Dodged A Bullet

Weeping In Willow Creek As Jack And Ellie’s Affair Is Uncovered…
Some images are slightly NSFW

Spring, Year 7
Jack is 41, Marcella is 38, Ellie is 27 and Sean is 1

Ellie was trying so hard to deny what was right in front of her. They’d been so careful – neither she nor Jack were in the position for a baby right now. Her career was finally feeling more stable but financially, she was a wreck still and Jack was still engaged to Marcella and they were expecting their second baby together. This was yet another complication in a life that was chaotic enough as it was. Still, Jack needed to know and since Ellie was going to be seeing him later, there was no time like the present.

Jack didn’t take the news very well but Ellie hadn’t really expected him to. The timing was absolutely awful.
“What are we going to do?” Ellie asked. “I mean, what with Marcella and everything…”
Jack shook his head. “I’ve no idea,” he mumbled.

“Listen,” Ellie stood up and pulled Jack into a standing position as well. “Neither of us planned this and we’re absolutely not in a position to even have a baby right now but in spite of all of that, I’m going to go ahead and have the baby. However, I will understand completely if you want to walk away now. I’ll never tell anyone the baby’s yours; I won’t ask anything of you and I’ll just slip away quietly.”

Suddenly, Jack stood upright and made a grab for Ellie. “I’m not letting you slip away.” He took a deep breath. “Ellie, I love you. I know I do and this time it’s real. Ours is the first real relationship I’ve had where we feel equal. I can be myself with you, Ellie, flaws and all. I don’t have to pretend, I don’t have to smile and make it look like I’m happy. I actually feel like Jack when I’m with you. Not Jack Goldsmith, the actor but just Jack. You don’t know what that means to me.” He kissed her neck.

Later, Jack wrapped his arms around Ellie and kissed her lightly on the shoulder. “I should get going soon,” he whispered.
“Let’s just stay here for a while,” Ellie replied. She didn’t quite want to face the rest of the world and the complications it brought quite yet.

Eventually, They got up and dressed and Ellie saw him to the door.
“Ellie, before I leave, I need to tell you something.” Jack took a deep breath. “I leaving Marcella.”
Ellie blinked in astonishment. “What? Are you sure?”
Nodding, Jack bit his lip. “I am. I should never have agreed to marry her when she proposed. It was stupid and ultimately, it wasn’t fair to her. I shouldn’t have lead her on. The new baby I know is her way of trying to get me to come around to her way of thinking.” He sighed. “It’s what happened with Sean after all. We’ve both been selfish and I think it’s time to end it. I won’t bring your name into it though, if I can help it.”
“No,” Ellie shook her head. “If you tell Marcella anything, tell her the whole truth. Whatever else has happened or will happen, she deserves to at least have the whole truth and not evasive answers.”
Jack nodded decisively. “Okay. I’ll phone when I have news, okay?”
“Good luck.” Ellie kissed him again before he left. Her stomach knotted.

“Marcella, I need to talk to you.” Jack hadn’t been home long but it didn’t feel right to delay the truth.
He waited until Marcella was sitting beside him on the sofa and took a deep breath. “I need to be honest with you. Marcie, I’ve been seeing someone else.”
Marcella’s eyes widened. “What? Since when?”
“I’m sorry, Marcie. I never really intended to hurt you but Ellie and I met up at the arts centre on Sean’s birthday last summer. We got talking since we’ve been friends for years and suddenly it crossed into flirting. I know I should have stopped it there but…I didn’t. And now Ellie’s pregnant, too.”

“You bastard,” Marcella burst into tears.
“Marcie, I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have accepted your proposal.”
“Well why did you then?” She sobbed uncontrollably.
“It caught me off guard and it was public. Marcie, I know it wasn’t right but that speech about my having issues with commitment being so public really caught me off guard and I’d have felt a right prat if I’d turned you down there and then. And I thought what you said made sense even though I can see now that it doesn’t.”
“So this is all my fault?” Marcella asked incredulously. “I don’t believe it!”
“No,” Jack shook his head. “It’s entirely on me how I responded to that. We’re not right for each other and let’s be honest, we don’t really trust each other, do we?”
“Stop talking!” Marcella demanded, so they sat in silence for a few minutes.

“So, where are we going from here?” Marcella asked a little later. “Counselling? To see if you can be salvaged?”
“No. Marcella, I’m sorry but like I said, we’re not right for each other. We want different things and it’s not healthy for either of us to pretend this is okay. Neither of us are really happy in this relationship; I think we both went into this for the wrong reasons.”
“You’re leaving me? You cheat on me with your slut of a friend and then you dump me? I’m not good enough for you?”
“I never said that, you know I didn’t. We’re not right for each other and we’ll only make each other miserable if I stay.”

“You are not dumping me, Jack Goldsmith. I am dumping you for being a lying, cheating bastard and don’t you forget that!” Marcella glowered at him.
Exhausted, Jack buried his face in his hands. “I’ll go.”

Much later, Jack had his bags packed and a flat lined up. He scooped up Sean before he left and cuddled him close.
“Okay, little man. Daddy’s got to go soon but I’ll come and see you a lot.” He didn’t know how much Sean understood but it was breaking Jack’s heart.

Marcella came in as Jack was packing the last of his things. “Haven’t you gone yet?” She snapped.
“I’m going now.” Jack sighed.
“I should think so. To think I was actually going to marry you. I can’t believe I was so blind to what a self-centred arsehole you actually are, Jack Goldsmith. All your jealousy when I was pregnant with Sean; you’re a piece of work. You only started dating me to get bacl at your exes, clearly.”
“Come on Marcella, we both made big mistakes in this relationship. Don’t tell me it’s all my fault because we’re both to blame. It’s not fair to swing it onto one person. You’ve done more than your fair share of flirting with other men; even right under my nose.”
Marcella suddenly saw red and raised her hand, ready to slap Jack’s face, hard. He was ready for her however, and stopped her hand in its tracks. “Don’t do something you’ll regret, Marcie. In a few weeks, we’ll both be glad if we can do this calmly.”
“I won’t do this calmly, why should I? It’s all your fault!”
“And that’s why this relationship can’t go on. It’s going to be a relief for both of us,” Jack said. “Especially for me,” he added as an afterthought.

Finally, after more accusations and faulty memories being hurled in his direction, Jack walked out of the door. For good.

It took the rest of the day for him to get his belongings over to Evergreen Harbour, into an empty flat near the quarry. It was an unlikely spot for someone of Jack’s fame and fortune and that was exactly what he wanted. It also had the added benefit of being close to Ellie’s flat.
Ellie was the first person to greet him at his door after he moved in. “Welcome to Evergreen Harbour,” she said, throwing her arms around him. His embrace felt even warmer than usual today and he held her just a little closer than normal.

Jack invited her in to a mass of boxes. “I still have a lot of unpacking to do,” he explained apologetically.
“Well, I have the afternoon off. I’m happy to help you get organised, if you like?”
“Actually, this stuff can wait. The bedroom’s more or less functional and I wouldn’t mind a proper welcome to the neighbourhood first?” He raised an eyebrow.

Ellie didn’t need to be asked twice and ended up staying the night with Jack.

The following morning, Ellie really did help Jack get the flat organised. They worked quickly and within a few hours, the place looked comfortable. Far from perfect; Jack still had some shopping to do for the finishing touches but it was better than being surrounded by boxes.
Felling calm for the first time in a few days, Jack settled down to check his phone while Ellie was in the shower and was hit with a tidal wave of headlines about his cheating; his continuous cheating, according to most of them. Marcella had really gone to every outlet possible and spun an altered version of the story, implying he was a serial cheater. The articles even named Ellie in most of them and claimed that both had been unavailable for comment at the time of publication.
He groaned. He really tried to keep it out of the public eye. He remembered how it had felt both times he’d been cheated on, to see it all emblazoned across the headlines and he’d hoped to spare Marcella from that. Obviously, she’d had other ideas.

“I need to go now,” Ellie came up behind Jack a little later and wrapped her arms around him. “Are you going to be okay?” He’d told her about the headlines.
“I think so. I’m going to upload a video, explain what happened and apologise for everything.” He sighed. “Are you going to be okay? They know your name now.”
“I’ll be fine.” She kissed him on the cheek. “If Marcella thinks she can frighten me like this, then she doesn’t know me very well. Phone me if you need anything. I have a few things to sort out in the new few days; I think you’ll need a bit of space to deal with all this crap. I’ll be in touch.”

After seeing Ellie to the door, Jack set about recording his explanation video. He knew it wouldn’t make a lot of difference to most people; there were many that wouldn’t believe he wasn’t a serial cheater but he owed it to his fans to be honest and to take accountability for his actions. He knew that cheating was wrong and while he and Marcella knew the truth of their relationship, he needed to acknowledge what the public knew, or thought they knew.

A few days passed after Jack uploaded his video. Several news outlets had posted articles which grossly exaggerated his character and Jack was suing them for slander. He and Ellie spoke daily but agreed to keep appearances to a minimum until Jack could get everything settled.
The day of his court appearance, Jack went out for a restorative run around Evergreen Harbour. There was something very soothing about his new neighbourhood and he liked it.

Thankfully, the judge sided with Jack’s team and agreed that the situation had been blown out of all proportion. Paparazzi had faked images of Jack and Ellie and Jack had been able to prove they were faked.
Jubilant but exhausted, Jack returned home late that night. Hopefully, he’d been able to firmly put this incident behind him and he could get back to focusing entirely on work.

The first thing to do was hit the gym. He was playing a pirate captain in his next film project and he did need to tone up a little more before filming, which was due to begin soon. So a workout and a massage were overdue.
Sadly, he was struggling to relax properly and while the workout achieved what he’d hoped it would, the massage certainly didn’t.

The first day of filming arrived and Jack woke up that morning feeling unusually nervous. He’d not felt like this on the first day of filming for years and it threw him for a loop. It was, however, understandable, since it was the first day back at work since the media storm surrounding him and Marcella. He only hoped that he could get through the day.

Thankfully, the day went completely without incident. Nobody asked Jack about Marcella or the cheating accusations and Jack was even complemented on his excellent job in his role.
It finally felt like things were going back to normal again.

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