The last time we heard from them, they were on their way to Rod and Danielle's reception after having an intense and drama-filled trip to Morristown and attending the wedding with co-travelers Darius and Adele. Here's a reminder for you:
Since returning, Palmer and Zalika have been inseparable, and their relationship has been as intense and as passionate as ever. But Zalika soon learned that dating a politician can be complicated. For instance, Palmer has always stressed a need for discretion. For Palmer, that means having control over what the media prints about him, so it is particularly important to keep his romantic life out of the headlines. For Zalika, this means that there is a barrier. This means that they can hang out together and with small groups of friends, they can vacation together (usually traveling to the destination separately), and this means that on those huge occasions where she really wants to be by his side, she is in the background, away from media scrutiny.
And for a while, that was okay. For all the time that they spent apart, they seemed to make up for it when they did get together. They had incredible vacations together, even if they did have to travel to the destinations separately.
Once, they were actually able to travel together because Palmer had access to a private plane. That trip was particularly memorable for them both.
And it wasn't as if Palmer was keeping her a secret. Palmer's friends have known Zalika almost from the beginning, and Zalika is invited to small social affairs, as long as there is no chance that the media will be present.
Zalika doesn't discuss her relationship with Palmer with very many of her friends. She is careful who she shares information with, especially since her friends may not understand their relationship. Her friend Nina knows about the 2 of them has asked on more than one occasion "I saw Palmer's picture in the paper at that event... where were you?" Zalika had replied that she was there, but that she and Palmer are not letting the media know that they are a couple. Nina said "You said what you would NEVER be in a relationship where a guy hides you away from the people in his life!" Zalika had explained that Palmer is not keeping her a secret, they just don't want the world to know. Nina responded "So you're not a secret to a few people, but you are a secret to the rest of world. That just sounds weak to me."
In the past, it had been easier to dismiss her friend's comments. Now it was quite a bit more difficult. The prospect of talking to Palmer about their relationship and about their future scared her a little, because she did not want to lose what they had. On the other hand, if this was a relationship with no real future, she had to know that. She invited Palmer over and they talked for hours.
Palmer has this way about him that is so charming and so slick, and he has a way of getting people to do what he wants and making them think that it was their idea. Zalika knew this about him and admired that quality, but she was determined not to fall for that (at least not this time). She needed real answers. Palmer was very attentive and reassuring and let her know that her concerns were definitely valid. But this is what it all came down to.
Palmer said "I'm willing to take our relationship to the next level. I've lived the majority of my adult life under media scrutiny, and I've grown accustomed to it. For us to be completely open about our relationship would be freeing in a lot of ways, but it will be stifling in other ways. As you know, I have very high political aspirations. Right now, all you really have to worry about is the local media. Think about what will happen when I run for President. Are you ready for the background checks that my political enemies will run on you, and how they will spin the information that they find to your detriment, just to get at me? Are you ready for reporters to interview your friends from high school and college, trying to find your deepest secrets? Are you ready for the betrayal you'll feel when your old friends sell your secrets to the tabloids to earn a few bucks? Are you ready to have reporters going through your garbage? That's just a little bit of what will happen."
Zalika paused for a bit, and then opened her mouth to speak. Palmer said "Don't answer me now. Think about it for a while. REALLY think about it. And then, let me know what you want to do."
It's been a mild summer, but Palmer and Zalika are heating things up in this video! Check it out, unless you are easily offended, in which case you should avert your eyes.