Holly sighed, pushing a strand of hair back behind her ear. It was hot, it was humid and it was uncomfortable. The Homestead saloon set was packed with people, cameras and equipment which just added to the stuffiness.
Between cuts, Holly pulled a plastic water bottle out from behind the bar and took a long swig before pushing it back out of sight of the camera. Everyone was feeling cranky. The heat was getting to them and filming wasn’t going great. Walsh was snapping at people and Alan and several other of the male actors looked like they were melting in their vests and western jackets.
As the camera was set up on the other end of the set, a couple of crew members showed up and passed out water and a makeup artist appeared to touch up a few people’s sweaty faces.
Holly glanced at a passing camera man’s watch and sighed. They’d been here for two hours and she could feel the sweat slowly making its way down her neck.
“Alright people!” yelled out Walsh. “We’re ready. Once more from the top!”
Holly pretended to clean the bar and watched surreptitiously out of the corner of her eye as, for what felt like the hundredth time, Alan started to get in a fight, rise to his feet and he pushed the table over, sending cards and chips scattering across the floor. He then pulled his gun and fired causing the other actor to fall to the ground. She couldn’t count how many times the crew had had to pick up all those chips and cards to reset the table.
Alan turned to Walsh. “Tell me that’s the last shoot. I’m drenched in sweat here. Another round and I may shoot myself next time.”
Walsh nodded. “Alright. I think we’re good. Thanks everyone for the great work, go off and get lunch and we’ll start shooting the ranch scene in an hour.”
There were several sighs of relief mixed with groans at the prospect of the next scene, and then a general movement towards the door. Holly met up with Alan by the bar and headed outside with him. It was still hot outside, but there was a small breeze and the fresh air felt wonderful after two hours of overcrowding and sweat. Alan pulled off his jacket and vest and hung it over his arm and then unbuttoned the top of his shirt.
“Cowboys must have been insane to wear all this,” he muttered.
Holly grinned. “I guess it really does pay to be a bartender. You get away with short sleeves.”
“How about we head to my trailer? I’ve got some lemonade and leftover pizza. And beautiful, beautiful AC.”
They started walking down the street towards the trailers.
“I forgot to ask, how did the photo shoot go on Friday?”
She shrugged. “Well I think I’ve got a lifelong nemesis in Cynthia but other than that it went pretty well. I figured it all out as I went along.”
“Cynthia still giving you trouble?”
“Yes, and quite honestly I feel like giving her trouble now. When I thought she just might not like me it was one thing. But I confronted her and you should have heard some of the things she said. Apparently the fact that I didn’t take acting in college is just inexcusable.”
Alan laughed. “A number of actors haven’t even finished high school. Expecting college seems excessive.”
Holly ran a hand across her hair. Alan noticed the movement and frowned.
“What is it? Is there something else bothering you?”
“No.” She shook her head. “Not really. It’s just that she also said some stuff about how I got my roles. You and McCall…”
“That’s bull. You were already in the show before I met you. And McCall became interested in your career after you auditioned.”
“I know. It’s still not fun to hear though. And I know people think all of that and I even know some of the people here on set believe it too. I’ve heard some of the talk. Things like I’m only with you to further my career. It’s just ugly for people to think.”
“There’s a lot of ugly talk in LA, darling. And if that’s the worst you ever here, you’ll be lucky. There’s always going to be rumors and ‘unnamed sources’ and people who paint everything in the worst possible light. It happens and you ignore it. And don’t worry about Cynthia. Everyone has someone they can’t stand. I know I have at least-” He stopped talking abruptly and stood still.
Holly looked towards the direction he was staring in. They were twenty feet from his trailer and the door was open, flapping in the breeze.
“I thought I shut it,” he muttered under his breath. He started walking again a little faster. He reached the steps and looked through the open doorway and stopped again. Holly came up behind him and looked over his shoulder.
It was a mess inside. Things scattered about, cupboards opened, drawers pulled out.
“Stay here,” he said, slowly mounting the stairs and entering. Holly watched him as he checked the whole trailer and opened the closet. He came back towards the front and looked around at the mess. A piece of paper, stuck under magnet on the fridge caught his attention and pulled it out.
“What’s that?” asked Holly.
“I think we should contact set security.”
“What is it?” Holly asked again.
“It…says it from Robin,” said Alan hesitantly, as if not wanting to alarm her.
For a second Holly tried to place the name and then suddenly sucked in her breath. “Oh. Robin? The same person who broke into your hotel room? But that was in Australia. Someone wouldn’t follow all the way from Australia…”
“Not a logical person,” he said under his breath. He glanced up and saw Holly’s alarmed expression and quickly smiled. “It’s probably all a hoax. Don’t worry. We’ll hand this over to security and they can contact the police.” He pulled out his cell phone and dialed.