EXT. HOMESTEAD SET. DAY.
Standing in the center of set, Ian held up his hand for silence as the crowd of cast and crew that had been gathered round, turned their attention to him. Holly leaned against the wooden support post of an awning and only half listened. Most of the people working on Homestead had realized at this point that Ian liked his speeches.
“I’m only going to take up a moment of your time,” said Ian, raising his voice. “Today we start work on the season finale and it’s going to be a huge landmark in our show, a real game changer. I know we’re all excited and I can’t tell you how much…”
Evelyn slipped up beside Holly. “He’s going on again is he? I’ve heard enough of producer speeches in my years to last me a lifetime. I’m heading back to the costume department. Come along. At least Matilda doesn’t use fifty words for a ten word idea.”
Holly smiled. “Thanks, but I think I’ll just stick around for the rest of the speech. He said it was going to be a short one.”
“Oh Holly dear, there’s no such thing as a ‘short’ speech. That’s why award shows drown out the longwinded.”
“Were you ever played out of your acceptance speech?”
“Only once. It was embarrassing enough, that I decided never again. I now thank God, my mother, the voters and then leave it at that. Even in a star’s heyday no one really wants to hear them thank the random electrician they met five years ago who inspired who knows what in their performance today.”
Holly laughed. “I’ll keep that in mind. No electricians.”
Evelyn left confidently, obviously unconcerned whether Ian noticed her walking out on his speech or not, and Holly turned her attention back to him.
“So thank you, all of you, for all of the hard work. Two weeks from now we’ll be having our wrap party, and I can’t wait to celebrate with everyone over a job well done!” Ian stepped back and there was an awkward pause before the cast and crew began to move about their business again. Walsh started to shout out some instructions, calling for Unit B to start gathering in the bank and the usual bustle slowly started to return.
Victor McCall emerged from the crowd and approached Holly. He was smiling and looking more relaxed then the last time the two had talked. In one hand he was holding a script.
“Holly,” he greeted her, “I’m glad I caught you. Do you have a moment?”
“Yes, I don’t have a scene to film till eleven. I wouldn’t be in at all yet, except Ian insisted everyone come in early to hear the speech.”
McCall grinned. “He does like his speeches. Well, I actually wanted to give you this.” He handed her the script.
She took it and looked over the cover. “‘The Box of Edward the II?’”
“Yes. It’s an indie film I’m working on this summer. A supernatural mystery. Low budget, but an excellent script, and I think a wonderful opportunity. I showed the director several of the scenes you filmed for the show and he was very interested. We both think you’d be wonderful for one of the main characters.”
Holly blinked. “Are you serious?”
“Yes.” Victor smiled. “I told you I wanted to talk about the summer hiatus and I think this would be an excellent option.”
“The summer? Oh.” Holly smoothed down her hair.
“What’s wrong?” Victor frowned.
“It’s just,” she shrugged uncertainly, “Alan invited me to go to Australia with him this summer. And I hadn’t decided yet whether or not…”
“Of course. I see.” Victor nodded. “Well I can understand the dilemma. If it helps, filming is only scheduled for a month. You could join Alan afterwards. Think about it. I think it would be a great opportunity for you.”
Holly smiled. “Thank you. I will. And I really do appreciate it.”
Victor walked away and Holly sighed. It was an exciting idea of course, and part of her itched it start reading the screenplay immediately. But another part of her felt tired and wished things could be simple for a few weeks to allow her to catch a breath.
Impulsively she headed towards makeup, where she knew she would find Alan. He was sitting in a foldout chair, as a woman was bending over his neck, touching up the blood on a carefully applied fake wound.
Holly grimaced. “That looks disturbingly real.”
Alan grinned. He gestured toward the makeup artist. “Shelly’s frighteningly good at blood and gore. You should have seen her zombie costume for last Halloween. Terrifying.”
“Alan when you’re done could I talk to you about something?”
Shelly glanced up. “I can give you to a sec now if you’d like.”
“Of course. I’ll be right back.”
Left alone Holly moved closer and handed Alan the script. He glanced at it.
“McCall gave it to me. He wants to cast me in a film he’s producing.”
Alan looked up, beaming. “Holly that’s wonderful.”
“Yes. Only it’s filming this summer. Which means…”
“You won’t be coming to Australia.”
“Well not right away. He said filming is going to be a month.”
“You could come before or afterwards depending on the dates,” he suggested.
“Yeah. I could,” Holly nodded. She took a seat beside him and rested her elbow on its arm, looking thoughtfully at Alan. “I just wonder how that would work. A month which each of us on opposite sides of the world, different time zones…”
“We can handle long distance Holly.”
“You really think so? I’ve heard a lot about long distance relationships Alan. And none of it has been good. I mean I can hardly keep up a long distance relationship with my parents and they’re just a couple states away. How am I going to keep up a romantic one with you?”
“Easy. We commit to it. I told you I was serious about us Holly. And I meant it. We can make this work, because I honestly believe that it is completely worth it. We will work Holly. I promise you.”
Holly smiled. “Okay.”
There were footsteps and they looked over to see Shelly making her way back. “Everything okay?” she asked, brightly.
“Yeah, said Holly, “It’s okay.” She reached over and squeezed Alan’s hand before walking away.