Clint drove a little faster than necessary as he made his way towards Nikki’s house. It was a bit of a long shot, but from Nikki’s description of the restaurant, ‘private and out of town’, there was a good chance it was purposefully off the paparazzi’s radar, at least for most of them. The very best always knew a few such spots, which they’d always be more surreptitious about covering.
He pulled into the driveway and parked, before letting himself into the house. He heard movement upstairs.
“Nikki! It’s Clint.”
“One second! I’ll be right down!” she called out.
“I’ll wait for you in the living room.” He walked in and took a seat on the couch. As he waited, he decided it would be best to tell Nikki the whole thing; about Peter, about what he was doing for him. He’d been reluctant up until this point, afraid there might be legal troubles down the road, but if he left out Peter’s breaking and entering she should be fine.
His caught site of a document sitting on the coffee table. It looked formal, and suddenly he had a gut feeling what it was. He pulled it closer and scanned the first page. It was a film contract. Almost reluctantly, Clint flipped through to the last page. Nikki had already signed it.
He looked up. She was standing in the door way, looking anxiously between him and papers.
“You signed the contract,” he said flatly.
“Vanessa brought them over this morning.”
“Of course she did.”
“I understand this wasn’t what you wanted me to do.”
“I thought we were going to talk about this.”
“We did talk about it and we didn’t agree. But it’s my career and so ultimately the decision is mine.” She came further into the room.
“I realized that. But we still said we were going to discuss it more. Together.”
“And what good would that have done?” she demanded. “Were you going to change your mind?”
“No. It’s a bad script.”
“Fine, well, I wasn’t going to change my mind either. I think you’re wrong. And Vanessa brought the contracts over, I wanted to sign them, so I signed them. It’s done. So just get on my side here.”
“And what? Lie and say I agree with this choice? Say maybe it’ll work out? I don’t believe it will.”
“It’s what I want though. It’s what’s right for me right now!”
“There are other options, other ways for you to explore acting-”
“I want this film!” There was a silence as they stared at each other. Nikki crossed her arms and looked out through the glass doors and across the back yard. “So, where does this leave us?”
Clint shrugged. “On different sides.”
“You’re both my manager and my boyfriend. We can’t be on different sides Clint.”
“I know that. But I don’t think either one of us is going to budge here.”
“I don’t need you to say you’re wrong or I’m right. But can’t we accept that this is happening and you just work with it?” she asked hopefully.
They stared at each other.
“You’re right,” she agreed. “It wouldn’t work would it? So I guess that’s it.”
“I guess it is.”
Nikki closed her eyes and as if trying to contain herself and nodded. “Let yourself out, won’t you? I need to-…go.” She turned quickly.
Unbidden, and definitely unwelcomed, the initially reason for his visit nudged him.
She turned back, looking hopefully. “Yes?”
“I’m sorry, I just…I came here for a reason and I need to ask you something. It’s important. It’s just-, a few months ago, we talked about Peter Glades and his wife, do you remember?”
“Peter Glades?” she looked at him incredulously.
“Yes. You said you’d run into his wife once while she was out with someone, in a restaurant just out of town. Some place small. I was hoping you’d remember the place, what it’s name was.”
“That’s what you have to say?”
“I know. This isn’t the time. But it’s important and I need to ask you.”
“Get out Clint.”
He watched as she walked across the hall and upstairs, leaving him alone. He glanced down and realized the contract was still in his hand. He placed it down slowly, almost hesitantly, as if avoiding big movements might somehow change the preceding conversation.
He stood up and walked out into the hallway, pausing at the base of the stairway to look up it. He wanted to follow her and talk it out, but he knew she wouldn’t except anything but a retraction of his objections and that he just couldn’t do.
He left the house and got into his car. As he sat in the driver’s seat he impulsively slammed his fist against the side of the door and swore. He stared up at the house and felt a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. He needed to get out of there. He put the car in reverse and backed out of the driveway.