Kasper knew the nightmare was only beginning. And he had no idea how to wake up from it.

The Accusation

The interrogation room was a profound contrast to the luxurious hotel suite Edwin had woken up in just hours ago. Harsh fluorescent lights buzzed overhead, casting an unflattering pallor over his already haggard appearance. The metal chair he sat in was cold and uncomfortable, a far cry from the plush furniture he was accustomed to.

Detective Reyes sat across from him, her dark eyes boring into Edwin with an intensity that made him want to squirm. But years of acting had taught him how to maintain composure, even when every instinct screamed at him to flee.

"Mr. Kasper," Detective Reyes began, her voice clipped and professional, "I'm going to ask you one more time. What happened in that hotel room?"

Edwin ran a hand through his disheveled dark hair, frustration evident in every line of his body. His emerald eyes, usually sparkling with charm for the cameras, were now dull with exhaustion and fear. At just 30 years old


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