What started out as a rumor turned into an ugly reality this week on Bachelor in Paradise.
For Brendan Morais, in particular.
At last, on Monday night's installment, viewers watched Pieper James -- with whom Brendan allegedly had a secret romance -- arrive on the island with a date card.
Without even talking to anyone else on the beach, Pieper immediately used it on Brendan.
What about Natasha? And the budding romance Brendan had been building with her?
Morais referrred to Pieper's arrival a "coincidence," and explained that the "whole purpose of us being here is to figure out who our person is" and "who we have that undeniable spark with."
Natasha wonderred why Brendan would have even come to Paradise if he felt a certain way, pre-filming, about Pieper... but Brendan played all dumb and innocent.
He claimed that his dynamic with Pieper had been "super casual" up until this point, calling this an "opportunity" for the pair to "have meaningful, deep conversations" in a date setting.
"It needs to be explored and that'll kind of determine how we navigate the rest of this," Brendan continued.
Natasha pointed out that it "hasn't been great" for her to deal with the "looming rumor" of his alleged pre-show romance with Pieper, for which Brendan apologized.
"But we are in Paradise and this is the name of the game, I suppose," he said.
"We'll obviously have an opportunity to talk more."
On their date, Pieper and Brendan expressed enthusiasm for finally being out together.
The latter was also honest about Natasha and about being confronted by his co-stars over having dated Pieper in the past.
"There's certain things that have to be done and certain ways I have to navigate this to bring us to this particular moment. I can't have a girlfriend, like, entering this whole journey," he said when asked by Pieper how he feels about her.
The reality star also noted that it's "not a good look" and that he likely would've been sent home early if he hadn't played it as coy as he did.
The pair eventually talked it out and then made out.
In a confessional, Pieper called Brendan her "boyfriend" and said that they are "dating."
Cue an understandable blowup by Natasha...
Natasha asked Pieper questions about her history with Brendan, which resulted in her learning Brendan had lied about how deep his bond was with Pieper actually was.
"Last time I saw him was right before he flew to Paradise," Pieper said, adding that they've hung out a total of 10 times.
Replied Natasha, irritated AF:
"It sounds like, go there, meet a girl, lie to her until I get there and then we will just be on a TV show. And woohoo, yay, followers. Like, let's be this TV couple."
Natasha then went after Brendan, who once again played all dumb and innocent, claiming Natasha just heard what she wanted to hear when they discussed their relationship.
"I have selective hearing of what you were saying because you were not direct," Natasha fired back.
"Are you here because of this TV show? And from the conversations that we've had, I did not want to think that of you at all, but that's what this feels like now.
"And that's f----- up, Brendan."
Would Brendan accept a date card from another woman right now?
Probably not, he responded, due to his feelings for Pieper.
"If you were honest and said '[We have a] strong connection, strong feelings,' I would have definitely explored other [bonds], 100 percent," Natasha told him.
"But you said that you guys hung out twice, she said 10 times. If you say it's two times, she says it's 10 times. Like Brendan, that's a lie."
As Brendan stammed to reply, Natasha put it simply:
"The core of the issue is, is that I feel like you're a liar."